Saddam's Death, 103 (oct. 2017-part 2)
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 102: october 2017 and Page 104: oct-nov 2017
Israel & The Temple Revolution & Unesco & the Temple

Regime Change in Iraq - Overview 2002/2003
Trump & the Two Messiah's - Kennedy Speech 1961 - Eisenhower's Social Gospel
"I Have, I Rule and I will Destroy" - Iran & the dialogue of civilizations
Netanyahu & Infantilization of Israel
Jesus & Pophet Muhammed: "Be a stranger in the world" - Ideological Warfare Center
Jewish fundamentalism in the State of Palestine - Palestinian Martyrs and Jewish Heroes
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)

"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries.
What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."

Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002

"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003

A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.

"That is the issue that will continue in this country... It is the eternal struggle between these two principles -- right and wrong -- throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle.
The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings." Abraham Lincoln (October 15, 1858 Debate at Alton, Illinois)

"Happy day, when, all appetites controlled, all poisons subdued, all matter subjected, mind, all conquering mind, shall live and move the monarch of the world. Glorious consummation! Hail fall of Fury! Reign of Reason, all hail!" Abraham Lincoln (February 22, 1842 Temperance Address)

"...To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task." Fyodor Dostoevsky (to his brother Mikhail, Dec. 22, 1849)

All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.
Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon

“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”

Saadi Shirazi
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)

"Holism is the most fundamental discovery of 20th century science. It is a discovery of every science from astrophysics to quantum physics to environmental science to psychology to anthropology.
It is the discovery that the entire universe is an integral whole, and that the basic organizational principle of the universe is the field principle: the universe consists of fields within fields, levels of wholeness and integration that mirror in fundamental ways, and integrate with, the ultimate, cosmic whole...."
"For many thinkers and religious teachers throughout this history, holism was the dominant thought, and the harmony that it implies has most often been understood to encompass cosmic, civilizational, and personal dimensions. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and Confucius all give us visions of transformative harmony, a transformative harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos."

About political holism

Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent.
Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.

Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy.
Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.
At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)

Desmond Tutu & Ubuntu

"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
"We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World.
When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity." (Ubuntu info)

We are now in the 21st century.
On the US's current political mind
Cemil Ertem, Daily Sabah Colums, 11-10-2017

“The US-led Western alliance, while acting as an advocate of democracy, rule of law and human rights in individual countries, is acting in the international arena from the opposite position, rejecting the democratic principle of the sovereign right of states enshrined in the UN Charter and trying to decide for others what is good and what is bad." Sergei Lavrov, UN, 27-9-2014

Does the U.S. have a coherent foreign policy on the Pacific region, Eurasia or even Europe that takes the new era into consideration?
I do not think so. The U.S. is making decisions on all of these hot and important regions with old Cold War reflexes without understanding the new era or its power and situation relating to itself, its allies and the future.
Why is this so?
Can the political mind of a state, which has been the superpower of the world since World War II, regress to such an extent?
It can only regress under one condition. If the U.S. thinks that it still lives in the world of the 20th century and determines its allies and enemies accordingly, its political mind has become a thing of the past and the decisions based on the reflexes of this mind will harm the U.S. itself first, then the whole system.

The U.S. was the absolute winner of World War II.
All of the institutions in the new world order established under the leadership of the U.S. after World War II are based on the idea that the U.S.'s interests reflect all those of developed countries.
From 1947 onward, developing countries, including Turkey, were confined to the stereotypical economic prescriptions of the IMF...
After successive crises in the 1990s and 2000s, these countries found that the stereotypical IMF prescriptions did not work and were the cause of the crises and they began to implement relatively unique economic policies.
As a result of all of this, we are faced with a global systemic crisis today that is deeper than the 1929 crisis.
The 1929 crisis was overcome with a world war and U.S. hegemony.
The current crisis is precisely the crisis of the old system, which was built upon the economic and political hegemony of the U.S., and is unlikely to end without overthrowing the old system.
As long as the U.S. continues to behave in line with post-World War II conditions, the crisis will continue to deepen.
Unlike before, there is no one-dimensional detente based on only two countries, the U.S. and the Soviet Union. There is now an opportunity for multilateral partnerships, regional economic unions and relevant high-level technology exchanges on all levels.

Every step taken by the U.S. now is based on the old rationality and is not rational, feasible and sustainable today.
In other words, the political "mind" of the U.S. has remained in the previous century. According to Henry Kissinger, the 20th century was the U.S.' century, but we are now in the 21st century.

U.S. Withdraws From UNESCO, Saying It’s Biased Against Israel
By Nick Wadhams, Bloomberg News, 12-10-2017

The Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the United Nations cultural organization, saying it’s biased against Israel and citing its decision to admit the Palestinian territories as a member state.
The decision to quit the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which the U.S. co-founded in 1945, “was not taken lightly,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Thursday. She cited the need for “fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.”
The U.S. hasn’t been paying dues to UNESCO since 2011, when President Barack Obama’s administration stopped providing about $72 million a year after the Paris-based organization accepted Palestine as a full member.

At the time when conflicts continue to tear apart societies across the world, it is deeply regrettable for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations agency promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement. “This is why I regret the withdrawal of the United States.”

The organization's decision to designate Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs as a Palestinian heritage site this year, as well as resolutions that seemed to minimize Jewish ties to Jerusalem, prompted accusations of anti-Israel bias, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing the organization of promoting “fake history.”
Netanyahu on Thursday welcomed what he called the “brave and moral” U.S. decision. He has instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare for Israel’s own departure from the group..
The U.S. will remain a non-member observer state “in order to contribute U.S. views, perspectives and expertise,” Nauert said. Withdrawal from the organization won’t take effect until Dec. 31, 2018.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.

Palestine Foreign Ministry to Sputnik:
US Pullout From UNESCO 'Highly Political'
Sputnik News, 13-10-2017

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has told Sputnik it laments that Washington has decided to quit UNESCO over "anti-Israel bias," but noted that the organization will keep operating.
"We lament the move, that intends to limit its scope of operation," the foreign ministry spokesperson stated. "We are confident that the organization can survive such behavior, in the same way, it survived previous similar intimidations in the past, and will maintain protecting the total independence and professionalism of the organization."
The spokesperson slammed Washington for using its membership in the organization as a tool to push through the interests of Israel that has occupied Palestinian territories in flagrant violation of international law.
"The US government decides to stand by the occupiers, the violators of the same principles and laws that the UNESCO as a UN organization was entrusted to protect."

The Palestinians have been in a state of conflict with the Israelis since the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948. In recent years, the conflict has been exacerbated by Israel's construction activities in East Jerusalem, considered by many countries as the territory of Palestine. Earlier this year UNESCO adopted a resolution that called Israel an “occupant power.” After that Tel Aviv slashed its donations to the UN.

The time has come to stop dealing with Israel as a state above the law
Palestine’s UN representative says Israel should comply with international law
Mohammed Baderon, MFA Palestine, October 12, 2017

NEW YORK, October 12, 2017 (WAFA) – Palestine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Riyad Mansour Wednesday urged the United Nations to demand from Israel to comply with international law and resolutions and stop building illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Mansour sent three identical letters to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the Security Council (France) and the President of the United Nations General Assembly on Israel’s continued provocative statements and its plans to build and expand settlements throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, in direct and serious violation of international law and Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016)...
Mansour said the international community should demand Israel’s compliance with international law, including humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as all relevant UN resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), and be ready to hold it accountable for its acts if these violations continue...
“The time has come to stop dealing with Israel as a state above the law, where there is no state above the law, including Israel,” Mansour concluded his letter.

‘Bitter and Abusive’: Trump Goes Rogue on Iran Deal in ‘Violent’ Speech
Marandi: "Demonizing Iran in the most violent terms possible"
Sputnik News, 14-10-2017

US President Donald Trump has announced that he would not recertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, ahead of a Sunday deadline, calling Tehran “the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism.
In his speech, Trump alleged that Iran had “committed multiple violations” of the JCPOA, though he seems to be the only stakeholder finding fault with Iran’s follow-through on the deal.
According to an Associated Press fact check, IAEA teams have in the past “noted some minor violations that were quickly corrected.” The other major state parties to the deal have also not found fault with Iran’s cooperation. And just last week, the highest ranking US military official, Gen. Joseph Dunford said, “Iran is not in material breach of the agreement.”

University of Tehran English professor Mohammad Marandi said Friday that Trump “demonized the Iranian government” in the most “violent” terms possible.
​“He’s made this promise he’s going to get out of the ‘terrible’ Iran deal, and I think he’s under pressure to live up to that promise,” Marandi said. “But he also doesn’t feel that he can do so — for whatever reason — so he’s sort of pushed it over to [the US] Congress to have to make the decision”.

US Ex-State Secretary: Trump Is 'Creating an International Crisis'
Congress now gets an opportunity to be the adult in the room
Sputnik News, 14.10.2017

John Kerry, who had helped to negotiate the historic pact on Iran, sees global peril in Donald Trump's decision to recertify the nuclear deal.
The US former Secretary of State slammed President Donald Trump on Friday for behaving irresponsibly and warned that reneging on the nuclear deal with Iran risked a global crisis.
"President Trump’s decision today is dangerous. He’s creating an international crisis," Kerry said in a statement, urging the other signatory nations to "prove to the world what responsible behavior is."MVR> ​In an anticipated decision, Trump announced Friday (oct 13) he would not certify that Iran had lived up to its end of the 2015 agreement, which saw it scale down nuclear projects in exchange for easing sanctions.
Kerry said the ball was now in Congress’ court.
"Congress now gets an opportunity to be the adult in the room and act in America’s genuine national security interest. The country and the world really are watching," he stressed.
The Republican-dominated parliament has 60 days to decide whether to reinstate sanctions on Iran, potentially undermining the agreement. President Trump has threatened to terminate the pact if Congress and allies are unable to amend it.

The Muslim world must wake up from its slumber
İbrahim Kalın, Daliy Sabah (Turkey), 14-10-2017

Muslim countries own a significant portion of the world's natural resources including oil, gas, minerals and forestry. They have a younger population compared to Europe, Japan and the United States. But their contribution to the world's GDP is very small. Muslims make up 21 percent of the world's population (1.5 billion) but account for only 5 percent of the global GDP (a little less than $5 trillion). The average GDP per capita is around $5,000, which is three times less than the global average of around $13,000.
Only a few Muslim countries have a sustainable model of development and show signs of success for alleviating poverty and for the equal distribution of wealth. Only a handful of universities in Muslim countries make it to the world's top one or five hundred list. The number of scholarly and scientific output in these universities and research institutes is negligible.

gaza school destroyed by right wingers - einstein, the socialist - gaza students

Overall, this is not a good picture. And this is where we must start: we have to accept that this is not a bright scene and stop pretending that just because we believe in God we will always be successful.
Faith implies intelligence and requires hard work and commitment.
We have to understand that we cannot wait for others to do what is good for us. We have to claim the agency of our own actions and work harder than ever to shape our own future. Without a sense of ownership and direction, we cannot claim to be a force for good for ourselves and for others.
We have to go beyond different versions of petty nationalism and adopt a wider point of view on the world. None of our local and national problems will be solved without paying attention to our neighbor's problems.
No matter how many locks we put on, our house will not be safe without building a safe and peaceful neighborhood for everyone. As our problems are interrelated and require partnership, we have to work together.
Disunity in the Muslim world comes with a heavy price for every major issue from Palestine to Somalia, from fighting terrorism and violent extremism to poverty alleviation.

Unity does not mean uniformity and plurality does not mean chaos and disorder. The trick is to see the unity behind the multiplicity of forms.
This principle, which Ibn al-Arabi calls "unity-within-diversity," applies to all realms of existence. It is an attempt to see the world with all of its dimensions without losing the overarching perspective of unity and integrity.
What is ironic and sad about the lack of unity in the Muslim world is that the Islamic faith is based on the fundamental principle of divine unity (tawhid) but Muslim nations cannot reach unity, neither in their souls nor in their collective actions.
As Mulla Sada says, those who cannot realize unity within their soul cannot grasp the meaning of God's unity. The result is chaos, disorder and a pitiful waste of spiritual, intellectual and natural resources...

The Muslim world must wake up from its slumber and take ownership of its present and future.
There is no doubt that we have to take our guard against exploitative and imperialistic interventions. But we also have to put our house in order.

Grievances Trump/Haley have nothing to do with the nuclear deal.
By Juan Cole | Oct. 14, 2017

The Trump administration (actually UN Ambassador and far right Evangelical Nikki Haley) has decertified Iran from compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or Nuclear Deal of 2015. It would be interesting to know how many of Haley’s inaccurate talking points were provided by Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu and Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

The list of grievances Trump/Haley present against Iran have nothing to do with the nuclear deal.
They don’t like Iran’s ballistic missile development program. The US complaints also include Iranian support for Hizbullah and intervention in Syria, which Trump and Haley are pleased to call terrorism. But if that is such a bad thing then why not also sanction Vladimir Putin, who is doing the same things in Syria and giving air support to Hizbullah and other Shiite militias?
Not to mention that it has come out that the US saw ISIL growing in eastern Syria and let it do so because they thought it would pressure al-Assad. So who was complicit with terrorism in Syria? Not Hizbullah and Iran, the most effective fighters against ISIL.
And they want to sanction the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, escalating the covert struggle between Iran’s national guard and the US security agencies. (Though note that the US military has been de facto allied with the IRGC in Iraq in the fight against ISIL).
Regionally, the Iraqi government would collapse without IRGC support, and since it increasingly doesn’t need the US, will likely distance itself from Washington over time, increasing rather than decreasing Iranian influence.

Soleimani: Iran’s interests in Iraq, Syria not materialistic
Press TV, Mon Aug 21, 2017

Major General Qassem Soleimani of Iran says the Islamic Republic does not seek materialistic interests in supporting Iraq and Syria — where it has advisory military presence — and the Palestinian cause.
“When we entered Iraq, we didn’t differentiate between our interests and those of Iraq; and we were not after [taking control of] oil wells or seizing cities like Mosul or Kirkuk. We did not and do not have monetary demands, either,” Major General Soleimani, who commands the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said on Sunday.
He also said that Iran did not support the Palestinian people because of “Shia interests.” Almost all Palestinians are Sunnis, he said, and yet “we defend them.”
The senior commander also said that in spite of the violent capacities of the Daesh terrorist group and the creation of such other militant outfits as Jaish al-Islam in Syria, Iran had been able to bring stability to Syria...
Daesh launched a terrorist offensive inside Iraq in 2014. It swiftly took over territory in the Arab country and posed a threat to seize the capital, Baghdad, too.
Iran then offered advisory military assistance to both the central government in Baghdad and the regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan, helping them both maintain ground and win back territory lost to the terrorist group. In Syria, too, Iran has been offering advisory support to the government...
Major General Soleimani said the Iranian government had succeeded in transcending matters of language and race, thus bringing about stability.

Defenders of a new form of nationalism that is pragmatic
The IRGC's plan to win hearts and minds
Narges Bajoghli, Al-Monitor, 13-3-2016

He is referred to as a “shadow” commander by Western journalists as he stealthily fights the Islamic State (IS) in places such as Syria and Iraq on behalf of Iran. He has kept a low profile, despite his position as the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) elite foreign operations branch, the Quds Force.
Yet last year it seemed that he sprang onto the scene out of the blue. News outlets and social media featured his familiar face posing for selfies on the front lines in Iraq and Syria, documentaries touted his military acumen and music videos passionately praised his strength and bravery...
The surge in public displays of adoration for Qasem Soleimani (born 11-3-1957) are part of a larger public relations campaign by the IRGC that dates to the aftermath of the 2009 Green Movement.

We faced a crisis of legitimacy after the suppression of the 2009 uprisings,” a retired IRGC captain who now works in pro-regime media production told Al-Monitor. “People, especially young people, began to turn away from us. We knew we had to win them back. We had to give them heroes they could respect.” Soleimani, or Hajj Qasem as he is affectionately known in Iran, became one of those heroes...

What Hajj Qasem has been able to do is no joke. If it weren’t for him, IS would have advanced throughout Iraq and be at our doorsteps.
All Iranians owe him. We owe our safety to him, and I think our people are beginning to see that,” Reza, a 27-year old Basij filmmaker, told Al-Monitor.
“Iran is the only stable, safe country in our neighborhood, and we have Qasem Soleimani and the Revolutionary Guards to thank for that", Sepideh, a 26-year old painter who considers herself in opposition to the government, told Al-Monitor.
The fight against IS has allowed pro-regime cultural producers to rebrand the IRGC not as defenders of the Islamic Republic, but as defenders of the Iranian nation.

See also: Modernity & The Third Culture

Rouhani hits back at Trump after nuclear deal speech
"He has not studied international law"
Al-Jazeera, 13 Oct 2017

Graduation Ceremony of Dr Hassan Rouhani, Glasgow University1999

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has hit back at his US counterpart, Donald Trump, over his aggressive new strategy towards Iran, saying Tehran will remain committed to a multinational nuclear deal as long at it serves its national interests. Rouhani's remarks came in response to a speech by Trump earlier on Friday, october 13...
"What was heard today was nothing but the repetition of baseless accusations and swear words that they have repeated for years," Rouhani said in a televised address from Tehran. "The Iranian nation does not expect anything else from you," he added.

Rouhani called the deal not renegotiable, adding that Trump's decision to not certify it would isolate the US as other signatories of the accord remained committed to it.
"Today, the United States is more than ever isolated in its opposition to the nuclear deal and in its plots against the Iranian people," Rouhani said, dismissing Trump's threat to tear up the deal if Congress does not impose tough new sanctions on Iran.
"He has not studied international law. Can a president annul a multilateral international treaty on his own?" Rouhani said.
"Apparently, he doesn't know that this agreement is not a bilateral agreement solely between Iran and the United States."

Rouhani responded to Trump's allegations with his own catalogue of US misdemeanours, starting with the CIA's involvement in a 1953 coup, which toppled Iran's democratically elected government.
He criticised US involvement in wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, and highlighted the shooting down by a US naval vessel of an Iran Air passenger flight in 1988, which killed 290 people.
Rouhani also attacked Trump's characterisation of the IRGC as a corrupt organisation propping up a "fanatical regime".
"Is the Iranian government a dictatorship ... or is it the governments who are supported by the United States and still run their country on a tribal basis and have never seen an election in their country?", Rouhani said in a pointed reference to Iran's regional rival, Saudi Arabia.
"The Iranian nation has not and will never bow to any foreign pressure," said Rouhani, adding that the IRGC "will continue its fight against regional terrorists".

Al Jazeera's Zein Basravi, reporting from Tehran, described Rouhani's response as "strong and swift" with a "tone that was meant to match the aggressive" rhetoric coming from the White House. "He said that Trump was in need of a history lesson and then proceeded to give him one," said Basravi.

America’s national culture is a war culture
By Lawrence Davidson, Media With Conscience, 8-10-2017

If you go to the Wikipedia page that gives a timeline of U.S. foreign military operations between 1775 and 2010, you are likely to come away in shock. It seems that ever since the founding of the country, the United States has been at war. It is as if Americans just could not (and still cannot) sit still, but had to (and still have to) force themselves on others through military action.
Often this is aimed at controlling foreign resources, thus forcing upon others the consequences of their own capitalist avarice. At other times the violence is spurred on by an ideology that confuses U.S. interests with civilization and freedom.
Only very rarely is Washington out there on the side of the angels. Regardless, the bottom line seems to be that peace has never been a deeply ingrained cultural value for the citizens of the United States. As pertains to foreign policy, America’s national culture is a war culture....

right wing messianism

America’s propensity to violence in other lands is but one side of a two-sided coin. Callous disregard for civilian lives abroad is matched by a willful promotion of violence at home.
That willful promotion is the product of a right-wing ideological orientation (stemming from a misreading of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) that demands a nearly open-ended right of all Americans to own an almost unlimited number and types of firearms. The result is gun regulation laws that are embarrassingly ineffective.
Again, the consequences of this position are much more profound than any claim that its supporters’ intentions are to defend citizens’ rights to own guns.
Since 1968 about as many Americans have been killed in-country by gun violence (1.53 million) as have died in all of America’s wars put together (1.20 million).
The numbers are too close to be dismissed as coincidence. Both reflect a culture of exceptionalism that grants at once the United States government, and its citizens, extensive rights to act in disregard of the safety and security of others...

How Netanyahu Pulls Trump’s Strings
By Robert Parry, Consortium News, 15-10-2017

In the final presidential debate of 2016, Hillary Clinton famously called Donald Trump the “puppet” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But what’s increasingly clear is that Trump has a more typical puppet master..: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since Sept. 18, when the two men met in New York around the United Nations General Assembly, Netanyahu has been pulling Trump’s strings on almost every foreign policy issue.
Trump showed that he is following Netanyahu’s marching orders with the extremist speech about Iran on Friday, essentially repeating all the Israeli propaganda lines against Iran and burning whatever bridges remained toward a meaningful diplomatic approach.

Trump’s Iran speech was so ludicrous it almost defies serious analysis. It ranks with the reckless rhetoric of President George W. Bush when he pronounced an “axis of evil,” with the incongruous linking of Iraq and Iran (two bitter enemies) and North Korea accompanied by Bush’s bogus claims about Iraq’s WMD and Iraq’s alleged collaboration with Al Qaeda.
In Friday’s speech, which looked like the handiwork of John Bolton, one of Bush’s neocon advisers who was seen entering the White House last week, Trump repeated all the nonsense tying Iran to Al Qaeda, presumably thinking that the American people still don’t understand that Al Qaeda is a fanatical Sunni terror group that targets both the West and Shiites, the dominant Muslim faith in Iran, as heretics deserving death.

western backed rebels, aleppo 2016: iran is the enemy

Yet, as dishonest as Trump’s Iran speech was, the U.S. mainstream media won’t criticize it as harshly as it deserves because virtually all the important journalists and talking heads have swallowed Israel’s anti-Iran propaganda whole. They have frequently repeated the canard about Iran as “the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism”.
The West’s major news outlets also have ingested all the sophisticated propaganda against the Assad government in Syria, particularly the claims about chemical weapons attacks while ignoring evidence that Al Qaeda’s operatives have staged attacks with the goal of provoking a direct U.S. military intervention.

Ibn Taymiyyah represented the Hanbali school of thought. The Hanbali school was seen as the most traditional school out of the four legal systems (Hanafi, Maliki and Shafii) because it was "suspicious of the Hellenist disciplines of philosophy and speculative theology. Aspects of his teachings had a profound influence on Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of the Hanbali reform movement practiced in Saudi Arabia known as Wahhabism. Ibn Taymiyyah's controversial fatwa allowing jihad against other Muslims, is referenced to by Al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups.

Thorough research and investigation is an urgent need today
By Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, ICH, 15-10-2017

The announcement by the Russian Ministry of Defence that US support for terrorists is a major obstacle to the elimination of the terrorist organisation in Syria is not a simple or transitory declaration. It is an important and dangerous declaration that must be carefully looked at...
The relationship between the Western and Zionist forces and the Muslim Brotherhood gangs and their detachments from al-Nusra, ISIS, the Free Army, and others’ aggression on our countries is an old-new relationship, but for unknown reasons it remains in doubt despite the books written on this subject.

Thorough research and investigation is an urgent need today, not only to prove the creation of these movements by the West as instruments to implement its agendas, but also to liberate the Islamic religion from all these suspicious movements and all manifestations of extremism, and the violence that has afflicted on them.
The proximate end of the fighting with ISIS on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria can be an incentive and an opportunity for political elites and Arab intellectuals to work quietly today, and hope to re-study this phenomenon, its formation, its entry into our territory, the methods it followed, the tactics that it resorted to, and the networks that provided them with support...
What we Arabs lack from our history is a study of the events we go through in a frank and in-depth manner, in order to draw lessons for the future in a timely manner...

After the achievements in the field, we must spread research centres at the national level to honour all the sacrifices made and establish the foundations of a true and factual Arab history, fit for the new world...

Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor to Syrian President, Bashar Al Assad.

Flashback: Former Defense Intelligence Agency Chief Says
Rise of Islamic State Was “A Willful Decision”
By Brad Hoff, August 07, 2015 "Information Clearing House"

In Al Jazeera’s latest Head to Head episode, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn confirms to Mehdi Hasan that not only had he studied the DIA memo predicting the West’s backing of an Islamic State in Syria when it came across his desk in 2012, but even asserts that the White House’s sponsoring of radical jihadists (that would emerge as ISIL and Nusra) against the Syrian regime was “a willful decision.”

-- Hasan: You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it.., but who wasn’t listening?
-- Flynn: I think the administration, the administration turned a blind eye...
-- Hasan: So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?
-- Flynn: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.

-- Hasan: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?
-- Flynn: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.

Lt. Gen. Flynn, speaking safely from retirement, is the highest ranking intelligence official to go on record saying the United States and other state sponsors of rebels in Syria knowingly gave political backing and shipped weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to put pressure on the Syrian regime:

-- Hasan: In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you’re worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?
-- Flynn: I hate to say it’s not my job…; but my job was to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be...

Michael Flynn — whom Obama fired as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 — believes the previous administration started to investigate his activities to keep him out of the White House.
The Obama administration said they fired Flynn because of 'insubordination', failure to follow the guidance of superiors. Flynn says he was fired because he wanted to take a tougher stance on Islamic terrorism.

Not long after Trump won the 2016 election, Obama reportedly warned the president-elect about bringing on his ex-DIA chief, but Trump, who became close with Flynn during the campaign, decided to hire him as his national security adviser.
Months later, in February, Flynn stepped down. His resignation followed a report in The Washington Post that said he had discussed ending sanctions against Moscow in a meeting with the Russian ambassador before the inauguration. (Newsweek, 18-5-2017)

Syrian Cartoonist Khalil wins international award in Belgium
Syrian Arab News Agency, 16 October 2017

Brussels, SANA - Syrian cartoonist Raed Khalil won the 3rd International Award at 7th De Geus International Competition in Belgium.
325 artists from 63 states participated in the competition which was held under the title “Man and Water.”
Cartoonist Khalil won through an artistic work depicting a drop of water on the shape of a “tea bag” which sends a clear message to the world warning against the situation of desertification and drought reached by the earth.

Raed Khalil (born March 1, 1973) is a Syrian cartoonist. He started publishing his drawings in 1988 and since then, he has participated of many national and international competitions and has won many awards. He is the cartoonist of An-Nour, a weekly newspaper in Damascus, and he also works for Al-Baath, a daily newspaper in the same city. He is the president of FECO (Federation of Cartoonist Organizations) for Syria.

Iraqi troops recaptured Kirkuk without a fight
Suadad al-Salhy | Arab News, 17 October 2017

BAGHDAD: Iraqi troops and allied Shiite-dominated paramilitary forces recaptured the northern city of Kirkuk with hardly a shot fired on Monday after Kurdish forces split in two and one group refused to fight.
A convoy of troops, tanks and armored vehicles from Iraq’s elite Counter-Terrorism Force seized the provincial government headquarters, key military sites and an oil field on Monday afternoon, less than a day after the military operation began.
The US called for calm. President Donald Trump said he regretted the conflict but would not take sides. The US Embassy in Baghdad called on all parties to “immediately cease military action.”

Kirkuk and its lucrative oil fields have been held by Kurdish forces since 2014, when the Iraqi Army fled in the face of an onslaught by Daesh militants.
Their recapture by Baghdad was simplified by internal strife among the Kurds, who have been divided for decades into two main factions; the PDK (Kurdistan Democratic Party) of regional government leader Masoud Barzani and the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) of his longtime rival Jalal Talabani, who was Iraq’s president from 2003 to 2014 and died two weeks ago. Both parties control their own Peshmerga fighters.
Kurdish forces controlled by Baffal Talabani, the late president’s son, withdrew from their positions without fighting in an agreement with the federal government on Saturday night.
The Peshmerga of PUK were always in the forefront to defend the sons of Kirkuk and protect them from terrorism, but we will not sacrifice a drop of blood to maintain stolen oil fields,” said Alla Talabani, a senior Kurdish leader and head of the PUK federal parliamentary bloc.
The PDK accused them of “treason” for allowing Baghdad’s forces to recapture Kirkuk unopposed.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said: “We assure our people in Kurdistan and in Kirkuk in particular that we are keen on their safety and best interests: We have only acted to fulfill our constitutional duty to extend the federal authority and impose security and protect the national wealth in this city.”

Massoud Barzani leads the Kurds to disaster
İlnur Çevik, Daily Sabah (Turkey), 17-10-2017

The inevitable in Iraq is happening. The Kurds of Iraq who did not suffice with their massive and disproportionate gains over the years may see all of it evaporate because of the greed of their leaders.
The constitution of Iraq was imposed on the Shiite and Sunni Arabs in 2004 when the Kurds, backed by the United States, had the upper hand and the Arabs were in total disarray.
So, the Kurds embedded their gains in the constitution of Iraq, that did not only allow Kurdish to become the second official language of the country but it also created the Kurdistan region of Iraq and its Kurdish run government.
But the Kurds wanted more. They wanted the oil wealth of Kirkuk, they wanted to control several other areas in the north of Iraq under the pretext that these were disputed lands.
They moved truckloads of Kurds into Kirkuk; they controlled the city assembly and imposed their will on the Arabs and Turkmens. So much so that in time their rule turned into utter arrogance and they started treating Kirkuk as a part of the northern Kurdish entity.

But in time the Arabs and especially the Shiite majority of Iraq managed to get their acts together and hit back...
The Iraqis gave Barzani 24 hours to pull out of Kirkuk and hand over the oilfields and military garrisons to the forces of the central government. But Barzani, hoping the United States would come to his rescue, defied the calls.
The bitter blow to Barzani came Monday morning as Iraqi forces smashed the peshmerga defenses and moved into the strategic locations of Kirkuk.
Bafel Talabani, the son of late Jalal Talabani, had warned the Kurds were heading for disaster.

Who Is Bafel Talabani?
Sarteep Qashqayee, Kurdish Policy Foundation, 28-12-2016

Little is known about him, and he does not hold any official title, yet he appears like a deal maker and slowly taking the lead.
Bafel Talabani, the older son of Jalal Talabani, Secretary-General of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), is getting the attention of media and the public. From a military/intelligence community to the center of the political fray in Kurdistan, Bafel Talabani is coming, and he is getting noticed.
He is in his forties, and he is married. Bafel is considered as very close to his father, and he was inspired by his father’s leadership. He was the head of PUK’s intelligence agency, Zanyari.
Like his father, people say that Bafel “would pray Salat behind Ali, but would go and eat with Muawiya.” For many years, he appeared in the background of his father, but now Bafel, who is also described as a “white wolf,” is entering the political quarrel.
Like his father, he has neither friend nor enemy. He never gets tired of dealing with his rivals.
His friends say that he is frank like Talabani the father and keeps an equal distance from everyone – but he is very decisive. When he enters a negotiation, he gets out with a deal.
The young Talabani inherits his father’s controversial ties with both Iran and the United States, but this gave him leverage to play a crucial role in PUK’s internal crisis and bringing PUK leaders together. His decisive role in bringing PUK leaders together gives him more power to become PUK’s future leader and number one man of Talabani’s family.

Lebanon’s president calls on UN ‘Big Five’ to help displaced Syrians return home
Najia Houssari | Arab News, 17 October 2017

BEIRUT: Lebanese President Michel Aoun called on the permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, the UK and the US — also known as the P5), the UN, the EU and the Arab League to focus on addressing the Syrian refugee crisis.
Aoun met with envoys of the P5, the EU, the UN and the Arab League on Monday and gave them written messages to their heads of state.
“It is imperative that the UN and the international community make every possible effort to provide safe conditions for the safe return of displaced Syrians to their country, especially to calm, accessible or low-tension areas, without associating this to a political solution,” he said.
Aoun added that the “heavy” burden borne by Lebanon as a result of the influx of displaced people “(would not) be tolerated by any other country.”
He also warned of “the consequences of any outbreak that may occur in Lebanon if there is no solution to the crisis in Syria and the return of displaced people to it, as its consequences will not be limited to Lebanon only, but may spill over to many countries.”
He said that safe areas exist in Syria that can accommodate some of the refugees currently in Lebanon.
We have received (huge) numbers of displaced people, but we did not initiate the war in Syria, and whoever did does not receive any of them and bears no responsibility for them,” he said.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Lebanon currently hosts 1,051,000 Syrian refugees.

250 displaced families arrive in Mosul, coming from Syria: MP
by Nehal Mostafa, Iraqi News, Oct 15, 2017

Over 200 displaced families have returned back from a refugee camp in Syria to Mosul city, an Iraqi MP was quoted saying on Sunday.
“250 families from Nineveh arrived over the past two days to Hamam al-Alil camp in south of Mosul, after staying for months in al-Hawl camp in Syria, enduring hard humanitarian situations there,” MP Abdul Rahim al-Shemari, who received the families, told Anadolu agency.
Shemari indicated “cooperation with Syrian authorities until the displaced arrived on board of government’s buses.” More people will return back later. “We provided 60 buses to transfer them to Mosul, which they fled during battles between Iraqi troops and Islamic State.”

Thousands of residents from Mosul and western regions in Nineveh including Baaj, Tal Afar, Qahtaniya and other villages located near borders with Syria had fled toward al-Hawl refugee camp as battles between troops and the militants broke out.
Around four million civilians were internally displaced, while thousands of others fled toward neighboring countries including Syria, Turkey and other European countries, since IS emerged in 2014 when it covered one third of the country.

'Land of Israel belongs to the Jews'
'We are stronger than the Arabs'
Tzvi Lev, Arutz Sheva, 17/10/2017

Labor chief Avi Gabbay refused to retract his recent statements opposing the eviction of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in a potential future peace deal with the Palestinian Authority, despite blowback he received from his Labor faction.
Gabbay argued instead that Israel would need to find "creative solutions" about what to do with Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in a future peace deal.
Speaking with Reshet Bet, Gabbay said that "I believe that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews. God promised Abraham the entire Land of Israel, but I also believe that since there are 4.5 million Arabs here, we have to compromise in order to create a situation in which we live in our country with a Jewish majority".
Gabbay said that his remarks opposing evacuating Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria do not signal a change in his support for a Palestinian state, reminding the interviewer that he opposes building in Judea and Samaria. "Everyone deserves rights, but the Netanyahu government prefers the residents of Judea and Samaria," he contended.

His remarks caused a storm in the historically left-wing Labor party, with MK Tzippy Livni saying that "I am making it clear that Gabbay's statement that he will not evacuate settlements as part of a peace agreement is the position of the Labor chairman alone.”
Members of the political establishment speculated that Gabbay was trending towards the right politically in order to present himself as a viable alternative to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Yesterday, Gabbay said at a conference of Labor Party activists in Dimona that both Israelis and Arabs must understand that Israel is the stronger party.
"We have to understand a very simple thing - we are the strong ones here. They always scare us, but we are the stronger ones. We are stronger than the Arabs. We do not have to be afraid of them – the Arabs have to be afraid of us," Gabbay said.

Israel Religion & State Index 2017
Support for the separation of religion and state grows.
Hiddush News, 18-9-2017

11% of the Jewish Israeli public responded to the question: “With which of the streams in Judaism do you associate yourself?” that they associate themselves as Reform (6%) or Conservative (5%).
Altogether, 29% associate themselves with Orthodoxy (9% - ultra-Orthodox, 18% - Zionist Orthodox and 2% - Zionist ultra-Orthodox).
59% do not identify themselves with any Jewish stream.

84% of the adult Jewish public expressed its agreement that Israel should uphold freedom of religion and conscience.
What is notable this year is the continued increase in the degree of support for separation of religion and state.
In the current Index, 68% expressed support for separation of religion and state, an increase of 5% from the 2016 Index. Support for the separation of religion and state has risen by 13% since 2010.
It would seem that as the political pressure increases for legislation, government policies, and budget allocations - so the public's support for the separation of religion and state grows.

The Messiah's Donkey
Religious extremists will be the rulers of the West Bank
by Gilad Sharon, Tablet 1-11-2011

My father’s plan called for fortifying the hills to the west of the Jordan Valley with additional settlements, building a cross-Samaria road that would be protected by settlements and serve in a time of need as emergency routes for troops heading to the eastern front. ...
The third element of his plan was Jerusalem. The question was how to secure Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people... The solution my father presented was a ring of Jewish settlements around the city.
On Oct. 2, 1977, the Israeli Cabinet authorized the plan, putting it into motion. My father and his aide Uri Bar-On, a brigadier general in the reserves who was also a close friend, began surveying the terrain, mountain by mountain, hill by hill. ...
During the following four years my father spearheaded the effort to found 64 new settlements in Judea and Samaria.
But the rise of the Likud to power and the fact of his service in government were not enough to get the project off the ground.
They needed people willing to settle the land, too. These were found in the form of the Gush Emunim loyalists.
These God-fearing religious nationalists felt that settling in the biblical land of Israel was a commandment of supreme importance.
Years later, my father would remark with a smile that they viewed him as “the Messiah’s donkey,” the man who would help them realize their ideals and faith.

Supporting Socialism Is Evil
Ronn Torossian (Right Wing Zionist), Arutz Sheva 17/10/2017

An anti-Zionist event is being held at the New York based Center for Jewish History (CJH).
This week to be held at the CJH by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is an event celebrating “the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish Labor Bund, the socialist movement.”

Let’s examine what the Jewish Labor Bund stands for:
-- The Bund was (is) ideologically hostile towards all forms of Zionism.
-- Jews cannot be remade into a one-state nation.
-- The State of Israel does not represent the entire Jewish People. It does not solve the Jewish problem.
-- Jewish national problems arising within the countries where Jews reside can be solved on the basis of freedom and democracy – more securely, by democratic Socialism. Within the Jewish community the Bund strives for a secularized Jewish culture.
-- The key to the safety and the future of the Jews in Israel is peace with the Arabs. To achieve it, concessions on both sides are needed. Israel should recognize the moral right of the Arab refugees to repatriation and compensation.

As Wikipedia notes, The Bund was against the UN vote on the partition of Palestine and reaffirmed its support for a single binational state that would guarantee equal national rights for Jews and Arabs and would be under the control of superpowers and the UN.
The 1948 New York Second World Conference of the International Jewish Labor Bund condemned the proclamation of the Jewish state, because the decision exposed the Jews in Palestine to a danger. The conference was in favour of a two nations state built on the base of national equality and democratic federalism.

Right-wing Jews in the USA demanded the firing of David N. Myers as CEO of the Center For Jewish History

Campus Watch: "Myers is an enemy of Israel"
Truth Revolt, 9-4-2017

Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, the renowned conservative think tank founded by Daniel Pipes, was the latest to join the chorus demanding the firing of David N. Myers from the Center for Jewish History (CJH) due to his involvement with numerous anti-Israel activities.
In a release by Cinnamon Stillwell titled, “David Myers: Wrong Choice by Center for Jewish History,” the organization noted that “something has gone terribly wrong. UCLA Jewish studies professor David N. Myers may present a moderate façade, but his academic and political affiliations expose his radical core."
“If Myers is not an enemy of Israel, one wonders who is," the release continues. "He serves on the board of the New Israel Fund, the advisory council for J Street, and has participated in an If Not Now fundraising drive.
As for BDS, Myers was open to a "limited boycott" of "Israel's settlements and commercial activity in the West Bank.."

Truth Revolt is parth of the David Horowitz 'Freedom' Center:
"For 27 years, since its founding in 1988, the Center has been warning that the political left has declared war on America and its constitutional system, and is willing to collaborate with America’s enemies abroad and criminals at home to bring America down.

Allowing Mr. Myers, who mourns the “nakba” (the term meaning catastrophe, used by the Arabs for Israel's Independence Day) to remain in his role, seems to mean that events celebrating forms of anti-Zionist activity become the norm at the Center for Jewish History.
We call upon the board of the Center for Jewish History [..] to stand up and replace David N. Myers as head of the Center for Jewish History.

George Birnbaum (former chief of staff to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), Hank Sheinkopf (CEO of Sheinkopf Communications) and Ronn Torossian (CEO of a US PR agency).

Eran Torbiner: "Socialism comes first for them"

In a 2011 article in Haaretz, “We Fought for a Better World,” Benny Mur interviewed filmmaker Eran Torniner about his work with Bundists in Israel.
My subject in almost all my films is deep and true socialism, of the kind I found in the Bund’s writings. All the people I interviewed are first of all socialists. They speak socialist-ese, and only afterward Yiddish.
Socialism comes first for them, even before the Jewish national identity. That is a legitimate and respectable identity, but it is not connected to the primary goal. That goal is for all human beings to be equal, worthy and decent.”

Torbiner: "Zionism wanted to create a heroic Jew, and today we can see the result. He is an occupier, is violent and does not see the 'Other.'

Read also: Albert Einstein: Why socialism?

David N. Myers: My new patriotism, Jan 22, 2017

At its best, America symbolizes freedom, hope, and optimism.
We are readily reminded of this when we turn to the cornerstone of American democracy, the United States Constitution — of which I bought ten pocket-sized copies last week to give to my family and friends.
The Preamble to the Constitution lays out clearly this country’s exalted mission: “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
My own awakened patriotism is rooted in these ideals — and in defense of the accompanying rights laid out in the First Amendment: freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly. (Jewish Journal)

In Support of Professor David N. Myers, September 12, 2017

The Board of the Historical Society of Israel wishes to express its full support of Professor David N. Myers as President and CEO of the Center for Jewish History in New York, and strongly objects to all attempts to slander or to depose him.

In recent years several organizations have been publishing “black lists” of Israeli intellectuals and public figures who expressed some form of criticism of the Israeli government’s policies. We are deeply concerned by the anti-democratic spirit of all such attempts at intimidation and silencing of critical voices.

The Board of the Historical Society of Israel thus calls for an immediate end to the defamation campaign, which presents all critical opinion as “anti-Zionist” and as “treason.” (

Raqqa liberation from ISIS reportedly at final stage, UN says city in ruins
RT Russia, 17 Oct, 2017

Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a left-wing Kurdish militant organization, who became widely known as the strongest advocate for Kurdish sovereignty. Öcalan is labeled a hero by some Kurds, a terrorist by most international intelligence agencies, and an enemy of the state by the government of Turkey.

Opposition forces in Syria, including Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the People's Protection Units (YPG) announced a ground victory over the terrorist group in its former self-proclaimed capital in Syria.
The American-backed SDF claimed on Tuesday that Raqqa is under their control.
While "major military operations" in the city are finished, the militia fighters "are now clearing the city of sleeper cells, if they exist, and mines," SDF spokesperson Talal Salo said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the US-led anti-terrorist operation in the region, Ryan Dillon, of the Combined Joint Task Force, said the US military officials were "aware of the reports that ISIS has been defeated in Raqqa." The city has been 90 percent cleared of IS, the US military officials suggest, saying that they still expect some resistance.
Meanwhile, Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters on Tuesday that the UN has “received reports that much of the city has been damaged or destroyed due to the fighting.”
Videos filmed on the ground by Ruptly video news agency show a city that has been turned to a deserted wasteland of burned-out cars and twisted metal.
Once inhabited by 300,000 people, less than 1 percent of the population remain in the city, which has no working electricity or running water.

Saying that "the war against ISIL as we know it is more or less over," Beirut-based journalist Martin Jay told RT that there still are "huge questions to deal with in the coming months and years." "Raqqa needs to be rebuilt, [thousands of] people need to be put back in their homes, there is a massive reconstruction job ahead and nobody in the international circle, not the EU nor the Americans is waving a checkbook or even suggesting they are going to pay for it," Jay said.

Envisioning an Islamic Economic Union
Hatem Bazian, Daily Sabah (Turkey), 19-10-2017

“I call on you not to hate because hate does not leave space for a person to be fair
and it makes you blind and closes all doors of thinking.”
Saddam Hussein, farewell letter 2006

What are the possibilities of an Islamic Economic Union to harness the strength and competitive market advantage of a diverse set of countries endowed with enormous resources and highly talented populations?
The basis for forming such a market is present, and the conditions are optimal to achieve it in a period of time possibly shorter than the early trajectory of the European Union...
I know the current political climate militates against the idea, but dreams and visions of a better future are never regulated by the here and now.

The Muslim world is endowed with a massive human base, a population of 1.4 billion that has every skill, knowledge and ability one can think of or contemplate for such an Islamic Economic Union.
While an upgrade is needed, levels of education are nevertheless rather high in a number of countries, and the university system is competent in various states in the Muslim world.
The major challenge is declining or stagnant investments in education if compared to military or defense expenditure on the one hand, and heavy resource waste and bleed for luxury goods importation.
In addition, the lack of such investments and appropriate levels of academic independence has led to the steady flow of intellectuals and scholars to foreign institutions, causing the brain drain problem. The loss of a scholar or researcher to a foreign institution is a net loss for the country, and it takes a generation to replace him/her.
An Economic Union can make it possible to leverage the academic and educational capacities of all participating countries and facilitate the creation of specialization among clusters of institutions. At present, academic establishments in each country attempt to engage or cover as many fields as possible alone without thinking or planning in a regional manner.

The past century was painful, and failure has been the norm rather than the exception.
How can we emerge from this current state of affairs and create transformative conditions to place the Muslim world anew at the hub of existing human creativity and innovations in all fields that are beneficial to humanity?
The steps that must be taken are many, but it begins with a strong will and a vision to positively transform current conditions in the Muslim world.
[At the moment] most current Muslim elites are connected to the economies of their ex-colonial motherlands, and development strategies are mostly regulated by this.
Here, the move toward an Islamic Economic Union is a double-pronged process, both internal and external, to be undertaken by governing elites in Muslim majority states...
To arrive at an Islamic Economic Union, the focus should be on steps rooted in functional integration and not on demanding ideological unity.
The Muslim world shares similar, if not identical, core values that can be easily harnessed to functional integration across sectors.
In the early stages, the focus should be on all elements that can improve the quality of life and expanding connectedness across the largest number of participating states...
Reaching a common currency is the game changer for the Islamic Economic Union, but it is the most difficult undertaking and the one that will face counter pressure from the U.S. and EU.

I am not the first nor the last to offer a different vision and a hope for an Islamic Economic Union.
The biggest and most pressing challenge is getting current Muslim nation-state leaders to agree on taking the less traveled path of building cooperation and integration, rather than investing in wars, regional conflicts and the desire to be the one and only leader for all Muslims.

Hatem Bazian is a co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College in the United States. In addition, Prof. Bazian is a lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the University of California.
In Spring 2009, Prof. Bazian founded at Berkeley the 'Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project' at the Center for Race and Gender, a research unit dedicated to the systematic study of Othering Islam and Muslims.
In addition to academic work, Dr, Bazian is a weekly columnist for the 'Turkish Daily Sabah Newspaper' and 'Turkey Agenda online' magazine. He is the founder of 'American Muslims for Palestine'.

President Bashar al-Assad, 2012:
"Those who have promoted a new age of freedom and prosperity, have embraced chaos

Terrorists are concerned neither with reform nor with dialogue. They are criminals who have set themselves a task; and they are not concerned with condemnation or denunciation. They do not care about the tears of wives who have lost their husbands and mothers who have lost their children. They will never stop until they complete their task regardless of anything.
We should know that we are not facing a political problem, because had it been a political problem, there should be one party proposing a political or economic program and then we face this party with our own political or economic program. What we are facing is a project of internal sedition aiming at the destruction of the homeland.

Chaos is the natural environment for terrorism and those who have promoted a new age of freedom and prosperity, without knowing what they are talking about, have embraced chaos, and chaos embraced terrorism...
Today we see, as a result of short-sightedness, that the freedom they have chanted slogans for is about the blood and the dead bodies of our children and that the democracy they talked about is soaked with our blood.
We have paid a high price, but I expect that the price we are going to pay after the end of the crisis might be higher, not in terms of security, but in terms of moral values. (ChamPress, 4-6-2012)

What did we accomplish?
"Everything we touch turns to lead. "
by Justin Raimondo, 1-2-2012

When we invaded and occupied Iraq, we didn’t just militarily defeat Iraq’s armed forces – we dismantled their army, and their police force, along with all the other institutions that held the country together.
The educational system was destroyed, and not reconstituted. The infrastructure was pulverized, and never restored. Even the physical hallmarks of a civilized society – roads, bridges, electrical plants, water facilities, museums, schools – were bombed out of existence or else left to fall into disrepair.
Along with that, the spiritual and psychological infrastructure that enables a society to function – the bonds of trust, allegiance, and custom – was dissolved, leaving Iraqis to fend for themselves in a war of all against all.

Oh, but our intentions were good – weren’t they? In retrospect, one has to wonder. Of course, anyone can proclaim their intentions to be anything they like, but the trick is to peel away the rhetoric and observe what is actually going on – and what actually did go on was and is a horror show. What we are witnessing in post-Saddam Iraq is the erasure of an entire country.

We can say, with confidence: We came, we saw, we atomized.

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Persian Gulf Forever, an exhibition of Iranian cartoons mocking Trump after he misnamed the Persian Gulf as the 'Arabian Gulf', opened in Tehran on Tuesday. [FARS news agency, 19-10-2017]

Bennett: "There is a good deal to praise in the secular world.
The greatness is to connect the two..."
Tzvi Lev, Arutz Sheva, 19-10-2017

Speaking to journalist Lior Dayan, Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) said that he first became non-observant during his IDF service out of a desire to explore the secular world.
"After I completed the punishing training course in the Sayeret Matkal (elite commando, ed.) unit and arrived at Officer Training School, I removed my kippa (head covering)," Bennett admitted. "I wanted to be exposed to the secular world - it was something which kept pulling me towards it. For about two years I did not wear a kippa."
"When you grow up in the Religious Zionist world you live a certain type of life and there are entire worlds which you aren't aware of," Bennett continued. "When I was in the Sayeret Matkal, I became aware of different worlds, interesting worlds."
"Being without a kippa means what it sounds like. When someone is secular - he is secular", Bennett hinted cryptically after Dayan asked him whether "removing his kippa" meant he fully embraced the secular lifestyle.
Bennett corrected Dayan's assertion that he experienced a crisis of faith. "I never felt like I was having a crisis - I simply removed my kippa," Bennett asserted.
Bennett said that there are many aspects of the secular world which he admires and that he tries to bridge both worlds.
"There is a good deal to praise in the secular world. The greatness is to connect the two," he told Dayan.
"What is good about the secular world is the skepticism - you can question anything you want and everything is open."

US confirms terrorists in Syria use chemical weapons
TASS Russian News Agency, 20-10-2017

The US Department of State has for the first time confirmed that terrorists active in the Syrian province of Idlib not only have but also use chemical weapons, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Friday.
While commenting on a statement issued by the US Department of State, he said that the document "provides details about a terror group named Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusra, which is active in this province and uses light and heavy weapons, improvised explosive devices and chemical weapons."
"I would like to point out that that the Department of State has for the first time officially acknowledged that terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra not only have but also - I would like to stress that - use chemical weapons in this part of Syria in order to carry out terrorist attacks - a thing that we have many times many times warned against and talked about at various levels," Konashenkov said.
The Russian general pointed out that only one chemical weapons incident had been recorded in the Idlib province, which took place in Khan Shaykhun and was blamed on the Syrian government forces by the US.
"The militants who actually carried out that attack turned out to be members of Jabhat al-Nusra - as the US Department of State eventually figured out. They were previously called the ‘moderate opposition’."
"Now, the US State Department’s statement has put everything in place - the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group, affiliated with Al-Qaeda which is active in Idlib, not only has but also uses chemical weapons against civilians," he stressed.

In this connection, the Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman commented on the US cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase, which the US had carried out citing the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government forces in Khan Shaykhun.
"It is still unclear why Washington needed to use expensive Tomahawk missiles to attack Syria’s Shayrat airbase. They could have made better use of those millions of dollars by delivering strikes on the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists," Konashenkov noted.

US-backed militants promote PKK
Press TV, Fri Oct 20, 2017

US-backed militants have celebrated their capture of Raqqah under a huge portrait of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan after a Saudi minister and a US envoy visited the northern Syrian city.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by the US and EU, has been waging an armed campaign against the Turkish state for nearly 40 years, in which tens of thousands of people have been killed.
Footage emerged on social media on Thursday, showing the Kurdish militants with the so-called People’s Protection Units (YPG) putting up the poster of jailed Ocalan in Raqqah’s central al-Naim Square during a victory parade. In a statement afterwards, the YPJ command said the victory in Raqqah was a victory for Ocalan.
The YPG operates in northern Syria under the banner of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is engaged in a purported fight against Daesh with the help of the US.
The SDF militants seized full control of Raqqah earlier this week following a months-long military offensive. The SDF has used the fight against Daesh as a pretext to expand the territory under its control in Syria.

The newly-released footage has drawn angry reactions from Syrian activists, including those with the opposition, saying it means “one terrorist group has been replaced by another” after the fall of Daesh in Raqqah.
The tribute paid to Ocalan will certainly infuriate Turkey, which views the YPG as an extension of the homegrown PKK militant group. The YPG considers Ocalan to be its ideological leader.
On Thursday, Reuters said Saudi Arabia’s Persian Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer al-Sabhan and US special envoy to the Syria war coalition Brett McGurk had visited Raqqah to discuss the city’s “reconstruction.”
Amed Sido, a senior adviser to the SDF, said the Saudi official had met “a reconstruction committee” set up by the "Raqqah civil council" which has been formed to run the city. “We consider it a first visit, a first step, that could be the beginning of future relations,” Sido said.

Saudi-Arabia: YES to Separatism. NO to pan-Arabism. NO to pan-Islamism
Pan-Arabism is not a very popular ideology in Saudi Arabia, because it envisions working towards a unity of Arab countries and having Arab countries treat each other’s citizens like their own citizens: Saudi Arabia won’t even grant Palestinians born in Saudi Arabia citizenship, nor Jordanians, nor indeed non-Saudi GCC citizens.
It cannot be Pan-Islamism because the coalition would then have been accommodating to non-Sunni Islamic powers like Iran.

Ocalan: Syria's Baathist government cannot be permitted to "dilute" Kurdish identity
Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, 8-9-2016

Ocalan retains a cult-like following among millions of Kurds worldwide. Portraits of the burly mustachioed PKK leader adorn the walls of all official buildings in the YPG-controlled chunk of northern Syria known as Rojava.

His influence over the rank and file remains uncontested: When Ocalan was captured in 1999, over 100 of his supporters set themselves on fire in protest. Some of them died. Ocalan's intervention ended a hunger strike among PKK inmates in November 2012. And in February 2015 his call on the PKK's youth wing to bring down barricades in the southeastern border town of Cizre had an immediate effect.
Not all Kurds are enamored of "Apo." Many religiously conservative Kurds dislike Ocalan's embrace of socialism and near obsession with women's rights.
Yet, attempts by would-be rivals within the PKK to dethrone him have failed. Aliza Marcus, the author of "Blood and Belief," an authoritative expose of the PKK, told Al-Monitor that Ocalan "remains incredibly relevant and critical to any peace process. He's what's held up the Kurdish national movement in Turkey."...
The biggest sticking point is Syria. Erdogan is cited as calling it "a red line," saying he would not allow the YPG to replicate Iraqi Kurds' quasi-state in northern Iraq.
Ocalan ripostes that Syria's Baathist government cannot be permitted to "dilute" Kurdish identity.

Benjamin Netanyahu lobbies world leaders to support Kurdistan
YNet News|Reuters, 20.10.2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is lobbying world powers to prevent further setbacks to Iraqi Kurds as they lose ground to Baghdad’s army, Israeli officials say.
Israel has been the only major power to endorse statehood for the Kurds, partly, say analysts, because it sees the ethnic group—whose population is split among Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran—as a buffer against shared adversaries.
Israeli officials said Netanyahu raised the Iraqi Kurds’ plight in phone calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week and with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. It has also come up in his contacts with France and the Israeli national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, has been discussing the matter with Trump administration officials in Washington this week, the officials said.
Netanyahu’s recent lobbying has focused on Kurdish ambitions in Iraq, where the central Baghdad government has grown closer to Israel’s foe Iran.
“The issue at present is ... to prevent an attack on the Kurds, extermination of the Kurds and any harm to them, their autonomy and region, something that Turkey and Iran and internal Shi‘ite and other powers in Iraq and part of the Iraqi government want,” Netanyahu’s intelligence minister, Israel Katz, told Tel Aviv radio station 102 FM on Friday.
“The prime minister is certainly engaging the United States, Russia, Germany and France to stop the Kurds from being harmed,” Katz said.

On peace and security matters, Israel Katz is considered to be a hardliner in the Israeli government.
He takes an annexationist view of the West Bank: he supports continued settlement construction, extending full Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, and severing all relations with the Palestinian Authority.
He opposes the two-state solution and the creation of a Palestinian state in any form, which he regards as unacceptable considering "our rights to this land". Instead, Katz favors the creation of an autonomous Palestinian entity "with Jordanian civil and political affiliation", and connecting the Gaza Strip to Egypt. He opposes any territorial retreat from the Golan Heights, captured from Syria during the Six Day War, deeming it "an integral part of Israel and vital for its security and protection."
In March 2016, Katz argued that Israel should employ "targeted civil eliminations" against leaders of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). The expression puns on the Hebrew word for targeted assassinations. (Wikipedia info)

Iran, Syria Ink MoU on Military, Defense Cooperation
FARS News Agency, 20-10-2017

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri and his Syrian counterpart General Abdullah Ayoub signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Damascus to broaden defense and military cooperation between the two countries.
General Baqeri told reporters after signing the MoU that the agreement emphasizes development of military cooperation in various dimensions such as education, operation, logistics and intelligence.
General Baqeri also visited areas liberated in Aleppo province and closely talked with the Syrian fighters and commanders.
Baqeri, heading a high-ranking delegation, left Tehran for Damascus late on Tuesday and met Defense Minister Major General Fahd Jassem al-Freij during his trip to the war-torn country on Wednesday.
The Iranian chief commander also met with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Thursday while on Friday he inspected various battlefields in Syria.
Iran, along with Russia, has a military advisory mission in Syria aimed at strengthening its army on the battlefield against terrorism.
Moscow has also been providing air cover to Syria’s ground offensives. Syrian forces are also receiving assistance from fighters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement.

Assad 2008: We in Syria have no barriers in our relations with Arab states.
We are open to all initiatives

“Regarding our relations with Iran, it is an important country, but our relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in no way signify that we conduct our relations with it at the expense of Arab states.
We have not exchanged Arab states for Iran, and we don’t consider it in this light.
Our relations with Turkey are very strong, and this helps stability in the region, not the reverse.
What is the benefit for Arab states of a negative relationship with Turkey over eight decades?
We have all lost out. When relations are better there is gain for everybody. The same applies to Iran.
We should establish excellent relations with all neighboring countries. We Arabs do not dialogue much. Relations can be good at the level of the summit, but not on other levels. We in Syria have no barriers in our relations with Arab states. We are open to all initiatives.

Bashar al-Assad, September 30, 2008

Velayati: "The US and Israel were initially seeking division of Iraq and Syria"
IRNA News, 21-1-2017

Ali Akbar Velayati (Khamenei's senior advisor for international affairs) said on Thursday that US and 'the Zionist regime' [Israel] are seeking to split up regional countries but their evil dreams will surely not come true.
Addressing an academic gathering in Isfahan, central Iran, he said that the US and Israel were initially seeking division of Iraq and Syria but they failed to fulfill their horrible plans.
The independence-plan unveiled by Leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Masoud Barzani was in line with their secessionist plots, he said, noting that the Iraqi government foiled the conspiracy without any bloodshed through prudence and consultation with the Islamic Republic.
Contending that Iran is the pivot of resistance, Velayati said that any plot devised by the US and Israel is neutralized by Iran.

Hamas sends delegation to Iran
Elad Benari, Arutz Sheva, 20-10-2017

Fatah's Azam al-Ahmad (R) and Saleh al-Aruri (L) of Hamas sign a reconciliation deal at the Egyptian intelligence services headquarters in Cairo (october 2017).

A high-ranking Hamas delegation on Friday began a visit to Iran to inform its backers in Tehran about reconciliation efforts with rival faction Fatah, a Hamas official said, according to AFP.
The group was led by recently appointed deputy Hamas chief Salah al-Aruri... The group will meet senior Iranian officials over the next several days, the representative said on condition of anonymity.
Hamas and Fatah agreed a landmark deal to end a decade-long split and seek to form a unity government along with other parties. By meeting Iranian officials in Tehran, Hamas blatantly ignores Israel's demand that it cut off ties with Tehran or Israel will not recognize any unity Palestinian government.
Hamas has already rejected Israel's demand and accused the “Zionist regime” of intervening in internal Palestinian affairs.

Hamas and Iran had been at odds over the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. As a result of Hamas’s refusal to support Assad in the uprising, an angry Iran reportedly stopped supplying the group with weapons.
This past summer, however, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh thanked Iran for its "unlimited" support for the Al-Qassam Brigades and its contribution to the development of Hamas's military capabilities, an indication that the rift was over.

Shahoz Hasan: Syrian Kurds Don’t Want Partition of Syria
Iran News, 20-10-2017

What the Syrian Kurds are actually calling for is the federalization of the whole state, says Shahoz Hasan, recently elected as co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).
We are open for a dialogue with the central government. We do not want the partition of Syria, do not harbor plans of separating from the country and do not want to set up an independent Kurdistan. Such rumors are not true.”
The politician described the recent remarks of the Syrian government that it is open to negotiations with Kurds over their demands for autonomy within Syrian borders as “late in coming.”
Earlier in September, the country’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said the government could discuss the Kurdish demand once the self-styled Islamic State is defeated.
The PYD co-chair explained that the Syrian Kurds and the party are calling for a federalization of Syria. Their federal project is based on the principle of a “democratic autonomy,” which would embrace the whole country.
“We are open for a dialogue and are eager to take part in negotiations on the political settlement of the Syrian crisis,” he said.

Hasan: Syrian Kurds support Kurdistan Region against neighbors' threats
Kurdistan24, October 12, 2017

In an exclusive interview with Kurdistan 24, Shahoz Hasan, the co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said their party supports the will and freedom of the people in Kurdistan.
We are against the threats of the regional powers, including Turkey, Iran and Syrian regime against the will of the Kurdish people,” he said.
Hasan added that the neighbors have been applying a chauvinistic mentality against the Kurds for a century.
“Their chauvinistic mentality makes them furious about Kurdish achievements in the middle east, especially in Rojava and Bashur [Kurdistan Region of Iraq/Southern Kurdistan],” he said.
Hasan called on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to cooperate with Rojava for protecting the Kurdish achievements in both countries. “As two Kurdish regions in north Iraq and north Syria, we should cooperate to protect and save these achievements,” he said.

Lattakia Education Director: War on Syria Blocked Quality Education in the Country
Syria Times, Friday, 20 October 2017

Shedding light on the education situation in Syria's Lattakia province under the ongoing crisis, the Syriatimes e-newspaper interviewed Mr. Omran Abo Khalil, Director of Education there.
"Education is the key to Syria's future. The ongoing crisis in Syria has affected all walks of life in the country and caused damage to all sectors, particularly education," Mr. Abo Khalil said, asserting that the terrorist war waged on Syria has been a major barrier to quality education for all in the country.
Abo Khalil made it clear that because many schools have been completely burnt, damaged, destroyed or used as shelters, children remained out of schools and a dire need for teaching staff grew, the matter that has drastically affected the quality of the education process in the province.

The Lattakia education director hailed cooperation between the ministry of education and UNICEF in providing access to basic education, in rehabilitating schools infrastructure to allow students to learn again and in fixing the damage caused to schools and classrooms to help as many children get into schools as possible.
Shedding light on the key role of UNICEF in the field of education under the crisis in Syria, Abo Khalil said "UNICEF is Syria's main education partner.
Its main focus has been to achieve three aims: scaling up equitable access to education, enhancing the quality of education and strengthening the education system".
He pointed out that the ministry of education in cooperation with UNICEF constantly offer free services to students including school bags, school stationery, clothes, food baskets, school uniform as well as other relevant requirements.
The education directorate in the province adopted a two-shift system and cooperated with UNICEF on providing ready-made classrooms in order to solve the problem of overcrowded schools and of turning schools into make-shift housing centers, according to Abo Khalil...
Moreover, Abo Khalil said, through its psychological support team, Lattakia's education directorate has been keen on bringing the smile to the faces of the Syrian children, who are the major victim of the crisis...

Playing God does not serve human beings.
İbrahim Kalın, Daily Sabah (Turkey), 20-10-2017

Uncertainty has become a distinctive feature of our lives in the 21st century.
Even Werner Heisenberg, who formulated the principle of uncertainty, would have been surprised by the degree to which things have become unstable and uncertain. This is rather ironic because this is supposed to be the age of enlightened rationalism, science and freedom. But the realities of the post-modern and post-industrial world tell a different story.

The uncertainty principle tells us that there is a fuzziness in nature, a fundamental limit to what we can know about the behaviour of quantum particles and, therefore, the smallest scales of nature. Of these scales, the most we can hope for is to calculate probabilities for where things are and how they will behave.

Eve of Destruction

"I believe what Christ had to say, but I get the feeling the church has taken the words of Jesus and manipulated them - and they used Christ - to build their own little empire. And if you don’t do what they say to do, and you don’t come to Christ the way they say you’re going to, you’re going to burn in Hell." "It’s like the church has kidnapped Jesus, and locked him up in the back room. He doesn’t belong to the world anymore; now he belongs to the church." Barry McGuire

The ironies of the present age are not limited to the principle of uncertainty.
This was supposed to become the age of high humanism... The promise of modernity was justice, freedom and equality for all. But we witness some of the most inhuman and barbaric atrocities taking place before our eyes in the 21st century.
The global refugee crisis alone is sufficient to show the level of hypocrisy and double standards in the face of the lofty ideals of the current global order.
Syrian, Libyan, Afgan, Somalian and Rohingya refugees, among others, tell a shameful story of indifference and disrespect. The fact that they happen to be Muslims says something about the ethno-centric perceptions of the human condition in the present age.

Uncertainty underlies much of the current global order.
But uncertainty is not always a bad thing. It may teach us a thing or two about the human condition and the limitations of our imagined powers.
It induces us to be prepared for the unexpected. It keeps us fresh and agile in the face of good or bad surprises. It forces us to take extra caution against complex set of problems in ways that are inclusive rather than exclusive.
But above all, uncertainty can teach us humility – a key virtue that we have forgotten in the modern world.

[Modern] men did think of themselves as the new masters of the world. It did not take too long for this "master" to turn into an exploiter and spoiler.
Playing God does not serve human beings.
We are not the masters but rather the guardians and trustees of the universe. The world of nature has been given to us as "trust" (amanah) and we are charged with the duty of taking care of this trust.
Acting as a trustee of the universe does not mean pacifism or an attitude of indifference toward the world. To the contrary, it establishes a more balanced, humane and productive relationship between human beings and the world of nature. It means serving human needs and interest while protecting the natural environment...
By destroying the universe of which we claim to be the masters, we are destroying our present and future. I hope we realize this simple but fundamental fact before it is too late.

A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks. The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct. Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.

Palestinian city erects Saddam Hussein memorial
Tal Polon, Arutz Sheva, 22/10/2017

The city of Qalqilya, under PA jurisdiction, has recently erected a memorial and named a street in honor of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, MEMRI reported. Arab leaders expressed appreciation for Hussein at the dedication ceremony, hailing him as “an emblem of heroism, honor, originality and defiance.”
Qalqilya District Governor Rafi' Rawajba said that "Saddam was an emblem of heroism, honor, originality and defiance, as was the martyr Yasser Arafat. [Both served as] a compass for the Arabs and their resolute decisions, and when they departed, Arabism departed with them.
President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] make sure to follow in the footsteps of these two great leaders."
He added that "The absence [of Saddam Hussein] is the absence of Arabism, since after his departure, the rebels dispersed in every direction, for he was the patron of [all] rebels."
City Council member Hani Ja'idi said that "loyalty to the martyrs is proof of adherence to rights and principles that shall not wane as long as honorable people uphold them... This monument commemorates the martyrs and great leaders."

flashback 2002-2003

Flashback 2002: Pro-Iraqi Palestinians
rally in support of President Saddam Hussein

Waving Iraqi flags and traipsing over the US Stars and Stripes, a cheering crowd of Palestinians rallied in support of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
America is launching a war against Arabs and Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism," Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, founder of the Islamic group Hamas told the crowd of about 1,000.
Bush listen carefully, we are all for Saddam," cheered the crowd, pumping their fists in the air. Many of those at the rally carried posters of President Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein.
Yassin told the crowd that President Bush wanted to attack Iraq because Baghdad did not recognize the right of "Zionists to exist in Palestine." (Iraqi Daily News, 11-9-2002)

Egypt's Sisi and Iraqi PM Abadi agree on promoting joint Arab action
Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Oct 2017

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi in Cairo on Sunday evening to discuss means to strengthen bilateral relations and promote joint regional efforts, state-run MENA news agency reported.
Arriving from Saudi Arabia, the Iraqi official and his accompanying delegation were received by Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail at Cairo International Airport.
In their meeting, President El-Sisi congratulated Al-Abadi on the Iraqi army's recent victories against the Daesh militant organization.
He also emphasized the necessity of strengthening relations between the two fraternal countries, expressing Egypt's desire to promote bilateral cooperation between Cairo and Baghdad in various endeavors.
The Iraqi Prime Minister expressed appreciation for Egypt's support for his country, and the importance of Egypt's role as the main pillar of security and stability in the Arab world.
In light of the unprecedented challenges facing Arab nations, the two leaders also agreed to push joint efforts to eliminate sectarian conflicts and preserve national state institutions.
The Iraqi Prime Minister began a regional tour on Saturday with a visit to Saudi Arabia.

Iraq and Saudi Arabia held the first meeting of the Coordination Council of the two countries in Riyadh.
The Iraqi prime minister called for the cessation of armed conflicts in the region and abandoning the policy of interference in the domestic affairs of other states.
Abadi also called the fight against terrorism, trade, economy and cultural issues among Baghdad's priority areas of cooperation with Saudi Arabia.
On Wednesday, Iraq and Saudi Arabia resumed air traffic, which was halted 27 years ago following the invasion of then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's troops in Kuwait. In 2016, the Saudi embassy resumed its work in Baghdad for the first time since the aforementioned events.

Abadi wraps up regional tour with visit to Jordan
Press TV, Mon Oct 23, 2017

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has paid a visit to Jordan at the end of a regional tour that included Saudi Arabia.
In a statement by the Royal Court, the Jordanian monarch stressed the significance of building a safe, stable and unified Iraq.
Extending his felicitations to Abadi on Iraq’s victories in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group, King Abdullah renewed Jordan’s full support for Iraq’s efforts to consolidate its security, territorial integrity and coherence of its people as per the provisions of the constitution.

Abadi began his regional tour with a visit to Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
The Iraqi premier took part in a meeting in the capital Riyadh on Sunday to establish a joint Saudi-Iraqi coordination council aimed at enhancing cooperation that was also attended by US State Secretary Rex Tillerson. The US secretary of state has traveled to Saudi Arabia to press the Trump administration's new aggressive policy against Iran.
Tillerson said Iran and all other countries currently helping Iraq in its fight against terrorist groups need to leave the Arab country now that the battle is drawing to a close.
“Any foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home and allow the Iraqi people to regain control,” he said.
The former oil executive did not clarify whether by “all” he also meant thousands of US forces who have been deployed to Iraq to supposedly “assist” Iraqi forces in their battle against Takfiri militants.

The 'international' coalition: The United States is playing the crucial role of adviser to flush out Islamic State. US troops are providing air and ground support to Iraqi and Kurdish forces trying to dislodge Islamic State from Iraq's second largest city.
More than 5,000 American service members are currently deployed in Iraq as part of an international coalition that is advising local forces in a bid to recapture the third of the country the jihadists seized in 2014 when Iraq's army and police dropped their weapons and fled. (Rediff News, 9-3-2017)

Turkey to support Iraq rebuilding, raise it from ashes
Abadi: "We must be a source of hope for our young people"
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 25-10-2017

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday in Ankara that Turkey will lend support to Iraq.
"Our wish is that Iraq will rise again from the ashes and destruction. We will lend our support for this and take the steps necessary for the peace and security of the region," Erdoğan said at a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Erdoğan praised the Iraqi central government for almost driving Daesh completely out of the country despite early blows dealt by the terrorist group, adding that another terrorist group – the PKK – knows this is an opportunity for them.
Meanwhile, Abadi said that the parties discussed a project that could possibly help stabilization in the region.
"We care about the continuity of bilateral relations [between Iraq and Turkey]. We do not want any country to intervene in our personal interests.
We must be a source of hope for our young people. We have to win over our young people, who make up 60 percent of our region, by offering job opportunities to them," Abadi said.
Abadi also met with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım at the Çankaya Prime Ministerial Office later in the day. In a joint press conference, Yıldırım said that the common aim is to work to prevent terror groups from arising in territories of Turkey, Iraq and Syria.
"We desire to work more closely with Iraq from now on to increase mutual investment, with trade volume being in the first place, and to reconstruct and increase the welfare of the both countries," Yıldırım said.

Syria Considers US Military Presence in Al-Tanf Aggression
Sputnik News, 23.10.2017

Damascus has commented on the US, Turkey military presence in the country and the recent liberation of Raqqa by SDF.
According to Syria's Information Minister Mohammed Ramiz Tarjaman, Syria considers the entry of the Turkish military into Idlib, and the US military's presence in al-Tanf aggression violating Syria's sovereignty and UN resolutions, and the country has the right to respond, as he claimed in an interview with RIA Novosti.
"We do not consider any city liberated until the Syrian Arab army enters it and lifts the Syrian flag over it. This applies to any point of the Syrian map," Tardjaman said.
He noted that Damascus regards the withdrawal of the Daesh terror group from Raqqa as a positive event, but it still requires the Syrian troops to enter into the city for it to be fully liberated 'regardless of whether Daesh is there or some other faction or organization'.
The Syrian 'Democratic' Forces captured Raqqa on October 20, after four years of Daesh control. The SDF operation, backed by Americans, to liberate the city from the Daesh self-proclaimed caliphate was launched in early June.
US President Donald Trump called the SDF victory in the region a "critical breakthrough" and said that a "transition into a new phase" would start soon.
The US-supported alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias are also currently conducting a military operation in the area of Deir ez-Zor. The day before, they announced of the restored control over the Al Omar oil field in the province.

Damascus Forum wants to revitalize networking
between Syrian industrialists and Iraqi businessmen
Syrian Arab News Agency, 23-10-2017

A forum that brought together businessmen from Syria and Iraq to discuss the marketing of Syrian products was held at Damascus-based Sheraton Hotel.
Organized by the Chamber of Industry of Damascus and its Countryside, the Forum was held in cooperation with the Syrian Exporters Federation (SEF) and the Exports and Local Production Support and Development Agency with the participation of Syrian businessmen and industrialists and Iraqi businessmen.
Head of SEF Mohammad al-Sawwah affirmed that the aim of the Forum is to revitalize networking between Syrian industrialists and Iraqi businessmen and explain the work mechanism of the Syrian Products Marketing Center and the goods warehouses established by the SEF in Baghdad.
He highlighted the tenfold increase in Syrian exports to Iraq during and after the Damascus International Fair that was held last August.
“There is a freight plane carrying Syrian goods to Iraq daily and a cargo ship every Monday,” he noted, stressing that the Iraqi and Syrian sides want to revive the movement of exporting Syrian goods to the Iraqi market up to what it was in 2010, where the volume of Syrian exports reached USD 8-10 billion annually.

Bashar al-Assad received members of the National Football Team
SANA, 23-10-2017

President Bashar al-Assad on Monday received members of the National Football Team and its technical and administrative staff.
President al-Assad congratulated the team on the remarkable level of performance during the World Cup 2018 qualifying matches, saying that what the team achieved is a national condition before being a sport condition.

It serves as a strong indicator that the terrorist war that has been targeting Syria for years has failed to undermine the Syrians’ will; rather it made them stronger and more determined and unified.
“This achievement and other achievements made by Syrians in several fields wouldn’t have been possible without the successes and victories achieved by the Army and Armed Forces against terrorists, nor without the steadfastness of the Syrian people in the face of the most vicious war that Syria has experienced,” President al-Assad said.
For their part, the team members and the technical and administrative staff thanked President al-Assad for his support and care, voicing determination to achieve better results in coming events and raise Syria’s flag high.

Shoigu: IS terrorists control less than 5% of Syria’s territory
TASS Russian News Agency, October 24, 2017

"Today, ISIL (former name of IS terror group) controls less than 5% of Syria’s territory.
Before the operation of the Russian Aerospace Forces, ISIL controlled more than 70% of Syria’s territory," Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told the fourth meeting of defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and dialogue partners.
"Some 998 towns and settlements have been liberated, and the liberated territory reaches 503,223 square kilometers. Many militants have been killed. The process of restoring peaceful life in the country has started," Shoigu said.
About 2,500 settlements across Syria have signed reconciliation deals thanks to the focused efforts of the Russian center for reconciliation of warring parties. Since 2015, 1.126 mln people have returned home, including 660,000 this year.

The IS terrorists’ financial gains from oil sales have been almost brought to an end, he stressed. Until 2015, the IS group earned around $3bln per year from selling oil on Syria’s territory. Sometimes its oil revenues even reached up to $10mln per day.
During the two-year-long campaign of Russia’s Aerospace Forces in Syria, "major terrorist formations were destroyed in crucial areas, key settlements were liberated and the siege of major communication lines was broken," Shoigu said.
About 948 terrorists’ training camps, 666 factories and workshops for manufacturing ammunition and 1,500 pieces of military equipment have been eliminated.
More than 200 oil and gas facilities were also wiped out, as well as 184 oil refineries, 126 fuel pumping stations and around 4,000 petrol tank vehicles, according to the defense minister.

"We have been paying special attention to solving humanitarian problems in Syria," he said."We have carried out large-scale demining operations. As many as 96,105 explosive devices have already been cleared with about 1,500 devices being cleared every day," Shoigu added.
"I would like to call on the ASEAN member states and dialogue partners to join the humanitarian and restorative mission in Syria. On our behalf, we are ready to provide any necessary assistance," Shoigu said.
"Today, Syria needs significant humanitarian aid, including food, basic necessities and medicine, as well as assistance in restoring vital infrastructure facilities and demining," the Russian defense minister stressed.

Palestinian Martyrs and Jewish Heroes
Charles Bybelezer, Jerusalem Post, 24-10-2017

Jerusalem has long slammed the Palestinian Authority for hailing "martyrs".
The issue has taken on added significance since the election of US President Donald Trump, who has called on PA President Mahmoud Abbas to stop paying stipends to Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel for security offenses as well as to the families of those killed in confrontations with Israeli forces.
More than half of the PA's estimated $700 million annual budget is allocated to these "salaries," which prompted the US Congress to draft legislation that would effectively cut off American aid to the Palestinians unless the policy is ended.

According to Palestinian political analyst Addie Awad, the veneration of martyrs is part and parcel of the Palestinian national identity. "They have made the ultimate sacrifice and are glorified by every occupied or oppressed people."
In Awad's estimation, "[the level of glorification] should depend on the context and the direction being taken. If a decision is made to fight in order to free the land then it makes sense to revere these people."
The ceremony at Al-Quds came days after the Palestinian city of Qalqilya erected a statue of Saddam Hussein.

Jewish Heroes

Throughout Israel's history, various controversial figures have similarly been lionized by segments of the public; including, for example, Menachem Begin, the forebear of Netanyahu's Likud party, who during the British Mandate in Palestine organized the attack on the King David Hotel—where London's administrative headquarters was located—which killed nearly 100 people.
Begin, then the head of the outlawed Irgun underground movement, was himself considered a terrorist by British authorities. He would nevertheless go on to become Israel's first right-wing prime minister in 1977, setting the stage for his most notable accomplishment, the signing of the peace treaty with Egypt two years later.
Similarly, Yitzhak Shamir was the leader of the Jewish paramilitary group Lehi, which conducted many attacks against the British during the pre-state era, before becoming Israel's premier in 1983.
Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon was widely denounced as a war criminal during his lifetime due to his his renowned ruthlessness as an army general and was even forced to resign from his position as defense minister in the wake of the 1982 killings in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, for which an Israeli commission of inquiry found him personally responsible.

Read also: Uri Avnery & The Tribal Cult - Einstein: "Revisionists are inner enemies" - Revisionism - Religious Zionism must disengage from zealots - Irgun: Jabotinsky's Terror Organization

Benjamin Netanyahu: representant of the ideology of Vladimir Jabotinsky (militant atheist and nationalist - "There's no God, only the Land") & Menachem Begin - member of Betar (Jabotinsky's youth movemnet'), Irgun guerilla leader (terror is justified) & Likud-founder

Betar (right wing youth movement, founded in 1923) song:
"From the pit of decay and dust - With blood and sweat - Shall arise a race - Proud generous and cruel
Captured Betar, Yodefet, Masada - Shall arise again in all their strength and glory.." (lyrics: V. Jabotinsky)

In November 1948, Begin visited the US on a campaigning trip. During his visit, a letter signed by Albert Einstein, Sidney Hook, Hannah Arendt, and other prominent Americans and several rabbis was published which described Begin's arty as "closely akin in its organization, methods, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties" and accused his group (along with the smaller, militant, Stern Gang) of preaching "racial superiority" and having "inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community".

Netanyahu: world should take care of Kurds' future
AFP, October 24, 2017

Jerusalem (AFP) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (on Tuesday) said Israel had "great sympathy" for Kurdish aspirations and that the world should concern itself with their wellbeing.
Netanyahu was speaking at a memorial ceremony for far-right Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi, assassinated by Palestinians in Jerusalem in 2001.
Zeevi, he said, went on a secret mission Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region in the 1960s and supervised the setting up of an Israeli army field hospital there. "The visit made a deep impression on him," Netanyahu's office quoted him as saying in Hebrew. "He came face to face with warm expressions of support for Israel which continue to this day.
"The Kurds demonstrate national maturity and international maturity," said the Israeli leader. "We have very great sympathy for their desires and the world needs to concern itself with their safety and with their future."
Israel has been the only country to openly support Kurdish independence, with Netanyahu last month backing "the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own." He did not specify how and where such a state should come into being.

Zeevi & The Plot to Kill Yitzhak Rabin (1998)

Supporters of the Likud set Rabin's portrait on fire. Two bearded young men hoisted a banner reading 'Rabin, Arafat's Dog.' Standing near them a woman waving a blue and white Likud flag shouted, 'Death to Rabin!' over and over like a mantra. Shouts of 'Nazis!' 'Collaborators!' and 'Judenrat!' were levelled at the cordon of policemen....
Overlooking it all, on the balcony of the Ron Hotel, stood a gallery of right-wing politicians gazing with satisfaction at the maelstrom below.
[Then-Likud chairman] Benjamin Netanyahu waved his hand at the demonstrators in encouragement.
Ariel Sharon, Tsomet's Rafael Eitan, and Rehavam Ze'evi — all masters of anti-Arab and anti-government invective — flanked him.

Ksenia Svetlova : 'Cancel memorial session for Rehavam Ze'evi'
Arutz Sheva Staff, 18/10/2016

In an open letter to Knesset members, Svetlova wrote that “this honorable house should be a model for our constituents from all parts of the political spectrum - right and left, Jew and Arab, religious and secular, women and men.”
“Having a session for the memory of Rehavam Zeevi for his problematic legacy will cheapen the rule of law in general, and the honor of every Israeli in particular, and will miss the goal of the Knesset and its function.”
According to Svetlova, “It is not the function of a house of legislation to celebrate a legacy of crime, underworld, sexual offenses and hatred of foreigners. Those are main chapters in the legacy of Ze'evi, [and] the Knesset ought to free itself from them immediately.."

2001: Rehavam Zeevi dies after Palestinian shooting

Israel's ultra-nationalist tourism minister, Rehavam Zeevi, died in hospital Wednesday after being shot in the head by a hardline Palestinian group claiming revenge for Israel's assassination of its own leader, a hospital official said on public radio.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed to have shot Zeevi in his hotel in east Jerusalem earlier Wednesday in revenge for Israel's liquidation of its leader Abu Ali Mustapha in August. (AFP, 17-10-2001)

"Zeevi once called then-President George Bush a liar and anti-semite for pressuring Israel to stop settlement expansion in the West Bank.
During a public ceremony he called the US ambassador a Jew boy, apparently because the American official also was urging Israel to make concessions in peace talks with the Palestinians.
Zeevi has many ideas on how to find a solution to the current conflict: We need to make the Arabs hurt so much so that they will come crawling on their knees begging us for peace." (Source: New Kach Movement 2001)

"Rehavam Zeevi, who has been assassinated aged 75, was so rightwing that he barely remained within the outer perimeter of political acceptability." (The Guardian 2001)

Hateful graffiti in Bnei Brak: 'Rivlin is a Nazi apostate'
Itay Blumenthal, YNet News, 25.10.2017

Malicious graffiti calling President Reuven Rivlin a "Nazi apostate" was painted overnight Tuesday on the outside wall of a building in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak.
Police launched an investigation into the incident, and it is believed the act of vandalism and hate speech was the result of an intra-Haredi dispute over the status of the president and the state.
This is the second such incident in a week. Last week, graffiti at a school yard in the city called the president "an idol in the hall," which in Judaism means abomination and impurity at a holy place.

The stateliness has gone from our country, after us the deluge...

Speaking in front of Israel's legislators during the opening meeting of the Knesset's winter session, Rivlin warned of the attempt done by the government and Knesset to politicize the State of Israel's different institutions.
"We are witnessing the winds of change, or a second revolution. This time, the majority rule is the only ruler. The whole country and its institutions are full of politics," the president said.
"A new reality is being created in which everything is politicized — the media, the democratic institutions, all the way to the state comptroller—political. The Supreme Court—political. The security forces — political."
"This revolution seeks to finally rip the mask of alleged hypocrisy off the gatekeepers," Rivlin continued. "In this revolution, the ruler is also the victim. 'We'll show them' is the soundtrack of the revolution. The stateliness has gone from our country, after us the deluge...

Why We Need an Independent Judiciary
Bill Robinson III, Huffington Post, 13-2-2012

"The Framers of the American Constitution took special pains
to ensure that the governing principles of the republic were insulated
from the reach of simple majorities." Martin H. Redish

In a theocracy all religious scholars (liberal but also ultra-conservative) are placed above secular laws and a secular constitution. They don't represent humanism. They are the servants of 'God' (sometimes liberal, often cruel and oppressive).

Our nation’s founders specifically separated our government into three co-equal branches by design: to prevent the excessive accumulation of power by the legislative, executive or judicial branches.
All three also have the tools to check the other two and hold them to their defined purpose. Our constitutional system of checks and balances has long been recognized as the key to our unique constitutional democracy.
Alexander Hamilton understood the inherent challenge for our courts in this organization of government. As he explained in Federalist Paper No. 78, the judiciary is in “continual jeopardy of being overpowered, awed or influenced by its co-ordinate branches.”

Judicial independence is critical to sustaining our democratic form of government established by the U.S. Constitution and developed through history.
Judges must have the ability to make decisions to protect and enforce the rights of the people — including the rights of the minority against the tyranny of the majority.
Their decisions should be made without fear of reprisal or favor, and they should not be subject to the whims and passions of the political season.
The public must have confidence that judges will be impartial, making decisions by applying the law to the merits of the case while not being swayed by outside influence...
No one likes a bully — be it an office holder, a candidate for public office or a branch of government. The drafters of our Constitution knew that better than anyone.
Let’s stand up for one of our most precious monuments — our judiciary — as a place of integrity and independence, and as a refuge for those in our society who seek to enforce rights and protect freedoms. Our liberty depends on it.