Saddam's Death, 106 (nov 2017, part 2)
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 105: nov-part-1 and Page 107: nov-dec 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
The Balfour Declaration
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)

Settlers are 'the local population'
Attorney-General OKs seizing Palestinian land for public settler use
Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, November 16, 2017

The state of Israel might change its interpretation of land seizure laws so that private Palestinian property in Area C of the West Bank could be expropriated for public use by Israelis, Attorney-General Mordechai Mandelblit indicated in a legal opinion released by his office.
The High Court of Justice and the state, including Mandelblit, have until recently held that private Palestinian property cannot be seized for the public good of settlers.
In an unusual move, the government hired private attorney Harel Arnon to present its position to the court. He argued that the process of eminent domain could be used to seize private Palestinian property for the public good of the settlers, because the settlers were considered to be the “local population.” It was a stance that Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran took when writing a legal opinion with regard to a court case last month.
In light of his statements, Mandelblit said there is room to make use of that understanding with regard to the construction of an access road on private Palestinian property for the West Bank outpost of Harsha, which the government plans to authorize. Mandelblit said he was still studying the matter, but that Joubran’s interpretation appeared in a limited way to be applicable, but at this point, only for this road.

"This is a perfect example of a bureaucracy of robbery," said attorney Michael Sfard who represented Left-wing group Peace Now in an High Court of Justice petition against the Harsha outpost.
"The AG's report [opinion] paves the ways to the commission of grave breaches of international law on a massive scale. It is disappointing to see how anorectic is the opinion in its reasoning.
No reference to the guiding principles the international community has adopted with regards to the nature of a regime of occupation; no consideration of the human rights of the occupied, unrepresented civilians who are the victims of the opinion. No ideals, no compassion," Sfard said.
Following Mandelblit's opinion, 'Justice' Minister Ayelet Shaked called this another step in realizing the rights of hundreds of thousands of Yeshan residents, and promised to continue to reexamine previous legal positions regarding the regulation of construction in Judea and Samaria.

Knesset declaration calls on US to demand Palestinians
recognize "right of self-determination for the Jewish People"
By Tamara Zieve, Jerusalem Post, November 17, 2017

A Knesset-congressional joint declaration called on the US administration to demand that the Palestinians recognize the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people as a precondition to future talks.
The declaration, signed by members of the congressional Israel Victory Caucus and the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus, declares that “the primary obstacle to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the near century of Palestinian rejectionism of the right of self-determination for the Jewish People”, and that, “only Palestinian acknowledgment of the Jewish People’s historic connection to the Land of Israel, and acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state, will end the conflict.”
The Israel Victory Project is an initiative of the Philadelphia- based Middle East Forum.
The declaration was signed during a visit to Washington and New York by co-chairman of the Knesset Caucus Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) and caucus member Avraham Neguise (Likud).
“The central message that we have brought to the US is that the Palestinians need to move from rejectionism to recognition

The 'Jewish State' &
the connection to the Roman province Judea

* The name Judea had two different senses. Firstly, it meant the area surrounding Jerusalem, secondly it meant the whole area inhabited by Jews, which finally became a Roman province: Judea.

*Galileans were considered by Judeans to be largely ignorant of the fine points of jewish Law, in part because they retained their provincial identity and resisted the political, economic and cultural dominance of Judea.
By the time of Jesus, Galilee was a cultural crossroads with people from all around the Roman Empire. Many of Jesus' disagreements with the Pharisees (who were very concerned with upholding the Law) were typical of Galilean laxity toward the Law. Every one of his apostles was a Galilean. Not one apostles even came from Judea or Samaria.

* South of Galilee lived the Samaritans, a mixed population resulting from political transfers of population, whom the Jews did not consider to be real Jews. They were descendants of the Israelites of the northern kingdom who had intermarried with foreign settlers after the fall of the capital of the northern kingdom in 722 BC.
As a result of this racial intermarriage, they were no longer considered to be Jewish and were hated by most Jews.
The Samaritans regarded Mt. Gerizim as sacred. It is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of the West Bank city of Nablus. The Samaritans regard it as having been the location chosen by Yahweh for a 'holy temple'. According to rabbinic literature, in order to convert to Judaism, a Samaritan must first and foremost renounce any belief in the sanctity of Mount Gerizim.

mount gerizim

Iraqi Islamists MPs' proposal will send the country's
legal system back to a "primitive era"
Omar Sattar, Al-Monitor, 16-11-2017

Saddam Hussein 1981:
The Revolution and Women in Iraq

The complete emancipation of women from the ties which held them back in the past, during the ages of despotism and ignorance, is a basic aim of the Party and the Revolution. Our society will remain backward and in chains unless its women are liberated, enlightened and educated.

Strengthening the economic status of women through both legal rights and social conventions is part of the liberation process.
Strengthening and expanding the conditions which prohibit polygamy is also part of that process.

Antifeminist acts and ideas should be extensively condemned by men as well as by women in every section of our people. (Saddam's Death, page 16)

BAGHDAD — Islamist parties in the Iraqi parliament are pushing an amendment to the personal status law that would allow men to marry girls as young as 9. Human rights activists decried the proposal, which would transfer civil matters to the jurisdiction of clerics.
National Iraqi Alliance parliament member Hamed al-Khodari submitted the amendment bill Nov. 2.
A more extreme version of the proposal was withdrawn in 2014 because of public pressure, and public anger is even more intense this time. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) voiced its concerns and encouraged "widening the scope of consultations about the amendment … to ensure the respect and protection of women's rights."

The proposed amendment basically shakes the foundations of the old law.
The bill indicates that when issuing decisions on personal status issues, the court should follow the rulings of religious scholars for Sunni or Shiite sects, depending on the husband's faith.
Critics say the proposed amendment would breach the constitution's principles of separation of powers and judicial independence. The amendment would also contradict Article 14 of the constitution, which says all Iraqis are equal before the law, without any discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, origin, color, religion, sect, belief, opinion or economic or social status.
However, Mohamad al-Massoudi, leader of the ruling National Iraqi Alliance party, is optimistic the bill will be approved.
"Only some secular parties in the Iraqi parliament oppose the personal status amendment bill," he told Al-Monitor.
Pointing to inconsistencies in the constitution, he said, "No law can stop a Sharia principle, and the Iraqi Constitution forbade the legislation of any text that contradicts Islamic Sharia."

Zikra Sarsam, a civil activist and vice president of the nongovernmental organization Burj Babel for Media Development, said civil parties objecting to the amendment bill are banking on public pressure and the stance of the supreme Shiite authority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who was against the proposal that was withdrawn in 2014.
Sarsam added, "The amendment bill aims at enslaving Iraqi women and taking the country back to a primitive era. It contains constitutional and legal violations, mainly discriminating against Iraqis based on sect or belief, establishing a religious state and fighting the civil current."

Syria: New batch of Military Academy students graduated
Syrian Arab News Agency, 16 November 2017

On the occasion of the 47th anniversary of Correctionist Movement, a new batch of the Military Academy students was graduated.
At the beginning of the celebration, the participants observed a moment of silence in honor of Syria’s martyrs after which the Syrian national anthem was played.
Representative of the celebration’s sponsor, Chief of the General Staff of the Army and Armed Forces, Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, delivered a speech in which he conveyed President al-Assad’s congratulations to the students, wishing them success in performing their duties and missions side by side to their colleagues in the battlefield.
He noted that Syria has become more powerful thanks to the steadfastness of its people, the bravery of its army and support of its allies, mainly Russia, Iran and the Lebanese Resistance.
Ayyoup added that the Syrian army is determined to continue its battle till full eradication of terrorism and terrorist organizations...

The Corrective Movement

The Corrective Movement was a political movement in Syria, initiated by a coup d'état, led by General Hafez al-Assad on 13 November 1970. Al-Assad's program of reform, considered revolutionary in Syria, aimed to sustain and improve the "nationalist socialist line" of the state and the Ba'ath party.
Syrian foreign minister Farouk al-Sharaa stated on 27 January 2000: "I am not exaggerating when I say that the Corrective Movement, which took place in 1970 under the leadership of Hafez al-Assad ... has crystallized for the first time in modern Arab history a mature and realistic pan-Arab ideology.

The “OPEN DOOR” policy in the economic field, which was applied since the correctionist movement, has led to cooperation between the public and private sectors towards developing national economy and in accordance with long run plans.
The door was kept open wide in front of the development of the private sector for participation in economic plans together with the public sector, helping to stimulate a progressive economy.
The Syrian Government constantly pursued its intent of raising the population's standard of living through increase of agricultural and industrial production, organizing trade balance by priorities, and intervention of various means to surpass a consumer oriented economy.

Terrorism is destruction of human rights: UN chief
Islamic Republic News Agency, Tehran, 17-11-2017

Terming terrorism as denial and destruction of human rights, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the fight against terrorism will never succeed unless human rights are protected.
We must relentlessly fight terrorism to protect human rights,” the Secretary-General said in his speech at the school of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) on Thursday, adding, at the same time, when we protect human rights, we are tackling the root causes of terrorism.
He pointed out that for the power of human rights to bond is stronger than the power of terrorism to devastate.
Referring to conditions that are conducive to terrorism and violent extremism, the Secretary General said if we want to address and avoid the gap between this global threat and our collective response, we need to pin them down.
-- “First, it is clear that terrorist groups exploit conflict zones and ungoverned territories,” he said, adding that while terrorism often starts in conflict zones, it reaches far beyond them, organizing and inspiring attacks and radicalizing people across borders and continents.
-- Second, lack of development, and inclusive governance, including extreme poverty, inequality, as well as exclusion and discrimination are also drivers for terrorism and violent extremism, he said.
Guterres emphasized that terrorism thrives when disenfranchised people meet nothing but indifference and nihilism. It is deeply rooted in hopelessness and despair. “That is why human rights, all human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, are unquestionably a part of the solution in fighting terrorism,” he said.
At the end, the UN Secretary-General called on world leaders and told them that beyond security measures, we need education and social cohesion.
“That is how young people keep from false illusions afar, and become clear-thinking and enlightened citizens,” he concluded.

Judge, Jury and Executioner
Ibrahim Kalin, still defending the Muslim Brotherhood?

"Given the new political realities in Egypt, Tunisia, and the Palestinian territories, as well as in Lebanon, Libya, and elsewhere, the more important of these actors are no longer secret or illegal organisations.
Simply put, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Nahda (Muslim Brotherhood) movement in Tunisia, and Hamas (Muslim Brotherhood) in Palestine will all play important and legitimate roles in the political future of their respective countries.
This means that Americans and Europeans will need to engage these groups publicly and directly, as Turkey has done. After all, they are now part of the emerging political order in the Arab world." Ibrahim Kalin, Al-Jazeera, 26-5-2011

Daily Sabah, 17-11-2017

In its sixth year, the Syrian war continues to be at the center of geopolitical muscling and power games. The near-defeat of Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syrian territories is supposed to be followed by a political solution... The critical question at this point is whether the Geneva and/or Astana processes can deliver, and if so, how...
Over the last two years, all major regional and global stakeholders became part of the Syrian conflict in one way or another.
As the Obama administration failed to take any serious action, the Russian-Iranian alliance saw a geo-political opportunity to move into the Syrian terrain.
The result has been not only the widening of the Syrian conflict but also its devastating prolongation with atrocities never seen in recent history.
The meteoric rise of Daesh in the Syrian territories cannot be seen in isolation from this colossal failure to stop the massacres of the Assad regime.
The Russians and Iranians fight against Daesh, but with the goal of keeping the Assad regime in power.
In their view, they are the winners of the war over the last two years because they kept the Assad regime from crumbling, cleared the Daesh terrorist threat, weakened the anti-Assad opposition and made huge geo-political gains against the U.S.-led coalition.

Turkey's position has been clear all along and can be summed up as follows. Syria's territorial integrity must be maintained in any grand political solution. Syrian territories should be cleared of all elements of terrorism.
At the same time, all foreign fighters whether they fight on the side of the regime or the PYD-YPG and others should leave Syria.
The eventual fate of Bashar Assad remains a contested issue, but it is clear that Assad is not the person to lead Syria to a democratic and all-inclusive rule.
Given his crimes against the Syrian people, he cannot be entrusted with the job of bringing all Syrians together. Future Syria should have no place for Assad.
As far as Russians and Iranians are concerned, they should realize that keeping Assad in power is not the way to protect their interests in Syria.

Libya: pro-Turkey delegation in Ankara talks
By Libya Herald reporter, 18 November 2017

A group of members of the House of Representatives has called for closer relations with Turkey.
The group, consisting of eight members who support the Presidency Council, arrived earlier during the week in Ankara at the invitation of the Turkish government.
During the week, they met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as member of the Turkish parliaments foreign affairs committee and deputy foreign minister Ahmet Yildiz, and Turkey’s special envoy for Libya Emrullah Isler. They also met with the Turkish Contractors Association.
Later in Istanbul, there were meetings with municipal officials and with the Foreign Economic Relations Board.
According to Benghazi member Ziyad Daghim, the visit was aimed at improving relations with Turkey and changing what he called “misconceptions” about it back in Libya.

Muslim Brotherhood 2012: Istanbul is the capital of the Islamic Caliphate

muslim brotherhood ('kill gadaffi, kill assad') cleric yusuf qaradawi 2012

Although Turkey maintains close relations with the PC and its government of national accord, it is viewed with suspicion in eastern Libya where the Beida-based government of Abdullah Thinni as well as the Libyan National Army and those around HoR president Ageela Saleh have been openly critical of it.
They have accused it, along with Qatar, of interfering in Libyan affairs by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist militants.
As a result, while Turkey was the first country to reopen its embassy in Tripoli and kept its consulate in Misrata open throughout the period of the diplomatic exodus from Libya, it has not reopened the consulate in Benghazi – and for the moment has no plans to do so.

Flashback 2014 - President al-Assad to scholars:
"The plague which hits the Islamic world is the plague of political Islam"
Syrian Arab News Agency, April 24, 2014

Damascus, SANA, President Bashar al-Assad said Wednesday clergymen and scholars have pivotal role in consolidating true concepts against wrong terms, because the most dangerous attempts which target the region and Islamic world are the West attempts to strike ideology and faith in society through gradual change in terms.
President al-Assad said an example on the west's attempt to change the terms is to separate Arabism with its human and civilized concept, aiming at creating a state of destabilization on the social and political levels.
The President affirmed that the plague which hits the Islamic world is the plague of political Islam, adding that its collapse has returned Islam to its normal role, namely, Dawah (inviting for true Islam.)
President al-Assad said combating terrorism and extremism won’t be only through condemnation or refutation, but through consolidating principles of true Islam and innovating the religious mentality by using brain, logic and dialogue which is open to the other, based on conviction, not intimidation.

Flashback 2012 - "Jihad Against Assad Is A Duty"
MEMRI, 23-3-2012

Senior clerics across the Arab world have issued fatwas stating that jihad against the Syrian regime is a duty incumbent upon every Muslim, and even permitting to kill Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Some of the clerics also called to support the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is fighting Assad's regime.

* Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, told Al-Jazeera that clerics across the Muslim world agree that Assad must be fought against and even killed...
* Preacher Safwat Hijazi said [..] that killing Assad is a fard 'ain (a duty incumbent upon every individual Muslim), and that whoever carries out this task will attain Paradise. ... He claimed that over 400 scholars had signed fatwas permitting Assad's killing. (In 2012, Safwat Hijazi launched MB Candidate Muhammad Mursi's Campaign)
* Hashem Islam, member of the Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, said at a March 15, 2012 conference in Cairo that Assad must be assassinated to stop the killing of Syrians, and that the FSA, which is fighting Assad's gangs, must be assisted with money and arms. .
* The imam of the Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas mosque, the largest in Syria's Idlib province, said in his March 2, 2012 Friday sermon: "O Muslims, Allah ordered you to fight [every] tyrant until he obeys the word of Allah... [The members of Assad's regime openly] publicize their hostility towards God..."
* Saudi preacher 'Aidh Al-Qarni said to Al-Arabiya TV that it is a duty to fight and kill Assad, because he is an infidel and his regime is an enemy of Islam. He added that "the Muslim religious scholars must assist the Syrian people against this treacherous regime..."
* The general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, Himam Sa'id, likewise ruled that fighting the Assad regime is "a religious duty," and that "the Muslims must assist the FSA..." He called the FSA fighters "mujahideen" and said that their dead count as "martyrs."
* Saudi Mufti 'Abd Al-'Aziz Aal Sheikh said in a meeting with Kuwaiti clerics that supporting the FSA with money counts as jihad for the sake of Allah.
Saudi writer Ahmad Al-Saloum wrote, in an article posted on an oppositionist Syrian website, that the FSA must be supported in every way... "Jihad against the Nusayris [i.e., 'Alawis] is one of the most important religious duties in the eyes of Allah... Jihad against them is more important than jihad against the Jews or Christians..."

Renewed US-Russia Rift Threatens Slim Syria Peace Hope
by Naharnet Newsdesk, 17-11-2017

The latest US and Russian bid to find enough common ground on which to build some hope for Syria is in trouble, just days ahead of talks that could make or break the peace process.
At the United Nations Russia moved to thwart international attempts to salvage a UN-led probe into Assad's use of chemical weapons.
"Joint mechanism of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] has covered itself with shame by putting forward groundless charges against Damascus", Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya said on Friday.
Washington's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, was clear about what the Russian veto of a US-backed resolution meant for the broader peace process:
"Russia proves they cannot be trusted or credible as we work towards a political solution in Syria," she declared.

The previous US administration under Barack Obama repeatedly tried and failed to engage Putin with a peace plan that would lead to a political transition away from Assad's rule... But Putin has remained loyal to Assad.
US diplomats now hope not only to nudge Russia into bringing Assad to the table, but also to have Moscow help them oust Syria's other main ally, Iran, from the battlefield.
Many observers doubt that Putin, having risked Russian troops and planes to save Assad, would now encourage a peace process that would see him step down. And western diplomats say that, in private, some senior US officials admit that Assad and Putin effectively won the war two years ago and are now just consolidating victory.

Aleppo, SANA, 16-11-2017 – The people of Aleppo city are continuing their efforts to restore luster to the capital of Syrian industry less than a year after Aleppo’s Old City was cleansed of terrorists. Thousands of people flocked on Friday to the “Mahabet Watan” (Love of a Homeland) festival which is being held in Khan al-Jumrok in Aleppo as part of the project to revive the city’s old souqs (traditional marketplaces).
The sight of the crowds of enthusiastic participants in the festival, whose numbers exceeded expectations, brings back to mind the bustle and activity that these souqs used to witness before they were targeted by terrorists.

Aleppo, SANA, 17-11-2017 – The Junior Chamber International (JCI) in Aleppo in coordination with United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and Syrian Computer Society branch organized a youth marathon titled “Sustainable Development’s Goals.”
The marathon included 21 groups from local associations, scouts, and youth organizations who went round Aleppo Castle. The groups participated in a competition about the goals of sustainable development in which al-Ihsan charitable development association group took the first place, while St. Teresa Scouts group took the second, and al-Taaluf Syrian Charity Association group took the third.

Gaza’s Rafah Crossing Opens Under PA Control
AlBawaba, 17-11-2017

For the first time in ten years, the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is manned by security forces loyal to the national unity government of the Palestinian Authority.
On Saturday morning Egypt opened that border crossing for a three day period to allow students, valid visa holders and the sick to enter Egypt. Hundreds of Palestinian security officials, clad in the uniforms of the PA, greeted those leaving Gaza.
General Majid Faraj, head of the Palestinian Security Services, visited the Gaza strip on Friday and met with Hamas leaders, including Hamas military leader Yahya Sinwar, to coordinate the border crossing opening and manning.

On sunday, september 17, 2017, Hamas announced it agreed to dissolve its governing body in the Gaza Strip and allow the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority government take over.
"Hamas invites the consensus government to come to Gaza to practice its mission and carry out its duties in the Gaza Strip immediately, and it accepts holding general elections," Hamas said in the statement. The decision was in response to reconciliation talks between the principal Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fattah, mediated by Egypt.

It was all about money
The Hariri resignation had everything to do with internal Saudi matters.
Debkafile, November 18, 2017

DEBKAfile is an Israeli military intelligence website based in Jerusalem, providing commentary and analyses on terrorism, intelligence, national security, military and international relations, with a particular focus on the Middle East.

Why did Saad Hariri step down as Lebanese Prime Minister in Riyadh on Nov. 4 and what is at the bottom of French President Emmanuel Macron and his foreign minister Jean Yves Le-Drian’s active involvement in the case?
The clue to these riddles is to be found on the floor of the lobby of the Ritz Carlton Riyadh, where Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd sleeps on a mattress.
He was detained there by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, with scores of Saudi Arabia’s rich and powerful in his capacity as Saudi partner in the absconding Lebanese prime minister’s extensive business interests in the kingdom.
DEBKAfile offers an exclusive blow-by-blow account of the events leading up to the Hariri bombshell:

On Nov, 4, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman had 500 high-ranking princes, officials and ultra-rich businessmen detained on “corruption charges.”
On the same day, Saad Hariri boarded his private plane and flew to Riyadh, announcing he was stepping down as prime minister after discovering a plot on his life by Iran and Hizballah.
That claim was a cover-up. He had in fact been summoned by Saudi Crown Prince for Hariri to present himself at once in Riyadh, else the Hariri family’s substantial property and bank accounts would be impounded, along with those of the detained princes and multibillionaires.
The family has had a long and profitable alliance with the oil kingdom. Rafiq Hariri, Saad’s late father and predecessor as prime minister of Lebanon, founded the Saudi Branch of the French giant construction firm Oger in 1969.
The firm made sure to maintain business connections with important members of the royal family. The most prominent was Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd (born 16 april 1973), scion of a former king.

Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, businesspartner of Saad Hariri. He is one of the richest royals in the world with a rumored $10billion fortune funding an extravagant lifestyle as he travels to luxurious destinations including Paris and New York.

The Prince was well known as a great globetrotter in pursuit of pleasure, for such endeavour he equipped himself with a Boeing 777, a Boeing 737 Business Jet and a Canadair Challenger which are all well-staffed with young Western female flight attendants. The fleet of private jets are furnished with plenty of bedrooms, showers and even a fully equipped hospital to make sure the Prince reached his frequent destinations such New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami and, less often, Saudi Arabia.
From world-class tycoon, this prince on Nov. 4, found himself reduced to one of hundreds of noble and important detainees.
According to our sources, the Crown Prince has assessed Hariri’s Saudi business partner as worth some $7 billion, which he has decided that he and their partnership owe to the Saudi state treasury and which they are now being told to surrender without delay.
Since the family’s Saudi business empire bankrolls the former Lebanese prime minister’s prominent political standing in Beirut, Hariri could not afford to ignore the Crown Prince’s ultimatum. When his princely partner was arrested, Hariri flew to Riyadh to salvage what he could of their financial concerns.
Notwithstanding the denials that Hariri was being held against his will, the truth is that he was held in some sort of house arrest. But only his high position as a top Lebanese leader – albeit a holder of dual Saudi nationality – and reluctance to gratify Tehran and Hizballah and justify their allegations – saved him from being locked up with the 500 Saudi high-ups at the Carlton Ritz.
The French president intervened in the affair to rescue the longstanding French financial stake in the Hariri firms, without jeopardizing French-Saudi trade relations.
Negotiations between French Foreign Minister Jean Yves le-Drian and Prince Muhammad resulted in permission for the former Lebanese prime minister to travel to Paris under the protection of the French secret service, while France quietly negotiated a deal for the Hariri family companies to surrender a substantial sum to the Saudi state.

How it started: Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri Resigns

The Saudi-US war on Yemen is killing 130 Children a Day
By Juan Cole | Nov. 19, 2017

The Saudi-led coalition is waging total war on Yemen in a bid to defeat the guerrilla group, the Houthis or the Helpers of God.
The Houthis took power in Sanaa in fall of 2014 and consolidated it in early 2015. By March-April, Saudi Arabia’s Muhammad Bin Salman, now the crown prince, had ordered air strikes on the country that have continued to this day. These strikes have been indiscriminate, hitting schools, hospitals, apartment buildings and key civilian infrastructure like ports, bridges and roads.
The Houthi gang is also guilty of war crimes, and of severe human rights violations and cannot be held blameless in the unfolding devastation of Yemen. But the Saudi-led war and the various forms of blockade Riyadh is imposing on Yemen are far worse.
The Houthis are Shiites who deeply resent Saudi proselytizing for hard line Salafi Sunnism in Yemen. They are a local indigenous protest movement in Yemen, and are not a proxy for Iran.
Houthi weaponry is mostly American and Iran does not give them much money or other support. The Saudis try to blame Iran for the Houthi revolt in order to shift blame from their own aggressive policies.

These political considerations should not allow us to forget what is being done to Yemen children.
Save the Children writes: 130 children die every day in Yemen from extreme hunger and disease–on child every 18 minutes. The Saudi blockade on ports such as Hudeida will increase this death toll.
This year, at least 50,000 children are expected to die as indirect casualties of the war (if food cannot be off-loaded at ports, and bridges are knocked out, children will die of malnutrition).
Nearly 400,000 children will need to be treated for severe acute malnutrition in Yemen in the next twelve months. Aid organizations are being actively interfered with in this work by the Saudi blockade and bombing strikes.
As a result of the Saudi blockade, aid organizations like Save the Children will be out of food and medicine stocks in the next two to three months.
If left untreated some 20 to 30 percent of children with severe acute malnutrition will perish every year.

The Ten Commandments for Israeli negotiations with Saudi Arabia
All they can get is "Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada"
Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva (Voice of Right-Wing Israel), 20/11/2017

MBJ: I'm the good guy. I agree with 'Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada"

The media are rife with speculations during the past few days about the possibility of normalizing relations between Israel and the nations of the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar).
This makes it crucial for Israel's government to know how to approach such negotiations, if they do take place, in a way that prevents a repetition of the mistakes made in the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan.
The most basic rule in dealing with the Saudis and their friends is that Israel must not feel that it has to pay anything for peace, anything at all. Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada.
If the Saudis want to live in peace with us, we will stretch out our hands to offer them peace in return. But that is all they will get. There is no other kind of peace agreement and if they do not want peace on those terms, then shalom ulehitraot (so long, it's been good to know you, Israeli-style).

The following are ten essential pointers to help Israel deal with the Middle Eastern culture of negotiation in an informed fashion, instead of the ignorance that led to its egregious errors in the accords with Egypt and Jordan. -- 1. It is of the utmost importance to realize that the Saudis do not really want peace with Israel. Had they wanted peace, they would have joined Anwar Sadat in 1979 or King Hussein in 1994. All they want is Israel's help in facing Iran...
-- 2. Israel is not going anywhere. We have been a state for 70 years without peace with Saudi Arabia and we can continue being a state for another 7000 years without it...
- 3. Peace with Saudi Arabia must be entirely free of other isues, most particularly a Palestinian connection..
-- 4. If the Saudis insist on relating to the Palestinian issue, Israel's response in any peace agreement should be: "If Saudi Arabia wishes to help the Palestinians, it can build cities and towns for them in Saudi Arabia.."
-- 5. Israel will recognize the House of Saud's regime in Mecca and Medina in exchange for Saudi recognition of Israel's right to Jerusalem as its historic and eternal capital city.
Israel will grant recognition to Saudi Arabia's being defined an Islamic state in exchange for Saudi recognition of Israel as a Jewish State or a state belonging to the Jewish People.
-- 6. Israel is willing for its embassy in Saudi Arabia to be located wherever the Saudis wish it to be in return for Saudi agreement to locate their embassy in Jerusalem.
-- 7. Saudi Arabia will not vote against Israel in international organizations and institutions...
-- 8. It is important to keep the Americans and Europeans away from the negotiating table... The Americans want to cut a deal, even a bad deal, and if they are allowed into the negotiation rooms, they will pressure Israel to give in, mainly on the Palestinian issue.
- 9. Israel must absolutely refrain from accepting international guarantees.. No country in the world will support us when we need it even if its signature appears on a thousand guarantees in our favor.
-- 10. Israel must insist on complete normalization. If Israel participates in international events taking place in Saudi Arabia, the Israeli flag will wave along with those of other countries. Israeli books will be shown at book fairs, and Israeli products officially displayed at international exhibitions taking place in Saudi Arabia.
Israel must be wary of a mutual defense pact with the Saudis. Over the past 7 years it has proven that it does not care in the least if Arab and Muslim blood is spilled like water in Syria and Yemen. It is hard to believe that the spilling of Jewish blood could merit a better response.
The House of Saud has always been motivated by unadulterated cynical self-interest from the day that country was established..

Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years.

Arab League: Hezbollah is a terror group
Dalit Halevi, Arutz Sheva, 20/11/2017

Arab foreign ministers on Sunday described the Lebanese Hezbollah organization as a "terrorist organization" and announced their intention to turn to the UN Security Council to discuss Iran's intervention in the region.
Speaking at a press conference in Cairo following a meeting of Arab foreign ministers, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that there was a consensus among Arab states against Iranian policy in the region.
"We are not declaring war on Iran at this stage and we are taking gradual steps," stressed Aboul Gheit. "I hope that the message will reach Iran and that it will change its behavior in the region."
He accused Iran of being responsible for the firing of missiles from Yemen towards Saudi cities in an attempt to harm Saudi Arabia's national security, of interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries and of spreading destruction and hatred.

carlos latuff cartoons

Sunday’s meeting of the Arab League was held at the request of Saudi Arabia, amid growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, its regional rival.
The Saudi request for an Arab League meeting was based on a missile the Sunni-ruled kingdom says its air defenses intercepted near Riyadh after being fired from Yemen on November 4. Iran has denies any involvement in the missile attack...

Hanan Ashrawi: "The U.S. is taking steps to punish the victim"
Palestine Chronicle, november 19 2017

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi condemned on Saturday the US decision to close the office of the PLO’s General Delegation in Washington, saying the US is disqualifying itself as a peace broker with this act.
“Instead of holding Israel liable for its persistent violations of international law and conventions, the U.S. administration and Congress are threatening to punish the Palestinian people because of statements made by President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations and other leaders pertaining to ICC accountability for Israel and for its war crimes in Palestine,” said Ashrawi in a statement.
“It is ironic that the U.S. is taking steps to punish the victim (the occupied) and not the perpetrator of the crime (the occupier).”

The PLO official said, “Conditioning the renewal of the waiver on the Palestinians’ sticking to ‘direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel’ is actually superfluous since negotiations are nonexistent, and the current U.S. administration has yet to present any kind of peace initiative.”
“If President Donald Trump decides not to renew the waiver after ninety days, the U.S. will embolden Israel even further and provide it with greater cover for its lack of compliance and unilateral actions..."

Sayyed Nasrallah: ISIL’s ‘State’ is Over, AL Statement ‘Ridiculous’
Al-Manar, 20-11-2017

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah denounced an Arab League statement describing Hezbollah as a “terrorist organization” as “ridiculous” and “absurd”, denying their claims that the resistance group was sending ballistic missiles to Yemen.
The Arab League statement claimed that Hezbollah sent Ballistic missile to Yemen’s Ansarullah and that the group was also responsible for the missile that was launched on Riyadh a week ago.
“I categorically deny any role of any member of Hezbollah in launching this missile,” said Sayyed Nasrallah.
“We have never transferred long-range missiles to any Arab state, but we did transfer arms to the forces of resistance in Gaza Strip and to fighters in Syria.”
He denounced the Arab ministerial meeting for failing to condemn or call for an end to the war in Yemen.
“Ask Saudi Arabia to stop the crushing of children’s bones and its massacres. Press for a political solution, this blatant and suspicious silence in the Islamic world is unacceptable.”

Sayyed Nasrallah lashed out at Arab foreign ministers by saying: What have you contributed to the victory against ISIL?
“While Hezbollah was liberating Bou Kamal province from ISIL, which is labeled as terrorist by the entire world, you were calling Hezbollah terrorist!”
Concerning the Iraqi achievement against ISIL, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “ISIL as an organization and a military structure has ended in Iraq and the Iraqi forces has reached the Syrian border...”
“Hezbollah’s mission in Iraq has been accomplished with the Islamic State group’s defeat.”
“We had sent a large number of military advisers to Iraq. These brothers will return from Iraq when Iraq announces the eradication of the ISIL group. We will mull our presence in Iraq with the coordination of the Iraqi forces, if there’s no more need for our presence there our forces will withdraw to other areas where they are needed..”
On Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s surprise resignation from Saudi Arabia, Sayyed Nasrallah said: We are awaiting the return of the prime minister, we do not consider him as resigned until he returns, and we’re open to any dialogue and discussion in the country.

Head of Syrian opposition’s HNC resigns -statement
November 20, 2017 | Middle East, News, Saudi Arabia, Syria

The head of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee, Riad Hijab, resigned on Monday after a nearly two-year term.
A statement from Hijab did not say why he was quitting the Saudi-backed HNC, the main anti-government umbrella bloc, which includes political and armed groups and has represented the opposition in peace talks.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Riyad Hijab’s resignation and the retreating of other radical opposition leaders to the background will help bring together the opponents of the Syrian government on a constructive basis.
While commenting on Riyad Hijab’s resignation as Chief Coordinator of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Lavrov said he expected "the retreating of radical opposition leaders to the background, to help the Syria-based and foreign-based opposition unite on a constructive basis."
"We will support Saudi Arabia’s efforts in this direction," the Russian top diplomat added.
According to Lavrov, Hijab’s resignation was long overdue. "Those following the unification of the Syrian opposition, like our counterparts from Saudi Arabia, predicted this move," the Russian foreign minister said.
"We worked with Riyad Hijab after he had left Syria as the country’s prime minister and became a leader of the opposition forces. I held meetings with him, as well as my deputy.
He was pulling the opposition in the wrong direction - not towards the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, which has become the Bible of the Syrian settlement process, but towards ultimatums," Lavrov noted.
The major ultimatum, in Lavrov’s words, was based on a demand for Bashar al-Assad’s resignation as a condition for further talks. "It is completely contrary to the UN Security Council resolution, which stipulates that only the Syrian people are eligible to decide the future of their country... (TASS Russian News Agency, 21-11-2017)

Flashback: Riad Hijab, 6-8-2012: "Today I declare... that I have defected from the terrorist, murderous regime and [am] joining the holy revolution. And I declare that from today I am a soldier of this holy revolution."
The Daily Star reports, august 2012: The United States lifted sanctions against Hijab and unfroze his assets following his defection in a move it said was aimed at convincing members of Assad’s inner circle that they have not been permanently blacklisted.

18-12-2015: Syrian opposition groups
pick ex-PM Riad Hijab to represent them in talks

The Syrian opposition, hosted by Saudi Arabia, elected former Prime Minister Riad Hijab as a coordinator of a body that is expected to lead future peace talks.
Hijab, who defected from Assad's regime in 2012, was chosen today during a meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh by a majority of 24 votes of the 34 members of the body, a source inside the meeting said.
"The aims of the revolution and the international resolutions, we cling to them, and we will not give them up," Hijab said.
"I call it a battle in terms of the negotiation process and the political process. It is in tandem with what is happening on the ground..."
"Our first option is the peaceful option. But if it's not complete, the other option will continue and will not stop ... until it fulfills the aims of toppling the illegitimate regime."

Communiqué, Office of Riad Hijab, Doha - Qatar
Reuters, 9-10-2015

Former Syrian Prime Minister, Riad Hijab's office in the Qatari capital Doha issued a communiqué calling on all Syrians to unite and face the dangers besetting the country...
"The Syrians have recognised that it would be morally reprehensible if the sacrifices of our people were in vain - after almost five years since the start of our blessed revolution.
The Syrians have proved their ability, with minimum support, to confront Assad and the various invading forces that stand behind him.
There is no doubt that the Syrian people are able to deal with this current Russian challenge, which some thirty years ago, was dealt a crushing defeat in Afghanistan...

All opposition institutions and groups, and at the forefront, the National Coalition, the Free Syrian Army, the national Islamic factions, and all genuine opposition groups and individuals with consistent moderate positions in support of the revolution should work with a unified voice..."

The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups known as the mujahideen fought against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government, mostly in the country's rural countryside. The mujahideen groups (radical muslims) were backed by the United States and Pakistan.
Following the Soviet withdrawal, some of the foreign volunteers (including Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda) and young Afghan refugees, went on to continue violent jihad in Afghanistan, Pakistan and abroad.

Kremlin: Russia’s Putin hosts Syria’s Assad for talks
Al-Arabiya|Reuters, Moscow, 21 November 2017

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad thanked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for "saving" his country

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for talks at which the two men agreed that the focus in the Syrian conflict was now switching from military operations to the search for a political solution.
Putin has taken a dominant role in efforts to resolve the conflict after a two-year Russian military campaign helped Assad to fight off opponents, including some backed by the U.S.
With Islamic State nearly defeated in Syria, the Kremlin is moving on to bring together regional and global powers to revive long-stalled efforts to reach a settlement expected to cement the Syrian president in power.
In comments that were released by the Kremlin early on Tuesday, Putin told the Syrian leader he wanted to meet him in advance of a gathering, planned for this week in Russia, with the leaders of Turkey and Iran -- two other powers heavily involved in the conflict in Syria.
Putin also said he would follow up his meeting with Assad with telephone calls to US President Donald Trump, and to Middle Eastern leaders including the Emir of Qatar.
“We still have a long way to go before we achieve a complete victory over terrorists. But as far as our joint work in fighting terrorism on the territory of Syria is concerned, this military operation is indeed wrapping up.”
“I think that now the most important thing, of course, is to move on the political questions, and I note with satisfaction your readiness to work with all those who want peace and a solution (to the conflict),” Putin said.

According to the Kremlin, the meeting happened on Monday in the Russian Black resort of Sochi, where Putin has a residence.
Assad, wearing a dark suit and sitting across a small coffee table from Putin, told the Russian leader: “At this stage, especially after we achieved victory over terrorists, it is in our interests to move forward with the political process.”
“And we believe that the situation we now have on the ground and in the political sense permits us to expect progress in the political process.
We count on the support of Russia to ensure the non-interference of outside players in the political process,” said Assad, speaking through an interpreter.

Turkey's Chief of Staff Gen. Akar travels to Russia to discuss Syria
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 21-11-2017

Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar headed to Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi to attend a trilateral meeting with his Iranian and Russian counterparts Tuesday. According to a military statement, Akar will meet with Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov and Iran's Muhammed Bakiri to discuss regional developments and the Syrian crisis.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had a meeting with Syria's Bashar Assad on the same day and discussed the political process in the war-torn country.
On Wednesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will also travel to Sochi to attend a trilateral summit on Syria.
Erdoğan was in Russia on Nov. 13 to discuss the Astana process and his visit Wednesday will mark the sixth time he meets his Russian counterpart.
On May 4, Russia, Turkey and Iran signed a deal in the Kazakh capital Astana to establish de-escalation zones in Syria.
The May 4 de-escalation zone agreement envisages the halt of hostilities between Assad regime forces and moderate opposition groups within the zones as well as the creation of conditions for humanitarian access, medical assistance, the return of displaced civilians to their homes and the restoration of damaged infrastructure.
The guarantor states previously agreed to take all measures necessary to continue fighting Daesh, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups both within and beyond the de-escalation zones.

Libyan House of Representatives approves UN-action plan
Libya Herald, 21 November 2017:

At a session in Tobruk, the House of Representatives voted to endorse the action plan to solve the current political crisis drawn up by UN special envoy Ghassan Salamé.
Under it, there would be a new presidency council consisting of three members, each representing of the country’s three historic provinces.
It would nominate a prime minister for the HoR to approve, act as commander in chief of the Libya army, and be in charge of Libya’s foreign relations.
The unanimous vote by the 79 members present (including HoR president Ageela Salameh) effectively bypasses the gridlock in the talks to amend the Libyan Political Agreement between the dialogue committees of the HoR and the State Council.
The action plan approved has several articles, including statements that the Presidency Council and the government shall be headquartered in Tripoli, that the three PC members will be elected by the HoR. They and members of the government must not have a second nationality or be married to a foreigner.

Since the summer of 2014, political power has been split between two rival governments, one in Tripoli (illegal, Islamist) and one in Tobruk (democratically elected, anti-Islamist), with the latter having been recognised by the international community before the creation of the Presidential Council – the body that acts collectively as head of state – in December 2015.

Ghassan Salamé (born 1951) is a Paris-based Lebanese academic. He served as the Lebanese Minister of Culture from 2000 to 2003. He Is the Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) and member of the Global Leadership Foundation. On 22 June 2017, Salamé was appointed Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya.

Salame talks to Security Council about Libya
Libya Prospect, Nov 16, 2017

In his speech, the United Nations Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, said that the humanitarian situation in Libya is complicated.
He stated that the number of poor people had increased because of the economic downturn and the absence of the inspection. Salame said that “reconstituting the situation is a must. Without it, effective institutions cannot form, rebuilding a state can only be a Sisyphean endeavour.”
Salame stressed that “we are close to consensus,” adding that the mutual recognition of the Political Agreement by the two committees of the House of Representatives (HoR) and the State Council would help in ending the crisis in Libya.
He stated that “any mechanism to select a new PC and the government must be transparent and fair. I am pleased to report that the Libyan public has overwhelmingly welcomed this principled approach.”
He stated that the UN is working on creating more secure and healthy life for the Libyans.
He talked about the outrageous situation in Libya, saying that “Libya, the country that stands upon vast wealth, has so many suffering.
Salame added that the “lawlessness continues to prevail in the face of increasingly heinous crimes. I can’t accept that repeated call for justice goes unattended.
Salame said that the politics in Libya is shaped by economic predation, adding that Billions of Dollars are lost every year in illicit money transfers. He said that the traffic of subsidised fuel to foreign countries robs Libya of 100s of millions each month.
Regarding the frozen Libyan assets, Salame said that it is one thing, but the mismanagement is another problem. He stressed that it is essential to revisit how Libya’s external wealth and investments are taken care of, to protect them for Libya’s future generations; adding that 100s of millions more are silently lost due to poor management.

Hariri: "We should seek Lebanon's interest and only Lebanon's interest"
Naharnet Newsdesk, 22-11-2017

Saad Hariri (who suspended his resignation) held separate talks Wednesday evening with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan and announced that Arab states are “inclined” to support his conciliatory approach.
“We discussed the consultations that we intend to carry out, both him and I, about the issue of the dissociation policy, and its main principle is to spare Lebanon any difficulties,” said Hariri after talks with Berri in Ain el-Tineh, which were attended by Hariri's adviser Nader Hariri and Berri's aide Ali Hassan Khalil, who is also the finance minister.

“We should seek Lebanon's interest and only Lebanon's interest. We are in a burning region and there are things that we should stay away from. I'm talking about all political parties, not only about a single party, and this means that the dissociation policy must apply to everyone and not only to a single party,” the premier added...
Asked whether his decision to put his resignation on hold was coordinated with Saudi officials, Hariri said: “I suspended it because the president asked me to do so. And I suspended it because I found out that the political parties are showing positivity regarding dialogue and consultations... The dissociation policy should turn from words into action in order to spare Lebanon any problems.”
“The president, whom I thank for the sympathy he showed towards me, asked me for this, and the least I can do is to respond to his call,” Hariri added.

Arab states blacklist Islamist groups, individuals in Qatar boycott
Middle East Monitor, November 23, 2017

The four Arab countries boycotting Qatar added 11 more individuals and two other entities, including a major group of Islamist scholars, to their “terrorist” blacklists for the Gulf state.
The lists now include the Qatar-based International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) which was formed in 2004 mostly by clerics belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and is chaired by the influential Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi.
A statement issued by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain said they also blacklisted the International Islamic Council (IIC).
“The two entities listed are two terrorist organisations that promote terrorism by using Islamic rhetoric as a cover to facilitate terrorist activities,” the statement said.
The move deepened the rift between the four countries and Qatar, the world’s top gas exporter and host to the biggest US military base in the Middle East. The countries cut ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of financing militants in Syria and allying with Iran, their regional foe.
The Saudi-led quartet also added 11 individuals to their lists, including the acting Brotherhood leader Mahmoud Ezzat Ibrahim.

The Muslim Brotherhood movement led the Arab Spring protests in 2011 that toppled some autocrats in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Gulf States’ rulers see the group, whose political ideology challenges the principle of dynastic rule, as a security threat.
The IUMS membership includes the Saudi cleric Salman al-Awdah, who was arrested by Saudi authorities in September, the Tunisian Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Ennahda party, and Moroccan scholar Ahmed Raissouni.

Flasback 2012: The Muslim Brotherhood does not believe in the nation state.

Gulf Arab countries should work together to stop Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood plotting to undermine governments in the region, United Arab Emirates' foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said on Monday.
The UAE, a major oil exporter and business hub, has arrested around 60 local Islamists this year, accusing them of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood - which is banned in the country - and conspiring to overthrow the government.
"The Muslim Brotherhood does not believe in the nation state. It does not believe in the sovereignty of the state," Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said at joint press conference with the Ukrainian foreign minister.

Americans are mobilizing the Muslim Brotherhood
in the Arab nation, WorldTribune, 14-9-2012

Jubeir: Solution to Syrian conflict through consensus
that would achieve the demands of the Syrian people
Saudi Gazette, 23-11-2017

RIYADH — A Syrian [right-wing] opposition meeting began in Riyadh on Wednesday in a bid to unify the group’s position ahead of peace talks backed by the United Nations to end the country’s six-year civil war.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said his country will lend support to the Syrian opposition to come out unified from talks in Riyadh ahead of peace talks in Geneva.
“We will provide help and support for them in all that they need,” Jubeir told reporters after he attended the opening session of the Syrian opposition conference aimed at unifying their ranks ahead of peace talks in Geneva. “We hope they can come out of the conference unified,” he added.
Jubeir told representatives of the Syrian opposition meeting that the only solution to the crisis in Syria was through a consensus that would achieve the demands of the Syrian people.
“There is no solution to the crisis without a Syrian consensus that would achieve the demands of the Syrian people on the basis of Geneva 1 and (UN Security Council) resolution 2254,” Jubeir said at the meeting.

UN peace talks mediator Staffan de Mistura urged the opposition figures to have the “hard discussions” necessary to reach a “common line”.
“A strong unified team is a creative partner in Geneva and we need that, one who can actually explore more than one way to arrive at the goals that we need to have,” he said in opening remarks.
Staffan de Mistura spoke at the opening of the three-day meeting for the Syrian opposition in Riyadh, where they are expected to come up with a unified delegation and vision ahead of the Geneva talks on Nov.28. He also called for humanitarian assistance to reach besieged areas of Syria.
The expanded summit was opened to more than 140 [right-wing & ultra right-wing] opposition figures from the Turkey-based coalition and mainstream Free Syrian Army factions.

Damascus Ready to Talk to Political Solution Advocates - Assad’s Adviser
Sputnik News, Russia, 23-11-2017

Damascus is willing to talk to everyone who believes in a political solution to the crisis but says the responsibility lies with the other side as "Syria, since the onset of the crisis, adopted a constructive pragmatic approach believing in engagement, political dialogue and shared fate for all constituents of the Syrian people," an adviser to Syrian President Bashar Assad, Bouthaina Shaaban, said - commenting on the decision to hold a National Dialogue Congress, due to take place in Russia’s resort city of Sochi in early December.
"The success of the proposed Congress will depend on the various opposition groups realizing that it is high time to stop the violence, lay down their arms and engage in a national dialogue that leads to a comprehensive settlement of all issues pertaining to the current crisis," the adviser stated.
According to her, whether or not the opposition groups are "willing or even capable of engaging in a genuine political process" has yet to be determined.
When asked to assess the results of the meeting of the Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, Bouthaina Shaaban said that the decisions made by the presidents would contribute to the settlement of the Syrian crisis and the eradication of terrorism.
The adviser stressed that Syria had always trusted Russia and Iran as its close allies.
"We believe that they will save no effort to put an end to the crisis in Syria. They have been cooperating with the Syrian army to eradicate terrorism, and preserve Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are comfortable with all the efforts of our friends and allies," Shaaban added.

Saudi Crown Prince calls Iran leader 'new Hitler': NYT
Ahram online|Reuters, Friday 24 Nov 2017

Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince called the Supreme Leader of Iran "the new Hitler of the Middle East" in an interview with the New York Times published on Thursday, sharply escalating the war of words between the arch-rivals.
The Sunni Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran back rival sides in wars and political crises throughout the region.
Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi defence minister in the U.S.-allied oil giant kingdom, suggested the Islamic Republic's alleged expansion under Ayatollah Ali Khamenei needed to be confronted. "But we learned from Europe that appeasement doesn't work..."
"We don't want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East," the paper quoted him as saying.

hitler was the master of propaganda

Tensions soared this month when Lebanon's Saudi-allied Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned in a television broadcast from Riyadh, citing the influence of Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and risks to his life. Hezbollah called the move an act of war engineered by Saudi authorities, an accusation they denied. Hariri has since suspended his resignation.

Saudi Arabia has launched thousands of air strikes in a 2-1/2-year-old war in neighbouring Yemen to defeat the Houthi movement that seized broad swaths of the country. Salman told the Times that the war was going in its favor and that its allies controlled 85 percent of Yemen's territory.
The Houthis, however, still retain the main population centres despite the war effort by a Saudi-led military coalition which receives intelligence and refueling for its warplanes by the United States. Some 10,000 people have died in the conflict.

"Before Hitler, German university towns had been counted among the world's great centers of scientific innovation and literary scholarship. Under Hitler, Germany's intellectual vitality quickly began to diminish... Most of the professors eagerly surrendered their intellectual honesty" (The triumph of Hitler)

The West is adept at demonizing whoever they want to go after
John Robles, Voice of Russia, Feb 24, 2013

Dr. Edward Herman: The standard procedure of the United States and the NATO powers is to demonize whoever they are going to go after.
The capability of the West and the media to manipulate facts, and the CIA to manipulate facts and demonize, and have an effective case against whomever we have demonized, it is amazing how the West does this.

Nasr al-Hariri to head Syrian opposition delegation in Geneva
Al Arabiya English Saturday, 25 November 2017

The [Saudi-backed, anti-Iran] opposition on Friday chose Nasr al-Hariri as head of its delegation in the next round of UN-backed negotiations in Geneva.
Sources also told Al-Arabiya that three representatives of the negotiating delegation to Geneva were also selected, and they are: Jamal Suleiman, Khalid Al-Mahamid and Hanadi Abu Yarub.
The Syrian opposition group succeeded in uniting by announcing a delegation of 36 seats following the meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
The opposition coalition won eight seats while the military factions were represented by seven, in addition to eight seats which went to independent opposition figures.
The National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change (NCB) also won five seats, while the Cairo and Moscow delegates to share eight seats equally.
Nasr al-Hariri stated that the UN should launch direct negotiations for a political transition in Syria. He emphasized at a press conference the need for the UN to supervise all meetings to address a solution.

Hariri & "The Evil Regime in Iran"

Grand Gathering of Iranians for Free Iran,
Nasr Al-Hariri, YouTube Vid, Paris, 1st July 2017

Flashback - Nasr al-Hariri: "The life of the Iranian regime is over"
National Council of resistance of Iran, Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Dr. Nasr al-Hariri, a top official in the opposition Syrian National Coalition, in an interview with Simay-e Azadi (Iran opposition satellite television, INTV) which was broadcast this week said:
“My message to the gathering of the Iranian Resistance, which is scheduled to be held on July 9th in Paris, is that this opportunity is a golden opportunity for a national uprising against the regime.
Now that the regime has entered into a war of attrition in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and a number of other countries, it is a good time to activate coordinated efforts among the resistances of all of these countries to cooperate with the Iranian Resistance.
Moreover, it must be said that the life of this regime which kills its own people and drags them into a meaningless war is over!”

Iranian Leadership or Hegemony? A Response to Macron
By Kaveh L. Afrasiabi, Iranian Diplomacy, 21-11-2017

The new French President Emmanuel Macron is nowadays busy thrusting himself in the turbulent Middle East politics and, unfortunately, increasingly echoing the Iranophobic American and Saudi sentiments, by warning of Iran's "hegemonic" desires and "tendencies."
As expected, Tehran has reacted strongly against Macron's, and his foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's, 'Trumpeseque' calls for amending the Iran nuclear accord and addressing Iran's ballistic missiles, warning that such hostile attitudes can negatively impact the growing Iran-French business relations.

One of the key problems with Macron's and Le Drian's frequent attachment of hegemonic ambitions to Iran is conceptual ambiguity, that is, their willingness to repeatedly invoke the concept of hegemony without ever defining it, other than giving the impression of a negative attribute suggesting coercive domination.
But, this is a disservice to a commonly-used political jargon or concept that, in fact, is often used to distinguish from mere domination and control and, instead, conveys a more complex meaning that entails moral, political, and intellectual leadership, and the ability to take into account the interests of other groups and social forces and finding ways of combining them with one's own interests.

The nub of the problem with President Macron's explicit connection of hegemony with Iran is two-fold.
First, it overlooks the positive connotations of the term and simply assumes a purely negative connotation of the term and, second, it fails to distinguish it from (regional) leadership.
Concerning the latter, it is the requirement of a conscious, mind-set to recognize the Persian Gulf and Middle East realities and to recognize the significance of leadership role Iran is presently playing beyond her borders...
If hegemony relates to specific distribution of power and influence, then it is glaringly obvious that Iran's position in the region is recently enhanced...
Mr. Macron would be well-advised to inspect the Persian Gulf map more closely, e.g., at Iran's long shorelines and strategic islands, etc., in order to reach the apt conclusion that Iran is destined to play a significant leadership role commensurate with her history, location, and nexus of power relations.
In both Iraq and Syria, Iran owes no apology for fighting terrorism, which could creep closer and closer to her own borders if left unchecked, and, certainly, Iran's ability to forge close strategic partnerships with the governments of Iraq, Turkey, and Russia, to counter the terrorist menace is a big plus even for the sake of Europe's own security.

Shoura Council speaker: Saudi Arabia’s ‘unshakeable
position against extremism is based on Shariah’
ARAB NEWS | Sunday 26 November 2017

Mohammed bin Amin Al-Jeffery, deputy chairman of Shoura Council, stressed that Saudi Arabia’s position on terrorism and extremism is a firm one deriving from the Islamic Shariah, the source of the Kingdom’s statutes and regulations.
Al-Jeffery was speaking on Friday at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Joint Seminar of the Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group and the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Defense and Security Cooperation at the Italian Parliament headquarters in Rome.
Al-Jeffery underlined the Kingdom’s efforts in fighting terrorism, including the establishment of the Islamic Military Alliance, hosting the historic Arab-Islamic-American Summit in May 2017 and adopting historic and strong decisions to fight terrorism in all its forms and stop its finance, as well as the establishment of the Ideological War Center in Riyadh to combat extremism.
He also pointed out that the Kingdom has signed and ratified the UN resolutions fighting terrorism and the terror-financing sources, enacted many regulations fighting this scourge, criminalized any participation in hostilities, and adopted a blacklist of the terrorist organizations around the world, including Daesh, Hezbollah (equated with Iran), Al-Qaeda, and the Houthis (equated with Iran).
On the sidelines of the forum, Al-Jeffery met with Paolo Alli, chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Al-Jeffery stressed that the Kingdom is keen to promote bilateral relations in all organizations, to collaborate in clarifying the Kingdom’s position on issues of common interest, and to participate in every effort aiming to promote security and stability in the world.

start of the 'arab' spring: muslim brotherhood, salafists,
al-qaeda, isis, islamist brigades..etc.., all based on 'sharia'

Absolute Truth: Legal System of Saudi Arabia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The legal system of Saudi Arabia is based on Sharia, Islamic law derived from the Qur'an and the Sunnah (the traditions) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
The sources of Sharia also include Islamic scholarly consensus developed after Muhammad's death. Its interpretation by judges in Saudi Arabia is influenced by the texts of the literalist Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence.
Hanbali school is a strict traditionalist school. It's considered the most conservative school of thought. Ibn Hanbal taught that the Qur'an is uncreated due to Muslim belief that it is the word of God (the absolute truth) , and the word of God is not created (so it cannot be changed by men).

Uniquely in the Muslim world, Sharia has been adopted by Saudi Arabia in an uncodified form. This, and the lack of judicial precedent, has resulted in considerable uncertainty in the scope and content of the country's laws.
The government therefore announced its intention to codify Sharia in 2010, but this is yet to be implemented. Sharia has also been supplemented by regulations issued by royal decree covering modern issues such as intellectual property and corporate law.
Nevertheless, Sharia remains the primary source of law, especially in areas such as criminal, family, commercial and contract law, and the Qur'an and the Sunnah are declared to be the country's constitution.
In the areas of land and energy law the extensive proprietorial rights of the Saudi state (in effect, the Saudi royal family) constitute a significant feature.

Trials in Saudi Arabia are bench trials. Courts in Saudi Arabia observe few formalities and the country's first criminal procedure code, issued in 2001, has been largely ignored. King Abdullah, in 2007, introduced a number of significant judicial reforms, although they are yet to be fully implemented.
Criminal law punishments in Saudi Arabia include public beheading, hanging, stoning, amputation and lashing.
Serious criminal offences include not only internationally recognized crimes such as murder, rape, theft and robbery, but also apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorcery.
In addition to the regular police force, Saudi Arabia has a secret police, the Mabahith, and "religious police", the Mutawa. The latter enforces Islamic social and moral norms.

Paul (New Testament) versus Legalism
John Piper (Bethlehem Baptist Church Minnesota)

When PAUL says in a NEW TESTAMENT verse that "all who rely on works of the law are under a curse," it reminds us of 1:7, 8, where he says, "There are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ."
Evidently, Paul believed that there was a teaching among the churches of Galatia which was so destructive to people and so dishonoring to God that it merited a divine curse.
It was a teaching propagated not by secular humanists from Athens but by God-fearing Jewish "Christian" church members from Jerusalem.
The reason the book of Galatians has such a radical, life-changing message is that it pronounces a curse from God not on atheistic or agnostic outsiders but on professing Christians who try to serve God in a way that diminishes his grace and cultivates their own pride.
When verse 10 says that "those who rely on works of the law are under a curse," it means that they are without the Holy Spirit (Reason, Gnosis, Wisdom).

There is no Greek word for legalism. When Paul wanted to refer to the legalistic misuse of Moses' teaching, he either had to use the term "law" and trust that the context would clarify the meaning, "misuse of law"; or he had to use a phrase like "works of law" which for him always had a negative, legalistic meaning.
We know from the context of 2:18 that Paul distinguished what Moses really taught from what the Judaizers did with his teachings.

Syrian government welcomes National Dialogue Congress, will attend it
Syrian Arab News Agency, 26 November 2017

An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said that the Syrian government welcomes the National Dialogue Congress, affirming that the government will attend it.
In a statement to SANA on Sunday, the source said that after the consecutive victories achieved by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies which paved the way for the political track and intra-Syrian dialogue, the Syrian Arab Republic government welcomes the National Dialogue Congress which will be held in Sochi, Russia, with the participation of many segments of Syrian society, affirming that the government has agreed to attend the Congress.
The source added that the government also welcomes the results of the Congress which include a committee for discussing the current constitution and holding legislative elections afterwards with the involvement of the United Nations and based on the UN Charter which stipulates for respecting the sovereignty of states and peoples’ right to self-determination.

Constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic