“The left talks about Peres’s sin, the beginning of the massive settlement in areas liberated during the Six Day War. Even though the breakthrough was in Gush Etzion and in Hevron with Rabbi Hanan Porat and Rabbi Levinger, the signing of the Sebastia agreement with Shimon Peres was actually the beginning of the massive Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria,” Weiss told Arutz Sheva.
“It is not for nothing that the left refers to the Sebastia agreement as Shimon Peres’s ancient sin. I remember we gave him a bouquet of flowers. He took this historic step even though he did not agree with our being in Judea and Samaria,” she added.
At the same time, Weiss continued, one cannot ignore the Oslo Accords and in this regard, Peres made a huge mistake.
Abbas at the UN General Assembly: Britain gave our land to another people
The Nakba: Catalyst for pan-Arabism
Bashar al-Assad: last representant of pro-Palestine Arab Nationalism
The failure of Arab governments to prevent the Nakba gave impetus to the formation of an organised ideological pan-Arab nationalist movement.
Nationalists labelled the defeated Arab governments "lackeys of imperialism" and called overthrowing them a prerequisite for stamping out colonialism and liberating Palestine.
The two goals of bringing down western-backed governments and the liberation of Palestine became the rallying cries of all nationalist movements - from the Baath party to the pan-Arab Nationalist movements (Qawmeyoun Al Arab) and their offshoots.
To review the developments surrounding Syria, FNA spoke to Middle East expert Rick Sterling
- Q: Since the beginning of civil war in Syria in March 2011, the corporate media began depicting it as a democratic movement against a “dictator killing his own people.”
However, as the time went by, it became clear that it was not a revolutionary movement, but a proxy war. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, France and the United States joined the fighting against President Assad and the bloodletting intensified. Why did these countries intervene...?
- A: The motivations vary but prominent reasons include economic interests and geopolitical reasons. Qatar and Turkey want to be the major provider of natural gas to Europe. [Moreover], Saudi Arabia attacks Syria to get at Iran.
Israel joins the attack on Syria to get at the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance. The US, UK and France want to preserve and extend their dominance over the Middle East. Behind it all is the stated US goal from the mid 2000’s to “remake” the Middle East.
This plan serves the existing sectarian states, Israel and Saudi Arabia, and undermines the development of effective national and international resistance.
- Q: You wrote in one of your articles that the US-NATO regime change plans in Iraq and Libya have left disastrous impacts on the health, education, labor and economic sectors in these countries and reduced the living standards of the native populations. Could the same plan of regime change, if implemented successfully, lead to similar sad results in Syria, or could improve the life of the Syrians?
- A: Illegal, violent and externally driven “regime change” has a consistent history: It leaves disaster, mayhem and division in its wake and long into the future... I see no examples where externally driven “regime change” has made things better. Foreign-sponsored regime change seems to always rely on violence and corruption and leave the population worse off.
In the process, enormous amounts of money are wasted instead of being put to positive use. The western public is brainwashed into accepting this through a heavy propaganda campaign.
- Q: Why has Israel been so overtly taking sides during the civil war in Syria and supporting the extremist militia and terrorists with arms and logistical backing?
- A: Israel has much at stake in the conflict. Destabilizing or overthrowing the government in Damascus is their dream. Why? Because Syria has continued to support the Lebanese Resistance; Syria has continued to support the Palestinian cause; Syria has been unwilling to acquiesce and collaborate as Jordan and Egypt have done; Syria has given Palestinian refugees and their descendants the rights to a decent standard of living, work and education. Syria has stood as an Arab nationalist, secular alternative to religious supremacist state like Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Israel is quite happy to see Syria be driven into sectarianism and bloodshed because it takes the light away from Israeli sectarianism and racism. The strategy of Israel is consistent: drive your enemies into violence and sectarianism to weaken them and distract from Israeli violence and sectarianism.
Q: There’s a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria. Who is responsible for this chaotic situation? Are the international bodies able to address this crisis and help the affected Syrians?
A: Who is responsible? Clearly it is the countries who promoted, supplied and paid tens of thousands of foreign and domestic mercenaries and fanatics. There is very good reason that the Nuremberg Principles says that the instigation of war is the “supreme international crime”.
The conflict in Syria erupted and continues for just one reason: the huge ongoing sponsorship of this war of aggression by foreign governments.
A tiny percentage of Syrians support a violent overthrow, sectarianism and strict Sharia law. Without popular support within Syria, they would have given up or disappeared long ago except for the foreign interference and flooding of Syria with foreign fanatics.
The UN has failed badly. Instead of publicizing the supreme crime, the UN has ignored it.
Instead of addressing the root cause of the refugees, the UN has tried to ameliorate the symptoms while looking the other way even as terrorist agents bribe more desperate refugees to continue the conflict.
If the UN did what it is supposed to do, the conflict in Syria would rapidly end.
Mary, symbolizing most important values in Islam: Compassion & Mercy
(Salafist rebel Omar Gharba 2012 & Syrian Arab Army)
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday that the recent deal reached by the OPEC countries on curbing oil production was “positive.”
The Russian minister also expressed Moscow’s willingness to continue consultations with OPEC members. He added that Russia intends to keep its oil production at current levels, while reiterating that Moscow would like to see prices climb to between 50 and 60 dollars a barrel.
“The prices that we announced earlier within the margins of 50-60 dollars are comfortable prices that could satisfy the interests of producers and the interests of consuming countries at the same time. In my opinion, it could be the most stable variant for today.”
OPEC members agreed in an informal meeting in Algeria on Wednesday to limit production in an effort to raise the low crude prices. They decided to cut production by 750,000 barrels a day.
Iran, however, has been exempted from the decision because of its exceptional situation of having been under sanctions for a number of years. Since the removal of nuclear-related sanctions targeting its oil industry in February, Iran — which is OPEC’s third largest producer after Saudi Arabia and Iraq — has been boosting production in order to reach previous levels and has rejected calls on the country to freeze production as unfair.
Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said on Thursday the agreement demonstrates that the organization is still “alive.”
Referring to the deal, he said, “The fact that, in spite of differences within OPEC, this decision was made was a success for OPEC, and the decision showed that... OPEC is alive and can decide in the interest of its members at critical times.”
ERBIL – The US-led coalition said that ISIS has some 3,000 to 4,500 fighters in Mosul, and that there are no signs that the radicals are leaving its main bastion in northern Iraq.
“We think anywhere from 3,000 to 4,500 [ISIS] fighters are in Mosul, somewhere in that ball park. It’s a mixture of Iraqi and foreign fighters,” US-led coalition’s spokesman Air Force Col. John Dorrian said.
However, Saudi fighter of ISIS, Abu Azzam al-Muhajir, told ARA News they have at least 7,000 fighters in Mosul, the ISIS main bastion in northwestern Iraq. “Also, there are still 500,000 civilians living in Mosul, and they will not accept to return to the central government’s authority and be ruled by the Shia,” al-Muhajir told ARA News.
The US-led coalition said it will continue to attack ISIS in Mosul. “They show no signs of really trying to leave Mosul at this point. Really, what they’ve done is they’ve continued to dig in, build elaborate defenses and so we’re really ready for a tough fight there,” Colonel Dorrian said.
“The Iraqi security forces have been well trained to do urban style warfare. That’s one of the things that we’ve done for refit. We are expecting [ISIS to have] a mixture of Iraqis and foreign fighters. They do continue to flow in and some of them are fixed in place there,” he added. The US-led coalition official said that at least 8 to 12 brigades of the Iraqi army will march on Mosul. “We think it’s going to be a very large battle..."
DAMASCUS – Moscow is sending more warplanes to support the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the war on rebels and radical Islamists, officials said on Friday. This comes amid intensifying violence in Aleppo, as Russia continues to support a major offensive on rebel-held areas east of the city.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday that Moscow was ready to consider more ways “to normalise the situation in Aleppo”. However, with Islamist factions controlling ground in the city, Russia is prepared to intensify its air campaign on Aleppo, according to the official.
Regaining Aleppo from the rebels would be a main victory for the Syrian government.
“The battle for Aleppo could determine the future of the ongoing conflict in Syria,” Syrian journalist and political analyst Ayman Azzawi told ARA News. “Aleppo is the largest and most important city involved in this war, and neither side would give up on it easily,” he said.
The supreme commander of the Syrian Armed Forces in Aleppo, Major General Za'id Saleh, told Al-Masdar News on Wednesday that only 2,500 militants remain inside the eastern Aleppo neighborhoods.
Lifting the siege on the east Aleppo neighborhoods is one of Jaysh Al-Fateh's main objectives during this upcoming offensive; it will also require a large number of military personnel to break-through the Syrian Arab Army's defenses again.
According to local reports from the Aleppo Governorate, Jaysh Al-Fateh, specifically Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front), has prepared at least 20 VBIEDs (vehicle borne improvised explosive device) for this upcoming offensive, along with amassing thousands of fighters.
This might be the last chance for the jihadist rebels reestablish themselves in the Aleppo Governorate because they have lost a considerable amount of territory over the course of three years.
Head of the security committee and commander of the military operations in Aleppo, Major-General Zaid Saleh, said that the Syrian Army and allies are tightening the noose around Islamist rebels in eastern Aleppo, accusing them of using civilians as human shields to hamper the Army advance.
"The terrorist groups are using civilians as human shields to prevent the Army from targeting them. They heavily depend on US and Turkey to supply them with weapons. But we won't allow this to happen; they can't fight the Syrian Army forever", Major-General Zaid told Al Masdar News.
The military commander made clear that moderate rebels 'who might have – at one point – involved in hostile activities against the Syrian Army' still have the chance to lay down their arms and have their status settled.
"Terrorist groups such as Al-Nusra Front and Nour al-Din al-Zinki – who originally refused to abide with the recent ceasefire – must be fought against to be either killed or ousted out", he commented.
Major-General Zaid held the US responsible for derailing the ceasefire since it hasn't pressed on the rebel groups to halt the hostilities. He noted that more than 100 civilians and Army soldiers have been killed in rebel attacks during the implementation of the agreement.
Al-Nusra Front, sometimes called al-Qaeda in Syria or al-Qaeda in the Levant, is a Sunni Islamist militia fighting against Syrian Government forces, with the aim of establishing an Islamist state in the country. It was the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda until 2016, when it declared itself 'independent' (like ISIS - another Al-Qaeda group - did in 2014). Both are Salafi jihadist militant groups that follow a fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam.
Martin Kobler, the UN envoy to Libya, called on the international community to support the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and to do what is necessary to prevent illegal arms trade to Libya.
Kobler addressed the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva and said there are “positive signs” regarding the management of Libya’s oil production and exports in addition to ensuring revenue from oil sales are going to the country’s central bank. However, the North African country continues to be crippled by violence, corruption and lawlessness and overwhelmed by the refugee crisis
In his address, Kobler noted that, to an extent, the political deadlock in Libya is caused by the House of Representatives’ (HoR) lack of support for the GNA.
“Libya is witnessing the unfolding of dangerous military developments,” said the UN representative referring to General Khalifa Haftar’s forceful takeover of Libya’s major oil fields and terminals.
Haftar, who is backed by the (anti-Islamist) HOR, is fighting against Islamist brigades and armed groups in Benghazi who are refusing to succumb to his rule. He has also refused to cooperate with the GNA...
Libya, which has a population of 6 million, has 26 million weapons, according to Kobler. He emphasized that every UN member state must uphold the arms embargo and not send weapons to any group in Libya.
Militias across Libya are engaged in “grave human rights abuses with impunity,” warned Kobler. The international community must stop fueling the human rights abuses and adhere to the arms embargo on Libya, he added. Kobler stressed that the abuses must be responded to urgently, and no group should be in possession of weapons.
"Unlike his neighbours, Gaddafi had come to power by denying western control of his country's natural wealth.
For this, he was never forgiven." John Pilger, 8-9-2001
EU Extends Sanctions on Libyan Parliament Head
by Naharnet Newsdesk, 30-9-2016
The EU extended the sanctions against Aguila Saleh, the head of Libya's internationally recognized parliament, as well as two former officials, for blocking peace efforts by failing to get behind the U.N.-backed unity government.
In a blow to the Government of National Accord (GNA) supported by the United Nations and Western powers, the internationally recognized parliament headed by Aguila Saleh gave it a NO confidence vote in August.
France will host an international meeting on Libya next week featuring several countries in the region including Egypt and Gulf states. The aim is "to see how we can advance the cause of achieving the necessary unity in Libya", French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Wednesday
Flashback 14-5-2016: The United States Treasury Department sanctioned Aguila Saleh, the President and speaker of the (democratic elected) Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) for his repeated efforts at obstructing the formation of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). The US Treasury said in a statement that the US government will not tolerate actions by individuals who undermine the political transition in Libya.” (Libyan Gazette)
Last week, Britain’s veteran chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks lectured to the European Parliament on antisemitism:
“Antisemitism is not about Jews, antisemitism is about antisemites.” and if you really want to know who the antisemites are, the rabbi was quick to provide the answer:
It is the failures and the losers in society. Antisemites are the“people who can't accept their own failure and instead have to blame someone else (the Jews).”
Yes, you’ve got it. For Rabbi Sacks, those who dare to criticise Jewish power and Israeli criminality are just a bunch of frustrated losers driven by jealousy.
"Antisemitism is symptom of a disease,” the rabbi continues. “Antisemitism means denying the right of Jews to exist collectively as Jews with the same rights as everyone else.”
Well, in the world in which we live, no one denies Jews the right to exist or to enjoy every universal right.
Trouble is, more and more people are repulsed by the Jewish State (for instance) celebrating its ‘rights’ at the expense of others.
The opposition to Jewry is really an ongoing battle against a choseness ("We are the chosen people") that fuels dissent to Jewish culture and spirit.
This opposition is not new, it is, in fact, as old as the Jews and has been explored by the Hebrew prophets, by Christ, by Marx and even by early Zionists who were repulsed by the attitude of their brethren’s chauvinism.
The opposition to choseness is driven by a humanist and universal intent (i.e. "We are human beings in a world where God cannot be claimed or possessed by any tribal group, nation or political organisation").
The rabbi warns the European Parliaments that if Jews leave Europe, liberty will come to an end.
But reality suggests the complete opposite. No one asks Jews to leave Europe - it is actually Jewish institutions that prevent Europeans from thinking freely let alone revise their memory of their past.
I suggest that rather than preaching to Europeans about the importance of Jews and Jerusalem, Rabbi Sack should take some time off from Jerusalem to study Athens.
The conservative worldview.|
Polarisation? Or a cultural synthesis...?
Philosophers have celebrated Greece and Rome as foundational pillars of Western civilization. While honoring Christianity as a major contributor to Western civilization, conservatives have attempted to defend a cultural synthesis of Jerusalem and Athens, which currently goes by the name of "traditional values."
"Athens" stands for the view that truth is discovered through reason. "Jerusalem" stands for the view that truth is delivered through the insights of revelation.
"Athens" stands for cognition, philosophy, and science. "Jerusalem" stands for spirituality: the spiritual aspiration to holiness, or purity of soul.
The fault lines that separate Jerusalem (faith) and Athens (reason) are becoming more pronounced with the rise of Christian (Zionist) fundamentalism, as this opposes a (bad) Athens to a (good) Jerusalem, and then asserts the primacy of Jerusalem.
This exclusion reaches back to antiquity, to those Christians (such as Tertullian) who desired to exclude Greek philosophy from the Christian perspective.
The New Jerusalem
For (Catholic) Christians there are 3 prominent cities: Jerusalem, Athens (Greece), and Rome.
Khatami 2003: "A Fountain Of Life"
"The civil society which we aspire to establish is based on our collective identity whose attainment requires the continuous and ceaseless endeavours of intellectuals and thinkers. It is not a treasure that can be unearthed overnight, rather, it is a fountain of life and morality from whose constant effusion we will benefit.
The Syrian Armed Forces continue to recapture more territories from the Islamic rebels in bid to restore the whole insurgent-held districts in the eastern parts of Aleppo city. The government troops claimed full control of the shattered Al-Kindi Hospital, as well as Al-Shokaief Industrial Area, after fierce battles with the jihadi groups.
Once Syria's oldest and biggest public healthcare facility, Al-Kindi Hospital was reduced to rubbles by the jihadi groups after taking control of it on December 20th, 2013.
“One must not be afraid of new ideas, no matter the source.
And we must never fear the truth, even when it pains us.”
Al Kindi - Philosopher of the Arabs
Al-Kindi was one of the first Arab scholars involved in translating and commenting on Greek philosophical manuscripts. He defined philosophy as “the establishment of what is true and right”.
Although al-Kindi was influenced by the work of Aristotle (384-322 BC), he put the Greek’s ideas in a new context and laid the foundations of a new philosophy. He first elaborated a system of thought based on the logic of Greek philosophy, hence developed logic and systematic explanations for some of the debated theological issues of his time, such as creation, immortality, God's knowledge, and prophecy. His thoughts very much influenced medieval Europe. (islam4theworld.com)
Flashback: Suicide Bombing Leaves Aleppo Hospital in Ruin
Basel Dayoub - Al-Akbar, December 24, 2013
It only took two suicide bombers to destroy the oldest public hospital in Syria. Aleppo’s Kindi Hospital is now reduced to rubble as militants took control of it December 20.
The Syrian army thwarted several of the opposition’s attempts to take over the hospital, but on December 20, the army’s defense collapsed when two trucks exploded inside the hospital. Rebels seized the hospital, killing dozens of army personnel and capturing 16 individuals.
The opposition formed a joint operations center at the beginning of December, dubbed “One Heart” and consisting of the Islamic Front, Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, al-Nusra Front, and al-Fajr Islamic Movement.
Before the University of Aleppo-affiliated hospital was first captured by the militants in 2012, it included 250 physicians and over 650 nurses and administrators.
Give the people a normal life
Though Washington "spared no effort" in trying to implement the cessation of hostilities, Russia "failed to live up to its own commitments," U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said. "(Russia) was also either unwilling or unable to ensure Syrian regime adherence to which Moscow had agreed," the statement said. "Rather, Russia and the Syrian regime have chosen to pursue a military course."
Though the talks are suspended, the U.S. will continue to use a channel of communications established with Russia to reduce the possibility of conflicting counterterrorism operations in Syria, the statement said.
Moscow has provided military support to and conducted air strikes in support of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Washington has supported rebel groups fighting to oust the Syrian president.
Moscow says it regrets the U.S. move to suspend the talks. A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman quoted by local news agencies said Washington is trying to shift blame for not living up to its end of the deal.
US failed to control its opposition and terrorist proxies
James Dean, Veterans Today, 3-10-2016
While bullets and bombs fly all across Aleppo, barbed words are flying in national press conferences and electrons in cyberspace, with Western media trying to portray the Syrian coalition as if it were invading a neighboring country to loot and pillage, as opposed to driving terrorists out of its own territory.
But the Syrian coalition is not flinching. The bitter taste of US duplicity still remains after its total failure to control its opposition and terrorist proxies as it had pledged in the agreements with Russia...
The US-sponsored insurgents refused to disengage from their former al-Nusra compatriots, including those that signed onto the ceasefire for the expected air cover it would provide them. It did not take long to learn that FSA and former al-Nusra people fighting under the Army of Conquest black flag were not about to disengage from each other.
A senior commander in Syria's the Fatah al-Sham Front, who was close to the global al-Qaida top leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been killed in an airstrike.
The Fatah al-Sham Front, previously known as the Nusra Front, announced the death of Ahmed Salama Mabrouk shortly after the Pentagon said the U.S. had targeted a prominent member of the group in Syria.
A Twitter account run by the group said that Mabrouk, a veteran Egyptian fighter also known as Abu Farag al-Masri, was killed in the northern Idlib province, which is controlled by an insurgent alliance that includes the Fatah al-Sham Front.
Mabrouk was imprisoned in his native Egypt in 1981 in the sweep following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. He later traveled to Afghanistan, where he became close to al-Zawahri before traveling to Syria earlier this year.
Fatah al-Sham recently announced it was changing its name and severing ties with al-Qaida in a video in which Mabrouk sat next to the group's top leader, Abu Mohammed al-Golani.
Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra, self proclaimed as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham|
in July 2016, is the quasi-independent Syrian branche of al-Qaeda (Wikipedia info)
The tactics of al-Nusra Front differ markedly from those of rival jihadist group ISIL; whereas ISIL has alienated local populations by demanding their allegiance and carrying out beheadings, al-Nusra Front has cooperated with other militant groups and has declined to impose sharia law where there has been opposition.
-- Better integrate his movement within the Syrian revolution and its people
Al-Qaeda/Al-Nusra has been trying to take advantage of ISIL's rise by presenting itself as "moderate" compared to ISIL.
While it has the same aim of establishing sharia and a caliphate, it intends to implement it in a more gradual manner.
Idlib & the Syrian opposition's Syrian Interim Government
During the civil uprising of 2011, Idlib was the focus of protests and fighting in the early phase of the Syrian war.
The Syrian Interim Government is an alternative government of Syria, which has been formed by the opposition umbrella group, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces
- QUESTION: The Russians are saying there’s more and more evidence to believe that the U.S. from the very start planned to protect al-Nusrah as a kind of Plan B against Assad.
- MR TONER: Honestly, I saw those remarks. It left me shaking my head. I don’t know what he means by it. Well, I can conjecture what he means by it, but it’s absurd.
- QUESTION: But do you think the fact that the U.S. hasn’t been able to separate the opposition from Nusrah, which is what the Russians keep saying – how much of a factor is that in the escalation?
- MR TONER: Our challenge was to try as best we can to reach out to the moderate opposition and make clear to them that they needed to in order for this thing to work.... We did it through the member governments to reach out to the groups that they had contacts with to sell the deal, if you could – if I could put it that way, to convince these groups that it was in their best interest to abide by it.
Were we 100 percent effective? No. But were we effective? Yes, and there was several days of a significant reduction in violence. But what’s happened now with the hitting of the humanitarian convoy and with the subsequent siege on Aleppo, you’ve got a scenario now, a dynamic where, as these moderate opposition forces are under real and increasing pressure by the regime, that they’re driven more or less into the arms. They have to turn to Nusrah, fight side by side.
Separation not important: If they're with us, then they are good
- QUESTION: If Nusrah fighters are fighting side by side with fighters that you support, can you then work with the fighters that you support, or have they then become people who are providing material support --
- MR TONER: It’s a fair question, yep. One of the big pieces of this effort coming out of Geneva was to [..] set up this JIC, Joint Implementation Center. And at that point, you’re either with us or against us... That would have been a clear line in the sand, if you will, or whatever that they were either with – still with Nusrah or not.
- QUESTION: The Russians are accusing the United States of having failed to disentangle the Nusrah from the opposition that you support. Is it your view that the U.S. Government was obliged immediately upon declaration or implementation of the ceasefire to begin disentangling the two?
- MR TONER: As I said, the moderate opposition who are integrated with al-Nusrah should have make a choice...
- QUESTION: So in other words, are they making a fair point here --
- MR TONER: No, because there wasn’t enough time. We did not have enough time to fully implement the agreement. And what you had, starting last weekend with the barrage and the airstrikes on Aleppo – you’ve just, again, driven the opposition back into the – you’ve recreated what was there before... The enemy of my friend is my friend, it’s like – or my – sorry, the friend of my enemy is my – (laughter) – what is it, whatever the damn thing is. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
MR TONER: Enemy is my friend, yeah. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. And so you’re going to have a dynamic where you’re driving them back into the arms of Nusrah.
- QUESTION: And just to get back to my original question, can you continue to offer support to people that are fighting side by side with people you deem to be terrorists?
MR TONER: I don’t think we can. But I also think that we look and – look at a number of factors when we evaluate or look at how we provide assistance to these groups.
- QUESTION: Just a final question: And again, with the regards to the Russian suspicions, you haven’t really gone after Nusrah that much. Have you been holding back on going after Nusrah because they were mixed with the opposition? I mean, all we hear about is the strikes on ISIS.
- MR TONER: We did carry out strikes initially, back in 2014-2015, against Nusrah. But absolutely, you’re correct in that, as they became intermingled and as they became intermingled in civilian areas, we’ve always sought to limit the possibility of civilian casualties in any of our airstrikes.
We do provide assistance
- QUESTION: Is the U.S providing the Syrian opposition any military help or any guidance to prevent the fall of East Aleppo to the Syrian and the Russians?
- MR TONER: Well, look, we do provide them some support and some guidance. I don’t want to get into details and I don’t want to get into discussions of which groups among the moderate opposition that we support...
- QUESTION: But you are providing?
- MR TONER: We do provide assistance.
Washington “has never exerted any real pressure on Jabhat Al-Nusra, done nothing for delineation to succeed and taken no action against its militants,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday, following the US decision to suspend cooperation on Syria.
“We are becoming more convinced that in a pursuit of a much desired regime change in Damascus, Washington is ready to ‘make a deal with the devil’,” the Foreign Ministry said. For the sake of ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad, the US appears to be ready to “forge an alliance with hardened terrorists, dreaming of turning back the course of history.”
While Jabhat Al-Nusra, a designated terrorist organization, has been known as an Al-Qaeda affiliate for many years, Washington “is not in a hurry to separate US-oriented anti-government forces from it,” Moscow points out.
Meanwhile, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, who on Monday assumed the post of the President of the UN Security Council, expressed his concerns over the halt in Russia-US cooperation in Syria. At the same time, he insisted that the current setback in Syria will not lead to another “Cold War” between Moscow and Washington.
For now, the main objective in Syria for Russia is to thwart Al-Nusra’s latest offensive in Aleppo.. “We must make sure that Nusra’s influence is not going to continue to spread,” he stressed.
Flashback: The devils game
The Egyptian and Russian parliaments said Tuesday that they must take a unified stand against the forceful changing of Middle East regimes by foreign powers.
A statement by Egypt’s parliament said on Tuesday that Egyptian-Russian relations have achieved significant progress in recent years, and that the two parliaments will coordinate together during the coming round of meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva.
"We decided that we should rally support among as many world parliaments as possible against intervention in the internal affairs of Middle East countries and reject any attempts aimed at changing regimes by force in this region," said the statement. The statement was issued after a meeting between Egyptian parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al and a Russian parliamentary delegation led by deputy speaker Ilyas Umakhanov on Tuesday.
The statement said Egypt and Russia have historic relations that go back to the era of late president Gamal Abdel-Nasser.
"We decided that these relations must be further strengthened in the coming period in order to eliminate any obstacles that might stand in their way," said the statement.
Nasser's Pragmatic and Logical approach
Gamal Abdel Nasser was ahead of his times. The world powers that constantly opposed his attempts to mainstream Egypt into the world while he was alive may long for his forward-looking pragmatic and logical approach compared to the backward-looking Islamist extremism rife in the region today. ...
DOROTHY THOMPSON: Abdul Nasser was looking for constructive ideas, for men ready to subject their personal ambitions, interests, and hatreds to a concentrated and consecrated effort for the renaissance of the nation.
"We needed order but we found nothing behind us but chaos. We needed unity . . . we found dissension. We needed work . . . we found indolence and sloth...
"You must lay aside all prejudice... Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." Thomas Jefferson
The United States is to blame for the disruption of all September 9 ceasefire agreements on Syria and for letting the militants build up reserves again, defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in response to White House spokesman Josh Earnest’s claims Russia had allegedly achieved none of its objectives in fighting the Islamic State:
"It is the United States that has fallen through with a crash regarding the implementation of the September 9 ceasefire agreements. It failed to separate a single group of the so-called opposition from Jabhat al-Nusra, thus letting the terrorists regroup themselves and replenish reserves."
"Isn’t it the right moment for our US counterparts to recognize in public that the whole opposition in Syria they have reared all along and still keep under control are part and parcel of the same "umbrella brands" - Al-Qaeda and Jabhat Al-Nusra?" Konashenkov said.
He invited Earnest "to get down to earth from the sky."
It is the United States’ "simulated struggle against the Islamic State that allowed that terrorist group, acting before the eyes of the world, to seize first the north of Iraq and then almost devour Syria."
The Russian Defense Ministry has not yet heard an answer from the United States why that group - Jabhat al-Nusra - "has throughout the years enjoyed Washington’s incredible benevolence, or to be more precise, direct connivance."
The real yardstick to measure Russia’s successes, Konashenkov said, is not highfalutin rhetoric but Syria’s realities: the hundreds of villages that have been restored to peace, the tens of thousands of square kilometers of land cleared of terrorists and the thousands of tonnes of humanitarian aid delivered to civilians.
Why are we joining a jihad to overthrow the Syrian government?
2014: Nusra-leader Visits Fighters in Aleppo, Promises an Islamic Emirate
2014: Why are we joining a jihad to overthrow the Syrian government?
Iranian Lawmaker: US Not Sincere in Fighting Terrorism
Not since the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq has Official Washington’s political/punditry class clamored more single-mindedly – and openly – for the U.S. government to commit a gross violation of international law, now urging a major military assault on the government of Syria while also escalating tensions with Russia.
And, like the frenzied war fever of 2002-2003, today’s lawless consensus is operating on a mix of selective, dubious and false information – while excluding from the public debate voices that might dare challenge the prevailing “group think.” It’s as if nothing was learned from the previous disaster in Iraq.
Most notably, there are two key facts about Syria that Americans are not being told:
- one, U.S. regional “allies” have been funding and arming radical jihadist groups, including Al Qaeda terrorists, there almost since the conflict began in 2011 and,
- two, the claim about “moderate” Syrian rebels is a fraud; the “moderates” have served essentially as a P.R. cut-out for the U.S. and its “allies” to supply Al Qaeda and its allies with sophisticated weapons while pretending not to.
Although every war makes ample use of lies and deception, the dirty war on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory.|
The British-Australian journalist Philip Knightley pointed out that war propaganda typically involves ‘a depressingly predictable pattern’ of demonising the enemy leader, then demonising the enemy people through atrocity stories, real or imagined. Accordingly, a mild-mannered eye doctor called Bashar al Assad became the new evil in the world and, according to consistent western media reports, the Syrian Army did nothing but kill civilians for more than four years. (read more: page 72)
“In a call with Mr. Kerry on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Syrian rebels ‘refused to follow the U.S.-Russian agreement…but instead merged with [Nusra Front].’”
So, isn’t that point relevant to understanding what is occurring in eastern Aleppo, an area essentially under the control of Al Qaeda terrorists?
As horrible as war is, there is more than a whiff of hypocrisy when politicians and pundits, who cheered the U.S. Marines’ destruction of Fallujah during the Iraq occupation and who support driving the Islamic State out of the Iraqi city of Mosul, wax indignantly in outrage when the Syrian military seeks to remove Al Qaeda terrorists from one of its own cities.
Flashback: Statement from Syria Muslim Brotherhood (13-9-2016)|
We will defend 'the Revolution" against the evil Iranian-Russian plots
1. The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria will not be a conduit for the crime of terminating the revolution, nor a bridge through which evil plots of the Russians and the Iranians and their accomplices are passed.
2. With all due respect for national action institutions and participants therein, the group declares it will always endeavor to make the positions of these institutions harmonious with the goals of the revolution...
3. The group declares that its support for the best interest of the Syrian revolution is a thing about which it will not hesitate or compromise.
4. Despite the siege imposed on it, in many forms, by various international and regional powers, the group will continue to put all its resources in the service of Syria and the revolution...
August 21, 2013: Brotherhood official and tele-preacher Safwat Higazi (picture above) was arrested by police as he attempted to escape to Libya. Higazi was caught following the arrest of his brother. The brother’s mobile phone conversations helped trace the Brotherhood official to Siwa, near the Libyan border. Higazi is being indicted for incitement to violence.|
In 2012, Safwat launched MB candidate Mohamed Morsi's campaign. In his speech to a crowd of hundreds of thousands of Egyptians, Safwat emphasized that Morsi will lead Egypt's campaign to restore the "United States of the Arabs" or "Caliphate" with Jerusalem as its capital...
-Question: So, there’s a fierce battle going on in Aleppo right now. What will be the Syrian army and the Russian army’s next move to retake the eastern rebel-held part of Aleppo?
-President Assad: To continue the fight with the rebels till they leave Aleppo. They have to. There’s no other option.
We won’t accept that terrorists will take control of any part of Syria, not only Aleppo. This is our mission, and this is our goal...
-Question: So, this intense way of warfare that we see right will continue, that’s what you’re saying?
-President Assad: No, if you have any other option like the reconciliations in other areas, that’s the best option, not the war, and that’s why we announced – we gave many amnesties to hundreds, and maybe thousands, not hundreds, thousands of militants, in order to save blood, and it worked.
That’s why we said we give them guarantee, whether they want to have reconciliation and to have the amnesty, or to leave with their armaments outside the city of Aleppo completely, to leave the city safe, and for the people to go back to their normal life.
-Question: The United States, they stopped all bilateral talks with Russia about any kind of peace agreement, and the Russians they said that they actually regret this. Do you regret it as well?
-President Assad: We regret it, but we knew in advance that it wouldn’t work, because the agreement, it’s not only about the talks between the two great powers, it’s not about what they’re going to sign or agree upon; it’s about the will...
-Question: But isn’t it very difficult for the United States to separate the so-called “moderate rebels” and some of the more radical ones? This is very difficult, when you are attacking the moderate rebels all the time.
-President Assad: You are right, do you know why you are right? Do you know the unicorn, the animal that’s like a horse, has a long horn? It’s a myth. And the moderate opposition is a myth. That’s why you cannot separate something that doesn’t exist from something that exists.
All of them have the same grassroots, the same grassroots that used to be called “free Syrian army” four years ago, five years ago, then it became al-Nusra, then it became ISIS. So, the same grassroots move from group to another group.
-Question: But why did you ask them to do it if it’s not possible?
-President Assad: Because they insisted that there is a moderate opposition, and the Russian told them “ok, if there is a moderate opposition, please separate those moderates from the extremists...”
Preambule: The Syrian Arab Republic is proud of its Arab identity and the fact that its people are an integral part of the Arab nation. The Syrian Arab Republic embodies this belonging in its national and pan-Arab project and the work to support Arab cooperation in order to promote integration and achieve the unity of the Arab nation.
-Question: Last question, Mr. President: Do you believe in a diplomatic political solution, or do you, deep inside your heart, know that this is going to be a military solution, and that is really what you want?
-President Assad: You have to follow both paths; the military and the diplomatic or the political, because they are related to each other. So, it’s not about my belief; it’s not what I believe... The whole circumstances define it.
For example, regarding the terrorists, it’s not only about military solution; it’s about the adjacent countries and the Western countries stop supporting the terrorists. If they stop supporting the terrorists, the military aspect of that solution will be marginalized; it won’t be important because they will be weak. You will give a chance to more political initiatives in that regard.
If they support them more, actually what is going to happen is the opposite; the political solution or path will be marginalized..
So, it’s not about what I believe in. I wish we can solve everything politically, I wish, that’s what I think is suitable, but it’s not about what I wish, it’s about the facts on the ground.
“If you don’t know the difference between dictatorship and leadership,
you’ve got to go back to a fifth grade civics class.” Tim Kaine, 5-10-2016
Syria is a Legal State. A Legal State (Rechtsstaat or State of Law) is a "constitutional state" in which the exercise of governmental power is constrained by the law, and is often tied to the Anglo-American concept of the rule of law, but differs from it in that it also emphasizes what is just (i.e., a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity).
In a Legal State, the power of the state is limited in order to protect citizens from the arbitrary exercise of authority. The citizens share legally based civil liberties and can use the courts. A country cannot be a liberal democracy without being a Legal State (Rechtsstaat).
A dictatorship is termed as a government ruled by one person or commander who is known as the dictator. In a dictatorship, it is the dictator who dictates the law of the country. Dictatorships are very similar to an absolute monarchy.
Monarchy is the rule of the king or queen or an emperor. A monarchy can be divided into a limited monarchy, Constitutional monarchy, and absolute monarchy.
In a limited monarchy, the monarch has only ceremonial powers. In a Constitutional monarchy, the monarch has certain powers as per the Constitution. In an absolute monarchy, the monarch is supreme and has absolute authority.
Saudi Arabia is an example of an absolute monarchy. Here the monarch can enforce any law he wishes. “Monarch” is the Anglicized version of the Greek word meaning “alone.” In both a dictatorship and an absolute monarchy, the dictators and monarchs oppress people for their own existence and gains.
What makes dictatorship dangerous is disrespect for the rule of law.
In a dictatorship, it is the dictator who dictates the law of the country. It is a political system without a written constitution (and a chosen parliament that has the right to control the government.)
Saudi Arabia's 'constitution' is 'the Quran'. Not the Quran of the People of the Books (Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian), but the Quran of the Wahhab family.
As soon as a country has a modern constitution, based on international recognised laws, it is no longer a dictatorship or an absolute monarchy. The leader is a servant of the constitution (i.e. the people).
Conclusion: Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy ruled by two ultrarich, privileged families:
the 'House of Saud' (the Al Saud clan) and Al ash-Sheikh (Saudi's leading religious family, descendants of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab).
People are not 'born free', but they are born as slaves of the King (House of Saud) and slaves of 'God' (the Wahhab family).
THE issue of male guardianship laws in the Kingdom has been a hot topic of debate worldwide, including social media, and a concern for every household in the Kingdom.
All women living in Saudi Arabia, regardless of age, profession or ethnicity need the permission of their mahram (male guardian) to travel outside the country. Many Saudi and expatriate women, who are not exempted from the rule, spoke to Saudi Gazette and believe certain circumstances and age groups should be exempted, especially in case of mothers and older dependents. Debate hots up over calls for modification of lawMost women expressed grief and many hoped for reasonable change.
The disappointment was mainly shared by women who are the sole breadwinners of their families, widows and a lot of young workingwomen.
“I am 50 years old. When my husband was alive I needed his permission. Now it’s my 19-year-old son who is my mahram. I’m the one working and footing the bills. My son used to take my permission before he stepped out of the house and now I have to get his consent if I want to travel. Does no one see the irony in this?” Salwa Bashir said while speaking to Saudi Gazette.
Many women, who said it was difficult for them to get permission from their mahrams every time they wished to travel, believe the law gives men the chance to abuse their authority.
Farah Malaika, a 26-year-old Saudi student, said she has seen several cases of domestic abuse and repercussions of the law that has prevented Saudi women to take their own decisions. “We are not minors or animals. Nor are we slaves that we need our movement to be restricted and watched..."
“I feel like this power gives them a superiority complex. My father thinks he has the right to decline what he deems wrong and the funny thing is he does so because he can..,” said Asma Ibrahim, an Egyptian resident in Dhahran.
Waseem Obaid, a 30-year-old Saudi marketing manager said women should not have to ask for permission from anyone. “The law doesn’t make sense..."
Jesus (outspoken Enemy of Pharisaism) was a Feminist
An-Nisa (The Women) 136: "Believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book that He sent down upon His Messenger and the Scripture which He sent down before. And whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray."
Take, for example, Jesus' dealings with women. By publicly including women in his ministry, Jesus shattered the prejudicial customs of his day.
Why was it unusual for Jesus to speak with women?
Nothing in the Mosaic Law prevented men and women from conversing with one another! Yet the society of Jesus' day, with custom dictated by rabbinic Judaism (pharisaism"), differed strikingly from the Old Testament social order.
The social condition of women in the first century had been radically altered from that of their Old Testament sisters.
In earlier times women participated in every aspect of community life except the Temple priesthood. Women freely engaged in commerce and real estate, as well as in manual labor. They were not excluded from Temple worship. Women played music in the sanctuary, prayed there , sang and danced with men in religious processions and participated in music and festivities at weddings.
By the time of Christ, however, the role of women had drastically changed for the worse. Women were not allowed to testify in court. In effect, this categorized them with Gentiles, minors, deaf-mutes and "undesirables" such as gamblers, the insane, usurers, and pigeon-racers, who were also denied that privilege.
In Talmudic times, respectable women were expected to stay within the confines of the home. The terminology for a prostitute was "one who goes abroad." (Zhava Glaser)
ALEPPO – Hussam al-Shafi’i, a spokesperson for Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) rejected a proposal by the U.N envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, to leave Aleppo.
De Mistura on Thursday called on Russia and Assad regime to stop bombing Aleppo, if rebels of Fath al-Sham Front – formerly known as the Nusra Front, Syrian branch of al-Qaeda – leave the city. He said he would be personally willing to accompany them out of the city.
“Fateh al Sham is a Jihadi Force and one of the military pillars of the Syria Revolution. It will not disappoint the Muslim people who has been annihilated...” al-Shafi’i said.
“Our strength is in God, (..) and we are determined to break the siege… concerning our efforts along with our brothers. We have pledged to be killed as the noblest fighters rather than surrendering and being humiliated.”
For JFS, the comments of de Mistura are not much different from Bashar Ja’afari, Syria's representative to the UN.
“De Mistura proposals come in line with Bashar Assad’s recent remarks to empty Aleppo of the revolutionaries. De Mistura has successfully offloaded the Sunni areas and played a prominent role in the demographic change, and still plays international the role of Ja’afari! Your statement has no value to us same as those by Bashar and Ja’afari,” the JFS spokesperson concluded.
Russia used the right of veto on Saturday against a French draft resolution on Syria submitted to the Security Council.
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin said at the session prior to voting that France has never made a single constructive initiative since the beginning of the crisis in Syria; rather its efforts were limited to propaganda.
"Go back to the principles of the French Revolution that the whole world is proud of: Liberty, Justice, Equality." Bashar al-Assad
Al-Jaafari stresses the Syrian government’s full cooperation with the UN and its specialized agencies and affiliated organizations to implement the monthly response plan, adding that the practices of the armed terrorist groups and their allies prevent the full implementation of humanitarian response plans.
He stressed Syria’s commitment to combat terrorism in parallel with its efforts to reach a political solution through Syrian-Syrian dialogue to decide the future of the country without any foreign intervention.
Jund al Aqsa, an al Qaeda front group, has pledged allegiance to Jabhat Fath al Sham (JFS, or the “Conquest of the Levant Front”), al Qaeda’s rebranded branch in Syria.
Ahrar al Sham, which models itself after the Taliban, has been at odds with Jund al Aqsa since last year.
In October 2015, Jund al Aqsa withdrew from the Jaysh al Fath (“Army of Conquest”) alliance, which is jointly led by Ahrar al Sham (supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey) and JFS (formerly known as Al Nusrah Front).
Relations between the two sides seemed to improve earlier this year, but the situation was never fully resolved. Ahrar al Sham has recently accused Jund al Aqsa of having ties to the Islamic State and launched an offensive in areas controlled by the group. By formally joining JFS, Jund al Aqsa and its allies are hoping to put an end to the rebel infighting.
Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini, a highly influential al Qaeda-linked cleric in Syria, claimed on his Telegram page to have helped broker the deal.
Jund al Aqsa has technically agreed to submit its forces to a common sharia (Islamic law) court that can adjudicate the matter.
Although Jund al Aqsa’s opponents accuse the group of serving Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s Islamic State, its leaders have consistently expressed their loyalty to al Qaeda.
On July 31, Jund al Aqsa issued a statement praising Al Nusrah Front’s relaunch as JFS, saying that al Qaeda’s leaders must have determined it was in the best “interest” of both the people and the jihad in Syria.
The jihadists “can [use] any name” they want, so long as they stay true to the principles of the “prestigious first generation of mujahideen” and follow the Prophet Mohammed’s “methodology.”
In September, the State Department added Jund al Aqsa to the US government’s list of designated terrorist organizations. Despite operating independently, State noted, the group “is still openly aligned with” Nusrah (JFS).
According to the U.S. Department of State, "Ahrar al-Sham is not a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Iran and Egypt have designated Ahrar al-Sham as a terrorist organization.
Ahrar al-Sham had worked with ISIS until the two groups began their present-day hostilities with one another in January 2014.
Ahrar al Sham (supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia) and Al Nusrah (Al-Qeada in Syria) established a series of coalitions throughout 2015. The most successful of these is Jaysh al Fateh, which overran Assad’s forces in the province of Idlib (now under control of Al-Qaeda).
In the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 there was much discussion in the media about the Bush Administration’s goal for “nation-building” in that country. Of course, if there ever were such a goal, it was quickly abandoned, and one hardly ever hears the term “nation-building” discussed as a U.S. foreign policy objective anymore.
The stark truth is that the U.S. really has no intentions of helping to build strong states in the Middle East...
Green became the national color of Libya under Gaddafi. It symbolized the predominant religion of Islam as well as Gaddafi’s “Third Universal Theory” as expounded in his Green Book, his book of political writings, published in 1975.
"Nationalism is the basis for the survival of nations. Nations whose nationalism is destroyed are subject to ruin. Minorities, which are one of the main political problems in the world, are the outcome. They are nations whose nationalism has been destroyed and which are thus torn apart."
The U.S. continues to intervene in Syria in a way which prevents the Syrian state from achieving a decisive victory against the various militant groups it is fighting – some of which the U.S. itself admits are terrorists – while at the same time targeting some of these same militant groups themselves, thereby preventing either side of the conflict from coming out on top. Indeed, as we have learned, the CIA and the Pentagon have even been backing opposing militant groups that are fighting each other!
Jose Marti once said, “there are two kinds of people in the world: those who love and create, and those who hate and destroy.”
The Afghanistan War turned 15 on Oct. 7, and on this tragic anniversary, Americans need to demand answers from the Obama administration and Congress on two crucial questions.
First, is this longest war in US history making Americans safer? Second, has it been worth the immense cost in lives and billions of dollars? The only honest answer to both questions is a resounding: NO.
When Congress passed the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that authorized the war in Afghanistan, it opened a Pandora’s box; authorizing military action with vague descriptions of acceptable targets and no geographic or time limits, and effectively placing the question of whether or not the United States goes to war — and whether or not it remains at war — in the hands of one individual.
Simply put, the president of the United States is free to pursue, with military force, any individual, group, state, or other institution affiliated with al-Qaeda.
To remedy this affront to the Constitution, Congress should repeal the 2001 AUMF, and debate and vote on whether or not to authorize ongoing military operations in Afghanistan, as well as in Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Nigeria — all the countries where US military operations are supposedly authorized under the 2001 AUMF.
The next American president needs to halt military activities and focus on long-term solutions such as development, humanitarian aid, education and poverty alleviation while learning the lesson that invasion and occupation rarely ends well.
The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed as S.J.Res. 23 by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001, authorizes the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001.
The authorization granted the President the authority to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups. The AUMF was signed by President George W. Bush on September 18, 2001.
syria, salafist rebels 2012, fighting for the western-backed 'revolution'
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have urged a swift end to the bloodshed in war-torn Syria, following talks between the two leaders in Istanbul.
“Both Russia and Turkey stand for the earliest cessation of bloodshed in Syria. In Russia we think that the switch to a political settlement must happen as soon as possible. We suppose that everybody, who wants peace, should support this proposal,” Putin said.
According to Putin, both Moscow and Ankara backed the proposal of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, regarding the removal of militants from Aleppo.
“Together with the Turkish president we agreed to do everything to support de Mistura’s initiative on the withdrawal of military units, which refuse to lay down their arms, from Aleppo in order to end violence,” he said.
The Russian president said that he and Erdogan had agreed to strengthen contact between the countries’ militaries and intelligence agencies. He added that Moscow is ready to develop large-scale military-technical cooperation with Ankara and the sides are now studying various projects.
The Turkish military operation in Syria and ways to cooperate in providing aid to civilians in the city of Aleppo were discussed during the talks in Istanbul on Monday, Erdogan said. The Russian and Turkish militaries, as well as intelligence services and diplomats from the two countries, will continue to work together on the provision of humanitarian aid in Syria, he added.
Iran has its own version of McDonald's
Since the revolution of 1979, McDonald's restaurants have been spurned by Iranian authorities. The relationship between Iran and the states has long been complex and tense.
But that hasn’t stopped fast food fans from launching their own spin-offs, including under the name of ‘Mash Donalds’. Mash Donalds owner Hassan, told the New York Times: “If I had called my restaurant McDonald’s, I’d get a visit from the hardliners. So my son advised me to go for Mash Donalds. It sort of sounds the same. “We are trying to get as close as we can get to the McDonald's experience.” (Independent, 3-8-2015)
Those who believed that the nuclear agreement would lead to a more moderate, open, reformist Iran, at home and abroad, regrettably suffer from wishful thinking.
So long as the ayatollah's governs Iran, there is no chance we will see a McDonald's in Tehran.
Moshe Yaalon (Right-Wing Zionist), served until May 2016 as Israel's minister of defense
Since his youth, Ayatollah Khamenei has been fascinated by anti-colonial literature.
In the early 1960s, he translated a book on India’s independence movement and the role of Muslims in it. He praises Nehru and Frantz Fanon. Unlike most clerics, he was close to leftist literary figures such as Mehdi Akhavan-Sales, Jalal Al-e-Ahmad and Ali Shariati.
That doesn’t make him a socialist. He believes in private property and supports minimal government interference in the economy. It’s revolutionary anti-colonial ideas that have intrigued him.
Ayatollah Khamenei suspects that if a McDonald’s joint opens in the affluent north of Tehran, western media will rush to sell it as a symbol of Iran’s submission, the end of its anti-imperial revolution.
In 1998, when then President Khatami was being compared to Gorbachev in the west, Ayatollah Khamenei warned that McDonald’s wasn’t just a burger joint, but part of the vanguard of American dominance. He even cited reports by Time and Newsweek, published just before the Soviet collapse, about the way American culture and businesses were conquering Moscow.
A conquered Iran is not the image he likes to be aired to the world.
In the past few years, Ayatollah Khamenei has repeatedly talked about preserving and reviving the traditional Iranian-Islamic lifestyle, its respect for family, hard work, the rule of law, nature, and its respect for science.
There is little doubt that the growing number of shopping malls, coffee shops and fast-food restaurants don’t fit comfortably into his vision. But the truth is that he hasn’t so far interfered to have them banned.
The message he wants the developing world, especially the Islamic world, to receive from Iran is simple: you can be a safe, advanced and prosperous state without depending on America. The public presence of flagship American brands such as McDonald’s in Iran would send the wrong signals.
As President Rouhani insisted in New York last week, Iran is genuinely opening up to the global economy. But it is not going to be an easy market for American symbols of capitalism.
It has been nearly five years since Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi was captured and killed by Libyan rebels near his hometown of Sirte on Oct. 20, 2011. Tragically, Libya’s democratic transition process failed to create an environment conducive for democracy and the rule of law.
Today, Libyans are forced to choose between two extremes: either chaos with militias and Islamist extremists as the dominant forces, or military rule (the Libyan National Army, loyal to the internationally recognized government in Tobruk). No other convincing options are on offer.
On June 19, the president of the Libyan parliament in Tobruk, in his claimed capacity as supreme commander of the armed forces, declared a state of emergency and appointed the Libyan National Army Chief of Staff Abdulrazaq Nadori as military governor for the eastern region. Nadori started a campaign to replace largely dysfunctional, democratically elected municipal councils with military-appointed governors.
So far, military governors have replaced eight municipal councils, including those in the cities of Benghazi, Shahaat, Ejdabyia in the northeast and Kufrah in the southeast. Also, the mayor of Tobruk in eastern Libya requested that the military appoint a governor for the city. Local communities in the southern and western regions of Libya are discussing the idea of military governors for their own municipalities, showing the potential for the militarization trend to spread nationwide.
To understand this shift in Libya’s political and governance landscape, one must look into the dynamics that gave rise to this trend and also local perspectives about it.
Activists in the city of Benghazi, the first to have its municipal council replaced with a military governor, told Al-Monitor that many civil society and democracy activists were strong supporters of the army’s war on extremist Islamist militias in Benghazi.
The activists explained their support by pointing out that since 2012, Benghazi has witnessed a terror campaign at the hands of extremists in which more than 500 civil society activists, politicians, journalists and military and security personnel have been killed.
The Libyan National Army and its leader, Gen. Khalifa Hifter, capitalized on these failures.
Residents of Benghazi and other major cities in eastern Libya celebrate the Libyan National Army’s advances and gains in Benghazi. Younes Najm, an activist from Benghazi, said the Libyan National Army "has recognition in the eyes of the people because it was the only institution that dealt with people’s concerns over the rise of extremist groups, militias and the deteriorating security situation.”
Islamic scholars from Asia and Europe met in Istanbul yesterday to discuss countering FETÖ and Daish, two terrorist groups exploiting Islam, as Turkish leaders emphasized the heightened threat of both groups to the international communit. The event is hosted by Turkey's state-run religious authority. The four-day summit is being attended by 120 delegates from 33 countries.
Turkey seeks to mobilize Muslim communities to adopt a common stance against terrorism's attempt to de-fame Islamic associations claimed by the terrorist groups.
FETÖ, led by U.S.-based Turkish national Fethullah Gülen, a former preacher, is accused of running a global terror cult bent on seizing power in Turkey and recruiting followers through its network of schools across the globe.
Qaradawi, the demonizer
"Erdogan will succeed because Allah, Gabriel, Salih Al-Muminin (the Righteous of the Faithful)
Flashback 2012: Americans are mobilizing the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab nation,
Flashback 2013: Cleric Qaradawi urges Sunnis to join rebels
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has called on Sunni Muslims from around the Middle East to go to Syria to join the battle against President Bashar al-Assad.
Sheikh Qaradawi, who has about 60 million followers for his religious programme on al-Jazeera TV, also he denounced Hezbollah, whose name means the "Party of God" in Arabic, as the "Party of Satan".
In 2014 Interpol issued a bulletin, seeking the arrest of Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The bulletin is sparse on details but says that Egypt wanted the 88-year-old Qaradawi "to serve a sentence" for crimes including "incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder."
Hizmet (Gulen movement): "opposed to Islamism"
One of the main goals of the Hizmet organization has been the elevation of a Muslim consciousness that is compatible with modern civil democracy and opposed to Islamism.
The secular majority in Israel has given up on (modern) Judaism in favor of Orthodox Judaism. And Orthodoxy’s victory is everyone’s defeat—because it is political rather than ethical.
The meaning of this kind of “Judaism” (Pharisaism, Hypocritical observance of the letter, or: Deification of men-made Jewish Law) is mainly about prohibitions, constraints and excuses on opening businesses, public transportation and leisure, people marrying whoever they choose, issues of faith or a different sexual inclination and an excuse for being exempt from military service (like I was told in basic training: “If things get difficult, then we say we’re religious”).
The second partner in the Orthodox victory, Religious Zionism, has replaced the ancient principles of faith with a single “under no circumstances.” This land is all mine, they say, and the world can explode, or at least the Temple Mount.
Busy preparing us for the religious war that will eventually arrive, Inshallah, against Islam in general and the Palestinians in particular, so that there is no chance to discuss anything else with them.
The reaction to these “Judaism” shows is sometimes hostile contempt... But secular Israel is missing the point, or the essence. It does not engage in studying Judaism — or infusing it with its own content.
For example, what can actually be translated from the Jubilee year mitzvot (in the spirit of Jabotinsky)? Or: How does Maimonides philosophically overcome the problem of the existence of evil?
It seems that we have never been further away from the Judaism that can bring together a group of people for the sake of a better shared future.
Jabotinski 'the Liberal' and Maimonides 'the humanist'
As a philosopher (NOT a Jew) Maimonides agrees with Aristotle in teaching that the use of logic is the "right" way of thinking. In order to build an inner understanding of how to know God, every human being must, by study, meditation and uncompromising strong will, attain the degree of complete logical, spiritual and physical perfection required in the prophetic state.
As a liberal (NOT a Jew) Jabotinsky recoiled from all dictators and from totalitarianism. He was an extreme individualist, almost a committed anarchist. (Israel Eldad, 1980)
“Every person is a king” Jabotinsky formulated and this meant an inner freedom, the freedom of choice. Even the acceptance of the discipline that Jabotinsky desired to be the result of a free decision by man as man.
"My outlook is in essence the negation of the totalistic state. The instinctive ideal of man is a serene anarchy. As long as this ideal cannot be realized, democracy must be recognized as the form closest to the ideal.
The Temple Institute has brought the Third Temple one step closer by establishing a school for Jewish priests (kohanim) to learn how to perform the Temple Service. Four months ago, the Temple Institute established a registry of Kohanim, a list of men who have a clear patriarchal heritage from the priestly class....
The Temple Institute was founded in 1987 to fulfill the mission of bringing about the Third Temple.
It has recreated over 70 vessels that are ready to be used in the Temple, is breeding the Red Heifer in order to purify the Nation of Israel, and has produced the special garb the Bible requires the Kohanim to wear while performing the Temple service.
The Institute has also reconstructed the High Priest’s breastplate...
The Ephod: Plate Of JudgmentThe Jewish high priest wore a vest with a breastplate (the ephod) composed of twelve precious stones arranged in four rows. This was known as "the breastplate of judgment."
The ephod was fastened at the shoulders with two onyx stones. According to Adam Clarke, the stones were to remind God of the needs and desires of the Israelites whenever the high priest stood before Him. Josephus writes that one of the onyx buttons of the ephod would shine brilliantly whenever God attended their sacrifices.
Josephus & The Mystic (Astrological) Ephod Meanings
In Josephus, chapter VII, verse 7 we learn the inner most understanding as to why the Ephod was designed in the manner that YHWH commanded. It reads and explains, as such:
In astrology Water-signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, Earth-signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, Fire-signs are Aries, Leo and Sagitarius, Air-signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.
The Twelve Tribes & the Twelve Signs, according to Rabbi Joel C. Dobin
Benjamin and Judah (FIRE-signs) are the two signs|tribes of the Jewish State of Israel
The other signs have disappeared... ( 'The ten lost tribes'...)
'Lost' means: a broken band with G'd (the universe - universalism - holism)
|Aries:||Benjamin||impulsiveness; selfishness; self-confidence; loyalty;|
|Taurus:||Reuben||appetite for Earthly pleasures; sexual beauty; peaceable|
|Gemini:||Simeon||brother of violence with Levi; intellectual; communicative|
|Cancer:||Levi||brother of violence with Simon; emotional; motherly|
|Leo:||Judah||kings; generosity; vengeance; being on top|
|Virgo:||Zebulun||new experiences; glass; precision; analysis|
|Libra:||Issachar||servitude; weighing all options; judiciousness|
|Scorpio:||Dan||judgement; violence; emotional imbalance; snake|
|Sagittarius:||Gad||good fortune; expansiveness; religiosity|
|Capricorn:||Asher||wealth; hard work; old in youth, young in old age|
|Aquarius:||Naphtali||goodly words; satisfaction; swift; communicative|
|Pisces:||Joseph||emotional security; occult ability; confusing|