PeaceNews’ Book Review – The Wandering Who?

DateWednesday, June 27, 2012 at 4:34PM AuthorGilad Atzmon

http://peacenews.info/

Zero Books, 2011; 215pp; £8.99.
ImageGilad Atzmon has created a firestorm of controversy with this examination of Jewish identity, so I read it with some trepidation.
In the end I found it an engaging read, simply written, about complex ideas. He refuses to hedge words, to compromise in order to create allies, and in some cases he seems to have gone over the top, intentionally provoking friends and enemies alike.
Atzmon grew up in Israel, the grandson of one of the radical founders of Israel. As a youth, his burgeoning fascination with the saxophone and jazz music led him to a different understanding of Zionism – something cemented by his experiences in the Israeli Defence Force.
Now a well known international jazz musician, his irrepressible, emotional style flows through this book.
Atzmon’s main target is Jewish exceptionalism, and he dissects the phenomenon using the tools of his education in philosophy. And while one suspects that Atzmon is more comfortable as a musician than as a philosopher, what he discovers is critical in understanding Jewish identity and the continuing evolution of Israel.
This book is directed primarily at Jews, but anyone interested in identity politics – or in any aspect of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict – will find it fascinating, if a little bit like watching someone smashing windows.

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US finds isolated on sanctions against Iran

Once again, Washington is forced to exempt China and Singapore from sanctions over purchases of oil from the Islamic Republic. Israel-Firster Hillary Clinton used her usual lie that China has “significantly reduced” its oil purchases from Iran. In reality, China imported 524,000 barrels per day in May, a 35% jump on the previous month, the BBC reported on June 22, 2012.
On June 21, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry said that the country’s oil imports from Iran are “fully reasonable and legitimate,” and do not violate any relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
After being exempted, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei reiterated its opposition to unilateral sanctions against Iran on Friday.

Hillary Clinton is welknown for lying against everything which moves against Israeli interests. She used the “significantly reduced” mantra as an excuse to exempt Turkey, Japan, India, South Korea and EU countries in the past. Even the Zionist Rep. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (with Jewish family roots), the Republican chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee slammed Hillary for her lie about China.

The administration likes to pat itself on the back for supposedly being strong on Iran sanctions. But actions speak louder than words, and today the administration has granted a free pass to Iran’s biggest enabler,” said Ileana, who is a staunch critic of China due to country’s support for Iran.

With Thursday’s decision to grant exceptions to China, which buys up to a fifth of Iran’s oil exports, and Singapore, which buys Iranian fuel oil, the Obama administration has now spared all 20 of Iran’s major oil buyers from its unilateral sanctions.
RAND Corp. in its recent report had warned Washington that the US and EU sanctions against the Islamic Republic are harming the EU more than Iranian regime which the USrael desire to topple.
As usual, Washington reserved its vengeance for Iran’s Muslim neighbors, Pakistan and Afghanistan. They’re warned that they will lose USAID if they crossed the red-line.
In 2010, both Pakistan and Iran inked an agreement in Istanbul which involved the construction of a 900-kilometre-long gas pipeline, from Asalooyeh in Southern Iran and Iranshahr near the border with Pakistan that will transport 750 million cubic feet a day of gas from Iran to Pakistan for the next 25 years to generate 4,000 MW of electricity.
Iranian companies are helping Venezuela, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan and several other countries in developing their oil and gas fields.

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THE TWO AIRFIGHTERS THAT WERE NEVER SENT TO PROTECT THE ACTIVISTS ON THE MAVI MARMARA WERE SENT ON A RECONNAISSANCE NATO MISSION OVER SYRIA.

TRIPPING ERDUGAN As usual Erdugan is lying to his people . No wonder since Erdugan is a lie himself : an Islamic puppet created by the world order. In front of all, the PM of Turkey is not ashamed to lie and say that the reconnaissance Turkish air craft was shot down within International air space and that Syria violated International law by bringing it down . What Erdugan is saying is not true because the air craft was shot at when it was 2km over Syrian land after it made two circles over the shore violating Syrian air space , it was not brought down by missiles it was simply shot down . The other thing that Erdugan did not even mention was that the reconnaissance air craft was on an Intelligence mission on behalf of NATO to test Syria’s air defense system . Well, NATO has got its answer now and so has Erdugan who would better leave his arrogant attitude and his out of place ego trip of a Ottoman Sultan to a more modest stand . The Lesson Erdugan has to learn from this is to stop meddling in Syria’s affairs before it’s too late and that there is no reason he should expose Turkey to more incidents and accidents. What Mr Erdugan should know -as well- is that in any given struggle, righteousness is a source of strength and that stooges like himself have everything to fear from Syria the hearth of Arabic Nation and the protector of the Arab and of Palestinian Cause . Let Erdugan first come to terms with the killers of the nine Turkish activists on the freedom flotilla before starting accusing Syria of things that Syria did not commit
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Little Hope for Change Among Egypt’s Poor

Boys play in a destroyed car at Manshiyet Nasser shanty town in eastern Cairo 28 June 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
 
Published Saturday, June 30, 2012
While Mursi is now tackling the difficult task of juggling affairs concerning the SCAF and international powers, Egypt’s poor are wondering if they will yet again be forgotten.

Ordinary Egyptians do not expect the future to differ much from the past with the arrival of a new president. That seems to be the prevalent attitude among Egypt’s urban poor and residents of its teeming working-class districts and shanty towns. Their accumulated impressions of the two candidates in the presidential run-off – the military’s candidate Ahmad Shafiq and Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood – appear to have prevented them from supporting either in large numbers.
Egypt’s poor suffered badly under the three-decade rule of Hosni Mubarak, who Shafiq described as his “highest example.” His regime treated them as an undesirable burden at best, or simply neglected them.

Few were therefore rooting for Shafiq, despite his campaign promises to maintain fuel and bread subsidies, provide benefits to the unemployed, extend medical insurance to everyone, double the Health Ministry’s budget, and set a minimum wage. He also said he would build new towns to house the poor, increase the provision of clean drinking water, and write off small farmers’ debts. People did not believe Shafiq because they had frequently heard similar pledges from his role-model, Mubarak.

But neither did poor Egyptians greet the news of Mursi’s election with general rejoicing, nor vest high hopes in the fact that he hails from the Brotherhood, which treats the poor as deserving of compassion, alms and charity.

What Egypt’s poor want is recognition that they have rights which have been denied them, and that these go beyond occasional charitable handouts. The Brotherhood is well known for distributing food in working-class districts. It does so all year round, but increases the quantity ahead of any elections. Besides, there was little difference between Mursi and Shafiq in terms of their championing of the free-market economy, which invariably puts the poor last. Both strongly support the private sector, whose only concern is businessmen and their bank balances, and for which the poor are merely cheap labor.

But what do poor Egyptians think about their new president now that the Brotherhood candidate has won?

Evidently, many were strongly influenced by the ferocious anti-Brotherhood media campaign that has been waged in recent weeks by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). When asked, residents of working class districts of Cairo often said that they expected the Brotherhood to take the country to war against Israel, or force women to wear the hijab or niqab. Others thought it would amputate the hands of thieves, slit the throats of murder suspects, and sentence people to lashings for failing to perform prayers. These were the kind of fears raised about the Brotherhood by the likes of widely-watched talk-show host Tawfiq Okasha, as part of the effort to misrepresent and discredit the Brotherhood and improve the image of SCAF and, subsequently, Shafiq.

Few respondents in these neighborhoods thought the new president represented them, and many said neither of the contenders was the kind of president they wanted for the country after the revolution. Many expressed support for Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, who came third in the first round and narrowly failed to make it to the run-off.

“People felt Hamdeen was the closest to them,” he said Muhammad Saad, who lives in the central Cairo district of Bulaq Abul-Ila. “But he didn’t have the money to match the financial resources of the Brothers, or of Shafiq who was backed by the fuloul – the “remnants” of Mubarak regime – and the military.”

There was widespread dismay in such districts at Sabahi’s defeat, and at being left with a choice between the Brothers and the fuloul. Those who went on to back Shafiq generally did not do so out of admiration for or confidence in him, but dislike of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Yet all concur that there is much for the new president to do.

Muhammad Ibrahim, a young man from the working class Cairo district of Duweiqa, said he wanted the president to treat poor Egyptians “as though he is one of them,” not as objects of charity but as people with rights. “We wanted a poor president, but elections cost a lot of money for advertising and paying for campaigns,” he said.

“Suitable housing and a decent job,” said Hassan Nada, another resident of the neighborhood, when asked what he wanted from the new president. “I wish I had somewhere to sleep without worrying about scorpions and snakes.” Duweiqa, where many people live in barely habitable wood and corrugated iron shacks, has been suffering a major infestation of parasites.

“The new president should provide jobs for young people and put an end to unemployment,” said Naased Abd al-Sattar from the Sayyeda Zeinab quarter. “If he did that, Egypt would be the best country in the world,” he added. “The youth are poor and need jobs so they can find somewhere to live and lead a normal life.”

Safaa al-Agrouti wanted the new president merely to “be a man and keep his word,” by doing what he said he would in his election program.

The demands of Egypt’s poor may be simple, but much political will and focus will have to be mustered if they are to be fulfilled.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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How High will Obama Jump for Israel in Nov. Election?

Franklin Lamb – Beirut

Al-Manar

Gaphics by Alex
When we say “jump”
you answer, “how high”?

Presidential candidate Barack Obama is being targeted by the US Israel lobby from A to Z, (Ackerman, Gary & Aipac to Zuckerman, Mort & the Zionist Organization of America) as no American President seeking re-election has been in the country’s 236 year history.

“how high”?
Israel’s duel loyalty agents, as well as more fair minded American Jewish voters have historically intimidated and influenced US presidents seeking reelection, especially those in a tight race, with various financial and political threats and rewards.  That’s part of the American political game and obviously plenty of other lobbies do it also.
And it pays off. From Truman’s recognition of Israel’s declaration of statehood during his tough reelection fight in 1948 when Chaim Weizmann and other Jewish leaders swarmed the Oval Office to Carter’s Camp David sell-out of American humanitarian values during his Democratic party splitting 1980 re-election challenge from Ted Kennedy. 
For more than 60 years the Zionist lobby has used cash, real & fake polls, and tactics ranging from threats of exposing sex-capers and corruption to withholding or delivering Jewish votes in key states like Florida, New york, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to achieve maximum obeisance to Israel’s goals.
One might agree that all these tactics are part big leagues American politics.

According to  long time Israeli diplomat, Abba Eban, President Truman would not have supported a Jewish state were it not for  “a crucial $25,000 gift made by Jews to Truman’s vice presidential aspirations in 1944 and that in 1948 American Jews helped Truman again, this time to finance his campaign at a “desperate time”.    According to Eban,”No historian would question the judgment that without the support of, and political pressure from, American Jewry, Israel’s emergence could not have been conceived.” Eban concluded that the Zionist’s lobby’s “extraordinary solidarity and tactics” enlarged Israel’s power beyond the limited dimensions of its space and size.”

Concerned that Truman was too pro-Arab, Zionists enlisted Eddy Jacobson, a friend of Truman’s to sway the President to see Ezer Weizmann once again, despite Truman’s earlier ban on Zionists due to their “harassments.” Truman at first refused. He wrote on February 27, 1948, to Jacobson,  just as the Nakba was ethnically cleansing  nearly 800,00  Palestinians from their homes and lands, that he would not learn anything new from Weizmann, and added: “The Jews are so emotional, and the Arabs are so difficult to talk with that it is almost impossible to get anything done.”  Nonetheless, after considerable persuasion which Jabonson claimed involved large amounts of campaign donations, Truman wrote Jacobson, “You win, you baldheaded SOB. I will see him.”

Concerning Camp David, Jimmy Carter explained a couple of years ago during a  question and answer period following a lecture at the American University of Beirut that “the Jewish lobby was relentless with pressure tactics of various sorts and Begin lied to me about Israel’s willingness to make peace with the Palestinians. I regret to have to admit to you that we caved to their political pressure.”

One could perhaps feel for Obama and his campaign staff given what they are reportedly experiencing today, especially since America’s most powerful lobby has become even stronger since the 1980’s. Their tactics are many and aimed at sapping Obama’s will to do what American national interests require. One is Bill Clinton’s reported deal, being talked about on Capitol Hill, with Israeli officials to assure that if Obama is defeated Hillary will make his/her move and lock up the 2016 Democratic primaries and the general election with plenty of attendant joy for Tel Aviv. 

The power to make credible demands on Obama involve much more that Jewish votes since they make up a bit less than 2% of the American electorate. Yet, even the smallest group can make an electoral dent if they move in unison and that may happen regarding Obama among those Jewish voters and Christian Zionists who put Israel first. Obama’s fate, though, is more closely tied to the Jewish vote in states Florida and Pennsylvania where they made up 4% of the 2008 electorate in both of these states.

Statistics being used by the Zionist lobby to pressure the increasingly jittery Obama campaign include recent polls. The Republican Jewish Coalition claims that 30% of Jewish voters who support Romney, represents the “highest level of Jewish support for a Republican presidential candidate in 24 years.” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks recently stated that if the Jewish vote poll numbers hold in November, they will spell “a disaster” for Obama.
In the 2008 election, Jews supported Obama by a 57 percentage point margin 2008 1.1 points (57 x 0.02) of his popular vote margin. A recent Gallup poll has Jewish voters still in Obama’s camp, but only by barely 35 percentage points. That is the lowest percentage for a Democratic presidential candidate among the Jewish electorate since 1988. A recent Gallup polls reveals a 10-point drop in Jewish voter support (22% in New York) or five points worse than Obama’s shrinkage among all registered voters compared with 2008.
The Israel lobby knows, and they know that Obama’s campaign staff knows, that any diminution in his support from Jewish voters will have a major impact in a very tight election. They both realize that Obama needs to retain his 2008 Jewish vote levels and campaign cash – or risk defeat. . In a close election, one point either way could make the difference as it did in Florida’s 2000 election.
So what price is being demanded of the Obama campaign for Zionist lobby support between now and November 6th?
 They include, but are not limited to the following:
-Obama must freeze Israeli-Palestinian “peace talks” and block European Union pressures on Israel over the settlement and human rights issues;
-Israel wants Obama to pressure the government of Turkey to cancel the 5/28/12 indictment of four senior Israeli military commanders, who have been charged in a Turkish court in connection with the killing of nine Turkish citizens in 2010 on broad the Mari Marmara, one of the ships of the Freedom Flotilla.  Warrants have been issued for the arrest of former Israeli military chief of staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, the former head of military intelligence, Major General Amos Yadlin, head of the navy, Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom, and head of the air force, Brigadier General Avishai Lev. Israel wants them withdrawn.  According to an aid of Senator John Kerrey, the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) of the US State Department has advised the US Senate Foreign Relations committee that the Israeli attack on the Mari Marmara constituted an international crime which involved lethal and excessive force and resulted in the killing of nine civilians and the wounding of at least 50 others.  The State Department further advised Congress that while Israel carried out an inquiry into the attack, that inquiry failed to meet the requirements of international law. Israel has not prosecuted anyone who killed those on board the Mari Marmara;
-A green light to attack Iran in case the Zionist leadership decides to do it;
-An unequivocal White House commitment that the 2012 Democratic Convention Party Platform will back the 5/17/12 passed resolution (H. Res. 568 adopted by vote of 401-11) affirming that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and opposing any reliance on a policy seeking to contain a nuclear-capable Iran;
-That the White House force US Senator John Kerrey, Chairman of the Foreign Relation Committee to expedite a vote on a similar resolution in the Senate (S. J. Res. 41) which remains on hold in Kerrey’s committee.
– That the White House publicly endorse the 5/23/12 Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Human Rights Act (S. 2101), which would dramatically escalate the level of sanctions against Iran and sharply tighten the enforcement of existing sanctions law.
-A public pledge by Obama that the US will attack Iran and Hezbollah if either retaliates against Israel for its bombing of the Islamic republic.
-More money for fourteen new Research & Development projects for the Israeli military;
– Free convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard,
-More visible White House support for various congressional resolutions supported by Israel, ranging from those targeting Iran, Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians.
-Regime change is Syria,
Instruct Egypt that the price for continued US military and economic aid is to embrace the Camp ‘David accords and all its provisions requiring Egypt to “cooperate with Israel”
-Arrange for Israeli Embassy space in Cairo given that to date no one is willing to rent it any, and damp down Muslim Brotherhood calls for the recovery of Palestine;
– Support for the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 (H.R. 4133 and S. 2165), which recommends several ways to strengthen U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation in such fields as missile defense, homeland security, energy, intelligence and cyber-security. The House bill, which passed on May 8 by a vote of 411-2, led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
-That the 2012 Democratic Platform and candidate Obama emphasize over the next five months the need for America to guarantee Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge over any and all combinations of adversaries on the battlefield.
Obama election year groveling to Israel was perhaps symbolized by the June, 13 2012  White House spectacle of bestowal on Israel’s President Shimon Peres of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
The PMF recognizes those individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” 
Peres, father of Israel’s colonial settlements, has committed myriad international crimes against the Lebanese people and Palestinian refugees, including the April 18, 1996 Qana Massacre  that  killed 106 Lebanese and Palestinians and wounded approximately 120 including four Fijian UNIFIL soldiers who were among the 800  civilians who had taken refuge in the compound. Peres sanctioned countless other attacks on civilians killing more than 14,000 civil and wounding more than 25,000 as part of various Israel aggression during his time as Prime Minister, meaning that he belongs on trial at the International Criminal Court at the Hague not at a White House dinner even in an election year. Despite knowing this, Obama caved to AIPAC and Congressional campaign pressure and sullied the PMF, his office and claimed American valves.
In an email from one Congressional staffer, she explained that the lobby wanted Peres to receive this honor which disgusted many on Capitol Hill and internationally,  hoping to deflect some of the increasing condemnations  the Apartheid regime has been receiving including the recent British government’s Foreign Office in its report, Children in Military Custody has accused Israel of illegal mistreatment of Palestinian children after a report by a delegation of senior British lawyers revealed unconscionable practices, such as hooding, solitary confinement and the use of leg irons. found that “undisputed facts” pointed to at least six violations of the UN convention on the rights of the child, to which Israel is a signatory.
The report claims that youngsters are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, have their wrists bound behind their backs, and are blindfolded and made to kneel or lie face down in military vehicles. The children are held in conditions that amount to torture, such as solitary confinement and no access to their parents.
In a damning conclusion, the report points out repeated breaches of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
In addition, Israel is a party to the Geneva Conventions, and bound by its obligations, yet Articles 76 and 65 of the 4th Geneva Convention were also found to have been breached, according to the report.

Article 76 prohibits detainees from being transported to the country of the authority which has detained them. In this case, Palestinian children were found to have been transported from the West Bank into Israel.

Article 65 states that any penal laws applied to prisoners in an occupied land must be translated into their own language. The lawyers said the Israeli authorities failed to translate Military Order 1676 from Hebrew into Arabic.

To the extent Obama convinces the Israel lobby between now and Tuesday November 6th may determine whether he is a one term President or returns for a second term with its uncertainties regarding traditional US Presidential support for Israel given that during his second term, as he has stated publicly thanks to a live media mike, he will have much more flexibility.

It is too early to know what boast Obama’s campaign might receive from the US Supreme Court’s 6/29/12 decision upholding his truly historic achievement of reforming the American health system which will provide quality health care for more than 30 million uninsured Americans.  Widespread public approval of Obamacare may significantly weaken Zionist lobby plans to control the White House as it has the Congress and how high President Obama needs to jump.
Franklin LambFranklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon. He is reachable c\o fplamb@gmail.com
He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon.







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The Map of Foreign Armed Groups in Homs and Al-Qusayr

Nidal Hamadeh
armed groupsWell-informed French sources declared that thousands of Arab and foreign fighters are in Homs and its surrounding territories, as well as in Al-Qusayr and the nearby villages, especially those to the west of Al-Assi River.

The previously mentioned sources quoted French security sources as saying that almost all of those fighters entered Syria through Lebanon, some of which came through Beirut International Airport, while others came through the Mediterranean upon ships that docked off the port of Tripoli whose passengers, the foreign fighters, came to the Lebanese land on-board small boats.

The same sources stated that the armed groups in Al-QusayrMap and its nearby villages are around twelve thousand fighters from different countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Algeria, Palestine, and Lebanon), besides the armed Syrian fighters who are fighting against the regime. The French sources mentioned that the majority of the Lebanese fighters come from Irsal, Sidon, and Tripoli. As for the foreigners, they spread through the villages to the west of Al-Assi River taking advantage of the environment which is full of trees; those villages are Saqarja, Abou Houri, Al-Nahriya, Al-Azaniya, Al-Burhaniya, and Ain Al-Tannour. The latter is the center of gravity of those fighters because the Syrian Army exclude it from shelling for it contains the reservoir of drinking water for Homs and Hamah from the Al-Assi River. The army avoids bombing the village not to hit this reservoir and consequently cut off water from both Homs and Hamah.

Most of Al-Qusayr is under total control of the insurgents, and the majority of them are Syrians, the French sources stated. However, the Syrian Army controls the building of the directorate to the east of the city and close to the borders with Homs, in addition to the villages along the international road between Homs and the Lebanese borders in Al-Qa’a. In this wide area, armed groups are well-equipped with rocket launchers, heavy-caliber cannons, anti-aircraft weapons, ammunition, and automatic rifles. They also built fortifications, passageways, and barricades, and they immediately bury their homicidal.

Homs…

Armed militantAccording to the same sources, the Syrian army controls most of the quarters in Homs while the armed groups control a part of the overpopulated Al-Khalediya Quarter, near the Al-Qosour Quarter which is geographically outside Homs. The Syrian army intended to control the latter quarter, and is performing combing operations in the area. It is also continuing to cordon off Al-Khalediya Quarter where fighters were shifting between the two quarters either for withdrawal or storage. The army is tightening the grip over the area where armed groups are hiding by which almost all the quarters are under its control. As for the armed groups, they are fortified in a 1 squared Kilometer piece of land.

500 armed fighters are in this area while the majority of the fighters are in Bustan Al-Diwan Quarter in Al-Hamidiya neighborhood. They caused Christian populations to immigrate from their hometown, and established a field court in Beit Al-Agha, the majestic historic landmark in Homs. The situation in Jouret Al-Shayah, very close to the city’s commercial center, is more likely in favor of the regime, which is, seemingly, about to end the battles with significant military success during the last days in which hundreds of fighters were killed.

The Regime’s StrategySyrian army

French sources stated that the Syrian regime is applying the anti-insurgency war or confronting guerrillas plan which allows it to control the strategic facilities, Homs-Levant highway, Homs-Aleppo highway, military and civil airports, public facilities, electricity stations, oil refinery in Homs, military bases such as the Al-Dhab’a Airport in Al-Qusayr valley, Al-Baath University in Homs, and all the governmental institutions in the city. The army seeks decreasing its losses and not exhausting it throughout avoiding presence in the small rural villages where fighters are located. The Syrian army follows the method of bombarding on a daily basis, but seems tending to finalize its operations in the summer.

What is the military solution?

Syrian army tanksAs the source mentioned, the situation in Homs is in the regime’s favor. However, the regime must use its ground forces in Al-Qusayr to terminate the battles in this flat land where trees are spread all over the area. It also has to increase the number of its helicopters, and after the battle of Homs ends, the army can send its special forces to Al-Qusayr. The regime wishes to end the battles in the summer, before the American presidential elections in November because Obama, the busy man about being reelected, prefers not to have foreign troubles. This is what he said to the Europeans concerning the Iranian nuclear program, and was asserted on by a French diplomat in front of Arab journalists in a closed meeting in the French Foreign Ministry on the Iranian issue. “France won’t be the diplomatic spearhead against Iran, because President Hollande doesn’t want to annoy Obama in the climax of his electoral campaign,” the man said. It is self-evident that what is applied on Iran is also applied on Syria since the NATO didn’t react against shooting down the Turkish jet in the Syrian regional waters along with the Turkish borders.

Translated by Zeinab Abdallah

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Ahmad al-Assir: Crisis or Opportunity?

Why all the worry that the actions of Assir and his followers could set the stage for a clash which in turn triggers widespread strife in the country? (Photo: Haitham Moussawi)
Published Saturday, June 30, 2012
It may be hard to discuss the issue of Saida and Sheikh Amad al-Assir.
He has managed to make many enemies in a short period of time. These are essentially from the club of traditional political players, whose membership seems to elude him. He denies wanting to join it. Yet he accuses “the political representatives of the Sunni sect in Lebanon” of failing in their duty, and he hopes to “achieve that which would safeguard the dignity” of the community so he can go back to his mosque and resume his mission as a preacher.
It may be hard for many people to adopt Assir’s discourse. Some of those who enthused about him after he started making his political voice heard have clearly stepped back. Perhaps they concluded that continuing to follow his lead would entail more sacrifices than they could bear. Others saw him as their spokesman, but not their leader. A third group felt that Assir was going further than his supporters would have wanted in pressing his demands.

The majority of the above had either gone along with Harirism, or were politically disillusioned. Assir also unsettled Harirism’s Christian and even Druze allies, Walid Jumblatt’s overture to him notwithstanding. But most worrying of all is Assir’s willingness, if only rhetorically, to enter into an all-out confrontation with the two most powerful forces in the Shia sect.

What may be even harder is persuading the powers-that-be, both in government and opposition, that someone should breach the wall with the aim of extending a hand to Assir. A dialogue needs to be sought with him to discuss what he deems to be public demands, and to work out solutions that convince him to abandon the plans he has recently been putting into action.

The difficulty here lies in the fact that most of the major players in government and opposition refuse to treat Assir as a general trend. They insist on considering him to be a confined individual case, which can be isolated and bypassed. This is because Assir does not possess the same stature as the country’s main political forces. He cannot claim to speak for a Sunni majority, nor is he capable of getting all other Islamist groups in Lebanon to join an action that leads to the unknown.

So why all the worry that the actions of Assir and his followers could set the stage for a clash which in turn triggers widespread strife in the country?

Siniora

The real answer lies in the fact that Assir, with his actions and his rhetoric, is filling a vacuum among Syria’s and Hezbollah’s Sunni enemies in Lebanon. He proclaims out loud what most of them say in their homes, private discussions, workplaces and late night chats. His show of defiance is one which many believe that Sunni political leaders should be mounting themselves.

When Assir says his actions hinge on the resolution of the issue of weapons, he does not mean, and cannot reasonably mean, that he wants a quick resolution to the question of the arms held by the resistance in Lebanon.

He is in fact – regardless of whether some people like this reasoning or reject it – urging on a debate about the relationship between the different groups in Lebanon.

This absent, or rather abandoned, debate has many themes, the weapons issue being one of them. But its aim is to reformulate the rules of Lebanon’s governance and the relationship of its citizens to the state. Assir may be uninterested in much of that, but he has seized on an issue that goes to the heart of Lebanon’s current difficulty, which stems from the profound dispute between the political leaders of the majority of the country’s Shia and the majority of its Sunnis.

In short, the problem will not be solved either by cracking down on Assir’s group, as some hot-heads believe, or by the sheikh obtaining a clear and convincing answer about the future of Hezbollah’s weapons.

For a solution to be reached, those concerned must dare to take two simultaneous steps.

The first of these concerns Assir himself. He needs to provided with an acceptable ladder with which to climb down from his tree.

The second step is more general, and relates to the essence of the issue. In this regard, the onus lies with those who wield the most influence. With Syria preoccupied by its domestic crisis, the main regional parties to such a dialogue now would be Saudi Arabia (plus perhaps the new Egypt) and Iran, and the main local ones Hezbollah and the Future Movement.

There may be no sign of that happening. But Assir’s actions managed to bring antagonistic parties in Saida together around a single table to confer about what should be done. A get-together could be more focused and effective if it involved the main players in the Sunni-Shia cold war which the country and the region are witnessing.

As recent and earlier experience has taught us, and as the ongoing tragedy in Syria underlines, attempts to avoid dialogue in order to pursue gains, by this side or that, only succeed in postponing the inevitable.

Eventually, all the players must sit around the table to produce a feasible compromise that ensures they can continue living together.

Ibrahim al-Amine is editor-in-chief of al-Akhbar.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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Farewell Sectarian Sheikh

by Daniel Mabsout
Saturday, June 30th, 2012
SheikhRaedSalah
The last thing we heard about Sheikh Ra’ed Salah was the differences he had with the British authorities. Lately the sheikh- A.K.A. the Sheikh of al Aqsa, and who takes pride in his Palestinian identity has fallen in the pit of Sectarianism siding with the enemies of Syria and calling on the Syrians to overthrow their president after achieving which they are to liberate the Golan and then Jerusalem.

It seems -according to our Sheikh -that it is Bashshar al Assad -who has been in post for a decade only -who is standing as an obstacle to the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem and once Bashshar removed, Palestine shall be free from the river to the sea, forgetting that the only Arab land that has been liberated ie the Lebanese south was so because of Syria’s support and protection of the Lebanese Resistance.
The Sheikh as a matter of fact was not joking, he was serious in his call thinking that the Arab hired armed thugs at the payroll of the prince of Qatar and who busy in slaughtering families will rush to answer his call and will be the next morning heading to Jerusalem with the sheikh ready to receive them.
There is no doubt that the sheikh during his last activities in Italy and on the Mavi Marmara and in England and whom we think is affiliated to many NGOs has been promoting himself as a prominent religious figure to be used like any useful NGOs in several schemes that serves Israel and the western establishment.
We say farewell to the Sheikh of sectarianism and of NGOs who deceived us for many years by giving the impression that he was defending the Aqsa and Palestine while he was promoting his little self & NGOs. NGOs are one thing and liberating Aqsa and Palestine is another thing, but since he has made his choice we can bid farewell to the sectarian sheikh.

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President al-Assad : Syria Built its Policy on National & Popular Compass, We Don’t Accept any Type of Solution from Abroad Regardless of its Content

Jun 30, 2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – President Bashar al-Assad stressed that the national and ethical conditions which are interrelated for the majority of Syrian people are the primary element that confronted the pressures which Syria is exposed to at the hands of the world’s most powerful states along with many regional states, adding “the national and ethical conditions withstood many tempting offers of money and other things.”

In an interview with the Iran’s Channel 4 on Thursday evening, President al-Assad said the Syrian people play the primary role in preserving Syria as a state, since the role of the state institutions and army can’t be separated from the people, and that otherwise the state could not have stood in the face of the popular stance, noting that this was expressed through the spontaneous demonstrations in the street.

President al-Assad emphasized that the solid internal situation is the real barrier which prevents the success of any foreign interference, whether this interference is through pumping money or sending weapons, stressing that the internal and external situations are inseparable and that one cannot assign percentages to their role in the crisis.
The President voiced support to the six-point plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan, saying that the plan is good and is still viable now and in the future, affirming that Syria approved it out of conviction, particularly the article related to the ending of violence which means the cessation of the criminal acts of the terrorist groups and the cessation of providing them with money and weapons by the countries who sponsor them.

President al-Assad said that western and regional countries who claim to back this plan are making false claims because they consider the failure of the Annan’s plan in their favor as a way of accusing Syria of causing its failure and justify their going to the UN Security Council to adopt resolutions against it.

He added that some countries are not content with the Security Council; rather they want a military strike similar to what happened in Libya, but it seems that their attempts, until the moment, have failed.

“We don’t have any information of specific plans, but there are bids by the a few countries to push the issue towards military action. However, a little sense they have prevents them from going to a military action because the region – with its geopolitical importance and social structure – is a seismic fault line, and in a case of any manipulation of this fault line, the earthquake will move far in different directions. So, this issue is much greater than the calculations of some,” President al-Assad said.

He noted that proper analysts for what is going on in the region shows that there is a conflict between two projects: the resistance project which rejects hegemony, and the Greater Middle East project, adding that this conflict is not new but as old as colonialism; it was just given a new name.

Eisenhower in the Oval Office with
 Muslim delegates, 1953,
after July revolution. Said Ramadan, t
he Son in-law of Hassan Al-Bana
the founder ofBrotherhood,
is second from the right.

President al-Assad pointed out that the New Middle East which people of the region want is a Middle East which is resistant to all projects that come from abroad, all dictations, all occupation and hegemony, as it is a project that stems from the people in the region and their interests.

President Shukri al-Quwatli welcoming President Gamal Abdul Nasser to Syria in February 1958
President Shukri al-Quwatli welcoming
President Gamal Abdul Nasser to Syria
in February 1958

He went on to say that he believes that this conflict will continue, saying “however, we as states and peoples in this region will not allow any other project to pass if it does not express our interests.”

President al-Assad said that Syria is paying the price for its political positions in supporting the resistance and adhering to the Arab and Islamic rights, in addition to the fact that its geo-political position is important, adding that Syria has always been exposed to interference bids or an arena for conflict between superpowers throughout history.

“Controlling Syria means controlling a big part of the political decision in the region, and the attack to which Syria is exposed to today is not the first one; in 2005 it was exposed to a similar attack but it failed, so it they moved to another method,” he said.
President al-Assad stressed that supporting the resistance in Palestine and other areas will continue as long as the people don’t relinquish this support, stressing that Syria has mainly built its policy on the national and popular compass, and not the foreign or Western one.

The President stressed that the Palestinian cause is the core of all causes in our region, particularly the Arab region, and if the Palestinian issue isn’t resolved and if the rights aren’t restored, then there would be no changes in positions even if one waited for generations, adding

” now we are speaking about the third or fourth generation since the occupation of Palestine, and the positions didn’t and will not change. “

“What is happening in Syria has several aspects; international, regional and internal dimensions which converged with each other to carry Syria into a crisis it never experienced before nor did it experience anything similar to it… The international side is mainly linked to the position of countries with colonial history which did not change the essence of their colonialist policies; rather they changed the form and moved from direct occupation to methods of imposing opinions and dictations… they reject the existence of countries which have independence and defend their interests and say no when there is something contrary to their own convictions or principles.”

20120630-004534.jpgPresident al-Assad said that the regional aspect is linked to the region’s countries and has multiple aspects as well, as there are countries that are shamed by the Syrian political position towards various issues, whether in Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon or elsewhere, adding “they saw a chance in these circumstances to downscale or crush the Syrian role… and then there are countries that aren’t necessarily against the Syrian position, but they are subject to foreign dictations and unable to adopt a resolution to express their vision or that of their people.”

He pointed out that some states formally announced that it will send weapons in one way or another to the terrorist groups, and since these forces spoke about themselves as such then there’s no point in discussing this issue or seeking evidence.

“In terms of the internal aspect, Syria, like any country, has positives and negatives, but any problems or challenges should not reach the point where a Syrian kills another Syrian… We, as in many countries of the world, have problems related to corruption, equitable distribution of income, equality of opportunities, and economic or political development, but these points were exploited to convert some Syrian who are ignorant or have no principles to mercenaries working against their own country for money,” President al-Assad explained.
President al-Assad made it clear that those who are killing the Syria people are a mixture of outlaws and religious extremists whose numbers are not very big but they are dangerous, along with Al Qaeda or organizations that adopt a similar ideology, stressing that the rate of participation in the killings differed since the beginning of the crisis, but currently the extremists constitute the largest number of killers.

He said that these people receive money to commit massacres at specific times to support a certain decision or a particular conflict at the UN Security Council in order to change the balance inside the council, adding that the same thing happened to the resistance in Lebanon in past years when a certain assassination or a particular crime was committed on the eve of issuing a certain decision pertaining to the resistance or the situation in Lebanon.

President al-Assad added that Al Qaeda is present in Syria and a number of persons who belong to this organization were arrested and confessed to committing crimes.

“Al Qaeda is a US creation financed by Arab countries, and this is well-known… the Americans adopt an interim policy according to the interim interests. They used to support Al Qaeda and called its members in the eighties – as former US President Ronald Reagan did –freedom fighters, and years later they became terrorists… Now some of them are back to dealing with them and now they say that there’s good extremism and bad extremism, meaning that they divide roles and change their labels and terms according to the condition of the U. S.; if Al Qaeda strikes at a country that they do not like, it is good, and if it strikes against the U.S. or its allies’ interests in a certain area, it becomes bad.”

President al-Assad said that the state’s responsibility, in accordance with the Constitution, is to protect all its citizens in all the Syrian territories, and when it takes out a terrorist, it protects dozens and perhaps hundreds or thousands, because a terrorist targets citizens from one place to another.

“We didn’t release any person whose hands are stained with Syrian blood; we released persons who have taken up arms as a result of false understanding or ignorance or because of the need for money, but they have not committed criminal acts, and they made a self-initiative and turned themselves in to the state and asked to be allowed to return to the correct position in society… it’s natural to be tolerant with those and give them the opportunity to be patriotic people again,” he explained.

President al-Assad pointed out that reform in Syria is an ongoing process which started in 2000 in parallel with difficult external circumstances faced by Syria pertaining to putting pressure on it to give up the Palestinian cause and stop supporting the resistance.

“Indicators today don’t show a link between reform and what is going on because the reform now didn’t improve the conditions… the terrorists and the countries that back them are not concerned with reform; rather they want chaos. Even if we implemented reform now or before, what happened would have happened, because it was planned abroad and not a spontaneous issue linked to reform,” he elaborated.

President al-Assad said that the replication or cloning of any model from one country in another requires cloning the entire people with their history, customs, morals, traditions and the context they are going through, which is practically impossible, stressing there is no model that is applied in a place to resolve a certain crisis that can be applied elsewhere, regardless of the fact what was applied in Libya is not a model of a solution since it transferred Libya to a much worse situation and now everyone can see how the Libyan people are paying the price.

“We, in Syria, do not accept any model that is not Syrian and national, regardless of whether it was imposed by superpowers or proposed by friendly countries. No one knows how to resolve the problem in Syria as well as we do, as Syrians… so, any model that comes from abroad is unacceptable regardless of its content.”

President al-Assad said that Syria appreciates the objective positions of countries on the international level such as China and Russia, countries in the region like Iran, and other countries in the world, noting that these positions are not in defense of a government or a person as the west is trying to portray them; rather they defend the stability of the region because Syria is an important country and its stability affects the stability of the region and the world.
On Turkey’s position regarding the Syrian crisis, President al-Assad stressed the need to make a distinction between the positions of some Turkish state officials and the popular temperament, the later being positive towards what is happening in Syria because they know most of the facts despite the media falsification in Turkey.

“As for the revival of the Ottoman Empire, I believe we’re now in another age that is different in every way, and this is no longer possible… our vision for relations with Turkey and the Turkish role was that it was possible to build an empire of good relations, alliances and organizations that unite interests, similar to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and others; these new empires can be built through objective and rational positions that express the region’s interests, and not by becoming subject to westerns – or specifically U.S. – positions.”

President al-Assad noted that the Arab League was never allowed to play a positive role in the causes of Arab countries, and that the Arab Summits were mostly arenas of conflict in the face of the proposed projects or concepts that are against Arab interest, adding that the League wasn’t allowed to play a role due to the actions of certain well-known countries that always implement foreign plans in the Arab arena.

He pointed out that the League was allowed to play a role through these very countries, only it was against Arab countries, which is what happened with Libya when the Arab League gave cover to the bombardment of Libya.

“Syria may have been the only country that openly rejected that decision, and we had to pay the price of that position. So they moved directly after that decision to attack Syria through the Arab League… this is the truth of the Arab League, in the past and in the present,” President al-Assad concluded.

Ghossoun / H. Sabbagh

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A VOICE OF IGNORANCE DARKNESS AND BETRAYAL

After he received a kiss and a hug from the Lebanese minister of interior during one of his sits in down town Beirut as a sign of the policy of openness and tolerance adopted by the ministry , the notorious Sheikh Ahmad al Assir -who has mastered all kinds of knowledge- felt secure enough to appear on one Lebanese local TV and send threats to Sayyed Hassan Nasrullah ( May God preserve him) directly from the screen .
A VOICE OF IGNORANCE DARKNESS AND BETRAYALThe fake Sheikh said that he will do his best to deprive Sayyed Hassan from all kinds of sleep forgetting that the Sayyed of the Resistance is ever vigil protecting –day and night -the country and the people.

The channel that hosted such pitiable drama is none other than Al Jadeed or the Lebanese New TV that used to be supportive of the Resistance but now is seriously drifting towards Gulf policy after Saudi al Waleed bin Talal of the ruling family and of Rotana channel signed several deals with it.

Inspiration had fallen upon the Sheikh and the Lebanese channel at the same time in terms of big amounts of petro dollars enough for a religious man to forsake his religion for fitna and for a local channel to change its policy for direct affiliation .

Well , the show of threats and slanders performed by the all knowing fake Sheikh must not have been a great success or was half a success to the taste of both the Sheikh and the channel . Sayyed Hassan who had more important things to do than to listen to the delirium of the ambitious mediocre Sheikh did not respond , it was as if no one had said anything .

For this reason , and in order to add some pep and maybe some petro dollars to the story , the dark forces of sectarianism –active on the Lebanese ground –and to which our venerable Sheikh belongs- sent- the next day – a group of thugs to attack the channel and burn tires at its front doors.

The thugs had covered faces and weapons and they started shooting at the channel building terrorizing people. One of them who was caught seeking refuge in a Palestinian camp had precedents with the army and the police

 After all this the unfortunate Sheikh accused Hizbullah of attacking the local channel while the truth is- according to some –that the Sheikh himself has probably sent the thugs– with the consent of the channel -to give a touch of reality to the whole thing and to increase the expected retribution .

Money can definitely work miracles for those who think otherwise ; but there is something that the venerable fake Sheikh is not aware of that neither he nor his masters nor his likes –who are on the payroll of some corrupt Saudi prince -can disturb anything or affect in any way the life of the leader of the Umma , be it his sleep or his waking ; all they can do is play their number, get paid and go home. God bless our leader, the hero of the Resistance ever vigil and awake whose integrity no one can touch or disturb .
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Mursi vows to rule for all Egyptians stopped short of specifically mentioning the 1979 Peace Treaty with Israel

Published Friday, June 29, 2012


Egypt’s Islamist President-elect Mohammed Mursi took an informal oath of office on Friday in a speech to supporters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, in a slap at the generals trying to limit his power.
Paying tribute to Egypt’s Muslims and Christians alike, Mursi symbolically swore himself in as the country’s first elected civilian president.

Mursi, who won a run-off election earlier this month, was received with applause by the tens of thousands of people gathered in the birthplace of the revolt that overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak last year.
He promised a “civilian state” and praised “the square of the revolution, the square of freedom,” in what he called an address to “the free world, Arabs, Muslims… the Muslims of Egypt, Christians of Egypt.”
“There is no power above people power,” the former Muslim Brotherhood figure declared to wild cheers from the crowd.
“I was one of you and I still am, and I will continue to always be one of you. I came to you because I believe that you are the source of power and legitimacy above all sides,” he added.
In a speech short on specific policies, Mursi promised to reassess the country’s foreign policies, warning that foreign powers would no longer be able to dominate the country, as the US was accused of doing during the era of Mubarak.
But Mursi stopped short of specifically mentioning the 1979 Peace Treaty with Israel.
“We are capable of responding and even preventing any assault or aggression against us. Together my citizens, we will bring about a new understanding with respect to foreign powers,” he said,
“I warn against anyone, whoever he may be, to try and harm Egypt’s dignity. I warn against anyone thinking of harming Egypt.”
Following the speech the crowd demanded an end to the military council, which has ruled Egypt since Mubarak’s fall.
“Down, down with military rule,” they chanted.
Critics accused the council of grabbing power after they passed a decree limiting Mursi’s influence over many areas of policy.
Mursi will be unable to declare war without the military’s backing and cannot make any decisions concerning the armed forces.

(Al-Akhbar, Reuters)

Meanwhile King Abdullah of Jordan confers with MishaalKing Abdullah II of Jordan conferred with Khaled Mishaal, the political bureau chairman of Hamas, and his accompanying delegation on Thursday on a number of regional developments.

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NATO Member Turkey Harboring Terrorist Army

Warns Syria about defending its own borders – brazen act of war, crime against world peace ignored by feckless United Nations.

After losing a fighter jet earlier this month while conducting a high-speed, low altitude invasion of Syria’s airspace, Turkey has now pledged to treat any Syrian operation along its borders as a military threat.
“Turkey’s warning could tilt the dynamic along the border, which has become an incubator for Syrian antigovernment rebels who are seeking increased levels of international support. Turkey’s pledge to respond to aggression from Syrian forces could help the rebel Free Syrian Army by deterring Syrian forces from attacking—or else result in Turkish retaliation for cross-border attacks on rebels,” reported the Wall Street Journal in their article, “Turkey Warns of Retaliation Against Syria.” This encapsulates the brazen warping of logic applied by NATO aggressors as they seek to perpetuate the bloodbath and destabilization caused by their own proxy forces, primarily harbored, armed, and deployed from NATO member Turkey.

Syrian Rebels are Al Qaeda Terrorists

By US officials’ own admissions, since 2007 a combined US-Israeli-Saudi effort to assemble and deploy against Syria and Iran an army of sectarian extremists drawn from the ranks of Al Qaeda and its affiliates has been underway. In Seymour Hersh’s 2007 New Yorker article, “The Redirection,” he reported, “The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”
Within Hersh’s report, not only is this army of fanatical terrorists described as being fully backed by the West in order to create a sectarian bloodbath to be used to achieve Western foreign policy objectives, but it was fully anticipated that this army would commit abhorrent atrocities, particularly against ethnic and religious minorities throughout the region. In particular former CIA agent Robert Baer in Lebanon warned about the fate of Christians located in the region.
Today, Baer’s warning has manifested itself in a genocidal campaign against Syria’s Christians increasingly more difficult for the Western media to hide. This is confirmed by LA Times’ “Church fears ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Christians in Homs, Syria,” and more recently in USA Today’s distorted, but still telling, “Christians in Syria live in uneasy alliance with Assad, Alawites.”
Also mentioned was the Syrian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, who by 2007 was already receiving significant backing from the West and Israel to destabilize Syria – despite its feigned anti-Western, anti-Israeli rhetoric. 
As clandestine military operations became larger in scale and more difficult for the complicit Western media to obfuscate, it was announced that hundreds of fighters as well as torrents of weapons and cash began flowing into Syria from NATO-armed terrorists in Libya. The Al Qaeda affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) (a US State Department listed terrorist organization – #28) led by Abdul Hakim Belhaj, spearheaded efforts to bolster what is essentially a foreign terrorist operation in Syria beginning as early as November 2011, according to the London Telegraph.
After Belhaj’s visit to the Turkish-Syrian border and his pledge to send cash, weapons, and fighters, up to 600 Libyan terrorists were reported to have made the journey to Syria to join the fighting. At least one ship flush with weapons from Libya was interdicted by Lebanon on its way to rebels’ hands in Syria.
In addition to LIFG terrorists admittedly entwined with the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), more recent reports indicate that Iraqi terrorists have also joined their ranks. Reuters in their article, “Outgunned Syria rebels make shift to bombs,” admit that not only is the FSA conducting a terrorist bombing campaign against the people of Syria, but that it is facilitated by rebels who “fought with Al Qaeda elements in Iraq” and learned their bombing skills while attacking both sectarian Iraqi targets as well as Western troops.
Ironic indeed, that the US in particular is backing entirely terrorist forces that thousands of Americans have shed their blood allegedly fighting in the “War on Terror.” It appears that Al Qaeda, admittedly a creation of the CIA in the 1980’s to draw in and fight Soviets in Afghanistan, is still patronized by the West and used as both a convenient casus belli as well as a terrorist proxy force against enemies of Western foreign policy.

Turkey is Helping

According to the New York Times, “a small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.” While the Times article attempts but fails to allay fears that the FSA is in fact a terrorist front, the real significance of the article is that it confirms Turkey is serving as a willing conduit to harbor, arm, and deploy terrorist forces against neighboring Syria – a crime against world peace.

The Gulf States, which provided the bulk of the “hijackers” allegedly behind the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, are now the primary weapons and cash suppliers for the FSA, with Saudi Arabia leading the way – as Seymour Hersh reported they would be in 2007. These weapons, according to the UK Independent, are being transferred to terrorists via Turkey. It is also reported that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood then distributes the weapons once they make their way into Syria – belying the narrative that the unrest is anything but an foreign-facilitated extremist terror campaign.
Perhaps most disturbing is a report published by Michael Weiss of the Neo-Con corporate-financier funded (beginning on page 18, .pdf) Henry Jackson Society, titled, “Syrian rebels say Turkey is arming and training them.” In the report, Weiss claims that, “rebel sources in Hatay told me last night that not only is Turkey supplying light arms to select battalion commanders, it is also training Syrians in Istanbul. Men from the unit I was embedded with were vetted and called up by Turkish intelligence in the last few days and large consignments of AK-47s are being delivered by the Turkish military to the Syrian-Turkish border.”
Weiss can hardly be considered a reliable source, and is just as likely fabricating his entire narrative for the purpose of psychologically targeting Syria. However, Turkey has made no attempts to refute such claims, made more frequently and by an increasing number of sources. Turkey is admittedly serving as a conduit for weapons, and is most likely participating in a more direct role to train, arm, fund, and support terrorists operating along the Turkish-Syrian border.
And despite all of this, the United Nations has remained mute over these transgressions, acts of war, and crimes against world peace. While it feigns outrage over the violence in Syria, it has failed categorically to identify the driving forces behind it – namely the unending torrent of weapons, cash, and foreign fighters flowing over Syria’s borders – supplied by NATO and its Gulf State partners.

Turkey Plays Pivotal Role in Psychologically Breaking Syria

Turkey is clearly harboring a terrorist front within its borders and facilitating their violent-subversive actives within Syrian borders. While the US and NATO hypocritically use a similar narrative to justify cross-border raids into Pakistan, it is attempting to tie Syria’s hands from even operating up to and along its own border to stem very real, admitted terrorist networks maintained by NATO and their Gulf State partners.
The goal of NATO is to create enough chaos in Syria, long enough, to shake the Syrian people’s faith in their government and their armed forces by dividing and destroying Syria’s national institutions. Just as in Libya, such divisions brought on by unwarranted panic will accelerate, not stem the violence. The stated goal by Western policy makers is to create divisions, doubt, and defections – and they are trying to achieve this through a combination of propaganda, economic sanctions, and overt Western-backed terrorism. They pursue this course of action because a full-scale military operation is untenable, as is the prospect of their terrorist proxies achieving any meaningful tactical victory. Syria, by remaining united and exhibiting perseverance will defeat NATO aggression.
Libya proves that capitulation is not an option, with sectarian genocide the result, subjecting capitulators, defectors, and even NATO’s hand-picked proxies to post-Qaddafi violence and mayhem. There is no option but to continue resisting.

Tony Cartalucci is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Tony Cartalucci

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From Palestine To Arab Lands / Turn The Page And Keep The Cause

A long American/Egyptian series has just started.

by Daniel Mabsout

Rats desert a sinking ship, fools ride

Friday, June 29th, 2012

These are historical moments, a new page has been turned. Mursi has been elected president of Egypt. No one can overlook the kind of maneuvers that preceded and accompanied the historical event in which the militaries were involved up to their neck.

The preparation for the presidency of the Muslim Brotherhood had started long ago by the Military Council in coordination with USA in order to have the candidate – who did not desist from welcoming all US officials – elected and finally crowned. A long American/Egyptian series has just started.

The Highest Military Council wanted to add a revolutionary flavor to Mursi by making him compete with Ahmad Shafiq the anti revolution candidate and – by dismissing – at the evening of the second round – the parliament where the Muslim brothers formed the majority.
Along the same strategy they delayed the announcement of the winner to pressure people and make them feel that the so called candidate of the so called revolution was under threat.
All this to let the revolutionaries and those who were after real change identify the designed future president as their representative. The escalation of the events in Gaza would fall within the same range, they meant to show that Mursi is a threat to Israel and that the Palestinian resistance in all its glory was supporting him.

All this sounds more like a cheap American movie and proves that the world order is not trying his best in his manipulative maneuvers and is delivering productions of really low quality knowing that the people will take anything. Finally -after much patience and endurance and while everybody was holding one’s breath -the name of the winner was delivered. By the time he was announced he had become a revolutionary despite all.

The first who took to streets – along with the Egyptians -were the Palestinians of Gaza who were celebrating not only the election of Mursi but -sadly enough -the relinquishment of the Palestinian Cause because, since the Syrian events and the attacks on Syria launched by the enemies of the cause and after HAMAS backed the armed rebellion, Syria has become the bosom of the Palestinian cause and its hearth and the place where the future of such a cause is being questioned and challenged.
What the Palestinians of Gaza had relinquished- in fact- was the fake cause, the unreal one that has left the Palestinian bosom to rest somewhere else in the haven of the wide sectarian Islam where it will be tended to by sectarians like Erdugan and his like. There the cause will definitely feel estranged, it will be drowned in negotiations and elections and irrelevant talk, it will be lost in a sea of perdition.

Who could have predicted this? That the Palestinian leadership will no more be fit to cater to Palestine or to fight for Palestine or to liberate Palestine? This unfitness is due to many reasons mainly to the fall of HAMAS in the sectarian pit set to it by the World Order that caused it to give priority to sectarianism over justice for Palestine and Palestinians and made it take this inexplicable stand against Syria and the pro Resistance Syrian regime.
What happened was also in order to give expression – not only to the local cause of usurped Palestine as it has been previously called- but to the cause of the usurped Arab lands in general that did not fare much better.

The Palestinian cause will only be safe now in the hands of the armed Resistance be it of Hizbullah, Syria, Iran or Palestinians and other freedom fighters, and all those will be its natural extension and natural environment and the bosom from where it could grow and expand, because these are the ones who have proved- up till now – their capacity to embrace the depth and the universality of the cause and defend it and become one with it shunning everything that is divisive and harming; these are the deserving ones, and Palestine shall be free despite sectarianism be it Arab or Palestinian and the Arab land shall be free.
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‘Convincing’

Via FLC

‘You see, clowns hold it like that!’


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Israel and ‘Jewish identity’: The search goes on!

After learning the true nature of the state of Israel hiding behind the ‘Jewish facade’ – more and more Jewish intellectuals are searching for their ‘Jewish identity’. Rabbi Michael Lerner (Beyt Tikkun synagogue in Berkeley), Gilad Atzmon, Roger Tucker, Israel Shamir, Hilda Silverman and Professor Richard Falk being among them. Incidently, all of them have earned the title of ‘Self-Hating, Israel-Threatening (S.H.I.T)‘ Jews from Israel lobby groups.
Rabbi Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun Magazine, is torn between his ‘Jewish conscience’ and his loyalty to the state of Israel. The Rabbi explained the difference in his feelings about Israelis compared to his feelings about Palestinians by saying:

On the one side is my family; on the other side are decent human beings. I want to support human beings all over the planet but I have a special connection to my family“.

Unlike Rabbi Lerner, Roger Tucker doesn’t show his dual allegiance when it comes to Jewishness vs state of Israel.

Semite is a linguistic term denoting peoples who spoke Semitic languages. Israelis are not Semites in spite of the fact that they speak Hebrew (it’s an adopted language of far too recent a vintage). The Zionists who created Israel and still run it are descended from the Khazars, linguistically a “Turko-finnic” people. The vast majority of Semites speak Arabic as their native language, making tribal Jewry, particularly the Israelis, the only people in the world who are truly “anti-Semitic” – and they’re virulently anti-Semitic,says Tucker.

Gilad Atzmon who was born into a prominent Israeli Zionist family – even gets angry when called “an Israeli Jew”. He offers a perfect example of how ex-Zionist Israeli Jews can liberate themselves from the shackles of a brutal, abusive, and ultimately doomed idealogy and identity. Gilad Atzmon has been subject of several of my posts.
Israel Shamir in disgust has said goodbye to both Judaism and Israel. Eleven years ago, Israel Shamir wrote:

Israel is disgusting to the Arabs, the French, the English, even to herself. The red-hot intifada is the fiery river, into which melts and sinks to the bottom another myth of the 20th century – the theory of Zionism. According to designs of Herzl and Jabotinsky, a small geopolitical monstrosity was created on Arab lands. Its settlers have imposed on America and Germany the annual tribute of five billions dollars. They pour napalm on the mosques and transform whole nations into homeless refugees. They brainwash the whole world by their ashes of Auschwitz”.

Hilda Silverman (d. 2008), a human-rights activist believed that Jewishness was absolutely not a bar to criticizing Israel, in fact her Jewishness compelled her to do so. She met Yasar Arafat in the 1980s and even wrote a poem in memory of Rachel Corrie who has been named Mother Teresa for Islamists by Dr. Steven Plaut (Haifa University).
Professor Richard Falk, international jurist and UN Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestinian Territories also wrote on his Jewish identity in January 2011.
As someone who is both Jewish and supportive of the Palestinian struggle for a just and sustainable peace, I am often asked about my identity. The harshest critics of my understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict contend that I am a self-hating Jew, which implies that sharp criticism of Israel and Zionism are somehow incompatible with affirming a Jewish identity. Of course, I deny this. For me to be Jewish is, above all, to be preoccupied with overcoming injustice and thirsting for justice in the world, and that means being respectful toward other peoples regardless of their nationality or religion, and empathetic in the face of human suffering whoever and wherever victimization is encountered,” says Dr. Falk.

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Syrian Forces Kill Dozens of Rebels in Douma, Homs

Local Editor

Syrian authorities announced Friday that “Syrian forces have killed several members of armed terrorist groups fighting against the government and arrested many others in the Damascus suburb of Douma.”

An official source informed SANA that “the clash with terrorists left buildings used by the terrorist groups demolished.”

“The competent authorities discovered chambers that the terrorists used for torturing abducted citizens,” he added.

According to the official state agency, “the competent authorities also discovered field hospitals equipped with medical devices stolen from medical centers that the rebels raided.”

The source said that “among the killed terrorists were the terrorists Hisham Khabiyeh, Rateb Khabiyeh, and Ahmad al-Qassir.”

In parallel, media reports mentioned that “army members clashed with an armed terrorist group driving a Pick-up truck equipped with a machinegun in Deir Ezzor.”

A source in the governorate told SANA reporter that the clash in Bour Said neighborhood in the city left the car destroyed, adding that all the terrorists inside were killed.

Similarly, the army men arrested ringleaders of armed groups in Hama, raided their hideouts, and confiscated a big quantity of weapons.

An official source told SANA reporter that “Israeli”-made grenades were among the confiscated weapons. An explosive charge went off in a store of weapons used by terrorists for manufacturing explosives in al-Qarabis neighborhood in Homs, setting the store ablaze. All the terrorists inside were killed.

“The competent authorities killed a leader of an armed group and a number of rebels during a clash in Joret al-Shayyah neighborhood in Homs,” the source added.

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Putin: ‘Israel will regret attacking Iran’

During his recent visit to the Zionist entity, the newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli president Peres and prime minister Netanyahu that the Zionist regime will regret it if it launches a military strike on Islamic Republic (alone or with the US support). While discussing Iran and western-sponsored rebellion in Syria – Putin warned Israeli leaders to learn from Washington mistakes (wars) in the region which has resulted pro-Iran governments both in Iraq and Lebanon while a similar situation is expected in Afghanistan after the NATO forces leave the country in 2014.
At a state dinner Monday, Israeli President Shimon Peres urged Putin to “raise his voice” against a nuclear Iran. Putin responded by saying that Russia has a “national interest” to secure peace and quiet in Israel and the rest of Muslim world.
On Tuesday, Putin also held a meeting with the PA president and US-Israel double agent Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. While visiting biblical sites in Bethlehem, Putin slammed Zionist regime for its “unilateral actions” – an apparent reference to Israeli illegal settlement construction on land stolen from native Palestinian – is not constructive.
Israel has moved half a million settlers to the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the 1967 war.
On Tuesday, Putin also traveled to Amman to hold talks with Jordanian King Abdullah II. Both leaders talked about the so-called ‘two-state solution‘ for the occupied Palestine, bloodshed in Syria, Iran’s nuclear program and Russian assistance to Jordan to build a nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes and modernizing an oil terminal in the Gulf of Aqaba.
Israeli and Zionist-controlled western media have given different interpretations to Putin’s visit to the Zionist entity and his statements. For example, Zvi Magen former Israeli ambassador in Moscow, claimed that with the revival of political Islam in the Middle East, Russia finds Israel the only friend in the region. “It seems that, in this new reality, Moscow senses that Russia and Israel are in the same boat, allowing the former to view the latter as a desirable partner in the region,” says Magen.

Magen is not entirely wrong for some reasons. Russians’ centuries-old hatred toward Muslims do make a common ground with the Muslim-hating Zionists, both Jews and Christians. Russia along with the US, Israel, China and India still occupy Muslim lands.
The pro-Israel BBC and Reuters put Zionist spin – “Shimon Peres stepped-up the pressure on Putin – And Netanyahu urged action on Iran after meeting Putin“. The Israeli Hasbara idiots ignored the fact that Putin had a meeting with Ahmadinejad in Beijing on June 7, 2012 during which Putin had supported Iran’s right to enrich uranium for civilian application.
Your position is that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons and this is what we base everything on,” Putin told Ahmadinejad.

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State of War in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

 
My PhotoOn Wednesday, Assad said “a state of war” exists.
 
“(A)LL our policies, directives and all sectors will be directed in order to gain victory in this war.”
 
He called on government officials to boost relations with Russia, Latin American and African states.

“Apparently, the problem was with the West only, while the majority of the world want to build relations with us and with others, but throughout decades, we were seeking to boost our economic ties with those who colonized us directly or indirectly.”

“Syria seeks to build good relations with all world countries but we have to know where are our real interests.”

 
On June 27, Hurriyet daily headlined “Downed jet was flying with another plane: CHP deputy,” saying:
 
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Orhan Duzgun “demanded that the government reveal the nationality of the accompanying jet….”
 
Hatay area Syrians “saw (it) with their naked eyes. There were two planes flying. The fate of the second one remains unknown. The government….denies” what people on the ground saw.
 
Duzgun believes it belonged to another NATO member. Its country of origin isn’t known. It could be America. US military aircraft operate from Incirlik Air Base. It’s near the Aegean Sea close to Syria’s border. It’s operated jointly by Washington and Ankara. Both planes likely flew from the same location.
 
On Thursday, insurgents attacked the privately owned Al-Ikhbariaya TV station. It’s located 20 km south of Damascus. Despite no evidence suggesting it, The New York Times claimed “elite Syrian Republican Guard” defectors were responsible.
 
AP gave a different account. It said “gunmen” raided the station. Seven employees were killed. Others were kidnapped. Al-Ikhbariya’s compound sustained heavy damage. Nonetheless, broadcasts resumed shortly after the attack.
 
One employee said:

“I heard a small explosion then a huge explosion and gunmen ran in. They ransacked the offices and entirely destroyed the newsroom.”

20120627-130711.jpgInformation Minister Omran al-Zoubi called it “a massacre against the freedom of the press.” Terrorists were responsible, he said.
 
“This massacre won’t go unpunished and the broadcast of the Syrian al-Ikhbariya Satellite Channel will not stop and we hold the EU, Arab and International organizations responsible for this massacre.”
 
“Those who committed this crime had carried out the decision of the Arab League Council to silence the voice of Syria.”
 
Three journalists and four other employees were killed. Al-Ikhbariya’s editor-in-chief, Abdo al-Assadi, called the massacre an attack on all Syrian media. Those murdered were “armed only with their words and views.”
 
Editor Adham al-Taweel said al-Ikhbariya was attacked for discussing anti-Assad propaganda. Correspondent Yara Saleh added that other journalists will be motivated to “unmask these terrorists and their actions.”
 
The Syrian Journalists Union and National Media Council also condemned the massacre. So did the Lebanese Amal Movement. Its Central Information Bureau said it constituted an attack against journalism, the media, and a free press.
 
On June 26, Russian State Duma’s Vice Chairman, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, condemned Turkey for violating Syrian airspace. He called doing it “a deliberate provocative act.”
 
He suggested Washington and key NATO allies are escalating conflict ahead of full-scale intervention. He said Syria acted responsibly.
 
Vice Chairman of the Russian Federation Ilyas Umakhanov said Syrians alone must resolve issues.
 
Viktor Ozerov, Chairman of the Council of the Federation Committee on Defense and Security, warned against NATO intervention. So did Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.
 
Heated Turkish rhetoric continues. On June 26, Today’s Zaman headlined “Army on high alert on Syrian border as Turkey warns of retaliation,” saying: 

“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Syria that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have been given instructions to treat any approaching Syrian military unit as a threat….” 

He ordered them to intercept, confront, and attack “in case of any violation” encountered.
 
Turkey runs point for Washington. It’s NATO’s regional attack dog. It belligerently flew warplanes low and fast into Syrian territory. It suggests other provocations will follow. Erdogan’s spoiling for a fight. America, Israel, Britain and France urge one.
 
“The rules of engagement have changed,” he said. Hours after his comments, Turkish forces headed for Syria’s border areas from Diyarbakir to Mardin. They included tanks and long-range artillery.
 
He also accused Russia of being “Syria’s mouthpiece.” Calling what happened “extremely dangerous,” its foreign ministry warned against using this incident as a pretext for further intervention.
 
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Washington “will work with Turkey and other partners to hold the Assad regime accountable.”
 
Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain John Kirby said: 

“We don’t have the tick-tock of the decision-making process that led to this aircraft being shot down. The fact is that it was shot down. We believe it was a deliberate act.” 

Another Pentagon spokesman, George Little, added that “the the Syrian regime needs to answer for it.”
 
Washington, Turkey, key NATO partners, and regional allies keep advancing the ball closer to war. Expect a future false flag attack used to launch it. The likelihood looks more certain daily.
 
NATO’s Tuesday meeting gave ominous signs. Secretary-General Fogh Rasmussen made hostile comments. He condemned Syria for Turkey’s provocation.
 
He called it “unacceptable….in the strongest terms.” He accused Assad of violating “international norms, peace and security, and human life.”
 
Syria is under attack. According to international law, it’s entitled to respond defensively. Failure would be irresponsible. Rasmussen is titular head of a global killing machine.
 
NATO’s record shows total disregard for international law. Since the 1990s, it committed naked aggression against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Member states support Washington’s proxy wars.
 
According to Rasmussen, “the security of the Alliance is indivisible. We stand together with Turkey in the spirit of solidarity.” Discussions in Brussels stopped short of invoking Article 5. Doing so suggests imminent war.
 
Given what’s ongoing, one or more false flags could launch it. They could come any time. Scoundrel media misinformation increases the possibility.
 
Propaganda reports feature big lies. Repetition enlists public support. It works every time. No matter how often people are fooled, they’re easy marks for more.
 
Syrian expert Patrick Seale sees ominous “War Clouds over the Greater Middle East.”
 
“Six conflict-zones….are in danger of erupting into fresh violence.” Washington and its allies spurn peace. Instead they’re “adding fuel to the fire.”
 
Pressure builds intolerably. At issue is embroiling the entire region in conflict. Washington is losing multiple wars. Why itch for more? Spoiling for more fights makes winning any less likely.
 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calls Washington’s war on Assad “an element of a larger regional geopolitical game.”
 
Obama’s policy is influenced by electoral priorities. Much depends on pleasing the Israeli Lobby. AIPAC wants war on Syria and Iran. It calls both countries state sponsors of terrorism. No evidence backs either claim.
 
For years, “Syria has been a force for (regional) instability,” it says.  

“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and is racing toward a nuclear weapons capability. Through its proxy armies of Hizballah in Southern Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iranian regime is supporting terrorists carrying out daily attacks on American troops and Israeli civilians.” 

Again, rhetoric substitutes for hard facts.
 
Seale says Obama “lost control to Israel. (He) collapsed in front of (Netanyahu’s) Greater Israel (land grab) ambitions….”
 
He’s embroiled in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Somalia, and “increasingly across the Sahel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. Its territory includes Mauritania, Mali, southern Algeria, Niger, Chad, South Sudan and Eritrea.
 
He’s fighting battles he can’t win. He’s like a punch drunk fighter refusing to go down when licked. Instead, new ways to kill, destroy, and subvert are used. Peace and stability more than ever look distant.
 
Immanuel Wallerstein discussed the “impossible dilemmas of declining powers.” Years ago he predicted America’s decline. It’s happening faster than he imagined. It’s policies are self-defeating. Short-term priorities assure its longer-run downfall. 

“The obvious thing to do is not to go down this road any more.” America’s agenda doesn’t work. Neither does Israel’s “Don’t (Obama and Netanyahu) understand this?”

 
If so, why do they keep doing what’s failing? They even boast when they should change strategies responsibly.
 
Political priorities take precedence. Opposition hard-liners in both countries think they’re soft. Voices for change are absent. Hawks are dominant. Public opinion remains indifferent about what matters most.
 
Wallerstein suggests both leaders have delusions of grandeur. Obama wants unchallenged global hegemony. Netanyahu seeks a Greater Israel. It includes all Arab land he can grab.
 
These policies fuel conflicts. They endanger world peace and humanity. They also ignore both nations in decline. Imagine what they’ll risk to restore lost supremacy.
 
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
 
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
 
 
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
 

posted by Steve Lendman @ 12:08 AM
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All We Are Saying is NO More War and let it begin with Syria

by Eileen Fleming
Thursday, June 28th, 2012  

vanunu
Mairead and Mordechai Vanunu, in east Jerusalem

Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire knows that a peaceful and just society can be achieved only through nonviolent means and that the path to peace lies in each of our hearts.

(BELFAST / Florida) – On 25 June 2012, Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire issued the call for ‘NO to War in Syria’ and for an all inclusive dialogue to solve the conflict.

Her history proves “that a peaceful and just society can be achieved only through nonviolent means and that the path to peace lies in each of our hearts.”

A Little History of Mairead Corrigan Maguire:

In 1976, in Belfast, thousands of ordinary people throughout Northern Ireland, led by mostly women, demonstrated for an end to the killings known as “The Troubles” which began in 1969. By 1998, over thirty-four hundred people were killed in the crossfire of a brutal war against British colonial interests, revolutionary republicanism, and a revolt against the age-old, oppressive bigotry and fanaticism of religious ideologies.

On August 10, 1976, Máiread Corrigan Maguire’s two nephews and one of her nieces, all little children, were killed on a Belfast street corner.

“A British army patrol shot and killed an IRA gunman, Danny Lennon, whose car then plowed into the sidewalk, killing the children, and severely injuring Mairead’s sister Anne, who died several years later. In a land soaked with blood, their deaths came as a severe shock. Suddenly, thousands of people began to say, “Enough is enough. The killing and violence have to stop.”

Máiread, Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown, organized weekly peace marches and demonstrations were attended by over half a million people throughout Ireland and England.

Máiread understands “that a peaceful and just society can be achieved only through nonviolent means and that the path to peace lies in each of our hearts.”

Fueled by her faith, Maried, a lone voice of wisdom, compassion and common sense stood on the streets of Belfast and said “No — No to the IRA, No to the UDA and LVF (the Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Volunteer Force, unionist/ loyalist paramilitaries), No to the British government’s emergency laws and interrogation centers and human rights abuses, No to injustice, bigotry, discrimination, No to any desecration of human life and dignity.’

In Belfast during the 1980′s and early 90′s, Máiread’s vision of non-violence was dismissed, ridiculed, and ignored, while those who called for retaliatory vengeance and violence were applauded. From the start, Maried understood that her dream had to reach beyond the narrow boundaries of North Ireland to embrace a non-violent future for all humanity.

After a year of political negotiations, a breakthrough settlement was reached on Good Friday 1998, bringing Northern Ireland to an Easter dawn of peace.

Maried and Betty were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for what had once been unimaginable became reality and Maried continues to envision the unimaginable: justice and peace in Israel Palestine.

It was during my November 2008 trip to Israel Palestine when I met Mairead Maguire:

The Ongoing NAKBA and Vanunu
Read more…

Mairead Maguire’s 25 June 2012 statement:

People around the world are deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in Syria.

While we are being presented with some perspective of what is occurring on the ground to the people of Syria, the door seems closed to others.

We search for voices we can trust, voices which point to a peaceful, lasting solution to the conflict. We search for truth because it is truth which will set the Syrian people free.

Truth is difficult to find, so through the haze of conflicting narratives we must inevitably hear the voices and wisdom of men and women of peace in Syria.

Many may believe that there is a fight going on in Syria for ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’.

We can be seduced into thinking there is a magic wand or instant formula to mix that will create a democratic country, but there are none.

If it is a democracy a people want they must strive for it in their own way.

It is said the Greek idea of democracy was that people would be equally valued.

This is something every society has to strive for at every point in its history; it itself is a ‘revolutionary’ concept and a nonviolent revolutionary action.

Strive to value everyone equally. It is an idea, a motivation for a better world that doesn’t require blood; it requires the hard work of people and the nurturing of a community spirit; a constant growing of peace and it starts within each human heart.

Who are the voices of peace in regard to the crisis in Syria?

Many of them we cannot hear from where we are standing. They are the mothers and father and children who want to leave their homes to walk to market or to school without fear. They are the people, who have been working hard for Syria, for the idea of Syria as a secular and modern country.
There are some Syrian voices that have been heard consistently since the beginning of the crisis. Many of them are anonymous and they speak to us about injustices and atrocities. Numbers are given and fingers are pointed. The blame may be apportioned correctly or it may not.

Everything is happening too quickly; commentators and politicians are making decisions with haste and looking only in one corner for support for their certainty. But in the heat of the madness of violent ethnic/political conflict we must listen and ask questions and hear and speak with some uncertainty because it is certainty that can take a people and a country in a rush to war.

The face of the Mufti of Syria is hardly known in the western world, but if we have learned anything from past conflict, it is the importance of all inclusive dialogue.

He and many other Syrians who have peace in their hearts should be invited to sit with a council of elders from other countries, to tell of their stories and proposals for ways forward for the Syrian people.

The United Nations was not set up to provide an arena for the voices and games of the powerful; rather it should be a forum for such Syrian voices to be heard.

We need to put ourselves in the shoes of the Syrian people and find peaceful ways forward in order to stop this mad rush towards a war the mothers and fathers and children of Syria do not want and do not deserve.

We all know there are Imams, priests and nuns, fathers, mother, young people all over Syria crying out for peace and when the women in hijabs shout to the world after a bombing or a massacre in Syria ‘haram, haram’ let us hear and listen to them.

We are sure there are many heroes in Syria among them, Christian Patriarchs, Bishops, Priests, and religious.

A modern hero of peace, one whose name we do know and whose voice we have heard is Mother Agnes Mariam*.

 Mother Agnes Mariam

In her community her voice has been clear, pure and loud. And it should be so in the West. Like many people in Syria she has been placed in life threatening situations, but for the sake of peace she has chosen to risk her own existence for the safety and security of others. She has spoken out against the lack of truth in our media regarding Syria and about the terror and chaos which a ‘third force’ seems to be spreading across the country.

Her words confront and challenge us because they do not mirror the picture of events in Syria we have built up in our minds over many months of reading our newspapers and watching the news on our televisions.

Much of the terror has been imported, we learn from her.

She can tell us about the thousands of Christian refugees, forced to flee their homes by an imported Islamist extreme. But Mother Agnes Mariam’s concerns, irrespective of religion, are for all the victims of the terror and conflict, as ours must be.

In all our hearts we know War is not the answer for Syria (Nor for Iran).
Intervention in Syria would only make things worse.

I believe all sides are committing war crimes and the provision of arms will only results in further death. The US/UK/NATO and all foreign governments should stay out of Syria and keep their funding and troops out of Syria.

We should support those Syrians who work for peace in Syria and who seek a way of helping the 22 million or so people of Syria to resolve their own conflict without furthering the chaos or violence.

*Mother Agnes Miriam of the Cross is a greek-Catholic (Melkite) nun of Lebanese / Palestinian descent and has lived and worked in Syria for 18 years. She restored the ancient ruined monastery of St. James the Mutilated at Qara, in Homs province where she founded an order which serves the local and wider community. In 2010 the monastery welcomed 25,000 visitors both Syrian and international. http://www.maryakub.org/index_en.html

-Mairead Maguire

The Peace People, 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 6GE, Northern IrelandPhone: 0044 (0) 28 9066 346 Email: info@peacepeople.com

www.peacepeople.com

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Mursi’s Victory and Egypt’s Stability under the Military..

Mursi’s Victory and Egypt’s Stability under the Military.. 

Yusuf Fernandez

Mursi a lameduck president

Last 24 April, Muslim Brotherhood´s presidential candidate, Mohammed Mursi was named as new Egyptian president after defeating his rival, the former Mubarak-era prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq. However, his victory is not expected to bring rapid stability to the country as the power is still in the hands of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Mursi´s victory represents a remarkable victory for the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization which had been outlawed and systematically suppressed for decades, including under the three-decade regime of toppled president Hosni Mubarak. During the election campaign, Mursi got the benefits of the electoral work of the organization´s grassroots network his highly organised campaign team.

Mursi is the Arab world´s first elected Islamist president after more than a year of popular uprisings that ousted some autocrats and fueled the rise of Islamist forces in the whole region. His victory also means the end of a 60-year of military monopoly on the presidency. The previous presidents, who ruled the country since the Free Officers´ coup in 1952 –Mohamed Naguib, Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Anwar El Sadat and Hosni Mubarak– all came from within the military´s ranks.

The SCAF´s grip over power

Mursi’s victory, however, does not mean that the military junta is willing to loosen its current grip on power. Recent Tantawidecisions by SCAF have given the military junta expanded powers at the expense of both parliament and the presidency. The SCAF released late on Sunday 17 June an addendum to the military-authored March 2011 Constitutional Declaration.
The articles of the amended Constitutional Declaration put the SCAF in sole charge of the armed forces and its affairs, including selecting military leaders and the defence minister. The president will also not be able to declare a state of war or order the deployment of troops, even to contain domestic disturbances, without the SCAF´s consent, according to the terms of the constitutional addendum.

“The addendum means that the SCAF has become a state above the state, with wide legislative and executive powers, a veto on constitutional and other political matters, and stands immune to any challenges,” liberal political analyst Amr Hamzawy said via Twitter. Revolutionary author Alaa El-Aswany adds: “The Constitutional Deceleration is a complete turn against the revolution and it makes the president a mere affiliate of the military council”.

Moreover, the dissolution of parliament’s lower house by the Supreme Constitutional Court, under the SCAF´s control, has given the military junta full legislative and executive authority until a new People’s Assembly can be elected. The SCAF has also threatened to use an “iron fist” against protesters, and has deployed troops and armored vehicles in front of several public buildings in Cairo.
With its attitude, the military has clearly signaled that it did not intend to hand over the power to the Muslim Brotherhood. It has dissolved the parliament and the constituent assembly, which were both dominated by the Islamists. “The establishment is still there and they have an ideology against the Brotherhood,” said Said Sadek, a professor of political sociology at American University in Cairo. “They were trained to look the brotherhood and political Islam as the enemy.”
forces attacking protestersHowever, the military fear a popular uprising if they appear to be openly hostile to people´s willingness. Therefore, intensive behind-the-scenes negotiations were underway between the SCAF and the Muslim Brotherhood over a deal to give Mursi the largely powerless presidency in return for the Islamists´ acceptance of some of the SCAF´s recenly acquired powers.

Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and important leader of the opposition, is said to be involved in a mediation between both sides. Some reports indicate that shortly after he talked with the Muslim Brotherhood over a possible cabinet post, including the post of prime minister, he met with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the SCAF.
However, if this agreement proves to be something more than a temporary one, it would be a travesty of democracy, as the outcome would be an agreement between two factions of the ruling elite that would exclude the sentiments and interests of the Egyptian people at large. Most analysts insist that the only possible end for the democratic process in the country must be the definite return of military to their barracks.
Another problem is the size of the military´s role in economy. According to different estimates, their companies and industries account for around 8%-40% of the country´s gross national product. But since all the army´s accounts are secret no one knows this for sure. It is noteworthy to point out that the three main land-developing authorities (agricultural, urban and tourism) are headed by former military officers who, in addition to their military pensions, receive lucrative salaries and benefits associated with their civilian jobs.
Any attempt to strutinize, nationalize or privatize the army´s business empire will face strong opposition, not just from the high officers but also from powerful allies within the state bureaucracy; that is, people who are benefiting largely from the status quo.

United front

Therefore, the military junta and some sector of the burocracy could be tempted to make Mursi a lame-Mursiduck president or a figurehead and prevent him from implementing the Muslim Brotherhood program or his own ideas for the development of the country. “President Morsi will struggle to control the levers of state,” said Elijah Zarwan, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “He will likely face foot-dragging and perhaps outright attempts to undermine his initiatives from key institutions. Faced with such resistance, frustration may tempt him to fall into the trap of attempting to throw his new weight around,” Zarwan told Reuters. “This would be a mistake”.
However, Mursi has two cards to play in this game with military. Firstly, he is trying to set up a real front of revolutionary forces for the change. The Brotherhood has announced on its Twitter page that Morsi had begun talks to form a presidential team and cabinet that “would truly represent Egypt after the revolution.”
After some days of meetings with other revolutionary parties and organizations, such as the 6 April Youth Movement and secular Nasserites, leftish and liberals Mursi held a press conference in which he announced the formation of a national front.

In order to dismiss alegations that the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to monopolize the power, he said that he would appoint a personality that is not member of his organization as prime minister and assign other cabinet posts to non-Islamist figures.

The second card are Egyptian masses, who are not longer willing to have a shadow military government and let the army rule the country. In fact, protests have been going on since the junta dissolved the parliament earlier this month even after the announcement of Mursi´s win. Egyptians of all the political spectrum are saying loudly that they will not tolerate a role for military in the country´s politics. And, in spite of some threats of using the force against “rioters”, the Egyptian generals are aware that they are too weak to launch a crackdown campaign against their own people.

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