Gilad Atzmon on Press TV – President Obama is ‘confused’ about possible attack on Syria

Israel and their client states, USA UK France Canada want nobody to rule


In a recent tweet Stephen Walt, professor of International Relations at Harvard and co-author of the seminal text The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy wrote, “Note to advocates of military action in Syria: please tell us ur endgame: where does using force lead and who’s in charge if Assad goes?”

I would answer, that from the perspective of the Israeli-guided Western imperialists the answer would be: nobody. Israel and its de facto puppet regimes in Ottawa, London, Paris and Washington want Syria to be a dysfunctional, ungovernable failed state, rather than a sovereign Arab state led by an intelligent, anti-Zionist strongman.

It ought to be kept in mind that the post-WWII US military doctrine for the Middle East was the Eisenhower Doctrine which promoted the fomentation of stability in the region to facilitate the flow of oil to Americans. This was fine if you were safely ensconced in Houston or Dallas with your oil companies raking in profits from Middle East oil fields but for Israel this policy was disastrous. The funneling of petro-dollars to Israel’s adversaries like Saddam Hussein, who fired scud missiles at Israel in 1991, and to the likes of President Assad was intolerable. Therefore a schism in the Empire soon emerged and two distinct US-Zionist visions for the Middle East crystallized.

From the perspective of anti-neocon Realists, such as Walt, the US has a vested interest in propping up Arab strongmen (like President Assad) who can create stability in their countries thus making them potentially hospitable for US corporations. For Zionist-neocons and their evil twin brothers, Liberal Interventionists, it is Israel’s regional dominance rather than US commerce which is of primary importance.

For the likes of Walt, Iran too is an obvious country for the US to engage with for commercial and geostrategic reasons. But this is not what the agents of Israel in North America want. They want a weakened, balkanized Middle East so as to ensure Israeli regional hegemony. The distinctiveness of these two schools of imperial thought was perhaps best expressed in the [Persian] Gulf War I when George H. W. Bush, after repelling Saddam from Kuwait, DID NOT proceed on to Baghdad despite much cheerleading for regime change in Iraq by Zionists. Why did Bush senior not oust Saddam in 1991? Because the then US president, an oil man, realized that invading Iraq would unleash sectarian civil war that would jeopardize stability and thus oil markets. For putting US interests over those of Israel he was demonized as an “anti-Semite” by Israeli agents in the US press. Bush senior represented a more benign form of imperialism than that promoted by the Zionists who want to create Rwanda-style civil wars in the Middle East to divide and rule. In Israeli-oriented foreign policy circles this is known as prioritizing “moral incentives” over economic incentives.

The Israeli-neocon 9/11 coup d’état allowed the pro-destabilization, Zionist faction of the US elite to seize the reins of power. Since then we’ve seen the implementation of the Destabilization Doctrine, which, as stated, is the polar opposite of the less malignant post-WWII Eisenhower Doctrine. The now notorious Oded Yinon plan, authored by the Israeli geostrategic analyst in 1982, offers the clearest manifesto for the Israeli destabilization of the Middle East. Yinon argued the following:

“Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shia Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today.”

Thus many are naively asking “will it be the al-Qaeda affiliated opposition or President Assad’s government who will rule Syria?” From the perspective of the Zionist West the answer is neither. Israelocentric policy makers don’t want there to be a “Syria” to be ruled at the end of this chapter of history. It is the balkanization of the Middle East into microstates which is the long term goal, as expressed by Oded Yinon and his acolytes.

Certain Neocons have effectively argued for the Rothschildesque backing of both sides in Syria to perpetuate the carnage to the benefit of Israel. Neocon guru Daniel Pipes in a recently televised interview contended that in Syria the West should “keep them fighting each other,” adding “we are best off strategically when they are focused on each other.” This supports the contention that the Zionists want nobody to rule Syria. They want nobody to rule Iraq. They want nobody to rule Iran. They want sectarian civil war and carnage so Arabs, Persians and Muslims are fighting each other rather than the Zionist cuckoo in the nest.

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Resistance Is Our Destiny

Published Saturday, August 31, 2013
To hell with all the talk about democracy backed by the United States, France, Britain … and Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel.

To hell with every bid for freedom with the support of these murderers.

To hell with every fool, criminal, and coward, no matter what they look like, what they are called, where they live, or what they do.

To hell with all those who support an international war to topple Syria.

To hell with this bunch of collaborators, who people will no doubt will hold accountable one day, come chaos or stability.

To hell with all traitors, their speeches, their false tears, and to hell with their human rights groups and their subservient civil society organizations.

Israeli infantry soldiers walk in a deployment training area in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the border with Syria on 29 August 2013. (Photo: AFP – Menahem Kahana)

The decision to wage war on Syria is only the last step in the course set two and a half years ago, to destroy Resistance, its cities, people, and even its very idea.

There is no room for any kind of bargaining, and there is no room for any discussion or debate. There is no room to listen to any collaborator touting the list of causes of war and the causers, and there is no room for those who cling to their opinions, positions, or labels, wearing bandanas on their foreheads after wearing blindfolds on their eyes, and joining forces with collaborators and takfiris.
To begin with, these people live on the crumbs thrown to them by the robbers of Arab resources and fortunes. They work for them and receive from them money and all kinds of support.

It is a duty for every capable person to fight these killers, wherever they may be, wherever there is a chance to take revenge against them, and punish all the traitors, one after the other, in their beds, behind their desks, inside their tanks, or in their palaces, whether they are alone, or among their families.

What do you want from us today?

Do you want to repeat the experience of Iraq?

Do you want to repeat the experience of Afghanistan and Somalia?

Do you want to repeat the experience of Libya?

Do you want to repeat the experience of war in Lebanon?

Or do you think that this will be a war to destroy the right that will never be eliminated, and whose name, forever shall remain: Palestine?

We do not have to repeat our arguments or repeat the process of searching for answers; we do not have to repeat our comments or our warnings. All we have to do is declare one position, namely, that the war being prepared for Syria is a colonial war, and every participant in it, whether by supporting it, funding it, promoting it, justifying it, or directly fighting in it, is a cowardly collaborator whose sole punishment must be death, in public, without shame or hesitation.

It’s war!

They will gang up on Damascus, the mother of all cities, with the aim of crushing the people, the army, and the leadership. They want to destroy its history and its heritage of resisting invaders. They want to destroy every spirit that resists colonialism and supports resistance in the whole region. They want to extend a permanent lifeline to Israel and the oppressive regimes in our Arab countries, and they want to have collaborators of all kinds take over countries, rob their resources, and annihilate their peoples.

When America says that it needs no cover, legal justification, scientific investigation, or political support, and that it is able to manipulate the fate of a nation, for the sole reason that it has decided that its interests require it, then this means that we must act exactly like America, and wait for no cover, support, justification, or ask about international norms and so forth.

We must fight against it, and against its colonies, all forms of war, and we must spare no effort to seek to transfer the fire to its soil, in every place of its land and cities; we must scream in the face of the butcher. We would do all this, without giving them the ability to strip us of our humanity, which we shall keep for ourselves, our children, and for the oppressed everywhere.

Yesterday, the West showed its true colors: a spiteful, murderous West, that has no place for anyone except those who know how to kneel down before it, and raise the white flag above their heads.
Yesterday, Europe showed its foul nature. It is not just a foolish old crone, but an ugly one too, with venom spewing from all its folds. Dishonor mars its opinion-makers, factories, schools, universities, and its people who do not come out to disavow the killers among them.

All we can do is resist them, with all our capabilities. Nothing will prevent us from seeking out our sole enemy, which has many faces, but one name: the barbarians, the bloodsuckers. As for us, resistance is our destiny.

Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

قدرنا … المقاومة!

ابراهيم الأمين

إلى الجحيم كل نقاش حول ديموقراطية تدعمها أميركا وفرنسا وبريطانيا والسعودية وتركيا وإسرائيل…

من تظاهرات اليمن امس ضد العدوان الغربي

إلى الجحيم كل مسعى إلى حرية بدعم من هؤلاء القَتَلة.

إلى الجحيم كل تافه، مجرم، خائف، مهما كان شكله أو اسمه أو عنوانه أو وظيفته.

الى الجحيم كل الذين يدعمون حرب التدخل العالمية لإسقاط سوريا.

الى الجحيم كل هذه الحفنة من العملاء الذين لا بد ان يحاكمهم الناس في يوم قريب، في حالة استقرار أو حالة فوضى.

الى الجحيم كل الخونة، وكل خطاباتهم، وكل دموعهم الكاذبة، وكل عويلهم وصراخهم، وكل منظماتهم الخاصة بحقوق الانسان، وكل منظمات مجتمعاتهم المدنية الخانعة.

قرار الحرب على سوريا، ليس سوى الخطوة الاخيرة، المقررة منذ سنتين ونصف، بحثاً عن تدمير المقاومة، مدنا وبشرا وفكرة ايضا.

لا مجال لأيّ نوع من المساومة، ولا مجال لأيّ نقاش أو سجال، ولا مجال للاستماع إلى أيّ عميل يعرض علينا لائحة الأسباب والمسبّبين، ومَن يتمسّك من هؤلاء برأيه أو موقعه، أو تصنيفه، فليذهب ويضع عصبة على جبينه بعدما وضع عصبة على عينيه، ولينضمّ إلى مجموعات العملاء والتكفيريين.

هؤلاء يعيشون أصلاً على فتات سارقي الثروات العربية، يعملون عندهم، ويتلقّون منهم الأموال وكل أشكال الدعم، ولم يعد ينقصهم سوى إعلان الاندماج كليّاً في عوالم هؤلاء القَتَلة الذين بات واجباً وفرض عين على كل قادر مقاتلتهم، حيث هم، حيث يتواجدون، حيث تتوافر فرصة الانتقام منهم، ومعاقبة كل الخونة، واحداً تلو الآخر، في أسرّتهم، أو خلف مكاتبهم، أو داخل دباباتهم، أو في قصورهم، لوحدهم، أو بين أفراد عائلاتهم…

ماذا تريدون منا اليوم؟

هل تريدون تكرار تجربة العراق؟

هل تريدون تكرار تجربة أفغانستان والصومال؟

هل تريدون تكرار تجربة ليبيا؟

هل تريدون تكرار تجربة حروب لبنان؟

او هل انتم تعتقدون انها الحرب التي تقضي على حق لن يزول اسمه الوحيد الدائم الى ابد الابدين: فلسطين!

لسنا مضطرّين إلى تكرار السجال، ولا إلى تكرار البحث والأجوبة والتعليقات والتحذيرات، ولسنا مضطرّين سوى إلى إعلان موقف واحد، وهو أنّ الحرب التي يُعَدُّ لها ضدّ سوريا هي حرب استعمارية، وكل مشارك فيها، كلياً، تأييداً، تمويلاً، ترويجاً، تبريراً، وقتالاً، هو عميل خائف، ولا عقوبة له سوى الموت، جهاراً نهاراً بدون خجل أو حياء!

إنّها الحرب!

سيستفردون دمشق، أم مدن العالم، ويريدون سحق الناس والجيش والقيادة هناك. يريدون تدمير التاريخ والموروث الوطني بوجه الغزاة. ويريدون تدمير كل روح تقاوم الاستعمار وتدعم المقاومين في كل المنطقة. ويريدون مدّ شريان حياة دائمة لإسرائيل، ولأنظمة القهر في بلادنا العربية، ويريدون إيصال العملاء، من كل الصنوف والأشكال، لتولّي بلدان وسرقة ثرواتها، وإبادة شعوبها.

عندما تقول اميركا انها لا تحتاج الى تغطية، ولا الى تبرير قانوني، ولا الى تحقيق علمي، ولا الى دعم سياسي، وانها تقدر على التحكم بمصير امة لمجرد انها قررت ان مصلحتها تفرض عليها ذلك، يعني ان علينا التصرف مثلها تماماً، بأن لا ننتظر تغطية ولا دعما ولا تبريرا ولا سؤالا عن معايير دولية وخلافه، وان نخوض بوجهها، ووجه مستعمراتها، كل انواع الحروب والقتال، وان نسعى، بكل جهد، الى نقل النار الى ارضها، في كل مكان من ارضها ومدنها، والى أن نصرخ بوجه السفاح، ان كل ذلك سنقوم به، من دون ان تقدروا على تجريدنا من انسانيتنا، تلك التي نحتفظ بها لاجل انفسنا ولاجل اولادنا ولاجل المقهورين في كل الارض.

امس، ظهر الغرب كله على حقيقته. غرب حاقد، قاتل، لا مكان فيه لحق إلا لمن يعرف الخنوع امامه، ولا امان فيه الا لمن يرفع الراية البيضاء.

امس بدت اوروبا كريهة. ليست عجوزا حمقاء فقط، بل قبيحة، السم يفحّ من كل ثناياها، وفيها العار يسكن صناع الرأي العام، ويسكن مصانعها ومدارسها وجامعاتها وناسها الذين لا يخرجون ويطردون القتلة من بينهم.

ليس لنا سوى مقاومتهم، بكل ما تملكه ايدينا وعقولنا ودمائنا، ولا شيء سيحجب عنا رؤية العدو الواحد، الذي له وجوه عدة، ولكن باسم واحد: انهم البرابرة، مصاصو الدماء… اما نحن، فقدرنا هو المقاومة!



Posted on August 30, 2013 by Alexandra Valiente

The British parliament’s rejection of military action in Syria this week may be just enough to halt the manic march to all-out war – a war that many fear would not only engulf the Middle East region, but could lead to a global conflagration. The manic march is under the orders of the imperial rulers in Washington, London and Paris – in apparent defiance of a global consensus that is sick of endless, illegal, bankrupting wars conducted by these unaccountable rogue Western regimes.
But could we have reached a positive turning point? Could Syria represent a Damascene moment of revelation? This would not be due to any benign awakening among the Western political class, but rather out of a sense that the vast majority of ordinary people are acutely aware and implacably against any further war-making propaganda stunts. The British parliamentary vote against military action in Syria is reflective of the public anger and indignation against unaccountable rulers constantly banging the drums of war.
Polls show that the majority of ordinary citizens in the US, Britain and France in particular are firmly opposed to any military intervention in Syria, yet their rulers insist that they have the «moral authority» to fire cruise missiles and launch air strikes on the strife-torn Arab country – a strife that has been covertly fomented and exacerbated by the these same Western powers, resulting in more than 100,000 deaths over the past 30 months.
The policy of these Western states towards Syria exhibits the wider problem of dysfunctional democracies under a bankrupt capitalist system. The Western public does not want war; they want jobs, social welfare and public services. Nevertheless, the citizens are instead told that there is no money for such public goods, however there are somehow funds to mount yet another foreign war – all on the back of yet more dubious claims that have likewise underpinned previous wars over the last 10 years.
This tendency of unilateral, unaccountable warmongering just received a welcome blow. On Thursday, the gung-ho British Prime Minister, David Cameron, suffered a stunning defeat when members of his governing Conservative party joined with opposition Labor parliamentarians to vote against military strikes on Syria. Days before that, Cameron had imperiously given a commitment to US President Barack Obama that British forces would augment American military attacks on Syria following hoary accusations from Washington, London and Paris that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons on its own people last week.
However, Britain will not now be part of any US-led «coalition of the willing» to attack Syria. Cameron showed surprising modesty when he said after the parliamentary setback that he would obey the will of the people and desist from military action in Syria. Not that Cameron has undergone an ethical conversion. He simply has enough savvy to know that his government will be torn to shreds by an outraged public if he dares engage in unilateral militarism at a time when austerity and poverty are crushing millions of Britons.
This absence of America’s «special partner» in imperialist adventurism, adds to Washington’s increasing problems of launching a war on Syria. Officially, the White House is still proceeding with plans for military intervention, despite the British parliamentary No vote. Some commentators speculate that the US may gave the orders on Sunday for cruise missile strikes from its five warships currently off the coast of Syria. One factor is that Washington is possibly waiting for the UN chemical weapons inspection team to leave Syria this weekend. The team, led by Ake Sellstrom, is due to depart on Saturday and immediately report its findings to the UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon.
After the British parliamentary setback, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued a statement while visiting the Philippines. «Our approach is to continue to find an international coalition that will act together,» Hagel told a news conference in the capital, Manila. «It is the goal of President Obama and our government… whatever decision is taken, that it be an international collaboration and effort.»
That sounds more like the US pushing to recruit a lynch mob than an international consensus over Syria. But, taking Hagel at his word, if an «international coalition» is Washington’s criterion for attacking Syria, then there is a fair chance that any such action will not eventuate. Without the trusty British, any supposed coalition of the willing that the Americans might muster will be of risible credibility. Recall that the Americans needed the salesman-like qualities of the British in railroading the wars on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Following the formal British withdrawal from a military strike on Syria, it is questionable whom Washington may be able to press-gang. A coalition starring the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel along with Al Qaeda militants within Syria – a «coalition of the killing» – stretches credulity way beyond breaking point. The international backlash will be withering…
It is significant, too, that the other member of the Western triumvirate, France, has also toned down its initial bellicose rhetoric. At the start of the week, French President Francois Hollande was warning that his country was «ready to punish the Syrian regime» over the alleged chemical weapons attack. But on the same day that the British MPs voted against military intervention, the French leader had decidedly calmed down and was urging «a peaceful, political solution» to the Syrian crisis.
That leaves Washington isolated on the United Nations Security Council, with Russia and China both having made clear their categorical opposition to any military strikes against their ally, Syria.
Furthermore, within the US itself, the Obama administration is facing stiffening resistance to its threats of another war in the Middle East. US officials may claim that their military is preparing to use «limited surgical strikes» aimed at cautioning the Assad government over its alleged use of chemical weapons. But no one is buying that. Military strikes of any kind are the beginning of a slippery slope into uncontrollable all-out war. A letter signed by 140 American lawmakers warned the president that any move to use military strikes against Syria would violate the US Constitution without first obtaining authorization from Congress on such a deployment. As in Britain, American lawmakers seem to be heeding the public’s contempt for intelligence conclusions that are cloaked with «classified secrecy».
This no doubt reflects increasing public repudiation of threadbare official lies and spurious pretexts to justify relentless overseas’ wars: fighting terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, responsibility to protect civilians. Adding fuel to the public ire are the recent revelations about massive illegal US (and British) government spying on citizens, which is compounding an already seething distrust towards these authorities and their unaccountable agencies.
Again, Syria is a crystallizing point for many issues: illegal wars, a failing bankrupt economic system, and official lies about everything from unemployment statistics to chemical weapons. Not only is the increasing evidence of Western collusion with terrorism in Syria morally repugnant, it also drives home to the Western public the propaganda charade of the entire «war on terror». The latest claims by Western governments over the alleged chemical weapons attack as a pretext for military intervention smacks of yet more self-serving lies told by an incorrigible anti-democratic elite who profit from war, death and destruction.
The alleged chemical weapons incident in three suburbs of the Syrian capital, Damascus, is still under investigation by a team of United Nations technical experts. Tellingly, the UN inspectors are being facilitated by the government in Damascus; they were shot at earlier this week by unknown snipers while driving with Syrian security personnel on the way to collect incriminating field data; and the UN team is finishing off its investigation by carrying out tests on Syrian soldiers injured in the alleged gas attack apparently with the deadly nerve agent Sarin. But the American, British and French governments had embarked on a bombastic media campaign making strident assertions immediately following the incident on 21 August – in which hundreds were killed – that it had been perpetrated by Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad.
Washington, London and Paris typically did not provide any verifiable evidence to support their assertions – just as they did not provide evidence to back up similar earlier claims over the poison gas attack in Khan al-Assal in March. An official Russian study into the Khan al-Assal incident – whose results were independently verifiable – found that the perpetrators were the Western-backed mercenaries trying to topple the Assad government.
US officials are now claiming that they have based part of their conclusions over the latest chemical weapons incident near Damascus on intercepted phone conversations between «senior regime figures». But this purported US intelligence is not presented. Likewise, the British and French governments balk at disclosing the «evidence» they claim to have that makes them so apparently certain in their accusations against Assad.
The rush to escalate war in Syria by this cabal of three powers who don the mantle of the «international community» has mobilized widespread alarm and resentment among the actual international community of preponderant governments and citizens. The credibility of the US and Britain in particular following their genocidal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which were subsequently shown to be based on entirely false claims, is at an all-time low in the eyes of the world. The French have tarnished any moral authority they may have had with participation in the neocolonial NATO blitz on Libya in 2011, and then its unilateral intervention in Mali earlier this year. The latter operation was allegedly conducted to prevent radical Islamists toppling the Francophile regime, yet the France along with the US, Britain and others are supporting similar extremists trying to overthrow the sovereign government in Syria.
Syria is still very much in danger of being attacked by the US military in the coming days. The crisis-ridden capitalist system that the US presides over is wired for war and perhaps the warmongering American elite may be immutable in the face of widespread political opposition, both within the US and around the world. But, having said that, one glimmer of hope is that Syria perhaps represents a point in history where Western rogue rulers and their rotten capitalist system are no longer able to launder their lies for war. The world’s public can finally see the filth and who is causing it.

Putin: As Nobel Prize Winner, Obama Must Think of Victims before Attacking Syria

Local Editor


Russian President Vladimir Putin called his American counterpart Barack Obama on Saturday not to forget that he holds a Nobel Peace Prize.

“I would like to say to Obama as a Nobel Peace Prize winner: before you use force in Syria, you should think of the victims that will fall,” Putin said, pointing out that “Russia calls for deep thinking before making a decision of operation in Syria.”

“Common sense notes that with the advancement of the Syrian government forces .. giving the trump card to those who continuously call for military intervention is nonsense and does not correspond with any logic, especially on the day of the UN inspectors arrival,” the Russian President added.

“I’m sure it was just a provocation by those who seek to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict and want to gain support from the international parties, first and foremost, the United States of course,” he stated.

Source: Websites
31-08-2013 – 14:25 Last updated 31-08-2013 – 14:25

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The UN withdrew the UN commission for enquiry from Syria before they achieved their mission on the ground and write their final report about the use of chemical weapons and the Syrian minister of foreign affairs said that Syria will not accept a report that is not complete. The US will go to war alone accompanied only by France . UK, Canada, Italy and Germany and others are NOT going. Obama spoke again about a limited assault but no one knows how it will escalate not even Obama who seems to be subject to great confusion where his power and credibility is being tested . Experts say that this confusion is due to the fact that Iran and Hizbullah have not disclosed their plans or spoke about their intentions. Iran will not allow the enemy to cross the red lines which are: threatening the regime and invading Syria . These two things will bring Iran to interfere and Hizbullah to retaliate . Some sources say that there are at least 30 thousand US marines in the US military bases of the region and they have received special training in Jordan and elsewhere . Some of those are very likely to have already been introduced to Syria. . Once this war is launched no one knows how it will end and when, and Obama will be the last to know.

Obama Faces Scandal: Syrian Armed Groups Admit Responsibility for Saudi-Supplied Chemical Weapons Attack

Local Editor

Syrian armed groups in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

The armed groups further revealed that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by militants mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.

 “From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the deadly gas attack,” writes Gavlak.

In this context, Gavlak stated that they were not properly trained on how to handle the chemical weapons or even told what they were. It appears as though the weapons were initially supposed to be given to the al-Qaeda offshoot al-Nusra Front.

 “We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” one militant named ‘J’ told Gavlak.
His claims are echoed by another female fighter named ‘K’, who told Gavlak, “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

 Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of an opposition militant, also told Gavlak, “My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” describing them as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.” The father names the Saudi militant who provided the weapons as Abu Ayesha.

According to Abdel-Moneim, the weapons exploded inside a tunnel, killing 12 rebels.
“More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government,” writes Gavlak.

 According to the agency, this story could completely derail the United States’ rush to attack Syria which has been founded on the “undeniable” justification that al-Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack. Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio [NPR] and written articles for BBC News.

 The website on which the story originally appeared – Mint Press (which is currently down as a result of huge traffic it is attracting to the article) is a legitimate media organization based in Minnesota. The Minnesota Post did a profile on them last year.

Saudi Arabia’s role in providing rebels, whom they have vehemently backed at every turn, with chemical weapons, is no surprise given the revelations earlier this week that the Saudis threatened Russia with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi unless they abandoned support for the Syrian President.

 “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Prince Bandar told Vladimir Putin, the Telegraph reports.

 US intelligence officials also told the Associated Press that the intelligence proving al-Assad’s culpability is “no slam dunk.”

 In a recent article for Business Insider, reporter Geoffrey Ingersoll highlighted Saudi Prince Bandar’s role in the two-and-a-half year Syrian civil war. Many observers believe Bandar, with his close ties to Washington, has been at the very heart of the push for war by the US against al-Assad.
Ingersoll referred to an article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph about secret Russian-Saudi talks that Bandar offered Russian President Vladimir Putin cheap oil in exchange for dumping al-Assad.

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Bandar allegedly told the Russians.
“Along with Saudi officials, the US allegedly gave the Saudi intelligence chief the thumbs up to conduct these talks with Russia, which comes as no surprise,” Ingersoll wrote.

 “Bandar is American-educated, both military and collegiate, served as a highly influential Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and the CIA totally loves this guy,” he added.

 According to UK’s Independent newspaper, it was Prince Bandar’s intelligence agency that first brought allegations of the use of sarin gas by the regime to the attention of Western allies in February.

 The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the CIA realized Saudi Arabia was “serious” about toppling al-Assad when the Saudi king named Prince Bandar to lead the effort.

 “They believed that Prince Bandar, a veteran of the diplomatic intrigues of Washington and the Arab world, could deliver what the CIA couldn’t: planeloads of money and arms, and, as one US diplomat put it, wasta, Arabic for under-the-table clout,” it said.

Bandar has been advancing Saudi Arabia’s top foreign policy goal, WSJ reported, of defeating al-Assad as well as Iran and Hizbullah.

 To that aim, Bandar worked Washington to back a program to arm and train armed groups out of a planned military base in Jordan.

 The newspaper reports that he met with the “uneasy Jordanians about such a base”:
His meetings in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah sometimes ran to eight hours in a single sitting. “The king would joke: ‘Oh, Bandar’s coming again? Let’s clear two days for the meeting,’ ” said a person familiar with the meetings.

 Jordan’s financial dependence on Saudi Arabia may have given the Saudis strong leverage. An operations center in Jordan started going online in the summer of 2012, including an airstrip and warehouses for arms. Saudi-procured AK-47s and ammunition arrived, WSJ reported, citing Arab officials.

Although Saudi Arabia has officially maintained that it supported more moderate militants, the newspaper reported that “funds and arms were being funneled to radicals on the side, simply to counter the influence of rival Islamists backed by Qatar.”

But rebels interviewed said Prince Bandar is referred to as “al-Habib” or ‘the lover’ by al-Qaeda militants fighting in Syria.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by web site team

31-08-2013 | 10:30

Russian Envoy: Syria Can Resist US Attack

Russian ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin (front L) talks with the pilot of a Russian airplane that arrived with humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, at Beirut International Airport, April 3, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Sharif Karim )
By: Marlene Khalifeh Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon).
اقرا المقال الأصلي باللغة العربية


Regional incidents and the terrorist Ruwais bombing in Lebanon have disturbed the quiet holiday that Russian Ambassador Alexander Zasypkin was enjoying at his home in Podolsk, south Russia, whose nature and refreshing climate he dwelled on. But today, Zasypkin is busy following the Syrian issue, which the Americans suddenly heated up by announcing possible upcoming air strikes against targeted Syrian sites.

Perhaps this week’s “star announcement” was the statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday, Aug. 26, when he said that Russia will not react militarily to a US military intervention in Syria

In Beirut, Zasypkin supported Lavrov’s position and was surprised that some thought that Russia was willing to go to war with the United States and destabilize the world for many years, as happened during the Cold War. He reiterated his country’s positions, which reject bypassing the UN Security Council. He expects that the new US “adventure” will expand the conflict in the region, as the United States did in Iraq and Libya. Zasypkin seemed certain about the Syrian army’s superiority relative to the opposition and, alluding to Iran, he warned about how the Syrian regime’s allies will react to a US strike.


Zasypkin accused the “Syrian opposition’s gunmen” of using poison gas against civilians, and he advised the Lebanese people, under these circumstances, to form a government that groups all sides and that doesn’t exclude any party that is represented in the Lebanese parliament.
Following is the text of the interview:
As-Safir:  Russia chose not to react militarily to a US military intervention in Syria. What does that mean? And does Moscow accept a repeat of the Libyan experience?
Zasypkin:  We do not accept a repeat of the Libyan experience by means of a decision in the UN Security Council. It is known that we used our veto right three times to prevent decisions that are unbalanced toward the Syrian reality. We want to prevent any action outside the UN Security Council. And if they resort to a military strike, then it would be a violation of international law.
As-Safir:  Will Russia stop at only describing the situation and accept direct US interference in Russia’s area of ​​influence?
Zasypkin:  We think that we are taking a strong political stance regarding what is happening. Our commitment to international legitimacy means that we will not accept any attempt at a direct foreign intervention in Syria. We believe that this is the strongest possible thing that Russia can do in these circumstances. Some might want us to use the same methods as the Americans and threaten their allies. But we will not fall into this trap and we will stick to the political struggle. At the same time, we have warned that this aggression will not be easy and that there will be a reaction from Syria. And we are aware of the positions of some other international parties allied to Syria.
As-Safir:  Some have interpreted Foreign Minister Lavrov’s words to mean that Russia has withdrawn its support for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Zasypkin:  What is happening on the subject of chemical weapons, as well as the threats, shows that our approach is sound, so we will maintain it. We will not accept foreign attempts to force the Syrian president to step down. Today, as before, we assert that this issue is in the hands of the Syrian people and not in the hands of third parties, regardless of the methods they use to achieve this goal.
As-Safir:  But doesn’t the expected American military intervention change the power balance before going to the Geneva II conference?
Zasypkin:  This is an old discussion. We have been hearing for several months that they want a period of time to change the power balance to create suitable conditions for the negotiations. We do not accept this logic. We believe negotiations should have happened a long time ago. The facts indicate that the situation was moving in the [Syrian] army’s favor on the ground. If there is a strike, there will be multiple effects, whose implications we cannot accurately assess. What’s certain is that it will lead to the escalation of the situation and to the expansion of the conflict.
As-Safir:  During his visit to Russia, did Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz inform President Vladimir Putin about this sudden US change? How was the atmosphere of the Russian-Saudi meeting?
Zasypkin:  We believe that the meeting was useful because it was an opportunity for direct talks with the Saudi side and for Russia to explain its position and geopolitical constants. And I would like to emphasize that the rumors on bargains regarding regional issues are incorrect.
As-Safir:  Iran said that the Americans may be able to start the war but not decide how it will end. Did we enter into a regional war?
Zasypkin:  During the last decades, the Americans went into several adventures, like Iraq and the NATO operation in Libya. They have always led to chaos and tragic results for everyone, including the United States. So we warn of the same scenario if there is a strike against Syria, especially because it is a pivotal state in the region. The international community must support a political settlement in Syria through negotiations between the government and the opposition according to the Geneva accord. And this requires dealing with the parties to the conflict, and preparing for the Geneva II conference.
Russia accuses the Syrian opposition
As-Safir:  What is Russia’s political assessment about the poison gas massacre in east and west Ghouta? Is it true that Russia has failed to control the use of this weapon?
Zasypkin:  It’s not the first time that they’ve used the pretext of weapons of mass destruction to go on military adventures, as happened in Iraq. And according to our information, those who used chemical weapons in Syria are the armed opposition, not the Syrian regime. We have handed over the complete file about the Khan al-Asal incident to the UN Security Council. We must await the results of the experts’ investigations and the discussions in the Security Council.
As-Safir:  What if the UN Security Council is bypassed, as some parties have called for, such as British Foreign Minister William Hague and even Turkey?
Zasypkin:  We adhere to the UN Security Council despite attempts to sabotage its role. This is how Russia’s position differs from that of the international community, and we’re proud of it. We will continue to apply our international obligations in this regard. Those who act outside the scope of the Security Council should take responsibility for their actions because history does not end today.
As-Safir:  What will happen the day after the expected US strike?
Zasypkin:  The magnitude of the conflict will grow and its area will expand. And in our opinion, the Syrian regime can resist.
Lebanon, international terrorism and the government
As-Safir:  What does Russia think about what has been happening in Lebanon lately, regarding car bombs that claimed hundreds of innocent people in the southern suburbs and Tripoli?
Zasypkin:  We strongly condemn these acts, and we are striving to maintain the international consensus on security and stability in Lebanon regardless of what is happening in the region.
As-Safir:  Has Lebanon entered the “Iraqization” phase?
Zasypkin:  I think that the international constants regarding Lebanon are still in place. But subversive parties are trying to escalate the situation. So we have to stand in solidarity with Lebanon.
As-Safir:  Will Russia help Lebanon with anti-terrorism equipment?
Zasypkin:  If that’s necessary, we are ready.
As-Safir:  Who has an interest in seeing Lebanon blow up? Did the takfiri hypothesis that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah talked about convince you?
Zasypkin:  There is a game going on in the framework of the international terrorist network. As an external party, I cannot point to any groups inside Lebanon who committed the crime. The investigation and the judicial outcomes must uncover who committed the crime.
As-Safir:  What about the proposals regarding the upcoming Lebanese cabinet? Does Russia accept a cabinet that doesn’t include Hezbollah?
Zasypkin:  This is an internal issue, but we always call for national dialogue. And we think that the best kind of government is one that includes all the main Lebanese groups without exception. This is the best choice for Lebanon. And given the exceptional circumstances we are experiencing in the region, the Lebanese government should be strong and capable of managing things in the country, especially with respect to security, the economy and social issues. Regarding the issue of representation and how the shares are divided, that should be decided by consultation among the Lebanese parties.


Read more:

Waiting for the Barbarians – Michel Samaha Writes about the war on Iraq (Syria)

في انتظار البرابرة

 جوزف سماحة يكتب عن الحرب على العراق سوريا… في انتظار البرابرة

في آذار/ مارس ٢٠٠٣ بدأت القوّات الأميركيّة بالزحف على بغداد، وفي التاسع من نيسان/ إبريل سقطت عاصمة العبّاسيين بيد جورج بوش الابن (وتابعه طوني بلير) تحت لواء تطبيق القوانين الدوليّة، وتحرير الشعب العراقي من الاستبداد. خلال تلك الأيّام العصيبة كان زميلنا الراحل جوزف سماحة، من موقعه في جريدة «السفير»، يواكب الحدث بنظرته النقديّة، مفكّكاً الأهداف الاستعماريّة للحملة الأميركيّة التي حوّلت «المشرق العربي إلى حقل رماية»، ومستشرفاً مستقبل العراق والمنطقة، في ضوء الصراع العربي ـــ الاسرائيلي وقضيّة العرب المركزيّة: فلسطين.

كتب مجموعة من الافتتاحيّات، طارحاً أسئلة الديمقراطيّة، واضعاً فئة من المثقفين أمام مسؤوليّتها لأنّها شهدت بالزور أمام التاريخ، وظنّت للحظة أن الجيش الأميركي سيحررها من الطغيان، ويهديها التقدّم والحريّة على طبق من فضّة: «إن القضية، اليوم، هي قضية الحرب.

تغيير النظام نحو الديموقراطية هو العنوان النبيل المعطى لهذا العدوان وذلك في تكرار سمج لكل ما رافق الحملات الكولونيالية ـــ بما فيها الصهيونية ـــ من ادعاءات تمدينية» يكتب جوزف. ويضيف في افتتاحيّة أخرى، عشيّة سقوط بغداد: «لقد كان القرار متَّخَذا منذ فترة طويلة. وعندما سيكتب أحدهم تاريخ السنتين الماضيتين سيقول إن العالم شهد عملية خداع استثنائية. ولمّا لم تنجح تماما اضطرت واشنطن إلى رمي القناع والإعلان عن غايتها الفعلية». وفي افتتاحيّة ثالثة: «إن التمدد في انتظار البرابرة هو السمة الحالية للوضع العربي ـــ يكتب جوزف سماحة ـــ تمدد يتعايش مع ضرب الجسم في قلبه، وربما اقتطاع أجزاء منه. وهو لا يتعارض مع مساعدة كسولة لهؤلاء البرابرة تأخذ على «الرافضين» قولهم إنه في الإمكان أحسن قليلا مما هو كائن. ستعيش منطقتنا تضخما في العنف الموجه ضدها. إن «أم المعارك» أميركية هذه المرة (أيضا) وستتناسل منها ذرية متكاثرة».

مقالات راهنة على نحو مدهش، نضع بعضها اليوم بين أيدي القرّاء. إنّها طريقتنا كي نستحضر جوزف سماحة، عشيّة حملة همجيّة ستقتلنا وتمزّق دولنا ومجتمعاتنا وذلك من أجل «حريّتنا»… إننا نحتاج إليه إلى جانبنا اليوم في «الأخبار»، تماماً مثل أيّام البدايات في تمّوز/ يوليو ٢٠٠٦، حين كانت القذائف الاسرائيليّة بالاطنان تحارب «الهمجيّة» باسم الحضارة الغربيّة نفسها…

مقالات راهنة على نحو مدهش، نقرأها الآن وقد بدأ العد العكسي للهجمة الاستعمارية على المشرق العربي، مكتفين باستبدال «سوريا» بـ «العراق»، لنكتشف كيف أن العرب محكومون باللعنة ذاتها، لعنة الخضوع أمام الاستعمار، وتسليمه مقدراتهم ومستقبلهم ومصيرهم، خلف واجهة النيّات النبيلة والمشروع الحضاري. غداً في مثل هذا الوقت، أغلب الظن أننا سنكون قد دخلنا مرحلة جديدة من تاريخنا.


العدد ٢٠٩٢ السبت ٣١ اب ٢٠١٣

في انتظار البرابرة

South Lebanon: UNIFIL Evacuates Staff’s Families

Peacekeepers of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) patrol along the Lebanese-Israeli border on 23 August 2013 in Adaysseh after the Israeli air force launched a rocket toward a Palestinian group in Lebanon. (Photo: AFP – Mahmoud Zayyat)
Published Friday, August 30, 2013
Al-Akhbar has learned that Hezbollah has declared a state of general alert in its ranks. The Resistance decided to elevate its personnel’s readiness levels and take all necessary steps to ensure the preparedness of its combat units across all its deployment locations, including Syria.
The Resistance initiated its measures quietly, amid extensive efforts by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to keep tabs on its actions.UNIFIL’s command notified its foreign staff on Wednesday evening, August 28, of its intention to evacuate their families residing in Lebanon. Sources in the UN peacekeeping mission in South Lebanon had insisted up until yesterday evening that UNIFIL commander Gen. Paulo Sierra had not signed the evacuation order. However, a senior official in the political affairs department told a number of Lebanese security officials that UNIFIL would begin evacuating their families via Beirut International Airport by next Sunday.In an internal memo circulated to its staff on the matter, UNIFIL’s command stopped short of explaining the direct reason for the evacuation. However, this can hardly be seen in isolation from regional developments linked to the Syrian conflict and Western threats to conduct a military strike against Syria.

Indeed, sources in the UN force said the decision was part of preemptive measures implemented by UN missions around the world to protect their personnel in the event of major security incidents. This means that the UN mission may have received secret information concerning Western intentions in Syria.

Informed sources said that Gen. Sierra alone was authorized to approve a decision of this kind, in his capacity as head of the peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon. Such a decision, the sources continued, can be taken only after Sierra consults with his military and civilian aides, but also with the representative of the UN secretary general in Lebanon and the embassies of the countries that have troops serving with UNIFIL, such as Italy, France, and Spain.

In all cases, the people of South Lebanon and the members of UNIFIL themselves cannot be convinced that this decision is merely preemptive. It is a “dangerous decision,” the sources said.
A number of theories are on the minds of those concerned in the south: Is this the model for how UNIFIL intends to deal with fateful events in the region? Will UNIFIL stop with the evacuation of the families of foreign personnel, or will it go on to reduce the number of its troops?

Furthermore, has UNIFIL or the embassies of its member states in Lebanon received certain indications about the coming period in Syria, and does UNIFIL fear the repercussions of a possible strike against Syria that might not be limited in scope, as the West is suggesting? Or is the decision to evacuate merely a reflection of the UN’s confusion over Hezbollah’s silence regarding Western threats of war in Syria – with the Israelis also doing their part by putting their forces on alert along their northern border?

No matter the motives, the UN decision once again reveals just how badly UNIFIL understands the nature and spirit of its mission in South Lebanon. Once again, UNIFIL is acting as though it is a political party to regional or local crises, rather than a peacekeeping mission.

Despite successive security incidents in the region, UNIFIL’s area of operation has almost always remained calm. So, what is the UNIFIL afraid of exactly?

In the past few hours, the UN’s foreign staff in the south, especially in Sour and its suburbs, have rushed to withdraw money to ensure they have enough cash for any eventuality, while many of them were seen stocking up on food and supplies.

In the middle of all this, it is interesting to note that UNIFIL’s security measures remain unchanged. UNIFIL command is yet to raise the level of preparedness and alert for its units and patrols.
Interestingly, the commander of the south Litani region in the Lebanese army called a meeting on Thursday to discuss ways to confront any emergency. In the past, UNIFIL, civil defense, or municipalities would have their own meetings to deal with certain disasters in the region. But this was the first time that the army called for such a meeting in which mayors, security leaders, officers from UNIFIL, and civil defense participated, to coordinate a response to some kind of emergency.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has extended UNIFIL’s mandate in Lebanon until August 2014, and urged Israel to withdraw its troops from the village of northern Ghaja without further delay.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Is Israel serious about peace? No (It never has been)

Israel’s occupation is not about security. It is all about maintaining what we should have long ago admitted is a “Carthaginian peace.

by James M Wall


Israeli Gov’t mocks ‘Peace Talks’ with announcement of 1200 New Squatter homes in Occupied Palestine 

A few weeks after a new round of U.S.-sponsored talks began between Israelis and Palestinians, Israel activated its plan to construct 1,500 apartments in East Jerusalem.

The new construction will be in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo, the project initially announced by Israel during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s 2010 visit to Israel.

Early Monday morning, a few hours before another peace talk session was scheduled to be held at the Jericho home of chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, IDF soldiers entered the Palestinian Qalandia refugee camp.

The IDF said it was looking for a “terrorist” suspect, Yousef al-Khatib, a recently-released prisoner who had been incarcerated for ten years in an Israeli army prison.

Palestinian mourners grieve

Palestinian mourners at the funeral of one of three slain Palestinians at the Qalandia refugee camp, West Bank. Credit :Yahoo photo gallery.

These nighttime searches for “terrorists” have long been routine in Palestine refugee camps like Qalandia.

The refugee camp of Al Am’ari. Picture credit: UNRWA.

Aljazeera reports that Israeli forces have killed 14 Palestinians in the occupied territory this year, most of them in what Israel describes as “clashes”. Three Palestinians were killed in the same period in 2012. In the Qalandia camp, three Palestinian men were shot and killed during Monday’s raid.

UNRWA said one of those killed on Monday was Robin al-Abed, a 34-year-old father of four, who worked for UNRWA. He was walking to work when he was shot in the chest. The agency condemned the killing.

To protest the killings, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cancelled Monday night’s peace session.  Meanwhile, the question persists: Does Israel have a government that is serious about peace?

Perhaps a more pertinent question would be: Why should Israel even pretend to be serious about peace when it already has the peace it wants.

That peace is called “occupation”, a state of affairs in which an invading army assumes total and permanent control of an occupied population.

Israel’s occupation is sustained, encouraged and funded by the United States.  U.S. public opinion tolerates, ignores and in some sectors, strongly supports the occupation, thanks in no small measure to Israel’s propaganda assistant institutions in the U.S., including the media and the churches, agencies which are supposed to be holding the public to higher moral standards.

Note to future empire builders: Your best Fifth Column operatives will be in institutions that shape public opinion.

Israel’s occupation is not about security. It is all about maintaining what we should have long ago admitted is a “Carthaginian peace”.

A Carthaginian peace describes a deceptive agreement that over the centuries has emerged as synonymous with any plan enforced by a winning side in a conflict which leads to nothing less than the total submission of a defeated enemy.

The Versailles treaty that followed World War I is the most recent example. That treaty is a Carthaginian peace because the victorious Allied nations designed a “peace” intended to leave Germany as a weakened state. That action, of course, led to the rise of Hitler and the Holocaust.

A Carthaginian peace is not without its consequences.

The term originated in 146 BC after the Roman army totally destroyed Carthage, a destruction that left behind only ruins to be visited by tourists.

The Third Punic War  (149 BC to 146 BC) was the third and last of the Punic Wars fought between the former Phoenician colony of Carthage, and the Roman Republic. The Punic Wars were named because of the Roman name for Carthaginians: Punici, or Poenici.

The [third Punic] war was a much smaller engagement than the two previous Punic Wars and primarily consisted of a single main action, the Battle of Carthage, but resulted in the complete destruction of the city of Carthage, the annexation of all remaining Carthaginian territory by Rome, and the death or enslavement of the entire Carthaginian population. The Third Punic War ended Carthage’s independent existence.

patton<img style=”border: 1px solid black; margin: 10px;” alt=”patton” src=”” width=”181″ height=”218″ />We don’t hear much about Carthage these days.  

Except when a movie script remembers. The 1970 movie Patton includes a scene in which General George S. Patton (George C. Scott, right) ordered his young aide to drive him to the ancient Carthage battlefield in present-day Tunisia.

Patton tells his aide:

“It was here. The battlefield was here. The Carthaginians defending the city were attacked by three Roman Legions. Carthaginians were proud and brave but they couldn’t hold. They were massacred. [Local] women stripped them of their tunics and their swords and lances. The soldiers lay naked in the sun, two thousand years ago. . . .”

Of course, the John Kerry-moderated peace negotiations will continue. Public opinion wants it that way.

Can we expect new Israeli housing construction in the West Bank to stop during these talks?  Will there be a halt to night raids that terrify Palestinian children and kill their parents? Don’t count on it.

The peace talks are a good gig for Israel.  They pretend a dictatorial ruler’s quest for peace without having to take any actual steps to make peace possible.

Of course, the talking will proceed.  When they finally stop, Palestine will have received a few scattered crumbs to bolster its economy. Sources within Palestine do not envision major industries like the Palestinian natural gas fields to be among the crumbs shared after the peace talks.

It sounds, in short, like the current peace talks–as we now know from a nighttime raid on Qalandia and the construction of Israeli housing in the West Bank—will end with yet another peace agreement, a Carthaginian peace agreement.

Sam Bahour, a Palestinian-American business development consultant from Youngstown, Ohio, now living in the Palestinian city of Al-Bireh in the West Bank, described in his blog, ePalestine, how he discovered the plan.

The first proclaimed leak, (in Arabic) from Secretary John Kerry’s efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as it is so often called, were published last week in the reputable London-based daily Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat.

The source is said to be a posting on the website of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, who claim the information was leaked to them by someone attending the tightly closed negotiating sessions.

The validity of this claim and the contents of the leak are unverifiable and the infighting between Hamas and Fatah give both a vested interest to publicly damage the other.

Here are just the opening proposals in the peace plan Bahour discovered and posted:

“The Separation Wall will serve as the security borders of the ‘Jewish’ state, and the temporary border of the ‘Palestinian’ state… Both parties will acknowledge and announce this.”   There will be “an exchange in disputed territories within the plan of the Separation Wall noted above, as agreed to by both parties and with the blessing of the Arab League Follow-up Committee, as specified by this Committee to Mr. Kerry during their last visit to Washington, ranging in size from eight to ten percent of West Bank lands.” There will be also be a “freeze in the settlement projects at a number of outposts, as approved by the Israeli government, which does not apply to existing projects in large settlement communities located in the vicinity of Jerusalem and in the Jordan Valley, including the settlements of Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, Har Homa, Gilo, Neve Yacov, Ramat Shlomo, Ramat Alman, Kiryat Arba’, and other densely populated settlements.”

There is more to this leaked plan, all of which may be read here.

Until John Kerry and his boss in the White House reject such Zionist extremism, this nation will continue to fund and endorse more IDF nighttime raids in refugee camps like Qalandia.

James Wall blogs at Wallwritings.

Does Obama Know He’s Fighting on al-Qa’ida’s Side?

Robert Fisk – The Independent

Syrian militants‘All for one and one for all’ should be the battle cry if the West goes to war against Assad’s Syrian regime.If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as al-Qa’ida.Quite an alliance! Was it not the Three Musketeers who shouted “All for one and one for all” each time they sought combat? This really should be the new battle cry if – or when – the statesmen of the Western world go to war against Bashar al-Assad.
The men who destroyed so many thousands on 9/11 will then be fighting alongside the very nation whose innocents they so cruelly murdered almost exactly 12 years ago. Quite an achievement for Obama, Cameron, Hollande and the rest of the miniature warlords.

This, of course, will not be trumpeted by the Pentagon or the White House – nor, I suppose, by al-Qa’ida – though they are both trying to destroy Bashar. So are the Nusra front, one of al-Qa’ida’s affiliates. But it does raise some interesting possibilities.

Maybe the Americans should ask al-Qa’ida for intelligence help – after all, this is the group with “boots on the ground”, something the Americans have no interest in doing. And maybe al-Qa’ida could offer some target information facilities to the country which usually claims that the supporters of al-Qa’ida, rather than the Syrians, are the most wanted men in the world.

There will be some ironies, of course. While the Americans drone al-Qa’ida to death in Yemen and Pakistan – along, of course, with the usual flock of civilians – they will be giving them, with the help of Messrs Cameron, Hollande and the other Little General-politicians, material assistance in Syria by hitting al-Qa’ida’s enemies. Indeed, you can bet your bottom dollar that the one target the Americans will not strike in Syria will be al-Qa’ida or the Nusra front.

And our own Prime Minister will applaud whatever the Americans do, thus allying himself with al-Qa’ida, whose London bombings may have slipped his mind. Perhaps – since there is no institutional memory left among modern governments – Cameron has forgotten how similar are the sentiments being uttered by Obama and himself to those uttered by Bush  and Blair a decade ago, the same bland assurances, uttered with such self-confidence but without quite  enough evidence to make it stick.
In Iraq, we went to war on the basis of lies originally uttered by fakers and conmen. Now it’s war by YouTube. This doesn’t mean that the terrible images of the gassed and dying Syrian civilians are false. It does mean that any evidence to the contrary is going to have to be suppressed. For example, no-one is going to be interested in persistent reports in Beirut that three Hezbollah members – fighting alongside government troops in Damascus – were apparently struck down by the same gas on the same day, supposedly in tunnels. They are now said to be undergoing treatment in a Beirut hospital. So if Syrian government forces used gas, how come Hezbollah men might have been stricken too? Blowback?

And while we’re talking about institutional memory, hands up which of our jolly statesmen know what happened last time the Americans took on the Syrian government army? I bet they can’t remember. Well it happened in Lebanon when the US Air Force decided to bomb Syrian missiles in the Bekaa Valley on 4 December 1983. I recall this very well because I was here in Lebanon. An American A-6 fighter bomber was hit by a Syrian Strela missile – Russian made, naturally – and crash-landed in the Bekaa; its pilot, Mark Lange, was killed, its co-pilot, Robert Goodman, taken prisoner and freighted off to jail in Damascus. Jesse Jackson had to travel to Syria to get him back after almost a month amid many clichés about “ending the cycle of violence”. Another American plane – this time an A-7 – was also hit by Syrian fire but the pilot managed to eject over the Mediterranean where he was plucked from the water by a Lebanese fishing boat. His plane was also destroyed.

Sure, we are told that it will be a short strike on Syria, in and out, a couple of days. That’s what Obama likes to think. But think Iran. Think Hezbollah. I rather suspect – if Obama does go ahead – that this one will run and run.

Al-Manar is not responsible for the content of the article. All opinions expressed are those of the author.

Source: Newspapers
30-08-2013 – 17:14 Last updated 30-08-2013 – 17:14

Aggression against Syria .. The Hornet’s nest

العدوان على سورية .. عش الدبابير

سامي كليب

ما ان يغادر المفتشون الدوليون غدا السبت دمشق، حتى يبدأ العد العكسي للعدوان على سورية. حدد باراك اوباما بوضوح وقبله وزير خارجيته جون كيري حدود هذا العدوان ، فهو لن يكون بريا بل محدود بالوقت ولن يشبه ما حصل في العراق وافغانستان .

فماذا حصل في الساعات القليلة الماضية؟

كانت ساعة الصفر مقررة فجر الخميس. أراد اوباما ومعه الرئيس الفرنسي فرانسوا هولاند ورئيس وزراء بريطانيا دايفد كاميرون ان يفاجئوا الجميع بضربات سريعة تطال اسلحة سورية استراتيجية ومواقع للنظام ويتم ايضا قتل بعض الرموز العسكرية والحكومية وربما بعض المطارات وما سيقولون انها مختبرات كيمائية.

سعى اوباما في الايام الماضية الى اقناع الروس ببنك اهداف، وكان يأمل ان يوافق الرئيس الروسي بوتين على الضربات المحدودة مقابل صفقة متكاملة يتم بعدها عقد مؤتمر جنيف 2 والاتجاه نحو حل سياسي يقضي بابعاد الرئيس بشار الاسد عن السلطة وتوسيع قاعدة النظام الحالي وادخال “الائتلاف” شريكا في الحكم بعدما نجحت السعودية في التخفيف من حضور الاخوان المسلمين وتعزيز تيارات اوسع من ميشال كيلو الى احمد الجربا.

كان الرفض الروسي قاطعا. لن يقبل بوتين باي بنك للاهداف لا ان كان مئة هدف ولا ان نزل الى 10 اهداف . اكثر من ذلك . قدمت موسكو تقريرا مفصلا يحتوي على معلومات دقيقة عن استخدام مسلحي المعارضة غازات كيمائية . دعمت ذلك بصور اقمار صناعية وتقارير طبية وشهادات .

تؤكد المصادر الروسية المطلعة ان ” الاستخبارات الاميركية ” سي آي اي هي التي ” فبركت ” قضية الاسلحة الكيمائية. قالت موسكو هذا الكلام علانية لممثلي الدول الكبرى في مجلس الامن . ذهبت موسكو الى حد القول اذا كان النظام السوري استخدم ايضا اسلحة كيمائية فلنقدم جميعا الدلائل الى المجلس ونكلف لجنة استشارية بدراسة ذلك وتحديد المسؤوليات ولتقل من استخدم الكيمائي وحينها نعاقبه جميعا بقرار جماعي في مجلس الامني .

ذهب رئيس الاستخبارات السعودية الامير بندر بن سلطان قبل ذلك الى موسكو . سمع من بوتين كلاما حرفيته التالي : ” لا يفكرن احد بان موسكو ستقبل بتغيير المعادلة في سورية لصالح المعارضة المسلحة، وعليكم ان توقفوا دعم الجماعات الارهابية. وبدلا من ان تحولوا انتم كعرب والسعودية الصراع من عربي اسرائيلي الى عربي فارسي او شيعي سني عليكم ان تعودوا الى قضيتكم المركزية فلسطين … “

فهم الامير بندر ان لا مجال للصفقات . فهم الامر نفسه المبعوث الدولي جيفري فيلتمان في ايران حيث سمع من كبار القادة الايرانيين كلاما مفاده ” ان دمشق خط احمر ولا نقبل مطلقا باي صفقة تنهي النظام الحالي ولن نقبل باي تسوية سلمية مع اسرائيل “ . فيلتمان خبير بالشرق الاوسط، فهو يتحدث العربية وعمل في العراق بعيد تدميره، وفي القدس خلال ضياع فلسطين وفي لبنان ابان خرابه . ايران تعرفه جيدا ، وتفهم انه لم يأت مبعوثا من الامم المتحدة وانما من ادارة اوباما . عاد خالي الوفاض . لا بل ان آخر الوساطات التي قام بها السلطان قابوس بين ايران وواشنطن لم تنفع .سارعت واشنطن للضغط على جامعة الدول العربية لاستصدار بيان يدين الاستخدام الكيمائي ويحمل السلطة المسؤولية . فعلت الجامعة حتى قبل ان يصلها اي تقرير تفصيلي عن ذلك .

التقارير التي وصلت الى الادارة الاميركية كانت تشير الى ان الجيش السوري بدأ يحقق تقدما كبيرا في الريف الدمشق وانه لم يبق سوى 20 بالمئة من المتحلق الجنوبي. وصلت تقارير اخرى تقول انه بعد الريف قد ينتقل الجيش وحلفاؤه الى مناطق اكثر تاثيرا ما يعني قلب المعادلة العسكرية والسياسية.لو ذهب الجيش الى حلب وسيطر عليها كان مصير اردوغان وربما بعض دول الخليج على المحك.

بعثت اسرائيل تقارير اخرى تؤكد ان حزب الله تلقى في الاونة الاخيرة اسلحة استراتيجية خطيرة عليها وان جزءا من هذه الاسلحة لا يزال مخزنا في سورية ولا بد من تدميره . لا يهم اسرائيل من يحكم سورية ، الاهم هو القضاء على اي قدرة للجيش السوري او لحليفه الاستراتيجي حزب الله من الحصول على اسلحة استراتيجية .

كان السيد حسن نصرالله الامين العام لحزب الله قال بوضوح انه في حال حصلت حرب هذه المرة فان الدخول الى فلسطين بات قاب قوسين . ظهر السيد نصرالله علانية امام مؤيديه في خطابه ما قبل الاخير. اي انه خرق كل المراقبة الامنية الاسرائيلية والغربية . وبالتزامن مع ذلك ظهر الرئيس الاسد ايضا بين ناسه خارقا كل الاجراءات الامنية . شعر خصوم الطرفين ان الاسد ونصرالله يتصرفان كمنتصرين . بدأت المعارضة المسلحة ترفع الصوت ان المعادلة العسكرية تنقلب وان الغرب وقطر والسعودية ما عادوا يرسلون شيئا وان النظام يبيدهم .

ارتفع منسوب القلق الخليجي ولكن ايضا التركي والغربي بعد معركة القصير . تبين ان الجيش السوري وحليفه حزب الله وضعا استراتيجية عسكرية برعاية ايرانية روسية مرشحة لقلب المعادلة . فماذا لو ربحوا الحرب ؟ هذا يعني انهيار للمحور الاخر وانتصار لمحور روسيا ايران سورية حزب الله . هذا خطير جدا .والاخطر ان الجيش السورية وحزب الله وايران كانوا بدأوا منذ عام تدريبات سرية على كيفية قتال اسرائيل في اي حرب قريبة .
والاخطر أيضا من هذا وذاك ، هو ان الاكتشافات النفطية والغازية في سواحل المتوسط بدأت توحي بان البحر يخبيء في بطنه ثروات هائلة . فماذا لو ربح محور المقاومة ومعه روسيا والصين وغيرهما الحرب ؟ من سيسيطر على الغاز وخطوط النفط ؟ هذه مسالة حيوية لاميركيا واوربا .

تخلل ذلك تجدد الغزل بين ايران وحزب الله من جهة وحركة حماس والاخوان المسلمين من جهة ثانية. راحت ايران تشجب كل عنف يمارسه الجيش المصري ضد الاخوان . قلقت دول الخليج من تجدد التقارب بين ايران والاخوان . شنت السعودية ومعها الامارات والكويت حملة واسعة لابعاد الاخوان وتشجيع السلطات المصرية الجديدة على اعتقالهم . تنافرت تركيا مع السعودية . فرجب طيب اردوغان حليف الاخوان والسعودية عدوتهم . راح القلق يدب اكثر فاكثر في قلوب التحالف المناهض للاسد . يجب الاسراع بالقيام باي شيء قبل ان تتوسع الشروخ في المنطقة . جرى توسيع قاعدة الائتلاف الى تيارات يسارية وعلمانية وغيرها باشراف السعودية بعدما تم تسلم الراية من قطر . جرت محاولة لتوحيد صفوف المسلحين وابعاد شبح التيارات المتطرفة . برز مجددا اسم اللواء المنشق سليم ادريس .

كان لا بد من ذريعة اذا لضرب النظام السوري سريعا . وفق التقارير الروسية ، جرى تخطيط دقيق لكي تندلع ازمة الكيمائي مع وجود المفتشين الدوليين . رصدت الاجهزة الغربية اتصالات سورية رفيعة . تبين ان دمشق تستعد لكشف مفاجأة كبيرة في جوبر تؤكد ان المعارضة المسلحة هي التي استخدمت الكيمائية. لو نجحت دمشق في ذلك لقلبت المعادلة . لا بد اذا من عمل سريع .

من غير المعروف بعد كيف تمت فبركة قصة الكيمائي . لكن روسيا تقول انه من غير المعقول ان يستخدم النظام الكيمائي فيما المفتشون عنده . من وضع الكيمائي وكيف ولماذا ؟

ليس مهما . قررت اميركا عدم الركون الى المفتشين. تتحالف هي وبريطانيا وفرنسا ويشنون العدوان. جاءت الصدمة من البرلمان البريطاني. رفض العماليون المعارضون معهم بعض المحافظين اعطاء كاميرون الاذن بالضربة العسكرية. بدأت الحملات الشعبية في دول عربية وغربية تكبر قبل العدوان . لا بد اذا من عمل سريع .

جاء المخرج. يظهر جون كيري وزير الخارجية ويقول لشعبة وللعالم . عثرنا على الاسلحة ومن استخدمها . كيف ؟ ستظهر بعض المعلومات لكن الاهم سيبقى سريا. تماما كما حصل في العراق . قال ان العملية ستكون محدودة ولن تكون برية . اوباما اكد الشيء نفسه .

في الساعات المقبلة يستشير اوباما الكونغرس ( فقط استشارة ) ، ثم يعرض بعض ما يصفها بالحقائق ويبدأ العدوان .

نحن امام احتمالين . الاول ان تكون الضربات محدودة جدا . يتم هضهمها كما حصل في خلال الضربات الاسرائيلية. وبعدها تدخل روسيا بقوة على الخط ومعها ايران . هذه تحقق 3 اهداف ، اولها وهو الاهم تكون واشنطن خدمت اسرائيل بتدمير اسلحة استراتيجية مانعة وصولها الى حزب الله . وثانيها يكون اوباما انقذ ماء وجهه خصوصا انه قال منذ اكثر من عامين انه يجب على الاسد ان يرحل، وثالثها يكون مهد لتفاوض مع الروس على اساس ان الطرفين في سورية اي السلطة والمعارضة متعادلان .

هذا الاحتمال الاول ، اما الاحتمال الثاني ، فهو ان تتوسع رقعة الحرب فترد سورية اولا ثم ينضم اليها حزب الله واذا كبر الخطر تدخل ايران …المعلومات تفيد بان ايران وحزب الله اخذا كل الاستعدادات وجهزا نفسيهما للحرب .
يبدو حتى الان ان الاحتمال الاول هو المرجح … فالمعلومات تقول ان ايران وجهت رسالة واضحة قبل يومين اي حين تم تحديد ساعة الصفر الاولى تقول التالي : ” ان ضربتم حلفاءنا سيضرب حلفاؤكم وليس بالضرورة منا ” . هذا يعني ان الشريط الاقليمي كله قابل لللحريق من البحرين الى اليمن الى السعودية فالعراق ولبنان .

تراجع اوباما في المرة الاولى . تم ارجاء العدوان ليومين. عاد وتشاور مع الروس والايرانيين وحلفائه الاوروبيين. صدر تقرير سري عن القيادة العسكرية في فرنسا تقول ” ليس لدينا اي شيء يؤكد ان الجيش السوري قد استخدم اسلحة كيمائية ” . في بريطانيا سأل العسكريون رئيس وزرائهم : ” هل لدينا معلومات عن الاسلحة التي سلمتها روسيا للجيش السوري ، هل لديهم صواريخ تسقط طائراتنا ؟ “. فشلت كل الاتصالات مع الروسي والايرانيين ….. موسكو تعرف ان الاميركي يتورط بالحرب بدون اي غطاء اميركي ( 60 بالمئة من الاميركيين ضد العدوان ) او غطاء عربي ودولي .

لا احد يعلم ماذا سلمت روسيا لسورية، ولا ماذا وصل الى حزب الله . لكن الاكيد ان اوباما ما عاد قادرا على التراجع. لا بد اذا من القيام بالعدوان ، ولكنه عدوان محدود جدا وقابل للهضم بغية الذهاب الى التفاوض .

والسؤال هو التالي الآن . هل سيتم هضم العدوان ؟ ام يلجأ المحور الآخر الى رد قاس . كل القضية هنا . والساعات المقبلة ستكشف الكثير .

Overall Perspective To The Syrian Situation

Chemical weapons have been used for the 14th time world wide and the International Community has not lifted a finger according to expert Habib Fayyad . Syria is fully prepared to face any assault and rates second in the world as far as ground defenses against air raids are concerned .8000 Syrian Kamikaze soldiers- said another source- have pledged to defend Syria till death and Pilots have pledged to carry on Kamikaze attacks on the US carriers- if necessary . Syrian missiles – according to Fayyad -can reach and destroy the US carriers in the sea and it is enough that the Iranian warships advance two km into the passage of Hormuz so that the flow of oil to the west be stopped.

The backing down of Russia – according to Fayyad – might be a trap set to the US in order to expose the US forces to Syria’s military retaliation, but – for all practical purposes – Russia is an ally and NOT a partner . Feltman went to Tehran seeking assurances from Iran regarding the possible Iranian response to a limited US attack , the Iranian silence and the refraining on behalf of Hizbullah of giving any information of a future involvement in an eventual US attack caused the great indecision of the US administration regarding the anti Syrian military operation .

US- it seems- is navigating in unknown waters and does not have a clear perspective and while its strength has decreased since Bush days , the strength of its enemies- whether Iran, Hizbullah or Syria -has ten times increased always according to Fayyad.

Sheikh Kabous carried a different offer to the Iranians in which US would put pressure on the monarch of Bahrain to give in to the Bahraini opposition against Iran turning a blind eye to a limited US military assault on Syria , deal that Iran refused said Fayyad.

The Iranians have set two lines that- if crossed -will cause their direct interference in the struggle , one of them is seeing the opposition gaining ground at the expense of the Syrian Army to the point of threatening the legal authority, and the second is foreign forces invading Syria for which Kassem Suleimani- the commander of the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian par to ‘Imad Mughniyye as he is considered – will call for direct military intervention.

In case of a distant assault on Syria , and in case there is need for it, it is Hizbullah -rather than Iran – who will respond in a way that has NOT been disclosed yet.

A View From Tehran: Countdown to Apocalypse Now?

Countdown to Apocalypse Now?

A View From Tehran



Truth told, it’s a bit intense these days in Tehran as in most other countries in this region, and this observer fairly soon may be on what just might be the last Tehran-Damascus flight for some time in light of what could occur in the coming days.

Not that one is in any hurry to leave the Islamic Republic. I love Iran and its people, who in their basic values and outlook on life are about as American as apple pie. Iranians think a lot like me and my friends back home, and Americans think a lot like them, this despite the extremist, politically motivated portrayals of each other designed by their governments.

I have been attending the Habilian Association (families of Iranian terror victims) Congress on Terrorism and Terror Victims in Tehran, and continuing also an undertaking with students from Tehran University to survey the effects of the US-led economic sanctions. Both endeavors presented an excellent opportunity to listen to Iranian views on a number of current events. The students are examining a sanctions scheme that targets their families and countrymen, and part of their work involves a definition of “economic terrorism” (a term employed by the Pentagon when done by someone other than the US government or its allies). Rather amazing in their clarity of thinking, they exhibit truly inspiring optimism and humanity in these ominous times.
As it happens, economic terrorism was also one of the topics at the Iranian Congress on Terrorism, and the American delegation decided to focus solely on that subject during its presentation, a presentation that was months in preparation. As part of its work, the delegation presented a Draft International Convention outlawing the use of economic sanctions targeting civilians for political purposes, including regime change. Elaborating on the history of economic terrorism, the group urged the Tehran-based Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to use its newfound international political power to lead the campaign for global ratification of the new draft convention, and to present it to the United Nations during next month’s opening session of the General Assembly. NAM leaders promised to study the draft and to arrange a consultative follow-up meeting(s).
Sanctions targeting a civilian population for the political purpose of forcing regime change constitutes an act of terrorism as defined by several US government agencies—this was the position of the American delegation, and it would apply to any government, including their own, with a deep history of targeting peoples with economic sanctions (Cuba, Vietnam, China, Korea, Iran, and Nicaragua, among others, come to mind).
For accuracy’s sake, it should be said that, unexpectedly, due to last minute visa problems, the whole US delegation at the Congress ended up being comprised of a total number of—well, one international lawyer. A last minute effort was indeed made to coax Jeffrey Feltman, who never has visa problems to this observer’s knowledge, and who was staying at the same hotel, to attend the Terrorism Congress, hence doubling the size, weight, and authority of the US delegation. Mr. Feltman was even offered the chairmanship of the American delegation as an incentive, but, regretfully, the gentleman declined, citing other commitments.
Getting visas to visit Iran and especially Syria these days is no easy feat for Americans, given ‘payback’ or reciprocal changes in policy at both countries’ foreign ministries. Last year, revised guidelines were sent out by both governments on how to process visa requests submitted by Americans. US citizens wanting to travel to certain countries these days pay a stiff price for their government’s actions.
Talking with average Iranians and shop keepers, and especially students, one gets a fairly good idea of just how engaged public opinion is in Iran on current events. It offers a very different picture than that presented by the western media, beholden as they are to their corporate paymasters, but this is beginning to be true of much of the non-western media as well. Here on the street one finds, even in the face of the ever-rising cost of living and near-rampant inflation and the suffering they engender, pride at how this country has resisted the US-led sanctions. A common view expressed in informal discussions—and also at the Congress—is that while there are many states who practice terrorism of one kind or another, including economic terrorism, the US is unusual in that its foreign relations record argues strongly that it is officially committed to international economic terrorism. Moreover, that this is on a scale far exceeding other actors on the world stage.
One professor summarized for this observer his analysis of the effect of US-led sanctions, noting the severe impact on Iranian consumers at the grocery store, dramatically shrinking their real income, as well as government efforts to maintain some subsidies to lessen their impact. He also discussed innovative ways both the government and private sectors have been able to lessen the impact of some of the sanctions, while completely skirting others, mentioning as well a ‘circle the wagons’ public spirit that has arisen in unexpected ways, leading to, among other things, neighborhood initiatives designed to help one’s neighbors with economic problems.

One finds also among Iranians a smoldering anger over the current chemical weapons ‘red line’ issue in Syria, along with an awareness that this may well lead to regional war. The American campaign to bomb Syria is viewed here as utmost American governmental hypocrisy. More than one interlocutor expressed disdain, remembering the Reagan administration’s actions during the late 1980s, when not only did the White House take no action when Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons—against Iranian forces as well as “his own people”—but the United States also aided the attacks by providing intelligence and firing coordinates. In other words, finding Iranians to kill, and providing gas to murder them with.
The Tehran Times wrote yesterday: “U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Saddam Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.” The effects of these US-facilitated gas attacks are seen everywhere in Iran today, in the skin scars and poor health of its hundreds of thousands of victims.
“How can the American people accept this double standard, where its ok and your government will help to gas Iranians and your enemy’s population?” is a common question put to this observer.

There is visible excitement and even a sort of joy this morning that the UK Parliament, to its great credit, just voted to reject the Cameron government’s motion authorizing British forces to boom Syria. A taxi driver expressed his hope that “Your Congress will follow the lead of the British Parliament?” Iranians appear to view the Parliamentary vote as a victory for themselves. Given the Islamic Republic’s role as a key pillar of resistance to the Zionist occupation of Palestine and US-Israel regional hegemonic goals, few here, if any, believe the US attack on Syria is not aimed at them.

As the war drums become nearly deafening in certain capitals, public expressions in Iran regarding the grave prospects that are looming appear to this observer less knee-jerk rhetoric than in recent years. No doubt there are many reasons for this, including the results of the recent elections in Iran—viewed here as an encouraging sign of stability and democracy in the region. Tehran made clear to Jeffrey Feltman this week that it is ready for serious cooperation in order to peacefully resolve the crisis in Syria.

As Hossein Mousavian, a researcher at Princeton University, recently pointed out, the cooperation of the US and Iran in 2001 regarding Afghanistan, resulting in the fall of the Taliban and al-Qaeda (at least for a while), is a blueprint for a new collaboration. Writes Mousavian: “This collaboration should not be limited to Syria. The Middle East requires management for the time, and therefore, crisis management (of this and other crises) would be a useful path for this collaboration.” This observer believes much of the Iranian and American public would agree, and that there are hopeful signs during this feared apocalyptic period.

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Syria and Lebanon and can be reached c/o

The Bear and the Skunk

The Ugly Truth, a site of excellent coverage of the news that also has some of the best art in this online genre, occasionally runs this image of Putin:

Imagine a skunk now trying to slime the Bear and you have an accurate pictorial representation of this encounter, reported by Stop NATO:

“Unconfirmed reports have suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a grim urgent action memorandum ordering a massive military strike on Saudi Arabia in the event of an attack on Syria.

It is reported that Putin was enraged after a meeting held with Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan. In the meeting, Sultan warned that if Russia did not accept the defeat in Syria it will unleash Chechen rebels, under its control.

The news report was first published in As-Safir and carried forward by Library of Most Controversial Files.

The news, if confirmed, could seriously jeopardize an already complex situation.”

Now imagine the denouement: a small black-and-white pelt hanging on a tree limb, swaying in the wind. It is the stuff La Fontaine fables are made of. Or limericks:

There once was an uppity skunk
Who put the Big Bear in a funk
What all that produced
Was to have him reduced
To two tiny balls and some gunk

Syria – remember Guernica and Iraq

No one yet knows who was responsible for the horrific chemical attack in Syria, yet our political leaders and politicians have already found the Syrian government guilty. Missile strikes by Western nations on an already terrorised population will only add to the misery, will solve nothing and, without irrefutable evidence, would be irresponsible. Add to that the Western willingness to strike without UN Security Council support and you have the makings of yet another war crime. News media reports have made it clear that the ‘rebels’ are losing the battle to control Syria and anti-government forces have been appealing for Western intervention for some time. Had the Syrian regime anything to hide, would it have been keen to welcome the physicians of Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders or MSF), who were the first outsiders to arrive at the scene of the chemical weapons attack? Dr Bart Janssens, the MSF director of operations, in a statement said that when his team arrived medical staff had provided detailed information on the symptoms patients were exhibiting. Local officials told MSF that the capital’s suburbs were attacked by rebels with chemical weapons. The rebels, in their turn, blamed the attack on the Syrian Army.

However, the MSF was not able to scientifically confirm the cause of the symptoms. We also have UN chemical weapons inspectors on site in Syria who have not finished their investigations – missile strikes by Western forces now are hardly likely to help in the gathering of evidence.

The Syrian people want peace, not more bombs. They certainly don’t want to be ruled by ‘rebels’ who include mercenary jihadists and terrorists. According to the Washington Times[1],“The rebel movement on the ground in many parts of Syria is led by Islamic extremist groups hostile to the United States and they are holding at least 15 Westerners hostage, most of them journalists.” Also, according to Britain’s Guardian[2] newspaper, Al-Qaida is a most serious terrorist threat in Syria; the newspaper referred to an intelligence and security committee report that warned of catastrophic consequences should militants get hold of chemical weapons.
When will we ever learn?

We should not so quickly forget the false evidence that led to the tragic Western bombardment and invasion of Iraq. Please remember that when US Secretary of State Colin Powell made his dissembling presentation of the American case for war against Iraq in 2003, United Nations officials covered up a tapestry reproduction of Pablo Picasso’s anti-war mural “Guernica”. Today Iraq is in ruins and its economy shattered, the Iraqi death toll due to Western military intervention,  conservatively estimated by the medical journal The Lancet[3] at around 600,000. Yet it was the US, the leader of the coalition that invaded Iraq, that had knowingly co-operated with its erstwhile ally in the use of poison gas[4] in attacks on Iranian defence forces. Bombing men, women and children (they are always among the victims of such actions) cannot possibly protect them.

The world knows that it has been lied to in the past in attempts to justify Western military aggression. It is time for our political leaders to show some decency and refuse to be party to actions that can only lead to further suffering, chaos and instability.

Documents show terrorists behind chemical attacks in Syria


Documents show terrorists behind chemical attacks in Syria

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday strongly deplored the last week use of chemical weapons against civilians in a Damascus suburban area, and said the Russian government has presented documents and evidence to the UN proving that the rebel groups have used the fatal substances. “There are reasons and documents showing what has happened in Syria has been carried out by terrorists and these documents have been presented to the UN Security Council by the Russian government,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday.

He said that if Washington finds chemical attacks in its interest, it will keep silent, but if not, it will look for a lame excuse.

“The Americans do not have a deep commitment to any criteria, human principles and international law; terrorists are good if they move in line with their interests and if they act against their interests they are bad,” the spokesman continued.

Araqchi deplored the use of chemical weapons under any conditions and by anyone, and said, “The Islamic Republic as a victim of chemical weapons strongly condemns use of such weapons.”

Last night, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a meeting with UN Undersecretary General Jeffrey D. Feltman underlined the necessity for finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis, and underlined Tehran’s discontent with the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

During the meeting in Tehran on Monday, Zarif stressed that only a political solution can settle the crisis in Syria, and announced Iran’s readiness to fully cooperate with the UN in pursuing a political trend in this regard.

He also referred to the current problems in Syria, including the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, and said Iran is strongly opposed to the use of such weapons by any side and stream.

Zarif underscored Iran’s active and constructive role in solving the regional problems, and said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has and will use all its potentials and power to maintain and strengthen peace, stability and security in the region.”

The Damascus government allowed the UN investigation team to visit the site of the last Wednesday chemical attack in suburban Damascus.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem also expressed Syria’s readiness to cooperate with the UN investigators to expose the false allegations of the terrorist groups accusing the Syrian forces of using chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta.

Following the chemical attack on the Damascus countryside on Wednesday, Zarif dismissed some Arab media allegations that the Syrian army has used the chemical weapons, stressing that the terrorist groups have committed the criminal act.

Zarif made the remarks in a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu last week.

During the phone talk, he underlined Iran’s firm stance against the use of mass destruction weapons, and strongly condemned utilization of any kind of chemical weapons.

Zarif underlined that if this news proves to be true, the crime must have definitely been committed by terrorist and Takfiri groups, because they have actually shown that they are ready to commit any crime.

Commenting on certain western media allegations accusing the Syrian government of using such weapons, he asked, “While the UN inspectors are in Damascus and the government has successfully driven back the terrorists, why should they do such a move?”

“This criminal act had been done by the terrorists, because escalating the crisis in Syria and internationalizing it is in their favor,” the Iranian foreign minister reiterated.

Reminding the condemnation of the event by the Syrian government, Zarif pointed out that Iran is in close contact with the Syrian government to give a thought to the different aspects of the issue.

Category:  Syria

Syria: Parliament and the British People Tell Cameron and Hague to Cool It

by Stuart Littlewood

Gung-ho prime minister Cameron and his sabre-rattling lieutenant, William Hague, were so eager to crank up their war machine that they’d lost all caution and reason. They’ve paid the price with a quite brutal Commons defeat.

A decade ago the pair voted “very strongly” for the Iraq war, failing to exercise due diligence and establish the truth about Saddam’s supposed weapons of mass destruction before approving the almost total destruction of Iraq and the obscene slaughter that went with it.
Both were members of the opposition charged with holding the government of the day (Blair’s) to account.

Their recklessness continued and yesterday they attempted again to ignore public opinion and common sense with their determination to join Obama in jumping the gun and attacking Syria without waiting for the UN inspectors’ findings, threatening to bypass the UN Security Council if necessary. Fortunately there was still enough juice in our democracy to pour cold water on the lynch-mob mentality that had gripped Cameron and his government colleagues when they came to the House of Commons.

It now seems unlikely that the UK will be joining the US in an eagerly anticipated military chastisement of the Assad regime in Syria.

The Independent reported that the view of the Attorney General, delivered to the National Security Council chaired by Cameron, declared that Assad was responsible for the chemical attack and “the world shouldn’t stand idly by”. In New York, Britain proposed a new UN Security Council resolution condemning last week’s attack and authorising “measures to protect civilians” in Syria. But it bogged down when discussed with the other four permanent members, where Russia and China have a veto.

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, told Britain the Security Council should not have to consider a draft resolution before UN inspectors reported on their findings. Marie Harf, deputy spokeswoman at the US State Department, conceded: “We see no avenue forward, given continued Russian opposition, to any meaningful council action on Syria. We do not believe that the Syrian regime should be able to hide behind the fact that the Russians continue to block action.”
Her remark is faintly amusing. Isn’t hiding behind America’s veto exactly what Israel has done time and again for decades to evade punishment? It’s refreshing to see the US State Department having to swallow some of its own medicine.

Cameron had dragged MPs back from holiday early hoping they’d give him a green light to join in the military fun with America and France without waiting for factual niceties like the UN inspectors’ report. He was prepared to launch death and destruction based on… well, based on what exactly?
On this side of the Atlantic you could hear shrieks of laughter up and down the land when we heard that Obama’s warmongering stance relied on ‘evidence’ supplied by Israeli intelligence, especially when a large delegation of Israeli security officials had been in Washington several days.

Hague had said that the British government was “clear” that it was the Assad regime that carried out this large-scale chemical attack without offering anything to back it up. Perhaps he too was relying on what Israel had served up to Washington. Hague and his mates, we remember, were so very “clear” that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Such was their confidence this time that the Foreign Office website announced:

“This is the first use of chemical warfare in the 21st century. It has to be unacceptable, we have to confront something that is a war crime, something that is a crime against humanity. If we don’t do so, then we will have to confront even bigger war crimes in the future.
“So we continue to look for a strong response from the international community that is legal, that is proportionate and that is designed to deter the further and future use of chemical weapons.
“It is important to respond to what has happened. I think it’s very important not to take so long to respond that people confuse what the eventual response is about. It’s very important for a regime like the Assad regime to know that there is a clear response when they cross such an important line. As I say, this is the first use of chemical warfare in this century.”

Wrong. White phosphorus was used by Israel against the densely-packed civilian population of Gaza in 2008/9. We didn’t notice Hague or Cameron clamouring for punitive strikes against Tel Aviv then. No, they preferred to “stand idly by”.

Cameron admitted that intelligence pointing to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons was not 100% certain. The most that UK intelligence chiefs could say was that it is “highly likely” the Syrian government was responsible.

Of course, several other countries had the motive and means to do it. Remember Israel’s Mossad motto: ‘By way of deception, thou shalt do war’, which seems to have been widely adopted by Western nations including our own.

Yesterday Cameron saw the public disquiet and anger in his own ranks at last. He changed his tune and wisely backed away from threatening imminent UK action saying that he would, after all, wait for the United Nations chemical weapons team to present their findings to the UN Security Council then seek a second vote in Parliament authorizing the use of force against the Assad regime. He rather unnecessarily put a motion to the House of Commons seeking approval for military intervention in principle and if necessary.

The punishers get punished

During the debate Cameron was given a pasting for getting ahead of himself. MP George Galloway said: “It is absolutely evident that, if it were not for the democratic revolt that has been under way in this House and outside among the wider public against this war, the engines in Cyprus would now be revving and the cruise missiles would be ready to fly this very weekend… According to The Daily Telegraph this morning, only 11% of the public support Britain becoming involved in a war in Syria. Can any British Government have ever imagined sending their men and women to war with the support of only 11% of the public?”

He went on: “There is no compelling evidence… that the Assad regime is responsible for this crime, yet. It is not that the regime is not bad enough to do it; everybody knows that it is bad enough to do it. The question is: is it mad enough to do it? Is it mad enough to launch a chemical weapons attack in Damascus on the very day on which a United Nations chemical weapons inspection team arrives there?”

Sir Gerald Kaufman made the obvious point about the Israeli regime: “Syria is not the only country in the middle east to have used chemical weapons in warfare. Israel used white phosphorous in its attack in Gaza in Operation Cast Lead—I saw the consequences for myself when I went there—but Israel gets away with it because it is on the right side of what is regarded as civilised opinion….

“If action [against Syria] is taken, what would the action be? What would its impact be? How many casualties, including among civilians, would it cause? Would Assad say, ‘Oh, dearie me, I must be a nice boy now’? Anyone who has been in Syria, as I was when I was shadow Foreign Secretary and was trying to liberate our hostages in Lebanon, knows that this is not a nice regime that will behave as we want. The Foreign Secretary said he wanted to punish Assad, but an Assad punished would be worse than an Assad as he is now. I will vote against the motion and against military action.”

At the end of the evening Cameron lost the vote by 13. Opposition leader Ed Miliband immediately squeezed from him an undertaking that he would not use the royal prerogative (certain executive powers vested in the monarch but exercised by the prime minister without the need for parliamentary approval) and to launch a war anyway. Cameron assured the House he had got the message.

Here is a sharp lesson in democracy for the British political elite. It should also be a lesson to America. Kerry responded by saying the US couldn’t be bound by another country’s foreign policy. Same here.

Little David and wee Willie are grounded, so Obama will have to play with his cruise missiles on his own, or with François. What it means is that British foreign policy may now get the thorough overhaul it has long needed.

Bandar, Zionist Lobby Partnering to Maneuver Obama into Prolonged War with Syria

Franklin Lamb
Al-ManarBandar, Zionist lobby
The Bandar-Zionist lobby collaboration, currently the cocktail party talk of many in Washington, is not  a case of strange bedfellows given three decades of mutual cooperation which started during Prince Bandar’s long tenure as Saudi ambassador in Washington. Based in Washington, but with a palace out west and up north, Bandar developed almost familial relationships with five presidents and their key advisers. His voice was one of the shrillest urging the United States to invade Iraq in 2003. In the 1980s, Prince Bandar was deeply involved in the Iran-Contra scandal in Nicaragua and it his intelligence  agency that first alerted Western allies to the alleged use of sarin gas by the Syrian regime in February. Bandar has reportedly for months been focused exclusively on garnering international support, including arms and training, for Syrian rebel factions in pursuit of the eventual toppling of President Bashar al-Assad.

Reportedly, the Saudi-Zionist discretely coordinated effort, confirmed by Congressional staffers working on the US House Foreign Affairs Committee as well and the US Senate Foreign Relations committee, is being led by Bandar protégé, Adel A. al-Jubeir, the current Saudi ambassador and facilitated by Bahrain ambassador Houda Ezra Ebrahimis Nonoo, who is the first Jewish person, and third woman to be appointed ambassador of Bahrain. Long known, for having myriad contacts at AIPAC HQ, and as an ardent Zionist, Houda Nonoo has attended lobby functions while advising  associates that the “Arabs must forget about the so-called Liberation of Palestine. It will never happen.”

The project has set its sights on achieving American involvement in its third and hopefully its forth (the Islamic Republic) war in this region in just over one decade.

Labeled the ‘surgical strike project”, according to one Congressional staffer, the organizers, as of 8/26/13 are blitzing US Congressional offices with “ fact sheets” making the following arguments in favor of an immediate  sustained air assault.  They are being supported by the increasingly anguished cries from neo-cons in Congress such as John McCain, Lindsey Graham and their ilk.

The lobby’s missive details calculations why the project will succeed and turn out to be a political plus for Obama who is increasingly being accused, by this same team, of dithering. Bandar is arguing that Syrian threats to retaliate against Israel is only political posturing because Syria has never and will never launch a war against Israel, has no military capacity to do so and for the reason that Israel could level Damascus and the Baathist regime knows this well.

In addition, the Prince and his partners insist that Iran will do nothing but complain because it has too much to lose. Iran will not response other than verbally and has no history of attacking the US or Israel and would not risk the unpredictable consequences of a military response by the Republic Guards or even some of its backed militia in Iraq or Syria. Sources in Tehran have reported otherwise to this observer.

Hezbollah, it is claimed, will not act without orders from Tehran which has instructed it to maintain its heavy weapons in moth balls until the coming ‘big war’ with Israel..  It is widely agreed that if Israel attacks Iran, the region will ignite with Hezbollah playing an important role in targeting occupied Palestine.
Senator McCain
McClain, a former pilot in Vietnam, is even pushing “weapons to be employed” list, which includes advising the White House and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on how to do their jobs.  Congressional sources report that there is tension between McCain and the Pentagon because the Senator is implying that the Pentagon doesn’t know its job or what assets it has available and how to use them.

The Saudi official acknowledges that a military strike is a game changer, especially for Russia and that it will kill any diplomatic initiative (including Geneva II), meaning that Russia will lose a serious advantage in Syria. This also means that Russia will lose its bargaining chips which could have bought them the consensus they need, political or economic. But this does not mean that Russia will stand up to the U.S. militarily, as the losses in this case would be more severe. All this is reportedly acceptable to the Prince and the lobby.

The timing of such an attack according to knowledgeable sources in Damascus and Washington would probably last no more than two days and involve sea-launched cruise missiles and long-range bombers.

Reportedly, striking military targets not directly related to Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, hinges on three factors: completion of an intelligence report assessing Syrian government culpability for the chemical attack; continuing consultation with allies and Congress; and the Department of States International Law Bureau preparing the justification under international law.

One of the most common phases being uttered by AIPAC to congressional offices this week are the words, “Assad’s massive use of chemical weapons”.

Bandar has reportedly agreed that Israel can call the shots but that the air assault will be led by the US and involve roughly two dozen US allies including Turkey, the UK and France.  The German weekly ‘Focus” reported on 8/26/13 that the IDF’s 8200 intelligence unlit bugged the Syrian leadership during the chemical weapons attack last week and that Israel ‘sold” the incriminating information to the White House.

Amos Gilad

A group from Israel arrived in Washington on 8/26/13.  It included the Director of the Political-Security Staff in the Defense Ministry, Jaj. Gen. (res) Amos Gilad, Director of Planning Branch Maj. Gen. Nimrod Shefer and IDF intelligence Research Department Direcotr Brigadier General Ital Brun. After some intense discussions, the shared some of their tapes with US officials.

The Bandar/AIPAC arguments being, pushed by this delegation and being spread around capitol hill  as part of “Israel sharing its sterling intelligence”  can be summarized as follows:
The US must avoid half measures to pursue a limited punitive response to the CW use.  What is needed is a sustained Bosnia style bombing campaign until Bashar al-Assad is removed from office. Giving in to that temptation would be a mistake.

The use of the CW affords President Obama an, undeserved opportunity to correct his errant Middle East policies.  As Isreal’s  agent, Robert Satloff  of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy ( WINEP) is telling anyone who is willing to listen, “Obama’s deep reluctance to engage in Syria is clear to all. This hesitancy is part of his policy to wind down U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and his championing of the idea of “nation building at home.” It is not understandable and to the millions of Americans who see Syria as a heaven-sent contest between radical Shiites and radical Sunnis, it is unwise and inappropriate. “

According to the Saudi’s,” the Obama administration now faces Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its Iranian sponsors who  believe they can put a stake through the heart of U.S. power and prestige in the region by testing the president’s “red line” on the use of chemical weapons (CW). “ WINEP is arguing in a memo just issued, “ For Assad, large-scale use of CW serves multiple ends — it demoralizes the rebels, underscores the impotence of their external financiers and suppliers, and confirms to Assad’s own patrons that he is committed to fight to the bitter end. For the Iranians, Assad’s CW use makes Syria — not Iran’s nuclear facilities — the battlefield to test American resolve.”
For Bandar and his Zionist collaborators, the key issue is not whether Obama authorizes the use of American force as a response to Syria’s use of CW. Rather, the key imperative is that the U.S. use whatever force is necessary to achieve regime change and choose the next regime assuring that it will be friendly to Israel.

WINEP and AIPAC are arguing that If the US military action is designed to only punish Assad for violating the international norm on CW,” it will merely have the effect of defining for Assad the acceptable tools for mass killing — perhaps only the acceptable quantities of CW to use at any given time — and will have little impact on the outcome of the Syrian conflict; in fact, it might just embolden Assad and his allies.”

Bandar has told Congressional friends who he has known for decades, that if American military action must be designed to alter the balance of power between the various rebel groups and the Syrian/Iranian/Hezbollah alliance?  This will require a wholesale change in U.S. on-the-ground strategy to supply and train well-vetted opposition militias.

For Israel and its agents, the worst of all is victory by the Assad/Iranian/Hezbollah axis, which a brief but fiery barrage of cruise missiles is liable to bring about. A global power thousands of miles away cannot calibrate stalemate to ensure that neither party wins; we have to prioritize the most negative outcomes and use our assets to prevent them.

The Bandar-Zionist project is still not irreversible.  The Pentagon and especially Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, are very concerned and have threatened to resign in protest.  For they realize that there is a grave risk that the Syrian response will lead to a clash with one of its neighbors, a US ally.  Any scenario is possible from the moment that the first missile leaves American ships in the eastern Mediterranean.

Sources in Iran and Syria has advised this observers that they expect the US bombing to commence within 72 hours.
Franklin Lamb is doing research in Iran and Syria and can be reached c/o


Source: Al-Manar Website
30-08-2013 – 09:32 Last updated 30-08-2013 – 12:59
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