ISSAWI VIZ Other Freed Pal Prisoners Settlements Tag

 شخصية العام 2013 : سامر العـيساوي باق في القدس

After his longest hunger strike in the world, he returned triumphantly to his village of Issawiya in occupied Jerusalem. «Al-akhbar» met the freedom fighter in his home, to hear the arduous journey of resistance which Samer Isawai fought for nine months… 

Meanwhile, Israel released 26 Palestinian prisoners prisoners as part of the so-called peace talks between the occupation authorities and the western-backed Palestinian Authority.

Israeli settlers torch Palestinian cars after prisoners freed

Jewish settlers set fire to three Palestinian-owned cars and sprayed graffiti calling for Arabs to be killed in the West Bank on Tuesday hours after Israel released 26 long-time prisoners, local media reported.
Palestinian news agency Ma’an posted photographs of three charred vehicles: a BMW, Peugeot and Renault in the northern outskirts of Ramallah near the illegal Beit El settlement.
The graffiti, sprayed on the wall of a home, read “blood will flow in Judea and Samaria” and “this is war,” according to Ma’an and Palestinian state news agency Wafa. Judea and Samaria is the Israeli name for the West Bank.
Local resident Hatim Subuh was cited by Ma’an as saying that Tuesday’s attack was the third of its kind in the area. Settlers from the illegal Beit El outpost are notorious for their overnight attacks on Palestinian targets, routinely setting fire to orchards, slashing tires of vehicle and assaulting residents.
Israeli occupation forces rarely prosecute the perpetrators, and have in some cases provided cover to settlers as they torched Palestinian olive trees.
The latest attack was presumably carried out in response to the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners who had been locked up in Israeli prisons for over 20 years.
Israel released the prisoners early Tuesday as part of the so-called peace talks between the occupation authorities and the western-backed Palestinian Authority.
The prisoners were the third batch of 104 detainees that Israel’s prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to release in four stages. All were imprisoned before the 1993 Oslo accords.
The freed prisoners were hailed by Palestinians as heroes imprisoned for fighting against the Israeli occupation, with some welcomed back to Ramallah in the West Bank, others to east Jerusalem and the remainder into Gaza.
Palestinian media hailed the prisoners as “heroic fighters” and looked forward to the release of the final batch by end of April, when the nine-month period for talks is to end.
The 18 men taken to Ramallah were warmly embraced by PA chief Mahmoud Abbas in his presidential compound, a correspondent said, before laying flowers on the grave of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Tuesday’s release was expected to be accompanied by announcements of new construction plans for Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, including east Jerusalem, as the previous two prisoner releases were.
Such a move is likely to infuriate the Palestinians and the international community.
(Al-Akhbar, AFP)

Person of the Year 2013: Palestinian Hunger Striker Samer al-Issawi

Palestinian prisoner Samer al-Issawi, who held a hunger strike for several months, flashes the “V” for victory sign as he celebrates his release from an Israeli jail in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya, on December 23 2013. (Photo: AFP – Ahmad Gharabli)
Published Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One can only imagine the looks on the faces of Israeli settlers living in Masharef Mountain, near the Hebrew University that overlooks Issawiya, as they watched the celebrations welcoming back Palestinian prisoner Samer al-Issawi.

Issawi returned victorious to his village despite Israel’s desperate attempts to ban celebrations. The occupation forces delayed his release for about 10 hours last Monday, December 23, and erected military checkpoints near the village, but young men and Palestinian mothers insisted on welcoming their hero

Following his nine-month hunger strike amid the “battle of the empty stomachs,” Issawi was released along with 1,026 other Palestinians in an exchange for the return of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

He wished to remain loyal to those who lost their lives while planning and conducting the Shalit kidnapping, and didn’t want the Israelis to arrest the liberated prisoners all over again, forcing them to serve the rest of their sentences.
From the first intifada until the mid-1990s, Issawi, born 1979, resisted Israeli occupation by setting settler cars of fire and throwing Molotov cocktails. He told Al-Akhbar that he was careful not to be arrested because he wanted to support his family, since his four brothers – Raafat, Medhat, Firas, and Fadi – were held by the Israelis. But all that changed when his brother Fadi was killed in clashes that erupted in Issawiya, following the Hebron massacre in 1994.
The day Samer saw his brother in a pool of his own blood was the last straw.
Issawi was first arrested in 1998 and sentenced to a year and a half in prison for throwing a Molotov cocktail. He was later sentenced to six months in jail for beating up an Israeli soldier, then he was imprisoned again in 2000 for 15 days at the beginning of al-Aqsa intifada. He was later arrested for six months without charges.
“Israeli military attacks escalated during the second Intifada, and we began to hear about airstrikes on Gaza,” said Issawi, revealing that on the first day of his release he joined the ranks of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He formed a five-member cell with friends and conducted 11 shooting operations targeting Israeli vehicles in the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, seven kilometers east of Jerusalem.
These shootings caused material damages and injured one Israeli officer. Once Issawi’s role was revealed, the Israelis hunted him down for a whole year and finally arrested him during the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield in Ramallah.
Issawi refused to appear before the Beit Eil military court and rejected the presence of an attorney because he didn’t acknowledge the legitimacy of the court. He told the judges that it was more of a traveling circus that the Israelis brought along to every territory they occupied.
Issawi was sentenced to 30 years in jail. He wasn’t surprised. Usually sentences in such cases are life in prison, even though no injuries were caused.
He said he was confident he wouldn’t serve his entire sentence, and told the judge, “I will be out before 30 years.” Ten years later, Issawi was released within the “Loyalty to the Free Men” prisoners’ deal.
Issawi as Art
Occupation forces arrested Issawi again on 7 July 2012. His interrogation continued for 30 days, following which he was accused of planning to kidnap Israeli soldiers. Meanwhile, the head of Israeli intelligence in the West Bank threatened to send him back to jail to serve the remaining 20 years of his sentence.
Issawi realized that he was in a serious situation. Hence, on July 27, he started returning two of his meals and settling for a simple one of two slices of bread and a spoonful of labneh and jam.
He maintained this diet for 19 days and was transferred to Nafha Prison. On August 24, he started training his body for an open hunger strike. He wrote a letter to prison services and informed them about his escalation. Back then, he settled for a glass of juice or milk or soup until he cut off food completely and started his open hunger strike on September 14, which also included a strike on water from time to time.
Finally, Issawi reached an agreement with the Israelis last April allowing him to return home to Jerusalem within eight months.
Israelis resorted to different tactics to try and exhaust Issawi into giving up his hunger strike. They sent him on prisoners’ buses to courts and moved him from prison to prison, forcing him to wait for hours for his jailers. They demolished his brother Medhat’s house and attacked him and his family in court despite his deteriorating health.
Samer dropped to 99 pounds and suffered attendant health risks. “When I slept on my right side, I felt numb, and the same with my left side. I also couldn’t sleep on my chest because I had a broken bone,” he said.
With His Family
“Every time I heard about Palestinians and freedom-loving people around the world joining this this battle, I forgot my own pain, mainly after the martyrdom of Mahmoud al-Titi and Mohammed Asfour. There was nothing I could offer them, just insisting on the goals that we put together before the hunger strike. I was also moved by young men protesting for the first time in front of Jerusalem Magistrates Court,” he said.
Issawi said, “The anger I saw in the eyes of the jailers after seven months of the hunger strike proved to me that we succeeded in raising the voices of prisoners and revealing Israeli violations of the prisoner swap deal, while preserving Palestinians dignity. All the goals were accomplished and the only thing left was me going back home.”
On the Palestinian official position, Samer said, “Let’s be honest, all of us Palestinians, from the president to common citizens, can’t even move from one region to the other without Israeli authorization. We don’t count on the official position as much as we count on the will of the people to exercise pressure to force politicians to take more serious steps. A Palestinian negotiator can sign a deal, but it would not be applicable on the ground without popular support.”
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition..

The Bastards of Great Israel

أيتام اسرائيل الكبرى

كيان مصطنع تم تركيبه بقرار , ولحسابات في جزء منها غامض اختير لهذا المشروع أقدس أرض وفوق جماجم سكانه الاصليين , أسس بمتلازمتين احداهما خرافة يتم الاستثمار فيها وتقول بفكرة التفوق على أساس الدين ,فهم شعب الله المختار وبقية الشعوي تركة الله لهم . والأخرى هي اللعب على الغرائز لينتهي اللعب الى القتل .بريطانيا أسست المشروع قبل أن تقرر بيعه في صفقة رابحة الى أميركا …حقيقة انا لا أتحدث عن اسرائيل ,
انما اتحدث عن الكيان السعودي في ارض الحجاز,الحقيقة التي حان الوقت لقولها
مفاتيح الارض السبعة ..
في العلوم الروحانية الجسم المادي هو اسقاط لجسم نوراني اكثر تعقيدا ولديه من امكانية اللامتناهي .على هذا الجسم النوراني تتوضع نقاط تتركز فيها الطاقة وتبدو كدوامة تدور عكس عقاب الساعة عندما يلزمها الحصول على طاقة بعدها الكوني . الارض ايضا جسد مادي له تماما تركيبة جسدك, اذا يلزمه أيضا مراكز طاقية لتعويض الفاقد من الطاقة الحيوية , لكن أين تقع هذه المراكز ؟
للجسد البشري سبع تشاكرات (مراكز طاقة ) وللارض ايضا نفس العدد .الحقيقة التي سوف تقرأوها بعد قليل تنشر للمرة الاولى في تاريخ البشرية ولم يتم تدالها مع العامة من قبل مطلقا, لكننا دخلنا الآن في عصر جديد ( البداية الفعلية للعصر الجديد 2017) مواتي جدا لنتشارك هذه العلوم .
مقامات الطاقة في الارض تتوضع في : مكة, القدس, جبل قاسيون في الشام , اليمن . النجف . القطبين المغناطيسيين للارض . وتماما كما تشاكرات الجسد, الحج الى كل من هذه الاماكن على حدا يكسبك قدرة مختلفة .
نحو فهم جديد لما يدور حولنا…
في القتال الطاقي يبدأ المهاجم باستهداف مراكز طاقة خصمه مما يؤدي الى تعطيل اعضاء جسده المرتبطة بهذه المراكز ,هذا بالضبط مايحدث على الارض .
والآن لنلقي نظرة على العمل المتقن لاعدائنا..
عند أول فرصة تم زرع الكيانين الغريبين في القدس ومكة لكن اللافت أن كلاهما أول عمل قاما به ولم يكد أحدهما يلتقط انفاسه بعد هو الزحف الى الشام !! هل هو صدفة من الخطأ البناء عليها؟!
لنبدأ بأعمال الشرير في القدس ومكة …
سابدأ بتنويه كبير يقلب مفاهيما قديمة لديكم عمرها الألاف من السنين:
هل حقا أهمية هيكل سليمان لايتعدى كونه قضية رمزية وبشارة لوعد؟! الاجابة بجزء مهم منها تجدونها في القران الكريم , هل حقا ارادت بلقيس برفع الثوب عن ساقيها عندما دخلت الهيكل اغواء سيدنا سليمان؟ هل يتناسب وقدر القران الكريم ذكر حادثة عمرها الألاف فقط لفنهم منها ان فتاة كشفت عن ساقيها لرجل ؟! احد علماء المصريات لفته الترديد الدائم لكلمة سحر في الكتابات الهيروغليفية , تأمل مليا في عقد لؤلؤ لملكة فرعونية ثقبت حباته بالليزر (حقيقة اخرى تم وضعها في صندوق رمي في دهليز) وتساءل اي سحر يقودنا الى معارف الليزر ؟! هنا توصل الى كلمته الشهيرة ” لتفهموا سر الحضارة الفرعونية فقط استبدلوا كلمة سحر بكلمة تكنولوجيا”
هذا بالضبط ماعليكم القيام به عندما يدور الحديث عن هيكل سليمان, هذا الهيكل –كصندوق طالوت- به تكنولوجيا وعلوم من يملكها يملك مفاتيح ابواب الابعاد الكونية .أمر آخر عليكم القيام به وحالا, لم نأخذ من التاريخ الا الكذب ولقد تعامل معنا باحتقار واستخفاف! توقفوا حالاا عن النظر الى أنبياء الله على أنهم فقط حالة سامية تعتليهم الدهشة كما نفعل نحن في كل مرة يجري الله على ايديهم كرامة. انتبهوا الى ما سأقوله “هم حالة سامية وحالة علمية أيضا “من منكم توقف عند قصة النبي موسى مع الخضر ,الم تلاحظوا ان العلاقة كانت بين تلميذ مهذب أراد علما لم يستحقه بعد من معلم قدير ! من أشار على موسى بالذهاب الى المعلم الجليل الخضر ولما صام اربعين يوما قبل الوصول اليه ؟هذا مافعله ايضا المسيح قبل ان يتلقى علما آخر من الله , وأيضا أربعين يوما قضاها الرسول محمد قبل نزول الوحي ,ماهي المآرب الأخرى التي يستعمل فيها النبي موسى عصاه؟ ماهو العلم الذي به طوى الرسول محمد الارض وشق القمر ؟
اذا تم الحفر تحت المسجد الاقصى بحثا عن غرفة معارف النبي سليمان وفقط شعرة واحد تبقي المسجد الاقصى مستقرا وقرار قطعها ينتظر ان ينجز الساسة عملا ما لا أكثر .
في علوم الفانك شوي طبيعة المواد المستعملة في أثاث المكان وطريقة ترتيبها تؤثر بشكل حاسم على طاقة المكان وجريانها .وبناءا على هذا العلم وليس كيفما اتفق بدأوا بتهويد المدينة القديمة وادخال عناصر بناء ليست من تربتها.
مكة المكرمة …
توقفوا عند التطابق قليلا. أيضا تم تهويد مدينة رسول الله وبحرية أكبر فالظرف السياسي لطالما كان مشكلة كبيرة تعيق عمل الصهاينة في القدس , فلم يتركوا مسجدا صلى فيه الرسول وأصحابه ولا دربا ولا بستانا ووصل بهم الأمر الى محاولة تدمير مكتبة الرسول وقبره لكن يومها كاد الشعب أن يعلن قيامه فتراجعوا الى الوراء..قليلا.والاكثر حقارة وخسة (لايقل صمت المسلمين كرد فعل خسة ودناءة عن الفعل ذاته)هو ردم منزل سيدتنا خديجة وبه محراب للرسول وموضع للوحي والبيت الذي ولدت فيه سيدتنا فاطمة عليهم السلام وبناء حمامات عامة فوقه!! والتساؤل الطبيعي, لما اختار آل سعود الحمامات لبنائها فوق بيت النبوة ولم يختاروا روضة أطفال مثلا؟!
قبل عهد آل سعود كان بامكانك أن تمشي على الدرب الذي مشى عليه رسول الله وان تأكل تمرا من الشجرة التي أكل منها وأن تشرب من نفس النبع وكلها مشفرة من طاقته الشافية النقية ( كقميص النبي يوسف الذي أصبحت له قوة شفائية لأن ذبذبات هالة النبي يوسف الرحمانية شفرة ذرات القميص) .
الكعبة …

تنويه آخر, هو تهجم آخر على التاريخ وعلم لعلك تصل اليه للمرة الأولى ..

التاريخ مرتزق مخادع مزاجي, هكذا قضى معظم وقته .يصور لنا القدماء حالة سخيفة غبية تعبد حجر! لكن هل اعجاز حضارة المايا يتناسب مع هذا التوصيف؟ وهل اعجاز بناء الاهرامات أيضا يتناسب مع هذا التوصيف ؟ وأمثلة كبيرة كثيرة في متناول الجميع .
اسئلة رائعة تقودنا الى مكان لم نكن لنتصور وجوده في عالمنا من قبل ..
هل بمحض الصدفة كانت تبنى الاصناع من أنواع خاصة جدا من الحجارة وبعضها من النحاس والقصدير وبترتيب معين؟ ماهي الحوادث الكهربائية التي يمكن ان تصادفنا ان اجتمع النحاس والقصدير في الخلاء؟هل يتشكل بينمها حقل مغناطيسي مثلا؟ لما نلاحظ دائما وتبدو كقاعدة عمل أو سر كبير ينقل شفاهة فقط أن الصنم الاكبر يبنى دائما خارج مجموعة الأصنام الصغيرة وعلى مسافة منها وليس كما تصوره الافلام بينهما؟
هل كان الامام علي يكسر الاصنام فوق الكعبة كيفما اتفق وأينما وقعت ضربت يده أم كان يراعي مصفوفة رياضية معينة؟هل أخذ البنائون بعين الاعتبار خطوط هارتمان؟ لتصبح الأصنام أقرب الى شبكة موصلات ومستقبلات كهربائية. نفس الخطوط التي أطلق عليها الرومان شرايين التنين وكانوا يتجنبون بناء معسكرات جيشوهم في نقاط تقاطعها. هذه الخطوط التي اكتشفناها للتو نحن الأذكياء المتحضرون!!

هل الساعة الماسونية فوق الكعبة هي الهرم الاكبر؟ هل لاحظتم الى أن اعلاها رمز لقرني الشيطان وليس للقمر بحالة الهلال!لما تم استبدال مسلة الشيطان التي يرجم عندها الشيطان ولما اختار الرسول مسلة في أسوأ بؤرة طاقة سلبية في العالم ولم يضع مثلا مربعا؟لما نلاحظ وجود المسلات في ساحات أماكن صنع القرار العالمي ,مكة,الفاتيكان, البيت الابيض..

قاسيون رأس مثلث الطاقة
ان من يتحكم بمثلث الطاقة مكة-قاسيون- القدس يحقق نصرا على مستوى المجرة بكاملها,ولعل هذا يفسر حرص الانبياء على المرور على قاسيون خلال رحلاتهم .وهذا أيضا ماحدا بالله ان يولي عناية خاصة بهذه المنطقة ويتوعد بحديث قدسي بانه سوف يتدخل مباشرة لضرب كل من يريد الحاق الأذى بأهل الشام .

لأسباب تعود الى تعقيدات دولية واقليمية أهمها مناعة أسوار الشام كان الوصول الى قاسيون مستحيل ,مستثمرين خليجيين عرضوا استثمار الجبل وتحويله الى …أبراج!

العرض قوبل بالرفض.

فتحينوا الفرصة , لكن باعتباره مقاما طاقيا هل ينفع ضربه بالبارود؟ بالطبع لا’ لذا تم ضربه بقنبلة نووية تكتيكية اخترقت جوفه.هل حقا لم يجد الشرير هدفا عسكريا اكثر اهمية من قاسيون لضربه نوويا!
أتوقف هنا اليوم,في الجزء الثاني سأفصل قليلا في جذور أيتام اسرائيل من حسن البنا الى ابن الوهاب لأنتقل لاحقا لمراقبة سلوك أتباع الأثنين من نقطة أقرب …

Lebanon’s $3 Billion Price Tag

The president’s allies were taken off guard by Suleiman’s declaration, especially since he had spoken to some figures during Shatah’s funeral service that he was planning to “declare an initiative that could change the face of Lebanon.(Photo: Marwan Bu-Haydar).
Published Monday, December 30, 2013
In Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz and France’s Francois Hollande – who also met Saad Hariri in Riyadh – agreed on a “royal grant” worth $3 billion paid directly to France, in return for French weapons and hardware to be delivered to the Lebanese army. But one condition for this grant is forming a cabinet in Lebanon, from which Hezbollah would be excluded.
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman took it upon himself to announce the grant and to begin implementing Saudi’s conditions. A few weeks ago, Suleiman informed Lebanese Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri and MP Walid Jumblatt, as well as Hezbollah, of his intention to form a “neutral government” without consulting anyone over the names of the ministers, based on a 14-minister lineup that Premier-designate Tammam Salam would submit to the president later. Suleiman even set a date for the stunt: after he returns from his New Year’s Eve holiday in Budapest, before 7 January 2014.
The March 8 forces, together with MP Jumblatt, tried to dissuade Suleiman and Salam from their plan, but the president would not budge, implying that there was no going back. This was the case even before the assassination of former Minister Mohammed Shatah, and things did not change after.
While some expected Suleiman to reconsider his decision following last Friday’s assassination, March 14 doubled down, rushing to demand to return to power without partnership with Hezbollah.
This should be seen as a follow-up to what happened after the assassination of Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, and the Saudi message carried by then-Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Abdul-Latif al-Zayani to Suleiman: Hezbollah has to choose between continuing to fight in Syria or being part of the government. Shortly after that, the government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati collapsed.
Following Shatah’s assassination, March 14’s demands went on to explicitly require isolating Hezbollah from power, and boycotting any dialogue with the Resistance Party. Commenting on the Saudi grant, Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces, said quite clearly, “Political power is the basis, and it is our demand without which nothing, not even financial grants, would do us any good.”
Similarly, Future Movement officials and other March 14 figures said they wanted a government without Hezbollah. Leading sources in this political camp told Al-Akhbar, “We have notified President Suleiman that any negotiations regarding a partnership government involving the other side is out of question. We asked him to do what he sees fit because the ball is in his court.”
But Jumblatt opposes such a move. According to sources close to the Druze leader, he conveyed to both Suleiman and Salam a clear position: “This step resembles the decisions made on May 5 under the government of Fouad Siniora in 2008, which led to the May 7 incidents. Today, the country needs a national unity government to defuse strife in the street.” Accordingly, Jumblatt has told Speaker Berri that he would not give a vote of confidence to any government that the speaker and Hezbollah do not endorse.
For their part, March 8 forces have kept quiet about what they plan to do in response to what they call a “de facto government under the guise of neutrality.” Some extremists in this camp warned that such a government would be barred from ruling, even if that meant storming the Grand Serail – the seat of the Lebanese government.
They said, “What stopped us in 2006 from storming the Serail where Siniora was present was a phone conversation between Ali Larijani and Bandar bin Sultan, who mediated among Lebanese political rivals and drew red lines for the protests. Today, the lines of communication are broken, and no one will prevent us from defending our rights.”
The sources continued, “Bandar’s plan at the moment is to form a de facto government to draw Hezbollah into the street, under the illusion that this would force Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria to meet challenges in Lebanon. What they don’t know is that Hezbollah has prepared to face all security contingencies on more than one front, to defend the Resistance.”
The rest of the March 8 forces refuse to disclose details about their response to a de facto government. Instead, prominent March 8 sources only shared with Al-Akhbar what they said was “a characterization of reality as it stands.” In their view, “the decision to form a de facto government is part of the war Saudi Arabia is waging in the region, from Syria and Iraq, to Lebanon and Bahrain.”
The March 8 sources added, “Bandar bin Sultan is still betting on a change on the Syrian battlefield, moving toward Moscow, which has snubbed him, and moving in Bahrain, Iraq, and Lebanon to improve his position in Syria. What Saudi wants is to form a de facto government before Geneva II, for a marginal goal, namely, to have the Lebanese delegation at the conference be part of the delegations putting pressure on the official Syrian delegation. At home in Lebanon, forming a government like this means adding another nail to the coffin of the Taif Accord, the first nail having been the March 14 exclusive administration under Siniora’s first cabinet.”
The sources then said, “If Saad Hariri’s government was unable to rule, and Mikati’s government could barely issue routine decisions, how can Suleiman, Salam, and March 14 expect a government opposed by more than half of the Lebanese people to rule? How do they expect to get a vote of confidence?”
The sources raised more questions: “Can this government implement the decisions it makes? Do they not know that a government that has no vote of confidence is not entitled to take over the jurisdictions of the president in the event of a vacuum in his post?”
The sources concluded: “Where are they taking the country to? So far, our camp is still committed to peaceful confrontation. But they have given us only two examples: the assault on Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani at the Khashogji Mosque, and the slogan ‘Viva the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.’”
The slogan in question was uttered by President Suleiman, in the speech he made after a press conference scheduled earlier by the Baabda Palace was canceled. At almost the same time, clashes were taking place at Beirut’s Khashogji Mosque, amid fears of further deterioration of the situation, suggesting to some that Suleiman could have been in the process of putting forward a salvation initiative.
Instead, the president’s allies were taken off guard by Suleiman’s declaration, especially since he had spoken to some figures during Shatah’s funeral service that he was planning to “declare an initiative that could change the face of Lebanon.” But rather than doing that, Suleiman focused all his speech on announcing the Saudi grant, which was restricted to procuring French equipment for the Lebanese army, even as the majority of the latter’s hardware has been US-made since President Amin Gemayel’s tenure.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Lines of the Game: Price to Pay for the Shatah Assassination

The assassination ought to increase pressure on the formation of a Lebanese government and a formula for a presidential agreement.
Published Saturday, December 28, 2013
The assassination of former Lebanese Finance Minister Mohammed Shatah will open a dangerous chapter in Lebanon, a bit similar to the one that followed the assassination of late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Shatah was no ordinary man in the region, and the attack occurred at a crucial moment in Lebanon and its neighborhood’s history. Here, escalated tensions and seditions will never let such a crime pass by without major repercussions. The killer knew it!
Hariri’s assassination in 2005 was a turning point for Hezbollah’s image in the Arab and Islamic world, and contributed to the Syrian army’s withdrawal from Lebanon. These events weren’t just a result of local demands. Former US President George W. Bush and his French counterpart Jacques Chirac were also involved.
The Sunni-Shia strife that ripped Iraq apart after the American-British invasion was further consolidated when Hezbollah, with its large Shia base, was accused of murdering the new symbol of modern Sunnism in the region: Rafik Hariri. Back then, political accusation preceded all real investigations on the ground.
Now, what to expect after Shatah’s assassination?
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was brief, while Future bloc leader Fouad Siniora elaborated, hinting that the Syrian regime planned the crime, and its Lebanese allies, mainly Hezbollah, carried it out. In the March 14 statement, Siniora echoed the calls that followed Hariri’s murder, urging to take Shatah’s assassination to the international level, something we expect to hear quite often in the coming weeks amid international pressure on Hezbollah and Lebanon.
Head of the National Struggle Bloc MP Walid Jumblatt was alone in his call for reason and moderation. He knows quite well that some are seeking to exploit the assassination to achieve bigger political gains. He also understands that this assassination is apt to take the country from sectarian sedition to the battlefield.
The Shatah assassination occurred while Lebanon was at a crossroads. The future government and the current presidency are now up for grabs amid political bickering between Hezbollah and March 14. But behind both parties is a larger and deeper conflict taking place in Syria.
The assassination ought to increase pressure on the formation of a Lebanese government and a formula for a presidential agreement. Previously hesitant, the international community is now expected to support these solutions as the death of Shatah and the other martyrs raised the alarm about a bloody year awaiting Lebanon.
Shatah’s murder also paves the way for further assassinations, clashes, and blasts. Obviously there is a plan to transform Lebanon into an arena for a regional and international conflict that has not been settled in Syria.
What if a Hezbollah leader or ally is killed in the coming days? Will we hear that it is a retaliation for the Shatah murder? Who will break this vicious cycle?
Israel may also find an opportunity to conduct a military operation. It is reported that Hezbollah’s incursion in Syria and the widening rift with its former Sunni base offers Israel the right opportunity to strike. In Lebanon, Israel may redeem what it couldn’t achieve in Iran. At least that’s what the Israelis believe.
The assassination put the Syrian regime and Hezbollah in a raging storm of accusations at a critical time. The world is heading toward the Geneva II conference and an historic understanding with Iran. The international tribunal investigating Hariri’s murder will soon begin its sessions.
Martyr Mohammed Shatah was no ordinary man. Neither was martyr Wissam al-Hassan. Shatah, a man with hefty economic and political baggage, was, just like security man Hassan, standing on a pivotal local, regional, and international intersection. With such assassinations, it is easy to point figures, but it is hard to support accusations with evidence as political exploitation comes in smoothly.
A dark period of major transformation is awaiting Lebanon, but unfortunately the fierce battle ahead won’t yield any winners. What if a fait accompli government was imposed on Hezbollah and its allies? How will Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah put his words “don’t mess with us” into action? Those messing with him this time will have an international cover far larger than the one they had before the assassination.

Christmas versus Xmas: A Political Reading

By Prof. James Petras

Global Research, December 28, 2013


The transformation of Christmas from a story about a migrant working-class family fleeing state persecution, in the search for a safe haven and receiving support and solidarity to the biggest capitalist commercial bonanza of the year – has far-reaching political consequences.

Taking Christ out of Christmas

The fundamental ‘change’, engineered by the capitalist class in pursuit of profits, was to take the ‘Christ Story’ out of Christmas and to convert the weeks before and after into a consumer orgy.  Aided and abetted by “secularist allies”, the capitalist class succeeded in eliminating any reference to the Christmas story, including the nativity scene and carols commemorating it, from public spaces.  The significant social message, embedded in the Christmas story, is diluted by well-meaning cultural diversity-promoters, who demand ‘equal time for ‘Hanukah’ (a Jewish narrative celebrating war, conquest and the slaughter of ‘apostate-assimilated-Hellenized’ Jews by traditionalists-fundamentalists – an event not even mentioned in the Hebrew Bible) and “Kwanzaa” (a holiday invented in the 1960’s by a cultural black nationalist preaching “self-help”).

In place of the Christmas story, we have been given anachronistic ‘Nordic tales of tree worship’ and ‘gift giving’ by an obese bearded sweat-shop owner employing stunted slave workers *(‘Hi Ho, Hi Ho! It’s off to work we go; we work all day, we get no pay! Hi Ho, Hi Ho!’).  This has become the dominant mythology driving the consumerist – profiteering of the global commercial – capitalist production chain.

Over time, it came to pass that ‘Christmas’ commercial sales became the centerpiece of capital accumulation.  New and powerful sectors of capital entered the field.  Finance capital, particularly credit card companies charging debtors usurious, interest rates over 20% per year, became central to and the principal beneficiaries of the great transformation of the Christmas story.
The new, modern, secular monetized, relativized Christmas story redefined the entire meaning of the holiday.

First, there was the language ‘excision’; the prefix was altered.  Christ-mas became Xmas. 

The X symbol left out what constituted the original narrative and circumstances surrounding the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Once the original class origins of the Christmas story were erased and the conflict between the absolutist state and civil society were abolished, the capitalist class inserted its own ‘props’ into the story:  the Xmas tree became the site for consumer ‘gifts’; the Xmas ‘stocking’ had to be filled with consumer goods; the Xmas day image required the “happy family” opening up boxes of consumer goods – bought on credit at 20% interest rates.

The driving force behind the phony props and imagery is a command headquarters composed of capitalist manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, market analysts, publicists, consultants, advertisers, investors, factory owners employing a vast army of low paid workers in Asian manufacturing sweatshops and huge corporate retail outlets with minimum wage salespeople. Christmas sales are the major profit maximizing occasion for the entire year:  The success or failure of commercial capitalism rides on the profits accrued between November 30 and January 7.  The entire capitalist edifice rests on the notion that “Xmas” is about large-scale buying and selling of consumer goods; it is about ensuring that class inequalities and racial divisions are temporarily blurred; that repressive police state intrusions into the privacy of family life are forgotten and that social solidarity is replaced by an orgy of individual consumerism.

‘Xmas’ is a time to celebrate massive profiteering, based on the indebtedness of the ‘masses’.  It is a time for downsized workers to buy imported goods on credit from manufacturers who had relocated to low wage regions:  Price consciousness replaces class consciousness.  Picketing US retailers, who import from Bangladesh sweatshop death traps, where workers ‘earn’ $25 a month, goes against the ‘Xmas spirit’.  ‘Buy and feel free’!  It’s a time to be jolly!

The new secular, monetized ‘Xmas’ is a consumer-driven commercial event motivated by profits, advertisement and the mindless worship of ‘the market’.  Family and neighborly relations are now tied to the cash nexus:  Who buys or receives the most expensive gifts experiences the greatest gratification.  ‘Gift giving’ is based on ‘consumer spending’; who could imagine any alternative!
Millions of atomized individuals compete to buy the most commodities that their credit/debit cards can cover.  ‘Virtue’ becomes ‘success’ in the frantic engagement with the market.  From the perspective of political power, individual consumerist consciousness means submission to ‘the market’ as well as submission to the ruling class, which dominates ‘market relations’.

The entire ‘Xmas’ period highlights the fact that market relations between wage-earning/salaried individuals and commercial/financial elites take precedence over productive (and state) relations between capital and labor.  In “the market” the struggle is between consumers over commodities, overseen by commercial capital.  In the new Xmas story the consumer is the centerpiece; the market is the mediator of all social relations. The ‘Christ story’ has been relegated to a periphery, if not totally excluded. At most, the story is reduced to a birth scene witnessed by cows, sheep and three ‘Kings’.

The conversion of Christmas into the massive Xmas-market event broadens its consumer appeal, increases sales and profits.  Potential consumers from all religions (and the non-religious) can join the consumer orgy.  It is not about values, ethics or beliefs – it’s about buying, selling, debt and accumulation. To be a successful commercial event ‘Christians’ must suppress the politics and ethics of the Christ story, which is dramatically opposed to the immersion in the marketplace.

The Politics of the Christmas Story

The protagonists of the Christmas story, Joseph and Mary, are a working class household living at a subsistence level.  Joseph, a carpenter, is partially out of work and earns a minimum wage.  They live frugally, spend their meager earnings on essentials and travel cheaply on a donkey.  To escape a repressive government they migrate in search of security, hoping to find a new home.  The pregnant Mary and her unemployed husband Joseph look for sympathy and solidarity among the poor.  They knock on doors but the landlords send them away.  Only a poor farmer offers them a place – they can share a barn with the sheep and cows.

In the face of an uncertain future and a troubled present, Mary and Joseph receive material support from local residents in Bethlehem .  Three wise men (the Magi or mathematicians from Persia ) are internationalists who travel to greet the new family.  They show great concern for the new born baby Jesus by perhaps offering hiss family a scholarship so he can study mathematics and science….  The coming together of local neighborhood people and the three educated “outsiders” to celebrate the birth of Christ and offer support to the homeless family, dispossessed migrants, has been an event for wonder and celebration.

Bethlehem billboards and newspaper ad campaign launched by

 Community solidarity, the sharing of food, shelter, learning and fraternal good cheer, in the face of persecution by a criminal state and an avaricious ruling class, defines the spirit of Christmas.  The Christmas story affirms the virtues of social solidarity and not individual consumerism.  It defines a moment in which the deep bonds of humanity displace the shallow comfort of commodities.  It is the celebration of a moment in which the values and virtues of breaking bread in a fraternal community take precedence over the accumulation of wealth.

The Christmas story, the trials and travails of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus resonate with millions of American workers today:  especially those who have lost employment and been dispossessed of their homes.  The Christmas story resonates with the tens of millions of immigrants persecuted and jailed by tyrannical states.  The Christmas story resonates with the millions of people of color who are “stopped and frisked” by a militarized police.

The Christmas story does not resonate with the owners, investors and publicists of big commercial enterprises who have converted the multitude into worshipers of their little plastic cards.  Taking ‘Christ out of Christmas’ and destroying the joy and fellowship and solidarity of shared humanity embodied in the celebration of the birth of Christ is essential in order to continue to accumulate wealth.  Putting the ‘Christ story’ back into Christmas is a step toward defeating consumerist consciousness and recreating social solidarity, so necessary for ending injustice.

Gaza fishermen suffer 85 percent income loss as Israeli siege, attacks continue

          Palestinian fishermen bring their catches ashore at the port in Gaza City.


On 17 December, Palestinian fishermen and their supporters erected a tent — a traditional venue for protest, as well as celebration and mourning — inside the Gaza seaport.

“It was to highlight the situation, the crimes of the Israelis against fishermen here,” said Amjad al-Shrafi, treasurer of the General Union of Fishermen. “We wanted to send a message about the blockade against the fishermen and how we cannot fish freely.”

The protest, organized under the title Free the Holy Land Sea, ended two days later with the delivery of a letter to the nearby office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, demanding international protection for fishermen.

Over three days, hundreds of well-wishers visited a crowded tent decorated with banners and posters supporting fishermen. The organizations represented on its walls ranged from human rights centers to prisoner support groups.

Under fire

“One of our main goals was to push governments around the world to force Israel to give fishermen free lives and let us sail without any limits,” al-Shrafi said. “It’s our right to sail freely in our waters.”

“Another was to pressure the Israeli forces to release the boats and fishermen they have captured.”

Palestinian fishermen in coastal waters off the Gaza Strip frequently come under fire by Israeli naval forces, which target their boats on both sides of a boundary imposed by Israel.

Israel deploys its gunships into Palestinian waters using an information technology infrastructure administered by Hewlett-Packard (“Technologies of control: The case of Hewlett-Packard,” Who Profits, December 2011).

Through its subsidiary, HP Israel, the US corporation won a contract to run the Israeli navy’s computer and communications network in August 2006 (“HP Israel wins navy IT outsourcing contract,” Globes, 14 August 2006).

The fishing area permitted by Israel, which doubled in size as part of the ceasefire agreement ending eight days of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and retaliatory fire by Palestinian resistance groups in November 2012, now officially reaches six nautical miles from the shore.

But fishermen say the Israeli navy often shoots at them and sometimes captures them and their boats well within the zone it ostensibly allows them.



Fishermen and supporters hold posters with images of colleagues captured by Israeli forces, in Gaza City on 19 December 2013.

(Joe Catron)

“We were far from the prohibited zone, 500 meters away,” said Saddam Abu Warda, a 23-year-old fisherman whom the Israeli navy captured along with his 18-year-old brother Mahmoud around 9am on 10 November.

“They were shouting, ‘You must get out of here in five minutes.’ We had to cut the net to pull it out of the water. Then they started to fire bullets close to our hasaka [small boat]. As they came close to us, their boat looked like a big building with lights.”

The Abu Wardas’ small boat had no engine. “We tried to escape by paddling quickly,” Saddam Abu Warda said. “They forced us to take off our clothes and raise our hands. They were firing bullets in the air and in front of our hasaka. One soldier was shouting, ‘You have to leave your hasaka and get in the water.’ I was shocked. I couldn’t move. I didn’t know why.”

Finally, gunfire forced the brothers into the cold water. “They didn’t stop firing bullets over our heads,” Abu Warda said. “I was far from my brother. He started shouting, saying, ‘I am injured.’ He wasn’t able to keep swimming. I swam back to my brother to try and save him. His blood was [spilling] in the water. Then two small boats came close to us. They pulled my brother from the water. They didn’t take me.”

When Abu Warda reached the Israeli gunship, he lost consciousness after soldiers bound, hooded and kicked him. He awoke in a detention facility in Ashdod, a port in present-day Israel beside his brother Mahmoud, whose right abdomen was stitched by military physicians. The brothers said that Israeli bullets caused the wound.

During an interrogation after he awoke, an Israeli soldier tried to convince him otherwise. “I told him, ‘Three of your gunboats were around us. They were firing bullets. My brother’s blood was everywhere in the water. He was injured by your soldiers.’”

After a lengthy interrogation that continued both in Ashdod port and after their transfer to a detention center by the Erez crossing between Gaza and present-day Israel, Israeli forces released the Abu Wardas into the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun around 10pm — 13 hours after their capture. Their boat and its equipment remained behind.

“We have three hasakas in the Ashdod port,” Abu Warda said of his family’s prior losses to the Israeli navy.

Severe damage

The Abu Wardas’ experiences echo many more documented in a new report by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR). The PCHR, which supported the Free the Holy Land Sea campaign, is translating the document — already published in Arabic — into English.

Over four years, from 1 September 2009 through 31 August 2013, the Israeli navy killed two fishermen, wounded 24, and captured 147, according to the report. The navy also seized 45 boats and destroyed or damaged 113 more.

The report also records the losses incurred by about thirty bombings of four fishing ports during Israel’s November 2012 attacks on the Gaza Strip, including damages to an additional 80 boats and destruction of a health clinic and a youth center used by fishermen.

“There was severe damage to different fishing facilities during the military offensive,” said Khalil Shaheen, director of PCHR’s economic and social rights unit.” At the ports in Gaza City, Middle Area, Khan Younis and Rafah, different facilities were targeted and destroyed.”

“The report also documents the impact of the total damage to fishermen and the fishing sector,” Shaheen added. “One of the main impacts was the loss of 85 percent of income in the fishing sector, as the result of access restrictions and the naval blockade.”

Casualties have continued to mount in the four months since the period covered by the report ended. The PCHR publishes regular reports on human rights abuses in Gaza. These reports indicate that Israel has shot at fishermen at least 37 times since September, as well as seizing six boats.

“I would like to thank all the solidarity campaigns who were involved in this action and show solidarity with Palestinian fishermen,” al-Shrafi said.

“We ask that the international community continue to pressure their governments, to ask for dignity and a free life for us.”

Joe Catron is a US activist in Gaza, Palestine. He co-edited The Prisoners’ Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag, an anthology of accounts by detainees freed in the 2011 prisoner exchange. He blogs at and tweets @jncatron.

For the future of humanity, these Saudi, USA, Israel sponsored Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria need to be exterminated

Video- Is there anyone who still questions the why of Hezbollah’s presence in Syria?

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Nuremberg Set a Valid Precedent for Iraq War Trials



As the number of deaths continues unabated in Iraq –the worst since 2008- so do calls for the prosecution of those that led both the United States and Great Britain into war, George W. Bush and Tony Blair. In December alone there were 44 deaths in just one day, over 766 for the whole month and over 9,200 civilian deaths in the whole year. If Nuremberg Principles were applied, both Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair would have probably been condemned for their role in the Iraq war.

The Nuremberg Principles, a set of guidelines established after World War II to try Nazi Party members, were developed to determine what constitutes a war crime. The principles can also be applied today when considering the conditions that led to the Iraq war and, in the process, to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, many of them children, and to the devastation of a country’s infrastructure.

In January 2003, a group of American law professors warned President George W. Bush that he and senior officials of his government could be prosecuted for war crimes if their military tactics violated international humanitarian law. The group, led by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, sent similar warnings to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Although the United States is not part of the International Criminal Court (ICC), U.S. officials could be prosecuted in other countries under the Geneva Convention, says Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Ratner likened the situation to the attempt by Spanish magistrate Baltazar Garzón to prosecute former Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet when Pinochet was under house arrest in London.

Both former President George W. Bush and senior officials in his government could be tried for their responsibility for torture and other war crimes under the Geneva Conventions. Should the Nuremberg Principles be followed by an investigating tribunal former President Bush and other senior officials in his administration could be tried for violation of fundamental Nuremberg Principles.

In 2007, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, then ICC’s chief prosecutor, told The Sunday Telegraph that he could envisage a scenario in which both British Prime Minister Tony Blair and then President Bush faced charges at The Hague.

Perhaps one of the most serious breaches of international law by the Bush administration was the doctrine of “preventive war.” In the case of the Iraq war, it was carried out without authorization from the U.N. Security Council in violation of the U.N. Charter, which forbids armed aggression and violations of any state’s sovereignty except for immediate self-defense.

As stated in the U.S. Constitution, international treaties agreed to by the United States are part of the “supreme law of the land.” “Launching a war of aggression is a crime that no political or economic situation can justify,” said Justice Jackson, the chief U.S. prosecutor for the Nuremberg Tribunal.

Benjamin Ferencz, also a former chief prosecutor for the Nuremberg Trials, declared that “a prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity — that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.”

The conduct and the consequences of the Iraq war are subsumed under “Crimes against Peace and War” of Nuremberg Principle VI, which defines as crimes against peace “(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).” In the section on war crimes, Nuremberg Principle VI includes “murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property.”

The criminal abuse of prisoners in U.S. military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo are clear evidence of ill-treatment and even murder.

As for the plunder of public or private property, there is evidence that even before the war started, members of the Bush administration had already drawn up plans to privatize and sell Iraqi property particularly that related to oil.

Although there are obvious hindrances to trying a former U.S. president, a Bristish Prime Minister and their associates, such a trial is fully justified by legal precedents such as the Nuremberg Principles and by the extent of the toll in human lives that that breach of international law has exacted.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is an international public health consultant and a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award.

Secret pre-Iraq War talks between Blair and Bush to be published

This should be interesting. There’s not a shadow of doubt that both Blair & Bush broke International Law and the invasion of Iraq was illegal. Since then poodle Blair has made a fortune out of touring the world, giving speeches and even being a “Peace Envoy” for the Middle East , can you imagine that?
Bush might be safe for now but the chances of Blair making an appearance at the International Criminal Court are improving by the day

Tony Blair and George Bush exchanged voluminous correspondence prior to the start of military operations in Iraq. Now, the UK is moving to declassify details of the talks for an inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the conflict, British media reported.

The release, set for the upcoming year, is expected to include more than 100 documents, described as a collection of notes, records of 200 minutes of ministerial level talks, telephone conversations and private meetings between the British prime minister and American president, The Independent reported.

This will give the green light for the Chilcot Iraq Inquiry to publish an account of the conflict, where much attention will be given to decisions made by then Prime Minister Tony Blair. Indeed, the files could play a major part in determining Blair’s historical legacy, which critics say has been stained by the Iraq War.

Blair has been criticized for failing to challenge then-US President George W. Bush on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, specifically chemical and biological weapons, which a Joint Intelligence Committee report said in September 2002 “could be ready for firing in 45 minutes.”

The former Labour leader said he worked to restrain the Bush administration’s seeming determination for military involvement in Iraq, even as UN weapons inspectors on the ground failed to discover any chemical or biological stockpiles.

A senior government official predicted the results of the inquiry will not do Blair any favors: “In the new year it seems the Chilcot inquiry is going to be published. Everyone will be assuming: bad hair day for Tony Blair and Jack Straw.” Straw served as Blair’s secretary of state.

One noteworthy correspondence between Blair and Bush, contained in a note dated July 2002, suggests the then prime minister had pledged Britain’s support to the United States in a military operation to oust former Iraq President Saddam Hussein.

Blair told the inquiry: “In a sense what I was saying to America was: ‘Look’ – and by the way, I am absolutely sure this is how George Bush took it – ‘whatever the political heat, if I think this is the right thing to do I am going to be with you. I am not going to back out because the going gets tough. On the other hand, here are the difficulties and this is why I think the UN route is the right way to go.’”

Michel Suleiman, I Implore You … Just Leave

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman gestures as he arrives on September 7, 2013 in Nice. (Photo: AFP – Valery Hache).
Published Monday, December 30, 2013
What does Michel Suleiman expect?
To thank him, for example? To hold a million-person march to the presidential palace to implore him to remain president until judgment day? To hold up banners and giant pictures of him, the ruler of the Arabian Peninsula, or the racist who became France’s president? To kneel on the ground in gratitude to this handout?
What are you doing, Suleiman? Were you saying yesterday, “Baabda is now Saudi?”
Are you now the spokesperson of a summit which brings together the two biggest enemies of Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq?
Do you believe you succeeded, when everyone else failed, to convince Saudi and France to provide finances and weapons for the army to confront aggressors against the country’s sovereignty and the dignity of its people?
Do you believe, and do you want us to believe, that the Saudi-French charity organization just realized the Lebanese army’s need for support and arms to maintain Lebanon’s independence?
Do you believe the Saudis will fund a deal, aiming to confront the same terrorists, to whom they provide intellectual, military, financial, and media support?
How is it possible that Francois Hollande’s France – which hates Arabs and Muslims, except its own – acts as an unreliable errand boy for the United States, and is responsible for supporting many terrorist activities in Syria, while its embassy in Lebanon is used for disgraceful acts against humanity and sends its spies everywhere, aiming to sabotage everything, really wants Lebanon’s army to have the readiness to eliminate these elements on the borders and inside the country?
Do you want us, o great president, to believe that the king saw a vision in his dreams and woke up demanding his assistants to ask about Lebanon’s military needs, then asked from the Frenchman begging at its door to increase the size of the “delivery” and take Lebanon into consideration in the prospective arms deal between Saudi and France, which is intended to strengthen cooperation against their common enemy, from Iran to Iraq to Syria to Lebanon? Is he doing this because Saad Hariri has been sleeping at the doorstep of his bedroom ever since he left Beirut, pleading and praying that the king would give this handout?
As the saying goes, shouldn’t those who are leaving try to increase their good deeds?
Of course, you are acting as if you will stay in your position. In fact, you are acting like this to remain in this position. What is certain is that you are saying you are ready to do anything, including speaking in the name of the Servant of the Two Holy Sites and his Zionist friend Hollande, just to remain in your place. But what is more certain is your knowledge that you will be asked to do many things, before Abdullah and Holland officially demand the Lebanese give you a new term or maybe keep you forever.
Do you deny trying to sell Hezbollah that you are ready to reach a compromise with the government, if they agreed to extend your term, inventing a boogeyman, called “Saudi anger,” if the situation in Lebanon does not go the way they want? And now you want to convince us that pandering to the Saudis is a prerequisite to maintain Lebanon’s stability?
What are you doing, “beloved leader”?
Are you happy to cooperate with the ruler of the peninsula, who has no concern for the lives of tens of thousands of Syrians killed by its money, weapons, and terrorists, and who donated money stolen from his people, a third of whom live in poverty? Or are you content with Hollande, the American puppet, who forbade the French parliament from meeting to discuss the aggression on Syria, telling his people to wait for the US Congress to decide?
All Hollande knows is how to kill – in Libya, the rest of Africa, and in Syria – ever since he replaced a president, who people now wish had remained.
Let us say it as it is, or as it should be.
Do you want us, o great president, to believe that the king saw a vision in his dreams and woke up demanding his assistants to ask about Lebanon’s military needs, then asked from the Frenchman begging at its door to increase the size of the “delivery” and take Lebanon into consideration in the prospective arms deal between Saudi and France, which is intended to strengthen cooperation against their common enemy, from Iran to Iraq to Syria to Lebanon? Is he doing this because Saad Hariri has been sleeping at the doorstep of his bedroom ever since he left Beirut, pleading and praying that the king would give this handout?
As the saying goes, shouldn’t those who are leaving try to increase their good deeds?
Of course, you are acting as if you will stay in your position. In fact, you are acting like this to remain in this position. What is certain is that you are saying you are ready to do anything, including speaking in the name of the Servant of the Two Holy Sites and his Zionist friend Hollande, just to remain in your place. But what is more certain is your knowledge that you will be asked to do many things, before Abdullah and Holland officially demand the Lebanese give you a new term or maybe keep you forever.
Do you deny trying to sell Hezbollah that you are ready to reach a compromise with the government, if they agreed to extend your term, inventing a boogeyman, called “Saudi anger,” if the situation in Lebanon does not go the way they want? And now you want to convince us that pandering to the Saudis is a prerequisite to maintain Lebanon’s stability?
What are you doing, “beloved leader”?
Are you happy to cooperate with the ruler of the peninsula, who has no concern for the lives of tens of thousands of Syrians killed by its money, weapons, and terrorists, and who donated money stolen from his people, a third of whom live in poverty? Or are you content with Hollande, the American puppet, who forbade the French parliament from meeting to discuss the aggression on Syria, telling his people to wait for the US Congress to decide?
All Hollande knows is how to kill – in Libya, the rest of Africa, and in Syria – ever since he replaced a president, who people now wish had remained.
Let us say it as it is, or as it should be.
In your last visit to Riyadh, the one giving the handout told you that the army’s duty is to fight Hezbollah – disarm them and prevent them from going to Syria. He told you this is the precondition for supporting the army.
In your last visit to France, Hollande told you that the Lebanese army could be included in a major deal between his country and the Saudis. However, you – Michel Suleiman – had to show signs to reassure Saudi Arabia about the future of its people in Lebanon, raise your voice against Hezbollah, and ensure that the weapons will not be used out of place.
Could you explain where it should be used? This is, unless, you believe you could unload some of the anger on the bodies of the residents of another camp in Lebanon, after the massacre of Nahr al-Bared?
On top of all of this, do you think these weapons will not fall into the hands of certain sides, which are ready or being readied to confront the resistance? Or are you going to agree to a proposal by March 14 to give some of those weapons to the Internal Security Forces?
There is nothing left to tell you directly, after you thanked the Saudis as one of its subjects. Go now. Leave the palace and presidency.
By God, a void in Baabda is more effective than you remaining there. May He preserve your honor, but just go away.
Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.

ميشيل سليمان ..يستر على عرضك… فِلْ! 

بقلم ابراهيم الأمين

ماذا يتوقع منّا ميشال سليمان؟ …أن نشكره مثلاً؟ أن ننظّم مسيرة مليونية في اتجاه قصر بعبدا لنرجوه أن يبقى فوق رؤوسنا الى يوم الدين؟ أن نرفع اليافطات والصور العملاقة له ولحاكم الجزيرة العربية وللعنصري المختار رئيساً لفرنسا، ونركع على الأرض شاكرين على هذه المكرمة؟
 ما الذي تفعله يا سليمان؟ هل حدثتنا أمس عن «إعلان بعبدا سعودية»؟
هل صرت ناطقاً باسم قمّة تجمع أكبر عدوّين للبنان وسوريا وفلسطين والعراق؟

هل تصدّق أنك نجحت، حيث فشل الآخرون، في إقناع فرنسا والسعودية بتوفير أموال وأسلحة ليقوم الجيش اللبناني بمواجهة المعتدين على سيادة البلد وكرامة أهله؟
هل تصدّق، وتريد لنا أن نصدّق، أن الجمعية الخيرية السعودية ــــ الفرنسية استفاقت على حاجة الجيش اللبناني الى دعم وتسليح للمحافظة على استقلال لبنان؟

هل تصدق أن السعودية تموّل صفقة تستهدف مواجهة الارهابيين الذين يحصلون منها على التمويل الفكري والتسليحي والمالي والاعلامي؟

كيف يستقيم أن تقوم فرنسا هولاند، الكارهة للعرب وللمسلمين ما عدا أتباعها، والتي تعمل كصبي غير موثوق عند الاميركيين، والتي تتولى رعاية قسم كبير من الاعمال الارهابية في سوريا، وتتخذ من سفارتها في لبنان مقراً لإدارة أعمال مشينة في حق الانسانية، وتنشط استخباراتها في كل مكان من لبنان وسوريا والاردن وتركيا، بواجهات متنوعة، من الباحثين والدارسين الى الدبلوماسيين والصحافيين، وتعمل على تخريب كل شيء، تريد فعلاً أن يكون جيش لبنان جاهزاً دائماً للقضاء على هذه العناصر عند الحدود مع لبنان وفي داخله؟

هل تريدنا، أيها الرئيس القوي، أن نصدق أن الملك شاهد رؤية في منامه، واستفاق رافعاً الصوت طالباً من مساعديه سؤال لبنان عن حاجاته العسكرية، ثم طلب من المتسوّل الفرنسي الواقف عند بابه أن يزيد من حجم «الطلبية» ويحسب حساب لبنان من ضمن صفقات الاسلحة المفترض أن تحصل عليها السعودية من فرنسا، بغية توطيد العلاقات في وجه الخصم المشترك، من إيران الى العراق وسوريا ولبنان، وأنه يفعل ذلك لأن سعد الحريري ينام عند باب غرفة نومه منذ مغادرته بيروت، راجياً ومصلياً أن يقرر الملك هذه المكرمة؟

يقول المثل: يا رايح كتّر الملايح؟

الأكيد أنك تتصرف على أساس أنك باق في منصبك. والأصح، أنك تتصرف لكي تبقى في منصبك. والأكيد أكثر أنك تقول لنا إنك مستعد لأي شيء، بما في ذلك أن تكون ناطقاً باسم خادم الحرمين وصديقه الصهيوني هولاند، كرمى لأن تبقى في منصبك. والأكيد الأكيد أنك تعرف أن عليك القيام بأمور كثيرة حتى يعلن عبدالله وهولاند، بصورة رسمية، دعوتهما اللبنانيين الى التمديد لك لولاية جديدة أو حتى لمدى الحياة.

هل تنكر أنك «بازرت» حزب الله، على وجه الخصوص، بأنك مستعد لإيجاد تسوية في شأن الحكومة إذا وافق على التمديد لك، وأنك اخترعت لنا بعبعاً اسمه «الغضب السعودي» في حال سارت الامور في لبنان على غير ما يريد. وتريد إقناعنا بأن إرضاء السعودية صار شرطاً للمحافظة على الاستقرار في لبنان؟

ما الذي تفعله أيها الرئيس المفدّى؟

هل أنت مسرور بالتعاون مع حاكم الجزيرة الذي لا يهتم لحياة عشرات الآلاف من السوريين الذين يُقتلون بتمويله وتسليحه وإرهابييه، وهو الذي يتكرّم عليك من أموال منهوبة من شعب يعاني ثلثه الفقر؟ أم أنت مسرور بهولاند، الدمية الاميركية، الذي منع برلمان فرنسا من الاجتماع للبحث في العدوان على سوريا، وقال لشعبه إنه ينتظر قرار البرلمان الأميركي؟ وهو الذي لا يعرف غير القتل في ليبيا وأفريقيا وسوريا منذ توليه منصبه خلفاً لمن صار الناس يترحّمون عليه، في فرنسا قبل غيرها؟

لنقل الكلام كما هو، وكما يجب أن يكون.

في آخر زيارة لك للرياض، قال لك صاحب المكرمة إن واجب الجيش هو مقاتلة حزب الله ومنعه من الدخول الى سوريا ونزع سلاحه. وقال لك إن دعم الجيش مشروط بهذا الدور. وفي آخر زيارة لك لفرنسا، قال لك هولاند إن هناك فرصة لجيش لبنان ضمن صفقة كبرى ستتم بين بلاده والسعودية، لكن عليك ـــ أنت ميشال سليمان ـــ أن تظهر الإشارات التي تطمئن السعودية الى مستقبل جماعتها في لبنان، وأن ترفع الصوت ضد حزب الله، وأن تضمن أن السلاح لن يستخدم في غير مكانه.
هل تشرح لنا أين يجب أن يستخدم، إلا إذا كنت تعتقد أنه يمكن تفريغ الغضب في صدور أبناء مخيم جديد في لبنان بعد مذبحة نهر البارد؟ هل تعتقد، فوق كل ذلك، أنك تضمن ألا يذهب هذا السلاح الى جهات مستعدة، أو يجري إعدادها، لتكون جاهزة لمواجهة مع المقاومة، أم أنك ستوافق على مشروع طلب سيصلك من قبل فريق 14 آذار بأن تحوّل قسماً من هذا السلاح لمصلحة قوى الأمن الداخلي؟

ليس من كلام مباشر لك في حالتك وأنت تشكر السعودية كأنك أحد رعاياها: ارحل الآن. اترك القصر والرئاسة!
والله (بكسر الهاء)، إن الفراغ في بعبدا أكثر فعالية من بقائك هناك.

يستر على عرضك… فِلْ!
الاخبار اللبنانية

The Geopolitics of the Syrian War – Sharmine Narwani on GRTV


While we mourn and weep for Mandela , we find ourselves at a loss of how to assess the situation in South Africa and we end up raising the following questions : Did the Revolution succeed ? Did the Blacks obtain their rights ? And we end up with different answers that range from considering the Revolution as half successful to considering it a complete failure . No one speaks about any great achievement that has been reached .
In all cases, the thing that many people don’t know is the role Israel played very early –as early as 1930 – in the anti Apartheid struggle for equality in South Africa . Those familiar with Jewish movements must now the thing called Habonim which is a Zionist youth cultural movement for liberation with socialist tendencies, that was active in South Africa and in many other countries to promote social justice and equality. This movement still exists and is still active in Pretoria and Johannesburg and in other countries as well.
Imagine the Zionist state of Israel, the number one usurper of human rights and the number one genocidal state responsible for crimes against humanity , sponsoring liberation movements in Africa and in Asia . And this is not a joke . Starting from year 1960 , the Afro-Asian institute founded in Tel Aviv established relations and exchange with the South African Black movement and started hosting freedom fighters to share with them the so called Jewish liberation experience and have them profit from it . At the same time, the Israeli Afro – Asian Institute was to send Israeli counselors to African countries to form leaders and help prepare the Revolution.
In order to be able to do this, the Israelis defined themselves as a Jewish Liberation movement on par with other liberation movements of the world. This religious identity allowed them to assume the role of an oppressed people something that the Israeli identity could not confer . In fact, while sponsoring the Revolution in South Africa , the Israelis were at the same time backing the Apartheid regime and collaborating with it , which shows clearly that they were an infiltration on the liberation movement . For this reason, such a Revolution was not successful and could not be for the simple reason that an Israeli cannot be a revolutionary ; he would have to stop being an Israeli first . Not only this, but South Africa- with Mandela who was also trained by Israelis – was turned into a model to the Palestinian Liberation movement and a source of inspiration for the line of action that the Palestinian Resistance is to follow, something that is in itself a paradox .
Movements like BDS -and the like- recommend strongly to follow the Apartheid/ Anti Apartheid policies that rule out armed struggle and put the people at the mercy of the oppressor and give a legal status to the usurper state and a religious identity that is recognized plus a racist tendency that ought to be corrected. This whole story not only denounces Mandela and other Southern African freedom fighters who were trained and instructed by Israelis but it exposes also Palestinian movements like BDS who promote the South African State – that was sponsored by Israelis – as a model to solve the Palestinian issue . This Israeli infiltration in the South African Revolution also raises questions about a similar infiltration that might have happened in the Black movement in the United States since the Habonim is also present in America.

Saudi ‘gift’ to hide its terror hand

by Finian Cunningham

Suleiman Says Saudi to Give $3 Billion to Buy French Weapons for Lebanese Army
Suleiman says Saudi to give $3 Billion to buy French Weapons for Lebanese Army
Saudi largesse is throwing money again – in a bid to cover up its bloodstained hands in violence hitting the Middle East and beyond. 

The latest public relations gimmick is the “donation” of $3 billion to the Lebanese army made by Saudi King Abdullah at the weekend.
The Saudi cash – twice the national military budget of Lebanon – is being regaled in the Western media as a noble offer to secure Lebanon from recent terror attacks.
AFP photo shows French President Francois Hollande shaking hand with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri after a meeting with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at the Saudi Royal palace in Jeddah, Nov. 4, 2012.

AFP photo shows French President Francois Hollande shaking hand with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri after a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah at the Saudi Royal palace in Jeddah.
The announcement was made during a visit to Riyadh by French President Francois Hollande, who met the Saudi king and the latter’s Lebanese proxy, Saad Hariri.
The new Saudi military aid to Lebanon is tied to the condition that it must be spent on purchasing French weaponry.
Already, the outlines of a sleazy deal are emerging. The above political actors have done much to destabilize Lebanon with violence, which is now being blamed on the wrong people – Shia Hezbollah – thanks to the deft finger work of billionaire Paris-exile Hariri.
One of the main protagonists of terrorism – Saudi Arabia – now steps in with a military aid “gift” that will allow it to influence the Lebanese army to go after Saudi enemy Hezbollah.
Such an insidious interference by Saudi Arabia in the internal affairs of Lebanon can only but incite further sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shia in that country, which is still recovering from a 15-year civil war.
On top of this, the other main advocate of regional subversion and terrorism – France – stands to receive a handsome payback in weapons sales to the tune of $3 billion.
And all the while, the Western media give this despicable charade a veneer of respectability. It really is astounding how Western media can get away with such distortion.
Saudi blood money and sponsorship of terrorism are carrying out demonic work in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Pakistan and even it could be added in Iran’s peripheral southeast region.
Moreover, the Saudi terror connection can also be traced to the weekend double bombing in the southern Russian city of Volgograd where more than 30 people were killed.
In October, a suicide bomber killed six also in a bus attack in Volgograd. Other cities have also been hit with deadly attacks in Russia’s Dagestan in recent months.
The likely Chechen perpetrators behind those attacks – led by Saudi-linked Doku Umarov – are also involved in waging the Saudi-financed terror war in Syria.
Recall, too, that Saudi spymaster Prince Bandar only a few months ago made veiled threats to Russian leader Vladimir Putin that the Sochi Winter Olympic Games were at risk to acts of sabotage. The Games are set to open on 7 February 2014.
Nevertheless, against this appalling background of provable Saudi-sponsored mayhem – stretching from the Mediterranean to the Russian Caucasus – we have this latest ridiculous Saudi public relations stunt.
Saudi King Abdullah, we are told, is to “grant” $3 billion to “help” the Lebanese army to “beef up its security”. France 24, among others, reported that the military boost “would help the Lebanese army fight … groups like Hezbollah, which has caused a wave of violence in the country.”
The latter claim by France 24 is a risible distortion of the facts. Lebanon has indeed witnessed a wave of violence in recent months, but the main victims of the attacks have been Hezbollah and Shia communities in southern Beirut and Baalbek in the east of the country.
The primary source of this bloodshed in Lebanon is groups linked to Saudi, Israeli and Western intelligence.
For example, the double suicide bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut on 19 November, which killed at least 23 including Iranian cultural attaché [to Beirut Hojjatoleslam] Ebrahim Ansari, was claimed by the Saudi-backed al-Qaeda group known as Abdullah Azzam Brigade.
The Saudi king’s act of generosity to “improve security” in Lebanon should therefore be scoffed at by media instead of praised. But this is the Western media performing its dutiful function of inverting reality.
King Abdullah’s show of magnanimity came two days after a prominent Lebanese Sunni politician, Mohamad Shatah, was assassinated in a massive bomb blast that targeted his car in the capital Beirut on Friday morning.
Western media were quick to highlight claims by Saudi-backed Lebanese political leader Saad Hariri that the perpetrators of Shatah’s murder were Hezbollah. The Syrian government of President Bashar al Assad was also implicated for the killing.
There is no evidence to attribute Shatah’s murder to Hezbollah, other than politicized conjecture. Hezbollah and its Syrian and Iranian allies all categorically condemned the killing.
However, there is strong circumstantial evidence that Shatah may have been liquidated by his geopolitical allies as a nefarious means of triggering further sectarian violence inside Lebanon.
The execution of his murder would have required split-second timing and confidential information of his itinerary. He was on his way to meet members of the Hariri-led March 14 group.
This pattern of fomenting sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia, as well as Christian, has been a staple of Saudi, Israeli and Western intelligence operating to destabilize Syria and Iraq over the past three years.
The splurging of $3 billion by Saudi Arabia to “increase Lebanon’s security” is merely cynical public relations to cover up the real source of violence in that country, as well as providing Riyadh military leverage to go after Hezbollah within Lebanon.
It follows the much bigger precedent of $100 million that Saudi Arabia doled out to the United Nations Anti-Terrorism Center last August.
That donation was made at the end of the Holy Muslim Month of Ramadan as “a gift from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques of Islam”.
In the previous four weeks before that “gift”, some 1,000 Iraqis were killed in terror attacks mainly committed by the Saudi-bankrolled al-Qaeda franchise known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.
This same group has been engaging in similar atrocities in neighboring Syria, along with [so-called] al-Nusra Front, [so-called] Liwa al-Tawhid and [so-called] Ahrar al-Sham – all of them Saudi-sponsored.
The simple fact is that the sectarian bloodshed inundating Syria and Iraq, and increasingly now in Lebanon, as well as in countries as far apart as Yemen and Russia, would not be happening if it were not for the blood money flowing from Saudi Arabia.
Source : PRESS TV

11 FSA Commanders Surrender to Syrian Army in Damascus Countryside, Over 300 Al-Qaeda Militants Killed in Eastern Syria

Posted on December 29, 2013 by 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A sum of 11 commanders of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) surrendered themselves to the Syrian army in Moazamieh town in Damascus countryside.
Syrian Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar left Moazamieh region in Damascus countryside on Saturday while five FSA commanders who had surrendered themselves to the Syrian army were accompanying him.
Also in the last 24 hours, the Syrian army killed two notorious commanders of Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Daraa in the Southern parts of the country near the border with Jordan.
Abdullah Kerman, commander of Qoraish Eagle Battalion, was killed by the Syrian army’s snipers near Al-Watani hospital in Jassem town in Daraa.
The Syrian army also killed Ahmed Al-Jabavi, a defected army officer and ringleader of the so-called Elites Battalion affiliated to the FSA.
Meantime, the Syrian army carried out extensive military operations in Lattakia countryside in the Western parts of the country on Saturday and killed tens of militants and two Turkish officers in heavy clashes.
The army units conducted a series of fresh operations in villages of Tal Al-Sharifa, Al-Roza, Al-Dorrah, Beit Sharouq, Al-Koum, Al-Moitamieh and Al-Saraf in the Northern countryside of Lattakia.
Elsewhere, the Syrian army killed a number of Al-Qaeda terrorists, including a notorious ringleader, in Deir Ezzur province in Eastern Syria.
Mostafa Al-Qati, commander of Katibeh Jund Al-Sham terrorist group, was killed along with a number of militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) near Deir Ezzur military airport.
Notorious ISIL militants, including Abu Eshaq Al-Tunisi and Ebrahim Al-Tunisi, were among the terrorists killed in Deir Ezzur.
Meantime, the Syrian army attacked a meeting between Turkish officers and Al-Nusra Front ringleaders in a village in the Lattakia countryside near the Turkish border, killing two Turkish officers and a number of Al-Nusra ringleaders, sources said.
Army sources did not reveal if they had targeted the meeting in an artillery attack or staged a raid on the meeting place.
Also, the Syrian army killed tens of armed rebels in an ambush in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside.
The army units killed more than 50 militants in Deir Salman town in Eastern Ghouta in heavy clashes on Saturday.
Meantime the army killed tens of foreign backed militants in an ambush between the Christian town of Maaloula and the town of Yabroud near Damascus today.
Syrian state television showed footage of dozens of bodies lying in a mountainous area, with weapons next to them.
Elsewhere, the Syrian army continued its mop-up operations in a strategic region of Reef (countryside of) Hasaka in Northeastern Syria on Friday and Saturday in a bid to purge the area of Al-Qaeda terrorists.
The army units pushed back terrorists from 11 villages in Hasaka province.
The cleaned up villages include Abu Khazaf, Bezoniej, Ghanamieh, Kharbeh Al-Hatam, Sharmoukh Kabir, Shamoukh Saqir, Hallaj, Maslouneh, Abu Toyneh, Tal Kheir and Kouli.
The National Defense Committee of the Syrian Kurds has also started massive operations for controlling the two towns of Tal Barak and Tal Hamis.
The Syrian Kurdish fighters have intensified their attacks against the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in recent months.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs and terrorists against both the army and civilians.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed since terrorist and armed groups turned protest rallies into armed clashes.
The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

 Over 300 Al-Qaeda Militants Killed in Eastern Syria
Posted on December 29, 2013 by 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army killed hundreds of Al-Qaeda terrorists and injured hundreds more in heavy clashes in Deir Ezzur countryside.

More than 300 Salafi-Jihadist militants have been killed and over 400 others wounded in heavy clashes with the Syrian army near Deir Ezzur airport and Al-Jofrah village in Eastern Syria.
The clashes are still underway between the Syrian army and the militants of the Al-Nusra Front and Jeish al-Islam.
The conflict in Syria started in March 2011, when sporadic pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of western and regional states.
The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle-East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.
As the foreign-backed insurgency in Syria continues without an end in sight, the US government has boosted its political and military support to Takfiri extremists.
Washington has remained indifferent to warnings by Russia and other world powers about the consequences of arming militant groups.

Syrian Army in Full Control over Strategic Highway in Damascus Countryside

Posted on December 29, 2013 by 
Syrian Army in Full Control over Strategic Highway in Damascus Countryside
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army took full control of a strategic highway in Reef (countryside of) Damascus on Sunday.
The army units took full control and restored security to Sahl Al-Zobdani highway in Northwestern Reef Damascus.
Meantime, the army destroyed the gathering centers of the armed rebels in Mazaya and Al-Zobdani towns, killing scores of militants in heavy clashes in the two regions.
The army’s control over Sahl Al-Zobdani highway is of strategic importance because the militants had opened their way to Al-Zobdani town and its suburban area from Sahl Al-Zobdani highway.
On Saturday, the Syrian army killed tens of armed rebels in an ambush in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside.
The army units killed more than 50 militants in Deir Salman town in Eastern Ghouta in heavy clashes.
Meantime, the army killed tens of foreign backed militants in an ambush between the Christian town of Maaloula and the town of Yabroud near Damascus yesterday.
Syrian state television showed footage of dozens of bodies lying in a mountainous area, with weapons next to them.

Sleiman: Long Live Saudi Arabia!! Lebanon Mufti: Future Movement Supporters Spilled My Blood

Local Editor

Just few hours after Grand Mufti Mohamamd Qabbani was attacked in al-Khasheqji Mosque in Beirut Sunday, the Lebanese people heard that their president was to deliver a speech in which he would address them.

Michel SleimanThe Lebanese thought that their head of state will tackle the latest developments, condemn the attack on  Mufti or at least denounce the deepest divisions among the different political factions in the country.

However, Sleiman was appearing to announce the Saudi Kingdom’s intention to extend a three billion US dollars aid to the Lebanese Army.

He indicated that the Saudi aid shall allow for providing the Army with weapons by the French side, adding that the issue is being discussed between the Saudi Monarch and French President during their summit meeting on Sunday.

“The Saudi aid to the Lebanese Army is the largest in the history of Lebanon,” noted Sleiman.
Talking about Starco blast, Sleiman “expressed his deepest condolences to the families of all fallen victims while wishing those injured a speedy recovery.”

But he did not mention the attack on Mufti Qabbani during the funeral of a boy who was martyred in Friday attack.

“Lebanon is threatened by sectarian conflict and extremism,” Sleiman only said.

He concluded his address by saying: “Long live Lebanese army. Long live Saudi Arabia. Long Live Lebanon.”

Source: Al-Manar Website

30-12-2013 – 10:52 Last updated 30-12-2013 – 10:52

The turban of Lebanon’s grand mufti, Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, fell on the floor of Khashogji Mosque yesterday, December 29. It was knocked off by Future Movement supporters who tried to assault him. However, members of the Internal Security Forces’ Information Branch prevented them from going too far.
The presence of Qabbani at the funeral of 16-year-old Mohammed al-Shaar – who died December 28 from a head injury he sustained during Friday’s blast that killed former Finance Minister Mohammed Shatah – was not planned or expected. Qabbani originally asked Sheikh Mohammed Amin al-Arwadi to pray over Shaar’s body but then decided to attend the funeral himself.
Qabbani told Al-Akhbar, “When I saw the martyr’s father and friends crying over his casket, I decided to attend the funeral to pray over his body.” He added, “My security guards were not present, I just wanted to pray and return home, but praise to God how things transpired.”
When Qabbani reached the door of the mosque, a man yelled, “What brought you?” As soon as Qabbani entered the mosque, a concert of insults began. Future Movement supporters did not respect the solemnity of the occasion, the symbolism of the turban, or the sanctity of the place.
My security guards were not present, I just wanted to pray and return home, but praise to God how things transpired.Inside the mosque, no one bothered Qabbani. Mourners made way for him to pass, but the screaming and the slogans repeated outside took over the funeral rites, especially when they started chanting, “There is no God but God, and the Mufti is the enemy of God.”
Qabbani said, “When I heard this chant, I realized that my blood had been spilled. The protesters wanted to kill me. I surrendered my fate to God and accepted his judgement.”
Things did not go according to plan. Sheikh Arwadi did not pray over the young man’s body. Instead, Sheikh Ahmad al-Omari – one of the hawks of al-Jamaa al-Islamiya (the Muslim Brotherhood’s branch in Lebanon) and head of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Lebanon – prayed over Shaar’s body.
In his sermon, Omari attacked Hezbollah, describing it as the “party of the devil.” He called on the Shia to “disown” Hezbollah “if they are true believers,” and stressed the “patience of the persecuted Sunni sect is running out.” Omari’s sermon re-ignited the atmosphere. The coffin was carried to the nearby Shatila Cemetery while Future Movement supporters waited for Qabbani.
Rumors spread that the mufti had left, but no one believed them. For two hours he was trapped inside the mosque. Those close to him contacted the security forces to secure his exit. Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn answered his phone and promised to deal with the problem, reassuring everyone that “the army will not enter the mosque,” as sources from Dar al-Iftaa reported.
Despite promises of action, nothing happened on the ground. Time passed very slowly for those trapped inside. Outside, the protesters remained on high alert. Even the rain did not drive them away. In the meantime, several officials arrived at the request of the head of the security branch in Beirut, George Khamis: MP Mouin Merhebi; Hariri security official Abed al-Arab; and Nader Hariri, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s adviser.
They tried to persuade Qabbani to leave the mosque “under their protection,” but Qabbani refused, insisting that he come out the same way he went in. After mediations failed, the Information Branch intervened. First they took out Sheikh Arwadi, who got his share of blows that knocked off his turban. Then they escorted Qabbani out. The crowd rushed him, knocking off his turban. Some protesters managed to reach him before he got in an armoured vehicle, which Future Movement supporters pelted with shoes. The mufti was driven to his motorcade while the crowd at the mosque dispersed.
Most politicians condemned the events, except the Future Movement, which acted as if nothing had happened. The mufti of Tripoli and the North, Sheikh Malek al-Shaar, expressed his pain over events. Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned and rejected the events. Former Prime Minister Salim al-Hoss asked that religious sanctuaries be respected. Yet Future MP Ammar Houri said his political party is no longer able to placate people, warning that tensions are running dangerously high.
Dar al-Fatwa issued a statement: “[We hold] political forces, especially Prime Minister Mikati and head of the Future Movement parliamentary bloc Fouad Siniora, directly responsible for trying to tarnish the image and unifying post of the grand mufti by issuing inflammatory campaigns that mislead people in order to fulfill their desire to control Dar al-Fatwa.”
Saturday’s attack is reminiscent of the attack on the Grand Serail by Future Movement supports after the funeral of Wissam al-Hassan in October 2012.

Privacy Rights, Is Anything Left?

Is Anything Left?

Privacy Rights

DECEMBER 30, 2013
The answer to this question is being pondered across America in light to the two seeming mutually contradictory US Federal Court decisions handed down this month from Courts in Washington DC and New York.
The legal issue of what rights are left to American citizens that can prevent governmental intrusions into their privacy and also governmental invasions using heavy handed searches and seizures following the launching of the Bush administrations ‘war of terrorism’ has gained new impetus following disclosures by former National Security Agency analyst turned whistle blower, Edward Snowden. Without Snowden’s patriotic leaks, no legal challenge could have been brought to the NSA practices.
Now that two US Federal District Courts, with identical powers under the US Constitution have seemingly reached opposite results on the same legal issue involving the right of the NSA to conduct ‘metadata’ searches and store the information of scores of millions of unknowing Americans the issue is likely going to have to be decided by the US Supreme Court. As predicted, appeals were immediately filed from the Trial Courts decision in both cases.
Initially, civil libertarians were encouraged earlier this month when in light of the Snowden revelations of massive US government spying on Americans and millions of foreigners, Federal Description: Judge Richard Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on 12/16/13 that the bulk collection by the National Security Agency of cell phone data (everyone you called, when you called them and where you were when you called them) of Americans violates the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and is “Orwellian”.
Judge Leon explained that we now use our smartphones for a wide variety of personal activities in which we have the expectation of privacy, and probably we have more expectation of privacy from our phones now than we did from a pay phone in the 1980s. He made the point that cell phones today includes a citizens, location when one makes a call and becomes a GPS made the call, functioning essentially as a GPS. He wrote, “It’s one thing to say that people expect phone companies to occasionally provide information to law enforcement; it is quite another to suggest that our citizens expect all phone companies to operate what is effectively a joint intelligence-gathering operation with the Government.”
Judge Leon focused on whether the NSA massive surveillance violated the 4th Amendment which provides: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
He writes:
“The threshold issue that I must address, then, is whether plaintiffs have a reasonable expectation of privacy that is violated when the Government indiscriminately collects their telephony metadata along with the metadata of hundreds of millions of other citizens without any particularized suspicion of wrongdoing, retains all of that metadata for five years, and then queries, analyzes and investigates that data without prior judicial approval of the investigative targets. If they do – and a Fourth Amendment search has thus occurred– then the next step of the analysis will be to determine whether such a search is ‘reasonable.’”
Judge Leon found that the NSA when it demands citizens telephone metadata is conducting a search, and that it is most likely an unreasonable search of our personal effects according to the Fourth Amendment, since there is no specific suspicion of wrongdoing by any individual whose records are demanded. He immediately granted the Plaintiffs request for an injunction that blocks the collection of phone data for the plaintiffs and orders the government to destroy any of their records that have been gathered. As is common Federal Court practice, the judge stayed action on his ruling pending a government appeal, recognizing in his 68-page opinion the “significant national security interests at stake in this case and the novelty of the constitutional issues.”
No sooner had the Judge Leon decision been published and was encouraging civil libertarians to argue that the US Constitution still protects some citizen rights against government abuse than US Federal District Judge William H. Pauley III in New York ruled that a National Security Agency program that collects enormous troves of phone records is legal, making the latest contribution to an extraordinary debate among courts and a presidential review group about how to balance security and privacy in the era of big data. In just 11 days, the two judges and the presidential panel reached the opposite of consensus on every significant question before them, including the intelligence value of the program, the privacy interests at stake and how the Constitution figures in the analysis. The latest decision could not have been more different from one issued by Judge Richard J. Leon in Washington, who ruled that the program was “almost Orwellian” and probably unconstitutional.
Judges Leon and Pauley have starkly differing understandings on how legal that program is. Judge Pauley, whose courtroom is just blocks from where the World Trade Center towers stood, endorsed arguments made in recent months by senior government officials — including the former F.B.I. director Robert S. Mueller III — that the program might have caught the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had it been in place before the attacks. Wrote Judge Pauley: “While robust discussions are underway across the nation, in Congress and at the White House, the question for this court is whether the government’s bulk telephony metadata program is lawful,” Judge Pauley wrote on Friday. “This court finds it is.”
Judge Pauley decided to ignore several compelling US Constitutional issues and applications of its provisions to the NSA case. He chose to avoid 4th Amendment prohibitions on unreasonable government searches of private papers and effects. As Professor Juan Cole recently reminded us, the 14th Amendment was the basis for a recent Supreme Court ruling forbidding law enforcement from using GPS tracking without a warrant. The courts decided that following someone around 24/7 as a “search” because such intensive monitoring of a person’s movements goes beyond just glimpsing the individual in public. NSA collection of metadata from cell phones track individuals just as a GPS devices do.
Other applicable US Constitutional provisions ignored by Judge Pauley include the 1789 Federalist promoted 9th Amendment, which a majority of the Founding Fathers wanted as guarantees that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The 9th Amendment is clearly designed to block the government from constraining people’s private behavior. As Cole points out, not only are they protected from specific violations of their rights (attempts to curb speech, the press, religious belief or peaceable assembly) but they are also protected as a free people from government intrusions.
There are additional provisions in the constitution and in the history of court rulings that prescribe privacy for individuals from government intrusion. In fact, although “privacy” is not mentioned in the US constitution, the Supreme Court found in Connecticut v. Griswold that American citizens had a constitutional right to use birth control and that the state could not arbitrarily come into the bedroom and prohibit it. Some of the justices referred to the 9th Amendment, which says “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” That is, the government can’t just wake up in the morning and decide to constrain people’s private behavior. Not only are they protected from specific violations of their rights (attempts to curb speech, the press, religious belief or peaceable assembly) but they are protected in general as a free people from government intrusions.
Judge Pauley also ignored the relevant application of the 14th Amendment. In Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 497 (1965) a landmark case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protected a right of privacy, justices referenced the due process clause of the 14th amendment, which commands that “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The late great Justice William O. Douglas argued that the Bill of Right’s specific guarantees have “penumbras,” created by “emanations from these guarantees and that these penumbras help give the Bill of Rights life relevance to today’s struggle to protect our civil rights. It was Douglas’ interpretation of the US Constitution that, the “spirit” of the First Amendment (free speech), Fourth Amendment (freedom from searches and seizures), Fifth Amendment (freedom from self-incrimination), and Ninth Amendment (other rights), as applied against the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, creates a general right to privacy that cannot be unduly infringed.” In his view there exists as part of the US Constitution a penumbra of privacy.
Judge Pauley ignored these and other Constitutional applications in order to uphold the NSA informational gathering project in spite of the fact that the NSA, every minute for the past 7 years and until today, is abridging the privileges and immunities of a free citizenry. They are depriving us of liberty without due process of law, for the reason that they have failed to obtain a judicial warrant based on grounds of specific evidence of wrong-doing.
Judge Leon, in Washington, took the opposite view, saying the government had failed to make the case that the program is needed to protect the nation. “The government does not cite a single instance in which analysis of the N.S.A.’s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature,” he wrote.
Where these conflicting US Constitutional decisions leave the American public concerned with civil liberties and the disappearance of privacy is in a profound quandary with respect to the issues raised by Edward Snowden. Snowden described in his Christmas address, carried by British Channel 4 and widely aired on the internet the legitimate concern of all people who values individual liberty and privacy: A child born today might “never know what it means to have a private moment to them, an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought.” People walk around with a tracking device in their pockets, he noted, and as we now know, the NSA is collecting the metadata of those phones, which includes location information.
With words likely to become part of Law School curriculum, Mr. Snowden said that “this disappearance of privacy is important because privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.”
Franklin Lamb is a former Democratic National Committee Member representing Oregon.  He volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (

Saudi Prince Bandar, leader of Al-Qaeda, threatened Putin with terrorist attacks on Russia due to support of Syria

Bilateral relations

At the bilateral level, Bandar relayed the Saudi king’s greetings to Putin and the king’s emphasis on the importance of developing the bilateral relationship. He also told Putin that the king would bless any understanding reached during the visit. Bandar also said, however, that “any understanding we reach in this meeting will not only be a Saudi-Russian understanding, but will also be an American-Russian understanding. I have spoken with the Americans before the visit, and they pledged to commit to any understandings that we may reach, especially if we agree on the approach to the Syrian issue.”

Bandar stressed the importance of developing relations between the two countries, saying that the logic of interests can reveal large areas of cooperation. He gave several examples in the economic, investment, oil and military arenas.

Bandar told Putin, “There are many common values ​​and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. … As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”

Putin thanked King Abdullah for his greetings and Bandar for his exposition, but then he said to Bandar, “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.”

Bandar said that the matter is not limited to the kingdom and that some countries have overstepped the roles drawn for them, such as Qatar and Turkey. He added, “We said so directly to the Qataris and to the Turks. We rejected their unlimited support to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere. The Turks’ role today has become similar to Pakistan’s role in the Afghan war. We do not favor extremist religious regimes, and we wish to establish moderate regimes in the region. It is worthwhile to pay attention to and to follow up on Egypt’s experience. We will continue to support the [Egyptian] army, and we will support Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi because he is keen on having good relations with us and with you. And we suggest to you to be in contact with him, to support him and to give all the conditions for the success of this experiment. We are ready to hold arms deals with you in exchange for supporting these regimes, especially Egypt.”

Read more:

Syria Extremists Issue Death Warning to Opposition NGO

Local Editor

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) announced on Monday it had received death threats from extremists over reporting that dozens of foreign-backed militants were killed last week during clashes with Syrian forces.

Syrian militants“Recently, we have received a large number of death threats… on the SOHR (Facebook) page and the (Skype) and email accounts of numerous members and activists,” the group said in an email.

The SOHR is a prominent source of information for the armed opposition fighting the Syrian government.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that the threats originated from extremists, declining to specify which ones.

“These groups are trying to locate our sources in the regions under their control,” he said, particularly in the north and east of the country, as well as in parts of Damascus province.
“These sources are being threatened,” he said.

Abdel Rahman said the group has been threatened before, but the latest threats appeared to be the most serious, prompting him to go public with them.

He said they began after his group published information last week about the deaths of dozens of extremist militants, killed by regime fire in an area near Damascus.

“To all those parties who accuse us of falsifying the facts, saying that those we said were Islamist rebels were civilian martyrs… we urge you to publish their names or photos of these civilians,” the Observatory said in an email.

“Is it not astonishing that several days after the incident, there have been no photos or names of a single child or a single woman among the dozens supposed to have died in the shelling?”

Source: AFP
30-12-2013 – 15:21 Last updated 30-12-2013 – 15:21

New Video Reveals FSA Atrocities

Posted on December 29, 2013 by Veritas
A new video has emerged on the Internet, showing atrocities committed by foreign-backed militants fighting against the Syrian government.
The shocking footage showed militants who had cut off the head of a government soldier killed in the northern city of Aleppo.
The militants in the video said the man was hungry before he was decapitated.
Many videos have surfaced over the past two years from Syria showing the militants committing atrocities against both captured civilian supporters of the government and army troops.
Earlier this year, a gruesome video showed a foreign-backed militant in Syria cutting out the heart of a Syrian soldier and biting into it.
In the footage posted online on May 12, a man wearing military gear was seen with a knife in his hand slicing parts of a dead soldier’s torso before turning to the camera and putting the heart in his mouth.
According to international rights groups such acts constitute war crimes.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting militants operating inside the country.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced so far due to the turmoil in the country.
Press TVVideo: Syrian Arab Army evacuates more than 5 thousands of Adra’s residents.

Breaking News Network – Agencies
More than 5 thousand citizens in the residential worker city of Adra were evacuated on Sunday by the help of the Syrian Arab army, Minister of Social Affairs Kinda al-Shammat said.
“The citizens who have been evacuated are now in a safe haven as the ministry formed a relief operations’ room with the cooperation of Damascus countryside governorate to offer them the basic relief aid,” the Minister said in a statement to SANA.
She affirmed that any international organization has never contacted the Ministry regarding the humanitarian file in Adra.
Armed terrorist groups, linked to Jabhat al-Nusra, the so-called Liwa al-Islam and the Islamic Front infiltrated into the workers’ city of Adra on December 11, perpetrating a number of massacres there against the families, burning the houses of state employees, slaughtering a number of them and mutilating their bodies.
Military Source: Evacuating big number of citizens in Adra workers’ city
A big number of citizens in the residential workers’ city of Adra were evacuated on Sunday by the help of units of the Syrian Arab army, A military source said on Sunday.
“The citizens who have been evacuated are now in a safe haven and offered the basic relief aid,” the source said in a statement to SANA.
It added that the army killed tens of terrorists who attempted to attack the citizens while getting out of the city.
Armed terrorist groups, linked to Jabhat al-Nusra, the so-called Liwa al-Islam and the Islamic Front infiltrated into the workers’ city of Adra on December 11, perpetrating a number of massacres there against the families, burning the houses of state employees, slaughtering a number of them and mutilating their bodies.
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