Lebanon: Hezbollah Minister Voices Support for Anti-Corruption Protests

Local Editor

As he voiced support to the “legitimate demands” of anti corruption protesters in Lebanon,

Hezbollah’s State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mohammad Fneish, urged those protesters to have “clear and realistic demands,” in order to achieve the change they have been calling for in Lebanon.

State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mohammad Fneish“It is the right of some to call for a change in the regime and a revolution, all these slogans are pretty; but, what is needed are the tools for change. That is why protestors must have clear and realistic demands, if they want some of these demands to be achieved,” Fneish said during a funeral ceremony in south Lebanon.

Meanwhile, he stressed that those who are responsible for the corruption must be held accountable, refusing the dissemination of responsibility on all politicians.

“Generalizing responsibility means that we do not want to hold someone accountable,” Fneish said, dubbing such an act as “lacking courage in pinpointing responsibility.”

The Lebanese minister urged politicians to change their ways and stances, because the country could not handle any more corruption.

On the other hand, Fneish stressed that refusing partnership principle is the real reason behind the current crisis in Lebanon, where there have been presidential vacuum and parliamentary paralysis.

Source: Agencies

30-08-2015 – 12:29 Last updated 30-08-2015 – 12:29


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Jewish terrorists take over Palestinian hospital in Hebron

Hebron Palestinians protest settlers’ seizure of hospital

Clashes between Palestinian protestors and Israeli forces in the West Bank [file photo]Clashes between Palestinian protestors and Israeli forces in the West Bank [file photo]

Dozens of Palestinians staged demonstrations on Saturday outside the Al-Baraka hospital complex in the southern West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil) to protest the occupation of the premises by Jewish settlers.

The demonstrations, which included a number of Palestinian Christians, were organized by local popular resistance committees.

“Palestinians will never accept Israel’s policy of illegal Jewish settlement,” Fr. Attallah Hanaa, a Palestinian Christian clergyman who participated in the protest, told Anadolu Agency.

“We will always reject Israel’s seizure of Islamic and Christian institutions,” he said.

“We are of this land; it is our home, our history, our identity,” the priest added. “And we will never surrender it to the Israeli occupiers.”

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the settlers claim to have purchased the hospital complex from a U.S.-based Christian NGO through a Swedish firm that served as middleman.

Located near the Al-Aarub refugee camp, the hospital complex sits on 40 dunums of land and comprises eight buildings (a dunum is roughly equivalent to one acre).

Since its establishment in the 1940s until its closure some four decades later, the hospital had provided free services to Palestinians who suffered from tuberculosis.

According to Palestinian residents of the area, Israel plans to build a new Jewish-only settlement on the site, which sits adjacent to thousands of dunums of agricultural land.

The city of Hebron is home to some 200,000 Palestinians and some 500 Jewish settlers, with the latter residing in a number of Jewish

In the Israeli media, a soldier trying to arrest a minor is the victim, the Jewish terrorists trying to arrest Mohammad Tamimi didn’t realise he was a minor

In the Israeli media, a soldier trying to arrest a minor is the victim

After viral video emerged of a soldier attempting to arrest a Palestinian boy, the Israeli press presents the official army version rather than the accounts of the villagers who saw it all happen.

By Leehee Rothschild

At the weekly demonstration at the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh last Friday a masked soldier tried to arrest 12-year-old Mohammad Tamimi. Mohammad’s arm had been broken and in a cast since the beginning of that week, when soldiers entered the village in a separate incident.

His sister, Ahed, his mother, Nariman, and another Palestinian woman eventually prevented the event. His sister and his mother, though, were beaten by soldiers and sent to the hospital.

Quoted extensively in the Israeli press, the army’s version claimed that the soldiers were not aware that Mohammad was a minor. It is something that would have been very difficult to miss, given that he is a pretty small boy.  And I wonder how close a soldier would have to be to notice that the boy was in fact a child, and if he still wasn’t able to notice it when he had him in a headlock between his arms. I also doubt that realizing that the boy was a minor would have prevented the soldier from arresting him. The army has arrested Palestinian children before.

The report in the Israeli daily Haaretz starts with the army’s version and only afterwards describes, briefly, the events as seen by the village residents. That version is told by the activist Yonatan Pollack, but the reporter then returns to the army spokesperson.

The reporter does not mention that those involved were members of the same family, or that Mohammad was already injured, or that Ahed and Nariman were hospitalized after being hit by the soldiers. If the Haaretz writer had made just the slightest journalist efforts, she could have easily discovered these details.

An Israeli soldier holding Mohammed Tamimi, 12, in a headlock during a demonstration in Nabi Saleh, August 28, 2015. (Karam Saleem)

The reporter from the popular news site, Ynet, inserts Israeli army statements alongside a number of paragraphs quoted from an article in the British Daily Mail on the events. They report that the Daily Mail’s coverage is biased against Israel, despite the fact that they heavily rely on it. The article’s headline, “A girl bites a solder: a violent demonstration in Judea and Samaria,” paints a picture in which the village residents are those who cause the violence while the soldiers are the victims of it. They describe the demonstration as violent and present as fact the army’s claim that Mohammad was throwing rocks just before the soldiers attempted to arrest him, despite the fact that this is actually disputed, and denied by the villagers.

They describe Ahed as winning fame for screaming at the soldier and attempt to portray her as violent and dangerous. Indeed, a girl standing and screaming in the face of an armed soldier is a recognized threat.

Ynet’s inability to see the Palestinians villagers through human eyes is also apparent in that they confuse Ahed’s name with “Bilal,” another participant at the Nabi Saleh demonstration. He filmed the viral video, but is an adult man, not a young girl.

The circumstances of the demonstration and clashes were mentioned nowhere in this reporting, nor was there any critique of the consistent violence toward the villagers.

The Haaretz report portrays just another Friday in the West Bank through the frame of the Israeli army spokesman. Ynet communicates to the Israeli public that “we are the victims and everyone else is anti-Semitic.” The important question they deal with is how the world will look see us, rather than the reasons as to why a soldier was trying to violently arrest a 12-year-old boy.

Leehee Rothschild is a political-feminist activist and an MA student in gender studies at Ben Gurion University. This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

The EU is sleep walking into allowing the USA & NATO to start a nuclear war in Europe

US Packs Military Punch Deploying First Strike Aircraft Near Russia’s Borders (foreign policy savvies call for dialogue)

In June at the Paris Air Show, US air force chief Deborah James first publicly floated the idea of deploying the F-22 (the Raptor), America’s most sophisticated fighter plane to Europe to counter Moscow’s actions in the Ukraine.

Two months later the Pentagon turned it into a reality. The United States is to deploy F-22 fighter jets to Europe as part of efforts to support eastern European members of the NATO alliance against Russia.

The inaugural deployment of America’s most sophisticated fighter jet to Europe is rich in symbolism and tells a lot in practice.

James did not give details about the specific number of planes, date or location of the deployment but said it was in line with defence secretary Ash Carter’s recent call for a strong and balanced approach to Russia

This is the first ever deployment of F-22 to Europe outside air shows is seen as a move to boost NATO’s air strike capability as the relations with Russia become more tense.

According to General Mark Welsh James, US air force chief of staff, the F-22’s deployment in Europe would allow US to test the ability of the jets to communicate and fight together with the Eurofighter and other advanced warplanes and gain more experience with the European terrain.

F-22 is the fifth generation multirole aircraft. It’s a single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft was designed by Lockheed and Boeing as an air superiority fighter but can also be used for ground attack, electronic warfare and signals intelligence. The Raptors act as electronic warfare enabled sensor-rich planes to provide data key to other aircraft: they escort strike packages into and out of the target area while gathering details about the enemy systems and spreading intelligence to other “networked” assets supporting the mission to improve the overall situational awareness.

«The United States would not be deploying F-22s if it did not consider it necessary», said Konrad Muzyka, a military analyst on Eastern Europe for defense publisher IHS Jane’s. «It is going to be a massive boost in capabilities because there is no other aircraft in the world with the capabilities of the F-22», said Muzyka. «It is the only operational fifth-generation aircraft presently in service in the world».

Raptors have often taken part in rotational deployments in the Asia-Pacific region since 2009, but have never been deployed to Europe. It’s still not known which airbases are being considered for such deployment. The countries to host the fifth-generation planes know well they are doomed to become targets for Russia’s response in case of hostilities.

The U.S. has already started two 6-month TSPs (Theater Security Packages), made up of F-15s and A-10s and stepping up its presence at regional exercises with NATO allies and partners, attended also by B-52 strategic bombers and A-10 attack planes. According to Fiscal Times, the US Air Force announced in early August that it would deploy more of the aircraft to Europe this fall.

The 23rd Wing at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia announced it will send 12 attack planes and crews to Central and Eastern European to bolster NATO’s “Operation Atlantic Resolve,” an ongoing show of military might meant to deter what it calls “Russian aggression” in the region.In March, the Air Force deployed a dozen A-10s from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona to Romania and the Czech Republic.

Somehow the news about F-22s and other aircraft deployments Europe coincides with the reports about the US decision to deploy B-52s strategic bombers to South Korea. According to US Stars and Stripes military outlet, South Korea and U.S. are discussing the deployment of strategic U.S. assets to the Korean peninsula, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in a briefing on Aug. 24.

Although the Defense Ministry spokesman did not say which U.S. assets are being considered for deployment in the region, sources cited by the South KJorean Yohap News Agency suggested that the U.S. forces might include the B-52 Stratofortress bombers, and a nuclear-powered submarine currently stationed in Yokosuka, Japan.

Before that three B-2 strategic bombers were deployed to Guam on Aug. 7 to conduct familiarization training activities in the Pacific region and “maintain readiness there”.

Actually, there nothing tactical aviation could not do in case there is a conflict with North Korea. The bases are there, the aircraft carrier groups can boost the capability at any time, Tomahawk long-range missiles are abundant. Then why deploy strategic bombers? The flight time is going to be greatly reduced in case the aircraft are used against Russia. If that is the purpose of their relocation, then the move is justified. No matter all the talk about the need to defend South Korea, this possibility is taken into consideration by Russian experts.

The tensions are growing too high. This the time for think tanks to come up with initiatives to reduce the danger of conflict. And they do.

This month the European Leadership Network – a British NGO staffed by dozens of retired European military officials and politicians – published a report entitled Preparing for the Worst: Are Russian and NATO Military Exercises Making War in Europe More Likely?

The ELN goes on to answer its own question: Yes, the two sides are preparing for a full-scale confrontation.

A task force made up of former Russian and western officials proposed on August 26 new talks aimed at a new set of agreements between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Moscow to prevent an incident between military forces.

A group of former officials, including the former foreign ministers of Poland and Russia, rolled out a paper on August 26 morning proposing a new round of dialogue between NATO and Moscow aimed at establishing rules for navy ships and air-force fleets. It has expressed its concern over a possible military escalation in the crisis between Russia and the West and has called for a new agreement between NATO and Russia to prevent accidental incidents or miscalculations leading to an escalation of tension and even confrontation.

NATO has also held exercises mainly in Eastern Europe and the Baltics. Along with its partners, the 28-nation alliance will hold its biggest military exercise in more than a decade in October. The report said an »action-reaction cycle» was now under way between NATO and Russia that could be hard to stop. The alliance has suspended all practical and military cooperation with Russia, but can still convene political meetings.

«History is littered with examples of international crises and tensions that developed a momentum of their own and resulted in conflict even when no one side intended it», the report says. The signatories of the paper include Russian foreign policy gurus like Vyacheslav Trubnikov (Former Director, Russian Foreign Intelligence), Igor Ivanov (former Russian Foreign Minister), Alexei Gromyko (Deputy Director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences) and Igor Yurgens (Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Contemporary Development, Vice President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs). The Task Force is supported by independent research from a consortium of think-tanks, including the European Leadership Network in London and the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) in Moscow.

The other step in the right direction would revive a Russia-US dialogue on military matters. The UN General Assembly session to take place this September could be used for giving the process a new lease of life, for instance if the presidents of US and Russia met to discuss the burning issues.

* * *

All the signs of a new Cold War are present. The military stand-off becomes too dangerous. An accidental spark could set a big fire. As history shows, the risk of accident increases whenever the situation markedly deteriorates. It is therefore unwise to deny the obvious fact that the current state of affairs is dangerous enough to justify starting a dialogue urgently. Boosting first strike capability by deploying state-of-the-art aircraft in the vicinity of Russian borders cannot but make Moscow take retaliatory measures. At that, Russia has received signals from the United Stated about restoration of cooperation channels and does not intend to refuse dialogue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the youth forum Territory of Sound Judgement on the Klyazma River on August 24. The top diplomat noted that Russia is ready to work with the United States and European Union, but it will not give up its interests and identity.

«We are ready to work constructively with partners from US and EU on an equality basis, but we will not give up independent domestic and foreign policy», Lavrov said. He also reiterated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that Russia «does not trade its sovereignty».

Lavrov noted that in the modern world, relations between countries should be based on dialogue and consideration of mutual interests. «I think that if Western partners followed the same principles, there would have been no confrontation with moving NATO closer to Russian borders, there would have been no Ukrainian crisis», he added.

Under the circumstances, it would be a folly to lose the chance mentioned by the Russian Foreign Minister.

Poor Tony Blair, hard as he tries the Iraq war won’t leave him alone

Poor Tony Blair, hard as he tries the Iraq war won’t leave him alone

Tony Blair’s advisers were fond of remarking as war approached, it would all be forgotten in a few weeks. Some hope.

Blair and Corbyn

TONY BLAIR could have been forgiven for thinking, back in 2002 and 2003 when he was planning the Iraq war, that nearly 13 years later it would all be forgiven and forgotten.

He thought that he could ride out an unprecedented level of opposition outside parliament as millions took to the streets, school students struck, protestors blocked roads and bridges.

He also cajoled, bullied and deceived Labour MPs in order to get them to vote for war, and won a comfortable majority by relying on the Tories, despite huge rebellion among his own ranks.

As his advisers were fond of remarking as war approached, it would all be forgotten in a few weeks, once Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

Yet there are thundering echoes of the Iraq war at the centre of British politics, all these years later. It has defined a generation. It continues to weigh on politics for several reasons.

Firstly of course because the war in Iraq has never gone away, with Britain and the US now bombing the country against ISIS, over a decade after Saddam Hussein was executed.

As the newsreader Jon Snow wrote in a recent blog, the sight of ISIS carrying out horrific acts serves to somehow remind millions that the war helped to create a hell in Iraq from which it still cannot awake. http://t.co/Gtk2aCcGCK

Secondly there is no resolution to questions raised by the war. The Chilcot report still has no finish date, nearly five years after taking its final evidence. Many in any case are sceptical of an inquiry carried out by the establishment for the establishment, and fear that there will be no justice for those who suffered in the war.

Already families of soldiers who died are threatening legal action against Chilcot.

Thirdly it remains a live political issue. In the election only a few months ago, the received wisdom was that no one was interested in foreign affairs, and that the war no longer influenced opinion.

It is now clear that the politicians were not interested in discussing it, but many people were. The Jeremy Corbyn campaign is proof of that. Many of those attracted to his rallies are young people for whom the war was defining issue, and older people who stopped voting for or being members of Labour because of Blair’s warmongering.

A recent set of polling figures illustrates the importance of the war in Corbyn supporters’ thinking. https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/08/27/you-may-say-im-dreamer-inside-mindset-jeremy-corby/

And much of the right wing criticism of Corbyn focuses on his foreign policy.

Jeremy Corbyn’s announcement that if he becomes leader of the Labour party he would apologise on behalf of the party whose then leader took Britain into an illegal war, lying in the process to parliament and the country.

An apology is necessary. But what will be even more significant to the families and loved ones of up to a million Iraqis who died, and those of the British soldiers sent to kill and be killed, is if those responsible for one of the worst war crimes in recent history, are held to account in a court of law, as Jeremy Corbyn thinks they should be.

More Americans are waking up to the atrocities that israel has committed in Palestine

Americans tired of US wars for Israel

Americans are supporting the international movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel because they are sick and tired of Washington’s support for Tel Aviv, says a political commentator in Los Angeles.

In an interview with Press TV on Monday, James Morris said the BDS movement “is growing around the world and of course, Israelis and the Zionist-occupied Congress in America doesn’t like it, but that doesn’t matter, the rest of the world is waking up.”

Morris said supporting the BDS by a prominent industrial union in the United States is basically symbolic as more Americans are “waking up to the atrocities that the Israelis have committed in Palestine.”

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America union voted in favor of a resolution entitled “Justice and Peace for the Peoples of Palestine and Israel” and called on the US to cut off financial support to Tel Aviv.

The BDS campaign, which began in 2005, encourages organizations and institutions such as universities and churches to divest from Israel until the fundamental rights of the Palestinians have been recognized.

“Unless the Americans wake up to the influence of the Israel lobby to include wealthy Jewish donors like I just mentioned [Sheldon] Adelson and [Haim] Saban and AIPAC and other Israel lobby, like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is pushing to kill Iran deal, you know, America still is in a position where it’s dominated by Zionism, but at least some people are waking up more and more are waking up and that’s because of the alternative media,” Morris said.

He noted that supporting the Iran nuclear agreement “is excellent because you have many also in America, who are sick and tired of these wars for Israel in the Middle East, like we saw In Iraq.”

“And the same cast of characters as President [Barack] Obama had pointed out, the neo-conservatives and other Israel lobby are pushing for another war for Israel against Iran and obviously people don’t like that. They are sick and tired of war in America, especially when the war is for Israel,” Morris added.

Palestinians Christians Clash with Soldiers Following Sunday Mass

Palestinians Christians Clash with Soldiers Following Sunday Mass

Israeli forces attacked a protest rally by Palestinian Christians following mass on Sunday. Priests, patriarchs and other church leaders marched with crosses to the site of renewed work on the apartheid wall in the Christian majority town of Beit Jala, in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian Christians protesting in Beit Jala Aug. 30 (image by Palestinian Christians Facebook group)
Palestinian Christians protesting in Beit Jala Aug. 30 (image by Palestinian Christians Facebook group)

Two church members were arrested by Israeli authorities, while many more suffered from the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The march, the most recent in a string of protests, moved through neighborhoods in the Bethlehem-district town where Israeli forces have started new work on the separation wall, which is illegal under international law.

Protesters also condemned the nearby illegal Israeli settlements of Gilo and Har Gilo, which are scheduled to be expanded as the construction on the wall goes ahead.

According to local journalist Bassam Shweiki, the demonstration focused on the confiscation of about 3500 donums of Palestinian lands planted with ancient olive trees, some of them dating back to the days of Jesus.

In addition to members of the local committees against the Wall and settlements; the demonstration was also attended by his eminence Patriarch Michael Sabbah, representatives of Palestinian political parties and the Governor of Bethlehem.

Israeli forces shot tear-gas and concussion grenades at protesters and physical altercations broke out between Israeli forces attempting to suppress the protest.

Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the former head of the Latin Church addressed the participants, stating “This is our land, and will always remain ours. They claim it’s their land, but they use their soldiers, their tanks, their military occupation to force their will – and it is not their land. It is our land, and one day their forces will withdraw and the land will return back to its indigenous Palestinian owners.”

Sabbah also stated, “The message to the Christian world, the international community and the Arab world is that this Holy Land is burning, dying and being destroyed, and if you really care about justice and equality, you have the obligation to stop this war, killing and destruction.”

Sabbah urged the world to support the people of Beit Jala in their battle against the separation wall and called on the Palestinian Authority to bring attention to Israeli violations against Palestinians. Nearly 60 kilometers of the wall already cuts through the Bethlehem governorate and is built on Palestinian land, according to the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs. Israel’s High Court ruled in April that the work must stop and told the government to consider alternative routes.

However, on July 6 the court reversed the decision, ruling that the previous ban referred only to an area of a few hundred meters alongside a monastery in the town’s Cremisan Valley.

Another speaker was Walid Assaf, with the Nonviolent Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements. He said that this protest comes in opposition to illegal land theft by the Israeli settlers, and these protests will continue until the Palestinian people achieve their legitimate rights. He referenced Israeli court decisions regarding the route of the Wall in Beit Jala, as well as a ruling by the International Court in the Hague challenging the Israeli takeover of Palestinian land. His organization is planning an international conference to bring together supporters, academics and religious leaders to continue the work against the illegal Israeli annexation of Palestinian land.

Assaf added that details of Israel’s confiscation of Palestinians land in Beit Jala ought to be submitted to the International Criminal Court.

Mazin Qumsiyeh, a popular resistance activist, said that the separation wall would destroy nature in the area by uprooting of trees and plants necessary for its expansion.

Earlier this month, European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah said they were “concerned” about the renewed construction work in Cremisan, noting that it will directly affect the livelihoods of 58 families.

A 15-member delegation of European Union diplomats later visited Beit Jala to assess the situation. Local Christian landowners said that construction of the wall could ultimately force them to emigrate and “cleanse” the area of its Christian residents.

Israel began building the separation wall with concrete slabs, fences and barbed-wire inside the occupied West Bank in 2002 at the height of the Second Intifada, or uprising, claiming that it was crucial for security.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that construction of the wall was illegal and, like the UN General Assembly, demanded that it be dismantled.

Palestinians, many of whom refer to it as the “apartheid wall,” say the wall is a land grab, pointing out that when complete, 85 percent of it will have been built inside the West Bank.

The wall has already completely cut off occupied East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. The Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem says the wall will effectively annex around 13 percent of the total area of the West Bank.

Palestinians living in the Bethlehem district have already lost a substantial amount of land due to the wall and the expansion of 19 Jewish-only settlements and outposts in the area.

China starts the “fire sale” of U.S. Treasury bonds. The beginning of the end game for the USA

It’s Official: China Confirms It Has Begun Liquidating Treasuries, Warns Washington

China-Stock-Market

On Tuesday evening, we asked what would happen if emerging markets joined China in dumping US Treasurys. For months we’ve documented the PBoC’s liquidation of its vast stack of US paper.

Back in July for instance, we noted that China had dumped a record $143 billion in US Treasurys in three months via Belgium, leaving Goldman speechless for once. 

We followed all of this up this week by noting that thanks to the new FX regime (which, in theory anyway, should have required less intervention), China has likely sold somewhere on the order of $100 billion in US Treasurys in the past two weeks alone in open FX ops to steady the yuan. Put simply, as part of China’s devaluation and subsequent attempts to contain said devaluation, China has been purging an epic amount of Treasurys.

But even as the cat was out of the bag for Zero Hedge readers and even as, to mix colorful escape metaphors, the genie has been out of the bottle since mid-August for China which, thanks to a steadfast refusal to just float the yuan and be done with it, will have to continue selling USTs by the hundreds of billions, the world at large was slow to wake up to what China’s FX interventions actually implied until Wednesday when two things happened: i) Bloomberg, citing fixed income desks in New York, noted “substantial selling pressure” in long-term USTs emanating from somebody in the “Far East”, and ii) Bill Gross asked, in a tweet, if China was selling Treasurys.

Sure enough, on Thursday we got confirmation of what we’ve been detailing exhaustively for months. Here’s Bloomberg:

China has cut its holdings of U.S. Treasuries this month to raise dollars needed to support the yuan in the wake of a shock devaluation two weeks ago, according to people familiar with the matter.

Channels for such transactions include China selling directly, as well as through agents in Belgium and Switzerland, said one of the people, who declined to be identified as the information isn’t public. China has communicated with U.S. authorities about the sales, said another person. They didn’t reveal the size of the disposals.

The latest available Treasury data and estimates by strategists suggest that China controls $1.48 trillion of U.S. government debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That includes about $200 billion held through Belgium, which Nomura Holdings Inc. says is home to Chinese custodial accounts.

 


The PBOC has sold at least $106 billion of reserve assets in the last two weeks, including Treasuries, according to an estimate from Societe Generale SA. The figure was based on the bank’s calculation of how much liquidity will be added to China’s financial system through Tuesday’s reduction of interest rates and lenders’ reserve-requirement ratios. The assumption is that the central bank aims to replenish the funds it drained when it bought yuan to stabilize the currency.

Now that what has been glaringly obvious for at least six months has been given the official mainstream stamp of fact-based approval, the all-clear has been given for rampant speculation on what exactly this means for US monetary policy. Here’s Bloomberg again:

China selling Treasuries is “not a surprise, but possibly something which people haven’t fully priced in,” said Owen Callan, a Dublin-based fixed-income strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald LP. “It would change the outlook on Treasuries quite a bit if you started to price in a fairly large liquidation of their reserves over the next six months or so as they manage the yuan to whatever level they have in mind.”

“By selling Treasuries to defend the renminbi, they’re preventing Treasury yields from going lower despite the fact that we’ve seen a sharp drop in the stock market,” David Woo, head of global rates and currencies research at Bank of America Corp., said on Bloomberg Television on Wednesday. “China has a direct impact on global markets through U.S. rates.”

As we discussed on Wednesday evening, we do, thanks to a review of the extant academic literature undertaken by Citi, have an idea of what foreign FX reserve liquidation means for USTs. “Suppose EM and developing countries, which hold $5491 bn in reserves, reduce holdings by 10% over one year – this amounts to 3.07% of US GDP and means 10yr Treasury yields rates rise by a mammoth 108bp ,” Citi said, in a note dated earlier this week.

In other words, for every $500 billion in liquidated Chinese FX reserves, there’s an attendant 108bps worth of upward pressure on the 10Y. Bear in mind here that thanks to the threat of a looming Fed rate hike and a litany of other factors including plunging commodity prices and idiosyncratic political risks, EM currencies are in free fall which means that it’s not just China that’s in the process of liquidating USD assets.

The clear takeaway is that there’s a substantial amount of upward pressure building for UST yields and that is a decisively undesirable situation for the Fed to find itself in going into September. On Wednesday we summed the situation up as follows: “one of the catalysts for the EM outflows is the looming Fed hike which, when taken together with the above, means that if the FOMC raises rates, they will almost surely accelerate the pressure on EM, triggering further FX reserve drawdowns (i.e. UST dumping), resulting in substantial upward pressure on yields and prompting an immediate policy reversal and perhaps even QE4.”

Well now that China’s UST liquidation frenzy has reached a pace where it could no longer be swept under the rug and/or played down as inconsequential, and now that Bill Dudley has officially opened the door for “additional quantitative easing”, it would appear that the only way to prevent China and EM UST liquidation from, as Citi puts it, “choking off the US housing market,” and exerting a kind of forced tightening via the UST transmission channel, will be for the FOMC to usher in QE4.

“War on terror” or Wars for israel?

The Pentagon’s Dangerous Game with Terrorists: Training Syrian Opposition “Jihadists” to Fight the ISIS

war_on_terror_uncle_sam

The U.S. policy in the Middle East has proved unsustainable once again. The Pentagon’s first attempt to train Syrian opposition to fight ISIS ended in “an abject failure”, CBS News reported in early August. The contingent of 54 fighters was trained by the U.S. military at a base in Turkey and sent across the border into Northern Syria. But instead of facing ISIS, they unexpectedly came under attack by Al-Nusra Front. As a result, the American-trained rebels scattered. Some were captured, some fled to Turkey, others were simply missing or likely turned the side and joined the Islamic State.

It was clear from the very beginning that the costly program to train “good” rebels to fight “bad” ones was doomed to failure. The Pentagon planned to spend half a billion dollars on the program. The U.S. has already faced misfortunes like that in its history. As we know, Washington took part in the creation of Al-Qaeda, the largest terrorist organization in the world until now. But as soon as the fighters got stronger they turned their weapons against the Americans.

The same situation is developing around the so called New Syrian Force. Returning to Syria the Pentagon-trained rebels joined the organization they were supposed to struggle against.

It is hard to escape a conclusion that the U.S. doesn’t learn from its own mistakes. But the situation may be much more complex. Given the Pentagon’s great experience in covert operations it may appear that the U.S. special services planned the rebels would turn the side beforehand. To cover this fact the U.S. defense and state departments usually very sophisticated in concealing or justifying their failures were easy to accept their mistake this time.

The Islamic State that was supposedly also created by Washington has been in great need of qualified personnel of late to operate the U.S. weapons and equipment lost or intentionally left by the Iraqi forces retreating from Mosul in June 2014.

Haider al-Abadi, the new Iraqi prime minister, announced in the early June 2015 that terrorists had captured a great number of U.S.-made weaponry including 2,300 Humvee armored vehicles, at least 40 M1A1 main battle tanks, 74,000 machine guns, and as many as 52 M198 howitzer mobile gun systems, plus small arms and ammunition. The U.S. mass media wrote that “the U.S. has armed ISIS”.

Several dozen people that joined the ISIS would hardly change the situation in Syria but they evidently were not supposed to. They may become instructors and train Islamic State fighters to use American weapons.

However, the U.S. is playing very dangerous games with terrorists. Washington’s model of controlled chaos in the Middle East may go out of order at any moment and hit the Americans back. In that case thousands people would pay with their lives for all those covert operations.

USA & the USA’s NATO created the European refugee problem while the EU sat back & did nothing

The Refugees are the Victims of US-NATO led Wars: The Migrants’ “Long March” across the Balkans to Western Europe

Some of the millions of people who have fled Syria. Photo credit: The UN Refugee Agency / G. Gubaeva

ORIENTAL REVIEW publishes exclusive English translation of the interview given by Andrew Korybko to the Macedonian TV presenter Slobodan Tomic, the host of “Гласот на Народот” (Vox Populi) show.

They speak about the current migrant crisis in Europe in the context of Mideast destabilization following the “Arab Spring” and why the Balkans and Greece are chosen as a gateway for the masses of miscellaneous refugees to the EU. Much attention is given to the threat of the radical ISIL-linked elements penetrating Europe and the back-stage role of the US in this process.

How do you evaluate the current situation of Mideast refugees transiting through Macedonia and Serbia en route to the EU?

The crisis is totally out of control, and it’s direct blowback from the US and its allies’ regime change operations in Libya and Syria. Europe gains nothing whatsoever from this and is anxiously trying to mitigate the fallout while giving off the impression of partial compliance with its heavily promoted ‘values’, but conversely, Europe’s pain is the US’ gain. Washington is seeing to it that the continent’s most prominent countries (France and Germany, in particular) are caught up in a demographic nightmare, a time bomb of sorts that can be strategically activated at will in the event that these states ever decide to pursue policies independent of the US’ dictates.

They already had their own preexisting issues before this, but now they’re being exacerbated and creating clear tension between identity groups and political parties, opening new avenues for the US to exercise its stereotypical divide-and-rule policies when needed. To put it frankly, the US purposely created the conditions that sparked the refugee crisis, and it’s weaponizing the individuals that are fleeing from these theaters to use them as unwitting tools in a larger power play against Europe. In the course of events, the refugees (identified by the US as ‘strategic weapons/assets’) plow through the Balkans and simultaneously achieve one of Washington’s other goals, which is to destabilize Serbia and Macedonia. Everything that’s going on is basically the application of chaos theory in a geopolitical context.

Why do they opt for taking this route? Is it coincidental or something consciously chosen?

The US exercises certain degrees of situational influence to ‘guide’ the refugees along this route, just as it’s capable of corralling ISIL in the direction of its shared strategic objectives in Syria, for example. To accomplish this task, its intelligence agencies exert influence on the covert network of human traffickers facilitating these migrant flows, getting them to believe that the Macedonia-Serbia-Hungary route is the fastest and safest one for their ‘clients’. From the viewpoint of the migrants and traffickers, this satisfies the criteria they’re looking for – speed and relative safety (as in not getting caught) – while for the US, it accomplishes the destabilization of these two geostrategic countries with little to no cost involved on its part. Everything is taken care of through proxy, and the US only has to create the conditions needed and give the guiding push in order for the chaotic processes it’s unleashed to autonomously upset the given order on their own.

Slobodan Tomic

Slobodan Tomic

Why is our southern neighbor Greece organizing buses and sending the refugees to our borders? Shouldn’t they be sending them back to where they came from?

At first, it appeared as though the Greek government was completely overwhelmed with the crisis and powerless to act in containing it (also purposely being deprived of help from its EU and NATO ‘allies’ as part of a ‘bargaining mechanism’ to pressure the Tsipras government into submitting to the debt deal), but now it’s clear that some of the Greeks are actively aiding and abetting this process. What really stands out as evidence of this is the Greek government’s plan to ship the refugees from Kos island to the northern Greek mainland, thereby putting them within easy reach of the Macedonian border. Why not send them closer to the Albanian or Bulgarian borders, why the Macedonian one? Could it be that certain figures in Greece have a deep-seated vendetta against Macedonia and her people and are seeking to use this crisis to punish the country? Could it also be that these very same government figures might have been given orders by the EU and NATO to do these functions as part of a shadow deal agreed to in exchange for EU bailout funds? No matter what the reason is, it’s become evident that some figures in the Greek government are complicit in the weaponization of Mideast refugees against Macedonia.

Why doesn’t NATO or anyone else help the refugees? It’s clear that these people see Europe as a dreamland, but why is that, anyhow? And why are they going through Orthodox countries on their way to the Schengen Zone, why not through Albania-Bosnia-Croatia-Slovenia? They’re part of Europe, after all, but could it be that NATO is looking after its interests in these countries and directing the migrants elsewhere?

Macedonia has been singled out for a couple reasons, but they all go back to the regime change that was plotted against the country and attempted by Zoran Zaev (who was acting on behalf of his American patrons). There is no intrinsic characteristic that makes Macedonia more ‘attractive’ to traversing migrants than Albania or Bulgaria, for example, and the same north-south transport routes that some analysts say are responsible for this are also present in both of those countries. What’s more, why don’t’ the migrants just use mainland Greece as a stepping stone for final boat ride to Italy? The reason the US and its intelligence agencies don’t promote these routes is because they specifically have certain strategic objectives that they fulfill by guiding the migrants through Macedonia and Serbia. They scare the traffickers into thinking that they’d be busted if they go through Albania, Bulgaria, or across the Ionian Sea, which is how they manipulate them into overwhelming choosing the Macedonia-Serbia route. The US is well aware of the destabilization that follows in the wake of tens of thousands of refugees flooding across the borders of these relatively small states, which is why it does everything it can to avoid having this happen to its Albania and Bulgarian allies, but intentionally guides these illegal migrant flows into Macedonia and Serbia.

Why don’t the migrants go to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and similar countries in the region? These states share the same religion as most of the migrants and are also among the richest in the world.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar only want migrants that can work menial jobs and be controlled, which is why they instead prefer South Asians from India and Pakistan. Destitute Syrians and Libyans would be a burden to their national budgets, which both absolute monarchies prefer to keep exclusively for the benefit of their actual citizens. Also, the migrants are fleeing sectarian warfare and terrorist groups, and those two countries are the largest state sponsors of terrorism in the world, with their ideologies being directly to blame for the wars in Libya and Syria. It’s for these reasons why those refugees don’t go to either state, and plus, they know that even in the unlikely event that they decided to do so, they’d be immediately kicked out, jailed, or possibly even killed by the security forces (which is even more likely if they are of a non-Sunni sect).

How can Macedonia possibly deal with this crisis, and who can help it?

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Macedonia took a patriotic and pragmatic stand by declaring a state of emergency and temporarily restricting access through its southern border, but this proved unable to stem the overwhelming tide of refugees. When the crowds got violent and the military was forced to respond with tear gas and rubber bullets, Skopje was met with vague EU criticism about ‘human rights’ and the ‘restraint of force’, which proved that Brussels isn’t sincere in helping Macedonia solve this problem. Thus, the government is heavily pressured into the ‘lesser evil’ of reluctantly allowing the migrants to traverse its territory in as controlled of a manner as possible as opposed to stopping them at the Greek border. This choice was made because Macedonia is receiving no help whatsoever from its ‘partners’ in preventing them from crossing, and it doesn’t want to be in a position where any use of force against them is manipulated by the international (Western) media into setting off a new round of anti-government agitation.

In an ideal world, the EU and NATO wouldn’t have launched the Wars on Libya and Syria that preceded this crisis, but given that they’ve regretfully occurred and the situation is what it is at the present, if they were Macedonia’s true ‘partners’ and intent on helping it, they’d send more than paltry and insufficient funds. In fact, they’d take an active stance in solving the problem at its continental source, Greece, and properly assisting the government there. Instead none of this is happening, and the EU is only throwing money at the problem to make it look like it’s doing something. In reality, it would rather leave the refugees in the Balkans and wall itself off from the region if it ever came to that point. Macedonia, in effect, doesn’t have any friends in the EU, NATO, or the Greek government, and this crisis simply proves what many people had already suspected.

Where does Russia stand in all of this, and what role can it play in fighting against ISIL? The reason I ask is because there’s a particularly interesting analysis coming out of the country by academician and historian Jelena Guskova, who warns that a so-called “Green Transversal” project is almost finished and is waiting for its final phase to be launched at the end of the month. At that point, she says that armed terrorists will attack Macedonia, southern Serbia (the Presevo Valley), and Bosnia. Beforehand, she says that terrorists will try to make a diversion in Serbia to distract the attention of the Serbian population, in order to catch everyone off guard with the follow-up attack. What do you think about this?

This is a very broad question but I’ll attempt to address it as concisely as possible. Russia is of the belief that the US and NATO are to blame for the refugee crisis because they initiated the regime change conflicts in Libya and Syria. Appertaining to Russia’s role in fighting ISIL, I wrote a comprehensive piece for Sputnik about its recent diplomatic efforts in coordinating an inclusive anti-ISIL coalition that I suggest readers refer to if they’re interested. About Guskova, she makes an excellent point about American strategy in the Balkans, which is that it seeks to use Islamic extremism as its preferred ‘agent of change’ in the heart of the region (Macedonia, Serbia, and Bosnia), although I’m unsure of exactly when the US will formally redeploy this mechanism. Macedonia narrowly averted a larger terrorist war when its military raided the Kumanovo hideout and prevented the perpetrators from attacking Skopje and elsewhere, but the threat still remains. Likewise, that very same threat of Albanian-affiliated terrorism is also present in the Presevo Valley, but the point needs to be stressed that the vast majority of Albanians in both countries (especially those in Macedonia) want nothing to do with this scheme, but it’s being associated with them and their ethnic group out of American grand strategic motivations. Bosnia is in a similar situation when it comes to Islamic extremism, too, and I wrote about this for Sputnik in a different article.

Russian academician and historian Jelena Guskova warned that implementation of the “green transversal” has entered the final stage, and that armed attacks might occur in August in Serbia, BiH and Macedonia.

Should this be taken seriously, or is this a type of spin coming out of Russia that intends to damage the region’s relations with the US and EU?

Russian academician and historian Jelena Guskova warned that implementation of the “green transversal” has entered the final stage, and that armed attacks might occur in August in Serbia, BiH and Macedonia.

Guskova’s assessment very closely resembles my own for the region, and both of our forecasts need to be taken with the utmost of seriousness because of the far-reaching consequences involved. Just because we’re both based in Russia doesn’t mean that we have any conspiratorial reason for our analyses, and they’re both based on enough documented facts and strategic reasoning as to withstand close criticism. The most that any naysayer could point to is that the US doesn’t have this sort of ‘intent’ that Guskova and I ascribe to it, but in response to that, I’d ask the reader to recall the US’ purposely destructive policies all across the world which refute that suggestion. For the US, the Balkans are a future Islamic terrorist ‘playground’, thought of as being a ‘reserve force’ for pressuring Europe when and if the time is right.

Part of the reason for this is geopolitical (the Balkans are the perfect’ backdoor’ to the EU) and the other relates to energy (destabilize the Russian-friendly governments of Macedonia and Serbia to sabotage Balkan Stream), but taken together, the US has very real strategic reasons for why it wants to destroy the Balkans if it can’t fully control them. Also, working with Islamic fundamentalists for grand strategic ends isn’t anything new for the US, since everyone is well aware of how the US founded Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and a Judicial Watch document released in May proves that the Defense Intelligence Agency predicted the rise of ISIL and actively encouraged such a scenario. It’s not just non-state Islamic extremist actors that the US deals with, but state-organized ones too, such as Saudi Arabia and even Morsi’s former Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. About the latter, the reader must be reminded that the Muslim Brotherhood is recognized as the terrorist organization that it truly is by the governments of Russia and Syria among others, so accusing the US of siding with terrorists isn’t just rhetoric, but a legal reality.

Another thing that she talks about is how terrorists will stage an attack which will claim the lives of many Albanian civilians, who will then be pressured into launching a struggle for “the salvation from tyranny” that they experience in Macedonia, Serbia, and Bosnia. She warns that the strongest possibility for this happening might be in Republica Srpska, and that under the pretext of “regulating the situation”, NATO could stage an intervention.

 That’s a very realistic scenario, but I’d take it one step further by forecasting that this false flag event won’t just target Albanians, but Muslims in general (if it does in fact occur, that is). There were already attempts to politicize the anti-terrorist operation carried out in Kumanovo by trying to make it out as some war of “Slavs/Christians versus Albanians/Muslims”, but thankfully that woefully misguided perspective didn’t catch on and was exposed for the lie that it was. But still, it shows that there is a precedent to label all Albanians/Muslims as victims of Slavs/Christians no matter what the context, all with the intent of fomenting a religious ‘counter-struggle’, an actual jihad, against the majority inhabitants in the Balkans (Christian Slavs).

This isn’t to either side’s advantage, but is really yet another wily manipulation by the US to provoke a region-wide divide-and-conquer identity war. The US’ history of involvement in Bosnia and “Kosovo” indicates that it would take the side of Muslims in the short term should any forthcoming conflict arise and it chooses to directly intervene, but this group would just be functioning as the US’ ‘convenient fools’, and they’ll eventually be betrayed even quicker than the US turned on decades-long ally Mubarak should the US deem it strategically suitable. If they think that being Muslim automatically entitles them to preferential treatment by the US government, then they’re obviously not aware of American history in the Mideast, since sooner or later, they too will be betrayed at some point, whether they realize it now or not.

Guskova also studies the “Islamic State’s” influence in the Balkans, and according to her, terrorists are infiltrating the region under the cover of being Mideast refugees. What’s your take on this?

Once more, Ms. Guskova is absolutely right. As I told Marija Kotovska during an interview she did with me for Netpress at the end of July:

“Hungary stated that at least 90,000 people have illegally entered the country so far this year, and that they expect a total of 300,000 by year’s end. Most of them likely came from the southern route, meaning that they passed through Macedonia at some time or another. Taking into account an extremely conservative estimate that 1% of them could be terrorists, then that calculates to nearly 1,000 terrorists so far (and up to 3,000 by the end of the year) coming into Macedonia for an unspecified amount of time. To put it another way, that’s about 100x the number of terrorists that were killed during the Kumanovo attack.”

There is no doubt that the refugee crisis is being exploited by terrorist groups as cover for infiltrating the region, and this is being done in full compliance with American foreign policy precepts. The “Islamic State” is basically a ‘territorial Al Qaeda’ that can be deployed anywhere in Africa-Eurasia that is of strategic benefit to the US, and right now, it looks as though its newest theater will be the Balkans, using sympathetic Albanians (who are but a tiny fraction of their overall population, it needs to be underscored) as their local anchor. The objective is to radicalize the transnational Albanian community particularly in Macedonia and Serbia so as to provoke the larger Christian/Slav vs. Muslim/Albanian war that the US is hoping for. Hopefully both sides realize what the game is and how the US is desperately trying to manipulate them into this dire scenario.

Guskova says that the Americans want to subjugate the Slavic people in the Balkans that they haven’t ever subdued, despite the enormous pressure against them and the imposition of certain puppet regimes. She points to Republika Srpska strengthening its position, Macedonia defending its independence, and Serbia refusing to recognize Kosovo. Your thoughts?

It is certainly true that Macedonia, Serbia, and Republika Srpska have yet to be subjugated, despite certain periods of their history where they came close to having this happen, but the US wants to dominate all the peoples of the Balkans, including doing so for perpetuity with those it currently controls (Bosniaks, Croats, Albanians). Macedonia, Serbia, and Republika Srpska form a geostrategic network of states that I’ve termed the “Central Balkans”, in that they form not only the geographic center of this region, but that they also have in common their strong patriotism in resisting outside domination. Furthermore, all three of them practice pragmatic policies with Russia.

It’s telling that some of the smallest countries in Europe happen to be the only ones with the courage to refuse the US’ pressure in sanctioning Russia, as not only have they refused to do this, but they’ve even deepened their ties with Moscow during this time via their cooperation on the Balkan Stream gas project. Their symbolic actions signify a rejection of US unipolarity, and accordingly, the US has targeted them for immediate destabilization in response. This is why Macedonia had the earlier Color Revolution and Albanian-affiliated Unconventional War attempts unleashed against it, Serbia is being pulled by the EU and the US, and Republika Srpska has to endure thinly veiled terroristic threats by Sarajevo loyalists. It shouldn’t be seen as a coincidence then that all three, but especially Macedonia and Serbia, are now focal points of the refugee crisis.

There’s a noticeable increase in the activities of terrorist organizations and Islamists in the Balkans. One can find “Wahhabis” and the “Red Rose” in Serbia and Montenegro, “Tariq” in Macedonia, and Al Qaeda cells in Kosovo and northern Albania, according to Guskova. Can you comment on this?

The creation of terrorist nests such as the ones you mentioned is all part and parcel of the larger grand strategy of unleashing the US’ planned Slav/Christian versus Albanian/Muslim regional war. The Muslim population of the Balkans isn’t naturally receptive to this rhetoric, hence why the US must brainwash them through the import of radical Islamists under the cover of the refugee crisis. Also, some of the refugees themselves might be more fundamentalist than the secular Muslims historically native to the Balkans, so if they remain in the region (either out of choice or because they simply can’t get into the EU), some of them could work to change local attitudes on this topic.

The psychological operations being waged against the region therefore aren’t focused as much on Macedonia, Serbia, and Republika Srpska (although they’re definitely targeted, albeit for different [regime change] reasons), but on the Albanians and Bosniaks in a bid to get them to view all regional dynamics through the false and highly secularized prism of a “War on Islam”. If the US can brainwash at least 10% of each of these respective Muslim communities into falling for that propaganda (the so-called “tipping point theory”), then it can have a sizeable enough ‘domestic/grassroots’ force in each of the three prospective battlefields (Macedonia, Serbia, and Republika Srpska) to initiate this war and be confident that it has the ‘staying power’ to continue indefinitely and ‘autonomously’. It’s for this reason why counter-radicalization initiatives on behalf of each government and their local Muslim representatives are instrumental in preempting this dangerous development and need to be immediately implemented if they aren’t already.

In Bosnia just recently, Islamists came forward making demands that the country remain unitary under the implicit threat that any change in its status could lead to terrorist attacks and other destabilizing actions. Could it be that this is part of the “Green Transversal” project?

This is definitely related to the larger project that we’ve been discussing and the US’ geopolitical bullying of the Central Balkans. Republika Srpska has a constitutional right to reject the nationwide court system that Sarajevo is advocating, as there is nothing contained in the Dayton Accords about the necessity of such an entity. The reason it’s being pushed then is to weaken the Republic’s sovereignty in preparation of a wider power play against its entire autonomy, hence why President Dodik and his people firmly refuse it and are so impassioned in fighting against it. Now that they’ve taken their stand, however, the Sarajevo loyalists are initiating a preplanned information war accusing Republika Srpska of ‘separatism’ and ‘violating the Dayton Accords’.

This isn’t true in any shape or form, but they’re doing this to damage the Republic’s reputation and precondition the European and American masses for a coming wave of formal aggression against it. That’s actually what the whole point of the UK’s Srebrenica UNSC provocation was, which aimed to paint Republika Sprksa as a ‘genocide-created’ entity that has no right to exist. Russia vetoed the resolution for exactly this reason, but the teachable moment here is that the West showed its hand for what it plans to do in Bosnia. It’s waging an asymmetrical war against Republika Srpska that’s already in the information stage, with the ultimate goal of taking it to the economic and terrorist phases whenever the decision is made. Unleashing the scourge of Islamic extremism against it (as like what happened during the Zvornik ‘test run’) is intended to serve as one of the triggers for the wider regional war that the US is plotting.

Some analysts say that the Hungarian border wall will significantly increase the number of Mideast migrants who remain in Serbia and Macedonia and whose real identity can’t ever be ascertained. What do you think about this threat?

The wall is Europe’s response to the crisis, which as I mentioned at the beginning of the interview, is to seal itself off from the Balkans if the situation becomes uncontrollable. The fact that Hungary is moving forward with such speed in implementing this idea shows how serious its national government is in tackling this crisis (and how severe it expects it to get in the future), and since it’s being accepted by the EU without any significant push back, it can also be seen as representing Brussels’ own take on the matter. This is important because it vividly demonstrates how the EU is abandoning Serbia and Macedonia at a critical time when both countries need as much help as they can possibly get, thus revealing that Brussels never had any positive intentions towards either of their prospective memberships. These two countries have always been seen as future markets and nothing else, never having ever been thought of as equal partners, which is why the EU doesn’t mind that countless refugees and the terrorists that have infiltrated the region alongside them remain the sole responsibility of the Balkans. The social, economic, political, and security destabilizations associated with them are tremendously impactful in all regards and disturbingly very real, but the EU prefers not to deal with this, and would rather accept the possible collapse of the Central Balkan states than lend an effective and helping hand in assisting with their ordeals.

Most of the refugees are men between the ages of 27-35, 94% of whom are Muslim, and more than half of whom have no family with them and avoid all forms of media exposure. Who’s funding these people, or how do they support themselves?

Like I said previously, the vast majority of the refugees are not terrorists, but many of them do have suspicious profiles that rightfully raise red flags. The problem is that there is no way to verify their identity, and thus, no way for states to see if they’re on any terrorist watch lists. Even if they aren’t, nobody knows the intent of these individuals, and it does seem odd that so many of these men (who in traditional Muslim cultures should already be married with children by this stage of their lives) are flooding into the EU without any family members. Something’s not adding up, and it’s unlikely that most of them just happen to not conform to their demographic expectations or are violating the social code of their countries by leaving their wives and children behind. It’s not known how they received the money to fund their journey, but it could possibly have been through their families’ savings and/or selling off their possessions and property. Still, those that are affiliated with terrorism are likely funded by other terrorists, and given the richness of the “Islamic State”, it could theoretically be funding thousands of terrorists to infiltrate the EU and the Balkans under the cover of being refugees.

Andrew-KorybkoI’d like to thank all of our readers for their interest in my interview. The future I paint is a dark one, but it’s not inevitable and it’s possible to successfully resist it. The most important thing everyone can do is inform one another of the true nature of the US’ plot against the Balkans, and work together to unite in opposing it. All ethnicities and religions need to be aware of the US’ mechanisms in dividing them from one another, and once this realization is reached and unity of purpose is achieved, then it’s much easier to form a different future and build a better tomorrow for everyone.

Nasser Kandil: Wars on Syria and Yemen



River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  

 

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Yemen : The Battle for Sanaa – A Tale of a Resistance – Yemeni Army, Committees Pound Saudi Military Posts, Seize Vehicles in Jizan

Local Editor

Yemeni army, backed by the Popular Committees, continues to pound Saudi military posts in the border areas between the two countries.

Yemeni sources told al-Manar that several Saudi soldiers were killed an injured as the Yemeni allied forces shelled Jalah military base in the southwestern province of Jizan.

Meanwhile, the joint forces also managed to seize and destroy Saudi vehicles, the video below shows.

Yemeni allied forces destroyed the US-made tank, Abrams in the area of al-Khobe, the Military Media reported. They also carried off as booty a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), also known as Humvee,

Yemen has been since March 26 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition.


Yemen : The Battle for Sanaa – A Tale of a Resistance

Houthis-3

Yemen has reached a decisive crossroads in its fights against imperial Saudi Arabia. As communities, sects and regions have been pitted against each other to serve foreign powers’ agenda, the Houthi-led resistance movement might still carry a few arrows to its bow.

With oil-rich Saudi Arabia getting ready to launch what it hopes will be the last blow to the resistance movement, Yemenis are bracing themselves for what is to come; acutely aware that the northern city of Sanaa, could soon become the last stand against Al Saud, the ground were all battles are won or lost.

Now that the kingdom and its regional allies have established a stronghold in the southern seaport of Aden, thus securing both an opening onto the sea and a passageway into the mainland, military equipment and men have flooded in – everyday advancing further into Yemen territory, every day challenging the resolve of Yemen’s resistance fighters. But if losses were indeed suffered, if indeed towns and positions were abandoned before the fire power of the Saudi-led coalition, Yemen is far from done.

The real war for Yemen will be ultimately fought in its Highlands, a land which no conqueror could ever tame to its will. And though many tried: from the Romans to the Ottomans, the sons of Hamdan never could be made to submit. This time again, Yemen northern tribes could prove too much of a challenge, even before the combined might of Riyadh’s wealth and America’s military power.

Yemen, history remembers, does not look kindly on invaders!

And while most media have been only too keen to portray this war against the Republic of Yemen – the only democracy in the Arabian Peninsula – as a liberation campaign against the evil of the Houthis, on the premise they looked to Iran for support and political guidance, the jury is still out on what it is they have done to deserve annihilation.

In just five months Yemen has witnessed more devastation than Syria did in four years. One might even venture to say that if the “Allies” had shown as much resolve in breaking ISIS as the kingdom did in eradicating the Houthis; the world might be a very different place. But of course this would entail that terror is the real enemy, not the alibi.

While the Houthis have been demonized ad nauseam on account of their religious affiliation to Shia Islam as well as their desire to see rise in Yemen a popular democracy, one in the service of the people and not an oligarchy, they are far from alone in this fight.

Behind them, the northern tribes have rallied, offering both their arms and their political weight – all determined to break Al Saud’s imperial legacy, all only too aware that should North Yemen fall, the dormant threat of radicalism would awaken an unstoppable monster over Southern Arabia.

Although carefully censored out by an all too pliable Western press, reports have confirmed that Al-Qaeda has conveniently staged a comeback in Yemen’s southern provinces, coincidentally mapping its advances with that of Al Saud’s coalition.

With Aden as good as gone, Sana’a is a city waiting for war – barricaded behind the walls of its surrounding mountains, trenches at the ready.

And though Riyadh continues to rain lead on the capital city, hoping to lay waste the caches of weapons and hinder the inflow of fighters to the city, Sanaa will never open its doors to Al Saud; its people will stand and fight, defend and protect – until they can no more.

For should Sanaa fall, North Yemen will burn and with it its people, its heritage, its history… Saudi Arabia’s warning that it would hunt down and bury all those who dared defy its rule have been burned into people’s mind. This fight is one of survival.

And if so far the so-called coalition has refrained from engaging the Houthis alliance where its stands the strongest, it is because it understands only too well the power of the tribes; the legitimacy they offer in their support of one camp or the other.

Sources in Yemen have already confirmed that President Hadi is looking to broker a tribal alliance against the resistance, aware that a frontal confrontation would only further divide the country and potentially lead to an erosion of the kingdom’s influence and standing in the region. For a theocracy which claims itself so grand and powerful, Yemen’s insurrection movement has become both a dangerous liability and an embarrassment.

More troubling yet for Riyadh, it has inspired others, to revolt against theocratic Al Saud.

And if the kingdom has plotted the demise of Northern Yemen based on bought alliances and political favors, the Houthis and their allies have been too busy organizing a grand resistance movement – one which does not know any borders.

Yemen might be in ruins but its people are not.

With nothing left to lose but their freedom, the northern tribes of Yemen are determined to do whatever it takes to strike deadly blows against the kingdom, starting with the disruption of the world oil route along the Bab Al Mandab strait and cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia.

If the Saudis undoubtedly retain the military advantage in that their pockets are deeper and their technology superior, the resistance holds crucial geostrategic pressure points. Yemen’s resistance will not be easily defeated in its strongholds – not when it enjoys almost absolute popular support, not when its stand against the kingdom has become the stand of an entire nation against tyranny.

In this battle of will, Yemen might still come on top.

For all its political posing and grand statements, Saudi Arabia’s resolve against the Houthis is already wavering. So much so that talks of secession between north and south have been discussed in view of avoiding a drawn-out war – a means for the kingdom to establish a satellite Sunni-state and keep the Houthis locked in between two hostile Sunni regimes, while still claiming victory.

Only again, this could prove catastrophic for the kingdom since South Yemen has been a breeding ground of tribal instability and conflicting ambitions.

As we could soon learn to remember, Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen will be its own unraveling.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Egyptian Navy bombards African refugees in open sea trying to reach Europe

African immigrants bombarded by Egyptian Navy: War crime off the Mediterranean

| ORIGINAL IN FRENCH ON http://www.oranais.com/actualites/la-marine-de-guerre-egyptienne-bombarde-une-embarcation-dimmigrants-africains-crime-de-guerre-au-large-de-la-mediterranee.htm

African immigrants bombarded by Egyptian Navy: War crime off the Mediterranean

By the time we put online, 600 Africans trying to win back the European coasts are in distress in the open Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, in mid-afternoon today, another immigrant boat carrying Somali and Eritrean was simply bombarded by warships of the Egyptian navy.

At the edge of the makeshift boat, these refugees, in large numbers, tried to leave the coast of Egypt  to join a side in a European country. The alarm was raised by an Egyptian NGO that takes care of refugees: AMERA.

Already, we deplore two dead including a woman. Throughout the afternoon, the NGO International mobilized to alert the navy of any country to bring assistance to these African.

Note that this is the first time the army of a country bombarded an open sea boat immigrants.

What constitutes a war crime worse than that committed by Israel against the Turkish ship “Marmara” carrying militants who had tried to loosen the blockade on Gaza.

Syrian Humanitarian Crisis Requires Urgent Political Solution

Al-Jaafari : Syria Will Cooperate with UN, Excluding Foreign Intervention

27 August، 2015

New York, SANA

Syria’s permanent Envoy to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said on Thursday the Syrian government is ready to continue cooperation with the UN to deliver humanitarian aid to all citizens affected by the crisis in any region.

“The admission of aid should be done in accordance with the UN principles for the humanitarian aid in the states of emergency, on top, respecting Syrian sovereignty, territorial integrity and in light of commitments resulting from the response plans signed with the Syrian government,” al-Jaafari said in a speech at a UN Security Council session to discuss regular report of the UN Chief on implementing resolutions 2193, 2165 and 2191.

He added that it is impossible to deal with the painful humanitarian situation in Syria apart from “the backgrounds of foreign economic, military and political intervention in the Syrian scene” as this intervention was the reason behind the emergence, feeding and the spread of terrorism in Syria and the region.

Al-Jaafari warned against that intervention as it is the main reason of the emergence of the humanitarian crisis in some Syrian areas, yet, it is not possible to improve the humanitarian situation remarkably and truly without halting the foreign intervention.

“The national reconciliations in Syria have proven once again that the Syrians are capable of sitting along with each other and solve their problems if the foreign intervention in their own affairs stopped, and if governments of countries which sponsor terrorism were forced to stop their bloody polices,” al-Jaafari said.

He considered that it is not probable for some countries, including Security Council members, to hide behind the so-called “moderate armed opposition” to justify their use of terrorists and extremists as tools to carry out their political agendas in Syria.

Al-Jaafari wondered why some sides legitimize the existence of what they call “moderate armed opposition” in Syria only other than many countries, and why they dedicated the Syrians with this innovation while we witness a campaign in the western media to market for armed groups in Syria.

He affirmed that it is of the Syrian government’s national and constitutional duty to protect its citizens from the plague of terrorism and extremism, and it is impossible for the Syrian government or any government in the world to fail to take actions while terrorists target the safe civilians with random shells as in Damascus, Aleppo and other Syrian cities.

Mazen Eyon

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Israeli, Jordanian Officers Killed among Al-Nusra Commanders in Syrian Airstrike

 

Local Editor

Syrian helicopterThe Syrian air force killed a large number of Takfiri militant commanders, including senior Israeli and Jordanian officers, in airstrikes on terrorists’ positions in the Southern province of Daraa, FARS news agency reported Saturday.

At least 42 Al-Nusra Front Takfiri terrorist commanders, including 3 Israeli and Jordanian officers, were killed in the Syrian warplanes’ air raids in Daraa.

Military sources said that the Syrian airstrikes on al-Nusra Front positions incurred heavy losses on the Takfiri terrorists.

In similar operations on Friday, over 100 militants of al-Nusra Front were killed by the Syrian fighter jets in Daraa.

The sources said that, over 100 terrorists, most of them from al-Nusra Front, were killed in a series of army airstrikes that targeted their gatherings in Dael town in the countryside of the southern Daraa city.

On Thursday, the Syrian army troops killed 46 terrorists in military operations in Aleppo city.

The terrorists were killed in al-Sayyed Ali area.

Meanwhile, the army killed terrorists of al-Nusra Front, and destroyed their arms at the Western neighborhood of Bosra al-Sham in the Eastern countryside of Daraa.

Source: Agencies

29-08-2015 – 18:41 Last updated 29-08-2015 – 18:41


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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Hamas releases new details of israel’s ‘Black Friday’ massacre

Hamas releases new details of Israel’s ‘Black Friday’ massacre

Al-Jazeera has aired a new documentary called “Black Box” that sheds new light on the events that took place on Black Friday in Rafah, south of the Gaza strip this past summer.Described by an Amnesty International report as a day of “carnage”, Black Friday, or 1 August, was supposed to be the first day of a 72-hour ceasefire between the Israeli army and Palestinian armed factions.Israeli media reported that three soldiers were killed during a tunnel kidnapping attempt by Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades.

The response was a massacre of over 100 Palestinians, over half of them children.The documentary airs never-before-seen interviews with Hamas commanders, who claim that the Israeli army arrived at the scene of the ambush and recovered three bodies. Two were Israeli soldiers. The documentary revealed the new information that Hamas confirmed one year later: one of the bodies was a member of the Qassam Brigades, Walid Tawfiq Massoud, dressed in the Israeli army uniform.The Israeli media reported that Hamas had breached the ceasefire by attempting to capture an Israeli soldier, 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, in Rafah after the ceasefire took hold.

However, Hamas commanders told Al Jazeera that Goldin was grabbed at 7:30am – half an hour before the ceasefire was due to begin at 8am.

The Israeli army claimed the incident took place at 9:30am, and corroborated the media’s original claims on breaching the ceasefire. Yet if what the Hamas commanders claim is true, that would mean that Israel began the “Hannibal Directive” – a controversial and secretive procedure used to force the release of any captured solider through any means necessary – even if that entails injuring the captured solider.

The army bombarded the tunnel and the rest of Rafah two hours after the soldier was seized, meaning that Hamas could have very well taken him alive. Goldin was officially declared missing in action by the Israeli army before his family were later informed that he was dead. His body was never recovered.The commander, Abu Walid, said that the Qassam Brigades had lost communication with the cell that captured Goldin once the Israeli bombardment began.The London-based group Amnesty International has claimed that there is “strong evidence” of war crimes for Israel’s aggressive military response.

Using satellite photos and personal testimonies, Amnesty concluded that “there is strong evidence that Israeli forces committed war crimes in their relentless and massive bombardment of residential areas of Rafah in order to foil the capture of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, displaying a shocking disregard for civilian lives.”Israel, thus far, has strongly denied the accusations. –

 

Major BDS win! Veolia withdraws completely from the israeli market

MAJOR BDS WIN! Veolia sells all remaining ties to the occupation! – See more at: http://www.vtjp.org/boycott/#sthash.H8FfigOf.dpuf

Boycott-hit Veolia dumps Jerusalem rail, completes Israel withdrawal – See more at: http://www.vtjp.org/boycott/#sthash.H8FfigOf.dpuf

We are thrilled to share with you some exciting news we just received from Palestine: Veolia — the flagship global boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement campaign — has withdrawn completely from the Israeli market!


Click on each link to help us share the good news on Facebook and Twitter!


The French multinational was targeted by BDS because of its complicity with the Israeli occupation in four ways: (1) operating Israeli settler bus lines on segregated roads in the occupied West Bank, (2) operating a landfill dumping Israeli and settler trash on Palestinian land, (3) providing wastewater services to illegal Israeli settlements, and (4) investment in the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR), which connects the settlements with 1948 Israel, further entrenching Israel’s colonization of the West Bank.

 

Veolia lost more than $20 billion in contracts following BDS campaigns worldwide, and began by selling off its Israeli bus services in September 2013. Then, this past April, Veolia sold off its settlement landfill and wastewater contracts. And as of this week, Veolia had sold off its final JLR shares in the occupation, making this one of the most extraordinary global BDS victories to date, showing the unprecedented power of this movement! 

Even in the movement challenging South African apartheid, many corporate targets like Shell never entirely withdrew from South Africa. Far beyond symbolic victories, the Palestinian-led BDS movement is forcing major multinational corporations to change their behavior. Just a few weeks after BDS turned 10, this victory illustrates the extraordinary heights of economic influence that BDS has achieved in its first decade. These corporate changes send a clear message to Israel, the U.S. government, and corporations that participation of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people is costly and unsustainable. And they send the message to activists worldwide that together we can affect real change, and now is a critical moment to redouble our effort.

Nowhere is the growing power of BDS clearer than in the latest top-down attempts by legislators to stifle it, including through a recent Congressional hearing on BDS that featured no Palestinians or BDS supporters! If you haven’t yet, make sure to sign this important petition calling on Congress to hold a pro-BDS hearing!

Veolia action in Los Angeles

The US Campaign has been proud to support member groups in Yolo County, Sonoma County, and Los Angeles, California; Baltimore; Boston; and beyond on municipal BDS campaigns to dump city contracts with Veolia. In St. Louis, a broad-based coalition of Palestine advocates, environmental justice activists, water workers, Organization for Black Struggle, and others waged a historic campaign to stop a proposed city water contract, forcing Veolia to withdraw its bid — a watershed, precedent-setting win. The United Church of Christ, Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation, and retirement fund TIAA-CREF Social Choice Fund also divested from Veolia. These many successful U.S. campaigns have shown the multinational that no matter where it sought business, it would be held accountable. 

Environmentalists joined with Palestine activists and others to Dump Veolia 

Of course, Veolia, the largest water privatizer in the world, must still be held accountable for its egregious environmental and labor rights violations, mismanagement, corruption, and other disastrous practicesfor which it is infamous. And Veolia owes a great debt to the Palestinian communities it has harmed in its violations of human rights and international law, and must pay reparations. 

Nonetheless, let’s take a moment to celebrate this incredible achievement, and get back to the important work of supporting our allies and BDS campaigns for freedom, justice, and equality. I hope you’ll join us at our conference in Atlanta next month to high five about Veolia dumping the occupation, and more importantly, talk about who will be next…

– See more at: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=4536#sthash.cfvyh8YU.dpuf

Residents in Manhattan call for an end to the barbaric Jewish “chicken” ritual

Neighbors demand end to killing of chickens in Jewish ritual
Neighbors demand end to killing of chickens in Jewish ritual

Feathers flew in Manhattan court Tuesday as a group of residents demanded that a judge stop the “unsanitary’’ Jewish religious ritual of slaughtering chickens on the sidewalk during Yom Kippur.

“This is an epidemic waiting to happen. We just had this Legionnaire’s break out in The Bronx where 12 people died,” said Nora Marino, the lawyer for the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, whose members carried photos of bloodied dead chickens into the courtroom.

The practice violates 15 different laws included in city and state health and agriculture regulations, Marino said.

Some Jewish people believe that the September ritual Kaporos absolves one’s sins with the sacrifice of a chicken.

Rabbi Shea Hecht, a human rights commissioner under former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, was in court to call the lawsuit “an attack on our religious freedom.”

But Marino’s 19 clients — from the Borough Park and Crown Heights neighborhoods in Brooklyn where the ritual takes place — say the resulting “stench, litter, blood, feces and feathers” pollute city streets.

“I am an elderly woman, and this scene horrifies me each year,” said 93-year-old Borough Park resident Frances Emeric.

“I saw live chickens with dead chickens and chickens screaming while the people participating in the ritual were holding the birds by their wings,” Emeric said, describing last year’s Kaporos.

David Jaroslawicz, who represents Hecht, derided the protesting residents as a bunch of “vegetarians” and “vegans” who whipped up “make-believe hysteria where it doesn’t exist.”

He noted that during the past 40 years that the ritual has taken place, not one person has fallen ill from the slaughtered chickens.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Debra James said she’ll rule Sept. 10, about a week before the three-day slaughter festivities start.

 

 

The US is Fully Prepared to Fight Putin – to the Last Ukrainian

The US is Fully Prepared to Fight Putin – to the Last Ukrainian

With no clear endpoint of the ongoing Ukrainian war in sight, the West seems to realize that something is definitely wrong there; a former advisor on Eastern European policy to the US State Department has written an analysis of what went wrong in the conflict, while still claiming that the conflict is in fact “a battle with President Putin”.

The first reason for the foot-dragging in Ukraine, according to an article Paul J. Saunders wrote for the US bimonthly magazine The National Interest, is the low involvement of the European states in the conflict.

“Perhaps most striking in the Ukraine crisis is the extent to which Western leaders and politicians and pundits agree that ‘Putin must be stopped’ while expecting someone else to do the work. NATO’s new ‘front line’ states in Central Europe appear eager for the United States to arm Ukraine, but reluctant to become too involved themselves (or, for that matter, to increase their defense budgets commensurately with the threat they describe),” the article says.Thus it reprimands America’s European allies for not allocating enough for the ongoing fight.

“Western European governments want the United States to take the lead, but don’t want to follow Washington into anything too costly, and the European Union is providing Ukraine with less than one percent of the assistance it has committed to Greece.”

However, Washington itself seems to be not so eager to spend much on the cause.“Do the “hawks” seeking to force the administration to spend $60 million — roughly equivalent to the proposed 2016 budget for Washington DC’s public libraries — and like-minded Europeans think that minimal commitments like this will do the job? After spending hundreds of billions of dollars to fight non-state adversaries in Iraq and Afghanistan, with military capabilities considerably inferior to Russia’s, US and European assistance to Ukraine is either a fig leaf or a very small down payment,” it states.

“If the United States is to make confronting Russia an organizing principle of its foreign policy, it will require an extended national commitment that will be unsustainable without broad public support (and difficult to pursue without virtually nonexistent European public support).”

“If $60 million is all that America as a nation is willing to spend to defend Ukraine, we would be better off admitting this to ourselves sooner rather than later. A half-hearted policy (or, for that matter, a 5 percent–hearted policy) to confront Moscow will likely produce outcomes demonstrably worse than a settlement — better to get the most advantages possible negotiated terms than to set up ourselves and the NATO alliance for a high-profile defeat.”

The second fundamental question about the US policy toward Russia and Ukraine, it says, is a moral one.“If the United States is not willing to make a commitment to defending Ukraine sufficient to ensure success, how can we encourage Ukrainians to fight and die in a conflict with a very powerful neighbor and with no clear endpoint?”

The article therefore concludes that the Americans, including senior officials in the Obama administration are “fully prepared to fight Putin – to the last Ukrainian, or to the last dollar”, but it seems to be not enough to avoid a “high-profile defeat.”

 

 

Terrorist groups, backed by the West, want Lebanon to descend into chaos and civil war in the same manner as Syria

Color Revolution In Lebanon Designed To Weaken Hezbollah, Syria, Iran

lebanon trashBy Brandon Turbeville

During the past week, demonstrations in Lebanon over uncollected garbage have descended into violent clashes between protesters and police. Masses of demonstrators have swelled in the streets of Beirut in a movement now being deemed the “You Stink!” movement.

With these developments suddenly taking place in Lebanon and, with taking the Syrian crisis into context and the Iranian nuclear deal in the background, it is reasonable to question whether or not these protests are a legitimate expression of discontent with an inefficient government or whether it is the product of a Western-backed color revolution aimed at destabilizing Lebanon – particularly Hezbollah – and further weakening the “Shiite Arch of Influence.”

When attempting to analyze events in Lebanon, like much of the Middle East, very little could be considered simple. Lebanon has been racked with economic depression, cultural tensions, color revolutions, civil war and civil war brinkmanship, and terrorism for decades. It has also been the target of outside forces for many years.

The Background

The issue of trash pickup – the issue around which the protests began – was entirely a legitimate issue. Squabbling within the Lebanese government has resulted in gridlock on issues such as the disposal of garbage and the economic crisis has brought funding of garbage disposal into question. Likewise, when the government brought up the idea of the privatization of trash disposal services, Lebanese erupted in anger understanding that privatization would mean higher prices, poorer service, and even less accountability.

Already suffering from the effects of the world economic depression, Lebanon’s main source of national income – tourism and banking – have seen drastic reductions due to the crisis in Syria and the spillover of fighting across the border. An increase of Syrian refugees alongside Palestinian refugees already inside the country’s borders have also taxed the social fabric and the social safety net system in Lebanon. As Andrew Korybko points out in his article “Lebanon’s Future Is On The Line, And It Directly Affects Syria,” Lebanon’s debt-to-GDP ratio is one of the world’s highest standing at 143% and the unemployment rate among young people in Lebanon stands officially at 34%.

The economic crisis has become so strained that Prime Minister Tammam Salam recently announced that the government might not be able to pay salaries to workers as early as next month.

Lebanon is also in the middle of an acute political crisis, having been without a President since May 2014, after the previous Presidential term ended. In addition, Prime Minister Salam has hinted that he will resign if political gridlock continues. This resignation would only add to the tensions in Lebanon since the Prime Minister appoints the President. Salam’s resignation would throw Lebanon into a Constitutional crisis on top of the protests, terrorism, and economic hardship.

As Korybko writes, the political situation as it currently stands in Lebanon suggests that one of two men – Michael Aoun and Samir Geagea – have the potential to be president. Both men seem to represent the main “trans-religious political coalitions.”

Aoun is allied with Hezbollah while Geagea is tied to a former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Lebanese-Saudi billionaire. WikiLeaks cables released coming from the Saudi Foreign Ministry suggests that Hariri still maintains connections and contacts with Saudi intelligence and the Saudi royal family. The connections are deep enough that Hariri once thought it a reasonable proposition to ask the Saudis to fund his political party.

Hints Of A Color Revolution

As mentioned, the protests that originally took place in Lebanon were surrounding an entirely legitimate issue – the lack of effective implementation of a trash pickup plan and the potential for privatization. However, those protests have now turned violent with the original issue having taken a backseat to issues such as that of “government corruption.”

This type of focus is one hallmark of the color revolution, i.e. that legitimate issues are subsumed by shadowy ideals that have no concrete demands to back them up. Government corruption is generally the go-to ideal since everyone hates government corruption and since the likelihood of stopping it is so low. Once the standing government is brought down, a perceived change in the power structure tends to alleviate social protest.

The lack of concrete demands is also a hallmark of the color revolution. After all, the goal of the color revolution is regime change, social tension, and distraction, not real progress. A lack of demands precludes the ability of the masses to actually bring about positive tangible change. It does, however, allow for a steam valve of public anger.

During those times when the ultimate goal of the color revolution is regime change, the results are unfortunately that the individuals whom the backers of the color revolution desire to assume power are able to do just that.

It is also important to point out the marketing capabilities behind the hordes of people in the streets of Beirut. A seeming coalition of individual citizens and opposing organizations are all assembled – we are told organically – under one name for the purposes of achieving their as yet unstated goals. The “You Stink!” movement now joins a number of other movements who were “branded” with a catchy name to popularize itself as a political force just as Americans saw the Occupy Movement, Ukrainians saw the Euromaidan Movement, Pora Movement, and the Orange Revolution. In Serbia, it was Otpor! In Lebanon, it was the Cedar Revolution.

These slogans and symbols are the product of mass marketers employed by State Departments and intelligence agencies for the sole purpose of destabilizing and/or overthrowing a democratically elected or unfavorable (to the oligarchy)government

The YouStink! Movement is also known as a “youth movement.” While it is must granted that most social protest movements tend to be driven by younger people, it is also true that movements that represent populist sentiment tend to be more diverse in terms of age and support. That question aside, however, color revolutions generally rely on “swarming adolescents” and “hordes of youth” in the streets using the energy, anger, and pent-up aggression of young people out of work and devoid of hope with which to provoke violent actions between police and protesters and to create more tension on the political and social scene.

This is precisely the population from which the overwhelming majority of the YouStink! Movement is drawn.

It has also been the desire of “infiltrators” to cause the protest movement to move in a violent direction. These infiltrators have not, as yet, been positively identified. However, considering the sizable network of Western NGOs and US “Aid” agencies at work inside Lebanon, it is reasonable to wonder whether or not the destabilizing and infiltrating forces are directly connected to the Western color revolution apparatus. As Foreign Policy documents,

The real challenge to the protest movement comes not from the government, but in organizing a common front that stretches across Lebanon’s religious and class divides. It’s already a struggle: Organizers blamed the clashes on “infiltrators” intent on disrupting the peaceful nature of the demonstration. You Stink’s Facebook page posted a video of hundreds of young men entering the protest en masse and referred to them as “hooligans” who purposefully incited violence against the security forces.

“They really wanted to damage the demonstration,” Thebian said of the protesters who clashed with police. “They want to move the demonstration into a sectarian conflict, which we totally refuse.”

Given the fact that the agitators are suspected of not only causing violence but also of attempting to cause sectarian conflict, it is also reasonable to wonder whether or not the intent for Lebanon is more than a mere color revolution but a descent into chaos and civil war in the same manner as Syria.

It is also important to point out that the You Stink! Movement is calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Salam, a demand that, if enacted, would through the country into the middle of a Constitutional crisis.

Why Would Foreign Elements Want To See A Color Revolution In Lebanon?

Many may be rightly confused with any suggestions that the West would like to see the government of Lebanon (separate from Hezbollah) destroyed or destabilized, especially when that government was largely placed in power by a Western-backed color revolution to begin with.

However, there are a number of ways in which the collapse of the fragile government and governing structure in Lebanon would not only benefit the West, but also hurt Assad in Syria.

Andrew Korybko describes the political governing structure of Lebanon in the following way:

The tiny Middle Eastern state of about four and a half million people is marked by a demographic and political complexity that could hinder a speedy resolution to the current crisis. It’s necessary to be aware of some of its specifics in order to better understand the origins of the current stalemate and where it might rapidly be headed.

Unilaterally sliced out of Syria during the early years of the French mandate, the territory of Lebanon hails what is generally recognized as the most diverse population in the Mideast. Eighteen religious groups are recognized in the country’s constitution, including Alawites, Druze, Maronite Catholics, Sunnis, and Shiites.

This eclecticism of religious communities is presided over by something referred to as the National Pact, an unwritten understanding that the President will always be Maronite, the Prime Minister will be Sunni, and the Speaker of Parliament will be Shiite, among other stipulations (and with a few historical exceptions).Complementary to this concept is the country’s unique political system called confessionalism, whereby Christians and Muslims share equal seats in the unicameral parliament, but each group’s respective composition is determined proportionally by sect. Originally meant to be a temporary solution when it was first enacted in the 1920s, it was later refined by the 1989 Taif Agreement that ended the lengthy civil war and has remained in place to this day.

With the governing foundations of the Lebanese state in such fragile shape, one can see just how easily Lebanon might fall into chaos if just the right amount of pressure is applied. But, again, the question is “why?”

First, causing chaos in Lebanon, if the chaos is great enough, will force Hezbollah to remove its forces fighting ISIS is Syria and bring them back to deal with the lack of social order at home. The removal of forces from Syria will greatly relieve pressure on terrorist forces and deprive Assad of a very important ally. The SAA would thus find it a greater challenge to defend the Lebanon-Syria border, possibly even creating a situation where ISIS/”rebel” forces would be able to push deep into Lebanon.

Likewise, if Hezbollah forces are withdrawn from Syria, the Beirut/Damascus highway is likely to become a target of Western-backed terrorist forces. If so, it would make one and eventually both of the “lifelines” to the Syrian capital significant targets with attempts being made to cut these highway routes. Already, the Latakia-Damascus highway, the second “lifeline” to the capital,” finds itself in danger from attacks coming from Western-backed terrorists.

Aside from Syria, the weakening of the political order in Lebanon would be problematic for Hezbollah in the short run and devastating in the long run. If Hezbollah is forced to concern itself only with the political situation in Lebanon, its own influence and ability to assist in fighting terrorism in Syria as well as on its own borders will be diminished, all leading to a net reduction in the fighting capability of the true anti-ISIS coalition. The result of drawing Hezbollah away from Syria and back into Lebanon will effectively isolate both Hezbollah and the SAA, weakening the resistance to Western-backed terrorism and also severing the Western end of the “Shi’ite Arch of Influence” from the central and Eastern ends (Syria and Iran).

The intention to destroy Hezbollah has been known since the early days of the destabilization and, indeed, as far back as 2006 when Seymour Hersh reported in his now famous article, “The Redirection,” that,

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Conclusion

It remains to be seen how far the color revolution will go in Lebanon. The attempts to destabilize Iran in 2009 failed but the previous attempt in Lebanon in 2005 was successful. Only time will tell whether or not the West will succeed in bringing Lebanon into a state of chaos that resembles its neighbor to the East. For the sake of the Lebanese people and the people of the Middle East we must hope that rational actors will appear and put an end to the apparently Western-backed chaos taking place across the country. If not, then two of the three pieces will have been placed in the Middle East. Iran will be the last domino to fall before the final confrontation with Russia and China begin.

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