The NY Times Plays the Israeli Army’s Game: Hyping Threats, Shielding Criminals

Posted on May 31, 2016


The New York Times reports today that Israel faces “monumental security challenges” and is now caught in a debate over just how tough the military should be with those who threaten to harm its soldiers and civilians.

The story, by Isabel Kershner, is framed around “months of Palestinian attacks” that have left some 30 Israelis dead. She makes no mention anywhere of the more than 200 Palestinians killed by security forces over the same time period, nor does she say anything about the brutal conditions of the occupation that provide the impetus for Palestinian assaults.

Kershner briefly notes that Palestinian and human rights groups have accused the Israeli military of “excessive force,” but she fails to say that the charges go beyond this vague reference: In fact, numerous groups have accused Israel of carrying out “street executions” of Palestinians who posed no real threat to soldiers or civilians.

The mostly youthful Palestinian attackers over the past eight months have been armed with nothing more than knives, vehicles and even scissors, but they have carried out their assaults (some alleged, some substantiated) against an army equipped with submachine guns, drones, tanks, surveillance equipment, nuclear warheads, fighter jets, attack helicopters and naval gunboats.

In spite of this immense disparity, Kershner is able to claim that Israel faces “monumental” security challenges. It never seems to occur to her that Palestinians face immense security concerns of their own.

Moreover, she presents the Israeli Defense Force as an army operating under humane policies, which are now under attack by politicians and a vocal segment of the public. “The military chiefs have urged restraint and a strict adherence to open-fire regulations, saying a soldier should shoot to neutralize a threat, but not beyond that,” she writes.

When army officials have promoted these guidelines, she says, they have been “attacked by rightist politicians who advocate a policy based on the Talmudic lesson ‘Whoever comes to slay you, slay him first.’”

Kershner thus gives voice to army leaders who have criticized the trigger-happy responses of security forces, but she fails to quote from those human rights groups who have frequently raised the alarm over the killings of Palestinians who posed no real threat.

Readers are left with the impression that the army has been operating with restraint, following a set of humane policies, but is now being challenged by rightists who urge even tougher measures against would be attackers.

Missing from her story is the fact that army and police have operated with impunity over many years, even when cases of abuse and criminal behavior are well documented. Two recent statements by Israeli rights groups, Yesh Din and B’Tselem, bear this out.

Yesh Din, which works for structural changes in the occupied territories, reported last month that 5,500 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces over the past 15 years, yet not one Israeli soldier has been charged for murdering a Palestinian.

Just last week the monitoring group B’Tselem announced that after more than 25 years of cooperating with the military, sharing information on cases that merited action, it has now suspended all of these efforts because of this record of impunity.

When Israel claims to investigate charges against the military, B’Tselem said, “not only does the state manage to uphold the perception of a decent, moral law enforcement system, but also maintains the military’s image as an ethical military that takes action against [ostensibly prohibited] acts.” In fact, the organization stated, the system is nothing more than “an outward pretense,” and an effort to whitewash criminal activity.

The rights group concluded that it would “no longer play a part in the pretense posed by the military law enforcement system and will no longer refer complaints to it.” After 25 years of consistent effort, the group concluded that “there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is measured by its ability to continue to successfully cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators.”

This is far from the impression we get from Kershner’s story. She quotes military officials who insist on the moral standards of the Israeli army without a hint of irony or any effort to challenge their claims.

The Times is a willing partner in the whitewash of Israel’s military. Its editors accepted Kershner’s characterization of the army without asking for any follow up. They were aware of the B’Tselem announcement, however, running two wire service accounts of the move online but failing to assign any reporter to the story. The newspaper made no mention of the Yesh Din findings.

Kershner’s story plays perfectly into the scenario described by B’Tselem. It provides the impression of a functioning military justice system, an army run on moral principles but under attack by “terrorists”. It is all part of the narrative of Israeli victimhood, even though its chief threat comes from teenagers armed with kitchen knives.

Barbara Erickson

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Syrian Border Chaos as NATO Aims to Win Proxy War

May 31, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – An engineered drama unfolds along the Turkish-Syrian border as terrorists armed and backed by a US-led coalition including NATO-member Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar allegedly battle both the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS) and Syrian-backed “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) near and around the Syrian city of Azaz.

Reuters in a recent article titled, “Islamic State advance near Turkish border, civilians trapped,” reports that:

Islamic State fighters captured territory from Syrian rebels near the Turkish border on Friday and inched closer to a town on a supply route for foreign-backed insurgents fighting the jihadists, a monitoring group said. 

The hardline group has been fighting against rebels in the area for several months. The rebels, who are supplied via Turkey, last month staged a major push against Islamic State, but the group counter-attacked and beat them back.

Reuters, however, leaves out very crucial information – information that if concludes, would raise suspicions about the entire narrative alleged across Western media outlets like Reuters.

If rebels are being directly supplied across the Turkish-Syrian border by a multinational coalition, how is it possible that ISIS forces are somehow better equipped and able to overwhelm these forces? The length of any ISIS logistical line supporting its fighters in this alleged battle – if not also extending over the Turkish-Syrian border in the immediate vicinity of the fighting, must be hundreds of miles long and in itself an immense strain on ISIS’ fighting capacity.

It would be rather remarkable, in fact, unbelievable for ISIS to somehow not be being aided and abetted from directly across the Turkish-Syrian border where allegedly “foreign-backed insurgents” are allegedly receiving aid from nations like the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

And in fact, ISIS, as well as Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front, are accused of receiving such aid via Turkey – most recently with the Russian General Staff accusing Al Nusra of receiving “daily arms shipments across the border from Turkey.”

Not Merely “Russian Propaganda” 

While some will easily dismiss accusations of NATO involvement in arming, aiding, and abetting listed terrorist organizations amid the ongoing war in Syria as “Russian propaganda,” it should be noted that as early as 2007, Western journalists themselves had attempted to warn the public of an unfolding criminal conspiracy among Western special interests to do precisely this.

In the New Yorker’s 2007 article, “The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?,” Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh would warn (emphasis added):

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 coöperated 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. 

Hersh’s sources, which included former CIA agent Robert Baer, warned of an impending “cataclysmic conflict” being engineered between Sunni and Shia’a Muslims as part of this conspiracy. He predicted the necessity of Shia’a groups forming the front lines against sectarian genocide carried out by US and Saudi-backed extremists with the responsibility of protecting not only Shia’a Muslims, but also Christians and other ethnic minorities, falling upon groups like Hezbollah.

The Meaning Behind Border Chaos… 
In hindsight, Hersh’s words now appear prophetic. Warnings of Western support of extremists in 2007 manifested as open warfare in 2011, and between the beginning of the war and now, an incremental revelation of US, Turkish, Saudi, and Qatari complicity in the rise and perpetuation of extremists like Al Nusra and the many terrorist organizations fighting along side it, including openly US-backed terrorist organizations like Ahrar Al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam.

This begs the question as to whether or not ISIS’ departure from Al Nusra was more political than any actual strategic, organizational, or ideological schism. Rhetoric aside, examining the logistical necessities of ISIS’ current “war” with US-backed terrorists in northern Syria, it is clear that the group, along with Al Nusra, are receiving support from Turkish territory.

Image: It has been clear for years now that the one place NATO seeks to establish a “safe zone” is one of the last remaining corridors supplying ISIS and Al Qaeda within Syria.

What is unfolding in northern Syria is yet another attempt by the US and its allies to create and exploit chaos, rather than stem it.

Continued support of extremists by either neglecting border security, or directly and intentionally supplying, arming, and otherwise supporting terrorist organizations ensures maximum violence, humanitarian catastrophe, and a continued pretext for further incursions by both US and Turkish forces along Syria’s borders in pursuit of long-desired “safe havens” where terrorist forces can better be protected and positioned to project their destruction deeper and more effectively into Syrian territory.

In reality, the chaos the US and its allies are citing as justification for further involvement in Syria’s conflict could easily be brought to an end simply by securing Turkey’s borders within Turkish territory. Turkish forces are arrayed along the border alongside US special forces, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and myriad of European and Persian Gulf military and intelligence assets. Failure to secure the border and cut off Al Nusra and ISIS’ supply lines is intentional.

Securing the Borders 

For Syria, securing its own borders has been infinitely problematic. Attempts to approach and retake territory along the borders has been met not only by obviously Turkish-backed terrorist forces, but also by NATO-backed Turkish military provocations. Turkey regularly shells Syrian territory. Its aircraft and anti-aircraft systems have regularly been deployed along the border attempting to deter first Syrian, then Russian aircraft from targeting the streams of supplies being sent into Syrian territory to sustain terrorist groups including ISIS and Al Nusra.

Image: Hundreds of trucks a day pass over the Turkish-Syrian border in efforts to perpetuate ISIS’ existence within Syria. Contrary to popular belief, armies requires enormous and continuous supplies to maintain their fighting capacity. No other explanation besides state-sponsorship can account for ISIS’ years-long regional warfare.

Attempting to avoid a more direct and costly confrontation with Turkey has forced Syria and its allies to take a more indirect means of securing the borders, using SDF fighters to occupy and face off against Turkish and NATO forces without implicating Damascus directly.

Conversely, the use of these irregular forces has given NATO apparent leeway to make incursions of its own into Syrian territory – as they can claim they are not fighting Syrian forces, but merely “Kurdish terrorists.” While this chaffs directly with America’s alleged support of Kurdish groups elsewhere in the country, this is mitigated by a feigned political fallout between Washington and Ankara – despite US forces still graciously being hosted in Turkey and the two still clearly working in tandem toward the destruction of neighboring Syria.

A multinational peacekeeping force placed along Syria’s northern border or Syrian-Russian bases placed further north may force one of two moves by the US and its collaborators. Directly attacking peacekeepers or Syrian-Russian bases from Turkish territory risking a wider war, or using proxies in Turkish territory, but at the cost of further exposing Washington and Ankara’s hands in propping up and perpetuating Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Either option is fraught with complications and obstacles to overcome – perhaps even insurmountable obstacles. Additional covert resources supplied to SDF fighters along the Syrian-Turkish border could also be an attractive alternative. Syria and Russia could also work further on exposing the precise nature of Al Nusra and ISIS supply lines originating in Turkey – as well as in Jordan and through Iraq via Saudi Arabia directly.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

Syria: Rebels losing support among civilians in Aleppo


Syrian boys run for cover in Aleppo on Oct. 9, 2012.

Zac BaillieAFP/Getty Images


ALEPPO, Syria — Behind the mansion they were occupying, a group of half-naked rebels whooped with joy as they cannonballed into the murky, half-filled swimming pool.

It was July in the small town of Anadan, about 10 miles from Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. Anadan was a ghost town, deserted except for the Free Syrian Army and the sounds of the near constant barrage of regime shelling.

The junior commander, an illiterate 24-year old, joked that while the war raged all around it, the people of Aleppo were only concerned about their barbecues. He swore the rebels scrabbling through the countryside would soon make their way to Aleppo. He promised Aleppo would burn.

Three months later, Aleppo is on fire. The 1,000-year-old market has been gutted, and the rebel-controlled west lies in ruins. Last week’s massive suicide car bombings, which leveled blocks of the government center, left craters some 10 feet deep.

More from GlobalPost: Complete Coverage from Inside Syria

Aleppo, a city of about 3 million people, was once the financial heart of Syria. As it continues to deteriorate, many civilians here are losing patience with the increasingly violent and unrecognizable opposition — one that is hampered by infighting and a lack of structure, and deeply infiltrated by both foreign fighters and terrorist groups.

The rebels in Aleppo are predominantly from the countryside, further alienating them from the urban crowd that once lived here peacefully, in relative economic comfort and with little interference from the authoritarian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

“The terrorism here in Syria is spreading, and the government has to do something about it,” said Mohamed Kabal, a 21-year-old university student.

“The people in Syria must have an iron hand to rule them, otherwise we will eat each other,” he said, unconcerned that the rebel sympathizers nearby might hear him. “If the government is gone we will have a civil war that will never end.”

As suicide bombers become the rebels’ most effective weapon — illustrating both their desperation against Assad’s air power and the growing presence of insurgents, both local and foreign, who once fought the US occupation in Iraq — the regime’s attacks too are getting more vicious.

The day after the suicide strike destroyed the government center, the Syrian army retaliated by launching an air assault on a school housing refugees. Witnesses called it a massacre, 10 civilians killed and about 60 wounded.

More from GlobalPost: Inside Syria: One hospital’s story

Both attacks leave indelible marks on the population: a child dead on a hospital table, a wounded girl in her father’s arms, a mother screaming, a dazed 12-year old asking if the sheet on the ground covers his father.

Through it all, though, some in Aleppo still support the rebels. Hamza, a medical school graduate who treats wounded fighters on the front line said he thought the Free Syrian Army made the right choice to detonate the car bombs. It was an area where regime forces were centered, he said.

“And those who say there were civilians there, I say that we are in a war and you must not blame the FSA for bombing the Air Force Intelligence building, for instance, because no civilians should be there,” he said.

It’s the same argument the regime uses when it shells neighborhoods it believes are sympathetic to the Free Syrian Army. Any civilians still in these areas, it claims, must be supporting the “terrorists” and are legitimate targets.

Faez Shoaip, 63, used to be a taxi driver in Brooklyn. He returned home to Aleppo eight years ago and now is worried about the direction of the conflict.

“We don’t like Bashar, we don’t the like regime. We want them to go out. But there is an easier way. Kill everybody? Destroy the country just to change the regime? It’s too much,” he said, shaking his head.

More from GlobalPost: Life and death in Aleppo (PHOTOS)

Faez and his neighbors are tiring of the rebel leaders on the ground. And they are weary of the shells falling all around them. They say they are frustrated that they have lost everything in a matter of months. The frustration shows. Shopkeepers whisper their discontent. Residents wave rebels away as they drive past.

While Faez visited his children in Idlib province last month, one rebel group broke down his apartment door and set up shop.

“They use everything. They changed my house into a camp,” he said. “They make a mess of everything.” When he complained they were wearing his clothes and destroying his property, the young rebel commander told him: “This is a time of war.”

It isn’t just civilians who are tiring of the rebellion. Some who have fought from the beginning have had their faith shaken as well.

Abu Sayed has fought hard for the revolution in Aleppo, his hometown. During the holy month of Ramadan in August, he fasted with a bullet hole healing in his thigh. He continued to fight, limping across sniper alleys on the front lines of the city.

Eventually his family’s apartment was overrun by the regime and he began sleeping in a mosque. Three weeks later during a mortar attack, shrapnel ripped though his neck. When he woke up, he saw his friends above him, saying, “Abu Sayed was a good man.”

When he lost consciousness again, he dreamed his 17-year-old brother, Hamdino — who was shot through the heart during an earlier protest — was holding his hand, guiding him somewhere. He brother then stopped and told Sayed he had to go back.

As Sayed recounted his near-death experience, he smoked a cigarette and tears welled in his eyes. Patches of gauze were still taped to his neck.

“You know one of the FSA leaders from Maraa?” he asked. “They go into the free area when there’s fighting in Salahhadin. I see them taking screens, computers, telephones, everything they can lay their hands on.”

He said he’s seen civilians executed after rebels recklessly accuse them of being mercenaries for the regime.

“I saw one beaten to death,” he said. “The FSA didn’t check their facts, and now he’s dead. I know the man. He was 46. He has five children.”

“We have lost the civilians now,” he said, exhaling smoke.

Agents of Destruction: How CIA Helped Create Islamist Frankenstein ~ [A Piece of History Never To Be Forgotten]


By Ekaterina Blinova, SputnikNews

Washington and its allies created the Islamist Frankenstein with their own hands: over the decades radical Muslim ‘agents of destruction’ have formed the belt of instability which stretches across the MENA region to Central Asia and beyond. But how did it all begin?

Back in December 1979 the USSR deployed a limited contingent of Soviet troops in Afghanistan in response to repeated requests from the Afghani government.

It is worth mentioning that the Soviet leadership had long hesitated to launch the military operation aimed at stabilizing the political situation in the Central Asian state, considering it completely “unreasonable.”

“Comrades, I have thought this issue over very thoroughly since yesterday and have concluded that we should consider very, very seriously whether it would make sense to send troops into Afghanistan. The economy is backward, the Islamic religion predominates, and nearly all of the rural population is illiterate. I do not think we can uphold the revolution in Afghanistan with the help of our bayonets. The idea is intolerable and we cannot risk it,” KGB Chairman Yuriy Andropov said at one the Soviet politburo discussion on the matter, as quoted by US academic David N. Gibbs (Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion in Retrospect, 2000).

Fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria

In April 1979 the Kremlin rejected Kabul’s plea to send Soviet ground troops to the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, explaining that the move would add the fuel to the fire of the Afghani internal strife.

Furthermore, the Soviet government voiced its concerns that the military involvement would be misinterpreted by the USSR’s Cold War rivals and used as a pretext for an all-out anti-Soviet propaganda campaign.

However, the situation in Afghanistan soon spun out of control, threatening security of the USSR border regions. In this context the Kremlin made the decision to step in.

An Afghan boy walks through a poppy field in Khogyani district of Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, April 11, 2013. When foreign troops arrived in Afghanistan in 2001, one of their goals was to stem drug production. Instead, they have concentrated on fighting insurgents, and have often been accused of turning a blind eye to the poppy fields.

© AP PHOTO/ RAHMAT GUL ~ An Afghan boy walks through a poppy field in Khogyani district of Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan

Washington Steps In

Predictably, the Kremlin’s grim prognoses came true: the USSR’s involvement in Afghanistan’s affairs prompted a backlash from the United States.

Washington had long been keeping an eye on Soviet-Afghani relations. The USSR’s attempts to bolster the pro-Soviet government in Kabul clearly contradicted the American Cold War-era containment doctrine.

It has been shrouded in secrecy that the US began to aid the “Mujahedeen” (warriors engaged in a “holy war,” jihad) in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet intervention.

“According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahedeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul,” Zbigniew Brzezinski, former President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor (1977- 1981) recalled in his interview with Le Nouvel Observateur in 1998.

Interestingly enough, Brzezinski admitted that by kicking off its covert operation in Afghanistan in summer 1979, Washington wanted to “increase the probability” of the Soviet intervention. It was actually a trap set by the US hawks for the USSR in the Central Asia, according to the former National Security Advisor.

“And that very day [July 3, 1979], I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention… We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would,” Brzezinski stressed.

Zbigniew Brzezinski to the Mujahideen:
“Your cause is right and God is on your side!”

Operation Cyclone

To complicate matters further, Washington’s hawks decided to bet on radical Islamists to drag the Soviet Union into a political and military quagmire in Afghanistan. This is how the CIA’s Operation Cyclon began.

Operation Cyclone (1979-1989), one of the longest and most expensive CIA undertakings, envisaged training and arming of Islamists.

Free Syrian Army fighters clean their weapons and check ammunition at their base on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria.

© AP PHOTO/ KHALIL HAMRA ~ ‘Moderate’ Islamism? Washington, Brussels Playing With Fire in Syria, Iraq

Why did the American government decide to sponsor Islamic fundamentalism? In his interview with Sputnik Middle Eastern expert Ghassan Kadi pointed out that Islamism was regarded as a sort of “alternative” to secular socialist agenda that became especially popular among Arab youths in the 1950s and the 60s. As a result, a battle for hearts and minds was launched between pro-Soviet Arab leaders and Islamic fundamentalists, backed by the West.

In this photograph taken on November 3, 2015, Afghan Taliban fighters listen to Mullah Mohammad Rasool Akhund (unseen), the newly appointed leader of a breakaway faction of the Taliban, at Bakwah in the western province of Farah

© AFP 2016/ JAVED TANVEER ~ In this photograph taken on November 3, 2015, Afghan Taliban fighters listen to Mullah Mohammad Rasool Akhund (unseen), the newly appointed leader of a breakaway faction of the Taliban, at Bakwah in the western province of Farah

“An arc of crisis stretches along the shores of the Indian Ocean, with fragile social and political structures in a region of vital importance to us threatened with fragmentation. The resulting political chaos could well be filled by elements hostile to our values and sympathetic to our adversaries,” Brzezinski said in his speech in 1978; the adversaries he referred to were the Soviets.

To accomplish the objectives of Operation Cyclone, Washington enlisted the help of the Pakistan leadership and the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Pakistan’s dictator, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, proved to be a valuable asset for the US.

A number of Islamist training schools for the Mujahedeen had been organized in the territory of Pakistan, directed by CIA, MI6 and SAS and funded by the US and Saudi Arabia. It is no secret that the fundamentalist Taliban movement — the US’ decades-long headache — traces its origin to these Pakistan-based Mujahedeen entities. Remarkably, in 1980, infamous Osama bin Laden arrived from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan and joined the movement.

Ronald Reagan’s Stingers as Game Changer

Carter’s successor, US President Ronald Reagan significantly boosted the US military assistance to the Afghani and Pakistani Islamists.

It was President Reagan who met with the Afghani Mujahedeen in the Oval Office and ordered to deliver 1,000 new FIM-92 Stingers to the Islamist militants between 1986 and 1987.

President Ronald Reagan Meeting Some Mujahideen

“Beginning in 1985, the CIA supplied mujahedeen rebels with extensive satellite reconnaissance data of Soviet targets on the Afghan battlefield, plans for military operations based on the satellite intelligence, intercepts of Soviet communications, secret communications networks for the rebels, delayed timing devices for tons of C-4 plastic explosives for urban sabotage and sophisticated guerrilla attacks, long-range sniper rifles, a targeting device for mortars that was linked to a US Navy satellite, wire-guided anti-tank missiles, and other equipment,” prominent US journalist Steve Coll wrote in his 1992 article for The Washington Post.

But that is not all. In 1984, CIA director William Casey came up with the plan to take the Afghan war into USSR territory. Casey planned to launch subversive operations in the Soviet Union’s predominantly Muslim southern republics. The CIA’s covert operation dealt a heavy blow to the Soviet military campaign in Afghanistan, Washington’s goals were met, the rest is history.

Lessons Unlearnt

Russian tactical group seen at Hmeimim aerodrome in Syria

© SPUTNIK/ DMITRIY VINOGRADOV ~ ISIL ‘Frankenstein’ Created by West and Its Gulf State Allies – French Political Analyst

Commenting on the results of Operation Cyclone back in 1998, Brzezinski noted, that he did not regret that the US’ Afghani covert war resulted in the emergence of terrorist Taliban organization.

“Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?.. What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some agitated Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?” Brzezinski claimed back in 1998.

However, the story of Islamist insurgency in the MENA region (North Africa and Middle East) and Central Asia is far from being over. Today, in addition to Taliban and al-Qaeda the world is also threatened by Daesh and its numerous factions and followers across the globe.

In the late 1980s Pakistani President Benazir Bhutto told President George H. W. Bush, referring to the US-Mujahedeen collaboration: “You are creating a Frankenstein.”  Unfortunately, the warning remained largely neglected.

By Ekaterina Blinova, SputnikNews, 19/03/2016
Submitted by SyrianPatriots 
War Press Info Network at:

Israeli military expels Palestinians from homes to conduct drills


Palestine news



اتفاق بدخول الجيش إلى المعضمية بريف دمشق بعد تسليم المسلحين لأنفسهم

DAMASCUS:  If you haven’t noticed, the fighting in Syria is diminishing in many areas.  One of them is Damascus where both Alqaeda and its affiliates, and, Jaysh Al-Islam, have found themselves mostly on the run.  Even the so-called Southern Front has lost wind as the Zionist Apartheid State appears to be committed only to logistical support and medical treatment of wounded rodents, an avocation for which the ghetto rodent quacks are eminently qualified.


Mu’adhdhamiyya:  Hundreds of rodents, uniformed, or living among the crevices of alleyways and sewers, came out, en masse, after village notables agreed to a resolution of the siege and offered up over 550 of their worst specimens of stupidity for amnesty.  The Syrian Security Services were there to accept the surrender establishing numerous tables to fill out applications and obtain signatures from former rodents who wanted to rejoin civilized society.  All the rats turned in their weapons which amounted to over 10 truck-loads.  The weapons were studied first to determine origin and, then, distributed to our burgeoning militias for use in exterminating Saudi Arabians and Qataris.  Simultaneously, Syrian Army bulldozers began the pleasant process of tearing down all barricades and fortifications.  This was a great day for Syrians.


Khaan Al-Shaykh:  At the northern entrance to the town, the Syrian Army, backed by PDC and HZB , executed a plan which had been in the making since the army took over almost all this town a few weeks ago.  However, remnant rodents of Nusra/Alqaeda refused to leave completely, and set up bases to the north with several communications centers coordinated with the Zionist Tay Sachs State.  The operation started at dawn today, Damascus time, and resulted in a thorough drubbing as artillery and rocket positions opened up the gates of Hell so the rats could more easily find their resting place for eternity.

Once the artillery had sufficiently softened up the rodent positions, and while the dug-in vermin, was communicating with their Zionist masters, 4 mechanized brigades assaulted the rat positions having previous knowledge of their exact location.  It was a glorious culling of the rat population.  Many were taken prisoner as they pleaded with army officers for compassion claiming they were all “brainwashed” and misled.  Army deserters were taken aside and turned over to elements of the Interior Ministry for criminal processing.


Bayt Taymaa`:  A direct artillery strike on a group of roving vultures here on the apron of Jabal Al-Shaykh resulted in a catastrophic loss to the enemy.  I have no other details.



دير الزور


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Ziad Fadel 

A T-90 tank displayed in Aleppo.(Thanks, Khaled Nawaz Al-Nouri)


HAMA:  Turk idiots are gnashing their teeth over the losses taken in this province yesterday. Jaysh Al-Fath lost over 45 of their favorite rodents at the break of dawn this last Sunday.  Nusra/Alqaeda also took a battering when it lost close to 18 rats.  Ahraar Al-Shaam, the group which the U.S. refuses to call a “terrorist organization” despite overwhelming evidence that it is exactly that, too, got a real drubbing yesterday and today.  Another group called Al-Jabha Al-Islaamiyya almost went extinct in fighting with the Syrian Army and its allies.   The fighting took place at Tal Bizaam, Tal Huwayr and East of Al-Mawrik (Mork).  Besides the rodent casualties which were documented after field assessments, the SAA destroyed a 57mm cannon, 3 rocket launchers and 6 Toyota pickups with 23mm cannons.

Al-Sa’an – Atharyaa Road:  ISIS lost 9 rodents and 1 pickup with 23mm cannon.



الجيش السوري

Panorama:  ISIS vultures tried to sneak into this area by moving through the southwestern rim of the city about 48 hours ago.  The pack was made up of about 40 foreign rodents with 4 pickups armed with the usual 23mm cannons.  The SAA had prior knowledge of the attack and was prepared for them.  When the dust settled, 20+ rats were left behind for dead as the surviving scavengers hightailed it back to their base.

Al-Tharda Mountain:  SAAF flew 5 sorties yesterday over this area and west of the airbase.   An ammunition warehouse was destroyed, several armored cars disabled or destroyed and one standard 4-wheel pickup  with cannon was obliterated.

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Amnesty: Sheikh Salman’s Conviction is Politically Motivated, Must be Immediately Released

Local Editor

In a shocking attack on the right to freedom of expression Bahrain’s authorities upheld the conviction of opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman and increased his prison sentence from four to nine years for giving speeches in which he criticized the government, said Amnesty International.

Amnesty: Sheikh Salman’s Conviction is Politically Motivated, Must be Immediately Released

“Sheikh Ali Salman’s conviction is clearly politically motivated and is designed to send a message to others that even legitimate and peaceful demands for reform will not go unpunished. He is a prisoner of conscience and should never have been put on trial in the first place. He must be immediately and unconditionally released,” said James Lynch, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

Sheikh Ali Salman, who is the Secretary General of the main opposition party al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, was originally sentenced on June 16, 2015 after an unfair trial to four years in prison on charges including “publicly insulting the Interior Ministry” and “publicly inciting others to disobey the law.” The charges relate to speeches he made in 2012 and 2014.

His appeal had been pending for eight months before finally being rejected today at the Court of Appeal in the capital Manama.

In September 2015, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called on the Bahraini authorities to release him immediately and grant him adequate compensation.

In recent years, Bahrain has tightened its grip on freedom of expression with multiple arrests and harassment of opposition politicians and activists.

Ebrahim Sharif, former Secretary General of the National Democratic Action Society [Wa’ad] was imprisoned for one year on February 24 for calling for reform in a speech.
Fadhel Abbas Mahdi Mohamed, former Secretary General of the Unitary National Democratic Assemblage [al-Wahdawi party] continues to appeal against a five-year sentence handed down to him after an unfair trial in June 2015 for a statement made by his political party condemning the Saudi Arabia-led airstrikes in Yemen.

“With three prominent opposition politicians behind bars, the authorities have made clear that criticism will not be tolerated in Bahrain today and anyone who dares to challenge them is at risk,” said Lynch.

Amnesty International considers Sheikh Ali Salman, Ebrahim Sharif and Fadhel Abbas Mahdi Mohamed to be prisoners of conscience imprisoned solely for peacefully expressing their views.

Source: AI, Edited by website team

31-05-2016 | 10:34


Bahraini Protestors Demand Release of Opposition Leader Sheikh Salman

Local Editor

BahrainThousands of protestors took to streets in west of the Bahraini capital Manama on Friday (May 27, 2016) demanding the release of opposition leader and Secretary General of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society Sheikh Ali Salman and all political prisoners, Bahrain Mirror reported.

According to human rights organizations, the number of political prisoners in Bahrain has reached around 4,000.

Bahrain protestsProtestors marched through the streets of Diraz, holding photos of Sheikh Salman, following Friday prayers, and chanting slogans demanding his release. Pro-democracy demonstrators also voiced their adherence to calls for a democratic transition of power, which will put an end to the ruling Al Khalifa family’s monopoly over power.

Demonstrators took to the streets of the village that witnesses protests every Friday, despite the ban imposed by the authorities, who used violence to disperse protestors in a number of villages Thursday night (May 26, 2016).

The Ministry of Interior had announced earlier that “two of its policemen were injured during clashes with angry protestors in Bilad Al-Qadim.”

Source: Websites

28-05-2016 – 15:59 Last updated 28-05-2016 – 15:59


Life Sentences Handed down to 10 Bahrainis, 12 Stripped of Citizenships

Local Editor

BahrainA Bahraini court sentenced 10 defendants, whom the regime authorities accuse of forming an armed group called “Saraya Al-Ashtar” to life imprisonment on Monday (May 30, 2016). The court also sentenced 2 others to 10 years in prison, revoked the citizenships of 12 defendants and acquitted two.

The Chief of Bahrain’s Terrorist Crimes Prosecution, Attorney-General Ahmad Al-Hammadi, stated that the Fourth High Criminal Court fined the first two defendants 200,000 BD and the third, fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and twelfth defendants 10,983 BD and 700 fils for the damages caused to the police vehicles. Meanwhile, it acquitted two suspects of the charges raised against them.

The prosecution relied on the hearsay evidence. Local and international human rights organizations accuse Bahrain of using torture to extract  from suspects confessions that would incriminate them.

The Bahraini High Appeals Court, presided over by judge Mohammad bin Ali Al Khalifa and Naji Abdullah as secretariat, upheld on Tuesday (May 31, 2016) the death sentences issued over the case of killing an officer and two policemen in the village of Al-Daih.

Bahrain’s Fourth High Criminal Court handed down on (February 26, 2015) the death penalty to 3 defendants and life-imprisonment to 7 others.

The court also revoked the citizenships of 8 Bahrainis over the case, finding the defendants 929 BD and 691 fils.

A court in Bahrain has ordered the release of a prominent female rights campaigner, Zainab al-Khawaja, who has been in prison with her baby son since March.

Source: Websites

31-05-2016 – 18:46 Last updated 31-05-2016 – 19:44

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Voltaire Network: Saudi Arabia Building Embassy in Tel Aviv

Voltaire Network

PARIS, (ST)-In preparation for bringing the Saudi-Israeli secret relations to light, Saudi Arabia has begun the construction of a huge embassy in “Israel”, probably the most important in Tel-Aviv, according to Voltaire Network.

The Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz has nominated Prince Walid Ben Talal (5th world fortune with Citigroup, Movenpick, Four Seasons) as the Kingdom’s next ambassador in “Israel”, the network said in a report on Sunday.

 Meetings between Saudi intelligence officers and Israeli officials have recently become open, reflecting the two sides’ insistence to boost mutual relations.

Shedding more light on the Saudi-Israeli cooperation, the network said that the two sides do not maintain official diplomatic relations, however, the Quincy Pact, signed between US President Franklin Roosevelt and Saudi King Abdelaziz in 1945, and renewed by President Bush and King Fahd in 2005, stipulates amongst other things that the kingdom of Al Saud would not oppose a “Jewish” homeland in Palestine.

The network pointed out it was not the United States, but former Saudi King Abdallah bin Abdul Azizi who financed the Israeli aggression called “Cast Lead” against the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 in which thousands of Palestinians were martyred and wounded.

Currently, the network said, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fighting a war together in Yemen, from a command centre in the non-recognized state of Somaliland. They are planning several operations for the exploitation of oil reserves in Yemen and the Horn of Africa.

It is worth mentioning that the recent meeting between the Israeli and Saudi spy chiefs over expanding cooperation indicates that Saudi Arabia gives no heed to the Israeli occupation crimes against the Palestinians and against other  peoples of the region.

Hamda Mustafa

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Jewish mentality: israel’s Forces shoot at family harvesting crops on their land

Israeli Forces shoot at family harvesting crops on their land

After more than six months risking their lives while ploughing, planting seeds and weeding their land, and after investing a large amount of money on seeds and on renting a tractor, the Qudaih family from the village of Khuzaa were finally ready to start harvesting their barley and the wheat two days ago.

We arrived at the fields, located around 100 metres from the fence, at 7am. Around 9am one jeep from the Israeli occupation forces stopped in front of the farmers and a group of soldiers emerged. After a few minutes they fired several shots in the air, then returned to the jeep and left.

A family member working on the land in Khuzaa

A family member working on the land in Khuzaa

45 minutes later another jeep arrived. This time the soldiers fired shots on the ground next to the farmers and the ISM activists that were with them. The shots were near misses, just a few centimetres from their feet. As if this was not terrifying enough, next they fired shots close to the farmers’ and activists’ heads. At that moment most of the farmers started to run away from their fields terrified by the whistling sounds of the bullets flying around them:  One Bedouin man that was picking herbs for his animals laid down on the ground hiding behind his donkey, while the soldiers fired shot more than five times just a few centimetres from him. The shooting didn’t even stop when everyone started to run away, preventing the farmers to secure their horse cart holding what little harvest they had collected until they were attacked.


The Qudaih family harvesting their barley on their land.

These families now have to choose between losing all the money invested as well as their main sustenance for the year, or continue trying to harvest the crops on their land – despite the risk of someone getting killed or disabled.


Terrorists Surrender in Maadamiya in Damascus Countryside

Local Editor

SyriaThe locals in Maadamiya in Damascus countryside conclude an agreement with the Syrian army that will enter the town according the terms.

The agreement also stipulates that the terrorists surrender to the Syrian army in order to settle their situations.

The Syrian army managed on Monday to control the hills of al-Raqm and Mizaala in Latakia northern countryside, inflicting heavy losses upon the terrorists.

The Syrian warplanes also targeted a group of terrorists in east of Rankous plain in western Qalamoun in Damascus countryside, injuring a number of terrorists.

An Army unit targeted a gathering of ISIL terrorists in al-Qasr village in the northeastern countryside of Sweida province, a military source told SANA on Monday.

An armored vehicle was destroyed in the operation.

Source: Al-Manar Website

30-05-2016 – 18:23 Last updated 30-05-2016 – 18:23

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The US and the EU Support a Savage Dictator: Erdogan

The US and the EU Support a Savage Dictator

The US and the EU Support a Savage Dictator

On May 6 a court in Istanbul, acting on the orders of Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan, sentenced the editor of the Cumhuriyet newspaper to five years and ten months in prison for publishing a report about illegal provision of weapons to Islamist terrorists in Syria by Turkey’s secret service. His bureau chief got five years.

Two weeks later Istanbul was host to the World Humanitarian Summit, which was held «to stand up for our common humanity and take action to prevent and reduce human suffering». Attendance included 65 heads of state. It was the usual total waste of time (Oxfam called it «an expensive talking shop» and those who refused to be there included President Putin and the global medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières), but the point is that a humanitarian conference should never have been held in Turkey, which is being transformed into a dictatorship by a president who is well-described by Professor Alan Sked of the London School of Economics as «a volatile, unstable, highly authoritarian personality».

The professor went on to observe that Erdogan «has pursued a civil war in his own country and has clamped down on the opposition and social media at will. Thousands have been imprisoned for merely criticising him. He has ordered the shooting down of a Russian warplane, and his country has been accused by Russia of trafficking secretly in oil with Isis. He cannot be trusted…»

Erdogan is a bigoted thug, yet the international community rushed to his country to hold a humanitarian conference and foreign heads of state flock to press his hand in friendship. He is treated with deference around the world and there can be no public criticism of him in the many countries that have laws prohibiting disparagement of heads of state and holding defamation and insult of their leaders to be a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment.

In January over 1,100 Turkish academics signed a letter asking Erdogan to cease his merciless blitz on Kurdish centres in the south east of the country. Thousands of Kurds had been (and continue to be) killed and crippled by ground and air assaults of merciless savagery. Erdogan’s response to the petition was to declare that these compassionate scholars «spit out hatred of our nation’s values and history on every occasion. The petition has made this clearer… In a state of law like Turkey, so-called academics who target the unity of our nation have no right to commit crimes. They don’t have immunity for this».

Some thirty of the humanitarian signatories were arrested and fifteen were dismissed from their university posts. They live under constant threat, as do all who attempt to disagree with the imperial president.

Yet Erdogan’s Turkey is strongly supported by the United States and by the European Union, albeit for very different reasons.

The US backs him because he supports Washington’s efforts to destroy President Assad of Syria and is a strident and aggressive opponent of Russia, while the EU is behind him because if he chose he could control the influx of Syrian refugees to Europe. So Erdogan can persecute and jail as many journalists and academics as he likes, while continuing to slaughter Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iraq, and although there may be a few murmurs of disapproval in Brussels and Washington there will be no action whatever taken by either the US or the EU to stop the President of Turkey wielding absolute power over his people.

In March, while Erdogan was attending the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington (yet another total waste of time and money, except for the travel industry) he met separately with the US president and vice-president, neither of whom had the moral courage to take him to task for his blatant oppression of those of his citizens who dare to have ideas and opinions contrary to his own.

As the Voice of America reported on March 31, «President Barack Obama assured his Turkish counterpart of American commitment to the security of Turkey, a critical ally in the fight against the Islamic State group», while the White House “readout” of the Erdogan-Biden meeting recorded that «the Vice President reiterated the United States’ unwavering commitment to Turkey’s national security as a NATO Ally». They discussed «ways to further deepen our military cooperation» which was no doubt heartening to a bellicose thug whose aim is to persecute and preferably kill Kurds wherever they may be.

In spite of all the evidence, the United States refuses to acknowledge that Erdogan’s Turkey has sent massive quantities of weaponry to Islamic terrorist groups who are prepared to kill Kurds. It does not appear to matter to Washington that «Not only has Erdoğan done almost everything he can to cripple the forces actually fighting ISIS; there is considerable evidence that his government has been at least tacitly aiding ISIS itself».

The countries of the European Union, in similar blinkered mode, ignore Erdogan’s transformation of Turkey from democracy to dictatorship because they are prepared to make almost any sacrifice to reduce the flood of refugees now threatening their countries. Their leaders are terrified that behaving in a humanitarian manner will damage their domestic electoral chances and have set up an extraordinary deal with Erdogan who has agreed to «do more to prevent refugees from traveling to Europe via its territory and take back all migrants and refugees who manage to cross into Europe from Turkey … In return, the European Union has doubled the financial aid it promised Turkey from 3 billion to 6 billion euros, has agreed to take in more Syrian refugees from Turkey, and will move to provide visa-free travel to Turks and reopen EU accession talks».

Little wonder that Erdogan is on the crest of a wave and can persecute dissenters and slaughter Kurds with hardly a word of international criticism. In March, when he took over Turkey’s largest newspaper, the independent Zaman, and replaced the entire staff with his supporters, US State Department spokesman John Kirby called the seizure «troubling». And it was reported on 25 May that, «the EU wants Ankara to narrow its definition of terror to stop prosecuting academics and journalists for publishing ‘terror propaganda’, but Turkey has refused to do so».

Unless the US and the EU bring pressure to bear on Erdogan to restore democracy in his country, he will continue to suppress and persecute his critics and continue his killing spree. But he is too valuable to them for that to happen. All they will do is hold more humanitarian conferences.


Eva Bartlett

*photo: Resilience of Syrians, Old City of Homs, December 2015.

As many readers will know, I have visited Syria four times, between April 2014 and December 2015—independently on a journalist’s visa and as part of two peace delegations. When in Syria as a writer, I visited key places—including liberated Homs and Ma’loula, terror-bombed regions of Homs, and the Yarmouk district, which has been focus of slick propaganda by anti-Syria corporate media and so-called human rights groups—and have conducted numerous interviews, with Syrian political and religious leaders, as well as Syrian civilians.

I have taken many photographs and videos, collected numerous personal testimonies, undertaken my own research and investigations, visited hospitals and refugee centres, and—in every area that I visited—have conversed with Syrians about what they feel is the cause of the problems in Syria, the solution, and on their insistence for Syria’s sovereignty, and on their support for the Syrian Arab Army and their president.

In the months since my last trip, I have been transcribing interviews and testimonies and writing articles based on them, writing about my personal impressions based on my visits to Syria, and challenging the latest corporate media lies and propaganda campaigns.

I will be returning to Syria, as soon as possible, and for that I must ask for financial assistance to make this trip possible. [see:  Syrian Voices Book Project on GoFundMe ]

Why am I compelled to go to Syria?

In order to write a book that prioritizes Syrian voices from Syria: truths from some of the most highly-misrepresented, lied about or plainly ignored areas of Syria.

To do justice to the full spectrum of the stories of Syrians as told by them, it is essential that I visit areas I not previously been to, areas that have been liberated since I was last there and areas that are enduring especially egregious suffering—such as in Aleppo under terrorist bombs.

To be able to meet costs associated with overseas flights, as well as travel and related expenses in Syria, it is necessary for me to fund-raise, because my current work as a writer and related advocacy work is either unpaid or paid very little.

If this book project, as well as my ability to write additional articles from Syria, is something you wish to and are able to support financially, I would gratefully appreciate any and all contributions.

If you would like to support my work, but are not in a position to do so financially, I would be grateful if you could share this fundraising appeal with others, as this will give a tremendous boost to my appeal.

Full details of my work and plans can be accessed on my gofundme page.

*NOTE: For those wish to donate but prefer to use Paypal, follow this link

For those who prefer to avoid Payal transaction fees, e-transfers are an option. Canadian banks only however.

Supporters’ Comments on Facebook and GoFundMe:

“The Syrian people need more voices telling their story and combating the lying war propaganda that fuels the war.Independent journalist and activist for Palestine and Syria Eva Bartlett has visited Syria during this war, spoken to Syrians, and seen first-hand the effects of this foreign led war for regime-change. She means to travel there again and see the situation as it is after recent developments.

Her book would help give Syrians a voice among the torrent of western propaganda, and raise awareness about the causes and the devastating effects of the terrorist invasion of Syria.

If you’re able to donate, please do. Please also share this as much as possible. Thank you.”
– Angelis Dania

“you are an example for what a real journalist should be you do it all yourself, take all the hardships and offer truth to those who are thirsty for it you are of a different nationality, different language, different culture, yet you turn up to be loyal to Syria more than many of its children..
Great work Eva”

-Jamila and Shababeek شبابيك are with you

“Please support this in any way you can. Eva Bartlett is a truly brilliant journalist and activist for justice & truth, and we all know who rare that sort of stuff is.”
-Hayat Islam

“The best money you will ever spend! Give some. Trust me. Canada’s Rachel Corrie needs your help. Fund the amazing journalism of Eva Bartlett. Help truth and justice rise to the top.”
-Denis Rancourt

“In a just world, a brilliant and courageous person like Eva Bartlett would have all of the funding and support necessary to carry on her work. But it is not a just world. It is only through the efforts of people like Eva to bring truth to this world of lies that it may become more so. Please read her full description of the proposed project and give if you can or share the fundraising appeal so that others may become aware of it.” – David Lorig

“Supporting Eva Bartlett will support the people of ‪#‎Syria in their struggle for ‪#‎Peace & ‪#‎sovereignty!”
-Nino Pagliccia

“I couldn’t think of someone more worthy than Eva Bartlett to receive support. Her work on Syria has been absolutely astounding from day 1.”
-Valentina Capurri

“Dear friends … please read and whatever contribution you can make for this brave journalist is highly appreciated … Thanks”
-Waseem Abbas

“Please support the wonderful independent journalist Eva Bartlett, someone who’s doing an priceless work on Syria. A true fighter for justice and truth for THE SYRIAN PEOPLE”
-Julia Kaya


From my GoFundMe Book Project Campaign:

In early 2011, after years of covert US funding to instigate a Western-supported “opposition” in Syria (“Between 2006 to 2010, the US spent 12 million dollars in order to support and instigate demonstrations and propaganda against the Syrian government. WikiLeaks released over 7000 secret diplomatic cables that document that funding.” source), the corporate media began telling the fairytale of “revolution” in Syria and of “unarmed protesters” being killed by the Syrian government.

Initially, there was confusion about the events that took place in Syria in early 2011. But since then, it has been well established that these events were an integral part of the NATO alliance’s attempt to impose a puppet government on Syria.

Various journalists, reporters, and analysts have documented the violence and sectarianism of the so-called unarmed protesters, including the many massacres that they and the many terrorist factions have committed. I referenced many of these journalists, reporters, and analysts in my own analysis, Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria

Journalists, reporters, and analysts, be they Syrians on the ground or non-Syrians who travel to witness events and listen to Syrian voices, have clearly and consistently outlined how the global war on Syria came about. They have also documented the ongoing atrocities being perpetrated by Western/Turkish/Gulf and Zionist-backed terrorists in Syria.

Nonetheless, false narratives and blatant lies continue to be put forth by the corporate media and lying “Human Rights” groups with ties to the CIA, US State Department and/or colour-revolution schemer George Soros.

In recent years, many books have been written on Syria, and with the exception of a few, they have been war-promoting books based on false allegations; unnamed activists; the fraudulent one-man Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, located in Coventry in the UK—who himself gleans his data from “unnamed activists”; and the above-mentioned human rights groups complex.

What has been sorely missing, aside from a few honest books on Syria like this detailed and insightful one by Professor Tim Anderson, are accounts of Syrians living in Syria.

I propose to fill the gap with my own book project, Syrian Voices.

· I  will be using information and accounts gathered during my previous four trips to Syria over the last two years.

· It is essential for me to return to Syria to obtain more material, in order to write a book that prioritizes Syrian voices from Syria: truths from some of the most highly-misrepresented, lied about or simply ignored areas of the country.

· This book will give Syrian voices a platform to address readers who want to understand what is really happening in Syria.

·  Having made multiple visits to Homs—the liberated Old City, the entrance to al-Waer where terrorists remain, al-Zahra’a car-bombed neighbourhood—as
well as Lattakia, liberated ancient Ma’loula , Sweida, the Yarmouk district & centres for displaced persons from Yarmouk , and the Old City of Damascus, I have already collected many Syrian stories—voices and realities which contradict the corporate media’s account of events.

· This book will also include stories and information obtained specifically from:
-Syrians living in areas subjected to terrorist bombs, missiles, and mortars— attacks that I experienced repeatedly while in Damascus in 2014, and
-Syrians in areas which have been liberated from foreign-backed terrorists.

· In addition to highlighting the sordid realities Syrians have been facing over the past five plus years, I also wish to highlight other realities, and indeed, the positives:
Victories and liberation of terrorist-occupied areas, such as Nubl, Zahra’a, and Palmyra.
Syrian resilience: After over five years of the global war on Syria, as well as criminal sanctions that have devastated the Syrian people, Syrians, miraculously, remain resilient. They have bravely adjusted to the continuous hardship, stress and anxiety of the war on their country and cherish their dignity and their resolve. They are devoted to peace and security for their country and proudly wait and work for full peace and security to return. In spite of the war, they continue to celebrate, to marry, to study, to participate in everyday human life to the fullest extent possible. For this alone, but not only for this, they deserve our greatest respect.
Support for internally-displaced persons (IDPs), by both civil society and the government, in Lattakia, Tartous, Damascus and Sweida—to name the main centres that have absorbed millions of IDPs, although there are others as well.
Volunteerism: Many groups have been established within Syrian civil society to assist their compatriots during this horrific crisis—groups to provide food and meals for Syrians impoverished by the war, groups to visit and feed Syrian soldiers on the front lines, and so many more.
Syrian culture: Syrians have a rich cultural heritage–music, dance, theatre, painting, sculpture, writing, handicrafts and more. Even in times of war, cultural activities continue. Syrians defiantly refuse to be cowed by war and choose to partake in, enjoy and nurture the many aspects of their deep cultural lives.

…campaign continues with my BIO (Gaza, Palestine, Syria solidarity work and writings)


Breaking: US Soldier in Syria – ‘Kill ’em All!’

After continued Pentagon denials that US Special Forces in Syria equals “boots on the ground” in Syria, new video has just emerged of a US soldier standing next to what looks like an armored personnel carrier with Kurdish militia “YPG” spray-painted on it. It appears he is asked some kind of question and he turns to the camera with a menacing smirk and says:

“Let me tell you something. I”m from the United States of America and I say kill ’em all!”

Watch the video here:

While US Special Forces troops may number far higher than the 300 admitted by the White House, they have no legal authority to operate inside of Syria. As the US government continues to maintain that the current Syrian government must be overthrown and that Syrian president Assad “must go,” there is no reason to expect that the “kill ’em all” mission statement of this US Special Forces soldier will end once Raqqa is liberated from ISIS control. That US troops will participate in the removal of ISIS from Raqqa and then pack up and go home is extremely unlikely, as the original motivation for US action in Syria was the removal of Assad.

In short, this is a tip-of-the-spear US invasion of Syria whose end-game is the physical removal of Assad. You read it here first.

Copyright © 2016 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

Victims of rape in the USA Military described as having “Personality Disorder”

Lives of U.S. Military Rape Victims Ruined by “Personality Disorder” Labels Given Them in Discharge Papers


Monday, May 30, 2016
Former Army Sgt. Rebekah Havrilla was raped by a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan (photo: Win McNamee, Getty Images)

By Human Rights Watch

Thousands of United States service members who lost their military careers after reporting a sexual assault live with stigmatizing discharge papers that prevent them from getting jobs and benefits, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report is the result of a 28-month investigation by Human Rights Watch, with the support of Protect Our Defenders, a human rights organization that supports and advocates for survivors of military sexual assault. Under pressure from the public and Congress, the US military has in recent years implemented some protection for service members who report sexual assault, but nothing has been done to redress the wrongs done to those who were unfairly discharged.

The 124-page report, “Booted: Lack of Recourse for Wrongfully Discharged US Military Rape Survivors,” found that many rape victims suffering from trauma were unfairly discharged for a “personality disorder” or other mental health condition that makes them ineligible for benefits. Others were given “Other Than Honorable” discharges for misconduct related to the assault that shut them out of the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system and a broad range of educational and financial assistance. The consequences of having “bad paper” – any discharge other than “honorable” – or being labeled as having a “personality disorder” are far-reaching for veterans and their families, impacting employment, child custody, health care, disability payments, burial rights – virtually all aspects of life.

“Military rape victims with bad discharges are essentially labeled for life,” said Sara Darehshori, senior counsel in the US program at Human Rights Watch and author of the report. “Not only have they lost their military careers, they have been marked with a status that may keep them from getting a job or health care, or otherwise pursuing a normal life after the military.”

“Bad paper” has been correlated with high rates of suicide, homelessness, and imprisonment among veterans. Those with “personality disorder” or other mental health discharges have to live with the additional stigma of being labeled “mentally ill.”

Despite the high stakes, there is little veterans can do to fix an unjust discharge, Human Rights Watch found. US law prohibits service members from suing the military for any harm suffered related to their service. The Boards for Correction of Military Records and Discharge Review Boards, the administrative bodies responsible for correcting injustices to service members’ records, are overwhelmed with thousands of cases.

Human Rights Watch, with assistance from Protect Our Defenders, conducted more than 270 in-person and telephone interviews, examined documents produced by US government agencies in response to numerous public record requests, and analyzed data on cases in the Boards for Correction reading room that referenced “personality disorder” or “adjustment disorder.” Researchers spoke to 163 survivors of sexual assault from the Vietnam War era to the present day.

“As I look back on the incident I have at times cursed myself for speaking up and reporting what happened,” one rape survivor said. “I cannot even begin to express how this entire ordeal has affected my life.”

In recent years, public attention has been drawn to the problem of combat veterans being given bad discharges for mental health conditions or misconduct that may in fact be symptomatic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Congress has made it harder to discharge combat veterans on mental health grounds without checking for PTSD. However, the additional protections have not been extended to sexual assault survivors even though they also suffered trauma in service and the prevalence of PTSD is higher among rape victims than combat veterans.

“We regularly hear from people who report sexual assault that they are being threatened with discharge for mental health reasons or trumped-up misconduct charges,” said Colonel Don Christensen, president of Protect Our Defenders and a former Air Force chief prosecutor. “Traumatized young service members may be willing to take a bad discharge just to escape their perpetrator without realizing the costs of their decision. Many more buy into the myth that it will be easy to upgrade their discharge later.”

The Defense Department’s standard response to service members who suffered sexual assault and allege improper discharge is to recommend they seek review by the Boards for Correction of Military Records or Discharge Review Boards. However, well over 90 percent of those applying to the Boards are rejected with almost no opportunity to be heard or any meaningful review. Lawyers for veterans say their cases often include considerable evidence and supporting documents. Yet Board members often spend only a few minutes deciding a case and may reach a decision without reading the submitted material. Because the courts give special deference to military decisions, judicial oversight of the Boards is virtually nonexistent.

“Military lawyers and veterans see the Boards as a virtual graveyard for their cases,” Darehshori said. “Many veterans we spoke with were reluctant to put themselves through the trauma of reliving their assault to try to fix their record when they saw no hope for success.”

Congress should require the Defense Department to expedite review of cases of sexual assault victims who believe they were wrongfully discharged. The defense secretary should instruct the Boards to be more open to considering upgrade requests from sexual assault victims, bring evidentiary requirements for proving a sexual assault into line with those used by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and create a presumption in favor of changing the reason for discharge from personality disorder to “Completion of Service,” in certain cases.

To ensure that all service members receive due consideration of their claims, Congress should create a right to a hearing before the Boards for Correction of Military Records and provide greater information to the public on all decisions. A representative working group should be created to study standards for granting relief and determine best practices and procedures.

“Immediate reform is desperately needed to ensure that military sexual assault survivors can get a meaningful remedy for the wrongful discharges that darken their lives,” Darehshori said. “They deserve support, not censure.”

The following are quotes from rape survivors and advocates interviewed by Human Rights Watch or contained in documents Human Rights Watch reviewed. Starred victims’ names have been replaced with pseudonyms to protect their privacy.

“Why should I be discharged because I was raped? I did what I was supposed to do. Had I never come forward I truly believe I would still be in the Air Force.”

–A1C Juliet Simmons,* November 2012

“I carry my discharge as an official and permanent symbol of shame, on top of the trauma of the physical attack, the retaliation and its aftermath.”

–Brian Lewis, March 2013

“Although agencies exist to which you may apply to upgrade a less than Honorable Discharge, it is unlikely that such application will be successful.”

–Army Developmental Counseling Form

“I defy any of you not to have mental consequences if you were raped and harassed repeatedly and even set on fire, while management looked the other way and just laughed.”

–Testimony of Amy Quinn before the Judicial Proceedings Panel on Sexual Assault in the Military, May 19, 2015

“I was 18 years old, was a mental mess, and was terrified to be back aboard [the ship] any longer than I had to. I wasn’t protected, I wasn’t helped, I wasn’t safe from any type of harm! So how did I actually know what I was signing or even in fact what an OTH [Other Than Honorable] discharge was to mean? How was I to know that from all the sexual attacks that I had to suffer and the harassment, assaults, threats to my life and safety that for all these years [the discharge would be] a huge factor to how I lived and how my life ended up?”

–SR Heath Phillips, 2013

“It is bad enough to go through military sexual trauma, but to be discredited and labeled is difficult to overcome and causes so much damage. PD [Personality Disorder] is another level of betrayal because it is so stigmatizing.… People think there is something wrong with me and don’t realize it was a label just stuck on people.”

–PFC Eva Washington*, October 2013

“I have practiced law in Texas for 31 years now, and I’ve appeared in different state and federal courts in a variety of administrative settings and this is the only time that I’ve been before a discharge review board. It was a horrific experience … I found myself being cut off and my client being screamed at which was unlike any experience I have ever had before. My client was just completely re-victimized. They didn’t really care what we had to say. We got a decision a few months later that was erroneous in a number of different respects … and it was a 5-nothing decision not to upgrade.”

–JoAnn Merica, attorney for a veteran who was discharged for misconduct after reporting sexual harassment, March 2016

“As I look back on the incident I have at times cursed myself for speaking up and reporting what happened but … I thought I was doing the right thing … I cannot even begin to express how this entire ordeal has affected my life; it won’t go away and I still struggle with self-esteem and trust and the entire myriad of symptoms victims of sexual assault suffer … the Navy discarded me like a piece of scrap iron or less; truthfully, this ordeal continues to haunt me … I am a broken man.”

–SA Ken Nelson,* October 2012

“US: Raped in Military – Then Punished” © 2016 by Human Rights Watch

To Learn More:

Booted: Lack of Recourse for Wrongfully Discharged US Military Rape Survivors (Human Rights Watch)

Pentagon Misled Congress to Avoid Civilian Oversight of Sex Assault Cases (by Richard Lardner, Associated Press)

Defense Dept. Urged to Lift “Cloak of Secrecy” Surrounding Military Sex Crimes (by Richard Lardner, Eileen Sullivan and Meghan Hoyer, Associated Press)

Turkey, just like the USA, totally oblivious to International Law

Turkey proposes special operation with US in Syria

Press TV – May 30, 2016
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addresses the Syrian Turkmen Assembly meeting in Ankara, May 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addresses the Syrian Turkmen Assembly meeting in Ankara, May 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Turkey has proposed to join the United States in a special operation in Syria only if Kurdish fighters are excluded from the offensive.

“If we join forces, they (the Americans) have their own special forces and we have our special forces,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters.

“The subject we are discussing with the Americans is the closure of the Manbij pocket as soon as possible,” he said, referring to a backdoor border route used by Daesh terrorists to transport militants into and out of Syria.

However, Cavusoglu stressed the exclusion of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), also known as the YPG, from the operation as a condition for such action.

“We say okay, a second front should be opened but not with the PYD,” he said.

Turkey stands accused of supporting the militants that are fighting against the government in Syria by, among other things, allowing them safe passage into the Arab country via Turkish territory.

Turkey says the YPG is linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has been engaged in a three-decade fight for autonomy in Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated southeast.

Fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG),
part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),
are seen in the village of Fatisah in the northern Syrian province of Raqqah,
May 25, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Ankara and Washington both consider the PKK a terrorist organization. The United States, however, does not consider the YPG a terrorist group.

The Turkish foreign minister said special forces from Turkey, the US, France, Britain and Germany could also support militants fighting to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Cavusoglu also said a recent deal between Ankara and Washington to deploy US light multiple rocket launchers along the Syrian border to allegedly fight Daesh had been postponed until August.

“The United States is unfortunately not keeping its promise,” he said. “We are completely ready. Not us, but the US is responsible for the delay.”

On Friday, Turkey slammed the United States for its “two-faced” behavior, saying it is “unacceptable” that US soldiers are backing Kurdish fighters in Syria.

A group of US troops are said to be operating alongside mostly Kurdish fighters belonging to the YPG.

Images recently appeared showing US forces wearing Kurdish insignia on their clothes. Turkey slammed the move, and Washington said the soldiers did not have a permission to do so.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the US and Turkey agreed to form a coalition to launch a large-scale military operation in northern Syria.

The Rai al-Youm newspaper, edited by prominent Palestinian journalist Abdul Bari Atwan, on May 16 reported that the campaign would be backed by American and Turkish airstrikes as well as Turkish artillery attacks.

israel Unilaterally Reduces Gaza’s Fishing Zone To Six Nautical Miles

Israel Unilaterally Reduces Gaza’s Fishing Zone To Six Nautical Miles

IMEMC News – May 30, 2016


30 May
2:06 PM








Israel has, yet again, unilaterally reduced the fishing zone in Gaza territorial waters to only six nautical miles, in all of Gaza’s waters, from the northern to the southern parts of the coastal region.

Nizar Ayyash, the head of the Palestinian Fishers Syndicate, said the Israeli side has officially informed the Palestinians regarding the unilateral reduction of the fishing zone.

He added that the Israeli move was yet another violation to every signed agreement, including all mediated ceasefire deals, and that this significantly impacts the fishers, who are already subject to daily violations.

Last March, Israel decided to increase the fishing zone in the area extending from Gaza Valley to the southern part of the coastal region, to nine nautical miles, but kept the zone in northern Gaza at six nautical miles.

There are more than 4000 fishers and around 700 boats in the Gaza Strip providing livelihood to dozens of at least 70.000 Palestinians, while the Israeli military and navy keep attacking them, kidnapping them and confiscating their boats, in addition to the dozens of casualties, including fatalities, resulting from these violations.

It is worth mentioning that, under the Oslo Peace Agreement, signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993, the fishing zone was set at twenty nautical miles, where the Palestinians are supposed to be able to fish and sail, but Israel kept violating the agreement.

A week ago, the al-Mezan Center for Human Rights said that Israel carried out at least 17 attacks against Gaza fishers, since the beginning of this year, and kidnapped 65 of them.

On Monday morning, a number of armored Israeli military vehicles invaded Palestinian agricultural lands, near Khan Younis city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip

Yemeni Delegations Agree on Swapping 1000 Prisoners before Holy Month of Ramadan

Local Editor

TalksWell-informed sources told Al-Manar that Yemeni negotiators in Kuwait concluded an agreement on exchanging 1000 prisoners who belong to both sides of the talks before the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The sources added that the delegations also approved forming field committees to carry out the agreement.

The ongoing talks in Kuwait are held between the national Yemeni parties that include Ansarullah movement and the Saudi-led side which insists on delaying the final and comprehensive agreement which can end the tragedy of the poorest Arab country.

Yemen has been since March 26, 2015 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition.

Thousands have been martyred and injured in the attack, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

Riyadh launched the attack on Yemen in a bid to restore power to fugitive Hadi who is a close ally to Saudi Arabia.

Source: Agencies

26-05-2016 – 20:00 Last updated 26-05-2016 – 20:00

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Italian Delegation: Hizbullah Best Answer against Terrorism, No One Can Hide the Crimes of KSA! (Part 1)

 Fatima Haydar

The “Israeli” apartheid regime’s troops completely withdraw from South Lebanon by May 25th, 2000. Sixteen years on the liberation and the Lebanese still cherish this day stronger than ever.
Italian Delegation

This year, it is not only the Lebanese who celebrated the 16th anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day, an Italian delegation that visited Lebanon to show solidarity with Hizbullah had a lot to say to national, regional and international public.

The Italian delegation consisted of 11 activists and public figures from Italy and Spain among which were Alberto Palladino, an Italian journalist and executive board member of Solidarite Identites, a humanitarian organization to support the Syrian people, as well as Italian politician Giovanni Feola, leader of the Italian CasaPound movement.

Other members of the organization were: Poalo Sebastianelli, Rodrigo Gomez, Manfredi Pinelli, Rudy de Astis, Carlo Pezzolesi, Dario Zimbardi, Davide Granconato and Damiano Crudele.

It was not a coincidence that the delegation’s visit to Lebanon coincided with the Resistance and Liberation Day. According to the delegation’s deputy speaker, Alberto Palladino their visit to Lebanon was “much intended. We want to participate in this victory and this march”.

Italian Delegation: Hizbullah Best Answer against Terrorism, No One Can Hide the Crimes of KSA! (Part 1)

Palladino indicated that the Resistance’s May victory is very important and that it is a “symbolic victory because in this time no one can invade another sovereign nation; all the people in the Mediterranean zone, every free people have the right to defend their homes from invasion…”

He went on saying that “The victory of Hizbullah against “Israel” is the symbol of a new freedom in the Mediterranean zone. On another level, it is a very great victory because a powerful and very well-equipped army was defeated by the pure resistances of Hizbullah revolutionaries.”

According to Palladino, it is via their organization’s work in Syria that they met Hizbullah and founded a relations ship with the group.

He indicated that the Italian delegation intends to “create or rebuild the relation between Europe – specially the countries that are in contact with the Mediterranean Sea – and the close east; that is, the Middle Eastern countries on the Mediterranean Sea” pointing out that through “analyzing our similitudes, we find that we are very close in culture and history as well as political views”.

Palladion explains that the main example of likeness between the European and Middle Eastern countries in the Mediterranean zone is the fight against terrorism saying that “terrorists have engulfed Syria as it did in Paris and Brussels; so we have to be close as much as possible to solve it.”

When asked about the concerns over the wave of terrorism that has extended from the Middle East to Europe and the delegation’s expectations from their visit, Palladino said, “We aim to launch a signal through this activity to have the Europeans understand that there is an alternative to the official relation between Europe and Arab countries.”

“Take Saudi Arabia for example, our government and politicians have diplomatic ties with it; Saudi Arabia is killing the Yemeni people and no one in the West spoke out” Palladino said.

He added that “everyone in Europe considers Hizbullah as a terrorist organization, but no one speaks of the situation in Yemen where our military planes are sold to Saudi Arabia and are used to kill the Yemenis.”

On the level of Hizbullah’s fight against terrorism in Syria, Palladion said that the group “gives the best example it can give to the world” shedding light on the fact that now Hizbullah and its martyrs are the best answer against terrorism.

“It is not a terrorist organization! Hizbullah is fighting outside its territory and spending weapons, money and lives to defend the freedom and security of Syria and the Syrian people,” he added.

Palladino went on to say that “No one can hide the sacrifices of Hizbullah in Syria in the same manner that no one can hide the crimes of Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen as well as their public attack against Iran!”

He indicated that “now, people in Italy are getting their information directly from the source – your website for example – via the internet, and they no longer depend on the official media for news” explaining that Europeans are becoming more aware of the truth and their view Hizbullah.

To be continued…

Source: al-Ahed News


28-05-2016 | 16:43

Corbyn’s Latest Sin: Ignoring Summons to Visit Holocaust Museum in Israel

 photo corbyn_zps9lk7gbba.jpg

By Richard Edmondson

Poor Jeremy Corbyn. He’s in hot water again. His latest offense? Ignoring an invitation from the leader of the Israeli Labor Party to journey to Israel to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.

And the Israeli Laborites are incensed at the absence of a reply, while the Blairite centrists in Corbyn’s own party are reportedly in “shock” at the news.

“You’re a lying racist,” shouted Labour MP John Mann at former London Mayor Ken Livingstone last month after the latter pointed out–accurately, by the way–that Hitler had supported Zionist goals of having Jews immigrate to Palestine. But it seems the philo-semitic witch hunters out for Corbyn’s blood can’t be bothered with historical facts.

“It should be a matter of common courtesy to reply to a letter from the leader of one of our sister parties, particularly on an issue as important as tackling antisemitism,” commented Labour MP Wes Streeting when news of the snub broke over the weekend.

“But this is fairly typical of the flat-footed and lackadaisical attitude that we’ve seen from the outset. It is simply unacceptable,” he added.

Streeting apparently feels the leader of the British Labour Party should pack his bags and promptly head for Yad Vashem.

Built on a rise overlooking the site of the Deir Yassin massacre, the Yad Vashem museum has for years now been a favored destination of opportunists seeking to further their political careers. Here’s Obama in 2008:

 photo yvobama_zps1ys8uzwg.jpg

Joe Biden in 2011:

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And war criminal Tony Blair, also in 2011:

 photo yvblair_zpsvm2gk6tw.jpg

During his own visit to the museum, Blair wrote the following in the guestbook:

“Thank you for what will remain with me forever. It is hard to describe what this means to me or how profoundly it affects my emotions. For me, this is a memorial, it is a tribute, it is a reflection of an event almost too terrible to contemplate. But it is also a warning, a warning of the wickedness of which humanity is capable. I leave here with that warning in my mind. I also leave, however, with a sense of hope, because amidst all the evil and tragedy, those that survived built a better world and had the grace and wisdom then to build this testament to suffering and to the human spirit.”

The people of Britain are of course now awaiting judgement from the Chilcott Inquiry as to whether Blair may be guilty of “the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole,” i.e. crimes against peace. And certainly what Blair and George Bush Jr. did to the people of Iraq is “almost too terrible to contemplate.”

As Corbyn put it recently,

“The Chilcot report will come out in a few weeks’ time and tell us what we need to know, what I think we already know: There were no weapons of mass destruction, there was no ability to attack within 45 minutes and a deal had been done with Bush in advance.”

Corbyn, in a general manner of speaking, seems to feel Blair should indeed be prosecuted for war crimes, although when specifically asked his views on this matter, his response was a vague, “If he’s committed a war crime, yes. Everyone who’s committed a war crime should be (prosecuted).”

Indeed, all war criminals should be prosecuted, and while none of the witch hunters seem to want to acknowledge it, certainly a war crime was committed against the people of Deir Yassin. According to Deir Yassin Remembered:

Early in the morning of April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. The village lay outside of the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish State; it had a peaceful reputation. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Deir Yassin was slated for occupation under Plan Dalet and the mainstream Jewish defense force, the Haganah, authorized the irregular terrorist forces of the Irgun and the Stern Gang to perform the takeover.

In all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. Fifty-three orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City, where they were found by Miss Hind Husseini and brought behind the American Colony Hotel to her home, which was to become the Dar El-Tifl El-Arabi orphanage.

What was once the village of Deir Yassin is today occupied by an Israeli psychiatric hospital. Some of the Palestinian homes still standing after the massacre, were later incorporated into the hospital buildings, and the facility is plainly visible today from the museum.

Suppose a photo of Corbyn, perhaps wearing a kippah, prostrating himself before the altar of the holocaust, were to circulate widely over the Internet–would it help or hurt his political career? And why would the Israeli Labor Party issue such an invitation to him at this time?

In April, Israel’s opposition leader Isaac Herzog and leader of the Israeli Labour Party, responded to the antisemitism row by inviting senior members of the Labour Party – including Jeremy Corybn – to visit Yad Vashem as a reminder of the results of antisemitism.

So reports the Jewish Chronicle in an article published May 29. The story was also picked up by the Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post, among others, and most of the reports take pains to note as well that the news comes the same week as the reinstatement of party member Jackie Walker, who was suspended last month after posting on Facebook that Jews had been involved in the African slave trade (another historical fact).

So was the invitation, as per the Jewish Chronicle’s report, issued only to remind Corbyn of “the results of antisemitism”? Or was the motive to embarrass him, to put him in a dicey and uncomfortable position? And who from the Israeli Labor Party contacted the media to let them know of Corbyn’s dereliction in answering? The reports don’t seem to mention that. What they do give us are the words of Herzog, the Israeli Labor leader, as quoted from his letter to Corbyn last month:

“I have been appalled and outraged by the recent examples of anti-Semitism by senior Labor party officials in the United Kingdom,” Herzog said, going on to refer to Livingstone as “anti-Semitic beyond hope of redemption.” Yet he also expressed his belief that some within the Labour Party are able to “understand the scourge of anti-Semitism.”

Sadly Corbyn has lacked the mettle to respond to attacks that have in essence now become a Zionist blitzkrieg against his entire political party. Rather than suspending his party members, he should have defended them. Consider the case of Livingstone.

In the world we live in, people can be fired from their jobs for suggesting that the holocaust didn’t happen or that six million Jews didn’t die. Livingstone did not deny the holocaust. He did not even deny the six million number. Nevertheless he lost his job anyway. It was reported over the weekend that Livingstone’s Saturday morning slot on London’s LBC radio station has been dropped and that his contract has not been renewed. The situation might have been different had Corbyn had the temerity to mount a vociferous defense of his longtime friend.

As for Walker, she describes the past few weeks of her life as a “living nightmare,” and this is probably no exaggeration.

 photo jwalker_zpspikphutu.jpg

Jackie Walker, of UK’s Labour Party

“I am glad this investigation has fully cleared me of any wrongdoing,” Walker said. “I am not a racist, but I robustly defend my right and the right of others to speak openly and frankly about matters of grave political and historical importance. That is the cornerstone of the right of free speech in our democracy.”

She added: “What I have suffered and the effect [it] has had on my health, and also on my family, can only be described as the lowest form of ‘attack politics’.”

In addition to Deir Yassin, the following massacres, according to a source here, were also carried out by Israel in the years from 1948 onward. I cannot vouch for all the information, although some of the massacres, such as Kafr Qasem massacre of 1956, I have read about previously. And certainly all of us, or most of us, are familiar with the more recent events cited down at the bottom of the list. As for the Kafr Qasem massacre, it is discussed in the 1983 book, The Fate of the Jews, by Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht, a Jewish author, who cites the same number of fatalities–43–as that given in the list below, along with the additional information that seven of the dead were children and ten were women.

The Semiramis Hotel Massacre 1948

Jewish Agency escalated their terror campaign to drive out Palestinian Arabs by bombing the hotel. 18 civilians killed; 16 wounded.

Naser Al-Din Massacre 1948

Zionist gangs entered the village dressed as Arab fighters and met villagers with fire. All the houses of the village were raised to the ground, killing the entire population except 40 who survived. 632 civilians in total were killed.

Tantura Massacre 1948

Israeli troops entered village to remove inhabitants to make way for a parking lot for a nearby beach. Groups of Palestinians were rounded up, killed, and their bodies thrown, rounding up more groups. 200 civilians were killed.

Beit Daras Massacre 1948

Zionists mobilized a large contingent and surrounded the village, killing the women, children and elderly that were fleeing the conflict. 265 civilians in total were killed.

Dahmash Mosque Massacre 1948

Israelis told Arabs through loudspeakers that if they went into the mosque they would be safe, 80-100 Palestinians were massacred in the mosque and their bodies lay decomposing for 10 days.

Dawayma Massacre 1948

Israeli army entered the village on the western side of the Hebron mountains and brutally killed about 100 women and children.

Houla Massacre 1948

Jewish militants dressed in traditional Arab attire entered the border village. Militants rounded up 85 people and detained them in a number of houses, firing live ammunition at the civilians and killing all but 3.

Salha Massacre 1948

105 civilians killed by occupiers when ordered to face the wall of a mosque, then shot from behind.

Sharafat Massacre 1951

Israeli soldiers crossed armistice line and destroyed residential properties – 10 civilians killed (2 elderly men, 3 women and 5 children), 8 wounded.

Qibya Massacre 1953

600 Israeli soldiers moved in towards village destroying 56 houses, a mosque, a school and water tank. 67 men and women killed.

Kafr Qasem Massacre 1956

Israeli soldiers stepped out of military trucks, positioned themselves at village entrances, and killed 43 farmers.

Khan Yunis Massacre 1956

Israelis occupied the town and an adjacent refugee camp. UNRWA investigation found 275 unarmed civilians murdered by Israelis.

Gaza City Massacre 1956

Zionist Army gangs brought death toll to 60 civilians including (including 27 women, 29 men and 4 children) and 103 injured.

Al-Sammou’ Massacre 1966

Israeli forces raided the village destroying 140 houses, a village clinic and school. 18 civilians were killed and 54 wounded.

Aitharoun Massacre 1975

Caused by a booby-trapped bomb. 9 civilians were killed, 23 were wounded.

Kawnin Massacre 1975

An Israeli tank ran over a vehicle carrying 16 civilians. None of them survived.

Hanin Massacre 1976

After a 2-month siege and hours of shelling, occupation forces stormed the village and turned it into a bloodbath. 20 civilians killed.

Bint Jbeil Massacre 1976

A crowded market was the target of a sudden barrage of Israeli bombs, slaughtering 23 civilians and 30 wounded.

Abbasieh Massacre 1978

Israeli warplanes destroyed a mosque while civilians used it as shelter from heavy shelling. 80 civilians killed.

Adloun Massacre 1978

2 cars carrying 8 passengers came under Israeli fire while they were on their way to Beirut. Only 1 passenger survived.

Saida Massacre 1981

Residential areas targeted by Israeli artillery resulting in 20 civilians killed, 30 were wounded.

Fakhani Massacre 1981

Israeli warplanes raided crowded residential areas using highly sophisticated weaponry. 150 civilians killed, 600 were wounded.

Sabra and Shatila 1982

Israeli Army surrounded the camps, providing aid and facilities, in collaboration with right-wing Lebanese Phalangist, were responsible for almost 3500 civilians dead, most of them women, children and elderly.

Jibsheet Massacre 1984

Occupation forces’ tanks and helicopters fired at a crowd of people. 7 civilians were killed, 10 were wounded.

Sohmor Massacre 1984

Occupation forces stormed with tanks and military vehicles, then ordered the inhabitants to congregate at the town’s mosque and fired at them. 13 civilians killed, 12 wounded.

Seer Al Garbiah Massacre 1985

At Al-Husseinieh people took shelter from shelling of Israeli soldiers who stormed the town with military vehicles. 7 civilians killed.

Maaraka Massacres 1985

Occupation forces detonated an explosive device during distribution of aid to citizens during siege. 15 civilians were killed.

Zrariah Massacre 1985

Occupation forces stormed the town after heavy shelling with 100 vehicles, killing children, women and elderly. 22 civilians slaughtered.

Horneen Al-Tahta Massacre 1985

Occupation forces ordered the inhabitants to gather at a school of the village then destroyed it.

Jibaa Massacre 1985

Huge Army forces attacked the town and put it under siege. Soldiers fired at people escaping the siege. 5 civilians killed, 5 were wounded.

Yohrnor Massacre 1985

An Israeli armed force entered the town using civilian cars and opened fire at the houses. 10 civilians killed, among them a family of 6.

Tin Massacre 1986

Occupation forces cutting the hands and ears from civilians in the town. 4 persons were killed; 79 were crippled and wounded.

Al-Naher Al-Bared Massacre 1986

Israeli warplanes raided the Palestinian refugee camp killing many of the refugees. 20 person were killed and 22 were wounded.

Ain Al-Hillwee Massacre 1987

Jet fighters launched 2 raids. 31 civilians killed and 41 wounded. Refugees were hit by a raid while evacuating casualties, 34 more were killed, making a total of 65 civilian casualties.

Oyon Qara Massacre 1990

Israeli soldier lined up Palestinian labors and murdered 7 of them with a sub-machine gun. 13 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in subsequent demonstrations.

Siddiqine Massacre 1990

Israeli warplanes bombed a house, among the 3 killed a four years old child.

Al-Aqsa Mosque Massacre 1990

Israeli forces placed military barriers around roads and surrounded it with military helicopters. Jewish settlers fired live ammunition with automatic weapons and gas bombs. 23 Palestinians were killed, 850 wounded.

Ibrahimi Mosque “Cave of the Patriarchs” Massacre 1994

Almost 500 worshipers attended Friday dawn prayer when Zionist settlers and soldiers stormed the mosque and fired on the people praying. 24 civilians died and hundreds injured.

Jabalia Massacre 1994

Jewish undercover police opened fire on Palestinian activists killing 6 and injuring 49. Some of the wounded activists were taken out of their cars and shot in the head.

Eretz Checkpoint Massacre 1994

Occupation forces fired on Palestinian workers at Eretz checkpoint while 4 Israeli tanks and helicopters were brought in. 11 civilians were shot dead and 200 injured.

Deir Al-Zahrani Massacre 1994

Israeli warplanes fired a “vacuum” missile at a 2-story building which was destroyed. 8 people were killed, 17 were injured.

Nabatyaih School Bus Massacre 1994

Israeli warplanes targeted a school bus full of students. 4 children were killed and 10 injured.

Sohmor Second Massacre 1996

Israeli artillery targeted a civilian vehicle carrying 8 passengers, killing them all.

Mansuriah Massacre 1996

Israeli helicopter fired rockets at a vehicle carrying 13 civilians fleeing the village of al-Mansuri, killing 2 women and 4 young girls.

Nabatyaih Massacre 1996

Israeli Air attack with helicopters fired rockets at 3 buildings in the village on a house in Nabatiyya al-Faqwah causing 11 civilians casualties (including a mother and her 7 children) and 10 injured.

Qana Massacre 1996

Zionist forces bombed a shelter providing refuge to 500 Lebanese, mostly women, children and elderly forced out of their villages by Israeli raids. 109 civilians killed and 116 injured in a UN compound.

Janta Massacre 1998

Israeli warplanes attacked a mother and her 6 children when they had returned from the field. All had been killed.

The 29 June Massacre 1999

Israeli force targeted a building in Beirut. 8 civilians killed and 84 injured.

Western Bekaa villages Massacre 1999

Israeli warplanes fired on children who were celebrating the Eid festival. 8 children were killed and 11 others wounded.

Al-Aqsa Mosque Massacre 2000

Ariel Sharon entered Al-Aqsa Mosque with 3000 Israeli soldiers. Soldiers opened fire on Muslims worshipers before completing their prayers. 80 Palestinian civilians were killed and 1000’s injured.

Lebanon Massacre 2006

There were more than 94 cases of Israeli air and artillery attacks on civilian homes and vehicles . Of the 1,109 casualties, approximately 900 were civilians, and most of the targets were roads, residential buildings and civil buildings that had no evidence of combatants.

Operation “Cast Lead” Gaza Massacre 2009

Israeli government lay siege to the city with the use of white-phosphorous chemical weapons in densely populated areas such as schools and hospitals. 1,300 women, children & elderly were killed and thousands injured.

Gaza Siege 2012

162 men, women and children killed by air strikes, and 1269 injured during the 8 day assault on the Gaza Strip just before elections in Israel.

Operation “Protective Edge” Gaza Massacre 2014

7 weeks of Israeli bombardment resulted in a total of 2,150 men, women and children killed in the Gaza strip, including 578 children. Human rights groups reported that around 69–75% of the victims were civilians.

We of course know that throughout the same period there have also been attacks by Palestinians that have claimed the lives of Israelis, but we have to keep in mind that of the two groups of people, one is resisting an occupation while the other is imposing it; one is fighting to keep what’s left of it’s land while the other continues to sieze more, claiming self defense as its justification. Perhaps most pertinent of all, Israel has never acknowledged a single one of these massacres. It has also, for whatever reasons, never acknowledged the Armenian genocide. At the same time, powerful Jews continuously lay down fiats and dictums to the rest of us: holocaust denial forbidden. Slave trade denial acceptable. Israel is a democracy with the most moral army in the world. Livingstone is anti-Semitic beyond hope of redemption, and if you disagree, you are too.

What it all suggests is that the pagan holocaust religion exalts the primacy of Jewish suffering, and that massacres, murders, and genocides of others are of little or no consideration by comparison.

Will the Zionist chatterers come to rue their attacks on Corbyn? It all depends. The possibility of the rise of a very different sort of leader from Corbyn, one fed up with Israel’s flagrant violations of international law and who cares little about civility and diplomatic niceties, cannot be ruled out. Should such a leader emerge–possibly in Europe–possibly in America–there may well come a time when the high priests of political correctness will long for the dulcet days when they had “good ole Jeremy” to kick around.

Nasser Kandil: Russia and the situation in Syria and the region

الجمعة 27 أيار 2016   ناجي س. البستاني خاص النشرة

في ظلّ الإنسحاب الأميركي الطوعي من الساحة السورية، في مُقابل التدخّل العسكري لكل من روسيا وإيران فيها، إن بشكل مُباشر(1) أو غير مباشر(2)، طفى سريعًا على السطح التضارب في المصالح والأهداف لكل من موسكو وطهران بالنسبة إلى التورّط في الحرب السوريّة. فما هي أبرز نقاط الخلاف بين الطرفين، وإلى أين يُمكن أن تؤدّي؟
أوًلاً: بالنسبة إلى القتال على الأرض السوريّة، تعتبر روسيا أنّ ما تحقّق حتى تاريخه كافٍ للدخول في مُفاوضات سلميّة للتوصّل إلى إتفاقتسوية، بعد تثبيت نظام الرئيس السوري بشّار الأسد، وإضعاف “المُعارضات” السوريّة وتشتيتها، حيث لا حاجة لتكبّد عناء المزيد من المعارك والغارات المُكلفة بشريًا وماديًا. في المُقابل، تعتبر إيران أنّ المعركة لم تنته، وأنّه من الضروري الإستمرار فيها لمزيد من الوقت بعد، أقلّه لإستعادة مدينة حلب بالكامل، ولإغلاق آخر المنافذ الحدودية بين سوريا وتركيا، منعًا لإستمرار تدفّق المُقاتلين الأجانب إلى جبهات القتال في سوريا، وقطعًا لعمليّات تهريب الأسلحة والعتاد إلى الجماعات المُعارضة.
ثانيًا: بالنسبة إلى مُفاوضات السلام في جنيف وغيرها، تُشدّد روسيا على ضرورة تقديم تنازلات مُتبادلة لإنجاح المحادثات التي تجري علىدُفعات برعاية دَوليّة، وهي لا تجد مانعًا في أن يكون مصير الرئيس السوري مدار بحث، وتُشجّع مسألة قيام حكومة وحدة وطنيّة في سوريا، تكون بمثابة هيئة حكم تنفيذيّة، في إنتظار إعادة تكوين السلطة عبر تنظيم إنتخابات عامة بإشراف مراقبين دَوليّين ومن هيئة الأمم المتحدة. في المُقابل، تتمسّك إيران بقيادة الرئيس السوري، وتدعم موقفه المُعارض لأي بحث في ولايته، بحجّة أنّ الأمر يخصّ الشعب السوري دون سواه.
ثالثًا: بالنسبة إلى مُحاولات الأكراد في سوريا فرض أمر واقع جغرافي على أمل الحُصول مُستقبلاً على حكم ذاتي بمعزل عن حكم
مشق المركزي، لا تُعارض روسيا هذا التوجّه، لبل هي تُشجّعه للحُصول على ورقة ضغط بوجه تركيا، علمًا أنّ موسكو جاهزة لتأييد أي خيار يحفظ مصالحها الإستراتيجيّة في مياه البحر الأبيض المتوسّط، حتى لو كان الأمر عبر قيام فدراليّة في سوريا. في المُقابل، تُعارض إيران محاولات الأكراد الإنفصال، خوفًا من تحوّل كامل الأراضي السورية إلى مناطق حكم ذاتي صغيرة وضعيفة وبأبعاد طائفيّة ومذهبيّة وعرقيّة ضيّقة، الأمر الذي يُشكّل تقسيمًا وفرزًا للدولة السوريّة، وهو الهدف الذي لطالما حلمت به إسرائيل، لإضعاف سوريا، ولتبرير قيام دولتها اليهوديّة.
رابعًا: بالنسبة إلى العلاقات مع الدول العربيّة والخليجيّة بالتحديد،
تحرص روسيا على الحفاظ على مصالحها في العالم العربي، على الرغم من التباين الكبير مع حُكّام كثير من الدول العربيّة والخليجيّة بالنسبة إلى الأزمة السورية، وهي تُحاول البناء على الضرر المُشترك الناجم من الإرهاب، لإستمرار العلاقات الإقتصادية والتجاريّة وحتى السياسيّة والأمنيّة مع العرب. وترفض موسكو محاولات جرّها لأن تكون طرفًا في الصراع الإيراني – الخليجي الحالي، خاصة ببُعده المذهبي بين الطائفتين الشيعيّة والسنّية.
في المُقابل، تعمل إيران على إمساك أوراق أكثر من ملفّ إقليمي حام، وعلى إستغلال التباين الحالي بين روسيا والدول العربيّة، وبين روسيا وتركيا أيضًا، لتوسيع نفوذها الإقليمي في المنطقة.خامسًا: بالنسبة إلى العلاقات مع الولايات المتحدة الأميركيّة والعالم الغربي، تُواصل روسيا مساعيها الرامية إلى فك العزلة عنها، وعلى رفع العقوبات بحقّها، عبر إيجاد نقاط توافق مُشتركة مع أميركا والدول الأوروبيّة بالنسبة إلى الملفّ السوري، خاصة وأنّ موسكو نجحت عبر القوّة العسكريّة، في فرض موقعها الطليعي في أيّ مُفاوضات. في المُقابل، وعلى الرغم من حرص طهران على التقيّد بشروط “الإتفاق النووي” مع الغرب للخروج كليًا من عزلتها السابقة، فإنّها تُحاول إخراج تأثير أميركا والدول الأوروبيّة من أيّ إتفاق تسوية خاص بسوريا، حرصًا على مصالحها الإقليميّة التي لا تنسجم بطبيعة الحال، لا مع تطلّعات واشنطن، ولا مع رغبات الأوروبيّين، على الرغم من فتح صفحة جديدة واعدة إقتصاديًا وتجاريًا معهم، وأقلّ توتّرًا من الناحية السياسيّة بين الطرفين أيضًا.في الختام، صحيح أنّ روسيا وإيران تُحاولان بشكل دائم التخفيف من وقع الخلافات بينهما بشأن الأزمة السورية، وهما يصفانها بالتباينات المحدودة، وصحيح أنّ التدخّل العسكري لكل منهما يُشكّل “نقطة إلتقاء” قويّة، لكنّ الأصحّ أنّه عندما يحين موعد الإتفاقات النهائية للمنطقة، ومنها خاص بسوريا، فإنّ لعبة المصالح الخاصة ستغلب على أيّ إعتبار آخر، حيث سيسعى كل طرف إلى تمرير وجهة نظره، وإلى فرض أولويّة مصالحه الإستراتيجيّة.
وعلى خط مواز، لن تتردّد إيران في محاولة تعويض نقص الدعم العسكري الروسي من الجوّ، بدعم عسكري أكبر برًا، وذلك في حال إنهيار الهدنة الهشّة الحاليّة على نطاق واسع. وفي الإنتظار، ستبقى الخلافات الروسيّة – الإيرانية قائمة، ولوّ بعيدًا عن التراشق الإعلامي، علمًا أنّ الدول الخليجيّة تعمل بجهد حاليًا لاسترضاء موسكو مُجدّدًا، مُستغلّة تباين آرائها مع طهران، وذلك لتمرير الوقت على أمل أن يكون للإدارة الأميركيّة الجديدة التي ستنبثق من إنتخابات تشرين الثاني المقبل موقف أكثر حزمًا من إيران وأكثر توازنًا مع روسيا.
(1) عبر تنفيذ الغارات الجويّة والضربات الصاروخيّة وإرسال الخبراء وقوّات قتالية على الأرض.
(2) عبر إرسال وحدات وميليشيات مُقاتلة مُوالية، أو عبر توريد الأسلحة والعتاد.

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