Trump’s Proposed ‘Defense’ Spending Increase Is More Than 80% of Russia’s ENTIRE Military Budget

Source

At a meeting of U.S. governors on Monday, Donald “the F-35 is too expensive” Trump described his proposed $54 billion boost in “defense” spending as an integral part of “a public safety and national security budget.”

As our friends at the Intercept astutely observed:

That increase alone is roughly the size of the entire annual military budget of the United Kingdom, the fifth-largest spending country, and it’s more than 80 percent of Russia’s entire military budget in 2015.

Seriously, is Donald Trump a shape-shifting space lizard? Because that’s basically the only acceptable reason for someone proposing something so awful and evil. That or he is now a loyal Raytheon lapdog. Or both.

Freedom isn't free?Freedom isn’t free?

It doesn’t matter how you dress up the numbers. It’s criminal in every graph-form:

Screen-Shot-2017-02-27-at-5.12.20-PM-1488233648
Filth.
To quote the Washington Post, ” In the richest nation in the world, one in three kids live in poverty. Let that sink in.”

Syria towards the resolving سورية إلى الحسم

 Syria towards the resolving 

فبراير 28, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Syria has endured a lot of the pressure of its people and their boredom of the cruelty of going on into political process that will end with the participation of hired killers in a government that rules the country, establishes a new constitution, participates in the elections, and gets number of seats by the force of money, media, and the external support, so that qualifies it to participate in a government of a national unity and reconciliation after the elections. That was because the Syrian state is keen to abide by the credibility of its vision to the war on Syria as a war that must be confined with the terrorist formations on one hand, and as an external war that used Syrian pleas  on the other hand, but when the circumstances of its end become mature due to the despair  of the abroad from achieving its goals, then it is not possible to stop the war without granting this abroad which most of it are superpowers led by America what can face -saving and what can facilitate the retreat behind saying that the Syrian embassies were closed and the sanctions on Syria were imposed in order to support a local opposition, but as long as the reconciliation has been settled with this opposition and there was a Syrian  unified government, so we will deal with it and we will accept what is accepted by the Syrians after the elections.

It was noticeable in the positive dealing of the Syrian state with the political initiatives, which are led by Russia “the allied country” which stands with Syria with its full force, without hesitation and has endured intense pressures but has not changed what is worthy from Syria according to what is represented by the political process as an importance in making its role at the international level. So in many times the Syrian state was responding to the Russian endeavors of announcing a truce or to start a dialogue, although Syria saw that it is in vain but it trusts that the Russian allies will conclude that through the experience. This has happened a year ago with the endeavors of the truce, and when it gave the armed factions which fought in Aleppo with Al Nusra front an opportunity to improve its situation under the Turkish cover, and when it was driven to Astana after dismantling its relation with Al Nusra and the repositioning under the umbrella of the political solution. The Syrian state looks at these factions as the same composition of Al Nusra and ISIS, but it meets the invitations and responds to the calls leaving the matters to the realities which will say the final word.

Syria was not deceived by the Turkish repositioning, it remained looking at it with the logic of acts and the law as a foreign occupation, but it granted the Russian endeavors their opportunity to modify the Turkish performance in a conformity with the requirements of the recognition of the Syrian legitimacy, and the respect of the international law standards in the sovereign relations between the countries. Syria has done that when it sent the positive messages to what was announced by the administration of the US President Donald Trump about his intention on making the priority of the war on terrorism and building his alliances and disputes on that basis, criticizing what was announced by the previous administration  as the war on Syria, he disclosed its role in launching ISIS and bringing the fighters of Al-Qaeda organization to Syria, but the Syrian country has heard statements not deeds, it feels that the new US administration is wandering among the issues and mazes, so it is difficult to expect qualitative steps that will contribute in changing the Syrian scene.

The US reluctance and the Turkish tampering intersect with the malice of the factions, while the desire of Saudi Arabia is to keep the war ignited, while Al Nusra front emerges again as a leader of the factions. Turkey takes the position of quarrelsome and sabotage contrary to the promises and pledges, so the truce becomes fragile in more than one front, the factions follow Al Nusra supported by the Turkish Saudi coordination and maybe the Israeli. America which is in a state of confusion and chaos is preoccupied with how to reassure the ally Benjamin Netanyahu that he is not alone and that he will be supported by Washington in all the criminality and the aggression. This is the new priority of Washington.

What is going on in the northeast of Syria around Al Bab city and near the capital Damascus in Qaboun, Jobar, and Harasta, and in Daraa, in addition to what is issued as statements by the nominations of the opposition which stem from Riyadh Conference about the Dialogue Conference in Geneva, and from the armed factions about the relation with Al Nusra front show that Syria is on a date with a round of confrontation for many forthcoming months, which means that the resolving will be the choice of the Syrian country to deal with the next phase.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

سورية إلى الحسم

فبراير 21, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– تحمّلت الدولة السورية الكثير من ضغوط شعبها وتململه من قسوة السير بعملية سياسية ستنتهي بمشاركة قتلة مأجورين في حكومة تدير البلد وتضع دستوراً جديداً وتشارك في الانتخابات، وتحصل على عدد من المقاعد بقوة المال والإعلام والدعم الخارجي ما يخوّلها المشاركة في حكومة وحدة وطنية ومصالحة بعد الانتخابات، وذلك حرصاً من الدولة السورية على الالتزام بمصداقية نظرتها للحرب على سورية كحرب يجب حصرها بالتشكيلات الإرهابية من جهة، ومن جهة مقابلة كحرب خارجية استعملت واجهات سورية، وعندما تنضج ظروف وقفها بيأس هذا الخارج من تحقيق أهدافه، لا يمكن التطلع لوقف الحرب بغير منح هذا الخارج، وهو في غالبه دول عظمى تتقدّمها أميركا، ما يحفظ ماء الوجه ويسهّل التراجع عبر الاختباء وراء القول أُغلقت السفارات السورية وفُرضت العقوبات على سورية لدعم معارضة محلية، وطالما تمّت المصالحة مع هذه المعارضة وتشكلت حكومة سورية موحّدة فسنتعاطى معها وبعد الانتخابات نرتضي ما يقرّره السوريون.

– كان حاضراً في التعامل الإيجابي للدولة السورية مع المبادرات السياسية أن في طليعة مَن يقودها روسيا الدولة الحليفة التي وقفت مع سورية بكل قوة وبلا تردّد وتحملت ضغوطاً شديدة ولم تتغيّر، ما يستحق من سورية مبادلة روسيا ما تمثله العملية السياسية من أهمية في صناعة دورها على المستوى العالمي. ولذلك كانت الدولة السورية في مرات كثيرة تستجيب لمساعٍ روسية لإعلان هدنة أو لبدء حوار وهي لا ترى منها جدوى، وتثق بأن الحلفاء الروس سيصلون عبر التجربة للاستنتاج ذاته. وهذا ما حدث قبل عام مع مساعي الهدنة، وما حدث بطريقة أخرى في منح الفرصة للفصائل المسلحة التي قاتلت في حلب مع جبهة النصرة ليتم تبييضها تحت الجناح التركي وتؤخذ إلى أستانة وتقوم بقطع صلتها بالنصرة والتموضع تحت مظلة الحل السياسي، والدولة السورية تنظر لهذه الفصائل كجزء من العجين ذاته الذي خبزت منه النصرة وداعش، لكنها تلبي الدعوات وتستجيب للنداءات وتترك المجال للوقائع تقول الكلمة الفصل.

– لم تنخدع سورية بالتموضع التركي وبقيت تنظر إليه بمنطق الأفعال والقانون كاحتلال أجنبي، لكنها منحت المساعي الروسية فرصتها لتعديل الأداء التركي، بما ينسجم مع مقتضيات الاعتراف بالشرعية السورية واحترام معايير القانون الدولي في العلاقات السيادية بين الدول. وكذلك فعلت سورية مع إرسال الرسائل الإيجابية نحو ما أعلنته إدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب عن عزمه وضع الأولوية للحرب على الإرهاب، وبناء تحالفاته وخصوماته على هذا الأساس، منتقداً ما قامت به الإدارة السابقة من إعلان الحرب على سورية وفاضحاً دورها في إطلاق تنظيم داعش وجلب مقاتلي تنظيم القاعدة إلى سورية. لكن الدولة السورية سمعت أقوالاً ولم تر أفعالاً، بل تستشعر غرقاً للإدارة الأميركية الجديدة في ملفات ومتاهات ستجعل من الصعب توقع خطوات نوعية تسهم في تغيير المشهد السوري.

– التباطؤ الأميركي والعبث التركي يتقاطعان مع خبث الفصائل، ومن حلفهم رغبة السعودية ببقاء نار الحرب مشتعلة. وتتصدّر جبهة النصرة المشهد وتظهر مجدداً كقائد للفصائل، وتنتقل تركيا لموقع المشاكسة والتخريب، خلافاً للوعود والتعهّدات، فتترنّح الهدنة في أكثر من جبهة، وتصطف الفصائل وراء النصرة ومن خلفها يعود التنسيق التركي السعودي، والإسرائيلي ليس بعيداً، والأميركي في حال التشوّش والارتباك منشغل في كيف يطمئن الحليف بنيامين نتنياهو بأنه ليس وحيداً وأن واشنطن معه في كل الإجرام والعدوان، لتبدو هذه هي الأولوية الجديدة لواشنطن.

– ما يجري في شمال شرق سورية حول مدينة الباب وجوار العاصمة دمشق في القابون وجوبر وحرستا وفي درعا، وما يصدر من مواقف لمسمّيات المعارضة المنبثقة من مؤتمر الرياض حول مؤتمر الحوار في جنيف، وعن الفصائل المسلحة حول العلاقة بجبهة النصرة، يقول إن سورية على موعد مع جولة مواجهة لشهور مقبلة، ما يعني أن الحسم سيكون وصفة الدولة السورية للتعامل مع المرحلة المقبلة.

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Trump is a caricature version of Obama ترامب نسخة كاريكاتورية لأوباما

Trump is a caricature version of Obama

فبراير 28, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It is clear that the new US President Donald Trump has changed his electoral speech which based on the call to pay attention to the US interior, to reduce the degree of the engagement in the role of the global policeman, and the interventions and the wars with the exception of the priority of the war on ISIS which its entry is Russian US cooperation, knowing that these terms and vocabularies were quoted from Trump’s speeches in the elections, into the focus on a foreign policy that based on a speech that rebuilds what his electoral speech has affected his relation with the allies, and based on the recalling back the speech of the abstention from the involvement in the settlements which are imposed by the attempt to cooperate with Russia in preparation for a global alliance against the terrorism.

The era of the Former US President Barack Obama who was accused of failure by his opponents, and who was accused of extremism by Trump, because in his opinion he made ISIS and has implicated America with the war of Syria to change the regime in it, has been characterized with the attempt to combine the two policies of pleasing the allies in the NATO and in the region especially France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel on one hand, and the attempt to proceed in settlements during the cooperation with Moscow on the other hand, after Obama spent his first mandate and half of his second mandate in leading the allies in the west and the region to the wars of the Arab Spring specially the war of Syria, and bringing the fleets in preparation for the war, but he was forced to retreat to avoid a full confrontation which America is not ready for it, then he discovered that he did not have ready allies for the settlements which he reached to their titles with Russia, so he fell in the waiting, slowdown, and the dual language, towards the vacancy.

Trump has succeeded in making a speech that was characterized with courage in running the settlements which Obama has hesitated in their running, since they are the only place in which the US President can test his bravery, because the field of escalation and wars is determined with the inability, this was before the Russians have positioned in the region and before the victories of Aleppo, so how after them. After the arrival of Trump to presidency he faced the complexities which prevent him from going on in the US political, diplomatic, legislative, and military policy towards qualitative step of change that is represented by the alliance with Russia. Trump has involved in wide confrontations in the US interior through improvised steps, speeches, and random positions that based on the racism and arrogance, that integrated with the abstention of the US institution, so he submitted quickly and was the resignation of his National Security Advisor Michel Flynn on the basis of a phone call with the Russian ambassador in Washington as an expression of that submission.

Trump who regressed from the choice of settlements through arrogant insolent speech inherits a president who has experienced all the opportunities to test the power, the pressures, and the sanctions, he has imposed exhausted sanctions on Russia, paved the way for the war of Ukraine, has brought the fleets to the Mediterranean Sea, moreover he has brought Al-Qaeda and sent ISIS, and has tried till the last moment through the sanctions and the negotiation to subdue Iran. He has left only two choices for the one who will come after him, the first choice is the further investment on ISIS and Al Nusra publicly and making the war on Syria prior to the war on terrorism, and the escalation against Russia on that basis. This choice has been represented by Hillary Clinton, while the second choice is the involvement with Russia and the cooperation and having an understanding with it on making the settlements in preparation for the participation in the war on Al Nusra and ISIS, this includes openness to the Syrian country. These are the titles foreshadowed by Trump.

Trump retreated in front of the abstention of the US intelligence, its military personnel, diplomats, and those who work in media, they are the elites which fought Trump to prevent his arrival, and this means that his fall is the inevitable exit from the international chaos not the fall of the choice of settlements. The choice of escalation for which Clinton has aspired and which was represented by her means Trump’s loss of his supporters without gaining his opponents, it is a choice that is determined with failure and with the high cost in the light of the direct Russian engagement in Syria and the strict Iranian position towards her.

Trump turns into a caricature version of Obama through the inability to take decision and the falling into stalemate with the difference that Trump has filled the vacancy with screaming, so his stage is characterized with some of the black comedy.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

ترامب نسخة كاريكاتورية لأوباما

فبراير 23, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– من الواضح أنّ الرئيس الأميركي الجديد دونالد ترامب قد انقلب على خطابه الانتخابي الذي قام على الدعوة للاهتمام بأميركا من الداخل وتخفيض درجة الانخراط بدور الشرطي العالمي، والتدخلات والحروب، باستثناء أولوية الحرب على داعش، ومدخلها تعاون روسي أميركي. وهذه مصطلحات ومفردات مقتبسة من خطابات ترامب في الانتخابات، إلى التركيز على سياسة خارجية تُبنَى على خطاب ترميم ما خرّبه الخطاب الانتخابي مع الحلفاء وتستعيد خطاب الممانعة في الانخراط بالتسويات التي يُمليها التوجّه للتعاون مع روسيا تمهيداً لحلف عالمي ضد الإرهاب.

– اتسمت مرحلة الرئيس الأميركي السابق باراك أوباما المتّهم بالتخاذل من خصومه، والمتّهم بالتطرّف من ترامب. فهو برأيه مَن صنع داعش ومَن ورّط أميركا بحرب سورية لتغيير نظام الحكم فيها، بمحاولة جمع سياسيتي إرضاء الحلفاء في الأطلسي وفي المنطقة، خصوصاً فرنسا وبريطانيا والسعودية وتركيا و»إسرائيل» من جهة، ومحاولة السير بالتسويات في طريق التعاون مع موسكو من جهة أخرى، بعدما أمضى أوباما ولايته الأولى ونصف ولايته الثانية في قيادة الحلفاء في الغرب والمنطقة لحروب الربيع العربي، خصوصاً حرب سورية وصولا لجلب الأساطيل تمهيداً للحرب، واضطر للتراجع تجنّباً لمواجهة شاملة ليست أميركا جاهزة لها، ليكتشف أن التسويات التي توصل لعناوينها مع روسيا ليس لديه حلفاء جاهزون لها، فوقع بالانتظار والتباطؤ واللغة المزدوجة، وصولاً للفراغ.

– صعد ترامب على كتف خطاب يعِد بالشجاعة في خوض غمار التسويات التي تردّد أوباما في خوضها، باعتبارها المكان الوحيد الذي يُتاح فيه للرئيس الأميركي أن يختبر شجاعته. فميدان التصعيد والحروب مسقوف بالعجز، قبل أن يكون الروس قد تموضعوا في المنطقة، وقبل انتصارات حلب، فكيف بعدهما، وبعد وصول ترامب ظهر أمامه حجم التعقيدات التي تحول دون السير بالآلة الأميركية السياسية والدبلوماسية والتشريعية والعسكرية نحو خطوة نوعية من التغيير تتمثل بالانتقال للتحالف مع روسيا، وتورّط ترامب في مواجهات واسعة في الداخل الأميركي وبخطوات مرتجلة وخطابات ومواقف عشوائية تتأسس على العنصرية والغطرسة، تكاملت مع ممانعة المؤسسة الأميركية فرضخ سريعاً وكانت استقالة مستشاره للأمن القومي مايكل فلين بناء على اتصال أجراه بالسفير الروسي في واشنطن تعبيراً عن هذا الرضوخ.

– ترامب المنكفئ عن خيار التسويات بخطاب متعالٍ ومتغطرس، يرث رئيساً لم تبقَ فرصة لاختبار القوة والضغوط والعقوبات لم يختبرها، فهو مَن ضيّق خناق العقوبات على روسيا ومَن فتح حرب أوكرانيا ومَن جلب الأساطيل إلى المتوسط ومَن جلب القاعدة وأرسل داعش، ومَن خاص حتى اللحظة الأخيرة من العقوبات والتفاوض محاولات تركيع إيران، وأبقى الباب مفتوحاً من بعده لخيارين لا ثالث لهما: الأول هو الذهاب لمزيد من الاستثمار على داعش والنصرة علناً، وجعل الحرب على سورية أسبقية للحرب على الإرهاب، والتصعيد بوجه روسيا على هذا الأساس. وهذا الخيار مثّلته هيلاري كلينتون أو الذهاب لخيار الانخراط مع روسيا والتعاون والتفاهم معها على صناعة التسويات تمهيداً للتشارك في الحرب على النصرة وداعش، وما يتضمّنه ذلك من انفتاح على الدولة السورية. وهذه هي العناوين التي بشر بها ترامب.

– تراجع ترامب أمام ممانعة مخابرات أميركا وعسكرييها ودبلوماسييها وإعلامييها. وهي النخب التي قاتلت ترامب لمنع وصوله، يعني سقوطه. وليس سقوط خيار التسويات مخرجاً حتمياً من الفوضى الدولية. فخيار السير بالتصعيد الذي كانت تبتغيه كلينتون وتمثّله بأصالة، يعني خسارة ترامب لمؤيّديه من دون كسب خصومه، وهو خيار مسقوف بالفشل وبكلفته العالية في ظل الانخراط الروسي المباشر في سورية، والموقف الإيراني الصلب تجاهها.

– يتحوّل ترامب لنسخة كاريكاتورية عن أوباما، بالعجز عن أخذ القرار والوقوع في الجمود، مع فارق ملء ترامب للفراغ بالصراخ، ما يمنح مرحلته بعضاً من الكوميديا السوداء.

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Berri : Two golden equations برّي: معادلتان ذهبيتان

Berri : Two golden equations

فبراير 28, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

From Tehran the Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri issued two golden equations one is Lebanese and the other is regional. Berri announced that the Arabs and the Muslims who meet on considering the threat of transferring the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by Washington  a rude challenge of the feelings of the Arabs and the Muslims, a disgraceful infringement upon the identity of Jerusalem, and a step forward to Israeli escalation that is related with making Jerusalem Jewish and the completion of the displacement of its Arab citizens, as well as an encouragement of the occupation government to go on in further preemptive steps can disable each opportunity for the settlement and ignite the region. Berri wondered what the Arabs can do; he said: why the Arabs and the Muslims do not use the deterrence weapons which they have, which is the prior threat; that they can close their embassies in Washington in case Washington transfers its embassy to Jerusalem.

The deterrence weapon which is put by Berri in circulation has revealed that there are alternatives for the wailing and the begging, as revealing the oil weapons which were used as a deterrence weapon in October War 1973 and have proved their high effectiveness, but this time the fact proves that that the cause of the Arab and Islamic governments is not due to the absence of the alternatives but due to the absence of the wills and the determinations, therefore, the inciting function of Berri’s equation will embarrass the Arab and Islamic governments and will embarrass Washington once launched by Berri, and its turning into common equation in the public opinion, it asks the governments why do not you do that, and will make Washington observe the ability of the governments affiliated to it through bearing pressures of that magnitude, and considering the US interest in exposing these affiliated governments to instability and the fall, in addition, to what will be the consequences of Berri’s equation as launching civil and popular movements that carry the equation to the street as a demand, and turn it into a slogan for preemptive pressure movement against the governments, Washington, and Tel Aviv together.

The second golden equation which was issued by Berri was like drawing a separated line between the fair and the fake election law, by saying we need a law that ensures some of the ambiguity in the results, in response to his description of the situation, that each party tries to calculate his position from the formulas of the laws by measuring his parliamentary share in advance before making the elections. Berri’s equation in Politics is a condition for the correct and the fair law, because it is an election law not a decree of appointments and the going to the elections with expecting some surprises arouse the interest of the enthusiastic voters and will give a meaning for the electoral alliances and a justification for the competition. Because without the ambiguity in the results which stem from adopting any electoral law the law will turn into an ugly deal of partisan and sectarian quota that does not worth the debate and where the law of sixty will be equal to the relative variety on specified circles. This ambiguity grants the overall relativity according to one circle its superiority to the other projects and puts is in the lead as a guarantor of the political, partisan, and sectarian pluralism.

These are Berri’s two golden equations, while the Arab fact and the Lebanese one in particular are bronze.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

برّي: معادلتان ذهبيتان

ناصر قنديل

– من طهران أطلق رئيس مجلس النواب نبيه برّي معادلتين ذهبيتين، واحدة لبنانية والثانية إقليمية، فقد أعلن بري أن بإمكان العرب والمسلمين المُجمعين على اعتبار قيام واشنطن بنقل سفارتها من تل أبيب إلى القدس تحدياً فظاً لمشاعر العرب والمسلمين، واعتداء سافراً على هوية القدس، وفتحاً للباب «الإسرائيلي» على خطوات تصعيدية تتصل بتهويد القدس واستكمال تهجير مواطنيها العرب، وتشجيعاً لحكومة الاحتلال للسير بالمزيد من الخطوات الاستباقية لتدمير كل فرصة للتسوية والذهاب لإشعال المنطقة. وتساءل بري عمّا يمكن للعرب فعله، فقال: لماذا لا يستعمل العرب والمسلمون سلاح ردع بين أيديهم، وهو التهديد المسبق بأنهم سيُغلقون سفاراتهم في واشنطن في حالل إقدامها على خطوة نقل سفارتها إلى القدس؟

– سلاح الردع الذي وضعه بري في التداول كشف عن وجود بدائل للنحيب والتسوّل، يشبه الكشف عن سلاح النفط الذي استعمل كسلاح ردع في حرب تشرين عام 1973 وأثبت فعالية عالية، لكن الواقع يؤكد هذه المرّة أن قضية الحكومات العربية والإسلامية ليست بغياب البدائل بل بغياب الإرادات والعزائم، من دون أن تنتفي الوظيفة التحريضية لمعادلة برّي التي ستُحرج الحكومات العربية والإسلامية وتُحرج واشنطن بمجرد إطلاقها على لسان برّي وتحوّلها معادلة شائعة في الرأي العام، توجِّه للحكومات السؤال: لماذا لا تفعلون ذلك؟ وتضعها واشنطن أمام حساب قدرة الحكومات المحسوبة عليها على تحمّل ضغوط بهذا الحجم، وحساب المصلحة الأميركية في تعريض هذه الحكومات التابعة للاهتزاز والسقوط، عدا عما سيترتّب على معادلة بري من إطلاق لتحرّكات مدنية وشعبية تحمل المعادلة إلى الشارع كمطلب وتحوّله عنواناً لحراك استباقي ضاغط بوجه الحكومات وواشنطن وتل أبيب معاً.

– المعادلة الذهبية الثانية التي أطلقها برّي كانت ما يتصل برسم الحدّ الفاصل بين قانون الانتخاب العادل والمزيّف، بقوله، نحتاج لقانون يضمن بعض الغموض في النتائج، رداً على توصيفه للحال بقيام كل طرف بحساب موقفه من صيغ القوانين بمدى قدرته على احتساب حصته النيابية سلفاً قبل إجراء الانتخابات. ومعادلة بري هي في علم السياسة شرط القانون الصحيح والعادل، لأنه قانون انتخابات وليس مرسوم تعيينات، والذهاب إلى الانتخابات مع توقّع بعض المفاجآت هو الذي يمنحها حماسة الناخبين، ويجعل للتحالفات الانتخابية معنى، وللتنافس مبرراً، وبدون الغموض في النتائج التي ستترتّب على اعتماد أي قانون انتخابي يتحوّل القانون صفقة محاصصة حزبية وطائفية مقيتة لا تستحق النقاش ويتساوى فيها قانون الستين بالمختلط بالنسبي على دوائر مفصلة على المقاسات. وهذا الغموض هو الذي يمنح النسبية الشاملة وفقاً للدائرة الواحدة تفوّقها على سائر المشاريع، ويضعها في المقدمة كضامن للتعددية السياسية والحزبية والطائفية.

– معادلتا بري ذهبيتان، والواقع العربي واللبناني برونزيّ، إن لم يكن بعضُه «تنك».

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Netanyahu seeks halting ICC probe into israel’s crimes

Source

Israeli massacres against Palestinians are among the worst that history has ever witnessed

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been seeking to stop ICC investigations into Israeli war crimes committed against Palestinians, Israel TV reported on Sunday.
Netanyahu wanted the ICC at least to reduce the number and power of the fact-finding missions related to the investigations into the Israeli crimes.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been seeking to stop ICC investigations into Israeli war crimes committed against Palestinians, Israel TV reported on Sunday.

According to the Israeli TV Channel 7, Netanyahu asked the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to mobilise efforts along with him in this issue.

He asked Bishop to put pressure on the ICC in order to stop its investigations into the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli officials against the Palestinians.

The Israeli PM also asked Bishop to mediate with officials in other countries in order to take the same measure with the ICC.

Netanyahu wanted the ICC at least to reduce the number and power of the fact-finding missions related to the investigations into the Israeli crimes.

Israel is a state which was built on the skulls and bodies of the indigenous residents of Palestine. Israeli Jewish officials have committed tens of the worst massacres that ever happened in the history against the Palestinians.

Take for example the Deir Yassin Massacre, Qafr Qasim, Sabra and Shalita and others. All of these massacres and their likes were committed by senior Israeli officials, some of whom have received Noble Peace Prize.

Five reasons Turkish forces must leave Syria

Source

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | February 27, 2017

Turkey’s presence in Syria is not welcome, not legal and not moral.

Ali Haidar, Syria’s Minister for National Reconciliation, recently talked to Sputnik where he condemned Turkey’s continued illegal presence in Syria.

With some many world-powers complicit in looking the other way at Turkey’s illegal war on Syria.

Here are five reasons that Turkey must leave.

  1. International Law

The first and foremost reason that Turkey should not be in Syria is that legally, Turkey cannot be in Syria. The Syrian Arab Republic is a sovereign state and Turkish presence is not welcomed by the Syrian government nor does Turkey have any sanction for their invasion by the United Nations.

Ali Haidar said quite clearly,

“Our stance on the presence of Turkish military forces has not changed. This is the violation of the sovereignty and occupation of Syria”.

As allies, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah forces have been welcomed to coordinate their war on terror with Damascus. This is not true of Turkey and their fellow NATO member states.

  1. Bad Intentions

Where Syria’s actual allies are helping to bring stability to a country besieged by a plethora of terrorist groups, whose names and local allegiances constant shift, Turkey has had two goals in Syria, neither of which are productive, let alone moral.

Turkey first of all wanted to push for illegal regime change in Damascus, something which the Turks now quietly concede is an impossibility.

The second reason Turkey is involved is to weaken the position of Kurdish YPG forces in Syria. Turkey wants to create an effective buffer zone in both Iraq and Syria between Kurdish positions in the two Arab states and Kurdish regions of Turkey. This is why both the Syrian government and Syrian Kurds are uniquely united in condemning Turkey’s presence in the country.

  1. Working With Jihadists

Because there isn’t political will among ordinary Turkish citizens for a mass invasion, Turkey is in great part relying on rag-tag jihadists who when fighting for Turkey call themselves the Free Syrian Army, a name first assigned to a group of mainly US funded marauders in 2011. The original group disappeared shortly after its creation.

But the current FSA is more or less a byword for jihadists loyal to and funded by Turkey. Whether standing under an Al-Sura, ISIS or FSA flag, there is little difference in the intention, ideology or methods of these vile groups.

  1. Undermining Arab Independence

President Erdogan is well known to have Ottoman ambitions. This has led him to threaten not only Greece and Cyprus but also the Arab world which the Ottoman Sultan once ruled. Arabs fought long and hard to establishment their independence in the 20th century. The long fight was more recently against European powers, but prior to that it was a struggle against Ottoman rule.

To add insult to injury, Turkey is now accusing Iran of what Turkey is doing, namely trying to gain a foothold in the Arab world. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Iran of trying to spread Shi’a Islam to Syria and Iraq, echoing the lie about a ‘Shi’a Crescent’.

Meanwhile President Erdogan accused Iran of trying to spread Persian Nationalism in the Arab world.

Although I have been critical of Iran’s role in Iraq, a role made possible only through the illegal US-UK invasion, in Syria, Iran has exercised restraint. Iran respects for Syria’s government and Syria’s secular way of life. The same cannot be said of Ankara.

By contrast, it is Turkey who is arming radical Sunni groups who put the lives of Shi’a Muslims, moderate Sunni Muslims and Christians in peril. It is Turkey’s President who shouts about restoring Ottoman provinces. No such words nor indications of direct actions come out of Tehran.

  1. Turkey’s Domestic Problems

With Erdogan facing problems on the home front, he really cannot afford his foreign adventures in Syria, not least because ISIS has been doing a strangely good job at keeping Turkish forces and their unreliable terrorist FSA at bay, although Turkey’s current (if not temporary) victory in Al-Bab may give Erdogan some buoyancy.

Between Gulenists, ISIS and Al-Qaeda sympathisers in Turkey, resurgent Kurdish PKK forces and Kemalists distraught by Erdogan’s increasing disregard for the traditions of modern Turkey, he simply cannot afford the giant distraction that his Syrian adventure has become. He ought to quit. Better late than never.

Same old story, harmless rocket fired from Gaza by israel friendly terrorists used as an excuse for airstrikes

Israeli army hits Gaza with multiple airstrikes, injuring 4 Palestinians

Ma’an – February 27, 2017

 

Airstrikes target the central Gaza Strip on Monday afternoon

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli army targeted multiple sites across the besieged Gaza Strip with airstrikes and artillery fire midday Monday leaving at least four Palestinians injured, hours after an Israeli army spokesperson said that a rocket fired from Gaza landed in an open area in southern Israel that caused no injuries or damages.

Witnesses said Israeli fighter jets launched two missiles at a Hamas military site known as the Shuhada (“martyrs” in Arabic) post just after 1 p.m. in the central Gaza Strip, near the coast and west of Nuseirat refugee camp. Other local Palestinian news sites said five missiles were fired in the area.
Shortly after, an Israeli reconnaissance plane fired a missile at a monitoring post east of Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip, as Israeli fighter jets fired three missiles at the Hitteen post in Beit Lahiya in the northern region of the small Palestinian territory.
A separate strike in the Nahda neighborhood of Rafah left three Palestinians moderately injured, according to local sources. Gaza’s Ministry of Health later reported that a total of four people were injured in the strikes.
Before 2 p.m., two artillery shells fired by the Israeli army hit an agricultural area east of Gaza City, locals said.
The Hamas movement said in an official statement that they held Israel responsible for “this continuous dangerous escalation that targets the Palestinian resistance and the people of the Gaza Strip,” adding that “the ongoing targeting of resistance sites and the escalating situation in Gaza would neither be allowed nor accepted.”
Nearly two hours after the first airstrike was launched, the Israeli army confirmed in a statement that the air force hit five Hamas positions throughout the Gaza Strip, “In response to a rocket fired from Gaza that hit Israeli territory last night,” adding that the army holds Hamas “accountable for all attacks from the Gaza Strip that threaten Israel and her citizens.”
However, Hamas has not claimed responsibility for any rocket attacks since a ceasefire was declared after Israel’s devastating war in Gaza in 2014, and the movement has attempted to clamp down on armed activity by smaller political groups that do launch rockets from the territory.
The Islamic Jihad also responded to Monday’s bombardment, with the official spokesman Dawood Shihab accusing the Israeli “occupation government” of stoking tensions in Gaza by “translating its threats against the Palestinian people into action.”
He added that the Palestinian resistance movement has the right to respond to Israeli attacks if they continue. “The resistance will not accept this ongoing aggression, regardless of the cost and the challenges ahead.”
The secular leftist PLO faction the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine also denounced the Israeli attacks across the Gaza Strip and called on all Palestinian factions to close the ranks and present a unified response to “the occupation and its crimes.”
The National Resistance Brigades, a military wing affiliated to another leftist group, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said that one of the group’s military posts was attacked in the northern Gaza Strip amid the airstrikes on Monday.
Their statement affirmed the group’s commitment to resist the Israeli occupation “by all possible means,” and urged other factions to create a “joint operation room” to discuss how to respond to the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.
The cross-border fire came after the Israeli army targeted the besieged coastal enclave with multiple airstrikes in two instances this month, which the army said came in response to rocket fire from Gaza that caused no injuries to Israelis.
On Feb. 9, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said that two Palestinians were killed and five were injured as a result of an airstrike on a smuggling tunnel between Egypt and Gaza, though an Israeli army spokesperson denied involvement in the incident.
Meanwhile, last week, two rockets launched from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula hit an open area in southern Israel, according to the Israeli army.
The Gaza-based al-Mezan Center for Human Rights expressed concern earlier this month in response to Israeli airstrikes that Israel could be leading up to a wide-scale military offensive.
The rights group called on the international community to “act promptly against Israel’s military escalation, to fulfill their obligations to protect civilians, and ensure respect for the rules of international law,” stressing that “acting before a full-scale military bombardment is launched is crucial to ensuring the protection of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”
Israeli officials have also accused Hamas, Gaza’s de facto leaders, of “preparing” for another war with Israel and have threatened retaliatory measures against the Gaza Strip as a whole, while Israeli authorities hold Hamas responsible for all attacks against Israeli targets coming from the Gaza Strip.

Daesh Crimes against Christians in Sinai

What a surprise! No Evidence of Trump Team’s Ties With Russia

No Evidence of Trump Team’s Ties With Russia – US House Intel Committee Chair

Sputnik – 27.02.2017

WASHINGTON – The US House Intelligence Committee did not find any evidence so far proving that President Donald Trump’s advisers had any contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 US presidential campaign, Committee Chair Devin Nunes said in a press conference on Monday.

On February 15, The New York Times reported, citing phone records and intercepted calls, members of Trump’s presidential campaign team and several associates allegedly contacted Russian intelligence and government officials prior to the 2016 US elections. Both Washington and Moscow have repeatedly refuted the allegations.

“Nor there [were] any evidence presented about Trump advisers speaking to Russians,” Nunes stated. “I don’t have any evidence of any phone calls. It does not mean that they do not exist, but I don’t have that. And what I have been told by many folks that there is nothing there. But we are still looking into that.”

The US House Intelligence Committee will publicly release findings of its ongoing investigation into alleged Russia’s interference in 2016 US presidential election, Nunes said.

“They will be public, they will be publicized,” Nunes stated when asked whether the committee’s findings would be released. “Likely what will happen is we will probably have just an interim report of some kind that we will put out on what we have.”

“At this point what are we going to appoint a special prosecutor to do exactly?” Nunes stated. “If at some point we have serious crimes committed, it would be something that we would consider, but at this point we don’t have that.”

The Republican lawmaker added that right now the only serious crimes committed were the leaking of documents to the press.

The tensions between Trump and a number of US news outlets has intensified since the inauguration of the politician in January.

Earlier in the month, the president slammed “fake news” reports that kept citing anonymous White House sources alleging chaos in his administration as well as contacts with Russian intelligence services.

israel not even trying to hide their open support for terrorist groups in Syria anymore.

War at Any Cost: Israeli Special Forces Enter Syrian Territory to ‘Monitor’ Extremist Groups Fighting Assad

Another Israeli contribution to Syrian peace

This is actually a photograph of Israeli soldiers chasing down brown children in Gaza

This is actually a photograph of Israeli soldiers chasing down brown children in Gaza

Israel’s decision on Wednesday to fly over ISIS strongholds in Lebanon, and then drop bombs on Syrian Army positions in Syria, was a real stroke of genius — especially considering that the airstrikes came just before peace talks in Geneva were scheduled to begin.

A real class act.

Now Israel is sending “elite intelligence units” to “monitor” fighting between Syrian forces and “moderate” rebels. Our friends at Al Masdar News report:

A video published by Channel 2 showed reporter Dani Kashmaru accompanying the soldiers in a night mission. According to the reporter, similar operations have been carried out several times in the past, stating that he, along with the Israeli soldiers, ‘could hear and see everything.’

The report disclosed that the elite unit made use of advanced and sophisticated eavesdropping devices to monitor the battles fought between the Syrian Army and hardline groups in the area.

Israel has been providing logistic support and medical assistance to opposition forces – including Jabhet al-Nusra terror organization – fighting President Bashar Assad.

Israeli warplanes have repeatedly targeted Syrian Army positions under the pretext of preventing sophisticated weapons from reaching the Lebanese Hezbollah group.

They’re not even trying to hide their open support for extremist groups in Syria anymore.

Why isn’t this front page news? You know why.

Syrian Army cuts off frontline between Turkish Army and ISIS – Map update

 

After liberating over a dozen villages from ISIS in the past 48 hours, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has now officially severed the last strip of territory in eastern Aleppo that connected Turkish-led forces with the Islamic State.

A small pocket of two villages are still technically still under ISIS control although jihadist militants are believed to have evacuated from the area prior to its encirclement, leaving only mines in their wake.

Effectively, the Euphrates Shield forces must either attack the SAA or Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) if they are to advance deeper into Syria. Any such further aggression would put Ankara at odds with either the US or Russia.

Nevertheless, the Turkish Armed Forces have heavily shelled regional villages controlled by the US-backed SDF over the past week while fierce clashes erupted with the Russian-backed SAA at Tadef yesterday, a government-held town neighbouring Al-Bab.

The Euphrates Shield offensive began last August with the swift capture of Jarabulus, a border town adjacent to the Euphrates River.

The Euphrates Shield forces are composed of the Turkish Army, Ahrar al-Sham, Failaq al-Sham and mostly Turkmen contingents of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Notably, the SAA and SDF have met up south of Manbij. These factions are not hostile to each other and share some checkpoints at Sheikh Maqsoud in the provincial capital of Aleppo and a rural area north of the city.

Last year, it was revealed that ISIS smuggled oil across the Turkish border. Although Turkey and ISIS are considered enemies of one another, rumours have persisted that black market trade (weapons for oil) continued in the region. This is no longer possible due to the SAA’s Toffensive.

Now, the SAA’s Tiger Forces are expected to turn their attention towards Deir Hafer, the last city controlled by ISIS in the Aleppo governorate.
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حمص القديمة- خريف 2013 : تحقيق

A Take from Last Night’s Oscar Awards You May have Missed…

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By Greg Felton

(THE SCENE: WTFN’s Los Angeles studios. The set is bedecked with the usual movie posters, still photographs and various objets de cinéma. Host Lance Boyle is in his usual club chair. The opening theme music dies down.)

lb

LANCE BOYLE: (to camera) “Welcome to the ninth Oscar edition of The Cutting Room, the first under the new Trumpian regime. To read from the screeching from both sides of the right-wing of the political spectrum, we might as well redefine the calendar as BT and AT—Before Trump and After Trump. Whether one thinks that the last election marked a break with the past or is the inevitable result of 30-plus years of corporatism, one thing will always be a constant in our lives—movies—and where there are movies, there are award shows. Tonight we look at the best Hollywood had to offer in 2016, (camera pulls back into a two-shot. Miriam Kale is now seated across from Lance Boyle.) Miriam, welcome back.”

mk

MIRIAM KALE: “Thanks, Lance. A lot of my friends would agree with your BT/AT calendar because they wailed that Trump’s victory marked the beginning of the end of U.S. democracy. However, I found this reaction bizarre because American democracy ended at least as far back as 2001. The USA PATRIOT Act eviscerated civil liberties, and under the supposedly liberal Barack Obama the surveillance state was ratcheted up, the drone program was widely expanded and police forces became ever more militarized. Hillary Clinton represented this anti-democratic ‘Deep State’ establishment and was a war criminal to boot, which meant she was unelectable. Trump was really the only viable choice because the Democratic Party threw the election by sabotaging Bernie Sanders’s nomination. If people want to blame someone for Trump’s election, they need to blame the Democrats! But enough about politics; let’s talk movies!”

BOYLE: “Where do you want to start?”

KALE: “Where else?—with my pick for the Leni Riefenstahl Award for Best Holocaust Propaganda.”

BOYLE: “Ah, yes—The Leni; your favourite category.”

KALE: “This year, the winner is exemplary. Never before has a Leni nominee showed the connection between the Holocaust® and Holocaust® propaganda so clearly. I think you know which film I’m talking about. Go on: open the envelope.” (She hands it to him.)

envel

BOYLE: “Ah yes. I thought so, but there have been many films that have defended the six-million figure and sanctified Auschwitz. What makes this film so remarkable?”

KALE: “It exploits a real event to perpetuate a false history. Let me give you the context. The film is concerned with the infamous 2000 libel trial between historian David Irving and Holocaust® professor Deborah Lipstadt. In 1993, Lipstadt wrote Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, a book in which she accused Irving of being a ‘Holocaust® denier’.

“In the opening scene, Irving interrupts one of Lipstadt’s 1994 lectures and waves $1,000, saying he’ll give it to anybody who can produce any written evidence that Hitler ordered the Holocaust®. Lipstadt bombastically claims she’ll debate the Holocaust® with anyone but not with someone who denies it. Now, if she had evidence it occurred, it should be a simple matter to dispatch someone like Irving, but the fact that she refused to debate him gave credibility to Irving’s assertion that Hitler never ordered the Holocaust®.

“By the way, the film got this scene wrong. Irving’s actual words were: “I have here a thousand dollars for you [Lipstadt] if you can produce to this audience, now or at any time in the future, this document about which you have just lied to them.”

BOYLE: “He was referring to what Lipstadt claimed happened at the Jan. 20, 1942, Wannsee Conference, right?”

KALE: “Yes, but Lipstadt never produced any documents. In fact, nobody has. Lipstadt’s refusal to account to Irving for her claims and her ad hominem attack upon him, led Irving to sue for libel.”

BOYLE: “As I recall, Irving lost.”

KALE: “Yes, and no. Lipstadt was found to have libeled Irving on four counts, but not on a fifth. Therefore, Mr . Justice Charles Gray concluded that Irving did not suffer damage to his reputation, despite the libels, so he lost his suit.”

BOYLE: “One could say Irving lost his suit before it started. Merely being accused of being a ‘Holocaust® denier’ is enough to destroy anyone’s reputation, so even if Irving had proven that Lipstadt lied about him, the judge would still have rejected his claim.”

KALE: “That’s why this film is so quintessentially Leni-esque! The prejudice against Irving was insurmountable. The fix was in. As The Guardian reported: ‘[The judge] said he found that Irving was “an active Holocaust denier; that he was anti-Semitic and racist and that he associated with right-wing extremists who promoted neo-Nazism.” ’ Here is Gray in his own words:

Having considered the various arguments advanced by Irving to assail the effect of the convergent evidence relied on by the defendants, it is my conclusion that no objective, fair-minded historian would have serious cause to doubt that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz and that they were operated on a substantial scale to kill hundreds of thousands of Jews.

BOYLE: “I understand that the trial moves to Auschwitz to address Irving’s claim there were no gas chambers. What was Irving’s evidence?”

KALE: “Essentially the lack of evidence. The Nazis allegedly dropped Zyklon B pellets through rooftop openings in the buildings, but no such openings existed. Irving’s catchphrase was ‘No holes; no holocaust.’ By casting doubt on the existence of the gas chambers, Irving cast doubt on the 6 million, so the existence of gas chambers had to be defended.

BOYLE: “How do we know they didn’t exist?”

Continued here

Trump Can Prove He’s Not a Putin Puppet by Blowing Up the World

Trump and Putin
Global Research, February 27, 2017
RootsAction

Four weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote that “nothing he has done since the inauguration allays fears that he is in effect a Putin puppet.” The liberal pundit concluded with a matter-of-fact reference to “the Trump-Putin axis.”

Such lines of attack have become routine, citing and stoking fears that the president of the United States is a Kremlin stooge. The meme is on the march — and where it will end, nobody knows.

Actually, it could end with a global nuclear holocaust.

The incessant goading and denunciations of Trump as a Kremlin flunky are escalating massive pressure on him to prove otherwise. Exculpatory behavior would involve setting aside possibilities for detente and, instead, confronting Russia — rhetorically and militarily.

Hostile behavior toward Russia is what much of the U.S. media and political establishment have been fervently seeking. It’s also the kind of behavior that could drag us all over the brink into thermonuclear destruction.

But c’mon, why worry about that?

For countless media commentators and partisan Democrats including many avowed progressives — as well as for some Republican hawks aligned with the likes of Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham — the benefits of tarring Trump as a Russian tool are just too alluring to resist.

To be clear: For a vast number of reasons, the Trump administration is repugnant. And the new president’s flagrant violations of the U.S. Constitution’s foreign and domestic emoluments clauses are solid grounds for impeaching him. I’m glad to be involved with a nationwide petition campaign — which already has 890,000 signers — urging Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. We should go after Trump for well-grounded reasons based on solid facts.

At the same time, we should refuse to be stampeded by the nonstop drumbeats from partisan talking points and mainline media outlets — as well as “the intelligence community.” It wasn’t mere happenstance when the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, openly lied at a Senate committee hearing in early 2013, replying “No sir” to a pivotal question from Sen. Ron Wyden: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” The lie was exposed three months later when Edward Snowden made possible the release of key NSA documents.

Yet now we’re supposed to assume straight-arrow authoritative honesty can be found in a flimsy 25-page report ”assessing Russian activities and intentions,” issued in early January under the logo of Clapper’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence. That report has been critiqued and demolished by one astute analyst after another.

As investigative journalist Gareth Porter noted, “In fact, the intelligence community had not even obtained evidence that Russia was behind the publication by WikiLeaks of the e-mails [of the] Democratic National Committee, much less that it had done so with the intention of electing Trump. Clapper had testified before Congress in mid-November and again in December that the intelligence community did not know who had provided the e-mails to WikiLeaks and when they were provided.”

More broadly and profoundly, many cogent analyses have emerged to assess the proliferating anti-Russia meme and its poisonous effects. For instance: “Why We Must Oppose the Kremlin-Baiting Against Trump” by Stephen F. Cohen at The Nation; “The Increasingly Unhinged Russia Rhetoric Comes From a Long-Standing U.S. Playbook” by Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept; and “The Did-You-Talk-to-Russians Witch Hunt” by Robert Parry at ConsortiumNews.

The frenzy to vilify Russia and put the kibosh on the potential for detente is now undermining open democratic discourse about U.S. foreign policy — while defaming advocates of better U.S.-Russia relations in ways that would have made Joe McCarthy proud. So, President Trump’s expressions of interest in improving relations with Russia — among his few lucid and constructive statements about anything — are routinely spun and smeared as corroborations of the meme that he’s in cahoots with the Russian government.

Many organizations that call themselves progressive are culpable. One of the largest, MoveOn, blasted out an email alert on February 10 with a one-sentence petition calling for a congressional investigation of Trump – flatly declaring that he has “ties to the Russian government.”

Consider these words from President Trump at his February 16 news conference:

*  “Look, it would be much easier for me to be tough on Russia, but then we’re not going to make a deal. Now, I don’t know that we’re going to make a deal. I don’t know. We might. We might not. But it would be much easier for me to be so tough — the tougher I am on Russia, the better. But you know what? I want to do the right thing for the American people. And to be honest, secondarily, I want to do the right thing for the world.”

*  “They’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are we. If we have a good relationship with Russia, believe me, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing.”

*  “By the way, it would be great if we could get along with Russia, just so you understand that. Now tomorrow, you’ll say ‘Donald Trump wants to get along with Russia, this is terrible.’ It’s not terrible. It’s good.”

Rather than being applauded and supported, such talk from Trump is routinely depicted as further indication that — in Krugman’s words — Trump “is in effect a Putin puppet.”

And how could President Trump effectively allay fears and accusations that he’s a Kremlin flunky? How could he win cheers from mainstream newsrooms and big-megaphone pundits and CIA headquarters? He could get in a groove of decisively denouncing Russian President Vladimir Putin. He could move U.S. military forces into more confrontational stances and menacing maneuvers toward Russia.

Such brinkmanship would occur while each country has upward of 4,000 nuclear warheads deployed or stockpiled for potential use. Some are attached to missiles on “hair-trigger alert” — which, the Union of Concerned Scientists explains, “is a U.S. military policy that enables the rapid launch of nuclear weapons. Missiles on hair-trigger alert are maintained in a ready-for-launch status, staffed by around-the-clock launch crews, and can be airborne in as few as 10 minutes.”

Those who keep goading and baiting President Trump as a puppet of Russia’s government are making nuclear war more likely. If tensions with the Kremlin keep escalating, what is the foreseeable endgame? Do we really want to push the U.S. government into potentially catastrophic brinkmanship with the world’s other nuclear superpower?

Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

Licensed under Creative Commons

Saudi-Turkish-US Inversion: Field Escalation Expected in Syria in Light of Stalling Geneva Talks

February 27, 2017

The intra-Syrian talks in the Swiss capital of Geneva have not reached any considerable outcome, which raised several questions about the real intentions of Turkey, Saudi and the US behind the stalling diplomatic event.

After the armed groups commanded and directly supported by Turkey controlled Al-Bab city in northern Aleppo, the Turkish officials’ statements intersected with American ones on establishing safe zones in Syria, raising the doubts of Russia which kept discussing the issue with the Syrian government.

Meanwhile, Turkey frustrated the recent intra-Syrian talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana in a Saudi-backed attempt to rebuild its ties with the US administration till the new president Donald Trump clarifies his attitude towards Syria crisis.

Russia, on the other hand, which is observing the latest field developments in Al-Bab city as well as Homs blasts, does not seem enthusiastic to achieve a remarkable progress in Geneva talks as battlefield escalation is expected to be waged in various Syrian provinces by the armed groups supported by Turkey, Saudi, and the United States.

In this context, the latest reports have mentioned that the delegations representing the armed groups in Geneva have rejected to start discussing the counterterrorism plans before the political transition policies, what stresses the critical situation of the talks in Switzerland.

Source: Al-Manar Website

A New «Israel»-Hezbollah War Is Unlikely

Darko Lazar

In the face of ‘Israel’s’ threats to destroy Lebanon’s infrastructure, we will not abide by red lines, especially regarding Haifa’s ammonia and the nuclear reactor in Dimona,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah told the Islamic Republic News Agency [IRNA] on February 20.

Hezbollah parade

Hezbollah’s Secretary General went on to warn Tel Aviv to “count to a million” before considering another military venture in Lebanon.

The message is simple: any direct, prolonged, “Israeli” attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon would be too costly for Israel.

No zero hour set for the next “Israel”-Hezbollah war

Days earlier, Sayyed Nasrallah provoked a response from the face of the “Israeli” intelligence apparatus by calling on Tel Aviv to “dismantle [the] Dimona nuclear facility”.

“The ‘Israeli’ nuclear weapon that represents a threat to the entire region, we will turn it into a threat for ‘Israel’,” the leader of the Lebanese resistance said during a memorial marking the martyrdom of three top Hezbollah commanders.

“Israeli” Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Yisrael Katz was quick to respond, hoping to ease the hysteria in “Israel” that often accompanies Sayyed Nasrallah’s speeches.

“If Nasrallah dares to fire at the ‘Israel’ homefront or at its national infrastructure, all of Lebanon will be hit,” said Katz. He also called for “debilitating sanctions” on Iran over its support for Hezbollah.

Katz’s comments are telling in that Tel Aviv’s strategy for ‘dealing’ with the ‘resistance axis’ appears to involve the same-old recipe – the obliteration of civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and lobbying Washington to sanction Tehran. Both approaches have been tried and tested, and neither came close to undermining Hezbollah’s expanding capabilities.

The rhetoric points to a serious lack of appetite on the part of the political and military establishment in Tel Aviv for any kind of escalation of the frozen conflict with Hezbollah. It also suggests that the Israelis are perfectly content with carrying on with the so-called ‘battle between the wars’ – involving occasional “Israeli” strikes inside Syria – while treading carefully to keep the “national infrastructure” out of Hezbollah’s crosshairs.

“Israel’s” Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot confirmed as much during a closed-door meeting of the ‘Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’, in which he downplayed the chances of another war with Hezbollah.

According to Beirut-based strategic affairs researcher, Ali Shehab, Tel Aviv has not set “zero hour for the next war”.

“No field indicators point to a readiness for a war on the ‘Israeli’ side of the border with Lebanon… No movements; such as a military buildup or transfer of ‘Israeli’ forces,” Shehab told the pan-Arab satellite television network, al-Mayadeen.

Shehab explains that since emerging with a bloody nose from its latest confrontation with Hezbollah in 2006, Tel Aviv looks to answer three questions before considering another attack: Is the “Israeli” army ready for a war? What are the objectives of the war? And what are the chances of successfully fulfilling the objectives?

During his recent speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah echoed a similar sentiment saying that, “the issue is not about the US permission or the Arab cover, but rather about whether or not they will be able to achieve a victory. This is the main question.”

If Tel Aviv’s objective involves crippling or even undermining Hezbollah – requiring a substantial ground offensive – victory is certain to remain illusive.

Eisenkot’s ‘reforms’ of the “Israeli” military – focused on developing cyber warfare, intelligence gathering capabilities and small/mobile elite commando units – suggest that Tel Aviv’s plans for the future revolve around subversion rather than large-scale, conventional offensives and occupations.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s actions are almost certain to deter the “Israelis” from dreaming of a full-scale war. Aside from the estimated 150,000 advanced rockets aimed at “Israel”, Hezbollah commanders have emerged from battlefields in Syria and Iraq with invaluable combat experience, effectively transforming Lebanon into a death trap for any potential Israeli military incursion.

To make matters worse for policy makers in Tel Aviv, Hezbollah is also challenging “Israel’s” traditional superiority at sea and in the air.

In an article for the “Israeli” website Walla, Amir Bohbot, claims that the resistance group – which has long since been able to assimilate the use of drones into their ground operations – now possesses an advanced naval force.

“A force that not only threatens [‘Israeli’] gas platforms and naval forces, but also Israeli merchant ships in the Mediterranean,” Bohbot writes.

More sanctions

As the new US administration takes a more belligerent tone toward Iran, “Israel” sees an opportunity to roll back the clock to a time when Washington saw Tehran as part of an “axis of evil.”

Both Tel Aviv and Persian Gulf monarchies likely view the US President Donald Trump as the new wave to carry some of their anti-Iranian policies.

But despite all the bear hugging and strong statements of support, options are increasingly limited for the declining Western/”Israeli”/Gulf axis.

With Trump’s administration expressing reluctance toward the fight in Syria, which houses key Hezbollah military installations, the focus to undermine Iran and its regional allies is likely to revolve around more sanctions rather than any sort of direct military confrontation.

And while the US and “Israel” may agree on the need for another war with Hezbollah there is an obvious obstacle to achieving any sort of substantial military gains.

A defeat for the Damascus government may have helped to isolate Hezbollah and cut Iran from Lebanon. Instead, the Syrian army — with support from Iran, Russia and Hezbollah — turned the tide against the proxies of the Western/”Israeli”/Gulf axis, completely transforming the regional balance of power and ending Tel Aviv’s prospects of a victory over the resistance.

Source: al-Ahed News

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Syrian Army liberates three villages in rural Aleppo, fights off Turkish Army assault

On Monday morning, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured a new batch of villages in the eastern Aleppo countryside amid fierce clashes with ISIS militants in the region.

The advance was secured solely by the SAA’s Tiger Forces that have now imposed full control over the villages of Zarurah, Jubb al-Sultan, and Jubb al-Hamam.

Yesterday, the SAA captured a handful of villages from ISIS in the region but were mostly preoccupied with fighting off a Turkish Army assault on Tadef. The latter town is still under government control despite some reports to the contrary.

Due to today’s advance, the Tiger Forces are less than 5 kilometers from linking up with the Kurdish-led ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) near Manbij.

Both the SDF and SAA have clashed with the Euphrates Shield forces and ISIS in recent days; thus, a pragmatic alliance may be established.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Army are heavily shelling villages and towns held by the SDF in the region. Artillery strikes are ongoing on Al-Arimah and Sheikh Issa while some reports suggest the Turkish Armed Forces will soon begin an offensive to capture Manbij.

العمليات وآفاقها بعد تحرير بلدة تادف

الأحد 26 شباط , 2017 18:48

عمر معربوني – بيروت برس –

بعد توقف استمر حوالي الأسبوع عند مدخل بلدة تادف جنوب مدينة الباب، تقدمت وحدات الجيش السوري نحو البلدة وحرّرتها من تنظيم “داعش” ولترسم خط تماس اضافي مع القوات التركية وقوات “درع الفرات”.

تقدم الجيش السوري في شرق مدينة حلب لم يقتصر على بلدة تادف، حيث حرّر الجيش قرى فيحة وتلة فيحة وتلة الحوارّة وخان قيار وابو جبار، وهي قرى جنوب شرق تادف ما يعني أنّ الجيش بات على بعد 13 كلم ليغلق المنطقة امام اي تقدم محتمل للقوات التركية على هذا المحور، حيث من الضروري التقدم شرقًا وتحرير قرى بيرقدار وجب ناسان ومزارع السكرية والسكرية. إضافةً الى أنّ الجيش السوري تقدم في المحور الأوسط نحو قرى شنهصة والشامي ورويدة الباب بعد ان سيطر على جبل سويلم، ليصبح على بعد 26 كلم من بلدة الخفسة ما يعني أنّ الوصول الى بحيرة الأسد سيكون سهلًا وسريعًا الآن، بحيث يتم رسم خط قطع ثانٍ امام القوات التركية ويبدأ العمل على تأمين حلب واريافها بالمياه بعد اجراء عمليات التأهيل اللازمة.

المحور الثالث هو نحو دير حافر التي بات الجيش السوري بعيدًا عنها حوالي 4 كلم فقط، وهو محور هام ويمثل خط قطع ثالث وقاعدة ارتكاز في الوقت نفسه بالنسبة لاستئناف العمليات نحو منطقة مسكنة مفتاح محافظة الرقة بمحاذاة نهر الفرات.

*ضابط سابق – خريج الأكاديمية العسكرية السوفياتية.

Zarif: Turkey A Neighbor with Weak Memory

February 27, 2017

Iran FM Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamamd Javad Zarif slammed Turkey, describing it as an ungrateful neighbor with weak memory.

Responding to recent accusations of “sectarianism” by Ankara, Zarif said that the Turks have forgotten our stance in the night of coup, which took place last July, despite the fact that the government in Turkey is not Shiite.

The entire world know that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) played the most important role in supporting the region states in its fight against terrorism, Zarif said on the sidelines of a ceremony held in memory of the Iranian foreign ministry martyrs on Saturday, Tasnim news agency reported.

Meanwhile, Zarif described joint efforts by Iran, Russia and Turkey for peace in Syria as a useful experience, hoping that it would lead to neighboring countries’ realization of the benefits of interaction.

“We hope that our neighbors will recognize the benefits of interaction more (than before), remember the realities and know that Iran has good intentions for the region,” he added.

The Iranian top diplomat further reiterated the need for collaborations among all regional countries for countering terrorism and extremism and said fanning “sectarian views” is in no one’s interest.

In a speech at the 53rd Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 19, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized what he called an Iranian “sectarian policy” in the region. Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had accused Iran of promoting “Persian nationalism.”

On Friday, Zarif said that Turkish officials had been entangled in the consequences of their “past mistakes” and were now attempting to play a blame game by making accusations against Iran.

Source: Iranian media

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Jewish Lobby united with Iran’s terrorist group, the MEK

Jewish Lobby united with Iran’s terrorist group

Paris-based Iranian terrorist group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) in cooperation with the Israel Project has succeeded in bribing several prominent pro-Israel  political and military personalities to lobby the White House against the Islamic regime in Iran.

Recently, the Israel Project supporters wrote a public letter to Donald Trump urging him to renegotiate the Iran deal included General James Jones, former Marine Corps commandant and National Security Advisory, Robert Joseph (Jew), former Under Secretary of State for Arms, ex-governors of Pennsylvania Edward Rendell (Jew) and Tom Ridge (Jew), former Senator Joseph Lieberman, chairman United Against Nuclear Iran, Louis Freeh, ex-FBI Jew director who was involved in 9/11 terrorist attacks, Rabbi Michael Mukasey , ex-Attorney General, Gen. George Casey, and so on.

In December 2016, Lieberman also appeared at an event at the Capitol Hill organized by the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a shadowy group formerly designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department. They have a long history of using violence and terror both against their own members as well as when they were serving as a military force for Saddam Hussein in Iraq. At the UANI event, Lieberman said the goal of increased pressure on Iran would be to elicit concessions from Iran by causing them to “begin to wonder about the survival of the regime.”

In March 2012, US Treasury Department issued subpoenas into an investigation against over three dozen former US high ranking government and military officials for accepting large amounts of money for lobbying for anti-Iran US policy. All under investigation were the ‘Israel-Firsters’ belonging to the Republican, Democratic and Tea parties. The list includes former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell (Jew) of Pennsylvania, Democratic Gov. Howard Dean (Jew) of Vermont, Frances Townsend (Jew), Bush’s Attorney General, Michael Mukasey (Jew), and former UN ambassador John Bolton (Jew), former Republican Mayor of New York, Rudolph Guiliani (Zionist Christian), ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh (Jew) and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton.

MEK has worked as CIA-Mossad executioner for Iran’s nuclear engineers and officials connected with Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

Iran is supported by three regional nuclear powers; China, Russia, and Pakistan. Knowing that US has not won a single foreign invasions except some which didn’t have a conventional military at all such as Afghanistan under Taliban, Somalia under tribal warlords, and Panama under Manuel A. Noriega, an Israeli ally.

Given the support that Iran can muster from Europe, Russia, and China, it seems unlikely that Trump will take a military swing directly at Iran.  And I think Trump, who had the good sense to avoid a land war in Asia in his youth and has excoriated the US blunder into Iraq, is less than interested in trying to take down Iran with a military attack right now. That means more bad times for Yemen, I think, as a weak and vulnerable opponent for an American president looking to make a geopolitical statement–and pump up his Commander in Chief credential,” says Peter Lee from Newsbud (watch video below).

The Israel Project was established in 2002 by Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi (married to Iranian Jew Victor Mizrahi).

American interference in the Brexit referendum

Hedge-fund mogul Robert Mercer helped Brexit campaign: Report

Robert Mercer in New York in 2014 (file photo)
Robert Mercer in New York in 2014 (file photo)

An American hedge-fund mogul who contributed to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign played a crucial role in the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, according to a report.

Billionaire Robert Mercer, an owner of the right-wing Breitbart News Network as well as data-analytics companies, is a close friend of Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader and leading Brexit campaigner.

In the lead-up to the June 23 referendum on the EU membership, Mercer directed his data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, to provide expert advice to Farage associates on how to target undecided voters on Facebook, The Observer has learned.

The services were kept from the electoral commission.

Cambridge Analytica, which has 25 years of experience in military disinformation campaigns, claims to use state-of-the-art technology to build psychometric profiles of voters in an attempt to target their “emotional triggers” in elections.

“They were happy to help. Because Nigel is a good friend of the Mercers. And Mercer introduced them to us,” Andy Wigmore, communications director of Leave.eu, told The Observer.

British politician Nigel Farage speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center February 24, 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo by AFP)

“What they were trying to do in the US and what we were trying to do had massive parallels. We shared a lot of information,” he added.

The Trump campaign also reportedly paid millions of dollars to the company to persuade swing voters to cast their ballot for the real estate tycoon.

The strategy involved harvesting personal data from people’s social media profiles and using the information, combined with artificial intelligence, to decide who to target with individualized ads.

Farage dined with the US president and his advisers in Trump International Hotel in Washington this week, praising them as being part of a “global revolution” that began with Brexit.

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