The Palestinians have to put up with thieving neighbours

Israeli settlers continue widespread theft of Palestinian olive harvest in West Bank

Ma’an – October 29, 2017

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Over the past few days, Israeli settlers have reportedly stolen the harvest of hundreds of Palestinian olive trees in the northern occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian sources. 

Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that Israeli settlers from the illegal Kedumim settlement, stole the harvest off of Palestinian-owned land in the Qalqiliya-area village of Jit. 
According to Wafa, landowners from Jit went to harvest their olives after obtaining Israeli permits to access their land. But when they arrived, they discovered that the olives had been harvested and “many fully grown trees were damaged and dry after being sprayed with toxic chemicals.”
The landowner reportedly told Wada that he also discovered sewage water being pumped from a settler’s mobile home into his land. Meanwhile, Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an in Saturday that over the past few days, dozens of Israeli settlers had stolen olives from more than 700 olive trees in the Nablus area.
The majority of the thefts, according to Daghlas, took place on Palestinian lands around the illegal Elon Moreh and Itamar settlements.
Several reports of Israeli settlers stealing olive pickings from Palestinian lands have emerged since the beginning of the harvest season, with NGO Rabbis for Human Rights reporting on a “massive wave” of thefts, which they described as “hate crimes.”
The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military forces who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents.
The majority of settler thefts committed against Palestinians are met with impunity, with Israelis rarely facing consequences for such thefts.
Only 1.9 percent of complaints submitted by Palestinians against Israeli settler attacks or theft result in a conviction, while 95.6 percent of investigations of damage to olive trees are closed due to failures of Israeli police, according to the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din.
Yesh Din, along with Israeli rights group B’Tselem, have previously condemned Israeli authorities for failing to protect Palestinians from settlers violence or investigate attacks, particularly during olive harvest season, when incidents of attacks on harvesters and their olive groves have been a near daily occurrence in past years.

The Winners & Losers of the Kurdish Independence Referendum

28-10-2017 | 07:38

As disgraced American soldiers withdrew from Iraq in 2011, US Secretary of Defense at the time, Leon Panetta, hinted that Washington’s battlefield disaster did not spell the end of US interference in that country.

Masoud Barzani


“We’ve invested a lot of blood in Iraq,” Panetta said. “The bottom line is, whether it’s diplomatic or whether it’s military, we’ve got a long-term relationship with Iraq.”

For many, the US defeat in Iraq marked the end of the golden age of American combat. However, politicians like Panetta and those who came after him insisted on treating their losses in the Middle East as a temporary setback on the road to ultimate triumph.

Just a few years after the 2011 withdrawal, American troops were sneaking back into Iraq under the cover of the black banner of Daesh.

The chaos crafted by the terrorist franchise – paid for by the Americans and their allies – first gave rise to the so-called Islamic State, and later aspiring Kurdish statelets. Both had the same objective: to restructure the region, starting with the division of Iraq and Syria.

But this month’s blitz campaign by Iraqi forces against Kurdish fighters and an offensive to route Daesh out from its final stronghold in the country translates into more of the same for Washington – military frustration and defeat.

The degree of frustration was best summed up by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who recently called on Iranian-backed groups in Iraq “to go home”.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis heeded a call to arms in 2014, forming the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) after Daesh seized a third of the country’s territory. Tehran’s invaluable contribution to the fight against the terror group is perhaps most evident in Iraq, where the Iranians funded and trained the PMU, which was integrated into the Iraqi security apparatus.

Tillerson’s suggestion that these fighters should now “go home” was met with condemnation and mockery.

“I don’t know how we can remove 65% of the Iraqi population and tell them to go home,” a member of Iraq’s State of Law Coalition, Saad al-Muttalibi said in reference to the country’s Shiite majority, which makes up the bulk of the PMU.

“A law passed by the parliament dictated that all the PMUs are part of the Iraqi armed forces,” Muttalibi added. “They cannot move without the approval of the Iraqi defense minister.”

Of course, it is highly improbable that Rex Tillerson did not know this.

The unrealistic request from the top US diplomat was a way of telling the Iranian-allied PMU, which is at the forefront of safeguarding Iraq’s territorial integrity, to make way for the real “foreign fighters” in Iraq – the tens of thousands of U.S. troops.

Winner and losers

The opportunistic Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil increased its territory by at least 40% between 2014 and 2017. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters occupied a number of disputed areas, including the oil-rich Kirkuk region, after the Iraqi army withdrew in the face of advancing militants.

Last month’s Kurdish independence referendum claimed all of the newly conquered territory.

The hope in Washington and Tel Aviv was that the Kurds could serve as the new force for destabilizing the region, and a base of operations for the project aimed at undermining the Iranian-led resistance axis.

However, one month on, and the entire scheme appears to be doomed.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi adopted an unusually hawkish stance following the referendum. He gave the Kurdish leader, Massoud Barzani, an ultimatum, and then delivered on his threat by taking back Iraqi territory while using the country’s armed forces.

The PMU was at the forefront of that effort. Qassem Soleimani’s presence on the ground was also instrumental. The commander of Iran’s Quds Force is widely believed to have made arrangements with local political and Peshmerga leaders, dissuading them from fighting.

As a testament to just how desperate things have become in Erbil, the KRG’s has offered to suspend its drive for independence in return for a promise from Baghdad to halt its military activity.

And in a display of just how confident Abadi has become, the Iraqi premier rejected the offer, demanding an annulment of the referendum results.

Meanwhile, Iran’s role as a guarantor of stability in Iraq has been sealed. The developments on the ground have only served to bring Baghdad and Tehran closer together, leaving Washington out in the cold yet again.

As such, the real winners of the Kurdish independence referendum are Abadi – whose handling of the crisis has likely secured him a second term in office – and certainly Iran, which further increased its influence in Iraq by quashing Washington’s grand designs for the region.

The threat of more war

Iraq is a country that can often be described as a place that produced too much history. It is the sight of seismic events that have a ripple effect on the entire region and beyond.

Over the last couple of years, these colossal developments have frequently given way to existential challenges for the country.

Despite the recent successes, Iraq is still at a crossroads. The threat of full-scale war between Baghdad and the Kurds remains a very real prospect.

And while Tillerson’s call for the PMU to “go home” may be a sign of growing desperation, it also suggests that the tussle for Iraq is still very much an ongoing affair.

Source: Al-Ahed News

Graphic: Syrian Army liberates 3 towns in rural Hama leaving dead Nusra terrorists everywhere

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:35 P.M.) – In operations that carry on just as much through the night as they do during the day, pro-governments forces have made a major breakthrough in northeastern Hama province against Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Over the course of the last 24 hours, Syrian Arab Army-led forces – backed up by Russian warplanes dropping some of the most powerful ordinance to date – have liberated three important settlements in northeastern Hama from Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra), killing dozens of the terrorist group’s fighters in the process.

The three towns and villages that have been restored to government protection include Khirbeh Juwyid, Abu Laffeh and Teem al-Hawa.

According to Syrian military-affiliated sources, pro-government forces killed some 30 Al-Qaeda-linked militants including three battlefield commanders and destroyed five terrorist vehicles in this latest operation.

The jihadist commanders have been identified as Abu Anas Malek, Abu Abd Allah Taftanaz and Nour al-Shami.

Syrian Army operations in northeast Hama, despite getting off to a slow start, continue to grow into scope, with more battle-hardened pro-government formations constantly joining the battle.

In Shocking, Viral Interview, Qatar Confesses Secrets Behind Syrian War

Source

Interview of Qatari Official Confessing the Truth About the Syrian War Goes Viral

(ZHE— A television interview of a top Qatari official confessing the truth behind the origins of the war in Syria is going viral across Arabic social media during the same week a leaked top secret NSA document was published which confirms that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the conflict.

 

And according to a well-known Syria analyst and economic adviser with close contacts in the Syrian government, the explosive interview constitutes a high level “public admission to collusion and coordination between four countries to destabilize an independent state, [including] possible support for Nusra/al-Qaeda.”Importantly, “this admission will help build case for what Damascus sees as an attack on its security & sovereignty. It will form basis for compensation claims.”

A 2013 London press conference: Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. A 2014 Hillary Clinton email confirmed Qatar as a state-sponsor of ISIS during that same time period.

As the war in Syria continues slowly winding down, it seems new source material comes out on an almost a weekly basis in the form of testimonials of top officials involved in destabilizing Syria, and even occasional leaked emails and documents which further detail covert regime change operations against the Assad government. Though much of this content serves to confirm what has already long been known by those who have never accepted the simplistic propaganda which has dominated mainstream media, details continue to fall in place, providing future historians with a clearer picture of the true nature of the war.

This process of clarity has been aided – as predicted – by the continued infighting among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) former allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with each side accusing the other of funding Islamic State and al-Qaeda terrorists (ironically, both true). Increasingly, the world watches as more dirty laundry is aired and the GCC implodes after years of nearly all the gulf monarchies funding jihadist movements in places like Syria, Iraq, and Libya.

The top Qatari official is no less than former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who oversaw Syria operations on behalf of Qatar until 2013 (also as foreign minister), and is seen below with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in this Jan. 2010 photo (as a reminder, Qatar’s 2022 World Cup Committee donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation in 2014).

In an interview with Qatari TV Wednesday, bin Jaber al-Thani revealed that his country, alongside Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United States, began shipping weapons to jihadists from the very moment events “first started” (in 2011).

Al-Thani even likened the covert operation to “hunting prey” – the prey being President Assad and his supporters – “prey” which he admits got away (as Assad is still in power; he used a Gulf Arabic dialect word, “al-sayda”, which implies hunting animals or prey for sport). Though Thani denied credible allegations of support for ISIS, the former prime minister’s words implied direct Gulf and US support for al-Qaeda in Syria (al-Nusra Front) from the earliest years of the war, and even said Qatar has “full documents” and records proving that the war was planned to effect regime change.

 

According to Zero Hedge’s translation, al-Thani said while acknowledging Gulf nations were arming jihadists in Syria with the approval and support of US and Turkey: “I don’t want to go into details but we have full documents about us taking charge [in Syria].” He claimed that both Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (who reigned until his death in 2015) and the United States placed Qatar in a lead role concerning covert operations to execute the proxy war.

The former prime minister’s comments, while very revealing, were intended as a defense and excuse of Qatar’s support for terrorism, and as a critique of the US and Saudi Arabia for essentially leaving Qatar “holding the bag” in terms of the war against Assad. Al-Thani explained that Qatar continued its financing of armed insurgents in Syria while other countries eventually wound down large-scale support, which is why he lashed out at the US and the Saudis, who initially “were with us in the same trench.”

In a previous US television interview which was vastly underreported, al-Thani told Charlie Rose when asked about allegations of Qatar’s support for terrorism that, “in Syria, everybody did mistakes, including your country.” And said that when the war began in Syria, “all of use worked through two operation rooms: one in Jordan and one in Turkey.”

Below is the key section of Wednesday’s interview, translated and subtitled by @Walid970721. Zero Hedge has reviewed and confirmed the translation, however, as the original rush translator has acknowledged, al-Thani doesn’t say “lady” but “prey” [“al-sayda”]- as in both Assad and Syrians were being hunted by the outside countries.

The partial English transcript is as follows:

“When the events first started in Syria I went to Saudi Arabia and met with King Abdullah. I did that on the instructions of his highness the prince, my father. He [Abdullah] said we are behind you. You go ahead with this plan and we will coordinate but you should be in charge. I won’t get into details but we have full documents and anything that was sent [to Syria] would go to Turkey and was in coordination with the US forces and everything was distributed via the Turks and the US forces. And us and everyone else was involved, the military people. There may have been mistakes and support was given to the wrong faction… Maybe there was a relationship with Nusra, its possible but I myself don’t know about this… we were fighting over the prey [“al-sayda”] and now the prey is gone and we are still fighting… and now Bashar is still there. You [US and Saudi Arabia] were with us in the same trench… I have no objection to one changing if he finds that he was wrong, but at least inform your partner… for example leave Bashar [al-Assad] or do this or that, but the situation that has been created now will never allow any progress in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council], or any progress on anything if we continue to openly fight.”

As is now well-known, the CIA was directly involved in leading regime change efforts in Syria with allied gulf partners, as leaked and declassified US intelligence memos confirm. The US government understood in real time that Gulf and West-supplied advanced weaponry was going to al-Qaeda and ISIS, despite official claims of arming so-called “moderate” rebels. For example, a leaked 2014 intelligence memo sent to Hillary Clinton acknowledged Qatari and Saudi support for ISIS.

The email stated in direct and unambiguous language that:

the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

Furthermore, one day before Prime Minister Thani’s interview, The Intercept released a new top-secret NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which show in stunning clarity that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.

The newly released NSA document confirms that a 2013 insurgent attack with advanced surface-to-surface rockets upon civilian areas of Damascus, including Damascus International Airportwas directly supplied and commanded by Saudi Arabia with full prior awareness of US intelligence. As the former Qatari prime minister now also confirms, both the Saudis and US government staffed “operations rooms” overseeing such heinous attacks during the time period of the 2013 Damascus airport attack.

No doubt there remains a massive trove of damning documentary evidence which will continue to trickle out in the coming months and years. At the very least, the continuing Qatari-Saudi diplomatic war will bear more fruit as each side builds a case against the other with charges of supporting terrorism. And as we can see from this latest Qatari TV interview, the United States itself will not be spared in this new open season of airing dirty laundry as old allies turn on each other.

By Tyler Durden / Republished with permission / Zero Hedge 

Christopher Bollyn on Book Tour, Making Jews Unhappy

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Christopher Bollyn, the author of a series of articles and books on “Solving 9/11,” is presently on tour promoting his latest book, The War on Terror: The Plot to Rule the Middle East. And wouldn’t you know it? With every stop he makes he seems to be infuriating local Jews in the towns and cities he visits.

Bollyn has never been shy about discussing the substantial evidence pointing to Israeli involvement in 9/11, and in the video below you’ll hear him discuss how his presentation in Santa Cruz, California had to be moved out to a local public beach after pressure was put on the venue owner, and he also talks about efforts to disrupt his presentation at a public library in Ashland, Oregon.

The following video contains footage from a talk Bollyn gave in Laguna Beach, California.

I first came across the Laguna Beach video a couple of days ago at the Green Crow as the Crow Flies blog. Here are some very pertinent comments about it made by the administrator of that blog:

Bollyn (and the cameraman off camera at the back of the room) try to reason with the Jewish questioner.  They keep running into total absence of logic.  The Questioner seems to have been brainwashed with all the buzz words and talking points of the M$M.  He starts off by lecturing Bollyn with the shopworn “definition” of a conspiracy theorist…”One who starts off with a conclusion and then dismisses anything that contravenes that conclusion to end up with a (conspiracy) theory.”  Bollyn counters by asking the Jewish questioner “what facts have I omitted?  Name just one“.  The questioner quickly moves away from that argument and does not present one fact.

Rather, he moves on to the ludicrous statement that “Bush started the war on Iraq because Saddam threatened his father”.  This is a 5 year old’s comic book (Superman and Batman) view of geopolitics.  Bollyn and the off screen cameraman keep drilling down to force the questioner to provide proof or theory to back up his ridiculous statements…like the Jews in the WTC didn’t get a warning so, out of 400 Jews working in the WTC, only four (according to Netanyahu) were killed in the atrocity.  The cameraman provides video proof that several prominent New York Jews, including former Senator, Al Franken who had offices in the WTC admitted they were warned.

The topic switches to the Middle East and the question of why the United States has been forced to go to war for Israeli interests.  This is where it gets interesting….the offscreen cameraman keeps drilling down on the Jewish questioner’s responses….Why is Israel so disliked in the middle east that it has to “defend itself” from all its neighbours?  Finally the truth is presented (by the cameraman):  “Because of what has happened to the Palestinians (and by extrapolation is threatened to all Arabs living on land that Jews covet).”

The questioner, to his credit, finally answers the question of why Israel wants to destroy Syria…He asks:  “Have you ever walked the Golan Heights?  Have you ever stood on top and seen the land spread out before you?  The Golan Heights is prime land for anyone to shoot down at Israel.”  So, in other words…any land in the middle east that is within shooting distance of Israel is fair game for Jewish takeover.  Is that logical?????

Bollyn points out that the Golan Heights are fertile and priceless oil fields as well as being geostrategically important.  He also points out that Israel’s occupation of those lands has never been accepted by the world community…BUT… that if Syria were destroyed…the lands would, of course, automatically and by default fall into Israeli hands.  So, it is all about the land after all….the debate finally drilled down to the ultimate nugget of truth.

At this point, the debate ended as the questioner and his wife got up and left the room.  The video cuts out but then takes up again as the cameraman briefly re-engaged with the couple in the hallway.  The wife, who had up until then been silent, told the cameraman that she was not going to engage with him anymore because “our people have been killed for this”.  Yes, the victim card…the last card to be played in any debate with Jewish ziofascists.  Not the Palestianians who have died and/or been existing for 60 years on the biggest outdoor concentration camp the world has ever seen, not the Iraqis, Syrians, Afghanis, Libyans, Yemenis etc., etc.,…but “our people”.

Far worse than gluten–it would appear that some people suffer a major allergic reaction to the truth. I’ll close here with some very wise words spoken by Bollyn himself–in a post on his website put up on August 30 at the outset of his book tour:

To believe the official myth about 9/11 is to be trapped in a joyless state of mind because joy cannot co-exist with fear and hate. This is why embracing 9/11 truth is essential for our well-being and sanity, as individuals and as a nation. There is immense spiritual value in freeing ourselves from deception and living in truth.

AMERICA’S JEWS ARE DRIVING AMERICA’S WARS

South Front

 29.10.2017

Shouldn’t they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?

America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars

Written by Philip Giraldi; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

I spoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?”

It was a question combined with a comment that I have heard many times before and my answer is always the same: any organization that aspires to be heard on foreign policy knows that to touch the live wire of Israel and American Jews guarantees a quick trip to obscurity. Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again.

They are particularly sensitive on the issue of so-called “dual loyalty,” particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel.

Most recently, some pundits, including myself, have been warning of an impending war with Iran. To be sure, the urging to strike Iran comes from many quarters, to include generals in the Administration who always think first in terms of settling problems through force, from a Saudi government obsessed with fear over Iranian hegemony, and, of course, from Israel itself. But what makes the war engine run is provided by American Jews who have taken upon themselves the onerous task of starting a war with a country that does not conceivably threaten the United States. They have been very successful at faking the Iranian threat, so much so that nearly all Republican and most Democratic congressmen as well as much of the media seem to be convinced that Iran needs to be dealt with firmly, most definitely by using the U.S. military, and the sooner the better.

And while they are doing it, the issue that nearly all the Iran haters are Jewish has somehow fallen out of sight, as if it does not matter. But it should matter. A recent article in the New Yorker on stopping the impending war with Iran strangely suggests that the current generation “Iran hawks” might be a force of moderation regarding policy options given the lessons learned from Iraq. The article cites as hardliners on Iran David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens.

Daniel Larison over at The American Conservative has a good review of the New Yorker piece entitled “Yes, Iran Hawks Want Conflict with Iran,” which identifies the four above cited hawks by name before describing them as “…a Who’s Who of consistently lousy foreign policy thinking. If they have been right about any major foreign policy issue in the last twenty years, it would be news to the entire world. Every single one of them hates the nuclear deal with Iran with a passion, and they have argued in favor of military action against Iran at one point or another. There is zero evidence that any of them would oppose attacking Iran.”

And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum; John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine; Elliot Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations; Meyrav Wurmser of the Middle East Media Research Institute; Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War; and Frederick Kagan, Danielle Pletka and David Wurmser of the American Enterprise Institute. And you can also throw into the hopper entire organizations like The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Hudson Institute. And yep, they’re all Jewish, plus most of them would self-describe as neo-conservatives. And I might add that only one of the named individuals has ever served in any branch of the American military – David Wurmser was once in the Navy reserve. These individuals largely constitute a cabal of sanctimonious chairborne warriors who prefer to do the heavy thinking while they let others do the fighting and dying.

So it is safe to say that much of the agitation to do something about Iran comes from Israel and from American Jews. Indeed, I would opine that most of the fury from Congress re Iran comes from the same source, with AIPAC showering our Solons on the Potomac with “fact sheets” explaining how Iran is worthy of annihilation because it has pledged to “destroy Israel,” which is both a lie and an impossibility as Tehran does not have the resources to carry out such a task. The AIPAC lies are then picked up and replayed by an obliging media, where nearly every “expert” who speaks about the Middle East on television and radio or who is interviewed for newspaper stories is Jewish.

One might also add that neocons as a group were founded by Jews and are largely Jewish, hence their universal attachment to the state of Israel. They first rose into prominence when they obtained a number of national security positions during the Reagan Administration and their ascendancy was completed when they staffed senior positions in the Pentagon and White House under George W. Bush. Recall for a moment Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and Scooter Libby. Yes, all Jewish and all conduits for the false information that led to a war that has spread and effectively destroyed much of the Middle East. Except for Israel, of course. Philip Zelikow, also Jewish, in a moment of candor, admitted that the Iraq War, in his opinion, was fought for Israel.

Add to the folly a Jewish U.S. Ambassador to Israel who identifies with the most right-wing Israeli settler elements, a White House appointed chief negotiator who is Jewish and a Jewish son-in-law who is also involved in formulating Middle East policy. Is anyone providing an alternative viewpoint to eternal and uncritical support for Benjamin Netanyahu and his kleptocratic regime of racist thugs? I think not.

There are a couple of simple fixes for the dominant involvement of American Jews in foreign policy issues where they have a personal interest due to their ethnicity or family ties. First of all, don’t put them into national security positions involving the Middle East, where they will potentially be conflicted. Let them worry instead about North Korea, which does not have a Jewish minority and which was not involved in the holocaust. This type of solution was, in fact, somewhat of a policy regarding the U.S. Ambassador position in Israel. No Jew was appointed to avoid any conflict of interest prior to 1995, an understanding that was violated by Bill Clinton (wouldn’t you know it!) who named Martin Indyk to the post. Indyk was not even an American citizen at the time and had to be naturalized quickly prior to being approved by congress.

Those American Jews who are strongly attached to Israel and somehow find themselves in senior policy making positions involving the Middle East and who actually possess any integrity on the issue should recuse themselves, just as any judge would do if he were presiding over a case in which he had a personal interest. Any American should be free to exercise first amendment rights to debate possible options regarding policy, up to and including embracing positions that damage the United States and benefit a foreign nation. But if he or she is in a position to actually create those policies, he or she should butt out and leave the policy generation to those who have no personal baggage.

For those American Jews who lack any shred of integrity, the media should be required to label them at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up, e.g. Bill Kristol is “Jewish and an outspoken supporter of the state of Israel.”

That would be kind-of-like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison – translating roughly as “ingest even the tiniest little dosage of the nonsense spewed by Bill Kristol at your own peril.”

As none of the above is likely to happen, the only alternative is for American citizens who are tired of having their country’s national security interests hijacked by a group that is in thrall to a foreign government to become more assertive about what is happening. Shine a little light into the darkness and recognize who is being diddled and by whom. Call it like it is. And if someone’s feelings are hurt, too bad. We don’t need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver. Seriously, we don’t need it.

UPDATE: On the morning of September 21st Phil Giraldi was fired over the phone by The American Conservative, where he had been a regular contributor for fourteen years. He was told that “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars” was unacceptable. The TACmanagement and board appear to have forgotten that the magazine was launched with an article by founder Pat Buchanan entitled“Whose War?” which largely made the same claims that Giraldi made about the Jewish push for another war, in that case with Iraq. Buchanan was vilified and denounced as an anti-Semite by many of the same people who are now similarly attacking Giraldi.

100 years after Balfour: The reality which still shames israel

Peter Oborne

OCCUPIED WEST BANK – Next week, exactly 100 years will have passed since British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour wrote his famous letter to Walter Rothschild, promising that Britain would help to create a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

Current prime minister Theresa May says that the Balfour Declaration was “one of the most important letters in history”. It led within barely three decades to the creation of the state of Israel. No wonder then that Benjamin Netanyahu flies to London next week to celebrate its anniversary.



It’s understandable Palestinian leaders weren’t invited. But they weren’t even consulted.

This is wrong. The Balfour Declaration not only promised to deliver a homeland for the Jews. It also promised that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”.

Has this promise been kept?

I flew to Israel and the West Bank to find out. The treatment of the Palestinians I witnessed is not just physically degrading for them. It is also morally degrading for the Israelis as well.

Hebron: Closed city for Palestinians

I drove to the West Bank city of Hebron, about an hour’s drive south of Jerusalem. When I typed “Hebron” into Waze (the local equivalent of Google Maps) a warning flashed up: “This destination is a high-risk area or is prohibited to Israelis by law.”



October 2017: The upper road is for Israeli vehicles, the tunnel for Palestinians (MEE)

Israeli settlers, however, occupy an area of houses above the ancient market, where they are guarded by the Israeli army.

These soldiers – I’d guess at least one per settler – stand idly by as the settlers harass, persecute and assault the local population.

Palestinians said that only that morning, a masked settler had attacked two children aged 10 and 11 in the streets. I was told the soldiers made no attempt to intervene.

Such incidents, locals said, are common. In October 2015, student Dania Ersheid from Hebron was shot dead at a checkpoint. She was 17.


March 2013: A Palestinian protester is arrested by Israeli soldiers during protests in Hebron against the closure of Shuhada Street, the one-time heart of the city (AFP)

According to Breaking the Silence – an NGO which publishes testimonies of Israeli army veterans who have served in occupied Palestine – close personal ties between settlers and the military, combined with the fact that as Israeli citizens settlers are legally answerable not to the army but the police, means that soldiers often do nothing to protect Palestinians from settler violence.

The Israeli army has created a ghost town in parts of Hebron’s Old City. In July, Unesco’s heritage committee gave heritage status to these areas, much to the anger of Israel.

The ancient markets are mainly closed because of “security reasons”. More than 1,000 houses have been shut up and more than 1,300 shops have been closed.

I walked through this desolate area. Slogans such as “Hevron Yehudit” – “Hebron is Jewish” – have been scrawled on the walls. The Star of David was sprayed on the doors of many shops. The names of the streets have been changed from Palestinian to Hebrew.

I reached the Ibrahimi Mosque, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where it is thought that Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Jacob and Leah are buried.



October 2017: An Israeli army checkpoint blocks off a street in Hebron (MEE)

This is one of the most significant religious sites in the world. It marks what Jews, Muslims and Christians have in common. All of us (I am a Christian) worship the God of Abraham.

If the magnificent teachings of these three great religions is to have any meaning, then all of us should come together at this site.

But there was an invisible line in the street outside which Palestinians may not cross. A Palestinian woman ventured too far along the road. A soldier asked her: “Are you Muslim?” 

Unequal in death as in life

Inside, the site is divided, as so often is the case in Israel and occupied Palestine. One third is set aside for Muslims and two thirds are set aside for Jews.

The partition was built after 1994, when an Israeli settler called Baruch Goldstein, who emigrated from the United States, entered with a machine gun and shot dead 29 Muslim worshippers in cold blood. More were killed outside the hospital by the Israeli army amid protests.

Not far away is a little museum. I went in. It was empty and unattended. I called out.

A lady came out of a back room and showed me around. The first room was dedicated to the ancient Jewish presence in Hebron. The second concentrated on the massacre of Jews by Arabs in 1929, part of wider tension over access to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. It contained horrifying and vivid contemporary photographs and testimony of the atrocity, during which 69 Jews were killed.

This museum helped me to understand the absolute moral and religious certainty felt by the settlers that Hebron belongs to them. For them it is Arabs, not Jews, who are the usurpers.

As I left, I told my guide how moved I had been by the testimony of the 1929 atrocity. Then I asked her why her museum didn’t also mark the 1994 murder of Arabs by Goldstein.



February 1994: The aftermath of the massacre at the Tomb of the Patriarchs (AFP)

She replied that there was no comparison, because the murder of Jews in 1929 had been systematic, while, she said, Goldstein was a deranged individual acting on his own.

Afterwards I drove up to the nearby settlement of Qiryat Arba, where Goldstein is buried. A guard nodded me through the entrance gate.

Israeli authorities did destroy a shrine and prayer area that had been built after the Knesset passed a law prohibiting monuments to terrorists. The grave and plaque with the engraving, however, remained.

I found the grave behind a row of shops in a public park. Part of the Hebrew inscription read: “To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah, and the nation of Israel.” Beside the grave, a glass container contained two candles and some spent matches. Mourners had also individually laid many small stones, part of the Jewish mourning tradition.

I walked back to the shops and tried to talk to settlers. Most worked in the military or the police. They courteously refused to answer my questions.

I found a woman who said she had known Goldstein. “He was my doctor,” she told me. “He was a wonderful man. He was an amazing person who took care of the Arabs and the Jews as well.”

She said that she had come from the United States to Qiryat Arba as a child and that she was “against violence on both sides”. As for Goldstein, she felt “there was something that pushed him over. There was a lot of violence on both sides at the time.”

But the woman insisted that there was nothing “symbolic” about Goldstein’s grave in Qiryat Arba. He was buried in the settlement, she said, because he could not be buried in nearby Hebron.

It needs little imagination to gauge how Israelis would react if a Palestinian who had shot dead 29 Jews in cold blood was given such a prominent resting place 

It needs little imagination to gauge how Israelis would react if a Palestinian who had shot dead 29 Jews in cold blood was given such a prominent resting place in a West Bank town or village.

Bear in mind many Palestinians killed in attacks on Israelis are buried in secret cemeteries with unnamed (but numbered) graves. This means that the families of the dead cannot visit their loved ones.

Yet the religious terrorist and mass murderer Goldstein rests in peace in an honoured place in the Israeli settlement where he lived. This is but one example of the dual system in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Palestinians are subject to military law. Settlers are Israeli citizens, with all the protections of civil law.

Schools, homes, hope crushed

When I visited Israel 10 years ago with the lobby group Conservative Friends of Israel, my guides portrayed settlers as wild men and women who act independently of government in pursuit of a special religious vision.

I have to admit that before last week’s trip, I had wholly failed to grasp the extent to which the settlers have become part of the basic apparatus of the Israeli state.

There is colossal investment in infrastructure, roads, services and security for settlers. Meanwhile basic amenities and rudimentary security are denied to the Palestinians or  – as the Balfour Declaration defines them – “the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

In the West Bank, these “non-Jewish communities” are vulnerable to arbitrary arrest and detention. Their houses get demolished without warning. They live Kafkaesque lives subject to the whim of inaccessible and largely hostile authorities, with none of the rights that come with citizenship.



April 2016: A Bedouin man next to the rubble of his home, destroyed by Israeli army tractors in Khirbat Tana, near Bait Furik, West Bank (AFP)

Checkpoints make even small journeys laborious, unpredictable and often impossible. Their life is dedicated to clinging on by their fingernails to their land while the settlers desperately try to prise it away.

Let’s meet Abdul Rahim Bisharat, a Bedouin chief who lives in al-Hadidiya, an isolated hillside encampment above the Jordan Valley.

Bisharat, 67, told me how the Israeli army had confiscated his livestock, shot his animals from jeeps and even helicopters, and repeatedly bulldozed his home.

At one stage they attacked his tents 32 times in just 16 days, he said.

As we spoke, Bisharat’s 10-year-old daughter Somood served us tea. Her name means “steadfastness” in Arab: she was born while Israeli bulldozers were demolishing the camp.

Somood’s education is a problem. Bisharat told me how he had built a school, only for it to be destroyed by the Israeli army. He tried to build a kindergarten. That was also destroyed.

In desperation the Bedouins decided to send their children to a school many kilometres away. This meant improving the track from the camp to the main road. But when they did this, the Israelis demolished their work.


February 2016: Palestinian bedouin children attend class near the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim, after the Israeli army dismantled classrooms and homes funded by the French government (AFP)

The Israelis appear to be out to destroy the Bedouin way of life. That means driving them off their lands. It means the destruction of homes and livestock. It also means denying them access to water.

Traditionally the Jordan River has been their main source of water, but the Bedouin are denied access because the river is a military zone.

The Bedouin take water from streams. But the Israelis dig deep artesian wells to access the underground water supply, so the streams have mainly dried up. Now they have to buy water from the same Israelis who took it from them.

The sheikh said that when the occupation of the West Bank started in 1967, his camp had included some 300 families amounting to 2,000 people. Now, just 16 families are left, scarcely amounting to 100 people.

“Some have sold their sheep and become workers in settlements,” he told me. “Others are unemployed. All the time we are chased and expelled from one area or another.”

How UK government still echoes Balfour

The Israelis want to relocate the Bedouin to what are are frequently called townships and end their ancient nomadic way of life.

There is a deep paradox lurking here. The Israelis impose their own arbitrary system of law on the West Bank. Yet the Israeli occupation is itself illegal under international law.

Theresa May’s exclusion of Palestinians from her celebration reflects the exclusion of Palestinians from the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago

Yes, the Jews have the national homeland promised by the British a century ago. I wholeheartedly concur with a common British view that no other people have suffered as much as the Jews at the hands of persecutors throughout their extraordinary history.

That is why I have always supported the existence of an Israeli state.

But May’s exclusion of Palestinians from her celebration next week reflects with uncanny accuracy the exclusion of Palestinians from the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago.

The British treated the Palestinians as non-people then, and still treat them as non-people today. I believe this scornful neglect may be even more damaging for Israelis than it is of the Palestinians themselves because it is such a betrayal of the idealistic and humane vision that brought Israel into being.

– Peter Oborne won best commentary/blogging in 2017 and was named freelancer of the year in 2016 at the Online Media Awards for articles he wrote for Middle East Eye. He also was British Press Awards Columnist of the Year 2013. He resigned as chief political columnist of the Daily Telegraph in 2015. His books include The Triumph of the Political Class, The Rise of Political Lying, and  Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo: Abdul Rahim Bisharat, a Bedouin chief who lives in al-Hadidiya, an encampment above the Jordan Valley (MEE), is interviewed by Peter Oborne

Memorandum on Libya: Fabrications against the State, Leadership and Army

Source

by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

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This memorandum aimed to pinpoint some of facts that the Libyan people were subjected to during the past six years where the most horrendous crimes were committed against its people. These crimes were committed under the name of human intervention, protection of civilians, introducing democracy and prosperity where the NATO forces, with the help of some Arab countries and a few Libyans, attacked Libya with all weapons under its disposal. The justifications put forward were as false as the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and in fact it was a systematic destruction of a sovereign country and a peaceful nation. Thus far, this memorandum is trying to present these crimes to the international community, human rights organisation and NGOs in order to stand by Libya and its people in its countless efforts to rebuild this small country.

Libya on the Cross Roads: The Beginning

Libya’s agony began on 15th February 2011 when a number of protests gathered, in its routine, to demonstrate in support for the Abu Saleem prisons incident. The demonstration was soon hijacked by elements of Jihadist groups such the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group LIFG. They attacked police stations and army barracks in Derna, Benghazi, Misratah and Al-Zawayh aiming at collecting weapons to be used in their planned war against the Libyan people and its legitimate government. All these actions accompanied by a propaganda machine were launched by Aljazeera channel, Al-Arabiya, BBC, France 24 and others which were encouraging the Libyan people to confront the state police who try to protect governmental buildings and people’s properties from attacks and lootings.

Horrific scenes unfolded in the streets, bridges, and security forces buildings where the demonstrators committed unspeakable crimes against humanity. Security forces, military personnel and policemen were slaughtered as their throats were cut, their hearts were taken out of their bodies and their bodies cut into pieces in a real show of brutality and savageness. For instance, in the first day of unrest 16-02-2011 and in the city of Misrata, the so called peaceful demonstrators have killed and burnt a man named Musa Al-Ahdab. On the same day and in Benghazi a police officer was killed and his limbs were cut in pieces. [1] Those barbaric actions were committed by the armed demonstrators as they were using tanks, machine guns and anti-aircrafts machine guns throughout the cities of Misrata, Benghazi and Al-Azawiyah [2]. These acts and scenes are well documented and can be seen on YouTube [3] and across social media.

Thus, the fallen victims were in their tens contrary to what was reported by the biased media. According to Aljazeera, Al-Arabiya and the Libyan oppositions groups, by the end of 2011 the number of people killed reached 50,000. However, in 2012 Abdulrahaim Alkeeb’s government announced that the number of victims from 17th February 2011 to the end of the war in October 2011 were 4,700 including the people who died via natural death [4]. The highly claimed number of victims remained statistics figures without releasing the victims’ names or their identity as well as to claim for compensation from the governments.

The propaganda campaign and lies that accompanied the military insult did not stop at the aggregation of the victims but claimed that the regime used military aircrafts to attack the civilians, reported rapes by the army and security forces, [5] Viagra found in tanks, [6] African and Algerian mercenaries fighting along the Libyan army and the airmen defections to Malta. [7] None of these claims proven until today and in fact bears any truth what so ever. UN, Western investigations, Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch [8] have not proven any case of rip from the total of 8000 reported cases by the Libyan opposition figures. In fact, all these cases were fabricated and lacked credibility. On the same ground, the use of Mirage aircraft from Al-Weathy airbase in the far West of Libya to attack the civilians in Benghazi also bears no weight as these aircrafts could not attack targets in Benghazi and return to its base in the West due to the distance and fuel consumption. It is impossible for this type of aircraft to attack targets in 1500 KM and return without refuelling as well as there were airbases around Benghazi accessible to the Libyan government to be used if needed. Also, the Viagra found in tanks story was fallen on the same trap as the Libyan army has a professional, moral young army that neither think to commit such crimes nor need Viagra to activate their sexual desires. These fabricated stories are merely a SEX IT UP on the same line with the Iraqi seven minutes MWDs attack. Now, the Iraqi and the Libyan cases became laughing matters by the Iraqi, Libyan people, the American and the European media. (Amnesty Report [9])

The International Court of Justice (ICC)

The ICC [10] issued a warrant of arrest for Muammar Qaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi [11] and Abdullah Al-Senussi in 2011, charged with crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Libya. Despite the seriousness of the crime, the ICC has not conducted any investigations on the ground (Libya) as well as it reached its conclusions and identified the perpetrators within two weeks from the UN resolution for the ICC to proceed its work. The timing given for the charge to be announced was not presented and was not enough to even issue and investigate traffic penalties. In this effect, Al-Jehani, the ICC-Libyan government coordinator, asserted that, “the ICC case against Libya was purely political because the NATO countries order the National Transitional Council (NTC) to prepare a list of officials for the ICC to be charged for crimes against humanity”. The NTC assigned Al-Jehani to prepare the list who produced and presented tens of names, however, the ICC selected only the above three names. In his statement Al-Jehani also added that all the accusation was fabricated. He also asserted his views when he met Saif Al-Islam and told him that it’s impossible for the Libyan judiciary to find you guilty. Al-Jehani added that we (Al-Jehani and his team) fabricated this case against him because we simply knew in advance that the criminal part is a lost case but we brought it forward to implicate Saif Al-Islam in financial and corruption cases.

Al-Jehani has justified his fabrications and lies as these lies are permissible during wars but it’s hard to be proven in the law of court, (Al-Jehani statement documented on 1/1/2012 and field in Al-Zintan court).

The ICC adopted a double standard on Libya’s civil war and the NATO intervention, implicating the Libyan political figures in fabricated crimes where ignored and failed to condemn the barbaric killing of Qaddafi [12] and his son Al-Motassem by the NATO backed militias. [13] The only action the ICC made was to drop the case against Qaddafi after his death. However, the ICC had a strong case as the killing was well documented by the media and needs no evidence to bring those responsible to justice. The ICC could also easily reach and arrest these perpetrators as they assumed political positions and diplomatic posts in various European capitals. A similar position was taken by the ICC against Abduallah Al-Senussi who was kidnapped from Mauritania by the Libyan government, [14] it stopped calling for his extradition to stand trial at the ICC. It did not even follow his human rights violation and inhuman treatment in the militia’s prison even though he has been imprisoned by the well-known notorious jihadists, the Libyan Fighting Islamic Group. The head of the prison is the leader of LIFG, Abdul Hakiem Belhadj.

Belhaj is well-known to the CIA and Western governments. The CIA arrested him after his escape from Kandahar, interrogated and extradited to Libya in 2002 charging with terrorism. [15] In 2009, he and the LIFG members were released from prison under the General Amnesty Law. [16] Belhadj terrorist record speaks for itself. In 1994-97, he ordered a slaughter of 225 people and ordered the killing of the German tourists, Steven Baker and his wife Manuela Spiatzier in 1997. Nevertheless, he assumed a high-ranking position in Libya. He was a minister of Defence, and is responsible of Tripoli security, General Manager of Libyan prisons and responsible directly of Al-Senussi cell. Bearing in mind Belhadj’s criminal record, the ICC expressed its reassurance that Al-Senussi is in the safe hands and supported his trial in Libya.

The NATO and small Gulf countries ignored Belhadj terrorist activities and recognised him as a political and military leader and above all a businessman. He owned the biggest TV station in North Africa, biggest airline company in Libya, cement factory, properties in Spain and Turkey and a private airport in Tripoli. This airport, however, has been used to channel and transport the terrorists from Libya to Syria. These terrorists were financed which was estimated to be 160 billion worth of dollars in 2010.

Belhaj and others are responsible of the misuse of Libya’s assets and putting an end to Libya’s development plan worth 200 billion of dollars according to the World Bank. Belhaj is one example to the warlords’ lavish life where the ordinary Libyan citizens were plunged into severe poverty.

The Militias Human Rights Abuses

The militias’ leaders and war lords has committed heinous crimes against humanity, destroyed cities and vital infrastructures throughout the past six years. The following are few of the listed crimes – People were burned, cooked alive and subjected to the ugliest forms of torture. Political prisoners, security personals and soldiers were thrown in the Iron and Steel smelting furnaces plant of Misratah. Above all, the militias traded in the prisons’ human organs. With the Libyan political scene growing more complicated, IS has also added more atrocities by slaughtering, crucifying people and cutting their organs in dramatic senses.

Unprecedented racial and ethnic cleansing, genocide was committed against five Libyan cities and its people. 55% of Libyan people were forced to flee their country to the neighbouring countries. In addition, hundreds of houses were burnt in Bani Walid [17] and five other cities in Warshafana. [18] Furthermore, the destruction and flattening of the city of Sirte [19] and bombardment of residential populated areas in Benghazi [20] and Dernah. Even the cosmopolitan Tripoli faced the same faith of ethnic and racial cleansing especially in the areas loyal to Qaddafi.

Besides the systematic human rights abuses, the militias and their leaders destroyed the Libyan essential infrastructures. [21] In July 2014, they set Tripoli airport and the aviation fleet on fire as well burning number 24 & 25 oil reservoirs. [22]  [23]  [24]  [25]

Despite the militias destructive actions and brutal torture, the international community and the UN legal bodies ignored all these crimes and failed to bring these warlords to justice [26].

NATO and Libyan Militias’ Atrocities against Civilian and Public Figures

The NATO military aircrafts targeted civilians across various Libyan cities, namely Zlitan, Sirte, Surman, Tripoli and Bani Walid. In the south of Zlitan and precisely in Majeer, [27] 84 families mainly women and children were killed in cold blood while they were sleeping by NATO airstrikes. [28] Media showed children’s bodies pulled out of rubble and a lady named Minsyah Khleifa Heblow was halved in two and others lay dead in a very disturbing scene. In another case, the Khawildi Al-Ahmadi family was killed as NATO airstrikes hit their house and consequently killed two of their children. [29] Also, Al-Jafarh family were killed in Bani Walid [30] as NATO targeted their house during the Holy month of Ramadan. Not to mention, the well documented and deliberate NATO Arial bombardment of Qaddafi and his convoy in Sirte and the killing of Qaddafi’s youngest son, Saif Al-Arab in his house in Tripoli. [31]

The human rights abuse and systematic killing and torture of Libyan civilians continued after the militias assumed control of Libya. These people were civilians that did not participate in the civil war and the majority were old and cannot carry weapons. The popular comedian Youssef Al-Gharyani was detained and tortured by Al-Zawiyah militias.

Misratah militias has also detained and tortured the eighty-year-old and the Libyan Mufti in the 1970s, Al-Shaiek Al-Madani Al-Shwearief, [32] because he did not approve and support the NATO intervention in Libya. [33] The famous Libyan singer, Mohammed Hassan, was abused and put under house arrest. [34] Others like the economist expert in the Ministry of Finance, Dr Abdul Hafied Al-Zalatni, was tried and sentenced to years of imprisonment. Likewise, the Head of Islamic Call Society, Dr Mohammed Al-Shareef was sentenced for long term imprisonment. The Head of Customs Department and the Head of Training at the Ministry of Interior were also sentenced to long term imprisonment along with others who were sentenced to the death penalty and various terms of imprisonments. It’s rather absurd that these public figures were tried for drugs trafficking, human trafficking and rape in addition to 17 other charges. [35] The question that presents itself is how all these old professional figures met and conspire together to commit crimes throughout a period of nine months?

After NATO helped those militias to rule Libya, more horrific terrorist crimes were committed against Libyan and foreign nationals. A Coptic man was killed at the Misratah’s battalion, [36] murdering number of Coptic men in Sirte, [37] murdering a number of Christian Ethiopian workers, [38] murdering the American English teacher, Roni Smith, in Benghazi, [39] killing the Red Cross staff in Misratah in 2014 [40] and the French Embassy bombing in Tripoli, [41] above all, the murder of the American Ambassador in Benghazi, who helped and armed the militias throughout 2011. [42]

All the above victims were reported by the Human Rights Watch and in some cases NATO admitted responsibility of their death. However, the ICC turned a blind eye and failed to investigate such crimes despite various national and international bodies which demanded to initiate an open and transparent investigation as well as bringing perpetrates to justice. The ICC record showed failure in its responsibility regarding Libya’s civil war. It was evident as it has not produced a single warrant of arrest against these militia leaders and NATO forces. It seemed that it has been a deliberate policy of ICC to ignore these authentic crimes and only focuses on Saif Al-Islam indictment and trial.

When it comes to Qaddafi’s family, the ICC are seen not to be serious as in the case of Al-Saadi Qaddafi torture that the ICC prosecutor claimed that she is still investigating the case. However, he was shown in a video being interrogated and beaten in front of the camera. The same standard applied to the Abduallah Al-Senussi case where the ICC prosecutor claimed that she is still in deliberation of his death penalty. A similar claim was made by her predecessor regarding the bombing and killing of Qaddafi and hundreds in his convoy. The ICC never showed any seriousness in other crimes committed by the militias against thousands of Libyan people, except Saif Al-Islam in order to silent his voice and eliminate potential leadership.

The NATO countries and the Gulf mini-states should be held responsible for the chaos that has been created in Libya since 2011. They intervened in Libya in the pretext of Qaddafi killing his own people. The scenario of a leader killing his own people reminds us of Tony Blair during the Iraq inquiry in 2016. He said it was “the right thing to do and if Saddam had remained in power during the Arab Spring he would have crushed the rebels”. [43] By this kind of speculation, countries were destroyed, thousands of people were displaced and national assets were stolen. As a result of the NATO militarily intervention in Libya, Qaddafi, his sons and thousands of Libyan people were killed and millions more were displaced.

Six years on and the political settlement in Libya is far distant from being realised soon. With a glance, Libyan militias are fighting each other as well as Western countries military forces who are siding with different militias. France remains involved militarily and lost three soldiers in Benghazi in July 2016 by groups that were supporting the 2011 uprising. France then called the uprising a revolution that France ought to support and if its belief was true why is the war continuing today? And why 700 people mainly army officers assassinated? Why were the American Consulate Staff killed in Benghazi? Why the West ignoring is IS barbaric acts of cutting people’s throats in Sirte, Misratah and Dernah?

The answer to the later question is clear, those criminals were supported by the West in 2011 because they were fighting the apostate Libyan government as they claimed. Why was IS wearing the same Libyan soldiers uniform that was imported to the Libyan army in 2012, and who gives it to them? Why did IS’ members receive a salary from the Libyan Defence Ministry? The answer to the above question is that search for the effective ruler of Libya namely Belhadj, Al-Shareef, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and their co-ruler, the National Congress members. Who governs Libya today is well known by Libyan people and by some international NGOs groups. Thus far, Libya today is under the rule of the Islamic Jihadist groups and the West is supporting them despite these groups’ crimes against Libya and its people.

At this moment of time, is it strange that the Western countries as far north as Norway and Canada and to the south, Malta and Italy, not to mention the Qatari forces, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Sudan and Morocco all assembled to launch a military aggression against civilians who were not being hostile against these countries, such as, Saif al-Arab Muammar Qaddafi and Khuwaylidi family and 84 of innocent victims of Madjer? While these countries are patient and tolerant towards the supports of IS in Sirte, Misrata and Benghazi, they were also celebrating the IS bombings of the French and Belgium cities. Yet, the NATO countries and their allies should attack and bomb them as they did in Libya in 2011.

Finally, in complement of its series of crimes against the Libyans, the Western countries have appointed a war criminal who was responsible for the destruction of Bani Walid and killing of its children, “Abdul-Rahman Al-Swehli” as a head of Libya’s highest authority, the State Council and appointed his nephew, “Ahmed Maiteeq” [44] Vice President, his niece “Nihad Meitiq” [45] General Director of the Foreign and his brother in law, Faiez Al-Saraj, head of the presidential Council. In addition, Al-Swehli struck a deal with Belhadj, commander of the Islamic Fighting Group, to take the Islamist share of the presidential election. However, it is well known in Libya that if elections were to be held today, the above-mentioned persons will not guarantee and secure even their family members’ vote. Belhadj popularity was demonstrated in the parliamentary elections where he got only 50 votes in the Sauaq Al-Joumah district, which has a population of 250 thousand people.

Meanwhile and during writing these lines, the cities of Libya and its population including the capital city Tripoli where a third of Libyan population are inhabited, are suffering water shortages, living in darkness because of power cuts, lacking medical facilities and basic human needs. Per the UN, 65% of hospitals stopped working. [46] Whereas the Libyan Dinar lost 300% of its value and oil production fell from 1.9 million barrels a day into 250.000 barrels. [47] To add to the suffering of Libyan people, main roads were cut due to the military operations and act of banditry by the criminal gangs, in addition to the military operations and bombing campaign that stretches from Derna in the east to Sirte to the West through Benghazi and Ajdabiya. The most dominant in the daily news are kidnapping for ransom and booming arms trade to the extent that it is sold through the Internet and advertised on Facebook.

In conclusion, we ought to thank our brothers in Qatar and the UAE, Sudan, Tunisia, the Arab League, the NATO countries, the European Union and the people who helped Libya become a failed state. After the release of Islamist political prisoners and others, Libya became a home for the largest private prisons run by families and militias. Also, a country attracted investors from around the world to a state exporting migrants including its own citizens, 55% of its population migrated and took refugee worldwide. A state that combined the finest legal and constitution experts in the world, that were able to forge a new and modern constitution, now transformed to a state governed by 1500 militias. And finally, a state where a crime of theft was considered strange and unusual, to a state where human mutilated bodies and decomposed bodies were dumped on the streets and road sides, which became a routine and normal across the country every morning.

The Herland Report comments:
Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi and the ICC case

Before the uprising, Saif Al-Islam was the architect of the new Libya. He presented his new vision of Libya free of political prisons, committed to human rights charter, distribution of wealth, prosperity and democracy. [48] He embarked on political and economic reforms in Libya whereby the radical Islamic prisoners gained their freedom, rehabilitated and engaged in the Libyan society. Once the violent uprising erupted in some Libyan cities, local sources confirm that he offered his help by engaging in human relief efforts to help the displaced people around the country, released the uprising prisoners, securing the Misratah people who caught on the cross fire and sheltered the Benghazi people who fled the fighting areas.

He also called and supported the peace efforts to solve the Libyan civil war. According to sources on the ground, he asked the University of Sirte’s administration to print 5000 leaflets and distributed to the peaceful convoy to Benghazi contained observing human rights, calling for the army to uphold the rule of engagement and prohibiting the use of force against the protesters. The later was stated by the Head of the Joint Operation Chamber in the 2011 Libyan war, Marchal Al-Hadi Embarrish, who was taken as a prisoner of war by the Al-Zintan militias, badly treated and deprived from medical treatment until he died of cancer in prison in 2014. [49]

Despite Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi’s tireless peace efforts, NATO aircrafts targeted him in an attempt to assassinate him that resulted in a permanent disability and killing of 29 of his comrades. [50] Also, he lost his fingers and suffered multiple injuries. Yet, the ICC did not investigate the airstrike, nor oversee his five years of solitary confinement condition and his human rights generally. [51] Furthermore, the ICC persisted demanding his arrest and trial despite he was sentenced to death by a Libyan court that set-in Al-Hadbah prison under Khaled Al-Shareef, the right man of Belhaj.

For these reasons, the unfair trail and dismissal of the case is the only outcome that should be endorsed. Indeed, it could be argued that the case should be completely dropped especially after the Attorney General assassination in Benghazi and fleeing most Public Prosecution team as they faced an immense pressure from the militias. With all these circumstances, the ICC arguments were that his death sentence has not been implemented and therefore he should be arrested and jailed in Al-Hadhaba prison.

However, his death sentence was appealed by the Libyan Ministry of Justice on the ground of unfair trial since the court was set in a prison controlled by the Al-Shareef who has power over the court and the judges. Nevertheless, the ICC continued calling for his retrial and turned a blind eye on the fact that Saif Al-Islam was in the Al-Zintan prison and the Tripoli court had tried him via close circuit TV. Therefore, the ICC should respect the Libyan law and be aware that a person should not be tried twice for one alleged crime. But the end game for the West and ICC is to get rid of Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi as they did with his father Qaddafi and his brothers.

It is time for the ICC to drop its double standards and side with the Libyan people in their ultimate aim that to salvage their country from these militias and build a new Libya where human rights, prosperity, development and rule of law prevails. We also call upon the ICC to drop its call for Saif Al-Islam to be extradited and tried by the ICC.

Instead, the ICC should recognise and respect the Libyan Ministry of Justice General Amnesty Law by which Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi should assume his role in the struggle for a new democratic Libya. In this respect and after the Western countries began to see their mistake, they should work with the sincere Libyans and NGOs to bring these militias and their leaders to justice for the sake of peace and reconciliation.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POl… THE HANGING OF A LIBYAN SOLDIER IN THE STREETS OF BENGHAZI IN 2011

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sR… CIVILIANS DRIVING TANKS IN THE STREETS OF BENGHAZI

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxO… BURNING AND EATING THE LIVER OF A SECURITY OFFICER IN 2011 IN THE CITY OF MISRATA

[4] file:///C:/Users/Doaa/Downloads/2.%09https://www.theguardian.com/world/2… THE GUARDIAN REPORT ON THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF DEATHS IN THE 2011 WAR AMNESTY REPORT

[5] https://humanrightsinvestigations.o… RAPE CLAIMS

[6] file:///C:/Users/Doaa/Desktop/Letters/5%20https://www.theguardian.com/world/2… RAPE CLAIMS IN 2011

[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dR… THE LIBYAN PILOTS IN MALTA

[8] https://www.hrw.org/ar/world-report… HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT

[9] https://humanrightsinvestigations.o… RAPE CLAIMS

[10] file:///C:/Users/Doaa/Desktop/New%20folder/8%20https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/08/01… CRIMINAL JUSTICE COURT REPORT ON MUAMMAR QADDAFI, SAFI AL ISLAM AND ABDULLAH AL SANUSSI

[11] https://www.icc-cpi.int/libya/gadda… CRIMINAL JUSTICE COURT REPORT ON SAIF AL ISLAM

[12] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpB… MUAMMAR AL QADDAFI’S DEAD BODY

[13] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pk… MUTTASIM MUAMMAR AL QADDAFI’S BEFORE-AFTER DEATH FOOTAGE

[14] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqq… ABDULLAH AL SANNUSI’S IMPRISONMENT IN MILITIA’S PRISONS

[15] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-afr… BBC REPORT ON ABDULHAKIM BELHADJ LIBYA

[16] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReQ… GENERAL AMNESTY LAW

[17] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUH… SHELLING BANI WALID IN 2012 BY THE NEW GOVERNMENT’S MILITIAS IN 2012

[18] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG-… BURNING OF HOUSES AND PROPERTIES IN THE CITY OF WERSHIFANA IN 2014

[19] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIa… A WIPEOUT OF THE CITY OF SIRTE BY THE SO CALLED “REBELS” IN 2011

[20] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW9… THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CITY OF BENGHAZI

[21] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abV… MUAMMAR QADDAFI’S CONVOY AFTER GETTING STRIKED BY NATO IN 2011

[22] youtube.com/watch?v=WrfSrvseOCg BURNING OF TRIPOLI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

[23] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgW… BURNING OF LIBYA’S AIERIAL CONVOY AND AIRPLANES IN TRIPOLI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

[24] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBE… SATELLITE IMAGES OF THE BURNING OIL TANKS IN TRIPOLI

[25] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8t… OIL TANKS BURNING FOOTAGE LINK

[26] http://gate.ahram.org.eg/News/32366… YOUSEF AL-GHERIANI’S COURT DECISION

[27] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uE… AL-JFAARA FAMILY MASSACRE IN BANI WALID 2011

[28] https://www.rt.com/news/bani-walid-… RT REPORT ON THE SIEGE OF BANI WALID AND CHILDREEN DEATHS IN THE CITY BY MILITIA SHELLINGS

[29] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTU… AL-KHWAILDI’S FAMILY MASSACRE BY NATO IN 2011

[30] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uE… MAJER MASSACRE BY NATO IN THE CITY OF ZLITIN 2011

[31] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t0… MURDER OF SAIF AL ARAB MUAMMAR AL QADDAFI BY NATO IN 2011

[32] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uop… KIDNAPPING AND TORTURING THE ISLAMIC SCHOLAR AL MADANI AL SHWEERIF BY “THE REBELS”

[33] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wr… HUSSAIN AL KARAMI’S (ISIS TERRORIST) FRIDAY PRAYER SPEECH IN THE CITY OF SIRTE

[34] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYu… THE FORCE-ENTRY OF MUHAMMED HASSAN’S HOME BY THE SO-CALLED REBELS IN 2011

[35] https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/12/03… HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT ON THE DARK PRISONS OF LIBYA

[36] http://www.masress.com/tahrirnews/311658 THE KILLING OF THE EGYPTIAN POPE IN THE CITY OF MISRATA IN 2012

[37] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2… THE MURDER OF 21 EGYPTIAN CHRISTIANS BY ISIS TERRORISTS IN THE CITY OF SIRTE

[38] file:///C:/Users/Lahwej/Downloads/37http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor… THE MURDER OF 30 ETHIOPIAN CHRISTIANS IN LIBYA

[39] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2… MURDERING OF THE AMERICAN TEACHER IN THE CITY OF BENGHAZI

[40] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2… THE MURDER OF THE RED CROSS CREW IN THE CITY OF MISRATA

[41] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-afr… THE FRENCH EMBASSY’S BOMBING IN TRIPOLI

[42] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ar… US EMBASSY ATTACKS IN BENGHAZI 2012

[43] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMJ… TONY BLAIR ADDMITING THE “MISTAKE” OF THE INVASION OF IRAQ

[44] http://www.ahmedmaiteeg.com/%D8%B9%… AHMED MAETIEG’S WEBPAGE

[45] http://www.unmultimedia.org/arabic/… NIHAD MAETIEG SPEECH ON UN WEBPAGE

[46] http://www.who.int/countryfocus/coo… WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION REPORT ON HEALTH-CARE IN LIBYA

[47] http://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/abo… LIBYAN OIL EXPORT REPORT IN 2015

[48] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReQ… RELEASING ISLAMIC FIGHTING GROUPS FROM LIBYAN PRISONS

[49] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkl… AL HADI EMBEERISH’S KIDNAPPING IN 2011

[50] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ8… SAIF AL ISLAM’S ARRIVAL IN THE CITY OF ZINTAN

[51] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVa… AFP REPORT ON TOURTURING PRISONERS IN NEW LIBYA

America First? What is Behind Washington’s ‘Economic War’ Against Europe

Source

Former French President Francois Hollande has berated Donald Trump for pursuing protectionist policies. Speaking to Sputnik, French analysts said that the US often used “hidden protectionism” even before Trump was elected and that EU countries are just starting to determine strategies for resisting competition from American multinationals.

Marc German, a specialist in competitive intelligence and enterprise diplomacy, told Sputnik France that Trump “loudly declares the protectionism of the American economy.”

“But his battle cry, which boils down to the slogan ‘America first’, is in fact an unwritten preamble to the American Constitution. And we have been seeing this for two centuries already!” German added.

He was echoed by Lawyer Olivier Piton, who said that “the United States has always professed protectionism, albeit in a hidden form.”He recalled that “even Barack Obama found a way to save the American automotive industry” during his tenure. At the time, it was reported that it was clearly protectionist measures, and no one made any special hype about this, according to Piton.

“Americans have always believed that they should defend their sovereignty in a number of areas. That is, this phenomenon is not new because Americans have always acted like this,” he said.

 According to Piton, the traditional American use of hidden protectionism in trade policy-making comes amid “the review of multilateral agreements.”
In other words, he added, there is a return to the narrow national vision of trade relations, at least from the American point of view.

German, for his part, recalled that a whole array of enterprises and large corporations in Europe had already started to merge in order to contain competition from American companies.

“In the economic war which has been waged for many decades between the United States, which seeks unipolarity, and the rest of the world, there are movements that resist the Americans,” German said.

Urging Europe to finally “wake up”, German quoted former French President Francois Mitterrand as saying that France is in a “deadly” war with America, which he claimed wants unlimited power in the global arena.Earlier, the French business newspaper Les Echos cited a spate of  strategic industries in which President Trump is ready to abandon market principles to protect his country’ national economy. These include industries related to the production of steel, aluminum, cars, aircraft, ships and semiconductors.

Russia Rejects the False UN-OPCW Report on Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack

Source

By Breakingnews.sy,

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday that the report of the Joint UN Security Council and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Inquiry Mechanism into the events, relating to the alleged use of sarin gas in the northwestern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4th, was flawed as regards its investigative methods and based on false statements coming from the highly questionable sources. 

Ryabkov’s response came after Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, yesterday announced that Moscow is proposing a new report by UN experts and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on chemical attacks in Syria.

“We have begun to prepare a new document, which has a comprehensive technical character”, said Russian press secretary Fyodor Strzhizovski, adding that it is necessary to conduct such study using experts from different institutions.

“It surprises us once again that Western news agencies are shamelessly publish quotations directly from an internal document of the UN Security Council”, he added.

“The group of international experts is convinced that the Syrian authorities are responsible for the release of sarin gas in Khan Sheikhoun in Idleb province, AFP reported earlier.

The statement came after the Joint UN Security Council and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Inquiry Mechanism submitted a report to the Security Council on Thursday evening, which included the results of the investigation into the alleged use of sarin gas in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, and the use of mustard gas in the town Oum Al Hosh on 15th and 16th September 2016.

“Once again we see an independent inquiry confirming the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime”, said Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, while commenting on the report.

“The UN Security Council must send a strong message that it does not tolerate the use of chemical weapons by any party and must assure its full support to impartial investigations”, she added.

“The Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Gutteres expressed his full confidence in the professionalism, objectivity and impartiality of the Joint UN-OPCW Inquiry Mechanism”, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq said.

The UN Security Council and OPCW unanimously established the Joint Investigative Mechanism in 2015 and renewed its mandate for another year in 2016. Its current mandate expires in mid-November.

Russia, however, rejected the extension of the mandate, stressing that while it was not opposed to the extension as such, it nonetheless had to take a hasty decision as regards the matter, namely after discovering “fundamental problems” in the work of the joint mechanism.

Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, said earlier this week that Moscow would consider reviewing the extension of the mandate with amendments after discussing the report on Thursday.

It is noteworthy Syria agreed to destroy its entire stock of chemical weapons back in 2013 already, following a deal brokered by Russia and the United States.

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied the use of chemical weapons during the entire war, which has been going on for more than six years now.

Translated by Samer Hussein

Good for him: Corbyn Refuses To Attend Balfour Dinner

Corbyn Refuses To Attend Balfour Dinner

IMEMC News & Agencies | October 28, 2017
28 Oct  7:24 AM

Leader of UK Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has declined an invitation from pro-Israel lobby to attend a Balfour Declaration centenary gala dinner, next month, in London.

Corbyn announced, according to Days of Palestine, that he would decline an invitation celebrating the hundred-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

The Balfour Declaration – which was a promise by the British Foreign Secretary in 1917 to establish a homeland for the Jews in Palestine – led directly to the creation of the Zionist regime in 1948 and the dispossession of the Palestinian people.

Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council in Britain Jonathan Goldstein called Corbyn’s decision not to attend the event “deeply unfortunate.”

“I do think it will not have been amiss for Mr Corbyn to understand that the Jewish community will have taken great heart and great comfort for seeing him attend such an event because it recognises the right of Israel to exist,” he said.

Goldstein added that Corbyn had also not attended a reception for Labour Friends of Israel at the party conference in October.

Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas tweeted Corbyn’s announcement, adding that Britain should formally apologise and compensate Palestinians for the Balfour Declaration.

The UK government refused to issue an apology in April, this year, saying it had helped to establish a “homeland for the Jewish people in the land to which they had such strong historical and religious ties was the right and moral thing to do, particularly against the background of centuries of persecution.”

Protests will take place across Britain, next month, as Theresa May and her Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, celebrate the centenary

Ex-Qatari premier: US coordinated foreign support for terrorists in Syria

http://PressTV.com/Default/Embed/540168

Qatar’s former prime minister has revealed how the United States coordinated support by Doha, Riyadh and Ankara for terrorists operating against the Syrian government over the past years of conflict in the Arab country.

Hamad bin Jassim admitted in an interview on October 26 with Qatari national broadcaster that his country, a tiny state to the south of the Persian Gulf, was part of a group of four countries that delivered weapons and funds to the terrorists in Syria.

Hamad said Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey sent their weapons for militant groups in Syria via the US military forces in the region.

“Anything [weapons] that was sent [to Syria] would go through Turkey and was coordinated with the US, and the distribution of anything was via US forces,” the former Qatari premier said.

Hamad said the four countries only supported those armed groups designated as the moderate Syrian opposition in the West but outlawed by the Syrian government. He admitted that many of the weapons had found their way into the hands of al-Nusra Front, a group allied to al-Qaeda. Hamad rejected similar claims about supporting Daesh, the main Takfiri terrorist group operating in Syria.

‘Saudis now want Assad in power’

Hamad also censured the Saudi regime for revising its policy on Syria by forgetting previous calls for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He said the Saudis now wanted Assad to stay in power, a stance, he said, Riyadh was not willing to share with others.

“You [Saudi Arabia] are now saying keep Bashar. Ok let him stay, we don’t have any problem, we have no quarrel with him. He was a friend of us … But you [Saudi Arabia] were in the same trench with us, if you changed your mind, tell us so,” Hamad said.

Qatar has been locked in a political standoff with Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries for the past months. The dispute came apparently after the situation in Syria changed dramatically in favor of government forces and terrorists were purged from key positions across the country.

Syria and Russia, its main military ally, blame the US for continued bloodshed in eastern Syria, saying they have evidence that US forces stationed in Jordan have been providing Daesh, which is losing grounds in the area, with intelligence support.

Debate: sponsoring terrorism in Syria

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  عن الفريسة السوريّة التي “تَهاوشت” على صَيْدِها السعوديّة وقطر ونَجت بجِلْدِها

عبد الباري عطوان

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مُقابلات الشيخ حمد بن جاسم آل ثاني، رئيس وزراء، وزير خارجيّة قطر السابق، تُثير الاهتمام، وتَجذب الكَثير من المُشاهدين والقُرّاء، سواء كانوا من المُواطنين العاديين، أو من كِبار المَسؤولين، لأن الرّجل يتحدّث ببساطةٍ وجراءةٍ وعفويّة، ويَكشف في كُل مرّة عن العَديد من المَعلومات والوَقائع، على غير عادة المَسؤولين العَرب.

في مُقابلته الأخيرة التي خصّ بها تلفزيون دولة قطر الرّسمي، (وليس قناة “الجزيرة” التي قال أنّه كان أحد مُؤسّسيها ويَندم على ذلك)، خاضَ الشيخ بن جاسم في مَواضيع عديدة، لشَرح مَوقف بلاده، من أبرزها المَوضوع السوري، في مُحاولة لتبرئة قطر من بَعض جوانب خِلافها مع السعوديّة (الشقيقة الكُبرى)، وعِتابها على انقلابها على المَوقف القطري، بعد تنسيقٍ وتحالف تامين بين الجانبين، ولكن هذا العِتاب لم يَجد آذانًا صاغية، كما أن التطوّرات المُتلاحقة في سورية هذهِ الأيّام، تأتي في غير مَصلحة الطّرفين، والدّوحة على وَجه الخُصوص.

الشيخ حمد بن جاسم كَشف أنّه التقى العاهل السعودي الراحل الملك عبد الله بن عبد العزيز في الرياض، وأبلغه بوجود خُطّة قطريّة بالتنسيق مع القوّات الأمريكيّة وتركيا بالتدخّل في سورية في بداية الأزمة، وأن الملك عبد الله باركَ هذهِ الخُطوة وأعطاه الضوء الأخضر، وقال “نحن معكم، أنتم سيروا في هذا الموضوع ونحن نُنسّق، ولكن فلتبقوا أنتم مُستلمين المَوضوع″، ثم “تهاوشنا” على الفَريسة “فضَاعت مِنّا”.

***

والأهم من ذلك أن الشيخ بن جاسم اعترف أن الجميع تورّط في سورية، إلى درجةِ دَعم جبهة النصرة، وبتنسيقٍ كامل مع القوّات الأمريكيّة (وكالة المُخابرات المركزيّة)، التي كانت تُشرف على توزيع كُل شيء (المال والسّلاح)، وعندما أصبحت النصرة غير مَقبولة (جَرى وضعها على قائمة الإرهاب) توقّف الدّعم لها.

لا نَعرف رد السّلطات السعوديّة على هذهِ المَعلومات، مِثلما لا نَعرف ما إذا كانت وغيرها ممّا وَرد في المُقابلة، قد خفّف من حِدّة الخِلاف مع قطر، وقَرّب بين البلدين، ولكن ما نَعرفه أن هذا الكَشْف نَزلَ بردًا وسلامًا على قلب الحُكومة السوريّة ومُؤيّديها الذين دَعموها طِوال السّنوات الماضية، وما يُؤكّد وجهة نَظرها التي تبنّتها مُنذ بداية الأزمة، وتُؤكّد أن هُناك مُؤامرة خارجيّة بزعامة الولايات المتحدة لتغيير النّظام في دمشق خِدمةً لمَشروع التّفتيت والتّقسيم.
سورية كانت “فريسةً” فِعلاً، تَقاتل على “جِلدها” الصياديون من أكثر من ستين دولة، انضموا تحت منظومة “أصدقاء سورية” بزعامة أمريكا، وكان دَور السعوديّة وقطر مَحصورًا في التّمويل والتّسليح، أمّا دُول عربيّة أُخرى فلَم يَزد عن دَور “المُحلّل”، أو شاهِد الزّور.

“التّهاوش” لم يَكن سبب فرار “الفريسة” من الشّباك السعوديّة القطريّة، وإن كان، فإنّه سبب هامشي، وليَعذرنا الأشقاء السوريين على تِكرار استخدام توصيف “الفَريسة” غير المُحبّب، فناقل الكُفر ليس بكافر، أمّا الأسباب الأساسيّة فهي صُمود النّظام، وعدم انهيار مُؤسّساته، أبرزها المُؤسّستان الأمنيّة والعَسكريّة، ووجود حاضنةٍ شعبيّةٍ، كَبُرت أو صَغُرت، كانت تلتف حَولهما وقيادتهما في دمشق، حتى في أصعب الأوقات وأكثرها حراجةً، وفي ظِل ضَخ إعلامي استخدمت فيه إمبراطوريّات ومُؤسّسات عُظمى تَملُك ميزانيات بالمِليارات، وتَغييبٍ كاملٍ للإعلام السّوري (جَرى حَظْره وحَذفه من الأقمار الصناعيّة العربيّة، وعرب سات تحديدًا بقرارٍ من الجامعة العربيّة، ووزراء إعلامها)، رغم أن هُناك مآخذ كثيرة على هذا الإعلام وحِرفيّته.

الشيخ حمد بن جاسم أعاد الكَثيرين إلى الوَراء سَبع سنوات، وبالتّحديد عندما ذَهب إلى دمشق حاملاً عرضًا بـ 15 مليار دولار كدُفعةٍ أولى مَشروطةٍ بابتعاد سورية عن إيران، وانضمامها إلى “مِحور الاعتدال” العربي، ومن سُخريات القَدر أن المملكة العربيّة السعوديّة التي أطاحت بدولة قطر من مِقعد القيادة في المَلف السوري، وأرجعتها إلى المَقاعد الخلفيّة، مِثلما اشتكى الشيخ بن جاسم في مُقابلة أُخرى أكثر تشويقًا مع صحيفة “الفايننشال تايمز″، باتت أقرب إلى روسيا، وبالتّالي سورية بطريقةٍ غير مُباشرة، وباتت تَقبل ببقاء الرئيس بشار الأسد في الحُكم، وتتطلّع إلى حلٍّ سِلمي للأزمة، أمّا دولة قطر فتُواجه حِصارًا من أبرز أسبابه قُربها وعَلاقاتها الوثيقة مع إيران.
كَثيرون أخطأوا في حَق سورية، وكثيرون يتهيأون لارتكاب خطايا أكبر تُجاه المِنطقة بالتّحالف مع أمريكا وإسرائيل، ضِد مِحور المُقاومة، وإذا كانوا قد نَجوا بأقل الخسائر من الأخطاء الأولى، وفي حَق سورية وليبيا والعِراق خُصوصًا، ولو مُؤقّتًا، فلا نَعتقد أن الحال سيكون نَفسه في المرّة الثانية.

***

سوريا تتعافى هذهِ الأيام وبشكلٍ مُتسارع، وتتقاطر البِعثات الدبلوماسيّة على عاصمتها، وكذلك وفود رجال الأعمال الذين يَبحثون عن المال والاستثمار في ظِل قُرب مَعركة إعادة الإعمار، ويكفي الإشارة إلى أن السيد سعد الحريري، رئيس وزراء لبنان، ورجل السعوديّة فيه، والذي كان من أبرز المُعارضين للقيادة السوريّة، ولم يُبقِ كلمةً مُشينة وإلا وجّهها لها ورئيسها، السيد الحريري وَقّع اليوم مَرسومًا بتعيين سفير لبنان جديد في دمشق، وها هو وفد برلماني أُردني كبير يستعد لشدِّ الرّحال إلى العاصمة السوريّة، بعد آخر تونسي، و”المَسبحة كَرّت”، مِثلما يقول المَثل الشّامي.
العلاقة التحالفيّة “الاستراتيجيّة” بين قطر وإيران، وبين قطر وتركيا، وإن كانت الأخيرة بدرجةٍ أقل، هي من أسباب تَوتّر العلاقات بين السعوديّة ومِحورها ودولة قطر، إلى جانب أسباب أُخرى، وأمام قطر خياران، إمّا أن تَقطع هذهِ العَلاقة كُليًّا وتَنضم إلى السّرب السّعودي، ولكن في المَقاعد الخلفيّة، أو أن تَستمر الأزمة وتَتصاعد وتَخترق خُطوطًا قانية الاحمرار.

تَفسيرات وتَوضيحات و”مُرونات” الشيخ بن جاسم تَظل مَحدودة التّأثير في نَفْس الجار السّعودي، ومِن الصّعب أن تَستميل قَلبه “المُتحجّر”، لأنّها تتحدّث عن الماضي، ولا تَقترب من مَطالب المُستقبل، وسواء كانت مَقبولةً أو مرفوضةً، ومن يَحكم السعوديّة اليوم غير الذي كان يَحكمها طِوال السّنوات الخَمسين الماضية، ولا بُد أن الشيخ بن جاسم، الذي نَعترف له بالذّكاء، يُدرك هذهِ الحَقيقة جيّدًا.
رأي اليوم

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The Syrian missile in the Lebanese airspace الصاروخ السوري في الأجواء اللبنانية

 The Syrian missile in the Lebanese airspace

أكتوبر 23, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Away from the trivialities which those who are obsessed with the invincible Israeli force launched, the Israelis experts and analysts agree that there is a disturbing deterrence strategy followed by the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad that imposes its presence quietly, and draws rules of engagement that cannot be ignored and their successes cannot be denied. In such a days and after a long patience the Syrian air defenses have fired missile against the Israeli fighters that attacked targets which it was said that they were weapons convoys to Hezbollah, it was bombed from inside the Syrian airspace, Israel responded to the missile and the Syrian response has been repeated against similar raids for three times, the last of which was last March. Thus Israel recognized not to enter the Syrian airspace and to draw an alternative plan, its basis is to be sufficient with targeting Syrian sites or what it called weapons convoys from the Lebanese airspace, and rarely from the borders of the Occupied Golan Heights with ground -to ground missiles.

The Israeli recognition of leaving the Syrian airspace is not an ordinary matter in the equation of the timed bomb that no one knows when it turns into a war, where Israel has to wage it without entering the airspace which became forbidden, and which the objectives of the air force have become determined by how long the missiles can reach from the Lebanese airspace, but Israel which accepted this first Syrian deterrence and which it supposed that it is the last, tried to be convinced that the vital goals to which it should respond  may come from the Lebanese airspace along the borderline where Damascus, Hama, Homs, and Tartous locate in the range of sixty kilometers which its missiles could reach from the Lebanese airspace, but the Israelis were surprised with a Syrian missile that targeted their fighter, they said that it was in a routine tour of photographing in the Lebanese airspace , they said loudly that this dangerous targeting is surpassing the red lines and is not accepted, since they did not enter the Syrian airspace and they did not raid any objective inside Syria in order to be under the targeting of the Syrian defense. Whether the Israeli speech about bombing Syrian missile battery was right or wrong, what has been done by the Syrian defenses will be repeated for sure, as what has happened through drawing a red line after violating the Syrian airspace and imposing a new deterrence equation on Israel, so the Israelis have as in the previous time to choose either the escalation towards the danger of uncontrolled confrontation or the commitment to new deterrence line, and the seeking to present guarantees not to use the Lebanese airspace for any action that violated the Syrian sovereignty. They put in their consideration the assumption of their exposing to the threat of Syrian ground- to ground missiles in response to their using ground – to ground missiles against objectives in Syria from the borders of the occupied Golan, towards the recognition of sequential deterrent reactions that have been imposed on them sequentially that prevent them from hitting any objective in Syria.

The Israeli analysts said that the issue is further than protecting the Syrian interior from Israeli raids, they put it within the framework of the defense integration between the Syrian army and Hezbollah in confronting Israel. Through it they read that the Lebanese airspace has become a range of the Syrian fire as long as it is a range for the Israeli aircraft, so the only possible equation is the Israeli withdrawal from the Lebanese airspace in exchange of not being under the Syrian fire, because every Israeli flight in the Lebanese airspace is considered by Syria as an attempt of Israeli raid on the Syrian territories which have been exposed for many Israeli raids from Israeli aircraft that used the Lebanese airspace.

It is a deterrence equation that started with a battle to be fixed, it may turn into an open confrontation and may end with fixing new rules of engagement, but it is an equation drawn by a strategic leader who considered his steps carefully, and who does not miss any opportunity. He is the President Bashar Al-Assad.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

Israel Is Hiding That Its State-Of-Art F-35 Warplane Was Hit By Syrian S-200 Missile - Reports

 الصاروخ السوري في الأجواء اللبنانية

أكتوبر 18, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– بعيداً عن التفاهات التي يطلقها بعض المأخوذين بانبهار بالقوة «الإسرائيلية» التي لا تُقهر، يجمع الخبراء والمحللون «الإسرائيليون» على أنّ ثمة استراتيجية ردع مقلقة يتبعها الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد تفرض حضورها بهدوء، وترسم قواعد اشتباك لا يمكن تجاهلها ولا إنكار نجاحاتها. ففي مثل هذه الأيام وبعد صبر طويل، أطلقت الدفاعات الجوية السورية صاروخاً على طائرات «إسرائيلية» أغارت على أهداف قالت إنها قوافل سلاح لحزب الله، قصفتها من داخل الأجواء السورية، وردّت «إسرائيل» على الصاروخ وتكرّر الردّ السوري على غارات مشابهة ثلاث مرات كان آخرها في شهر آذار الماضي، لتسلّم «إسرائيل» منذ ذلك التاريخ بعدم دخول الأجواء السورية، وترسم معادلة بديلة، قوامها الاكتفاء باستهداف مواقع سورية أو ما تسمّيه قوافل سلاح حزب الله من الأجواء اللبنانية، ونادراً بصواريخ أرض أرض من حدود الجولان المحتلّ.

– التسليم الإسرائيلي بمغادرة الأجواء السورية، ليس شأناً عادياً في معادلة قوة لا يعلم أحد متى تنفجر حرباً، يكون على «إسرائيل» فيها خوضها من دون دخول أجواء صارت محرّمة عليها، وتتحدّد فيها أهداف سلاح الجو بما تطاله الصواريخ من الأجواء اللبنانية، لكن «إسرائيل» التي ارتضت هذا البعد الردعي السوري الأول افترضته الأخير، وحاولت الاقتناع بأنّ الأهداف الحيوية التي ستحتاج للتعامل معها يمكن أن تطالها من الأجواء اللبنانية على طول خط حدودي تقع دمشق وحماة وحمص وطرطوس في مدى الستين كليومتراً التي تستطيع صواريخها من الأجواء اللبنانية بلوغها، ليفاجأ «الإسرائيليون» بصاروخ سوري يستهدف طائراتهم، التي قالوا إنها كانت في جولة روتينية للتصوير في الأجواء اللبنانية، ويقولون بصراخ مرتفع، إنّ هذا الاستهداف الخطير هو تجاوز لخطوط حمراء لا يمكن قبوله. فهم لم يدخلوا الأجواء السورية ولم يكونوا في وضع إغارة على هدف داخل سورية كي يضعوا استهداف طائراتهم ضمن إطار الدفاع السوري. وسواء صحّ الكلام «الإسرائيلي» عن قصف بطارية صواريخ سورية أم لا، فالذي قامت به الدفاعات السورية سيتكرّر حكماً، كما حدث في رسم الخط الأحمر أمام انتهاك الأجواء السورية، وفرض معادلة ردع جديدة على «إسرائيل»، وسيكون على «الإسرائيليين» مع التكرار، كما في المرة السابقة إما أن يختاروا سياق التصعيد وصولاً لخطر مواجهة تخرج عن السيطرة، أو الالتزام بخط الردع الجديد، والسعي لتقديم ضمانات بعدم استخدام الأجواء اللبنانية لأيّ عمل ينتهك السيادة السورية، وهم يضعون في حسابهم فرضية تعرّضهم لخطر تلقي صواريخ أرض أرض سورية رداً على انكفائهم عند خط استخدام صواريخ أرض أرض على أهداف في سورية من حدود الجولان المحتلّ، وصولاً للتسليم بحلقات رادعة متسلسلة فرضت بالتتابع تحرّم عليهم ضرب أيّ هدف في سورية.

المحللون «الإسرائيليون» يقولون إنّ الأمر أبعد من ذلك، ويتخطّى مجرد حماية الداخل السوري من غارات «إسرائيلية»، ويضعونه ضمن إطار التكامل الدفاعي بين الجيش السوري وحزب الله، في مواجهة «إسرائيل». ويقرأون عبره رسالة مفادها، أنّ الأجواء اللبنانية باتت مدى للنار السورية ما دامت مدى للطائرات «الإسرائيلية»، وأنّ المعادلة الوحيدة الممكنة، هي انسحاب «إسرائيلي» من الأجواء اللبنانية، مقابل عدم تلقي النار السورية، لأنّ كلّ تحليق «إسرائيلي» في الأجواء اللبنانية هو بنظر سورية مشروع غارة «إسرائيلية» على الأراضي السورية، التي تعرّضت لغارات «إسرائيلية» متعدّدة من طائرات «إسرائيلية» استخدمت الأجواء اللبنانية.

– معادلة ردع تبدأ معركة تثبيتها، قد تتحوّل لمواجهة مفتوحة، وقد تنتهي بتثبيت قواعد اشتباك جديدة، لكنها معادلة يرسمها قائد استراتيجي يحسب خطواته بدقة، ولا تفوته سانحة تحت شعار تقادم الزمن هذا هو بشار الأسد.

ISRAEL IS HIDING THAT ITS STATE-OF-ART F-35 WARPLANE WAS HIT BY SYRIAN S-200 MISSILE – REPORTS

17.10.2017

It looks that the Israeli “demonstration of power” during the recent visit of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has turned into a total failure.

On October 16, Shoigu arrived Israel for meetings with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The sides were reportedly set to discuss the situation in the region, including Syria, the fight against terrorism as well as military and technical cooperation.

At the same day, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that its warplanes targeted an anti-aircraft battery of the Syrian Air Defense Forces that had launched a missile at Israeli aircraft flying over Lebanon.

Earlier today,an anti-aircraft missile was launched from Syria towards IDF aircraft during a routine flight over Lebanon. No hits confirmed

The IDF added that the Syrian missile didn’t hit any Israeli aircraft.

“The army targeted the battery with four bombs and, according to the IDF, the battery was damaged to the extent it was no longer operational. The army said the battery targeted was the same that fired at Israeli jets last March, prompting Israel make use of its Arrow anti-missile system for the first time,” the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reportedon the issue.

The Syrian military confirmed the Israeli strikes and said that they caused “material damage.”

It’s interesting to note that, according to the Syrian Defense Ministry statement, Israeli warplanes violated Syria’s airspace on the border with Lebanon in Baalbek area. The incident took place at 8:51 am local time.

Could the Israeli Air Force intentionally provoke the reaction from the Syrian military in order to justify the strike on the Syrian air defense battery?

Furthermore, some pro-Israeli experts and media activists clearly linked the incident with the visit of the Russian defense minister to Tel Aviv saying that it was a nice demonstration of power to the Russian-Iranian-Syrian alliance.

However, something went wrong.

According to the available information, the Syrian Defense Forces used a S-200 missile against the Israeli warplane. This Soviet-made missile is the most advanced long range anti-aircraft system opearated by the Syrian military. Even in this case, it’s old-fashioned in terms of the modern warfare.

Despite this, the Syrian Defense Ministry said in its statement that government forces responded to the violation of the airspace and “directly hit one of the jets, forcing [Israeli aircraft] to retreat.” This statement contradicts to the Israeli claim that “no hit” was confirmed.

Few hours after the missile incident with Syria, the Israeli media reported that the Israeli Air Force’s F-35 stealth multirole fighter went unserviceable as a result of an alleged bird collision during a training flight.

The incident allegedly took place “two weeks ago” but was publicly reported only on October 16. However, Israeli sources were not able to show a photo of the F-35 warplane after the “bird collision”.

Furthermore, it is not clear if the F-35 can become operational again because its stealth coating was damaged. Thus, according to the Israeli version, the warplane reportedly became no longer operational after the bird collision despite the fact that the F-35 earlier passed the bird strike certification with great results (official info here). The F-35 is the world’s most expensive warplane. The price of developing the F-35 is now about $406.5 billion.

Israel is actively buying the world’s self-proclaimed most advanced fighter paying about $100 million for each plane.

So what did really hit the F-35?

إسرائيل: الاعتراض السوري لم يكن الأول … لكنّنا فضّلنا الصمت

يحيى دبوق

ردّ فعل إسرائيل على تصدي الدفاعات الجوية السورية لطائراتها، بعد خرقها المجال الجوي السوري من الحدود اللبنانية، جاء استثنائياً هذه المرة، وذا دلالات. ردّ فعل لا يتعلق بالرد المادي فحسب بإطلاق صاروخ اعتراضي، بل جراء سلسلة إجراءات واعتراضات سورية في الفترة الاخيرة، عمدت إسرائيل إلى إخفائها، وهي تهدف، بحسب القراءة الإسرائيلية، إلى رسم معادلات جديدة في وجه الخروق الإسرائيلية للأجواء السورية واللبنانية.

التعليقات الإسرائيلية، أمس، انشغلت في عرض تقديرات المؤسسة الامنية ودوائر القرار فيها. وهي أجمعت على أن الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد يمهّد لمرحلة ما بعد هزيمة تنظيم «داعش»، وبالتالي يتطلع إلى مرحلة ما بعد تحرر الجيش السوري من جزء كبير من أعبائه الميدانية. المعادلة الجديدة تنص على التصدي للخروق الاسرائيلية، بما يشمل العمق الحيوي للمجال الجوي السوري، إلى داخل الأجواء اللبنانية.

إحدى أهم الدلالات التي توقفت عندها تل أبيب هي أن إطلاق الصاروخ الاعتراضي جاء «من دون مبرر»: لا خرق للأجواء السورية، ولا طلعات قتالية، والطائرات الإسرائيلية كانت في مهمة «روتينية» في الأجواء اللبنانية! ما يعني أن قرار التصدي وإطلاق الصاروخ جاء عن سابق تصميم، وهو متخذ من قبل القيادة السورية ضمن خطة مدروسة مسبقاً لفرض معادلات وقواعد اشتباك جديدة، لا تعيد الاوضاع وقواعد الاشتباك إلى ما كانت عليه قبل الحرب السورية، بل أيضاً إلى منع إسرائيل من خرق الاجواء اللبنانية، الأمر الذي يعدّ، من جهة تل أبيب، اعتداءً على «حق طبيعي» لها لا يمكنها أن تفرّط فيه، وبحسب تعبيرات إسرائيلية: «التحليق فوق لبنان هو ذخر استراتيجي، وليس مجرد طلعات استخبارية أو عملياتية».

اللافت في التسريبات الإسرائيلية، أمس، هو الإقرار بأن الصاروخ السوري لم يكن إلا «رأس الجليد» وآخر اعتراض سوري ضمن سلسلة اعتراضات في الفترة الاخيرة، فضّلت إسرائيل أن لا تكشف عنها منعاً من إحراجها، ما يعني أن إسرائيل باتت أمام استحقاق داهم ووشيك، وإذا تواصل من قبل دمشق، ولم يجر التعامل معه بحزم وتصميم، فقد يوصل المعادلة إلى نتائج وخيمة من ناحية إسرائيل.

وبحسب صحيفة «يديعوت أحرونوت»، في الاشهر الاخيرة اصطدمت طائرات سلاح الجو الاسرائيلي مرات عدة بنيران الدفاعات السورية، إلا أن إسرائيل لم تنشر شيئاً عن هذه الاحداث، و«ربما يعود ذلك الى السياسة الامنية، أو ربما لأن الظروف لم تنشأ للرد على هجمات الدفاعات السورية». وتضيف المصادر: «بدلاً من ذلك، أرسلت إسرائيل تحذيرات الى الجانب السوري، وكانت تحذيرات صريحة. لكن اتضح أن السوريين لم يتعاملوا معها بجدية، وفضّلوا تجاهلها».

صحيفة «معاريف» نقلت تقديرات وتساؤلات المؤسسة الأمنية في إسرائيل، لكن بكلمات أكثر مباشرة ووضوحاً من «يديعوت أحرونوت»، مع كثير من عدم اليقين. بحسب الصحيفة، «الواضح أن الأسد يعمل على رسم خط أحمر سوري جديد، يمنع بموجبه سلاح الجو (الإسرائيلي) من العمل في الأجواء اللبنانية، لكن السؤال الأهم هو (تضيف «معاريف»): هل فعل ذلك بمبادرة منه، من دون تنسيق مع إيران وروسيا، أو بالتنسيق معهما، والأخطر من ذلك، هل عمد الى التصدي بتوجيه منهما؟».

الأسئلة الثلاثة تحمل في طيّاتها أرجحية مختلفة من ناحية تل أبيب. وكلّ منها يفسر الإجراءات السورية في اتجاهات متفاوتة، وإن كانت جميعها تصبّ في هدف واحد: تقليص «حرية عمل» سلاح الجو الإسرائيلي. مع ذلك، الأسئلة الثلاثة التي تختلف في الظاهر، تعدّ في الواقع متصلة وعضوية، وتحديداً إن تدحرج الرد والرد المضاد إلى سلسلة ردود تصاعدية، ما يدفع بلا جدال الجهات الثلاث: سوريا وإيران وروسيا، إلى التموقع في خندق واحد لمنع إسرائيل من مواصلة اعتداءاتها، وهذه هي أهم الأسئلة الإسرائيلية التي لم يكشف عنها، ومن شأنها تفسير تواضع تل أبيب في ردّها على الرد السوري.

جاء الرد الإسرائيلي على الصاروخ الاعتراضي سريعاً نتيجة لضرورات تظهير الحزم والتصميم الإسرائيليين في وجه المخطط السوري، وتحديداً ما يتعلق بالأجواء اللبنانية، وفي الوقت نفسه «حكيماً جداً» بلا مخاطرة في الدفع إلى ردّ سوري مضاد، يجري في أعقابه تدخل الحليف بفئتيه: الإيراني والروسي، وذلك عبر استهداف مكوّن من مكوّنات المنظومة الدفاعية السورية (الرادار) بحيث تخرج المنظومة مؤقتاً من الخدمة، من دون تدميرها، ومن دون إلحاق إصابات بشرية في كادرها.

الرسالة السورية وصلت. بل يتبيّن أنها وصلت بشكل جيد جداً، مع فهم وإدراك لأبعادها ومراميها، وأيضاً لإمكاناتها الواقعية الفعلية في تحقيق أهدافها. ورغم أن الصاروخ الاعتراضي السوري لن ينهي الخروق الإسرائيلية، لكنه مؤشر مقلق جداً لتل أبيب، خاصة أنه ضمن قرار وسلسلة ردود سورية، من شأنها أن تشغل إسرائيل في البحث عن إجابات عن فرضيات غير نظرية لمرحلة ما بعد انتصار الدولة السورية وحلفائها، وتحديداً ما يتعلق بقدرة الجيش السوري على المناورة في مرحلة تخفيف الأعباء الميدانية عنه، ما بعد إنهاء تنظيم «داعش».

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لقمان عبدالله

شهدت جبهات القتال في اليمن، وعلى الحدود مع السعودية، في الأسابيع الأخيرة، تطوراً نوعياً تمثل في العديد من العمليات العسكرية التي أظهر فيها الجيش اليمني واللجان الشعبية القدرة على إحداث خروقات عسكرية مهمة على أكثر من جبهة، فيما ظهرت الجبهة المقابلة في حالة تراجع وانهيار. ويمكن تسجيل عدد من العمليات العسكرية والأحداث وهي على النحو الآتي:

ــ تقدّم قوات الجيش واللجان الشعبية وسيطرتها على عدد من المناطق الحيوية، يوم أمس، في جبهة مريس في محافظة الضالع، ما شكل حالة من الرعب والخوف في صفوف القوى العسكرية الجنوبية الموالية لدولة الإمارات.

ــ تمكن الجيش واللجان الشعبية، الأحد الماضي، من السيطرة على آخر معاقل مجموعات الرئيس المستقيل عبد ربه منصور هادي و«الإصلاح» الإخواني في مديرية بيحان في محافظة شبوة. وأكدت مصادر عسكرية أن اللواء 19 التابع لهادي سقط في أيدي الجيش واللجان الشعبية، الذين واصلوا التقدم وسيطروا على منطقتي العكدة والمحكمة، المطلّتين على مركز المحافظة في مدينة عتق.
ــ العرض العسكري الضخم الذي شارك فيه أكثر من 3 آلاف مجند في 16 من الشهر الحالي في حفل تخريج دفعة «البنيان المرصوص» في المنطقة العسكرية الرابعة في تعز، بحضور رئيس المجلس السياسي الأعلى صالح الصماد، ونائبه الدكتور قاسم لبوزة وأعضاء من المجلس السياسي.

يستمر توقّف دفع رواتب موظفي الدولة وتفشّي الأوبئة والأمراض والجوع

واستعرض في العرض العسكري العشرات من المدرعات والأطقم والأسلحة المتوسطة والخفيفة. وقد شكّل العرض بحد ذاته تحدياً كبيراً لحكومة صنعاء، إلا أن نجاحها في إخفائه عن أعين طياري العدوان شكل ضربة لمنظومة الاستطلاع والرصد واستخبارات التحالف.

ــ استمرار العمليات العسكرية على الحدود اليمنية السعودية، وقد شهد الجيش السعودي تراجعاً ملحوظاً أمام الضربات والتوغلات والإغارات للجيش واللجان الشعبية. وقد أعلنت مجلة «فورين بوليسي» الأميركية عن استبدال الجيش السعودي بالحرس الوطني إلى الحد الجنوبي. وذكرت المجلة نقلاً عن مسؤولين أميركيين أن تعزيز جبهة الحدود البرية السعودية يأتي لأهداف دفاعية، وليست هجومية وبتدريب وإمداد أميركي.
ــ إسقاط طائرة «أباتشي» الإماراتية، أول من أمس، في محافظة الجوف ومقتل طياريها.
ــ إسقاط الدفاعات الجوية للجيش واللجان الشعبية، بداية الشهر الحالي، طائرة تجسّس أميركية من دون طيار في العاصمة صنعاء، وهي من طراز «إم كيو 9». وقد تمّ إسقاطها في منطقة جدر شمال صنعاء.

بعد مضي أكثر من سنتين ونصف سنة على بدء العدوان السعودي، استخدم فيها «التحالف العربي» أحدث الأسلحة والمعدات، مع ملاحظة في زيادة الحضور الأميركي وانتقاله من الدعم اللوجستي والاستخباري والاستشاري والفني إلى المواكبة البرية الميدانية للمعارك على الحدود بين البلدين، بالإضافة إلى استقدام المزيد من المرتزقة الأجانب، للقتال إلى جانب القوات السعودية، ولا سيما من السودان وجنوب اليمن. كما أن قوات «التحالف» بالتعاون مع واشنطن، لا تزال تغلق المرافق الجوية والبرية والبحرية بشكل محكم على المطارات والموانئ والمنافذ الحدودية. إلى ذلك، يستمر توقف دفع رواتب موظفي الدولة منذ سنة تقريباً. وتفشت الأوبئة والأمراض والجوع، وكذلك الانتشار السريع لمرض الكوليرا في كل محافظات البلد. بالإضافة إلى ذلك، وصلت زيادة نسبة الفقر في البلاد إلى المرحلة الخطرة، التي اضطرت منظمات الأمم المتحدة والمنظمات الإغاثية الأخرى إلى رفع الصوت عالياً، بوجه «التحالف»، مطالبة برفع الحصار والسماح لها بإيصال المساعدات الإنسانية إلى جميع محافظات البلاد.

رغم ذلك، فإن سكان الجبال، وهو توصيف مواطني شمال اليمن الذي يضم النسبة الأكبر من عدد السكان (تقريباً 20 مليون نسمة)، فيما يسكن المحافظات الجنوبية تقريباً خمسة ملايين، يصرون (سكان الشمال) على الصمود والتضحية مهما كانت التكلفة. وإن ثمة إدراكاً جماعياً بأن الصمود مع ما يعنيه من تضحيات مهما طال عمر الحرب، وأن الدماء الغزيرة والعزيزة التي تغطي جميع محافظات الشمال بمذهبيه (الشافعي والزيدي)، هي في مسار سيادة قرار الدولة والكرامة الوطنية أقل بكثير من البقاء تحت الوصاية والهيمنة والإذلال.

واضح وجلي أن الشعب اليمني يستبطن في داخله شعور الغبن والمهانة من تلك العقود المديدة، التي رزح فيها بلدهم لوصاية اللجنة السعودية الخاصة باليمن، التي كان يرأسها ولي العهد الأسبق سلطان بن عبد العزيز وكان وجهاء البلاد ومسؤولو الدولة وقادة الأحزاب وزعماء القبائل، يحجون إليه، وبعض ضعاف النفوس كانوا للأسف يتسكعون، لينالوا من الأمير بعض الفتات، أو بعض المكاسب السياسية أو فقط لنيل رضاه وتقبيل يده. فيما كان اليمن يعيش الفقر والعوز والحاجة، رغم أن البلد مليء بالثروات والموارد ويتربع على موقع جغرافي يوصف بأنه جيو ــ استراتيجي (طول ساحله 2500 كلم، أهم الموانئ في العالم، باب المندب، جزر تتحكم بالمحيطات العميقة)، بالإضافة إلى أن الشعب اليمني تواق إلى العلم والمعرفة.

مما لا شك فيه أن الشعب اليمني، بمضيّه في رحلة الصمود والصبر الاستراتيجي، ينجز ما عجز عن إنجازه في السابق، ولعل عوامل محلية عديدة ساعدت في تقوية مداميك وأسس الصمود، وأهمها:
– وحدة الجبهة الداخلية، وإن شابها أحياناً بعض الخدوش إلا أن تماسكها فوّت على الأعداء فرص استغلال الثغرات والثقوب التي يمكن أن ينفذ منها الأعداء.

ــ تفعيل مؤسسات التكافل الاجتماعي والقبلي، وكذلك تشجيع الأعمال الفردية والجماعية، إذ يحفل اليمن بكم هائل من المؤسسات والجمعيات الخيرية المعنية بالنشاط الإنساني والإنمائي والصحي وغيرها.
ــ المدد الثقافي والتوعوي، في نشر ثقافة الصمود والتضحية، وقد ظهر أن منسوب الوعي الجماهيري حتى في الأرياف البعيدة مساوٍ لمستوى التفكير السياسي والقيادي، ولا تجد القيادة السياسية اليمنية، ولا سيما «حركة أنصار الله» أنها بحاجة إلى بذل الجهد لإقناع الجماهير أو لصناعة رأي عام. غير أن القادة وأصحاب الرأي يقومون بواجبهم بوضع الشعب بآخر المستجدات.
ــ مشاركة الإعلام اليمني الوطني في معركة التصدي والصمود، وتحوّل معظم الوسائل الإعلامية وكذلك وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي إلى إعلام حربي، ينقل بطولات الشباب اليمني على جبهات القتال، وفرار ضباط وجنود العدو من أرض المعركة، ما شكل حالة من الاعتزاز الوطني بقدرات الشعب وبسالة رجاله.
ــ شكل الاغتراب اليمني في الخارج رافداً مالياً مقبولاً، إذ إنه مهم في تعزيز بقاء الأسر في البلاد، بالإضافة إلى أهميته في إيصال صوت الداخل اليمني إلى بلاد الاغتراب.

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China: Rise, Fall and Re-Emergence as a Global Power

The Lessons of History

Global Research, October 28, 2017
Global Research 7 March 2012

First published on GR in March 2012

The study of world power has been blighted by Eurocentric historians who have distorted and ignored the dominant role China played in the world economy between 1100 and 1800.  John Hobson’s[1] brilliant historical survey of the world economy during this period provides an abundance of empirical data making the case for China ’s economic and technological superiority over Western civilization for the better part of a millennium prior to its conquest and decline in the 19th century.

China ’s re-emergence as a world economic power raises important questions about what we can learn from its previous rise and fall and about the external and internal threats confronting this emerging economic superpower for the immediate future.

First we will outline the main contours of historical China ’s rise to global economic superiority over West before the 19th century, following closely John Hobson’s account in The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization.  Since the majority of western economic historians (liberal, conservative and Marxist) have presented historical China as a stagnant, backward, parochial society, an “oriental despotism”, some detailed correctives will be necessary.  It is especially important to emphasize how China , the world technological power between 1100 and 1800, made the West’s emergence possible.  It was only by borrowing and assimilating Chinese innovations that the West was able to make the transition to modern capitalist and imperialist economies.

In part two we will analyze and discuss the factors and circumstances which led to China ’s decline in the 19th century and its subsequent domination, exploitation and pillage by Western imperial countries, first England and then the rest of Europe, Japan and the United States .

In part three, we will briefly outline the factors leading to China’s emancipation from colonial and neo-colonial rule and analyze its recent rise to becoming the second largest global economic power.

Finally we will look at the past and present threats to China ’s rise to global economic power, highlighting the similarities between British colonialism of the 18 and 19th centuries and the current US imperial strategies and focusing on the weaknesses and strengths of past and present Chinese responses.

China:  The Rise and Consolidation of Global Power 1100 – 1800

In a systematic comparative format, John Hobson provides a wealth of empirical indicators demonstrating China ’s global economic superiority over the West and in particular England .  These are some striking facts:

As early as 1078, China was the world’s major producer of steel (125,000 tons); whereas Britain in 1788 produced 76,000 tons.

China was the world’s leader in technical innovations in textile manufacturing, seven centuries before Britain ’s 18th century “textile revolution”.

China was the leading trading nation, with long distance trade reaching most of Southern Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe .  China’s ‘agricultural revolution’ and productivity surpassed the West down to the 18th century.

Its innovations in the production of paper, book printing, firearms and tools led to a manufacturing superpower whose goods were transported throughout the world by the most advanced navigational system.

China possessed the world’s largest commercial ships.  In 1588 the largest English ships displaced 400 tons, China ’s 3,000 tons.  Even as late as the end of the 18th century China ’s merchants employed 130,000 private transport ships, several times that of Britain . China retained this pre-eminent position in the world economy up until the early 19th century.

British and Europeans manufacturers followed China ’s lead, assimilating and borrowing its more advanced technology and were eager to penetrate China ’s advanced and lucrative market.

Banking, a stable paper money economy, manufacturing and high yields in agriculture resulted in China ’s per capita income matching that of Great Britain as late as 1750.

China ’s dominant global position was challenged by the rise of British imperialism, which had adopted the advanced technological, navigational and market innovations of China and other Asian countries in order to bypass earlier stages in becoming a world power[2].

Western Imperialism and the Decline of China

The British and Western imperial conquest of the East, was based on the militaristic nature of the imperial state, its non-reciprocal economic relations with overseas trading countries and the Western imperial ideology which motivated and justified overseas conquest.

Unlike China , Britain ’s industrial revolution and overseas expansion was driven by a military policy.  According to Hobson, during the period from 1688-1815 Great Britain was engaged in wars 52% of the time[3].  Whereas the Chinese relied on their open markets and their superior production and sophisticated commercial and banking skills, the British relied on tariff protection, military conquest, the systematic destruction of competitive overseas enterprises as well as the appropriation and plunder of local resources.  China ’s global predominance was based on ‘reciprocal benefits’ with its trading partners, while Britain relied on mercenary armies of occupation, savage repression and a ‘divide and conquer’ policy to foment local rivalries.  In the face of native resistance, the British (as well as other Western imperial powers) did not hesitate to exterminate entire communities[4].

Unable to take over the Chinese market through greater economic competitiveness, Britain relied on brute military power.  It mobilized, armed and led mercenaries, drawn from its colonies in India and elsewhere to force its exports on China and impose unequal treaties to lower tariffs.  As a result China was flooded with British opium produced on its plantations in India – despite Chinese laws forbidding or regulating the importation and sale of the narcotic.  China ’s rulers, long accustomed to its trade and manufacturing superiority, were unprepared for the ‘new imperial rules’ for global power.  The West’s willingness to use military power  to win colonies, pillage resources and recruit huge mercenary armies commanded by European officers spelt the end for China as a world power.

China had based its economic predominance on ‘non-interference in the internal affairs of its trading partners’.  In contrast, British imperialists intervened violently in Asia , reorganizing local economies to suit the needs of the empire (eliminating economic competitors including more efficient Indian cotton manufacturers) and seized control of local political, economic and administrative apparatus to establish the colonial state.

Britain ’s empire was built with resources seized from the colonies and through the massive militarization of its economy[5].  It was thus able to secure military supremacy over China .  China ’s foreign policy was hampered by its ruling elite’s excessive reliance on trade relations.  Chinese officials and merchant elites sought to appease the British and convinced the emperor to grant devastating extra-territorial concessions opening markets to the detriment of Chinese manufacturers while surrendering local sovereignty.  As always, the British precipitated internal rivalries and revolts further destabilizing the country.

Western and British penetration and colonization of China ’s market created an entire new class:  The wealthy Chinese ‘compradores’ imported British goods and facilitated the takeover of local markets and resources.  Imperialist pillage forced greater exploitation and taxation of the great mass of Chinese peasants and workers.  China ’s rulers were obliged to pay the war debts and finance trade deficits imposed by the Western imperial powers by squeezing its peasantry.  This drove the peasants to starvation and revolt.

By the early 20th century (less than a century after the Opium Wars), China had descended from world economic power to a broken semi-colonial country with a huge destitute population.  The principle ports were controlled by Western imperial officials and the countryside was subject to the rule by corrupt and brutal warlords.  British opium enslaved millions.

British Academics:  Eloquent Apologists for Imperial Conquest

The entire Western academic profession – first and foremost British  imperial historians – attributed British imperial dominance of Asia to English ‘technological superiority’ and China’s misery and colonial status to ‘oriental backwardness’, omitting any mention of the millennium of Chinese commercial and technical progress and superiority up to the dawn of the 19th century.  By the end of the 1920’s, with the Japanese imperial invasion, China ceased to exist as a unified country.  Under the aegis of imperial rule, hundreds of millions of Chinese had starved or were dispossessed or slaughtered, as the Western powers and Japan plundered its economy.  The entire Chinese ‘collaborator’ comprador elite were discredited before the Chinese people.

What did remain in the collective memory of the great mass of the Chinese people – and what was totally absent in the accounts of prestigious US and British academics – was the sense of China once having been a prosperous, dynamic and leading world power.  Western commentators dismissed this collective memory of China ’s ascendancy as the foolish pretensions of nostalgic lords and royalty – empty Han arrogance.

China Rises from the Ashes of Imperial Plunder and Humiliation:  The Chinese Communist Revolution

The rise of modern China to become the second largest economy in the world was made possible only through the success of the Chinese communist revolution in the mid-20th century.  The People’s Liberation ‘Red’ Army defeated first the invading Japanese imperial army and later the US imperialist-backed comprador led Kuomintang “Nationalist” army.  This allowed the reunification of China as an independent sovereign state.  The Communist government abolished the extra-territorial privileges of the Western imperialists, ended the territorial fiefdoms of the regional warlords and gangsters and drove out the millionaire owners of brothels, the traffickers of women and drugs as well as the other “service providers” to the Euro-American Empire.

In every sense of the word, the Communist revolution forged  the modern Chinese state.  The new leaders then proceeded to reconstruct an economy ravaged by imperial wars and pillaged by Western and Japanese capitalists.  After over 150 years of infamy and humiliation the Chinese people recovered their pride and national dignity.  These socio-psychological elements were essential in motivating the Chinese to defend their country from the US attacks, sabotage, boycotts, and blockades mounted immediately after liberation.

Contrary to Western and neoliberal Chinese economists, China ’s dynamic growth did not start in 1980.  It began in 1950, when the agrarian reform provided land, infrastructure, credits and technical assistance to hundreds of millions of landless and destitute peasants and landless rural workers. Through what is now called “human capital” and gigantic social mobilization, the Communists built roads, airfields, bridges, canals and railroads as well as the basic industries, like coal, iron and steel, to form the backbone of the modern Chinese economy.  Communist China’s vast free educational and health systems created a healthy, literate and motivated work force.  Its highly professional military prevented the US from extending its military empire throughout the Korean peninsula up to China ’s territorial frontiers.  Just as past Western scholars and propagandists fabricated a history of a “stagnant and decadent” empire to justify their destructive conquest, so too their modern counterparts have rewritten the first thirty years of Chinese Communist history, denying the role of the revolution in developing all the essential elements for a modern economy, state and society.  It is clear that China ’s rapid economic growth was based on the development of its internal market, its rapidly growing cadre of scientists, skilled technicians and workers and the social safety net which protected and promoted working class and peasant mobility were products of Communist planning and investments.

China ’s rise to global power began in 1949 with the removal of the entire parasitic financial, compradore and speculative classes who had served as the intermediaries for European, Japanese and US imperialists draining China of its great wealth.
China’s Transition to Capitalism

Beginning in 1980 the Chinese government initiated a dramatic shift in its economic strategy:  Over the next three decades, it opened the country to large-scale foreign investment; it privatized thousands of industries and it set in motion a process of income concentration based on a deliberate strategy of re-creating a dominant economic class of billionaires linked to overseas capitalists.  China ’s ruling political class embraced the idea of “borrowing” technical know-how and accessing overseas markets from foreign firms in exchange for providing cheap, plentiful labor at the lowest cost.

The Chinese state re-directed massive public subsidies to promote high capitalist growth by dismantling its national system of free public education and health care.  They ended subsidized public housing for hundreds of millions of peasants and urban factory workers and provided funds to real estate speculators for the construction of private luxury apartments and office skyscrapers. China ’s new capitalist strategy as well as its double digit growth was based on the profound structural changes and massive public investments made possible by the previous communist government.  China ’s private sector “take off” was based on the huge public outlays made since 1949.

The triumphant new capitalist class and its Western collaborators claimed all the credit for this “economic miracle” as China rose to become the world’s second largest economy.  This new Chinese elite have been less eager to announce China ’s world-class status in terms of brutal class inequalities, rivaling only the US .

China:  From Imperial Dependency to World Class Competitor

China ’s sustained growth in its manufacturing sector was a result of highly concentrated public investments, high profits, technological innovations and a protected domestic market.  While foreign capital profited, it was always within the framework of the Chinese state’s priorities and regulations.  The regime’s dynamic ‘export strategy’ led to huge trade surpluses, which eventually made China one of the world’s largest creditors especially for US debt.  In order to maintain its dynamic industries, China has required huge influxes of raw materials, resulting in large-scale overseas investments and trade agreements with agro-mineral export countries in Africa and Latin America .  By 2010 China displaced the US and Europe as the main trading partner in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America .

Modern China ’s rise to world economic power, like its predecessor between 1100-1800, is based on its gigantic productive capacity:  Trade and investment was governed by a policy of strict non-interference in the internal relations of its trading partners.  Unlike the US , China did initiate brutal wars for oil; instead it signed lucrative contracts.  And China does not fight wars in the interest of overseas Chinese, as the US has done in the Middle East for Israel .

The seeming imbalance between Chinese economic and military power is in stark contrast to the US where a bloated, parasitic military empire continues to erode its own global economic presence.

US military spending is twelve times that of China .  Increasingly the US military plays the key role shaping policy in Washington as it seeks to undercut China ’s rise to global power.

China’s Rise to World Power: Will History Repeat Itself?

China has been growing at about 9% per annum and its goods and services are rapidly rising in quality and value.  In contrast, the US and Europe have wallowed around 0% growth from 2007-2012.  China ’s innovative techno-scientific establishment routinely assimilates the latest inventions from the West (and Japan ) and improves them, thereby decreasing the cost of production.  China has replaced the US and European controlled “international financial institutions” (the IMF, World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank) as the principle lender in Latin America .  China continues to lead as the prime investor in African energy and mineral resources.  China has replaced the US as the principle market for Saudi Arabian, Sudanese and Iranian petroleum and it will soon replace the US as the principle market for Venezuela petroleum products.  Today China is the world’s biggest manufacturer and exporter, dominating even the US market, while playing the role of financial life line as it holds over $1.3 trillion in US Treasury notes.

Under growing pressure from its workers, farmers and peasants, China ’s rulers have been developing the domestic market by increasing wages and social spending to rebalance the economy and avoid the specter of social instability.  In contrast, US wages, salaries and vital public services have sharply declined in absolute and relative terms.

Given the current historical trends it is clear that China will replace the US as the leading world economic power, over the next decade,  if the US empire does not strike back and if China ’s profound class inequalities do not lead to a major social upheaval.

Modern China ’s rise to global power faces serious challenges.  In contrast to China ’s historical ascent on the world stage, modern Chinese global economic power is not accompanied by any imperialist undertakings.  China has seriously lagged behind the US and Europe in aggressive war-making capacity.  This may have allowed China to direct public resources to maximize economic growth, but it has left China vulnerable to US military superiority in terms of its massive arsenal, its string of forward bases and strategic geo-military positions right off the Chinese coast and in adjoining territories.

In the nineteenth century British imperialism demolished China ’s global position with its military superiority, seizing China ’s ports – because of China ’s reliance on ‘mercantile superiority’.

The conquest of India , Burma and most of Asia allowed Britain to establish colonial bases and recruit local mercenary armies.  The British and its mercenary allies encircled and isolated China , setting the stage for the disruption of China ’s markets and the imposition of the brutal terms of trade.  The British Empire’s armed presence dictated what China imported (with opium accounting for over 50% of British exports in the 1850s) while undermining China ’s competitive advantages via tariff policies.

Today the US is pursuing similar policies:  US naval fleet  patrols and controls China ’s commercial shipping lanes and off-shore oil resources via its overseas bases.  The Obama-Clinton White House is in the process of developing a rapid military response involving bases in Australia , Philippines and elsewhere in Asia .  The US is intensifying  its efforts to undermine Chinese overseas access to strategic resources while backing ‘grass roots’ separatists and ‘insurgents’ in West China, Tibet, Sudan, Burma, Iran, Libya, Syria and elsewhere.  The US military agreements with India and  the installation of a pliable puppet regime in Pakistan have advanced its strategy of isolating China .  While China upholds its policy of “harmonious development” and “non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries”, it has stepped aside as US and European military imperialism have attacked a host of China’s trading partners to essentially reverse China’s  peaceful commercial expansion.

China’s lack of a political and ideological strategy capable of protecting its overseas economic interests has been an invitation for the US and NATO to set-up regimes hostile to China .  The most striking example is Libya where US and NATO intervened to overthrow an independent government led by President Gadhafi, with whom China had signed multi-billion dollar trade and investments agreements. The NATO bombardment of Libyan cities, ports and oil installation forced the Chinese to withdraw 35,000 Chinese oil engineers and construction workers in a matter of days.  The same thing happened in Sudan where China had invested billions to develop its oil industry.  The US, Israel and Europe armed the South Sudanese rebels to disrupt the flow of oil and attack Chinese oil workers[6].  In both cases China passively allowed the US and European military imperialists to attack its trade partners and undermine its investments.

Under Mao Tse Tung, China had an active policy countering imperial aggression:  It supported revolutionary movements and independent Third World governments.  Today’s capitalist China does not have an active policy of supporting governments or movements capable of protecting China ’s bilateral trade and investment agreements.  China ’s inability to confront the rising tide of US   military aggression against its economic interests, is due to deep structural problems.  China’s foreign policy is shaped by big commercial, financial and manufacturing interests who rely on their ‘economic competitive edge’ to gain market shares and have no understanding of the military and security underpinnings of global economic power.  China ’s political class is deeply influenced by a new class of billionaires with strong ties to Western equity funds and who have uncritically absorbed Western cultural values. This is illustrated by their preference for sending their own children to elite universities in the US and Europe .  They seek “accommodation with the West” at any price.

This lack of any strategic understanding of military empire-building has led them to respond ineffectively and ad hoc to each imperialist action undermining their access to resources and markets.  While China ’s “business first” outlook may have worked when it was a minor player in the world economy and US empire builders saw  the “capitalist opening” as a chance to easily takeover China ’s public enterprises and pillage the economy.  However, when China (in contrast to the former USSR) decided to retain capital controls and develop a carefully calibrated, state directed “industrial policy”  directing western capital and the transfer of technology to state enterprises, which effectively penetrated the US domestic and overseas markets, Washington began to complain and talked of retaliation.

China ’s huge trade surpluses with the US provoked a dual response in Washington :  It sold massive quantities of US Treasury bonds to the Chinese and began to develop a global strategy to block China ’s advance. Since the US lacked economic leverage to reverse its decline, it relied on its only “comparative advantage” – its military superiority based on a world wide  system of attack bases,  a network of overseas client regimes, military proxies, NGO’ers, intellectuals and armed mercenaries.  Washington turned to its vast overt and clandestine security apparatus to undermine China ’s trading partners.  Washington depends on its long-standing ties with corrupt rulers, dissidents, journalists and media moguls to provide the powerful propaganda cover while advancing its military offensive against China ’s overseas interests.

China has nothing to compare with the US overseas ‘security apparatus’ because it practices a policy of “non-interference”.  Given the advanced state of the Western imperial offensive, China has taken only a few diplomatic initiatives, such as financing English language media outlets to present its perspective, using its veto power on the UN Security Council to oppose US efforts to overthrow the independent Assad regime in Syria and opposing the imposition of drastic sanctions against Iran .  It sternly repudiated US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s vitriolic questioning of the ‘legitimacy’ of the Chinese state when it voted against the US-UN resolution  preparing  an attack on Syria[7].

Chinese military strategists are more aware and alarmed at the growing military threat to China .  They have successfully demanded a 19% annual increase in military spending over the next five years (2011-2015)[8].  Even with this increase, China’s military expenditures will still be less than one-fifth of the US military budget and China has not one overseas military base in stark contrast to the over 750 US installations abroad.  Overseas Chinese intelligence operations are minimal and ineffective.  Its embassies are run by and for narrow commercial interests who utterly failed to understand NATO’s brutal policy of regime change in Libya and inform Beijing of its significance to the Chinese state.

There are two other structural weaknesses undermining China ’s rise as a world power. This includes the highly ‘Westernized’ intelligentsia which has uncritically swallowed US economic doctrine about free markets while ignoring its militarized economy.  These Chinese intellectuals parrot the US propaganda about the ‘democratic virtues’ of billion-dollar Presidential campaigns, while supporting financial deregulation which would have led to a Wall Street takeover of Chinese banks and savings.  Many Chinese business consultants and academics have been educated in the US and influenced by their ties to US academics and international financial institutions directly linked to Wall Street and the City of London .  They have prospered as highly-paid consultants receiving prestigious positions in Chinese institutions.  They identify the ‘liberalization of financial markets’ with “advanced economies” capable of deepening ties to global markets instead of as a major source of the current global financial crisis.  These “Westernized intellectuals” are like their 19th century comprador counterparts who underestimated and dismissed the long-term consequences of Western imperial penetration.  They fail to understand how financial deregulation in the US precipitated the current crisis and how deregulation would lead to a Western takeover of China ’s financial system- the consequences of which would reallocate China ’s domestic savings to non-productive activities (real estate speculation), precipitate financial crisis and ultimately undermine China ’s leading global position.

These Chinese yuppies imitate the worst of Western consumerist life styles and their political outlooks are driven by these life styles and Westernized identities which preclude any sense of solidarity with their own working class.

There is an economic basis for the pro-Western sentiments of China ’s neo-compradors.  They have transferred billions of dollars to foreign bank accounts, purchased luxury homes and apartments in London , Toronto , Los Angeles , Manhattan , Paris , Hong Kong and Singapore . They have one foot in China (the source of their wealth) and the other in the West (where they consume and hide their wealth).

Westernized compradores are deeply embedded in China ’s economic system having family ties with the political leadership in the party apparatus and the state. Their connections are weakest in the military and in the growing social movements, although some “dissident” students and academic activists in the “democracy movements” are backed by Western imperial NGO’s.  To the extent that the compradors gain influence, they weaken the strong economic state institutions which have directed China ’s ascent to global power, just as they did in the 19th century by acting as intermediaries for the British Empire .  Proclaiming 19th Century “liberalism” British opium addicted over 50 million Chinese in less than a decade.  Proclaiming “democracy and human rights” US gunboats now patrol off China ’s coast.  China ’s elite-directed rise to global economic power has spawned monumental inequalities between the thousands of new billionaires and multi-millionaires at the top and hundreds of millions of impoverished workers, peasants and migrant workers at the bottom.

China ’s rapid accumulation of wealth and capital was made possible through the intense exploitation of its workers who were stripped of their previous social safety net and regulated work conditions guaranteed under Communism.  Millions of Chinese households are being dispossessed in order to promote real estate developer/speculators who then build high rise offices and the luxury apartments for the domestic and foreign elite.  These brutal features of ascendant Chinese capitalism have created a fusion of workplace and living space mass struggle which is growing every year.  The developer/speculators’ slogan  “to get rich is wonderful” has lost its power to deceive the people.  In 2011 there were over 200,000 popular encompassing urban coastal factories and rural villages.  The next step, which is sure to come, will be the unification of these struggles into  new national social movements with a class-based agenda demanding the restoration of health and educational services enjoyed under the Communists as well as a greater share of China’s wealth. Current demands for greater wages can turn to demands for greater work place democracy.  To answer these popular demands China ’s new compradore-Westernized liberals cannot point to their ‘model’ in the US empire where American workers are in the process of being stripped of the very benefits Chinese workers are struggling to regain.

China , torn by deepening class and political conflict, cannot sustain its drive toward global economic leadership.  China ’s elite cannot confront the rising global imperial military threat from the US with its comprador allies among the internal liberal elite while the country is  a deeply divided society with an increasingly hostile working class.  The time of unbridled exploitation of China ’s labor has to end in order to face the US military encirclement of China and economic disruption of its overseas markets.  China possesses enormous resources.  With over $1.5 trillion dollars in reserves China can finance a comprehensive national health and educational program throughout the country.

China can afford to pursue an intensive ‘public housing program’ for the 250 million migrant workers currently living in urban squalor.  China can impose a system of progressive income taxes on its new billionaires and millionaires and finance small family farmer co-operatives and rural industries to rebalance the economy.  Their program of developing alternative energy sources, such as solar panels and wind farms – are a promising start to addressing their serious environmental pollution.  Degradation of the environment and related health issues already engage the concern of tens of millions.  Ultimately China ’s best defense against imperial encroachments is a stable regime based on social justice for the hundreds of millions and a foreign policy of supporting overseas anti-imperialist movements and regimes – whose independence are in China ’s vital interest.  What is needed is a pro-active policy based on mutually beneficial joint ventures including military and diplomatic solidarity.  Already a small, but influential, group of Chinese intellectuals have raised the issue of the growing US military threat and are “saying no to gunboat diplomacy”.[9]

Modern China has plenty of resources and opportunities, unavailable to China in the 19th century when it was subjugated by the British Empire . If the US continues to escalate its aggressive militaristic policy against China , Beijing can set off a serious fiscal crisis by dumping a few of its hundreds of billions of dollars in US Treasury notes.  China , a nuclear power should reach out to its similarly armed and threatened neighbor, Russia , to confront and confound the bellicose rantings of US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.  Russian President-to-be Putin vows to increase military spending from 3% to 6% of the GDP over the next decade to counter Washington’s offensive missile bases on Russia’s borders and thwart Obama’s ‘regime change’ programs against its allies, like Syria[10].

China has powerful trading, financial and investment networks covering the globe as well as powerful economic partners .These links have become essential for the continued growth of many of countries throughout the developing world.  In taking on China , the US will have to face the opposition of many powerful market-based elites throughout the world.  Few countries or elites see any future in tying their fortunes to an economically unstable empire-based on militarism and destructive colonial occupations.

In other words, modern China , as a world power, is incomparably stronger than it was in early 18th century.  The US does not have the colonial leverage that the ascendant British Empire possessed in the run-up to the Opium Wars.  Moreover, many Chinese intellectuals and the vast majority of its citizens have no intention of letting its current “Westernized compradors” sell out the country.  Nothing would accelerate political polarization in Chinese society and hasten the coming of a second Chinese social revolution more than a timid leadership submitting to a new era of Western imperial pillage.

Notes

[1] John Hobson, The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization ( Cambridge UK :  Cambridge University Press 2004)
[2] Ibid, Ch. 9 pp. 190 -218
[3] Ibid, Ch. 11, pp. 244-248
[4] Richard Gott, Britain’s Empire:  Resistance, Repression and Revolt ( London : Verso 2011) for a detailed historical chronicle of the savagery accompanying Britain ’s colonial empire.
[5] Hobson, pp. 253 – 256.
[6] Katrina Manson, “South Sudan puts Beijing ’s policies to the test”, Financial Times, 2/21/12, p. 5.
[7] Interview of Clinton NPR, 2/26/12.
[8] La Jornada, 2/15/12 ( Mexico City ).
[9]  China Daily (2/20/2012)
[10]Charles Clover, ‘Putin vows huge boost in defense spending’, Financial Times, 2/12/2012

In Ukraine a Political Struggle Between the Crooks, the Clowns, and the Nazis

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So far the crooks are in power but they’re terrified of the nazis and constantly making concessions to them

The latest big news out of the Ukraine

Have you heard what the latest big news out of the Ukraine is? No? There is a mini-Maidan under way and Ukrainian nationalists seem to hope that Poroshenko will be kicked out before the end of the week. You did not know? Well, that is the real big news, the fact that you did not hear about this.

Truthfully, what is going on is kind of interesting. Let me sum it up: the former President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili (who was stripped of his Georgian citizenship and of this Ukrainian citizenship) recently crossed the border (through Poland, of course) and proceeded to travel to Kiev to demand Poroshenko’s resignation.

You think that I am kidding? Check the Wikipedia article about him, it has all the details. It gets better.

 There is a consensus amongst analysts that Saakashvili is being used as a battering ram by somebody far more influential – Iulia Timoshenko, of course.

But what is really new is that many well informed analysts and commentators seem to think that the USA and EU are not the main driving force behind these latest developments (though they are involved, of course).

What is going on here?

Well, as I said, the big news is that you did not hear about it. You did not hear about it because fundamentally nobody cares, least of all the Trump Administration. True, the Trump Administration is so busy self-destructing that it does not really care about Kurdistan either and that implies that it does not even really care about the Holy of Holies : Israel (cry me a river Bibi!).

So never mind the Trump administration, even the Ziomedia mostly seems not to care anymore what happens in the Ukraine (of course, some hardcore hardliners still continue to hallucinate). Hence the (relative) silence on this issue. What this tells the Ukrainian politicians is that they are pretty much on their own. And that is why they are taking matters in their own hands.

I don’t think that it is worthwhile to plunge into all the personalities and factions which are currently involved in the political struggle. I can summarize it by saying that there are four main group currently identifiable: bad, worse, even worse and the silent majority. Let’s begin by the last one, the silent majority.

By all accounts (and from all my personal contacts) it is pretty obvious that the vast majority of those who could not leave the Ukraine are now depressed, silent and in a “survival mode”.

The Ukrainians, like the Russians, are extremely good at this survival mode which a very painful history has taught them: they could survive in conditions where everybody else would perish.

Their history has also taught them that there are times when you want to stay low, shut up and focus on making it through the day. I also think that most Ukrainians fully realize that there is no faction/force out there representing their interest and that means that they have absolutely no reason at all to get involved.

This has nothing to do with passivity or political ignorance: that is common sense. Getting involved is what gets you killed. Hunkering down until the worst of the storm passes is the only correct survival technique in times of very ugly political struggles.

The Crooks, the Clown and the Nazis:

Right now, the Crooks are still in power but they are struggling. Worse, the Crooks are terrified of the Nazis, so they constantly have to engage into a stream of concessions to try to appease them which, of course, fails, and only emboldens the Nazis (sounds exactly like Trump’s never-ending stream of concessions to the Neocons, doesn’t it?).

As for the Clowns, they can be bought by both sides, sometimes at the same time, and they keep the people entertained by their antics.

The Clowns are really a byproduct of the terminally lunatic Ukrainian nationalist ideology, but they don’t really represent a powerful constituency: the Crooks and the Nazis are far more powerful. Still, don’t dismiss the Clowns too soon, because they could suddenly switch to the Crooks or the Nazis depending who offers them a better deal (or scares them most).

The Crooks are barely holding on to power, and they might have to start a war to deflect the mounting political pressure against them in another direction. Wars are good for circling the wagons and crushing the opposition.

The Clowns, due to their ideology, would have to approve of a new war. They simply could not say anything against it. If a war is launched, they would have to give it a standing ovation. Besides, if they tried any form of disagreement they would be easily crushed by the Crooks and Nazis. So the Clowns will always support whatever the other two factions agree upon.

As for for Nazis, well, war against Russia and anything Russian is their raison d’être, the very core of their identity and the purpose of their lives.

The Ukronazis have a profoundly revanchist worldview and agenda and if defeating Russia is not an option (although some of them won’t even accept that as a fact of life) then killing or expelling all the non-Ukronazis from the Ukraine is an acceptable substitute for them.

Polandball: A ball representing Neo-Nazi group Right Sector saying “Those who don’t jump are Moskal”. Moskal is a derogatory term for Russians. The so called nationalists are destroying their nation.


Yup, they even have some convoluted racial purity theories (Ukie Aryans versus Finno-Ugric Russian Mongols). True, bona fide Nazis are a minority in the Ukraine, but the compensate for that by having guns, lots of guns.

What has kept the Ukronazis from attacking since their last attempt is the painful memory of the crushing defeat they suffered at the hands of the Novorussians. But herein also lies a very real risk: defeats often make armies better, victories often makes them complacent. When I hear the Novorussians speaking of “next time we go to Kiev” I hope that their confidence is warranted, but I am afraid that they might be underestimating the opponent.

Are the sides really ready for a resumption of warfare?

In truth it is very hard to assess the chances of another Ukronazi attack. On one hand, the Ukronazi forces have had two years to regroup, lick their wounds, reorganize, rearm, retrain, etc.

Most importantly, it appears that they have built defensive positions in depth, possibly including 2 or even 3 defensive echelons. Why does defense matter? Because if your defensive positions are strong, then the risk of counter-attack by the enemy’s forces are much lower and that, in turn, means that your offensive is far less likely to end up surrounded in a “cauldron” (I simplify here, in reality this is a little more complicated as it depends on the depth of your attack, but never mind that).

A couple of years is a lot of time to dig in and prepare for defense and without access to classified data it is hard to gauge how effective these efforts have been. In terms of new equipment (whether Ukrainian or new deliveries from the Empire), this will make no difference at all, that’s just political talk.

My advice is that as soon as you hear or read anything about the delivery of “lethal weapons” you ignore everything that comes after that. Ditto for training by Polish or US experts. That is just propaganda.

What is not propaganda is the intelligence support offered by the Empire overtly (satellites) or covertly (EU ‘observers’ etc.). That and the fact that the Ukronazis have a 2-2.5:1 numerical advantage over the Novorussians.

Much of the same could be said about the Novorussians: they also have had 2 years to dig in, by all reports they have now integrated their forces into a regular army capable of operational-depth counter-offensives, their morale and training is probably much higher than on the Ukronazi side and they can count on Russian support (intelligence, logistics, training, etc.). Also, they would have the home turf advantage.

Finally, and Putin very clearly stated that recently, Russia will not allow the military reconquest of Novorussia, which means that even if the Ukronazis somehow succeed in breaking through the Novorussian defenses they will be engaged by the Russian armed forces, primarily by missile/bombing strikes at which point the war will stop in less than 24 hours.

The big conceptual mistake, however, would be to assume that the Ukronazi really want to reconquer Novorussia (or Crimea, for that matter).

In reality, everybody knows that these territories are gone forever and that Kiev simply has no means to control them even without Russian assistance.

Let me repeat this: even if by some magical effect the Russians were to let the Ukronazis invade the Donbass this would result in a fantastically nasty guerrilla war by the locals which the Ukronazis would have no chance at all to defeat.

Yes, it would be a bloodbath, but it would never end with a workable pacification of the Donbass my the Ukronazis.

I would therefore say that the role of Russia is not to prevent Kiev from regaining the control of the Donbass, but to prevent a bloodbath in the Donbass.

The real goal: not to win, but to trigger a Russian intervention (same old, same old)

Now I have been saying for years that the real goal of the junta is to force Russia to openly intervene in the Donbass. As soon as the Russians overtly get involved that would kill the Minsk 1 and 2 agreements, it would turn the current disaster in the Nazi occupied Ukraine into a war of national liberation against the hated Moskals,

NATO would immediately put an end to all that recent cozying-up of various EU political parties towards Russia and the AngloZionst Empire’s wet dream would finally come true: such a Russian intervention would usher a new Cold, possibly even Tepid, War in Europe thereby giving a meaning to NATO (finally!) and crushing any kind of anti-imperial feelings in Europe.

The Balts and the Poles would finally be secure in their mission to “protect Europe from a resurgent Russia” and the US Neocons would have a big victory party.

True, Russia would liberate all of Novorussia in 24 hours or less and, yes, with Russian help the Novorussians could push the line of contact (well, at this point, the frontline) pretty much as far West as they would want to. But that would be a small victory in the context of a global political catastrophe (along with an ugly bloodbath).

This is why the Russians have made a huge effort not to intervene, even if that has costs them a lot of political capital (there are still those out there who speak of a Russian “sell-out” of the Donbass).

 The goal of the Ukraine Conflict is to divide the East Slavic people.

Unlike their western counterparts, who still don’t understand that the purpose of warfare is to achieve a political objective, the Russians fully realize that an (easy) military victory against the Ukronazis would come at a cost of an immense political disaster.

The last thing the Kremlin wants is to copy what the US Americans did in Iraq and Afghanistan: begin by an easy victory, declare victory, and then end up with an absolute disaster on their hands from which they sill are unable to extricate themselves.

In this respect, the Crimea was a totally different and unique case: a vitally important piece of land, which historically was Russian, populated by people who were overwhelmingly pro-Russian (or, simply, Russian), with easy to control choke-points connecting with the Nazi occupied Ukraine and fantastic economic prospects. And yet, even in these ideal condition, the Russian economy is struggling to rebuild this relatively small territory.

It is pretty clear that at the end of the day, Russia will also have to pay for most the reconstruction of the Donbass, however hard this will be. But as much as that is possible, Russia would much prefer to make the reconstruction of the Ukraine an international problem, yet another reason for her to try to avoid any real, overt, military intervention. Because once Russia occupies any territory, she owns it and she becomes responsible for it.

The bottom line is this: we don’t hear much about the Ukraine right now because at least the Americans seem to have given up on this entire project and because they are busy with more important issues (self-destructing, mostly). But that does not mean that the situation in the Ukraine cannot suddenly reignite with very serious international consequences.

So when I speak of Crooks, Clowns and Nazis, I am not taking these issues lightly at all. Yes, they truly are crooks, clowns and Nazis, but they also very dangerous individuals, especially collectively.

A tiny ray of hope for “less bad”?

Rumor has it that the two big figures behind the scenes in the Ukraine are Igor Kolomoiskii (who now has a personal vendetta against Poroshenko and Saakashvili) and Iulia Timoshenko.

I honestly have no means to assess these claims, but I will say that while these two are truly profoundly evil and hateful people (Kolomoiskii was probably deeply involved in the MH-17 false flag), neither of them is stupid.

Furthermore, they are both Crooks, not Clowns or Nazis, which means that they can be negotiated with, however distasteful this maybe.

Last but not least, they both have a real power base in the Ukraine, money in Kolomoiskii’s case, true popularity in Timoshenko’s case. In this I see a tiny ray of hope.

With the Americans busy fighting each other internally, and with the Europeans slowly waking up to the total disaster “their” (it is not really “their’s” – but nevermind that) Ukrainian policy has been, maybe, just maybe, there is a tiny chance of, say, some EU leaders getting together with, say, Timoshenko (Kolomoiskii will never be a public official again, he will pull the strings in the back) to sit down with the Russians and the Novorussians and finally seriously negotiate some kind of end to this very dangerous situation.

Remember, Poroshenko is a pure US puppet, and he is weak. There is no way he could negotiate anything of substance any more. All he needs to do now is to prepare his flight to the US, UK or Israel. But Timoshenko is still “for real” and she is far more capable of dealing with the Nazis than Poroshenko, his billions, his chocolate factory and his Eltsin-like dependence on alcohol.

 Petro Poroshenko

Of course, there is “the devil you know” argument. And in many ways, Poroshenko being the greedy weak booze-soaked coward that he is looks like the lesser evil.

The problem with that is that he is terrified of the Nazis and that they are either paralyzing him or making him do stupid things (like the recent law making Ukrainian the sole language used in schools).

And for all the desperate window-dressing the fact remains is that the Ukraine is already a failed state which is going down the tubes with a momentum which nobody can stop, at least not with the current political deadlock in Kiev. Still, we should also remember that Eltsin was also a greedy weak booze-soaked coward, but that did not prevent him form triggering the bloodbath of the First Chechen war. Greedy weak booze-soaked cowards can be extremely dangerous.


Source: The Unz Review

Rights Groups Accuse israel of Abusing Detained Palestinian Minors

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IDF soldiers arrest a 7-year-old Palestinian child. (Photo: ISM, file)

A new report accuses Israel of “systematic abuse” of young Palestinians arrested after attending protests in occupied East Jerusalem.

The report by Israeli rights groups B’Tselem and HaMoked, it says Israel is ignoring special laws to protect the rights of the detained minors and teenagers.

The report, titled Unprotected: The detention of Palestinian Teenagers in East Jerusalem was released on Wednesday, and detailed an investigation of 60 affidavits gathered between May 2015 and October 2016.

It says teenagers accused of throwing stones at soldiers are detained in the middle of the night and questioned without a lawyer present.

 

“Palestinian teenagers from East Jerusalem are pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, unnecessarily handcuffed and interrogated without being given the opportunity to speak to a lawyer or their parents before the questioning begins and without being informed of their right to remain silent,” the groups found.

“They are then held under harsh conditions, repeatedly remanded to custodial detention for additional period of days and even weeks, even once their interrogation has ended. In some cases, all this is attended by verbal abuse or threats and physical abuse.”

While 70 percent were able to speak to a lawyer during or before interrogations, B’Tselem and HaMoked found that in many cases the boys were handed the interrogator’s personal phone to speak to a lawyer, and the conversations were “inadequate and failed to help the minors understand their rights and what they were up against.”

 

“It stands to reason that the law enforcement system would treat these teenagers in an age-appropriate manner that takes their physical and mental maturity into account, recognizing that every action could have long-term repercussions for the boys themselves as well as for their families,” the report explained.

“It stands to reason that the system would treat the boys humanely and fairly and provide them with basic protections. But that is not the case.”

According to the report, 25 percent of the children interrogated said violence was used against them, though the report did not detail specifically what kind of injuries were caused.

In addition, more than half the children said that interrogators screamed threats and verbal abuse at them. Almost a quarter were not allowed to use the bathroom or were given food when they asked.

Denying the children food and drink was one of the leading methods to get the children to confess, with 83 percent of the minors saying a big reason they signed confessions was because they were hungry — 80 percent of the confession statements were in Hebrew, so the children could not read what they were signing.

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