United Nations Feigns Outrage Over #Ghouta While Terrorist Rockets Rain Down on Damascus


By Eva Bartlett,

Eva Bartlett breaks down the dizzying array of information surrounding the mounting humanitarian crisis in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta. With accusations abound, parsing the reality on the ground is becoming more challenging by the day.

On February 20, from Amman, Jordan, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere, issued a statement of “outrage” titled: “The war on children in Syria: Reports of mass casualties among children in Eastern Ghouta and Damascus.”

The “statement” — consisting of blank lines with the preface “No words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathers and their loved ones” — dovetails with corporate media’s increasingly hysterical rhetoric on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, which has been plagued with chemical weapons attacks for over four years, perpetrated by U.S.-backed proxies allied with the Nusra Front attempting to frame the Syrian government with war crimes.

UNICEF further wrote:

“We no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage. Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?”

Where was UNICEF’s dramatic blank-lined protest when 200 civilians, including 116 children, were slaughtered by terrorist factions while in convoy from Kafraya and Foua in April 2017? These factions included Ahrar al-Sham (supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia), al-Nusra (al-Qaeda), and factions of the Free Syrian Army. The Free Syrian Army was armed by the U.S. And, according to the words of former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, Qatar — with the support and coordination of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the U.S.—was from the beginning supporting armed groups, even al-Qaeda, in Syria.

This seemingly outraged UN statement has made the rounds in corporate media reports on eastern Ghouta, most of which cite the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), run from his home by a sole person, Osama Suleiman, who uses the pseudonym Rami Abdul Rahman. In its recent Ghouta reports, SOHR itself does not provide sources.

On February 22, in the UN Security Council, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and head of OCHA, Mark Lowcock, spoke for just over 10 minutes about eastern Ghouta and “400,000 people besieged.”

Not once did he mention the designated terrorist factions within. These terrorist factions include: Jaysh al-Islam (Saudi-backed), Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (al-Qaeda), Ahrar al-Sham, and Faylaq al-Rahman (the main faction in Jobar, and reported to have received BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missiles).

The UN would garner much less public support and outrage if, instead of easily-misconstrued emotive statements, it showed training videos like this one depicting then-leader Zahran Alloush’s Army of Islam training in eastern Ghouta with their armored tanks. This is the reality of eastern Ghouta. Jaysh al-Islam is the group infamous for caging civilians, including women, to use as human shields.

The UN would garner less support still were the UN and corporate media to show videos of civilians like this woman cursing the armed groups, blaming them for hunger and for hoarding food, telling them to leave Ghouta.

With hindsight, we know now that in other formerly-occupied areas of Syria, like East AleppoHomsMadaya, al-Waer, and elsewhere, when finally resecured from terrorist factions, civilians in these areas spoke of terrorists hoarding food and medicine, and preventing them from leaving — holding them hostage as human shields.

It also transpired that the numbers the UN and corporate media were citing about eastern Aleppo’s population —250,000 to 300,000 – were highly inflated, double the actual numbers of civilians in eastern areas. As I wrote previously:

110,000 civilians registered at the Jibreen Registration center; another estimated 10 percent might have gone straight to stay with family instead; and according to the Red Cross, 35,000 people (“fighters” and their family members) were evacuated out of Aleppo. The total number was thus at most 150,000, most likely significantly lower.”

In his February 22 address, only once did the UN’s Lowcock address terrorists’ shelling of Damascus, saying: “shelling from eastern Ghouta is reportedly killing and injuring scores of civilians in Damascus City.”

Why reportedly? Why did Lowcock not take and read the testimonies of civilians as he claims to have done of civilians in eastern Ghouta? Damascus is far more accessible than al-Qaeda-occupied Ghouta: Lowcock could very easily travel to the Syrian capital and meet with some of the many civilians affected by the years of constant mortaring from terrorist factions in eastern Ghouta. Instead, he seems to prefer to repeat testimonies collected from afar, solely from and on Ghouta.

For weeks, Jaysh al-Islam, al-Qaeda, Ahrar al-Sham, and Faylaq al-Rahman have intensified their heavy-shelling of Damascus, intentionally targeting heavily-populated civilian areas of the city, including schools, homes, and crowded public spaces.

These shellings are breaches of the de-escalation zones agreement of May 2017, co-signed by Russia, Turkey and Iran. Eastern Ghouta is one of the four areas included in the agreement of cessation of hostilities.  According to the article “6th Astana Process Talks Produce De-Escalation Zone Agreement”:

The guarantor countries noted ‘progress in the fight against terrorism and elimination of ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra and all other individuals, groups, enterprises and organisations associated with Al-Qaida or ISIL as a result of the functioning of these de-escalation zones’ and confirmed their determination ‘to take all necessary measures to continue to fight them both inside and outside de-escalation zones.’”

Jaysh al-Islam — whose political leader, Mohammed Alloush, was supposed to participate in the May and subsequent 2017 Astana peace talks — is one of the factions attacking Damascus. The Syrian website Muraselon reported that the February 23 bombing of Damascus, which killed at least one civilian, was a powerful missile, likely fired by Jaysh al-Islam. The article referred to the terrorist group’s own social media bragging about possessing and intending to fire said missile on Damascus. That deserves a little outrage and more than a passing comment.

Following the Security Council meeting, Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari, spoke to the press, noting Mr. Lowcock’s lack of objectivity in his Security Council statement. Ambassador al-Ja’afari said:

We have an official letter from the Resident Coordinator in Damascus, the chair of OCHA in Syria, saying that during 2017, OCHA — with the cooperation of the Syrian government, and Syrian Red Crescent, and International Committee of the Red Cross — have provided humanitarian assistance to 2.3 million people.

Mr. Lowcock denied this information, while we have it in written form coming from the head of OCHA in Damascus. So, something is wrong. Either these people here in New York don’t read what they get from … their own people in Damascus, or they mislead the Security Council members about what’s going on in Syria.”

He also corrected the lexicon of a “stifling siege,” saying:

[This] is not consistent with the reality on the ground. Commercial trucks have been moving constantly between Damascus and east Ghouta. The Syrian government has been facilitating aid to eastern Ghouta, and medical evacuations to hospitals in Damascus. The UN is ignoring video footage posted by these terrorist groups showing women and children pushed into metal cages on the streets.”

Regarding the heavy shelling of Damascus that Mr. Lowcock stated is reportedly happening, at a Security Council meeting one week prior, Ambassador al-Ja’afari cited the over 1,000 shells from eastern Ghouta that had targeted Damascus. On February 22, al-Ja’afari stated that the number of shells on Damascus was now over 1,200, noting that 8 million people in Damascus were at risk.

According to Syrian state media, SANA, the following terrorist attacks on Damascus have occurred in the past week:

  • February 24: “Armed groups positioned in eastern Ghouta on Saturday targeted with more than 55 mortar and rocket shells and with sniper fire the residential neighborhoods in Damascus and its countryside.”
  • February 23: “Armed groups fire 70 rocket shells on Medical Surgery Hospital and residential areas in Damascus and Jaramana: One civilian was killed and 60 others were injured on Friday due to 70 rocket shells fired by the armed groups on the residential neighborhoods of Damascus and its Countryside.”
  • February 22: “Three civilians, two children among them, were killed and 28 other citizens were injured, six of them children, when the armed groups fired shells on Damascus and its countryside.”
  • February 21: “A woman was killed on Wednesday while 22 persons were injured in fresh attacks by armed groups on different Syrian regions.” Dozens of shells.
  • February 20: “Thirteen civilians were killed and 77 others were injured on Tuesday as armed groups in the Eastern Ghouta area continued their breach of the de-escalation zones agreement, targeting residential areas and public facilities in Damascus and its countryside with 114 rocket and mortar shells.”
  • February 19: “Fifteen civilians, among them children, were injured Monday in attacks by armed groups who targeted Damascus and its countryside with shells.”
  • February 18: “Armed groups positioned in some areas in Eastern Ghouta on Sunday evening fired several shells on Bab Sharqi neighborhood in Damascus, killing a person, injuring another.”
  • February 15: “Armed groups, positioned in Eastern Ghouta, launched four shells on al-Wafideen Camp near Harasta, injuring a civilian… Later, the armed groups targeted al-Assad Suburb with four shells, killing one civilian and injuring others.”

The February 23 shelling of Damascus killed a Syrian doctor: Dr. Hassan Haj Hassan, an anesthesiologist and a professor at the Institute of Health Technology in Damascus. He was killed by #EGhouta terrorist shelling of Damascus.

In his latest address at the UN Security Council, Ambassador al-Ja’afari noted that the main headquarters of the Red Crescent in Syria, based in Damascus, was targeted with 10 missiles, originating from Ghouta.

UN Serial Censorship

In trying to relate Syria’s side of the story in the United Nations, Ambassador al-Ja’afari was initially prevented from doing so. In his subsequent address to the press, he noted:

The President of the Security Council, the Ambassador of Kuwait, acted irresponsibly today by trying to prevent me from speaking, while the meeting is on Syria. This irresponsible behavior coming from the President of the Security Council in a meeting allocated to the situation in Syria reveals also that Kuwait is not — the Kuwaiti delegation — is not up to the responsibility it is assuming as President of the Security Council, because this irresponsible behavior works against the rules and procedures of the Security Council. The shortage of the moral behavior of the Kuwaiti ambassador found a crystal-cut answer by the Russian ambassador, who corrected him and said you have no right whatsoever to prevent the Syrian ambassador from addressing the council.”

Watch | Syria on the situation in the Middle East

Censorship at the UN has happened previously. In early 2015, after interviewing the Syrian Ambassador, I wrote, quoting him:

The British ambassador cut me off one time while I was speaking. He said ‘you have exceeded four minutes.’ I said, ‘Who gave you the right to fix four minutes? I am a member of a concerned party, and I have the right to explain.’ To justify his wrongdoing, he also cut off the Iraqi ambassador after me. We were the only two ambassadors speaking at that session, and it was on Syria and Iraq. The issue was on terrorism in Syria and Iraq, and he cut off both of us after four minutes!”

In a subsequent article, I wrote of the repeated cuts to the Syrian Ambassador’s video and microphone feeds, also noting the attempted censorship of Syria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs:

In January, 2014, at the Geneva II conference on Syria in Montreux, Switzerland, Foreign Affairs Minister Walid Muallem was himself cut off by none other than the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

Pointing out the ridiculousness of the situation, Muallem noted: ‘You live in New York, I live in Syria. I have the right to give the Syrian version in this forum. After three years of suffering, this is my right. You spoke for 25 minutes. I need at least 30.’ While Ban interrupted Muallem’s speech, asking him to ‘wrap up in just one or two minutes,’  the Syrian Minister refused to be silenced and did eventually finish his speech.”

Regarding some of the other instances of UN censorship of Ambassador al-Ja’afari, in that same article I wrote:

Correspondent Nizar Abboud…says the cuts are not due to ‘technical problems,’ but instead often done ‘by senior officials at the United Nations.’

Matthew Lee, a journalist with Inner City Press (ICP)  reported on an April 5, 2012 feed cut, noting that the speeches of the then Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, as well as the (Qatari) President of the General Assembly (GA) and Ban Ki-moon were all broadcast on UN television. However, ‘just as Syria’s Permanent Representative Bashar Ja’afari took the floor to respond, UN TV went dark. When the session was over several Permanent Representatives were critical of what they called ‘the PGA’s use of the UN for Qatar’s foreign policy.’

…The Syrian Ambassador was again cut out of the feed on June 18, 2014. ICP’s Lee reported that on June 20 he was told by the same Dujarric regarding the June 7 cut that [in Lee’s words], in fact the error in 2012 was been [sic] to allow Ja’afari to speak AT ALL on UN TV. He said the arrangement was that Ban and the Qatari PGA could speak, then the UN TV was supposed to go off.’

Following the June 2014 Syrian elections, international representatives who had observed the elections in Syria convened at the UN to report back. Roughly five minutes in, after Ambassador al-Ja’afari had opened the meeting and thanked the Secretariat for facilitating it, the webcast feed was cut. Ironically, the Ambassador had stressed he wanted to leave ‘enough time to give you the right picture of the Syrian landscape that was prevailing during elections. They are eyewitnesses.’”

Like corporate media, UN whitewashes al-Qaeda and co-extremists

A screenshot from a 2017 video released by designated Saudi-backed terror group, Jaysh al-Islam, shows Jaysh al-Islam fighters in an offensive against the Syrian Army in Eastern Ghouta.

A screenshot from a 2017 video released by the Saudi-backed terror group Jaysh al-Islam, shows Jaysh al-Islam fighters operating in Eastern Ghouta.

The UN’s Lowcock humanized the suffering in eastern Ghouta, and it cannot be denied there is suffering there, where the aforementioned terrorist groups embed in civilian areas only to hold civilians hostage, and are the cause of the military siege and targeted strikes on Ghouta.

Yet, he and the media mentioned only in passing, and skeptically, the relentless shelling of civilian areas of Damascus and the surrounding countryside, dehumanizing the civilians of Damascus — just as corporate media dehumanized the civilians of Aleppo, then under the relentless bombings and sniping of al-Qaeda and other terrorists’ occupying the city’s eastern areas.

In Aleppo in November 2016, the head of forensics, Dr. Zaher Hajjo, told me (on a day of intense terrorist bombings that killed 18 civilians and injured over 200) that in the past five years 10,750 civilians had been killed in Aleppo, 40 percent of whom were women and children. He said that in the past year alone, 328 children had been killed by terrorist shelling in Aleppo, 45 children killed by terrorist snipers.

In April 2014, I visited the French Hospital in Damascus, which was treating some of the over 60 children who had been injured by terrorists’ shelling of their school, which also killed one child.  Also at the hospital was the BBC’s correspondent, Lyse Doucet. While she promised to give an honest account of the targeting of these children, her report instead read:

They’re believed to be fired by rebels, but the government is also accused of launching them into neighborhoods under its control. So brutal is this war that nothing is considered unthinkable…”

In February 2015, I visited Damascus’ University Hospital, documenting just some of the children maimed and critically injured by such terrorist attacks — and, a year prior wrote about my own experiences in the intense shelling of Damascus, where I stayed several weeks — and, since then, have met victims of terrorist shelling of Old Damascus.

With access to numerous sources on these incessant and deadly mortar and rocket attacks and the Syrian ambassador’s repeated statements on this at the UN, the United Nations nevertheless chooses to obfuscate on the intensified shelling of civilian areas of Damascus and elsewhere in Syria, and instead endorse the war propagandists.

On February 22, UNICEF tweeted a New York Times article featuring “media activist” Firas Abdullah. Abdullah is not the neutral media source portrayed. Following the December 2015 killing of terrorist Zahran Alloush, then-leader of Jaysh al-Islam, Abdullah posted his eulogy for Alloush, calling him a “beautiful martyr.” This is the person whom the Times chose to portray a human face of Ghouta, retweeted by UNICEF.



Also on February 22, the UN body tweeted a CNN report citing the SOHR, and of course the UNICEF blank statement of outrage, in the cyclic fashion that is typical of regime-change war propaganda reinforcing itself.

On February 21, UNICEF tweeted a Newsweek photo slideshow titled after UNICEF’s own blank statement of outrage.


The February 20 tweet of the blank UNICEF statement included #EasternGhouta, but no hashtag for Damascus. Surely an oversight…

Their February 19 tweet links to an article on the Bana al-Abed of Ghouta, Muhammad Najem, whose Twitter account began in December 2017 and has nearly 5,000 followers. Expect that number to skyrocket. Expect a memoir to follow.


A UNICEF February 19 tweet on Ghouta links to war propagandist Louisa Loveluck’s article, reporting from Beirut, Lebanon.


If it isn’t already clear, UNICEF is participating in war propaganda against Syria, reporting and endorsing one very exaggerated and not substantiated side of the story, disappearing another very real side.

This is not the first time the UN has covered up terrorists’ crimes against Syrian civilians. In October 2016, I wrote of UNICEF’s unproven claims of an aerial attack on an Idlib school, in which UNICEF decried it as possibly “the deadliest attack on a school since the war began more than five years ago.” As I reported, UNICEF overlooked numerous documented deadly attacks on schools:

On October 1, 2014, terrorists’ car- and suicide-bombed the Akrama Al-Makhzoumi School in Homs, killing at least 41 children by conservative estimates, or up to 48 children by other reports, along with women and other civilians.”

I further noted:

On October 28, 2016, RT reporter Murad Gazdiev reported from Aleppo on the latest attacks by Western-backed terrorists on a school in the city. At the time of the report, at least six children were reported killed by a Hell Cannon-fired gas canister bomb which struck a school in Ḩadaiq al-Andalus. From an Aleppo hospital, Gazdiev reported:

‘The rebels launched the rocket at 10 in the morning. Seconds later it hit the National School of Aleppo… Three of the children died on the spot…. blood and pieces of them sprayed on the walls. The victims, six children, ranged in age from 2 to 12. In some cases, doctors weren’t sure if they’d put the right body parts with the correct bodies. Three of the dead children were siblings: two brothers and a sister. Their father was beyond consolation. His mental stability had been torn apart.’

This statement was given over footage of a devastated father kissing the corpses of his children.”

In January 2016, I wrote of OCHA’s selective tweeting around the terrorist-occupied village of Madaya, obfuscating the terrorist-besieged Idlib villages of Foua and Kafraya.

Honest reporters like Murad Gazdiev entered Madaya in January 2016 and confirmed that food and medical aid had indeed entered. He spoke with residents who complained of the armed groups stealing this food.

When I went to Madaya in June 2017, I spoke with civilians there who stated that vast amounts of food and medical aid entered the area, but they had no access to it, as Ahrar al-Sham, al-Nusra and co-extremists holding the village hoarded the food and sold it at extortionist prices. I also saw prisons use to hold, and sometimes torture, civilians before their trials in terrorists’ courts. I also saw these in eastern Aleppo and in al-Layramoun, in the city’s northwest. When eastern Ghouta is finally secured, it won’t be surprising to learn that schools, hospitals, and/or homes were turned into prisons to hold the civilians for whom the UN and corporate media feign concern.

Why the UNICEF bias?

According to UNICEF, the current executive director, Henrietta H. Fore, was formerly Administrator of USAID, Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Department of State, and Director of the United States Mint in the U.S. Department of Treasury.

The prior UNICEF executive director, Anthony Lake, was national security advisor to President Clinton, and was nominated to be the director of the CIA.

According to Telesur, Lake played a significant role in mass starvation in Somalia in 2010-2012, under-budgeting food aid, budgeting “10 cents a day per person to feed a million internally displaced persons.” Telesur reported that Lake also “admitted publicly that he knew about and did nothing to prevent the genocide in Rwanda, something he ‘regretted.’”

In Yemen, the UN is suspected of having smuggled in two CIA agents, as reported in 2015 by journalist Nizar Abboud, and surprisingly in 2017 by The New York Times.

UNICEF executive directors who formerly worked for USAID, the U.S. State Department, even Director of the United States Mint in the U.S. Department of Treasury: it seems that UNICEF’s role is less about humanitarian aid and more about being the humanitarian propaganda arm of Washington.

We should, indeed, feel sorrow for any civilian casualties in the U.S./U.K. and allies’ war on Syria. However, after years of the most egregious war propaganda on Syria, we should also exercise caution about the latest stories, be they from unsourced SOHR reports or the UN itself.

Remember, Omran Daqneesh was once depicted widely as the face of Syrian suffering. As it turned out, the entire story Western media and agencies told was false, based on unreliable sources.

Recall that the humanitarian agency MSF once insisted that Syrian or Russian airstrikes had destroyed — reduced “to rubble” — a hospital that MSF supported. This turned out to be utterly false.

Unlike MSF, unlike the most of journalists who reported lies around Omran Daqneesh, I did go to see the intact Quds hospital, and met Omran and his father, who told me everything the media had reported on his son was false; the media had exploited his boy. Both MSF and corporate media lied about these stories, and their lies were used to call for further Western intervention in Syria.

Targeting of Afrin civilians met with relative silence

While UNICEF on January 26 noted having received “alarming reports” regarding children’s deaths in Afrin, it hasn’t thus far expressed outrage at the Turkish murder of civilians in the northwestern Syrian town. On February 20, SANA reported:

Entering its 32nd day, the Turkish aggression continues to claim more civilian casualties and causing material damage to properties.

Medical sources at Afrin Hospital told SANA that so far, 175 civilians were killed and more than 450 civilians, most of them children and women, were injured due to the continued assault on civilians’ houses and infrastructure.”

Contrast the nonspecific and tame title of the January 26 UNICEF statement, “UNICEF statement on the escalating violence in Syria,” to the emotive language of February 20, riding on the coattails of corporate media hysteria around Ghouta:

The war on children in Syria: Reports of mass casualties among children in Eastern Ghouta and Damascus; … No words will do justice to the children killed; … We no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage; … barbaric acts …”

The UN has yet to issue an updated statement of concern regarding the latest Turkish bombings of Afrin.

In UN humanitarian chief Lowcock’s February 22 address, he spoke of “the killing of civilians and the destruction of entire cities and neighborhoods.”

However, he didn’t mean the killing of hundreds (a lower estimate) or even thousands of Syrian civilians by the U.S.-led coalition, illegal in Syria — the latest being 12 civilians, “mostly women and children,” killed in residential neighborhoods in Hajin town in Deir Ezzor eastern countryside on February 21.

One day prior, Syrian media reported the deaths of “at least 16 civilians, including nine women,” in al-Bahra village, Deir Ezzor countryside, noting, “the death toll is likely to rise as a number of civilians were injured and some of them are in critical condition as a result of airstrikes…”

A UN press release on Lowcock’s statement cited him as saying: “You can still save lives in eastern Ghouta – and elsewhere in Syria. I urge you to do so.”

But this is precisely what Syrian officials have been attempting to do, with offers of amnesty, safe transport of out of Ghouta, and the provision of medical and food aid.

Recently, independent researcher Hadi Nasrallah tweeted (in a long thread on Ghouta):

Even After 7 years of failed negotiations with terrorists for the sake of civilians held in Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian government dropped flyers and maps on the terrorist-held city to give details for civilians on how to flee areas with high tensions and guaranteed them safety”


Al Masdar News reported:

…eight projectiles struck the Al-Wafideen camp site where the Syrian Army has set up an evacuation point for civilians attempting to escape militant-held areas of East Ghouta.”

As with Aleppo, a humanitarian corridor has been established to enable eastern Ghouta residents to leave the district. However, given that terrorists repeatedly shelled humanitarian corridors in Aleppo (including a corridor road I stood on in November 2016), holding civilians hostage, it is quite likely terrorists in eastern Ghouta will do the same.

Yet, in the end, the combination of humanitarian corridors and Syria’s offer of amnesty and reconciliation enabled the exit of terrorists and return of life in Aleppo. As of August 2017, over half a million displaced Syrians returned home, the vast majority internally-displaced.

In Madaya, al-Waer, Homs, and many other areas of Syria, the same deals as in Aleppo enabled the return of stability and life.

In addition to opening the humanitarian corridors, the Syrian army has dropped leaflets over eastern Ghouta informing civilians of designated safe exits for civilians to leave the district to safety in Damascus.

These are the types of actions the UN should be focused on and supporting, not repeating war propaganda that only confuses and prolongs the fight for peace.


Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine. She is a recipient of the International Journalism Award for International Reporting, Mexican Press Club, 2017. Visit her personal blog, In Gaza, and support her work on Patreon.

قرار الهدنة علامة تغيّر التوازنات

قرار الهدنة علامة تغيّر التوازنات

فبراير 26, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– في كلّ مرة كان يصدر قرار أممي لوقف النار منذ بداية الحرب على سورية كان واضحاً أنه إجهاض لمشروع حسم كان يقترب لصالح الجيش السوري، وأنّ القبول به من سورية وحلفائها كان لتفادي الأسوأ، وهو مخاطر تدخل غربي مباشر وتصعيد عسكري تدخل فيه قوى إقليمية ودولية، لم يكن ما ظهر منها في آب 2013 بحشد الأساطيل الأميركية قبالة سورية مجرد مسرحية ولا مناورة. وفي كلّ مرة كان يصدر قرار أممي بوقف النار كان يتوزّع جهد الجيش السوري على عشرات الجبهات، وضعف الحضور العسكري للحلفاء يفرض عليه حساب توزيع قدراته بطريقة مجدية وتقبل التهدئة على جبهة والتفرّغ لسواها. وفي كلّ مرة كان يجري صدور قرار أممي بوقف النار كان يثبت أنّ مضمونه توفير فرصة الاستعداد للجماعات المسلحة لجولة جديدة أشدً خطراً.

– منذ التموضع العسكري الروسي في سورية نهاية العام 2015، وانكسار خطر التدخل الأميركي الواسع منذ عام 2013 وعجز إدارة دونالد ترامب عن تخطي هذا العجز، تبدّلت المعادلة الدولية وزالت مخاطر كانت في الحسبان. ومنذ تموضع الآلاف من المقاتلين من الحلفاء واستنهاض الشعب السوري لضخّ عشرات الآلاف من المقاتلين ضمن قوات رديفة للجيش، وتأثير الانتصارات المتلاحقة على منح الجيش السوري مقدرات معنوية وبشرية ومادية جعلت منه صاحب اليد العليا في كلّ المعارك العسكرية، وصولاً لتدحرج الانتصارات لحساب الجيش السوري وحلفائه، وما نتج عنه من تراجع عدد جبهات القتال وقدرة الجيش والحلفاء على إدارة ما بقي منها.

– منذ معركة حلب ونحن نشهد ثباتاً سياسياً روسياً في مجلس الأمن، وتحمّلاً استثنائياً للضغوط والحملات، لمنع أيّ وقف للنار يؤدّي الغرض الذي كان مرسوماً لكلً هدنة، ليأتي القبول بالنص المعدّل للقرار الأخير ويحمل تعبيراً عن التوازنات الجديدة، فترضاه سورية وتصوّت عليه روسيا. فللمرة الأولى يأتي القرار الأممي ليربط فك الحصار بفك حصار موازٍ في كفريا والفوعة، ويربط وقف النار في الغوطة بوقف شامل في كلّ سورية فيضمّ الأتراك والأميركيين والإسرائيليين لموجباته، ويمنح سورية وحلفاءها اعتبار أيّ خرق تركي أميركي إسرائيلي سقوطاً للقرار، كما يمنح سورية ربط إجراءات المعونات والإخلاء والتهدئة بمثلها في الفوعة وكفريا وعفرين، والأهمّ أنه بوضوح يستثني النصرة وداعش ومَن معهما، ما يعني مواصلة حرب ضرب النصرة في إدلب والغوطة، وضرب داعش شمال دير الزور، وهذا ما قاله عملياً السفير السوري في نيويورك بشار الجعفري تعقيباً على القرار وشرحاً للفهم السوري لتطبيقه، مضيفاً تهديداً لواشنطن رداً على تهديد مندوبتها لسورية، لوضع النقاط على الحروف في كون القرار تعبيراً عن توازنات جديدة لم يعُد ما كان صالحاً بالأمس صالحاً لليوم.

– لم ينتظر الجيش السوري والحلفاء مفاوضات ترسم آليات تطبيق القرار، بل بدأ بالتطبيق وفقاً لمفهومه للقرار بالتقدّم على محاور انتشار جبهة النصرة في الغوطة، ليحقق إنجازات مهمة في شمالها تمثلت بالسيطرة على مساحات واسعة وتلال هامة وصولاً للسيطرة على بلدتي الصالحية والنشابية جنوب شرق الغوطة الشرقية، والتقدم على محاور حزرتا وجوبر، وهذا ليس إلا اليوم الأول، ويبقى الكلام الفصل لما هو آتٍ، ومعادلة كلّ قذيفة تسقط على دمشق تعني سقوط الالتزام بوقف النار.

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The Crumbling Holocaust: an Israeli Perspective

February 24, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon


By Gilad Atzmon

The following are segments taken from an outstanding Haaretz  commentary  titled ‘The Crumbling Consensus that Jews Were the Ultimate Holocaust Victims’ by Ofri Ilani.

The article explores the fundamentals of the global religion of the Holocaust, identifies the international institutions that sustain the doctrine and the political events that indicate that the Goyin are weary of the notion of the primacy of Jewish suffering. I tend to agree with most of Ilani’s observations as well as his predictions regarding the fate of the holocaust religion. One crucial difference between us is that while Ilani seems distressed by the possible collapse of the Holocaust consensus, I believe that emancipation from that tyrannical Judeo-centric precept is a necessary humanist development.

On the central role of the Holocaust and its memory Ilani writes;

“An encounter with someone for whom the Holocaust is nonexistent was incomprehensible to me – at the least it was like talking to someone who’s never heard of the sun, or who doesn’t know what water is.”

Ilani’s view seems to integrate the Holocaust into the  Greek’s ‘Classical  Elements’ along side water, air and fire.  Ilani elaborates on his position.

“In Israel, the Holocaust is the first thing you have to know. If someone here knows anything at all about the past, it’s about the Holocaust. Not the discovery of America, not the moon landing, certainly not the French Revolution, not even the Revelation at Mount Sinai – first of all, the Holocaust. For a certain period, it was possible to think that it was the same outside Israel.”

Ilani is clearly younger than I. For my parents’ generation,  my peers and myself, the Holocaust was a distant story: a Jewish diaspora tale, a tragic event that happened to other people: people whom we saw as categorically foreign. People who were led like lambs to the slaughter as we, ‘the Israelis’ were not. Clearly at a certain stage the Israeli attitude toward the Holocaust changed and this shift has yet to be completely understood.

Holocaust indoctrination has spread widely beyond Israel’s border, Ilani posits. “In America, as in many other parts of the world, children in recent decades have learned about the Holocaust from an early age. It’s basically perceived as the formative event of the modern era, against which the central political values of our age were shaped.” Sarcastically he adds, “suffice it to try to imagine how people reviled their political adversaries a century ago, when the words ‘Nazi’ or ‘fascist’ still had no meaning.”

Ilani then affirms that the Holocaust religion dictates a strict and rigid world order.

“The U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum in Washington, the Holocaust monument in Berlin and International Holocaust Remembrance Day represented the enshrinement of this memory. Everyone was called upon to remember, according to a rigid protocol. Every public statement about the Holocaust is monitored by experts, journalists and international organizations. Every deviation from the official line draws condemnation.”

Ilani is simply stating what many of us know. The primacy of Jewish suffering has become a tyrannical apparatus in the West. Within the holocaust ideology, Israel is shielded from criticism and its extensive record of human rights abuse is largely ignored. The Palestinian solidarity movement is practically paralysed by Jewish thought police squads, because within the context of the primacy of Jewish suffering, Palestinians can only be secondary victims.  

Ilany describes how the Holocaust story, as we now know it, is starting to crumble.

“Many people were stunned in recent weeks by Poland’s legislative efforts in regard to the remembrance of the Holocaust, and by the statements of the Polish prime minister to the effect that in the Holocaust there were Jewish criminals to the same degree that there were Polish criminals.”

The Poles were not alone,

“we are now seeing the collapse of this world order. Events such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the rise of Trump and the Brexit crisis are three of the biggest cracks that have emerged in it. The consensus concerning the Holocaust of the Jews was fundamentally linked to that political order.”

The Israeli academic acknowledges that the Holocaust and the new global capitalist world order are two sides of the same coin.

“It is the European Union and other global institutions created since the 1990s that disseminate the official version of the Holocaust of European Jewry and enforce its preservation. So it comes as no surprise that the disintegration of the world order and its institutions has also given rise to the unravelling of the consensus on the Holocaust.”

I guess that those who are upset by the global capitalist order might be cheered by Ilani’s vision of the crumbling Holocaust creed and the authoritarian institutions attached to it.

To read Gilad Atzmon’s take on truth, history, integrity, holocaust and revisionism read this: http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/truth-history-and-integrity-by-gilad-atzmon.html

If they want to burn my books , you want to read them..

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Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto

Amazon.co.uk  ,  Amazon.com  and   here  (gilad.co.uk). 

الوقاحة القطرية

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هو نفسه، الأمير السابق لقطر حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني، روى كيف أنه قصد ووزير خارجيته حمد بن جاسم الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، ساعياً إلى الحصول على اعتراف كامل بحكمه من واشنطن. قال الرجل إن الأمر لا يحتاج إلى كثير شرح، حتى نفهم نحن العرب أن الغطاء الأميركي هو الوحيد الذي يكفل استمرار حكمك، فكيف إذا كانت السعودية تريد رأسك؟

رواية «الأمير الوالد»، كما يُطلق عليه اليوم بعد تركه منصبه لنجله تميم، لا تتوقف عند السعي إلى مباركة أميركية لانقلابه على والده. بل يستمر في الكلام، قائلاً إن موظفاً أميركياً رفيع المستوى زاره في مقر إقامته في أميركا، وقال له: 

الأمر بسيط، عليك التوجه من هنا إلى فندق آخر حيث يقيم شمعون بيريز. اجلس وتفاهم معه، وعندما تعود، أُبلغك بموعدك في البيت الأبيض.

مرّت سنوات طويلة على هذه الحادثة وحصلت تطورات كثيرة، لكن القاعدة النظرية لضمان حماية النظام القطري لا تزال هي نفسها. وعندما قررت السعودية والإمارات ومصر عزل قطر قبل مدة، سارعت الدوحة إلى العنوان المناسب: الولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل!
التوتر القطري الناجم عن الحصار المفروض عليها من قبل دول خليجية وعربية، دفعها إلى القيام بخطوات سياسية كثيرة، من بينها العمل على تطوير العلاقات مع روسيا وإيران وتركيا، وإعادة الحرارة إلى هواتف توصلها بحكومات وقوى وشخصيات متنوعة في العالم العربي، مبدية استعدادها لفتح صفحة جديدة مقابل الحصول على دعم هذه الجهات في مواجهتها الحصار.
تتمسّك الدوحة بسياسة إرضاء إسرائيل لأجل كسب حماية أميركا على حساب الفلسطينيين
وفي هذا السياق أبدى القطريون الاستعداد للقيام بتغيير العديد من سياساتهم في المنطقة، بما في ذلك، وتحديداً، في ملفات سوريا والعراق واليمن، وأن يلعبوا دوراً سمّته الدبلوماسية القطرية «احتواء الإخوان المسلمين».
عملياً ما الذي حصل؟
في الملف العراقي، اكتشف القطريون أنّ السعودية لا تترك مجالاً لأحد، وأن تورط الولايات المتحدة الاميركية في إرسال جنودها من جديد إلى هناك لا يوسع هامش المناورة أمام الدوحة. وجاءت قصة احتجاز أفراد من العائلة الحاكمة إلى جانب قطريين آخرين في العراق، والتسوية التي قضت بإطلاقهم، لتخفّفا من دعم المجموعات الارهابية المقاتلة للدولة العراقية. لكن الأمر لم ينسحب على الدعم الاعلامي والسياسي المستمرين، بما في ذلك دعم أنصار النظام العراقي السابق، وبعض القيادات الاسلامية القريبة من تنظيم «القاعدة».
في سوريا، تعرضت المجموعات المدعومة من قطر لضربات كبيرة في الميدان. والمجموعات السياسية الخاضعة لسلطة قطر، تعرّضت بدورها لحصار نتيجة عدم فعاليتها، بينما تولّت السعودية سحب قسم منها باتجاهها. لكن قطر ظلت، وبإشراف تركي، تقدم الدعم المالي للمجموعات الارهابية، وخصوصاً في الشمال السوري، ولا سيما منها «جبهة النصرة»، والتي لا تزال حتى اليوم تملك نفوذا كبيراً داخل قياداتها الدينية والميدانية، رغم أنّ الدوحة أبلغت الجميع أنها في صدد وقف الاتصالات مع هذا التنظيم، وأنها لن تشارك في أي وساطات جديدة، بما في ذلك «اعتذارها» عن المساهمة في الوساطات التي قامت على إثر الضربات التي وجهت إلى «جبهة النصرة» على الحدود اللبنانية ــ السورية، علماً بأن قطر لم توقف دعمها الاعلامي والسياسي للمجموعات المسلحة السورية، وهي لا تزال تقود أوسع حملة بالتعاون مع الاميركيين والفرنسيين لمنع أي تواصل مع الحكومة السورية.
في اليمن، تصرفت قطر على أنها «تحررت» من الورطة السعودية. لكن موقفها الفعلي لم يكن ــ وليس هو الآن ــ ضد العدوان وضد الجرائم اليومية بحق الشعب اليمني، وكل ما في الأمر أنّ الدوحة تريد منافسة الرياض وأبو ظبي على النفوذ في البلد المنكوب، ولديها جماعاتها هناك، ولا سيما المجموعات المتصلة بالإخوان المسلمين (حزب الإصلاح) وبعض القيادات القومية العربية ومجموعات سلفية. وهي عندما ترفع الصوت ــ إعلامياً ــ لا تُقدم على أي خطوة عملية في اتجاه وقف حمام الدم في اليمن. بل حتى عندما يتطرق الأمر إلى مفاوضات جانبية، تظهر قطر التزاماً كاملاً بالتوجّهين الأميركي والبريطاني في ما خصّ المفاوضات مع «أنصار الله» حول مستقبل اليمن.
لكن كل ما سبق ليس إلا ذرة مقابل ما تقوم به في الملف الفلسطيني. وهنا بيت القصيد، حيث تعود الدوحة إلى «القاعدة الذهبية» التي تقول إن الحصول على دعم غربي في مواجهة ضغوط السعودية والإمارات ومصر، يتطلب رضى أميركياً صريحاً. ولهذا الرضى مداخل عدة، أبرزها رضى إسرائيل،

وهذا ما يتضح أن قطر تقوم به، سواء من خلال برامج التعاون القائمة بواسطة موفدها إلى غزة السفير محمد العمادي، الذي يفاخر بعلاقاته الإسرائيلية وبلياليه الحمراء في تل أبيب ولقاءاته المفتوحة مع القيادات السياسية والأمنية الإسرائيلية، أو من خلال ممارسة أبشع عملية ابتزاز بحق الفلسطينيين في قطاع غزة، لجهة المحاولات المستمرة لمقايضة برنامج الدعم للإعمار بالحصول من الجانب الفلسطيني على تنازلات تخصّ ملف الصراع مع إسرائيل. مع التذكير بأنّ قطر روّجت، ولا تزال، لفكرة تقول إن فشل مساعي التسوية السياسية يرافقه فشل في برنامج المقاومة. وهي فكرة تستهدف الدخول إلى العقل الجمعي للفلسطينيين وتثبيت أن الأكل والشرب أولوية لا تسبقها أيّ أولوية، بما في ذلك معركة الاستقلال.

Hamas Joke: Al-quds waiting for “men”, the half-men fighting Syria

ما يصل من غزة، وبقية فلسطين، عمّا تقوم به قطر، من خلال مندوبها، لا يبشّر بالخير، ويؤكد مرة جديدة أن كل ما تقوم به «فقاعة الغاز» لا يعدو كونه منافسة للإمارات والسعودية على كسب ودّ الولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل.
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والمشكلة هنا ليست مع قطر نفسها، بل مع من لا يزال من الفلسطينيين أو العرب يثق بأنها تقف فعلياً إلى جانب الحق العربي في التحرر من الاحتلال ومن التبعية للغرب الاستعماري… إنه زمن الوقاحة القطرية!


Drones and Jets: The ‘Brazenness’ Belongs to Israel

Posted on 

By Brenda Heard

“Iran brazenly violated Israel’s sovereignty,” stated Netanyahu on 10 February. “They dispatched an Iranian drone from Syrian territory into Israel.”

In response to this alleged reconnaissance drone, which the Israeli military characterized as a “serious Iranian attack on Israeli territory,” Israel promptly bombed twelve Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria.

A vagueness persists about the alleged drone. Iran stated the claim was “baseless” and “ridiculous.” The US called the drone “provocative.” Israel noted that it waited for the drone to enter its territory and “chose where to bring it down,” just ninety seconds later. Some sources indicate it was over Beit Shean, some say over the Golan. While the drone caused no damage, Israeli airstrikes killed six people.

At the Munich Security Conference a week later, Netanyahu underscored his indignation: “[Iran’s] brazenness reached new heights, literally new heights. It sent a drone into Israeli territory, violating Israel’s sovereignty, threatening our security. We destroyed that drone and the control center that operated it from Syria.” He then portrayed Israel as the innocent victim under threat, characterising the alleged drone as an “act of aggression.”

Talk about brazen.

Let us recall that in August 2014 it was Israel’s drone that was shot down in Iranian territory. While Israeli media reported that the “device looks like a kind of UAV used by the Israeli military,” all sources agree with Reuters’ observation: “Israel has always declined comment on such accusations.” ­Did the Netanyahu-labelled “tyrants of Tehran” respond as Israel has just done? Did Iran retaliate by sending fighter jets into Israel? Absolutely not. Instead, Iran did what it was meant to do as a cooperative member of the international community. It verbally  condemned the affront; it reported it to the IAEA (INFCIRC/867) and to the UN Security Council (S/2014/641). The IAEA merely circulated the complaint to member states, and the world ignored the brazenness of Israel.

Let us recall that in August 2011 it was a US drone that was shot down in Iranian territory. Somehow this was not “provocative,” but was rather, as then-current and former officials said, “part of an increasingly aggressive intelligence collection program aimed at Iran,” encouraged by “public debate in Israel.” This 2011 drone is even flaunted in current Israeli media, noting the US “initially denied the incident but eventually acknowledged the loss.” A bit brazen, wouldn’t you say?

Let us recall Israel’s unconscionable use of air power, including drones, over Occupied Palestine. Seen as “near continual surveillance and intermittent death raining down from the sky,” its decades-long aerial persecution of the Palestinians epitomises brazenness.

Lastly, let us recall Lebanon. Since the 1960s, Israel has routinely occupied Lebanese skies. This flagrant defiance of international law is a matter of record. Lebanon has issued numerous formal complaints with the UN—to no avail. Lebanese skies are violated virtually daily by a combination of helicopters, reconnaissance aircraft, and two, four or eight Israeli warplanes. They fly through all regions of Lebanon, including over UNIFIL territory, over Beirut, and over the Ba‘abda Presidential Palace. The Israeli overflights might just spy, or they might create sonic booms, or they might fire flares, or they might fly round-the-clock shifts so that there are always one or two Israeli aircraft in the skies of Lebanon. Or they might fly through Lebanese airspace to bomb Syria.

A recent UN Security Council Report states:

“Israel continued to violate Lebanese airspace on a daily basis, in violation of resolution 1701 (2006) and Lebanese sovereignty. From 1 July to 30 October [2017], UNIFIL recorded 758 air violations, totalling 3,188 overflight hours, an increase of 80 per cent compared with the same period in 2016.”

This was, of course, despite the Security Council’s previously reiterated call for “Israel to cease immediately its overflights of Lebanese airspace.” But, then again, that call has been reiterated by the UN for decades. Extraordinary brazenness.

It has been argued that Israel should not be bound by Resolution 1701 because Hezbollah has remained armed. Such an argument is simply making excuses for Israel’s belligerent conduct. It should be noted that:

1)      UN Resolutions do not subscribe to the all-or-none approach; they specify obligations to each party separately. 

2)      Israeli overflights in Lebanese airspace are in direct violation of the 1949 Armistice, which forbids Israel to “enter into or pass through the air space” of Lebanon, clarifying specifically “for any purpose whatsoever.”

3)      Prior to the formation of the Hezbollah Resistance there were already 28 Security Council Resolutions condemning Israel’s aggressions against Lebanon. Since at least 1972—a decade before Hezbollah—UNSC Resolution 316 called onIsrael specifically “to desist forthwith from any violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon.”

4)      Resolution 1701 states that prohibitions on weaponry “shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorized by the Government of Lebanon or by UNIFIL.”  This authorization is indeed expressed, as is custom, in the 2016 Ministerial Statement of the Government, which emphasises the right of Lebanese citizens to resist the Israeli occupation and to respond to its aggression. As President Aoun, a former Army General, explained: “Hizbullah’s arms do not contradict with the State and are an essential component of the means to defend Lebanon.”

With 552 violations of Lebanese airspace in 2016, Israel has exhibited extreme brazenness. With 805 violations in the ten months of 2017 that have been officially reported, Israel has surely forfeited the right to stand in judgement. Fifty years of consistent air violations in Lebanon and Palestine. And Netanyahu calls Iran “brazen” for ninety seconds?


Brenda Heard is author of Hezbollah: An Outsider’s Inside View. You can visit her website at FriendsofLebanon.org and also at InsideHezbollah.com

السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس في أيار؟

السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس في أيار؟

روزانا رمّال

تنقل وكالة رويترز عن مسؤول أميركي امس، انه من المتوقع ان تفتح أميركا سفارتها لدى «إسرائيل» في القدس في ايار المقبل. وهو تسريب خطير في مثل هذا الوقت الذي تتواتر فيه محطات التصعيد بالمنطقة المتعلقة بالوضع في سورية وتحديداً الشمال والأوضاع في عفرين وصولاً الى الغوطة الشرقية حتى الجنوب السوري الواقع ضمن معادلة ردع جديدة رسمتها سورية وحلفاؤها بعد إسقاط طائرة اف 16 الأميركية. وبالتالي فإن السؤال عن جدوى التصعيد الإسرائيلي في هذه اللحظات صار اساسياً لدراسة امكانية التراجع من عدمها. وهذا الاعلان يؤكد ان الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ماضية حتى النهاية في هذا القرار الذي اكد خبير في الشؤون الأميركية لـ «البناء « استحالة التراجع عنه لأن الية محددة متبعة بعد تصويت اغلبية اعضاء الكونغرس الأميركي تمنع ذلك، كما ان الرئيس دونالد ترامب هو الرئيس الاول الأميركي الذي تجرأ على توقيع هذا القرار منذ منتصف التسعينيات. وهذا يعني انه قرار مدروس بشكل جيد ومتفق عليه في كل غرف المؤسسة الأميركية الحاكمة. وبالتالي فان كل ما يستدعي مواجهته للمضي قدماً به واقع ضمن سقف محدد أميركياً.

لكن وقبل كل ذلك تبدو واشنطن واثقة بانها استطاعت «لجم» كل ما كان متوقعاً ان يقف عائقاً بوجه هذا القرار المشترك مع الإسرائيليين وهو الموقف العربي. وهذا الامر تم حسب المصادر والمعلومات الدبلوماسية الموثقة بعد موافقة أكثر من دولة عربية اولها المملكة العربية السعودية وحلفائها الذين رحبوا بهذا الخيار بعد ان قدمت واشنطن لهم ضمانات بقاء قواعدها العسكرية في المنطقة وحماية مواقعهم السياسية. وهذا بحد ذاته نجاح أميركي واضح، فمعارضة الدول العربية اقتصرت على بيانات فقط. والأهم من ذلك ذهاب بعض الدول كالبحرين الى التحدي وإرسال إشارات تطبيع بزيارة وفد بحراني عشية توقيع القرار الى «إسرائيل». هذا بالاضافة الى مستجد اكبر يتعلق بتمرير التطبيع بين الشعوب العربية لا الحكومات التي تماشت مع ذلك. وهو الامر الذي يشكل خطورة كبيرة. بدأ مع مصر عبر الحديث عن توقيع شركات خاصة عقود بقيمة 15 مليار دولار لاستيراد الغاز من «إسرائيل». وهو الأمر الذي يبرره خبراء مصريون بانه «لا علاقة للحكومة او الدولة فيه، بل ان هذا واقع ضمن علاقة بين شركات خاصة بين الطرفين». وهذا يعني امراً واحداً و«هو العمل على تعزيز فكرة «التطبيع» بين الشعوب العربية بعد ان كان الرفض الكامل هو سيد المشهد بدون ان يتجاهل الخبراء أنفسهم ان فكرة الاستيراد هذه لا تعني ان الحكومة ليست على علم بها او انها لم تباركها باقل تقدير، طالما انها لم تعرقلها باعتبار ان العلاقات بين مصر و«إسرائيل» واقعة ضمن معاهدة سلام قديمة وهذا ليس سراً».

ردود الفعل العربية أتت دون مستوى توقع الفلسطنيين اصحاب القضية، لكنها بكل تأكيد اتت ضمن مستوى التوقع الأميركي الذي حذا بواشنطن المضي قدماً نحو هذا القرار. والاهم من هذا كله ان احداً لم يمد الدعم للفلسطينيين منهم لاندلاع انتفاضة قادرة على وضع حد للتمادي الأميركي الإسرائيلي الامر الذي صار موضوعا ضمن دائرة امكانية أن تتحرك ايران لدعم مجموعات مقاومة داخل الاراضي المحتلة أبرزها الجهاد الاسلامي وحركة حماس التي صححت العلاقة بايران من جديد من دون ان يعني ذلك انها مستعدة الى التقدم نحو قتال غير مدروس، لان الحرب حسب مصدر قيادي في حركة حماس لـ«البناء» هي «اكثر ما ينوي الإسرائيليون الهروب اليها. والذهاب اليها فوراً يعني اعطاء «إسرائيل» ذريعة للقصف واستهداف المدنيين واضاعة الهدف الاساسي، لذلك فان الحركة ترى ان العمليات التي تحصل ضمن الاراضي بشكلها الحالي على يد الشبان الثائر قادرة على استنزاف قوات الامن الإسرائيلية والامن الداخلي بشكل أكثر تأثيراً في الوقت الراهن».

وبالعودة الى الحكومات العربية التي من المفترض ان تجتمع بعد نحو شهر في لقاء القمة العربية على مستوى الحكام والرؤساء، فإنها الغيث الأخير المنشود «شكلاً» وهو واقعاً الأمل المفقود، لأنه من غير المتوقع على الإطلاق أن تتصاعد المواقف لناحية الخطوات بل الاكفتاء بمواقف قوية سياسياً من دون ترجمتها قطعاً للعلاقات الدبلوماسية والتجارية مع «إسرائيل». وهذا الامر يعني ان المواجهة مقبلة لا محالة اذا صح التسريب الأميركي لرويترز، بعد ان كانت ادارة ترامب قد حرصت على اعلان ان هذا الأمر لن يتم قبل سنة. وبالتالي، فإن التصعيد او ارسال رسائل تهديد صار سيد المشهد. وبالتالي صار ربط ملف الصراع ككل مرتبطاً بالنزاعات المحيطة وسبل التسوية المعرقلة في سورية ومعها المستجد الأخير المتعلق بالنفط في لبنان واقتسام الحصص البحرية. فإذا كانت واشنطن تتوجّه فعلاً لنقل السفارة في أيار، فهل هذا يعني أنها تكشف «إسرائيل» امام الاحتمالات كافة؟

على مقربة من انعقاد القمة العربية يصبح الضغط الأميركي أكثر إحراجاً بما يبدو مقصوداً لجهة الاستخفاف بالمواقف العربية التي لا تقلق الأميركيين بعد موافقة الدول العربية الاساسية على مسألة التهويد والمضي قدماً باتجاه تطبيع العلاقات أكثر. كل ذلك ضمن مبرر شرّعته الادارة الأميركية واقتنع به العرب خصوصاً الخليجيين. وهو واقع ضمن مواجهة ايران وتقارب المصالح مع «إسرائيل» وضرورة التوحّد بوجهها.

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There is no defense for putting the policies of the #NRA ahead of the lives of children

Gun Violence as State Sponsored Domestic Terrorism

Henry A. Giroux

Passing thoughts on the willingness of the politicians and merchants of death who allow the unimaginable to become imaginable, allow financial gain to prevail over the lives of innocent children, and are more willing to protect guns at the expense of the lives of children.

President Trump listened recently to the impassioned testimony of parents and children who have seen their children and friends killed in gun shootings. He responded by advocating that teachers be armed and trained to have concealed weapons.

Instead of confronting the roots of violence in America, he followed the NRA line of addressing the issue of mass violence, shootings, and the ongoing carnage with a call to arm more people, putting more guns into play, and stating that violence can be met with more violence. This logic is breathtaking in its insanity, moral depravity, refusal to get to the root of the problem, and even advocate minor reforms such as banning assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines, and expanding background checks.

There are 300 million guns in the United States and since the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School of 20 young children and 6 teachers a decade ago, 11,000 more children have died of gun violence.

There is no defense for putting the policies of the NRA ahead of the lives of children. Criminal acts often pass for legislative policies. How else to explain the Florida legislature refusing to even debate outlawing assault weapons while students from Majory Stoneman Douglas High School sat in the galleys and watched this wretched and irresponsible act take place. How else to explain that the House of Representatives – reduced to an adjunct of the NRA – voted to pass the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R.38) which would allow individuals to carry concealed weapons across state lines. These are the people who have the blood of thousands on their hands.

The power of money in politics has morphed into a form of barbarism in which financial gain and power have become more important than protecting the lives of America’s children.

I find it extremely difficult to watch the debates about gun violence on the mainstream media. The call for reform is so limited as to be useless. Instead of banning assault rifles, they celebrate Trump for suggesting that he raise the age to 21 in order for people to buy a weapon of war. Instead of preventing violence from engulfing the country and schools, he calls for arming teachers and the press celebrates his willingness to entertain this issue. Instead of speaking about justice and allowing people to speak who are against deregulating laws restricting or abolishing the merchants of death, the media allows an NRA hawk to speak at the town meeting and rather than calling her out for being a spokesperson for violence rather than justice, they congratulate themselves on promoting balance.

The corporate media has become a normalizing force for violence because they lack the courage to challenge the corporations that control them. They also benefit by peddling extreme violence as a spectacle. They refuse to begin with the issue of money in politics and start instead with what one parent called non-starters. Guns disappear from the conversation and appeals to fear and security take over. Young people have to lead this conversation and move beyond the mainstream media. And when they do appear they have to flip the script and ask the questions they think are important.

Children no longer have a safe space in America, a country saturated in violence as a spectacle, sport, and deadly acts of domestic terrorism. Any defense for the proliferation of guns, especially those designed for war, is criminal. This is the discourse of political corruption, a government in the hands of the gun lobbies, and a country that trades in violence at every turn in order to accrue profits at the expense of the lives of innocent children.

This debate is not simply about gun violence, it is about the rule of capital and how the architects of violence accrue enough power to turn machineries of death and destruction into profits while selling violence as a commodity. Violence is both a source of profits and a cherished national ideal. It is also the defining feature of a toxic masculinity. Gun reform is no substitute for real justice and the necessary abolition of a death-dealing and cruel economic and political system that is the antithesis of democracy.

What are we to make of a society in which young children have a greater sense of moral courage and social responsibility than the zombie adults who make the laws that fail to invest in and protect the lives of present and future generations. First step, expose their lies, make their faces public, use the new media to organize across state lines, and work like hell to vote them out of office in 2018. Hold these ruthless walking dead responsible and then banish them to the gutter where they belong. At the same time, imagine and fight for not a reform of American society but a restructuring along the lines of a democratic socialist order.

Henry Giroux  is a contributing editor to Tikkun Magazine

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