Russia Responded to an American Strategic Ruse With the S-500 (Sonar 2050)

September 18, 2021

Russia Responded to an American Strategic Ruse With the S-500 (Sonar 2050)

Translated and subtitled by Leo.

The government’s trials of the S-500 Promitey have entered its final stage and will be completed this year. The system became an answer to the old American trick of leaving the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. And it may be possible to open over Russia one more actual anti-air umbrella of an almost strategic level. Details are in this episode.

They Tricked Themselves

In May 1974, the leadership of the USA and USSR signed a treaty on limiting the number of anti-missile defense systems. By it, each base was to have not more than two areas of anti-missile defense with a radius not more than 150 km. In each of them, it was allowed to deploy a maximum of 100 fixed launchers capable of intercepting ICBMs. Soon after, the number of the allowed areas shrank to only one. The Soviet Union chose to defend the capital and the central industrial region. And the leadership of the US decided to close the silos with ICBMs located in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. But then later, the Americans decided to cheat. In December 2001, President George Bush stated the withdrawal of the US from the past treaty. He was confident that the American-made the multi-functional battle information system, Aegis, make the US invulnerable.

The system according to the design was supposed to shoot down everything. From enemy planes, to mid-range ballistic missiles. And due to the fact that its missiles were based mainly on ships, it could be brought closer to the Russian shores without extra coordination. Which afterwards started to happen systematically. And one time, an emboldened American anti-missile ship came into Sevastopol, which during the time was still Ukrainian. Military advisers to the American president convinced him that Russia is finished. And that it is so behind technologically where their counter-exit from the treaty wouldn’t become dangerous. But as the subsequent events have shown, the 43rd American president was cruelly mistaken.

New Level

Russian engineers not only brought out the strategic missile defense to the highest level, with the help of the A-253 Nudol rocket which we are talking about. There was a dash in development of tactical systems accomplished. Their job became the system S-500 Promitey. Which can be called “an answer to the American sneakiness.” The fact is that formally, the S-500 refers to the army system, which means it is not subject to any restrictions. On the factual possibility, it can be taken to the strategic level. The system has closed the gap between the strategic Nudol and the tactical S-400. Thanks to its mobility, it can quickly be focused to the most dangerous directions. And later, to change the position. With a few number of missile batteries, they could work at the same time, at suicide drones, strategic bombers, and the air command center which gives radio orders over the horizon, the same goes for the ballistic missiles, which the S-500 in one salvo can take down up to 10 of them at the same time.

In the near future, after the state-testing is complete, there will be a series production of the S-500, and its delivery to the troops will begin. It is possible that it will be not only be under the Air Defense Forces (PVO) of the army brigades, in the event of an aggravation of the international situation, a new brigade of a new actual strategic level will begin to form to cover the most important regions of the country, including Crimea. One way or another, the funeral guessing of Russia by American advisers turned out to be premature as always.

MBZ is performing a U-turn that could reshape the Middle East

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15 September 2021 10:57 UTC

David Hearst

David Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He says Middle East Eye is funded by “individual private donors” but he won’t name them. He said that his organisation is not funded by Qatar – or any other state or group – and is here to stay. He appears as a commentator on the Middle East for Al Jazeera English and Alaraby TV, TRT, Masr Al-Aan TV.

For years, Emirati foreign policy has been a disaster. Now, on the anniversary of the fundamentally flawed Abraham Accords, a rethink is underway

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed is pictured in Berlin in June 2019 (Reuters)

The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban has triggered an earthquake that has travelled across the Gulf. The tectonic plates that defined who did what to whom in the region are shifting. 

Alliances that only a year ago seemed to be set in concrete are cracking. The vacuum created by the US withdrawal from Afghanistan has been felt just as keenly in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv as it has in Kabul.

The clearest sign of swaying buildings and buckling tarmac are the pledges and significant amounts of money being promised by the de facto leader of the UAE to Turkey, states that are vigorous competitors for regional influence.

It is pragmatism, not a fundamental change of heart, that is causing the latest handbrake turn in Abu Dhabi’s foreign policy

And Turkey has not been the only sign of the apparent U-turn in UAE policy. Shortly after his recent meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Tahnoun bin Zayed, UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed’s brother and security chief, flew to mend fences with Qatar.

Only a year ago, the UAE was urging Saudi Arabia not to lift the blockade of Qatar. This latest visit is a recognition that the blockade was a spectacular failure. Qatar has emerged as US President Joe Biden’s strongest partner in the Gulf, and the one on whom he depended for evacuating Afghans and communicating with the Taliban.

How different from the start of the blockade, when Qatar was painted as a refuge for terrorists and Islamists, and former US President Donald Trump tweeted his approval of the Saudi action. 

Billions promised

Erdogan is keeping the transcript of his recent telephone conversation with MBZ close to his chest. Only a trusted few know what the crown prince promised. According to my sources, MBZ offered Erdogan more than $10bn in investments.

Unlike the military side of the government of Sudan, or indeed President Kais Saied in Tunisia, Erdogan is not being made to wait long for the money to arrive. The Dubai-based courier Aramex is reportedly in talks to buy the Turkish delivery company MNG Kargo.

There is much secrecy in Ankara, but one thing is clear: the momentum for this reset is coming from Abu Dhabi. Erdogan is wary, and the foreign policy establishment in Turkey is sceptical. Both have good reason for caution.

UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet in Ankara on 18 August 2021 (Turkish Presidency)
UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet in Ankara on 18 August 2021 (Turkish Presidency)

This was the state that, according to Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, spent $3bn attempting (and very nearly succeeding) to topple Erdogan on 15 July 2016. Cavusoglu did not name the UAE, but it was clear who he was referencing when he mentioned “a Muslim country”.

The same state funds neoconservative Washington think tanks that regularly debunk Erdogan and his ability to sustain the lira. It competes for influence with Turkey in Syria, Yemen, Libya, the Horn of Africa, Egypt and Tunisia. It was the brains behind, and one of the funders of, the counter-revolution that toppled former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi – and it has tried repeatedly to rearrange the furniture in Tunisia, Sudan and Yemen. Emirati planes at one point provided air cover for renegade general Khalifa Haftar’s ill-fated attempt to recapture Tripoli.The UAE’s military interventions have led to disaster – not stabilityRead More »

It has also created armies of “electronic flies” to condition public opinion through social media. The UAE’s interventions far beyond the Gulf have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East. 

Turkey has long been on the receiving end of this. So why would a leopard on a mission to hunt down political Islam and render it extinct, change its spots? It is not a question that can be convincingly answered.

Nor is this the first attempt at a kiss and make up: the UAE made a similar overture to Ankara when it thought Hillary Clinton would become US president. When Trump won, this was instantly dropped. It is pragmatism, not a fundamental change of heart, that is causing the latest handbrake turn in Abu Dhabi’s foreign policy. The sceptics in Ankara are right to be cautious. 

Nevertheless, it could still be happening. The flood of signals coming out of Abu Dhabi towards Erdogan and Turkey mostly take place in private forums, and the message is consistent, even if you don’t believe it.

‘Strategic reassessment’

According to people with knowledge of these conversations, top UAE officials claim to be conducting a “strategic reassessment” of foreign policy.

It starts with Biden. The UAE noted two features of its changed relationship with Washington since his administration came to power: the first was a consistent message from the new US administration to “de-escalate” tensions in the Middle East. The second was the unpredictability of US foreign policy. 

The new policy, then, is apparently to spread influence through economic cooperation, rather than military intervention and political competition

This was surely already apparent under Trump, when he refused to bomb Tehran after Iran and its Iraqi proxies sent armed drones to cripple two Saudi oil facilities, temporarily halving crude production. If ever Saudi Arabia and the UAE felt unprotected by the US military umbrella, it was then.

Coupled with this, they claim, is a hard-headed assessment of what the UAE has actually achieved. Its interventions have indeed beaten the Muslim Brotherhood back as a political force in EgyptTunisiaYemenSyria, and partly in Libya. But the cost of the UAE’s secular jihad is enormous.

Three of these countries are in smoking ruins, and the other two, Egypt and Tunisia, are nearly bankrupt. What has MBZ gained for the billions of dollars he has invested in Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi?

The new policy, then, is apparently to spread influence through economic cooperation, rather than military intervention and political competition.

Saudi-UAE rift

They don’t say it, but when questioned, there is clearly also coolness with Riyadh. One emissary claimed that the UAE delayed its pullout from Yemen for a year to allow Saudi Arabia to end the war with the Houthis, but it is clear that Yemen is a sore point between the two military allies.

Saudi Arabia recently announced a series of moves to weaken Abu Dhabi, the latest being the pullout of Al Arabiya and parent media company MBC from Dubai. It has clamped down on tax-free goods from an Emirati free trade zone, as well as insisting that foreign multinationals base their headquarters in Riyadh rather than Dubai. There is a lot more sibling rivalry to the brotherly relations between the two Gulf countries these days.

MBZ meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah in 2018 (Bandar al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP)
MBZ meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah in 2018 (Bandar al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP)

Publicly, the UAE’s licensed political analysts are hinting at a different set of regional priorities. Political scientist Abdulkhaleq Abudulla tweeted that the main message from Washington was that the US would not defend the Gulf. “And the Arab Gulf states are at a crossroads; how should they adapt to the post-America Gulf stage?”

Spot the notable absences from this list: Saudi Arabia and Egypt, its closest allies in 2013.

Abraham Accords lose value

Abu Dhabi is not the only signatory of the Abraham Accords which is reassessing the value of a pro-US bloc in the Gulf. One year on from the signing in Washington, the Abraham Accords are losing their shine. A year ago, they seemed to have so much going for them. It was a marriage of brains and brawn, the military might and technological superiority of Israel with the dollars of the Gulf.UAE-Israel deal: Abraham accord or Israeli colonialism?Read More »

It was a way of bypassing the Palestinian conflict, without the need for messy, time-wasting things like negotiations, elections or popular mandates. The accords were a solution imposed from above – a fait accompli, which the Arab masses would have to live with.

But like the megacities of Saudi Arabia, the accords were built on shifting sands. 

They had two fundamental flaws. Firstly, they depended on individual leaders – not states – meeting at first in secret as their drivers. This means that when two key players were removed from the picture – Trump and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – the project itself lost sponsorship and momentum. 

The other problem was that they were all about the relationship between regional states and the US. They did not address the fundamental problems of relations between the key regional actors themselves. 

The UAE’s motive for moving closer to Israel was to cement its relationship with Washington. Recognition of Israel was always a means to an end, not the end in itself. 

Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed sign the Abraham Accords in 2020 (AFP)
Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed sign the Abraham Accords in 2020 (AFP)

For Israel, on the other hand, the Abraham Accords were all about cementing its own security by increasing its regional influence. It fundamentally misread Arab intentions by conceiving of normalisation as a military and diplomatic safety net for its own continued existence.

Zvi Barel, writing in Haaretz, observed: “The kaleidoscopic shifting of international relations will require Israel to examine its place in the newly-forming alignment. The idea that there’s a pro-U.S. bloc that provides Israel with a military and diplomatic safety net and acts alongside it as an informal coalition against Iran, is beginning to fall apart.”

Regional realignment

The US not only supplied the carrots and sticks necessary to coerce states such as Sudan to join the accords, by removing it from its list of terrorist states. It was the very reason for the accords themselves.

The Emiratis, being quick off the mark, have seen the future shape of the post-oil world. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has yet to reconcile himself to the US military absence. Maybe he will now that Biden has just withdrawn his Patriot missiles from the kingdom and lifted the bar imposed by two of his predecessors to confidential documents on allegations of Saudi government links to two of the 9/11 hijackers

It has taken eight long years for the penny to drop. But if indeed it has, this realisation presents a genuine opportunity to reshape a post-American Middle East

Unlike MBZ, MBS harbours personal grudges. He cannot forgive Erdogan for the role he played in keeping the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the agenda in Washington. In so doing, Erdogan permanently damaged MBS’s international reputation, making a repeat trip to London and the US impossible for the future Saudi king.

MBS’s psychology – for all its modernist patina of posing as a reformer – is still rooted in his Bedouin past. Being the future king, he considers and treats his people as his property. He is their lord and master. Deals with other states are made by him alone. He decides whether his kingdom will recognise Israel or whether, as is now the case, he could turn to Israel to provide him with missile defence systems.

Although all of these moves are brittle and by nature reversible, given that they are triggered by events outside the region and not within it, there could be light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel of permanent intervention. If regional actors themselves can establish a working relationship with each other – and no more than that is required – stability will not depend on a small group of despots. How will US disengagement shape the Middle East?Read More »

Relations between regional powers are more likely to represent state interests, rather than the personal ones of their leaders. That in itself would be progress, if indeed any of this comes to fruition. 

MBZ’s decision to reassess his foreign policy has to be genuine and not a temporary swerve. He is right to reassess his foreign policy. It has been a disaster, a complete waste of his money. It has weakened once strong states, such as Egypt, and caused massive refugee flows. 

It has taken eight long years for the penny to drop. But if indeed it has, this realisation presents a genuine opportunity to reshape a post-American Middle East.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.David HearstDavid Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He is a commentator and speaker on the region and analyst on Saudi Arabia. He was The Guardian’s foreign leader writer, and was correspondent in Russia, Europe, and Belfast. He joined the Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

American Pravda: Seeking 9/11 Truth After Twenty Years

September 14, 2021

American Pravda: Seeking 9/11 Truth After Twenty Years

by Ron Unz, reposted with permission

The twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks is almost upon us, and although their immediacy has been somewhat reduced by the events of the last eighteen months, we must recognize that they have drastically shaped the world history of the last two decades, greatly changing the daily lives and liberties of most ordinary Americans.

The widespread doubts about the reality of the official story provided by our government and almost universally promoted by our media has severely diminished popular faith in the credibility of those two crucial institutions, with consequences that are still very apparent in today’s highest profile issues.

Over the years, diligent researchers and courageous journalists have largely demolished the original narrative of those events, and have made a strong, perhaps even overwhelming case that the Israeli Mossad together with its American collaborators played the central role. My own reconstruction, substantially relying upon such accumulated evidence, came to such conclusions, and I am therefore republishing it below, drawn from my previous articles which had appeared in late 2018 and early 2020, with the later material making heavy use of Ronen Bergman’s authoritative 2018 history of the Mossad, which ran more than 750 pages.

Immediately following my own analysis is a link to a particularly noteworthy article along the same lines by French writer Laurent Guyénot, which we had originally released simultaneously with my own, then followed by more than a dozen other significant articles of the previous decade, all published or republished on this website. In coming days, some of these may also be separately featured as part of the twenty-year commemoration.

The 9/11 Attacks – What Happened?

Although somewhat related, political assassinations and terrorist attacks are distinct topics, and Bergman’s comprehensive volume explicitly focuses on the former, so we cannot fault him for providing only slight coverage of the latter. But the historical pattern of Israeli activity, especially with regard to false-flag attacks, is really quite remarkable, as I noted in a 2018 article:

One of history’s largest terrorist attacks prior to 9/11 was the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem by Zionist militants dressed as Arabs, which killed 91 people and largely destroyed the structure. In the famous Lavon Affair of 1954, Israeli agents launched a wave of terrorist attacks against Western targets in Egypt, intending to have those blamed on anti-Western Arab groups. There are strong claims that in 1950 Israeli Mossad agents began a series of false-flag terrorist bombings against Jewish targets in Baghdad, successfully using those violent methods to help persuade Iraq’s thousand-year-old Jewish community to emigrate to the Jewish state. In 1967, Israel launched a deliberate air and sea attack against the U.S.S. Liberty, intending to leave no survivors, killing or wounding over 200 American servicemen before word of the attack reached our Sixth Fleet and the Israelis withdrew.

The enormous extent of pro-Israel influence in world political and media circles meant that none of these brutal attacks ever drew serious retaliation, and in nearly all cases, they were quickly thrown down the memory hole, so that today probably no more than one in a hundred Americans is even aware of them. Furthermore, most of these incidents came to light due to chance circumstances, so we may easily suspect that many other attacks of a similar nature have never become part of the historical record.

Of these famous incidents, Bergman only includes mention of the King David Hotel bombing. But much later in his narrative, he describes the huge wave of false-flag terrorist attacks unleashed in 1981 by Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, who recruited a former high-ranking Mossad official to manage the project.

Under Israeli direction, large car bombs began exploding in the Palestinian neighborhoods of Beirut and other Lebanese cities, killing or injuring enormous numbers of civilians. A single attack in October inflicted nearly 400 casualties, and by December, there were eighteen bombings per month, with their effectiveness greatly enhanced by the use of innovative new Israeli drone technology. Official responsibility for all the attacks was claimed by a previously unknown Lebanese organization, but the intent was to provoke the PLO into military retaliation against Israel, thereby justifying Sharon’s planned invasion of the neighboring country.

Since the PLO stubbornly refused to take the bait, plans were put into motion for the huge bombing of an entire Beirut sports stadium using tons of explosives during a January 1st political ceremony, with the death and destruction expected to be “of unprecedented proportions, even in terms of Lebanon.” But Sharon’s political enemies learned of the plot and emphasized that many foreign diplomats including the Soviet ambassador were expected to be present and probably would be killed, so after a bitter debate, Prime Minister Begin ordered the attack aborted. A future Mossad chief mentions the major headaches they then faced in removing the large quantity of explosives that they had already planted within the structure.

I think that this thoroughly documented history of major Israeli false-flag terrorist attacks, including those against American and other Western targets, should be carefully kept in mind when we consider the 9/11 attacks, whose aftermath has massively transformed our society and cost us so many trillions of dollars. I analyzed the strange circumstances of the attacks and their likely nature at considerable length in my 2018 article:

Oddly enough, for many years after 9/11, I paid very little attention to the details of the attacks themselves. I was entirely preoccupied with building my content-archiving software system, and with the little time I could spare for public policy matters, I was totally focused on the ongoing Iraq War disaster, as well as my terrible fears that Bush might at any moment suddenly extend the conflict to Iran. Despite Neocon lies shamelessly echoed by our corrupt media, neither Iraq nor Iran had had anything whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attacks, so those events gradually faded in my consciousness, and I suspect the same was true for most other Americans. Al Qaeda had largely disappeared and Bin Laden was supposedly hiding in a cave somewhere. Despite endless Homeland Security “threat alerts,” there had been no further Islamic terrorism on American soil, and relatively little anywhere else outside of the Iraq charnel house. So the precise details of the 9/11 plots had become almost irrelevant to me.

Others I knew seemed to feel the same way. Virtually all the exchanges I had with my old friend Bill Odom, the three-star general who had run the NSA for Ronald Reagan, had concerned the Iraq War and risk it might spread to Iran, as well as the bitter anger he felt toward Bush’s perversion of his beloved NSA into an extra-constitutional tool of domestic espionage. When the New York Times broke the story of the massive extent of domestic NSA spying, Gen. Odom declared that President Bush should be impeached and NSA Director Michael Hayden court-martialed. But in all the years prior to his untimely passing in 2008, I don’t recall the 9/11 attacks themselves even once coming up as a topic in our discussions.

Admittedly, I’d occasionally heard of some considerable oddities regarding the 9/11 attacks here and there, and these certainly raised some suspicions. Most days I would glance at the Antiwar.com front page, and it seemed that some Israeli Mossad agents had been caught while filming the plane attacks in NYC, while a much larger Mossad “art student” spy operation around the country had also been broken up around the same time. Apparently, FoxNews had even broadcast a multi-part series on the latter topic before that expose was scuttled and “disappeared” under ADL pressure.

Although I wasn’t entirely sure about the credibility of those claims, it did seem plausible that Mossad had known of the attacks in advance and allowed them to proceed, recognizing the huge benefits that Israel would derive from the anti-Arab backlash. I think I was vaguely aware that Antiwar.com editorial director Justin Raimondo had published The Terror Enigma, a short book about some of those strange facts, bearing the provocative subtitle “9/11 and the Israeli Connection,” but I never considered reading it. In 2007, Counterpunch itself published a fascinating follow-up story about the arrest of that group of Israeli Mossad agents in NYC, who were caught filming and apparently celebrating the plane attacks on that fateful day, and the Mossad activity seemed to be far larger than I had previously realized. But all these details remained a little fuzzy in my mind next to my overriding concerns about wars in Iraq and Iran.

However, by the end of 2008 my focus had begun to change. Bush was leaving office without having started an Iranian war, and America had successfully dodged the bullet of an even more dangerous John McCain administration. I assumed that Barack Obama would be a terrible president and he proved worse than my expectations, but I still breathed a huge sigh of relief every day that he was in the White House.

Moreover, around that same time I’d stumbled across an astonishing detail of the 9/11 attacks that demonstrated the remarkable depths of my own ignorance. In a Counterpunch article, I’d discovered that immediately following the attacks, the supposed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden had publicly denied any involvement, even declaring that no good Muslim would have committed such deeds.

Once I checked around a little and fully confirmed that fact, I was flabbergasted. 9/11 was not only the most successful terrorist attack in the history of the world, but may have been greater in its physical magnitude than all past terrorist operations combined. The entire purpose of terrorism is to allow a small organization to show the world that it can inflict serious losses upon a powerful state, and I had never previously heard of any terrorist leader denying his role in a successful operation, let alone the greatest in history. Something seemed extremely wrong in the media-generated narrative that I had previously accepted. I began to wonder if I had been as deluded as the tens of millions of Americans in 2003 and 2004 who naively believed that Saddam had been the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks. We live in a world of illusions generated by our media, and I suddenly felt that I had noticed a tear in the paper-mache mountains displayed in the background of a Hollywood sound-stage. If Osama was probably not the author of 9/11, what other huge falsehoods had I blindly accepted?

A couple of years later, I came across a very interesting column by Eric Margolis, a prominent Canadian foreign policy journalist purged from the broadcast media for his strong opposition to the Iraq War. He had long published a weekly column in the Toronto Sun and when that tenure ended, he used his closing appearance to run a double-length piece expressing his very strong doubts about the official 9/11 story, even noting that the former director of Pakistani Intelligence insisted that Israel had been behind the attacks.

I eventually discovered that in 2003 former German Cabinet Minister Andreas von Bülow had published a best-selling book strongly suggesting that the CIA rather than Bin Laden was behind the attacks, while in 2007 former Italian President Francesco Cossiga had similarly argued that the CIA and the Israeli Mossad had been responsible, claiming that fact was well known among Western intelligence agencies.

Over the years, all these discordant claims had gradually raised my suspicions about the official 9/11 story to rather strong levels, but it was only very recently that I finally found the time to begin to seriously investigate the subject and read eight or ten of the main 9/11 Truther books, mostly those by Prof. David Ray Griffin, the widely acknowledged leader in that field. And his books, together with the writings of his numerous colleagues and allies, revealed all sorts of very telling details, most of which had previously been unknown to me. I was also greatly impressed by the sheer number of seemingly reputable individuals of no apparent ideological bent who had become adherents of the 9/11 Truth movement over the years.

When utterly astonishing claims of an extremely controversial nature are made over a period of many years by numerous seemingly reputable academics and other experts, and they are entirely ignored or suppressed but never effectively rebutted, reasonable conclusions seem to point in an obvious direction. Based on my very recent readings in this topic, the total number of huge flaws in the official 9/11 story has now grown extremely long, probably numbering in the many dozens. Most of these individual items seem reasonably likely and if we decide that even just two or three of them are correct, we must totally reject the official narrative that so many of us have believed for so long.

Now I am merely just an amateur in the complex intelligence craft of extracting nuggets of truth from a mountain of manufactured falsehood. Although the arguments of the 9/11 Truth Movement seem quite persuasive to me, I would obviously have felt much more comfortable if they were seconded by an experienced professional, such as a top CIA analyst. A few years ago, I was shocked to discover that was indeed the case.

William Christison had spent 29 years at the CIA, rising to become one of its senior figures as Director of its Office of Regional and Political Analysis, with 200 research analysts serving under him. In August 2006, he published a remarkable 2,700 word article explaining why he no longer believed the official 9/11 story and felt sure that the 9/11 Commission Report constituted a cover-up, with the truth being quite different. The following year, he provided a forceful endorsement to one of Griffin’s books, writing that “[There’s] a strong body of evidence showing the official U.S. Government story of what happened on September 11, 2001 to be almost certainly a monstrous series of lies.” And Christison’s extreme 9/11 skepticism was seconded by that of many other highly regarded former US intelligence professionals.

We might expect that if a former CIA intelligence officer of Christison’s rank were to denounce the official 9/11 report as a fraud and a cover-up, such a story would constitute front-page news. But it was never reported anywhere in our mainstream media, and I only stumbled upon it a decade later.

Even our supposed “alternative” media outlets were nearly as silent. Throughout the 2000s, Christison and his wife Kathleen, also a former CIA analyst, had been regular contributors to Counterpunch, publishing many dozens of articles there and certainly being its most highly credentialed writers on intelligence and national security matters. But editor Alexander Cockburn refused to publish any of their 9/11 skepticism, so it never came to my attention at the time. Indeed, when I mentioned Christison’s views to current Counterpunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair a couple of years ago, he was stunned to discover that the friend he had regarded so very highly had actually become a “9/11 Truther.” When media organs serve as ideological gatekeepers, a condition of widespread ignorance becomes unavoidable.

With so many gaping holes in the official story of the events of seventeen years ago, each of us is free to choose to focus on those we personally consider most persuasive, and I have several of my own. Danish Chemistry professor Niels Harrit was one of the scientists who analyzed the debris of the destroyed buildings and detected the residual presence of nano-thermite, a military-grade explosive compound, and I found him quite credible during his hour-long interview on Red Ice Radio. The notion that an undamaged hijacker passport was found on an NYC street after the massive, fiery destruction of the skyscrapers is totally absurd, as was the claim that the top hijacker conveniently lost his luggage at one of the airports and it was found to contain a large mass of incriminating information. The testimonies of the dozens of firefighters who heard explosions just before the collapse of the buildings seems totally inexplicable under the official account. The sudden total collapse of Building Seven, never hit by any jetliners is also extremely implausible.

The 9/11 Attacks – Who Did It?

Let us now suppose that the overwhelming weight of evidence is correct, and concur with high-ranking former CIA intelligence analysts, distinguished academics, and experienced professionals that the 9/11 attacks were not what they appeared to be. We recognize the extreme implausibility that three huge skyscrapers in New York City suddenly collapsed at free-fall velocity into their own footprints after just two of them were hit by airplanes, and also that a large civilian jetliner probably did not strike the Pentagon leaving behind absolutely no wreckage and only a small hole. What actually did happen, and more importantly, who was responsible?

The first question is obviously impossible to answer without an honest and thorough official investigation of the evidence. Until that occurs, we should not be surprised that numerous, somewhat conflicting hypotheses have been advanced and debated within the confines of the 9/11 Truth community. But the second question is probably the more important and relevant one, and I think it has always represented a source of extreme vulnerability to 9/11 Truthers.

The most typical approach, as generally followed in the numerous Griffin books, is to avoid the issue entirely and focus solely on the gaping flaws in the official narrative. This is a perfectly acceptable position but leaves all sorts of serious doubts. What organized group would have been sufficiently powerful and daring to carry off an attack of such vast scale against the central heart of the world’s sole superpower? And how were they possibly able to orchestrate such a massively effective media and political cover-up, even enlisting the participation of the U.S. government itself?

The much smaller fraction of 9/11 Truthers who choose to address this “whodunit” question seem to be overwhelmingly concentrated among rank-and-file grassroots activists rather than the prestigious experts, and they usually answer “inside job!” Their widespread belief seems to be that the top political leadership of the Bush Administration, probably including Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, had organized the terrorist attacks, either with or without the knowledge of their ignorant nominal superior, President George W. Bush. The suggested motives included justifying military attacks against various countries, supporting the financial interests of the powerful oil industry and military-industrial complex, and enabling the destruction of traditional American civil liberties. Since the vast majority of politically-active Truthers seem to come from the far left of the ideological spectrum, they regard these notions as logical and almost self-evident.

Although not explicitly endorsing those Truther conspiracies, filmmaker Michael Moore’s leftist box office hit Fahrenheit 9/11 seemed to raise such similar suspicions. His small budget documentary earned an astonishing $220 million by suggesting that the very close business ties between the Bush family, Cheney, the oil companies, and the Saudis were responsible for the Iraq War aftermath of the terrorist attacks, as well as the domestic crackdown on civil liberties, which was part-and-parcel of the right-wing Republican agenda.

Unfortunately, this apparently plausible picture seems to have almost no basis in reality. During the drive to the Iraq War, I read Times articles interviewing numerous top oil men in Texas who expressed total puzzlement at why America was planning to attack Saddam, saying that they could only assume that President Bush knew something that they themselves did not. Saudi Arabian leaders were adamantly opposed to an American attack on Iraq, and made every effort to prevent it. Prior to his joining the Bush Administration, Cheney had served as CEO of Halliburton, an oil services giant, and his firm had heavily lobbied for the lifting of U.S. economic sanctions against Iraq. Prof. James Petras, a scholar of strong Marxist leanings, published an excellent 2008 book entitled Zionism, Militarism, and the Decline of US Power in which he conclusively demonstrated that Zionist interests rather than those of the oil industry had dominated the Bush Administration in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and promoted the Iraq War.

As for the Michael Moore film, I remember at the time sharing a laugh with a (Jewish) friend of mine, both of us finding it ridiculous that a government so overwhelmingly permeated by fanatically pro-Israel Neocons was being portrayed as being in thrall to the Saudis. Not only did the plotline of Moore’s film demonstrate the fearsome power of Jewish Hollywood, but its huge success suggested that most of the American public had apparently never heard of the Neocons.

Bush critics properly ridiculed the president for his tongue-tied statement that the 9/11 terrorists had attacked America “for its freedoms” and Truthers have reasonably branded as implausible the claims that the massive attacks were organized by a cave-dwelling Islamic preacher. But the suggestion that they were led and organized by the top figures of the Bush Administration seems even more preposterous.

Cheney and Rumsfeld had both spent decades as stalwarts of the moderate pro-business wing of the Republican Party, each serving in top government positions and also as CEOs of major corporations. The notion that they capped their careers by joining a new Republican administration in early 2001 and almost immediately set about organizing a gigantic false-flag terrorist attack upon the proudest towers of our largest city together with our own national military headquarters, intending to kill many thousands of Americans in the process, is too ridiculous to even be part of a leftist political satire.

Let’s step back a bit. In the entire history of the world, I can think of no documented case in which the top political leadership of a country has launched a major false-flag attack upon its own centers of power and finance and tried to kill large numbers of its own people. The America of 2001 was a peaceful and prosperous country run by relatively bland political leaders focused upon the traditional Republican goals of enacting tax-cuts for the rich and reducing environmental regulations. Too many Truther activists have apparently drawn their understanding of the world from the caricatures of leftist comic-books in which corporate Republicans are all diabolical Dr. Evils, seeking to kill Americans out of sheer malevolence, and Alexander Cockburn was absolutely correct to ridicule them at least on that particular score.

Consider also the simple practicalities of the situation. The gigantic nature of the 9/11 attacks as postulated by the Truth movement would have clearly required enormous planning and probably involved the work of many dozens or even hundreds of skilled agents. Ordering CIA operatives or special military units to organize secret attacks against civilian targets in Venezuela or Yemen is one thing, but directing them to mount attacks against the Pentagon and the heart of New York City would be fraught with stupendous risk.

Bush had lost the popular vote in November 2000 and had only reached the White House because of a few dangling chads in Florida and the controversial decision of a deeply divided Supreme Court. As a consequence, most of the American media regarded his new administration with enormous hostility. If the first act of such a newly-sworn presidential team had been ordering the CIA or the military to prepare attacks against New York City and the Pentagon, surely those orders would have been regarded as issued by a group of lunatics, and immediately leaked to the hostile national press.

The whole scenario of top American leaders being the masterminds behind 9/11 is beyond ridiculous, and those 9/11 Truthers who make or imply such claims—doing so without a single shred of solid evidence—have unfortunately played a major role in discrediting their entire movement. In fact, the common meaning of the “inside job” scenario is so patently absurd and self-defeating that one might even suspect that the claim was encouraged by those seeking to discredit the entire 9/11 Truth movement as a consequence.

The focus on Cheney and Rumsfeld seems particularly ill-directed. Although I’ve never met nor had any dealings with either of those individuals, I was quite actively involved in DC politics during the 1990s, and can say with some assurance that prior to 9/11, neither of them were regarded as Neocons. Instead, they were the archetypical examples of moderate business-type mainstream Republicans, stretching all the way back to their years at the top of the Ford Administration during the mid-1970s.

Skeptics of this claim may note that they signed the 1997 declaration issued by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a leading Neocon foreign policy manifesto organized by Bill Kristol, but I would regard that as something of a red herring. In DC circles, individuals are always recruiting their friends to sign various declarations, which may or may not be indicative of anything, and I remember Kristol trying to get me to sign the PNAC statement as well. Since my private views on that issue were absolutely 100% contrary to the Neocon position, which I regarded as foreign policy lunacy, I deflected his request and very politely turned him down. But I was quite friendly with him at the time, so if I had been someone without strong opinions in that area, I probably would have agreed.

This raises a larger point. By 2000, the Neocons had gained almost total control of all the major conservative/Republican media outlets and the foreign policy wings of nearly all the similarly aligned thinktanks in DC, successfully purging most of their traditional opponents. So although Cheney and Rumsfeld were not themselves Neocons, they were swimming in a Neocon sea, with a very large fraction of all the information they received coming from such sources and with their top aides such as “Scooter” Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas Feith being Neocons. Rumsfeld was already somewhat elderly while Cheney had suffered several heart-attacks starting at age 37, so under those circumstances it may have been relatively easy for them to be shifted toward certain policy positions.

Indeed, the entire demonization of Cheney and Rumsfeld in anti-Iraq War circles has seemed somewhat suspicious to me. I always wondered whether the heavily Jewish liberal media had focused its wrath upon those two individuals in order to deflect culpability from the Jewish Neocons who were the obvious originators of that disastrous policy; and the same may be true of the 9/11 Truthers, who probably feared accusations of anti-Semitism. Regarding that former issue, a prominent Israeli columnist was characteristically blunt on the matter in 2003, strongly suggesting that 25 Neocon intellectuals, nearly all of them Jewish, were primarily responsible for the war. Under normal circumstances, the president himself would have surely been portrayed as the evil mastermind behind the 9/11 plot, but “W” was too widely known for his ignorance for such accusations to be credible.

It does seem entirely plausible that Cheney, Rumsfeld, and other top Bush leaders may have been manipulated into taking certain actions that inadvertently fostered the 9/11 plot, while a few lower-level Bush appointees might have been more directly involved, perhaps even as outright conspirators. But I do not think this is the usual meaning of the “inside job” accusation.

So where do we now stand? It seems very likely that the 9/11 attacks were the work of an organization far more powerful and professionally-skilled than a rag-tag band of nineteen random Arabs armed with box-cutters, but also that the attacks were very unlikely to have been the work of the American government itself. So who actually attacked our country on that fateful day seventeen years ago, killing thousands of our fellow citizens?

Effective intelligence operations are concealed in a hall of mirrors, often extremely difficult for outsiders to penetrate, and false-flag terrorist attacks certainly fall into this category. But if we apply a different metaphor, the complexities of such events may be seen as a Gordian Knot, almost impossible to disentangle, but vulnerable to the sword-stroke of asking the simple question “Who benefited?”

America and most of the world certainly did not, and the disastrous legacies of that fateful day have transformed our own society and wrecked many other countries. The endless American wars soon unleashed have already cost us many trillions of dollars and set our nation on the road to bankruptcy while killing or displacing many millions of innocent Middle Easterners. Most recently, that resulting flood of desperate refugees has begun engulfing Europe, and the peace and prosperity of that ancient continent is now under severe threat.

Our traditional civil liberties and constitutional protections have been drastically eroded, with our society having taken long steps toward becoming an outright police state. American citizens now passively accept unimaginable infringements on their personal freedoms, all originally begun under the guise of preventing terrorism.

I find it difficult to think of any country in the world that clearly gained as a result of the 9/11 attacks and America’s military reaction, with one single, solitary exception.

During 2000 and most of 2001, America was a peaceful prosperous country, but a certain small Middle Eastern nation had found itself in an increasingly desperate situation. Israel then seemed to be fighting for its life against the massive waves of domestic terrorism that constituted the Second Palestinian Intifada.

Ariel Sharon was widely believed to have deliberately provoked that uprising in September 2000 by marching to the Temple Mount backed by a thousand armed police, and the resulting violence and polarization of Israeli society had successfully installed him as Prime Minister in early 2001. But once in office, his brutal measures failed to end the wave of continuing attacks, which increasingly took the form of suicide-bombings against civilian targets. Many believed that the violence might soon trigger a huge outflow of Israeli citizens, perhaps producing a death-spiral for the Jewish state. Iraq, Iran, Libya, and other major Muslim powers were supporting the Palestinians with money, rhetoric, and sometimes weaponry, and Israeli society seemed close to crumbling. I remember hearing from some of my DC friends that numerous Israeli policy experts were suddenly seeking berths at Neocon thinktanks so that they could relocate to America.

Sharon was a notoriously bloody and reckless leader, with a long history of undertaking strategic gambles of astonishing boldness, sometimes betting everything on a single roll of the dice. He had spent decades seeking the Prime Ministership, but having finally obtained it, he now had his back to the wall, with no obvious source of rescue in sight.

The 9/11 attacks changed everything. Suddenly the world’s sole superpower was fully mobilized against Arab and Muslim terrorist movements, especially those connected with the Middle East. Sharon’s close Neocon political allies in America used the unexpected crisis as an opportunity to seize control of America’s foreign policy and national security apparatus, with an NSA staffer later reporting that Israeli generals freely roamed the halls of the Pentagon without any security controls. Meanwhile, the excuse of preventing domestic terrorism was used to implement newly centralized American police controls that were soon employed to harass or even shut down various anti-Zionist political organizations. One of the Israeli Mossad agents arrested by the police in New York City as he and his fellows were celebrating the 9/11 attacks and producing a souvenir film of the burning World Trade Center towers told the officers that “We are Israelis…Your problems are our problems.” And so they immediately became.

General Wesley Clark reported that soon after the 9/11 attacks he was informed that a secret military plan had somehow come into being under which America would attack and destroy seven major Muslim countries over the next few years, including Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya, which coincidentally were all of Israel’s strongest regional adversaries and the leading supporters of the Palestinians. As America began to expend enormous oceans of blood and treasure attacking all of Israel’s enemies after 9/11, Israel itself no longer needed to do so. Partly as a consequence, almost no other nation in the world has so enormously improved its strategic and economic situation during the last seventeen years, even while a large fraction of the American population has become completely impoverished during that same period and our national debt has grown to insurmountable levels. A parasite can often grow fat even as its host suffers and declines.

I have emphasized that for many years after the 9/11 attacks I paid little attention to the details and had only the vaguest notion that there even existed an organized 9/11 Truth movement. But if someone had ever convinced me that the terrorist attacks had been false-flag operations and someone other than Osama had been responsible, my immediate guess would have been Israel and its Mossad.

Certainly no other nation in the world can remotely match Israel’s track-record of remarkably bold high-level assassinations and false-flag attacks, terrorist and otherwise, against other countries, even including America and its military. Furthermore, the enormous dominance of Jewish and pro-Israel elements in the American establishment media and increasingly that of many other major countries in the West has long ensured that even when the solid evidence of such attacks was discovered, very few ordinary Americans would ever hear those facts.

Once we accept that the 9/11 attacks were probably a false-flag operation, a central clue to the likely perpetrators has been their extraordinary success in ensuring that such a wealth of enormously suspicious evidence has been totally ignored by virtually the entire American media, whether liberal or conservative, left-wing or right-wing.

In the particular case at hand, the considerable number of zealously pro-Israel Neocons situated just beneath the public surface of the Bush Administration in 2001 could have greatly facilitated both the successful organization of the attacks and their effective cover-up and concealment, with Libby, Wolfowitz, Feith, and Richard Perle being merely the most obvious names. Whether such individuals were knowing conspirators or merely had personal ties allowing them to be exploited in furthering the plot is entirely unclear.

Most of this information must surely have long been apparent to knowledgeable observers, and I strongly suspect that many individuals who had paid much greater attention than myself to the details of the 9/11 attacks may have quickly formed a tentative conclusion along these same lines. But for obvious social and political reasons, there is a great reluctance to publicly point the finger of blame towards Israel on a matter of such enormous magnitude. Hence, except for a few fringe activists here and there, such dark suspicions remained private.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the 9/11 Truth movement probably feared they would be destroyed by media accusations of deranged anti-Semitism if they had ever expressed even a hint of such ideas. This political strategy may have been necessary, but by failing to name any plausible culprit, they created a vacuum that was soon filled by “useful idiots” who shouted “inside job!” while pointing an accusing finger toward Cheney and Rumsfeld, and thereby did so much to discredit the entire 9/11 Truth movement.

This unfortunate conspiracy of silence finally ended in 2009 when Dr. Alan Sabrosky, former Director of Studies at the US Army War College, stepped forward and publicly declared that the Israeli Mossad had very likely been responsible for the 9/11 attacks, writing a series of columns on the subject, and eventually presenting his views in a number of media interviews, along with additional analyses.

Obviously, such explosive charges never reached the pages of my morning Times, but they did receive considerable if transitory coverage in portions of the alternative media, and I remember seeing the links very prominently featured at Antiwar.com and widely discussed elsewhere. I had never previously heard of Sabrosky, so I consulted my archiving system and immediately discovered that he had a perfectly respectable record of publication on military affairs in mainstream foreign policy periodicals and had also held a series of academic appointments at prestigious institutions. Reading one or two of his articles on 9/11, I felt he made a rather persuasive case for Mossad involvement, with some of his information already known to me but much of it not.

Since I was very busy with my software work and had never spent any time investigating 9/11 or reading any of the books on the topic, my belief in his claims back then was obviously quite tentative. But now that I have finally looked into the subject in much greater detail and done a great deal of reading, I think it seems quite likely that his 2009 analysis was entirely correct.

I would particularly recommend his long 2011 interview on Iranian Press TV, which I first watched just a couple of days ago. He came across as highly credible and forthright in his claims:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/tpYjyFbJzPZh/

He also provided a pugnacious conclusion in a much longer 2010 radio interview:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/BigWEQyw6Cb7/

Sabrosky focused much of his attention upon a particular segment of a Dutch documentary film on the 9/11 attacks produced several years earlier. In that fascinating interview, a professional demolition expert named Danny Jowenko who was largely ignorant of the 9/11 attacks immediately identified the filmed collapse of WTC Building 7 as a controlled-demolition, and the remarkable clip was broadcast worldwide on Press TV and widely discussed across the Internet.https://www.youtube.com/embed/Sl2RIqT-4bk?feature=oembed

And by a very strange coincidence, just three days after Jowenko’s broadcast video interview had received such heavy attention, he had the misfortune to die in a frontal collision with a tree in Holland. I’d suspect that the community of professional demolition experts is a small one, and Jowenko’s surviving industry colleagues may have quickly concluded that serious misfortune might visit those who rendered controversial expert opinions on the collapse of the three World Trade Center towers.

Meanwhile, the ADL soon mounted a huge and largely successful effort to have Press TV banned in the West for promoting “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” even persuading YouTube to entirely eliminate the huge video archive of those past shows, notably including Sabrosky’s long interview.

Most recently, Sabrosky provided an hour-long presentation at this June’s Deep Truth video panel conference, during which he expressed considerable pessimism about America’s political predicament, and suggested that the Zionist control over our politics and media had grown even stronger over the last decade.

His discussion was soon rebroadcast by Guns & Butter, a prominent progressive radio program, which as a consequence was soon purged from its home station after seventeen years of great national popularity and strong listener support.

The late Alan Hart, a very distinguished British broadcast journalist and foreign correspondent, also broke his silence in 2010 and similarly pointed to the Israelis as the likely culprits behind the 9/11 attacks. Those interested may wish to listen to his extended interview.

Journalist Christopher Bollyn was one of the first writers to explore the possible Israeli links to the 9/11 attacks, and the details contained in his long series of newspaper articles are often quoted by other researchers. In 2012, he gathered together this material and published it in the form of a book entitled Solving 9-11, thereby making his information on the possible role of the Israeli Mossad available to a much wider audience, with a version being available online. Unfortunately his printed volume severely suffers from the typical lack of resources available to the writers on the political fringe, with poor organization and frequent repetition of the same points due to its origins in a set of individual articles, and this may diminish its credibility among some readers. So those who purchase it should be forewarned about these serious stylistic weaknesses.

Probably a much better compendium of the very extensive evidence pointing to the Israeli hand behind the 9/11 attacks has been more recently provided by French writer Laurent Guyénot, both in his 2017 book JFK-9/11: 50 Years of the Deep State and also his 8,500 word article “9/11 was an Israeli Job”, published concurrently with this one and providing a far greater wealth of detail than is contained here. While I would not necessarily endorse all of his claims and arguments, his overall analysis seems fully consistent with my own.

These writers have provided a great deal of material in support of the Israeli Mossad Hypothesis, but I would focus attention on just one important point. We would normally expect that terrorist attacks resulting in the complete destruction of three gigantic office buildings in New York City and an aerial assault on the Pentagon would be an operation of enormous size and scale, involving very considerable organizational infrastructure and manpower. In the aftermath of the attacks, the US government undertook great efforts to locate and arrest the surviving Islamic conspirators, but scarcely managed to find a single one. Apparently, they had all died in the attacks themselves or otherwise simply vanished into thin air.

But without making much effort at all, the American government did quickly round up and arrest some 200 Israeli Mossad agents, many of whom had been based in exactly the same geographical locations as the purported 19 Arab hijackers. Furthermore, NYC police arrested some of these agents while they were publicly celebrating the 9/11 attacks, and others were caught driving vans in the New York area containing explosives or their residual traces. Most of these Mossad agents refused to answer any questions, and many of those who did failed polygraph tests, but under massive political pressure all were eventually released and deported back to Israel. A couple of years ago, much of this information was very effectively presented in a short video available on YouTube.

There is another fascinating tidbit that I have very rarely seen mentioned. Just a month after the 9/11 attacks, two Israelis were caught sneaking weapons and explosives into the Mexican Parliament building, a story that naturally produced several banner-headlines in leading Mexican newspapers at the time but which was greeted by total silence in the American media. Eventually, under massive political pressure, all charges were dropped and the Israeli agents were deported back home. This remarkable incident was only reported on a small Hispanic-activist website, and discussed in a few other places. Some years ago I easily found the scanned front pages of the Mexican newspapers reporting those dramatic events on the Internet, but I can no longer easily locate them. The details are obviously somewhat fragmentary and possibly garbled, but certainly quite intriguing.

One might speculate that if supposed Islamic terrorists had followed up their 9/11 attacks by attacking and destroying the Mexican parliament building a month later, Latin American support for America’s military invasions in the Middle East would have been greatly magnified. Furthermore, any scenes of such massive destruction in the Mexican capital by Arab terrorists would surely have been broadcast non-stop on Univision, America’s dominant Spanish-language network, fully solidifying Hispanic support for President Bush’s military endeavors.

Although my growing suspicions about the 9/11 attacks stretch back a decade or more, my serious investigation of the topic is quite recent, so I am certainly a newcomer to the field. But sometimes an outsider can notice things that may escape the attention of those who have spent so many years deeply immersed in a given topic.

From my perspective, a huge fraction of the 9/11 Truth community spends far too much of its time absorbed in the particular details of the attacks, debating the precise method by which the World Trade Center towers in New York were brought down or what actually struck the Pentagon. But these sorts of issues seem of little ultimate significance.

I would argue that the only important aspect of such technical issues is whether the overall evidence is sufficiently strong to establish the falsehood of the official 9/11 narrative and also demonstrate that the attacks must have been the work of a highly sophisticated organization with access to advanced military technology rather than a rag-tag band of 19 Arabs armed with box-cutters. Beyond that, none of those details matter.

In that regard, I believe that the volume of factual material collected by determined researchers over the last seventeen years has easily met that requirement, perhaps even ten or twenty times over. For example, even agreeing upon a single particular item such as the clear presence of nano-thermite, a military-grade explosive compound, would immediately satisfy those two criteria. So I see little point in endless debates over whether nano-thermite was used, or nano-thermite plus something else, or just something else entirely. And such complex technical debates may serve to obscure the larger picture, while confusing and intimidating any casually-interested onlookers, thereby being quite counter-productive to the overall goals of the 9/11 Truth movement.

Once we have concluded that the culprits were part of a highly sophisticated organization, we can then focus on the Who and the Why, which surely would be of greater importance than the particular details of the How. Yet currently all the endless debate over the How tends to crowd out the Who and the Why, and I wonder whether this unfortunate situation might even be intentional.

Perhaps one reason is that once sincere 9/11 Truthers do focus on those more important questions, the vast weight of the evidence clearly points in a single direction, implicating Israel and its Mossad intelligence service, with the case being overwhelmingly strong in motive, means, and opportunity. And leveling accusations of blame at Israel and its domestic collaborators for the greatest attack ever launched against America on our own soil entails enormous social and political risks.

But such difficulties must be weighed against the reality of three thousand American civilian lives and the subsequent seventeen years of our multi-trillion-dollar wars, which have produced tens of thousands of dead or wounded American servicemen and the death or displacement of many millions of innocent Middle Easterners.

The members of the 9/11 Truth movement must therefore ask themselves whether or not “Truth” is indeed the central goal of their efforts.

Other Noteworthy 9/11 Articles Available on this Website

Related Reading:

The Vocabulary of Neoliberal Diplomacy in Today’s New Cold War

September 13, 2021

The Vocabulary of Neoliberal Diplomacy in Today’s New Cold War

by Michael Hudson posted by permission

Mr. Soros has thrown a public sissy fit over the fact that he can’t make the kind of easy money off China that he was able to make when the Soviet Union was carved up and privatized. On September 7, 2021, in his second mainstream editorial in a week, George Soros expressed his horror at the recommendation by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, that financial managers should triple their investment in China. Claiming that such investment would imperil U.S. national security by helping China, Mr. Soros stepped up his advocacy of U.S. financial and trade sanctions.

China’s policy of shaping markets to promote overall prosperity, instead of letting the economic surplus be concentrated in the hands of corporate and foreign investors, is an existential threat to America’s neoliberal priorities, he spells out. President Xi’s “Common Prosperity” program “seeks to reduce inequality by distributing the wealth of the rich to the general population. That does not augur well for foreign investors.”[1] To neoliberals, that is heresy.

Criticizing China’s “abrupt cancellation of a new issue by Alibaba’s Ant group in November 2020,” and “banishment of U.S.-financed tutoring companies from China,” Mr. Soros singles out Blackstone’s co-founder Stephen Schwarzman (Note that Blackstone under Schwartzman is not to be confused with BlackRock under Larry Fink) and former Goldman Sachs President John L. Thornton for seeking to make financial returns for their investors instead of treating China as an enemy state and looming Cold War adversary:

The BlackRock initiative imperils the national security interests of the U.S. and other democracies because the money invested in China will help prop up President Xi’s regime … Congress should pass legislation empowering the Securities and Exchange Commission to limit the flow of funds to China. The effort ought to enjoy bipartisan support.

The New York Times published a prominent article defining the “Biden Doctrine” as seeing “China as America’s existential competitor; Russia as a disrupter; Iran and North Korea as nuclear proliferators, cyberthreats as ever-evolving and terrorism as spreading far beyond Afghanistan.” Against these threats, the article depicts U.S. strategy as representing “democracy,” the euphemism for countries with minimal governments leaving economic planning to Wall Street financial managers, and infrastructure in the hands of private investors, not provided at subsidized prices. Nations restrict monopolies and related rent-seeking are accused of being autocratic.

The problem, of course, is that just as the United States, Germany and other nations grew into industrial powers in the 19th and 20th century by government-sponsored infrastructure, progressive taxation, and anti-monopoly legislation, the post-1980 rejection of these policies has led them into economic stagnation for the 99 Percent burdened by debt deflation and rising rentier overhead paid to the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sectors. China is thriving by following precisely the policies by which the former leading industrial nations grew rich before suffering from the neoliberal financialization disease. This contrast prompts the article’s thrust, summarized in its summary of what it hopes will become a Congressionally supported Biden Doctrine of escalating a New Cold War against non-neoliberalized economies, juxtaposing U.S.-sponsored liberal-democratic imperialism against foreign socialism:

Last month, Mr. Blinken warned that China and Russia were ‘making the argument in public and in private that the United States is in decline – so it’s better to cast your lot with their authoritarian visions for the world than with our democratic one.[2]

Mr. Soros had seen the ending of the Cold War open the path for him and other foreign investors to use “shock therapy” to provide easy pickings in Russia, followed by the much broader Asian Crisis of 1997 as a grab-bag opportunity to buy up the most lucrative rent-yielding assets. He is upset that President Xi is not emulating Boris Yeltsin and letting a client kleptocracy emerge in China to carve up Russia’s economy – which made Russia’s stock market the world’s darling for a few years, 1995-97.

Right after the Asia Crisis, Bill Clinton’s administration admitted China to the World Trade Organization, giving U.S. investors and importers access to low-priced labor able to undersell U.S. industrial labor. That helped stop U.S. wage gains, while China used foreign investment as a means of upgrading its technology and labor to become economically self-reliant. It has not let its monetary system or social organization become financially dependent on “markets” functioning as vehicles for the U.S. control that Mr. Soros hoped would occur when he began investing in China.

China recognized from the beginning that its insistence on maintaining control of its economy – steering it to promote overall prosperity, not to enrich a client oligarchy fronting for a foreign investor class – would create political opposition from U.S. Cold War ideologues. China therefore sought allies from Wall Street, offering profit-making opportunities for Goldman Sachs and other investors whose self-interest has indeed led them to oppose anti-China policies.

But China’s success has creating so many billionaires that it is now moving to curtail exorbitant wealth. That policy has sharply cut prices for the leading Chinese stocks, prompting Mr. Soros to warn U.S. investors to bail out. His hope is that this will bring China to heel and reverse its policy of raising living standards at the expense of sending its economic gains to U.S. and other foreign investors.

The reality is that China does not need U.S. or other foreign money to develop. The Peoples’ Bank of China can create all the money that the domestic economy needs, while its export trade already is flooding it with dollars and pushing up its exchange rate.

John McCain characterized Russia as a gas station with atom bombs (neglecting to acknowledge that it is now the world’s largest grain exporter, no longer dependent on the West for its food supply – thanks largely to U.S.-sponsored trade sanctions). The corollary image is the United States as a financialized and monopolized economy with atom bombs and cyber threats, in danger of becoming a failed state like the old Soviet Union but threatening to bring the entire world economy down with it if other countries do not subsidize its debt-ridden New Cold War economy.

Presenting itself as the world’s leading democracy despite its financial oligarchy at home and its support of client oligarchies abroad, the United States has consolidated financial power in the wake of the 2008 junk-mortgage and bank-fraud.

Policy making and resource allocation have passed out of the hands of meaningful electoral politics into those of the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector, and what Ray McGovern has called MICIMATT the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academic-Think Tank complex, including the major foundations and NGOs. These institutions seek to concentrate income and wealth in the hands of a FIRE-sector oligarchy just as the Roman Senate blocked reform with veto power over popular legislation, and Europe’s upper houses of parliament such as Britain’s House of Lords used similar chokehold power to resist government control in the public interest.

The rise of U.S.-sponsored neoliberalism means that the 19th-century’s fight to free markets from predatory finance sponsoring rentier parasitism and has failed. This failure is celebrated as a victory for the rule of law, democracy, property rights and even free markets over the authority of public power to regulate private wealth-seeking. Integrating the global economy along unipolar lines enabling U.S. financial interests and those of allied NATO economies to appropriate the most profitable and highest rent-yielding assets of foreign countries is idealized as the natural evolution of civilization, not as the road to neoliberal serfdom and debt peonage embodied in what U.S. officials call the Rule of Law.

What is the Rule of Law?

The United States refuses to join the World Court, or any international organization in which it does not have veto power. And it simply withdraws from international treaties and agreements that it has signed if its vested interests believe that these no longer serve their interests. This always has been U.S. policy, from the many treaties with Native American tribes broken by Andrew Jackson and his successors down through the U.S.-Soviet agreements ending the Cold War in 1991 broken by Bill Clinton to the treaty removing sanctions on Iran broken by Donald Trump. This policy has introduced a new term into the world’s diplomatic vocabulary to describe U.S. diplomacy: non-agreement-capable.

The evangelistic neocon administration of George W. Bush , effectively run by his Vice President Dick Cheney, followed the principle that “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” [3] To impose this reality on other countries, U.S. “intelligence” is selected, invented or censored to give the appearance of whatever reality is deemed to serve U.S. interests at any given moment of time. Past and present reality is redefined at will to provide a guide for action. Whatever U.S. diplomacy dictates is claimed to reflect the rule of law, giving the United States the right to definite what is legal and what is not when it imposes economic and military sanctions against countries that do not follow pro-American policies. The resulting dictates laying down the law are always wrapped in the rhetoric of free markets and democracy.

What is a free market?

To the classical economists, the objective of 19th-century reform was to replace the rentier class’s political power with democratic power to create state policies to either tax away land rent and other economic rent, or to take (return) land, natural resources and natural monopolies such as transportation, communications and other basic infrastructure needs to the public domain. A free market was defined as one free from economic rent – the land rent imposed by heirs of the feudal warlord landlord class, whose economic role was purely extractive, not productive. Natural resource rent was said to belong to the public domain as national patrimony, and monopoly rent was to be prevented by keeping natural monopolies in the public domain, or firmly regulating them if privatized.

The 20th century’s anti-classical reaction has inverted the concept of a free market, Orwellian Doublethink style, to create one “free” for rent-seekers to carve out free-lunch rent income. The result is a rentier economy in which land, natural resources and natural monopolies are privatized and, in due course, financialized to turn rent into a flow of interest payments to the financial sector as the economy is driven into debt to afford the rentier overhead and debt-financed asset-price inflation for rent-yielding assets.

The “freedom” of such markets is freedom from governments to tax away economic rent and regulate prices to limit rent extraction. An exponential growth of unearned rentier income and wealth in the hands of a sector diverts income away from the “real” production-and-consumption economy.

As for free trade, the United States also retains the right to impose tariffs at will (euphemized as “fair trade”) and levy fines and sanctions to prevent companies from being free to sell technology to China. The aim is to concentrate technological monopolies in U.S. hands. Any “proliferation” of technology (which is treated much like nuclear weaponry as a national security issue) is deemed to be “unfair” and antithetical to U.S. freedom to control the world’s trade and investment patterns in its own interest.

This attempt to promote “free markets” and “fair trade” is defended by U.S. claims to protect democracy against autocracy, and to intervene throughout the world to promote Free World members defined ipso facto as being democratic simply by virtue of being U.S. allies. Today’s New Cold War is all about maintaining and extending such a captive U.S.-oriented “free market” by force, from Henry Kissinger’s coup in Chile to impose Chicago-style “free markets” to Hillary Clinton’s coups in Ukraine’s Maidan and Honduras and her NATO-backed destruction of Libya and assassination of Qadhafi.

What is democracy?

Aristotle wrote that many constitutions appear superficially to be democratic, but actually are oligarchic. Democracy always had been the deceptive euphemism for oligarchy making itself into a hereditary aristocracy. Democracies tend to evolve into oligarchies as creditors expropriate debtors (the “rule of law” guaranteeing a hierarchy of “property rights” with creditor claims at the top of the legal pyramid).

The move toward democratic political reform in the late 19th and early 20th century was supposed to create rent-free markets. But the dynamics of political democracy have been managed in a way that blocks economic democracy. The very meaning of “democracy” is degraded to mean opposition to the government’s power to act against the oligarchic rentier One Percent on behalf of the 99 Percent. The resulting travesty of a democratic free market serves to block political attempts to use public power to promote the interests of the wage-earning population at large, and indeed of the industrial economy itself to avid financial asset stripping and debt deflation of markets.

In the language of international diplomacy, “democratic” has become a label for any pro-U.S. regime, from the Baltic kleptocracies to Latin America’s military dictatorships. Countries using state power to regulate monopolies or to tax rentier income are denounced as “autocratic,” even if they have elected heads of state. In this new Orwellian rhetoric of international diplomacy, Boris Yeltsin’s kleptocratic Russian regime was democratic, and the natural move to stop the corruption and depopulation was called “autocracy.”

What is autocracy and “authoritarianism”?

Foreign moves to defend against U.S. financial takeovers and sponsorship of client oligarchies are denounced as authoritarian. In the U.S. diplomatic vocabulary, “autocracy” refers to a government protecting the interests of its own population by resisting U.S. financial takeover of its natural resources, basic infrastructure and most lucrative monopolies.

All successful economie throughout history have been mixed public/private economies. The proper role of government is to protect economies from a rentier oligarchy from emerging to polarize the economy at the expense of the population at large. This protection requires keeping control of money and credit, land and natural resources, basic infrastructure and natural monopolies in the hands of governments.

It is oligarchies that are autocratic in blocking reforms to overrule their rent-seeking by keeping basic needs and infrastructure in the public domain. To confuse understanding, Rome’s oligarchy accused social reformers of “seeking kingship,” much as Greek oligarchies accused reformers of seeking “tyranny” – as if their reforms were merely for personal gain, not to promote general prosperity. The resulting Orwellian Doublethink is woven into the rhetoric of neoliberalism.

What is neoliberalism?

Neoliberalism is an exponentially expanding financial dynamic seeking to concentrate the world’s most profitable and highest rent-yielding resources in the hands of financial managers, mainly in the United State and its client oligarchies that act as proconsuls over foreign economies.

The liberal mass media, academia, and “think tank” lobbying institutions, policy foundations and NGOs sponsor the above-described rhetoric of free markets to create vehicles for capital flight, money laundering, tax evasion, deregulation and privatization (and the corruption that goes with emerging kleptocracies). Neoliberal doctrine depicts all public moves to protect general prosperity from the burden of rentier overhead as being authoritarian autocracy “interfering” with property rights.

What are property rights?

In today’s financialized economies “property rights” means the priority of creditor rights to foreclose on the housing, land and other property of debtors. (In antiquity that included the personal freedom of debtors condemned to debt bondage to their creditors.)

The World Bank has promoted such creditor-oriented property rights from the former Soviet Union to Latin American indigenous communities in order to privatize hitherto communal or public property, including land occupied by squatters or local communities. The idea is that once communal or public property is privatized as individual rights, it can be pledged as collateral for loans, and duly forfeited or sold under economic duress.

The effect is to concentrate property in the hands of the financial sector. That in turn leads inevitably to a failed austerity-ridden economy.

What is a failed economy?

Economies fail because of the rising power of vested interests, primarily in the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector that control most of the economies assets and wealth. A failed economy is one that cannot expand, usually as a result of becoming burdened by rising rentier overhead in the form of land rent, natural-resource rent and monopoly rent as the financial sector replaces democratically elected governments as central planner and resource allocator.

The FIRE sector is a symbiosis between finance and real estate, along with insurance. Its business plan involved a highly political dimension seeking to centralize control of money and credit creation in hereditary private hands, and to turn this economic rent. “free” from taxation, public collection or regulation, into a flow of interest. The effect of lending primarily to buyers of assets, which are pledged as collateral for loans, is not to create new means of production but to inflate asset prices for property already in place.

The resulting finance-capital gains have become the easiest way to acquire fortunes, which take the form of rent-extracting claims on the economy, not new means of production to support “real” economic prosperity and rising living standards.

Financialized economies are doomed to become failed states because the exponentially growing expansion path of debt accumulating at compound interest plus new credit creation and “quantitative easing” far exceeds the economy’s underlying growth rate of producing goods and services to carry this burden. These financial dynamics threaten to doom the U.S. and its satellite economies to become failed states.

The underlying question is whether Western civilization itself has become a failed civilization, given the roots of its legal system and concepts of property rights in oligarchic Rome. Rome’s polarized economy led to a Dark Age, which recovered by looting Byzantium and subsequently the East and new conquest of the New World and East and South Asia. For the past twenty years it has been China’s socialist growth that has primarily sustained Western prosperity. But this dynamic is being rejected, denounced as an existential threat precisely because it is successful socialism, not neoliberal exploitation.

In times past there always was some part of the globe to survive and carry on. But Super Decadence occurs when the whole world is being dragged down together, with no region able to resist the polarizing and impoverishing rentier dynamics imposed by the militarized imperial core. Following the U.S. lead, the West is cutting itself off from survival. Rejection of neoliberalism by China and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is met by U.S. trade and financial sanctions whose self-defeating effect is to drive them together to create a state regulatory system (“autocracy”) to resist dollarization, financialization and privatization. That is why they are being isolated as an existential threat to the dynamics of neoliberal rentier decadence.

The Alternative

It does not have to be this way, of course. China is defending itself not only by the productive industrial and agricultural economy its socialist government has sponsored, but by a guiding concept of how economies work. China’s economic managers have the classical concepts of value, price and economic rent, that distinguish earned from unearned income, and productive labor and wealth from unproductive and predatory financial and rentier fortunes.

These are the concepts needed to uplift all society, the 99 Percent rather than just the One Percent. But the post-1980 neoliberal reaction has stripped away from the Western economic vocabulary and academic curriculum. The present economic stagnation, debt burden and locked-in zero interest rates are a policy choice by the West, not a product of inevitable technological determinism.

  1. George Soros, “BlackRock’s China Blunder,” Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2021. 
  2. Helene Cooper, Lara Jukes, Michael D. Shear and Michael Crowley, “In the Withdrawal from Afghanistan, a Biden Doctrine Surfaces,” The New York Times, September 5, 2021. 
  3. Ron Suskind, “Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush,” New York Times Magazine, October 17, 2004, quoting Bush-Cheney strategist Karl Rove. 

What to expect from Taliban 2.0

September 08, 2021

What to expect from Taliban 2.0

A wiser, better-traveled and social media-savvy Taliban will strive to avoid the many dire mistakes of its 1996-2001 rule

By Pepe Escobar posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

The announcement by Taliban spokesman Zahibullah Mujahid in Kabul of the acting cabinet ministers in the new caretaker government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan already produced a big bang: it managed to enrage both woke NATOstan and the US Deep State.

This is an all-male, overwhelmingly Pashtun (there’s one Uzbek and one Tajik) cabinet essentially rewarding the Taliban old guard. All 33 appointees are Taliban members.

Mohammad Hasan Akhund – the head of the Taliban Rehbari Shura, or leadership council, for 20 years – will be the Acting Prime Minister. For all practical purposes, Akhund is branded a terrorist by the UN and the EU, and under sanctions by the UN Security Council. It’s no secret Washington brands some Taliban factions as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and sanctions the whole of the Taliban as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” organization.

It’s crucial to stress Himatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban Supreme Leader since 2016, is Amir al-Momineen (“Commander of the Faithful”). He can’t be a Prime Minister; his role is that of a supreme spiritual leader, setting the guidelines for the Islamic Emirate and mediating disputes – politics included.

Akhunzada has released a statement, noting that the new government “will work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and sharia law in the country” and will ensure “lasting peace, prosperity and development”. He added, “people should not try to leave the country”.

Spokesman Mujahid took pains to stress this new cabinet is just an “acting” government. This implies one of the next big steps will be to set up a new constitution. The Taliban will “try to take people from other parts of the country” – implying positions for women and Shi’ites may still be open, but not at top level.

Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar, who so far had been very busy diplomatically as the head of the political office in Doha, will be deputy Prime Minister. He was a Taliban co-founder in 1994 and close friend of Mullah Omar, who called him “Baradar” (“brother”) in the first place.

A predictable torrent of hysteria greeted the appointment of Sirajuddin Haqqani as Acting Minister of Interior. After all the son of Haqqani founder Jalaluddin, one of three deputy emirs and the Taliban military commander, with a fierce reputation, has a $5 million FBI bounty on his head. His FBI “wanted” page is not exactly a prodigy of intel: they don’t know when he was born, and where, and that he speaks Pashto and Arabic.

This may be the new government’s top challenge: to prevent Sirajuddin and his wild boys from acting medieval in non-Pashtun areas of Afghanistan, and most of all to make sure the Haqqanis cut off any connections with jihadi outfits. That’s a sine qua non condition established by the China-Russia strategic partnership for political, diplomatic and economic development support.

Foreign policy will be much more accommodating. Amir Khan Muttaqi, also a member of the political office in Doha, will be the Acting Foreign Minister, and his deputy will be Abas Stanikzai, who’s in favor of cordial relations with Washington and the rights of Afghan religious minorities.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of Mullah Omar, will be the Acting Defense Minister.

So far, the only non-Pashtuns are Abdul Salam Hanafi, an Uzbek, appointed as second deputy to the Prime Minister, and Qari Muhammad Hanif, a Tajik, the acting Minister of Economic Affairs, a very important post.

The Tao of staying patient

The Taliban Revolution has already hit the Walls of Kabul – who are fast being painted white with Kufic letter inscriptions. One of these reads, “For an Islamic system and independence, you have to go through tests and stay patient.”

That’s quite a Taoist statement: striving for balance towards a real “Islamic system”. It offers a crucial glimpse of what the Taliban leadership may be after: as Islamic theory allows for evolution, the new Afghanistan system will be necessarily unique, quite different from Qatar’s or Iran’s, for instance.

In the Islamic legal tradition, followed directly or indirectly by rulers of Turko-Persian states for centuries, to rebel against a Muslim ruler is illegitimate because it creates fitna (sedition, conflict). That was already the rationale behind the crushing of the fake “resistance” in the Panjshir – led by former Vice-President and CIA asset Amrullah Saleh. The Taliban even tried serious negotiations, sending a delegation of 40 Islamic scholars to the Panjshir.

But then Taliban intel established that Ahmad Masoud – son of the legendary Lion of the Panjshir, assassinated two days before 9/11 – was operating under orders of French and Israeli intel. And that sealed his fate: not only he was creating fitna, he was a foreign agent. His partner Saleh, the “resistance” de facto leader, fled by helicopter to Tajikistan.

It’s fascinating to note a parallel between Islamic legal tradition and Hobbes’s Leviathan, which justifies absolute rulers. The Hobbesian Taliban: here’s a hefty research topic for US Think Tankland.

The Taliban also follow the rule that a war victory – and nothing more spectacular than defeating combined NATO power – allows for undisputed political power, although that does not discard strategic alliances. We’ve already seen it in terms of how the moderate, Doha-based political Taliban are accommodating the Haqqanis – an extremely sensitive business.

Abdul Haqqani will be the Acting Minister for Higher Education; Najibullah Haqqani will be Minister of Communications; and Khalil Haqqani, so far ultra-active as interim head of security in Kabul, will be Minister for Refugees.

The next step will be much harder: to convince the urban, educated populations in the big cities – Kabul, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif – not only of their legitimacy, acquired in the frontlines, but that they will crush the corrupt urban elite that plundered the nation for the past 20 years. All that while engaging in a credible, national interest process of improving the lives of average Afghans under a new Islamic system. It will be crucial to watch what kind of practical and financial help the emir of Qatar will offer.

The new cabinet has elements of a Pashtun jirga (tribal assembly). I’ve been to a few, and it’s fascinating to see how it works. Everyone sits on a circle to avoid a hierarchy – even if symbolic. Everyone is entitled to express their opinion. This leads to alliances necessarily being forged.

The negotiations to form a government were being conducted in Kabul by former President Hamid Karzai – crucially, a Pashtun from a minor Durrani clan, the Popalzai – and Abdullah Abdullah, a Tajik, and former head of the Council for National Reconciliation. The Taliban did listen to them, but in the end they de facto chose what their own jirga had decided.

Pashtuns are extremely fierce when it comes to defending their Islamic credentials. They believe their legendary founding ancestor, Qais Abdul Rasheed, converted to Islam in the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad, and then Pashtuns became the strongest defender of the faith anywhere.

Yet that’s not exactly how it played out in history. From the 7th century onwards, Islam was predominant only from Herat in the west to legendary Balkh in the north all the way to Central Asia, and south between Sistan and Kandahar. The mountains of the Hindu Kush and the corridor from Kabul to Peshawar resisted Islam for centuries. Kabul in fact was a Hindu kingdom as late as the 11th century. It took as many as five centuries for the core Pashtun lands to convert to Islam.

Islam with Afghan characteristics

To cut an immensely complex story short, the Taliban was born in 1994 across the – artificial – border of Afghanistan and Pakistani Balochistan as a movement by Pashtuns who studied in Deobandi madrassas in Pakistan.

All the Afghan Taliban leaders had very close connections with Pakistani religious parties. During the 1980s anti-USSR jihad, many of these Taliban (“students”) in several madrassas worked side by side with the mujahideen to defend Islam in Afghanistan against the infidel. The whole process was channeled through the Peshawar political establishment: -overseen by the Pakistani ISI, with enormous CIA input, and a tsunami of cash and would-be jihadis flowing from Saudi Arabia and the wider Arab world.

When they finally seized power in 1994 in Kandahar and 1996 in Kabul, the Taliban emerged as a motley crew of minor clerics and refugees invested in a sort of wacky Afghan reformation – religious and cultural – as they set up what they saw as a pure Salafist Islamic Emirate.

I saw how it worked on the spot, and as demented as it was, it amounted to a new political force in Afghanistan. The Taliban were very popular in the south because they promised security after the bloody 1992-1995 civil war. The totally radical Islamist ideology came later – with disastrous results, especially in the big cities. But not in the subsistence agriculture countryside, because the Taliban social outlook merely reflected rural Afghan practice.

The Taliban installed a 7th century-style Salafi Islam crisscrossed with the Pashtunwali code. A huge mistake was their aversion to Sufism and the veneration of shrines – something extremely popular in Islamic Afghanistan for centuries.

It’s too early to tell how Taliban 2.0 will play out in the dizzyingly complex, emerging Eurasian integration chessboard. But internally, a wiser, more traveled, social media-savvy Taliban seem aware they cannot allow themselves to repeat the dire 1996-2001 mistakes.

Deng Xiaoping set the framework for socialism with Chinese characteristics . One of the greatest geopolitical challenges ahead will be whether Taliban 2.0 are able to shape a sustainable development Islam with Afghan characteristics.

Israel-Palestine: ‘No war, no peace’ apartheid is Bennett’s best case scenario

The Israeli prime minister is first since Golda Meir to propose the racist status quo as a political platform

In March 2015, then Israeli economy minister Naftali Bennett during an election campaign gathering in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion in the Gush Etzion settlement in the West Bank (AFP)

By Meron Rapoport

Published date: 7 September 2021 13:02 UTC 

“There is no diplomatic process with the Palestinians, nor will there be one,” said a source close to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett last week after his defence minister, Benny Gantz, met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.Biden-Bennett summit a meeting of wishful thinkers who oppose NetanyahuRead More »

Thus is Bennett’s spiritual world revealed: a world in which Israel, and only Israel, exists, and where the Palestinians will never, under any circumstances, even if they change their positions, be able to attain equality with Israelis and negotiate with them as equals. There is a word for that: racism.

Nearly a decade ago, Bennett entered national politics after serving as director-general of the Yesha Council, the leading settler institution, although he himself was never a settler and doesn’t live beyond the Green Line. In a now-famous interview, he said: “The Palestinian problem is like shrapnel in the butt.” 

Today, his approach has not changed, although as prime minister, he may express himself less bluntly, as he admitted just before taking office in early June.

Bennett expressed this approach in an interview he gave the New York Times ahead of his recent trip to Washington. “This government will not annex, nor establish a Palestinian state, everyone understands that,” he said. “Israel will continue the standard policy of natural growth [of West Bank settlements].” 

In saying this, Bennett became the first Israeli prime minister, with the possible exception of Golda Meir in the years prior to the 1973 war, to propose what amounts to apartheid as a political platform.

Permanent status quo

It is true that the policy of “managing the occupation” is almost as old as the Israeli occupation itself. In February 1973, for example, then-Defence Minister Moshe Dayan said, “We must plan ahead for our actions in the territories [conquered by Israel in June 1967] … so that a situation of ‘no war and no peace’ will not be unbearable for us… Authority for deciding on what happens from Suez to the [Mt] Hermon is in the hands of the Israeli government. We will not idly delineate boundaries for our settlements nor be threatened by smouldering embers.”

But the philosophy Dayan articulated then still exists and every prime minister since, except perhaps Yitzhak Rabin – whose assassination makes it impossible to know whether he meant to break the mould – has adopted it with different variations: “No war, no peace” or, in other words, a continuation of the status quo. Seven months later, the “smouldering embers” that Dayan dismissed had become the firestorm of the October 1973 war, with thousands killed on both sides, forcing Israel to subsequently return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. 

Bennett basically said that this status quo of ‘no war, no peace’ is not an interim situation, but rather the permanent situation

But Bennett has gone one step further. Even Dayan called the territories occupied by Israel a “deposit” to be returned in exchange for a peace agreement meeting Israel’s needs. Since the 1990s, Israeli prime ministers have been discussing, at least officially, support for the two-state solution, including Ariel Sharon and even Benjamin Netanyahu, who adopted the Palestinian state idea in his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech. In 2020, he also accepted former US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” which included the establishment of a Palestinian state, however crippled and fragmented. 

In his New York Times interview, however, Bennett basically said that this status quo of “no war, no peace” is not an interim situation, but rather the permanent situation to which he aspires.

In this situation, Israel, on the one hand, will continue its military rule over the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and continue to accord Jewish citizens in the West Bank preferential rights as compared with Palestinians.

On the other hand, Israel will not accord Palestinians civil rights equal to those of their Jewish neighbours as would be necessitated by a partial or full annexation of the West Bank. This approach also has a name – apartheid – and Bennett believes it to be the only one possible.

‘Shrink the conflict’

We don’t know precisely what was said in Bennett’s discussions with President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, but publicly at least no American reservations were heard about Bennett’s positions. Nor did the Jewish centre-left parties in Israel like Labor and Meretz, which are part of Bennett’s coalition, voice any protest. This is a dangerous precedent.

But it would be overly simplistic to say that the Bennett government will be more rightist or more violent toward the Palestinians. The opposite might be true.How Beita became a model of Palestinian resistance against IsraelRead More »

First of all, Bennett came into office from a position of political weakness. He heads a small party with six Knesset seats out of 120, and most of his coalition members are more leftist than he is – at least for Israel whose Labor Party positions toward the Palestinians would be considered right in Europe.

And there’s more. Bennett himself, along with his coalition partner, Gideon Saar, who had been a senior Likud figure and a leading candidate to replace Netanyahu, has changed his attitude considerably to the Palestinian question.

As the present government was being formed or immediately thereafter, both Bennett and Saar appeared to have relinquished the idea of Greater Israel and/or annexation, partially or wholly, embracing instead the new political concept of “shrinking the conflict”. The term originated with Micah Goodman, an Israeli of American extraction living in a West Bank settlement, whose books on the conflict have become bestsellers.

Goodman argues that the left in Israel has failed to bring an end to the occupation or to establish an independent Palestinian state, whereas the right failed with its idea of Greater Israel. Therefore, instead of talking about ending the conflict or continuing with the status quo, ways should be sought to “shrink the conflict”: to enable the Palestinians to manage their own affairs as independently as possible, while leaving “security” to Israel. After the conflict has been “shrunk,” says Goodman, it will be possible to discuss a permanent solution.

For a decade, Bennett pushed for annexation, but when the UAE and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords in 2020, he realised it was impossible.

Goodman was an adviser to Saar and is considered to be close to Bennett. His influence was perceptible in an interview Bennett gave before taking office. “My approach is to shrink the conflict,” he said. “Where it is possible to have more crossings, better quality of life, more business, more industry, we will do it.”

For Bennett, this is a considerable shift. When he entered national politics in 2013, Bennett presented a detailed plan for the annexation of Area C, which is 60 percent of the West Bank. Over the years, he criticised Netanyahu and the Israeli army for not being aggressive enough toward the Palestinians and not “decisive” enough with Hamas. 

For a decade, Bennett pushed for annexation, but when the UAE and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords in 2020, he realised it was impossible. He also understood that a “final resolution” of the conflict by achieving a victory over the Palestinian so crushing that they would relinquish their national aspirations was also impossible. Thus, his adoption of the idea of “shrinking the conflict” is coming from failure and weakness, even if he refuses to admit it.

Israeli right in crisis

Bennett, then, reflects the situation of the Israeli right. On the one hand, he sanctifies the status quo and has no desire or intention of relinquishing the occupation or ending apartheid. On the other hand, the right is gradually losing its faith in its own power to shape the Israeli-Palestinian reality as it sees fit. 

The fall of Netanyahu should be viewed in this context. Under Netanyahu, the right in Israel was united in a coherent, homogeneous bloc. The internal contradictions on the right, which Bennett represents, led to the fragmentation of this bloc and the establishment of a mixed government that contains elements of both right and left, including the United Arab List, an Palestinian-Islamist party headed by Mansour Abbas.Palestinian Authority losing control of West Bank, say insiders and activistsRead More »

Outwardly, all of these changes have not affected the situation on the ground. The occupation, and the settlements, continue. The political discourse in Israel remains stuck, in the best case, or else propounds Bennett’s thesis of “no peace, no war”. Israel is so strong – militarily and economically – that something significant would have to happen in order to threaten its control of the Palestinians and its power in the Middle East as a whole.

But at the same time, one cannot ignore the cracks. The ideological right in Israel is in trouble and the question is how and whether the radical left in Israel, or even more so the Palestinians, can turn that to advantage.

“Where there’s a crack, we have to make it a fissure, and where there’s a fissure, we have to make it a chasm,” a left-wing anti-occupation activist told me. Maybe that approach really will accomplish something.

Following Escape, Israel Imposes Restrictions on Palestinian Prisoners

September 7, 2021

Gilboa prison. (Photo: Padres Hana, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Israeli Prisons Authority has imposed punitive measures on Palestinian detainees, the Prisoners’ Information Office warned this morning, adding that this could lead to a “serious escalation” in tensions in jails.

Occupation authorities have reduced the time prisoners are allowed to spend outside to one hour and reduced the number of detainees in the prison yard at any one time. It has also closed the prisoners’ shop, from which they buy essentials including soap, and moved prisoners who are members of the Islamic Jihad movement around into different prisons.

Lawyers and family visits have now been banned, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s Prisoners’ Affairs Authority said.

The Prisoners’ Information Office stressed that “prisons are on the verge of a dangerous escalation in light of the punitive measures imposed by the prison administration on prisoners.”

Spokesman for the Prisoners’ Affairs Authority, Hassan Abd Rabbo, confirmed that the occupation authorities transferred all prisoners from Gilboa prison to a number of other prisons, and placed them in solitary confinement.

These measures come after six Palestinian detainees, five of whom were members of Islamic Jihad, escaped from Israel’s high-security

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Afghanistan: US defeat stems from its ruinous response to 9/11 attacks

6 September 2021 10:08 UTC 

Peter Oborne

Osama bin Laden outwitted George W Bush by dragging America into its unwinnable ‘war on terror’. If the US had reacted more rationally, the world today would look very differently

US President George W Bush being informed by his chief of staff, Andrew Card, of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York during a visit to a Florida school, 11 September 2001 (AFP)

Today George W Bush lives a comfortable life in his adoptive home state of Texas. He has reinvented himself as a painter.

Osama bin Laden was shot dead by US special forces and reportedly buried at sea.

But the two men will always be remembered for the same reason: Osama bin Laden’s attack on the United States on 11 September 2001 – and Bush’s ruinous response. The memories of these terrible events are still raw, though some of the facts remain disputed. 

Looking back with the perspective of 20 years, we can judge which man came closest to realising his objectives.

It was not George W Bush. With the Taliban back in charge in Afghanistan, the neoconservative project in ruins and the United States in headlong retreat from its global ambitions, Bush has a claim to be, by some distance, the most disastrous president in his country’s history.

Morally abject figure

Bin Laden is a morally abject figure, a preacher of death and hatred. Yet he outwitted Bush, the leader of the western world, the trustee of all its values, the beneficiary of its intellectual and scientific vitality. 

Before 9/11, bin Laden could command at most a few thousand followers: a sandal-wearing tribal militia whose most powerful military weapons were machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. But, paradoxically, that gave it an advantage against the most powerful and well-equipped armed forces the world has ever known. Two decades since 9/11: The human toll of the ‘war on terror’

Bin Laden induced the United States to commit itself to an open-ended asymmetric war against him and any other group of terrorists America deemed to be his allies. He wanted the US to invade Muslim countries so that jihad could bleed America’s military in prolonged guerrilla warfare. Only that way could the US, like the Soviet Union before it, be defeated.

This forced the US into committing colossal military resources for limited and impermanent gains. Above all, it imposed a steady flow of US casualties in faraway countries largely unknown to the American population, with no prospect of an end that would allow their loved ones to come home. 

Those armed forces have been defeated. Not just once, but twice. First in Iraq, then in Afghanistan. They have not lost any conventional battle – but they failed, totally, to achieve their objectives.

Historians and analysts have not yet even begun to grasp the meaning and consequence of 9/11 and its aftermath. US military thinkers and their British equivalents are in open denial. 

Superficial parallel

The first important point to grasp is that bin Laden himself did not defeat them. After the destruction of the Twin Towers, the al-Qaeda leader was either in hiding or on the run. His lines of communications were broken, while by the end of 2001 his organisation could count on no more than a few dozen fighters. 

9/11 crash
A hijacked plane approaches the World Trade Center in New York, 11 September 2001 (AFP)

Meanwhile, the world was on the side of the United States, including candlelit vigils in Tehran. 

George W Bush rejected these offers, a mistake brought about by a misunderstanding of the meaning of 9/11. Bush interpreted it as an act of war equivalent to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

It was a superficial parallel. For while Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were both unforeseen by intelligence agencies and came from the air, Pearl Harbor was an act of conventional war, launched by Japan, an organised state, and as such demanded a conventional military response.

Bin Laden played the United States president with the proficiency of a highly skilled judoka, whose objective is to use the weight of his opponent to defeat him

The attack on the Twin Towers, for all its horror, was a terrorist atrocity, by what modern jargon describes as a “non-state actor”. The US president could and should have dealt with it by hunting down bin Laden and his murderous associates using counterterrorism methods – those which ultimately secured his death. 

He chose not to do so, launching instead his “war on terror”, an abstract, undefined and open-ended concept which played mightily into the hands of al-Qaeda. The “war on terror” gave an immediate boost in domestic politics for an undistinguished, underachieving presidency. Bush’s popularity ratings soared and his administration, with suspicious promptitude, was able to introduce a raft of tough security legislation, which it passed with minimal resistance. But it was a military and foreign policy disaster. 

Bush was not alone in his error. In the UK, Prime Minister Tony Blair shared his analysis (and so did the media: even the Guardian’s headline the following day read “A declaration of war”). But this formulation laid open the question: who was the US fighting against? 

Remember, no national government had supported the attack; not even the Taliban in Afghanistan supported bin Laden’s plan for international jihad. Bin Laden played the United States president with the proficiency of a highly skilled judoka, whose objective is to use the weight of his opponent to defeat him.

‘Head of the snake’

To quote Professor Fawaz Gerges, historian of al-Qaeda: “Bin Laden and his inner circle developed a strategic vision that involved forcing the United States to fight the war on bin Laden’s terms and lash out angrily against the Muslim world at large. As a small elitist vanguard, they could neither challenge American power nor survive direct confrontation with it. The only way to level the playing field lay in asymmetric warfare, one that ignited a greater clash between America and the world of Islam.”

To an astonishing extent, bin Laden caused all this to happen. His underlying objective was always to drive American forces out of Muslim countries, in particular his native Saudi Arabia, the land of the two holy places, Mecca and Medina. (That has still not been achieved, though with America exposed as an unreliable ally in headlong retreat, it is a more likely outcome than ever before.)

bin laden rally, Pakistan
Protesters flash victory signs during a rally in support of Osama bin Laden in Lahore, Pakistan, on 21 September 2001 (AFP)

While other jihadis wanted to fight the “near enemy” – US-sponsored client regimes across the Muslim world – bin Laden’s special insight was the strategic utility of striking “at the head of the snake” and thus provoking the United States into a violent and irrational response which would poison its relationships with Muslim states and communities and make all of his Muslim opponents look like collaborators with the enemy. 

Chaos and carnage

Bin Laden knew also that he and his followers could prevail in the struggle simply by remaining in being and forcing the US to accept more casualties and costs than its population would be ready to endure. 

The course of events suggests that bin Laden may have understood the United States rather more clearly than Bush. He induced the US president to do exactly what he wanted, plunging much of the Muslim world into a period of chaos and carnage, from which it has yet to emerge, and creating the conditions for al-Qaeda and other terror groups to prosper.

For the neocons as for al-Qaeda, there was no middle way. The world was divided into two opposing forces: Islam and the West – and only one could emerge victorious

The neoconservatives who directed Bush’s response to 9/11 and al-Qaeda mirrored each other. They were both revivalist movements at odds with what they saw as a corrupt modernity seeking inspiration in the Salaf – the ancients. They both despised due process and the rule of law. They preferred violence to diplomacy.

For the neocons as for al-Qaeda, there was no middle way. The world was divided into two opposing forces: Islam and the West – and only one could emerge victorious. Both saw themselves as the ultimate good fighting the ultimate evil. Both despised moderate Muslims as much as western liberals. 

Al-Qaeda and the neocons thus shared the false interpretation of Islam as a religion of violence and the same demented belief in an irreconcilable clash of civilisations between Muslims and the West. 

Between them, they plunged much of the world into a death spiral. Muslims have suffered far worse in terms of lives lost. But America’s reputation across the world as a force for good has been destroyed, while the country now faces military defeat and a deep moral crisis from which it may not recover.

Had George W Bush acted rationally, Osama bin Laden would be despised as another terrorist – and no more. Thanks to Bush, he became a terrorist who changed world history, and a model for other terrorists across the world.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.Peter ObornePeter 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 was also named as British Press Awards Columnist of the Year in 2013. He resigned as chief political columnist of the Daily Telegraph in 2015. His latest book, The Assault on Truth, was published in February 2021. His previous books include The Triumph of the Political Class, The Rise of Political Lying, and Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran.

NYT: “Israel’s” Spy Agency Snubbed the US, Trust Broken

August 28, 2021

NYT: “Israel’s” Spy Agency Snubbed the US, Trust Broken

By Staff, Agencies

A new report says the “Israeli” regime gave the administration of US President Joe Biden a last-minute notice before an act of sabotage that caused a power outage at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility earlier this year.

Citing unnamed American and “Israeli” sources, the New York Times reported that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered “Israeli” security officials to reduce the information that they conveyed to the US about planned operations in Iran.

On April 11, when the attack took place at Natnaz nuclear site, the “Israeli” entity’s Mossad spy agency gave the US less than two hours’ notification, far too short a time for Washington to assess the operation or ask Tel Aviv to call it off, according to the report.

“Israeli” sources said they concealed information from their American counterparts because there had been leaks regarding earlier attacks.

Senior Biden administration officials said the “Israelis” violated an unwritten agreement to inform the United States of covert operations.

After the Natanz attack, CIA director William Burns called Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, expressing concern over the snub, the report said.

Cohen claimed that the belated notification was due to operational constraints and uncertainty about when the attack would take place.

One day after the “Israeli” act of nuclear terrorism, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Washington “was not involved in any manner.”

The US, however, has a history of collaborating with the “Israeli” entity in sabotage acts against Iran.

For example, the Stuxnet computer virus is widely believed to have been developed jointly by the United States and the entity. It was the first publicly known example of a virus being used to attack industrial machinery. It was discovered in 2010 after it was used to attack a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, Iran.

The April attack occurred less than a week after the first talks began in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on a potential revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], something the “Israeli” entity opposes.

Former US president Donald Trump abandoned the agreement and reimposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the JCPOA had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of the “maximum pressure” campaign.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights stipulated in Article 26 of the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories.

Now, the Biden administration says it wants to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the accord, but it is showing an overriding propensity for maintaining some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure.

Tehran insists that all sanctions should first be removed in a verifiable manner before the Islamic Republic reverses its remedial measures.

The last-minute notification of the Natanz operation was the starkest example that the entity had changed its procedures since the Trump presidency.

For the American-“Israeli” intelligence relationship, it was another a sharp turnabout.

The Afghanistan Debacle: When Will They Ever Learn?

August 24, 2021

British and Australian armies’ veteran, former deputy head of the UN military mission in Kashmir and Australian defense attaché in Pakistan

Brian Cloughley

President Biden should reset in the Marshall mode and concentrate on forging amity and cooperation while combating the real enemies of humanity

Following World War Two, Europe was reeling from the devastation of so many years of savagery that it seemed it might never recover. The casualty figures are staggering, with, in addition to the Soviet Union’s some 25 million, about seven millions were killed in each of Germany and Poland, and 800,000 in France, 1.7 million in Yugoslavia, and half a million in each of Austria, Italy and Greece. The majority of these people were civilians and the surviving citizens of all these countries were suffering gravely from the catastrophe, not the least hazard being actual starvation.

The United States had only a handful of civilian casualties and prospered greatly from the commercial demands of war. In consequence it was in a position of immeasurable economic and military ascendancy and fortunately was governed by an administration that, by and large, was sympathetic and prepared to be supportive in alleviating the misery of the countless millions in Europe who seemed to have nothing in their future but endless hardship.

President Truman and his State Department brought their considerable talents to bear and constructed a scheme whereby shattered Europe could be best assisted. As noted by the History website, the 1948 European Recovery Plan was “The brainchild of Secretary of State George C Marshall, for whom it was named.” It was “crafted as a four-year plan to reconstruct cities, industries and infrastructure heavily damaged during the war and to remove trade barriers between European neighbours — as well as foster commerce between those countries and the United States.” In its final essence it didn’t entail a great deal of actual sacrifice on the part of the U.S., and in fact benefitted the agricultural community and the economic furnace that had been so effective in winning the war.

Nevertheless it was based on good will, charitable feeling, and concern for humanity, as expressed by Marshall himself in June 1947 in a speech delivered at Harvard University where he declared “It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist.”

If only there had been more Marshalls in later years, the world would be a better place. Certainly, the United States would be in a position of international economic supremacy — but it wouldn’t have invaded and almost destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq and blitzed Libya into an even worse shambles than it created further east.

And as the U.S.-Nato military alliance staggers out of Afghanistan, defeated but grovelingly defiant, it should be giving thought to what has happened in that benighted country and planning for the future on the basis of what it has learned. The problem is that Nato doesn’t seem to have learned anything by its absurd foray, and is indeed intent on widening its horizons in order to attempt to justify its existence. The best lesson from Nato’s Afghanistan debacle (and its eight month bombing fandango that destroyed Libya’s economic infrastructure and encouraged home-basing of terrorist groups where none had formerly dared set a foot) is that it would be globally beneficial if Nato were to disband, but we have to be realistic and accept that common sense will not prevail in that regard.

Along the same lines, it would be sensible for Washington to objectively assess the value of the vast number of U.S. military bases around the globe, and inform U.S., openly and without qualifications or caveats, exactly what benefit their existence is supposed to offer to the U.S. and to the rest of the world. But again the signs are not good, as indicated on August 16 when an anonymous White House official spoke about a visit to Singapore and Vietnam by Vice President Kamala Harris and told the Washington Post that in spite of the concurrent Taliban takeover in Afghanistan she would continue with her trip because “Given our global leadership role, we can and we must manage developments in one region while simultaneously advancing our strategic interests in other regions on other issues. The United States has many interests around the world, and we are well-equipped to pursue them all at the same time.”

When will they ever learn?

Does President Biden genuinely believe that his Administration is “managing developments” in Afghanistan? Why is he determined to continue pursuing the supposed strategic interests of the U.S. by deploying increasing numbers of troops and ships and planes and missiles all round the globe to confront China and Russia and provoke them to react against the “global leader”?

The Washington establishment may have heard or read the latest pronouncement from the European Union concerning the wider effects of the Afghanistan debacle, but unfortunately it is unlikely it will prompt an objective analysis. On August 19 Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, affirmed to the European Parliament and the world at large that “this is a catastrophe… Let me speak clearly and bluntly: This is a catastrophe for the Afghan people, for Western values and credibility, and for the developing of international relations.”

What the rest of the world is waiting for is an alternative use of the word “reset” by the Administration in Washington. Instead of conducting another “reset” aimed at military domination and increasing confrontation with China and Russia, President Biden should reset in the Marshall mode and concentrate on forging amity and cooperation while combating the real enemies of humanity as a whole. An Economist/YouGov poll in early 2021 indicated that “Most Americans think of China and Russia as our country’s greatest enemies. Of the two, China is the most frequently mentioned threat, followed closely by Russia”, and it is disconcerting that the U.S. President appears to be making no effort whatever to reduce international tensions.

President Biden should reflect on the civilised declaration by General George Marshall that “our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos” and consider how much better a world he could help forge if he concentrated the mightiness of the United States against the challenges presented by so many desperate problems besetting the peoples of the world.

Imagine what a Marshall Plan could achieve today.

But it seems unlikely that the U.S. Administration will consider any such thing, and it is painfully evocative of the 1960s folk-song “Where have all the flowers gone” which contains the evocative phrase “When will they ever learn?” When, indeed?

Tunisia Stands Against the Muslim Brotherhood

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research, July 30, 2021

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The only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring in 2011 is going through a process of strategic correction. Tunisian President Kais Saied announced late Sunday he was firing the prime minster, Hichem Mechichi, dismissing the parliament, and assuming executive authority under Article 80 of the constitution.  The speaker of Parliament, Rachid Ghannouchi, declared the actions amounted to a coup.

Saied announced that he was assuming the public prosecutor’s powers and stripping lawmakers of immunity, while assuring Tunisian rights groups on Monday that he remains committed to civil liberties and the democratic process, and that the changes will be temporary.

The crisis stems partly from an economy which never improved, and the COVID pandemic which has hit Tunisia hard.  The main cause of the crisis is a political power struggle between Saied, Mechichi and Ghannouchi which has split the country into two camps: those who want Tunisia to maintain a secular based government, and those who follow Radical Islam as a political ideology.

On Sunday, demonstrators across Tunisia called for the dissolution of Parliament, which gave Saied the green-light to take action based on the will of the people.

Videos posted to social media showed crowds cheering, honking, ululating and waving Tunisian flags after the president’s actions Sunday night.

By Monday afternoon, Saied had fired the defense minister and acting justice minister. On Wednesday, Saied revealed shocking allegations against Ghannouchi’s party, Ennahda, that they accepted money from foreign governments, which amounts to a crime against democracy in Tunisia. Additionally, Saied has identified 480 persons who have defrauded the government of billions of Tunisian dinars.  He has promised to hold all accountable.

Mr. Saied was elected in 2019, and many Tunisians hoped he could turn things around, seeing him as a fresh political outsider. However, since taking the helm he has been locked in a fight with Mechichi and Ghannouchi.

What is Ennahda platform and leadership?

According to western mainstream media, such as the New York Times and Washington Post, Ennahda is a moderate Islamist party.

Likewise, the same media calls the group which holds Idlib, Syria as the ‘moderate rebels’, when in fact they are the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

Anger toward Ennahda has mounted over the past year as the pandemic hit the country and its economy and a movement against police brutality gained steam. Angry citizen activists called for the dissolution of parliament, which is controlled by Ennahda’s highly unpopular leader Rachid Ghannouchi, who has been its president for 38 years.

Ghannouchi wrote, “The Islamic government is one in which: 1- supreme legislative authority is for the shari’a, which is the revealed law of Islam, which transcends all laws. Al-Ghannouchi, R. (1998). “Participation in Non-Islamic Government”.

Critics, lawyers and politicians have accused Ennahda of forming a secret organization that has infiltrated security forces and the judiciary. Ennahda was relaunched during the Tunisian revolution in 2011.  The party was accused of being behind the 2013 assassinations of Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, two progressive political leaders of the leftist Popular Front electoral alliance.

Ennahda was founded in 1981 by the Islamic cleric, Rached Ghannouchi.  The party is part of the global network of the Muslim Brotherhood. The party’s decline in popularity continued into mid-2016, and has now hit rock-bottom with the present corrective action undertaken by Saied.

The role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 2011 Arab Spring

Ghannouchi has remained a steadfast follower and member of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Ghannouchi attened a global Muslim Brotherhood conference in Istanbul in April 2016, and has continued to serve Islamist and Brotherhood-affiliated organizations in Europe, as a high-ranking member. Most notable is his involvement with a Dublin-based center ECFR, and the designated terrorist organization, the International Union of Muslim Scholars.

Most worrying is Ghannouchi’s ties to Islamist and violent extremist groups, both in Tunisia and around the world.  Leaders of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia group in Tunisia (AST) attended meetings at Ghannouchi’s home in 2011 at which he allegedly advised them to encourage AST youth to infiltrate Tunisia’s national army and National Guard.

In a leaked video, Ghannouchi also claimed that his Ennahda party had previously met with AST leader Seifallah Ben Hassine. In 2014, Ben Hassine was sanction-designated by the United States and United Nations for his links to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and his implication in various terror attacks, including the assassination of Tunisian security forces and political figures, as well as the September 2012 AST attack on the US Embassy in Tunis. Ben Hassine died in a US airstrike in Libya in mid-June 2015.

Many compare Egypt’s histories with Tunisia.  In 2011 Egypt had a popular revolution which saw Mubarak step-down.  The US engineered a vote which put a Muslim Brotherhood leader, Morsi, in power. However, the Egyptian people took to the streets once again, in a corrective change, and the current leader stepped into the leadership role.  Many western analysts bemoaned that the fledgling Egyptian ‘democracy’ was squandered with the ouster of Morsi. The Egyptian people made a political correction: they decided the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Morsi was more brutal than that of the previous authoritarian leader, Mubarak.

Western governments such as the US and UK, and to a lesser extent Germany, are very close to the Muslim Brotherhood in their own land, and wanted to install, at any cost, like regimes across the Middle East.  Places such as: Libya, Syria, Egypt and Tunisia.  The west recognizes that the Muslim Brotherhood works well in coordination with Israel, and does not present a threat to Israel, or the occupation of Palestine.

What country’s currently struggle against Muslim Brotherhood?

Al Jazeera, the Qatar state news channel, said on Monday the security services had shut-down their bureau in Tunis.  Qatar, and their media, are politically aligned with Ennahda.   Qatar and Turkey are both run by Muslim Brotherhood regimes.

Currently in Libya, there is a civil war raging against those who support the Muslim Brotherhood, and those who wish to maintain a secular form of government.  It is not surprising that the US is on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood there, along with Qatar and Turkey, while Russia supports the secular side.

In Syria, the US-NATO war against the Syrian people which began in 2011 and has raged for 10 years, pitted the US backed Muslim Brotherhood terrorists against the only secular government in the Middle East.  The US and the Muslim Brotherhood lost the war, but not before destroying the country, and killing hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians.

What will Biden’s position be on the Tunisian crisis?

The current Tunisian crisis presents a major test for the Biden administration.  If Saied is seen as usurping power, and against democratic principles, we may see Biden square off in support of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Ennahda.  Already we have a warning from the State Department, “Tunisia must not squander its democratic gains,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, said in a phone call Monday with Mr. Saied, while encouraging him “to adhere to the principles of democracy and human rights.”

“Tunisia is the last ember of the Arab Spring, now snuffed out,” Said Ferjani, an Ennahda member of Parliament, said in an interview, calling on President Biden to demonstrate his commitment to democracy.

While the US and her allies might be on the Ennahda side, the opposing side is formidable.  Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the two biggest powerhouses of the Middle East, join the UAE and Syria in welcoming the Tunisian president’s strategic correction, and the public denouncement of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist.

Brazilians March to Demand Bolsonaro’s Impeachment

Today 25/07/21

Source: Al Mayadeen

Demonstrators in several Brazilian cities demand the impeachment of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for alleged corruption and Covid mismanagement.

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Protests sparked by Bolsonaro’s handling of Covid-19

Tens of thousands of Brazilian protestors took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s impeachment, as the pandemic exacts a disturbing toll, according to AFP.

It was the fourth weekend of anti-Bolsonaro protests organized by leftist political parties, labor unions, and social groups. Bolsonaro is being investigated in the senate, which is probing the possibility of corruption tied to the purchase of coronavirus vaccine.

In Rio de Janeiro, thousands of Brazilians dressed in red and wearing face masks marched with banners bearing slogans such as “No one can take any more” and “Get out corrupt criminal.”

Organizers called for nationwide protests “in defense of democracy and the lives of Brazilians and the removal of Bolsonaro” from power. 

In the afternoon, the local press reported that demonstrations took place in 20 out of 26 Brazilian states.

Furthermore, it is suspected that the Brazilian president ignored corruption suspicions raised by a Ministry of Health employee. When this employee testified before a Senate investigation committee, he stated that he was subjected to “extraordinary pressure” to approve the import of inflated doses of the Indian “Cofaxin” vaccine.

The Brazilian Public Prosecutor’s Office publicized the start of a preliminary investigation into the charges leveled against the president by three senators, who accused him of “breaching his duties” in this case.

Bolsonaro, who took office in 2019, denied all allegations of government corruption and condemned the parliamentary investigation, calling it a political “movement” aimed at forcing him to resign.

The Brazilian President’s approval rating has fallen to 24%, and opinion polls suggest he will lose the presidential election in October to former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of the Labor Party, who supported Saturday’s protests.

On June 30, the opposition filed a complaint outlining 20 different charges for the president’s impeachment, but Bolsonaro still has enough support in Congress to prevent such moves.

Nord Stream 2 ‘Deal’ Is Not an American Concession, It’s Admission of Defeat

See the source image

July 23, 2021

Source

All in all, Washington’s virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!

After much arm-twisting, bullying and foghorn diplomacy towards its European allies, the United States appears to have finally given up on trying to block the giant Nord Stream 2 project with Russia. What an epic saga it has been, revealing much about American relations with Europe and Washington’s geopolitical objectives, as well as, ultimately, the historic decline in U.S. global power.

In the end, sanity and natural justice seem to have prevailed. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea will double the existing flow of Russia’s prodigious natural gas to Germany and the rest of Europe. The fuel is economical and environmentally clean compared with coal, oil and the shale gas that the Americans were vying with Russia to export.

Russia’s vast energy resources will ensure Europe’s economies and households are reliably and efficiently fueled for the future. Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, has a particular vital interest in securing the Nord Stream 2 project which augments an existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Both follow the same Baltic Sea route of approximately 1,222 kilometers – the longest pipeline in the world – taking Russian natural gas from its arctic region to the northern shores of Germany. For Germany’s export-led economy, Russian fuel is essential for future growth, and hence benefiting the rest of Europe.

It was always a natural fit between Russia and the European Union. Geographically and economically, the two parties are compatible traders and Nord Stream 2 is merely the culmination of decades of efficient energy relations.

Enter the Americans. Washington has been seething over the strategic energy trade between Russia and Europe. The opposition escalated under the Trump administration (so much for Trump being an alleged Russian stooge!) when his ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, fired off threatening letters to German and other European companies arrogantly warning that they would be hit with sanctions if they dared proceed with Nord Stream 2. Pipe-laying work was indeed interrupted last year by U.S. sanctions. (So much for European sovereignty and alleged meddling in internal affairs by Russia!)

The ostensible American rationale was always absurd. Washington claimed that Russia would exploit its strategic role as gas supplier by extracting malicious concessions from Europe. It was also claimed that Russia would “weaponize” energy trade to enable alleged aggression towards Ukraine and other Eastern European states. The rationale reflects the twisted Machiavellian mentality of the Americans and their supporters in Europe – Poland and the Baltic states, as well as the Kiev regime in Ukraine. Such mentality is shot-through with irrational Russophobia.

The ridiculous paranoid claims against Russia are of course an inversion of reality. It is the Americans and their European surrogates who are weaponizing a mundane matter of commercial trade that in reality offers a win-win relationship. Part of the real objective is to distort market economics by demonizing Russia in order for the United States to export their own vastly more expensive and environmentally dirty liquefied natural gas to Europe. (So much for American free-market capitalism!)

Another vital objective for Washington is to thwart any normal relations developing between Russia and the rest of Europe. American hegemony and its hyper-militaristic economy depend on dividing and ruling other nations as so-called “allies” and “adversaries”. This has been a long-time necessity ever since the Second World War and during the subsequent Cold War decades, the latter constantly revived by Washington against Russia. (So much for American claims that Russia is a “revisionist power”!)

However, there is a fundamental objective problem for the Americans. The empirical decline of U.S. global power means that Washington can no longer bully other nations in the way it has been accustomed to doing for decades. The old Cold War caricatures of demonizing others have lost their allure and potency because the objective world we live in today simply does not make them plausible or credible. The Russian gas trade with the European Union is a consummate case in point. In short, Germany and the EU are not going to shoot themselves in the foot, economically speaking, simply on the orders of Uncle Sam.

President Joe Biden had enough common sense – unlike the egotistical Trump – to realize that American opposition to Nord Stream 2 was futile. Biden is more in tune with the Washington establishment than his maverick predecessor. Hence Biden began waiving sanctions imposed under Trump. Finally this week, the White House announced that it had come to an agreement with Germany to permit Nord Stream 2 to go ahead. The Financial Times called it a “truce” while the Wall Street Journal referred to a “deal” between Washington and Berlin. (Ironically, American non-interference is presented as a “deal”!)

The implication is that the United States was magnanimously giving a “concession” to Europe. The reality is the Americans were tacitly admitting they can’t stop the strategic convergence between Russia and the rest of Europe on a vital matter of energy supply.

In spinning the eventuality, Washington has continued to accuse Russia of “weaponizing” trade. It warns that if Russia is perceived to be abusing relations with Ukraine and Europe then the United States will slap more sanctions on Moscow. This amounts to the defeated bully hyperventilating.

Another geopolitical factor is China. The Biden administration has prioritized confrontation with China as the main long-term concern for repairing U.S. decline. Again, Biden is more in tune with the imperial planners in Washington than Trump was. They know that in order for the United States to have a chance of undermining China as a geopolitical rival the Europeans must be aligned with U.S. policy. Trump’s boorish browbeating of Europeans and Germany in particular over NATO budgets and other petty issues resulted in an unprecedented rift in the “transatlantic alliance” – the euphemism for American dominance over Europe. By appearing to concede to Germany over Nord Stream 2, Washington is really aiming to shore up its anti-China policy. This too is an admission of defeat whereby American power is unable to confront China alone. The bully needs European lackeys to align, and so is obliged to offer a “deal” over Russia’s energy trade.

All in all, Washington’s virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!

US Made Years-long Efforts to End Boycott of ‘Israeli’ Goods in Yemen

12/07/2021

US Made Years-long Efforts to End Boycott of ‘Israeli’ Goods in Yemen

By Staff, Agencies

The Ministry of Information presented on Sunday a number of official documents that reveal early American efforts to end the boycott of ‘Israeli’ goods in Yemen.

The documents presented by the Ministry of Information revealed the US embassy’s request from the Saleh regime to end the economic boycott of ‘Israeli’ products and not to participate in anti-US-‘Israeli’ activities. They also revealed US-‘Israeli’ annoyance at boycotting their goods in Yemen, while confirming that the majority of American companies have a relationship with the Zionist entity.

A document issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dated May 9, 1993 showed that the US State Department carried out a campaign of pressure on the authority to open the country to the goods of the Zionist enemy and the companies associated with it.

The Foreign Ministry’s document showed that the Assistant Undersecretary of the US State Department at the time, called for a “reconsideration of the boycott policy imposed on American companies that have a relationship with ‘Israel’, since most of the important American companies have a strong relationship with ‘Israel’. The companies complain about the conditions imposed by the boycott, which calls for proving the absence of a relationship with ‘Israel’, adding that this is contrary to US laws and deprives Yemen of benefiting from the investments of these companies.”

The brief meeting between Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi and the American ambassador in Sanaa, Thomas Krajeski, on Wednesday, June 1, 2005, showed that the US employed Saleh’s authority for lifting the Arab boycott system against the Zionist entity.

The document stated that the American ambassador conveyed a direct American directive to the authority to take a clear position on the Arab boycott conference, which takes place in the same month in the capital, Damascus. The document stated: “The ambassador made it clear that the US sees the futility of the boycott and the need to lift it, not only boycott of the second and third degree but rather the boycott of the first degree for companies that do business with [‘Israel’].”

The US ambassador said: “There is an increasing number of Arab countries that are working to violate the trade boycott system with [‘Israel’].”

The same document did not show at that time opposing the American pressures. The then foreign minister said that “the boycott system is fragile and there is no real boycott, as many Arab countries have opened commercial offices for ‘Israel’ on their lands,” as stated by al-Qirbi.

The documents include a memorandum classified under “Urgent” issued by the US Embassy in Sanaa on the 4th of November 2007 and addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It stated a number of US directives to the former regime, chief among them: “Not to support or send representatives to the biannual boycott meeting held by the Arab League in the office of the Arab League in the Central District of Damascus.

The embassy memo stated: “The Arab boycott meeting not only represents an obstacle to peace in the Middle East, but also constitutes a barrier to participation in the global economy, attracting foreign investment, expanding trade, and improving relations with the United States and the international community. Yemen’s accession to the World Trade Organization requires that the government of the Republic of Yemen has to abandon its initial boycott of ‘Israeli’ goods and services.”

The same document also reveals that the US administration was implementing a wide campaign of pressure targeting the Arab countries whose people adhere to the boycott. “The time has come for the Arab League to take a decision to close the central district office in Damascus.”

The Ministry of Information, publishing these documents to the public opinion as evidence of the American guardianship imposed on Yemen prior to the September 21 revolution, called on the masses of the Yemeni people to commit to the weapon of economic boycott, which has a high effect on the US-Saudi enemies of the nation, and to continue supporting the Palestinian people and confronting aggression against our country until victory.

Jewish Supremacism (Zionism) is Coming to an End (Part Two)

By VT Editors -July 13, 2021

In the Name of All- beneficent, All-merciful God (Allah).

God has kept his promise to Jesus ( peace be upon him) that his followers will have the upperhand over his enemies until the day of judgment.

Today the Christian population of the world is 2.3 billion and the Jews, who refused to recognize the Holiness of Jesus and his Holy mother Mary and showed enmity towards them, are only 14.7 million (in pure form) and including their sub categories they are  20 million or so, and the Idol worshippers of then Rome, who wanted to kill Jesus and killed many of his followers, are extinct now.

If a person is told, “God has sent a message that you will never enter paradise and you are definitely going to hell” How  do you think he is going to act?

I think he is going to be enraged and he is going to commit every possible sins and crimes against others and try to destroy others’ lives out of envy, just like what has happened to Satan, when Allah cursed him and drove him away from the Garden, as he refused to obey Allah’s order.

Also, if someone is told that he is going to heaven no matter what, then nothing will stop him from committing crimes against others, since he is assured of heaven. This is the case with the Zionist Jews; they think they are chosen by God. It should be asked: “Chosen” for what, heaven or hell?

Had God really made this promise to any one, He would have first removed the evil intentions from his soul completely, so that he is preserved from all sins and not commit crimes against others, to get what he desires. This is the logical path.

Then, when we see the Zionist Jews are committing great sins and crimes against other human beings, then we have no doubt they have fabricated this saying: “We are not going to be punished for this.”

This very sentence of them, “We are the chosen people” is the root cause of their transgressions in their private and social lives, which had begun long before Jesus arrived, almost two thousand years ago. God says in the Holy Quran:

“The faithless among the children ( descendants) of Israel  were cursed on the tongue of David and Jesus son of Mary. That, because they would disobey and they used to commit transgression.’ (5:78)

A strange looking transgression by Israeli Occupation forces need to be looked at and be given much attention to. Every time Israel attacked Lebanon, it did not forget to  shell Cana, a south Lebanon town bordering northern Galilee. They have killed many innocent civilians there intentionally, even though there were no Hezbollah positions there during those incidents . Much was written about it in Lebanese media at that time and in subsequent anniversaries. The famous and distinguished journalist, late Robert Fisk, covered these stories at length.

Lebanese town of Cana is not like any other town, it is famous for pilgrimage for the Christians and the Muslims. It is said, Jesus( peace be upon him) showed his first miracle there, changing water into a Heavenly wine or drink for his disciples. Some say, he also cured a woman there, his first time, with his miraculous power.

WHY do Israeli Occupation Forces shell this place every time they attack Lebanon?

Questions must be asked to the Christian world, specially to the US politicians:

1. Which is more financially beneficial for the USA, friendship with 20 million Jews or 1.8 billion Muslims?

2. Why are the Jews so dear to you who think Jesus was a fraud?

3. And why are the Muslims so detestable to you, while the Quran is full of beautiful praises for Jesus and his Holy Mother ?

3. Was not Hitler a Christian who killed Jews in Europe? Why have you implanted European  Jews in Palestine? Does Jesus agree with this kind of justice?

4. Why should Muslim be killed and evicted from Palestine  to make space for European Jews, whom you Christians have killed in hundreds of thousands? Why not create a safe heaven for them in Europe or in the USA, if you are so concerned about their plight? What kind of atonement and upholding human rights is that?

5. Is it socially and securitywise an advantage for the USA to support Israel in inhumane crimes against Palestinians and their neighbors and thereby antagonize the 1.8 billion Muslims? (Thanks to American internet, that brings news and footage of American and Israeli crimes against the Muslim world, to every Muslim home everyday)

6. Are you afraid that, if you don’t support  Israel, you are going to lose all the Jewish business people’s money?

In that case, where are they going to go with their money?

7. Why don’t you tell your Jewish friends  “Stop whispering venoms in my ears against Muslims, they have the same rights as you have! They are not hurting you, it is us who have hurt you many times!”

If you do not have the courage to tell it to the Jews, then borrow courage from these verses of the Holy Quran, where God speaks to the faithful through Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him and his infallible family):

” O you who have faith ( faith in God an His messengers and the Judgment Day)!
Be maintainers of justice and witness for the sake of Allah, even if it should be against yourselves or [your] parents and near relatives, and whether it be [someone] rich or poor, for Allah has a greater right over them. So do not follow [your] desires, lest you should be unfair, and if you distort [the testimony] or disregard [it], Allah is indeed well aware of what you do.”
(Quran, 4:135)

And here is another instruction from God which blows away any racism, religious bigotry and other reasons that unfairly treat people, be they Jews, Christians and Muslims:

“O you who have faith!
Be maintainers of justice, for the sake of Allah, and ill feeling for a people should never lead you to be unfair. Be fair; that is Godwariness, and be wary of Allah. Allah is indeed well aware of what you do.

Allah has promised those who have faith and do righteous deeds, forgiveness and a great reward.” (Quran,5:8-9)

And He praises the upright people:

” So give good news to my servants who listen to the word and follow the best of it. They are the ones whom Allah has guided, and it is they who possess intellect.” (Quran, 39:17-18)

More than 1400 hundred years ago, Allah revealed to Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him and his infallible family) that he was going to defeat the big forces of the idol worshippers and take back the control of Holy Kaba, which was built by his forefather prophet Abraham (pubh), known as The idol smasher. These were the verses:

“When Nasrallah ( Allah’s help) comes  with victory, and you see the people entering Allah’s religion in throngs, then celebrate the praise of your Lord, and plead to Him for forgiveness. Indeed He is all-clement.” (Quran, 110-:1-3)

And it happened exactly so. The idol worshippers all fled from Macca before putting up a fight due to great fear.  That fear in the hearts of the pagans was the help from Allah.

This time we have a person named Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah (Allah’s help), the Leader of  the Lebanese Hezbollah, promising the same, that his forces, along with his friends from the region, will liberate entire Palestine from the Zionists with the help from the oppressed Palestinians. Thereby also liberate Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on behalf of the Muslim world.

Is Nasrallah name just a coincidental similarity? Or is it divinely ordained for the liberation of Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem?

In last 22 years he has always made good on his pledges. In the year 2000, he promised to his country men that they would drive out the Israeli forces from south Lebanon, and they did. After the victory he declared to his nation that “There will be no more defeats for Lebanon against Israel.”

In 2006, on the first day of the war, which was imposed on Lebanon by Israel, he warned the Israeli people on a televised speech that their war was not only against Lebanon, but their war was also against Prophet Mohammad and his family (peace be upon him and his family). He declared that his forces were given a divine pledge, that they were surely going to win the war and they will humiliate the Israelis, and it happened exactly so.

After 4 weeks of fighting Israel realised that it was not going win the war and actually was losing, it requested the USA to arrange a cease-fire with Lebanese PM. Before the cease-fire, for a face saving result, Israel pressed hard with a very big number of their best tanks against Hezbollah . I remember, three days before the cease-fire, Israel lost 34 tanks, two days before the cease-fire it lost 55 tanks and on the last day it lost 74 tanks. A real face saver huh?

With his mentioning of the divine guarantee and the great victory, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah proved he has divine connections with Prophet Mohammad and his family ( pubh& his family).

Before Hezbollah entered the Syrian war against the Al Qaeda and the ISIS terrorists, at the invitation of the Syrian government, Sayyed Nasrallah again pledged victory, and he made good on his pledge again. By this, he once again proved he is spiritually connected to the higher world, from where he gets his clues.

My conclusion is, Israel will give up fighting due to extreme fear of death. All of their officers and soldiers know that Sayyed Nasrallah never lies; when he says something, it happiness. We are going to see what used to happen during the days of the prophets and for that, there is no better arena than Palestine.

A few days ago presstv.ir reported that Sayyed Nasrallah has said, while meeting the Hamas Leader Ismail Hanyeh:

“The resistance front has always stood by its words, and fulfilled it’s pledges. The obliteration of Israel and liberation of al-Quds are now within reach and can happen closer than ever. When the resistance front vows to obliterate Israel, it relies on established facts and not illusions.”

Israeli settlers have announced that they are going to enter the Al Aqsa Mosque on 18th of July with the demand that the Dome of the Mosque structure be demolished for building the Temple of Solomon. According to the Jews, their Messiah will appear any time after that.

Allah has a notice for the Zionists though:

” And when your Lord proclaimed that He would surely send against them, until the Day of Resurrection, those who will inflict on them a terrible punishment. Indeed your Lord is swift in retribution, and indeed He is all- seeing, all-merciful.”
( Quran, 7:167)

Irfan al-Huq
Bangladesh

ABOUT VT EDITORSVT Editors

Veterans TodayVT

Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff. All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff

editors@veteranstoday.com

Undermining Political Rights in Bahrain: A Prolonged Systematic Brutality

12/07/2021

Undermining Political Rights in Bahrain: A Prolonged Systematic Brutality

By Sondoss al-Asaad

Ten years since the onset of the 2011 popular uprising, Manama’s regime has decided to terminate the political action in the country after dissolving all political societies and liquidating their funds on flimsy pretexts, which has been confirmed by Amnesty International in its report, “No one can protect you.”

The report along others highlights the dismantling of political activism in Bahrain by targeting the leaders and members of political societies due to their national stances against corruption, monopoly, brutality and the culture of impunity.

This campaign has been led by the Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, a member of the ruling family and whose personal relation with the peaceful opposition is only characterized by animosity and hostility.

Undermining political action is indeed an arbitrary approach that the authorities insist on following against the opposition, for nothing but to consolidate absolute rule.

This approach has been followed with all opposition political societies, starting with the Islamic Action Society [Amal] and then the top opposition bloc Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, all the way to the secular National Democratic Action Society [Waad], which was dissolved on May 31, 2017.

The dissolution of Al-Wefaq and the liquidation of its funds came on the basis of malicious allegations, including: Providing an incubating environment for terrorism and extremism; Calling for external intervention in internal national affairs; Inciting violence and encouraging mass rallies and sit-ins; organizing activities that cause strife in the country; Criticizing the performance of the authorities, etc.

Targeting Al-Wefaq continued with the arbitrary detention of Sheikh Ali Salman, the top opposition leader, with the aim of silencing and framing all political associations, and instead formulating sham associations to whiten the face of the regime before the international community.

Definitely, Bahrain’s judiciary is non independent and human rights organizations have frequently described as unjust and subservient to the authority.

This confirms the regime’s public and comprehensive prosecution of all the citizens, turning Bahrain into a big prison in light of the firm popular conviction that Al-Wefaq is not just a political association, but rather a natural organization that reflects the people’s aspirations, due to the broad segment it represents.

Thus, there is no solution in Bahrain without a comprehensive political solution and a genuine political partnership, which guarantee the building of a state of institutions and law, the achievement of justice and development within the framework of a constitutional monarchy similar to the modern kingdoms.

Manama regime must come out of the crucible of exclusivity of public opinion and must engage people in the political process, and thus be able to see the broad horizon of a policy solution that will be reflected in all aspects of life in Bahrain because the marginalization of constitutional institutions has done a great deal of damage to the local economy.

Likewise, the security mentality, the suppression and marginalization of elites, and the importation of an alternative people has impeded human development in the country.

Saudi War on Yemen Has Killed 17,176 Civilians, Including 3,842 Children So Far

12/07/2021

Saudi War on Yemen Has Killed 17,176 Civilians, Including 3,842 Children So Far

By Staff, Agencies

Eye of Humanity Center for Rights and Development revealed statistics of the crimes of US Saudi-led aggression in Yemen during 2,300 days.

The center said that the US-Saudi aggression has killed 17,176 civilians, including 3,842 children, 2,400 women, and 10,934 men, while 26,715 others were injured, including 4,225 children, 2,832 women, and 19,658 men so far.

The statistics also revealed that 15 airports, 16 seaports, 308 containers and generators were destroyed, in addition to 553 networks and communication stations, 2,397 water tanks and networks, 1,983 government facilities, and 5,224 roads over the course of 2,300 days of aggression.

Meanwhile, the number of economic establishments that were destroyed by the US-Saudi-Emirati aggression are 396 factories, 352 fuel tankers, 11,479 commercial establishments, and 423 chicken and livestock farms, in addition to 7,945 means of transportation, 472 fishing boats, 931 food stores, 397 gas stations, 685 markets, and 858 food trucks.

The statistics revealed that the aggression destroyed 575,353 homes, 179 universities, 1,446 mosques, 369 tourist attractions, 391 hospitals and health facilities, as well as 1,110 schools and educational centers, 7,733 agricultural fields, 135 sports facilities, 248 archaeological sites and 49 media facilities.

الاخوان المسلمون الطاعون الاسلامي .. أول الهولوكوست في مدرسة المدفعية في حلب

 2021/06/17 

 naram.serjoonn

صار من الخطأ ألا يتم ادخال تاريخ الاخوان المسلمين في المناهج الدراسية وان تكون هناك اصدارات دورية لكتب ومذكرات وبرامج وثائقية في كل سنة .. لأن الانتصار في المعركة عسكريا هو مؤقت .. وكما هي الزواحف كلما قطعت ذيلها نما لها ذيل جديد .. والتجربة علمتنا ان هذا الطاعون يعيد انتاج جائحاته او يدفع به العدو لاعادة انتاجه منا هي العبوات الناسفة في طريق السيارات والسكك الحديدية .. كلما تقدم قطار النهضة انفجرت المسألة الاسلامية عبر الاخوان المسلمين وتعطلت الرحلة .. وانقلب القطار وكل مايحمل من مسافرين انتظروا الرحلة طويلا ..


حدث هذا في مصر ايام الراحل عبد الناصر .. وفي سورية بعد وصول البعثيين الى السلطة في الستينات .. ثم في السبعينات والثمانينات .. وأخيرا في الربيع العربي .. وهم يظهرون للمفارقة فقط في الجمهوريات العربية التي تحاول النهوض .. ولم يظهر لهم نشاط في الممالك والامارات والمشيخات النفطية التي يجب ان تكون هدفا مشروعا وسهلا .. ولكن هذا الغياب عن المصالح الغربية والخصور في الدول القومية يدل على حقيقتين .. الاولى هي ان القيادة العميقة للاخوان موجودة في الغرب وغالبا في احد مكاتب المخابرات .. والثانية هي ان علاج هذا الطاعون لم يكن ناجحا .. فهو موجود في المدارس الدينية وفي بعض الكتب التراثية الاشكالية .. ولكن هل هو الجهل فقط ام ان عياب الخطة المضادة هو السبب ؟؟ وهل هو غياب المواجهة الثقافية والفكرية المتواصل معهم ورصد مايكفي لاطلاق الاعداء الطبيعيين للاخوان في المجتمع .. فالحركة الثقافية والفنية هي اكثر مايخشاه الاخوان المسلمون .. وخاصة اذا ماوصلت الى الارياف حيث الخزان الاخواني من البسطاء ..


السينما والدراما والوثائقيات والمدارس كلها يجب ان تعمل بحركة واحدة متناسقة .. ولايكفي تقرير صحفي كل سنة كي يتذكر الناس هذا الخطر .. وسيكون من الخطأ جدا ان تتجاهل الدولة هذا الجانب وهذه المراحل من تربية الاجيال على ان الدين يتحول الى مرض بيد الاخوان المسلمين .. ويجب الا نكون ساذجين بالتغاضي عما حدث بحجة ألا ننكأ الجراح .. لان الجراح التي ننام عليها ونتناسها ستتعفن .. ولن تشفى دون ان نعقمها عدة مرات .. والتعقيم يكون بذكر المصائب والجرائم والكوارث التي ارتكبوها .. فكيف لاينسى اليهود مثلا قصة الهولوكوست ويعيدون انتاجها وتوزربعها وكل يوم قصة وكل يوم خبر وكمل يوم فيلم وكل يوم وثائقي .. حتى صارت حزءا من التعليم والمناهج الرسمية في الغرب .. مهما قلنا عنها وعن حقيقتها .. الا ان العقل العربي تمت برمجته على ان الهولوكوست عمل حقيقي له ضحاياه وآلامهم لاتتوقف لأنه يتم توارث الالم ..


نحن الاولى بالالم .. ونحن الاولى بالوجع .. والطاعون يفتك بنا .. وكل نكسة تتلوها نكسة .. ولذلك يجب ان يجيب الجيل عن هذا المرض الذي يصيب أمتنا واسمه الحركات الدينية الاخوانية وهم سبب لجوءها للعنف الذي يستدرج العنف المضاد .. ماهذه الكراهية .. وماهذا الحقد المريض .. وكيف لايفهم هؤلاء ان الكراهية ليست حلا ..
كيف يفسر هؤلاء لأطفالهم انهم فصلوا الطلبة في مدرسة المدفعية وهم شبان بعمر الورد .. ثم قتلوهم بوحشية .. ماذا استفاد الله من هذا القتل؟؟ ماهذا الله الذي يسعد بقتل الناس بوحشية؟؟ ماالفرق بين هؤلاء القتلة وبين تعاليم التلمود التي ينتقدها المسلمون لانها عنيفة وتدعو الى قتل كل من ليس يهوديا .. ؟؟ كيف ننتقد الغرب على مجازره بجق المسلمين وعنصريته تجاههم ونحن لانحترم دماء بعضنا بل ونمارس بفعل الكراهية أعلى درجات الفصل العنصري ..


كيف يتعلم هؤلاء الجهلة والمرضى ان القتل المذهبي الذي بدأ منذ 1500 سنة لم ينتج الا القتل .. وانه لم يحل المشكلة .. ولن يحلها ..

في ذكرى هولوكوست مدرسة المدفعية في حلب .. الرحمة لأولئك الشهداء الفتيان والمهار السورية والطيور البيضاء التي قتلتها الافاعي والجرذان المحملة بالبراغيث والطاعون .. ولاشك ان لعناتنا ستلاحق الاخوان المسلمين الى يوم تقوم الساعة .. ولن نسامحهم .. ولن نغفر لهم .. ولن ترتاح الأرواح الا بعد موت هذا الطاعون ونهاية مواسم الكوليرا .. كما ماتت الاوبئة القديمة والجدري والطاعون ..

America’s Soup-Brained President Says the U.S. Never Interferes In Other Countries’ Elections

America’s Soup-Brained President Says the U.S. Never Interferes In Other Countries’ Elections

June 17, 2021

By Caitlin JOHNSTONE

During an astonishingly sycophantic press conference after the Geneva summit with Vladimir Putin, President Biden posited an entirely hypothetical scenario about what the world would think of the United States if it were interfering in foreign elections and everybody knew it.

When AP’s Jonathan Lemire asked the president of the most powerful government in the world what “consequences” he’d threatened the Russian leader with should the Kremlin interfere in US elections going forward, Biden meandered his way through one of his signature not-quite-lucid word salads, and then said the following:

“Let’s get this straight: How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries, and everybody knew it? What would it be like if we engaged in activities that he is engaged in? It diminishes the standing of a country that is desperately trying to make sure it maintains its standing as a major world power.”

The fact that the entire press corps did not erupt in side-splitting laughter at this ridiculous utterance is in itself proof that western news media is pure propaganda. The United States has directly interfered in scores of foreign elections since it began its ascent to global domination at the end of the second World War, to say nothing of all the coups, color revolutions, proxy conflicts and regime change military invasions it has also participated in during that time. The US openly interfered in Russia’s elections in the nineties, and literally just tried to stage a coup in Bolivia by interfering in its democratic process. The US is far and away the single most egregious offender in the world on this front, which is largely why it is perceived around the world as a greater threat to democracy than any other government.

This is not a secret, internationally or in the United States. Anyone who has done any learning about the US government’s actual behavior on the world stage knows this. Hell, a former CIA director openly joked about it on Fox News a few years ago.

Fox’s Laura Ingraham unsurprisingly introduced former CIA Director James Woolsey as “an old friend” in a 2018 interview about Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 alleged members of a Russian troll farm, in which Woolsey unsurprisingly talked about how dangerous Russian “disinformation” is and Ingraham unsurprisingly said that everyone should actually be afraid of China. What was a bit surprising, though, was what happened at the end of the interview.

“Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?” Ingraham asked in response to Woolsey’s Russia remarks.

“Oh, probably,” Woolsey said with a grin. “But it was for the good of the system in order to avoid the communists from taking over. For example, in Europe, in ’47, ’48, ’49, the Greeks and the Italians we CIA-”

“We don’t do that anymore though?” Ingraham interrupted. “We don’t mess around in other people’s elections, Jim?”

Woolsey smiled and said said “Well…”, followed by a joking incoherent mumble, adding, “Only for a very good cause.”

And then they both laughed.

The fact that not one person in the press pool questioned or criticized Biden’s outrageous remarks tells you everything you need to know about the western media and what its real function is. This is further illustrated by the rest of the behavior of these odious propagandists during the summit, which was illustrated quite well by the glowing praise of Democratic Party insider Andrea Chalupa on Twitter:

“The winners of #GenevaSummit2021 are the White House press corp,” Chalupa said. “Excellent questions confronting Putin and challenging Biden on holding a summit with a ruthless dictator. And they literally held their ground when shoved by Putin’s security and propagandists.”

That actually says it all. Western reporters are forbidden by their oligarchic owners from ever confronting power in any meaningful way; the closest they’re ever allowed to get to punching up is challenging the leaders of CIA-targeted governments, and demanding to know why their own officials aren’t being more hawkish and aggressive toward those leaders.

As RT’s Murad Gazdiev pointed out, “ABC, NBC, BBC, CNN, and many other Western outlets were invited for Putin’s press conference. No Russian media was invited to Biden’s press conference.” The whole thing was a navel-gazing, masturbatory cold war propaganda orgy where western “journalists” made up fantasies about their soup-brained leader staring down Putin, where they yelled nonsense about Alexei Navalny at the Russian president and then fangirled at Biden’s response.

Can anyone imagine a US corporate journalist screaming at Biden: “Why do you fear Assange so much?”

Always easy to condemn the acts of the governments your country tells you to see as Enemy. Much harder – and way more meaningful – to challenge your own government’s repression. https://t.co/CtzeU37pn3

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 16, 2021

Real journalists go to Belmarsh Prison for exposing US war crimes. Western propagandists ask Putin why he’s such a doodoo dumb dumb poopy head and then dream about Pulitzers all night.

Western news media exists to funnel propaganda into the minds of the public. It is controlled by plutocrats who work in alliance with opaque government agencies to weave narratives about why the US government needs to do the things it had already planned on doing anyway. This gets more obvious by the day.

caityjohnstone.medium.com

At the end of Israel-Palestine conflict: The acquisition of Hamas

June 8, 2021 – 14:13

By Rakib Al Hasan 

After series of devastating Israeli airstrikes for more than 10 days, a ceasefire was declared by both Hamas and the Israeli regime. The fighting cost more than 248 Palestinian lives. It also led to massive destruction of properties in the Gaza strip.

Now with the end of the conflict, both sides are measuring their costs and successes. Both sides are claiming major victory. According to the Israeli leadership, the offensives have achieved their goals and they can measure these as successes. On the other hand, Hamas is also claiming that it has successfully defended the Palestinian people.

Hamas is an armed resistance group that Western powers consider it as a “terrorist” organization. On the other hand, Israel is a regime with massive military strength. Thus, the objectives of a conflict between such two actors depend mainly on military and political grounds.

If we talk about the Israeli side, the government and military claimed that Hamas can be dealt with in two ways. One, by completely conquering it, and two, by destroying its combat capability. So, have Israel achieved these two goals so far?

First of all, militarily Israel has destroyed many civil targets. In the latest fight against Hamas, they killed at least 63 children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.  Although Israel could intercept some of 340 rockets launched from Gaza, Israel’s Iron Dom showed that it is incapable to work in any possible clash. They also destroyed a key research and development center claiming that it was a Hamas base.

In terms of the political achievements from the latest fight, Israel has gained lesser. The fight could have given a lifeline domestically for the Israeli PM Netanyahu but it has cost Israel a lot diplomatically. The international support for the Palestinians has gained new momentum.

If we go to war, there will be casualties. Many people have to give their lives. No war has ever taken place without revenge. So, the main issue is who has won the war and whose objective has been achieved more than the loss in the war. So, the achievements of Hamas in this war can be seen by analyzing a little.

• In this battle, the Iron Dome was seen playing a little. If too many rockets or missiles are fired at once, the Iron Dome cannot properly detect it. About 60% of Hamas’s 4,000-plus rockets have been detected. This weakness of the Iron Dome became known, which would later make Hamas more practical.

• For so long, everyone believed in the exclusive Western narrative. Even the barbaric attacks on Muslims in the name of self-defense did not deter the Western world. CNN, New York Times, Guardian, Reuters, etc. also blindly believed such a narrative. But international media outlets such as Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, TRT, Anadolu have been able to unmask the West against this propaganda. As a result, although the name of Israel was not mentioned in the beginning, now almost all the Western media is mentioning the name of Israel.

After a loss in the media war, Israel demolished the Al Jazeera building in Gaza. Had it not been for the AP in the same building, they might not have hesitated to kill the Al Jazeera team. 

• Palestine has received unprecedented support in this war. Many figures and leaders, including the Irish MP, the Austrian MP, Mark Ruffalo, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Ayatollah Khamenei and Erdogan were in favor of Palestine. There have been small and large rallies in almost all countries, including London, the United States, Paris, Turkey, and Qatar. A fund has been set up in distant Bangladesh at the initiative of the Palestinian embassy. In the outside world, it will play a huge role in increasing the acceptance of Palestine and Hamas as well as motivating the fighters.

• The project that the West has undertaken to make Hamas a terrorist group has come to naught. They have also shown through their protests the mischievous attempts to portray Hamas as a terrorist group and to show the world who the real terrorists are. 

• It has become clear to the Muslim world, including Hamas, who are the friends and who are the enemies of the Muslims. Who incites the killing of innocent children by uttering the words of humanity. Israel lacks moral right to talk about this issue, especially when it violates international human rights law. 

• Israel has been portrayed in recent times as invincible or irresistible, but in practice they are not. The death of an Israeli citizen is a very sensitive issue in Israel. The politicians of that country do not want to take that risk. So, they are also a bit timid. This idea has now been established with Hamas. Hamas now believes that only a good range of missiles can stop Israel.

• The Muslim world is growing angry and uneasy over, day after day, of bombings and civilian casualties in Gaza. An emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation called OIC was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Israeli security analysts believe that the so-called “Abraham Accord” peace agreement, following the Israeli attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the subsequent deaths in Gaza, will be under more pressure.

• Iran has helped Hamas with technology. Several other Muslim countries are helping with the intelligence team. Training in Syria. As a result, a strong bond will be formed between these countries because of Palestine. Together, they can do everything possible to help rescue Gaza, as Turkey has done to Azerbaijan.

• From now on, Muslim children may want to be as brave as Palestinian children in the way the protests of Palestinian children in Gaza have sparked worldwide discussion. Maybe this Palestinian issue can reunite Muslims around the world.

• The most important event in this conflict is that for the first time Hamas has been able to provoke the Arab population inside Israel. This is a big strategic achievement for Hamas and a big headache for Israel. Hamas has now successfully hijacked the protests that erupted between Palestinians and Israeli police in Jerusalem in the beginning of Ramadan. Mohammad Deif, Hamas military wing leader, issued a threat against Israel over protests. Many Palestinians even in Jerusalem began chanting slogans and praised Hamas. 
Hamas decision to fire rockets at Jerusalem has enabled it to present itself as a very credible Resistance Group. They present themselves as those people who would do anything to support the Palestinians in Jerusalem. They say they are protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque compound from being Judaized. 

• Hamas has been successful to draw attention to President Mahmoud Abbas and his incompetence. Hamas showed him as a weak leader. Now Hamas has achieved the center stage in negotiations with Egyptian, Qatari and United Nations mediators. It is said that Hamas lost the power to show its influence through the ballot box after the elections were postponed by Mahmoud Abbas. They were set to take place on May 22 and July 31, 2021. Now through these current events Hamas has shown that it is the leading player in Palestinian arena and is popular among the population. 

It is expected that when the next elections would take place Hamas would enter the fray with an upper hand. It is also expected that Jerusalem would be the main theme of Hamas in contesting the next elections. It would be acting as a defender of Al-Aqsa Mosque and a liberator of Jerusalem.

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