Hamas setting up a Christian media centre? You’re kidding….

Ismail Haniyeh with Fr Manuel Musallam, Gaza 2007

No, it could be for real

By Stuart Littlewood -April 30, 2021

The unlikeliest headline I’ve seen lately is Al-Monitor’s report that Hamas might be persuaded to set up a Christian media centre. Its purpose would be to defend the Islamic resistance movement from claims that it mistreats Christians, especially those living under Hamas rule in Gaza.

Then I saw who was doing the persuading: Father Manuel Musallam. Or to give him his correct title, Monsignor Manuel. And it all made perfect sense.

Apparently, several Christians have withdrawn from Hamas’s candidate list for the legislative elections in May after being pressured and intimidated by various media outlets. Fr Manuel says his nephew in Ramallah had intended to run on the Hamas list but his family asked him to reconsider. He blamed a smear campaign against Hamas that caused his family to worry that their business interests would be affected and the Israelis would persecute them.

Hamas’s media set-up fails to respond adequately to unjust smears, says Fr Manuel. Media outlets in Europe portray Hamas inaccurately, particularly its relationship with Christian residents. But contrary to what some Western outlets claim, Christians are not persecuted under Hamas.

Basem Naim, from Hamas’ international relations office, told Al-Monitor that Fr Manuel’s idea for a media centre will be considered and a Christian media adviser possibly appointed. He also explained that Hamas offered a number of Christian figures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip the chance to run on the movement’s list “but they withdrew for several reasons, such as family pressure or health issues, or even fear of Israeli restrictions on their travel and work”.

Failing to get the Holy Land message to the West

Every Palestinian I met during my visits urged me to “tell their story”, and this I’ve tried to do for 15 years. Hamas and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority don’t bother. They not only neglect to tell the world, they fail to brief people like me so that we can tell it.

And when, some years ago, I criticized the Palestinian embassy in London for their lackadaisical attitude, defunct website and dysfunctional media department, and called for the ambassador to pack his bags and go home, I was branded “an enemy of Palestine”. The embassy today is well staffed with political, media, cultural, civil society and economic departments. But what they do to combat the torrent of Israeli misinformation is still a mystery. The Fatah/PA position as collaborators with the Israeli occupation probably means that their paymasters demand silence. Hamas are under no such constraint. After their surprise 2006 election victory they could – and should – have immediately re-invented themselves and seized the media initiative. But they’ve left it too late and now have a mountain to climb. It took them far too long to re-write their much-criticised Charter and consequently failed to win friends or influence enough people here in the West.

Around 2013, according the Guardian newspaper, Hamas “began a public transformation… with a new head of media.” But did anyone notice?

It is largely thanks to dedicated activists, civil society campaign groups and online privateers that people in the West have become better informed about the evil occupation that defiles the Holy Land…. and no thanks whatsoever to the leadership in Palestine. With truth and so much more on their side Palestine’s politicians nevertheless carelessly allow the Israeli regime, with its brazen propaganda and monstrous lies, to run rings round them. Even Western Christendom is in a pathetic state of paralysis.

“Our love for God… is currently in intensive care”

That remarkable priest, Manuel Musallam, used to run the Catholic community in Gaza. I was privileged to meet him in 2007 when he hosted a visit by a small group I was with. The Gaza Strip had been under tight blockade for 18 months following the bizarre hostility to Hamas’s fair and square election victory the previous year. The situation was strained.

In the church’s school assembly hall I was surprised to see so many Muslim students. On one wall hung a huge portrait of the Pope and on the adjacent wall an equally large portrait of Yasser Arafat.

Fr Manuel whisked us off to a meeting at the House of Fatah and then we drove to see Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and some of his colleagues, who received us with utmost courtesy and friendship and gave straight answers to straight questions. Haniyeh and Fr Manuel declared their unity to the TV cameras, emphasizing that they were Palestinians first and Muslim or Christian second in the struggle against the common enemy. The two men know each other well and Haniyeh has since become Chief of Hamas’s Political Bureau.

The following year – and who can forget? – the Israelis launched their horrendous three-week blitzkrieg called Operation Cast Lead at Christmas-time and New Year 2008/09. At the height of the killing spree, Fr Manuel sent this message from the smoking ruins to anyone who would listen:

“Our people in Gaza … cry, but no one wipes their tears. There is no water, no electricity, no food, only terror and blockade… Our children are living in a state of trauma and fear. They are sick from it and for other reasons such as malnutrition, poverty and the cold… The hospitals did not have basic first aid before the war and now thousands of wounded and sick are pouring in and they are performing operations in the corridors. The situation is frightening and sad.”

He added: “May Christ’s compassion revive our love for God even though it is currently in ‘intensive care’.”

A few days later he wrote:

“Hundreds of people have been killed and many more injured in the Israeli invasion. Our people have endured the bombing of their homes, their crops have been destroyed, they have lost everything and many are now homeless. We have endured phosphorus bombs which have caused horrific burns, mainly to civilians. Like the early Christians our people are living through a time of great persecution, a persecution which we must record for future generations as a statement of their faith, hope and love.

“Act and intervene, or nothing will change.”

When Fr Manuel retired in 2009 in failing health I remarked in an article: “I doubt if God has finished with him just yet. There’s a mountain of work to be done and good men are hard to find.”

And so it was. In the run-up to Christmas 2010 he was one of a trio of churchmen from the Holy Land touring Ireland to raise awareness of the plight of the dwindling Christian community under the illegal Israeli military occupation. Together with Archbishop Theodosius Hanna (Greek Orthodox Church) and Constantine Dabbagh (Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches) he showed they were more than a match for Western politicians who fancied they knew all about the Middle East. “We need only one thing, to be protected by the world against the crimes of Israel”, was their central message. And they made this stark plea: “Act and intervene, or nothing will change.”

Fr Manuel told Irish government ministers and their foreign affairs committee:

“I was in Gaza during the war [Operation Cast Lead] and suffered with my people for 22 days. I saw with my own eyes a phosphoric bomb in the school yard. I saw people injured by these phosphoric bombs, although these bombs are forbidden. These crimes against us were ignored by all the people of the world…

“What happened in Gaza was not a war. A war is a clash between soldiers, aircraft and weapons. We were victims, just victims. They destroyed Gaza. I was there and saw with my own eyes what happened. We in Gaza were treated like animals… We are not terrorists. We have not occupied Israel.

“We do not want to die to liberate Palestine. We want to live to build Palestine…. We are asking the world to give the Palestinian people their rights. The question is whether peace is possible. Despite all the difficulties, the crimes and the war, we as Palestinians say peace is possible if justice is possible.

“All we ask of Israel is to respect us and not treat us like animals. We also ask parliamentarians and governments across the world not to give us food aid. We do not need cookies from Israel. We do not even need to trade with Israel. All we need is to be protected. We are suffering a war that we have endured for more than 60 years.”

“Be assured that Hamas will protect Christians in Gaza”

Christianity in the region had been destroyed not by Muslims but by Israel, said Fr Manuel. “Israel destroyed the church of Palestine and the church of Jerusalem beginning in 1948. It, not Muslims, has sent Christians in the region into a diaspora.”

He told his listeners how he had seen the Israeli army target the Christian school in Gaza.

“Five Hamas ministers visited the school after it was attacked and promised they would repair the damage… Hamas paid more than 122,000 US dollars to repair all the damage caused. Afterwards I met the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh. When he embraced me he said this, and we believed it. He said: “Go to your family, but be assured that Hamas will employ weapons against Muslims to protect Christians in Gaza.” This is the reality. Christians in Palestine are not suffering persecution, because we are not considered to be a religious community but rather the people of Palestine. We have the same rights and the same obligations.”

He ended by describing how things really are:

“We have spoken to Israel for more than 18 years and the result has been zero. We have signed agreements here and there at various times and then when there is a change in the government of Israel we have to start again from the beginning. We ask for our life and to be given back our Jerusalem, to be given our state and for enough water to drink.

“We want to be given more opportunity to reach Jerusalem. I have not seen Jerusalem since 1990…. We want to see an end to this occupation, and please do not ask us to protect those who are occupying our territory.”

“Peace is possible if justice is possible. Make peace possible.”

Fr Manuel should have been a political leader. To improve the human condition, it seems to me, churchmen must also be politically minded and not afraid to “mix it” with the out-and-out scoundrels who infest our political institutions and cloak themselves in a national flag.

Inevitably, the message for politicians in the world outside the Holy Land is the one expressed by this feisty priest: PEACE IS POSSIBLE IF JUSTICE IS POSSIBLE.

The world should be saying to their political leaders loudly and clearly: “It is surely not beyond the wit of civilised man to stop mouthing platitudes and act to deliver justice. Make peace possible. Or find other employment, for you offend all decent people.”

Stuart Littlewood
30 April 2021

Featured photo: Ismail Haniyeh with Fr Manuel Musallam, Gaza 2007

AUTHOR DETAILS

Stuart Littlewood

After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics he served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. With a lifelong passion for photography he has produced two photo-documentary books, one of which can be read online at http://www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk.

http://www.radiofreepalestine.org.ukstu@f8.eclipse.co.uk

51 Candidates Running for Syria’s Presidential Election, 7 Are Women

 ARABI SOURI 

51 candidates for Syria Presidential elections - Parliament Speaker seals ballot

51 candidates submitted their applications for the presidential election to the Syrian Parliament through the Constitutional Court by the end of the 10 days period given, among the candidates are 7 women.

The Syrian Constitutional Court audited the applications and sent the parliament the applications that met the conditions stipulated by Syria’s current constitution of 2012, there might have been many more applications that failed the process.

Taking into consideration the affiliations of the MPs in regard to their political parties and the 63 independent candidates, there would be only 7 candidates maximum to move to the second phase, the Syrian Parliament has 252 members.

Also, taking into consideration that the Baath ruling party has 166 members in the parliament, theoretically, they will endorse President Bashar Assad, the leader of the party, this would leave 23 members of the other 19 political parties and the 63 independent to endorse the rest, meaning only 2 other candidates can get enough endorsements for the second phase, and in light of the large number of candidates, the author here thinks there will be a second filtering process among the 50 candidates other than incumbent President Assad. If, however, some Baath Party members might endorse candidates other than President Assad, this would increase the number of candidates moving to the presidential race.

The presidential election date is set for the 26th of next month, May 2021. The Syrian leadership insists on carrying out these constitutional milestones at their set times despite the heinous, ludicrous, terrorist, hysterical, and hypocrite interventions by NATO member states, who do not like other countries intervene in their elections however flawed their political systems are, who also happen to support and protect autocratic regimes who do not have a constitution to start with, let alone never had any sort of elections like in Saudi Arabia for instance, or their so-called ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ Israel, whose ‘prime minister’ is in power for most of the past 2 decades if not more and who keeps repeating the elections until he secures a majority!

NATO member states said they will not recognize the results of this election, which is not needed anyway, because they couldn’t have their Navalny, or whatever that Venezuelan guy whose name slipped from my memory now wanted to kill President Maduro and take his place ‘democratically’, win a fake election they control.

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost on you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open the Telegram app.


Clarifications of the Relevant Articles of the Syrian Constitution:

Constitution of the Syrian Arabic Republic – Syrian Arab News Agency

 Article 83

The President of the Republic and the Prime Minister exercise executive authority on behalf of the people within the limits provided for in the constitution.

Article 84

The candidate for the office of President of the Republic should:

1. Have completed forty years of age;

2. Be of Syrian nationality by birth, of parents who are of Syrian nationality by birth;

3. Enjoy civil and political rights and not convicted of a dishonorable felony, even if he was reinstated;

4. Not be married to a non-Syrian wife;

5. Be a resident of the Syrian Arab Republic for no less than 10 years continuously upon being nominated.

Article 85

The nomination of a candidate for the office of President of the Republic shall be as follows:

1. The Speaker of the People’s Assembly calls for the election of the President of the Republic before the end of the term of office of the existing president by no less than 60 days and no more than 90 days;

2. The candidacy application shall be made to the Supreme Constitutional Court, and is entered in a special register, within 10 days of announcing the call for electing the president;

3. The candidacy application shall not be accepted unless the applicant has acquired the support of at least 35 members of the People’s Assembly; and no member of the assembly might support more than one candidate;

4. Applications shall be examined by the Supreme Constitutional Court; and should be ruled on within 5 days of the deadline for application;

5. If the conditions required for candidacy were met by only one candidate during the period set for applying, the Speaker of the people’s assembly should call for fresh nominations according to the same conditions.

Article 86

1. The President of the Republic shall be elected directly by the people;

2. The candidate who wins the election for the President of the Republic is the one who gets the absolute majority of those who take part in the elections. If no candidate receives that majority, a rerun is carried out between the two candidates who receive the largest number of votes;

3. The results shall be announced by the Speaker of the People’s Assembly.

Article 87

1. If the People’s Assembly was dissolved during the period set for electing a new President of the Republic, the existing President of the Republic continues to exercise his duties until after the new Assembly is elected and convened; and the new President of the Republic shall be elected within the 90 days which follow the date of convening this Assembly;

2. If the term of the President of the Republic finished and no new president was elected, the Existing President of the Republic continues to assume his duties until the new president is elected.

Article 88

The President of the Republic is elected for 7 years as of the end of the term of the existing President. The President can be elected for only one more successive term.

Article 89

1. The Supreme Constitutional Court has the jurisdiction to examine the challenges to the election of the President of the Republic;

2. The challenges shall be made by the candidate within 3 days of announcing the results; and the court rules on them finally within 7 days of the end of the deadline for making the challenges.

Article 90

The President of the Republic shall be sworn in before the People’s Assembly before assuming his duties by repeating the constitutional oath mentioned in Article 7 of the Constitution.

Article 91

1. The President of the Republic might name one or more deputies and delegate to them some of his authorities;

2. The Vice-president is sworn in before the President of the Republic by repeating the constitutional oath mentioned in Article 7 of the Constitution.

Article 92

If an impediment prevented the President of the Republic from continuing to carry out his duties, the Vice-president shall deputize for him.

Article 93

1. If the office of the President of the Republic becomes vacant or if he is permanently incapacitated, the first Vice-president assumes the President’s duties for a period of no more than 90 days of the President of the Republic’s office becoming vacant. During this period new presidential elections shall be conducted;

2. If the office of the President of the Republic becomes vacant, and he does not have a Vice-president, his duties shall be assumed temporarily by the Prime Minister for a period of no more than 90 days of the date of the President of the Republic’s office becoming vacant. During this period new presidential elections shall be conducted.

Article 94

If the President of the Republic resigned from office, he should address the resignation letter to the People’s Assembly.

Article 95

The protocol, privileges and allocations required for the office of President of the Republic shall be set out in a law.

Article 96

The President of the Republic shall insure respect for the Constitution, the regular running of public authorities, protection of national unity and survival of the state.

Article 97

The President of the Republic shall name the Prime Minister, his deputies, ministers and their deputies, accept their resignation and dismiss them from office.

Article 98

In a meeting chaired by him, the President of the Republic lays down the general policy of the state and oversees its implementation.

Article 99

The President of the Republic might call the Council of Ministers to a meeting chaired by him; and might ask for reports from the Prime Minister and the ministers.

Article 100

The President of the Republic shall pass the laws approved by the People’s Assembly. He might also reject them through a justified decision within one month of these laws being received by the Presidency. If they are approved a second time by the People’s Assembly with a two thirds majority, they shall be passed by the President of the Republic.

Article 101

The President of the Republic shall pass decrees, decisions and orders in accordance with the laws.

Article 102

The President of the Republic declares war, calls for general mobilization and concludes peace agreements after obtaining the approval of the People’s Assembly.

Article 103

The President of the Republic declares the state of emergency and repeals it in a decree taken at the Council of Ministers chaired by him with a two thirds majority, provided that the decree is presented to the People’s Assembly in its first session. The law sets out the relevant provisions.

Article 104

The President of the Republic accredits heads of diplomatic missions in foreign countries and accepts the credentials of heads of foreign diplomatic missions in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Article 105

The President of the Republic is the Commander in Chief of the army and armed forces; and he issues all the decisions necessary to exercise this authority. He might delegate some of these authorities.

Article 106

The President of the Republic appoints civilian and military employees and ends their services in accordance with the law.

Article 107

The President of the Republic concludes international treaties and agreements and revokes them in accordance with provisions of the Constitution and rules of international law.

Article 108

The President of the Republic grants special amnesty and might reinstate individuals.

Article 109

The President of the Republic has the right to award medals and honors.

Article 110

The President of the Republic might address letters to the People’s Assembly and make statements before it.

Article 111

1. The President of the Republic might decide to dissolve the People’s Assembly in a justified decision he makes;

2. Elections for a new People’s Assembly shall be conducted within 60 days of the date of dissolution;

3. The People’s Assembly might not be dissolved more than once for the same reason.

Article 112

The President of the Republic might prepare draft laws and refer them to the People’s Assembly to consider them for approval.

Article 113

1. The President of the Republic assumes the authority of legislation when the People’s Assembly is not in session, or during sessions if absolute necessity requires this, or in the period during which the Assembly is dissolved.

Article 114

If a grave danger and a situation threatening national unity, the safety and integrity of the territories of the homeland occurs, or prevents state institutions from shouldering their constitutional responsibilities, the President of the Republic might take the quick measures necessitated by these circumstances to face that danger.

Article 115

The President of the Republic might set up special bodies, councils and committees whose tasks and mandates are set out in the decisions taken to create them.

Article 116

The President of the Republic might call for a referendum on important issues which affect the higher interests of the country. The result of the referendum shall be binding and come into force as of the date of its announcement; and it shall be published by the President of the Republic.

Article 117

The President of the Republic is not responsible for the acts he does in carrying out his duties except in the case of high treason; and the accusation should be made through a People’s Assembly decision taken by the Assembly in a public vote and with a two thirds majority in a secret session based on a proposal made by at least one third of the members. He shall be tried before the Supreme Constitutional Court.

Prepared by: O. al- Mohammad / Inas Abdulkareem


Related Videos


Related Articles

Non-Prophylactically Ironic Dome over the Occupied Palestine

Non-Prophylactically Ironic Dome over the Occupied Palestine

April 25, 2021

By Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

Exactly at 1:20 am (Tehran time) on Thursday, April 22, 2021 a missile hit near Dimona nuclear reactor, the “secret” nuclear site in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Jerusalem Post headlined the event as “Syrian missile lands near Dimona nuclear reactor, interception fails.”[1] The article went on to story the event as follows:

“It was unclear at first from where the missile was launched. Several signs indicated it having been launched from Iraq, while according to other reports, it came from the city of Daraa in southern Syria following an Israeli airstrike.”

“IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman told reporters that ‘the explosion was due to the firing of an SA-5 surface-to-air missile toward Israel from Syria that exploded in the southern Negev. The firing of the missile came during Israeli airstrikes in southern Syria,’ Zilberman said, and that ‘it was an errant missile and not directed toward the Dimona nuclear reactor.’”

It was not an errant missile. It did not come from where the General said it came. It was not during Israeli airstrikes in southern Syria. The interception did not fail because there was interception. The missile was directed toward exactly where it needed to hit near Dimona nuclear reactor and it hit exactly at 1:20 am the time Sardar Soleimani, the martyred commander of Qods Force was assassinated. The hit had a message.

The missile strike (not “landing” as if it were some civilian passenger airline) on the land in the vicinity of Dimona took place 22 hours after another serious explosion that happened inside Tomer factory which develops and manufactures military equipment including missiles for Israeli Defense. About Tomer, Haaretz reported:

“The explosion occurred during a ‘routine test’ by the Tomer factory for advanced weapons, which develops rocket engines, the Ofek satellite launchers and houses various types of missiles. In response to the blast, Tomer said ‘this was a controlled test with no exceptional circumstances.’ Tomer’s factory is located in central Israel, and in proximity to residential areas. The company manufactures missiles for use by the IDF and other Israeli defense systems. They are the manufacturers behind Israel’s Arrow 4 missile interception system.”[2]

Again, no. The explosion did not occur during a routine test and it was not a controlled test. The explosion was in fact controlled but not by any force friendly to Tomer, the Zionist entity, or IDF. That explosion, too, had a message. On Tuesday, April 20, in a public speech delivered during funeral procession held for Sardar Hejazi, the vice commander of Qods Force, Sardar Qa’ani, the current Commander of Qods Force (replacing Sardar Soleimani after his martyrdom) clearly and unambiguously declared:

“Today, in the resistance fronts from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and the Children of Resistance [informal term that refers to all resistance fighters] every single day, delivers one major operation against the enemies including [US] America and Israel and they will continue this path until the global command has been achieved.”[3]

This statement was not a threat nor a warning nor a promise by Sardar Qa’ani. It was a declaration. The news vice commander of Qods Force, who was appointed after the martyrdom of Sardar Hejazi, announced on Thursday, April 22:

“The usurper Zionist regime must know that the resistance group in every segment of the planet earth are positioned right next to you and are getting you closer to your dusk.”[4]

In an interview conducted by Tasnim News Agency on Friday, April 23, with Hadi Qabisi, the director of Al-Ittihad Center for Development and Research, regarding recent explosions in Israel, he explained:

“The rules of engagement in the framework of the Resistance in terms of their demand and direction has changed. This now affects the change in balance in the region if the Resistance decides to go to war.”

“Mere shooting of missile from Syria to the occupied territories and reaching of that missile to Naqab region, regardless of what kind of missile whether it was air-to-air or surface-to-air or surface-to-surface, makes evident the inability of Israel defense system dubbed Iron Dome. This shows the erosion of Zionist Regime’s deterrence power while the capabilities of the Resistance Axis are increasing day by day. The consequence has a negative impact on all aspects of Zionist Regime. In addition, this military development cannot be separated from other events in the region such as Iran’s capability and power to strengthen its position in Vienna talks or an increasing tension between two global poles ([US] America and Russia) in other critical scenes such as Ukraine.”[5]

On Sunday, April 25, 2021, Major General Muhammad Baqeri, the Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces, said:

“The Zionists think they could permanently target Syrian soil, create mischief in other places and in the sea without backlash. For certain, several operations in recent days and operations that are forthcoming will have a sobering effect on them and the future of the Resistance is quite bright. We will not announce anything about who exactly is doing which operation but responses from the Resistance camp to Zionists are quite significant. We will not specify the operation but Zionist regime will not be in peace.”[6]

On April 22, 2021, a letter signed by two members of the congressmen, Ted Deutch and Michael T. McCaul, and co-signed by nearly 300 other members, urged the full funding of security assistance to Israel in the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bills. An excerpt from the letter reads:

“Israel continues to face direct threats from Iran and its terrorist proxies. In February, an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman was hit by a mysterious explosion that Israel has attributed as an attack by Iran. In 2019, Hizballah launched three anti-tank missiles at an Israeli Defense Forces vehicle in Israel. Hizballah is estimated to have an arsenal of over 130,000 rockets and missiles, and is believed to be developing new precision-guided munitions to be deployed in Lebanon. American security assistance to Israel helps counter these threats, and our rock-solid security partnership serves as a deterrent against even more significant attacks on our shared interests.”

“Congress is committed to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge and its ability to defend itself, by itself, against persistent threats. Our aid to Israel is a vital and cost-effective expenditure which advances important U.S. national security interests in a highly challenging region.”[7]

Regarding maintaining Israel’s “qualitative military edge”, firstly, maintenance is for that which already exists. The famed prophylactic dome is engineered to emulate eyed Swiss cheese and can protect Israel exactly as much as it has done for Saudi Arabia and US bases in Iraq and Persian Gulf oil well states with flag. Secondly, the cost of maintaining illusions in West Asia has decidedly increased exponentially for the United States of America and its most cherished regimes.

References

[1] Anna Ahronheim, Udi Shaham. “Syrian missile lands near Dimona nuclear reactor, interception fails.” The Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2021. Accessed online at: https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/alarms-sound-in-south-of-israel-665953

[2] Yaniv Kubovich. Powerful Explosion Rocks Sensitive Israeli Missile Factory During Test. April 21, 2021. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/powerful-explosion-rocks-sensitive-israeli-defense-factory-during-test-1.9732074

[3] Khabar Online. “Unambiguous Message of Sardar Qa’ani to Israel and [US of] America during funeral procession of Sardar Hejazi.” Farvardin 31, 1400 [April 20, 2021] @11:14 am. News Code: 506836. Accessed online at: khabaronline.ir/news/1506836

[4] Tasnim News Agency. “Sardar Fallahzadeh, Vice Commander of Quds Force: Resistance Groups are positioned right next to Zionist Regimes Bases.” Ordibehesht 2, 1400 [April 22, 2021] @ 11:02 am. Accessed online at https://tn.ai/2489397

[5] Tasnim News Agency. “Interview with Syrian Analyst: Zionist Regime’s Deterrent Capabilities are wearing out day by day.” Ordibehesht 3, 1400 [April 23, 2021] @ 21:03. Accessed online at: https://tn.ai/2490197

[6] Tasnim News Agency. “Major General Baqeri: Future Operations will bring the Zionists to their senses.” Ordibehesht 5, 1400 [April 23, 2021] @ 10:45. Accessed online at: https://tn.ai/2491070

[7] “Letter Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Granger” addressed to Congress of the United States, Washington DC. Accessed online at: https://teddeutch.house.gov site.

Who Wags the Dog? Israel’s Friends in Washington Mean Constant War in the Middle East

Who Wags the Dog? Israel's Friends in Washington Mean Constant War in the Middle  East - Islam Times
Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

Philip Giraldi April 22, 2021

Biden, like presidents before him, is caught in the trap between an extremist-dominated Israel and the all-powerful domestic Israel Lobby.

Donald Trump, who was elected President of the United States in 2016, may have won due to voters attracted by his pledge to end many of the “stupid” wars that the American military was involved in worldwide. In the event, however, he ended no wars in spite of several attempts to withdraw from Afghanistan and Syria, and almost started new conflicts with cruise missile attacks and the assassination of an Iranian general. Trump was consistently outmaneuvered by his “experts” on the National Security Council and at the Pentagon, who insisted that it was too early to disengage from the Middle East and Central Asia, that America’s own national security would be threatened.

Trump did not have either the experience or the grit necessary to override his generals and national security team, so he deferred to their judgement. And as has been well documented he was under constant pressure to do Israel’s bidding in the region, which mandated a continued substantial US military presence to protect the Jewish state and to provide cover for the regular attacks staged by the Israelis against several of their neighbors. Motivated by the substantial political donations coming from multi-billionaires like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Trump conceded more to Israel than any previous president, recognizing Jerusalem as the country’s capital as well as Israeli annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights while also giving the green light to settlement expansion and eventual incorporation of all of the occupied West Bank into Greater Israel.

President Joe Biden has already indicated that he will if anything out-do Trump when it comes to favoring America’s persistent “ally” and “best friend” in the Middle East. Biden, who has declared himself to be a “Zionist,” is responding to the same lobbying and media power that Israel’s friends are able to assert over any US national government. In addition, his own Democratic Party in Congress is also the home of most of the federal government’s genuine Zionists, namely the numerous mostly Jewish legislators who have long dedicated themselves to advancing Israeli interests. Finally, Biden has chosen to surround himself with large numbers of Jewish appointed officials as his foreign policy and national security team, many of whom have close and enduring personal ties to Israel, to include service in the Israeli Army.

The new Secretary of Defense, former Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin has recently returned from a trip to Israel, where he confirmed one’s worst fears about the direction the Biden Administration is moving in. It was a first visit to Israel by a Biden Administration cabinet member. Austin met with his counterpart Benny Gantz and also with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both of whom warned him that Israel considered renewal of any nuclear arms limitation agreement with Iran to be a threat, only delaying development of a weapon. As Bibi expressed it, “Iran has never given up its quest for nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. I will never allow Iran to obtain the nuclear capability to carry out its genocidal goal of eliminating Israel.”

Austin responded by the usual two-step avoiding Israel’s expressed concerns, which might be considered a threat of an Israeli veto on Biden’s attempt to revert to the original 2015 JCPOA multilateral pact. He said that the Biden administration would continue to guarantee Israel’s “qualitative military edge” as an element in America’s “strong commitment to Israel and the Israeli people,” adding that “our bilateral relationship with Israel in particular is central to regional stability and security in the Middle East. During our meeting I reaffirmed to Minister Gantz our commitment to Israel is enduring and it is ironclad.”

Wrong answer general. The foreign policy of any country should be based on actual interests, not on political donations and effective lobbying, still less on what one reads in the Zionist mainstream media in the US. Netanyahu has stated that the Iran agreement is “fatally flawed” and has said recently that “History has taught us that deals like this, with extremist regimes like this, are worth nothing.” Israel, which uniquely has a secret nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, is one of the world’s leading violators of attempts to limit nuclear proliferation. It is also destabilizing to the entire Middle East region, an apartheid state – not a democracy – and its government is widely regarded as right-wing extremist. That Netanyahu should feel somehow empowered to talk down to the Iranians, and to the US, remains a mystery.

Beyond what goes on between Washington and Jerusalem, the real center of power, the Israel Lobby, consists of a large number of separate organizations that act collectively to advance Israeli interests. There is considerable corruption in the process, with cooperative congressmen being rewarded while those who resist are targeted for replacement. Much of the legwork on subverting Capitol Hill and the White House is done by foundations, which often pretend to be educational to obtain tax exempt status. “Experts” from the various pro-Israel groups are then seeded into the decision-making process of the federal government, serving as gatekeepers to prevent consideration of any legislation that might be objected to by Netanyahu.

One of the most active lobbying groups is the so-called Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) which is in fact closely tied to and takes direction from the Israeli Embassy in Washington. FDD is particularly focused on going to war with Iran and whenever there are discussions on Iran policy on Capitol Hill one can be sure that an FDD expert will be present and active.

And if you really want to know why America’s foreign policy has been so self-destructive, it has recently been learned that FDD was actually able to insert one of its employees into the National Security Council under Donald Trump. According to a report on Bloomberg, Richard Goldberg, an outspoken anti-Iran hawk and former associate of John Bolton, is leaving the council and would be returning “to [the Foundation for Defense of Democracies], which continued to pay his salary during his time on the National Security Council.”

The NSC exists to provide the president with the best possible intelligence and analysis available for dealing with problem areas, something that Goldberg, due to his conflict of interest, would have been unlikely to provide, particularly as he was still on the FDD payroll and was also being given generous travel expenses while working for the government. Whether he was also being paid by the NSC, which is referred to as “double dipping,” is not known. In any event, there is something very wrong about the appointment of a paid partisan who seeks war with a particular country to a vital national security position where objectivity is an imperative. Ned Price, former special assistant to President Obama on national security, commented “…we now know a White House point person on Iran policy was receiving a salary from and remained employed by an organization that has put forward some of the most extreme and dangerous pro-regime change policies.”

So Biden, like presidents before him, is caught in the trap between an extremist-dominated Israel itself and its demonic prime minister on one side and the all-powerful domestic Israel Lobby on the other. Unfortunately, one cannot expect the United States to get out from under the Israeli thumb no matter whom is elected president.

The US warplans for the Ukraine (OPEN THREAD # 12) UPDATED

The US warplans for the Ukraine (OPEN THREAD # 12) UPDATED

April 16, 2021

Frankly, Biden’s address to the US nation (the first one in his life) was probably the lamest most clueless political speech I ever heard.  And I am not referring to Biden calling Putin “Clutin” or confusing “deescalation” with “vaccination”, I am talking about the actual contents of his speech.  I would sum it up as so: we will continue to constantly hurt and humiliate you, we will treat you like a misbehaving 10 year old in need of a good spanking, but we do want peace and good relations.  Clearly, Biden has zero understanding of things Russian.  But for “Biden” (collective “Biden”, no the confused veggie) does have a plan.  What could it be?

I already explained what the US plan for the Ukraine is: to encourage the Ukronazis to attack Russia while not involving the USA in a shooting war with Russia.

How would the US do that?  One example:

First announce with great fanfare that the US is sending 2 (according to some version 5!) USN ship into the Black Sea to “deter” Russia, show “support” to the Ukies and give them the feeling that when they attack they would be under US “cover”.  This is not unlike what the USA did with Saakashvili in 08.08.08 or what the USA did during the “Prague Spring”.  Frankly, this is an old trick the West has used innumerable times in its history.  And once the Ukies feel elated from being under Uncle Shmuel’s protection, quietly withdraw your plan to send any ships into what is de facto a Russian lake.

The US is walking a fine line here – they need to egg on the Ukies to attack, but the Ukies are terrified, so they have to give them as sense of “the world is with you!!”, “we will protect you”, “we will fight with you” and then when things appear to be coming to a head, ditch the Ukies and run to safety.  Of course, the united West will support the Ukronazis politically and economically (just to keep the Ukie economy barely alive), but most definitely not militarily as that would create a risk of a devastating war which the US+NATO would either lose or decide to go nuclear, which would be simply suicidal.

There is a chorus profoundly misguided opinions in both Russia and the West which now declares that Biden “blinked”, Russia won and peace will now break out.  That is a very naive point of view which mostly comes from not understanding the nature of modern warfare and psychological operations.

Again, what some can see as a zig-zagging “Biden” policy towards Russia mistakenly think that since “Biden” did not promise fire and brimstone for Russia that means that “Biden” folded.  That is an extremely dangerous misconception and I am confident that the Russian decision-makers see through this ruse (even while they say nothing about it, at least, those in office and, at least, so far).

Putin has still not announced what counter-measures (I prefer that notion to the idea of counter-sanctions, which are symmetrical) Russia will take next (against the US, UK and Poland primarily).  I have no idea what the Kremlin might decide, but I do observe very high levels of outrage and determination in the Russian media (both in the traditional media and the Runet).  The Russian society is clearly fed up and, again, Putin if facing a mounting levels of criticisms for being too soft and indecisive.  I hope and expect that Russia’s response this time around will be much less meek (and, therefore, ambiguous) than in the past.   We will soon find out.

The Saker

UPDATE: just as I was posting this, I saw the Sputnik article about the Russian counter-measures.  Frankly, I am utterly unimpressed and I believe that most Russians will feel the same way.  Of course, we don’t know what is going on behind the scenes and the Russians are under no obligation to divulge what else they might be doing.  However, I believe that measures such as closing the Kerch strait is a much better approach.  Let’s wait a few days before passing a final judgement on the quality of the Russian counter measures.

Palestinian Child’s Eye Blinded by Israeli Rubber Bullet in Al-Khalil (Hebron)

April 10, 2021

A 13-year-old Palestinian child lost his right eye today after he was shot at by Israeli occupation forces in the neighborhood of Bab al-Zawiya, in the southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil (Hebron), according to medical sources.

Izz el-Din Nedal al-Batsh lost his eye after Israeli occupation soldiers fired a rubber-coated round directly at him. The child’s father said his son was standing inside a commercial store in the neighborhood when the bullet hit his eye.

Clashes were taking place between the Israeli occupation forces and Palestinian teenagers near the area where the child was shot by the soldiers.

In November 2019, Palestinian videographer Muath Amarneh was blinded in one eye after being shot by an Israeli sniper while covering protests in Al-Khalil (Hebron).

Source: Agencies

NATO Junta at UN Monthly Chemical Weapons Meeting against Syria

 MIRI WOOD 

Colin Powell lied about chemical weapons in Iraq US continues to lie about chemical weapons in Syria.

The ruling NATO junta at the UN held its monthly chemical weapons lying meeting against Syria, on 6 April. The rabid hyenas once again vomited up and then ate each others’ emesis, though even they are becoming bored with their nonsense. The US ambassador did not bother to post a self-aggrandizing tweet, UK issued a blurb without statement, and the High Representative on Disarmament apparently also had better things to do than to issue a tweet on her statement to the UNSC. Colonialist France — which has never forgiven the Levantine republic for ejecting its occupiers, seventy-five years ago on 17 April — did issue an arrogant and menacing statement based on the NATO klansmen’s chemical weapons lies against the SAR.

UK’s tweet once again showed Great Britain’s support of al Qaeda in Syria. The Ltamenah chemical weapons lies came from terrorists of whom the OPCW FFM investigators were too terrified to actually investigate, so the team basically took the savages at their word, having “assessed the credibility of the allegations based on information collected from open sources and information received from several non-governmental organizations (NGOs).” In Khan Sheikhoun, the primary source of the lies came from the Brit illegal in Idlib, the fake doctor whose medical license in his home country was permanently revoked, and the place where the terrorists were too terrifying for the fake FFM to do any physical inspecting, as admitted in the OPCW report of 19 May 2017.

UK ambassador does not answer chemical weapons full admission question.


Regarding Douma, the Brits continue to lie that chemical weapons were used, and continue to lie that Syria — which immediately invited the OPCW investigators to come and investigate, but they first were inexplicably detained in Belgium — and Russia had blocked entry, after the team belatedly arrived. Though the criminal OPCW reports on the teams non-inspections of Ltamenah and Khan Sheikhoun were published in a timely fashion, it took almost a year for the once noble, and subsequently corrupted by NATO klansmen to jerry-rig a report that could barely concoct a meaningless conclusion that “the objects from which the samples were taken at both locations had been in contact with one or more substances containing reactive chlorine.” [2.6]. Syria News has provided massive evidence provided by the savages’ own videos and photographs, that al Qaeda’s Jaish al Islam faction, with the assistance of its humanitarian benefactors kidnapped dozens of civilians, especially woman and their children, slaughtered most of them, engaged in acts of necrophilia with their corpses, and terrorized children taken from their moms, stripped some half-naked and turned power hoses on them in a fake hospital setting on a chilly night.

The FFM team could not enter Douma until almost a week after arrival due to the
high security risk to the team, which included the presence of unexploded ordinance,
explosives and sleeper cells still suspected of being active in Douma. On 18 April,
during a reconnaissance visit to two sites of interest, the security detail was
confronted by a hostile crowd and came under small arms fire and a hand-grenade
explosion. The incident reportedly resulted in two fatalities and one injury. — 2.2 Summary, 106 pp OPCW report on Douma, 1 March 2019

The once-noble OPCW showed its turn to corruption when it ejected Jose Bustani per the dictate of neocon Dick Cheney, via his errand boy neocon, John Bolton, who threatened the lives of Bustani’s children. Since October 2020, this organization has shown its revulsion to integrity by ending open, civilized, discourse to its Twitter account.

OPCW only permits comments by its designated elites; the serfs who pay for the now phony watchdog group are excluded from civilized discourse.

The devastating photo posted by La France looks like it could be Libya after NATO obliterated it, or al Raqqa after the fascist coalition of war criminals led by the US bombed it, though it also could be CGI, as it is not found in a reverse image check of 46.7 billion images on the web.

France continues to threaten Syria over chemical weapons.

In her second consecutive monthly address on the never-ending Syria files dedicated to the never-ending implementation of UNSCR 2118 (2013), Zakamitsu sallied for against the difficulties regarding COVID being in the way, reported on previously unreported September 2020 samples having been analyzed with cryptically unexpected results to which the UNSC chemical weapons gathering is not yet privy. Due course has also not yet arrived as, per the UN press release, she made no mention of the collected November 2020 samplings.

Disarmament rep continues to throw shade on Syria regarding the chemical weapons scam

At the 4 March chemical weapons propaganda party.

In meticulously diplomatic language, First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy told the Council of the upcoming, unprecedented plot by the NATO klan to illicitly remove Syria from the CWC at the upcoming Conference. Such an attempt to “incapacitate” Syria at the OPCW is a breach of the OPCW noble Charter and is based on the “illegitimate” IIT which “defied the principles of investigation, including the so-called ‘chain of custody.’” What Representative Polyanskiy diplomatically did not say is that the removal of the SAR from its membership to the CWC would facilitate new false flag chemical attacks by various al Qaeda terrorist factions, many of which have been thwarted over the recent period (here, herehereherehere.)

Presidents may change, but chemical weapons lying continues at the UNSC
Though POTUS’ and ambassadors may change, the chemical weapons lies at the SC are constant. Tweet from 5 October 2020.

His Excellency Bassam Sabbagh reaffirmed that Syria has never used chemical weapons, that it willingly ascended to the CWC, that it gave full accounting of its stockpile, and continues to work closely with the OPCW and the High Representative. He decried the ongoing politicization by ‘some members’ [NATO klan bullies who have hijacked the UN], the omission of any mention of the Courage Foundation of 11 March, which forcefully condemned the unscientific OPCW reports on the Douma ”chemical weapons” attack, as culled from the mass murderers and NGOs with charitable status, conveniently aligned with State Department and other NATO countries anti-Syria propaganda (

The seemingly long silence at the beginning of the Syrian ambassador’s statement is actually short, and likely part of the ongoing subtle sabotage of the Syrian Mission to the UN, which includes such things as getting stuck with the worst simultaneous translators on the planet, and introducers choking on the pronunciations of Syria, Arab, Syrian Arab Republic.

— Miri Wood

APPENDIX:

While in search of a criminal lie tweeted about Douma and the OPCW investigative team (not found), the author stumbled into a lengthy lying statement by the UK to the OPCW, issued two days after UK, France, and the US bombed Syria on behalf of al Qaeda kidnappers, mass-murderers, and necrophiliacs of Douma. The Couture Beauty Diamond Lipstick wearing pig lied about a chemical weapons attack, lied that breaching the Geneva Agreements was “humanitarian intervention.” The Couture-wearing pig flagrantly flaunted the use of open source — i.e., mass murderers and necrophiliacs of various al Qaeda factions – as ‘evidence’ of his war criminal lies.

Quite disturbing was his blanket statement that “The World Health Organization has reported that 500 patients, seen by its partners in Syria, had symptoms consistent with chemical weapons exposure.” While the WHO was ”deeply alarmed by reports of the suspected use of toxic chemicals in Douma city,” its actual statement does not say that, but does open up a can of maggots involving its unnamed Health Cluster partners, given that the reports all came from kidnappers and killers:

According to reports from Health Cluster partners, during the shelling of Douma on Saturday, an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals. In particular, there were signs of severe irritation of mucous membranes, respiratory failure and disruption to central nervous systems of those exposed.

The WHO also made the outrageous claims that “[m]ore than 70 people sheltering in basements have reportedly died, with 43 of those deaths related to symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals. Two health facilities were also reportedly affected by these attacks.”

The subsequent outrage demanded by WHO Deputy Director-General Peter Salama, “at these horrifying reports and images from Douma” should be directed to the criminally insane savages who slaughtered dozens, dumped them like garbage, next to empty dog food bowls and rusting bicycles, dumped them in a way that even persons forced to stand jammed like human sardines could not have possibly fallen when murdered, corpses shown as rearranged for more emotional impact, murdered children whose bodies have been stripped half naked, photographed with useless ambu bags nearby, EKG electrodes wrongly positioned, something unidentifiable placed between the legs of a murdered, half-naked child, non-existent hospitals where kidnapped children separated from their moms, were emotionally terrorized and physically abused.

Only idiots or degenerates who touch themselves watching murder porn videos could possibly see hospitals where none exist, or human beings slaughtered to give the NATO war criminals the excuse to murder more Syrians, would lie that these obscene photographs are evidence of civilians who died from a chemical weapons attack. Infamia.

Let us also finally put to rest the horror of perverts smearing shaving cream and other concoctions onto the faces of corpses — many in varying states of decomposition — so that the rabid hyenas can claim the “foaming at the mouth” reputedly caused by chemical toxins. “Foaming — or frothing — at the mouth” is a simplified way to describe pleural effusion, and the body’s attempt to excrete excessive fluid in the lungs, caused by a variety of diseases and disorders, including an acute episode of congestive heart failure (CHF). The excretion may look like small bubbles on the lips, which do not have the drama of shaving cream applied by perverts.

Look on these terrible works by the criminally psychotic, and despair, but do not dare to suggest these heinous atrocities perpetrated against Syrian human beings are anything other than mass slaughter for the unfettered rabid dogs of war.

More Here

Max Blumenthal debunks US accusation of China’s ‘genocide’ against Uighurs

Source

Max Blumenthal debunks US accusation of China’s ‘genocide’ against Uighurs

April 01, 2021

Max Blumenthal documents the deceptions behind the US government’s accusation that China is committing “genocide” against Uyghur Muslims in its Xinjiang region, picking apart NED-funded studies that rely on botched statistics and exposing extremist Adrian Zenz and his error-filled research

. This was part of a panel discussion held on March 19, 2021, hosted on Daniel Dumbrill’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdw1N…

إذا لم يقف المواطن مع مؤسسات الدولة في هذه الحرب فسوف تخسرها مهما قمنا من إجراءات If the citizen does not stand with state institutions in this war, it will lose it, regardless of the measures we take

المصدر

أكّد الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد وجود معركة تقاد من الخارج ضد الليرة السوريّة، داعياً إلى معاقبة التجار المتربّحين من انهيار العملة المحلّية.

وأشار الرئيس الأسد في اجتماع حكومي إلى أن «مجموعة الإجراءات والتشريعات والقوانين التي صدرت في الآونة الأخيرة للتخفيف عن المواطن تؤكد فكرة أنه لا يوجد شيء مستحيل».

وأضاف «إذا لم نكن قادرين على حل كل المشاكل، فإننا نستطيع أن نحل جزءاً من المشاكل.. وعندما لا نستطيع اليوم أن نحل مشكلة معينة نستطيع أن نحل مشاكل أخرى تخفف عن المواطن».

كما أوضح الرئيس الأسد أن أحد الأمثلة على هذه الإجراءات هو معركة سعر الصرف التي تمكنّا فيها من تحقيق إنجازات لم تتحقق سابقاً».

كذلك لفت إلى أنه «من الخطأ في مثل هذه الحالة.. أو هذا النوع من المعارك أن يعتقد الناس أن هذا الموضوع هو موضوع إجرائيّ.. إذ إن الموضوع أوسع.. حيث هناك مضاربون ومستفيدون.. وهناك معركة تُقاد من الخارج».

وتابع قائلاً «أصبحت أدوات الأعداء في هذه المعركة واضحة بالنسبة لنا.. ومن خلال وضوحها ومعرفة الآليات التي استخدمت قمنا نحن باستخدام آليات معاكسة.. وقد أثبتت هذه المعارك التي خضناها أن سعر الصرف في سورية الجزء الأكبر منه هو حرب نفسية».

وشدّد على ضرورة «مواجهة هذا النوع من المعارك أن نقوم بتوعية الناس بأن ما يحصل الآن بالنسبة لسعر الصرف لا يقل أهمية عن المعركة العسكرية لاستقرار البلد.. مثله مثل الحرب.. مثل الأمن الغذائي.. مثل الكثير من العوامل الأخرى.. يجب أن يتم التعامل معها كمعركة.. فإذا لم يقف المواطن مع مؤسسات الدولة في هذه الحرب فسوف تخسر المؤسسات مهما قمنا من إجراءات».

Al-Assad: There is a battle being fought from abroad against the Syrian pound

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad confirmed the existence of a battle being led from abroad against the Syrian pound, calling for punishing the traders who profit from the collapse of the local currency.

In a government meeting, President al-Assad indicated that "the set of procedures, legislations and laws that were issued recently to alleviate the citizenry confirms the idea that nothing is impossible."

He added, "If we are not able to solve all the problems, then we can solve part of the problems ... and when we cannot solve a specific problem today, we can solve other problems that relieve the citizen."

President Al-Assad also made clear that one of the examples of these measures is the exchange rate battle, in which we were able to achieve previously unachievable achievements.

He also pointed out that "it is wrong in such a case ... or this type of battle, for people to believe that this issue is a procedural issue ... as the issue is broader ... as there are speculators and beneficiaries ... and there is a battle that is being fought from outside."

He added, "The enemies' tools in this battle became clear to us ... and through their clarity and knowledge of the mechanisms that were used, we used opposite mechanisms ... and these battles that we fought have proven that the exchange rate in Syria, the largest part of it, is a psychological war."

And he stressed the need to "face this kind of battle, to make people aware that what is happening now with regard to the exchange rate is no less important than the military battle for the stability of the country ... just like war ... like food security ... like many other factors .. must be done." Dealing with it as a battle .. If the citizen does not stand with state institutions in this war, the institutions will be lost, no matter what measures we have taken.

Land Day 2021: Existence, Resistance, Resurgence

March 30, 2021

A child raising a Palestinian flag on Land Day. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

“In 2019 I went to Palestine twice,” wrote Ibtisam Barakat, “one time with Palestine Festival of literature in April.” When an officer informed her at the border that she didn’t exist in Israeli records, Barakat started to cry. She “cried for two weeks nonstop. Nothing and no one could stop [her], not even a delicious falafel sandwich.” All that time, recalled the Palestinian-American poet, she “ate falafel and cried.”

On Land Day 2021, Barakat’s words are more relevant than ever. Forty-five years ago, on March 30, 1976, Israeli police murdered six Palestinian protestors as they were calling attention to the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of dunums of Palestinian land. Since then, notes Yara Hawari, March 30 has been commemorated as Land Day.

An important “event in the Palestinian collective narrative,” explains Hawari, it incorporates resistance to colonization, in particular “colonial policies of erasure,” efforts by Israelis to erase all Indigenous presence on the land. Indeed, since 1948, Palestinians have defied those policies with characteristic sumud (resilience), both by holding fast to a collective narrative that incorporates individual perspectives.

When Barakat returned to Palestine, an officer asked why she was coming back a second time in one year. At the time, she had no idea how to reply. “Now,” she explains, she knows “the world was going to change and the universe knew that I needed to see Palestine twice in a year” before it became impossible. “Seeing my Palestine or not seeing my Palestine is a spiritual experience for me,” she says, thereby calling attention to her individual refusal to be erased that is in turn part of a collective experience.

On March 30, 2018, Palestinians in Gaza began a series of weekly demonstrations that would last for months, resulting in a staggering number of deaths and injuries from Israeli snipers that drew the attention of the media. What did not get covered so much were the cultural aspects of the rallies—storytelling, cooking traditional dishes, performing dabke, and even weddings took place—thereby passing down traditions to a younger generation.

“What is largely missing from the discussion on Gaza is the collective psychology behind this kind of mobilization,” writes Ramzy Baroud, “and why it is essential for hundreds of thousands of besieged people to rediscover their power and understand their true position, not as hapless victims, but as agents of change in their society.”

In the same way that Barkat worked through her grief at being told of her non-existence, so Palestinians on a collective scale have maintained a narrative that resists the official story. As Baroud explains,

“For 70 years, Palestinians have embarked on that journey of recreation of the self. They have resisted, and their resistance in all of its forms has molded a sense of collective unity, despite the numerous divisions that were erected among the people. The Great March of Return is the latest manifestation of the ongoing Palestinian resistance.”

Two years later, in 2020, the spread of Coronavirus added to ongoing problems. In order to provide a safe space to commemorate the day, Samidoun: Palestinian Solidarity Network issued a virtual call to action:

“Mark Palestine Land Day (Yawm Al-Ard), a day of remembrance for six Palestinian citizens who were murdered by Israelis while protesting the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of dunums of their land. March together online on the second anniversary of the Great March of Return.”

Thanks to donations from Russia and the UAE, Gaza recently initiated a vaccine program in an effort to confront the virus pandemic and break the cycle of deaths.

According to Hawari, Land Day commemorates ongoing resistance, but it also “reminds us how the domination of space is an integral aspect of the Zionist settler-colonial project.” Moreover, she points out, “settler-colonial states the world over are in a constant process of colonizing more and more indigenous land while squeezing indigenous peoples into as little space as possible.”

In order to steal more land, colonists in both Israel and North America developed the myth of the vacant land. For example, on March 8, 1969, Golda Meir reportedly asked: “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.”

Propaganda around the Indigenous in North America sounds much the same. As Steven Salaita tweeted: “you’ll never understand Zionism without a concomitant understanding of Manifest Destiny,” a phrase devised in 1845 to explain that the United States was destined—by God, its advocates believed—to expand its territory across the entire North American continent.

“Of all myths associated with American Indians,” explains Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes), “no myth is as pervasive as the myth of the vanishing Indian.”

In my American history classes, there would invariably be the student who said that Native people no longer exist, despite the fact that just by looking around the classroom that student might have reached a different conclusion. Nevertheless, because dominant society has been “indoctrinated with the idea of the vanishing Native their whole lives,” Gilio-Whitaker asserts, “the assumption that there is no such thing as real Natives anymore is like a software program constantly running in the background.”

To these deniers, the “real Indians were the ones who dressed in buckskins and hunted buffalo and deer for their living, and didn’t speak English,” Gilio-Whitaker notes, and, in reality, they have “been gone a long time.”

Despite all of the efforts to deny their existence, which makes it all the easier to steal land and resources, both Palestinians and Indigenous people in the States are still around. The commemoration of Land Day attests to that, as do efforts on the part of Native Americans to make their presence known.

Quoting Gerald Vizenor, a citizen of the White Earth Nation, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz calls attention to his notion of “survivance”:

“Survivance is an active presence: it is not absence, deracination, or ethnographic oblivion, and survivance is the continuance of narratives, not a mere reaction, however pertinent. Survivance stories are renunciations of dominance, the unbearable sentiments of tragedy, and the legacy of victimry” (An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, 2014, p. 217).

Decades after their displacement, the Palestinians long for a place, a homeland that could provide them with grounding to affirm that they exist. In the introduction to Nakba: Palestine, 1948 and The Claims of Memory (2007), Ahmad Sa’di and Lila Abu-Lughod write that “making memories public affirms identity, tames trauma, and asserts Palestinian political and moral claims to justice, redress, and the right to return” (p.2).

Memory, then, “continuance of narratives” as Vizenor calls it, serves as an expression of the need to officially exist. Manifested in events like Land Day, alternative histories affirm what happened in the past but also what should be done in the present to assure that all formerly oppressed peoples have a future.

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Related

Sitrep China : Xinjiang backlash market shock

March 30, 2021

Sitrep China : Xinjiang backlash market shock

Selections from Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter : Here Comes China, plus editorial notes. You can get it here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe


The last two weeks we’ve watched in awe the Chinese telling the US in Alaska that a more assertive China now is a reality as the empire has left it no choice.  Of course the Alaska meeting was spiked with sanctions poison minutes before the meetings started, to present a strongman ‘advantage’ (or so they thought) to empire.   This backfired spectacularly and lasted but 15 minutes of a blistering response by China, so perfectly translated by the Chinese translator that she immediately became a new sensation in the eyes of the Chinese people.   The Chinese response is continuing and the stance is now permanent.  I think it is fair to say that China will take no more empire so-called ‘rules-based’ international order.

We saw Mr.Biden calling President Putin a “killer with no soul”.  We saw Russia moving away from empire, in action and in (less than diplomatic) words, with Foreign Minister Lavrov completing a triumphant visit to China directly after the Alaska meeting, and in press conferences making it clear that the petrodollar is now oh so last century news.  New economic and financial mechanisms will put it in its place and we already see this.  Take a look:

China signed a currency swap agreement with Sri Lanka before $3.7 billion of its foreign debt matures this year. Sri Lanka is entitled to a $1.5 billion swap facility from the PBOC, valid for three years. More than 22% of the nation’s foreign purchases were from China last year. Read full article →.

And then these wild two weeks ended with China and Iran signing a 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership, of course, not using any last century petrodollars.

The US fought back fiercely, with nothing else but rumors and the rest of the west sanctioned everything that they could possibly think of.  The rumors and propaganda are about Xinjiang and included the bathwater and the baby, cold war style, threatening hot war style and seemingly quite out of step with developments in the rest of the world.  We will look at the market fall-out in some detail.

But why now? Why did both Russia and China stand up and declare that they are here to stay, while we were used to a more muted approach from both?

James W. Carden and Patrick Lawrence considers that it is a deep disappointment with discovering the “retrograde character of the Biden administration’s foreign policies”  “We thought too well of the United States” Mr Yang, Foreign Minister of China said.  They had hopes for Biden, in other words. Given his fading competence, we ought to add, we think these policies will be shaped and directed in large measure by Blinken and Sullivan, with an adjunct role for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. This will prove another competence problem.

https://thescrum.substack.com/p/our-cold-two-front-war

What has not had much media coverage, is foreign minister Wang Yi’s tour to the Middle East after the Iran agreement announcement.   He visited Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman, all Belt and Road member countries.   To cap off these two weeks of telling empire to become productive, take their rightful place in the world if they can, stop playing warmonger and policeman and economic hitman, the take-away statement from this tour is that Wang repeatedly said global powers should butt out of making the Middle East their arena for big-power rivalry.

(Imagine empire confusion while the penny drops that their empire is over.  Anyone hearing someone playing the fiddle or more accurately the lute?)


A short video from Professor Bill Brown at Xiamen University in southeast China’s Fujian province about the changes in China after spending 33 years there.

The empire struck back with an all-out attack against the province of Xinjiang.  The Xinjiang cotton industry was attacked with baseless rumors and propaganda about the Uyghur people and the propaganda and sanctions machines went into overdrive and we saw sanctions everywhere, mainly against anyone buying cotton from the region.  It is quite ludicrous to pretend to care for the Uyghurs if your sanctions are designed to deprive them of their major industry and their income, which is from cotton.  As fast as the western sanctions were announced, they were responded to with reciprocal sanctions.  Mr.Lavrov already mentioned that there will be a concerted effort throughout the world to do away with unilateral sanctions, so, it is almost as if they do not matter, as no country in the world can or should spare the resources to manage all the sanctions.

But China is striking back hard.  In addition, the cotton manufacturers out of Xinjiang are bringing legal action against Adrian Zenz, who stitched together the rumors of forced labor, labor camps, forced sterilization, and many others.  If you do not want to watch this video, just take a scroll through the comments though.

The Chinese people got angry and a major market kerfuffle commenced and is still ongoing.  For Australia with their thoughtless comments against China, their trade (excluding iron ore) has dropped by 40%.

H&M’s agony, Nike’s fear, the market strikes back. H&M craters after saying it would not source cotton from Xinjiang. All e-commerce platforms removed it from their websites. Searches for ‘H&M’ and ‘HM’ yielded no results, celebrities cut ties, and 200 million Weibo users boycotted H&M’s 450 stores. Nike and Adidas are under attack for using the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which stopped licensing farms in Xinjiang. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3126828/hm-under-fire-china-over-refusal-buy-xinjiang-cotton

A-list Uyghur stars Dilraba Dilmurat (Dílì Rèbā), an actress with a huge Han fan base, and Liú Yìfēi, who starred in Mulanended their business relationships with Adidas. Nike, Calvin Klein, and Converse have lost their Chinese brand ambassadors. https://supchina.com/2021/03/24/hm-faces-boycott-in-china-over-year-old-xinjiang-cotton-ban/

Japanese fashion retailer Muji, with 17% of its total sales from China, said its stores in China will continue carrying products made with Xinjiang cotton. The company has conducted due diligence on all companies in Xinjiang involved in its supply chain. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Retail/Muji-features-Xinjiang-cotton-as-Chinese-netizens-lash-its-rivals

“H&M, Nike, and others are now suffering heavy losses to their reputations in the Chinese market. Enormous investment in public relations has been destroyed instantly. They need to complain to Western society, because they know that, whether they are active or passive, they have indeed done something intolerable to Chinese consumers”. – Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times.  https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1219413.shtml

Why this focus on the Chinese province Xinjian?  Is it really caring deeply about the Uyghurs?  Of course not.  This is not how empire conducts its business.

“The investments and the infrastructure development under the BRI will bring an explosion of growth in Xinjiang. It will not just become a wealthy region, it will become ‘Dubai wealthy,’ said engineer Robert Vannrox, “the West does not want this. The more Chinese investment pours into Xinjiang, the louder the anti-China propaganda becomes.”


Cover Image: Chinese archaeologists announced Saturday that some new major discoveries have been made at the legendary Sanxingdui Ruins site in southwest China, helping shed light on the unified, diverse origin of the Chinese civilization.  https://www.shine.cn/news/nation/2103206280/

This is but a fraction of what I gleaned from the Here Comes China newsletter.  If you want to learn about the Chinese world, get Godfree’s newsletter here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Amarynth

Watch THREE Russian nuclear subs break through the Arctic ice together

Watch THREE Russian nuclear subs break through the Arctic ice together

Trump Laughs at How Biden Stumbled Down Air Force One Stairs: “I Didn’t Lose to Him”

‘I didn’t lose to him’: Trump mocks Biden’s Air Force One steps fall (VIDEO)

March 21, 2021

Former US President Donald Trump poked fun at President Joe Biden after the latter tumbled down the stairs to Air Force One on Friday.

“I watched as Joe Biden went up the stairs today on Air Force One and I said, ‘I didn’t lose to him’ – we didn’t lose to him,” Trump said in the short clip posted on TikTok, which was reportedly captured at his Mar-a-Lago residence.

“Almost 75 million votes and probably a lot more than that,” Trump continued on the footage, referring to his allegations of voter fraud during the presidential election.

In the above-mentioned video clip, the former US president referred to the recent footage of Joe Biden tumbling downstairs when walking up to Air Force One, the presidential jet.

The video of the 78-year-old slipping on stairs hard, then walking up and giving a salute, went viral immediately, triggering an avalanche of memes and jokes as well as concerns about the President’s health.

The White House blamed the weather for the incident, saying that “it’s pretty windy outside. It’s very windy”.

Donald Trump’s son also took the chance to crack a joke or two about the oldest person to assume the presidency tripping stairs to his jet.

Source: Agencies

Biden maintains Trump era economic war on Iran, Syria, China, Cuba

It’s 10 years since the war in Syria began, and Western media & pundits are still eager to keep it going

*Media headlines at the 10 year anniversary of the war on Syria.
moi

March 15, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

After many wars built on lies over the decades, people might have developed a good BS radar. Instead, in March 2011, when media and human rights groups pushed propaganda about Syria, the public once again fell for it.

Front page, round-the-clock headlines were pumped out, and transparently hollow Western pundits tut-tutted Syria’s president and claimed the Syrian government was cracking down on “peaceful protesters.”

But this is March 2021, and while Western lies and fake concern have dominated news on Syria, Syrians deserve to have the reality – their suffering under some of the most heinous terrorism the world has known – highlighted instead.

In reality, March 2011 in Syria saw well-armed thugs attacking not only government buildings, but killing soldiers and civilians too.

In the months and years that followed, some of those who had been dubbed as “peaceful protesters” committed massacre after massacre of Syrian civilians and security forces.

Independent observers like Homs-based Dutch priest Father Frans van der Lugt witnessed “armed demonstrators who began to shoot at the police first.”

Flemish priest Father Daniel Maes, based in Damascus’ countryside, said:

I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people.

From my own fourteen visits from April 2014 and over the next seven years, what I’ve heard and experienced in Syria only confirmed my early suspicions that what Al Jazeera and Western media were purporting were lies.

– While people did aspire to political change (and the government made changes), from the start there was violence from well-armed “protesters.”

– Contrary to what the media would have us believe, there wasn’t wide support for what was dubbed a “revolution,” and it wasn’t actually a revolution. Predominantly Sunni Aleppo rejected the non-revolution.

– The core message of the protesters who continued beyond the first few protests was not about democracy but about driving out Christians to Beirut and killing Alawites. A sectarianism promoted by the West and its Gulf allies.

Although mass media attempted to paint events in Syria as a “civil war,” both Israel and Western nations have long been supporting terrorists in Syria, including Al-Qaeda in Syria (reportedly providing them medical treatment), and even Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

And as I detailed, the West has long been working to change the government of Syria, even decades prior during Hafez al-Assad’s time.

How I saw Syria vs. what it looks like through al-Qaeda-tinted glasses

In April 2014, I met an American living in Latakia who recalled reading a LA Times blog post alleging a protest which had turned violent in her city three years prior, but which never happened. According to her, she had been to the places mentioned in the report that day, and there was no unrest.

Years later in Damascus, I met and interviewed a Syrian doctor who had been based in Dara’a province in March 2011. He described how his hospital operated at normal capacity at the time. At the same time he says he saw a repeated report on another mainstream outlet that said the facility was overwhelmed, not enough doctors were available, and moreover, that the hospital was denying treatment to civilians, when in fact the hospital directives were to treat civilians before soldiers.

Since a core message in regime-change reporting on Syria has been that the people want the president gone, it’s worth noting that President Assad is actually quite popular among Syrians. In fact, I was surprised to come across a January 2012 admission of this, one of the worst purveyors of lies and war propaganda on Syria.

Assad’s popularity has only steadily grown. From the early months of 2011 to late 20112012, and beyond, Syrians held mass demonstrations in support of their president.

In Lebanon in 2014, I witnessed a mass show of support during the presidential election. These were people determined to vote, and people I spoke with proudly declared their support for Assad.

From 2014 to my last visit in 2020, Syrians have maintained to me that while there are a host of changes they do want for the country, seeing President Assad step down is not one of them.

The Syrian government issues visas to journalists from the worst propaganda outlets (including the BBC, Channel 4, the New York Times, CBC). Yet, they have reported a vastly different Syria than that which I or my colleagues know.

In their Syria, the suffering of civilians in government-controlled areas doesn’t exist. If mentioned, they are dubbed “regime supporters,” thus somehow deserving of the shelling and other abuse perpetrated by terrorist factions.

The outlets don’t take into account the millions of internally displaced Syrians who have fled terrorism or fighting elsewhere in Syria and taken shelter in government-controlled areas, frequently coming under attacks of terrorists.

When greater Aleppo, with around 1.5 million people, were for years being attacked with gas canister bombs, mortars, grad missiles and sniping by terrorists occupying areas of the city (by November 2016 resulting in the deaths of nearly 11,000 civilians), media downplayed this, or simply didn’t mention it at all.

19 1
19 2
19 3
19 4

*From my February 2015 “University Hospital, Damascus: Meeting Victims of Western-backed Mortar and Rocket Terrorism

Even when mixed Christian and Muslim areas of Old Damascus were shelled by terrorists occupying eastern Ghouta—and they were shelled for years, until Ghouta’s liberation—this terrorism, and the many maimed and killed, was underreported, if reported at all.

In one instance, after an elementary school was mortared (killing one child and injuring over 60 more) the BBC’s reporter later disingenuously wrote, “the government is also accused of launching [mortar shells] into neighborhoods under its control.”

In summer of 2016, I travelled around Syria, meeting Syrians who had started their lives anew, displaced by terrorists, and meeting Syrians who had survived terrorist attacks only to be living within a few hundred metres proximity and daily at risk of sniping and shelling.

And all the while, the same war propagandizing, script-reading, media glossed over the horrific realities of life under terrorist rule, which included imprisonmenttorturestarvation, rape of women, and public executions of civilians by sword or point-blank assassination.

Fallen’ cities, ‘chemical attacks’ and other lies

I’ve gone to many key cities and towns post-liberation from terrorist factions. Western media inevitably said these areas had “fallen,” bizarrely trying to claim that life under the government would be worse than life under the extremists who easily and routinely murdered civilians in the street.

Civilians under terrorist rule were starving—not by the Syrian government, but by the terrorists—and were often imprisoned in ghastly often underground prisons.

From the old city of Homs, to the ancient Aramaic-speaking village of Maaloula, to eastern Aleppo, to Madaya and al-Waer, to eastern Ghouta and even areas of Idlib province, civilians I met spoke of the hell they had lived under terrorist rule, and of their relief at being liberated.

When mass media said those areas “fell,” they were lying. Those areas returned to peace and stability.

UN representatives may feign concern and neutrality in matters Syria, but the UN has been complicit in ignoring terrorists’ shelling of Damascus. And in silencing the voices of suffering civilians and Syrian representatives at the UN.

Then there is the issue of the alleged and never proven “chemical attacks” by the Syrian army.

I’ve written about the chemical weapons accusations, noting even a lead member of the UNHRC commission of Inquiry, blamed the “rebels.”

Many journalists, including myself, have gone to Douma, the location of the latest alleged chemical attack, and interviewed medical staff and civilians, concluding that a chemical attack did not take place.

Douma witnesses spoke at The Hague, including a boy featured in Western media’s claims. Instead of considering these Syrian sources, pundits and media sneered “obscene mascarade” regarding the testimonies.

Yes, the same media which uncritically endorsed the Twitter account of a seven year old English-illiterate Aleppo girl as gospel in the lead up to the liberation of Aleppo refused to consider the testimonies of seventeen civilians from Douma.

The same media refused the revelations of OPCW whistleblowers who spoke out, damning the final OPCW report for its glaring omissions—omissions that completely changed the narrative around Douma.

In October 2020, the UN Security Council itself refused to allow José Bustani, former General Director of the OPCW, to speak. I urge people to read Bustani’s words on the cover up of OPCW expert findings around the Douma allegations.

*Screenshot I took in 2020 when seeing CNN recycling their lies of 2018–as though it was happening in 2020

Still lying after all these years

Even now, five years after his image was plastered across global media as the “face of suffering in Syria,” allegedly hurt in a Russian or Syrian airstrike, the UK’s Independent has a photo of Aleppo boy Omran Daqneesh as its Twitter cover photo.

But this was a narrative debunked in mid-2017, when I met a healthy Omran and his father. The father specifically said there was no airstrike.

Still other lies that were debunked years ago are being recycled anew, in the West’s ceaseless attempt to criminalize Bashar al-Assad and legitimize the US coalition’s illegal presence in Syria.

But none of the media or pundits who claim to care about Syrians’ well-being address the actual causes (including terrorists) of their suffering, chief among which, the brutal Western sanctions against Syria, which directly impact on Syrian civilians’ ability to live and procure medicine, much less rebuild.

Also impacting on Syrians’ economy and sufficiency, the US’ theft of Syrian oil and cotton, and burning of wheat. And this, along with other US illegal polices in Syria, will only get worse under the Biden administration.

And if you peruse recent headlines, you’ll see the same old Western insistence that things won’t change until Bashar al-Assad is gone. They’ve blatantly said sanctions will continue until then.

And now they’re going after the first lady, a woman who is well-liked on the ground in Syria for dedicating her work to helping the country’s poorest through development and microfinance projects.

The West would have us believe she has, “incited and encouraged terrorist acts,” a claim, emanating from the UK (which most definitely incited and encouraged terrorism), that would be laughable were it not so revolting.

Russia has called this, “psychological pressure on the eve of the presidential election.”

look at the legal entity behind the absurd allegations reveals this isn’t the first time they’ve attempted a legal attack against the Syrian government.

To adequately write about the past ten years of war on Syria would take volumes. For the sake of brevity: it need never have happened, nor the deaths and destruction accompanying it.

This was a premeditated and cruel war on the people of Syria, spurned forth by media who truly do not care about the lives of Syrians.

To quote Father Daniel:

“The media can either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or help the Syrian people, with their media coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many followers and cowards among journalists.”

RELATED LINKS:

Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria

The Terrorism We Support in Syria: A First-hand Account of the Use of Mortars against Civilians

Absurdities of Syrian war propaganda

Western media ignoring reality on the ground in Syria

Liberated Homs Residents Challenge Notion of “Revolution”

Overcoming Savagery and Treachery, Maaloula’s Heroic Defenders Fight for the Future

Where is the West’s compassion & condemnation following terror attacks in Middle East?

Torture, starvation, executions: Eastern Ghouta civilians talk of life under terrorist rule

Syria War Diary: What Life Is Like Under ‘Moderate’ ‘Rebel’ Rule

Order Returns To Western Cities as Syrian Civilians Recount Horrors Of ‘Rebel’ Rule

Liberate Syria’s Idlib, precisely for the civilians that America fakes concern over

Scoundrels & gangsters at UN: Silencing the Syrian narrative

The UK & US alliance brings the UNSC into disrepute by banning Syria chemical weapons briefing from ex-OPCW head

Statement of Concern: The OPCW investigation of alleged chemical weapons use in Douma, Syria

US sanctions are part of a multi-front war on Syria, and its long-suffering civilians are the main target

As Syria Struggles Under COVID-19 Lockdown, America’s Scorched Earth Policy Ensures Food Insecurity

Syria, Venezuela sanctions

Joe Biden Unlawful Aggression in Syria Signals the Endgame in the Region

Impressions From An Informal Meeting With Asma al-Assad, Syria’s First Lady

A DECADE OF SYRIAN PAIN | Mideastream

Mar 17, 2021

After a decade of unfathomable violence and human tragedy that has made Syria the west’s defining war of the early 21st century, the fighting has tapered off but the suffering hasn’t. In 2011,

Obama led the west in its largest adventure yet in west Asia, thinking that Syria looked like just another domino about to fall in the whirlwind of uprisings sweeping the Middle East. Ten years later, President Bashar Assad is still there leading the heroic SAA which eliminated western-backed Daesh terrorism from more than 70% of the country as reconciliation and reconstruction define the upcoming decade for Syria.

Gaza has suffered the longest, most barbaric, lockdown in the world – I know, because I lived through three years of it

*Jaber Rjila’s home and farmland in al-Faraheen, Gaza’s southeast, have been attacked, damaged or destroyed by Israeli tanks and bulldozers on many occasions.
moi
Eva Bartlett an independent writer and rights activist with extensive experience in Syria and in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. In 2017, she was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. The award rightly was given to the amazing journalist, the late Robert Parry [see his work on Consortium News]. In March 2017, she was awarded “International Journalism Award for International Reporting” granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951). Co-recipients included: John Pilger and political analyst Thierry Meyssan. She was also the first recipient of the Serena Shim award, an honour shared with many excellent journalists since. https://serenashimaward.org/laureates/ Since April 2014, she has visited Syria 14 times, the last time being from March to late September, 2020. All of her writings and videos on which can be found here: https://ingaza.wordpress.com/syria/syria-my-published-articles-from-and-on-syria-2014-2017/ and here: https://www.youtube.com/user/InGazaUpdates/videos

By Eva Bartlett 


March 8, 2021, RT.comWhile the rest of the world may rightly moan about the ways in which the miserable Covid-induced lockdowns have affected our lives, spare a thought for the 2 million Palestinians imprisoned in Israel’s brutal and illegal blockade.

“We’re all Palestinians now,” some say, as people around the world are under Covid-19 lockdown and rendered jobless. While the reference is apt, Palestinians in Gaza have been under the most severe lockdown in the world for 14 long years.

As 2021 has gone on, it has become increasingly clear that lockdowns are affecting people around the world in painful and deadly ways beyond the already awful effects of slashed incomes and isolation.

So imagine life where the lockdown isn’t for a period of weeks or months, but throughout the year, every year, with no end in sight, making life utterly unlivable.

That is life in the Gaza Strip, which although only 40 km long and 365 square km in size, is appropriately dubbed the world’s largest open-air prison.

And while there is absolutely no just reason for Israel’s imprisonment of two million people, it continues, year after year, in violation of Israel’s legal obligations under international law, as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) notes.

It is collective punishment. As the UN reminded“No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”

Blockade brutality

The power outages, fuel and cooking gas shortages, dramatic food insecurity, stunted growth in children, 50 percent unemployment, and 96 percent undrinkable water have been Gaza’s reality for years.

Since 2012, the UN has warned that Gaza would become “unlivable” by 2020.

It was already unlivable when I first set foot in Gaza in November 2008. From then until March 2013, I lived a cumulative three years (and two wars) there, the latter half of that time in the humble home of a Palestinian family in central Gaza.

The power was out for 20-22 hours daily, mostly a result of the 2006 Israeli bombing of Gaza’s power plant, which was never fully reconstructed, thanks to the blockade that prevents the import of much-needed materials.

Picture a functioning hospital with dialysis machines, working ICUs, etc. Now imagine it with limited or no electricity, for 14 years, and after three wars. That’s Gaza.

And every year, due to the Israeli restrictions on imports, Gaza has less than a month’s supply of essential medicines (48 percent in 2019; 42 percent in January 2021). In December 2019, for example, 58 percent of chemotherapy drugs and 41 percent of kidney dialysis medicines were at zero stock.

Gaza’s lockdown has rendered vast numbers jobless, unable to travel, and prevented university graduates with scholarships abroad from completing their studies.

Exports have ground to a trickle. Formerly, Palestinians used to export not only the succulent strawberries grown in Gaza’s north but also many other goods including furniture, clothing, food products.

Imports are even more severely limited. When I arrived in 2008, only between 30-40 items (vs 4,000 before) were permitted entry to Gaza’s merchants.

Dangerous things like diapers, shoes, A4 paper, livestock, seeds, refrigerators, washing machines, fabrics, light bulbs, musical instruments, crayons, clothing… and much more, were explicitly banned entry.

As was, of course, building materials, desperately needed in Gaza as the population grew, and to rebuild destroyed homes, businesses and infrastructure.

Banning the entry of seeds and livestock seems like an attack on Palestinians’ food sources, deliberately causing starvation.

Indeed, at the time, near-starvation, according to the Gisha Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, was the planThe security establishment had calculated the number of calories consumed by Gaza residents and used it to establish a ‘humanitarian minimum’, a bottom line to which it was possible to reduce food supply to Gaza without causing hunger or malnutrition…

Not quite dying of hunger, as the special adviser to numerous Israeli prime ministers, Dov Weissglass, said in 2006:

The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.

As of November 2020, Israel continues strictly restricting imports to Gaza. The UN’s Relief Web noted“The Israeli authorities officially list 62 items as “dual-use items” which include hundreds of goods and basic materials. The items on the “dual-use goods” list are essential to the life of the population…”

Attacking the food providers

Israel also puts Palestinians “on a diet” by firing on and abducting farmers and fishers, destroying wells and cisterns, destroying or stealing fishing boats and burning or spraying chemicals on farmland.

During my time in Gaza, I documented Israeli live machine gun and sniper fire, routinely coming under fire myself, including for extended periods.

3
10
11-1
19261_109441039065899_7188008_n
19261_109450819064921_4517456_n
25492_109881925688477_763530_n
269597_481226028554063_63711987_n
dsc09011
feb 2010

Were Israeli soldiers targeting ‘terrorists’?  No, these were farm labourers and families, including the elderly and women. None posing any threat to Israel.

Israeli soldiers also target labourers and children collecting rubble and metal from demolished or bombed homes, transporting it, usually on donkey carts, to places where it can be sold for re-use in construction.

Israel maintains its gunning down of farmers and labourers is about ‘security,’ and has long ago imposed a ‘buffer zone’ on the Gaza side, supposedly 300 metres from the fence. But in my own experience with farmers on land 500 metres or more from the fence, Israeli soldiers still shoot to maim and kill.

Like the 20-year old deaf farmer I accompanied one February 2009 morning. As he and other labourers pushed their stalled pick-up truck, Israeli soldiers began sniping, shooting around me and hitting him in his ankle.

A few weeks prior, an Israeli soldier had shot the man’s cousin in the neck, killing him. An extended family of 16 people depended on the meagre income of these young farm labourers.

Or the 17-year old girl an Israeli soldier shot in the knee when, a month after the 2008/2009 war ended, she returned to her southeastern Gaza destroyed home to see what remained. This was 800 metres from the fence.

Or the 20-year old farm labourer shot in his chest while working on land beyond the ‘buffer zone’. The 16-year old working beside him died from the bullets to his chest.

Or the youth left paralyzed after being shot by an Israeli soldier. His crime? Sitting outside the home of an aunt he was visiting.

The ‘buffer zone‘ robs Palestinians of a third of Gaza’s agricultural land – the best and most fertile bits. Decades and Israeli bulldozers prior, this same area was rich in olive, nut and fruit trees, and a variety of grain, legumes and vegetable crops.

Nowadays, if Palestinians are lucky, they can plant low maintenance crops, hoping they don’t get burned, or bulldozed before harvesting, testimonies of which I’ve taken time and time again, and have witnessed while it happened.

A 2020 UN report noted that at the time Gaza’s fishers were allowed to access water eight nautical miles off the coast (less than half the 20-mile distance agreed on under the Oslo Accords).

However, from my experience working with fishers when the limit was just six miles, Israeli gunboats would target them even less than one mile off the coast, machine-gunning, shelling, water-cannoning or kidnapping the fishers and boats.

As a special bonus, the Israeli navy often adds a chemical to the spray which leaves the soaked victims stinking of excrement for days.

dsc07866
dsc06048
dsc06077
dsc08009
dsc08017
dsc079931
dsc079951
dsc080041
dsc080611

The preventable stench

When travelling from central or southern Gaza on the coastal road, the shared taxi I was in would pass through Wadi Gaza, a slight valley which at times was overwhelmed by the stench of up to 90 million litres of raw and partially-treated sewage daily draining into the sea.

dsc_0403
dsc_0431

Because Gaza cannot treat its sewage and is not allowed to import materials needed to maintain or improve its sewage holding tanks, the only solution is dumping it into the sea. Otherwise, the sewage holding pools overflow into residential areas.

In 2007, a sewage treatment reservoir’s wall ruptured, overflowing into a village, drowning five people, including two children.

*Beit Lahia sewage treatment plant (photo November 2008). This pool overflowed in March 2007, killing numerous living in the surrounding area below.

Less dramatic but still terrible, heavy rains combine with the sewage to flood streets, leaving people to wade through the foul water, and damaging homes of people that have neither the money nor means to rebuild.

When, in December 2013, massive flooding and sewage overflow ruined 400 homes, a UNRWA spokesperson said“Any normal community would struggle to recover from this disaster. But a community that has been subjected to one of the longest blockades in human history, whose public health system has been destroyed and where the risk of disease was already rife, must be freed from these man made constraints to deal with the impact of a natural calamity such as this.” 

That was over seven years ago, and nothing has changed.

End the lockdown

Protesting against the lockdown of Gaza, the “Great March of Return” from March 2018 to the end of 2019 saw 214 Palestinians killed by Israel, including 46 children, with 36,100 injured, including nearly 8,800 children, according to the UN.

Imagine the headlines were this in Russia or Syria.

As of January, the Rafah Crossing (the sole crossing controlled by Egypt, not Israel) remained closed. Over 7,000 Palestinians are registered to exit Gaza, and thousands are waiting to enter, the UN reported.

According to the UN, Gaza now gets 14 hours of power a day, the one improvement I’m aware of since my time living there.

The rest – the targeting farmers and fishers, the random Israeli bombings and psychological warfare, and most notably, the blockade – remains as per the many previous years.

Indeed, according to a March 3 statement by UNRWA’s Gaza director, conditions in Gaza have only gotten worse.

Conditions have become so bad that “the well-known definition of extreme or absolute poverty is no longer suitable, most of the Palestinian refugees in Gaza need help.”

Those under Covid-19 lockdowns now have experienced a mere fraction of what Palestinians in Gaza have endured for so long. I would hope that, as a result, more people might be moved to demand Israel end its 14-year lockdown of Gaza.

RELATED:

UN predictions fall short: Gaza uninhabitable today

Israeli tank and bulldozer invasion of Palestinian farmland

Dignified beyond losses:Palestinian farmers’ livelihoods destroyed by Israel

Homes and livelihoods destroyed by Israeli bulldozers

How israeli policies and attacks have ravaged Gaza’s agricultural sector

Israeli Navy Terrorism: Destroying Boats and Lives

Israeli naval abductions and shooting at Palestinian fishermen: it’s routine

stars and bombs: random israeli bombing a few hundred metres from home

Attack on Water Brings Sanitation Crisis

Gaza drives

Leaving Gaza: Egypt’s treatment of “undesirables”…or, that time I was locked underground in an Egyptian airport with dozens of other civilians

Blockbuster/Exclusive: More Mossad Ties between ‘Bear Spray Killers’ , proof of Israel’s role in January 6

By VT Editors -March 16, 2021

January 6 was a last ditch attempt by Israel to save the Trump presidency and turn the US into a full-fledge colony of Israel.  How anti-Semitic does that sound?How true does it sound?VT Exclusive: We have been doing background on the January 6 killers of Officer Sicknick.  When Elie Khater was arrested getting off a plane from Israel and that was hidden, we knew there was something else.We then found this article from Newsweek, owned by former Congresswoman Jane Harmon, who was “busted” for trying to free Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who gave America’s NOC List to the Russians. This is the real story and why every top US intel official for 28 years demand he “burn in hell.”Now we find young Israeli “American’ Elie Khater, the alleged murder, was, with his mother, evacuated from Lebanon to save them from Hezbollah, in 2006, by the US military.Dad is never mentioned nor is why they were there serving in an unnamed intelligence capacity.  Fake people, fake restaurants, no murder charges…it keeps getting better and better…

Onscene: Pain, Joy, After Leaving Lebanon

BY NEWSWEEK STAFF 

Sitting aboard the USS Trenton as it leaves Lebanon, Elie Khater is crying. But unlike most Americans aboard this amphibious assault ship, her tears are not those of joy over escaping a country tumbling into war. The 43-year-old mother of four is sobbing because the clashes between Israel and Hizbullah have forced her out of her adopted home in Kherbert Kanafar, a small village where her husband’s family has a fruit orchard and where the New Jersey native has lived since 1994.

The Khaters decided to leave Lebanon after Israeli airstrikes hit nearby villages and roads, cutting off most escape routes. Their harrowing drive to Beirut on a bomb-damaged road was terrifying; now the prospect of going back to America breaks her heart. “Lebanon has become my country and it’s is horrible beyond words to be leaving behind my extended family, my friends, my life,” she weeps.

The Khaters were among the thousands of foreigners trapped in Lebanon when fighting broke out 10 days ago. On Friday, an estimated 4,000 Americans were scheduled to leave for Cyprus in what Brig. Gen. Carl Jensen, the U.S. Marine Corps officer commanding the operation, calls a “voluntary withdrawal.” A similar number have already been evacuated over the last two days, with the United States chartering ferry boats and rerouting seven naval ships to help Americans trying get out. Helicopters were also deployed to fly out humanitarian cases like the elderly and disabled.

Why aren’t they charged as cop killers?  Could it be because of reasons only VT will publish?  Arrested in the airport while exiting a plane from Tel Aviv…shouldn’t that fact be gotten out?  We think so…and hiding it tells us volumes…

VT: Julian Elie Khater was picked up today as he got off a plane from Tel Aviv at the Newark Airport. Both Khater and George Tanios are childhood friends who grew up in New Brunswick, New Jersey’s Jewish community, just outside Philadelphia.

Khater fled to Israel after the killing of Officer Sicknick during the January 6 coup attempt by Donald Trump.  Autopsy results have been withheld, particularly toxicology, but VT sources say Officer Sicknick died from a reaction to being soaked with powerful “Bear Spray”, listed as a “dangerous weapon.” 

Video exists showing both Khater and Tanios deploying bear spray against Officer Sicknick, but it also shows that both were coordinating deployment of chemical weapons with highly trained teams that were searching for members of Congress, teams allegedly in communication with GOP House members.

This is a separate FBI investigation. A House investigation has published 2000 pages of tweets from members of the House and Senate that were used, it is alleged, “in real time” to hunt Vice President Pence and his family and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

We also found, with little effort, that Tanios’ restaurant, if you can call it that, is fake as well.

VT’s sources say both Khater and Tanios are former IDF intelligence and are Israeli citizens. We also learn that Tanio’s “restaurant” is not so much either, one review at Tripadvisor:

and from Yelp:

Every decent Mossad agent is taught to keep their cover and make money at their side business.  Certainly the Mossad’s highly paid journalists are proof of this.  Look at Hannity and Carlson…

WaPo: Federal authorities have arrested and charged two men with assaulting U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick with bear spray during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot but have not determined whether the exposure caused his death.

Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania and George Pierre Tanios, 39 of Morgantown, W.Va., were arrested Sunday and are expected to appear in federal court Monday.

“Give me that bear s—,” Khater allegedly said to Tanios on video recorded at the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol at 2:14 p.m., where Sicknick and other officers were standing guard behind metal bicycle racks, arrest papers say.

About nine minutes later, after Khater said he had been hit with bear spray, Khater is seen on video discharging a canister into the face of Sicknick and two other officers, arrest papers allege.

Khater and Tanios are charged with nine counts including assaulting three officers with a deadly weapon — Sicknick, another U.S. Capitol Police officer identified as C. Edwards, and a D.C. police officer identified as B. Chapman. They are also charged with civil disorder and obstruction of a congressional proceeding. The charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors filed charges after tipsters contacted the FBI allegedly identifying Khater and Tanios from wanted images released by the bureau from surveillance video and officer-worn body camera footage, the complaint said. It said the men grew up together in New Jersey, and that Khater had worked in State College, Pa., and Tanios owns a business in Morgantown.

*

Arrested at Newark Airport getting off a plane from Israel in an FBI sting, something censored by the Washington Post

Khater was arrested Sunday in Newark, N.J., according to an unsealed arrest warrant signed by a magistrate judge on March 6. Family for Khater could not be immediately reached.

Questions remain about whether anyone will be held criminally responsible in Sicknick’s death. Autopsy results for Sicknick were still pending as of Monday, according to a spokeswoman for the deputy mayor of public safety in D.C.

Without a cause of death, his case has not been established as a homicide, although charging papers allege that evidence of an assault on Sicknick is clear on video.

This is, officially, the longest autopsy ever.  It it isn’t a coincidental natural death, then it is a homicide.  Why the games.  Both impeachment docs and US Atty. Rosen stated Sicknick was murdered and did so many weeks ago.

An FBI agent alleged in charging papers that publicly available video showed that after Khater asked for the bear spray, Tanios replied, “Hold on, hold on, not yet, not yet … it’s still early.” The agent said the exchange showed that the two allegedly were “working in concert and had a plan to use the toxic spray against law enforcement.”

The agent asserted that the men “appeared to time the deployment of chemical substances to coincide with other rioters’ efforts to forcibly remove the bike rack barriers that were preventing the rioters from moving closer to the Capitol building,” using their hands, ropes and straps.

All three officers were temporarily blinded and incapacitated for more than 20 minutes, and Edwards sustained scarring beneath her eyes for several weeks, charging papers said.

Sicknick died at a hospital about 9:30 p.m. Jan. 7, one day after 139 police officers were reportedly assaulted by an angry mob of Trump supporters wielding sledge hammers, baseball bats, hockey sticks, crutches and flagpoles. At least 800 people entered the Capitol after a smaller number forced entry, police have testified, seeking to block Congress from confirming the November presidential election victory of Joe Biden.

FBI focuses on video of Capitol Police officer being sprayed with chemicals

Referring to Sicknick, a House-passed article of impeachment charged Trump with inciting insurrection, alleging that members of a crowd he addressed “injured and killed law enforcement personnel.” Trump was acquitted after 57 senators voted to convict him for inciting the attack, 10 short of the two-thirds majority needed.

Then-acting U.S. attorney general Jeffrey A. Rosen said in a statement shortly afterward that Sicknick died of “the injuries he suffered defending the U.S. Capitol,” echoing a statement by Capitol Police.

Investigators determined that he did not die of blunt force trauma, people familiar with the matter said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. After more than two months, no autopsy or toxicology report has been made public.

This report, however, has been kept from the public.  Is it because every suspect arrested can be charged with full 1st Degree Murder, not simply trespass, as per well established legal precedent.

Officer Brian D. Sicknick recalled for his ‘shared humanity’The senator described Sicknick’s death as a “crime” that “demands the full attention of federal law enforcement.” He said “when white supremacists attacked our nation’s capital, they took the life of one of our officers. They spilled his blood, they took a son away from his parents. They took a sibling away from their brothers.”

Beaten, sprayed with mace and hit with stun guns: Police describe injuries to dozens of officers during assault on U.S. Capitol


Julian Elie Khater and George Pierre Tanios – charged and arrested in the Death of US Capitol Police Officer Brian Siknick

Finally and yes it was captured on Body Worn Camera(s)

Both charged (these are incredibly serious charges);

18 U.S.C. §§ 111(a) and (b) – Assault on Federal Officer with Dangerous Weapon; 18 U.S.C. §§ 111(a) and (b) – Assault on Federal Officer with Dangerous Weapon; 18 U.S.C. §§ 111(a) and (b) – Assault on Federal Officer with Dangerous Weapon; 18 U.S.C. § 372 – Conspiracy to Injure an Officer; 18 U.S.C. § 231(a)(3) – Civil Disorder; 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) – Obstructing or Impeding Any Official Proceeding; 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a)(1), (2), (4), (b)(1)(A) and (b)(1)(B) – Physical violence on restricted grounds, while carrying dangerous weapon, and resulting in significant bodily injury; 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2)(f) – Violent entry and disorderly conduct, act of physical violence on Capitol Grounds; and 18 U.S.C. § 2 – Aiding and Abetting.

As the affidavit reads:

“Officers Sicknick, Edwards and Chapman, who are standing within a few feet of KHATER, all react, one by one, to something striking them in the face. The officers immediately retreat from the line, bring their hands to their faces and rush to find water to wash out their eyes…

….defendants, JULIAN ELIE KHATER and GEORGE PIERRE TANIOS, working together to assault law enforcement officers with an unknown chemical substance by spraying officers directly in the face and eyes….”

Again I’ll never understand why the “fire extinguisher” took root – I repeatedly tried to tell my readers that was disinformation that the death was likely caused by the excessive deployment of a chemical irritant;

“KHATER continues to talk animatedly with TANIOS. At approximately 2:20 p.m., KHATER walks through the crowd to within a few steps of the bike rack barrier. KHATER is standing directly across from a line of law enforcement officers to include U.S. Capitol Police (“USCP”) Officers B. Sicknick and C. Edwards, and Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) Officer D. Chapman, who was equipped with a functioning body worn camera (“BWC”) device.

Officer Chapman’s BWC shows that at 2:23 p.m., the rioters begin pulling on a bike rack to Chapman’s left, using ropes and their hands to pull the rack away. Seconds later, KHATER is observed with his right arm up high in the air, appearing to be holding a canister in his right hand and aiming it in the officers’ direction while moving his right arm from side to side. Officer Chapman’s BWC confirms that KHATER was standing only five to eight feet away from the officers.

“Officers Sicknick, Edwards and Chapman, who are standing within a few feet of KHATER, all react, one by one, to something striking them in the face. The officers immediately retreat from the line, bring their hands to their faces and rush to find water to wash out their eyes, as described in further detail…

“KHATER is again observed raising his arm and continues to spray in the direction of law enforcement officers. MPD Lt. Bagshaw notices these actions and approaches KHATER. At 2:23 p.m., Lt. Bagshaw then sprays KHATER, as observed on both surveillance footage and Lt. Bagshaw’s BWC….”

“All three officers were incapacitated and unable to perform their duties for at least 20 minutes or longer while they recovered from the spray. Officer Edwards reported lasting injuries underneath her eyes, including scabbing that remained on her face for weeks…”

“Defendant KHATER was listed as subject number 190. Defendant TANIOS was listed as subject number 254. A tipster to the FBI provided information that TANIOS and KHATER knew each other and grew up together in New Jersey…”

So investigators received several tips and subsequently reviewed the defendant’s LinkedIn account and other social media accounts

It came down to the “Sandwich University” sweatshirt and a keen eye by both a former coworker and the investigators …

“kingofthefatsandwich.” no really that’s in the affidavit …

Redacted Affiliation Found here. According to the DOJ-OPA:

“…arrested on Sunday in connection with a complaint filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., charging them with conspiring to injure officers and assaulting federal officers, among other charges, on Jan. 6.  Khater was arrested as he disembarked from an airplane at Newark Airport in New Jersey.  Tanios was arrested at his residence in West Virginia.

Motion for Detention filed by USA as to Defendant Tanios:

https://ecf.wvnd.uscourts.gov/doc1/19903090082

Or via my public drive https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xwceNNp-gLcaVKJte87Ds6ViR76Er1av/view?usp=drivesdk

Sorry more files incoming – paperless Minute Order WVDC- Defendant Tanios

United States v. 2012 White Jeep Grand Cherokee with West Virginia License Tag 53T507, VIN 1C4RJFAT2CC204303 (1:21-mj-00024) ECF

-and it is well worth reading the 65+page affidavit in support of the search warrant – I uploaded it to my public drive, found here. I literally have <27 minutes before I have to jump on a Teams Call – so I’m speedy racing through the Court Documents

United States v. 708 Beechurst Avenue, Morgantown, WV 26505 (1:21-mj-00025)

Seized)(mh) (copy USA, Agent) (Entered: 03/14/2021)

Document Number:1 Attachment Description Affidavit Agent – Attachment A – Property to be Searched and Attachment B – Description of Property to be Seized

United States v. 205 Blue Ridge Lane, Morgantown, WV 26508 (1:21-mj-00026) ECF

ABOUT VT EDITORS

VT EditorsVeterans Today

VT 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 Duffe

ditors@veteranstoday.com

HOUTHI DRONES ONCE AGAIN POUND TARGETS IN SOUTH OF SAUDI ARABIA

South Front

Houthi Drones Once Again Pound Targets In South Of Saudi Arabia
ILLUSTRATIVE IMAGE

On March 15, the Yemeni Houthis (formally known as Ansar Allah) launched another strike in its long series of attacks on military targets in Saudi Arabia.

A Houthi military spokesperson said that three explosive-laden drones hit King Khalid Air Base in the Khamis Mushait province and the International Abha Airport targeted.

“The strike was accurate,” Yahya Sarei said adding that the attack came in response to Saudi Arabia’s continued blockade and attacks on Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition confirmed the attack claiming that it had destroyed a booby-trapped drone fired by the Houthis towards Khamis Mushait, according to the Saudi SPA News Agency.

Related Videos

The Yemeni Houthis released a video showing their recent raid on positions of Saudi-backed forces in the area Rashah Al-Gharbia in Najran province.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Has Damascus’ Time To Recapture Northern Syria Finally Arrived?

South Front

You can read this article in German. LINK

Chaos is brewing in the Aleppo countryside, as the Syrian Arab Army reportedly prepares for a decisive push on the Turkish-occupied areas.

All eyes are set on the town of Al-Bab and the surrounding area.

On March 7th, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shelled the outskirts of the Turkish-occupied town of al-Bab. According to sources from the “moderate opposition”, at least ten mortar rounds fired by the SAA landed in the towns of Bratah and al-Dana near al-Bab.

There was one reported casualty, and one injury. The previous day saw shelling from the SAA on the same location, without any casualties and damage being reported.

These developments followed the incident on March 5 when, the Syrian military used ballistic missiles and rockets to pound Turkish-affiliated smugglers in the areas of al-Himran and Tarhin. According to reports, over 40 criminals were injured and more than 200 oil trucks and storage facilities were destroyed.

More than three years ago, the Turkish Armed Forces wrestled the city of al-Bab away from ISIS. Since then, the SAA has been waiting for an opportunity to liberate it from the successive occupations.

Nearby, in the northeastern part of Aleppo city itself, there appears to be a Turkish-funded insurgency rising.

On March 4th, saboteurs burned a minivan of the al-Quds Brigade in the district of Hannano. The al-Quds Brigade, made mostly of Palestinians, is one of the largest pro-government factions in Aleppo. The group Youth of Aleppo al-Shahba Regiment for Special Missions claimed responsibility for the attack. Their allegiance is formally unknown, but it is obvious.

It comes down to speculation, but pro-Turkish groups could have carried out the sabotage, in order to spread chaos and impede the SAA’s attack on the Turkish-occupied cities in the countryside.

Nearby, in Greater Idlib, the soon-to-be-rebranded Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) terrorists are attempting to merge with the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL).

This proposed military council is clearly meant to provide a legitimate cover for the rebranded terrorist activities of HTS and other al-Qaeda factions in Greater Idlib.

Sure enough, on March 6th, an infamous propagandist of HTS, Tahir al-Omar, confirmed that work was ongoing to establish a “Defense Ministry” in Greater Idlib. HTS, in the past, has attacked the NFL occasionally, despite the fact they’ve been allied. For the purposes of the “moderate opposition” and the rebranding of terrorists, those issues have been left in the past.

Greater Idlib is still the greatest source of the terrorist threat, and no amount of rebranding of terrorists can change that.

A sense of urgency should be growing with in HTS and the Turkish-proxies in Greater Idlib, as their turn is likely coming shortly after any operation to recapture the Turkish-occupied towns in the Aleppo countryside.

%d bloggers like this: