It Started in Daraa on March 17, 2011: The US-NATO-Israel Sponsored Al Qaeda Insurgency in Syria. Who Was Behind the 2011 “Protest Movement”?

It Started in Daraa on March 17, 2011: The US-NATO-Israel Sponsored Al Qaeda Insurgency in Syria. Who Was Behind the 2011 “Protest Movement”?By Prof Michel Chossudovsky,

Author’s note

The war on Syria started eight years ago in Daraa  on the 17th of March 2011.

The following article first published in May 2011 examines the inception of the jihadist terrorist insurgency.

It recounts the events of March 17-18, 2011 in Daraa, a small border town with Jordan. 

Media reports have finally acknowledged that the so-called “protest movement” in Syria was instigated by Washington. This was known and documented from the very inception of the Syrian crisis in March 2011.

It was not a protest movement, it was an armed insurgency integrated by US-Israeli and allied supported “jihadist” death squads? 

From Day One, the Islamist “freedom fighters” were supported, trained and equipped by NATO and Turkey’s High Command. According to Israeli intelligence sources (Debka, August14, 2011): 

NATO headquarters in Brussels and the Turkish high command are meanwhile drawing up plans for their first military step in Syria, which is to arm the rebels with weapons for combating the tanks and helicopters spearheading the Assad regime’s crackdown on dissent. … NATO strategists are thinking more in terms of pouring large quantities of anti-tank and anti-air rockets, mortars and heavy machine guns into the protest centers for beating back the government armored forces. (DEBKAfile, NATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011) 

This initiative, which was also supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, involved a process of organized recruitment of thousands of jihadist “freedom fighters”, reminiscent of  the enlistment of  Mujahideen to wage the CIA’s jihad (holy war) in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war: 

Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (Ibid, emphasis added)

These mercenaries were subsequently integrated into US and allied sponsored terrorist organizations including Al Nusrah and ISIS. 

The Daraa “protest movement” on March 17-18 had all the appearances of a staged event involving covert support to Islamic terrorists by Mossad and/or Western intelligence.

Government sources pointed to the role of radical Salafist groups (supported by Israel).

In chorus, the Western media described the events in Daraa as a protest movement against Bashar Al Assad.

In a bitter irony, the deaths of policemen were higher than those of “demonstrators”.

In Daraa, roof top snipers were targeting both police and demonstrators.

Reading between the lines of Israeli and Lebanese news reports (which acknowledge the police deaths) a clearer picture of what happened in Daraa on March 17-18 had emerged. The Israel National News Report (which can not be accused of being biased in favor of Bashar al Assad) confirmed that:

“Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed in continuing violent clashes that erupted in the southern town of Daraa last Thursday. … and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched, in renewed violence on Sunday. (Gavriel Queenann, Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests, Israel National News, Arutz Sheva, March 21, 2011, emphasis added)

The Lebanese news report also acknowledged the killings of seven policemen in Daraa.

[They were killed] “during clashes between the security forces and protesters… They got killed trying to drive away protesters during demonstration in Dara’a”

The Lebanese Ya Libnan report quoting Al Jazeera also acknowledged that protesters had “burned the headquarters of the Baath Party and the court house in Dara’a” (emphasis added)

These news reports of the events in Daraa confirmed that from the very outset this was not a “peaceful protest” as claimed by the Western media.

Moreover, from an assessment of the initial casualty figures (Israel News), there were more policemen than “demonstrators” who were killed.

This is significant because it suggests that the police force may have initially been outnumbered by a well organized armed gang of professional killers.

What was clear from these initial reports is that many of the demonstrators were not demonstrators but terrorists involved in premeditated acts of killing and arson.

The title of the Israeli news report summarized what happened: Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protest

The US-NATO-Israel agenda consisted in supporting an Al Qaeda affiliated insurgency integrated by death squads and professional snipers. President Bashar al Assad is then to be blamed for killing his own people. 

Does it Sound familiar? 

The same “false flag” strategy of killing innocent civilians was used during the Ukraine Maidan protest movement.  On February 20th, 2014, professional snipers were shooting at both demonstrators and policemen with a view to accusing president Viktor Yanukovych of “mass murder.”

It was subsequently revealed that these snipers were controlled by the opponents of president Yanukovych, who are now part of the coalition government. 

The “humanitarian mandate” of the US and its allies is sustained by diabolical “false flag” attacks which consist in killing civilians with a view to breaking the legitimacy of governments which refuse to abide by the diktats of Washington and its allies.

Michel Chossudovsky, March 17, 2019


SYRIA: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention”

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, May 3, 2011

There is evidence of gross media manipulation and falsification from the outset of the protest movement in southern Syria on March 17th [2011].

The Western media has presented the events in Syria as part of the broader Arab pro-democracy protest movement, spreading spontaneously from Tunisia, to Egypt, and from Libya to Syria.

Media coverage has focussed on the Syrian police and armed forces, which are accused of indiscriminately shooting and killing unarmed “pro-democracy” demonstrators. While these police shootings did indeed occur, what the media failed to mention is that among the demonstrators there were armed gunmen as well as snipers who were shooting at both the security forces and the protesters.

The death figures presented in the reports are often unsubstantiated. Many of the reports are “according to witnesses”. The images and video footages aired on Al Jazeera and CNN do not always correspond to the events which are being covered by the news reports.

Alawite Map

There is certainly cause for social unrest and mass protest in Syria: unemployment has increased in recent year, social conditions have deteriorated, particularly since the adoption in 2006 of sweeping economic reforms under IMF guidance. The IMF’s “economic medicine” includes austerity measures, a freeze on wages, the deregulation of the financial system, trade reform and privatization.

(See IMF  Syrian Arab Republic — IMF Article IV Consultation Mission’s Concluding Statement, http://www.imf.org/external/np/ms/2006/051406.htm, 2006)

While Syria is [2011] no “model society” with regard to civil rights and freedom of expression, it nonetheless constitutes the only (remaining) independent secular state in the Arab world. Its populist, anti-Imperialist and secular base is inherited from the dominant Baath party, which integrates Muslims, Christians and Druze.

Moreover, in contrast to Egypt and Tunisia, in Syria there is considerable popular support for President Bashar Al Assad. The large rally in Damascus on March 29, “with tens of thousands of supporters” (Reuters) of President Al Assad is barely mentioned. Yet in an unusual twist, the images and video footage of several pro-government events were used by the Western media to convince international public opinion that the President was being confronted by mass anti-government rallies.

Tens of thousands of Syrians gather for a pro-government rally at the central
bank square in Damascus March 29, 2011. (Reuters Photo)

Syrians display a giant national flag with a picture of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad during a
pro-government rally at the central bank square in Damascus March 29, 2011. (Reuters Photo)

The “Epicenter” of the Protest Movement. Daraa: A Small Border Town in southern Syria

What is the nature of the protest movement? From what sectors of Syrian society does it emanate? What triggered the violence?

What is the cause of the deaths?

The existence of an organized insurrection composed of armed gangs involved in acts of killing and arson has been dismissed by the Western media, despite evidence to the contrary.

The demonstrations  did not start in Damascus, the nation’s capital. At the outset, the protests were not integrated by a mass movement of citizens in Syria’s capital.

The demonstrations started in Daraa, a small border town of 75,000 inhabitants, on the Syrian Jordanian border, rather than in Damascus or Aleppo, where the mainstay of organized political opposition and social movements are located. (Daraa is a small border town comparable e.g. to Plattsburgh, NY on the US-Canadian border).

The Associated Press report (quoting unnamed “witnesses” and “activists”) describes the early protests in Daraa as follows:

The violence in Daraa, a city of about 300,000 near the border with Jordan, was fast becoming a major challenge for President Bashar Assad, …. Syrian police launched a relentless assault Wednesday on a neighborhood sheltering anti-government protesters [Daraa], fatally shooting at least 15 in an operation that began before dawn, witnesses said.

At least six were killed in the early morning attack on the al-Omari mosque in the southern agricultural city of Daraa, where protesters have taken to the streets in calls for reforms and political freedoms, witnesses said. An activist in contact with people in Daraa said police shot another three people protesting in its Roman-era city center after dusk. Six more bodies were found later in the day, the activist said.

As the casualties mounted, people from the nearby villages of Inkhil, Jasim, Khirbet Ghazaleh and al-Harrah tried to march on Daraa Wednesday night but security forces opened fire as they approached, the activist said. It was not immediately clear if there were more deaths or injuries. (AP, March 23, 2011, emphasis added)

The AP report inflates the numbers: Daraa is presented as a city of 300,000 when in fact its population is 75,000;  “protesters gathered by the thousands”, “casualties mounted”.

The report is silent on the death of policemen which in the West invariably makes the front page of the tabloids.

The deaths of the policemen are important in assessing what actually happened. When there are police casualties, this means that there is an exchange of gunfire between opposing sides, between policemen and “demonstrators”.

Who are these “demonstrators” including roof top snipers who were targeting the police.

Israeli and Lebanese news reports (which acknowledge the police deaths) provide a clearer picture of what happened in Daraa on March 17-18. The Israel National News Report (which cannot be accused of being biased in favor of Damascus) reviews these same events as follows:

Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed in continuing violent clashes that erupted in the southern town of Daraa last Thursday.

…. On Friday police opened fire on armed protesters killing four and injuring as many as 100 others. According to one witness, who spoke to the press on condition of anonymity, “They used live ammunition immediately — no tear gas or anything else.”

…. In an uncharacteristic gesture intended to ease tensions the government offered to release the detained students, but seven police officers were killed, and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched, in renewed violence on Sunday. (Gavriel Queenann, Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests, Israel National News, Arutz Sheva, March 21, 2011, emphasis added)

The Lebanese news report, quoting various sources, also acknowledges the killings of seven policemen in Daraa: They were killed  “during clashes between the security forces and protesters… They got killed trying to drive away protesters during demonstration in Dara’a” 

The Lebanese Ya Libnan report quoting Al Jazeera also acknowledged that protesters had “burned the headquarters of the Baath Party and the court house in Dara’a”  (emphasis added)

These news reports of the events in Daraa confirm the following:

1. This was not a “peaceful protest” as claimed by the Western media. Several of the “demonstrators” had fire arms and were using them against the police:  “The police opened fire on armed protesters killing four”.

2. From the initial casualty figures (Israel News), there were more policemen than demonstrators who were killed:  7 policemen killed versus 4 demonstrators. This is significant because it suggests that the police force might have been initially outnumbered by a well organized armed gang. According to Syrian media sources, there were also snipers on rooftops which were shooting at both the police and the protesters.

What is clear from these initial reports is that many of the demonstrators were not demonstrators but terrorists involved in premeditated acts of killing and arson. The title of the Israeli news report summarizes what happened:  Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests.  The title suggests that the “demonstrators” rather than the police had the upper hand.

The Daraa “protest movement” on March 18 had all the appearances of a staged event involving, in all likelihood, covert support to Islamic terrorists by Mossad and/or Western intelligence. Government sources point to the role of radical Salafist groups (supported by Israel)

Other reports have pointed to the role of Saudi Arabia in financing the protest movement.

What has unfolded in Daraa in the weeks following the initial violent clashes on 17-18 March, is the confrontation between the police and the armed forces on the one hand and armed units of terrorists and snipers on the other which had infiltrated the protest movement.

Reports suggest that these terrorists are integrated by Islamists. There is no concrete evidence as to which Islamic organizations are behind the terrorists and the government has not released corroborating information as to who these groups are.

Both the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (whose leadership is in exile in the UK) and the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir (the Party of Liberation), among others have paid lip service to the protest movement. Hizb ut Tahir (led in the 1980s by Syrian born Omar Bakri Muhammad) tends to “dominate the British Islamist scene” according to Foreign Affairs. Hizb ut Tahir is also considered to be of strategic importance to Britain’s Secret Service MI6. in the pursuit of Anglo-American interests in the Middle East and Central Asia. (Is Hizb-ut-Tahrir another project of British MI6? | State of Pakistan).

 

Syria is a secular Arab country, a society of religious tolerance, where Muslims and Christians have for several centuries lived in peace. Hizb ut-Tahrir (the Party of Liberation) is a radical political movement committed to the creation of an Islamic caliphate. In Syria, its avowed objective is to destabilize the secular state.

Since the Soviet-Afghan war, Western intelligence agencies as well as Israel’s Mossad have consistently used various Islamic terrorist organizations as “intelligence assets”. Both Washington and its indefectible British ally have provided covert support to “Islamic terrorists” in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and Libya, etc. as a means to triggering ethnic strife, sectarian violence and political instability.

The staged protest movement in Syria is modelled on Libya. The insurrection in Eastern Libya is integrated by the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) which is supported by MI6 and the CIA. The ultimate objective of the Syria protest movement, through media lies and fabrications, is to create divisions within Syrian society as well as justify an eventual “humanitarian intervention”.

Armed Insurrection in Syria

An armed insurrection integrated by Islamists and supported covertly by Western intelligence is central to an understanding of what is occurring on the ground.

The existence of an armed insurrection is not mentioned by the Western media. If it were to be acknowledged and analysed, our understanding of unfolding events would be entirely different.

What is mentioned profusely is that the armed forces and the police are involved in the indiscriminate killing of protesters.

The deployment of the armed forces including tanks in Daraa is directed against an organized armed insurrection, which has been active in the border city since March 17-18.

Casualties are being reported which also include the death of policemen and soldiers.

In a bitter irony, the Western media acknowledges the police/soldier deaths while denying the existence of an armed insurrection.

The key question is how does the media explain these deaths of soldiers and police?

Without evidence, the reports suggest authoritatively that the police is shooting at the soldiers and vice versa the soldiers are shooting on the police. In a April 29 Al Jazeera report, Daraa is described as “a city under siege”.

“Tanks and troops control all roads in and out. Inside the city, shops are shuttered and nobody dare walk the once bustling market streets, today transformed into the kill zone of rooftop snipers.

Unable to crush the people who first dared rise up against him – neither with the secret police,  paid thugs or the special forces of his brother’s military division – President Bashar al-Assad has sent thousands of Syrian soldiers and their heavy weaponry into Deraa for an operation the regime wants nobody in the world to see.

Though almost all communication channels with Deraa have been cut, including the Jordanian mobile service that reaches into the city from just across the border, Al Jazeera has gathered firsthand accounts of life inside the city from residents who just left or from eyewitnesses inside who were able to get outside the blackout area.

The picture that emerges is of a dark and deadly security arena, one driven by the actions of the secret police and their rooftop snipers, in which soldiers and protestors alike are being killed or wounded, in which cracks are emerging in the military itself, and in which is created the very chaos which the regime uses to justify its escalating crackdown. (Daraa, a City under Siege, IPS / Al Jazeera, April 29, 2011)

The Al Jazeera report borders on the absurd. Read carefully.

“Tanks and troops control all roads in and out”,  “thousands of Syrian soldiers and their heavy weaponry into Daraa”

This situation has prevailed for several weeks. This means that bona fide protesters who are not already inside Daraa cannot enter Daraa.

People who live in the city are in their homes: “nobody dares walk … the streets”. If nobody dares walk the streets where are the protesters?

Who is in the streets? According to Al Jazeera, the protesters are in the streets together with the soldiers, and both the protesters and the soldiers are being shot at by “plain clothes secret police”, by “paid thugs” and government sponsored snipers.

The impression conveyed in the report is that these casualties are attributed to infighting between the police and the military.

But the report also says that the soldiers (in the “thousands”) control all roads in and out of the city, but they are being shot upon by the plain clothed secret police.

The purpose of this web of media deceit, namely outright fabrications  –where soldiers are being killed by police and  “government snipers”– is to deny the existence of armed terrorist groups. The later are integrated by snipers and “plain clothed terrorists” who are shooting at the police, the Syrian armed forces and local residents.

These are not spontaneous acts of terror; they are carefully planned and coordinated attacks. In recent developments, according to a Xinhua report (April 30, 2011), armed “terrorist groups” “attacked the housing areas for servicemen” in Daraa province, “killing a sergeant and wounding two”.

While the government bears heavy responsibility for its mishandling of the military-police operation, including the deaths of civilians, the reports confirm that the armed terrorist groups had also opened fire on protesters and local residents. The casualties are then blamed on the armed forces and the police and the Bashar Al Assad government is portrayed by “the international community” as having ordered countless atrocities.

The fact of the matter is that foreign journalists are banned from reporting inside Syria, to the extent that much of the information including the number of casualties is obtained from the unverified accounts of “witnesses”.

It is in the interest of the US-NATO alliance to portray the events in Syria as a peaceful protest movement which is being brutally repressed by a “dictatorial regime”.

The Syrian government may be autocratic. It is certainly not a model of democracy but neither is the US administration, which is characterized by rampant corruption, the derogation of civil liberties under the Patriot legislation, the legalisation of torture, not to mention its “bloodless” “humanitarian wars”:

“The U.S. and its NATO allies have, in addition to U.S. Sixth Fleet and NATO Active Endeavor military assets permanently deployed in the Mediterranean, warplanes, warships and submarines engaged in the assault against Libya that can be used against Syria at a moment’s notice.

On April 27 Russia and China evidently prevented the U.S. and its NATO allies from pushing through an equivalent of Resolution 1973 against Syria in the Security Council, with Russian deputy ambassador to the UN Alexander Pankin stating that the current situation in Syria “does not present a threat to international peace and security.” Syria is Russia’s last true partner in the Mediterranean and the Arab world and hosts one of only two Russian overseas naval bases, that at Tartus. (The other being in Ukraine’s Crimea.)” (Rick Rozoff,   Libyan Scenario For Syria: Towards A US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention” directed against Syria? Global Research, April 30, 2011)

The ultimate purpose is to trigger sectarian violence and political chaos within Syria by covertly supporting Islamic terrorist organizations.

What lies ahead?

The longer term US foreign policy perspective is “regime change” and the destabilization of Syria as an independent nation-state, through a covert process of “democratization” or through military means.

Syria is on the list of “rogue states”, which are targeted for a US military intervention. As confirmed by former NATO commander General Wesley Clark the “[The] Five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan” (Pentagon official quoted by General Wesley Clark).

The objective is to weaken the structures of the secular State while justifying an eventual  UN sponsored “humanitarian intervention”. The latter, in the first instance, could take the form of a reinforced embargo on the country (including sanctions) as well as the freezing of Syrian bank assets in overseas foreign financial institutions.

While a US-NATO military intervention in the immediate future seems highly unlikely, Syria is nonetheless on the Pentagon’s military roadmap, namely an eventual war on Syria has been contemplated both by Washington and Tel Aviv.

If it were to occur, at some future date, it would lead to escalation. Israel would inevitably be involved. The entire Middle East Central Asian region from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Chinese-Afghan border would flare up.

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and Editor of globalresearch.ca. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005). He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.  He spent a month in Syria in early 2011.

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صراع الجنرالات في تل أبيب في زمن النصر الاستراتيجي للمقاومة…!

مارس 16, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

تقطع المصادر المطلعة على أجواء غرف عمليات محور المقاومة من طهران إلى غزة بأنّ الصاروخين اللذين حطا رحالهما في تل أبيب ليسا من عمل المقاومة في شيء…!

نفس المصادر تشتبه بقوة بأنّ سيناريو ما كان يحضّر لتفجير الأوضاع على الجبهة الجنوبية لفلسطين المحتلة بهدف وضع فصائل المقاومة هناك بين المطرقة والسندان لاستفزازها بهدف جعلها مادة انتخابية لخدمة أحزاب الكيان الصهيوني…!

وفي هذا السياق فقد أفاد مصدر أمني أوروبي غربي مخضرم، تعليقاً على موضوع إطلاق الصواريخ على تل أبيب، بما يلي:

1 ـ انّ عملية إطلاق الصاروخين على تل أبيب، مساء الخميس 14/3/2019 كانت عملية منسّقة بين جهات مخابراتية فلسطينية وجهات معينة في الأجهزة الأمنية والعسكرية «الإسرائيلية».

2 ـ تمّ تنفيذ العملية من خلال بضع أفراد فلسطينيين من قطاع غزه، مقابل المال، حيث كلفت العملية حوالي ثلاثة ملايين دولار.

3 ـ قام عملاء لأجهزة مخابراتية فلسطينية بشراء الصواريخ من عناصر قريبين من جبهة المقاومة دون علم قياداتهم بالموضوع.

4 ـ الدوله العميقة في «إسرائيل»ـ أيّ الأجهزه الأمنية، على علم بكلّ التفاصيل جميعها… بدءاً بإيصال الأموال، التي استخدمت في ترتيب العملية، الى غزة مروراً بالأشخاص الذين باعوا الصاروخين وصولاً إلى الخلية التي نفذت عملية الإطلاق.

5 ـ كان هدف العملية، حسب من خطط لها، هو إلحاق الأذى الانتخابي بنتن ياهو ولكن الرياح أتت بما لا تشتهي السفنُ.

إذ كان من المفترض، حسب الخطة، أن تسقط الصواريخ في المدينة وتوقع خسائر مادية وبشرية كبيرة مما سيضطر نتن ياهو الى شنّ حرب واسعة على غزة، تلك الحرب التي ستكبّد «إسرائيل» وجيشها خسائر كبيرة دون تحقيق أيّ من الأهداف «الإسرائيلية».

6 ـ لكن سقوط أحد الصاروخين في البحر والآخر في منطقة مفتوحة دون وقوع خسائر قد أدّى إلى فشل الخطة وتحويل النتيجه لصالح نتن ياهو الذي قرّر الردّ بشكل محدود ومدروس ليخدم حملته الانتخابية فقط ودون التورّط في مواجهة واسعة مع قطاع غزه.

وتابع المصدر الأمني… انّ البيان الذي تمّ تداوله باسم «حركة المقاومة العربية لتحرير فلسطين»، هو بيان مفبرك من قبل جهات أمنية «فلسطينية» وبالتنسيق مع جهات أمنية «إسرائيلية»!

في هذه الأثناء فإنه تمّ في الآونة الأخيرة تسجيل حملة في وسائل الإعلام «الإسرائيلي»، خاصة «ديبكا فايل» تركز على موضوع قوات حزب الله على جبهة الجولان بقيادة علي موسى دقدوق… يربط من خلالها «الإسرائيلي» الموضوع بالجنرال سليماني ودور مدّعى لدقدوق في تدريب قوات الخزعلي في العراق، ويشيرون الى احتمال قيام القوات الأميركية في سورية والعراق بعمل استباقي ضدّ قوات حزب الله العراق وعصائب أهل الحق….

حيث يتمّ التركيز على انّ قيادة هذه التنظيمات في أيدي الجنرال سليماني والسيد حسن نصرالله والشيخ قيس الخزعلي…

وتضيف هذه المصادر بأنّ كلّ هذا يحمل رسائل لا يجوز إهمالها أو الاستهانة بها…!

فهذا الهجوم الإعلامي المكثف على حزب الله والمقاومة وحشد المعلومات المتضاربة المليئة بالأفخاخ والتي يروّج لها موقع «ديبكا الإسرائيلي» تعود أسبابها بنظر المراقبين إلى ما يلي:

ـ زيارة بومبيو المقبلة للمنطقة وتحديداً الى لبنان…!

ـ قانون ضمّ الجولان الذي سيناقش في الكونغرس قريباً.

ـ تهديدات نتن ياهو بضرب ناقلات النفط الإيرانية وقيام 11 زورق بمهاجمة ناقلة إيرانية في باب المندب، بتاريخ 7/3/2019، والتي تمّ إنقاذها بواسطة تدخل مغاوير القوة البحرية الإيرانية وتمكّنت من مواصلة سيرها بشكل طبيعي تحمل 150 ألف طن من النفط .

طبعاً الزوارق كانت تحمل قراصنة تقوم بتشغيلهم «إسرائيل» والولايات المتحدة في تلك المنطقة.

هذا يعني ممارسة شكل جديد من أشكال الحرب ضدّ إيران…!

فهل تتجه المنطقة إلى تصعيد تحت السيطرة الهدف منه إنقاذ نتن ياهو من السقوط نحو الهاوية..!؟

ام انّ ثمة جهات دولية وأميركية عليا باتت مقتنعة بأنّ ايام نتن ياهو باتت معدودة وينبغي التخلص منه ومن عصابته الحاكمة لصالح عصابات جنرلات أبيض- أزرق لتبدأ دورة جديدة من العنف والنهب الصهيوني الاحتلالي لفلسطيننا الحبيبة تحت عنوان جديد…!؟

في كلّ الاحوال شعبنا الفلسطيني ومن ورائه محور المقاومة سيكونان بالمرصاد لمثل هذه الألاعيب ولن يسمحا لصواريخ انتخابية مشبوهة ان تكون هي من تحدّد ساعة المواجهة مع عدوهما التاريخي والوجودي..!

لن نكون أول من يشعل الحرب ولكن لن نسمح للعدو ايضاً أن يدحرجنا الى حيث يريد وفي اللحظة التي يريد..!

ولسنا طعماً انتخابياً لأيّ زمرة من زمر حربه القذرة..!

واليد العليا ستظلّ لنا لا سيما ونحن في زمن الهجوم الاستراتيجي والاحتفال بالنصر بعد النصر.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

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Trump’s Not Shy About His Plan To Ship Syrian-Based Terrorists Back To Europe

Trump’s Not Shy About His Plan To Ship Syrian-Based Terrorists Back To Europe

Trump wants the US’ NATO partners to repatriate their citizens captured during anti-terrorist operations in the areas of Syria under its proxies’ control, whether to put them on trial in their homelands or reintegrate them into society depending upon their sovereign choice. This demand has been met with strong opposition from those countries who are fearful of the public’s reaction to spending taxpayer funds on these controversial efforts when it wouldn’t cost anything to let them languish for the rest of their lives in the Mideast. The rising populist sentiment in the continent has made it difficult for even the most EuroLiberal of governments like the one in Germany to implement its infamous principles, something that the US is certainly well aware of and eager to exploit for political ends.

All rhetoric about so-called “human rights”, “freedom”, and “justice” aside, the US and its regional partners could easily just kill the terrorist suspects or let them remain forever imprisoned in a desert dungeon, but Trump wants to trumpet his “democratic credentials” by giving these suspects a supposedly “fair chance” for their future by leaving their destinies up to their governments. Barring that, he ominously hinted on Twitter that these individuals could be released from custody and would “permeate Europe”, thus putting the EU on the horns of an unprecedented dilemma whereby it either submits to the US’ demands contrary to its people’s populist sentiment or endangers its citizens’ security by letting the US release those suspects and risk them returning to their home countries to carry out terrorist attacks.

Repatriate terrorists
Men who fled Isis-held territory lineup to be questioned by Kurdish forces

Either way, it’s a lose-lose scenario for the EU, which Trump masterfully manipulated it into as revenge for standing up to him over the past two years. The President is already well aware of his country’s terrible reputation abroad so he doesn’t care all that much about people cynically accusing it of letting terrorists return to the EU. He can always disingenuously claim that the US doesn’t have full control over its proxies and can’t control what they’ll do with the prisoners if they aren’t repatriated, nor can it commit troops to guarding their detention facilities indefinitely. Basically, the US is signaling that these fighters aren’t its problem or its responsibility anymore, and that the EU can either responsibly take them into custody or they’ll find their way back home regardless.

One way or another, the US is indirectly encouraging the spread of populist anti-government sentiment in Europe just months before the bloc’s parliamentary elections in May, with this being strategically intended to tip the continental balance against the ruling Western European EuroLiberals and towards the upstart EuroRealists in Southern and Central Europe. It was a matter of coincidence that the timing of these requested terrorist repatriations turned out to be so auspicious, but that nevertheless doesn’t mean that the US isn’t weaponizing it for its own purposes. As they say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”, and Trump’s proving that he’ll do whatever is needed to take revenge on the EU for going against his trade and security policies, even if it means facilitating terrorists’ re-entry into the bloc

It’s Not ‘Anti-Semitic’ to Question the Influence of AIPAC in American Politics

It’s Not ‘Anti-Semitic’ to Question the Influence of AIPAC in American Politics

ROBERT BRIDGE | 14.03.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

It’s Not ‘Anti-Semitic’ to Question the Influence of AIPAC in American Politics

Freshman Democrat lawmaker Ilhan Omar triggered an earthquake in Washington that split the political aisle when she touched the forbidden third rail, which is any discussion of the pro-Israeli lobby’s influence on the US political system.

During a bookstore event hosted by Busboys and Poets, Omar told the assembled guests: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask why it is okay for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, fossil fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobby that is influencing policy.”

Judging how she prefaced the remark, with a lengthy discussion about “the stories of Palestinians” and how she was being regularly accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ to end all debate on the decades-old standoff, it was clear what lobbying group Omar was referring to.

It was the second time in as many weeks that Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslims to serve in Congress, was accused of allegedly espousing anti-Semitic comments.

In early February, Omar had responded to a tweet by journalist Glenn Greenwald who said it was “stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”

Omar responded, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” followed by a musical emoji.

When pushed by another Twitter user to say who she thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, Omar responded simply, “AIPAC!”

In fact, Omar was wrong. AIPAC does not raise funds for candidates. But its members do, with the group’s powerful endorsement.

On March 3, Omar tweeted to her fellow Congresswoman, Nita Lowey, that she should “not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee…”

Such complaints have been heard before.

In 2014, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney told Press TV that her campaign funding suddenly went “kaput” after she refused to sign a “pledge of allegiance” to Israel while she was in office.

“I refused to toe the line on US policy for Israel,” she said.

On another occasion, in 2006, academics John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt published a paper in the London Review of Books, entitled “The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Policy.” In it, the authors discussed the influence of pro-Israel organizations in the United States, with primary emphasis on AIPAC, which they described as “the most powerful and well-known.”

Omar’s string of remarks quickly sparked similar debate, but this time inside of the Democratic Party. This demonstrated the potential future impact of a new generation of multiethnic lawmakers, many of whom, as Muslims, are increasingly frustrated by the Israeli-Palestinian crisis and their inability to discuss it.

Omar, however, was quickly upbraided by senior Democrats.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) called out the freshman lawmaker, saying her “use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive… and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”

Although Omar did offer contrition, she refused to budge on “the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics,” mentioning the NRA, fossil fuel industry and AIPAC. It seems like a fair criticism, all things considered.

Following the high-profile fallout, the House Democrats passed, with remarkable alacrity, a House Resolution that condemns anti-Semitism as “hateful expressions of intolerance…and anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities.”

The resolution, while intended to tamp down messages of hate, conspicuously failed to mention Omar’s purportedly anti-Semitic remarks, focusing its attention instead on “white supremacists” and “white nationalists,” who were not even remotely mentioned by Omar during her bookstore comments, thus prompting 23 Republican lawmakers to reject the resolution.

The partisan smashup helped to deflect attention away from the main point of contention with regards to Omar’s claim, which on the face of it does not sound radical: Does the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC), as well as the other powerful lobbying groups, hold too much sway over US foreign policy? Should AIPAC be ranked as an agent of a foreign power working on behalf of Israeli interests in the US?

Mearsheimer and Walt certainly thought so. In their paper, they quoted a 1997 article in Fortune magazine, which asked members of Congress to name the most powerful lobbies in Washington. AIPAC was ranked second behind only the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), but ahead of the AFL-CIO and the National Rifle Association (NRA). The authors were quick to point out, however, that there was nothing inherently wrong about the way AIPAC operates. “For the most part, the individuals and groups that comprise the Lobby are doing what other special interest groups do, just much better.”

How much better? Well, consider that in 2016, during a breakdown in relations between the Obama White House and Israel over the question of nuclear talks with Iran, AIPAC helped persuade the Republicans to let Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address a joint session of Congress – without the foreknowledge of then President Barack Obama. As a thought experiment, try and imagine the same privilege being extended to any other leader in the world. The reason it is difficult to imagine is because it’s never been done before precisely because it’s unconstitutional.

“Democrats accuse Boehner of ambushing the president as the Republicans push – with the backing of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington – to strengthen sanctions against Iran,” as the Guardian reported.

Another example came with the push for war against Iraq following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 against the United States. An article in the Forward admitted that as “President Bush attempted to sell the … war in Iraq, America’s most important Jewish organizations rallied as one to his defense.” As Mearsheimer and Walt pointed out, this lobbying influence on behalf of war did not flush with the opinion of the US Jewish population.

“Samuel Freedman reported just after the war started that a compilation of nationwide opinion polls by the Pew Research Center shows that Jews are less supportive of the Iraq war than the population at large, 52% to 62%. Thus it would be wrong to blame the war in Iraq on “Jewish influence,” the academics argued.

Indeed, as Paul Waldman argued in The Washington Post, in the United States today, “a ‘supporter of Israel’ is much more likely to be an evangelical Christian Republican than a Jew.”

Whatever the case may be, the essence of the question remains the same: Does AIPAC, as well as many other lobbying groups, wield too much power in the US political system? The question cannot be casually brushed aside as ‘anti-Semitic,’ any more than questioning the power of Big Pharma, for example, could be dismissed as ‘anti-Doctor,’ or the power of the NRA as ‘anti-Cowboy.’ It makes no sense, and unfairly accuses people who are asking legitimate questions of the most loathsome charges.

With the face of the American political system changing along ethnic and religious lines, it is critical that such issues with regards to political influence get a fair hearing.

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Congresswoman Ilhan Omar: The Shameful Attack that Backfired

Global Research, March 13, 2019

What happened to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was troubling. On the one hand, because she dared to challenge the way supporters of Israel have worked to silence debate on US policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she became a victim of incitement, and the target of legislation meant to shame her. At the same time, however, the heavy-handed tactics employed against her by some pro-Israel members of Congress backfired, exposing new fault lines in the US-Israel relationship.

The weapon of choice utilized by Omar’s opponents was to demonize her as an anti-Semite. Her “sin,” it appears, was her continued umbrage over the double-standard that exists in American policy toward Israel and its treatment of Palestinians.

During Israel’s assault on Gaza, for example, she criticized the failure of the US media to pierce through Israeli propaganda and see what was actually happening to Palestinians in that impoverished strip of land. Once in Congress, she was deemed to have “sinned” again when she challenged the power of AIPAC to intimidate politicians and silence debate on Israel/Palestine.

New to Washington and the “acceptable language” one should use to discuss these issues, she admitted that her word choices had been unfortunate and apologized for the pain she may have caused.

Despite her apology, she remained a target. Because she is a hijab-wearing Muslim, who was critical of Israel, the GOP sought to exploit her in their continuing effort to drive a wedge between the Jewish community and Democrats. For their part, some Democrats reacted with hyperventilated outrage. Extreme language was used to denounce Omar. Her words were described as “bigoted,” “vile,” and, of course, “anti-Semitic slurs.”

Never, in all this time, was there a critical examination of what she actually said. In fact, she never accused the Jewish community of controlling the media (unless one assumes that Israel’s ability to dominate media coverage of events occurring in the occupation can be attributed to the Jewish community). Nor did she accuse the Jewish community of using money to buy influence in Washington (unless one suggests that AIPAC speaks for and acts on behalf of the entire Jewish community). It didn’t matter, her opponents continued to call her an “anti-Semite,” and did so with such frequency that the term stuck, putting her at risk to threats of violence from bigots.

The entire affair came to a head when, at a town hall last week, Omar attempted to explain herself. Asked to address the controversy that had erupted over her advocacy of Palestinian rights, Omar’s colleague, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, spoke first noting that to her the question of Palestine is personal – her grandmother still lives in the West Bank and Congresswoman Tlaib desires that she receive equal justice and recognition of her rights to live in dignity. Reacting to what she had just heard, Omar said that she couldn’t agree with those who fight for human rights and dignity for others and yet exclude Palestinian rights and dignity. For her part, she said, the focus should be universal – leaving no one out. She then chided those in Congress who have pressed her to reject her commitment to call out Israeli abuses and ignore Palestinians rights. Because she is a Muslim, Omar said, her criticism of Israel has been automatically seen as anti-Semitic in order to silence her. Even more troubling she noted was that, as a result of the manufactured controversy over her words, the discussion became whether or not she was an anti-Semite, while ignoring “the broader debate about what is happening in Palestine.”

At that point, Omar said that she resented those who are pushing her to demonstrate allegiance to Israel. She concluded by saying that she wanted to have this conversation about “the political influence in this country that says it’s okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

The reaction to this newest “sin” was near hysteria. Without ever listening to what she actually said, some members of Congress accused her of saying that the Jews had dual-loyalty – despite the fact that she had said no such thing. They demanded that Omar be censured or removed from her committee posts. And the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee proposed a resolution that would have denounced anti-Semitism in a way that was clearly directed at the congresswoman.

What was disturbing about this proposed resolution was that none of “Whereas” clauses included had anything to do with what Omar actually said. She never accused Jews of “dual loyalty because they support Israel”; nor did she display “prejudicial attitudes” towards Jews; nor did she ever make “mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews”.

What she did do was: challenge official American, and in particular, Congressional silence on the suffering of the Palestinians; the efforts by pro-Israel groups to silence debate on this issue; and the way that some have sought to create a virtual identity being pro-Israel and American interests.

Despite the obvious falseness of their claims, Omar’s opponents in Congress plowed ahead with their proposed bill in order “to teach her a lesson.” In their remarks rebuking Omar, they unwittingly made her point. One congressman said, “Questioning support for the US-Israel relationship is unacceptable.” Another said, “there are many reasons to support Israel, but there is no reason to oppose Israel.” While still another said that Democrats and Republicans, alike, are committed to insuring that the “United States and Israel stand as one.”

It is exactly this attitude to which Omar objected when she wrote,

“I am told everyday that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel…I know what it means to be an American and no one will ever tell me otherwise…I have not said anything about the loyalty of others, but spoke about the loyalty expected of me.”

Because Omar has touched what some have come to say is “the third rail of American politics” she was being exploited by some Republicans and hung out to dry by some Democrats. They put a target on her back. And haters were quick to respond with frightening death threats and shameful bigoted assaults on her as a Muslim woman. There is no question that these threats against Omar were the byproduct of the sustained campaign of incitement.

It’s important to note, however, that outside of the halls of Congress a different reality was unfolding. The attacks on Congresswoman Omar were rejected by many Democrats, including progressive Jewish groups, and a debate was sparked by the issues she raised and the over-reaction to them by Congress.

By week’s end, the entire effort appeared to backfire. Instead of being the “slam dunk” they expected, the proposed resolution ran into blocks. Some members objected to singling out of anti-Semitism, without also denouncing racism, sexism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, etc. Others protested that Omar was being singled out and put at risk.  And a few of the more prominent Democratic presidential hopefuls (Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris) insisted that charges of anti-Semitism should not be used to silence debate on Israeli policy.

By week’s end, Congress passed a resolution denouncing all forms of hate or intolerance against any religious, ethnic, or religious community. Since it made no mention of Ilhan, it was clearly a loss for those who began the push to shame or punish her

Two final points must be made:

Firstly, Representative Omar is owed an apology. False charges and a manufactured crisis have sullied her name and put her at risk.

And secondly, it is clear that Omar’s courage has helped to open a door enabling a discussion of Israeli policy and the US-Israel relationship. While her opponents attempted to slam it shut, it seems that their behavior and incitement against her backfired stirring a debate that has helped to pry the door even further open.

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Senate Set to Rebuke Trump on Support for Saudi Arabia

Source

By Staff, Agencies

The Senate is set to break with the administration’s support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen on Wednesday, likely handing President Trump his second setback from Capitol Hill this week.

“The resolution we will vote on in the Senate tomorrow to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen is enormously important and historic. This war is both a humanitarian and a strategic disaster, and Congress has the opportunity to end it,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement.

Three Senate aides said that they expect a resolution to come to the floor Wednesday that will call on Trump to withdraw any troops in or affecting Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting al-Qaeda.

The resolution would need only a simple majority to pass the Senate, which approved a similar resolution in December. The resolution would need to pass the House before heading to Trump’s desk, where he has said he would veto the measure.

With Republicans holding 53 seats in the Senate, Democrats would need to win over at least four Republicans and keep their entire caucus united in order to pass the resolution. The 2018 resolution passed with 56 votes.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), one of the co-sponsors of the resolution, said that he expected the vote would be “tight” but predicted that supporters would again be able to pass the resolution, as reported by The Hill.

“It’s going to be tight,” he said late last week. “But you know nothing has happened to peel Republicans away.”

The Wednesday vote will come a day before the Senate likely hands a second setback to Trump, with the chamber scheduled to take up a resolution of disapproval on his emergency declaration. If both measures pass Congress it would pave the way for the president to have to use back-to-back veto measures to defeat legislation.

The House passed its own Yemen resolution last month but it ran into a procedural roadblock in the Senate after the parliamentarian determined that it was not privileged, the status that lets supporters pass the measure with only a majority support in the Senate.

Supporters have brought up the resolution under the War Powers Act, which gives it a privileged status that allows it to be fast-tracked through Congress and avoid the 60-vote legislative filibuster in the Senate.

Tensions over Saudi Arabia have been running high on Capitol Hill since last year’s slaying of US resident and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, which opened up a gap between the administration and lawmakers on the issue.

Members of the Trump administration briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday evening about an investigation, ordered by members of the panel last year, into Khashoggi’s murder.

But Republicans on the committee appeared underwhelmed by the meeting, indicating that they didn’t learn new information.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the panel, called the briefing a “waste of time,” while Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) added that lawmakers “learned very little.”

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Young Democrats break America’s biggest taboo – criticism of israel (apartheid state)

Young Democrats break America’s biggest taboo – criticism of Israel

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (R) listens to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally for H.R. 1, or the We The People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo) US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (R) listens to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally for H.R. 1, or the We The People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Young Democratic stars like Tulsi Gabbard, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar have broken America’s biggest taboo – calling out Israel for its oppression of Palestinians – according to Eric S. Margolis, an American journalist and writer.

“Saying anything negative about Israel has long been the third rail of US politics and media. Israel is our nation’s most sacred cow. Any questioning of its behavior brings furious charges of anti-Semitism and professional oblivion,” Margolis wrote.

He added that a number of US senators and congressmen “lost their positions after rebuking Israel for its mistreatment of Palestinians or daring to suggest that Israel had far too much influence in the US.”

The analyst pointed out that “journalists were not even allowed to write there was an ‘Israel lobby.’”

“Now, young Democratic stars Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a feisty congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, have suddenly broken the taboo and said what dared not be said: there is too much rightwing Israeli influence and there must be justice for Palestine,” he wrote.

“Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have come to the defense of Ilhan Omar against the usual charges that she is anti-Semitic. So have black groups and smaller liberal Jewish groups,” he noted.

“The Democratic Party, that once received half its financial support from Jewish sources, is badly split over the Palestine crisis,” he revealed.

Omar, a newly elected Democrat Congresswoman from Minnesota, has sparked a firestorm on Capitol Hill over repeated criticisms of Israel and the powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington that exerts great influence in US politics.

The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution condemning bigotry and hate after backlash from a number of factions across the Democratic Party forced changes to a bill that originally focused on anti-Semitism and remarks about Israel by Omar, whose legitimate criticism of Israel has been deemed anti-Semitic by some colleagues and exposed deep fault lines among Democrats.

House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled the resolution, which she called the “strongest possible opposition” to anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and white supremacist bigotry.

Omar joined the two other Muslims in Congress, Rashida Tlaib and Andre Carson, in praising the measure’s passage.

“It’s the first time we have voted on a resolution condemning Anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation’s history,” they said, noting the worrying rise of extremism in America.

The resolution was initially pushed by Zionist organizations and some Jewish members of Congress to rebuke Omar for condemning the Israel lobby, but there was a heated backlash from fellow Democrats who said she was being unfairly singled out by the leadership.

Some Democratic senators in the upper chamber of Congress, including three 2020 presidential candidates Sanders, Warren and Harris, expressed frustration that Omar faced an implicit rebuke, while racist statements by President Donald Trump and other Republicans go largely unchallenged

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