UNSC Approves Extending Al-Qaeda Border Crossing to Idlib for One Year

Source

July 12, 2020 Arabi Souri

NATO Friends in Syria - UNSC - Nusra Front ISIS FSA Al Qaeda Terror SDF Kurds
NATO Friends in Syria

UNSC, the United Nations Security Council, passed a new resolution on Syria to allow humanitarian aid introduction into Syria through one border crossing.

After a long heated deliberation between the members of the United Nations Security Council, members who support Al Qaeda and want to prolong the terror war on Syria spearheaded by NATO member states, and those who want to adhere to international law and respect the sovereignty of an establishing member state of the United Nations, Syria.

The existing mandate for sending ‘humanitarian aid’ into Syria expired yesterday, the 10th of July. The new resolution allows extending the introduction of ‘humanitarian aid’ through Bab Al Hawa border crossing with NATO member state Turkey into Idlib, the last stronghold of al-Qaeda in Syria. The extension is for one year.

This means that any other border crossing run by any other party than the Syrian Government is considered as illegal and the Syrian armed forces and their allies are not only allowed to target, but are obliged to do so.

NATO member states Germany and Belgium penned the initial draft resolution to extend the crossings for one year and increase the number of such crossings to 6. The situation today is totally different than when the 2165 UN resolution was passed in 2014, now that US-sponsored terrorist groups have lost the majority of the territories they gained back then, and the Syrian state increased its presence all over, therefore, logically, there’s no need for more crossings now, rather what was needed is enabling the Syrian state to eliminate all terrorist groups, not provide them with humanitarian and non-humanitarian aid to prolong the suffering of the Syrian people further.

Three countries abstained from the vote on the new UNSC resolution: Russia, China, and the Dominican Republic, there were no vetoes allowing the new resolution penned by NATO member states Germany and Belgium to pass.

Russia and China vetoed the previous draft resolution penned by NATO member states Germany and Belgium extending the border crossings to one year and adding new crossings, Russia presented a counter draft that very much is similar to the one passed but was vetoed by NATO member states because it includes a demand to lift the inhumane unilateral coercive measures against the majority of the Syrian people, and the new compromise was finally introduced.

Russia’s opposition to the resolution remained because it’s ignoring the request of the UN Secretary-General to include in it the demand to lift off the unilateral coercive measures (draconian sanctions) imposed on the Syrian people, the 18 million of them not living in the last ‘safe haven’ of al-Qaeda in Idlib province, but Russia didn’t veto the new resolution since there are civilians that might benefit from this crossings until Idlib is cleaned from NATO-sponsored terrorists.

Retired French Colonel to ST: False chemical attacks have been organized by terrorists with help of western powers and Turkey to justify strikes on Syria

Sunday, 07 April 2019

DAMASCUS, (ST) – The Retired French Colonel Alain Corvez has emphasized that western powers are trying to use all kinds of false pretexts to carry out airstrikes against Syria in order to delay the political solution they don’t want.

Among these false pretexts are chemical weapons attacks being filmed and carried out by foreign-backed terrorist groups in Syria to blame the Syrian government for the attacks.

“Russian intelligence are very professional services and they have said that France and Belgium intelligence are in contact with White Helmets and terrorist groups in Idlib area and they are plotting false flag chemical attack in this area. They are reliable and I believe they say the truth because they have proved in the past their accuracy,” the retired officer told the Syria Times e-newspaper

He made it clear that this truth corresponds to the regrettable French action from the start of the war in Syria to support jihadists to take over the legal government of President Bashar Al-Assad which is their obsession.

“From the beginning the French diplomacy has to follow the US strategy and even to be the best pupil of the classroom in overtaking the master. This time, Belgium seems willing to demonstrate its association with this devil project. But Germany have also been participating in the support to terrorists together with France. Proofs of that have been delivered several times, namely by Russians,” the retired colonel stated.

He added: “The shame is that French media do not inform the people and diffuse the government propaganda trying to present its action as humanitarian.”

Mr. Corvez affirmed that false chemical attacks have already been organized by terrorists with the help of western powers and Turkey who want to justify strikes on a “power which kills its own people with prohibited chemical weapons”.

“The false attacks are being organized  because the western powers’ strategy of legal government’s change has failed by  the fierce resistance of the Syrian army supported by the people and leaded by its President, with the help of true friends of Syria : Russia and Iran who are also interested in the victory of their common camp,” Mr. Corvez said.

He affirmed that the western powers’ attempts will fail again and the US forces will leave Syria eventually, even if it is not the idea of the “deep state” in Washington which does not defend American interests but Israeli ones.

“Trump is a close friend of Israel but a patriot and he understands that the interest of US is to cease this war and others in the ME which makes people hate America, except a few leaders disconnected from their population relying on US support,” the retired officer concluded.

Related link:

http://syriatimes.sy/index.php/editorials/opinion/38663-syria-s-adherence-to-cwc-comes-within-its-commitment-to-achieve-international-peace-and-security

https://21stcenturywire.com/2018/03/26/exclusive-real-syria-civil-defence-describe-terrorist-double-taps-and-chemical-weapon-attacks-in-aleppo/

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddourv

 

Belgian official: israel (apartheid state) steals organs of Palestinian kids

Belgian official: Israel steals organs of Palestinian kids

Robrecht Vanderbeeken, the cultural secretary of Belgium’s ACOD trade union
Press TV – October 21, 2018

A Belgian official’s remarks that Israel steals the organs of Palestinian children, whom it kills, have made headlines again after the news website which published them decided to stick to the story.

Robrecht Vanderbeeken, the cultural secretary of Belgium’s ACOD trade union and a philosophy of science scholar, had made the comments back in August in a column published by Belgian website De Wereld Morgen.

The population of the Gaza Strip is being “starved to death, poisoned, and children are kidnapped and murdered for their organs,” he wrote then.

The website recently received a complaint by Belgian watchdog, the Interfederal Center for Equal Opportunities, over the story.

De Wereld Morgen, however, stuck to the assertion that Israel “kidnapped” and “murdered” Palestinian children and used organs belonging to the Palestinians its forces killed.

In November 2015, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations said Israel harvested the organs of the Palestinians it killed.

In a letter to the UN secretary general, Riyad Mansour said the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces “were returned with missing corneas and other organs, further confirming past reports about organ harvesting by the occupying power.”

The New York Times also said in an August 2014 report that transplant brokers in Israel had pocketed enormous sums of money. Based on the newspaper’s analysis of major organ trafficking cases since 2000, Israelis had played a “disproportionate role” in organ trafficking.

The issue of organ theft by Israel was first brought to the fore in a report published by Sweden’s most highly-circulated daily Aftonbladet in 2009.

Back in 2000, Dr. Yehuda Hiss, the former head of Israel’s forensic institute, divulged that Israeli pathologists at the institute would harvest skin, corneas, heart valves, and bones from the bodies of Palestinians and others often without permission from relatives.

The interview was, however, released no later than 2009 by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a professor of anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley, who had conducted it as part of her investigation into the institute, in response to a row created between Israel and Sweden over Aftonbladet’s report.

From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack with Elements from «ISIS» Playbook

Patrick Cockburn

In the immediate aftermath of what police are describing as a terrorist incident in and around Parliament, at least three facts stand out suggesting that the attacks are similar to those carried out over the last two years by “ISIS” supporters in Paris, Nice, Brussels and Berlin.

UK's Big Ben

The similarities with the events today are in the targets of the attacks which in all cases were ordinary civilians, but the means of trying to cause mass casualties differs. In Nice, Berlin and London no fire arms were used by the attackers, while in Paris and Brussels there was a coordinated assault in which guns and explosives were employed.

In Nice on 14 July 2016 a truck killed 86 people and injured hundreds, driving at speed through crowds watching a firework display on the Promenade des Anglais until the driver was shot dead by police. “ISIS” claimed that he was answering their “calls to target citizens of coalition nations that fight ‘ISIS'”. Britain is a member of the coalition with aircraft and Special Forces troops in action against “ISIS” in Iraq and Syria.

“ISIS” claimed responsibility for a lorry which drove into a Christmas market in 19 December 2016, killing 12 and injuring dozens. As with Nice, this appears to resemble what happened on Westminster Bridge, going by first reports.

The overall location of the attacks today may be significant and would fit in with the way that “ISIS” normally operates when carrying out such atrocities. This is to act in the center of capital cities or in large provincial ones in order to ensure 24/7 publicity and maximize the effectiveness of the incident as a demonstration of “ISIS’s” continuing reach and ability to project fear far from its rapidly shrinking core areas in Syria and Iraq.

“ISIS” is sophisticated enough to know that such attacks carried out in news hubs like London or Paris will serve their purposes best. In cases of attack with a knife or a vehicle then “ISIS” would not need to provide more than motivation, though individuals seldom turn out to have acted alone. It may no longer have cells in Europe capable of obtaining fire arms or making bombs.

It could be that the attacks were carried out by another group, the most obvious candidate being one of the affiliates of al-Qaeda in Yemen. Syria or elsewhere. On 11 March 2017 Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda, carried out two bombing attacks in Damascus, killing 59 people, mostly Shia pilgrims from Iraq visiting holy sites. But the Syrian arm of al-Qaeda, while carrying out suicide bombings against targets in Syria, has previously avoided doing so abroad in order to make itself more diplomatically palatable than “ISIS”.

Could the attacks on Westminster Bridge and in Parliament be linked to the siege of Mosul where “ISIS” has lost the east of the city and half the west since an Iraqi army offensive started o n17 October? “ISIS” has traditionally tried to offset defeats on the battlefield, by terrorist attacks aimed civilians that show they are still very much a force to be feared. The same logic led to the ritual decapitation, drowning and burning of foreign journalists and domestic opponents.

The most likely speculation at this early stage is that the attacks in London are inspired or directed by “ISIS”, but there is too little evidence to make the connection with any certainty. “ISIS” often holds off claiming such atrocities for several days to increase speculation and intensify terror.

Source: Independent, Edited by website team

23-03-2017 | 11:22

Assad to Belgian Media: Europeans Only Follow US Master

A comment on this video from Uprooted Palestinians reads: “More sense from Assad in 3 minutes than from the West in 6 years.” I would have to concur, and I would add that Assad’s “following-the-US-master” comment would probably equally apply to Western so-called “human rights” organizations as well.

Last week I commented on a report by Amnesty International accusing the Syrian government of operating a “human slaughterhouse” at a prison near Damascus. Now comes a Human Rights Watch report alleging that the Syrians used chemical weapons in their liberation of Aleppo from terrorist control. The report, which can be found here, also implicates Russia, but relies upon information given by “journalists” from the Aleppo Media Center, the organization that produced the “boy in the ambulance” photo last year–a photo believed by some to have been staged.

The Amnesty report, published on February 7, and the HRW report, released February 13, would seem to be a one-two punch aimed at the Syrian government and coming as the Pentagon is now reportedly considering recommending that the US send “conventional ground combat forces” for the first time into Syria.

The Syrian government has responded to the HRW report in an article just published today at SANA.

***

Syria Dismisses HRW Chemical Weapons Report as Unprofessional and Non-Credible

Damascus, SANA – The Syrian government denies categorically the false allegations brought up in the report of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) that the Syrian forces and their allies used toxic substances in the operation to liberate Aleppo, an official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said on Wednesday.

“The fact that the Human Rights Watch organization relied on the terrorists’ media sources and on absolutely non-credible false witnesses proves the lack of credibility of the report,” the source said in a statement to SANA.

“This report comes to justify the terrorists’ defeat and the victories of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies,” the source added.

It dismissed the HRW report as “unprofessional” and “non-scientific” and based on distorting facts, stressing that the report will definitely lose ground when faced with any scientific study or legal evidence.

“The Syrian Arab Republic, which has met all its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, strongly condemns this misleading report that came out in implementation of Western agendas before the convening of meetings in Astana and Geneva and any other meetings that might be held later on the Syrian file,” the Foreign Ministry source said.

The source reiterated Syria’s condemnation of the use of toxic chemical weapons by any part, in any place and for any reason, stressing that all these allegations will not discourage it from continuing its war against the terrorist organizations and their backers.

H. Said

Who is Behind “Fake News”? Mainstream Media Use Fake Videos and Images

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, November 24, 2016

The mainstream corporate media is desperate.

They want to suppress independent and alternative online media, which it categorizes as “fake news”. CNNvideo1b1

Readers on social media are warned not to go onto certain sites. 

The intent of this initiative is to smear honest reporting and Truth in Media.

Our analysis confirms that the mainstream media are routinely involved in distorting the facts and turning realities upside down. 

They are the unspoken architects of “Fake News”.  

One area of routine distortion is the use of fake videos and images by the mainstream media. 

Four Notorious Cases of  Media Distortion

These are four examples and there are many more. The manipulation of videos and images is routine. In some cases, they revealed by readers, independent media and social media. In most cases they go undetected. and when they are revealed, the media will say “sorry” we apologize: they will then point to technical errors. “we got the wrong video”

What is important to emphasize that these media distortions are invariably deliberate.

1. Coverage of CNN 2008 Riots in Tibet

Chinese Cops with khaki uniforms and Indian Style Moustaches

The video footage, which accompanied CNN’s John Vause’s report, had nothing to do with China. The police were not Chinese, but Indian cops in khaki uniforms from the Northeastern State of Himachal Pradesh, India.


Viewers were led to believe that demonstrations inside China were peaceful and that people were being arrested by Chinese cops.

Chinese Cops in Khaki Uniforms?

1′.27-1′.44″ video footage of “Chinese cops” and demonstrators including Buddhist monks. Chinese cops are shown next to Tibetan monks

Are these Chinese Cops from Gansu Province or Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, as suggested by CNN’s John Vause’s Report?

REPORT ON CHINA, MARCH 14, 2008



Alleged Chinese cops in khaki uniforms repressing Tibet demonstrators in China, CNN, March 14, 2008  1’38″, 1’40″ (images above)

Their khaki uniforms with berets seem to bear the imprint of the British colonial period.

Khaki colored uniforms were first introduced in the British cavalry in India in 1846.

Khaki means “dust” in Hindi and Persian.

Moreover, the cops with khaki uniforms and mustache do not look Chinese.

Look carefully.

They are Indian cops.

The videotape shown on March 14, 2008 by CNN is not from China (Gansu Province or Lhasa, Tibet’s Capital). The video was taken in the State of Himachal Pradesh, India. The videotape of the Tibet protest movement in India was used in the CNN report on the Tibet protest movement within China. CNN got its countries screwed up.

For the full report on Global Research click Here

2. BBC Coverage of the War on Libya, 2011

Green Square Tripoli. Libyans Celebrating “Liberation” and the Victory of Rebel forces over Gadaffi waving Indian Flags

Examine the footage: It’s not Green Square and it’s not the King Idris Flag (red, black green) of the Rebels.  

Its the Indian flag (orange, white and green) and the people at the rally are Indians.

Perhaps you did not even notice it.

And if you did notice, ”it was probably a mistake”.

Sloppy journalism at the BBC or outright Lies and Fabrications? Recognize the flags?

Indian Flag  (see right)

Libya’s Rebel Flag (King Idris)

 

Terrorists “celebrating” in Green Square

There is no celebration. It is a NATO sponsored massacre which has resulted in several thousand deaths.

But the truth cannot be shown on network television. The impacts of NATO bombings have been obfuscated.

The rebels are heralded as ”liberators”.

NATO bombing is intended to save civilian lives under The Alliance’s R2P mandate.  But the realities are otherwise: the civilian population is being terrorized by the NATO sponsored Rebels.

The images must be switched to conform to the “NATO consensus”.

Death and destruction is replaced by fabricated images of celebration and liberation.

See the full report on Global Research

3. CNN and BBC on 9/11.

The Report on the Collapse of WTC Building Seven Occurred Prior to the Collapse

Fake News regarding the Collapse of WTC Building Seven

The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed.

The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7.

CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event.

See the images below: WTC Building Seven is still standing.

(See WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Foreknowledge of WTC 7′s Collapse)

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.

“CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.” (see below)

4. The March 2016 Brussels Terrorist Attacks.

Belgian Media Used Video of a 2011 Moscow Airport Terrorist Attack

Brussels News media Dernière Heure at dhnet.be as well as La Libre reported on the terror attacks by providing a CC Camera Airport Surveillance Video of the terror attacks. 

The published video footage was fake as documented by a blog posting on Media Part

The video pertains to a terror attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on 24 January 2011 (posted on youtube in November 2013).

The  report of DHnet.be on the Brussels airport attack used the video of the Moscow 2011 attack with the date of the Brussels attack: (22/03/2016) pasted onto the Russian video.

Below is the screenshot of DH’s report.

And the screenshot of  La Libre at http://lalibre.be,

And here is a screenshot of the January 2011 terror attack at Moscow’s Domodedova International Airport published on youtube in November 2013 followed by the full youtube video of the Moscow attack:

 

According to the BBC (January 24, 2011) report (which includes the video), the Moscow 2011 airport attack  resulted in 35 dead.

Read Complete article on Brussels Fake Videos

Concluding Remarks

The lies and fabrications of the MSM are not the result of “sloppy journalism”.

They are deliberate and are intended to mislead the public.

The mainstream media routinely uses fake images and videos in its coverage of the war on Syria.

The campaign against alternative and independent media seeks to limit freedom of expression.

Major Russian Geopolitical Moves Going Unnoticed in Wake of US Election

November 17, 2016

by Oleg Maslov

Major Russian Geopolitical Moves Going Unnoticed in Wake of US Election

It’s official, Russia has decided to grab the bull by the horns. Just one week after the shocking vote in the US presidential election resulted in a Trump victory, Russia has decided to pull all the stops and take care of some long lingering business while Obama’s administration is working overtime to manage a transition that no one expected would happen and Obama himself is out of the office, making what might be his very last visit to Europe, calming the closest of American allies in a time of serious questions about the future of the American relationship with NATO.

Obama has just two months before Trump will be sworn in and much of the time and energy of his staff will be consumed by briefing Trump and his cabinet, which is not yet fully formed, on their duties and on the situation in the world in general. Perhaps Obama’s own transition team will try to convince the Teflon Don and his staff to pursue a similar policy on many issues, not the least of which include Obamacare and the Paris agreement on climate change. Trump himself has already received a call from Putin shortly after the election, one of Trump’s most publicized calls with world leaders after news of his victory broke, putting even more pressure on Obama’s transition team to get their points across quickly.

In the meantime, Obama is making his last expected tour of Europe before Trump’s inauguration. It is not certain exactly why Obama chose to visit Greece first, but it is certainly significant that he was greeted with tens of thousands of protesters, in the least because it shows the current zeitgeist. Obama has to perform his duties of Salesman in Chief as he goes around to NATO allies and reassures them of budget commitments to American forces stationed abroad. I can only imagine the brain-tingling questions that Obama will have to field from the German and French defense ministers.

The main source of all the sweating European bureaucrats is Trump’s apparent friendliness with Russia and criticism of NATO, which could mean that Brussels will have to have some existential discussions on many long standing policies, including the sanctions against Russia. In fact, if Trump were to recognize Crimea as a legal part of Russia, as he has suggested that he is willing to do, Europe may either have to follow suit and bring down the house of cards commonly referred to as the Ukrainian Crisis or declare an open break with Washington’s foreign policy, a veritable checkmate.

If the current batch of Eurocrats were to keep their jobs (which is looking questionable), they would most probably try to avoid an open break with Washington or, ironically, risk losing their jobs. An open break with Washington would set the European Union into open waters of foreign policy sovereignty, a move that would meet with great resistance from many sources. Either way, an incredible shake-up is coming to Ukraine soon as they are about to have much less friends in the ‘international community’.

However, all of these major theatrical dramas and loud, painful snowflake whines are actually working wonderfully to divert attention from the real news. This last Monday night, Russia did several noteworthy things on a globally relevant geopolitical level that will surely resonate with the global movers and shakers. Russia launched an all-out air assault onto ‘Syrian rebels’ operating in the Homs, Idlib, and Latakia provinces of Syria. Monday night’s military campaign coincided with the biggest corruption bust in the history of modern Russia – the Russian Economy Minister Ulyukaev was taken into custody by the FSB after being caught demanding and accepting a $2 million bribe. Lastly, and perhaps less significantly but just as suddenly and symbolically, Russia has announced that it will no longer participate in the International Criminal Court.

However, in the humble opinion of this author, the most important fact to note connecting these three events is that they represent huge milestones in the modern history of Russia. One event is on the domestic political and economic level, connecting staff thought to be within the inner circle of the Kremlin specifically with financial corruption. The second is purely military in nature and works to show off the power projection capabilities of the modern Russian military. Thirdly, Russia’s decision to leave the ICC is a huge signal to Russia’s positions in the context of international bodies, up to and including the UN.

I would like to highlight this point just one more time to make sure that the meaning doesn’t slide by anyone. The government of Russia has just performed the biggest government shake up since the fall of the Soviet Union, with the FSB arresting the ‘untouchable’ Economy Minister from his post and placing him on a very public trial for extorting a very large bribe. Russia have also launched the biggest attack on an enemy military at least since the Second Chechen conflict, which was the major event of the first few years of Putin’s presidency over 17 years ago, and, at most, since Soviet forces left Afghanistan in 1989, 27 years ago. And lastly, Russia has made a very major and unexpected decision to abandon the jurisdictions of the ICC, long known for its adherence to justice and fair verdicts (sarcasm). AT NEARLY EXACTLY THE SAME TIME!

Is it just me, or does it seem like the planets are aligning here?

Let’s analyze the first event. Alexei Ulyukaev was accused of extorting a bribe from state-owned oil company Rosneft to tune of $2 million, cold hard cash, and was arrested by investigators (mostly three letter agencies) at night. To top it all off, one official said under condition of anonymity that Ulyukaev’s arrest was the final act in a yearlong investigation by the FSB. Ulyukaev, a member of the Russian government since the break-up of the Soviet Union, has been considered as member of Russia’s liberal, Western-leaning politicians. Of particular interest is Ulyukaev’s CV.

Ulyukaev has held some critical positions in the modern Russian government, including serving under Gaidar and managing the shock privatizations of Soviet assets (as well as the shock hyperinflation) from 1991-1994. He was a deputy to Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin from 2000-2004 before taking a job as the first vice-chairman of the Russian Central Bank, a position that he held from April 2004 to June 2013. When he was arrested, again, in the middle of the night, he was the acting Economy Minister.

Ulyukaev was certainly high on the list of those considered to be untouchable.

Along with Ulyukaev, the vice-governor of Saint Petersburg and some high-ranking officials in the regional government of the Kemerovo region have also been arrested for corruption after investigations by the FSB.

Various commentary has already surfaced claiming that Putin has turned to the age old Russian tradition of the Purge. Opinion leaders in the community are writing that no ‘chinovnik’ or oligarch could feel that ‘untouchable’ anymore after Ulyukaev’s arrest and that corrupt officials better behave or face the ax. Still others are claiming that Putin is consolidating his power and is preparing to become a dictator in the classic sense. No matter which explanation you prefer, the fact remains that the Russian government is powerfully expressing its political and economic sovereignty and is publicly making a loud statement against corruption.

The second incident was a comprehensive and simultaneous assault on rebel targets all over Syria in a very short time frame. Targets were struck with a bevy of missiles launched both from sea and by land. One of the most surprising features of this massive campaign is the sheer size and diversity of it. The Bastion system, highlighted as a defensive surface-to-surface missile system, showed off its potent attack power, engaging targets up to 300 miles away.

IHS Janes reports on the news that Russia is “not known to have previously claimed” that the Bastion, which is originally an anti-ship missile, “has a land attack capability”. It turns out that missile ‘defense’ systems designed to engage land targets, such as the United States Missile Defense systems in Poland and Romania, can easily be used to engage in attacks on land targets. Surprise, surprise.

However, the brunt of the missile strikes done by Kalibr missiles launched from the Mediterranean Sea, most notably from Russia’s new and improved frigate, the Admiral Grigorovich. In fact, the Russian naval group, led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, made ‘waves’ in Europe as the group was headed to their final destination, the Syrian coast, from which they launched volley after volley of high precision cruise missiles at targets from what is most likely a confusing medley of rebel groups. It is highly likely that, among the rebel groups which met the explosive end of a Russian cruise missile, some were directly funded by American allies, and less likely that the Russians even targeted groups directly trained or supplied by the CIA.

This major military move actually kills two birds with one stone. First, it provides Russia’s allies and ‘partners’ in the area with a bit of information about how far and in what quantity the Russian military can project its power. Further, it reveals that the Russians are most likely purposefully understating the power and capabilities of many of their newest technologies (although this should come as a surprise to no one). Also to this point, the Russian government did not ask permission of any international body when it passed through international waters and made its way to Syria, despite the ‘uncomfort’ felt in London. The second stone is that Russia has engaged in one of the most effective and convincing advertising campaigns for their newest export model military products. With loud fanfare, the Russians showed the world that Russian arms still give great bang for the buck.

The last major move, but, in the view of this author, not nearly as significant as the other two, is Russia’s decision to withdraw its signature from the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court. This move was sudden and symbolic, coming after the ICC ruled Russia’s ‘annexation’ Crimea illegal and called the current situation an ‘occupation’, but will lead to no noticeable change in real terms, since Russia never actually ratified the Rome Statute, meaning that it never submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the ICC to begin with.

One can write more on the nature and meaning of the withdrawal of Russia from the ICC, but the readers are welcome to find their own facts and form their own opinions. I will also stop short of giving my opinion on this strange set of geopolitical ‘coincidences’, and finish only with a invitation for speculation on what these facts could mean for the future of Russia, Russia’s relationship with Europe and the world, and the global security structure as a whole.

Trump’s US-Russia Thaw A Chance for Europe to Find its Place in the World’: Analysis

US President-elect Donald Trump

November 13, 2016

French political analyst Caroline Galacteros said that if US President-elect Donald Trump manages to normalize ties between Moscow and Washington, this will change the global geopolitical environment.

In this situation, Europe would get a historic chance to find its place in this new world, Galacteros wrote in a piece for Le Figaro.

Trump’s victory in the United States presidential election became a shock of global magnitude for many Western leaders and media. However, this victory is not the beginning of an “era of uncertainty” as it was described by French President Francois Hollande, Galacteros said.

According to her, Europe should welcome the next American president and the French government should reaffirm its readiness to develop bilateral ties.

“The American fundamental geopolitical principles will not disappear after Trump’s inauguration because these principles are trans-partisan. What will change are the style and the methods of Washington’s foreign policy,” the article read.

Moreover, Galacteros suggested that Trump’s entourage will probably have a more realistic vision of global politics.

Paris should use the situation to establish a European structure of security and defense, which should also involve Russia, she wrote.

According to the author, Donald Trump wants to cooperate with Russia to defeat the Daesh or ISIL Takfiri terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, “and this is good news for Europe”.

Since 2001, Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly called for cooperation with the West on counterterrorism efforts. If Trump made the decision to cooperate in fact this would mean the “end of the policy of chaos and destabilization” in the Middle East, the article read.

Moreover, joint military efforts against terrorists by Moscow and Washington would lead to diplomatic efforts.

“The choice of the American people is promising. The ’empire’ is not dead. It is rising from the ashes. […] The scope of these changes will depend on Washington’s policy towards Russia as well as the West’s ability to put an end to the Russia-related nightmares of the Cold War,” Galacteros wrote.

However, she noted, there will be those in Washington and Brussels insisting on running the “policy of ostracism” against Russia.

“Whatever russophobic politicians say, Russia is at the end of the West and at the end of Europe. […] Europe and France are in flames. We need a cognitive, intellectual and even moral rupture to integrate Russia back into the European camps, instead of pushing it to China’s embraces,” the article read.

Source: Sputnik

NATO War Crimes: Russia shows Belgian ambassador proof Belgian jets struck Syrian village

Syrian Free Press

…the real liars are always liars, even confronted with evidence, especially if they know they have the support of the media propaganda & omerta…
(SFP-WP)

belgian-f-16-fighterjet-20161021-2

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned Belgian Ambassador Alex Van Meuwen to present him with proof that the Royal Belgian Air Force took part in strikes at the Hassajek village near Aleppo, Syria.

“On October 21, Belgian Ambassador Alex Van Meuwen was summoned to Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the meeting with the Ambassador, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov said that it is puzzling that Belgium is continuing to pesistently deny the fact that the Royal Belgian Air Force performed a strike on the area near Aleppo on October 18, in consequence of which civilians died,”according to a statement issued on Friday.

“The Belgian diplomat was presented with proof of the Royal Belgian Air Force’s involvement in the bombardment of the Hassajek village. It is stated that detailed information about technical aspects of the flight path of two F-16 jets was sent earlier to Belgium’s military attache in Moscow”.

Earlier on Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry released the detailed information about the airstrike on Hassajek, which had resulted in destruction of two houses and deaths of six people.

According to Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, the aircraft that took off from Al-Azraq air base in Jordan have been immediately identified to be F-16, and their affiliation was established as that of the Belgian Air Force.


RELATED:

NATO War Crimes: Russian and Syrian radars prove Belgian fighter jets strike Syrian village killing 6 civilian near Aleppo [Reports]

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Moscow Expects US-Led Coalition to Decry Deadly Belgian Strike on Syrian Village

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Russian Foreign Ministry Expects US to Condemn Airstrikes on Syrian Village

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Belgian Jets Could be Behind Airstrike Killing 6 People Near Aleppo

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SOURCES:
Sputnik News
submitted by Lone_Bear (Lone Bear)
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/belgian-war-crimes-2/
~

Russia Expects US Condemnation of Suspected Illegal Belgian Airstrikes in Aleppo

Russia said it expected a US’ condemnation of airstrikes which killed civilians in Aleppo late on Tuesday.

“We are expecting statements from the US State Department that would strongly condemn the attacks on civilian facilities and the killing of civilians. I think that it will be no trouble to find the images of the killed to launch the respective campaign on CNN,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page, calling on Washington to weigh in on the suspected coalition airstrike.

Earlier, Russian Defense Ministry said that at least six people were killed in an airstrike on a village in northern Syria’s Aleppo province, adding that two Belgian F-16 combat jets were operating in the area.

According to information handed over to the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria by the local council of the Syrian city of Afrin, the village of Hassadjek suffered an air attack in which six people died and four more were injured.

The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that neither Russian nor Syrian air forces were carrying out any missions in the area.

At the same time, the ministry said that Russian data recorders detected two Belgian F-16 fighter jets in the area within the specified time.

Russian and Syrian air forces halted airstrikes in Aleppo from 0700 GMT Tuesday for a 48-hour humanitarian pause.

Saudis and Extremism: «Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters»

 

Critics see Saudi Arabia’s export of a rigid strain of Islam as contributing to terrorism, but the kingdom’s influence depends greatly on local conditions.

Mecca

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump do not agree on much, but Saudi Arabia may be an exception. She has deplored Saudi Arabia’s support for “radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path towards extremism.” He has called the Saudis “the world’s biggest funders of terrorism.”

The first American diplomat to serve as envoy to Muslim communities around the world visited 80 countries and concluded that the Saudi influence was destroying tolerant Islamic traditions. “If the Saudis do not cease what they are doing,” the official, Farah Pandith, wrote last year, “there must be diplomatic, cultural and economic consequences.”

And hardly a week passes without a television pundit or a newspaper columnist blaming Saudi Arabia for “jihadist” violence. On HBO, Bill Maher calls Saudi teachings “medieval,” adding an epithet. In The Washington Post, Fareed Zakaria writes that the Saudis have “created a monster in the world of Islam.”

The idea has become a commonplace: that Saudi Arabia’s export of the rigid, bigoted, patriarchal, fundamentalist strain of Islam known as Wahhabism has fueled global extremism and contributed to terrorism. As the “ISIS” projects its menacing calls for violence into the West, directing or inspiring terrorist attacks in country after country, an old debate over Saudi influence on Islam has taken on new relevance.

Is the world today a more divided, dangerous and violent place because of the cumulative effect of five decades of oil-financed proselytizing from the historical heart of the Muslim world? Or is Saudi Arabia, which has often supported Western-friendly autocrats over “Islamists”, merely a convenient scapegoat for extremism and terrorism with many complex causes – the United States’ own actions among them?

Those questions are deeply contentious, partly because of the contradictory impulses of the Saudi state.

In the realm of extremist Islam, the Saudis are “both the arsonists and the firefighters,” said William McCants, a Brookings Institution scholar. “They promote a very toxic form of Islam that draws sharp lines between a small number of true believers and everyone else, Muslim and non-Muslim,” he said, providing ideological fodder for violent “jihadists”.

Yet at the same time, “they’re our partners in counterterrorism,” said Mr. McCants, one of three dozen academics, government officials and experts on Islam from multiple countries interviewed for this article.

Conflicting Goals

Saudi leaders seek good relations with the West and see “jihadist” violence as a menace that could endanger their rule, especially now that the Islamic State is staging attacks in the kingdom – 25 in the last eight months, by the government’s count. But they are also driven by their rivalry with Iran, and they depend for legitimacy on a clerical establishment dedicated to a reactionary set of beliefs. Those conflicting goals can play out in a bafflingly inconsistent manner.

Thomas Hegghammer, a Norwegian terrorism expert who has advised the United States government, said the most important effect of Saudi proselytizing might have been to slow the evolution of Islam, blocking its natural accommodation to a diverse and globalized world. “If there was going to be an Islamic reformation in the 20th century, the Saudis probably prevented it by pumping out literalism,” he said.

The reach of the Saudis has been stunning, touching nearly every country with a Muslim population, from the Gothenburg Mosque in Sweden to the King Faisal Mosque in Chad, from the King Fahad Mosque in Los Angeles to the Seoul Central Mosque in South Korea. Support has come from the Saudi government; the royal family; Saudi charities; and Saudi-sponsored organizations including the World Muslim League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and the International Islamic Relief Organization, providing the hardware of impressive edifices and the software of preaching and teaching.

There is a broad consensus that the Saudi ideological juggernaut has disrupted local Islamic traditions in dozens of countries – the result of lavish spending on religious outreach for half a century, estimated in the tens of billions of dollars. The result has been amplified by guest workers, many from South Asia, who spend years in Saudi Arabia and bring Saudi ways home with them. In many countries, Wahhabist preaching has encouraged a harshly judgmental religion, contributing to majority support in some polls in Egypt, Pakistan and other countries for stoning for adultery and execution for anyone trying to leave Islam.

Limits of Influence

But exactly how Saudi influence plays out seems to depend greatly on local conditions. In parts of Africa and Southeast Asia, for instance, Saudi teachings have shifted the religious culture in a markedly conservative direction, most visibly in the decision of more women to cover their hair or of men to grow beards. Among Muslim immigrant communities in Europe, the Saudi influence seems to be just one factor driving radicalization, and not the most significant. In divided countries like Pakistan and Nigeria, the flood of Saudi money, and the ideology it promotes, have exacerbated divisions over religion that regularly prove lethal.

And for a small minority in many countries, the exclusionary Saudi version of Sunni Islam, with its denigration of Jews and Christians, as well as of Muslims of Shiite, Sufi and other traditions, may have made some people vulnerable to the lure of al-Qaeda, the “ISIS” and other violent “jihadist” groups. “There’s only so much dehumanizing of the other that you can be exposed to – and exposed to as the word of God – without becoming susceptible to recruitment,” said David Andrew Weinberg, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington who tracks Saudi influence.

Exhibit A may be Saudi Arabia itself, which produced not only Osama bin Laden, but also 15 of the 19 hijackers of Sept. 11, 2001; sent more suicide bombers than any other country to Iraq after the 2003 invasion; and has supplied more foreign fighters to “ISIS”, 2,500, than any country other than Tunisia.

Mehmet Gormez, the senior Islamic cleric in Turkey, said that while he was meeting with Saudi clerics in Riyadh in January, the Saudi authorities had executed 47 people in a single day on terrorism charges, 45 of them Saudi citizens. “I said: ‘These people studied Islam for 10 or 15 years in your country. Is there a problem with the educational system?’ ” Mr. Gormez said in an interview. He argued that Wahhabi teaching was undermining the pluralism, tolerance and openness to science and learning that had long characterized Islam. “Sadly,” he said, the changes have taken place “in almost all of the Islamic world.”

In a huge embarrassment to the Saudi authorities, “ISIS” adopted official Saudi textbooks for its schools until the extremist group could publish its own books in 2015. Out of 12 works by Muslim scholars republished by the Islamic State, seven are by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the 18th-century founder of the Saudi school of Islam, said Jacob Olidort, a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. A former imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Adil al-Kalbani declared with regret in a television interview in January that the Islamic State leaders “draw their ideas from what is written in our own books, our own principles.”

Small details of Saudi practice can cause outsize trouble. For at least two decades, the kingdom has distributed an English translation of the Quran that in the first surah, or chapter, adds parenthetical references to Jews and Christians in addressing Allah: “those who earned Your Anger [such as the Jews], nor of those who went astray [such as the Christians].” Sayyed Hossein Nasr, a professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University and the editor in chief of the new Study Quran, an annotated English version, said the additions were “a complete heresy, with no basis in Islamic tradition.”

Continue reading the main story

Accordingly, many American officials who have worked to counter extremism and terrorism have formed a dark view of the Saudi effect – even if, given the sensitivity of the relationship, they are often loath to discuss it publicly. The United States’ reliance on Saudi counterterrorism cooperation in recent years – for instance, the Saudi tip that foiled a 2010 Qaeda plot to blow up two American cargo planes – has often taken precedence over concerns about radical influence. And generous Saudi funding for professorships and research centers at American universities, including the most elite institutions, has deterred criticism and discouraged research on the effects of Wahhabi proselytizing, according to Mr. McCants – who is working on a book about the Saudi impact on global Islam – and other scholars.

One American former official who has begun to speak out is Ms. Pandith, the State Department’s first special representative to Muslim communities worldwide. From 2009 to 2014, she visited Muslims in 80 countries and concluded that Saudi influence was pernicious and universal. “In each place I visited, the Wahhabi influence was an insidious presence,” she wrote in The New York Times last year. She said the United States should “disrupt the training of extremist imams,” “reject free Saudi textbooks and translations that are filled with hate,” and “prevent the Saudis from demolishing local Muslim religious and cultural sites that are evidence of the diversity of Islam.”

Yet some scholars on Islam and extremism, including experts on radicalization in many countries, push back against the notion that Saudi Arabia bears predominant responsibility for the current wave of extremism and “jihadist” violence. They point to multiple sources for the rise and spread of “Islamist terrorism”, including repressive secular governments in the Middle East, local injustices and divisions, the hijacking of the internet for terrorist propaganda, and American interventions in the Muslim world from the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan to the invasion of Iraq. The 20th-century ideologues most influential with modern “jihadists”, like Sayyid Qutb of Egypt and Abul Ala Maududi of Pakistan, reached their extreme, anti-Western views without much Saudi input. Al-Qaeda and “ISIS” despise Saudi rulers, whom they consider the worst of hypocrites.

“Americans like to have someone to blame – a person, a political party or country,” said Robert S. Ford, a former United States ambassador to Syria and Algeria. “But it’s a lot more complicated than that. I’d be careful about blaming the Saudis.”

While Saudi religious influence may be disruptive, he and others say, its effect is not monolithic. A major tenet of official Saudi Islamic teaching is obedience to rulers – hardly a precept that encourages terrorism intended to break nations. Many Saudi and Saudi-trained clerics are quietist, characterized by a devotion to scripture and prayer and a shunning of politics, let alone political violence.

And especially since 2003, when Qaeda attacks in the kingdom awoke the monarchy to the danger it faced from militancy, Saudi Arabia has acted more aggressively to curtail preachers who call for violence, cut off terrorist financing and cooperate with Western intelligence to foil terrorist plots. From 2004 to 2012, 3,500 imams were fired for refusing to renounce extremist views, and another 20,000 went through retraining, according to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs – though the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom expressed skepticism that the training was really “instilling tolerance.”

An American scholar with long experience in Saudi Arabia – who spoke on condition of anonymity to preserve his ability to travel to the kingdom for research – said he believed that Saudi influence had often been exaggerated in American political discourse. But he compared it to climate change. Just as a one-degree increase in temperature can ultimately result in drastic effects around the globe, with glaciers melting and species dying off, so Saudi teaching is playing out in many countries in ways that are hard to predict and difficult to trace but often profound, the scholar said.

Saudi proselytizing can result in a “recalibrating of the religious center of gravity” for young people, the scholar said, which makes it “easier for them to swallow or make sense of the ‘ISIS’ religious narrative when it does arrive. It doesn’t seem quite as foreign as it might have, had that Saudi religious influence not been there.”

Centuries-Old Dilemma

Why does Saudi Arabia find it so difficult to let go of an ideology that much of the world finds repugnant? The key to the Saudi dilemma dates back nearly three centuries to the origin of the alliance that still undergirds the Saudi state. In 1744, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, a reformist cleric, sought the protection of Muhammad bin Saud, a powerful tribal leader in the harsh desert of the Arabian Peninsula.

The alliance was mutually beneficial: Wahhab received military protection for his movement, which sought to return Muslims to what he believed were the values of the early years of Islam in the seventh century, when the Prophet Muhammad was alive. [His beliefs were a variant of Salafism, the conservative school of Islam that teaches that the salaf, or pious ancestors, had the correct ways and beliefs and should be emulated.] In return, the Saud family earned the endorsement of an Islamic cleric – a puritanical enforcer known for insisting on the death by stoning of a woman for adultery.

Wahhab’s particular version of Islam was the first of two historical accidents that would define Saudi religious influence centuries later. What came to be known as Wahhabism was “a tribal, desert Islam,” said Akbar Ahmed, the chairman of Islamic studies at American University in Washington. It was shaped by the austere environment – xenophobic, fiercely opposed to shrines and tombs, disapproving of art and music, and hugely different from the cosmopolitan Islam of diverse trading cities like Baghdad and Cairo.

The second historical accident came in 1938, when American prospectors discovered the largest oil reserves on earth in Saudi Arabia. Oil revenue generated by the Arabian-American Oil Company, or Aramco, created fabulous wealth. But it also froze in place a rigid social and economic system and gave the conservative religious establishment an extravagant budget for the export of its severe strain of Islam.

“One day you find oil, and the world is coming to you,” Professor Ahmed said. “God has given you the ability to take your version of Islam to the world.”

In 1964, when King Faisal ascended the throne, he embraced the obligation of spreading Islam. A modernizer in many respects, with close ties to the West, he nonetheless could not overhaul the Wahhabi doctrine that became the face of Saudi generosity in many countries. Over the next four decades, in non-Muslim-majority countries alone, Saudi Arabia would build 1,359 mosques, 210 Islamic centers, 202 colleges and 2,000 schools. Saudi money helped finance 16 American mosques; four in Canada; and others in London, Madrid, Brussels and Geneva, according to a report in an official Saudi weekly, Ain al-Yaqeen. The total spending, including supplying or training imams and teachers, was “many billions” of Saudi riyals [at a rate of about four to a dollar], the report said.

Saudi religious teaching had particular force because it came from the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, the land of Islam’s two holiest places, Mecca and Medina. When Saudi imams arrived in Muslim countries in Asia or Africa, or in Muslim communities in Europe or the Americas, wearing traditional Arabian robes, speaking the language of the Quran – and carrying a generous checkbook – they had automatic credibility.

As the 20th century progressed and people of different nationalities and faiths mixed routinely, the puritanical, exclusionary nature of Wahhab’s teachings would become more and more dysfunctional. But the Saudi government would find it extraordinarily difficult to shed or soften its ideology, especially after the landmark year of 1979.

In Tehran that year, the Iranian revolution brought to power a Shiite government, symbolically challenging Saudi Arabia, the leader of Sunnism, for leadership of global Islam. The declaration of an Islamic Republic escalated the competition between the two major branches of Islam, spurring the Saudis to redouble their efforts to counter Iran and spread Wahhabism around the world.

Then, in a stunning strike, a band of 500 Saudi extremists seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca for two weeks, publicly calling Saudi rulers puppets of the West and traitors to true Islam. The rebels were defeated, but leading clerics agreed to back the government only after assurances of support for a crackdown on immodest ways in the kingdom and a more aggressive export of Wahhabism abroad.

Finally, at year’s end, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and seized power to prop up a Communist government. It soon faced an insurgent movement of mujahedeen, or holy warriors battling for Islam, which drew fighters from around the world for a decade-long battle to expel the occupiers.

Throughout the 1980s, Saudi Arabia and the United States worked together to finance the mujahedeen in this great Afghan war, which would revive the notion of noble armed jihad for Muslims worldwide. President Ronald Reagan famously welcomed to the Oval Office a delegation of bearded “Afghan freedom fighters” whose social and theological views were hardly distinguishable from those later embraced by the Taliban.

In fact, the United States spent $50 million from 1986 to 1992 on what was called a “jihad literacy” project – printing books for Afghan children and adults to encourage violence against non-Muslim “infidels” like Soviet troops. A first-grade language textbook for Pashto speakers, for example, according to a study by Dana Burde, an associate professor at New York University, used “Mujahid,” or fighter of jihad, as the illustration: “My brother is a Mujahid. Afghan Muslims are Mujahedeen. I do ‘jihad’ together with them. Doing jihad against infidels is our duty.”

Pressure after 9/11

One day in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, Robert W. Jordan, the United States ambassador to Saudi Arabia, was driving in the kingdom with the longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan. The prince pointed to a mosque and said, “I just fired the imam there.” The man’s preaching had been too militant, he said.

Mr. Jordan, a Texas lawyer, said that after the Qaeda attacks, he had stepped up pressure on the Saudi government over its spread of extremism. “I told them: ‘What you teach in your schools and preach in your mosques now is not an internal matter. It affects our national security,'” he said.

After years of encouraging and financing a harsh Islam in support of the anti-Soviet “jihad”, the United States had reversed course – gradually during the 1990s and then dramatically after the Sept. 11 attacks. But in pressuring Saudi Arabia, American officials would tread lightly, acutely aware of American dependence on Saudi oil and intelligence cooperation. Saudi reform would move at an excruciatingly slow pace.

Twelve years after Sept. 11, after years of quiet American complaints about Saudi teachings, a State Department contractor, the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, completed a study of official Saudi textbooks. It reported some progress in cutting back on bigoted and violent content but found that plenty of objectionable material remained. Officials never released the 2013 study, for fear of angering the Saudis. The New York Times obtained it under the Freedom of Information Act.

Seventh graders were being taught that “fighting the infidels to elevate the words of Allah” was among the deeds Allah loved the most, the report found, among dozens of passages it found troubling. Tenth graders learned that Muslims who abandoned Islam should be jailed for three days and, if they did not change their minds, “killed for walking away from their true religion.” Fourth graders read that non-Muslims had been “shown the truth but abandoned it, like the Jews,” or had replaced truth with “ignorance and delusion, like the Christians.”

Some of the books, prepared and distributed by the government, propagated views that were hostile to science, modernity and women’s rights, not to say downright quirky – advocating, for instance, execution for sorcerers and warning against the dangers of the Rotary Club and the Lions Club. [The groups’ intent, said a 10th-grade textbook, “is to achieve the goals of the Zionist movement.”]

The textbooks, or other Saudi teaching materials with similar content, had been distributed in scores of countries, the study found. Textbook reform has continued since the 2013 study, and Saudi officials say they are trying to replace older books distributed overseas.

But as the study noted, the schoolbooks were only a modest part of the Saudis’ lavishly funded global export of Wahhabism. In many places, the study said, the largess includes “a Saudi-funded school with a Wahhabist faculty [educated in a Saudi-funded Wahhabist University], attached to a mosque with a Wahhabist imam, and ultimately controlled by an international Wahhabist educational body.”

This ideological steamroller has landed in diverse places where Muslims of different sects had spent centuries learning to accommodate one another. Sayyed Shah, a Pakistani journalist working on a doctorate in the United States, described the devastating effect on his town, not far from the Afghan border, of the arrival some years ago of a young Pakistani preacher trained in a Saudi-funded seminary.

Village residents had long held a mélange of Muslim beliefs, he said. “We were Sunni, but our culture, our traditions were a mixture of Shia and Barelvi and Deobandi,” Mr. Shah said, referring to Muslim sects. His family would visit the large Barelvi shrine… “We wouldn’t do that ourselves, but we’d hand out sweets and water,” he said.

The new preacher, he said, denounced the Barelvi and Shiite beliefs as false and heretical, dividing the community and setting off years of bitter argument. By 2010, Mr. Shah said, “everything had changed.” Women who had used shawls to cover their hair and face began wearing full burqas. Militants began attacking kiosks where merchants sold secular music CDs. Twice, terrorists used explosives to try to destroy the village’s locally famous shrine.

Now, Mr. Shah said, families are divided; his cousin, he said, “just wants Saudi religion.” He said an entire generation had been “indoctrinated” with a rigid, unforgiving creed.

“It’s so difficult these days,” he said. “Initially we were on a single path. We just had economic problems, but we were culturally sound.”

He added, “But now it’s very difficult, because some people want Saudi culture to be our culture, and others are opposing that.”

C. Christine Fair, a specialist on Pakistan at Georgetown University, said Mr. Shah’s account was credible. But like many scholars describing the Saudi impact on religion, she said that militancy in Pakistan also had local causes. While Saudi money and teaching have unquestionably been “accelerants,” Pakistan’s sectarian troubles and jihadist violence have deep roots dating to the country’s origins in the partition of India in 1947.

“The idea that without the Saudis Pakistan would be Switzerland is ridiculous,” she said.

Elusive Saudi Links

That is the disputed question, of course: how the world would be different without decades of Saudi-funded shaping of Islam. Though there is a widespread belief that Saudi influence has contributed to the growth of terrorism, it is rare to find a direct case of cause and effect. For example, in Brussels, the Grand Mosque was built with Saudi money and staffed with Saudi imams.

In 2012, according to Saudi diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, one Saudi preacher was removed after Belgian complaints that he was a “true Salafi” who did not accept other schools of Islam. And Brussels’ immigrant neighborhoods, notably Molenbeek, have long been the home of storefront mosques teaching hardline Salafi views.

After the terrorist attacks in Paris in November and in Brussels in March were tied to an “ISIS” cell in Belgium, the Saudi history was the subject of several news media reports. Yet it was difficult to find any direct link between the bombers and the Saudi legacy in the Belgian capital.

Several suspects had petty criminal backgrounds; their knowledge of Islam was described by friends as superficial; they did not appear to be regulars at any mosque. Though “ISIS” claimed responsibility for the blasts, resentment of the treatment of North African immigrant families in Belgium and exposure to “ISIS” propaganda, in person or via the internet and social media, appeared to be the major factors motivating the attacks.

If there was a Saudi connection, it was highly indirect, perhaps playing out over a generation or longer. Hind Fraihi, a Moroccan-Belgian journalist who went underground in the Brussels immigrant neighborhood of Molenbeek in 2005 and wrote a book about it, met Saudi-trained imams and found lots of extremist literature written in Saudi Arabia that encouraged “polarization, the sentiment of us against them, the glorification of jihad.”

The recent attackers, Ms. Fraihi said, were motivated by “lots of factors – economic frustration, racism, a generation that feels it has no future.” But Saudi teaching, she said, “is part of the cocktail.”

Without the Saudi presence over the decades, might a more progressive and accommodating Islam, reflecting immigrants’ Moroccan roots, have taken hold in Brussels? Would young Muslims raised in Belgium have been less susceptible to the stark, violent call of “ISIS”? Conceivably, but the case is impossible to prove.
Or consider an utterly different cultural milieu – the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia. The Saudis have sent money for mosque-building, books and teachers for decades, said Sidney Jones, the director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta.

“Over time,” said Ms. Jones, who has visited or lived in Indonesia since the 1970s, the Saudi influence “has contributed to a more conservative, more intolerant atmosphere.” [President Obama, who lived in Indonesia as a boy, has remarked on the same phenomenon.] She said she believed money from private Saudi donors and foundations was behind campaigns in Indonesia against Shiite and Ahmadi Islam, considered heretical by Wahhabi teaching. Some well-known Indonesian religious vigilantes are Saudi-educated, she said.

But when Ms. Jones studied the approximately 1,000 people arrested in Indonesia on terrorism charges since 2002, she found only a few – “literally four or five” – with ties to Wahhabi or Salafi institutions. When it comes to violence, she concluded, the Saudi connection is “mostly a red herring.”

In fact, she said, there is a gulf between Indonesian “jihadists” and Indonesian Salafis who look to Saudi or Yemeni scholars for guidance. The jihadists accuse the Salafis of failing to act on their convictions; the Salafis scorn the “jihadists” as extremists.

Whatever the global effects of decades of Saudi proselytizing, it is under greater scrutiny than ever, from outside and inside the kingdom. Saudi leaders’ ideological reform efforts, encompassing textbooks and preaching, amount to a tacit recognition that its religious exports have sometimes backfired. And the kingdom has stepped up an aggressive public relations campaign in the West, hiring American publicists to counter critical news media reports and fashion a reformist image for Saudi leaders.

But neither the publicists nor their clients can renounce the strain of Islam on which the Saudi state was built, and old habits sometimes prove difficult to suppress. A prominent cleric, Saad bin Nasser al-Shethri, had been stripped of a leadership position by the previous king, Abdullah, for condemning coeducation. King Salman restored Mr. Shethri to the job last year, not long after the cleric had joined the chorus of official voices criticizing “ISIS”.

But Mr. Shethri’s reasoning for denouncing “ISIS” suggested the difficulty of change. The group was, he said, “more infidel than Jews and Christians.”

Source: NYT, Edited by website team 

27-08-2016 | 11:29

 

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Europe’s Five “Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”. Turkey’s Nuclear Arsenal. Russia and Iran are the Targets

Are Turkey, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy Nuclear Powers?

Global Research, July 30, 2016
Global Research 12 February 2010
Europe's Five "Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States"

Author’s Note

This article was originally published by Global Research  in February 2010 under the title:Europe’s Five “Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”

The media, politicians and scientists have remained silent. The focus was persistently on Iran’s non-existant nuclear weapons.

Amply documented, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey are in possession of nuclear weapons which are deployed under national command against Russia, Iran and the Middle East.

In recent developments, following the failed July 2016 military coup, the media has reported on Turkey’s nuclear weapons stored and deployed at the Incirlik airbase. 

The US National Resources Defense Council in a February 2005 report confirmed Turkey’s deployment of 90 so-called tactical B61 nuclear weapons, some of which were subsequently decommissioned    

The stockpiling and deployment of tactical B61 in these five “non-nuclear states” are intended for targets in the Middle East. Moreover, in accordance with  “NATO strike plans”, these thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs (stockpiled by the “non-nuclear States”) could be launched  “against targets in Russia or countries in the Middle East such as Syria and Iran” ( quoted in National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005, emphasis added) 

In recent developments, press reports including Deutsche Welle have confirmed the deployment of Turkey’s 50 B61 nuclear weapons out it Incirlik air force base.  But this has been known for years. It took the media ten years to acknowledge that Turkey (a non-nuclear State) possesses a sizeable nuclear arsenal. 

There is however some confusion in the media reports as to the nature of the nuclear bombs stored and deployed at Incirlik. They are B61 gravity bombs [of the bunker buster type] with nuclear warheads,  with an explosive capacity of up to 170 kilotons (up to 12 times a Hiroshima bomb).

The accuracy of the numbers of bombs quoted in the media reports remains to be acertained. Some of the bombs were decommissioned. Some of them may have been replaced with a more recent version  including the B61-11. 

originalIt should be emphasized that in the last few years, the Pentagon has developed a more advanced version of the B61, namely the B61-12, which is slated to replace the older versions currently stored and deployed in Western Europe including Turkey.

Nuclear weapons are on the table: A trillion dollar nuclear weapons is now being contemplated by the Pentagon. 

click image to order Michel Chossudovsky’s book, which outlines the Dangers of Nuclear War

The notion of deterrence has been scrapped  These so-called mini-nukes are intended to be used. Under The Pentagon’s so-called Life Extension Program, the the B61 nuclear weapons are  intended to “remain operational until at least 2025.” 

Does this make Turkey an undeclared nuclear power?

The answer is Yes, but this also applies to four other countries, namely Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Italy which also possess B61 nuclear bombs, deployed under national command and targeted at Russia, Iran and the Middle East.

Michel Chossudovsky, July 30,  2016

*      *     *

“Far from making Europe safer, and far from producing a less nuclear dependent Europe, [the policy] may well end up bringing more nuclear weapons into the European continent, and frustrating some of the attempts that are being made to get multilateral nuclear disarmament,” (Former NATO Secretary-General George Robertson quoted in Global Security, February 10, 2010)

“‘Is Italy capable of delivering a thermonuclear strike?… Could the Belgians and the Dutch drop hydrogen bombs on enemy targets?… Germany’s air force couldn’t possibly be training to deliver bombs 13 times more powerful than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, could it?… Nuclear bombs are stored on air-force bases in Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands — and planes from each of those countries are capable of delivering them.” (“What to Do About Europe’s Secret Nukes.”Time Magazine, December 2, 2009)

The “Official” Nuclear Weapons States

Five countries, the US, UK, France, China and Russia are considered to be “nuclear weapons states” (NWS), “an internationally recognized status conferred by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)”. Three other “Non NPT countries” (i.e. non-signatory states of the NPT) including India, Pakistan and North Korea, have recognized possessing nuclear weapons.

Israel: “Undeclared Nuclear State”

Israel is identified as an “undeclared nuclear state”. It produces and deploys nuclear warheads directed against military and civilian targets in the Middle East including Tehran. Iran There has been much hype, supported by scanty evidence, that Iran might at some future date become a nuclear weapons state. And, therefore, a pre-emptive defensive nuclear attack on Iran to annihilate its non-existent nuclear weapons program should be seriously contemplated “to make the World a safer place”. The mainstream media abounds with makeshift opinion on the Iran nuclear threat. But what about the five European “undeclared nuclear states” including Belgium, Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands and Italy. Do they constitute a threat?

Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and Turkey: ”Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”

While Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities are unconfirmed, the nuclear weapons capabilities of these five countries including delivery procedures are formally acknowledged. The US has supplied some 480 B61 thermonuclear bombs to five so-called “non-nuclear states”, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

Casually disregarded by the Vienna based UN Nuclear Watchdog (IAEA), the US has actively contributed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Western Europe. As part of this European stockpiling, Turkey, which is a partner of the US-led coalition against Iran along with Israel, possesses some 90 thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs at the Incirlik nuclear air base. (National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005) By the recognised definition, these five countries are “undeclared nuclear weapons states”.

The stockpiling and deployment of tactical B61 in these five “non-nuclear states” are intended for targets in the Middle East. Moreover, in accordance with  “NATO strike plans”, these thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs (stockpiled by the “non-nuclear States”) could be launched  “against targets in Russia or countries in the Middle East such as Syria and Iran” ( quoted in National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe, February 2005)

Does this mean that Iran or Russia, which are potential targets of a nuclear attack originating from one or other of these five so-called non-nuclear states should contemplate defensive preemptive nuclear attacks against Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey? The answer is no, by any stretch  of the imagination.

While these “undeclared nuclear states” casually accuse Tehran of developing nuclear weapons, without documentary evidence, they themselves have capabilities of delivering nuclear warheads, which are targeted at Iran.  To say that this is a clear case of “double standards” by the IAEA and the “international community” is a understatement.

Click to See Details and Map of Nuclear Facilities located in 5 European “Non-Nuclear States”

The stockpiled weapons are B61 thermonuclear bombs.  All the weapons are gravity bombs of the B61-3, -4, and -10 types.2 . Those estimates were based on private and public statements by a number of government sources and assumptions about the weapon storage capacity at each base .(National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005)

Germany: Nuclear Weapons Producer

Among the five “undeclared nuclear states”, “Germany remains the most heavily nuclearized country with three nuclear bases (two of which are fully operational) and may store as many as 150 [B61 bunker buster ] bombs” (Ibid). In accordance with “NATO strike plans” (mentioned above) these tactical nuclear weapons are also targeted at the Middle East. While Germany is not categorized officially as a nuclear power, it produces nuclear warheads for the French Navy. It stockpiles nuclear warheads (made in America) and it has the capabilities of delivering nuclear weapons.

Moreover,  The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company – EADS , a Franco-German-Spanish  joint venture, controlled by Deutsche Aerospace and the powerful Daimler Group is Europe’s second largest military producer, supplying .France’s M51 nuclear missile. Germany imports and deploys nuclear weapons from the US. It also produces nuclear warheads which are exported to France. Yet it is classified as a non-nuclear state.

Related Article Rick Rozoff, NATO’s Secret Transatlantic Bond: Nuclear Weapons In Europe, Global Research, December 4, 2009

Belgium Boosts National Day Security after Nice Attack

Local Editor

Belgian PoliceBelgium will beef up security for next week’s national day celebrations after the truck attack in the French city of Nice on Bastille Day, Prime Minister Charles Michel said Friday.

The country is already on high alert after terror attacks in March claimed by the ISIL group on Brussels airport and on the city’s metro system left 32 people dead.

“We are determined to show that democracy is stronger than the terrorists,” Michel told a news briefing in Brussels.

“We of course intend to take extra measures for events linked to the national holiday (on July 21),” Michel said.

Michel said that despite the Nice attacks Belgium was keeping its terror alert level at the second-highest level of three, which means a threat is possible and likely.

Belgian authorities had previously anticipated a possible truck-style attack before the Nice carnage, in which at least 84 revelers were killed, Michel added.

“Without revealing our plans, we were already wary to the idea of this type of scenario,” Michel said.

Several of those involved in the Brussels bloodshed were directly linked to the November attacks in Paris which left 130 dead.

Belgian authorities last month charged two men with terrorist offences amid reports of a planned attack on a Euro 2016 fanzone in central Brussels.

Source: AFP

15-07-2016 – 14:51 Last updated 15-07-2016 – 14:51

At least 84 Dead in Nice Truck Attack, Hollande Extends State of Emergency 

A gunman smashed a truck into a crowd of revelers celebrating Bastille Day in the French resort of Nice, killing at least 84 people in what President Francois Hollande on Friday declared a terrorist attack.

Police shot the driver dead after he barreled the truck two kilometers (1.3 miles) through a crowd that had been enjoying a fireworks display for France’s national day.Nice truck attack

The palm-lined Promenade des Anglais of the French Riviera resort was left strewn with bodies as hundreds fled in terror.

Authorities said they found identity papers belonging to a 31-year-old French-Tunisian citizen in the 19-tonne truck, and that the driver had fired a gun several times before police shot him dead.

Terrorist Attack

The attack was of an “undeniable terrorist nature,” a somber Hollande said in a televised national address, confirming that several children were among the dead.

“France was struck on its national day … the symbol of freedom,” said Hollande.
Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said 84 people were killed and scores injured, including 18 in “critical condition”.

Bastille Day is a celebration of France’s secular republic and the values of “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite” (Freedom, Equality, Fraternity).

Earlier Thursday, onlookers had enjoyed a day of military pomp and ceremony in Paris — where armed forces, tanks and fighter jets swooped down the Champs Elysees avenue — and spectacular firework displays.

In a video viewed over 3,000 times on Facebook, a trembling Tarubi Wahid Mosta recounted the horror on the promenade, where he took photos of an abandoned doll and pushchair and came home with a victim’s Yorkshire terrier.

The truck was riddled with bullet holes and badly damaged, with burst tyres.
Robert Holloway, an AFP reporter who witnessed the white truck driving at speed into the crowd, described scenes of “absolute chaos”.

“We saw people hit and bits of debris flying around. I had to protect my face from flying debris,” he said.

On Twitter, there were desperate pleas from those looking for news of loved ones.

The attack was the third major strike against France in less than 18 months and prosecutors said anti-terrorist investigators would handle the probe.

It comes eight months after ISIL Takfiri group’s attacks on Paris nightspots left 130 people dead, dealing a hard blow to tourism in one of the world’s top destinations.

US President Barack Obama condemned “what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack”, although no group had yet claimed responsibility.

State of Emergency
Hollande announced he would extend France’s state of emergency for three months in the wake of this latest attack and “step up” the government’s action against jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

“We will continue striking those who attack us on our own soil,” he said, in reference to the Islamic State group.

He also called up army reservists to bolster security services that are stretched to the limit.

France has been under a state of emergency ever since the November 13 Paris carnage, which came after 17 were killed in another attack in January at various sites including the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine.

Source: AFP

15-07-2016 – 10:42 Last updated 15-07-2016 – 10:42

 

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World played with fire in Syria, scholar says

The BRICS Post

April 26, 2016, 7:21 pm

Smoke rises from a building struck by artillery in north Damascus [Xinhua]

Smoke rises from a building struck by artillery in north Damascus [Xinhua]

John Rosenthal is a European-based journalist and political analyst who writes on European politics and transatlantic issues.

He has also written extensively about the Syrian Civil War.

His articles have appeared in such publications as Al-Monitor, World AffairsThe Wall Street Journal EuropeLes Temps Modernes, and Die Weltwoche. He is the author of the recent book The Jihadist Plot: The Untold Story of Al-Qaeda and the Libyan Rebellion.

The BRICS Post recently interviewed Rosenthal about developments in Syria.

TBP: The Syrian military delivered ISIL it’s greatest defeat in two years by recapturing the ancient city of Palmyra on March 27. But Robert Fisk criticized Western powers for not cheering ISIL’s demise in Palmyra.

Coming a week after ISIL’s brutal attack in Brussels, shouldn’t the EU at least have seen this as payback?

Rosenthal: Like the United States, the major European powers have put themselves in an impossible position. For five years now, they have been telling us that Bashar al-Assad and the Assad “regime”, as they say, are the root of all evil in Syria – so awful that it was even worth facilitating the rise of openly jihadist forces in Syria, in order to hasten the regime’s demise.

The most extreme variant of this “root-of-all-evil” hypothesis is the idea that the Assad regime itself was responsible for the rise of ISIL and has continued, in one form or another, to collude with it.

This idea has become commonplace on both sides of the Atlantic. If ISIL is responsible for the Brussels attacks, as it claims, then, of course, Western leaders should be celebrating ISIL’s defeat at Palmyra.

But since that defeat has come at the hands of regime forces, this would be to admit they were wrong. And one thing these people will never do is admit they are wrong.

Hence the embarrassed silence vis-à-vis Palmyra.

There has been much criticism in the past few years of how Western press have covered the Syrian civil war.

As a journalist who has written about the conflict, is this criticism warranted?

Absolutely. In fact, even though my writing is 99 per cent just factual, I was less and less able to write about the conflict, because the media did not want to publish the facts in question.

One of the publications to which I had been a regular contributor – National Review Online, the website of the American conservative weekly National Review – went so far as to “bar” me from publishing.

In other words, they blacklisted me. At least this is what the journalist Michael Weiss claims, and I think Weiss is right.

The editors at National Review did not tell me I was “barred,” but they never again accepted a submission from me and eventually ceased responding altogether.

Weiss, incidentally, is one of the main American proponents of the “Assad-as-root-of-all-evil” view of the Syrian conflict, and he clearly believes that my barring was well deserved.

The reason for my barring was an article I published in June 2012 on the Houla massacre. The massacre represented a major turning point in the Syrian conflict.

Responsibility was almost instantaneously attributed to regime forces and/or affiliated militias, and Western governments responded by cutting off diplomatic relations with Damascus.

Two weeks later, however, Germany’s paper-of-record, Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published a report suggesting that these initial attributions were mistaken and that the perpetrators of the massacre were in fact rebel forces.

I am a specialist in European languages and politics, and it struck me as normal, under the circumstances, to try to make the gist of this report accessible to the English-speaking public.

But very quickly I heard from a contact at National Review that my sources were suspected of being “beholden to Assad”.

The notion that the leading paper of Europe’s richest and most powerful nation is somehow “beholden to Assad” is downright laughable.

But it is a measure of the parochialism of some of America’s would-be “opinion-makers” that it appears to have been taken seriously by the editors at National Review.

Such insinuations – and, I suppose, the fact that I had the temerity to defend the credibility of the report against irrelevant smears – was enough to get me barred.

Another example: As you know, in April 2014 the Dutch priest Father Frans van der Lugt was killed in a rebel-controlled Christian neighborhood of Homs.

Father Frans’s death made headlines around the world and he was widely eulogized for his good works in Syria. Examining Father Frans’s publications in Dutch, however, I discovered that his own first-hand observations of the beginnings of the anti-Assad rebellion contrasted sharply with the standard view in the Western media.

Undoubtedly most significantly, Father Frans insisted that the protests that sparked the rebellion in 2011 were not strictly peaceful, as they have been almost universally presented to the Western public, but rather contained an armed and violent element from the start. He also accused rebel forces of committing atrocities and then blaming them on the regime.

By this time, needless to say, I could not even have dreamed of pitching an article on Father Frans’s observations to National Review. But I could not place one in any other Stateside outlet either, including venues with which I had an established relationship.

Despite their obvious relevance and newsworthiness – or rather: precisely because of the latter – Father Frans’s views were taboo.

If he had still been alive and his observations had become known, he would surely have been attacked as an Assad “propagandist” – as other Syria-based Christian clergy who made similar observations in fact have been.

I could give numerous other examples.

Once Washington and its European allies had established the terms of the politically “correct” narrative of the Syrian crisis, facts that failed to jibe with that narrative were unwanted and anyone who tried to report them was inevitably attacked as “pro-Assad”.

European intelligence services are now chasing ISIL veterans who returned from the Middle East to roost at home.

You’ve been writing about these networks and how ill informed European agencies have been about their sheer numbers.

Could the Brussels attack have been thwarted?

A publicly distributed picture from the Aleppo Media Centre shows rebel fighters evading government troops [AMC via AP]

A publicly distributed picture from the Aleppo Media Centre shows rebel fighters evading government troops [AMC via AP]

Well, if we consider just the immediate background to the attacks, it is hard to say. There is some evidence that these guys acted when they did precisely because they believed they were about to be caught.

Obviously, one cannot say that Belgian authorities have been incredibly efficient about breaking up terror plots. But neither can one say that about the French.

Although it tends to escape notice, a major component of the November Paris attacks – namely, the attack on the Bataclan Theatre – was a strictly French operation. And, of course, there was the Charlie Hebdo attack and numerous other recent attacks in France – almost all of them carried out by French jihadists.

But if we take a longer view, the answer is already implicit in your question, and I’m afraid your formulation is entirely apt. These guys have indeed come home to roost.

With the sole exception of Salah Abdeslam, all the known perpetrators of the November Paris attacks were returnees from Syria.

Four of the five suspected perpetrators of the Brussels attacks are known to have either been in Syria or attempted to get there.

By providing moral and diplomatic and, in some cases, material support to the anti-Assad jihad in Syria, and by allowing jihadist safe havens to be carved out of Syrian territory, the European powers helped to create the most important incubator of terror that the world has yet seen.

Obviously, Belgium bears less responsibility in this regard. It is not small states like Belgium that lay down the broad lines of European foreign policy. It is the major EU powers: France, Germany and, for the moment, the UK.

The problem is not one of nuts-and-bolts counter-terrorism. The problem is one of policy. By fomenting jihad in Syria, the European powers and the US have been playing with fire.

Citizens of Europe are now paying the price.

How does media coverage of Syria compare with coverage of before/after the 2003 Iraq war?

At least as concerns the US media, the situation today is incomparably worse. There was a long debate in the run-up to the war, and in the aftermath no one had any problems questioning the grounds for intervention or even indeed outright accusing the Bush administration of having lied.

This became entirely commonplace. The stifling of debate and the homogenization of the media as regards hot-button foreign policy issues really began under the Obama administration: most notably, in the context of the Libyan war.

But at the time, it was at least still possible to bring up conflicting information in “new” media and indeed in some conservative media.

I published numerous articles on the Islamist roots of the Libyan rebellion and the presence in it of Al-Qaeda-linked militants precisely at National Review Online.

In the aftermath of the war – i.e. when it no longer mattered to policy – even the mainstream US media would to some extent acknowledge this presence; and then, of course, the US experienced its own sort of “chickens-coming-home-to-roost” moment in the form of the September 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi.

I suppose it is because the Syrian “playbook”, so to speak, so closely resembled the Libyan one that the screws had to be turned even tighter.

The Daesh Chronicles: The Prognosis

by Ghassan Kadi

The world has got to realize that the ideology that underpins Daesh is coming to a head. It had been latent for a long time, and now it has fully awakened and will not put its case to rest before one of two things happen; either that it will get its way, or it will be crushed, both militarily and, most importantly, ideologically.

And if the world felt regretful because it allowed for Nazism to fester for two decades, affording enough time for Hitler to gain power and momentum, then it is now repeating the same mistake, but only to a much graver extent.

The more criticism these articles receive, the more this indicates that the challenge they raise is one that no one is prepared to undertake.

Some argue that the argument these articles bring should be addressed to Muslims only, but the problem with defining Daesh and combating it is global. Furthermore, those who refuse to see it for what it is, and the apologists who are giving it oxygen are by-and-large not Muslims.

Others argue that the Daesh Chronicles articles are designed to attack Islam, and I vehemently challenge anyone to quote any reference to this in what I have written. In fact, the objective here is to clean up the image of Islam so Islam and the whole world can move on.

For as long as Muslims, all Muslims, do not feel that they need to revise their understanding of the Holy Quran in a manner that sees it as it really is, a Book that clearly and vehemently condemns violence and coercion, then the recruitment drive for the Daesh mentality will not be put to rest.

And some have argued against the religious context altogether. Their argument is quite rational and questions the need for human interaction and behavior for religious interpretations. Reality however dictates otherwise. Many people are driven by religions, and their actions mirror those beliefs. As one cannot talk them out of this modus operandi, it becomes paramount to present to them that, unlike what they believe and think, their religion (and in this case Islam) does not call its followers to kill non-Muslims. If they get convinced that their beliefs of Jihad, Fateh and Shahada are wrong and distorted, then the whole drive for militarizing Daesh will be shot in the foot.

And then we have those who argue that the Daesh Chronicles articles have neither generated a true challenge, nor did they attempt to engage in discussion. A good look at the previous articles and the comments they raised puts this argument to rest.

And how can we forget those who want to condemn Islam and proclaim that it is a religion of violence and that there is no such thing as misinterpretation that has led to the creation of Daesh?

And then there are those who will forever only blame America and the West.

How naïve indeed.

Others argue that “The Saker” is not the “right” forum for this discussion. The question is what is?

If anything, The Saker readership is a microcosm of humanity, and no one in his right mind can blame it from not wanting to deal with the Daesh issue in depth. Who really wants to after all?

The sad reality however dictates that the Daesh problem is not going to go away, and unless it is confronted from a position of both knowledge and strength as soon as possible, in time, it will get stronger.

If or when it gets stronger, dealing with it then will be much more difficult than dealing with it now. Ignoring it is not any different from ignoring a cancer.

Different definitions of Daesh can therefore continue to exist and people can think of Daesh in any which way they like, but this will only provide more time for Daesh to gather more momentum and move from Syria to other places, and it has clearly already created a stronghold in the EU.

I am not trying to be either alarmist or pessimistic, but I firmly believe that when it comes to Daesh, the world “ain’t seen nothing yet”.

We can ignore the real driving force behind Daesh now, but are we prepared to see attacks like the Paris and Brussel attacks happening more often? And how often? And at what stage will the rest of the world then say enough is enough? And what will it do then?

The Paris and the Brussel attacks were nearly four months apart, and, just before the Paris attack, a Russian jetliner was bombed in the sky. Three major terror attacks in six months, and this is not to count bomb attacks in Beirut, Kabul, Bagdad, Peshawar and other places that the world, especially the West, forgets to remember.

What if, just what if, attacks outside the so-called “Third World” become much more frequent? What if they become monthly? Will this trigger off a major scale war against Daesh? And who will lead it and how will Daesh be defined then?

What if they become weekly? Will this be the benchmark to start off a blind Western-led campaign against anything and anyone who could be remotely associated with Daesh?

If weekly attacks are not enough, how about daily attacks? And what if Russia is included in all of this? Certainly, if Russia gets targeted, there is no reason as to why China, Japan, India and all non-Muslim nations should be spared, is there?

Is this possible? I cannot see why not. Keep ignoring the source of the problem and it will only get worse.

What will the world do then?

This is all speculative of course, but possible, if sadly not probable.

The first reaction in the West will be a major boost in the popularity of ultra-right wing political parties. If and when such parties get into power, they will take the Merkel-like policies and do a U-turn.

Just look at the Donald Trump political platform. The man is virtually already asking for a Muslim-free USA, is he not? He is getting support for his draconian policies even though the USA has not suffered from “Islamic Terrorism” since Sep 11.

Could anyone in his/her right mind imagine what will ultra-right wing politicians do if they get power in the USA and in what will be left of the EU?

Did the world forget George W. Bush’s “Patriot Act”? Did we forget the Afghanistan and Iraq wars?

Now, let’s take Sep 11, Madrid, Ottawa, Sydney, Paris and Brussel and squeeze them in chronologically and try to imagine if they become weekly and daily events.

If Daesh still indeed acts only on America’s command, and whether it was in inside jo or not, if Sep 11 was alone enough to invade both of Afghanistan and Iraq, with very frequent attacks we would be looking at a worse American/Western reaction, wouldn’t we?

This is the nightmare scenario that I foresee in the EU, and possibly concurrently in the USA:

1. Daesh attacks in the EU become more frequent.

2. Ultra-right EU parties get in power in some countries such as France, Belgium, Germany and Holland.

3. The rest of the EU braces and waits to see how these countries will deal with terror attacks.

4. Muslim EU nationals will be targeted, and eventually some new Muslim migrants will be deported.

5. Ultra-right wing parties in other EU nations will capitalize on the clamp down of their “comrades” and ride on the electoral band wagon to get themselves into power.

6. As attacks get worse, EU citizenship will be taken away from Muslims associated with terror attacks.

7. As EU governments tighten the noose on Daesh, Daesh will get sneakier and smarter. Attacks will not stop.

8. EU countries will then resort to more drastic measures. Citizenships will be taken away from Muslims who are remotely associated with those condemned with terror attacks.

9. As those measures fail to fully provide the EU security needed, EU citizenships will be taken away from all Muslims, and Muslims will be deported from the EU.

10. Whether the events in the USA take the same turn at the same time and pace or not, America will be forced to act.

11. By then, the USA will have a president who will make Donald Trump look like Mother Teresa.

12. When Western nations wrongly and stupidly see that targeting all Muslim nationals inside the West is not enough to stop terrorism, they will progressively wage an all-out war on Muslim countries, beginning with the ones they deem to harbour terrorism the most.

13. This can progress into a war in which the world finds itself deluded enough to believe that it must fight against all Muslims, all Muslim nations and Islam in general, in order to stop terrorism. But, on the other side of the coin, Muslims will naturally see that they are subjected to a holy war against Islam, and this will lure in more fighters to defend the religion than anyone could imagine. Both parties will fight and fight, and very fiercely.

If any reader sees that the above scenario is a paranoid reaction, then all that he/she has to do is to wind the clock back twenty years or so and look at today’s events from that perspective. Who would have thought back then that what we see today was fathomable?

Either way, I much prefer to err on the side of caution in raising the alarm.

This prognosis has gone far enough and it is as speculative as it may be, but it is not far-fetched. It is gruesome enough without including Russia.

But it is a scenario that can be avoided if the sane people of the world, Muslims and non-Muslims, stop for an honest moment NOW and make concerted and knowledgeable efforts to nip it in the bud, whilst they can, and if they sincerely want to.

Back to where we started. The Daesh ideology is coming to a head, but so are all similar fanatic religious and political ideologies. Leninist-Marxism imploded. Maoist China is now only Maoist by name. Western-style democracy will soon have to either redefine itself or face attrition. This is not only a case for religious ideologies to be seen for what they are. If humanity proves unable to analyze what it needs to analyze and face the upcoming challenges rationally, it will feel pushed in a corner and need to resort to wars.

Is it not time for rationality after millennia of irrationality?

I cannot and will not write about this matter anymore. I have said enough, and I have done my duty, and my conscience is clear.

C:\Users\Iman\Desktop\Email\Hollande Fire.png

More Daesh Terrorists Deployed to Europe!

Local Editor

As Belgium remains on high alert following last month’s suicide bombings in Brussels, the country’s authorities are investigating information suggesting that Daesh [the Arabic Acronym for “ISIS/ ISIL” terrorist group] has sent more terrorists to Europe, an official said Tuesday.

ISIS in Europe

“Signals appear to suggest that Daesh has again sent fighters to Europe, to our country,” Paul Van Tigchelt, the head of Belgium’s security threat analysis center, told reporters in Brussels Tuesday. He did not elaborate.

Belgium has been on at least its second highest alert level for four months — since the week after the November 13 attacks in – with troops and extra police mobilized.

Strategic sites like airports, major rail stations, nuclear plants and buildings housing radioactive materials remain under close surveillance, while security is high at soft targets like shopping complexes and cinemas.

Federal Police spokesman Peter De Waele said surveillance cameras are being monitored full time and that car number plate reading devices are in use around the airport. More than 50 suspect packages have been dealt with since the Brussels attacks, he said.

“The threat is still there, it’s serious and possible,” Van Tigchelt said. “We have to stay alert.”

Belgian authorities believe they have “destabilized” the network that carried out the March 22 suicide attacks on the Brussels airport and subway, killing 32 and injuring hundreds. The perpetrators have been closely linked to the group that carried out the attacks in Paris.

Van Tigchelt said the continued high alert level was not based solely on the Paris-Brussels network, some of whose acts were prepared in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, where several extremists have lived or traveled through.

“There are several ongoing investigations,” Van Tigchelt said. He declined to be drawn on the exact nature of the threat.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

20-04-2016 | 11:48

The West’s Terrorist “Catch and Release” Program

 

April 13, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Virtually every suspect involved in recent Brussels bombing had been tracked, arrested, in custody – either by European security agencies or the agencies of their allies – but inexplicably released and allowed to carry out both the Brussels attack as well as the Paris attack that preceded it.

So obvious is this fact, that the Western media itself admits it, but simply dismisses the obvious and deeper implications such facts pose by claiming it is merely systemic incompetence.

The Wall Street Journal would admit that the recently arrested “man in the hat” also known as Mohamed Abrini, was also arrested for suspected terrorist activity – allegedly scoping out potential targets in the UK – but also – like his collaborators – inexplicably released. His brother had been to Syria where he fought and died alongside the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS), and Abrini himself too appears to have been in Syria.

The Wall Street Journal’s article, “Brussels Suspect Mohamed Abrini: What We Know,” reports that:

After the U.K., Mr. Abrini traveled to Paris and then Brussels, where he was arrested but then released, according to the two people. But Belgian authorities passed the information about his U.K. trip, including images found on his phone, to the British, the sources said.

Abrini’s case of “catch and release” before carrying out a successful string of deadly attacks across Europe, is just the latest.

West’s ISIS Catch & Release Program 

Germany’s largest press agency, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, reported in their article, “Reports: Brothers known to police were among Brussels suicide bombers,” that:

Two Brussels brothers who were known to police are among the suicide bombers who carried out deadly terrorist attacks on the international airport and subway in the Belgian capital, local media reported Wednesday.

And that:

[Khalid El Bakraoui] had been sentenced in early 2011 to five years in prison for carjackings, after having been arrested in possession of Kalashnikov rifles, according to the Belga news agency.

His brother, 30-year-old Brahim, had been sentenced in 2010 to nine years in prison for having shot at police with a Kalashnikov rifle during a hold-up, Belga said.

The New York Times, in their article, “Brussels Attack Lapses Acknowledged by Belgian Officials,” would report regarding another Brussels bombing suspect, Brahim El Bakraoui, and his arrest and deportation from Turkey that:

The Belgian justice and interior ministers acknowledged that their departments should have acted on a Turkish alert about a convicted Belgian criminal briefly arrested in Turkey last year on suspicion of terrorist activity, who turned out to be one of the suicide bombers. And the Belgian prosecutor’s office said that person’s brother — another suicide bomber — had been wanted since December in connection with the Paris attacks.

That makes 4 suspects who were known to European security agencies for violent crimes and/or terrorism, with each and every one of them in custody before the attacks unfolded.

Image: The Brussels bombing suspects… Every single one of these men were in the custody of Western security agencies for violent crimes or terrorism-related charges. 

For fisheries around the world, the concept of “catch and release” allows anglers to enjoy the fishing experience while preserving the numbers and health of fish populations. The concept of “catch and release” for Western security and intelligence agencies appears very similar – to maintain the illusion of counterterrorism operations, while maintaining the numbers and health of terrorist organizations around the world.

Answering “to what end” the West is allowing terrorists to successfully carry out attacks against Western targets, the answer is quite simple. It allows for the expansion of power and control at home while justifying endless and profitable wars abroad.

The creation and perpetuation of terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS by the West and its allies serve another, admitted purpose. In the 1980’s it was admitted that Al Qaeda was created to wage proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. In 2011, the US and its NATO and Persian Gulf allies used terrorists linked to Al Qaeda in Libya and Syria in an attempt to overthrow their respective governments.

Today, ISIS serves both as an armed proxy waging full-scale war on the governments of Syria, Iraq, and more indirectly Iran and Russia, as well as a means to threaten and coerce nations around the world.

Image: In the aftermath of ISIS attack in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Political impasses in Southeast Asia revolving around America’s waning influence in the region have been met with the sudden and otherwise inexplicable appearance of ISIS. In one case, Indonesia signed a large rail deal while pursuing other economic and military partnerships with Beijing, before suffering its fist ISIS attack in its capital, Jakarta.

Thailand was likewise threatened by the US of an imminent ISIS attack, amid attempts by Bangkok to uproot the political networks of US-backed political proxy, Thaksin Shinawatra. Bangkok has also shown hesitation to sign the unpopular US-sponsored Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.

Bangkok was already hit by terrorism last year after returning suspected terrorists to China to face justice against America’s repeated protests. Just months later, groups tied to NATO terrorist front, the Turkish Grey Wolves, carried out a bombing in the center of Bangkok.

ISIS, its counterparts, and peripheral groups like NATO’s Grey Wolves, serve multiple roles for the West. They are a pretext to invade and occupy foreign nations, a proxy army to wage war against its enemies with, and a means of maintaining fear and obedience at home under the auspices of an increasing police state. It is difficult to believe the West could maintain its current foreign and domestic policy without this menace – it has become an integral part of Western geopolitical strategy.

Would a Signed Confession Convince You? 

Many are quick to dismiss evidence of Western special interests’ use of terrorists and terrorism to project geopolitical power abroad and maintain control at home. This is despite the admitted nature of the West’s role in the creation and utilization of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan during the 1980s, and signed and dated policy papers like the Brookings Institution’s 2009 “Which Path to Persia?” document which openly advocated using listed-terrorist organization, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), to wage a proxy campaign of violence against the Iranian people and their government.

MEK, it should be noted, is guilty of killing American civilians and military personnel, as well as continuing a campaign of terrorism against civilian and political targets in Iran.  Brookings in fact, admits this while proposing the US’ use of the terrorist organization to carry out US foreign policy objectives. If MEK is a suitable candidate for Western sponsorship, why not ISIS?

Considering this, and the “coincidental” arming and funding of “rebels” in Libya by the US and its allies in 2011 who are now verifiably members of listed terrorist organizations, revelations of US involvement behind the rise of ISIS should come as little surprise.

And beyond mere speculation, a 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report leaked to the public, admits that the US and its allies sought the creation of a “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) in eastern Syria, precisely where ISIS now resides.

The US DIA admitted:

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran). 

The DIA document then explains exactly who this “Salafist principality’s” supporters are (and who its true enemies are):

The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.

All that’s left is for the Pentagon to perhaps, disclose payslips for ISIS leaders or logistical documents regarding US-NATO resupply operations for ISIS along the Turkish-Syrian border – and perhaps even such a disclosure would still not be enough to convince some in the West that the special interests posing as their leaders are complicit in creating not only ISIS, but organizing and ensuring the chaos they cause unfolding at home and abroad wherever and whenever needed.

The fact that literally ever Brussels and Paris attack suspect was known to and in many cases detained by Western security agencies before the attacks, yet were released before being allowed to carry out their attacks successfully, proves that the West is enjoying the “experience” of maintaining a war on terror, but like good fishery conservationists, is ensuring the populations of their quarry remain healthy and numerous.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

Terror Bombing in Brussels and Paris: Europe’s “Islamist Legionnaires” Come Home to Fight

Global Research, April 08, 2016
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Image: Professor James Petras

The terror bombings in Paris and Brussels have raised a cacophony of voices, ranging from state officials, Prime Ministers and Presidents, to academics, journalists and media consultants.  Tons of ink and print have focused on the psychology, networks and operations of the alleged perpetrators – radicalized young Muslim citizens of the EU.

Few have examined the long-term, large-scale policies of the EU, US and NATO, which have been associated with the development and growth of the worldwide terror networks.  This essay will discuss the historical links between Islamist terrorists and the US-Saudi Arabian–Pakistan intervention in Afghanistan, as well as the consequences of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.  In Iraq, the US implemented a deliberate policy of destroying all secular state structures and promoting the Balkanization of the country via ethnic-religious and tribal wars – a policy it has followed in subsequent areas of intervention.

The last section will focus on the US-EU-Gulf Petrol-Monarchy proxy invasions and ‘regime change’ bombings of the secular republics of Libya and Syria with the further cultivation and growth of international Islamist terrorism.

Historical Origins of International Islamist Terrorism:  Afghanistan

Osama bin Laden with President Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinzki

In 1979, President James Carter and his National Security Chief, Zbigniew Brzezinski, launched Operation Cyclone,a major Islamist uprising against the Soviet- aligned secular Afghan regime.  The US coordinated it campaign with the rabidly anti-Soviet monarchy in Saudi Arabia, which provided the funding and mercenaries for ‘international jihad’ against secular governance.

This brutal campaign ‘officially’ lasted 10 years until the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.  It produced millions of casualties and decades ‘blow-back’ when the CIA-Pakistani-Saudi trained Arab mercenaries (the ‘Afghan-Arabs’) returned to their home countries and elsewhere.  The US intelligence agencies, Special Forces Commands and military directorates (especially Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service) trained and armed terrorists with US-Saudi funding.  The American covert financial contribution mushroomed over the years rising to over $670 million dollars a year by 1987.   Tens of thousands of Islamist mercenaries and adventurers were recruited from the Middle East, North Africa, the Gulf States, the Soviet Union (Chechens), Yugoslavia (Bosnians and Kosovars), China (Uigurs) and Western Europe.

With the defeat of the secular regime of President Najibullah in 1992, the Islamists and tribal factions then fought among themselves, converting Afghanistan into the world’s best-equipped training ground for International Islamist terrorists.  Eventually, the Pashtun-based Taliban faction (with Pakistani arms and support) prevailed and established an extreme Islamist regime.  The Taliban, despite its rhetoric, settled down to consolidating their brand of  ‘Islamism in one country’, (1995-2001), a largely nationalist project.  In its quest for respectability, it successfully destroyed the opium poppy fields, earning the praise of US President GW Bush in spring 2001.   It also hosted a variety of Saudi princes and warlords, eventually including the jihadi-internationalist Osama bin Laden, who had been driven from North Africa.

Following the terrorist attack on the US in September 2001, US and NATO invaded Afghanistan of October 2001 and overthrew the nation-centered Islamist Taliban regime.  The subsequent chaos and guerrilla war open up a huge new inflow and outflow of thousands of international extremists who came to Afghanistan, trained, fought and then departed, fully prepared to practice their terrorist skills in their countries of origin in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The US interventions and invasion of Afghanistan provide some of the context for the subsequent bombings in Europe and the US.  The Islamist ‘returnees’ to Europe and elsewhere had received funds from Saudi Arabia and training from the CIA and Pakistani intelligence.  They began their work among a very ‘available’ constituency of potential recruits in the marginalized Muslim youth of the ghettos and prisons of Europe.

The Middle Period:  the US-Zionist Invasion and Destruction of Iraq

The turning point in the growth and internationalization of Islamist terrorism was the US invasion, occupation and systematic reign of terror in Iraq.  Largely under the guidance of key US Zionist policymakers (and Israeli advisers) in the Pentagon, State Department and the White House, the US dismantled the entire secular Iraqi army and police forces.  They also purged the administrative, civil, educational, medical and scientific institutions of nationalistic secular professionals, opening the field to warring Islamist tribal factions.  Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed and millions fled in a regime of ethnic cleansing – which the Washington touted as a model for the rest of the Middle East.  However, thousands of experienced, but jobless Iraqi military officers, who had survived the US-orchestrated purges, regrouped and eventually joined with tens of thousands of nationalist and internationalist Islamist extremists to form ISIS.  Their motives were arguable less ethno-religious and more related to revenge for their displacement and the destruction of their own society.

The deliberate US (Zionist)-EU-Saudi strategy to divide and conquer Iraq initially involved working closely with Sunni feudal tribal leaders and other extremists to counter the rising power of pro-Iranian Shia.  They promoted a policy of fragmenting the country with the Kurds dominating in the North, the Sunnis in the center and the Shia in the south (the so-called Joseph Biden-Leslie Gelb Plan of national dismemberment and ethnic cleansing).  The rationale was to create a weak central authority completely under US-EU tutelage and loose group of fragmented subsistence fiefdoms in what had been the most advanced secular Arab republic.

Despite pouring billions of dollars in arms from the US to create a puppet-colonial Iraqi ‘national army’, the Saudis and Israelis pursued their own policy of financing sectors of the Kurds and violent Sunni opposition – with the latter forming the original mass base of ISIS.

As the US-client Shia regime in Baghdad focused on stealing billions while killing or exiling hundreds of thousands of educated Sunnis, Christians and other secular Iraqis from the capital, the morale of its US-puppet troops plummeted. With the entire experienced and nationalist Iraqi officer core purged (slaughtered or driven into hiding), the new puppet officers were cowardly, corrupt and incompetent – as openly acknowledged by their US ‘advisers’.  ISIS, meanwhile had acquired hundreds of thousands of US weapons and was financed by the Shia-hating Saudi Royal Family and other Gulf Monarchs.  Armed Sunnis soon launched major, lightning-quick offensives under the leadership of ex-Baathist army officers, supported by thousands of terrorists, suicide bombers and foreign mercenaries.  US and European ‘military experts’ expressed ‘shock’ at their effectiveness.

ISIS routed the Baghdad-controlled army, their US advisers and Kurdish allies from northern Iraq, capturing major cities, including Mosul, thousands of productive oil wells and drove their forces to within a few dozen kilometers of Baghdad.  Territorial conquest and military successes attracted thousands more Islamist volunteers from the Middle East, Europe, Afghanistan and even North America.  ISIS provided the military training; Saudi Arabia paid their salaries; Turkey purchased their captured oil and antiquities and opened its borders to the transfer of jihadi troops and weapons.  Israel, for its part, purchased captured ISIS petrol at a discount from corrupt Turkish traders.  Each regional player had its snout in the bloody trough that had once been Iraq!

ISIS successes in Iraq, led it to expand its operations and ambitions across the border into Syria.  This occurred just as the US and EU were bombing and destroying the secular government of Colonel Gadhafi in Libya, in another ‘wildly successful’ planned campaign of ‘regime change’ (According to US Secretary of State Clinton as she gleefully watched the captive wounded Gadhafi ‘snuff film’ by unspeakable torture – ‘WE came and HE died’.).

The chaos that ensued in Libya led to an exponential growth of extremist Islamist groups with tons of weapons of ‘liberated’ Libyan weapons!  Islamist terrorists in Libya gained territory, took over oil wells and attracted ‘volunteers’ from the marginalized youth of neighboring Tunisia, Egypt, Mali and as far away as Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.  Flush with more guns, money and training.   Many graduates went on to Syria and Iraq.

The Contemporary Period:  EU-US-Turkey-Saudi-Israeli Sponsored War in Syria

In 2011, as ISIS rolled across the Iraqi border into Syria and terrorist Islamist bands seized cities in Libya, the US-EU-Turkish-Saudi and Israeli regimes financed and armed Islamist (and the mythical ‘moderate’) forces in Syria to overthrow the nationalist-secular Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad.

Thousands of Islamist extremist volunteers heeded the call (and the fat paychecks) of the Saudi regime and its Salafist propagandists.  These constituted the Saudi Royal Family’s own ‘Foreign Legion’.  They were trained and armed and shipped into Syria by Turkish intelligence. The US armed and trained hundreds of its own so-called ‘moderate rebels’ whose fighters quickly defected to ISIS and other terrorist groups turning over tons of US arms, while the ‘moderate rebel leaders’ gave press conferences from London and Washington.  ISIS seized swaths of Syrian territory, sweeping westward toward the Russian naval and air bases on the coast and upward from the south, encircling Damascus.  Millions were uprooted and minority populations were enslaved or slaughtered.

isis troops globalresearch.ca

The news of ISIS territorial gains with their plundered oil wealth from sales to Turkey and the flow of arms from Saudi Arabia, the EU and the US attracted over 30,000 ‘volunteer’ mercenaries from North America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

These new terrorists received military training, including bomb making and logistical planning in Syria.  Many were citizens of the EU, Islamist extremists, numbering over five thousand.  These young fighters trained and fought in Syria and then returned to France, Belgium, Germany and the rest of the EU.  They had gone to Syria with the tacit support and/or tolerance of their own European governments who had used them, rather than NATO troops, in the US-EU campaign of ‘regime change’ against Damascus.

The European governments were sure they had ‘their’ Muslim recruits under control as they joined the US in a reckless policy of overthrowing independent secular governments in the Middle East and North Africa.  They happily encouraged their marginalized young Muslim citizens to flock Syria and fight.  They hoped they would remain in Syria (fighting on the ground or buried under the ground).  Officially, EU leaders claimed to support ‘moderate rebels’ (the bland term Western media used to sanitize Islamist terrorists) fighting the Assad ‘dictatorship’. European regimes were not prepared to detain the battle hardened ‘returnees’, who had been trained in Iraq and Syria.  These young European Muslims (children of immigrants or converts to Islam) had been heavily indoctrinated and incorporated into international terrorist networks.  They easily melted back into their marginalized European urban ghettos – beyond the control of Europe’s bloated intelligence services.

In practice, the EU regimes saw the thousands of Europe’s Muslim youth flocking to Syria as an ‘EU Foreign Legion’, a glorified wastebasket for unemployed young thugs and ex-prisoners, who would advance NATO’s imperial goals while solving the domestic social problem of the marginalized children of North African migrants.   Europe’s Muslim youth were viewed as convenient cannon fodder by NATO planners and the governments of France, Belgium and the UK.  For public relations, it was better for these young men and women to die overthrowing the secular government in Syria than to send in European soldiers (white Christians) whose deaths would have domestic political repercussions.

The EU underestimated the depth of antagonism these ‘volunteers’ felt about US-EU intervention in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as their anger at Europe’s continued support for Israeli land grabs in Palestine.  In its racist arrogance,  EU leaders underestimated the capacity of ISIS to indoctrinate, train and organize these marginalized kids from Europe’s slums into effective international cells able to carry the war back to Europe.

The EU smugly overlooked the active roles of Turkey and Saudi Arabia who had their own independent, regional ambitions.  Ankara and Riyadh trained and financed the ‘volunteers’, and facilitated their flow into Syria from camps in Turkey and Jordan.  The wounded were treated in Turkey and sometimes even in Israel.  Thousands, many EU citizens, would flow back into Europe or to their countries of origin in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Russia.

The EU had slavishly and blindly followed Washington’s lead in all its Middle East wars.  Now it is now paying a big price:  Thousands of trained terrorists have returned; bombings and attacks on European civilians and civil structures have occurred, while the European government leaders trip over each other in a mad rush to dismantle civil and constitutional citizen rights and impose wide ranging police state measures (States of Emergency).

These new Saudi-funded terrorist recruits (Riyadh’s Legionnaires) are active in all the countries where the US and EU have launched proxy wars:  Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan . . . Turkey funds ISIS terrorists in Syria, Iraq and Kurdish territories to advance its own expansionist ambitions – oblivious to the clucking disapproval of EU leaders.  Now Turkey receives over 6 billion Euro’s from the EU in what amounts to blackmail:  In return, Turkey will ‘contain’ the flood of regional refugees in barely disguised concentration camps out of European sight.

Conclusion

Ever since the US-EU policymakers decided to implement a war against Arab and West Asian secular nationalism in the Middle-East, Afghanistan, Iran and North Africa through serial ‘regime change’campaigns they have relied on Islamist Salafist mercenaries and volunteers to do most of the killing on the ground, while the West operates from the air.  Washington and its NATO allies operated on the assumption that they could use and then discard their recruits, mostly from marginalized urban youth and criminal gangs, once they had served imperial military purposes.  A few with requisite talent and ruthlessness could be turned into puppet ‘leaders’ to unleash on the Russians and other ‘obstacles’ in future engagements.

The EU-US totally misunderstood the volunteers’ high level of independence, their organizational autonomy and their own understanding of the tactical nature of their alliance with Western imperialism.  Islamist extremist leaders, like their Western counterparts, believe there are no permanent alliances – only permanent interests.

The EU and US have pursued a policy of overthrowing independent Muslim and secular Arab nations and returning them to the status of pre-independence semi-colonies.  The rollback policy against secular nationalism (with its deep roots in the Dulles era) has extended from North Africa, through the Middle East to Southwest Asia. For its part, ISIS and its allies envision a return to a pre-colonial Islamic caliphate over the same lands and people to counter Western imperialism.  Millions are caught in the middle.

ISIS views the Westernized secular elites in the Muslim countries as a fifth column for the spread of empire, while it has re-socialized and trained young Islamists from the EU to serve as networks of terrorists ‘behind enemy lines’ sowing mayhem in the West.

The political repercussions of this internationalized war are profound.  Millions of civilians in the war zones have been and will be killed, uprooted and converted into desperate refugees flooding the EU.  Police-state emergency rule, arbitrary searches, arrests and interrogations have become the norm in the highly militarized European airports, train and metro stations, as well as markets and cultural centers. The EU has increasingly undergone an ‘Israelization’ of its society, with its population polarized and resembling Israel- Palestinian . . . its Muslim community marginalized and confined into little Gaza’s.

In this charged atmosphere, Israeli high tech security companies and advisers flourish, mergers and acquisitions of police state technology multiply.  Israeli Prime Minister Benny Netanyahu embraces the French Prime Minister Hollande in the club of electoral authoritarians.

Meanwhile the refugees and their children flow to and fro, the bombs come and go. We line up to place flowers on our latest dead and then pay our taxes for more wars in the Middle East.   More young ‘volunteers’ will become cheap fodder to fight in our wars; some will return and plant more bombs, so we can mourn some more at patriotic vigils –protected by armed battalions…

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