Saudi Arabia is Weakening US Influence in the Middle East

Saudi Arabia is Weakening US Influence in the Middle East

FEDERICO PIERACCINI | 29.06.2017 | WORLD

Saudi Arabia is Weakening US Influence in the Middle East

As widely anticipated, tensions between members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are slowly corroding the unity of Washington’s allies in the Middle East

In a series of almost unprecedented events among Washington’s regional allies, the crisis between Saudi Arabia and Qatar seems to worsen by the day. The long-awaited list of demands presented to Doha by Riyadh seem to be intentionally impractical, as if to oblige Qatar to plead guilty to the crimes alleged by the Saudi kingdom or face the consequences, still unknown.

The surreal requests start with demands to close the international television network Al Jazeera, as well as halt the financing of the Muslim Brotherhood. At the heart of the issue remains the question of political and diplomatic relations with Iran, the bane of the Saudi royal family’s existence. The House of Thani that controls Qatar has until July 3 to accept all the demands presented. At the moment, Doha seems to be sending mixed messages, announcing that it wants to evaluate the Saudis’ proposals, but also letting it be known that most of the demands are «not reasonable».

Another interesting tidbit concerns the removal of Muhammed bin Nayef by the Saudi king as his successor to the throne. Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the young 31-year-old nephew, replaces Muhammed bin Nayef, the former Crown Prince and major ally of the CIA and European and American governments. Mohammad bin Salman is currently the most controversial figure in the Middle East. Responsible for the devastating war in Yemen and the desperate financial state of Riyadh’s finances, he oscillates between his Vision 2030 and an anti-Iranian preoccupation that is likely to bring his kingdom to bankruptcy. In Yemen, he waged a military campaign costing in the tens of billions of dollars, only to lose against the poorest Arab country in the world. His irrational anti-Iranian stance has even led him to risk a conflict within the GCC (thanks to the precious lobbying role of the UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba) over the excessive freedom of Doha’s foreign policy.

Initially, this disaster appeared to be limited only to the two Gulf nations, with Trump’s Twitter account signalling Washington’s immediate backing of Mohammad bin Salman’s crusade against Iran and Qatar. The severity of the situation was immediately perceived by Turkey. Ankara and Doha have always played a leading role in the Muslim Brotherhood, a religious group that Riyadh considers to be terrorist organization and a threat to their Salafi realm.

Turkey reiterated its support for the House of Al Thani by deploying about 3,000 military personal to Doha in the country’s new military base, at the same time dismissing as «useless and unresponsive» the Saudis’ requests to abandon the base and withdraw their troops. In a series of unprecedented moves, bin Salman mooted the possibility of supporting Kurdish troops in Iraq and Syria if Ankara should continue to support Doha. What once seemed to be an indissoluble union between Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia today presents far more than fracture and tension, all to the benefit of the likes of Iran and Russia fighting terrorism in Syria alongside the legitimate government in Damascus. It is a nightmare for those like the United States who hoped to continue to impose their will on the Middle East through the blind obedience of certain vassals like Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. With each one battling the other, the US’s role becomes much more complicated to influence events.

Tensions between Washington’s allies are creating a situation of all against all, indeed a sense and feeling that is all too commonly reflected in Washington these days. After days of silence, the State Department and the Pentagon expressed their support for Qatar, contradicting the President’s indications that Qatar was a terrorist-financing state. Confusion and contradictions in the United States are increasingly having a destabilizing effect, showing a country without a strategic direction. The State Department has strongly criticized Saudi Arabia for its attitude towards Qatar over the last two weeks. This is by no means surprising, as the US Department of State is still infiltrated by former Obama administration loyalists, who themselves are heavily tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, as was the former nominee Hillary Clinton together with her trusted assistant Huma Abedin. The Pentagon, in this deep-state civil war, considers Qatar primarily from a tactical perspective: 90% of US aircraft directed against Syria take off from the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. The sale of $12 billion worth of jets to Qatar is evidence that Qatar is one of the military-industrial complex’s best customers. The contradictory messages emanating from this US administration, unable to speak with one voice, continues to destabilize America’s closest allies in the region.

Another move that has certainly not gone unnoticed concerns the deployment of several Israeli tactical and operational aircraft in Saudi Arabia. The process of rapprochement between these two nations continues unabated, creating even more distrust in the region.

What now seems irreversible is the attitude of Doha’s authorities, who seem to have decided to use this opportunity to chart their own course independently of Riyadh. The Qatar Airways CEO, when interviewed by Al Jazeera, reiterated that, thanks to Iran, there is a chance for the operator to circumvent the skies illegally closed to it by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The CEO, when questioned on how he would proceed given the expected huge losses, stated that the company intends to broaden its horizons towards new routes so far unexplored.

Saudi tactics are likely to create difficulties and problems for Qatar, even with support from Iran and other regional countries. For the moment, Doha’s ships carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) continue to operate freely. In a country that receives almost 90% of its revenue from the sale of LNG, blocking its ships would mean pushing Qatar into a corner, a state of affairs that would closer resemble conventional warfare. Bin Salman’s inexperience and bungling will end up creating problems with Egypt, which currently allows transit of Qatar’s LNG through the Suez Canal to reach the Mediterranean and deliver gas to European customers. A request from Riyadh to Cairo to block Qatari ships would hardly be accepted, creating further fractures and tensions among those participating in the blockade of Qatar.

Perhaps Trump has only now realized how unhelpful these rifts are to his Arab NATO plan. If Turkey and Israel are on opposite sides, and Qatar and Saudi Arabia are on the verge of a war, it is unlikely that Washington could continue to try impose its strategic vision in all the Middle East in the intention of safeguarding its interests.

In this chaotic mess for the US and it’s allies, as always, the axis of the Shiite resistance benefits the most, especially in Syria with the advancement of Assad’s troops in the province of Deir ez-Zor, after almost five years of its absence there. Where Turkey, Iran and Russia have achieved ceasefire agreements, signed in Astana, the majority of remaining problems lie with the terrorist groups supported by Qatar and Turkey or Saudi Arabia. In addition to a series of skirmishes a few days ago, mistrust and the swapping of sides seem to be on the agenda, with Syria decreasingly under the control of terrorists and the prospect of the entire country being liberated coming into vision.

Washington is once again getting itself into an almost unprecedented situation. Whether or not Trump has given his blessing to Saudi Arabia’s actions against Qatar, what matters are the consequences for the region. Iran seems to play more and more the role of a moderate force ready to engage in dialogue with all parties. The Saudi attitude is likely to disaffect two strategic partners, Turkey and Egypt, with the latter ready to abandon the Saudis if pushed too far. Turkey, after intense Russian diplomatic efforts, seems to be on the verge of abandoning its support for anti-Assad forces, but prudence dictates that it tarries awhile before proceeding with these changes. Erdogan has often played a double or triple game.

Bin Salman’s strategy began with the Yemen war, continued with hostility against Qatar, and is now culminating with his appointment as Crown Prince. Trump seems to have climbed onto the chariot of losers, and now it is harder than ever to support a loose cannon like bin Salman who seems to show little hesitation in destroying his kingdom as well as undoing fundamental relations among Washington’s allies.

It is a struggle against time for the American deep state in fight against itself and spinning around in conflict. The risks of Bin Salman’s disruptive actions and Trump’s incompetence could have unimaginable consequences, as the possible collapse of the whole Anglo-American Middle East architecture constructed over a hundred years of wars and abuses.

UAE Asked US to Bomb Al Jazeera, Says 2003 Cable

By Alex MacDonald

Diplomatic cable, published by Wikileaks, refers to Mohammed bin Zayed asking for Qatari channel to be targeted

By Alex MacDonald

June 28, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Abu Dhabi’s crown prince asked the US to bomb Al Jazeera as America was planning its invasion of Iraq, according to a diplomatic cable detailing his conversation with a top US state department mandarin.

According to the cable, Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) “laughingly recalled” to Richard Hass a conversation between his father, Sheikh Zayed, and the emir of Qatar, Hamad Al-Thani, in which Hamad had complained MBZ had asked for the US “to bomb Al Jazeera”.

“According to MBZ, Zayed [his father] derisively responded: ‘Do you blame him?'”

In his comments, made in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, MBZ warned that public opinion in the Arab world over the invasion – which he described as “containable” if the war was short and efficient – could be heavily inflamed by the Qatar TV network’s coverage and advised that its influence be reined in.

MBZ said

“it was a mystery to him why the Qataris continued to inflame public opinion” through Al Jazeera… “and suggested that the US use its weight to pressure Doha”.

The cable added that MBZ had “emphasised the need for US engagement with the Qataris to rein in Al Jazeera”.

In April 2003, the Al-Jazeera office in Baghdad was struck by a US missile killing one staff member and wounding another, though a US Central Command spokesman told BBC News the station “was not and never had been a target.”  In 2001 the station’s Kabul office was hit by two bombs in another US attack, although there were no casualties.

The statement appears to show decades-long emnity between Qatar and the UAE over Al Jazeera, which has boiled to the surface once again with a Saudi, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt-led blockade of Qatar and demands to close the network down.

Last week Riyadh laid down a list of 13 demands for Qatar, which also included ending Doha’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, a downgrade of diplomatic ties with Iran and the shutting of a Turkish military base outside Doha.

According to the cable, however, MBZ downplayed tensions between the Saudis and Qataris, noting the two populations “share Wahhabi roots”.

More concerning, he said, were UAE-Saudi relations, which MBZ reportedly described as “far more complex”.

He drew his attention to Abu Dhabi’s “nagging bilateral border dispute with Riyadh (the al-Shayba oil field)”.

“Nevertheless, the ever pragmatic Emiratis recognised the need to deal with the Saudis and have thus maintained good relations with Riyadh.”

However, the cable noted that MBZ took a “dim view” – in one case literally – of some senior members of the Saudi government – “sardonically noting that interior minister Nayef’s bumbling manner suggested that ‘Darwin was right’,” and went on to say that King Fahd was not “in complete control of his faculties”.

Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud is the father of Mohammed bin Nayef – who was last week stripped of his position of crown prince by the king, Salman, who instated his son Mohammed bin Salman as heir.

Bin Nayef is thought to have held personal antipathy to MBZ.

Recently leaked emails sent from the Emirati ambassador to the US indicated that the UAE was involved in trying to move bin Salman into a position of power in Saudi Arabia.

“I think we should all agree these changes in Saudi are much needed,” said Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the US.

“Our job now is to do everything possible to ensure MBS succeeds.”

The 2003 cable also highlights MBZ’s then apparent tacit support for the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, whose removal from power the Gulf nations are now officially committed to.

MBZ “encouraged continued USG (US government) engagement with Bashar, noting that otherwise, ‘the wrong guys’ will fill the vacuum.”

“In MBZ’s estimation, Bashar is active and ‘wants to do good,’ although his relative youth and inexperience are real drawbacks.”

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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Top Senator to Block US Arms Sales to Gulf

Local Editor

27-06-2017 | 11:02

An influential US senator said he will withhold consent for arms sales to Gulf Arab states until there is a “path forward” to resolving the Qatar crisis.

Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee

Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, warned that efforts to fight the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] and counter Iran were being hurt.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut air, sea and land links with Qatar three weeks ago.

They accused Qatar of aiding terrorist groups – charges it denied.

On Friday, the emirate was presented with a 13-point list of demands to end the crisis that included shutting down the al-Jazeera news network, cutting ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and curbing diplomatic relations with Iran.

A government spokesman in Doha said the list confirmed that “the illegal blockade has nothing to do with combating terrorism – it is about limiting Qatar’s sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy”.

The restrictions had caused turmoil in the oil- and gas-rich nation, which is dependent on imports to meet the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million.

President Donald Trump initially expressed his support for the actions taken against Qatar despite it hosting the largest US military base in the Middle East.

But his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, acknowledged on Sunday that some of the demands issued by its neighbors would “be very difficult to meet” and called for “dialogue leading to resolution”.

In a letter sent to Tillerson on Monday, Corker said he had been pleased with Trump’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia, where he attended a summit of the Gulf Co-operation Council.

The Republican noted that the president had agreed with the GCC’s six member states, including Qatar, to “ease regional conflicts” and establish “deeper security co-operation”.

“Unfortunately, the GCC did not take advantage of the summit and instead chose to devolve into conflict,” he added.

“All countries in the region need to do more to combat terrorism, but recent disputes among the GCC countries only serve to hurt efforts to fight [‘ISIS’] and counter Iran.”

“For these reasons, before we provide any further clearances during the informal review period on sales of lethal military equipment to the GCC states, we need a better understanding of the path to resolve the current dispute and reunify the GCC.”

Under US law, Congress must be formally notified 30 days before the sale of any weapons to foreign governments, giving lawmakers time to block it if they object.

Last month, a resolution seeking to stop the sale of about $500m [£393m] of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia for use in its aggression on Yemen conflict – part of a $110bn [£86bn] arms deal negotiated by Trump in Riyadh – was only narrowly defeated in the Senate by 53 votes to 47.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

Middle East Rapidly Heading To Another Military Conflict. Threat Of Global War Growing

24.06.2017

Middle East Rapidly Heading To Another Military Conflict. Threat Of Global War Growing

Saudi Arabia and its allies have presented Qatar with a 13-point list of demands, incuding shutting the Al-Jazeera TV network, cutting back diplomatic ties with Iran, severing relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and ending the urkish military presence in Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain issued the ultimatum on June 23 and gave Qatar 10 days to respond. This ultimatum amounts to calling for a total capitulation. If Qatar rejects it, the Saudi-led block may consider “other options” in solving the ongoing Qatar crisis. It may attempt to use a military force against the Arab nation or to implement a “cold war” approach against Doha.

On Saturday, Qatar confirmed that it is reviewing the presented demands.

“We are reviewing these demands out of respect for … regional security and there will be an official response from our ministry of foreign affairs,” Sheikh Saif al-Thani, the director of Qatar’s government communications office, said.

BBC reported:

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had asked the four countries to make their demands “reasonable and actionable”.

However, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, quoted by Al-Jazeera, said: “The US secretary of state recently called upon the blockading nations to produce a list of grievances that was ‘reasonable and actionable’.

“The British foreign secretary asked that the demands be ‘measured and realistic.’ This list does not satisfy that [sic] criteria.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have little options to step back following the release of their ultimatum to Qatar. If the Saudi-led block fails, this will lead to a dramatic fall of their public image and political influence in the Arab world.

It’s unlikely that Saudi Arabia and its allies didn’t consider various scenarious of conflict and hold consultations with the US before issuing of the ultimatum.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman appointed his son Mohammad Bin Salman as his successor instead of Mohammad Bin Nayef. This fact was very likely linked with the confrontation against Qatar.

The question is what kind of measures are the Saudis and their allies ready to implement? The Middle East is rapidly heading to another military conflict and a threat of another global war is growing with it.

 

Qatar Crisis
 According to the Qatari state-run media outlet Al-Jazeera, the list of demands includes:

1) Scale down diplomatic ties with Iran and close the Iranian diplomatic missions in Qatar, expel members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and cut off military and intelligence cooperation with Iran. Trade and commerce with Iran must comply with US and international sanctions in a manner that does not jeopardise the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

2) Immediately shut down the Turkish military base, which is currently under construction, and halt military cooperation with Turkey inside of Qatar.

3) Sever ties to all “terrorist, sectarian and ideological organisations,” specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIL, al-Qaeda, Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as the Nusra Front) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Formally declare these entities as terror groups as per the list announced by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, and concur with all future updates of this list.

4) Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, US and other countries.

5) Hand over “terrorist figures”, fugitives and wanted individuals from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain to their countries of origin. Freeze their assets, and provide any desired information about their residency, movements and finances.

6) Shut down Al Jazeera and its affiliate stations.

7) End interference in sovereign countries’ internal affairs. Stop granting citizenship to wanted nationals from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Revoke Qatari citizenship for nationals where such citizenship violates those countries’ laws.

8) Pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other financial losses caused by Qatar’s policies in recent years. The sum will be determined in coordination with Qatar.

9) Align Qatar’s military, political, social and economic policies with the other Gulf and Arab countries, as well as on economic matters, as per the 2014 agreement reached with Saudi Arabia.

10) Cease contact with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Hand over files detailing Qatar’s prior contact with and support for opposition groups, and submit details of their personal information and the support Qatar has provided them.

11) Shut down all news outlets funded directly and indirectly by Qatar, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al Jadeed, Mekameleen and Middle East Eye, etc.

12) Agree to all the demands within 10 days of list being submitted to Qatar, or the list will become invalid.

13) Consent to monthly compliance audits in the first year after agreeing to the demands, followed by quarterly audits in the second year, and annual audits in the following 10 years.

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EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN IN PROPAGANDA WAR AGAINST SYRIA CONTINUES

Still image from a video being filmed in Egypt, purporting to be in Aleppo, Syria.

In December 2016, filmmakers in Egypt were arrested in the process of staging an Aleppo video with two children: the girl was meant to look injured, and the boy was to vilify both Russia and Syria.

Even the corporate media reported on it, including: “The girl’s dress, covered in red paint, was what caught the attention of a police officer driving by, the ministry said.”

The incidences of fakery and hoaxes, however, does not end there.

Also in December, the scene of a ‘Girl running to survive after her family had been killed’ was said to be in Aleppo. In reality, it was a scene from a Lebanese music video, which someone at some point clearly chose to depict as in Aleppo, for the same anti-Russian, anti-Assad vilification purposes.

In November 2014, a clip dubbed ‘Syrian hero boy’ went viral, viewed over 5 million times already by mid-November. The clip showed what appeared to be a little boy saving his sister from sniper gunfire, and was assumed to have been in Syria.

The Telegraph’s Josie Ensor didn’t wait for any sort of verification of the video which she cited as having been uploaded on November 10, the next day writing: “…it is thought the incident took place in Yabroud – a town near the Lebanese border which was the last stronghold of the moderate Free Syrian Army. Experts tell the paper they have no reason to doubt its authenticity. The UN has previously accused the Syrian regime of ‘crimes against humanity’ – including the use of snipers against small children.”

On November 14, the BBC brought on ‘Middle East specialist’ Amira Galal to give her expert opinion on the clip. She asserted: “We can definitely say that it is Syria, and we can definitely say that it’s probably on the regime frontlines. We see in the footage that there is a barrel, it’s painted on it the Syrian army flag.”

Once again, the so-called ‘experts’ got it wrong. The barrel which Galal referred to had a poor imitation of the flag of Syria painted on it, the flag’s color sequence out of order. The clip she was so certain had been filmed in government areas of Syria was actually produced in Malta by Norwegian filmmakers.

From Video to Twitter Hoaxes

In the propaganda war on Syria, there are convincing lies, and then there are the blindingly clear hoaxes. In the latter realm, the Bana al-Abed Twitter persona takes first prize. The child is being abused by her own family who have seemingly forced her to pretend she can speak English (she cannot).

*Twitter link here

We were meant to believe that sophisticated and nuanced tweets, often calling for Western intervention, are coming from an English-illiterate seven-year-old girl or her mother — whose husband was a militant in Aleppo.

In a detailed article, Barbara McKenzie looks at the campaign which uses the brand Bana for war propaganda. An excerpt includes:

“Bana, the little girl supposedly tweeting from Aleppo, but actually the front for an account run from London, was selected to be the empathetic face of the campaign for a no-fly zone in Syria. Her account was tailored to create the impression of perpetual bombing, perpetual war crimes, on the part of Russia and the Syrian government.”

Bana not only tweeted with impossible frequency from eastern Aleppo, defying any internet lapses those of us who have gone to Aleppo have experienced. Whatever the actual explanation for her alleged preciousness and high-tech abilities, the child was clearly exploited, and continues to be.

Her twitter account continues its advocacy for Western intervention in Syria. Not at all suspicious.

Real Poster Children Brutally Beheaded, Sniped, Starved, Maimed

Effective war propaganda tugs at the heart strings, using many tactics, including adorable children in threatening situations, or dead, and comes hand in hand with condemnations for crimes committed, allegedly, by the villain(s) being caricatured. In the following instances, children being injured or murdered did occur, but the condemnations were muted or not at all.

A few weeks prior to the photo of Omran Daqneesh going viral as the poster child for suffering in Syria, terrorists of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki faction beheaded a boy said to be around 12 years old.

Although the decapitators filmed the entire savage act, posing for gleeful selfies as they tortured the boy prior to murdering him, leaders and media in the US took little notice of the horrific slaughter. Ten days after the questionable events which led to the light injury of Omran, two young boys in the Idlib villages of Foua and Kafraya were shot in their head and neck respectively by a sniper from Jaysh al-Fateh terrorists in the village of Binnish close by. The injuries were serious. They were rendered even more serious given that the villages had been completely surrounded and fully under siege by terrorists since March 2015.

In April 2017, a convoy of children, women, elderly and ill being evacuated from Foua were attacked by a terrorist explosion, with reports over 200 murdered, including 116 children. The attack included luring with potato chips and filming children in the convoy before later blowing them up and claiming to be rescuing them. Not only did these terrorists murder civilians and children, but they staged the scene to then look like heroes.

Indeed, in the West this massacre was called a “hiccup” and little denunciation was made about the vast numbers of dead, let alone the injured.

In October, 2016, Press TV was one of the few outlets to report on another adorable Aleppo boy, Mahmoud, “a six-year-old Syrian boy who was born without arms, and recently lost both of his legs after stepping on a mine planted by militants in Syria’s Aleppo.” The report includes scenes of Mahmoud showing his resilience, adjusting to life without any limbs. But for corporate media, Mahmoud’s were the wrong villains.

Terrorist bombings and snipings have killed children in schools and homes throughout Syria over the years, including the October 2014 terrorist car and suicide bombing of the Akrama Al-Makhzoumi School in Homs, killing at least 41 children by conservative estimates, or up to 48 children by other reports, along with women and other civilians, as well as attacks on Aleppo schools, as I detailed earlier.

In Aleppo and in Damascus, I have visited numerous hospitals and seen endless poster children of suffering in Syria. The differences between these children and those which Western and Gulf media present us, is that these children were murdered, rendered critically-injured, or maimed by the bombs, mortars and snipings of terrorists which the West presents as “moderate rebels”, so their stories will never be front page, much less heard.

The Bitter Truth

The Western and Gulf media work in lockstep with the narratives emanating from Washington on Syria. It is not coincidental that certain photos and stories of Syrian children go viral, while other more damning photos and sordid realities get no notice period.

*Twitter link here

Regarding the Omran case, we now know that he was not gravely hurt as media tried to imply, that his family have gone back to their lives in Aleppo, and the exploitation and lies around Omran cannot continue.

When I met them on June 6th, they showed no signs of the duress which terrorists and their backers—which include Western corporate media—claim. Instead, some neighbors were over, discussing media fabrications around Omran.

However, the children who are believed to have been exploited and used in the 2013 Ghouta chemical weapons fabrications remain missing and have not gone back to their lives, nor have their families in the Latakia countryside.

In March 2017, physicians with Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, after examining a White Helmet’s video, wrote:

“…Swedish medical doctors, specialists in various fields, including pediatrics, have revealed that the life-saving procedures seen in the film are incorrect – in fact life-threatening – or seemingly fake, including simulated resuscitation techniques being used on already lifeless children.”

The article noted that Dr Lena Oske, a Swedish medical doctor and general practitioner, said of an adrenaline injection shown in the video, “If not already dead, this injection would have killed the child!”

While in al-Waer, Homs, on June 9, 2017, speaking with a woman who had returned not long after the last terrorist had been bused out in the government’s reconciliation agreement, she told me a story of her friend from the area. Bearing in mind that this is second hand information (and that I didn’t have time to stay another day to meet the friend in question), I’ll leave her words and this 2012 link as food for thought regarding the use of children, alive or day, for war propaganda against Syria:

“In 2014, my friend’s son, Louay was leaving his school. A mortar fell on the street nearby and he was hit with shrapnel. The Red Crescent took him in an ambulance to al-Bour, a nearby aid association, which couldn’t treat him, so he was taken to a government hospital in al-Zahra’a. They tried to save him, but he died.

They took him back to al-Bour where they cleaned him for burial. While my friend was waiting, people from al-Bour carried him onto the street yelling the regime killed him, look what the regime does to children.’”

Later, she saw on both al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya footage of her son, with men blaming the “regime” for killing children in Syria.

But she didn’t agree. The government helped her son and tried to save his life. He was 7 years old.

RELATED:

Meet Aylan & Omran: Child victims used for Syrian war propaganda, Jun 12, 2017, RT Op-Edge

MintPress Meets The Father Of Iconic Aleppo Boy, Who Says Media Lied About His Son, Jun 9, 2017, MintPress News

CNN #FakeNews Amanpour Challenged to Interview Aleppo Boy’s Father – #NewWorldNextWeek, Jun 15, 2017, The Corbett Report

التكفير عن تمويل الإرهاب بتمويل دونالد ترامب

يونيو 12, 2017

د. عصام نعمان

قطر ليست في حال حرب بل في حال حصار. مفاعيل الحصار ليست أقلّ كلفةً من الحرب، لكنها أكثر رأفة بالناس، مواطنين ومقيمين. سكان قطر يربو عددهم على مليونين. ربع هؤلاء مواطنون والباقي مهاجرون من ذوي الكفاءات الإدارية والفنية والاقتصادية والمهنية إلى جانب قاعدة عريضة من المستخدمين والعمال والأجراء. من المهمّ جداً، إذاً، إبعاد شبح الحرب عن الإمارة الثرية الصغيرة جغرافياً، الواسعة النفوذ عربياً وإقليمياً.

السعودية والإمارات العربية المتحدة أعلنتا مقاطعة قطر وفرضتا الحصار عليها. هل فعلتا ذلك بالتنسيق مع الولايات المتحدة أم بمبادرة تلقائية منهما؟ انتقاد دونالد ترامب قطر لقيامها بـ «تمويل الإرهاب» حمل مراقبين للمشهد الخليجي على اتهام واشنطن بأنها وراء الحملة السعودية – الإماراتية على الدوحة. لكن ترامب سرعان ما عدّل لهجته داعياً «الشركاء الخليجيين» الى «تهدئة التوتر»، ثمّ أرفق ذلك بدعوة مفتوحة للتوسّط بينهم في محادثات تجري في البيت الأبيض.

قطر أراحتها لهجة ترامب الهادئة، لكنها أكدت بلسان أحد مسؤوليها أنّ أميرها الشيخ تميم بن حمد آل ثاني «لا خطط لديه لمغادرة البلاد وهي تحت الحصار». لعلّ ما قصد إليه المسؤول القطري أنّ الأمير لن يتوانى عن استجابة دعوة الرئيس الأميركي إذا ما جرى رفع الحصار. ترامب استجاب لاحقاً بدعوته السعودية والإمارات إلى تخفيف عزلة قطر بعدما دعا الأخيرة مجدّداً إلى الكّف عن تمويل الإرهاب.

الرياض وأبو ظبي ليستا، في الوقت الحاضر، مستعدّتين لتخفيف الحصار وتقليص المقاطعة. بالعكس، تبدوان مصمّمتين على متابعتهما لغاية الوصول إلى أغراضهما المعلنة.

ماذا تريد الرياض وأبو ظبي من الدوحة؟

تعدّدت التفسيرات. بعضها أشار إلى رغبة المسؤولين السعوديين والإماراتيين في تغيير النظام السياسي فيها. بعضها الآخر كان أكثر واقعية فأشار إلى رغبتهم في أن تُوقف الدوحة إيواء قادة الإخوان المسلمين وأن تقوم بطردهم، وبوقف تمويل التنظيمات الإرهابية المرتبطة بهم، وتغيير لهجة قناة «الجزيرة» العدائية للرياض وحلفائها، والالتزام بمقرّرات قمم الرياض الأخيرة بحضور الرئيس الأميركي.

من الممكن أن تكون هذه المرامي جميعاً واردة في الأصل، لكن تطوّر الصراع وتشابك علاقات القوى أدّيا الى التخلي عن بعضها والتخفيف من وطأة بعضها الآخر. فمن الثابت، بل من المنطقي، الآن اعتبار هدف «إسقاط النظام السياسي القطري» غير وارد إما بسبب عدم الرغبة او عدم القدرة، والنتيجة في الحالتين واحدة. لكن إجراءات المقاطعة والحصار ما زالت ناشطة على قدم وساق، وهي تتسبّب بانعكاسات وتداعيات إقليمية ودولية. فالرئيس التركي طيب رجب أردوغان استحصل من برلمانه على إجازةٍ بنشر قوة عسكرية تركية في قطر لا يقلّ تعدادها عن خمسة الآف، مزوّدة بطائرات وسفن حربية.

الموقف التركي دفع الرئيس الأميركي الى تعديل لهجته إزاء قطر بالإيحاء باستعداده للعب دور الوسيط. في المقابل، تحرّكت طهران لمواجهة السياسة السعودية – الإماراتية الهجومية واحتمال استغلالها من قبل واشنطن بأن عرضت على الدوحة تخصيص ثلاثة موانئ إيرانية لتزويدها ما تحتاجه من مواد غذائية قد تفتقدها نتيجةَ الحصار. وعرضت موسكو وساطتها في هذا السبيل.

إلى أين من هنا؟

من المبكر ترجيح سيناريوات وتسويات محدّدة. لكن من الضروري ان نضع في الحسبان الحقائق الآتية:

واشنطن ليست بعيدة عما جرى ويجري إذ من الممكن، بل من الأكيد، أن تكون الرياض وأبو ظبي قد نسّقتا معها مسبقاً في ما أقدمتا عليه لاحقاً.

الولايات المتحدة ليست، بطبيعة الحال، أداةً بيد السعودية أو غيرها. فهي دولة كبرى لها سياستها ومصالحها وتسعى إلى تعزيزها وحمايتها. ومن الواضح أنّ إدارة ترامب مصمّمة على جباية المزيد من الأموال من بلدان الخليج بدعوى أنها «أجور حماية» مستحقة ومستأخرة الأداء. ألم يحصل ترامب، خلال زيارته الأخيرة للرياض، على ما يزيد عن /350/ مليار دولار من المملكة؟ يبدو أنه يطمع بالحصول على مليارات إضافية من قطر لقاء إقلاعها عن تمويل الإرهاب.

واشنطن كانت باشرت حملة سياسية وإعلامية لإشعار بلدان الخليج بأنها مُهَدّدَة فعلاً من إيران ما يستوجب حصولها على مزيد من الأسلحة المتطورة. ألم تؤدِّ هذه الحملة الى تخصيص الرياض مبلغ /110/ مليارات دولار لابتياع المزيد من طائرات «اف -15» المقاتلة الأميركية؟

كانت قطر قد أوصت، قبل الحملة السعودية – الإماراتية عليها، على 72 من طائرات «اف- 15»، وقد أكد مسؤول في وزارة الخارجية الأميركية لقناة «فوكس نيوز» أنّ ثمة تقدماً في إتمام صفقة توريد الطائرات البالغة قيمتها / 21,1/ مليار دولار. هل ثمة ما يمنع واشنطن، في حمأة الضغوط والحصار المضروب على قطر، من ابتزاز حكومتها بالمزيد من مليارات الدولارات كأجور «وساطة» مع الرياض وابو ظبي لتسوية النزاع ورفع الحصار وكتكفير Expiation عن تمويل الإرهاب؟!

«إسرائيل» يهمّها انتهاز فرصة النزاع الخليجي للاستحصال على مكاسب سياسية وأمنية. وزير خارجيتها افيدغور ليبرمان حرص على القول إنّ النزاع بين السعودية وقطر لا علاقة له بـ «إسرائيل» بل بطريقة مواجهة إيران وتنظيمات الإرهاب، وانها ليست المشكلة بل هي الحلّ ما يؤهّلها للقيام بوساطةٍ بين الأطراف المتنازعة! إلى ذلك، لن تفوّت «إسرائيل» فرصة النزاع لتمارس، عبر الولايات المتحدة، ضغوطاً على قطر من أجل استجابة طلب السعودية والإمارات بإبعاد قادة «حماس» من الدوحة ووقف دعمها المالي لها.

هكذا يتضح أنّ أميركا و»إسرائيل» مجتمعتين هما المستفيد الأول والأبرز من النزاع الخليجي المتفاقم لكونه فرصة مفتوحة للابتزاز المالي والسياسي والأمني. لكنهما لا تحتكران الاستفادة والكسب، ذلك أنّ دول محور المقاومة لن تكون حزينة لمرأى أعداء المقاومة يشتبكون في ما بينهم، ويتلهّون عنها لأسابيع وأشهر وربما لسنوات…

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Weaponization of Children!

Created on Wednesday, 07 June 2017 07:28

The sinister schemes and aggressions against Syria have been prepared and enacted on the ground once the greedy colonial forces found their fabrications, lackeys and traitors ready to destroy the only secular cradle of civilization in this part of the world. The terrorists and their backers aimed to distort, spoil and destroy every aspect of Syria’s civilized life using every means of distortion and fabrications, particularly mainstream media (MSM).

“Syria has been exposed to a media attack; media, notwithstanding its importance, cannot outdo the reality. They might be stronger in space- satellite transmission-, but we are stronger on the ground than in the space. Still, we want to win on the ground as well as in the space.” said H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad in press statements following the casting of his vote  in Syria’s New Constitution referendum, February 26  2012.

Once again, the lies and fabrication made by the terrorist organizations and the US-UK-financed White Helmets as well as the media outlets supporting them about events in Syria continue to be exposed.

A new revelation came on Tuesday after the five years old boy Omarn Daqneesh, whose photo in an orange ambulance seat spread across the Main Stream Media (MSM) in August last year to be exploited against the Syrian government, appeared again to belie the reports and images circulated about him being injured in an alleged airstrike by the Syrian army.

The boy’s new appearance uncovers the comic play performed by the so-called White Helmet and used by western and Gulf states late last year to harm the reputation of the Syrian army and provoke an international resolution against Syria.

 Hamda Mustafa, News Department Head at the Syria Times, quoted SANA’s  interview with the father of Omran Daqneesh to uncover the details of the lie made by the “White Helmets”. He stressed that his child was kidnapped from him by a terrorist group as he was injured in a blast in Karm al-Qaterji area in Aleppo. The terrorist took photos for the dusty-covered but unharmed child Omran in order to exploit them against the Syrian army. These photos and videos were published in the enemy’s media outlets.

“I and my family were in al-Qaterji neighborhood when our house was damaged in an explosion. Despite my wounds, I carried my child Omran, who was luckily unharmed, and left as fast as we could fearing another blast,” said the father.

He added that a number of terrorists took Omran from him, put him in an ambulance, started to take photos and videos for him and publish them claiming that the boy was injured in a Syrian army airstrike. He reaffirmed that Omran wasn’t injured and that all the published images were fake and were a false play performed by the terrorists.

Omran’s father revealed that the foreign-backed terrorist groups offered to pay him a large amounts of cash to spread lies about what happened to his son and to make interviews attacking the Syrian army. He said he refused and insisted to stay in Aleppo and not to surrender to their request despite threats and the huge pressure put on him.

The MSM outlets, which made Omran’s photos a fatty meal in the past, stand today blind and deaf after their lie and attempt to trade with childhood in Syria to save the terrorists was uncovered and they will ignore of the new revelation about Omran Daqneesh, who is now living with his family in Suleiman al-Halabi neighborhood.

Nessa Beeley, the British investigative journalist, wrote to the 21st Century Wire

Omran has been found alive and well in East Aleppo. Syrian & Lebanese media have been interviewing the father of Omran Daqneesh the traumatized boy that graced the covers of virtually every media outlet in August 2016. Omran’s bewilderment reduced news anchors to tears and tipped the world over the edge of rational thought and into the realms of sentimentalized chaos. To the West, he became the symbol of intervention. We almost went to war over Omran. 

Omran’s dad tells how “rebels” traded w/blood of his son & how he was offered money 2 do interviews & attack the govt.

Why are the corporate media not rushing to Aleppo to interview and investigate, after all Omran was one of the most effective icons of the media war on Syria, his photograph even winning the Getty award for the most “Defining Image” 2016. Despite the fact that the photo itself was taken by Mahmoud Raslan, a supporter of the East Aleppo child beheading gang, terrorists Nour Al Din Zinki who decapitated and tortured Abdullah Issa publicly and videoed the entire brutal act, one month before the photo of Omran went viral and precipitated all manner of outrage from the International Community.

You would think, after all the outpouring of emotion, that these media hacks would be overjoyed to hear of little Omran’s wellbeing. You would  think they would be clamouring for an interview with the family to finally investigate the background to his appearance in the back of an ambulance in East Aleppo. Instead mainstream media has done no more than its usual copy-paste excercise in damage limitation.

The Telegraph was one of the first of the corporate media to run the story, one feels very reluctantly and not without the familiar twist which enabled a dig at the Syrian government. Failing to expand upon the glaring fact, that Omran’s family had been staunchly pro-Syrian state and pro-Syrian army from the beginning, which may have provoked the attacks upon them, from the NATO and Gulf state-funded extremists embedded in East Aleppo. Also, barely mentioning the fact that the family fled to Syrian Government held west Aleppo for safety. But investigating those aspects of the story is seemingly a step beyond the comfort zone for modern corporate media hacks?

 “In a short interview clip posted by Alloush, Omran’s father tells the TV presenter that he did not hear a plane above his house before the strike and said he rejected offers to leave Syria by parties wishing to damage the reputation of the country’s armed forces. He said that he changed his son’s name and his hairstyle to evade individuals who threatened to kidnap him and accused rebels of intimidating him.”

Both media outlets have powerfully underpinned the UK propaganda war on Syria. In the case of Omran, both outlets milked the pathos of his August 2016 photo to optimum effect, whipping the UK public into an anti-Assad frenzy, designed to enable the much desired, No Fly Zone.

How can the Guardian possibly conclude that the family may have been coerced into the interview when they, themselves, tell us that the family had been under threat from the “rebels” not from the Syrian Government. The Telegraph tells us that:

In fact we know, from conversations raging across social media, that Omran and his family are now under threat from the various extremist factions, members of which are already putting prices on heads and calling for the murder of Omran’s father. Of no concern to corporate media who resolutely cling to the narrative that the Syrian government is the source of all evil in Syria, not the NATO and Gulf State funded extremist brigades. They cant spin that reality to serve “regime change” so it ceases to have any importance.

However we look at this situation, it is marvelous that Omran is safe and sound and still in Syria with his family. The corporate media in the west failed him. They allowed him to be exploited for the propaganda that is exacerbating the suffering of the Syrian people and prolonging the war against Syria. They failed to question the narrative fed to them by known criminal elements embedded in East Aleppo and affiliated to the NATO and Gulf state armed, funded & equipped extremist factions.

The horrific torture and beheading of Palestinian child, Abdullah Issa, one month before Omran’s bewildered image went viral, did not provoke an equivalent outrage or international condemnation.

“The images of little Omran, put out by jihadist support groups, gained widespread attention from the western media, which has backed the sectarian gangs through more than five years of brutal terrorist war. On the other hand, video of the murder of little Abdallah Issa was largely ignored, or scorned with claims that the boy was really 18 years old, or a spy for the pro-Syria Palestinian militia Liwa al-Quds.” ~ Tim Anderson

“What is perhaps most disturbing about the comparison between these two stories, is the cynical abuse and weaponization of children that is being supported by the NATO-aligned media machine. This is a calculated use of one child as a psychological instrument to promote and legitimize war, while the torture and cold-blooded execution of another is marginalized to protect the U.S. agents who perpetuate that war.” ~ Vanessa Beeley, Journey to Aleppo Part I

Despite the smiles for camera, Omran’s eyes bear the scars of his ordeals and the trauma he has been forced to live through. This is, ultimately, what we should be protesting most vehemently.  In Syria, tens of thousands of Omrans go unnoticed by our media, our governments and our NATO-aligned NGOs, including the UN. Too many children in Syria have been exploited as propaganda pawns in the geopolitical chess game being played by the NATO and Gulf state oligarchs and oil barons.

The corporate media in the west is guilty of mass deception through distortion, omission and misdirection.

Dr Nafeez Ahmed on #FakeNews:

“Yet there is a giant elephant in the room: the fact that the crisis of fake news began inside traditional media. In fact, the most egregious cases of fake news have been promulgated by traditional media institutions. And it is precisely the mass disillusionment and breakdown of trust with traditional media institutions that has been the biggest driver of all. News consumers are fed up with being lied to — they no longer have trust in the ability of prevailing media institutions to tell the truth.”

Eva Karene Bartlett , the renowned Canadian peace activist and freelance journalist, wrote that the story of “the boy in the orange chair”, “the boy in the ambulance”, another “White Helmets” ‘rescuee’ …is built on a mountain of lies.

This afternoon, the father of Omran, who had had enough of the media lies about (and abuse of) his son, spoke out for the second day in a row, setting the record straight.

Among the things he told me: his son’s injury was small and insignificant, very light, not worthy of the head bandage unnecessarily wrapped around Omran; he heard no airplane and did not agree to monetary attempts to coerce him into saying it was an airstrike; he refused and further attempts by media to photograph and misuse his son; he was at ease and back to life in his home in Aleppo.

More soon on the lies of the western and al-Qaeda affiliated journalists and on the incredible Syrian journalist who brought the truth to light.

#WhiteHelmetsAlQaeda

Janice Kortkamp, the well-known transparent US freelance and peace activist, wrote that the image of Little Omran from Aleppo, the boy in the orange chair, was seen ’round the world. His dusty bloody face was shown on every major news media channel and newspaper as “the face of the victims of President Assad and Russian bombing against civilians in Aleppo.”

You were told by the nightly news that we must help these victims. We must end their suffering: by sending more weapons to the “freedom fighters” in Aleppo; by bombing more in Syria; by imposing more sanctions.

But this story was a lie…just like the rest you’ve seen on the nightly news about Syria.

The truth is that Omran’s family supports President Assad and the Syrian Army and always considered the “rebels” in control of eastern Aleppo to be terrorists.

That Omran was injured but not badly and not by an airstrike as there were no aircraft heard flying overhead. His older brother Ali was killed. The terrorist-photographer set up the photo and Omran was not treated. His sister was so angry at the terrorist-camera man she batted away his camera when he turned it on her.

That the terrorists used Omran for their propaganda against his father’s wishes. That the terrorists had offered him thousands of dollars to make a film denouncing President Assad and the Syrian Army. He refused to make such a video. Refused the money. $8000 in Syria is a fortune.

The father cut Omran’s hair and changed his name and the family escaped to west Aleppo to be safe from the terrorist “rebels” supported by the US and our allies.

So here is Omran. Safe with his family in government controlled, unified Aleppo.

Don’t believe what you’ve been told about Syria.

Syria is not a civil war, but a US/allies orchestrated regime change coup that has been using terrorist proxy militias to do our dirty work.

Jonathan Azaziah, the founder and Editor-In-Chief of Mouqawamah Music, wrote Talk about a bombshell! The White Helmets lied through their rotten teeth! Omran al-Daqneesh, the infamous “Orange Seat Boy”, is fine as kind! He’s living in liberated Aleppo with his family! He’s being protected by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA)! And IT JUST SO HAPPENS that his parents and other kin are staunch supporters of the Syrian government. MADNESS!

Flashback to last August. The world was taken by storm as photos of a dust-covered boy in an orange ambulance seat spread across the Zionist media like a wildfire being fueled by gasoline spills. That boy of course was Omran. Plastered on every TV channel, every website and every front page of every newspaper, the boy, it was claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked, US-UK-Soros-financed White Helmets, had been wounded in air strikes launched by “the Assad regime” and “imperialist Russia”. His family, the White Helmets claimed further, were heavy backers of the “Syrian revolution”. Omran’s photograph was taken by a CIA-Turkish-Qatari-backed Harakat Noureddine al-Zinki terrorist who had previously been involved in beheading 12-year old Syrian-Palestinian boy Abdallah al-Issa in Aleppo’s Handarat.

Fast forward back to present day and the revelations about Omran Daqneesh have laid waste to this fictional narrative that the Takfiri-connected White Helmets concocted and forced down the collective throat of the globe through their Zionist media overlords. And this TRUE STORY is barely receiving any coverage at all in the mass press and wherever it is being reported, like the UK Telegraph for example, there are quite blatant attempts being made to downplay and deflect the deceptions of the past. Above and beyond the devastating info that Omran’s dearest ones are partisans of the Syrian Arab Republic’s government and military, Omran’s father revealed that terrorist groups offered to pay him gargantuan amounts of cash–presumably delivered by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey–to spread propaganda against democratically elected Syrian President Dr. Bashar al-Assad as well as the SAA.

He would refuse to entertain this treachery and despite the hasbara blitz, his support for his leader and his army never wavered. This didn’t mean things never got difficult however. Omran’s father was forced to shave Omran’s head and change his name just so his son would longer endure anymore vulturous exploitation at the hands of the “moderate rebels”. In more succinct terms: The Daqneesh family most certainly did suffer. But it wasn’t because of Damascus. In fact, it was Damascus which rescued them. Their tormentors, from A to Z, were the very groups that MSM told the world were “fighting for freedom” from a “brutal dictator”.

The story of Omran Daqneesh is much like that of Alan Kurdi. Or Hamza al-Khatib. Or the chemical weapons attacks in Ghouta in ’13 and Idlib just a few months ago. Or the Houla Massacre. Or, in reality, the entirety of the war on Syria. A lie gets told. It proliferates thanks to the pernicious efforts of the global Zionist media and a network of “activists” linked to the NGO-Human-Rights-Industrial-Complex of Soros, the NED and the US State Department. Then months or sometimes years later, when the dust settles, the cameras have moved on their next batch of Zioganda, and the public is no longer paying attention, the truth will come out but it will swiftly get swept under the rug.

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

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