‘Anti-terror fight to continue until terrorists routed’

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri (L) and his Iraqi and Syrian counterparts, Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi (C) and General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, attend a joint press conference in Damascus, Syria, on March 18, 2019. (Photo by SANA)
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri (L) and his Iraqi and Syrian counterparts, Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi (C) and General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, attend a joint press conference in Damascus, Syria, on March 18, 2019. (Photo by SANA)

Iran’s top military commander has warned about efforts by stooges of the global arrogance to fuel insecurity in the Middle East, stressing that the fight against terrorists will continue until their full elimination.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the remarks while addressing a joint press conference at the end of a tripartite meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi and Syrian Defense Minister General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub in Damascus on Monday, during which the three countries exchanged views on ways to combat terrorism.

Iran’s military chief said at the present time, the main goal is to preserve national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, adding, “Measures taken by the three countries will continue until terrorists are fully defeated.”

Baqeri added that withdrawal of foreign forces that are present in Syria without any authorization from the country’s government is also top on the agenda of the three states.

Commenting on the presence of Iranian forces in Iraq and Syria, Baqeri said terrorists active in those countries posed a threat to Iran’s security, adding that the Islamic Republic dispatched its military advisors to the two Arab countries at their request.

Baqeri emphasized that no foreign armed forces should be deployed to any country in the region without its legal permission, adding that Iran will continue its fight against terrorists in Syria as long as the legal Syrian government demands it.

Speaking upon his arrival in the Syrian capital on Sunday, the top Iranian military commander said foreign forces who are illegally present in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib and east of the Euphrates, should leave these areas at the earliest.

PressTV-Illegal foreign forces must leave Syria: Baqeri

“[Those foreign] forces who are present in Syria without any authorization from the country’s government must leave the Syrian soil as soon as possible,” Baqeri said.

Iran has been offering military advisory support to Syria and Iraq at the request of their governments, enabling their armies to speed up their gains on various fronts against terror outfits.

The Syrian defense minister, for his part, said at the presser that Syria would gain full control of the country.

Ayyoub said the Syrian government will not allow anyone to have control over even an inch of the country’s soil, adding that this is what President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly emphasized.

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US Duplicity over Golan Demolishes Posturing on Crimea

US Duplicity over Golan Demolishes Posturing on Crimea

US Duplicity over Golan Demolishes Posturing on Crimea

In a controversial snub to international law, the United States signaled last week that it is moving to officially recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israeli territory. If the US does so, then it forfeits any moral authority to sanction Russia over allegations of “annexing Crimea”.

In its annual US State Department report, the section dealing with the Golan Heights reportedly refers to the contested area as “Israeli-controlled”, not “Israeli-occupied”. The change in wording deviates from United Nations resolutions and international norm which use the term “Israeli-occupied” to designate the land Israel annexed from Syria following the 1967 Six Day War.

Israel has occupied the western part of the Golan since 1967 as a spoil from that war. In 1981, Tel Aviv formally annexed the Syrian territory. However, the UN Security Council in 1981, including the US, unanimously condemned the annexation as illegal. The resolution mandates Israel to return the land to Syria which has historical claim to the entire Golan. The area of 1,800 square kilometers is a strategic elevation overlooking the northern Jordan Valley.

If Washington confirms its recent indications of recognizing the Golan as officially part of Israel, the development would mark an egregious flouting of international law.

But what’s more, such a move totally prohibits Washington from posturing with presumed principle over the issue of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula which since 2014 voluntarily became part of Russia.

Just last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated accusations against Russia of “annexing” Crimea. Pompeo insisted that US sanctions against Moscow would be maintained until Russia “returns Crimea to Ukraine”.

“The world has not forgotten the cynical lies Russia employed to justify its aggression and mask its attempted annexation of Ukrainian territory,” he said. “The United States will maintain respective sanctions against Russia until the Russian government returns control of Crimea to Ukraine.”

Last year, Pompeo’s State Department issued a ‘Crimea Declaration’ in which it was stated that, “Russia undermines a bedrock of international principle shared by democratic states: that no country can change the borders of another by force.”

Claims by Washington and the European Union of “illegal annexation” of Crimea by Russia are the central basis for five years of economic sanctions imposed on Moscow. Those sanctions have contributed to ever-worsening tensions with Russia and the build-up of NATO forces along Russia’s borders.

Those claims are, however, highly contestable. The people of Crimea voted in a legally constituted referendum in March 2014 to secede from Ukraine and to join the Russian Federation. That referendum followed an illegal coup in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the US and Europe against a legally elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. Historically, Crimea has centuries of shared cultural heritage with Russia. Its erstwhile position within the state of Ukraine was arguably an anomaly of the Cold War and subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union.

In any case, there is scant comparison between the Golan Heights and Crimea, save, that is, for the latest hypocrisy in Washington. While Crimea and its people are arguably historically part of Russia, the Golan Heights are indisputably a sovereign part of Syria which was forcibly annexed by Israeli military occupation.

The illegality of Israel’s occupation of Golan is a matter of record under international law as stipulated in UNSC Resolution 497.

There is no such international mandate concerning Crimea. Claims of Russia’s “annexation” are simply a matter of dubious political assertion made by Washington and its European allies.

The latest move by Washington towards recognizing Golan as part of Israel – in defiance of international law – comes on the back of several other recent developments.

US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham made a tour of Israeli-occupied Golan last week in the company of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pointedly transported by an IDF military helicopter. Graham said following his tour that he would recommend the Trump administration to officially recognize the area as under Israeli sovereignty.

Currently, there is legislation going through both the US Senate and House of Representatives which is aimed at declaring the entire Golan as Israeli territory.

The stark shift in pro-Israeli bias in Washington under the Trump administration is consistent with the White House declaring at the end of 2017 that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Again, that move by President Trump overturned international consensus and UN resolutions which have stipulated Jerusalem to be a shared capital between Israel and a future Palestinian state, to be worked out by (defunct) peace negotiations.

Why Washington has taken up the Golan issue as a prize for Israel at this time is not precisely clear. It could be seen as the Trump administration giving a political boost to Netanyahu for next month’s elections.

There has been previous speculation that Trump is doing the bidding for a US-based oil company, Genie Oil, which is linked to his administration through his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s family investments. The New Jersey company has a subsidiary in Israel, is tied to the Netanyahu government, and has long been aiming to drill the Golan for its abundant oil resources.

The Golan move could also be retribution meted out to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his country’s historic defeat of the US-backed covert war for regime change. The nearly eight-year war was also covertly backed by Israel which sponsored jihadist militia operating out of the Golan against the Syrian army. Having vanquished the US regime-change plot, thanks to crucial military support from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, the payback could be Washington stepping up Israeli claims to annex the Golan.

But whatever the background explanation is, the initiative by Washington to legalize the annexation of Golan by Israel is a brazen violation of international law. In doing so, the US is officially sponsoring war crimes and theft of Syria’s sovereign territory. Or as the Crimea Declaration would put it: “changing the borders of another country by force” – supposedly a “bedrock principle” that Washington continually sermonizes about to Russia.

Crimea and Golan are different issues of territorial dispute, as noted already. Nevertheless, the duplicity of Washington over Golan makes its posturing on Crimea null and void. If the Europeans meekly go along with the US move on Golan, then they too should shut their mouths and their moralizing sanctions over Crimea.

المساران «الإسرائيلي» والفلسطيني

مارس 18, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– قبل أيام على صواريخ تل أبيب وعملية سلفيت النوعية البطولية، خرج أحد المستوطنين في تسجيل من باحة المسجد الأقصى يصف الفلسطينيين بالجبن، باعتبارهم مصنوعين من سكر ولم يخرجوا إلى المسجد الأقصى بسبب المطر خشية الذوبان، وبعد أيام قليلة كان المصنوعون من سكر يقصفون بصواريخ تتخطّى القبة الحديدة وتسقط في تل أبيب، وبعدها بأيام يقوم شاب فلسطيني بطعن جندي صهيوني وتجريده من سلاحه، وإطلاق النار بواسطة هذا السلاح على مجموعة من الجنود فيقتل ثلاثة منهم ويتوارى. ويظهر المساران الفلسطيني والإسرائيلي متعاكسين، يتبادلان الحال العربية الإسرائيلية قبل عقود، يوم كان الكلام الكبير للعرب والفعل الكبير للإسرائيليين، ليبدو اليوم أن الكلام الكبير للإسرائيليين حكاماً ومستوطنين، بينما الأفعال الكبيرة للفلسطينيين.

– خلال العقدين الماضيين، ومنذ العام 2000 سلك المساران الفلسطيني والإسرائيلي اتجاهين متعاكسين، فمنذ إجبار «إسرائيل» على الانسحاب دون مقابل أو تفاوض من جنوب لبنان، ومقابلها اندلاع انتفاضة المسجد الأقصى، بدأ المسار التصاعدي لحساب الفلسطينيين، ومقابله مسار الانحدار الإسرائيلي، وتلاها تحرير غزة عام 2005 والفشل الإسرائيلي في حرب تموز 2006، وها نحن اليوم في مرحلة ما بعد الفشل الدولي والإقليمي الذي كانت «إسرائيل» جزءاً عضوياً منه في الحرب على سورية، وتنامي قدرات محور المقاومة، ذهبت «إسرائيل» نحو تصعيد فلسفة الجدار، رغم كل الصراخ عن القدرة على خوض الحروب، فشكل الإعلان عن دولة يهودية تعبيراً عن فلسفة الجدار، ومثله نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس، إعلاناً عن العجز على السير في أي مشروع تفاوضي نحو تسوية سياسية يعادل العجز عن خوض الحروب، ولو رآه البعض علامة قوة فهو ليس إلا دليل ضعف.

– رغم الانقسام الفصائلي الحاد يبدو الفلسطينيون أقرب سياسياً لبعضهم في الإجماع على رفض التفاوض والدور الأميركي ومشروع صفقة القرن، بصورة لم يسبق أن شكل الموقف من التفاوض ومن نسخ التسوية المعروضة ومن العلاقة مع واشنطن، أسباباً دائمة للانقسام السياسي والشعبي، رغم وجود تفاهمات بين حركتي فتح وحماس وتشاركهما حينها في الانتخابات وتشكيل الحكومة، بينما يبدو الإسرائيليون رغم ظاهر تفرقهم في مستويات الخطاب التصعيدي انتخابياً، مدركين حجم المأزق الوجودي الذي يعيشه كيانهم، والمتمثل بفقدان قدرة الذهاب للحرب أو قدرة الذهاب للتسوية، فالجبهات كلها مقفلة ومخاطر العبث معها مكلفة، والتسويات لا تقل كلفة، وليس في الكيان من يجرؤ على المخاطرة في الاتجاهين.

– ثمة تحولات كبرى جرت في المنطقة، فقدت خلالها «إسرائيل» الإمساك بزمام المبادرة، ومقابلها حدثت تحولات معاكسة امتلك خلالها الفلسطينيون ومن ورائهم قوى وحكومات محور المقاومة، المزيد من عناصر القدرة على المبادرة، حيث الاشتباك المفتوح مع جيش الاحتلال وقطعان المستوطنين، وطريق التفاوض مقفل كخيار يقسم الفلسطينيين، والقدرة العربية والغربية على إنعاش مسار التفاوض تتراجع، وخيار المقاومة يصير طريقاً حتمياً وحيداً، وقد أثبت قدرته على تحقيق الإنجازات، ويكفي النظر في كيفية التهرّب الإسرائيلي من التورط في الرد على صواريخ غزة على تل أبيب لمعرفة تبدل الأحوال الذي نعيش في ظله، بعدما كانت «إسرائيل» تصنع أحداثاً لتتخذها ذرائع لشن الحروب يوم كانت قادرة عليها، صارت تهوّن من خطورة التحديات لتبرير الهروب من المواجهات والحروب، لأنها فقدت هذه القدرة.

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New Zealand and the Positive Feedback of Violence:

March 15, 2019

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

The tragic news of terrorism in New Zealand highlights the failure of Western governments in dealing with it.

In its policy of denial of addressing ISIS-like activities in the West, Western governments have inadvertently given ultra-right wing elitist Fascists the green light to take the law in their own hands to “avenge” the terrorism of Salafist/Wahhabi/Jihadi terrorists on innocent Westerners thereby driving them to kill innocent Muslims.

It is hard to think of a policy that is more antithetical than the manner in which the West deals with the so-called “Islamic terrorism”.

On one hand, at least as far as the Western media outlets are concerned, the West is duly adamant in its “war on terror”, all the while feeding it from the other hand. The topic has been so widely addressed and proven beyond any reasonable doubt, and there is no need to even try to provide more evidence that Western policies have capitalized on Wahhabi doctrines and nurtured and facilitated the emergence of Al-Qaeda and ISIS in the Middle East, all the while it is trying to control followers of the suicidal devotees at home, ie in the West.

The recent terror attacks in Europe over the last 3-4 years are a gruesome testimony, and the failure of Western governments in dealing with those serious massacres left many Europeans not knowing how to deal with them other than in one of two manners, either by shifting their votes towards ultra-right wing parties, or taking the law in their own hands.

In saying this, we must keep in mind that at least some massacres that recently happened in the West had the fingerprints of ISIS, but were not pronounced as such. The infamous Las Vegas massacre stands out like a sore thumb. As a matter of fact, ISIS did “claim responsibility” for the attack, but the claim was played down by the media and by the Trump Administration as well as the highly-charged Democrats digging extremely deeply in dirt and sniffing with radio-telescope-sized nostrils, desperately trying to find anything against Trump, including hiring highly-imaginative fiction script writers who are capable of writing a story, any story, upon which they can impeach President Trump.

The truth of the matter is that when it comes to ISIS attacks on the West that highlight the inabilities of Western governments to curb it, both the American Democrats and Republicans have an unwritten agreement of bipartisan inaptitude-based silence.

But the infamous November 2015 Bastille Day attack in Nice, the London Bridge and Manchester attack, the Munich attack, just to name a few, were undeniably ISIS-inspired attacks. And what did the governments of France, the UK, and Germany do in way of preventing such further attacks? Nothing much that would give Western residents enough feeling of security.

Fear breeds insecurity and insecurity breeds radicalism, violence and counter violence.

When the West under the presidency of Jimmy Carter and advice of Zbigniew Brzezinski decided to turn on the Afghani Mujahideen, in their shortsightedness, not realizing that they were opening a Pandora’s box that is far bigger than they could even imagine, in their second-tier failure, and without giving a second thought as to whether or not they monster they were awakening/creating was going to chase them home, they are now facing not only the Jihadi monster that they cannot switch off, but also a domestic ultra-right one that is potentially capable to inflict much more harm to the democratic fabric of Western society.

Shifting blame does not solve problems, but in between the supposedly developed and rational West and the Middle East that is still by-and-large stuck in medieval ideologies, there is logically a bigger onus on the West to be the “wise guy”, but it has proven to be anything but.

New Zealand does not deserve any of this violence. New Zealand is a nation with a predominantly Western culture, but it is also one that endorses its indigenous Maori culture. It has a very compassionate refugee policy, and ever since its former late Prime Minister David Lange made a stand against nuclear US Navy vessels docking in his country in the 1980’s, New Zealand has taken many steps that clearly position itself as the Switzerland of the South Pacific. And this is perhaps why Brenton Tarrant chose New Zealand as his theatre of action. In fact, he did say that he chose the most unlikely place on earth in order to prove that no place is safe for the “invaders”.

Terrorists of all flavours and descriptions, and there is no philosophical difference between them at all, seem to be embarking on a highly dangerous path of proving their worth by planning and perpetrating unprecedented acts of terrorism. They see such acts like sportsmen and woman see sporting achievement records, and every achiever tries to break records.

Some sanity has to prevail to stop this vicious cycle of positive feedback of violence.

Rubio’s Gloating Betrays US Sabotage in Venezuela Power Blitz

Rubio’s Gloating Betrays US Sabotage in Venezuela Power Blitz

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 14.03.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

Rubio’s Gloating Betrays US Sabotage in Venezuela Power Blitz

US imperialists are so desperate in their regime-change predations over Venezuela, they seem to have a problem controlling their drooling mouths.

The latest orgy of American gloating was triggered by the massive power outages to have hit Venezuela. No sooner had the South American country been blacked out from its power grid collapsing, senior US officials were crowing with perverse relish.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio – who has become a point man for the Trump administration in its regime-change campaign in Venezuela – was a little too celebratory. Within minutes of the nationwide power outage last Thursday, Rubio was having verbal orgasms about the “long-term economic damage”… “in the blink of an eye”. But it was his disclosure concerning the precise damage in the power grid that has led the Venezuelan government to accuse the US of carrying out a sabotage.

Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez noted how Rubio, in his tweeted comments “three minutes” after the power outage, mentioned failure of “back-up generators” in Venezuela’s main hydroelectric plant, known as the Guri Dam, located in Bolivar State. The dam supplies some 80 per cent of the Venezuelan population of 31 million with its electricity consumption.

Rodriguez mockingly ascribed “mystic skills” to Rubio because the Florida Republican senator appeared to know the precise nature of the power failure even before the Venezuelan authorities had determined it.

The Venezuelan government has since claimed that the failure in the electric grid was caused by a cyber attack on the computer system controlling the Guri Dam turbines. Caracas said it will present proof of its claims to the United Nations.

Apart from Rubio’s apparent insider information, there are several other indicators that Venezuela’s latest turmoil from power blackout was indeed caused by US sabotage, and specifically a cyber attack.

The South American country has experienced recurring power cuts over recent years due to economic problems and Washington’s sanctions. But the latest outage was widespread – at least 70 per cent of the country – and sustained for more than four days, rather than being rectified within hours. That scale of disruption suggests an unprecedented event, way beyond intermittent problems of maintenance.

The duration of the blackout in the capital Caracas and other major cities also indicates that the nature of the problem was difficult to reverse, which would be consistent with a cyber attack on the power grid. “It was a kill-shot,” says American political analyst Randy Martin.

Furthermore, US officials like President Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton as well as “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams have been warning that Washington is seeking new ways to pile pressure on Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro to stand down.

Abrams was caught out last week in a prank phone call made by two Russian entertainers posing as Swiss President Ueli Maurer in which Abrams openly advocated crushing the Venezuelan banking system in order to topple the government in Caracas. The American envoy, who was convicted over the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s for sponsoring terrorism to sabotage Nicaragua, appeared to balk at using overt US military power against Venezuela. That suggests Washington was persuaded on the efficacy of cyber warfare to inflict social chaos and incite popular anger against the Maduro government.

The immediate reaction by Washington officials and the US-backed political opposition in Venezuela was to blame the Maduro government for the power disorder. The failure was flagged up as a sign of “incompetence” and “mismanagement” of the oil-rich country by the socialist administration. Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself the rightful president with Washington’s blessing, conveyed the logic of blackmail when he declared, “the lights will come back on when usurper Maduro is gone”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also weighed in with repulsive gloating within hours of Venezuela’s power crisis. Pompeo tweeted: “No food. No medicine. Now, no power. Next, no Maduro.”

The delight openly displayed by Washington officials in regard to aggression against Venezuela has broken new ground in terms of the brazenness of US imperialism.

Only a few weeks ago, Bolton announced that the objective for seeking regime change in Venezuela against the elected President Nicolas Maduro was for US corporations to seize the South American state’s vast oil wealth – reckoned to be the largest known reserves on the planet, far exceeding those of Saudi Arabia.

Such is Washington’s unbridled lust for Venezuela’s natural resources that its imperialist advocates are falling over themselves with naked lies and crimes.

When a US Trojan Horse aid convoy was blocked from entering into Venezuela from Colombia last month, American politicians and media immediately blamed the Maduro government for sabotaging the effort. An aid truck was set alight on a border crossing on February 23. US Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Rubio, as well as CNN, condemned the Venezuelan authorities for “callous” destruction of vital aid delivery to its long-suffering people. It turns out, as even the New York Times has now admitted three weeks later, that the aid truck was torched by US-backed opposition supporters on the Colombian side of the border.

The obscenity of American imperialism is that it has inflicted huge social misery in Venezuela from years of sanctions and illegal confiscation (theft) of billions of dollars in assets belonging to the nation. Then it has the audacity to mount a charade seeming to deliver humanitarian aid.

The latest twist to this sadistic game played by Washington is turning the lights off across the entire nation, in homes, hospitals, airports and schools, among other essential services, and attempting to lay the blame on the Venezuelan government.

We may, however, be thankful for Washington’s overweening arrogance and criminality. Because, as Marco Rubio’s rash remarks concerning the latest power outage show, the American gangsterism towards Venezuela is being exposed for the naked aggression that it is.

US-based political analyst Randy Martin, in comments for this column, says that what Washington is doing to Venezuela is tantamount to the “rape of democracy”. “American imperialism has no longer any shame,” he said. “It used to rape countries under the cover a seedy alleyway of false excuses and hollow claims of righteousness. Now it has its trousers around its ankles and trying to rape Venezuela right on the global Main Street.”

This is Nasrallah in Hebrew

Mustapha Khazem

“We devote this evening to Hassan Nasrallah, not for the love of him; but because he is our toughest enemy, and the most wonderful of all. Hassan Nasrallah turned Hezbollah into one of the strongest and richest ‘terrorist’ organizations in the world. There is no Arab enemy who inhabits the “Israeli” public like Hassan Nasrallah. He has received our attention like no other other leader of an Arab state. And we, the “Israelis” listen to him and believe him. The Secretary General of Hezbollah knows this and exploits it in an excellent way to instill fear in us to the extent of terror.” With these words, Guy Zohar presented ‘The Analysis of Nasrallah’ documentary.

From an underground location, using a state of the art camera and shifting between the studio and documented scenes of the Secretary General of Hezbollah in the open, “Israel’s” Channel 11 aired the documentary. Those being interviewed were dressed in black with a dominant dark background. Meanwhile, the historic scenes of Hezbollah’s secretary general varied in time, background and occasion. The selection of the segments showed courage, strength and the firmness in his stance as well as the extent of the depth of his Eminence’s words and positions in the consciousness of the Zionists, contrary to what the producers of the documentary intended to show.

Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, Moshe Ya’alon, media specialists as well as military and security experts all agreed that Sayyed Nasrallah knows the most accurate details of their usurper entity. He employs events to deduce the accuracy of his opinion and logic using excerpts from the aforementioned officials themselves.

Olmert and Falling into Nasrallah’s Trap

The first person interviewed following the introduction was former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the most prominent loser in the Second Lebanon War and a convict serving a prison sentence on corruption charges.

“We fell into Nasrallah’s media trap. We made a mistake broadcasting his speeches during the 2006 war as if he was our foreign minister and our prime minister, allowing him to instill doubt in us,” Olmert said.

This statement follows several “Israeli” surveys. Those surveyed confirmed that they believed Sayyed Nasrallah more than the leaders of the entity because he always tells the truth.

Olmert also spoke of Sayyed Nasrallah following-up on events. He referred to Sayyed’s famous Spider Web speech on the occasion of the 2000 liberation in the town of Bint Jbeil.

“The disillusioned and disorganized withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 was the basis of the Spider Web speech delivered by (Sayyed) Nasrallah,” Olmert said.

Then one of the experts involved in the investigation explained that, “Nasrallah succeeded in appearing before the Arabs as the one who expelled the occupation from his land in 2000. He was the greatest victor.”

Barak: Nasrallah Should Not Be Underestimated

According to former “Israeli” Prime Minister, Minister of War and the one defeated in Lebanon in 2000, Ehud Barak, “Nasrallah, without a doubt, represents another kind of enemy for “Israel”. He is a leader with good political skills and should not be underestimated.”

The former Northern Corps commander, Eyal Ben Reuven, echoed Barak’s sentiments saying, “He is a bitter and harsh enemy. He is worthy of appreciation. He is a bookish man (educated). He studies us and knows us.”

Yaalon on Sayyed and Hezbollah being Lebanese

Former “Israeli” War Minister Moshe Yaalon dealt with Sayyed Nasrallah’s personality in terms of identity, belonging and action. He focused on Sayyed’s achievements in gaining international legitimacy as well as legitimacy in Lebanon for resistance’s operations against “Israel”. He also talked about the strategy Sayyed used to confirm this identity saying, “Nasrallah firmly stigmatized our presence in Lebanon as an occupation and continued repeating this description … occupation .. occupation.”

He also referred to the special capabilities His Eminence possesses.

“Certainly, when we were in the security belt, we realized that he is an enemy that understands us more than others. He is intelligent. He knows how to exploit our disadvantages to his advantages. He works admirably. He is intelligent in all fields,” Yaalon added.

The Zionist experts continued to talk about Sayyed’s creativity in guiding the media in how to “broadcast fighting scenes. No organization has reached the level that Hezbollah did in this area.”

As for Sayyed not sending his martyred son, Sayyed Hadi, to university, this point was intended to be disgraceful. However, it turned to Sayyed’s favor. Sayyed Hadi’s martyrdom in the field discredited all other narratives about his fate. One commentator said, “Nasrallah is not a leader who sent his son to foreign universities, but he sent him to the battlefield.”

The Zionist experts did not reveal anything new about Sayyed Nasrallah’s knowledge of the usurper entity, its structure and the ways its leaders think. Colonel (Res) Ronen Cohen, the head of the so-called Terror Arena in the production division of the Intelligence Directorate, revealed that, “there is no one who studied the enemy the way he did.”

“If you wanted to be victorious, you have to know the points of weakness and study them from all sides,” he said.

This is another confirmation that what bothers the Zionists is an Arab superiority over them. This is different from the image of the Arabs in the “Israeli” media and consciousness.

As for what Sayyed Nasrallah thinks about the future of the usurper entity, the deputy commander of the Northern Corps in the reserves unit, Chico Tamir, exclaimed that “Nasrallah had a great understanding that victory would not be achieved in the valleys of southern Lebanon. He will be triumphant in the consciousness.”

In this context, the experts addressed what the enemy’s media called the excess of power in the resistance society, noting that Sayyed Nasrallah “worked to build a strong society and rose with it.”

They revealed that at a time when Sayyed knew everything about them, “we did not know anything about Nasrallah.” Writer and expert on Arab affairs, Avi Issacharoff, added: “Nasrallah is the biggest threat to “Israel” today in the Middle East.” The presenter of the program Zohar concludes, “With time we understood the power of this person!”

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Trump Is Barreling Toward War with Iran, Congress Must Act To Stop

By Tom Udall, Richard J. Durbin**, The Washington Post

Sixteen years after the US invasion of Iraq, we are again barreling toward another unnecessary conflict in the Middle East based on faulty and misleading logic.

The Trump administration’s Iran policy, built on the ashes of the failed Iraq strategy, is pushing us to take military action aimed at regime change in Tehran. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past, and Congress must act urgently to ensure that.

Similar to the George W. Bush administration’s justification for the war in Iraq, the Trump administration has presented the false narratives that Iran is not meeting its obligations under the nuclear deal, and that it is somehow partially responsible for the rise of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] in Syria. It’s true that the leaders of Iran are deeply problematic. But if this were enough to justify war, other regimes in the region would also be in the United States’ crosshairs, instead of being recipients of US military aid.

On the heels of the recent Middle East summit in Warsaw, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and ‘Israeli’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no effort to hide their intentions. “You can’t achieve stability in the Middle East without confronting Iran,” Pompeo said. “It’s just not possible.” Netanyahu remarked that the participating nations were “sitting down together with ‘Israel’ in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”

The Trump administration has also been attempting to create a strong link between al-Qaeda and Iran — based on vague suggestions, but no hard evidence. There is speculation that administration officials are considering striking Iranian territory or its proxies, using the al-Qaeda narrative to claim legal authority for military action under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force — the same authorization used to launch the Afghanistan war, now in its 18th year.

Before we embark on another irresponsible and costly war, we have the benefit of hindsight. We must heed the lessons of history, and Congress must exercise its constitutional authority to counter the president’s reckless march toward war with Iran. Congress alone has the authority to declare war — not the president. Congress must make clear to the president that the United States will not enter another conflict in the Middle East without its approval. It is up to Congress to end the growing threat of a national security calamity, return our country to diplomacy and rebuild international trust in US foreign policy.

That’s a tall order. While Iran is no innocent actor, the Trump administration’s policies and pronouncements have only increased tensions in the region. Ever since President Trump churlishly withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, the president has engaged in saber-rattling rhetoric meant to accelerate hostility. Today, the United States stands alone in breach of the agreement, bullying friends and foes alike with threats and sanctions. The lasting damage to our global standing has left us isolated with little opportunity to lead.

Nowhere was this new reality more evident than at the Warsaw summit. The gathering accomplished little of substance but did expose mounting frustrations among the international community with the Trump administration’s unilateral policymaking approach. In a sign of Trump’s waning influence abroad, key members of the Iran nuclear deal — including France, Germany, the European Union, Russia and China — sent junior diplomats or did not participate, despite the attendance of both Pompeo and Vice President Pence.

The administration’s foreign policy apparatus is steered by two committed advocates of virtually unchecked interventionism. First, there is Pompeo, whose belligerent speech after the US withdrawal from the Iran deal was a thinly veiled attempt to set the stage for military action.

Second, there is national security adviser John Bolton, a far-right proponent of regime change who, for years, has been clamoring to go to war with Iran. Their machinations have empowered Trump’s most dangerous instincts even as he attempts to draw down US forces from Afghanistan and Syria. In 2002, President George W. Bush got congressional approval for the Iraq War, but Trump and his cadre of hawkish advisers are now inching us closer to an illegal war without constitutional authority or backing from the UN Security Council.

That’s why we plan to soon reintroduce draft legislation by a bipartisan group of senators that would restrict any funds from being spent on an unconstitutional attack against Iran. Our Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act would rebuke Iran while affirming congressional war powers and preventing the president from dragging us into another needless conflict.

Unless we demand that Congress act immediately and decisively to block the president’s path to war, we will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of our past. Once again, we would all pay the price.

**Tom Udall, a Democrat, represents New Mexico in the US Senate. Richard J. Durbin, a Democrat, represents Illinois in the US Senate.

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