Here comes China: Afghanistan, 7 Deadly Sins, Space, Common Prosperity

August 28, 2021

Afghanistan is where the eyes of the world are. In my view, and according to the Chinese media and commentary, China is the inheritor of Afghanistan in terms of possible rebuilding of the country (finance, economy, industry, and trade) and also to ensure that a terrorist problem does not threaten across the border with China. The jury is out in terms of the trajectory here. China though has its embassy open, and this photo possibly says it all.

Afghanistan’s China Town reopens, not disrupted by the deadly blasts in Kabul airport

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.

In the context of the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation, the presidents noted with satisfaction that the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership has been developing progressively and dynamically. The main thing is that both sides are interested in further strengthening cooperation on the entire complex of issues on the bilateral and international agenda.

The leaders had an in-depth discussion on the Afghanistan problem. They expressed readiness to step up efforts to counter the threats of terrorism and drug trafficking emanating from Afghanistan and emphasised the importance of achieving peace as soon as possible and preventing the spread of instability to neighbouring regions. It order to do this, the presidents intend to use the potential of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as much as possible, among other things. The two leaders also agreed to step up bilateral contacts and close cooperation, above all between the foreign ministries.

On the occasion of the upcoming 76th anniversary of the end of World War II, the relevance of the work to preserve the truth about the events of that period and prevent attempts to falsify history was noted.

The conversation was held in a traditionally friendly and trust-based atmosphere.


From the Chinese media, 7 deadly sins that the US committed in Afghanistan

Sin 1: Warmonger

Sin 2: Machiavellian

Sin 3: Human Rights Abuses

Sin 4: State-Sponsored Terrorism

Sin 5: Heroin Trafficking

Sin 6: Blasphemy

Sin 7: Environment Destruction

http://www.news.cn/english/2021-08/24/c_1310146023.htm


In Afghanistan, China Is Ready to Step Into the Void, by Zhou Bo

This complete article is available on Godfree’s newsletter and this is but a short excerpt.  However, it illustrates the internal view of China on Afghanistan:

Zhou Bo is a senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Strategy at Tsinghua University and a member of the China Forum. He was a senior colonel in the People’s Liberation Army from 2003 to 2020 and is an expert on the Chinese army’s strategic thinking on international security. He directed the Centre for Security Cooperation in the Office for International Military Cooperation at the Ministry of National Defense.

The speed and scope of the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan have prompted introspection in the West over what went wrong, and how, after billions of dollars spent on a 20-year war effort, it could all end so ignominiously. China, though, is looking forward. It is ready to step into the void left by the hasty U.S. retreat to seize a golden opportunity.

While Beijing has yet to formally recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s new government, China issued a statement on Monday saying that it “respects the right of the Afghan people to independently determine their own destiny” and will develop “friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan.”

The message here is clear: Beijing has few qualms about fostering a closer relationship with the Taliban and is ready to assert itself as the most influential outside player in an Afghanistan now all but abandoned by the United States.

Unlike the United States, China brings no baggage to the table in Afghanistan. China has kept a low profile in the country since the U.S. invasion, not wishing to play second fiddle to the United States in any power politics. Beijing watched as Washington’s foray in Afghanistan became a messy and costly morass. In the meantime, China provided Afghanistan millions of dollars in aid for medical assistance, hospitals, a solar power station and more. All the while, Beijing was fostering stronger trade relations, eventually becoming one of Afghanistan’s largest trading partners.

With the U.S. withdrawal, Beijing can offer what Kabul needs most: political impartiality and economic investment. Afghanistan in turn has what China most prizes: opportunities in infrastructure and industry building — areas in which China’s capabilities are arguably unmatched — and access to $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits, including critical industrial metals such as lithium, iron, copper and cobalt. Though critics have raised the point that Chinese investment is not a strategic priority in a less secure Afghanistan, I believe otherwise.


Digital Yuan

Through the ages, money has taken various forms, (shells, stones, beads, various types of coins where the value was inherent in the material that the coin was made from and other that used a worthless material but assured by some kind of backing like gold, or simply trust in sovereign promises).

In terms of paper money, in the 13th century, the Chinese emperor Kublai Khan embarked on a bold experiment. China at the time was divided into different regions, many of which issued their own coins, discouraging trade within the empire. So Kublai Khan decreed that henceforth money would take the form of paper.

This was a huge step and even today we use paper money to an extent, but more and more we use digitized currencies. It is not strange that China again comes up with the major step of disintermediating the current technology of money by the creation of its DCEP. (This is not a cryptocurrency, however, technologically, it functions like one).  Transactions are fast, the basis is cash, and China is building it out as a two tier system (PBC and local banks assuring stable financial infrastructure and supervision, which, in effect, is the ‘backing’), as well as multi-scheme, which is the connection to retailers and third-party payment platforms (think of something like Paypal). Ownership of the currency business is then an open new market economic category.

We see more and more countries following suit but there is no one that is as far along as China on roll-out of digital currency, already trading with it, using it via smart contracts and more and more in cross border trade.

China builds cross-border finance blockchain platform

http://www.news.cn/english/2021-08/25/c_1310148785.htm

As all technology changes, the technology of money will also change and in reality, is in the process of change as we speak. The size of the change in financial technology spearheaded by China could well be of the magnitude, as was the acceptance of paper money, i.e., the whole world, just as Kublai Khan created his system in the 13th century. The prospective use cases of digital money at this level staggers the imagination and the strength of an economic weapon of this kind is routinely underestimated.


While we have money going all digital, why not do the same with the rest:

Following China’s push for a digital currency, the country plans to roll out digital driver’s licenses nationwide by 2022. Nearly 2 million residents have obtained digital driver’s licenses so far, as cited by Xinhua. Digital licenses will have the same legal effect as physical licenses and can be used to rent vehicles, file insurance claims and handle traffic violations. An official mobile app accepts applications for a digital license. 400 million people are licensed to drive in China. Read full article →


Space, yes, one cannot get away from China these days without talking about space.

A Chinese satellite has tested a technology that could offer the most accurate means yet of tracking air traffic from space, in the hope of preventing repeats of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 tragedy. Each aircraft in the sky emits a radio signal, and constantly monitoring all planes over a large area is technically challenging. But Beihang Kongshi 1, a small satellite in near-Earth orbit, can update the status of an aircraft every eight seconds – about twice as fast as American technology, meaning the tracking is more accurate. Read full article  $→

In the mean time the Mars Rover is an unadulterated success. The National Space Administration said on its website Friday that Zhurong completed its 90-day program on August 15 and was in excellent technical condition and fully charged. Read full article →


Technology and Legal

In modern terms, China is a young country and in certain areas, specifically technology, legal structures lag behind technological development. This is not new if you are in technology but given the size and growth of China’s technology sector, may create some problems. In case you’ve been living under a very large rock: Regulators in Beijing have been on a mission to constrain the market dominance of China’s tech behemoths for months now. The principle value in the technological companies is that of building big fast and getting rich fast. But, the common value in the Chinese government is ‘common prosperity’. Wealth inequality is not as pronounced as in the west and China wants to keep it that way.  You may build big fast and get rich fast, but do not forget the country that gave you the platforms to create your behemoth of an industry.  Get rich, but not too rich.

The new legislation has all kinds of knock-on effects.  For example, labor laws (for one) and the value of all work and no play is being shaved. For example, ‘996’ work hours are illegal. “The ‘996’ work culture — a 12-hour, six-day work schedule that had been popular among Chinese tech companies until recently — is a serious violation of Chinese labor law, according to China’s Supreme People’s Court and its Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.” Read full article →


Defense

The People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force has improved the accuracy and range of its ballistic missile force, the world’s largest, according to a new US Army report. The DF-11, the most widely deployed short-range ballistic missile, was originally designed to hit targets up to 300km away, but newer models have expanded ranges beyond 700km. “Accuracy has also increased, reducing” the intended target point to only 30m, “giving theatre commanders a long-range precision strike capability”, according to the army publication. The DF-11 can employ both conventional and nuclear warheads. The “solid-fuel rocket and mobile transporter-erector-launchers enable rapid launch and reload operations”, it added. Read full article $→

China has successfully tested two short-range conventional missiles designed to take out enemy communications systems. The PLA Rocket Force recently tested two new missiles that can overcome “complex electromagnetic interference” to destroy facilities in a “fast-reaction” operation. “[The missiles] successfully hit the target in an enemy camp equipped with multilayer defences several hundred kilometres away and effectively paralysed the enemy’s key communications node,” CCTV reported. Read full article $→


The legal machinations around Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou house arrest in Canada seem to be drawing to a close, if in fact it will be allowed to draw to a close. Jeff J. Brown provided a solid analysis and background of the story.


To conclude, yes, the elephants are back home but nobody is betting that they will stay home this time. They may at any time decide to again go on a walk-about.

And on Winnie the Pooh:

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

Further selections and editorial and geopolitical commentary by Amarynth.

Israel: Is this the beginning of the end of apartheid?

Richard Falk

18 May 2021 15:35 UTC 

Israel has already long lost the main legal and moral arguments and is in the process of losing the political argument

An Israeli soldier walks past a 155mm self-propelled howitzer and ammunition at the army’s position along the border with the Gaza Strip, on 16 May 2021 (AFP)

The current crisis of Palestine-Israel deepens and widens: casualties mount, smoke from destroyed buildings blacken the sky over Gaza, there’s rioting on the streets of many Israeli and West Bank towns; Israeli police disrupt worshippers in Al-Aqsa mosque while protecting extremist Jewish settlers shouting genocidal slogans – “death to the Arabs” – in inflammatory marches through Palestinian neighbourhoods.

Western leaders pathetically call for calm on both sides as if both sides shared equal blame, while perversely affirming the one-sidedness of ‘Israel’s right to defend itself’

Underlying this entire eruption of tensions between the oppressor and the oppressed were the flimsy legalised evictions of six Palestinian families long resident in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem. These evictions epitomised the long Palestinian ordeal of persecution and banishment in what remains their homeland.

While this mayhem continues, the lights have remained scandalously dim at the UN. Western leaders pathetically call for calm on both sides as if both sides shared equal blame, while perversely affirming the one-sidedness of “Israel’s right to defend itself”, which supposes that Israel had been attacked out of the blue. 

Is this but one more cycle of violence exhibiting the unresolvable clash between a native people overwhelmed by a colonial intruder emboldened by a unique religiously grounded settler sense of entitlement?

Or are we witnessing the beginning of the end of the century-long struggle by the Palestinian people to defend their homeland against the unfolding Zionist project that stole their land, trampled on their dignity, and made Palestinians victimised strangers in what had been their national home for centuries?

Only the future can fully unravel this haunting uncertainty. In the meantime, we can expect more bloodshed, death, outrage, grief, injustice, and continuing geopolitical interference.

The spirit of resistance

Last week’s events have made clear that the Palestinians are withstanding prolonged oppression with their spirit of resistance intact, and refuse to be pacified regardless of the severity of the imposed hardships

.Israel has long been an apartheid state. Admitting it now is too little, too late

Read More »

We also are made to appreciate that the Israeli leadership and most of its public is no longer in the mood even to pretend receptivity to a peaceful alternative to the completion of their settler-colonial undertaking despite its dependence on a weaponised version of apartheid governance. 

For Israelis and much of the West, the core narrative continues to be the violence of a “terrorist” organisation, Hamas, challenging the peaceful state of Israel with destructive intent, making the Israeli response seem reasonable. It is thus framed as not only a response to Hamas’ rockets but also as a harsh punitive lesson for the people of Gaza, designed to deter future attacks.

The Israeli missiles and drones are deemed “defensive” while the rockets are acts of “terrorism”, even though Israeli human targets are seldom hit, and despite the fact that it is Israeli weaponry that causes 95 percent of the widespread death and destruction among the over two million civilian Palestinians in Gaza. They have been victims of an unlawful and crippling blockade that since 2007 has brought severe suffering to the impoverished, crowded and traumatised enclave, with unemployment levels above 50 percent.  

In the current confrontation, Israel’s control of the international discourse has succeeded in de-contextualising the timeline of violence, thus leading those with little knowledge of what induced the flurry of Hamas rockets to believe falsely that the destruction in Gaza was a retaliatory Israeli reaction to hundreds of rockets launched by Hamas and Gaza armed groups.

A Palestinian girl, who fled her home due to Israeli air and artillery strikes, plays at a school hosting refugees in Gaza city, on May 14, 2021,
A Palestinian girl, who fled her home due to Israeli air and artillery strikes, plays at a school hosting refugees in Gaza city, on 14 May, 2021 (AFP)

With abuses of language that might even surprise Orwell, Israel’s state terrorism is airbrushed by the world along with the rebuff of Hamas’ peace diplomacy over the past 15 years that has repeatedly sought a permanent ceasefire and peaceful coexistence.

Symbolic victories

For Palestinians and those in solidarity with their struggle, Israel knowingly allowed the subjugated population of occupied East Jerusalem to experience a series of anguishing humiliations to occur during the holy period of Muslim religious observances in Ramadan, rubbing salt in the wounds recently opened by the Sheikh Jarrar evictions. This had the inevitable effect of refreshing Palestinian memories of their defining experiences of ethnic cleansing days before the annual observance of the Nakba on 15 May.

The record of struggles against colonialism since 1945 support reaching the conclusion that the side that wins a legitimacy war will eventually control the political outcome

This amounted to a metaphoric reenactment of that massive crime of expulsion accompanying the establishment of Israel in 1948, which culminated in the bulldozing of several hundred Palestinian villages that signalled a firm Israeli intention to make the banishment permanent.

Unlike South Africa, which never claimed to be a democracy, Israel legitimated itself by presenting itself as a constitutional democracy. This resolve to be a democracy came with a high price tag of deception and self-deception, necessitating to this day a continuing struggle to make apartheid work to secure Jewish supremacy while hiding Palestinian subjugation.

For decades, Israel was successful in hiding these apartheid features from the world because the legacy of the Holocaust lent uncritical credence to the Zionist narrative of providing sanctuary for the survivors of the worst genocide known to humanity. 

Additionally, the Jewish presence “was making the desert bloom“, while at the same time virtually erasing Palestine grievances, further discounted by hasbara visions of Palestinian backwardness as contrasting with Israeli modernising prowess, and later on by juxtaposing a political caricature of the two peoples, portraying Jewish adherence to Western values as opposed to the Palestinian embrace of terrorism.

Recent developments in the symbolic domains of politics that control the outcome of “Legitimacy Wars” have scored several victories for the Palestinian struggle. The International Criminal Court has authorised the investigation of Israeli criminality in Occupied Palestine since 2015 despite vigorous opposition from the leadership of the Israeli government, fully supported by the United States. The investigation in The Hague, although proceeding with diligent respect for the legalities involved, was not openly engaged by Israel, but rather immediately denounced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “pure antisemitism”.

Beyond this, allegations of Israeli apartheid were unequivocally confirmed in an academic report commissioned by the UN, concluding that Israeli policies and practices were designed to ensure Palestinian subjugation and Jewish domination. This too was similarly denounced by Israeli leaders.

In the past few months both B’Tselem, Israel’s leading human rights NGO, and Human Rights Watch, have issued carefully documented studies that reach the same startling conclusion that Israel indeed administers an apartheid regime within the whole of historic Palestine, that is, the Occupied Palestinian Territories plus Israel itself.

While these two developments do not alleviate Palestinian suffering or the behavioural effects of enduring denial of basic rights, they are significant symbolic victories that stiffen the morale of Palestinian resistance and strengthen the bonds of global solidarity. The record of struggles against colonialism since 1945 support reaching the conclusion that the side that wins a legitimacy war will eventually control the political outcome, despite being weaker militarily and diplomatically.  

‘Then you win’

The endgame of South African apartheid reinforces this reassessment of the changing balance of forces in the Palestinian struggle. Despite having what appeared to be effective and stable control of the African majority population through the implementation of brutal apartheid structures, the racist regime collapsed from within under the combined weight of internal resistance and international pressure.Al-Aqsa attacks: How Israel is sowing the seeds of a new uprising

Read More »

Outside pressures included a widely endorsed BDS campaign enjoying UN backing and military setbacks in Angola against Cuban and liberation forces. Israel is not South Africa in a number of key aspects, but the combination of resistance and solidarity was dramatically ramped upwards in the past week.

Israel has already long lost the main legal and moral arguments, almost acknowledging this interpretation by their defiant way of changing the subject with reckless accusations of antisemitism, and is in the process of losing the political argument. 

Israel’s own sense of vulnerability to a South African scenario has been exposed by this growing tendency to brand supporters of BDS and harsh critics as “antisemites” which seems in the context of present development best described as “a geopolitical panic attack”.

I find it appropriate to recall Gandhi’s famous observation along these lines: “First, they ignore you, then they insult you, then they fight you, then you win.”

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Richard Falk

Richard Falk is an international law and international relations scholar who taught at Princeton University for forty years. In 2008 he was also appointed by the UN to serve a six-year term as the Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.

The deafening sound of silence in the West (OPEN THREAD #15)

The deafening sound of silence in the West (OPEN THREAD #15)

April 20, 2021

The story about the attempt to murder Lukashenko in much the same manner as Anwar Sadat (during a military parade) broke over the week-end, but even I was too tired to report it.  But on Monday I wrote a reasonably detailed column about it under the title “Did the US just try to murder Lukashenko“.  Much more relevantly, the Kremlin fully confirmed the story and the Russian media discussed it at length.  It also became known that Putin and Biden discussed this topic during their telephone call (ironic, no? Biden called Putin a ‘killer’ while the self same “Biden” tried to kill a foreign head of state).  What we are talking about here is both an act of international terrorism and a de facto act of war.

I was pretty sure that by today, Tuesday, the western media would be busy ridiculing and dismissing it all as “Russian disinformation” but, instead, there is nothing, not a word.  The “united West” simply totally ignored this information.

Even more puzzling is the total silence in the “alternative” free media and the blogosphere…

Then there is the truly comical Czech fairy tale about Petrov and Boshirov (the folks the Brits accused of poisoning Skripal) blowing up a weapons depot in 2014 (!).

Again, deafening silence.

But the upcoming death of Navalnyi is the one Russia-related topic the western media seems to be interested in.

Even RT and Sputnik seemed to be “covering” this very minimally and very reluctantly (these two have become so bad, I rarely even bother reading them, but that is another story).

My request today is this: if you do come across any reports discussing either the failed coup in Belarus or the Czech mental collapse, please post the links in the open thread below.  Maybe I missed all the “good” coverage the “free media” of the “allied western democracies” provided?

Finally, just to show you how different the mood is in Russia, check out this (wholly unscientific) readers survey by the Russian website Vzgliad (which I would describe as moderately patriotic, pretty close to the Russian mainstream):

Translation:

Question: Is it possible in the future to build friendly and partnership relations between Russia and the United States?

Answers:

Yes, in the short term: 1.05%
Yes, in the medium term: 4.57%
Yes, in the long run: 29.15%
no never: 65.24%

Which, in plain English, means that the Russians have basically given up on the US in total disgust.

They have also finally convinced US Ambassador to “voluntarily” leave Russia (he was apparently waiting to be expelled).

But, of course, the narcissistic West will never admit that it mostly elicits disgust and contempt from the vodka-guzzling Russian savages.  All of the above will be dismissed as yet more “Russian disinformation” and “Kremlin propaganda”.

And, in the meantime, the WP is urging Biden to meet with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.  If ignorance is truly bliss, then these two will be in heaven together.

The Saker

PS: I forgot to add that the Czech version says that the Russians blew up that weapons depot because this was the depot from which the Czechs were sending weapons to both the Urkonazi regime in Kiev and to the “good terrorists” in Syria.  Interesting, no?  Is that not evidence that both the US and NATO were, in fact, arming both the Nazis in the Ukraine and the Takfiris in Syria? As I have said it many times, the united West will ally itself to even the Devil if that is against Russia.  This is the story of 1000 years of hatred for everything Russian and/or Orthodox.

Related Videos

Tensions are running high between the United States and Russia. The two superpowers have imposed sanctions on each other, bringing their bilateral ties to a new low since the Cold War. Russia has unveiled counter sanctions against US by expelling and banning current and former US officials, warning the US to back away from confrontation.

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this photo from the Twitter page of the Nashville Fire Department, damage is seen on a street after an explosion in Nashville, Tennessee on December 25, 2020.

by Ramin Mazaheri  and crossposted with The Saker

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV’s.)

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed
Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

The entire world breathed a sigh of relief when it turned out that the alleged Nashville, Tennessee, bomber was not a Muslim – now nobody can get dragooned into supporting yet another war on a Muslim-majority country.

Isn’t it spectacular how after 9/11 the US impressed almost the entire West into never-ending military service? Western piracy in Afghanistan continues today; Iraq was reduced to shambles; France used the ruse to invade Mali, the Central African Republic and to create a roving “anti-terrorist” force across the entire Sahel; Libya is no longer really a nation; Syria stands despite all the money, guns, terrorists and concrete fortifications the West could muster. I am probably missing some others.

It was true that in the years after 9/11 Muslims silently held their breath when they heard about a terrorist attack, but after 20 years and so many bombs, drones and assassinations it’s abundantly clear that Muslims are not the aggressor nor the transgressor: The pointed finger alleging cultural failure was clearly a false accusation.

The question Muslims now often feel confident enough to ask non-Muslims in public is, “What did Islam ever have to do with terrorism, anyway?” The answer is the same as it was on 9/12/01: “Nothing”.

The Nashville bombing occurred on Christmas day – maybe this was an act of “Christian terrorism”?

The sad irony is that many Christians will flinch at such a term because they view “Christianity” and “terrorism” as being total opposites. Do such persons realise that Muslims view joining “Islam” to “terrorism” also creates an oxymoron? Muslims and Christians should permanently unite around this concept: the sadness of feeling totally misunderstood when the word “terrorism” is affixed to either religion. The only barrier to this is the Islamophobic nonsense which pours out of the West’s chattering classes.

Terrorism is always defined as violence which has a political motive. Was the Nashville bombing, allegedly caused by Anthony Warner, terrorism? We don’t know at this point, so it’s wrong to call it terrorism.

Some report that Warner was paranoid about the effects of the new 5G technology – that seems rather more social than political.

There are unproven accusations that Warner was bombing storage facilities used by the voting machine company Dominion, which is being sued for allegations of vote tampering – if proven to be true then it’s possible this was a political act. It’s looking like Joe Biden will prevail in the still-disputed US presidential election, but is Warner the advance scout of a battalion of right-wing, pro-Trump terrorists which the US media warned about so hysterically in 2020? Considering how insistently they promoted anti-Trumpism and the fear of right-wing violence, it’s surprising that US media hasn’t immediately called Warner a “post-Trumpian terrorist”?

Maybe they will get there, but what this unfortunate episode can teach us is that the West rushes to demonise Muslim citizens and the teachings of Islam whenever they think they have an opportunity to do so. If Warner had been a Muslim there would have been an unjournalistic rush to judgment by Western media that Nashville was undoubtedly an act of – ugh – “Islamic terrorism”.

It’s unfortunate that Islam is so easily slandered in the West, but the problem to discuss here is not religious misunderstanding but reactionary political thought: Islam is slandered so easily precisely in order to create false justifications for the West’s endless imperialist wars in the oil-rich, Israel-surrounding Muslim World.

In the Western world talking of “imperialism” is (incredibly, to me) denigrated as anachronistic, eccentric and unrealistic. It’s not even taken seriously – if I was writing about transgender bathrooms I would be taken infinitely more seriously, and that is no exaggeration. And yet, doesn’t using the lens of imperialism explain the very different US media treatment for Anthony Warner as opposed to “Omar” Warner?

After all, who can the US media suggest we invade as a result of Warner’s alleged act? Which culture can be insulted and ordered to change at the point of a spear? How can Americans feel a misguided sense of superiority – which helps deflect from their ever-increasing inequality, poverty and socioeconomic instability – when Warner’s culture is their own?

And thus Warner is getting treated far more sympathetically than any Muslim menace to society, even though Warner is no more human.

I do not begrudge sympathy for Warner: The unpredictable actions of severely mentally ill people often have devastating consequences on people, and this is an unfortunate part of life and must be discussed.

What I do point out is that, for example, in the majority of France’s terror attacks following Charlie Hebdo’s publication of pornographic pictures of Prophet Mohammad the attacker was also just another mentally-ill person, and not some political mastermind and zealot. I covered these attacks year after year and the perpetrators always fell into one of two categories: the largest was mental illness, while the smaller grouping were political (not religious) terrorists who – without fail – expressly said their attacks were retribution for France’s many imperialist attacks on Muslim countries.

The problem in the world today is not religious – as the West and Israel asserts – but political, as the developing world asserts.

But – as the four-year “daily cultural insanity” of the Trump era proves – the US is incapable of discussing political nuance intelligently and without resorting to hyperbolic slander or wild-eyed absurdities. This explains why if Anthony Warner had been a Muslim the violence would have undoubtedly been declared “terrorism”, immediately – I am referring to endemic American political hysteria of the “other”.  

I am not here to complain – as a professional wordsmith often pedantically does – about the misuse of words and the confusion caused by refusing to abide by established definitions. Instead, I am suggesting that non-Muslims in the West should wake up to just how easily they are intellectually manipulated when it comes to any violence which employs something more brutal than a handgun: Had Warner been a Muslim Americans and Westerners would have shouted at to maintain their awful, destructive and immoral two-decade long war posture towards Muslims and Islam.

When there are acts of political terrorism, the West needs to examine the politics behind it and make sure their politics are just. When there are acts of violence, just because a Muslim was the perpetrator doesn’t make it political. However, in the identity politics-obsessed West, it seems one is always defined solely by his or her tribe and is never just another son or daughter of Adam.

“Anthony” or “Omar” shouldn’t make a difference to you but it certainly does, depending on where you live: manipulative Islamophobia may have sent your children off to die in hopeless wars, gutted your individual political rights and caused you to see anyone with a different political view as your lifelong enemy.


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Against the Witch Hunt: On the Instrumentalization of Antisemitism in Britain’s Labour Party

December 17, 2020

UK Labour Party voted in favor of a motion which could see Britain cease trade with Israel. (Photo: via Twitter)

By Ronnie Kasrils

The assault on free speech within Britain’s Labour Party speaks like a ghost from my past. I was banned from public speaking in apartheid South Africa almost sixty years ago. My crime aged 23, was advocating votes for all. The apartheid government accused those like me of undermining the safety of whites. When all avenues of peaceful change were blocked, we had no option but to turn to armed struggle.

We argued that there was no equivalence between the state violence of the oppressor and the resistance of the oppressed. International solidarity helped bring about the demise of the apartheid system. We empathize with those in the Labour Party today, who are being victimized by a double agenda: for their socialism and defending Palestinian rights. It is astonishing and deplorable that a witch hunt is underway within those ranks – as elsewhere.

I was invited to address a BDS event in Vienna over a year ago which the city council quickly banned. A couple of months ago I was involved in a planned event with Palestinian freedom fighter Leila Khaled, at San Francisco State University, which was blocked. Then attempts to have our discussion broadcast via Zoom, Facebook and YouTube were obstructed. The voice opponents of free speech were desperate to gag was Leila Khaled. The Palestinian narrative being the primary target.

Those who attack human rights, whether in advanced capitalist countries or feudal tyrannies, simultaneously attack Palestinian rights. They follow violent precedents and consequences.

Repressing freedom of speech in South Africa paved the way for the emergence of a terrorist state. Ruthless suppression was instrumentalized in Europe’s colonies, and by USA imperialism on the back of slavery and genocide; and in the colonization and dismantling of Palestine.

The latter context falls within the project to counter the national liberation upsurge of the 20th Century.

The Apartheid regime’s use of anti-communism as a blanket device to smash opposition; along with Joe McCarthy’s witch-hunting; is mirrored in manipulating “anti-Semitism” as a shield to protect Israel. It is an umbrella formula to delegitimize the Palestinian cause and BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign.

Upholding Palestinian rights has been reflected in United Nations resolutions; and statements by Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu, Angela Davis, Arundhati Roy, Noam Chomsky; and back in time Jewish scholars such as Eric Fromm and Martin Buber.

Apartheid alleged the South African struggle was about sweeping whites into the sea and handing the country to Russia. This echoes the claim that giving in on the human and national rights of the dispossessed Palestinians means the extinction of the Jewish people.

Those linking freedom of expression and Palestinian solidarity articulate the same goals as we did in South Africa’s struggle – the objective is about changing a system not destroying a people.

Criticizing Zionism, an exclusivist ethnic-based political doctrine is not anti-Semitic. It is the valid criticism of a reactionary political theory.

Zionism, not the Judaic religion; Israel, not the Jewish people is the focus of criticism.

The anti-communism of apartheid South Africa, and charges of anti-Semitism against Israel’s critics, are terms of Machiavellian elasticity stretched by charlatans to stifle opposition. This is the new taboo. The untouchable holy cow shamelessly peddled in Western countries that preach freedom of expression.

Those who fall prey, who are deceived by the confusion sown, should note the lesson of the boy who cried wolf. When the real monster of anti-Semitism strikes, the most steadfast of opponents, have been on the left of the political spectrum.

False allegations of anti-Semitism weaken the fight against the real demon. This is exactly the pitfall of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) treatise conflating criticism of Israel with hate speech. It is biased and fatally flawed. A dubious, non-internationally represented Eurocentric document, devised by a hand-picked cabal of sophists seeking to be referee and player at the same time. With a veiled attempt at “objectivity,” Israel is given umbrella-like cover, impunity for its crimes and a cudgel to beat its opponents.

In 1948 when Menahem Begin visited New York to raise funds for his party – later to become Sharon and Netanyahu’s ruling Likud – Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt labeled him a “fascist”. After cold-blooded massacres of Palestinians that year, an Israeli cabinet minister, Aharon Cizling, declared “now we too have behaved like Nazis and my whole being is shaken.”

In terms of the IHRA’s guidelines, they would be labeled anti-Semitic. Jeremy Corbyn’s “crime” that accusations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party have been exaggerated is minuscule by comparison.

Manufacturing mountains out of molehills, characterizes the sophistry of medieval inquisitors, hitching Labour to the Blairite anti-socialist bandwagon. Unopposed this witch hunt will escalate, attacking popular protest wherever humanity opposes injustice.

We say to the deceit of Labour Party leaders, Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner, who misappropriate a sacred trade union principle: Yes! “An injury to one is an injury to all” – but in your denialism you ignore the millions of Palestinians facing the bullets and bombs of Israeli aggression.

The recent statement of prominent Palestinian and Arab figures with regard to the IHRA’s false strictures eloquently attests to how the issue of anti-Semitism should be formulated.

They declare:

“Antisemitism must be debunked and combated. Regardless of pretense, no expression of hatred for Jews as Jews should be tolerated anywhere in the world.”

The left and human rights movement, including Black Lives Matter and formations such as the African National Congress of South Africa, should join those Palestinian and Arab voices in formulating genuinely international guidelines regarding defense of free speech; and in combatting the scourge of anti-Semitism and all forms of racism.

– Ronnie Kasrils, veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, and South Africa’s former Minister for Intelligence Services, activist and author. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle

Response to Fakhrizadeh’s assassination in Iran time الردّ على اغتيال فخري زاده بتوقيت إيران

Response to Fakhrizadeh’s assassination in Iran time

Munther Suleiman and Jafar al-Jaafari

Security experts agreed that the operation required high-level intelligence and professionalism capabilities that only professional states possessed for “state terrorism” operations.

Immediately after the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (November 27th), Siham accused the Israeli-Mossad intelligence service of u.S. cooperation, not only from the Iranian side concerned, but also from the “semi-official” U.S.side.

The scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been at the top of the u.S. most wanted list since the time of former President George W. Bush, Jr., and “Israeli”, evidence that Israeli intelligence officials acknowledged that an earlier attempt on his life had been prepared and delayed at the last minute. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reviewed Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s name at a media festival in 2018, boasting: “Remember that name:Fakhrizadeh.”

We can say that the United States also acknowledged the “unofficial” words of President Trump himself during the first hours of the assassination, by posting a tweet on his official account conveying the news about “Israeli” sources, and in Hebrew, which he did not master at all.

He soon recalled the man’s history in the media, as “the father of the nuclear bomb, and in recent years he has been working on a project to reduce the size of the nuclear warhead and enable it to maintain its effectiveness in the phase of the entry of the carrier ballistic missile into the atmosphere towards the target”.

The reasons for the assassination and the more likely possibilities for how it occurred remain subject to the availability of accurate operational information, which is unlikely to be completed soon for reasons of confidentiality, and we have a return below to discussit.

Later on the day of the assassination, the New York Times revealed what a “high-ranking U.S. source” told her, saying that “Israel is responsible for carrying out the assassination,” without explaining his identity or why he was sure of the perpetrator.

The assassination coincided with the U.S. mobilisation of additional military resources, with the Navy announcing the movement of the Nimitz nuclear aircraft carrier stationed in the region, as the decision to withdraw a number of U.S. troops from Afghanistan matured, u.S. commanders said.

Moving the nuclear carrier into the region may not be sufficient to conclude that a military attack is about to take off, assuming u.S. operational experience and military doctrine and requiring the movement of a number of other naval pieces, reinforced by missile-carrying submarines, destroyers and cruisers.

The weapon of assassination of scientists entered active service with political decision makers since the beginning of the era of nuclear technology in the early 1940s, with an American plan to “kidnap or assassinate” German physicist Werner Heisenberg in 1942, given the scientific gap at the time between the progress of German technology and the inevitability of its success in the manufacture of a nuclear bomb, and parallel U.S. efforts in the “ManhattanNuclear Program”.

William Toby, an American nuclear energy expert at harvard University, said that “the most important thing to achieve is to postpone, not stop, the nuclear program of the. adversary, and perhaps form a deterrent to the accession of other minds and competencies to the program” (November 27, 2020).

Toby stressed the “denial of responsibility” space provided by the weapon of assassination of scientists to the aggressor, given the complexities of any state’s nuclear programme, as well as the nature of direct military action and its crucial identity. He also warned of the short- and medium-term adverse consequences of the effectiveness of the assassination, as the attacking party would lead to a reduction in the ceiling of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and “possibly an end to cooperation with it altogether”.

After the assassination, there was unprecedented confusion in the narrative of the Iranian authorities, and the multiplicity of officials who gave their opinions, but the most prominent common factor is the detection of a security gap in The Iranian agencies, not the first in the targeting of their scientists, which led to what led to it.

It is certain that since 2007 we have witnessed a series of bombings that killed four Iranian scientists and failed another operation. Their activities were said to have been in the process of developing Iran’s nuclear program, ranging from “toxic gas possibly the real source of an accident at the facility, to remote-controlled explosion, and direct shooting at a car carrying the person concerned.” Now, a new narrative is echoed by the use of a marching aircraft and infrared surveillance devices also controlled by remotes.

The successive Iranian statements were not based on a specific narrative, except that the assassination is considered a war decision, but we witnessed 3 interpretations or jurisprudence that simulate the mechanisms of carrying out the operation: the car Of Fakhrizadeh was subjected to a barrage of bullets, in conjunction with the explosion of a locomotive before his arrival, which slowed down his movement, a human ambush reinforced by about 12 elements, including snipers, and the firing of a “remote-controlled machine gun” prayers of bullets.

The latest theory – remote-based machine gun – is not entirely excluded as electronic technologies advance, especially “sophisticated weapons. through the use of robots,” according to The Forbes Weekly (November 30, 2020).

The magazine, quoting its military sources, confirmed that an innovative weapon for remote shooting and firing was used in Syria “through the Free Syrian Army in the vicinity of Idlib city in 2013”, and the prototypes of it moved to the control and use of Kurdish forces and elements of “ISIS”, according to a 2016 U.S. army report, entitled “Remote control of sniper weapons and machine guns by terrorists and insurgents.”

With an intense targeting of the U.S. tank tower in Afghanistan and Iraq, u.S. military command replaced the human element in the tower through the CROWSsystem, which allows remote control ofa weapons center, and provided the Norwegian company Kongsberg with some 200,000 such systems for the U.S. Army, a system reinforced with thermal camera technologies, introduced to service on U.S. combat vehicles..

Infrared landscape technology is available in the U.S. commercial market, albeit with relatively low specifications for military models, manufactured by the American Network of Technology(ATN),supplied by U.S. Special Forces. One of its features is remote control of night binoculars, which is reinforced by a ballistic computer to ensure accuracy..

One of the most prominent conclusions of the report of the magazine mentioned what it described as the “positive advantages” of that weapon, namely, reducing the element of adventure by killing or arresting the control of the weapon to zero, and the impossibility of monitoring and tracking the coordinates of the source of the attack.

The magazine suggested that the use of remote weapons left no trace of Iranian investigators, despite one of the official narratives that indicated that there was evidence at the site linking the attack to Israeli agencies, and that the “concealment of the identity” of the executor was the main motive behind the use of this technology by a number of countries using drones, for example.

Security and military experts agree that this operation “constitutes a major security breach that necessitated high-level intelligence and professionalism capabilities that are possessed only by professional states for “state terrorism” operations, and that the perpetrator discovered a loophole in the internal security system in Iran, and exploited it and was able to carry it out, enabling it to succeed,” which refutes one of the Iranian narratives that its intelligence services were “aware of an imminent attack.”

In a purely political dimension, since wars are the application of politics with other tools, according to Carl von Klaus Fitz, the centre of gravity for the objectives of the process is shifting to the conflict between American politicians, given president-elect Joe Biden’s conciliatory statements that he will resume U.S. membership in the international nuclear agreement, “with some conditions tightened and others added.”

From this perspective, U.S. observers specifically emphasise the “postponement” of iran’s promised response, leaving time for the next administration to deal positively with the international agreement, and possibly a return to the elimination of some U.S. sanctions imposed by the outgoing Trump administration.

In this regard, the fact of the official U.S. hostility to the Iranian regime and its roots should not be. overlooked, and from time to time the incident of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and the detention of its employees for several years with the victory of the Iranian revolution in 1979.

At the same level, one recognizes the consensus of U.S. decision makers not to allow Iran to possess nuclear knowledge and weapons, based on the commitment of the ruling institution in its entirety and currents “to maintain Israel’s superiority over all countries in the region” with qualitative weapons that are forbidden to other parties, individually or collectively, to acquire, Indeed, some senior U.S. strategists argue: “Regardless of the identity of the U.S. president, hostility will continue in relations with Iran as we have seen and seen over the past four decades, and Iran will continue to blame the United States and Israel for any incidents they face in the foreseeable future, whether or not they are found to be involved.”

With these lines written, the possibility of postponing the Iranian retaliatory strike, not the possibility of its cancellation, is reinforced by the view of the internal interactions in the israeli crisis entity, and the flexible statements of President-elect Biden on the Iranian nuclear file, accompanied by an argument at home iran about the tactic and the short-term strategy for the best response to the assassination, as factors that will not make Tehran rush a military/security response, to keep it a margin of movement and appropriate options, depending on the schedule, not the schedule ofothers.

الردّ على اغتيال فخري زاده بتوقيت إيران

منذر سليمان   جعفر الجعفري

خبراء أمنيون أجمعوا على أنّ العملية استلزمت قدرات استخباريّة واحترافاً عالي المستوى لا تملكه إلا الدول المحترفة لعمليات “إرهاب الدولة”.

فور تنفيذ عمليّة اغتيال محسن فخري زاده (27 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر)، توجّهت سهام الاتهام إلى جهاز الاستخبارات “الإسرائيلي – الموساد”، بتعاون أميركيّ، ليس من الجانب الإيرانيّ المعنيّ الأوّل بذلك فقط، بل من الجانب الأميركي “شبه الرسمي” أيضاً.

العالم محسن فخري زاده كان على رأس قائمات المطلوبين أميركياً منذ عهد الرئيس الأسبق جورج بوش الابن، و”إسرائيلياً”، بدليل اعتراف مسؤولي استخبارات “إسرائيل” بأنّ محاولة سابقة لاغتياله تم إعدادها وتأجَّل تنفيذها في اللحظات الأخيرة. أما رئيس الوزراء بنيامين نتنياهو، فقد استعرض اسم الدكتور محسن فخري زاده في مهرجان إعلامي عقده في العام 2018، متبجّحاً: “تذكّروا هذا الاسم: فخري زاده”.

 بوسعنا القول إنَّ الولايات المتّحدة اعترفت أيضاً بكلام “غير رسمي” على لسان الرئيس ترامب نفسه خلال الساعات الأولى للاغتيال، بنشره تغريدة في حسابه الرسمي ينقل فيها الخبر عن المصادر “الإسرائيلية”، وباللغة العبريّة التي لا يتقنها مطلقاً.

وسرعان ما استُحضر تاريخ الرجل في الإعلام، بوصفه “أب القنبلة النووية، وأنه انكبّ يعمل في السنوات الأخيرة على مشروع تصغير حجم الرأس الحربي النووي وتمكينه من الاحتفاظ بفاعليته في مرحلة دخول الصاروخ الباليستي الحامل إلى الغلاف الجوي نحو الهدف”.

 حيثيات الاغتيال والاحتمالات الأكثر ترجيحاً لكيفية وقوعه، تبقى مرهونة بتوفر معلومات عملياتية دقيقة، وهو أمر يستبعد إنجازه قريباً لدواعي السرّية، ولنا عودة أدناه لمناقشة الأمر.

في وقت لاحق من يوم الاغتيال، كشفت صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز” عما أخبرها به “مصدر أميركي رفيع المستوى”، قائلاً “إن إسرائيل هي المسؤولة عن تنفيذ الاغتيال”، من دون أن توضح هُويته أو سبب يقينه من الفاعل.

 تزامن الاغتيال مع حشد الولايات المتحدة موارد عسكرية إضافية، بإعلان سلاح البحرية عن تحرك حاملة الطائرات النووية “نيميتز” للمرابطة في المنطقة، مع نضوج قرار سحب عدد من القوات الأميركية من أفغانستان، بموجب تصريحات القادة الأميركيين.

 ربما لا يشكّل تحريك الحاملة النووية إلى المنطقة عاملاً كافياً للاستنتاج بأنَّ هجوماً عسكرياً على وشك الانطلاق، إذ تفترض الخبرة العملياتية والعقيدة العسكرية الأميركية وتتطلَّب تحريك عدد من القطع البحرية الأخرى، تعززها غواصات حاملة للصواريخ ومدمّرات وطرادات.

 سلاح اغتيال العلماء دخل الخدمة الفعلية عند صناع القرار السياسي منذ بدء عصر التقنية النووية مطلع عقد الأربعينيات من القرن الماضي، بمخطط أميركي “لخطف أو اغتيال” عالم الفيزياء الألماني فيرنر هايزنبيرغ في العام 1942، نظراً إلى الفجوة العلمية آنذاك بين تقدم التقنية الألمانية وحتمية نجاحها في صنع قنبلة نووية، والجهود الأميركية الموازية في “برنامج مانهاتن” النووي.

 الخبير الأميركي في الطّاقة النووية لدى جامعة “هارفرد” العريقة، ويليام توبي، اعتبر أنَّ “أقصى ما تطمح إلى تحقيقه الجهة المنفّذة لاغتيال علماء الطاقة النووية هو تأجيل وليس إيقاف سير البرنامج النووي للخصم، وربما تشكيل عامل ردع لانضمام عقول وكفاءات أخرى إلى البرنامج” (27 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2020).

وشدّد توبي على ما يوفّره سلاح اغتيال العلماء من مساحة “إنكار المسؤولية” للطرف المعتدي، نظراً إلى تعقيدات البرنامج النووي لأيّ دولة، وإلى طبيعة العمل العسكري المباشر وهويته الحاسمة أيضاً. وحذّر أيضاً من النتائج العكسية على المديين القصير والمتوسط من فعالية الاغتيال، إذ سيقود الطرف المعتدى عليه إلى خفض سقف التعاون مع الهيئة الدولية للطاقة النووية، “وربما إنهاء التعاون معها بالكامل”.

في بُعد ساحة الاغتيال، لوحظ ارتباك غير مسبوق في سردية السلطات الإيرانية، وتعدّد المسؤولين الذين أدلوا بدلوهم، لكنَّ العامل المشترك الأبرز هو الكشف عن ثغرة أمنيّة في الأجهزة الإيرانيّة، ليست الأولى في استهداف علمائها، أدّت إلى ما أدت إليه.

 الثّابت أمامنا أننا شهدنا منذ العام 2007 سلسلة عمليات تفجير أدت إلى مقتل 4 علماء إيرانيين وفشل عملية أخرى. وقد قيل إن نشاطاتهم كانت في سبيل تطوير البرنامج النووي الإيراني، وتراوحت الآليات بين “غاز سام ربما مصدره الحقيقي حادث عرضي في المنشأة، إلى التفجير بالتحكم عن بُعد، وإطلاق النار مباشرة على سيارة تُقلّ الشخصية المعنية”. والآن، تتردّد سردية جديدة عبر استخدام طائرة مسيّرة وأجهزة مراقبة تعمل بالأشعة تحت الحمراء أيضاً يتم التحكم بها عن بعد.

التصريحات الإيرانية المتتالية لم تستند إلى سردية معينة، سوى أن الاغتيال يعتبر قرار حرب، بل شهدنا 3 تفسيرات أو اجتهادات تحاكي آليات تنفيذ العملية: تعرض سيارة فخري زاده لوابل من الرصاص، بالتزامن مع انفجار قاطرة قبل وصوله، ما أدى إلى إبطاء حركته، وكمين بشري معزز بنحو 12 عنصراً، من ضمنهم قناصة، وإطلاق “رشاش بتحكّم عن بعد” صليات من الرصاص.

النظرية الأخيرة – رشاش عن بعد – ليست مستبعدة تماماً في ظل تقدم التقنيات الإلكترونية، وخصوصاً “أسلحة متطورة عبر استخدام الإنسان الآلي”، بحسب أسبوعية “فوربز” الأميركية (30 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2020).

أكّدت المجلة، نقلاً عن مصادرها العسكرية، أن سلاحاً مبتكراً للتصويب والإطلاق عن بُعد استخدم في سوريا “عبر جيش سوريا الحر في محيط مدينة إدلب في العام 2013″، وانتقلت النماذج الأولية منه إلى سيطرة واستخدام القوات الكردية وعناصر “داعش”، بحسب تقرير للجيش الأميركي في العام 2016، بعنوان “التحكّم عن بعد لأسلحة قناصة ورشاشات من قبل الإرهابيين والمتمردين”.

ومع استهداف مكثّف لاصطياد برج الدبابة الأميركية في أفغانستان والعراق، استبدلت القيادة العسكرية الأميركية العنصر البشري في البرج عبر نظام “CROWS”، الذي يسمح بالتحكّم عن بعد بمركز أسلحة، زوّدت الشركة النرويجية “كونغزبيرغ” بنحو 200،000 نظام من هذا النوع للجيش الأميركي وهو نظام معزّز بتقنيات الكاميرا الحرارية، تم إدخالها الخدمة على العربات القتالية الأميركية.

تقنية المناظر الليلة العاملة بالأشعة تحت الحمراء متوفرة في السوق التجاري الأميركي، وإن بمواصفات متدنية نسبياً عن النماذج الحربية، وهي من صناعة شركة “الشبكة الأميركية للتقنية” (ATN)، زوّدت بها القوات الخاصة الأميركية. ومن ميزاتها التحكّم عن بعد بالمناظير الليلية، وهي معزّزة بحاسوب “باليستي” لضمان الدقّة.

من أبرز استنتاجات تقرير المجلّة المذكورة ما وصفته من “ميزات إيجابية” لذاك السلاح، وهي تقليص عنصر المغامرة بمقتل أو اعتقال المتحكّم بالسلاح إلى الصفر، واستحالة رصد وتعقّب إحداثيات مصدر الهجوم.

ورجَّحت المجلّة أنَّ استخدام السلاح عن بُعد لم يترك أي أثر يستفيد منه المحقّقون الإيرانيون، على الرغم من إحدى السرديات الرسمية التي أشارت إلى توفّر أدلة في الموقع تربط الهجوم بالأجهزة الإسرائيلية، بل إن “اخفاء هوية” المنفّذ هو الدافع الرئيسي وراء تسخير عدد من الدول لتلك التقنية باستخدام الطائرات المسيّرة، على سبيل المثال.

الخبراء الأمنيون والعسكريون يجمعون على أنّ هذه العملية “تشكل خرقاً أمنياً كبيراً استلزم قدرات استخباريّة واحترافاً عالي المستوى لا تملكه إلا الدول المحترفة لعمليات “إرهاب الدولة”، وأن الفاعل اكتشف ثغرة ما في المنظومة الأمنيّة الداخليّة في إيران، فاستغلَّها واستطاع أن ينفذ منها، ما مكّنه من النجاح”، وهو ما يفنّد إحدى السرديات الإيرانية بأن أجهزة استخباراتها كانت “على علم بهجوم وشيك”.

في البعد السياسيّ الصرف، بما أنَّ الحروب هي تطبيق للسياسة بأدوات أخرى، وفق كارل فون كلاوس فيتز، ينتقل مركز الثقل لأهداف العملية إلى الصراع الدائر بين الساسة الأميركيين، في ظلّ تصريحات مواربة للرئيس المنتخب جو بايدن، بأنه سيستأنف عضوية الولايات المتحدة في الاتفاق النووي الدولي، “مع تشديد بعض الشروط وإضافة أخرى”.

ومن هذا المنظار، يؤكّد المراقبون الأميركيون تحديداً “تأجيل” الرد الإيراني الموعود، كي يترك فسحة زمنية للإدارة المقبلة للتعامل إيجابياً مع الاتفاق الدولي، وربما العودة إلى إلغاء بعض العقوبات الأميركية التي فرضتها إدارة الرئيس ترامب المنتهية ولايته.

في هذا الصدد، لا يجوز إغفال حقيقة العداء الأميركي الرسمي للنظام الإيراني وتجذّره، والتذكير بين فترة وأخرى بحادثة السفارة الأميركية في طهران واحتجاز موظفيها لعدة سنوات مع انتصار الثورة الإيرانية في العام 1979.

وفي المستوى عينه، يدرك المرء إجماع صنّاع القرار الأميركي على عدم السماح لإيران بامتلاك المعرفة النووية وصنع الأسلحة، استناداً إلى التزام المؤسّسة الحاكمة بكامل أجنحتها وتياراتها “بضرورة الحفاظ على تفوّق إسرائيل على جميع الدول في المنطقة” بأسلحة نوعية ممنوع على الأطراف الأخرى، منفردة أو مجتمعة، اقتناؤها، بل يذهب بعض كبار الاستراتيجيين الأميركيين إلى القول: “بصرف النظر عن هوية الرئيس الأميركي، فسيستمرّ العداء في العلاقات مع إيران كما رأينا وشهدنا خلال العقود الأربعة الماضية، وستستمرّ إيران في لوم الولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل على أيّ حوادث تتعرض لها في المستقبل المنظور، سواء ثبت تورطهما فيها أم لا”.

مع كتابة هذه السّطور، تتعزّز إمكانيّة تأجيل الضّربة الانتقامية الإيرانيّة، وليس إمكانية إلغائها، إذ ينظر إلى التفاعلات الداخلية في الكيان الإسرائيلي المتأزّم، والتصريحات المرنة للرئيس المنتخب بايدن حول الملفّ النووي الإيراني، مصحوبة بجدال في الداخل الإيراني حول التكتيك والاستراتيجية القصيرة المدى للرد الأفضل على جريمة الاغتيال، باعتبارها عوامل لن تجعل طهران تتسرع برد عسكري/أمني، لتبقي لديها هامشاً من الحركة والخيارات المناسبة، بحسب جدولها، وليس جدول الآخرين.

محسن فخري زادة

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The Untold in the Trump Illegal F-15s Menacing Iranian Airplane over Syria

Source

July 27, 2020 Miri Wood

Mahan Air airplane, legally flying from Tehran to Beirut, was 'buzzed' by Trump regime illegal jets, in Syrian airspace. Several passengers were injured.
Mahan Air, legally flying from Tehran to Beirut, was ‘buzzed’ by Trump regime illegal jets, in Syrian airspace. Several passengers were injured.

The Trump regime illegal forces in Syria deployed two F-15 bomber jets to dangerously menace Iranian civilian airplane 23 July, in al Tanf, which is in Syria, which is not in the USA. This was an act of terrorism in Syrian airspace, which put the lives of every person on the plane at risk. Multiple injuries were reported and treated upon the plane’s safe landing in its Beirut Airport destination.

Though early reports claimed the bomber jets were Israeli, the pilot reported that the illegal F-15 pilots identified themselves as “American.” The early reports were based on Israel’s successful war criminal use of the Russian IL 20 as a ‘human shield’ in September 2018.

It is an educated guess that the blood-lusting Trump regime war criminals were likely hoping for a replay of carnage in Syrian airspace, similar to the massacre when US fighter jets tricked the Iranian air defense — near the borders with Iraq –making them add more alert level which led to the shooting down of Ukraine International Airline Flight 752. The Trump regime maneuver succeeded in killing 167 of its passengers on 8 January 2020.

Not that the US needs any justification to shoot down a civilian airplane, especially an Iranian one, the USA did deliberately shoot down Iran Air Flight 655 back in 1988 killing all 290 people onboard passengers and crew and they even bragged about that. But here, they were plotting to embarrass Syria by provoking Syrian air defense to shoot at the US fighter jets and hit the Iranian plane instead, and to embarrass Iran after the latter signed a new defense treaty with Syria to provide Iranian advanced air defense missiles to Syria.

People in the Levant, and in the whole region, as a matter of fact, can’t see any difference between US and Israeli methods, tactics, or any acts that always end with a war crime.

More here

عبد الرحيم الحويطي: بطل «مدن الملح» الجديد

مريم عبد الله 

الجمعة 17 نيسان 2020

«ذيك النخلة، الرابعة على اليسار، بعمرك يا وليدي، وكل ما تكبر إنت تكبر معك، وباكر إنت تزرع نخلة لابنك وابنك يزرع نخلة لابنه، وسنة بعد سنة ويظل وادي العيون أخضر، ويظل الناس يمرون بالوادي ويشربون من ماي الوادي، ويترحمون على الأموات ويقولون وهم بظل الشجر: الله يرحم كل من زرع نخلة وعرقاً أخضر».

(متعب الهذال، بطل رواية «مدن الملح» لعبد الرحمن منيف)
في رواية «التيه»، البطل الهذال اختفى ورحل غاضباً عن أرضه، تعبيراً عن رفضه للترحيل بحجّة الخوف من عنف السلطة. كان ذلك بداية «الخماسية» التي وثّقت تاريخ تحوّلات المدن والسياسة عقب اكتشاف النفط في صحراء الجزيرة العربية، وصولاً إلى سبعينيات القرن الماضي.

بعد أكثر من 30 عاماً على رحيل متعب الهذال (طبعة 1984)، وحوالى 100 سنة على بدء الحقبة النفطية، ظهر «بطل من هذا الزمان»، رفض الركون والخوف من ظلمات سيف الملك وأعوانه المسلّط فوق الرقاب ترغيباً وترهيباً، متحولاً إلى «هذال جديد» يرفض الحداثة النفطية والمدن العابرة للحدود حتى للإسرائيليين. يشهر، عبر مواقع التواصل، الكلمة والموقف رفضاً لـ«إرهاب الدولة»، ملوّحاً بصكّ ملكية أرضه في عالم بلا قيم، ويعلن المواجهة التراجيدية بوصيّة سجّلها قبل مقتله بساعات. يقول فيها: «أنا عبد الرحيم بن أحمد محمود الحويطي، أرفض الترحيل بالقوّة، ولا أخاف السجن أو الموت، فلا معنى للحياة في ظل حكم ابن سلمان». يهاجم «الجبناء» من رجال الدين التابعين للأمير، متوجّهاً إليهم بالقول: «بئس وعاء العلم أنتم». ويضيف: «ما أستغرب لو جو يقتلوني في بيتي ويرموا عندي سلاح زي ما يسووا في مصر، يقتلوا المواطن ويرموا سلاح عنده ويقولوا إرهابي». وهذا بالضبط ما أعلنته قوّات الأمن السعودي في بيانها الرسمي لاحقاً.

وقد حصلت عملية القتل بعد محاصرة القوّات الأمنية لقرية الخريبة، التي تسكنها قبيلة الحويطات، من أجل إجبار أبناء القبيلة على ترك منازلهم الواقعة في المناطق الداخلة ضمن مشروع «نيّوم». والأخير جوهرة «رؤية 2030» التي أطلقها ولي العهد محمد بن سلمان، وطريقه إلى الحكم، وهو بكلفة 500 مليون دولار على مساحة 26 ألفاً و500 كلم مربع شمال غرب المملكة، بالاشتراك مع مصر والأردن.

ليست المرّة الأولى التي يقوم فيها النظام بتهجير سكّان من مناطقهم


منظّمات حقوقية كانت قد حذّرت من أن المشروع المرتقب ينتهك حقوق السكّان الأصليين في عملية ترحيل قسري لأكثر من 20 ألفاً من أرض أجدادهم، وعلى رأسهم قبيلة الحويطات التي سبقت ملكيّتها للأرض قيام دولة آل سعود بفترة طويلة ولها فروع تتوزّع في الأردن وفلسطين ومصر، وذلك مقابل وعود بتعويضات سخيّة بدل الانتقال من أراضيهم، مع التهديد باستخدام القوّة في حال عدم الامتثال.

وأجبرت السلطات السعودية أعيان القبيلة على التبرّؤ من ابنهم واستنكار تصرّفه ضد من سلبه روحه وأرضه، بإصدار بيان جاء فيه: «تصرّف المدعوّ الحويطي تصرف فردي لا يمثّل القبيلة… نحن مع مشاريعنا التي فرح بها أبناء المنطقة، واستبشرنا بها الخير كلّه».

وفي حملة غاضبة على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي، علّق مواطن سعودي عبر تدوينة على «تويتر»، بالقول: «بيان رئاسة أمن الدولة بخصوص مقتل عبد الرحمن الحويطي، إنما هو أحد الأساليب الأمنية، فعندما ترتكب الدولة خطأ ما بحق أحد المواطنين، وفي حال كُشف الخطأ وكثرت البلبلة بخصوصه فإن الدولة تلجأ إلى أسلوب «إحداث بلبلة مضادة» عن طريق تشويه صورة الشخص الذي قُتل أو حُبس، كذلك ما حدث مع الحويطي».

وأدانت «المنظّمة الأوروبية السعودية لحقوق الإنسان»، في بيان، عمليات الإخلاء القسري لأبناء قبيلة الحويطات وغيرهم من السكّان المحلّيين. وانتقدت المنظّمة الشركات الدولية التي تساعد وتحرّض على «الحملة الإجرامية»، داعية كل الشركات إلى الابتعاد عن المشروع حتى يتخلّى النظام عن «ممارساته الإقطاعية» ويتفاوض مع السكّان المحلّيين بما يحفظ حقوقهم المتواصلة والقديمة في أراضي أجدادهم.

وهذه ليست المرّة الأولى التي يقوم فيها النظام بتهجير سكّان من مناطقهم، إذ تشير المعلومات إلى أن السلطات السعودية الرسمية عملت على تهجير سكّان مكّة المكرّمة بحجّة توسعة الحرم المكي. وعملت بشكل ممنهج على تهجير قبائل جيزان، على الحدود مع اليمن، خلال سنوات الحروب السابقة والحالية مع «الحوثيين»، وبلغت حدّ التهجير بالقوّة وسجن الرافضين لترك قراهم وحقولهم مقابل وعود بتعويضات فورية لم تسجّل حتى اللحظة في ميزان المدفوعات.

ينسحب حال شمال وجنوب المملكة على شرقها، إذ قامت السلطات بتجريف أراضي السكّان في العوامية التي تحوّلت إلى ساحة حرب حقيقية في أيار / مايو 2017. والمشهد الأكثر قسوة، كان من نصيب تدمير حي المسوّرة التاريخي، الذي يتخطّى تشييده أكثر من 400 سنة، كما قامت بتجريف «وقف الرامس» الزراعي وطرد العاملين المحلّيين منه، انتقاماً من الاحتجاجات في المنطقة «الشيعية» ضد التهميش والغبن المستمرّين في عمر «مدن الملح».

The U.S. Department of Terrorism

Global Research, September 23, 2019

The State Department—under the leadership of the Zionist fellow traveler, former CIA boss and tank commander Mike Pompeo—has tweeted out the following propaganda produced with your tax dollars (or debt spending that will be passed on to your children). 

Department of State

@StateDept

The Iranian regime is the most destabilizing force in the Middle East and the world’s top sponsor of terrorism. That’s why the U.S. launched a campaign of maximum pressure. It’s producing maximum results.

Embedded video

1,254 people are talking about this
This Big Lie production about Iran’s alleged malevolence toward its neighbors has dramatic music and graphics to support an obvious falsehood—Iran is the number one terror state in the world. 

In fact, that designation is reserved for the United States government and its junior partner, Israel.

History is replete with examples—from both world wars to dozens of imperialist ignited brush fires including Vietnam and Iraq. As for Israel, it has been at war with its Arab neighbors for well over 70 years. 

The State Department is the grand choreographer of conflict and murder in the name of a corporatist and bankster neoliberal order now crumbling. It is the largest and worst terrorist on the planet. Most recently, it installed Nazi throwbacks in Ukraine, reduced Libya to a failed state, and armed Wahhabi fanatics in Syria. 

The above video is essentially an advertisement for the cruel torture of the Iranian people through economic warfare in addition to the US-Israel assassination of scientists, malware attacks on Iranian infrastructure, and various terror attacks, including the 2017 attack on the Iranian parliament.

This latter incident was blamed on the Islamic State, a Pentagon fabricated terror group. If you believe a genuine Islamic (Sunni-Wahhabi) terror group was responsible for this attack and a simultaneous one on the Mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini, you may be interested in a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. 

Back in 2014, I wrote: 

According to a Reuters report today, the sanctions imposed on Iran are resulting in the country having problems buying rice, cooking oil and other staples to feed its 74 million people.

It is not simply oil the sanctions target, but all kinds of imports, according to commodities traders…

Before long they will engage in even more barbarous war crimes after Israel bombs Iran’s suspected nuclear sites and the United States follows up with a general bombardment of the country’s civilian infrastructure not dissimilar from the bombardment of Iraq and Yugoslavia, both Nuremberg level war crimes.

Since that time, the situation has grown far worse for ordinary Iranians. 

In 2014, Israel and the US didn’t bomb “suspected nuclear sites” in Iran, mostly because Obama, while carrying out the globalist agenda in Democrat fashion, stepped back from annihilating the country at the pestering insistence of Bibi Netanyahu. 

That wasn’t the case with Libya. It didn’t have the ability to fight back, not like Iran, which does. 

John Bolton tried to get a bombing raid going but failed due to Trump’s fear an invasion—which would turn into a large regional conflict—will ruin his chance at re-election. Trump the Schizoid Man flits back forth between violent rhetoric aimed at Iran (and Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Syria) and saying we don’t need another expensive war in the Middle East. 

Donald Trump is a miracle—on one hand, a proclaimed noninterventionist and MAGA poster boy, and on the other a neocon enraptured with the apartheid regime in Israel. His personality disorder is on display 24/7. After showing Bolton the door, he hired a more acceptable and less abrasive neocon to be his national security adviser. 

The latest kerfuffle in Saudi Arabia has resulted in Trump pumping troops into that medieval nation, a message to Iran it will not be permitted to resist and respond to the economic destruction. 

I initially figured the attack on Saudi oil facilities was a false flag to get a war going. I now believe Iran is responsible for the attack. It warned months ago that the embargo of its oil will result in the Wahhabi emirates suffering a likewise fate. Iran is living up to that threat and responding in kind. 

For the indispensable ruling elite, self-defense is impermissible, lest you desire mountains of rotting dead bodies, typhus, cholera, cancer from depleted uranium and other military toxins, malnutrition, and endless sectarian conflict to keep the vassals from going after the real culprits. Syria, Libya, and Yemen are only the latest examples. 

Iran has the ability to resist this neoliberal death-head onslaught. It was decided that war and its horrific consequence is far more honorable than the humiliation of starvation and disease, which is the ultimate message of the State Department’s absurd propaganda video. 

*

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Kurt Nimmo writes on his blog, Another Day in the Empire, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from the author

Turkification, Crimes of Killing and Kidnapping Continue in Syrian Areas Occupied by Turkish Regime

Deeds not words

Turkification, Crimes of Killing and Kidnapping Continue in Syrian Areas Occupied by Turkish Regime

ST

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 09:09

DAMASCUS, (ST)– The Turkish-backed terrorist organizations and mercenaries alongside the Turkish occupation forces in the Syrian city of Afrin continue to commit murder and kidnapping crimes  against the locals in the areas that have been occupied by Turkey since March 2018. These crimes have been accompanied by an active Turkification campaign by Turkish occupation in the areas under its control.

According to local and media sources, a civilian from Afrin in Aleppo northwestern countryside was recently tortured to death at the prisons of the Turkish backed “Al-Hamzat Free Army” terrorist group. Another civilian was kidnapped in the vicinity of the city by another terror group called “al-Amshat Free Army”. The kidnappers asked his family to pay $3000 ransom to release him.

The sources also revealed that a person was found killed by unknown gunmen in Azaz city in Aleppo northern countryside which is controlled by the so-called “Free Army”. Such crimes have been repeatedly committed in the areas controlled by Turkish-affiliated terrorist groups.

Since its occupation of Afrin in March 2018, the Turkish regime, led by Recep Tayyib Erdogan, has adopted a Turkification policy that has affected all aspects of life in the city. The regime replaced the Arabic names of some areas and main squares with Turkish names.   It also changed the names of the villages and towns into Turkish names in an attempt to  wipe out their real identity. For example, the Turkish occupation replaced the name of a town called “Qastal Mikdad” with the Turkish name “Saljoki Obasi” and named the main square in Afrin as “Ataturk”. All these provocative acts go in line with Erdogan’s Ottoman aspirations which are based on occupation, looting and violations of international laws and conventions.

Turkey’s attempts to Turkify the Syrian cities, towns and villages, such as Azaz, al-Bab, Jarablus and Afrin, included also the naming of some Syrian schools in these areas after Turkish officers who were killed while invading the Syrian territories.  The Turkish flag is hoisted over these schools and the Turkish language is imposed as a main subject in the curricula.

In addition, the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries have forced Afrin residents to obtain new identity cards to use them at “official” circles in the city, according to tens of media and local sources. This behavior is reminiscent of the Zionist occupation’s practices in the occupied Syrian Golan and Palestine.

Edogan’s regime, through its terrorist tools, has also attempted to undermine the cultural and historical Arab identity of the area through destroying all its archeological monuments and historical icons. The Turkish warplanes have destroyed many archeological sites in Afrin including Ain Dara temple and the archeological sites of  al-Nabi Houri and Tal Jandares. They even destroyed the archeological site of Barad in Afrin which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, not to mention the acts of vandalism in the tombs and archeological sites in search for artifacts, gold and other historical treasures.

Hamda Mustafa

القتل والخطف والتتريك.. ممارسات يومية لنظام أردوغان ومرتزقته الإرهابيين بحق الأهالي في منطقة عفرين وريف حلب الشمالي

في إطار الوظيفة المنوطة بهم يواصل مرتزقة النظام التركي من التنظيمات الإرهابية المنتشرة جنباً إلى جنب مع قوات الاحتلال التركي في منطقة عفرين ممارساتهم الإرهابية والقمعية المتمثلة بعمليات القتل والاختطاف بحق الأهالي والمتاجرة بأرواحهم في تلك المناطق التي احتلتها قوات نظام أردوغان الإخواني في آذار من العام الماضي.

وأفادت مصادر أهلية وإعلامية بوفاة أحد المدنيين من أهالي منطقة عفرين تحت التعذيب في إحدى زنزانات سجون ما يسمى فرقة «الحمزات الجيش الحر» الإرهابية إحدى أدوات نظام أردوغان الإجرامية بمدينة عفرين في ريف حلب الشمالي الغربي وذلك بالتوازي مع إقدام ما يسمى «فصيل العمشات الجيش الحر» الإرهابي على اختطاف شخص آخر في محيط المدينة ومطالبة ذويه بدفع 3 آلاف دولار أميركي فدية لإطلاق سراحه.

وفي مدينة أعزاز بريف حلب الشمالي الخاضعة لمجموعات ما يسمى «الجيش الحر» الخاضعة لنظام أردوغان أيضاً كشفت المصادر أنه تم العثور على شخص مقتول على أيدي مسلحين مجهولين في حادثة تكررت عديد المرات بحق الأهالي في المناطق التي تنتشر فيها مجموعات إرهابية تتبع مباشرة لسلطات النظام التركي.
وتشهد مدينة عفرين وريفها منذ احتلالها من قوات النظام التركي في الثامن عشر من آذار من العام الماضي محاولات متواصلة من نظام أردوغان لفرض مخططاته فيها معتمداً ممارسات طالت كل مناحي الحياة فاستبدل أسماء المناطق والساحات الرئيسة بأسماء تركية بالتوازي مع محاولاته طمس الهوية الحقيقية عبر تغيير اسم البلدات والقرى إلى أسماء تركية كما فعل في بلدة قسطل مقداد التي استبدل اسمها إلى الاسم التركي «سلجوقي أوباصي» وأطلق اسم «أتاتورك» على الساحة الرئيسة في مدينة عفرين وتعدى ذلك إلى تغيير معالم المناطق فيها بما ينسجم مع أوهامه العثمانية القائمة على الاحتلال والسلب ومخالفة القوانين والمواثيق الدولية.

محاولات النظام التركي تتريك المدن والقرى والبلدات السورية الواقعة شمال البلاد مثل أعزاز والباب وجرابلس وعفرين شملت أيضاً إطلاق أسماء ضباط أتراك قتلوا خلال اجتياحهم الأراضي السورية شمال شرق حلب ومدينة عفرين وغيرها على المدارس السورية وفرض اللغة التركية مادة أساسية في مناهج التدريس مع تغيير كبير فيها ورفع العلم التركي عليها.

وأكدت عشرات التقارير الإعلامية إضافة لمصادر أهلية من المنطقة أن قوات الاحتلال التركي بالتعاون مع مرتزقتها من الإرهابيين ألزمت السكان باستخراج بطاقات شخصية جديدة لاستخدامها في الدوائر «الرسمية» بالمدينة بما يحاكي ما أقدمت عليه قوات الاحتلال الصهيوني في الجولان وفلسطين المحتلة كما عمدت إلى ضبط التوقيت الزمني في هذه المناطق بالتوقيت الزمني لتركيا.

إضافة لما سبق عمد نظام أردوغان عبر مرتزقته الإرهابيين إلى طمس الهوية الحضارية والتاريخية للمنطقة عبر تدمير جميع الأوابد الأثرية التي تدل على عروبة المنطقة حيث أقدمت قواته وطائراته على تدمير العديد من المواقع الأثرية في منطقة عفرين كمعبد عين دارة وموقع النبي هوري قورش وتل جنديرس الأثري إضافة إلى موقع براد الأثري الواقع جنوب مدينة عفرين والمسجل على لائحة مواقع التراث العالمي لمنظمة الأمم المتحدة للتربية والعلم والثقافة «يونيسكو» عدا عن عمليات البحث وتجريف بعض المواقع والمقابر بحثاً عن لقى أثرية وكنوز ذهب معتمدين على خرائط حصلوا عليها خلال عمليات نهب وسرقة مديريات الآثار والمتاحف في عدة مدن قبل اندحار الإرهابيين منها.

sana

   ( الثلاثاء 2019/08/20 SyriaNow)

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The War on Innocence: Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Court

Palestin Children feature photo

Since the start of the Second Intifada, the popular uprising of 2000, some 12,000 Palestinian children have been detained and interrogated by the Israeli army.

On July 29, 4-year-old Muhammad Rabi’ Elayyan was reportedly summoned for interrogation by the Israeli police in occupied Jerusalem.

The news, originally reported by the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA), was later denied by the Israeli police, likely to lessen the impact of the PR disaster that followed.

The Israelis are not denying the story in its entirety, but are rather arguing that it was not the boy, Muhammad, who was summoned, but his father, Rabi’, who was called into the Israeli police station in Salah Eddin Street in Jerusalem, to be questioned regarding his son’s actions.




The child was accused of hurling a stone at Israeli occupation soldiers in the Issawiyeh neighborhood, a constant target for Israeli violence. The neighborhood has also been the tragic site for house demolition under the pretext that Palestinians there are building without permits. Of course, the vast majority of Palestinian applications to build in Issawiyeh, or anywhere in Jerusalem, are denied, while Jewish settlers are allowed to build on Palestinian land, unhindered.

With this in mind, Issawiyeh is no stranger to the ridiculous and unlawful behavior of the Israeli army. On July 6, a mother from the beleaguered neighborhood was arrested as a means to put pressure on her teenage son, Mahmoud Ebeid, to turn himself in. The mother “was taken by Israeli police as a bargaining chip,” Mondoweiss reported, quoting the Jerusalem-based Wadi Hileh Information Center.

Israeli authorities are justified in feeling embarrassed by the whole episode concerning the 4-year-old boy, thus the attempt at poking holes in the story. The fact is WAFA’s correspondent in Jerusalem had, indeed, verified that the warrant was in Muhammad’s, not Rabi’s, name.

While some news sources bought into the Israeli ‘hasbara’, readily conveying the Israeli cries of ‘fake news’, one must bear in mind that this event is hardly a one-off incident. For Palestinians, such news of detaining, beating and killing children is one of the most consistent features of the Israeli occupation since 1967.

Just one day after the summoning of Muhammad, Israeli authorities also interrogated the father of a 6-year-old child, Qais Firas Obaid, from the same neighborhood of Issawiyeh, after accusing the boy of throwing a juice carton at Israeli soldiers.

“According to local sources in Issawiyeh the (Israeli) military sent Qais’ family an official summons to come to the interrogation center in Jerusalem on Wednesday (July 31) at 8 am,” reported the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC). In one photo, the little boy is pictured while holding up to a camera the Israeli military order written in Hebrew.

The stories of Muhammad and Qais are the norm, not the exception. According to the prisoners’ advocacy group, Addameer, there are currently 250 children in Israeli prisons, with approximately 700 Palestinian children going through the Israeli military court system every single year. “The most common charge levied against children is throwing stones, a crime that is punishable under military law by up to 20 years,” Addameer reports.

Indeed, Israel has so much to be embarrassed about. Since the start of the Second Intifada, the popular uprising of 2000, some 12,000 Palestinian children have been detained and interrogated by the Israeli army.

But it is not only children and their families that are targeted by the Israeli military but also those who advocate on their behalf. On July 30, Palestinian lawyer, Tariq Barghouth, was sentenced to 13 years in prison by an Israeli military court for “firing at Israeli buses and at security forces on a number of occasions.”

As flimsy as the accusation of a well-known lawyer firing at ‘buses’ may sound, it is important to note that Barghouth is well-regarded for his defense of many Palestinian children in court. Barghouth was a constant source of headache for the Israeli military court system for his strong defense of the child, Ahmad Manasra.

Manasra, then 13-years of age, was tried and indicted in Israeli military court for allegedly stabbing and wounding two Israelis near the illegal Jewish settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev in Occupied Jerusalem. Manasra’s cousin, Hassan, 15 was killed on the spot, while wounded Ahmad was tried in court as an adult.

It was the lawyer, Barghouth, who challenged and denounced the Israeli court for the harsh interrogation and for secretly filming the wounded child as he was tied to his hospital bed.

On August 2, 2016, Israel passed a law that allows authorities to “imprison a minor convicted of serious crimes such as murder, attempted murder or manslaughter even if he or she is under the age of 14.” The law was conveniently crafted to deal with cases like that of Ahmad Manasra, who was sentenced on November 7, 2016 (three months after the law was approved) to 12 years in prison.

Manasra’s case, the leaked videos of his abuse by Israeli interrogators and his harsh sentence placed more international focus on the plight of Palestinian children in the Israeli military court system.

“Israeli interrogators are seen relying on verbal abuse, intimidation and threats to apparently inflict mental suffering for the purpose of obtaining a confession,” Brad Parker, attorney and international advocacy officer at Defense for Children- Palestine, said at the time.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Israel, as of 1991, is a signatory, “prohibits torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Yet, according to Parker, “ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli military and police is widespread and systematic.”

So systematic, in fact, that videos and reports of arresting very young Palestinian children are almost a staple on social media platforms concerned with Palestine and Palestinian rights.

The sad reality is that Muhammad Elayyan, 4, and Qais Obaid, 6, and many children like them, have become a target of Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

This horrendous reality must not be tolerated by the international community. Israeli crimes against Palestinian children must be effectively confronted as Israel, its inhumane laws and iniquitous military courts must not be allowed to continue their uncontested brutalization of Palestinian children.

Feature photo | Israeli police detain a Palestinian boy during the demolition of a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem, May 29, 2013. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a widely published and translated author, an internationally syndicated columnist and editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, 2018). He earned a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter (2015), and was a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, UCSB. Visit his website at  www.ramzybaroud.net.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Washington and Organized State Terrorism

ST

The US President Donald Trump today embodies the American bullying with all its aggressiveness, the dealer of political positions doesn’t know about the corridors of international politics, except what uncover the aggressive mentality inherent in the successive American administrations. He is a blind, fanatic and ignorant of the facts of history and does not know what the essence of critical issues on the international scene and makes decisions away from understanding the reality of what is going on in the world, just to tell the world that he is a powerful and brutal authority.

Trump’s ominous decision on the occupied Syrian Golan revealed unequivocally the extent of his naiveté and contempt for international legitimacy. He admitted that he was ignorant of the realities of history and how he dealt with the hot international issues. However, he wanted to prove that he is the most loyal to the Zionist rulers, unlike his predecessors of US presidents who tried hard through deception, hypocrisy and continuous military support to carry out the same Zionist agenda, but Trump excelled at them all in arrogance and insolence.

Although Trump’s decisions are politically and legally worthless, they do illustrate the agendas of US politics on the international arena, which only knows the language of threat, violence, pressure, blackmail, using all political means and economic terrorism to achieve US interests. Even that the traditional allies of Washington are not immune to that reckless policy but it will be doomed to inevitable failure because the will of the peoples will say their word in the end and it is certainly stronger than America’s arrogance and conceit.

The reckless decisions of the American administration towards many historical facts such as the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli entity and the Golan under Israeli sovereignty and the classification of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist entity and other racist colonial resolutions, all this will be met with reactions to defend the right, sovereignty and dignity. This means that the US policy, through its aggressive policy, creates crises in the region, through supporting terrorism to serve the schemes of American-Zionist domination on the wealth of the region.

No longer a secret to anyone who has sight and insight and follow the American policy that the US administration is trying to drag the region into an extremely dangerous unknown fate through practicing state terrorism by raising an accusation against states, entities and parties that oppose its policy. This act has been demonstrated recently by the classification of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist entity, which raises the level of tension in the region and the risk of sliding into confrontations and wars that no one can predict of their disastrous consequences.

The US administration’s decision against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards is a precedent in international history. There has never been a state that classified a part of the armed forces of another state as a terrorist entity, which is at the same time a blatant attack on the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which fights terrorism. Arrogance and terrorism as a strategy to serve the Israeli occupation entity and to encourage terrorist organizations that spread terrorism in the region, which places the region in front of a barrel of powder that can explode at any time.

What the US administration is doing of the deployment and support to organized state terrorism will never achieve its colonial agenda and will not give the racist entity only a fake force that will later be discovered it is weaker than the cobweb.

Thanks to the will and determination of the peoples of the region to defend their rights, sovereignty and dignity. The statement issued by the Islamic Republic to classify the US forces in Asia as a terrorist entity is a good example that the American-Zionist schemes will never pass, and the US administration and the Israeli entity will not reap from their aggressive policy except disappointment and humiliation.

Sharif Al -Khatib

Editor-in-Chief

sharifalkh@gmail.com

RELATED NEWS

Trump Declares Iran Guard ‘Terrorist’ – War To Follow?

Trump Declares Iran Guard 'Terrorist' - War To Follow?

VIDEO | 11.04.2019 | VIDEOS

Trump Declares Iran Guard ‘Terrorist’ – War To Follow?

For the first time ever, the United States has declared a foreign country’s military force a “terrorist organization.” Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has most recently been fighting al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria.

Saudi Crackdown: Mother of 4 Detained from Shia Town since Two Weeks So Far

By Zeinab Daher

While the entire world decries Saudi Arabia’s notorious human rights record, the tyrant kingdom doesn’t make any effort to prove the opposite.

Two weeks ago, and still counting, the Saudi regime forces stormed the house of the Abdullah Abu Abdallah family in the town of Awamia, in the Shia-populated Qatif eastern province.

Without any earlier notice, Saudi forces broke through the house on February 7, 2019, and detained Ms. Mariam Ali Al-Qaysoum after damaging everything inside the house. They insulted residents of the house and hit them with rifle heels, then directed the rifles to the heads of children and women there.

Meanwhile, nothing has been heard so far from Ms. Mariam since the moment she was detained without charge. She just called her family a couple of days after being held, informing them that he was at the jail of the Saudi Secret Police Agency in Dammam.

Mariam is a mother of three boys and a girl. She is the sister-in-law of detained Saudi activists Mohammaed, Salem and Abbas, as well as martyr Ali Abu Abdallah.

Pakistan Envoy: Some Countries Want to Create Misunderstanding between Islam Abad, Tehran

Source

February 19, 2019

manar-07004510014934002452

Iranian ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost has said some countries, which are actually promoting terrorism, are trying to create misunderstandings between Iran and Pakistan; however, peace lovers across the world are aware of conspiracies behind such inhuman attacks.

Talking to IRNA news agency in Islamabad the ambassador said Iran and Pakistan are fully aware of the challenges of terrorism and have the ability to take practical steps to address the issue.

He warned that some countries which don’t want to see close relationship between Iran and Pakistan could take negative steps to disrupt this strong relationship.

He said that Iran expects Pakistan to take practical steps and intelligence based operations on joint border to eliminate terrorism and respond positively for joint cooperation with Iran.

Mehdi Honardoost noted that Iran and Pakistan hold very important position in the Islamic world and the region, but unfortunately, some regional countries instead of spending their money on the welfare of poor Muslim people are wasting their money to divide the region of the Middle East.’

He strongly believed that close cooperation among regional states is a key to solve regional issues and countering the conspiracies of imperialist forces against Muslim world. He regretted that some regional countries are pursuing agenda of anti-Islam forces by spending huge amount of money to promote terrorism.

The Iranian envoy said that today serious efforts are needed to root out terrorism but the policy of double standards, classifying good or bad terrorists and using the phenomenon of terrorism as a tool is a major hurdle in this regards.

He said for the last forty years Iran has been rendering immense sacrifices to eliminate the menace of terrorism and has suffered huge human and financial losses in this regards.

He added that despite all these sacrifices the statement of Saudi official against Iran shows that he wants to distort the facts and tries to divert the world’s attention from the “Saudi aggressive approach.”

The diplomat expressing his views said that unfortunately in recent days the world has witnessed tragic incidents in South and West Asia which also affected close cooperation among the regional states.

‘Iran believes in regional cooperation and our collaboration with Pakistan is a major part of that,” noted the ambassador.

Mehdi Honardoost added that last week suicide attack on a bus carrying the Islamic Republic Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel martyred 27 and wounded 13 in southeastern Iran.

He said Jaish al-Adl, claimed responsibility for the incident that is backed by some aggressive countries of the region.

He further added, ‘We believe that the aim of this attack is to harm the close relationship between Iran and neighboring countries and to create instability in the region.’

Mehdi Honardoost said that no country in the world can escape from its responsibility to eliminate terrorism and the cooperation among the regional countries to address the issue is inevitable.

He was of the view that so-called alliance against terrorism is a mere eye wash. “We need a strong will and determination to root out terrorism,” said the Iranian envoy.

Source: Websites

Saudi Arabia Heart of Evil in Region, World: IRGC Official

By Staff, Agencies

The second-in-command of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC] slammed Saudi Arabia as “the heart of evil” in the Middle East region and the entire world as well, emphasizing that the Islamic Republic has been making plans for defeating its enemies and avenging the blood of its terror victims.

Speaking during a ceremony commemorating the victims of a recent terrorist attack in southeastern Iran on Tuesday, Brigadier General Hossein Salami warned that the assault, which was carried out by Saudi-backed terrorists, is not just one isolated terrorist incident; rather, it stems from “a dangerous strategy” which has emerged at the global level.

Iran’s IRGC forces “have been standing up to the ominous triangle of the US, the Zionist regime and the regional Arab reactionary governments, and that is no easy task,” Salami said.

“Today, Saudi Arabia is the heart of evil in the region and the world,” the IRGC official added.

Last week, an explosives-laden car rammed into a bus in Iran’s Sistan-and-Baluchestan Province, killing 27 IRGC personnel and wounding 13 others.

The so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group, based in Pakistan and linked to al-Qaeda and the Saudi regime, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

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RELATED NEWS

Hate Fest In Warsaw

By Eric Margolis

February 16, 2019 “Information Clearing House” -Warsaw, Poland is not a fun place to visit in darkest February, but that is where the US just staged an anti-Iranian jamboree of 60 client states that brought derision and scorn from Europeans and much of the Mideast.

The point of this cynical exercise was to lay the diplomatic groundwork for an anti-Iranian coalition to act as a fig-leaf for an upcoming attack on Iran planned by President Donald Trump and his close ally, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

The real question is who is calling the shots in bleak Warsaw, Trump or Bibi Netanyahu? It seems to many that the Israeli tail is again wagging the American dog.

This is thanks to the power of America’s born-again evangelicals, hoodwinked into believing that a Greater Israel is somehow a key part of the Second Coming of Christ.

A Fox News poll this week finds that a quarter of these credulous folks believe that God actually summoned Donald Trump to become president. This may even be more than the number of Americans who believe that Elvis is still alive. More proof that the Republicans have pretty much become a theological party.

The three horseman of the hard right Republican Apocalypse, Vice president Mike Pence, Insecurity advisor John Bolton, and State Secretary Mike Pompeo (who reportedly keeps an open bible on his desk) joined their voices to the Warsaw jamboree to excoriate Iran for being a ‘sponsor of terrorism,’ and a danger to world peace and stability.

The never understated Bibi Netanyahu, whose nation has at least 100 nuclear weapons, claimed Iran, which has no nukes and feeble armed forces, was planning a ‘second Holocaust’ for Israel.

An over-excited Netanyahu even tweeted that the Warsaw meeting was preparing for `war with Iran.’ He was forced to retract his tweet. But he did get to sit next to the delegate from war-torn Yemen, a stooge put into place by the Saudis and Emiratis whose aggression against Yemen has so far cost hundreds of thousands of lives, mass starvation and epidemics.

This week a newly energized US House of Representatives voted for an end to their nation’s support for the Saudi-led war in the Mideast’s poorest nation. The Senate, still controlled by Republican Crusaders, will be likely to vote down the sensible House proposal.

Another participant at Warsaw was the largest Arab nation, Egypt. This nation just extended the rule of its military dictator, Field Marshall al-Sisi, to 2034. It was Sisi, backed by Saudi money, who overthrew Egypt’s first democratic government in history, killing and jailing thousands.

In a slap in the face to Washington, Europe’s leaders, France, Germany and the European Union government, either refused to attend the Warsaw hate-fest against Iran or sent low-level paper-passers.

Ironically, while Trump’s people were fulminating against Iranian ‘terrorism,’ it was Iran that was the victim of terrorist attacks. An attack from a Pakistan-based Sunni Jaish al-Adl extremist group linked to the CIA killed 27 soldiers and wounded a similar number. Iran has been the target of constant attacks since its 1979 revolution by groups linked to the US, and from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other US regional vassals.
Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is even a long-term lobbyist for the hyper-violent Marxist Iranian extremist group, the MEK which was even branded a ‘terrorist group’ by the US government.

The Warsaw jamboree was also supposed to set the stage for Trump’s much ballyhooed Mideast ‘peace’ plan. Run by son-in-law Jared Kushner, the full plan is expected to be released in April, right after Israeli elections. It will likely consist of trying to buy off Palestinian land claims with US taxpayer money and some cash from the Saudis. America’s Arab client states in the region will all provide polite applause.

The Warsaw jamboree produced no evident results and left the US even more isolated than before. Europe is moving ahead with a financial mechanism to permit trade with Iran that circumvents US sanctions. US intelligence itself reports that Iran is not working in nuclear weapons. Europe wants to trade with Iran.

America’s anti-Iran campaign has just suffered another blow. This after Washington badly damaged relations with China and Canada over the arrest of the daughter in Vancouver of the founder of Huawei over charges it traded with Iran. Most non-Americans view this as an outrage. But the later-day Crusaders around Trump don’t seem to care that they are damaging America’s reputation and making a mess of its foreign policy.

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia. ericmargolis.com

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2019

EU Adds Saudis To Terror-Funding List

EU Adds Saudis To Terror-Funding List

Source: ZeroHedge

The European Union seems confused…

Reuters reports that, according to two sources, the European Commission has added Saudi Arabia to an EU draft list of countries that pose a threat to the bloc because of lax controls against terrorism financing and money laundering.

The move comes amid heightened international pressure on Saudi Arabia after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2.

The EU’s list currently consists of 16 countries, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and North Korea, and is mostly based on criteria used by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body composed by wealthy nations meant to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

Saudi Arabia missed out on gaining full FATF membership in September after it was determined to fall short in combating money laundering and terror financing.

The government has taken steps to beef up its efforts to tackle graft and abuse of power, but FATF said in September that Riyadh was not effectively investigating and prosecuting individuals involved in larger scale money laundering activity or confiscating the proceeds of crime at home or abroad.

The provisional decision to add Saudi Arabia needs to be endorsed by the 28 EU states before being formally adopted next week.

And this is where we get a little confused… because while Europe lists Iran as a state sponsor of terror, it is also, reportedly, at an “advanced stage” of completion of its special purpose vehicle to help European companies bypass U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Citing three European diplomats, Bloomberg reports that the European Commission said it’s seeking to launch “very soon” with the official unveiling could come as early as Monday.

“The SPV preparations have progressed; they are at an advanced stage,” the spokeswoman, Maja Kocijancic, told reporters in Brussels.

“I hope that we can announce the launch very soon.”

Progress had been slow as the EU, led by France, Germany and the U.K., has struggled to find a government willing to host the vehicle, which risks drawing criticism from the American administration.

The Trump administration has considered such efforts an attempt to evade its “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran. The U.S. will fully enforce its sanctions and hold accountable any individuals or entities that undermine them, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The perverse use of anti-Semitism charges against supporters of Palestinian rights

Source

As many of you know, I am a refugee from Nazi Germany and a Jew. I was also on a small catamaran with 4 elderly Jews in September 2010 with a goal to break the siege of Gaza. We were Jews who wanted to convey our hopes, our dreams for Palestinian freedom and dignity. They looked forward to our arrival and yes, we yearned to feel a connection and love.

I had felt this love and tragedy when I did finally get to Gaza in 2012. No one can imagine the horror of the 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead and 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense. More came soon after. Bombing and horrible destruction continues now. Unimaginable horror plus the use of phosphates and deadly chemicals dropped down on defenseless ones and too many children and pregnant women.

So many in this country (as well as Germany) have tragically identified with the psychotic rantings of a country that is now aligned with evil forces to create a most horrifying group of war mongers. It is the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, all known as countries of mass destruction.

Our small boat never made it. Instead we were brutally captured in international waters and ultimately imprisoned by our Israeli captives, treated like terrorists. I felt at times as if I were escaping the Nazis, it was so surreal I escaped to another time. This time instead, I was still a Jewish refugee from Germany and it did not matter to our intruders. I felt these people, the Israelis were living an odd kind of psychosis, as I was interrogated for several hours. Nothing mattered to them except an allegiance to a broken down system that imprisoned its Palestinian brothers, sisters and children. Nothing mattered for them except to understand Palestinians as vicious terrorists to be destroyed in order for the Jewish State to control all of Israel. Their psychosis manifests as a chronic belief system, a ludicrous invention the state uses and distorts. These are lies and manipulations that echoes another insanity, the 1930’s of Germany.

Lillian Rosengarten

Some of my family got out of Germany before they were murdered. Some of them died. My parents’ relatives were scattered and what is left is a tiny family consisting of refugees in South America whom I do not know. We are alone, my son, daughter and two grandchildren. My first born son died of a drug overdose. My parents could never forget their privileged life in Germany and died tragically through suicide and grief.

And so it was, after many visits to Israel, watching the growth of settlers taking the place of Palestine, colonial settlers who grew on the land, stolen land– settlers, racists and taught to hate. These settlers helped create a “Jewish Nation” that ostensibly welcomed all Jews of the world as a homeland while continuing as a country without a soul, without a heart, a country that supports apartheid, racism and weapons both physical and emotional to use on anyone who resists. It is a country that uses anti-Semitism as a perverse decree on those who dare to support Palestine Justice.

We who support Palestinian rights must condemn Zionism and vile, endless apartheid denied to the rest of the world. It is bizarre, ludicrous– that to condemn the response to the brutality inflicted by the Zionists is called anti-Semitic. Of course there is a large degree of anti-Semitism that has grown towards Jews because of the hatred being created.

In this atmosphere of hate and mistrust, it remains critically important to remember the use of the non violent BDS campaign, created to protect the Natural Rights of Palestinians. BDS, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, is grossly delegitimized by the very country that has for over 70 years tragically succeeded in large part to systematically destroy Palestinian life. The use of the Holocaust to defend this action is both dishonest and destructive.

Who shall raise their voices for Palestinians, for freedom from intolerable suffering, for their land? We have a government that supports a rogue country creating its own nightmare. Evil loves the darkness and hates the light of truth. Is the support for human rights anti-Semitic? It is a scandal, a humiliation that must be ended. It is fear and hysteria that has eluded rational discourse and has created unnerving hatred.

We who see Zionism as a destroyer of souls, a place where poetry and true love have been stamped out by an arrogant pretense at democracy, a place of hell with bombs and spies that exist for the lies to continue, this painful place of injustice and death — we will never stop our support and hope for a free Palestine. Hate and revenge must be strangers for all of us who struggle for Palestinian freedom. There can not be a Jewish State born out of apartheid and destruction. Israel and Palestine must live together in freedom

About Lillian Rosengarten

Lillian Rosengarten is author of the book “Survival and Conscience: From The Shadow Of Nazi Germany To The Jewish Boat To Gaza.”(October 2015, Just World Books) It has been published in German. (Zambon 7/14). She can be contacted through her website, lillianrosengarten.com

Chilling quotes from alleged Khashoggi murder audio tape revealed

 

Chilling quotes from alleged Khashoggi murder audio tape revealed

People holding pictures of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul © Reuters / Huseyin Aldemir

A Turkish newspaper has released quotes from an audio tape which reportedly captured last moments of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The Washington Post columnist is heard demanding to be freed:

Release my arm! What do you think you are doing?

Habertürk newspaper, citing security sources, released the gruesome quotes on Monday.

The paper alleges the recordings show that the journalist was seized by the Saudi squad right after he entered the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Khashoggi and four members of the squad are heard quarrelling for at least 7 minutes. This part takes place in the A unit of the consulate which hosts the visa department.

RT

@RT_com

also ‘briefed other parts of the US govt on its assessment,’ which contradicts Washington’s official position thus far – reports https://on.rt.com/9irc 

Then it’s heard how the 59-year-old was brought to the B unit, which hosts the administrative department. The 4-minute audio recording in that unit includes not only the sounds of a quarrel but also fighting.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia to seek death penalty for Khashoggi’s accused killers

Apart from four men from the Saudi squad and Khashoggi, three more men are heard in the audio tape. Turkish security sources reportedly identified one of them as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb. He was named by Turkish authorizes as the leader of a 15-man ‘kill team’.

In the second part of the recording, Mutreb calls Khashoggi, who was taken into the consulate’s B unit, a “traitor.”

Traitor! You will be brought to account!

Another voice is heard in the recording. It belongs to 57-year-old Saudi engineer Mustafa al-Madaini who posed as Khashoggi’s lookalike:

It is spooky to wear the clothes of a man whom we killed 20 minutes ago.

Madani is seen leaving the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul via the rear entrance, wearing the clothes that Khashoggi wore on October 2, according to video recordings. Madani also wears a fake beard and glasses to appear more like the journalist.

Information about the audio tape of Khashoggi’s murder has been circulating in the media for quite some time. Turkish authorities said they’ve obtained the gruesome tape and shared it with several countries, including the US. However, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar denied that the Saudi consulate had been bugged by Ankara. “We cannot reveal the source of the audio recordings,” Akar told the BBC on Monday.

The audio even reached Donald Trump. However, he refused to listen to the recording because “it’s a suffering tape.” He assured that he was “fully briefed” on the contents of the recording. It’s a “very violent, very vicious and terrible” tape.

Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and never came back out. Almost immediately after his disappearance, the Turkish authorities said the journalist had been murdered inside the consulate, alleging that his assassination was sanctioned at the highest levels of the Saudi government.

Riyadh initially denied killing the journalist but later changed its stance on the issue, several times. Most recently, the Saudi public prosecutor admitted that the journalist was murdered in an intelligence operation gone wrong. The prosecutor said he was seeking the death penalty for five individuals accused of “ordering and committing” his murder.

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Israel Is Now Powerless – Palestine Is Inevitable

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By Mikhail Osherov

Nov 19, 2018

Op-ed By Mikhail Osherov – The current military-political doctrine of the Israeli leadership is based on the continuation of the occupation of the Syrian and Palestinian territories occupied by the state of Israel, which requires constant violence and acts of international aggression and state terrorism against the population of the occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Syria and Iran.

Also, the military-political doctrine of the leadership of Israel requires impunity, and no losses. Israeli society is not prepared for any losses. Israeli moms love when their children dress in a beautiful green uniform, eat in army canteens and kill Arabs, but they don’t like their children being killed in a war.

From a historical point of view, when citizens of a state are not ready to die for their country, such states die (as an example, Byzantium, whose walls could no longer protect them, and had only mercenaries).

In order to commit unpunished acts of aggression without loss, considerable, if not absolute, military-technical superiority is required. Until recently, the state of Israel had such superiority. But in recent years and months the situation has begun to change.

During the Israeli aggression against Lebanon in 2006, the latest Israeli Merkava tanks were destroyed and damaged by the usual old Soviet anti-tank systems of the 1970s.

After several days of fighting with absolute air supremacy and after the loss of a significant number of tanks for Israel, all the Merkava tanks were no longer used as assault tanks in the first line of attack, and were diverted to the second line and later used as self-propelled artillery guns.

Casualties in Lebanon forced the Israeli army to retreat back into Israeli territory. If the Israeli leadership had any goals in this war, they were not met. The Israeli army suffered a defeat in this war, and Israeli society began to demand even more military operations from its government.

Recently, Syria saw the end of many years of Israeli aggression. After the tragic death of the Russian Il-20 aircraft, which occurred because of an Israeli air raid on Latakia, and the transfer to Syria of S-300 air defense systems by Russia, Israeli air raids on Syria ceased due to fear of losing the aircraft and the pilots.

Syrian and Russian air defense systems now “see” the entire north and center of Israel. Israeli aircraft now use airfields in the Beersheba area for reconnaissance missions for reconnaissance missions.

During the last Israeli conflict with the [tremendously lesser equipped – ed] Gaza Strip, which occurred on November 11-12 due to another Israeli attempt to conduct a terrorist operation in the Gaza Strip by Israeli special forces, which was discovered and partially eliminated, another war of the State of Israel with the surrounded and he blocked the Gaza Strip.

Israeli missiles destroyed 160 objects in the Gaza Strip. From the Gaza Strip towards Israel, 460 missiles were fired, of which only 106 were intercepted by the iron dome’s vaunted Israeli air defense systems.

It turned out that these systems cannot intercept salvo launches of unguided rockets and shells. This can be compared with the actions of the Syrian air defense systems “Pantsir” and “Thor” in Syria, which reflected the simultaneous attack of hundreds of maneuvering American cruise missiles. After the threat of the leaders of the Gaza Strip to strike at the Israeli Ben-Gurion airport, hostilities between Israel and the Gaza Strip were stopped.

In the near future, the state of Israel will inevitably lose its military superiority over neighboring countries, which is actually happening today. This means that further unilateral and unpunished Israeli aggressive actions against Syria and the Palestinians will be impossible in the future.

Having embarked on the path of supporting Syrian and international gangsters fighting against the legitimate Syrian government, the State of Israel only reduced its diplomatic capabilities and tainted itself with the shame of working with bandits and murderers.

The endless Israeli provocations against the Gaza Strip and violence against the Palestinian population of the Israeli-occupied West Bank cannot last forever. The hands of the clock of history are approaching the final mark for the state of Israel.

The leadership of the State of Israel now needs to think not about the war, but that it’s better and more beneficial for the State of Israel to end the occupation of the Palestinian and Syrian territories, conclude a comprehensive peace agreement in the Middle East and create an independent Palestinian state today, with Israel’s relative superiority than later, when it will be done ultimately on Iranian, Syrian and Egyptian conditions alone.

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