ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

Iraq produces evidence showing Riyadh was behind Fallujah crisis

[The Sunni terrorist coalition known as "al-Qaeda," was all but finished until Saudi/Qatari money saved them, giving them new life as foot-soldiers in Riyadh's relentless march towards a Sunni "superstate, a.k.a., "global Caliphate."]

Iraq produces evidence showing Riyadh was behind Fallujah crisis

tehran times

c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Iraq99(4).jpg

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has provided evidence to foreign ambassadors in Baghdad showing that Saudi Arabia was behind the deadly acts of violence perpetrated by al-Qaeda in al-Anbar.

Iraqi MP Ali Al-Shalah of the State of Law Coalition (SLC) said on Monday that the Iraqi government has produced evidence that showed Saudi Arabia and several other countries were behind the recent terrorist attacks in al-Anbar Province, Al-Alam reported.
He said the documents were given to the ambassadors in a Thursday meeting in Baghdad.
Shalah said the government has asked the foreign diplomats to adopt proper stance against al-Qaeda terrorists in the international communities.
“Iraq is attempting to hold a conference for denouncing terrorism, especially as Russia has also recognized Saudi Arabia as being responsible for recent terrorist movements,” he said.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday that Iraqi leaders should address the underlying causes of a protracted surge in violence plaguing the country.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Monday for Iraqi leaders to address the “root causes” of a surge in bloodshed as security forces clashed with gunmen in violence-wracked Anbar province.
“I would urge the leaders of the country … to address the root causes of the problems,” Ban said during a joint news conference with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
“They should ensure that there is nobody left behind. There should be political cohesion” and “social cohesion, and political dialogue, inclusive dialogue,” he said.
“The security situation in Iraq is undoubtedly a source of great concern,” the UN chief said, adding that he is “deeply concerned by this escalation of violence in Anbar governorate.”
Ban noted that civilian casualties were at the highest level since 2008, and said that “the government and people of Iraq must unite in addressing this terrorism.”
Ban arrived in Baghdad Monday for talks with senior Iraqi officials on the war in neighboring Syria, as Iraq grapples with its own deadly crisis, AFP reported.
His visit comes ahead of peace conference next week on the Syrian crisis in Switzerland dubbed “Geneva 2″ which is aimed at engaging regime and opposition members in their first direct talks.
The violence in Anbar broke out on December 30, 2013, when the army removed an protest camp in Ramadi, believed to be a nest for al-Qaeda elements which the government said were making plans to destabilize the volatile country.
The fighting later spread to nearby Fallujah in Anbar province.

Saudis Create New Secret Sunni Militia To Replace Hariri’s Secret Militia

[How many recent attacks upon Hezbollah centers are really just cover, intended to hide fights between Sunni groups vying for dominance?  If the Saudis have managed to provoke war within the Sunnis of Lebanon, then all Hezbollah has to do is bide their time and ride-out the storm, allowing the Sunni radicals to reveal their bloodthirsty natures as their fight for dominance plays out.  Saad Hariri may have been living/hiding in Saudi Arabia for more than a year, but the Saudi royals have thrown him to the wolves.  Hariri is broke and deep in debt, trying to hold up his end of the bargain.  His intrigues and business adventures with Prince Turki have failed to save him from his own, extravagant excesses. 

These Sunni militias are serving the will of the fat old Saudi king, as he pays thousands of extremist, greedy fools to assert his ownership over all of Lebanon.]

Ashraf Rifi  Lebanon: Former Police Chief Establishes Militia in Tripoli

Ashraf Rifi, director of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF), created “Ahrar Tripoli” with Saudi funding and under the direct supervision of the kingdom’s intelligence chief, Bandar bin Sultan

*

Colonel Amid Hammoud  Leb. Army Col. Amid Hammoud, the commander of Future Movement Militia

“I wish I could establish a group as well-organized and professional as Hezbollah. I do not deny this, provided that this group would be in the service of my community and my country only, and not a Persian or Syrian scheme…Hammoud speaks at length about his drive and enthusiasm for fighting what he calls ‘the holy battle’ against Israel.”

Abu Ibrahim al-Masri, the Egyptian Govt. Agent, Defects from Imaginary Terror Group…”Al-Qaeda-In-Iraq”

Abu Ibrahim Al Masri defects from Daesh in Hama

Abu Ibrahim Al Masri

Abu Ibrahim al-Masri, said ISIS had erred by disregarding the orders of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, who last year tasked the Nusra Front, another Al-Qaeda group, with responsibility for Syria.

BUT…

Ayman Al-Zawari referred to Abu Ibrahim al-Masri as ‘the traitor.’

“One set of documents [from Zawahiri's computer captured in Afghanistan] discusses the case of Abu Ibrahim al-Masri, colorfully known as ‘the traitor.’ He was operating out of Yemen and sold out to Yemeni security, but an al Qaeda sympathizer in the state security service informed his terrorist leaders. He was caught, escaped, caught again, interrogated, and confessed. A prolonged debate ensued as to his fate, and in the end, remarkably, he was set free. It was believed that ‘his shame before the rest of the organization was sufficient,’ and other terror groups were cautioned against having any dealings with him. Masri wandered about before winding up in Afghanistan, a religious teacher at a school for the children of ‘Arab Afghans’ (i.e., members of al Qaeda in Afghanistan). It was reported last month that

He was in fact an Egyptian double agent,

who had fed back key information from the terrorist stronghold.”

BUT…

The Islamic State of Iraq is a ‘front’ organization”

—Brig. Kevin J Gen Bergner.

Ayyub al Masri inner circle

http://www.defense.gov/dodcmsshare/briefingslide/309/070718-D-6570C-001.pdf

“To further this myth [of the Islamic State of Iraq], al Masri created a fictional political head of ISI known as Omar al-Baghdadi.”–Gen. Bergner

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi Revealed

The first “Baghdadi”—deceased

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The Current “Baghdadi,” a.k.a., Abu D’ua, Abu Dumont

It is only fitting that a dead terrorist ringleader (abu Musab al-Zarqawi)

Head a non-existent international terrorist group

(Ahmad Fadhil Nazzal al-Khalaylah (deceased), a.k.a., Abu Musab al-Zarqawi--Interpol, 23/09/2003),

that is waging war against the elected government of Iraq, while serving as an active counter-intelligence front for “al-CIA-da” and other  intelligence agencies.

Abu Musab, from Zarqa, Jordan, killed in Botlikh, Dagestan, Aug. 1999, according to testimony given by legendary Chechen Islamist leader, Ibn-ul-Khattab in an interview with Islamist website 

In those operations, the Vice Military Commander, Hakeem Al-Madani, was martyred as well as Sheikh Abu Musab (Arabian Peninsula).” 

It is then even more fitting that that imaginary terrorist progeny of a dead terrorist leader, move half of its insurgency operations to Syria, under the command of its non-existent leader, to provide cover for foreign intelligence agency operations against another elected leader of a second Arab government.

The absolute absurdity of what comes next is almost beyond description, no matter how sarcastic the description…

In Syria, the established cover story of the non-existent terrorist group (AQII) is used to hide a corrective covert war which is allegedly being waged between various Islamist factions and the Free Syrian Army.  This terrorist “split” is providing cover for Special Forces/CIA actions that are currently underway, to regain control over the Syrian resistance.  All Islamists in Syria are Saudi/Qatari sponsored, supposedly working together for one goal, the overthrow of Bashar al-Asad.  CIA agents are there redirecting the most radical proxies into war against the uncooperative, using the foreign terrorists to undo the damage done by Qatar’s guiding hand, within Syria

The battle in the great psywar is allegedly between the new Saudi Sunni terrorist creations, Islamist Front and Army of Muhahideen (“al-Qaeda lite”) and old Saudi Sunni terrorist creations, al-Qaeda in Iraq.  Both variants on the Sunni terrorist theme operate on the same principles, enforced “Shariah” and the killing of the Shia “unbelievers.”   The intra-Islamist conflict is being waged between militant groups comprised mostly of criminals and military deserters, which are controlled by undercover Western Special Forces and intelligence operatives, who push their “jihadis” to fight against the Saudi intelligence operatives in the newly created “armies,” intending to restore Pentagon/CIA control over all of the anti-Syrian and anti-Iraqi players and their networks of hardcore radicals who have associated themselves with the name “Abu-Musab.”

Peter Chamberlin

therearenosunglasses@hotmail.com

Bandar Flips the “Chechen Switch,” Followed By the “Al-Qaeda In Iraq Switch”

Syria: Army of the Mujahideen Challenges ISIS Gains

alakhbar

Fighters from the Free Syrian Army buy AK-47 bullets from a weapons seller in Idlib province on July 4, 2012. (Photo: AFP)

It seemed that many actors wanted to take advantage of ISIS’ retreat to bolster the Free Syrian Army (FSA), with renewed attempts in recent days to resurrect the latter. But what is the story behind the Army of the Mujahideen? How did it advance rapidly at the expense of ISIS, which until recently was the “bogeyman” threatening to devour everyone?

Speaking to Al-Akhbar, a field source from the Syrian opposition explained that the nascent Army of the Mujahideen did not emerge overnight. He said, “Efforts to create the army began in conjunction with the formation of the Islamic Front. There seemed to be an urgent need to merge the armed groups that do not want to take the form of an Islamist army, and which insisted on the idea of the endangered FSA, together.”

The source added that the delay in forming the army in question was due to many reasons, most notably the fact that no outside power had sponsored the move, whether politically or financially. As a result, the source said, there was no outside pressure put on the various factions to force them to unite.

Formation, Components, and Spheres of Influence

The Army of the Mujahideen was formed out of the following factions: the 19th Division of the FSA, the group known as Fastaqim Kama Umirt, meaning “Be Upright As Ordered,” the Nur al-Din al-Zanki Islamic Brigades, and al-Noor Islamic Movement.

In turn, the FSA 19th Division consists of the Liwaa al-Ansar, whose influence is concentrated along the Aleppo-Damascus highway in Aleppo’s western countryside; Liwaa Amjad al-Islam; Liwaa Ansar al-Khilafa; al-Quds Brigades; Khan al-Assal Free Brigades; al-Shuyukh Brigade; and Liwaa al-Mujahireen.

Fastaqem Kama Umirt is made up of the Aleppo City Battalion; Liwaa Halab al-Shahbaa; Liwaa al-Islam, and the Abu Amara Brigades, which refused to join the Army of the Mujahideen, and subsequently split from Fastaqem Kama Umirt. The militants with Fastaqem are concentrated in the districts of Salah al-Din, Seif al-Dawla, Sheikh Said, Bab al-Nairab, Jeb al-Jalabi, Jisr al-Haj, Ansari, and Mashhad of Aleppo.

These brigades have been deploying the so-called “hell cannon,” which fires explosive gas cylinders at the Western neighborhoods adjacent to the areas they control, killing many civilians.

Meanwhile, the influence of the Nur al-Din al-Zanki Brigades covers areas in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo, such as Anjara, Hour, Mansoura, and Kafr Dael. These brigades are believed to be the strongest among the constituents of Army of the Mujahideen.

They are led by Sheikh Tawfiq Shahabuddin, who some reports alleged was the leader of the new army. However, sources inside the group denied this, and told Al-Akhbar, “There is no one leader, but a joint leadership including Sheikh Tawfiq Shahabuddin; Lt. Col. Abu Bakr commander of Liwaa al-Ansar; and Captain Mohammed Shakerdi, commander of Liwaa Amjad al-Islam.”

The source also stressed that the Army of the Mujahideen relied on local resources for funding, and did not receive any external financing.

The Situation on the Ground on the Eve of the Battles

ISIS had offices and outposts in the areas mentioned earlier, which started as preaching centers before they were turned into military garrisons. Some of the FSA-affiliated brigades in these areas had also pledged allegiance to ISIS, such as the notorious Abdo Zamzam group in the town of Bashqatin, strengthening ISIS’ presence.

After ISIS took control of a given area, it would leave a small group of militants behind, numbering no more than a few dozen, or no more than 200 in vast regions like Dana in Idlib. ISIS then put increased pressure on the towns of Atareb and Orme (west of Aleppo), following its habit to isolate and attack FSA groups one by one, as it had done in some districts of Aleppo and the towns of Aazaz and Bab.

ISIS’ attack on Atareb and Orme coincided with the Army of the Mujahideen going public. The Army of the Mujahideen’s first mission was to repel an attempt to storm the area. The army benefited from popular anger against ISIS, although the latter was previously cheered and seen as a savior from the “thieves of the revolution.”

According to Army of the Mujahideen sources, the number of people from the area who enlisted has exceeded 5,000. The sources said, “For the first time, ISIS forces faced fierce resistance from the people of the region, who rushed to expel it after they suffered from its excesses.” Since ISIS militants in the area were scattered and distributed into small groups, according to the same sources, “the residents were able to easily rout the small groups.”

Other sources familiar with the inner workings of the armed groups told Al-Akhbar that Liwaa al-Tawhid, one of the groups that make up the Islamic Front, took advantage of these developments, and began supporting Army of the Mujahideen forces away from the media. Similarly, the notorious brigades that were under siege from ISIS, such as the Free Syria Battalion led by Ahmad Afash, and the Badr Martyrs Battalion led by Khaled Hayyani, attacked ISIS forces in the town of Andan, north of Aleppo, and the Bani Zeid district within the city.

In the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, militants from Fastaqem Kama Umirt attacked ISIS’ posts in Jisr al-Haj. The fighting spread to Kallaseh Square, while battles in the countryside quickly spread north, to Haritan and Tel Rifaat, all the way to Azaz, in an effort to expel ISIS from there.

In the eastern countryside of Idlib adjacent to the border with the Aleppo governorate, Dana, Bab al-Hawa, and the town of Atma were put under siege, the latter being ISIS’ reception point for jihadist arrivals from all over the world via Turkey. A villa compound housing ISIS foreign fighters and their families near the town or Orme al-Kubra was also placed under siege.

Faced with these developments, ISIS was forced to pull some of its troops from the front lines with the Syrian army in southeast Aleppo and Raqqa. This could give the Syrian army an opportunity to advance and take advantage of the vacuum.

Causes Behind ISIS Retreat

There are many reasons behind ISIS’ sudden retreat. In addition to the dispersion of its militants, and the Army of the Mujahideen successfully taking advantage of the popular mood, another fundamental factor has made a great impact, namely, the absence of Chechen jihadists from the battle. Indeed, the Chechen fighters are known to be a formidable strike force.

Several Chechens have split from ISIS. Saifullah al-Shishani defected with 400 of his men three months ago, followed by Sheikh Salah al-Shishani with 800 of his men. Things culminated two weeks ago with Sheikh Omar al-Shishani leaving with a large group of his fighters to Deir al-Zour, a move that sources told Al-Akhbar was meant to distance himself from ISIS’ conduct in Aleppo and its countryside.

The sources said, “From what we know about Sheikh Omar, we can affirm that he hates injustice, and is not satisfied with ISIS’ actions. However, he cannot defect. Given his fondness of the project to establish the caliphate and impose Sharia, defection would ruin this project.”

But another informed source believes Sheikh Omar al-Shishani’s move was essentially motivated by the temptation of controlling oil wells in Deir al-Zour. Giving his take on why ISIS is on the retreat, the source said, “God will not allow an unjust state to survive. The infidel state can endure if it is just. I believe ISIS has two main problems: the foolishness and arrogance of the Tunisian, Libyan, and Iraqi members; and the disloyalty of Syrian supporters.”

Al-Nusra Front: Schadenfreude

On the afternoon of January 5, reports surfaced that al-Nusra Front had seized the town of Dana, taking advantage of the disarray in ISIS’ ranks. But Al-Akhbar’s sources denied that al-Nusra had taken full control of the town, saying that an agreement was reached whereby ISIS hands over its posts to al-Nusra Front.

Either way, al-Nusra Front, which is designated by many as a terrorist group, has rushed to take advantage of the situation, calling on foreign jihadists who had defected to ISIS to rejoin its ranks. Al-Nusra has proposed itself as a mediator, when it is actually on the side of Army of the Mujahideen.

In the same vein, an opposition source told Al-Akhbar, “It is a known fact that the Chechens would rather die than hand themselves over to the FSA, while al-Nusra Front represents an acceptable party for them to surrender to, in preparation to be reabsorbed into its ranks.”

It is also worth noting that ISIS’ ultra extremist brand has helped promote among some the notion that al-Nusra is a moderate Islamist front, when this is definitely not the case. Interestingly, jihadist sources reported on January 5 that Abu Mohammed al-Golani, emir of al-Nusra Front, has proposed an initiative to ISIS whereby the two groups would unite under one banner and one leadership, in a formation to be called al-Qaeda in the Levant.

Profile: Sheikh Tawfiq Leader of Nur al-Din al-Zanki Brigades

The Nur al-Din al-Zanki Brigades are considered the strongest component of the Army of the Mujahideen. The militia’s leader is Tawfiq Shahabuddin, born in 1973 in the region of Sheikh Salman near Qubatan al-Jabal. Since he formed the brigades, he has become known as Sheikh Tawfiq.

Before the start of the Syrian crisis, the illiterate Shahabuddin worked as a camel-meat butcher. At the start of the armed insurgency in the Aleppo countryside, he sold all his properties for about $150,000, which he donated to Riad al-Assaad, to support the FSA. In return, Assaad appointed him as commander of the FSA in his home region, and in a short space of time, the armed group Shahabuddin formed was able to control Sheikh Salman.

Recruits to his group have since increased continuously. He took part in the battle to enter Aleppo, and positioned his group in the Salah al-Din district under the banner of Liwaa al-Tawhid. In early December 2012, Shahabuddin split from Liwaa al-Tawhid, and decided to operate independently.

Locally, the Nour al-Din al-Zanki Brigades are not seen as engaging in looting and theft, despite having confiscated private properties and factories belonging to residents of Aleppo. The brigades have also kidnapped people and released them for ransom.

Army of the Mujahideen: We Will Not Fight al-Nusra Front

Army of the Mujahideen sources were keen to stress that they are not an “extremist group,” while a number of media outlets sought to portray the army as a moderate faction “similar to the FSA.” But this is inconsistent with the message carried by a January 4 statement.

Signed by the political bureau of Army of the Mujahideen, “Statement Two” said: “We distance ourselves from any confrontation with our brothers in al-Nusra Front, or any other jihadi faction, whether through direct fighting or in coordination with any faction against them.”

The statement then added, “We call on the honest ones among our brothers the mujahideen in ISIS to defect and join their brothers in Syria against the Nusairi [derogatory term for Alawi] Assad regime.”

The Saudi dynasty and the ghost of Jouheiman

orient tendencies
ORIENT TENDENCIES

By Ghaleb Kandil

The behavior of Saudi Arabia in the region is the focus of attention and a specific monitoring after the Saud dynasty has become the main source of escalation and violence carried lately by Takfirist-terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and even in some regions of Russia.

Saudi Arabia is angry and wants consolation prizes in the region. It seeks compensation for major confrontations that are taking place and allies with France. Paris tries to sabotage agreements between the United States and Russia, which pass through the recognition of the West defeat in Syria and Iran’s status as a regional power. All these statements illustrate the impasse is the Wahhabi kingdom after the collapse of its regional influence due to Syria’s resistance facing the universal war led by Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar and Turkey.

Relevant changes have shaken the foundations of the Saudi role, which dates back over half a century. The rise of Iran is not the only change, although it is the most pronounced. This factor has been felt even within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is the first circle which carries Saudi influence. Developments in Bahrain and Yemen also lay the foundations for a dramatic change in the kingdom. Possible establishment of a constitutional monarchy in Bahrain, the consecration of the political diversity in Yemen, or the resurgence of South Yemen, are all serious challenges that will undoubtedly impact even within Saudi Arabia, where the social and political anger is spreading. These last three years, the protests are strongly expressed on social medias, where millions of young from Gulf express their anger and thirst for freedom.

The determination of Saud to use and support Takfirist groups throughout the region, as part of a global campaign threatening the world with a new generation of terrorists, not only explains the anger and disappointment Saudi Arabia after its defeat in Syria. This same terrorist card had been operating for 40 years through a partnership between the United States and the Wahhabi kingdom, before the decline of American influence. One of the main causes of Saudi behavior is explained by internal factors. Indeed, spreading extremist aims to divert the attention of the Saudi youth not to question the dynasty, an ally of the West which controls all the country’s wealth while leading a lifestyle characterized by extreme opulence and debauchery without limits.

We almost forgot the incident of the occupation of the Kaaba in Mecca, November 20, 1979, by the first insurrection led by a takfirist group coming from the heart of the Wahhabi institution. The movement was led by Juheiman al-Oteiby, who came from the ranks of the National Guard and studied with his comrades in the official Wahhabi religious institutes. We almost forgot this rebellion crushed in blood, which was a protest against decay and injustice of the Saudi system. Al-Oteiby’s appeal to consider apostate Saudi regime has a large impact among the Saudi youth, and rebels have recruited hundreds of young people ready to take arms to assault the Kaaba. Saudi security forces have failed to controle the situation, and Riyadh had to hire the services of the French special forces to crush the uprising.

One year after the Al-Oteiby movement, the ruling Saud family, in cooperation with the United States, launched the first wave of terrorism in Afghanistan, and funded arms for the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria in their war against the Syrian state, which was resolutely opposed to the Camp David peace agreement. Riyadh and Washington had legitimized the first nucleus of Al-Qaeda networks, fruit of cooperation between the West and the Saudis. The terrorist network was assigned to missions in Chechnya, Bosnia, Somalia, Sudan, Algeria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, Syria and elsewhere. All these wars, financed by Saudi Arabia, served the U.S. strategies. At the same time, they have helped divert attention of thousands of young Wahhabi sent to practice Jihad in distant lands. Palestine obviously was not among these lands.

Majed al-Majed, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades leader, an Al- Qaeda branch that has claimed the double suicide attack against the Iranian embassy in Beirut on November 19, is a symbol of these Saudi young men. The circumstances of his capture and death in Lebanon are very suspicious. The Lebanese Army waited nine days before officially confirm his arrest, before announcing, the next day, his death for kidney failure.

Afraid that he might reveal the names of Saudi princes and sheikhs who fund and give him orders, Saudi Arabia has lobbied hard for his extradition.

Reports from the Lebanese press warned against the possible elimination of Majed al-Majed on his hospital bed to forbid him making embarrassing revelations. They were right. After the announcement of his death, the Iranian MP, Mohammad Hassan Asghari, said his confession pointed to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis are still haunted by the ghost of Juheiman Al-Oteiby, who protested with weapons against a dynasty that shamelessly exploits religion to submit and blind the poor to take advantage of the immense oil wealth.

The Saudi dynasty and the ghost of Jouheiman

By Ghaleb Kandil

The behavior of Saudi Arabia in the region is the focus of attention and a specific monitoring after the Saud dynasty has become the main source of escalation and violence carried lately by Takfirist-terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and even in some regions of Russia.

Saudi Arabia is angry and wants consolation prizes in the region. It seeks compensation for major confrontations that are taking place and allies with France. Paris tries to sabotage agreements between the United States and Russia, which pass through the recognition of the West defeat in Syria and Iran’s status as a regional power. All these statements illustrate the impasse is the Wahhabi kingdom after the collapse of its regional influence due to Syria’s resistance facing the universal war led by Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar and Turkey.

Relevant changes have shaken the foundations of the Saudi role, which dates back over half a century. The rise of Iran is not the only change, although it is the most pronounced. This factor has been felt even within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is the first circle which carries Saudi influence. Developments in Bahrain and Yemen also lay the foundations for a dramatic change in the kingdom. Possible establishment of a constitutional monarchy in Bahrain, the consecration of the political diversity in Yemen, or the resurgence of South Yemen, are all serious challenges that will undoubtedly impact even within Saudi Arabia, where the social and political anger is spreading. These last three years, the protests are strongly expressed on social medias, where millions of young from Gulf express their anger and thirst for freedom.

The determination of Saud to use and support Takfirist groups throughout the region, as part of a global campaign threatening the world with a new generation of terrorists, not only explains the anger and disappointment Saudi Arabia after its defeat in Syria. This same terrorist card had been operating for 40 years through a partnership between the United States and the Wahhabi kingdom, before the decline of American influence. One of the main causes of Saudi behavior is explained by internal factors. Indeed, spreading extremist aims to divert the attention of the Saudi youth not to question the dynasty, an ally of the West which controls all the country’s wealth while leading a lifestyle characterized by extreme opulence and debauchery without limits.

We almost forgot the incident of the occupation of the Kaaba in Mecca, November 20, 1979, by the first insurrection led by a takfirist group coming from the heart of the Wahhabi institution. The movement was led by Juheiman al-Oteiby, who came from the ranks of the National Guard and studied with his comrades in the official Wahhabi religious institutes. We almost forgot this rebellion crushed in blood, which was a protest against decay and injustice of the Saudi system. Al-Oteiby’s appeal to consider apostate Saudi regime has a large impact among the Saudi youth, and rebels have recruited hundreds of young people ready to take arms to assault the Kaaba. Saudi security forces have failed to controle the situation, and Riyadh had to hire the services of the French special forces to crush the uprising.

One year after the Al-Oteiby movement, the ruling Saud family, in cooperation with the United States, launched the first wave of terrorism in Afghanistan, and funded arms for the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria in their war against the Syrian state, which was resolutely opposed to the Camp David peace agreement. Riyadh and Washington had legitimized the first nucleus of Al-Qaeda networks, fruit of cooperation between the West and the Saudis. The terrorist network was assigned to missions in Chechnya, Bosnia, Somalia, Sudan, Algeria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, Syria and elsewhere. All these wars, financed by Saudi Arabia, served the U.S. strategies. At the same time, they have helped divert attention of thousands of young Wahhabi sent to practice Jihad in distant lands. Palestine obviously was not among these lands.

Majed al-Majed, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades leader, an Al- Qaeda branch that has claimed the double suicide attack against the Iranian embassy in Beirut on November 19, is a symbol of these Saudi young men. The circumstances of his capture and death in Lebanon are very suspicious. The Lebanese Army waited nine days before officially confirm his arrest, before announcing, the next day, his death for kidney failure.

Afraid that he might reveal the names of Saudi princes and sheikhs who fund and give him orders, Saudi Arabia has lobbied hard for his extradition.

Reports from the Lebanese press warned against the possible elimination of Majed al-Majed on his hospital bed to forbid him making embarrassing revelations. They were right. After the announcement of his death, the Iranian MP, Mohammad Hassan Asghari, said his confession pointed to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis are still haunted by the ghost of Juheiman Al-Oteiby, who protested with weapons against a dynasty that shamelessly exploits religion to submit and blind the poor to take advantage of the immense oil wealth.

- See more at: http://www.neworientnews.com/news/fullnews.php?news_id=123140#sthash.cmAO21aW.dpuf

Silencing al-Majed Before He Exposes the Saudi Connection To 9/11

[Here is an outstanding piece of analysis from Belgium, which makes the first efforts towards tying together several leads concerning "Saudi intelligence/terrorists," professional Saudi intelligence killers who serve Riyadh as terrorist leaders.  The idea of an "intelligence/terrorist" is not a new concept, but up until now it has been restricted to Pakistan in discussions in Western media. 

Discussion of the phenomenon "intelligence agent/terrorists, must begin in Pakistan, where all known Sunni terrorist organizations had their origins in ISI intelligence, with agents serving both as terrorist trainers and as militant leaders.  The majority of the most notorious of all famous Pak terrorists were military men (men like Omar Sheikh, Amjad Farooqi, "Dr. Usman," Ilyas Kashmiri. etc.).  Extending the concept from Pak ISI to Saudi intelligence is a natural progression in the analysis of Sunni terrorism....One short step away from the concept of "CIA-TERRORISTS." 

The capture, interrogation and subsequent death of Saudi national, "Majed Mohammed Abdullah al-Majed," is surrounded in mystery.  Unraveling his entanglement with Saudi intelligence will solve most major controversies concerning the true nature of the "war on terrorism," beginning in the present with the shenanigans of the "Abdullah Azzam Brigades.  Working backward, to discover the terrorist pedigree of this dead Saudi, uncovers his connections with Al-Qaeda In Iraq, Fatah al-Islam, al-Nusrah, al-Qaeda and the anti-Assad terrorists who have frequented Lebanon since the murder of Rafik Hariri in 2005 .  Majed's period in hiding in Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon, which is officially off-limits to Lebanese authorities, provides the cohesion in the narrative now being generated.  

The speculation about American military involvement in the Lebanese Army capture of this key Saudi agent, revolves around the fine line that separates the CIA from "military intelligence."  This all comes at a particularly troubling juncture of Saudi-American relations, when the 911 lawsuit against the Saudi royals has just been given the GREEN LIGHT.  In hindsight, Bandar and Abdullah must be questioning the wisdom of their own council in making their grab for the entire "Greater Middle East," at this time in the struggle.  It is not yet apparent to the royals the ultimate price of their treachery, becoming the next target for regime change.  Bandar's idiotic activation of the old "al-Qaeda" network will definitely blow-up in his face, whenever his "holy warriors" realize that they will not be allowed to liberate Jerusalem and Palestine.  The war that they have been duped into volunteering for is not to be against the Zionist oppressors, but against their fellow Muslims, in a Saudi vanity war to settle old scores against the secular Assad dynasty. 

All are left to ponder the question that is now haunting half of all intelligence agents in the Middle East--Is it possible to prosecute the Saudis as the world's primary sponsor of all terrorism without exposing everybody's secrets, most of them implicating THE CIA, the Saudi royal family's official sponsor?]

Peter Chamberlin  therearenosunglasses@hotmail.com

The liquidation of Majed and 9/11

dedefensa.org

Initially, there is the importance and the various mysteries of the “arrest” (quotes required), 24 or 26 December 2013 in Lebanon by the Lebanese army, it seems, Majed al-Majed, important figure of Saudi nationality, terrorist leader of a close al-Qaeda (AAB or Abudullah Azzam Brigade group, linked to the ISIS group or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, linked to al-Qaeda or so to say and so on …), but maybe, even probably, a prominent member of the Saudi SR with important information. And then there is his mysterious death, January 3, 2014 probably while he was hospitalized, according to an “official” version because it would have succumbed to severe illness from which he suffered, according to other versions speculative but based on the extreme importance of the character, when he was interrogated and even tortured, or even more steeply because it was “just” liquidated …

The importance of character, especially one reads the text of Ibrahim al-Amin, editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar English, a Lebanese daily “pro-resistance” of 4 January 2014 . The text was written while Majed was supposed still living under the title “We must prevent Majed be wound” with a notice of “update” last minute “Majed al-Majed died while in custody on January Lebanese 4 “. Some excerpts from the text with the emphasis we (underlined bold) on what is important to us to highlight.

“As security officers Closely Involved In His case attest, Majed is a strong face Among His supporters and followers. The security sources say Majed That’s associates-have the carried out acts That Demonstrate Their conviction and faith in him, to the extent of Being willing to sacrifice for Their Lives Majed. [...]

“Majed, According To experts on extremist groups, is privy to the secrets of a long era spanned at least That 10 years of live action. Took him His journey from Saudi Arabia to Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, and Afghanistan and Pakistan aussi, falling on All which he Became Acquainted with quite a Few Individuals Have you would go on to join al-Qaeda. Majed aussi Review: had a key role to play in helping jihadists grouped in Decentralized frameworks Following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and the Dismantling of al-Qaeda’s leadership.

“The information supposedly in His possession covers a wide number of operatives, operational details, the form of sleeper cells and targets, and Introduced amendments to the modus operandi of jihadi groups partner after the US-led invasion of Iraq and Then the Syrian crisis. Majed Also has intricate knowledge of how the group’s leaders and members are Financed, Where the funds are Spent, and aussi Many of the group’s political, security, military, and Economic contacts That Helped it operate in several countries, Including in Lebanon … [...]

“More importantly, Majed, DESPITE His illness, Remained in touch with the cells tasked with attacking Hezbollah and the Lebanese army across Lebanon. Possibly the man knows everything about the database of targets His group intends to attack, aim above all, he holds the Most Important secrets about ties to Arab and Western Governments and agencies, Especially Saudi’s shadow men in the Levant and Iraq.

“Yet as much as Majed Was a high-value target That Many agencies in the area and the world Were tracking down, and as much as His arrest Was a major achievement – Regardless of how and why it succeeded – his case is shrouded in mystery , prompting one to infer His capture That Was a difficulty matter for Those Who Decided to do it, and now That He Has Become a burden.

• The circumstances of the arrest, various mysteries and unknowns appear clearly according to sources. DEBKAfiles, announcing the news on January 1, 2014 , is fairly eloquent speculative and contrary to his habits, sticking to operational information type plunging into the multitude disorder terrorist organizations, Islamists, etc.., Syria. Al-Akhbar, again, gives the 3 January 2014 , from the pen of one of its journalists, Razdwan Mortada various indications substantivant the mysterious and complex nature of this arrest. At this time point, so one day before the item indicated above its editor-in-chief, Mortada stands by the version of the disease but involves interesting sources as a basis for operation, making its “Arrest” nothing less than an emergency medical intervention to try to save Majed Again, a little stressed in bold …

“Nothing about this operation WAS ordinary, as Majed himself WAS no ordinary man. He is one of the emir of the international jihad’s Most prominent and mysterious organisms. Ten days ago, U.S. military intelligence feels an urgent cable to the Strategic Security at the Lebanese Defense Ministry, Majed was in. That revealing a mountainous area near the Lebanese border town of Ersal Branch year. Later, He Was Moved to a house inside the town due to His critical health conditions. Two days later, indicating indication Reviews another cable arrived there WAS talk of Majed Transporting to a Beirut hospital to Undergo an urgent dialysis. On December 24, an ambulance Took Majed from Ersal to Makassed Hospital in Beirut, and Another cable confirmed the transfer.

• Then there is the Saudi intervention and pressures and Iranian issues. On this last point that is justified by the claim that Majed conducted the attack against the Iranian embassy in Beirut, the demand for an Iranian parliamentary joint autopsy Majed (PressTV.ir, supported by the agency Trends.News the 5 January 2014 ) following the Iranian interventions to meet Mejed prisoner, together with the Saudis who had initiated this procedure, and the refusal of the Saudis Iranian presence. Finally, the Saudis have agreed to an autopsy, but because the only Saudi, that being justified by nationality (Saudi) of death. (According to Now, the Lebanese daily on 5 January 2014 .)

• Meanwhile, Iranian sources said that Saudi had offered $ 3 billion to the Lebanese government for the extradition of Mejed. (A long text FARS agency on January 4, 2014 , Majed links to Saudi intelligence Prince Bandar, recalling the various adventures and intrigues of Bandar, particularly vis-à-vis the Russians and on Olympic security Sochi.) A dispatch from the FARS reported January 4 2014 intervention of an Iranian member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on this aspect of the case Mejed, adding that Iran is entitled to file a complaint with the UN against Saudi, because of the bomb attack against the Iranian embassy in Beirut on 25 November.

“Earlier today, senior parliamentary Officials in Tehran Saudi Arabia Disclosed That HAS to pay $ 3bln offert to the Lebanese government in return for the extradition of Al-Majed, the Suspected head of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades Ziad al-Jarrah â Battalion, that ‘Claimed responsibility for the November attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut All which killed 25 people. “The Saudi government HAS Considered $ 3bln for the extradition of the individual behind the Iranian embassy blast in Lebanon, indicating indication That the remarks he might make are vitally significant for the Saudi government,” Vice-Chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mansour Haqiqatpour Told FNA on Saturday. “Saudi Arabia HAS Demanded Lebanon to extradite Majed in return for $ 3bln,” he reiterated. Underlined Haqiqatpour aussi That Tehran is Entitled to file a lawsuit at the UN against Saudi Arabia Because the mid November attack WAS Conducted on the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

• Finally, on 5 January 2014 , Lebanese TV al-Jahud relayed by the Iranian agency FAS, and in this case, the ThereAreNoSunGlasses.wordpress.com website says a Saudi diplomat visited Majed shortly before death of the prisoner. This tour is presented in the umbrella title text as “the kiss of death” to Saudi Majed (“Did Saudi diplomat Majed give the kiss of death?”): “The Lebanese al-Jadid TV channel reported about That A Saudi embassy attaché in Beirut puts Majed at the hospital Where He Was Kept dialysis for 24 hours before His death.

• We see that there is enough evidence to immediately arrest and interpret this death very fast, of course oh so suspicious next claims that Majed had been “arrested” for emergency rather be treated as more dramatic element in a case that mixes many entanglements, some important, concerning the situation of various terrorism, Saudi, and in particular, in the background, links to Saudi Arabia with the U.S. … For it is this latter aspect that chooses MK Bhadrakumar to write a very short note, the January 5, 2014 , on his blog (Indian PunchLine) under the title ambiguous enough considering the content of his text “Majed won ‘t talk but Obama shoulds worry.

Bhadrakumar is generally well informed on these complex cases in the Middle East, involving Iran and Arabia, and the multiple ramifications of terrorism largely funded by Saudi. In addition, as a former respected diplomat, he has no sensationalism or so-called “complotistes” theses … The reference he mentions about the new situation in Washington where the U.S. Justice allowed the examination of the possible involvement of Saudi in the attack of 11 September 2001 (see December 26, 2013 ) in various trials being from families of victims of the attack, is the main point of interest to us in terms of what would be “double-hatting” of Majed (AAB terrorist leader but also a member of the Saudi intelligence informed ” Most Important secrets about ties to Arab and Western Governments and agencies “). Here is the excerpt from Bhadrakumar we actually interested text also focuses on the potential impact the fate of Majed Lebanon, with the risk of a new civil war …

“The Saudi intelligence Feared That Would Have Majed e-Majed might spill the beans about the AAB’s links with Al-Qaeda. The Point is, AAB is backed by the Saudi intelligence, altho it is listed by the U.S. as a terrorist organization. The Saudi doublespeak is typical – Majed Al-Majed is in Riyadh’s list of wanted terrorists aim AAB enjoys covert support. In short, he HAD beens left alive, There Was the dangerous possibility That The U.S. Would Have Been Compelled to examine Saudi Arabia’s links with the al-Qaeda. Recently the U.S. Appeal Court ordered That the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks shoulds bear scrutiny.

“All this once again highlights the U.S. That’s ties with Saudi Arabia need a Careful think by the Barack Obama administration. The thesis That if the U.S. antagonized saudi Arabia, the lathing might look for new alliances is an ingenuous argument. The core issue is Whether it is in the U.S. ‘and the Western world’s (the Middle East’s gold) Interests if Saudi Arabia is allowed to get away with icts links with Al-Qaeda groups. Syria Becomes the test case. The Continued U.S. ambivalence on this score only the suspicion That Strengthens Washington too might-have HAD uses of Al-Qaeda groups as instruments of regional policies icts: such as Afghanistan or Iraq.

It is unclear what exactly Bhadrakumar means when he writes in his song “Obama should be worried.” Are the implications of the USA-type al-Qaeda terrorism financed mainly by Saudi, where the US-Saudi antagonism become extreme, with revelations that may arise on these implications, voluntarily or not disseminated by Saudi who would have replaced complicity with the U.S. by the confrontation? No doubt, but does it then go to the heart about watching these implications with terrorism, combining U.S. and Saudi, can go up to 9/11 when the U.S. Justice has authorized the ongoing trial to investigate the possibility of Saudi involvement in the attack – at a time, in 2001, where the triangular connections US-Saudi terrorist-type al-Qaeda gave full? These issues today all have their meaning in the light of Majed case-terrorist intelligence officer supposed to know a lot about the relationship between Saudi and Western SR (U.S., of course) compared to terrorism such al-Qaeda, and that while sources indicate that it was the U.S. military-intelligence (DIA?) that would have “fixed” Majed to designate the Lebanese army. (The latter also also ambiguous with given accuracy, connecting military [U.S.] Military [Lebanese] may very well be independent of other intelligence forces involved [U.S., Lebanon, Saudi Arabia] or purposes antagonism with them, for example “save” Majed who knows-as-of-things.)

It is impossible to extract all this a solid conclusion on the case as a complex framework of type-a-Qaeda terrorism and Saudi operations, otherwise to engage in a variety of speculations and for us free, since by substantivées nothing. For cons, the direct reference to a commentator of the caliber of the new MK Bhadrakumar examine the involvement of Arabia in 9/11 in light of the deterioration of US-Saudi ties possibility, under Majed the case has a significant implicit meaning. In general, we understand that the present tension between Saudi and the U.S., if it becomes stronger and structural, carries many different effects in current affairs, fighting, conflicts of interest, etc.., But also it now covers a key point that is extremely strong possibility, through an incident or another, a revelation either of which would seize the U.S. justice to revisit the “official version” of the attack of September 11, 2001 – now “officially” in doubt (the intervention of two U.S. parliamentarians in this sense, in the House, as reported in our text December 26, 2013 ). We must therefore confirm that this is indeed a new chapter as a result of the 9/11 attack which is open, where, indeed, the “complotisme” is no longer an argument of controversy and communication Lounge in one direction, as it was previously used by a well-oiled press system, but a concrete hypothesis and unpredictable in its effects, both operational and linked to interest (U.S. and Saudi Arabia) now antagonists, both in the strict legal proceedings of the U.S. justice.

Saudi Royals Reassure Islamabad, the Eastern Anchor of Their Global Sunni Caliphate

Message from Riyadh: Saud al Faisal due in Islamabad next week

express tribune

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal will arrive in Islamabad on a two-day visit on Monday, January 6, under a scheduled programme.

Prince Saud al Faisal will head a team of more than a dozen Saudi officials.

There is speculation that Riyadh may be sending a message to Islamabad in the wake of the latest developments in the treason case against Pervez Musharraf, who is considered to be close to the Saudi regime.

According to official sources, during his stay, in the federal capital, the Saudi foreign minister will hold in-depth talks with the Pakistani leadership including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He will hold a special meeting with the Adviser to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to discuss bilateral relations and to further expanding Pak-Saudi ties and enhancing cooperation in various fields.

Besides bilateral matters, Saudi foreign minister will also discuss Afghanistan and the regional situation.

His visit is also significant keeping in mind the deadlock on Syria, the situation in Afghanistan and the Iranian nuclear agreement.

The Saudi foreign minister was invited to Islamabad after he met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in New York last year

March-14 Hoists Banner of Saudi/Sunni False Flags In Lebanon

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The assassination of Chatah: March-14 wants to achieve the killers’ objectives

Voltaire Net

By Ghaleb Kandil

The assassination of former Minister Mohammad Chatah is part of a series of attempts to cause internal discord and strife in Lebanon, through clashes in Tripoli suicide attacks, car bombings and assassinations. These criminal and terrorist acts are implemented by Takfirists groups as the result of Israeli-Saudi joint efforts, intended to push Lebanon into a huge fire.
The first consequence of the assassination is exacerbating sectarian tensions in the country, particularly in Tripoli, the hometown of the deceased. All previous attempts to raise tension through attacks and other crimes, in the southern suburbs of Beirut and Tripoli, had not led to the breaking point.
The first information showing the involvement of Fatah al-Islam terrorist group in the assassination of Chatah did not put an end to ready accusations, launched before the beginning of the investigations.
The most serious is that the March-14 coalition quickly grasped the political objectives of the assassination, which aims above all to widen the political gap in the country, which is already divided on the Syrian conflict. This coalition is eager to torpedo any attempt to form a national unity government, only able to play the role of safety valve, and has focused on the political exploitation of Mohammad Chatah blood to push the confrontation in a country which has not a government, at the threshold of a presidential election that looks difficult. In doing so, March-14 executes the orders of its regional sponsor, Saudi Arabia, who sabotaged the last eight months, all efforts to form a new government.
March-14 has raised the bar of conditions requiring not only a government without Hezbollah, a major political and popular players in the country, but claiming that the security portfolio be given to him.
The statements of former Prime Ministers Saad Hariri and Fouad Siniora and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, immediately after the assassination, expressed a clear desire to cause a political explosion in the country, either by accusing Hezbollah of the crime or calling for the formation of a government of March-14.
The Saudi decision to push the situation to the explosion is clear in Saad Hariri and March-14 statements.
What will be the next steps in the escalation triggered by March-14?
The attitude of this political camp takes no account of the national interest, which should be a combination of efforts to cope with takfirist-terrorist cells operating in the country. Instead, March-14 works to ensure a favorable climate for these extremist groups whose primary target is the Lebanese Army.
Murderers of Mohammad Chatah wanted to make their crime the spark that will plunge Lebanon into a serious crisis, and the positions of the March-14 leaders exacerbate tensions, without worrying about the impact of their actions on stability and security. For them, Lebanon should only serve as an arena, where Saudi Arabia will try to compensate for its disappointments and defeats in Syria. They believe that the land of the cedar can be a consolation prize for the Wahhabi kingdom, surrounded by the crisis, and who sees its influence diminishing, even in its private court: the Gulf.

Statements

Michel Sleiman, Lebanese President
«This cowardly act, whatever the messages it carries are, will only make the Lebanese more determined to protect their country and preserve it as a space for peace, stability and dialogue in the face of the terrorists who only understand the language of killing and bombing. Lebanese leaders and citizens should express solidarity and help towards the formation of a new government that would take over the national responsibilities during this period.»

Nabih Berry, Lebanese Speaker of Parliament
«This crime is a ring of a long chain of assassinations aimed at turning Lebanon into an arena for settling accounts and creating strife between religions and sects. This horrific terrorist crime that claimed the lives of former Minister Mohammad Chatah and a number of citizens and which injured many other citizens aimed at keeping Lebanon in the midst of tension. This terrorist act is highly condemned and vigilance is required from everyone

Michel Aoun, Free Patriotic Movement
«We announce our condemnation every time a bombing targets innocent civilians or political personalities and leaders. What is required is the presence of people who hold positions of responsibility and who uphold these responsibilities. We warn everyone from launching indiscriminate political accusations and from fanning the flames, because if fire takes hold it will burn everyone and won’t spare anyone

Walid Joumblatt, Progressive Socialist Party leader
«The assassination of Chatah is a negative message to all the moderates and should be received with restraint. It is a very negative message to all those who act wisely and should be faced with more acts of wisdom. The assassination is an act of terrorism that killed a distinguished personality and statesman who adopted the language of dialogue, rationality and moderation.»

Samir Geagea, Lebanese Forces leader
«The assassination of Chatah, the symbol of moderation, dialogue and intellect, raises further questions regarding the extent of hostility reached by those who adopt a hegemonic approach and advocate annihilation through the use of power. Has Mohammad Chatah annoyed them that much? Is this how those who claim to be saddened by the crimes of Takfiris fight the Takfiris? The assassination is not an isolated act, but is part of a series of assassinations that targeted several March-14 figures. Our confrontation with the killers is open. The Cedar Revolution continues until the resurrection of Lebanon is achieved.»

Ashraf Rifi, Former Internal Security Forces
«From Tripoli that brought the martyred Minister Mohammad Chatah to the world, we tell every Lebanese who grieves for the loss of the greatest of our personalities amid the struggle for sovereignty, freedom and independence… that this crime will not break our will. We will keep going along the path and we will achieve, with the Lebanese people, everything we planned for together in order to retrieve this country from the jaws of the dragon. The perpetrators of the assassination will be pursued by international justice and will be brought to account for every drop of blood that was shed.»

Omran al-Zohbi, Syiran Infirmation Minister
«These wrong and arbitrary accusations are made in a context of political hatred. Some figures in Lebanon have never stopped accusing Damascus every time a painful assassination takes place in the brother country Lebanon

Events

• The March-14 alliance condemned on Friday the assassination of former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah and implied that the Syria regime and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah were responsible for his killing. “The killer, with its Lebanese allies, is the one that is targeting Lebanon in Beirut, Tripoli, and Sidon and Syria in Daraa, Aleppo, and Damascus,” Future bloc leader MP Fouad Siniora said after the March-14 alliance’s emergency meeting. “We demand that this assassination be referred to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon,” he added. Siniora also said, “We received the criminals’ bloody message and our reply is that Lebanon will remain free as tyrants will fall.” “Lebanon will remain a country for all Lebanese in spite of the criminals,” he stated.

• Hezbollah said on Friday that former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah’s assassination only benefits Lebanon’s enemies. “This ugly crime aims at destroying the country and is a sinful attempt to target stability and national unity which only benefits Lebanon’s enemies,” Hezbollah said in a statement. The party called on the Lebanese people to be “rational and wise in dealing with dangers facing their country.” Hezbollah also called on security and judicial agencies to be fully alert and to exert efforts to reveal the perpetrators.

• Dozens of rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad were killed Friday in a Syrian army ambush in the Qalamoun region, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Britain-based group said the dawn attack came “in the area located between Marah and Qustul, near the historic town of Maalula.” The watchdog, which relies on activists countrywide for its reports, could not provide an exact toll, but said “another 20 rebels” were wounded. State news agency SANA quoted an unidentified military source as saying that “a unit of our brave army ambushed and killed dozens of terrorists from Al-Nusra Front.” The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra and other Islamist battalions first entered the ancient Christian town of Maalula in Damascus province in September. They were briefly driven out by the army before quickly reclaiming it. The rebels have for several weeks reportedly held a group of 12 nuns from the town.

• Saudi Arabia and Kuwait advised its citizens against traveling to the country in the wake of the latest assassination that targeted former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah. “Due to the deterioration of the security situation in Lebanon, the embassy renews its warning for its citizens against traveling to Lebanon,” a statement issued by the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon said. “It also urges the Saudi citizens already present in Lebanon to return to their homeland for the sake of their own security.” In turn, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry advised “all Kuwaiti citizens” to avoid traveling to Lebanon “amid the critical circumstances witnessed by the brotherly country.” According to a ministry official quoted by the Kuwaiti News Agency, the ministry also called on its citizens present in Lebanon to “quickly” leave the country.

• Informed sources quoted by Al Akhbar reported that President Michel Sleiman traveled to Paris to get clear answers regarding the possibility for him to settle in France at the end of his mandate, following his eventual election to head the International Organization of Francophonie. In this context, same sources recall his previous attempts to obtain illegal French passports.

• The Two Omanis nationals kidnapped in the Baalbek area of eastern Lebanon on Thursday, were released, according to a statement of the Foreign Affairs ministry in Masqat on Sunday. Two Omanis were abducted near Baalbek this evening after having taken a taxi from Beirut airport to the Beqaa.

Press review

As Safir (Lebanese daily, Arab nationalist)
(December 28, 2013)
The assassination of former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah on Friday was a blow to a renewed attempt to bridge differences between the March-14 and March-8 groups.
A prominent party within the March-14 coalition proposed an initiative to the March-8 group whereby a new government would be formed that includes the main components of the national dialogue committee.
The proposal, reportedly presented last week, would guarantee a blocking third for the March-8 group, which, in return, would work for facilitating the election of a new president, or, failing that, the new government will be allowed to take over the presidential powers.
According to sources, the slain former minister was “one of the main godfathers of such a proposal.” “These efforts, which aimed at dissociating the internal issues from regional struggles… seemed to be currently prevented from being put into practice.” “The assassination of Chatah, which is not far removed from the regional and international struggle, came to spoil the attempts to rebuild trust between March-14 and March-8.” “Did the assassination of Chatah torpedo the government agreement that was being discussed?” the sources inquired.

As Safir (December 27, 2013)
Elie Ferzli
An observer excludes a government of fait accompli, the extension of Michel Sleiman’s mandate, and the possibility of vacuum at the Presidency of the Republic, considering that all these scenarios are likely to destabilize the country. The analysis of the observer is based on the theory saying that any action taken on the issue of the presidential election is dependent on the answer to the question whether it is likely to affect the stability or not in the country, which still has regional and international coverage. This analysis undermines another perspective which refers to a preconceived plan to generalize the vacuum in state institutions in order to provoke an inevitable conflagration, the objective of such a scenario is to pave the way for a compromise and to establish a new political formula. On an another hand, a leader of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) considers that the interests of the great powers do not take into account “small priorities.” These countries, the source added, are not interested, for example, in the stability in Syria, Iraq and Egypt. So it is not possible to say with certainty that they have fears for stability in Lebanon, although this fear is motivated by the desire to protect Israel, because sometimes says the source, it is the instability that preserves the interests of Israel.

An Nahar (Lebanese daily, close to March-14 Coalition)
(December 28, 2013)
Kataeb Party leader Amine Gemayel warned against precipitating into launching accusations following the assassination of former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah.
“It is important to wait for [the result] of the investigation, especially after Takfiri and extremist criminal organizations have cropped up in Lebanon,” Gemayel said in a statement to An-Nahar on Saturday.
“It is therefore too early to launch accusations and point the finger [at suspects] here and there, and what is required is for the security agencies to lead the investigations to uncover the perpetrators as soon as possible.”
The Kataeb Party leader also said that the killing of Chatah was an attack against Lebanon “on all levels.” He added that his death was a loss for the moderate political strand in the country.

An Nahar (December 26, 2013)
A diplomatic source in Paris reports that France follows with great interest the Lebanese issue, and is eager to maintain stability in the country and supports the “Baabda Declaration” which calls to take Lebanon away from regional crises, particularly Syrian conflict. Sources related to the Elysée are reporting growing concern with respect to the vacuum that exists already in Lebanese institutions, given the presence of a caretaker government which does not have all its prerogatives and the inability to establish a new Cabinet, as well as the perspective of vacuum that could take over the Presidency of the Republic, in the event that a new president would be elected on time. Such an eventuality will place Lebanon in danger, especially if the Syrian crisis continues and the Geneva conference 2 fails to achieve the requested objectives, which would prolong the conflict in Syria, which has a negative impact on Lebanon.

Al Akhbar (Lebanese Daily close to the Lebanese Resistance)
By Firas Choufi (27 December, 2013)
A Saudi preacher has posted images of himself preaching to residents of the Druze villages of Jabal al-Summaq in the Idlib countryside, leading them in prayer and teaching them about Islam – the Wahhabi version of course. Reports coming from Syria’s Idlib day after day show that a fire is smoldering under the ashes of Druze villages.
Fortunately for Jaramana or Suweida in Syria, or even Aley and Hasbaiya in Lebanon, the takfiri groups wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq cannot hope to impose their absolute control on these Druze-majority regions. However, this does not mean that other Syrian villages, be they Sunni, Shia, Alawi, Christian, or Druze, will not be subjected to the types of deadly attacks that takfiri gangs have been inflicting on the Syrian people. Having said that, it seems that the Druze villages, located in Jabal al-Summaq in the Syrian governorate of Idlib, are the least fortunate.
The validity of the reports, holding that 18 Druze villages in Idlib “had converted to Islam,” was settled when a Said Saad al-Din al-Ghamidi posted on his Twitter and Facebook accounts pictures of a trip he had made to Druze villages in Idlib, including Banabel and Qalb Lawzeh. The pictures show Ghamidi leading worshippers in prayer in a Druze temple.
Incidentally, Ghamdi holds a “doctorate” in Islamic law from a religious university in Saudi Arabia. He hails from the city of Dammam. Like many Saudi clerics, he declares non-Sunni Islamic sects and all those who do not adhere to the Wahhabi brand of Sharia as heretical. Ghamdi also sees Christians as dhimmis – second-class citizens – and opposes allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia.
Ghamidi happens to be one of the leading financiers of takfiri groups in Syria, regularly collecting donations from Saudi Arabia to purchase weapons for the jihadis. On one occasion he tweeted that he had supplied funds to one group to acquire rockets to “pound the Nusairis [derogatory term for Alawis] in Latakia.” Very overtly, Ghamdi posted the details of his trip to Syria through the city of Antioch, and his page shows him traveling between Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, and Saudi legally, through official airports in these countries.
Ghamdi did not stop there. The cleric posted pictures of residents of Druze villages receiving him and his companions in their temples and homes, after they declared they were converting to Islam. Other pictures showed a plot of land donated by a Druze elder to build a mosque at Ghamidi’s request, and the Saudi cleric’s aides taking down names to provide them with food aid packages.
Ghamidi told his followers that 18 Druze villages had been converted to Islam, “despite limited capabilities and the difficulties of this path.” Is this the new norm to be expected in the “liberated” areas?
Since the start of the Syrian crisis, the Druze in Idlib have not borne arms on the side of the Syrian army, or formed local armed committees. On the contrary, the Druze community here has taken a stance of “positive neutrality” vis-à-vis the uprising against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
As opposition Local Coordination Committees and what is left of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) attest in Idlib, the Druze have contributed greatly to the protection of Syrians who came to their villages after being displaced from their villages nearby, including families of the militants who, since the beginning of the crisis, were involved in attacks against Syrian army and security positions.
Their story seems similar to that of the fighters from Suweida who defected with dissident Syrian army Lieutenant Khaldoun Zainuddin, and fought alongside the armed opposition in Deraa for more than two years. But when al-Nusra Front grew powerful, it arrested some and killed others.
This doesn’t mean that the Druze in Idlib have endorsed the uprising or that they oppose it. How can they have genuine attitudes to begin with, being scattered across small villages in a vast geographical area that had quickly fallen into the hands of the FSA? The question becomes only more valid when the FSA-controlled areas have now themselves fallen into the hands of al-Qaeda affiliates like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Nusra Front.
This is not the issue anyway. No doubt, images and reports such as the ones involving the Saudi cleric’s feats leave a deep scar on the psyche of every Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian, whether they support the forces fighting the takfiris, or whether they are reassessing their options to choose what is best for their country.
The majority of Druze religious and political leaders do not want to comment on the reports about Ghamidi, believing that “this does not help but could hurt,” despite the popular restlessness and collective anxiety felt in Druze areas. Nevertheless, informed Lebanese sources indicate that all mediation efforts with Turkey to pacify Druze villages have failed.
Meanwhile, other Syrian sources state that Turkey, despite its concern over increased takfiri activity along its border, still wants to turn northern Syria into an ethnically pure region, allowing it to isolate Iskenderun and other regions of Syria that Turkey has seized from the Syrian coast.
Letter Declaring Conversion to Islam: Renouncing Esotericism and the Hindu Doctrine of Reincarnation
Ghamidi posted a text he said was a letter sent by the elders of the Druze villages of Jabal al-Summaq nearly a month ago, declaring their conversion to Islam. The handwritten letter stated:
“We…in the villages of the Idlib governorate named herein … attest that there is no god but God … and that Mohammad, his slave and messenger, is the seal of the prophets … We renounce those who falsely attributed us to the cursed reprehensible man Mohammad bin Islamil al-Darazi, and renounce him and his esoteric doctrine, the founder of the Druze creed which we renounce and declare an infidel all those who follow it.”
The letter then declares a conversion to an orthodox brand of Sunni doctrine, with obvious Wahhabi undertones, renouncing the “Hindu” doctrine of reincarnation that the Druze traditionally believe in.

Al Akhbar (December 27, 2013)
Ghassan Saoud
According to most observers concerned with the formation of the new Lebanese government, President Michel Suleiman is relatively convinced that Hezbollah cannot be fooled into extending his term. He understands that the Saudis want him to put the country in the hands of Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam, without extending his own term.
Suleiman received information that some of the colleagues of Future Bloc MP Hadi Hobeich, particularly MPs Boutros Harb and Robert Ghanem, who were having dinner at MP Farid Makari’s house, were making fun of Hobeich’s “fanciful and illegal” proposal to keep the president after the end of his term. Later, Hobeich would hear harsh words on his rash proposal from former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and MP Ammar Houri.
Hobeich retracted his proposal in a television appearance, after having promised to propose it to the Future Bloc. Based on that, President Suleiman visited Paris, aiming to get a definitive answer about the possibility of living in France at the end of his term and assuming the general secretariat of the Francophonie.
People close to the president said he was optimistic after the visit. A veteran minister said that from experience, when a president escalates his rhetoric at the end of his term, he is setting up to be a Christian chief. This is out of the question for Suleiman.
Accordingly, March-8 seems certain that Suleiman will fulfill the final item of his presidential agenda and sign the decree for the Salam government, which, at the very least, will not include Hezbollah.
March-8 has also dropped from its plans a scenario, which entailed that its ministers would not deliver their ministries to the new governments, since the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) is certain that caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati will give Salam the keys to the Grand Serail. His ministers and those of MP Walid Jumblatt are also expected to do the same.
In this situation, there will be one government and some rogue ministers. Legal experts also concur that such a government would be legitimate, despite breaking the National Pact, since Article 64 of the constitution stipulates that a government formed by the president and prime minister “shall not exercise its powers before getting a vote of confidence [in parliament], except within the narrow definition of caretaking.” This should supposedly have been reflected in the latest warnings by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, who told Suleiman and Salam not to go along with the Saudi proposal to exclude Hezbollah from the government.
This is the gist of the discussion about the government. However, the debate about presidential candidates has already begun, putting the number of presidential hopefuls at 10: Amin Gemayel, Michel Aoun, Suleiman Frangieh, Samir Geagea, Jean Obeid, Riad Salameh, Jean Kahwaji, Boutros Harb, Robert Ghanem, and Ziad Baroud.
The last candidate is working in the shadows, hopeful for a miracle from the Maronite patriarch, allowing Cardinal Beshara al-Rai to send him to the presidential palace. However, the two independent candidates and Future Movement MPs cannot find any priest, banker, or ambassador to give them a hand. We are left with the “Maronite Four,” in addition to the “Neutral Three,” to use a polite term for their position in the current conflict.
In this context, there are three arenas for the competition. In the first, there is MP Frangieh and Lebanese Forces commander Geagea, who rose to fame after the 1978 Ehden massacre, which Frangieh survived by coincidence. Geagea, “based on his vision,” expects his side to achieve a total victory by taking the presidency and negotiating on the position of parliamentary speaker, after throwing Nasrallah in jail, facilitating the sale of Hezbollah’s weapons, and transferring the money to the Lebanese Forces’ private accounts.
Frangieh, on the other hand, is waiting for a new settlement, which would redistribute powers and give the presidency and the parliament to hawks on his side, with the Future Movement heading the government through Saad Hariri. Hariri’s supporters would chose Frangieh over Aoun at any time. Frangieh’s Marada Movement say they support Aoun’s nomination and are very secretive about the outcome of presidential negotiations with their allies in Dahiyeh and Damascus.
In all events, Geagea will become a serious candidate if his side achieves a resounding victory, and the same goes for Frangieh. But in light of the current balance, two candidates represent the existing schism: former President Amin Gemayel from March-14 and former army commander Michel Aoun from March-8. It is enough to see Gemayel smiling at the Iranian ambassador and Aoun’s joy in receiving the US ambassador, to note the similar plans they have to return to the presidential palace in Baabda. However, Aoun is confronting Geagea to give him a push, while Geagea is completely ignoring Gemayel’s candidacy.
It should be noted that Gemayel had transferred the presidency to Aoun on 23 September 1988. Aoun later became a national hero a month after that date, not because of his actions, but because of what Gemayel and Geagea were doing. In the 2008 by-elections, many residents of Metn said they were unfamiliar with Aoun’s candidate Nazem al-Khoury, but they knew Gemayel, so they will vote for Khoury.
In this context, information from the Lebanese Forces and Walid Jumblatt confirms that they and the Future Movement would prefer Aoun over Gemayel. Geagea does not want to waste all his efforts, dating from 1982, to limit Gemayel’s influence, and Jumblatt cannot imagine him in Baabda, due to bad personal experiences (the war of the mountains and other things). The Future Movement does not want to pay the price of having a president that is only an ally in words.
The third arena will be set in the event of a political agreement – most probably regional – to safeguard Lebanon from the disruption, which would be caused by the two sides fighting it out, a void in the presidency, or the repercussions of a one-sided government. The competition here will be between three candidates who have not yet declared their nomination. The chaos, which would be caused by Suleiman’s departure, will pave the way for the “grip,” according to a former minister, represented by army commander Jean Kahwaji. Several sources in the FPM maintain that Kahwaji is Hezbollah’s number-one choice, despite several official denials by the party.
Although Kahwaji knows that Future Movement MPs will not have an influence on his nomination, he succeeded in winning some of them over. The movement’s General Secretary Ahmad Hariri, and MPs Hobeich, Riad Rahhal, Khaled Zahraman, and Mohammed Hajjar speak positively of him. Kahwaji is actually relying on their ability to change the popular mood in their regions, which are incubating anti-army groups. “Friends of the Leader,” who are putting up signs in several official establishments, such as officer clubs, are promoting European interests in supporting the army, as a sign of adopting Kahwaji’s move from Yarze to Baabda.
However, observers maintain that there is no information about the true position of the Saudis and the United States from Kahwaji, despite the efforts exerted by former Defense Minister Elias al-Murr in promoting his friends to the Americans. Until now, Kahwaji is supported by Michel al-Murr, but there is a strong veto by Aoun regarding his candidacy.
Lebanese Central Bank (BDL) governor Riad Salameh, on the other hand, represents a point of convergence between several opposing sides. The first is between Frangieh and the Lebanese Forces, who had one of its ministers call on Aoun to consent to his candidacy. The second convergence is between the Future Movement and Mikati.
But Nabih Berri, like Aoun and Jumblatt, prefers former minister Jean Obeid to Kahwaji or Salameh, if the choice is limited to these three. Obeid might be able to capitalize on his strong relations with Saudi officials concerned with this issue and his agreement with former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on most issues, including the extension of Emile Lahoud’s presidential term. Obeid believes this saves him from a veto by the Future Movement.
Obeid could get the support of Berri, Aoun, the Future Movement, and Jumblatt in the second phase, if none of the strong Maronite candidates are chosen. The only veto would come from the Lebanese Forces, which is employing all its capacity to convince Qatari diplomacy (which listens carefully to what Obeid has to say) and the public (which knows about Obeid’s visit to Syrian intelligence officer Ghazi Kanaan to pay condolences after Kanaan committed suicide) that Obeid is linked to the Syrians.
Kahwaji is using the military establishment as a crutch to reach the presidential palace. Obeid is dependent on a strangely connected regional network and several local friends.
There is serious fear of a void in the Future Movement, mainly among its MPs. A Beirut MP describes the presidential void, regardless of the government, as a means for Hezbollah to lead all sides to a settlement that does not stop at merely choosing a president. It could be something similar to the 2008 Doha agreement, which included a reconciliation between March-14 and the Syrian regime, in addition to the identity of the new president.
Future Bloc head Siniora has enough experience and pragmatism to convince regional powers that it would be impossible for any Maronite from his side to become president. However, he prefers a president who would repay the Future Movement for its role in his nomination and take the country’s balances into account, especially one whose personal relations with regional and international decision-makers brought him to power. In the offices of FPM MPs, the same anxieties about a presidential void are expressed, which, in their calculations, will only serve to bring Kahwaji into office.
Amin Gemayel likes to say that the candidate is the message. In his case, this would be a bona fide disaster. Obeid, on the other hand, does not believe that a personal resume has anything to do with reaching the presidency. “It has to do with one’s direction” – and his luck.
Luck or God’s will? Hamid Frangieh went and Suleiman Frangieh arrived. Bashir Gemayel was killed and Amin Gemayel took the seat. Rene Mouawad was assassinated and Elias Hrawi elected.

Al Akhbar (December 24, 2013)
Suhaib Anjarini
In an interview with Al-Akhbar, the Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of Antioch, Gregory III Laham, stressed thattakfiris – radical Islamists who declare their opponents as apostates – target all Syrians, “but especially Christians as of late, being the weakest link.” Laham revealed that a meeting will be held by the World Council of Churches in Geneva a week before the Geneva II Syria peace conference, and said he was hoping the three Syrian patriarchs would be invited to attend Geneva II, even as observers.
Damascus – Syria is living a tragedy that is bearing heavily on all Syrians, proclaimed Patriarch Gregory III Laham of Antioch, spiritual leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. The patriarch said that the crisis in his country has so far caused the displacement of around six million Syrians, mostly Muslims, in addition to more than 120,000 casualties, also mostly Muslims.
“The devastation has affected nearly 500 mosques and 60 churches,” he added, “which means that it is clear the tragedy has spared no one in Syria.”
Laham continued, “Some takfiris have jumped into the fray and corrupted the Syrian opposition. It seems clear that these people have atakfiri ideology that singles out Christians, Alawis, Druze, and all those who do not subscribe to their ideas, views, and laws. They target everyone. Recently, they have specifically targeted Christians as the weakest link, as we have seen in Maaloula and Sadad. But what is certain is that these people are strangers to Syrian culture, and even Muslims are afraid of them.”
Addressing fears about attempts to completely uproot the Christians of Syria, Laham said, “With God’s help we are steadfast and we shall stay. If anyone is wagering on uprooting Christians from Syria and the Levant then they are deluded. We from time immemorial have been living together as Syrians of all affiliations. This is one of the most important features of Syria in particular, and the Levant in general.”
Laham said, “The Orient without its Christians will inevitably lose its identity.” The patriarch then added, “We have a common history, and there should be joint Christian-Muslim determination to stand by one another. No one should declare anyone an apostate. … We can stay, we want to stay, and we must stay. I believe that this slogan should be upheld by everyone, and I had said in my Christmas message: Give me a united Arab-Islamic world, and I can guarantee you that all my children would remain here.”
Trying to Fulfill Our Duty
Concerning the efforts that the church and the Catholic Patriarchate have undertaken, Laham said, “I would like to assure our children that we never for one day hesitated to do everything that we can do. We have made a lot of efforts since the crisis began. Since 2011, the Patriarchate has provided aid to those affected by the crisis, both Christians and non-Christians. The value of aid is about $40,000 monthly.”
Laham continued, “We have fulfilled our role when it comes to clarifying what is happening to international public opinion and international bodies, be they ecumenical or political. I personally participated in many meetings and made a number of proposals. For example, I called at the Word Council of Churches meeting in Geneva on September 18 for a global church-led campaign, based on three core principles: no weapons, no violence, no war but peace, reconciliation, and dialogue, and the need to go to Geneva II, in addition to entrenching Islamic-Christian coexistence in the Arab Middle East.”
Patriarch Laham told Al-Akhbar that the World Council of Churches called for a new meeting in Geneva to be held next month, one week ahead of Geneva II. The meeting would aim to devise proposals, and produce a working paper in an effort to push forward the political process and stop the bloodshed.
Concerning Geneva II, scheduled for 22 January 2014, Laham said, “We are praying for the conference to be held and for it to succeed. I hope to be invited, I, Patriarch John X Yazigi [Greek Orthodox patriarch of Antioch] and Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I [Syriac Orthodox patriarch of Antioch] to Geneva II, even if as observers, to fulfill our role in bringing divergent views together to achieve reconciliation. We are not with a particular regime but are with Syria the state and the homeland that accommodates all its people and guarantees peace for them.”
No New Information on Kidnapped Bishops and Nuns
With regard to the kidnapping of Aleppo’s Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim, Patriarch Laham explained that he is in constant contact with Patriarchs Yazigi and Zakka. He said he spoke to them recently about this matter, and was told that there were no new developments on the two kidnapped bishops or the nuns who were taken from Maaloula.
Laham renewed his prayers throughAl-Akhbar for the safety of the nuns, and said, “Wherever they are, there will be a monastery there, with their constant prayers. We are praying for their safety and the safety of the two dear bishops, and for this ordeal to have a happy ending.”
Laham said he plans to spend Christmas in Egypt in fulfillment of an old tradition “to visit our children and our churches and check in on them, but Syria will most certainly be present in our hearts and our prayers.”
The talk about targeting Christians in Syria sounds trivial in a country where everything is being targeted, beginning with the notion of the homeland itself. Fast-paced developments – especially in the second half of 2013 – make the fact that Christians are being targeted indisputable, yet this is something that should be seen as a more dramatic stage of the onslaught on the entire Syrian people.
In principle, the raids on Maaloula in 2013 cannot be seen in isolation from the chants heard at the beginning of the Syrian crisis, calling on Christians to “leave to Beirut.” On the ground, the outcome of directly targeting Christians, and anti-Christian attitudes, was that up to 450,000 Christians have left their homes in Syria, according to Patriarch Laham.
A quick calculation reveals that up to 10 percent of Syrian Christians have left, bearing in mind that there is no accurate figure on the real number of Christians who were displaced internally.
Along the same lines, the targeting of the Christian clergy cannot be seen in isolation from attacks against Syrian clerics in general. Meanwhile, churches, just like mosques, have had their share of the devastation, and so did Christian antiquities – just like the rest of Syrian antiquities.
Thus, in light of the unchecked spread of takfiri groups, and the growing influence of extremist groups, the more accurate equation is not Christians versus Islamic extremists, but Syrians versus extremism. Indeed, it is important to remember that most Muslims follow the example of Prophet Mohammad bin Abdullah, and not Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, founder of Wahhabism.

United Press International (American press agency, December 23, 2013)
A Salafi movement in Jordan has revealed that nearly 10 000 foreign militants were killed in Syria since the foreign-hatched conflict hit the country in 2011.
The Jordanian Jihadi Salafi Movement said that some 9936 extremist militants from different parts of the world, especially from Tunisia, Libya and Iraq, have been killed during the nearly three years of conflict in Syria. Some 1902 Tunisians, 1807 Libyans, 1432 Iraqis, 800 Palestinians and 202 Jordanians were among the victims. Many extremists are trying to destabilize Syria under the banner of al-Qaeda terrorist network.
According to the data, some 828 Lebanese, 821 Egyptians, 714 Saudis, 571 Yemenis, 412 Moroccans, 274 Algerians, 71 Kuwaitis, 42 Somalis, 21 Bahrainis, 19 Omanis, 9 Emiratis, 8 Qataris, 3 Sudanese, 1 Mauritians, and nearly 30 others from Caucasus and Albania have lost their lives in Syria conflict. The report says most of the dead are affiliated to the terrorist groups of al-Nusra Front and the Islamic States of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Other news reports say several extremists from Europe, America and Australia are fighting in Syria.
A recent British defense study showed that about 100 000 militants, fragmented into 1 000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.
The extracts of the study by defense consultancy, IHS Jane’s, were published on September 16.
IHS Jane’s estimates that some 10 000 militants are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda such as al-Nusra Front, and the rest fight for different militant groups.

Jerusalem Post (Israeli daily, December 26, 2013)
By David Bukay
From the first day, the so-called “Arab Spring” was in fact a dark anarchic Islamic winter. Yet, the media has disseminated the idea — as if the internet, Facebook, and Twitter have produced a new situation in the Middle East: a young Arab generation that adopts Western ideals and yearns for democratic values, civil rights, and freedoms. Unfortunately this was just another wishful thinking, a mirror image, a cultural ignorance even a stupidity. In reality, this dark anarchic Islamic winter symbolizes the demise of the Arab state and the retreat towards primordialism. It is not a step forward towards democracy and open modern societies, but a huge retreat to stagnation and Islamism.
This situation takes its highest toll in Syria, where it has become not only a failed state but a demolished one. At the start, the Syrian violence of deep upheaval was not an internal war between an oppressive regime against democratic opposition supported by the people, but against al-Qaida affiliated groups from all over the world that are now concentrating in Syria. It is symbolized by the call of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaida , that Syria is now the most important Islamic front, and victory there means the advent of al-Qaida to regional even world hegemony. Indeed, what we see in Syria are domestic anarchic groups and external ones form Iraq; Lebanon; AQAP al-Qaida Arabian Peninsula); AQIM (al-Qaida Islamic Maghreb); from Afghanistan; Pakistan; Chechnya; Turkmenistan; even from China. Syria is physically demolished; and its cities are ruined, with millions of refugees fleeing to the neighboring states. _The scope and amount of the groups, majority of them are al-Qaida Affiliated groups, is long, exhausting and terrifying. A short list includes the following: Jabhat al-Nusra, the biggest al-Qaida affiliated group; Qatā’ib Ahrār al-Shām; `Usbat Liwā’ al-Tawhīd; `Usbab Qatā’ib al-Haqq; Fath al-Islām; Qatā’ib Abdallah Azām; `Usbat al-Ansār; Qatā’ib Shuhadā’ al-Barā’ Ibn Mālik; Qatā’ib Umar al-Faruq; Jaish al-Islām; Qatā’ib al-Ansār; and al-Majlis al-Thawri. Jabhat al-Tahrīr includes over ten Salafī-Takfīrī sub-groups; and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, includes the same. Some other groups are organized under al-Jabha al-Islāmiyah; and Ahfād Qatā’ib al-Rasul, with four groups. There are also Jihadi converted Muslims from Europe, Africa, and the US, recruited and organized by Abu Ahmed al-Iraqi. The last estimation by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization in London is that between 3,300 and 11,000 foreigners from 70 nations are fighting now against Assad.
Whether we like it or not, the situation in Syria is clear: a legitimate regime is fighting to its existence against the worst enemy of the Free World. The flag of al-Qaida is already waving in parts of Northern Syria, i.e. on May 22, 2012, al-Qaida group coalition in Syria has declared the establishment of the “Islamic Emirate of the Levant” there. Alongside with the terrorist murderous operations, these groups are already perpetrating genocide and ethnic cleansing of the minorities, mainly the Christians. Indeed, if one wishes to understand a selected situation, the plight of the Christian minority is an illuminating symbol. The objective of al-Qaida has already declared by al-Zawahiri: “toppling Bashar Takfīrī (infidel) regime and establishing the Islamic state based on the Sharī`ah.”
More than any other place, Syria exemplifies the free world failures to understand the reality in the Middle East. Syria exhibits the cultural-civilizational dilemma of misconceptions and fallacies. There are many fallacies that hinder us from understanding the situation and establishing a proper policy: political correctness, ignorance, the politics of leaders and stupidity, but the most important component is the mirror image. It means that you look at your opponent and analyze his behavior and actions according to your set of beliefs and values. The mirror image is the projection of you in the mirror. You relate to your opponent with the same definitional attitudes and operational codes and you project your own past situation and experiences to your opponent, as if he is like you.
Questions should be addressed concerning the situation in Syria. When the democratic world condemns Assad as a cruel bloody dictator, and accuses him of butchering his own people, does it really has the accurate knowledge and the reliable information of the domestic situation in Syria and who are the forces operating there? Does the reality match the myths disseminated around about who are the butchers? Moreover, does it take into consideration that all the political leaders in the Arab-Islamic polity during its entire history are coercive brutal and oppressing? By that, is Bashar Assad really different in dictatorial and brutal terms from all other contemporary and previous historical leaders?
Another set of questions relate to outer forces. Does the Assad regime pose a greater threat to international security than the Al-Qaida elements fighting there? Do we really believe that toppling the Syrian regime means weakening Iran and Hezbollah, and turning the balance of power in the ME in favor of Western interests? Are the forces fighting Assad, called ‘the opposition,’ pro-Western and more democratic forces? Shouldn’t we deeply be concerned that toppling Assad regime could strengthen the al-Qaida affiliated groups, thereby endangering the regional and in time even the global security?
A third set of questions are, what will happen to Syria after toppling Assad? Will Syria become more stable and tranquil with the opposition rule? What will be the regional balance of power and the political stability of Jordan and Lebanon, let alone Israel? What will be the fate of the religious and ethnic minorities in Syria, like the Christians and the Druses? Above all what will happen to the Alawite minority? Isn’t it highly probable that pervasive bloodshed massacre, a full-fledged genocide will be conducted against them?
The best of this disastrous policy is seen in Syria, with its climax the threat to intervene militarily to topple Bashar Assad. The best pronouncement of the situation was made by a Syrian general: “why the world does not understand that we are the last dam that blocks the flood of Islamism in Europe? What blindness!” And the US, stubbornly, with huge extent of stupidity, continues to support evil. It is as if it has not learned the lessons of Afghanistan where it supported Bin Laden and al-Mujahidin al-Afghan; and has not learned the lessons of supporting Khomeini against the Shah, both immediately turned against her.
It must be clearly stated: Bashar’s disappearance means the persistence of domestic chaotic anarchic situation in Syria, like Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Contrary to the US (and Israel) wishful thinking, the regime that will emerge will be no democratic and not liberal; not pro-Western and not a secular regime with the Free Syrian Army; even not a Muslim regime like the Muslim Brotherhood style Egypt, Out of the anarchy and chaos reigns in Syria, the highest probability is for al-Qaida affiliated groups to win over. The consequences to the regional stability are horrific: they will endanger the surrounding states. Bashar downfall also means deteriorating and exacerbating the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict to bloody wars.
As for the US: Did the US learn the lessons of toppling Qaddafi in Libya? The result is that the flag of al-Qaida -affiliated groups (AQIM) waves openly in Benghazi and the groups’ activity is now seen in Mali, Niger, and Mauritania, directing to Algeria and Morocco to the west, and uniting with al-Qaida affiliate Boko Haram in Nigeria. On the east, AQIM has reached a collaboration with Somalia’s al-Qaida affiliate group, al-Shabāb, and together they threaten Kenya and Ethiopia. AQIM has also close relationships with Hamas in Gaza, and al-Qaida groups in Sinai.

The Independent (British daily, December 29, 2013)
Patrick Cockburn
Anti-Shia hate propaganda spread by Sunni religious figures sponsored by, or based in, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, is creating the ingredients for a sectarian civil war engulfing the entire Muslim world. Iraq and Syria have seen the most violence, with the majority of the 766 civilian fatalities in Iraq this month being Shia pilgrims killed by suicide bombers from the al-Qa’ida umbrella group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis). The anti-Shia hostility of this organisation, now operating from Baghdad to Beirut, is so extreme that last month it had to apologise for beheading one of its own wounded fighters in Aleppo – because he was mistakenly believed to have muttered the name of Shia saints as he lay on a stretcher.
At the beginning of December, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula killed 53 doctors and nurses and wounded 162 in an attack on a hospital in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, which had been threatened for not taking care of wounded militants by a commentator on an extreme Sunni satellite TV station. Days before the attack, he announced that armies and tribes would assault the hospital “to take revenge for our brothers. We say this and, by the grace of Allah, we will do it”.
Skilled use of the internet and access to satellite television funded by or based in Sunni states has been central to the resurgence of al-Qa’ida across the Middle East, to a degree that Western politicians have so far failed to grasp. In the last year, Isis has become the most powerful single rebel military force in Iraq and Syria, partly because of its ability to recruit suicide bombers and fanatical fighters through the social media. Western intelligence agencies, such as the NSA in the US, much criticised for spying on the internet communications of their own citizens, have paid much less attention to open and instantly accessible calls for sectarian murder that are in plain view. Critics say that this is in keeping with a tradition since 9/11 of Western governments not wishing to hold Saudi Arabia or the Gulf monarchies responsible for funding extreme Sunni jihadi groups and propagandists supporting them through private donations.
Satellite television, internet, YouTube and Twitter content, frequently emanating from or financed by oil states in the Arabian peninsula, are at the centre of a campaign to spread sectarian hatred to every corner of the Muslim world, including places where Shia are a vulnerable minority, such as Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Malaysia. In Benghazi, in effect the capital of eastern Libya, a jihadi group uploaded a video of the execution of an Iraqi professor who admitted to being a Shia, saying they had shot him in revenge for the execution of Sunni militants by the Iraqi government.
YouTube-inspired divisions are not confined to the Middle East: in London’s Edgware Road there was a fracas this summer when a Salafi (Sunni fundamentalist) cleric held a rally in the face of objections from local Shia shopkeepers. Impelled by television preachers and the social media, sectarian animosities are deepening among hitherto moderate Sunni and Shia, with one Shia figure in the UK saying that “Even in London you could open the address books of most Sunni without finding any Shia names, and vice versa.”
The hate propaganda is often gory and calls openly for religious war. One anti-Shia satellite television station shows a grouping of Shia clerical leaders, mostly from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, labelled as “Satan’s assistants”. Another asks “Oh Sunni Muslims, how long will you wait when your sons are led to be hanged in Iraq? Is it now time to break the shackles?” A picture of a woman in black walking between what appear to be two militiamen is entitled “Shia men in Syria rape Sunni sisters”, and another shows the back of a pick-up truck heaped with dead bodies in uniform, titled “The destiny of Syrian Army and Shia soldiers”. Some pictures are intended to intimidate, such as one showing an armed convoy on a road in Yemen, with a message addressed to the Shia saying: “Sunni tribes are on the way”.
Sectarian animosities between Sunni and Shia have existed down the centuries, but have greatly intensified since the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the eight-year Iran-Iraq war that followed it. Hatreds increased after the US invasion of Iraq and the takeover of what had been a Sunni-run state under Saddam Hussein by the majority Shia community, which generated a ferocious sectarian civil war that peaked in 2006-07 and ended with a Shia victory. Opposition to Iran and the new Shia-run state of Iraq led to Sunni rulers emphasising the Shia threat. Shia activists point in particular to the establishment in 2009 of two satellite channels, Safa TV and Wesal TV, which they accuse of having strong anti-Shia bias. They say that Saudi clerics have shown great skill in communicating extreme sectarian views through modern communications technology such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, giving them a much wider audience than they had previously enjoyed.
An example of the inflammatory views being pumped out over YouTube is a sermon by Nabil al-Awadi, a cleric in Kuwait, who has 3.4 million followers on Twitter. His speech is devoted to “exposing the biggest conspiracy the Muslim world faces”, which turns out to be a plot “conceived in Qom [the Shia holy city in Iran], and handled by sayyids and chiefs in Tehran, to get rid of the nation of Islam, aiming to desecrate the Kaaba [the building in Mecca that is Islam’s most sacred site] brick by brick”.
Mr Awadi relates that Iraq fell to an enemy whom he does not name, but he clearly means the Shia, often referred to as Safavids after the Iranian dynasty of that name. He says that in Iraq “they were killing the imams with drills in their heads until they are dead and they put the bodies in acid to burn until they died”. But the speaker looks forward to a holy war or jihad in Syria, where a great battle for the future of Islam will be fought and won. He warns that “they did not know that jihad is staying and will put fear in their hearts even if they are in Washington, even if they are in London, even if they are in Moscow”.
In Egypt, the Shia are only a small minority, but a cleric named Mohamed Zoghbi reacted furiously to the suggestion that they appear on satellite television to debate religious differences. “We would cut off their fingers and cut off their tongues,” he said. “I must cut off the Shia breath in Egypt.” Bloodthirsty threats like this have great influence on ordinary viewers, since many Egyptians watch religious channels continuously and believe the opinions expressed on them. An example of what this kind of incitement can mean for Shia living in communities where Sunni are the overwhelming majority was demonstrated in June in the small village of Zawyat Abu Musalam, in Giza governorate in Egypt. Some 40 Shia families had previously lived in the village until an enraged mob, led by Salafist sheikhs, burned five houses and lynched four Shia, including a prominent local figure.
Video films of the lynching, which took place in daylight, show the savage and merciless attacks to which Shia minorities in many countries are now being subjected.
Hazem Barakat, an eyewitness and photojournalist, minutely recorded what happened and recorded it on Twitter in real time. “For three weeks, the Salafist sheikhs in the village have been attacking the Shias and accusing them of being infidels and spreading debauchery,” he told Ahram Online. Film of the incident shows a man, who looks as if he may already be dead, being dragged through a narrow street in the village by a mob. Among the four dead was 66-year-old Hassan Shehata, a well-known Shia leader who had been twice jailed under Hosni Mubarak for “contempt for religion”. Police came to the village but arrived late. “They were just watching the public lynching like everyone else and did not stop anything,” said Mr Barakat.
A significant sign of the mood in Egypt is that immediately after the lynchings, a TV host said that Mr Shehata had been killed because he had insulted the Prophet Mohamed’s relatives. Several Salafist and conservative Facebook pages are cited by Ahram Online as having lauded the murders, saying that this was the beginning of eliminating all the three million Shia in Egypt.
Given that Shia make up between 150 and 200 million of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, they are a small and usually vulnerable minority in all countries aside from Iran and Iraq, though they are numerous in Lebanon, Pakistan and India. In Tunisia last year, a pro-Palestinian march by Shia in the city of Gabes was attacked by Salafists chanting, “There is no god but Allah and the Shia are the enemies of God.” Tunisian eyewitnesses cite the influence of Egyptian and Saudi religious channels, combined with the Salafists claiming to be the last defence against an exaggerated threat of a takeover by Iran and the Shia.
The propaganda war became more intense from 2006 on, when there were mass killings of Sunni in Baghdad which, having previously been a mixed city, is now dominated by the Shia, with Sunnis confined to enclaves mostly in the west of the city. The Sunni community in Iraq started a protest movement against persecution and denial of political, social and economic rights in December 2012. As the Iraqi government failed to conciliate the Sunni with concessions, a peaceful protest movement mutated into armed resistance.
The enhanced prestige and popularity of the Shia paramilitary movement Hezbollah, after its success against Israel’s air and ground assault in 2006, may also be a reason why Sunni governments tolerated stepped-up sectarian attacks on the Shia. These often take the form of claims that Iran is seeking to take over the region. In Bahrain, the Sunni monarchy repeatedly asserted that it saw an Iranian hand behind the Arab Spring protests in early 2011, though its own international inquiry later found no evidence for this. When President Obama said in September that Bahrain, along with Iraq and Syria, suffered from sectarian tensions, the Bahraini government furiously denied that any such thing was true.
Social media, satellite television, Facebook and YouTube, which were praised at the start of the Arab Spring as the means for a progressive breakthrough for freedom of expression, have turned into channels for instilling hatred and fear. Fighters in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and other countries beset by violence often draw their knowledge of the world from a limited number of fanatical internet preachers and commentators calling for holy war by Sunni against Shia; often such people are crucial in sending young volunteers to fight and die in Syria and Iraq.
A recent study of dead rebel fighters in Syria by Aaron Y Zelin of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation indicates that jihadi death notices revealing country of origin show that 267 came from Saudi Arabia, 201 from Libya, 182 from Tunisia and 95 from Jordan. The great majority had joined Isis and the al-Nusra Front, both of which are highly sectarian organisations. A deeply dangerous development is that the foreign fighters, inspired by film of atrocities and appeals to religious faith, may sign up to go to Syria but often end up as suicide bombers in Iraq, where violence has increased spectacularly in the past 12 months.
There is now a fast-expanding pool of jihadis willing to fight and die anywhere. The Saudis and the Gulf monarchies may find, as happened in Afghanistan 30 years ago, that, by funding or tolerating the dissemination of Sunni-Shia hate, they have created a sectarian Frankenstein’s monster of religious fanatics beyond their control.

Source
New Orient News

New Orient Center for Strategic Policies

The Same Terrorist Outfit Killing Both Shiites and Sunnis In Beirut

Top Officials Stress ‘Same Terrorist’ behind all Blasts in Lebanon

naharnet

W460

President Michel Suleiman stressed on Thursday that the same terrorists that carried out the blast in the Beirut neighborhood of Haret Hreik earlier in the day, are the ones planting terrorism, killing and destructing all Lebanese regions.

Suleiman’s comments came shortly after a deadly explosion hit Beirut’s Dahieh neighborhood, killing at least 4 people and wounding over 70 others.

The explosion took place near al-Manar television’s old building on al-Arid Street in Haret Hreik, hundreds of meters away from the headquarters of Hizbullah’s political bureau.

Suleiman stressed on the importance of solidarity and of being aware of the dangers threatening Lebanon.

“Dialogue is also important between political leaders to protect the country against conspiracies aiming at shaking its stability,” he added.

The president held talks with concerned security officials to receive the latest information of the ongoing probe in the incident, urging them to intensify their investigation and unveil those that planned and executed the bombing and refer them to courts for trial.

Speaker Nabih Berri also considered that those behind Thursday’s blast are the same group that executed the assassination of former Finance Minister Mohammed Shatah on Friday, and that planted bombs in the northern city of Tripoli.

As well, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati stressed in a released statements that terrorism does not differentiate between different Lebanese groups.

“Terrorists do not want stability in the country, they instead plan and execute a despicable plot that aims at promoting sedition,” Miqati said.

He called on Lebanese factions to “be wise, overcome political considerations and draw an end to approaches of unilateral decision-making and exclusion.”

Miqati warned that tension that is spread in several Lebanese regions indicates that what is worst is coming.

“We should meet and communicate to find a way out of the current dangerous deadlock to protect Lebanon from evil and from dangers.”

PM-designate Tammam Salam also deplored the blast, calling for strengthening common grounds between the Lebanese people.

 

The blast came less than a week after a car bombing targeted Beirut’s central district on Friday, killing former Finance Minister Mohammed Shatah and seven others.

A twin suicide bombing hit the Iranian embassy in south Beirut on November 19, killing 25 people.

In the summer, the southern suburbs suffered two bomb attacks. One, on August 15, killed 27 people. A blast earlier in August had caused no fatalities but wounded some 50 people.

Incompetent Japanese Govt. Using the Homeless for Fukushima Clean-Up

[SEE: China says Japan PM not welcome after visit to war shrine ;  US Risking War With China To Defend Imperial Japan’s War Conquests  ; Looming battle: China vs. Japan]

SPECIAL REPORT- Japan’s homeless recruited for murky Fukushima clean-up

Reuters

Homeless recruited for Fukushima at minimum wages

* Labor brokers skim their pay; charge for food, shelter

* Some say better homeless than going into debt by working

* Little oversight on companies getting clean-up contracts

* Gangsters run Fukushima labour brokers; arrests made

By Mari Saito and Antoni Slodkowski

SENDAI, Japan, Dec. 30 (Reuters) – Seiji Sasa hits the train station in this northern Japanese city before dawn most mornings to prowl for homeless men.

He isn’t a social worker. He’s a recruiter. The men in Sendai Station are potential laborers that Sasa can dispatch to contractors in Japan’s nuclear disaster zone for a bounty of $100 a head.

“This is how labor recruiters like me come in every day,” Sasa says, as he strides past men sleeping on cardboard and clutching at their coats against the early winter cold.

It’s also how Japan finds people willing to accept minimum wage for one of the most undesirable jobs in the industrialized world: working on the $35 billion, taxpayer-funded effort to clean up radioactive fallout across an area of northern Japan larger than Hong Kong.

Almost three years ago, a massive earthquake and tsunami leveled villages across Japan’s northeast coast and set off multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Today, the most ambitious radiation clean-up ever attempted is running behind schedule. The effort is being dogged by both a lack of oversight and a shortage of workers, according to a Reuters analysis of contracts and interviews with dozens of those involved.

In January, October and November, Japanese gangsters were arrested on charges of infiltrating construction giant Obayashi Corp’s network of decontamination subcontractors and illegally sending workers to the government-funded project.

In the October case, homeless men were rounded up at Sendai’s train station by Sasa, then put to work clearing radioactive soil and debris in Fukushima City for less than minimum wage, according to police and accounts of those involved. The men reported up through a chain of three other companies to Obayashi, Japan’s second-largest construction company.

Obayashi, which is one of more than 20 major contractors involved in government-funded radiation removal projects, has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But the spate of arrests has shown that members of Japan’s three largest criminal syndicates – Yamaguchi-gumi, Sumiyoshi-kai and Inagawa-kai – had set up black-market recruiting agencies under Obayashi.

“We are taking it very seriously that these incidents keep happening one after another,” said Junichi Ichikawa, a spokesman for Obayashi. He said the company tightened its scrutiny of its lower-tier subcontractors in order to shut out gangsters, known as the yakuza. “There were elements of what we had been doing that did not go far enough.”

OVERSIGHT LEFT TO TOP CONTRACTORS

Part of the problem in monitoring taxpayer money in Fukushima is the sheer number of companies involved in decontamination, extending from the major contractors at the top to tiny subcontractors many layers below them. The total number has not been announced. But in the 10 most contaminated towns and a highway that runs north past the gates of the wrecked plant in Fukushima, Reuters found 733 companies were performing work for the Ministry of Environment, according to partial contract terms released by the ministry in August under Japan’s information disclosure law.

Reuters found 56 subcontractors listed on environment ministry contracts worth a total of $2.5 billion in the most radiated areas of Fukushima that would have been barred from traditional public works because they had not been vetted by the construction ministry.

The 2011 law that regulates decontamination put control under the environment ministry, the largest spending program ever managed by the 10-year-old agency. The same law also effectively loosened controls on bidders, making it possible for firms to win radiation removal contracts without the basic disclosure and certification required for participating in public works such as road construction.

Reuters also found five firms working for the Ministry of Environment that could not be identified. They had no construction ministry registration, no listed phone number or website, and Reuters could not find a basic corporate registration disclosing ownership. There was also no record of the firms in the database of Japan’s largest credit research firm, Teikoku Databank.

“As a general matter, in cases like this, we would have to start by looking at whether a company like this is real,” said Shigenobu Abe, a researcher at Teikoku Databank. “After that, it would be necessary to look at whether this is an active company and at the background of its executive and directors.”

Responsibility for monitoring the hiring, safety records and suitability of hundreds of small firms involved in Fukushima’s decontamination rests with the top contractors, including Kajima Corp, Taisei Corp and Shimizu Corp, officials said.

“In reality, major contractors manage each work site,” said Hide Motonaga, deputy director of the radiation clean-up division of the environment ministry.

But, as a practical matter, many of the construction companies involved in the clean-up say it is impossible to monitor what is happening on the ground because of the multiple layers of contracts for each job that keep the top contractors removed from those doing the work.

“If you started looking at every single person, the project wouldn’t move forward. You wouldn’t get a tenth of the people you need,” said Yukio Suganuma, president of Aisogo Service, a construction company that was hired in 2012 to clean up radioactive fallout from streets in the town of Tamura.

The sprawl of small firms working in Fukushima is an unintended consequence of Japan’s legacy of tight labor-market regulations combined with the aging population’s deepening shortage of workers. Japan’s construction companies cannot afford to keep a large payroll and dispatching temporary workers to construction sites is prohibited. As a result, smaller firms step into the gap, promising workers in exchange for a cut of their wages.

Below these official subcontractors, a shadowy network of gangsters and illegal brokers who hire homeless men has also become active in Fukushima. Ministry of Environment contracts in the most radioactive areas of Fukushima prefecture are particularly lucrative because the government pays an additional $100 in hazard allowance per day for each worker.

Takayoshi Igarashi, a lawyer and professor at Hosei University, said the initial rush to find companies for decontamination was understandable in the immediate aftermath of the disaster when the priority was emergency response. But he said the government now needs to tighten its scrutiny to prevent a range of abuses, including bid rigging.

“There are many unknown entities getting involved in decontamination projects,” said Igarashi, a former advisor to ex-Prime Minister Naoto Kan. “There needs to be a thorough check on what companies are working on what, and when. I think it’s probably completely lawless if the top contractors are not thoroughly checking.”

The Ministry of Environment announced on Thursday that work on the most contaminated sites would take two to three years longer than the original March 2014 deadline. That means many of the more than 60,000 who lived in the area before the disaster will remain unable to return home until six years after the disaster.

Earlier this month, Abe, who pledged his government would “take full responsibility for the rebirth of Fukushima” boosted the budget for decontamination to $35 billion, including funds to create a facility to store radioactive soil and other waste near the wrecked nuclear plant.

‘DON’T ASK QUESTIONS’

Japan has always had a gray market of day labor centered in Tokyo and Osaka. A small army of day laborers was employed to build the stadiums and parks for the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. But over the past year, Sendai, the biggest city in the disaster zone, has emerged as a hiring hub for homeless men. Many work clearing rubble left behind by the 2011 tsunami and cleaning up radioactive hotspots by removing topsoil, cutting grass and scrubbing down houses around the destroyed nuclear plant, workers and city officials say.

Seiji Sasa, 67, a broad-shouldered former wrestling promoter, was photographed by undercover police recruiting homeless men at the Sendai train station to work in the nuclear cleanup. The workers were then handed off through a chain of companies reporting up to Obayashi, as part of a $1.4 million contract to decontaminate roads in Fukushima, police say.

“I don’t ask questions; that’s not my job,” Sasa said in an interview with Reuters. “I just find people and send them to work. I send them and get money in exchange. That’s it. I don’t get involved in what happens after that.”

Only a third of the money allocated for wages by Obayashi’s top contractor made it to the workers Sasa had found. The rest was skimmed by middlemen, police say. After deductions for food and lodging, that left workers with an hourly rate of about $6, just below the minimum wage equal to about $6.50 per hour in Fukushima, according to wage data provided by police. Some of the homeless men ended up in debt after fees for food and housing were deducted, police say.

Sasa was arrested in November and released without being charged. Police were after his client, Mitsunori Nishimura, a local Inagawa-kai gangster. Nishimura housed workers in cramped dorms on the edge of Sendai and skimmed an estimated $10,000 of public funding intended for their wages each month, police say.

Nishimura, who could not be reached for comment, was arrested and paid a $2,500 fine. Nishimura is widely known in Sendai. Seiryu Home, a shelter funded by the city, had sent other homeless men to work for him on recovery jobs after the 2011 disaster.

“He seemed like such a nice guy,” said Yota Iozawa, a shelter manager. “It was bad luck. I can’t investigate everything about every company.”

In the incident that prompted his arrest, Nishimura placed his workers with Shinei Clean, a company with about 15 employees based on a winding farm road south of Sendai. Police turned up there to arrest Shinei’s president, Toshiaki Osada, after a search of his office, according to Tatsuya Shoji, who is both Osada’s nephew and a company manager. Shinei had sent dump trucks to sort debris from the disaster. “Everyone is involved in sending workers,” said Shoji. “I guess we just happened to get caught this time.”

Osada, who could not be reached for comment, was fined about $5,000. Shinei was also fined about $5,000.

‘RUN BY GANGS’

The trail from Shinei led police to a slightly larger neighboring company with about 30 employees, Fujisai Couken. Fujisai says it was under pressure from a larger contractor, Raito Kogyo, to provide workers for Fukushima. Kenichi Sayama, Fujisai’s general manger, said his company only made about $10 per day per worker it outsourced. When the job appeared to be going too slowly, Fujisai asked Shinei for more help and they turned to Nishimura.

A Fujisai manager, Fuminori Hayashi, was arrested and paid a $5,000 fine, police said. Fujisai also paid a $5,000 fine.

“If you don’t get involved (with gangs), you’re not going to get enough workers,” said Sayama, Fujisai’s general manager. “The construction industry is 90 percent run by gangs.”

Raito Kogyo, a top-tier subcontractor to Obayashi, has about 300 workers in decontamination projects around Fukushima and owns subsidiaries in both Japan and the United States. Raito agreed that the project faced a shortage of workers but said it had been deceived. Raito said it was unaware of a shadow contractor under Fujisai tied to organized crime.

“We can only check on lower-tier subcontractors if they are honest with us,” said Tomoyuki Yamane, head of marketing for Raito. Raito and Obayashi were not accused of any wrongdoing and were not penalized.

Other firms receiving government contracts in the decontamination zone have hired homeless men from Sasa, including Shuto Kogyo, a firm based in Himeji, western Japan.

“He sends people in, but they don’t stick around for long,” said Fujiko Kaneda, 70, who runs Shuto with her son, Seiki Shuto. “He gathers people in front of the station and sends them to our dorm.”

Kaneda invested about $600,000 to cash in on the reconstruction boom. Shuto converted an abandoned roadhouse north of Sendai into a dorm to house workers on reconstruction jobs such as clearing tsunami debris. The company also won two contracts awarded by the Ministry of Environment to clean up two of the most heavily contaminated townships.

Kaneda had been arrested in 2009 along with her son, Seiki, for charging illegally high interest rates on loans to pensioners. Kaneda signed an admission of guilt for police, a document she says she did not understand, and paid a fine of $8,000. Seiki was given a sentence of two years prison time suspended for four years and paid a $20,000 fine, according to police. Seiki declined to comment.

UNPAID WAGE CLAIMS

In Fukushima, Shuto has faced at least two claims with local labor regulators over unpaid wages, according to Kaneda. In a separate case, a 55-year-old homeless man reported being paid the equivalent of $10 for a full month of work at Shuto. The worker’s paystub, reviewed by Reuters, showed charges for food, accommodation and laundry were docked from his monthly pay equivalent to about $1,500, leaving him with $10 at the end of the August.

The man turned up broke and homeless at Sendai Station in October after working for Shuto, but disappeared soon afterwards, according to Yasuhiro Aoki, a Baptist pastor and homeless advocate.

Kaneda confirmed the man had worked for her but said she treats her workers fairly. She said Shuto Kogyo pays workers at least $80 for a day’s work while docking the equivalent of $35 for food. Many of her workers end up borrowing from her to make ends meet, she said. One of them had owed her $20,000 before beginning work in Fukushima, she says. The balance has come down recently, but then he borrowed another $2,000 for the year-end holidays.

“He will never be able to pay me back,” she said.

The problem of workers running themselves into debt is widespread. “Many homeless people are just put into dormitories, and the fees for lodging and food are automatically docked from their wages,” said Aoki, the pastor. “Then at the end of the month, they’re left with no pay at all.”

Shizuya Nishiyama, 57, says he briefly worked for Shuto clearing rubble. He now sleeps on a cardboard box in Sendai Station. He says he left after a dispute over wages, one of several he has had with construction firms, including two handling decontamination jobs.

Nishiyama’s first employer in Sendai offered him $90 a day for his first job clearing tsunami debris. But he was made to pay as much as $50 a day for food and lodging. He also was not paid on the days he was unable to work. On those days, though, he would still be charged for room and board. He decided he was better off living on the street than going into debt.

“We’re an easy target for recruiters,” Nishiyama said. “We turn up here with all our bags, wheeling them around and we’re easy to spot. They say to us, are you looking for work? Are you hungry? And if we haven’t eaten, they offer to find us a job.”

Confiscatory Socialism Alive and Well In Hollande’s Effete Empire

napoleon-hollande

Sacrebleu! Top French court approves 75% ‘millionaire’s tax’ on country’s highest earners

daily mail

 

By This Is Money Reporter

 

 

A controversial tax of 75 per cent on the highest earners in France has been approved by the nation’s top court.

A key policy of President Francois Hollande, a new ‘millionare’s tax’ will levied on companies that pay salaries of more than €1million-a-year after it was approved by France’s Constitutional Council today.

The tax was ruled ‘unconstitutional’ by the same council just last year, but it has now been given the green light after it was changed so that the tax was levied on employers rather than individuals.

Policy: The new tax is a key policy of Francois Hollande's.Policy: The new tax is a key policy of Francois Hollande’s.

 

It was originally designed as a 75 percent tax to be paid by high earners on the part of their incomes exceeding €1million euros.

This prompted outrage, with celebrities such as iconic actor Gerard Depardieu leaving the country in protest

Another Alleged “Rocket Attack” Provocation From Lebanon, According To Zionist Sources

[The following photo is from the last "rocket attack" into Israel from Lebanon, using "wooden rocket launchers."  The "launcher" turned-out to be a single 2" x 12" board.  The "rocket" found had no warhead, meaning that it could not explode by launching it.  No authority has yet confirmed that rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanon, except for the lying Zionist press.  This was clearly intended to open the door to Israeli aggression against Southern Lebanon, meaning that this alleged attack, if there really was an attack,was by Sunni terrorists, looking to blame Hezbollah.]

http://therearenosunglasses.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/ee.jpg?w=869

Israel Fires Shells at Southern Lebanon in Response to Morning Rocket Attack

naharnet

W460

Two missiles fired from southern Lebanon exploded Sunday in northern Israel, prompting the Israeli military to hit back with three artillery shells, an army spokesman said.

“The Israeli artillery responded to rocket attacks from Lebanon against Israel that left no victims, targeting the area where these projectiles were fired from,” an army spokesman told AFP.

The Katyusha-style rockets landed in a field west of the town of Kiryat Shmona, without causing any casualties or damage, Israeli military radio reported.

The National News Agency said that the Israeli army retaliated by firing over 20 shells at the region located between Rashaya, Rashaya al-Fakhar, al-Mariyeh, Ibl al-Saqi, al-Wazzani, Kfarshouba Hills, Wata al-Khiyam, and Sarda.

Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) said that the Israeli army fired over 100 shells.

The Lebanese army has been conducting a sweep of the region where the rockets were fired from towards Israel and where the Israeli shells landed, reported LBCI television.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon also contacted the Lebanese and Israeli sides, urging them to exercise restraint and to cooperate with the respective armies to determine the details of Sunday’s incident, it added.

“This is a very serious incident… and is clearly directed at undermining stability in the area,” UNIFIL chief Paolo Serra said in a statement.

“UNIFIL’s first imperative is to ensure that there is no further escalation of the situation.”

Lebanese army and UNIFIL forces were carrying out patrols in the area after the exchange of fire, an AFP correspondent said.

The Army Command later announced that the army discovered four wooden rocket launchers used in the attack in the Wadi al-Khraybeh region in the Hasbaya district.

Tension has spiked on the border between the two countries since Lebanese troops gunned down an Israeli soldier driving near the frontier on December 16.

Israel’s border with Lebanon has been largely quiet since the 2006 war with Hizbullah.

The last time a soldier was killed there was in August 2010, when two Lebanese soldiers and a journalist also died.

In August, four Israeli soldiers were wounded by an explosion some 400 meters (yards) inside Lebanese territory, in a blast claimed by Hizbullah.

Last week, Hizbullah said one of its top leaders was killed near Beirut and blamed Israel for his murder — a charge denied by Israel, which warned against any retaliation.

UNIFIL troops were deployed along the border following the 34-day war in 2006 which killed some 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

On The Trail Of The Saudi Cutouts Who Set-UpThe 9/11 Patsies

On The Trail Of The Saudi [Cutouts] Who [Set Up] The 9/11 [Patsies], Part 4: The Cutouts

 winter patriot
A cutout is a link …

[Previous: 1: 28 Pages | 2: No Vortex | 3: The Lawsuit ]

The term “cutout” is intelligence jargon for a special sort of role that must be played in covert operations. A cutout acts as a go-between, bringing support and instructions from the planners to the perpetrators.

By doing this, the cutout becomes a link in the chain of evidence that connects the planners to the perpetrators. And the cutout’s most important job is to be “cut out” of the chain if and when necessary.

The timely disappearance of a cutout can break the trail that would otherwise lead back from the crime to the people who wanted it to happen. By making cutouts disappear, covert operators can maintain a certain level of “plausible denial,” even if the perpetrators are caught in the act, or tracked down later.

In the case of 9/11, where the “hijackers” were apparently patsies who were intended to be caught, the role of the cutouts was especially important — and especially dangerous.

… in the chain of evidence that connects …

It is sad and strange and very pathetic that we still know so little about the nature of the 9/11 attacks. It’s bad enough that that we don’t know who did it. But we don’t even know what they did! That complicates everything except the government story, the litigation based on it, and the mainstream coverage.

We do know a little bit, and presumably Walter Jones, Stephen Lynch, Bob Graham know a lot more, about some well-connected Saudis who helped to put the patsies in a position from which they could take the blame — and who then disappeared!

From Paul Sperry in the New York Post [or here]:

Some information already has leaked from the [28 redacted pages], which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally….

LOS ANGELES: Saudi consulate official Fahad al-Thumairy allegedly arranged for an advance team to receive two of the Saudi hijackers — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — as they arrived at LAX in 2000. One of the advance men, Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence agent, left the LA consulate and met the hijackers at a local restaurant. (Bayoumi left the United States two months before the attacks, while Thumairy was deported back to Saudi Arabia after 9/11.)

… the planners of a covert operation …

Watch how this happens. The timing is very interesting. al-Bayoumi, who was directly connected with the patsies, disappeared two months before the attacks. Thumairy, who was connected to al-Bayoumi but not to the patsies directly, didn’t disappear until after the attacks.

SAN DIEGO: Bayoumi and another suspected Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, set up essentially a forward operating base in San Diego for the hijackers after leaving LA. They were provided rooms, rent and phones, as well as private meetings with an American al Qaeda cleric who would later become notorious, Anwar al-Awlaki, at a Saudi-funded mosque he ran in a nearby suburb. They were also feted at a welcoming party. (Bassnan also fled the United States just before the attacks.)

Bassnan (sometimes also “Basnan”), who was also in direct contact with the patsies, also disappeared before the attacks.

WASHINGTON: Then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and his wife sent checks totaling some $130,000 to Bassnan while he was handling the hijackers. Though the Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, the money nonetheless made its way into the hijackers’ hands.

Other al Qaeda funding was traced back to Bandar and his embassy — so much so that by 2004 Riggs Bank of Washington had dropped the Saudis as a client. The next year, as a number of embassy employees popped up in terror probes, Riyadh recalled Bandar.

“Our investigations contributed to the ambassador’s departure,” an investigator who worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington told me, though Bandar says he left for “personal reasons.”

… to the perpetrators.

Prince Bandar, who as Ambassador was under diplomatic immunity, didn’t have to disappear until he could leave for “personal reasons” by being “recalled.”

FALLS CHURCH, VA.: In 2001, Awlaki and the San Diego hijackers turned up together again — this time at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a Pentagon-area mosque built with funds from the Saudi Embassy. Awlaki was recruited 3,000 miles away to head the mosque. As its imam, Awlaki helped the hijackers, who showed up at his doorstep as if on cue. He tasked a handler to help them acquire apartments and IDs before they attacked the Pentagon.

Awlaki worked closely with the Saudi Embassy. He lectured at a Saudi Islamic think tank in Merrifield, Va., chaired by Bandar. Saudi travel itinerary documents I’ve obtained show he also served as the ­official imam on Saudi Embassy-sponsored trips to Mecca and tours of Saudi holy sites. Most suspiciously, though, Awlaki fled the United States on a Saudi jet about a year after 9/11.

A cutout’s most important job…

Awlaki needed a lot of help to disappear … and he got it! Where do you suppose it came from?

As I first reported in my book, “Infiltration,” quoting from classified US documents, the Saudi-sponsored cleric was briefly detained at JFK before being released into the custody of a “Saudi representative.” A federal warrant for Awlaki’s arrest had mysteriously been withdrawn the previous day.

This timing is also very interesting, is it not? Normally, federal arrest warrants are not mysteriously withdrawn — let alone just in time to facilitate a disappearance!

HERNDON, VA.: On the eve of the attacks, top Saudi government official Saleh Hussayen checked into the same Marriott Residence Inn near Dulles Airport as three of the Saudi hijackers who targeted the Pentagon. Hussayen had left a nearby hotel to move into the hijackers’ hotel. Did he meet with them? The FBI never found out. They let him go after he “feigned a seizure,” one agent recalled.

Hussayen “feigned a seizure” to disappear. Such a clever lad. He has even disappeared from the official story, as did they all, according to Sperry:

Hussayen’s name doesn’t appear in the separate 9/11 Commission Report, which clears the Saudis.

Poof! They’re all cleared! Isn’t that amazing?

Guess who else got “help” from a high-ranking Saudi, who then disappeared?

SARASOTA, FLA.: 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other hijackers visited a home owned by Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd. FBI agents investigating the connection in 2002 found that visitor logs for the gated community and photos of license tags matched vehicles driven by the hijackers. Just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi luxury home was abandoned. Three cars, including a new Chrysler PT Cruiser, were left in the driveway. Inside, opulent furniture was untouched.

… is to disappear …

Esam Ghazzawi disappeared in a big hurry. That’s the way it goes sometimes, especially when you’re in contact with the “ringleader.”

Some folks have more pull than others, apparently. The cutouts got away, but the senator chasing them ran into a stone wall.

Democrat Bob Graham, the former Florida senator who chaired the Joint Inquiry, has asked the FBI for the Sarasota case files, but can’t get a single, even heavily redacted, page released. He says it’s a “coverup.”

Of course it’s a coverup. Sperry asks:

Is the federal government protecting the Saudis?

But that question is beneath consideration, is it not? The interesting question is “Why is the federal government protecting the Saudis?” But perhaps Sperry can’t ask such questions in the New York Post. He does say this, though:

Case agents tell me they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy, which had curious sway over White House and FBI responses to the attacks.

… and they all did! Isn’t that amazing?

Yes, curious indeed … unless you prefer a stronger word. In my view, there is no plausible explanation, unless people in very high places wanted it to happen this way.

Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. Bandar made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on Sept. 13, 2001 — just hours after he met with the president. The two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony while discussing the attacks.

And that’s how all the cutouts disappeared. Funny how that worked, isn’t it? — probably just the way it was supposed to.

Some of the cutouts didn’t disappear safely enough. As Sperry notes,

A US drone killed Awlaki in Yemen in 2011.

We also know about some other cutouts who didn’t disappear fast enough. We’ll talk about them soon.

[to be continued]

Assessing the Saudi-Controlled Terrorist Threat to the Sochi Olympics

Assessing the Terrorist Threat to the Sochi Olympics

geopoliticalmonitor_1

Geopoliticalmonitor.com 

cc Alexander v solomin

On July 3rd 2013, in a video published on YouTube that was almost immediately taken down, Doku Umarov, the self-proclaimed emir of a Caucasus Emirate in the southwest of the Russian Federation, lifted the moratorium on military operations targeting civilians that he unilaterally declared several months ago. He also called on his troops to do everything possible to oppose and to prevent the proper execution of the Sochi Winter Games in February 2014. The Caucasian leader could not forego this ideal occasion to remind the world of the enduring struggle led first by the Chechens in their fight for independence (1994-2005) and then taken up by a very loose network of Islamist armed groups that thrived in the neighboring republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria. What does this Caucasus Emirate represent today? And what can its fighters do?

Russian federal security forces regularly launch operations to eliminate local or regional emirs throughout region. In Dagestan for instance, the “republic” leader hardly ever survives for more than one year at a time. In Kabardino-Balkaria as well, the insurgency has been successively decapitated in 2010, in 2011 and in 2012, losing not only its leader but all of its deputies as well. In Chechnya, in January 2013, the Gakaev brothers, famous and well-respected warlords among the Chechen guerillas, were killed after six days of fighting. It is said that, almost out of ammunition, they asked their comrades to shoot them. The two brothers were the last of the reputed second-generation combatants who inherited the historical independence struggle, and who in 2013 were still in control of the most important insurgent groups in Chechnya. As for the Ingush, after losing Commandant Magas, their hero, in 2010, who has been imprisoned in Moscow, his successor, Emir Adam was killed in May 2013. The North-Caucasian guerillas, usually loosely structured, are now outright destabilized. To cope with these recurrent strategic losses, the armed groups have retreated to reorganize and recoup their tactical capacity.

Thus, insurgent actions in the region have become rarer and rarer. Neither Doku Umarov nor any of his regional emirs have engaged in any coordinated and significant operations for at least two years. The guerilla groups have entered into a defensive survival strategy, more reactive and resource-light. In Kabardino-Balkaria, the leadership vacuum has advanced quite a bit, resulting in autonomous groups of just a few fighters, around five usually though sometimes one or two, who get together and act by themselves, without any orders from above. Elsewhere, in Dagestan for instance, the relevant level seems to be the city or the village, where locally-active insurgents operate. Only at this very small scale do engagement and decision-making exist. North-Caucasian armed mobilizations are working on a bottom-up model. This explains the absence of overall coherence between the different victims targeted by the Emirate and the much more diversified militant groups dispersed throughout the region.

The Caucasus Emirate, clearly losing strength against Russia, is benefitting from the growing role played by Syria insofar that some Caucasian nationals have successfully waged war against Assad’s loyalist forces. One of them is Abu-Umar ash-Shishani, a Chechen from Georgia (ethnic Kist living in the Pankissi Valley), who has attained a high position in the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, one of the most powerful organizations within the Syrian opposition. His authority and prestige stem mainly from his operational capabilities, as well as his men’s fighting skills. The “advertisement” effect for the Caucasus Emirate works perfectly here. Beyond Sochi, the Caucasian Islamist struggle has been forgotten by the world. The Syrian struggle has afforded it a chance to recover some visibility. Gradually then, thanks to a few Caucasian relays in Syria, Doku Umarov’s Caucasus Emirate has been noticed by international Salafist-Jihadist movements, and it is now recognized as one of the global Jihad fronts alongside Yemen, Afghanistan or Somalia.

The North-Caucasian insurgency resembles a myriad of anarchic armed groups rather than a proactive and structured movement. It undeniably maintains a capacity to cause harm, but it does not seem to be able to translate that nuisance into an operational and strategic breakthrough. For example, an isolated suicide attack, as the one on October 21st in Volgograd, where a young woman entered a city bus and triggered a bomb, may still theoretically be possible. But considering the heavy security presence that the Russian forces have implemented around Sochi, a successful attack would require an effective and powerful organization behind it. That’s why it is rather unlikely that a suicide bomber, sent by the Emirate, will manage to attack the Games.

 

Dr. Laurent Vinatier is a research assistant at the Thomas Moore Institute and a contributor to the Geopoliticalmonitor.com

September 11, Opening Act of The Saudi War Upon the American People

[Bush's low-down redaction of hard Saudi truths from the 911 Report was merely a temporary holding action.  The groundswell of American retribution awaiting the vile monarchs is a huge body of water, just waiting to be released.   When the dam of truth is finally broken down, vengeance will sweep the Saudi monarchy from the pages of time itself, reducing them to a mere footnote, designating a tribe of ruthless "camel jockeys" who made themselves into a real threat to Western civilization.]

Do the Saudis really control the terrorists they court?

new york post

 

 

 

In a 2003 Rose Garden press conference, a reporter asked President Bush why he was sealing a congressional report “incriminating the Saudi government when it comes to 9/11.”

 

Bush, without denying the description of the report’s contents, argued he had to seal it “so that those who are being investigated aren’t alerted.”

 

Only, the Saudi suspects named in the report weren’t really “being investigated.” Several months earlier, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted as much during a closed hearing with the 9/11 Joint Inquiry staff on the Hill. Mueller sheepishly acknowledged the only people aggressively investigating the Saudi connections were sitting there across the table from him.

 

This was beyond odd. At both the FBI and CIA, there were files thick with memos and other documents detailing connections between the Saudi hijackers and Saudi officials and agents in at least seven US cities coast-to-coast. They revealed a vast Saudi support network spanning from Los Angeles and San Diego in the West to Washington, DC, Falls Church, Va., and Herndon, Va., in the East; and from Sarasota, Fla., in the South to Paterson, NJ, in the North.

 

Yet the only people connecting the dots were congressional staffers, as case agents and detectives assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Forces in San Diego and Washington complained of being frustrated by brass in their attempts to run down Saudi leads, particularly ones that led back to the Saudi Embassy.

 

There was so much Saudi-related evidence that it took 28 pages just for Hill investigators to summarize it all.

 

In fact, there arguably was more evidence for the Justice Department to indict Omar al-Bayoumi, the suspected Saudi intelligence agent who aided two of the hijackers in San Diego, than there was to indict Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker. The attorney general could just have easily thrown material support of terrorism charges at Bayoumi. But he did not. The only real difference is Bayoumi’s a Saudi.

 

If Bush’s objective really was to avoid tipping off subjects of ongoing investigations, he could have carefully redacted the names of Bayoumi and other Saudis cited in the 28-page section. Instead, he elected to censor the entire section, scrubbing out anything and everything Saudi.

 

The day before he did that, he met with the Saudis in the White House to discuss that secret Saudi section, which remains classified today. Walking away from that hour-long meeting, the Saudis no doubt felt reassured their secrets were safe. Confident Bush would never release the 28 pages, Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar made a show of demanding they be released, arguing the Saudis have nothing to hide.

 

It was an obvious, if effective, ploy.

 

The congressional report safely sealed up, the Saudis had only the 9/11 Commission Report to worry about — and, lo and behold, it cleared the Saudis (even though the commission director never let investigators see the 28 pages from the earlier congressional report). Upon its release, Bandar clucked that the panel exonerated the Kingdom, not to mention himself, conveniently.

 

The report curiously leaves out evidence tying Bandar and his wife to the hijackers through a Saudi bag man, Osama Bassnan, who received personal checks from the Bandars while handling the hijackers in San Diego. Bandar appears a few times in footnotes, and only in passing.

 

The Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, and that they did not know what Bassnan was really up to.

 

Maybe so. The Saudis have a history of turning a blind eye to the extremists among them, funding radical mosques as a way of placating their population and keeping themselves in power.

 

But even if you take Bandar’s ignorance at face value, as he sows the wind, we reap the whirlwind.

 

Last year, Bandar was promoted to chief of Saudi intelligence. Saudi Arabia very much wants to see Bashar al-Assad removed from power in Syria. Bandar, frustrated with Obama’s inaction, has been letting Saudi jihadists cross the border to fight in the civil war — and has been funneling arms and support to the Islamic Front rebel group, according to the Daily Beast, weapons that can easily end up in the hands of al Qaeda.

 

Bandar also has pushed Russia to drop its backing of Assad. In August, according to the Telegraph, he gave President Vladimir Putin both a carrot — oil deals — and a stick:

 

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year,” Bandar allegedly said. “The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

 

By Chechen groups, he means Islamic terrorists — just like the ones who bombed the Boston Marathon. It’s a startling, shocking admission.

 

Which is the more scary scenario? That members of the Saudi government provide funding to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups but can’t control them — or that they can?

 

Either way, we can’t find out the full story without an investigation. And the necessary first step is declassifying those 28 pages. Let’s finally connect those dots.

 

Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of “Infiltration” and “Muslim Mafia.”

Creator of Typhoon Haiyan Microwave Steering Loses Google Account Days After Video

[SEE:  PHILIPPINES TYPHOON CAUSED BY US MILITARY WEAPON - REPORT ]

[As of 11/21/2013 , DutchSinse lost Gmail, YouTube collections, access to account.  He still has this research site at SinseDutch.  He outlines the dangers below lurking in Google+ which made him easy prey for the self-appointed censors of the Evil Empire.]

Major Security FLAW in Google+ can Shutdown your Youtube page instantly with no strikes, no appeal

video explanation here:

__________

My youtube channel , http://www.youtube.com/dutchsinse, was erroneously shut down yesterday, lost all videos, and all Google+ access.  I had no strikes, no violations, and was all green across the board.

How did my youtube get terminated?  Easily.

They simply flagged my GOOGLE+ account as an “impersonator”.  Yes, flagged my own dutchsinse MAIN GOOGLE+ page as an impersonator.  LOL.   They can do it anonymously, with no warning, and with no recourse by you to fix it, except, to SEND A PHOTO ID OF YOURSELF to G+ to prove you are who you say you are.

click to view full size:

google plus security flaw

What? Send a photo ID to G+ to save your YOUTUBE page from shutdown, after your G+ was falsely flagged as an “impersonator”?!!!

Madness.  Seriously, big problem here, how do you PROVE you’re a screen name?

They’re asking for a photo ID to prove who I am.  However, the google+ is named “dutchsinse”.  My real name is Michael Janitch.

I sent them a copy of my passport 48 hours ago, filled out the form with my real name, never even received a confirmation reply that they received it.  and as of today 220am CT november 21, no reply at all.

I’m dutchsinse.  How can someone ELSE, an anonymous person, report me for “impersonation”?  Which then causes G+ to INSTANTLY shut down my whole G+ page…. which then leads to the INSTANT TERMINATION OF MY YOUTUBE PAGE, and a blocking of all my associated G+ pages.

A domino effect caused by one single false flagging, one single easy abuse of a security feature on youtube that, SHOULD, have human review behind it, and should not be automated.

Yesterday, thanks to this fake / false google+ shutdown , I lost 75,000 subscribers, and 800+ videos. Lost access to ALL of it.  Due to a single false flag on a separate service away from youtube!!!

Again, no email from youtube OR google+ was sent to me, warning me, or giving me a dispute option.

Very strange too, Google+ and youtube BOTH have my cellphone number already on file for login and verification purposes, no message sent to my mobile device at all.

Don’t forget, MOST IMPORTANTLY, there was no recourse to solve this.  No link to click on, no email to send, and no option to dispute. For me to get it fixed, it literally took someone who works there to privately contact the “policy team” and do a few things to get my youtube restored.

Still locked out on Google+, still cannot make any comment even below my own video, and still cannot share anything via the share button.  No reply from google, except to ask for an ID with my SCREENNAME on it?!

lol, can you say NIGHTMARE scenario here.

Meanwhile, no laughing matter, 3 years of work , 800+ videos, and 75,000+ subscribers on the line… all capable of being wiped out from a SEPARATE service like google+ ?  Somethings not right about this.

Imagine if someone could shut down your PERSONAL facebook page with the click of a button, and then YOU have to prove who YOU are because they clicked a button.

Guilty until proven innocent , meanwhile they DELETE your youtube page, delete all your content, and you have to fight to get it back?

Shouldn’t the person making the impersonation CLAIM have to provide THEIR ID???????

Anyone can get shut down this way.  Maybe a few larger channels will get slammed, then google might take notice.  Right now, they’re not responding to any of my contact attempts.

When the Mess We Have Made Becomes So Great That Someone Has To Fix It

Only an international force can save Libya

 

 

Nureddin Sabir
Editor, Redress Information & Analysis

 

Libya’s lackadaisical prime minister is inching towards reality, but his awakening is too slow and is perhaps too late to prevent the country from slipping into the abyss.

 

Speaking at an investment conference in London, Ali Zidan appealed to the outside world to help restore security as Libya rapidly slides into chaos thanks to the criminal negligence of his “government”, which has allowed criminal and Islamist armed groups to paralyse the country.

 

A spineless whimp

 

“If the international community does not help in the collection of arms and ammunition, if we don’t get help in forming the army and the police, things are going to take very long,” Zidan bleated.

 

“The situation is not going to improve unless we get real and practical assistance,” he whinged, without explaining what is stopping him from getting help – it is not that Libya is short of money.

 

However, true to form, he nullified his apparent new-found realism, insisting that he still wanted to solve the crisis through dialogue rather than force.

 

“We are going to work on solving this problem,” he crowed, adding: “When blood is shed, the loss will be greater”.

 

How much more blood must Libyans shed before Zidan and his likes realize two inescapable facts: first, the problem of the criminal and Islamist armed groups masquerading as “revolutionaries” can be solved only by brute force and, second, Libyans are incapable of solving this problem – or any problem – on their own.

 

Predictable catastrophe

 

Almost a year ago we predicted that the violence and anarchy afflicting Libya will not only continue but will get much worse:

 

Libya will continue its inexorable descent into chaos and violence, unless the international community – the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the United Nations or even the devil himself, it no longer matters – acknowledge our lamentable reality and dispatch a sizable peacekeeping force to establish law and order, disarm the militias – by force if necessary – and give the nascent Libyan authorities a chance to grow up, look in the mirror and live up to their responsibilities. The post-Gaddafi Libyan authorities, from the National Transitional Council to the recently formed government of Prime Minister Ali Zidan, have a uniquely idiotic security concept: building an army composed of a coalition of “approved militias”. This will not work. WIth 1,700 militias plaguing the country and respecting no one, it is a recipe for endemic violence and a complete breakdown of society.

If Libya is to survive as a state, then steps must be taken right now to mobilize an international peacekeeping force and authorize it to intervene to disarm the militias, bring about security and train an army and police force. It is better to bite the bullet, swallow our pride as Libyans and do this now before it is too late.

 

It is a warning we repeated last May as we reminded the world that Libya was headed for self-destruction. Since then matters have gone from bad to worse, and today the country is completely out of control with the authorities not even able to control the oilfields and oil refineries.

 

If the world does not care about what Libyans do to themselves, then surely the world must be concerned about the consequences of the disintegration of Libya for its neighbours far and close…

 

 

Time for intervention

 

As we have stated repeatedly, it is in nobody’s interest for Libya to disintegrate, Somalia-like. What passes for a “government” in Libya has proved beyond any doubt that it is incapable of providing security for Libyans.

 

If the world does not care about what Libyans do to themselves, then surely the world must be concerned about the consequences of the disintegration of Libya for its neighbours far and close – not just in North and sub-Saharan Africa, but also in Europe.

 

European countries, acting through the United Nations, at least have a responsibility to protect their own citizens from the poisonous cauldron that is brewing and overflowing in Libya.

 

There is absolutely no point wasting time waiting for the likes of Zidan – or any other Libyan who might replace him – bring about law and order to the country. He will not, and his half-hearted bleating for help in London underlines that. It is time for the UN Security Council to bite the bullet, invoke Chapter VII of the UN Charter and immediately dispatch a stabilization force to Libya with a mandate to crush the armed militias by force.

 

There is no point consulting or seeking the permission of the Libyan government. It does not exist.

Bandar Allegedly Threatens To Ruin Journalists Who Broke Report On Saudi Source of Ghouta Chemical Weapons

[If true, then this would serve as confirmation of Bandar's guilt in this war crime.  (Read Original report: EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack]
30213_154

Bandar Threatens U.S. and Foreign Journalists Who Exposed Syrian Rebel Role in Chemical Attack

larouch pac
September 23, 2013

The two journalists who authored the August 29, 2013 story, “Syrians in Goutha claim Saudi-supplied rebels behind chemical attacks,” published by Mint Press, have been threatened with having their careers “ended” if they do not disavow the story, and both journalists have told Mint Press that they believe that the pressure comes from Saudi Arabia. One author, Yayha Ababneh, who conducted the interviews on the ground that were the guts of the story, told MintPress that he received threats from the Saudi Embassy in Jordan, his home country. Dale Gavlak, the other reporter, an American, has been suspended by Associated Press, and further subjected to “immense amounts of pressure,” according to Mint Press, which said she believes the source of pressure to be Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the head of Saudi intelligence.

Bandar, the former Ambassador to the United States at the time of the 911 attacks, left that post after exposes that showed his wife had provided funding for 911 hijackers through a Saudi Arabian intelligence operative living in the U.S., and after exposes that he had received bribe funds in the range of $2 billion from BAE (formerly called British Aerospace) for arranging the Al Yamamah defense contract deal with Saudi Arabia. Bandar is also a major figure in the suppressed “28 pages” of the report on the 911 attack produced by the U.S. Congress. The “28 pages” were “classified” and pulled from distribution because of their detailed information about the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its charities, bank accounts and nationals in the funding of the 911 attack.

On September 21, MintPress which was founded earlier this year and is edited by Mnar Muhawesh, a Palestinian American journalist, put out a lengthy statement in response to Gavlak’s claims that she had not authored the August 29 story.

MintPress editor Ms. Muhawesh wrote:

“Dale [Gavlak] is under mounting pressure for writing this article by third parties. She notified MintPress editors and myself on August 30th and 31st via email and phone call, that third parties were placing immense amounts of pressure on her over the article and were threatening to end her career over it. She went on to tell us that she believes this third party was under pressure from the head of the Saudi Intelligence Prince Bandar himself, who is alleged in the article of supplying the rebels with chemical weapons.

“On August 30th, Dale asked MintPress to remove her name completely from the byline because she stated that her career and reputation was at risk. She continued to say that these third parties were demanding her to disassociate herself from the article or these parties would end her career. On August 31st, I notified Dale through email that I would add a clarification that she was the writer and researcher for the article and that Yahya was the reporter on the ground….

“Yahya [Ababneh] has recently notified me that the Saudi embassy contacted him and threatened to end his career if he did a follow up story on who carried out the most recent chemical weapons attack and demanded that he stop doing media interviews in regards to the subject.”

The statement from MintPress adds, “We are aware of the tremendous pressure that Dale and some of our other journalists are facing as a result of this story, and we are under the same pressure as a result to discredit the story. We are unwilling to succumb to those pressures for MintPress holds itself to the highest journalistic ethics and reporting standards….”

In terms of Gavlak’s role, MintPress says:

Gavlak pitched this story to MintPress on August 28th and informed her editors and myself that her colleague Yahya Ababneh was on the ground in Syria. She said Ababneh conducted interviews with rebels, their family members, Ghouta residents and doctors that informed him through various interviews that the Saudis had supplied the rebels with chemical weapons and that rebel fighters handled the weapons improperly setting off the explosions.

When Yahya had returned and shared the information with her, she stated that she confirmed with several colleagues and Jordanian government officials that the Saudis have been supplying rebels with chemical weapons, but as her email states, she says they refused to go on the record.

Gavlak wrote the article in its entirety as well as conducted the research. She filed her article on August 29th and was published on the same day.” [all emphasis in the original]

The Govt. of the United State Has A Moral Responsibility To Help Bashar Assad Eliminate the Islamists

Islamists drive out US-backed Syrian rebel general Salim Idris

The American Police State and the Cult of Legalized Murder

A Stark Look at the Death Penalty

criminal justice

Death_Penalty

Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games and Virtual Environments–(declassified)

TOP SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108
Derived From: NSA/CSSM 1-52
Dated: 20070108
Declassify On: 20320108
TOP SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 (S//SI)

Topic: Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments

(TS//SI) Issue:

We know that terrorists use many feature-rich Internet communications media for operational purposes such as email, VoIP, chat, proxies, and web forums and it is highly likely they will be making wide use of the many communications features offered by Games and
Virtual Environments (GVE) by 2010. The SIGINT Enterprise needs to begin taking action now
to plan for collection, processing, presentation, and analysis of these communications. With a few exceptions, NSA can’t even recognize the traffic, and therefore it is impossible to even say what percentage of the environment is GVE; let alone determine how targets are using the communications features of GVEs. However, GVEs offer a SIGINT/HUMINT opportunity space and more research is needed to figure out effective exploitation.  (S//SI) GVEs today allow individuals to gather with like-minded others online. Many GVEs offer communications such as private chat (P2P), group chat, chat to an alias, and broadcast chat –both text and voice. Also many GVEs allow convergent technologies to intermingle such as
XboxLive! which can be run via an Xbox360 gaming console and/or connect via a PC to normal MSN chat. Second Life offers the ability to anonymously text to a GSM phone (SMS) and soon they will offer anonymous voice calls so that phone numbers do not have to be known by either party and won’t show up in collection. Some GVEs allow third party interfaces which allow limited functionality from a web browser. This overcomes obstacles such as a high-bandwidth
requirement and or not being allowed to download software (think Internet café usage). In
addition, many GVEs are able to be used via mobile devices connected wirelessly (phones, handhelds, laptops). Connected to the GVEs, specialized forums and other social networking sites have sprung up to provide an additional place to interact, connect, or share. These sites and any others can be advertised in the GVEs, so that if a terrorist web forum has to move locations it can be found by its members again. Areas/groups can be access-restricted, member-only. They are essentially private meeting places, and can be used for planning, comms, and training, etc.
GVEs are used for collaboration; Forterra’s 3D world is coming to JWICS to do this IC-wide. (U//FOUO) GVEs have been made that reinforce prejudices and cultural stereotypes while imparting a targeted message or lesson both from the Western point of view and in the Middle East. America’s Army is a U.S. Army produced game that is free download from its recruitment page and is acknowledged to be so good at this the army no longer needs to use it for recruitment, they use it for training. The Lebanese Hizballah has taken this concept and the same basic game design and made its own version of the game called Special Forces 2 (SF2), which its press section acknowledges is used for recruitment and training in order to prepare their youth to “fight the enemy”, a radicalizing medium; the ultimate goal is to become a suicide martyr.

One cannot discount the “fun factor” involved—it is important to hold your target audience’s
attention– and makes ingesting the message not even noticeable.

SF2 features multi-player, online text and voice chat for up to 60 players simultaneously, effectively acting like a VPN or private chat forum. SF2 is offered at $10 a copy and so also goes to fund terrorist operations.
(S//SI) These games offer realistic weapons training (what weapon to use against what target, what ranges can be achieved, even aiming and firing), military operations and tactics, photo-realistic land navigation and terrain familiarization, and leadership skills. While complete military training is best achieved in person, perfection is not always required to accomplish the
mission. Some of the 9-11 pilots had never flown a real plane, they had only trained using Microsoft’s Flight Simulator. When the mission is expensive, risky, or dangerous, it is often a wiser idea to exercise virtually, rather than really blow an operative up assembling a bomb or exposing a sleeper agent to law enforcement scrutiny. Militaries around the world use virtual simulators with great success and the Hizballah has even hooked up a Playstation controller to a laptop in order to guide some of its real missiles. Kuma Wars is a U.S. owned company that offers realistic battle simulation of real battles in Iraq usually one month after they actually happened. The player can re-do maneuvers in a lessons learned way for training, or you can switch sides and see how it works from the opposite side. It also provides real terrain features, such as real road signs from real roads in Iraq, and a simulated night-vision goggles environment.  (TS//SI) Al Qaida terrorist target selectors and GVE executables have been found associated with XboxLive, Second Life, World of Warcraft, and other GVEs in PINWALE network traffic,
TAO databases, and in forensic data. Other targets include Chinese hackers, an Iranian nuclear scientist, Hizballah, and Hamas members. GCHQ has a vigorous effort to exploit GVEs and has produced exploitation modules in XboxLive! and World of Warcraft. After beta testing, they expect reporting to begin in April 2008. The FBI, CIA and the Defense Humint Service all have HUMINT operations in Second Life and other GVEs and are very interested in forming a deconfliction ["reduce the risk of collision between (aircraft, airborne weaponry, etc.) in an area by coordinating their movements"--ed. ] and tipping group that would be able to collaborate on operations.  (TS//SI) GVEs are an opportunity! We can use games for: CNE exploits, social network
analysis, HUMINT targeting, ID tracking (photos, doc IDs), shaping activities, geo-location of
target, and collection of comms. It has been well documented that terrorists are OPSEC and tech
saavy and are only getting more so over time. These applications and their servers however, are trusted by their users and makes an connection to another computer on the Internet, which can then be exploited. Through target buddylists and interaction found in the gaming and on gaming web sites, social networks can be diagramed and previously unknown SIGINT leads and connections and terrorists cells discovered. GVEs can contain on-line presence indicators, geolocation, and ID tracking can be gleaned and used in apprehension operations.  [do these "apprehension operations" also refer to UAV drone targeting?--ed]
(TS//SI) Recommendation: The amount of GVEs in the world is growing but the specific ones that CT needs to be methodically discovered and validated. Only then can we find evidence that GVEs are being used for operational uses. Protocol Exploitation, SFL, and TAO should begin profiling their databases and the GVEs for collection and exploitation possibilities. Open source (APSTARS) produced GVE lists and selectors should be used to run against UTT and other databases to check for cross matches to develop target selectors. CT SIGDEV along with CT TOPIs will study the collected traffic to find and track targets of interest. There should be a concentrated effort to conduct research into target use of GVEs, and signatures for survey collection should be developed. Targets and specific apps should be chosen to exploit to ensure that terrorists’ GVE/social site usage is covered by SIGINT and the system is not left behind the times. All avenues should be taken to develop PES and CNE exploits as GVEs are found on target computers. We need to develop a viewer/db that allows linguist/analysts to view/experience voice/text/video traffic together and archivee the GVE data associated with reporting. which will also be essential for Yahoo, Skype, webcam, VTCs and Biometrics.
(S//SI) CT SIGDEV/SSG should establish a process to deconflict IC-wide ops in GVEs and to develop strategy for collaboration. Members from at least CIA, FBI, DIA, NSA and GCHQ should participate to make the coordination significant. Members should have ability to check tasking, traffic, and status of current operations.

Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis

[Saudi Arabia has complete immunity to wage its "holy war" of Sunni terrorism all over the world, with the  intention of controlling American and Western govt. foreign policies.  We know that the Saudis are the SOURCE OF ALL SUNNI TERRORISM and that 90% of all global terrorism is Sunni, yet our leaders ignore these obvious truths that confirm Saudi Arabia as the source of the terror which we fight in the American "War on Terror."  We fight against Sunni terrorists worldwide, as we strive to find an avenue to war against the Shia.  

If this knowledge, that the entire American govt. is colluding with a foreign govt. which sponsors "al-Qaeda" terrorists who kill American soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere doesn't merit violent revolution as a solution, then I don't know what does!  Bandar bin Sultan and his cousin Prince Turki have always presided over the royal assets which have sustained have Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Boko Haram, Fatah al-Islam, PKK, TTP, Taliban, IMU, and all the rest, especially in their capacity as Saudi spy chiefs.  Bandar has merely come out of the closet smiling broadly due to Obama's attempts to remove the stigma from Al-Qaeda, by legitimizing Ayman al-Zawahiri's latest incarnation in Syria and after using Al-Qaeda militant leaders openly in the Western aggression against Libya.

Whenever enough Americans are made to realize the cold, inexplicable fact that we are using the Saudis, Pakistanis and others to create the very same terrorist armies that are killing American soldiers everyday, then the current government will be violently overthrown by an armed populace grown weary of a tyrannical govt. that uses our tax dollars to fund the terrorist threat to America.] 

Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis

the independent

World View: Everyone knows where al-Qa’ida gets its money, but while the violence is sectarian, the West does nothing

Public grief: Mass funerals after a car bomb in a Shia area of Karachi in March

 

Patrick Cockburn

Donors in Saudi Arabia have notoriously played a pivotal role in creating and maintaining Sunni jihadist groups over the past 30 years. But, for all the supposed determination of the United States and its allies since 9/11 to fight “the war on terror”, they have showed astonishing restraint when it comes to pressuring Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies to turn off the financial tap that keeps the jihadists in business.

Compare two US pronouncements stressing the significance of these donations and basing their conclusions on the best intelligence available to the US government. The first is in the 9/11 Commission Report which found that Osama bin Laden did not fund al-Qa’ida because from 1994 he had little money of his own but relied on his ties to wealthy Saudi individuals established during the Afghan war in the 1980s. Quoting, among other sources, a CIA analytic report dated 14 November 2002, the commission concluded that “al-Qa’ida appears to have relied on a core group of financial facilitators who raised money from a variety of donors and other fund-raisers primarily in the Gulf countries and particularly in Saudi Arabia”.

Seven years pass after the CIA report was written during which the US invades Iraq fighting, among others, the newly established Iraq franchise of al-Qa’ida, and becomes engaged in a bloody war in Afghanistan with the resurgent Taliban. American drones are fired at supposed al-Qa’ida-linked targets located everywhere from Waziristan in north-west Pakistan to the hill villages of Yemen. But during this time Washington can manage no more than a few gentle reproofs to Saudi Arabia on its promotion of fanatical and sectarian Sunni militancy outside its own borders.

Evidence for this is a fascinating telegram on “terrorist finance” from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to US embassies, dated 30 December 2009 and released by WikiLeaks the following year. She says firmly that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”. Eight years after 9/11, when 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, Mrs Clinton reiterates in the same message that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups”. Saudi Arabia was most important in sustaining these groups, but it was not quite alone since “al-Qa’ida and other groups continue to exploit Kuwait both as a source of funds and as a key transit point”.

Why did the US and its European allies treat Saudi Arabia with such restraint when the kingdom was so central to al-Qa’ida and other even more sectarian Sunni jihadist organisations? An obvious explanation is that the US, Britain and others did not want to offend a close ally and that the Saudi royal family had judiciously used its money to buy its way into the international ruling class. Unconvincing attempts were made to link Iran and Iraq to al-Qa’ida when the real culprits were in plain sight.

But there is another compelling reason why the Western powers have been so laggard in denouncing Saudi Arabia and the Sunni rulers of the Gulf for spreading bigotry and religious hate. Al-Qa’ida members or al-Qa’ida-influenced groups have always held two very different views about who is their main opponent. For Osama bin Laden the chief enemy was the Americans, but for the great majority of Sunni jihadists, including the al-Qa’ida franchises in Iraq and Syria, the target is the Shia. It is the Shia who have been dying in their thousands in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and even in countries where there are few of them to kill, such as Egypt.

Pakistani papers no longer pay much attention to hundreds of Shia butchered from Quetta to Lahore. In Iraq, most of the 7,000 or more people killed this year are Shia civilians killed by the bombs of al-Qa’ida in Iraq, part of an umbrella organisation called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), which also encompasses Syria. In overwhelmingly Sunni Libya, militants in the eastern town of Derna killed an Iraqi professor who admitted on video to being a Shia before being executed by his captors.

Suppose a hundredth part of this merciless onslaught had been directed against Western targets rather than against Shia Muslims, would the Americans and the British be so accommodating to the Saudis, Kuwaitis and Emiratis? It is this that gives a sense of phoniness to boasts by the vastly expanded security bureaucracies in Washington and London about their success in combating terror justifying vast budgets for themselves and restricted civil liberties for everybody else. All the drones in the world fired into Pashtun villages in Pakistan or their counterparts in Yemen or Somalia are not going to make much difference if the Sunni jihadists in Iraq and Syria ever decide – as Osama bin Laden did before them – that their main enemies are to be found not among the Shia but in the United States and Britain.

Instead of the fumbling amateur efforts of the shoe and underpants bombers, security services would have to face jihadist movements in Iraq, Syria and Libya fielding hundreds of bomb-makers and suicide bombers. Only gradually this year, videos from Syria of non-Sunnis being decapitated for sectarian motives alone have begun to shake the basic indifference of the Western powers to Sunni jihadism so long as it is not directed against themselves.

Saudi Arabia as a government for a long time took a back seat to Qatar in funding rebels in Syria, and it is only since this summer that they have taken over the file. They wish to marginalise the al-Qa’ida franchisees such as Isil and the al-Nusra Front while buying up and arming enough Sunni war-bands to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

The directors of Saudi policy in Syria – the Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, the head of the Saudi intelligence agency Prince Bandar bin Sultan and the Deputy Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Sultan – plan to spend billions raising a militant Sunni army some 40,000 to 50,000 strong. Already local warlords are uniting to share in Saudi largesse for which their enthusiasm is probably greater than their willingness to fight.

The Saudi initiative is partly fuelled by rage in Riyadh at President Obama’s decision not to go to war with Syria after Assad used chemical weapons on 21 August. Nothing but an all-out air attack by the US similar to that of Nato in Libya in 2011 would overthrow Assad, so the US has essentially decided he will stay for the moment. Saudi anger has been further exacerbated by the successful US-led negotiations on an interim deal with Iran over its nuclear programme.

By stepping out of the shadows in Syria, the Saudis are probably making a mistake. Their money will only buy them so much. The artificial unity of rebel groups with their hands out for Saudi money is not going to last. They will be discredited in the eyes of more fanatical jihadis as well as Syrians in general as pawns of Saudi and other intelligence services.

A divided opposition will be even more fragmented. Jordan may accommodate the Saudis and a multitude of foreign intelligence services, but it will not want to be the rallying point for an anti-Assad army.

The Saudi plan looks doomed from the start, though it could get a lot more Syrians killed before it fails. Yazid Sayegh of the Carnegie Middle East Centre highlights succinctly the risks involved in the venture: “Saudi Arabia could find itself replicating its experience in Afghanistan, where it built up disparate mujahedin groups that lacked a unifying political framework. The forces were left unable to govern Kabul once they took it, paving the way for the Taliban to take over. Al-Qa’ida followed, and the blowback subsequently reached Saudi Arabia.”

Israeli Saudi Union On Full Display In UAE with Shimon Peres Addressing Iran War Rally

Israeli President Briefed 29 Arab and Muslim leaders in a Secret Summit Organized by UAE Against Iran

jafria news

Israeli Presidernt Shimon PeresDubai : Israeli President Shimon Peres has secretly addressed a number of Arab and Muslim politicians two weeks ago during a summit organized in Abu Dhabi. 

According to a report published in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth on Monday, Peres appeared before 29 foreign ministers from the Persian Gulf states, Arab League countries and other Muslim nations. The king of Saudi Arabia’s son was also among the participants of the meeting.

Peres appeared on a video screen at the (Persian) Gulf States Security Summit, sitting in his office in Jerusalem with an Israeli flag behind him.

The foreign ministers of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen and Qatar were present, as well as foreign ministers from the Arab League and other Muslim countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

UN-Under Secretary-General Terje-Roed Larsen and U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations Martin Indyk interviewed Peres in the meeting. As agreed upon beforehand, the foreign ministers would not ask their questions and address Peres directly, and in return he would only speak with the interviewers. In addition, the organizers of the event stipulated that Peres would participate only if the content of the meeting remain confidential.

“The UAE, which organized the summit, chose Peres to open the assembly, a testimony to the importance of the Israeli president during this point in time, and more so, the importance of a good relationship with Israel against the common enemy, Iran,” the daily said.

New York Times chief analyst Thomas Friedman, who attended the event said the Israeli president Tackled many issues during his address.

According to Friedman, Peres had stressed that “Israel can be a major factor in the Middle East, and that there is an opportunity for dialogue for a common goal – a struggle against radical Islamism and a nuclear Iran, and he also talked about his vision for world peace.”

Bandar’s Counterpart Prince Turki Runs Financial/Diplomatic Operations for Saudi Police State

[The following was written by Saudi prince Turki.  It is trash.]

How to Win in the Middle East

Photo of Turki bin Faisal al-Saud

Turki bin Faisal al-Saud

RIYADH – Analysts the world over are assessing the situation in the Middle East in 2012 by listing the region’s “winners” and “losers.” Hamas won. Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi won, then lost. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won. Syria lost. Iraq lost. Iran had a draw (tougher sanctions, but closer to nuclear-weapons capability), as did Saudi Arabia (growing clout, but unable to stop the killings in Syria [LYING TURKI--order your al-qaeda fighters to stop the killing, you royal asshole, everything else will fall into place] or Gaza) and Israel (avoided massive bloodshed, but became even more isolated).

All of these lists, however, are merely the pastimes of policy wonks. In the bloody, hostile miasma of the Middle East, being a “winner” in any sense of the word is fallacious. The region continues to breed only losers. The victims of the conflicts in Syria, Iran, and Palestine; the friends and families of the victims; those who hope for peace: all lost. This is a grim reminder that when it comes to killing one another, repeatedly missing opportunities for peace, and botching all efforts at progress, no one can beat the Middle East. In 2012, the region proved once again that it is truly the best at perpetrating the worst.

When will these vital, eclectic, and prosperous (or potentially prosperous) countries stop their ravenous infighting and start nurturing, protecting, and sustaining their people? While there have been many prescriptions, I will provide my own 2012 Middle East roundup, with a look toward what must happen in 2013 if we want it to bring fewer losses.

The Israeli killing machine must be stopped by a determined United States using its leverage to bring about implementation of the land-for-peace principles of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, the Madrid Conference, the Oslo Agreement, and the Abdullah Peace Initiative. This is the only way out of the current unworkable predicament.

Borrowing a term from nuclear strategy, the situation between Israel and the Palestinians can be described only as “mutually assured destruction,” also known, fittingly, as MAD. It benefits no one, so why let it continue? Only the US has the ability to push the Israelis out of their MAD-ness, so I look forward to the Obama administration recognizing and acting on that moral obligation in the coming year.

The Assad killing machine must also be stopped. In this case, it is through the West agreeing with Saudi Arabia to arm the Free Syrian Army with the defensive weapons that it needs to ground Bashar al-Assad’s aircraft and immobilize his tanks and artillery.  [LYING TURKI--pretending that the answer is to support the FSA, while his country's "Islamist Front" attacks the FSA in Syria, stealing their weapons, and now one of their bases.  Saudi royal lies are coming back to haunt them in a blitzkrieg of outrage, whenever enough people realize that "al-Qaeda" has ALWAYS been an arm of the Saudi royal family.]

Unlike some conflicts in the region, this is a case with a clear and simple solution. Those being attacked merely need weapons to defend themselves; if they get them, the entire dynamic of the conflict will shift, in turn ending the bloodshed. [LYING TURKI--there is only ONE SOLUTION to the Syrian conflict, for foreign entities to stop all support operations.  Stop arming and transporting Islamist terrorists into Syria.  Stop Turkey and Jordan from allowing war materiel and fighters across their borders.  Prevent covert Israeli and American supply of the Syrian foreigners.  Failure to oppose the Saudi initiative will result in another Talibanized Muslim country, bought and paid for by Saudi Arabia and friends.]

By now, all of the actors in Syria are known. There are no hidden jihadis, terrorists, or gangsters. They are all well documented. So the moderates are the ones who should get the anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons. Having them, their prestige among other fighters will soar, and so will support for their moderate stance.  [LYING TURKI--by "moderates," the Saudi spokesperson means the least extremist of all of the extremist radicals, who fight under the "Islamist" banner.  THERE ARE NO MODERATE EXTREMISTS!]

Iranian intervention in Iraq must stop. It is tearing Iraq apart and endangering the countries around it. Western and Iranian support for Nouri al-Maliki’s government, which is controlled by Iran’s Basij militia, must be withdrawn, enabling the Iraqi people to determine freely their own destiny. [TURKI YOU LYING BASTARD--Iraq has been brought to boil again by Sunni (al-Qaeda) terrorists, who are hell-bent to overthrow the Maliki democratically-elected govt.  Turki is urging Obama to abandon Iraq to these Sunni terrorists and the second Iraqi civil war, which they intend to fight.]

Did the Americans defeat Saddam Hussein, and did more than 100,000 Iraqis die in the process, so that their country could become a puppet of the hostile Iranian regime? Iran’s meddling in Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, and other Gulf states must end as well.  [LYING TURKI--Saudi money, tanks and planes have been used to upset the democratic process in all of the aforementioned countries, blaming popular expressions of discontent upon "Iranian spies and agents."  More than anything else, the Saudis are at war with "Democracy" within all of the Middle East.  The implication, hidden within the Saudi initiative, is the unspoken intention of Riyadh to use its fortune as a weapon, to conquer and to assimilate the entire region (SEE:  Gulf union is inevitable: Saudi Prince Turki Al Faisal).  The Saudi royal family are a threat to the human race and should be stopped BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.]
In addition to these major tasks, Palestine’s main political rivals, Hamas and Fatah, must reconcile and turn their united efforts toward improving the lives of the Palestinian people. Egypt must get over its post-revolutionary squabbling and reassume its leading role among the Arab states. And all Arab states must coordinate their efforts to realize common ambitions, rather than continuing to pursue only narrow national interests.

Central to all of these tasks is a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that is united into a confederation that can meet the challenges of Iran’s regional ambitions and bring major military deployments to bear on regional conflicts.  [LYING TURKI--Saudis will not be satisfied until they have divided the Muslim Ummah into two warring halves in the Middle East.  He should worry less about meeting "the challenges of Iran's regional ambitions" and worry instead about reforming the Middle Eastern Arab dictatorships, who have always lived fat while their people suffered.]

If anything has become clear in the last year, it is that states like Israel, Iran, and Syria will act with impunity if no one is ready, willing, and able to stand up to them. It is time for the GCC, anchored on Saudi Arabia’s power, to take up that role.

The Middle East has been losing for too long, because its national leaders have been seeking to win in their own way, for their own purposes, and at everyone’s cost but their own. Such unilateralism is impossible in today’s globalized world. We must join together, or else we will rip each other to shreds. The choice is simple: Do we want to be winners or losers?

Saudi Islamist Terrorists Disrupting Free Syrian Army Democrats

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE, NOT AN OPPORTUNITY TO SWITCH ALLEGIANCE TO THE ISLAMIST TERRORISTS!

[The homegrown Free Syrian Army forces are being forcefully disbanded by the Saudi-backed foreign terrorists, who may or may not claim linkage to "Al-Qaeda."  Washington and London are throwing their support to the allegedly "non-al-Qaeda Islamists," as if that made everything all right.  It makes nothing right.  Our tax dollars are going to support an invasion of Syria by foreign Islamist terrorists, whose mission is to disrupt the legitimate democratic-revolutionaries who are the only Syrians fighting to overthrow the Assad govt., to make Syria the first state in the Al-Qaeda "global caliphate."]

Syrian Islamists Reportedly Seize Western-Backed Rebel Bases

voa

FILE - Free Syrian Army fighters carry the body of a fellow fighter who was killed during what FSA rebels say were clashes with forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad near Aleppo International airport.

FILE – Free Syrian Army fighters carry the body of a fellow fighter who was killed during what FSA rebels say were clashes with forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad near Aleppo International airport.

Reuters

December 07, 2013

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL — Syrian rebels from an Islamist alliance formed last month have occupied bases and warehouses belonging to a Western-backed rebel group on the Turkish border, rebels and activists said on Saturday.

Fighters from the Islamic Front, a union of six major rebel groups, took control of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) bases at the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the northwestern border with Turkey late on Friday night, the opposition sources said.

Louay Meqdad, an FSA spokesman, said the Islamic Front fighters had entered the bases after saying they wanted to help to secure them. They then asked officers and employees to leave and replaced an FSA flag with one of their own, he said.

“We believe that those brigades are our brothers, that they know that we are not the enemy,” Meqdad said.

Infighting among Syria’s rebel groups has undermined their fight against President Bashar al-Assad in the 2-1/2-year-old civil war and made Western governments hesitant to back them.

The rise of hardline Islamist groups among the rebels, including some linked to al-Qaida, has also unsettled powers such as the United States, who fear that if the militants came to power, they would eventually turn their weapons on Western targets.

On Tuesday the Islamic Front said it had withdrawn from the military command of the FSA, notionally charged with coordinating the war, and criticized its leadership.

While the Islamic Front does not include either of Syria’s two al-Qaida-affiliated units – the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – it does include radical Islamists who have coordinated with them.

Difficulty of uniting rebels

On Friday, the opposition Syrian National Coalition published statements by an FSA official playing down the Islamic Front’s withdrawal and denying that the groups were in disagreement.

But the events in Bab al-Hawa, confirmed by activists in the area, underscored the size of the task facing the Western powers as they try to unite rebel groups under FSA command and sideline more hardline groups.

Observatory director Rami Abdulrahman said five rebel fighters had been killed in clashes in Bab al-Hawa, but it was not clear which side they were on.

It is difficult for Reuters to independently verify reports from inside Syria because of media restrictions.

The Observatory, which has a network of sources across Syria, said fighting also broke out between ISIL and the Nusra Front on Friday in the northeastern city of Raqqa, the largest city to fall under rebel control so far.

The fighting started after a unit loyal to the Nusra Front killed a Saudi Arabian ISIL fighter who did not stop at one of the unit’s checkpoints, the Observatory said, quoting its sources in the area. There were no reports of casualties.

Separately, an air raid killed at least 20 people, including eight children and nine women, in parts of Bezaa in the northern Aleppo province, the Observatory said.

Syria’s conflict has killed more than 100,000 people since it started in 2011 as a peaceful uprising against four decades of Assad family rule.

The weekly death toll often climbs above 1,000, and world powers remain deadlocked over how to resolve the crisis.

Qatari Media Bemoan the Loss of Arab/Israeli Control Over Obama

“For a moment, it seemed that the Saudi-UAE-Jordanian coalition, with its strong influence in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and with declared Israeli support, was close to achieving a significant change in the balance of forces on the ground in Syria through the force of the anticipated American strike…pressuring or using the latter to serve their regional interests, even when Washington did not view it in its interest.”

Potential Maps: The Western-Iranian Rapprochement

aljazeera

An unprecedented meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif (far right) and his American counterpart, John Kerry (far left) [AP]

Abstract

There are signs that Iran’s relations with western countries, particularly the United States, are experiencing fundamental changes. During September and October, Iran began new rounds of negotiations on its nuclear programme, considered by Iranian and western officials to be the most serious and a cause for optimism since 2002. There are economic and financial reasons, and technical difficulties within the programme, that pushed Iran to express its willingness to accept the international conditions, as the USA seeks to avoid a military solution to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear power. It is not unlikely, if the parties reach a final and lasting solution on the nuclear crisis, that the improvement of Iranian- western relations will reflect on the map of regional balances, especially in light of regional disagreements on Egypt, and the aggravation of the Syrian crisis.  [LINK TO ALJAZEERA]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israel Comes Out of the Closet, Revealing Sponsorship of Saudi “Islamist” Army

Bibi and Bandar Badger Obama: Better Six Billion than Six Trillion!

Al ManarAL-MANAR

 

Franklin Lamb

Damascus

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—along with certain Arab League countries, plus Turkey and Israel, have this past week reportedly committed themselves to raising nearly $6 billion to “beef up” the just-hatched Islamic Front (IF) in Syria. These “best friends of America” want the Obama administration to sign onto a scheme to oust the Syrian government by funding, arming, training, facilitating and generally choreographing the movement of fighters of this new front, a front formed out of an alliance of seven putatively “moderate” rebel factions.

BandarRepresentatives of Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan reportedly told staff members on Capitol Hill that committing several billions to defeat the Assad regime by supporting the IF makes fiscal sense and will cost much less than the six trillion dollar figure tallied by the recent study by Brown University as part of its Costs of War project. According to the 2013 update of the definitive Brown study, which examined costs of the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the total amount for all three topped six trillion dollars. This never before released figure includes costs of direct and indirect Congressional appropriations, lost equipment, US military and foreign contractors fraud, and the cost of caring for wounded American servicemen and their families.

Among the Islamist militia joining the new GCC-backed coalition are Aleppo’s biggest fighting force, Liwa al-Tawhid (Tawhid Brigade), the Salafist group Ahrar al-Sham, Suqour al-Sham, al-Haq Brigades, Ansar al-Sham and the Islamic Army, which is centered around Damascus. The Kurdish Islamic Front also reportedly joined the alliance.

IF’s declared aim is to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, whatever the human and material cost it may require, and replace it with an “Islamic state.” Abu Firas, the new coalition’s spokesman, declared that “we now have the complete merger of the major military factions fighting in Syria.”

Formally announced on 11/22/13, the IF includes groups from three prior umbrella organizations: the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF), the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF), and the Kurdish Islamic Front (KIF). From the SIF, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya (HASI), Kataib Ansar al-Sham, and Liwa al-Haqq all joined, as did the KIF as a whole, and former SILF brigades Suqur al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, and Jaish al-Islam. None of these groups have been designated foreign terrorist organizations by the US, and therefore, as an AIPAC

Israeli official argued in a meeting with AIPAC and Congress this week, nothing stands in the way of US funding and support for them. The Israeli official in question is the country’s new national security advisor, Yossie Cohen, who assures key congressional leaders that the tens of thousands of rebels making up the IF will all support “one policy and one military command.” Cohen also pledges that the new group is not as “insane” as other Muslim militia—Daash or al-Nusra or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, for instance—that comprise the IF’s chief rivals. Cohen and AIPAC are further telling Congress members and congressional staffers that the emergence of the IF is one of the war’s most important developments, and he vows that the new organization in effect brings seven organizations into a combined force that will fight under one command, a force estimated by the CIA to number at around 75,000 fighters. Reportedly the objective will link the fight in the north with that in the south in a manner that will stretch loyalist forces, and the Saudi-Israel team is also asking the Obama Administration to more than double the monthly “graduation class” of CIA-trained rebels in Turkey, Syria and Jordan—from its current level of 200 per month, up to 500 a month.

What the GCC/Arab League/Israeli team is asking of its western allies (meaning of course mainly the US) is to immediately fund the IF to the tune of $ 5.5 billion. This, Israeli security officials argue, is pocket change compared to the $6 trillion spent in US terrorist wars of the past decade. Plus it will have the presumed “benefit” of toppling the Assad regime and truncating Iran’s growing influence. The plan has reportedly been dismissed by some in the Obama administration as “risible and pathetic.” Nonetheless, Tel Aviv, the US Congressional Zionist lobby, and to a lesser extent Ankara, are pressing ahead under the assumption that linking with the IF now makes sense and that they can take their chances will al-Qaeda later. Ironically these are some of the same voices from AIPAC’s Congressional Team who four years ago were claiming that al-Qaeda was “on the ropes and will soon collapse.” Yet they are optimistic that if Assad goes, “we can deal with the terrorists and it won’t cost six trillion dollars.”

One House member who strongly agrees with AIPAC is Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who recently declared that “in my heart I am a Tea Party guy.” A member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hunter believes the US should use nuclear weapons against Tehran. In a Fox TV interview this week he declared his opposition to any talks with Iran, insisting that US policy should include a “massive aerial bombardment campaign” utilizing “tactical nuclear devices” to set Iran “back a decade or two or three.”

According to sources in Aleppo and Damascus, the IF’s top leadership positions have been parceled out among five of the seven groups. This at least is as of 12/5/13. Four days after the IF was announced, the organization released an official charter. In terms of its basic architecture, the document is similar to that put out by the SIF in January, but the new version is filled with more generalities than other militia proclamations, and seems designed to accommodate differing ideas among member groups. The charter calls for an Islamic state and the implementation of sharia law, though it does not define exactly what this means. The IF is firmly against secularism, human legislation (i.e., it believes that laws come from God, not people), civil government, and a Kurdish breakaway state. The charter states that the group will secure minority rights in post-Assad Syria based on sharia, which could mean the dhimma (“protected peoples”) system, or de facto second-class citizenship for Christians and other minorities. According to Saudi officials in Lebanon, the IF seeks to unify other rebel groups so long as they agree to acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Given this ‘moderate’ wording, the expectation of some is that that the southern-based Ittihad al-Islami li-Ajnad al-Sham will join the IF.

According to the Netanyahu government, the IF’s leading foreign cheerleader, this new coalition gives substance to that which states who have been wanting regime change in Syria have been calling for. One analyst on the Syrian conflict, Aron Lund, believes a grouping of mainstream and hardline Islamists, excluding any al-Qaeda factions, is significant. “It’s something that could be very important if it holds up,” he explained. “The Islamic Front’s formation was a response to both regime advances and the ‘aggressive posture’ of jihadists against other rebels, plus a good deal of foreign involvement, not least of which is Saudi and GCC pushing to unify the rebels.”

Contrary to reports out of Occupied Palestine that the Netanyahu regime is not worried about or much interested in the crisis in Syria, a measure of delight seems to be felt in Tel Aviv that Muslims and Arabs are once more killing each other, along with smugness over Hezbollah’s loss of key mujahedeen as it faces, along with Iran, its own “Vietnam experience.” Yet all this notwithstanding, near panic is reported to have been felt in Israeli government circles over Hezbollah’s achievements in Syria. Truth told, Tel Aviv knows that despite manpower losses by Hezbollah, the dominant Lebanese political party is bringing about major enhancements of its forces. It also knows that there is no substitute for urban battlefield experience with regard to effecting such force regeneration, and Israeli officials have also stated their belief that the Resistance is organizing non-Hezbollah brigades that share one goal in common despite disparate beliefs. That sacred goal is liberating Al Quds by any and all means.

Martyr Hassan Lakkis

A US Congressional source summarized the Obama administration’s take on this week’s assassination of a key Hezbollah commander as part of a major new Netanyahu government project to weaken Hezbollah. Hassan Houlo Lakkis’ assassination on the night of December 3-4 is deemed in Washington to be particularly significant since Lakkis was in charge of strategic files related to Israel and the Palestinians and also oversaw a number of key operations. The Resistance commander was deeply involved in the development of drones for Hezbollah, as well as smuggling weapons to Gaza via Egypt. He also had good relationships with the Palestinian factions in Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon. Lakkis was known by Washington to be a highly important cadre and a second rank Hezbollah official. According to one analyst “Israel appeared as if it was telling Hezbollah, come and fight me. Israel is upset over the Western-Iranian agreement. It is also upset over the new position that the West has concerning Hezbollah whereby the West is now viewing the party as a force that opposes the Takfiris. Thus, Israel’s objective behind the assassination is to lure the party into a confrontation thus allowing Tel Aviv to tell the West: Hezbollah is still a terrorist organization.”

According to sources on the US Foreign Relations Committee, the White House is being heavily pressured by the US Zionist lobby and the Netanyahu government to take “remedial measures” for the “catastrophic historic mistake” it made in defusing the Iranian nuclear issue and refusing to bomb Damascus. The measures being pushed for, of course, are funding and support for the IF, though doubts persist in Washington as to how “remedial” they will in fact be. The $5.5 billion “investment” is to be paid in large part by GCC/Arab League countries, with US and Zionist contributions. Cash from the latter two sources will come directly and indirectly out of the pockets of American taxpayers—with Israel paying nothing.

Some Washington officials and analysts are wondering if US participation would help unify notoriously hostile rebel ranks and curtail the growing power of al-Qaeda in Syria, or whether it is simply another zany Bander bin Sultan-concocted project, the latest of many—in this case to create a hierarchical revolutionary army with the aim of fighting the Syrian regime essentially alongside al-Qaeda? Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressed his personal suspicions this week that “the Israel-Saudi team is trying to drag the US back into a potentially deepening morass,” alluding to what apparently is an effort to head off any plans the Obama administration may have of living with the Assad government until such time as Geneva II happens, that is if it happens, according to one congressional staffer.

Many among the American public also have doubts because they have been told that their government was ‘winding down’ its Middle East wars in favor of rebuilding America’s infrastructure, roads, health care and education systems, all of which, especially the latter, appear to be suffering dramatically. According to the most recent international survey, released this week, the average Chinese student, aged fifteen in Shanghai, is two full years ahead of America’s best students surveyed in Massachusetts. Recent top scores among secondary school youngsters, particularly in math, reading and science, were considerably lower than those achieved by students in Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Japan. The US is far down the list and declining, and the survey suggests that the gap is widening.

It’s too early to say whether this latest Saudi-Israel-Arab League collaboration will fail as others have recently, but given the continuing Obama administration efforts at taking back US Middle East policy from Tel Aviv, plus the perceptible movement away from support for the Netanyahu government along with growing angst among American taxpayers over funding the occupation of Palestine, it just might collapse.
Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Damascus University Faculty of Law.  He volunteers with the SSSP (sssp-lb.com) and is reachable c/o fplamb@gmail.com.

US Risking War With China To Defend Imperial Japan’s War Conquests

 

[SEE: Forget Trade Talks, Biden Is in East Asia to Stop a Potential War ]

[Obama was so frustrated with his failed attempt to engineer world war with Russia in the Middle East, that he has now "pivoted" to his next intended war front in the South "China Seas."  The US and Japanese Navies are now skirting around the Chinese Navy and their new aircraft carrier, in order to reinforceJapan, which was forced into relinquishing its claims to the Paracel/Spratly Islands as a condition of the WWII surrender document.  The dubious claims made upon the Spratlys by the Japanese are related to Japan's many aggressions committed against China. 

First, Obama confirmed that Bush's terror is now his own, before he escalated the war in the Middle East against multiple nations, revealing for all to see that he is waging a true "war of aggression" against the entire world.

Next, Obama anoints the new Imperial Japanese government with his blessing, in the form of a promise to invoke the American postwar commitment to defend Japanese territory, even those defined by previous war claims.  Obama, the self-celebrated legal expert, doesn't have a legal leg to stand on in this intricate, pre-arranged dogfight.  Is WWIII to begin with a revival of WWII?]

TREATY OF PEACE WITH JAPAN

Signed at San Francisco, 8 September 1951
Initial entry into force*: 28 April 1952

CHAPTER II, TERRITORY, Article 2, (f) Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Spratly Islands and to the Paracel Islands.

 

The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands

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By HAN-YI SHAW
Diaoyu Island is recorded under Kavalan, Taiwan in Revised Gazetteer of Fujian Province (1871).Han-yi ShawDiaoyu Island is recorded under Kavalan, Taiwan in Revised Gazetteer of Fujian Province (1871).

Japan’s recent purchase of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands has predictably reignited tensions amongst China, Japan, and Taiwan. Three months ago, when Niwa Uichiro, the Japanese ambassador to China, warned that Japan’s purchase of the islands could spark an “extremely grave crisis” between China and Japan, Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro slammed Niwa as an unqualified ambassador, who “needs to learn more about the history of his own country”.

Ambassador Niwa was forced to apologize for his remarks and was recently replaced. But what is most alarming amid these developments is that despite Japan’s democratic and pluralist society, rising nationalist sentiments are sidelining moderate views and preventing rational dialogue.

The Japanese government maintains that the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands are Japanese territory under international law and historical point of view and has repeatedly insisted that no dispute exists. Despite that the rest of the world sees a major dispute, the Japanese government continues to evade important historical facts behind its unlawful incorporation of the islands in 1895.

Specifically, the Japanese government asserts, “From 1885 on, our government conducted on-site surveys time and again, which confirmed that the islands were uninhabited and there were no signs of control by the Qing Empire.”

My research of over 40 official Meiji period documents unearthed from the Japanese National Archives, Diplomatic Records Office, and National Institute for Defense Studies Library clearly demonstrates that the Meiji government acknowledged Chinese ownership of the islands back in 1885.

Following the first on-site survey, in 1885, the Japanese foreign minister wrote, “Chinese newspapers have been reporting rumors of our intention of occupying islands belonging to China located next to Taiwan.… At this time, if we were to publicly place national markers, this must necessarily invite China’s suspicion.…”

In November 1885, the Okinawa governor confirmed “since this matter is not unrelated to China, if problems do arise I would be in grave repentance for my responsibility”.

“Surveys of the islands are incomplete” wrote the new Okinawa governor in January of 1892. He requested that a naval ship Kaimon be sent to survey the islands, but ultimately a combination of miscommunication and bad weather made it impossible for the survey to take place.

Letter dated May 12, 1894 affirming that the Meiji government did not repeatedly investigate the disputed islands.Japan Diplomatic Records Office.Letter dated May 12, 1894 affirming that the Meiji government did not repeatedly investigate the disputed islands.

“Ever since the islands were investigated by Okinawa police agencies back in 1885, there have been no subsequent field surveys conducted,” the Okinawa governor wrote in 1894.

After a number of Chinese defeats in the Sino-Japanese War, a report from Japan’s Home Ministry said “this matter involved negotiations with China… but the situation today is greatly different from back then.” The Meiji government, following a cabinet decision in early 1895, promptly incorporated the islands.

Negotiations with China never took place and this decision was passed during the Sino-Japanese War. It was never made public.

In his biography Koga Tatsushiro, the first Japanese citizen to lease the islands from the Meiji government, attributed Japan’s possession of the islands to “the gallant military victory of our Imperial forces.”

Collectively, these official documents leave no doubt that the Meiji government did not base its occupation of the islands following “on-site surveys time and again,” but instead annexed them as booty of war. This is the inconvenient truth that the Japanese government has conveniently evaded.

Japan asserts that neither Beijing nor Taipei objected to U.S. administration after WWII. That’s true, but what Japan does not mention is that neither Beijing nor Taipei were invited as signatories of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, from which the U.S. derived administrative rights.

When Japan annexed the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in 1895, it detached them from Taiwan and placed them under Okinawa Prefecture. Moreover, the Japanese name “Senkaku Islands” itself was first introduced in 1900 by academic Kuroiwa Hisashi and adopted by the Japanese government thereafter. Half a century later when Japan returned Taiwan to China, both sides adopted the 1945 administrative arrangement of Taiwan, with the Chinese unaware that the uninhabited “Senkaku Islands” were in fact the former Diaoyu Islands. This explains the belated protest from Taipei and Beijing over U.S. administration of the islands after the war.

Report dated August 12, 1892 from navy commander affirming the islands were not fully investigated. Source:  Library of The National Institute for Defense Studies.Report dated August 12, 1892 from navy commander affirming the islands were not fully investigated. Source:  Library of The National Institute for Defense Studies.

The Japanese government frequently cites two documents as evidence that China did not consider the islands to be Chinese. The first is an official letter from a Chinese consul in Nagasaki dated May 20, 1920 that listed the islands as Japanese territory.

Neither Beijing nor Taipei dispute that the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands — along with the entire island of Taiwan — were formally under Japanese occupation at the time. However, per post-WW II arrangements, Japan was required to surrender territories obtained from aggression and revert them to their pre-1895 legal status.

The second piece evidence is a Chinese map from 1958 that excludes the Senkaku Islands from Chinese territory. But the Japanese government’s partial unveiling leaves out important information from the map’s colophon: “certain national boundaries are based on maps compiled prior to the Second Sino-Japanese War(1937-1945).”

Qing period (1644-1911) records substantiate Chinese ownership of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands prior to 1895. Envoy documents indicate that the islands reside inside the “border that separates Chinese and foreign lands.” And according to Taiwan gazetteers, “Diaoyu Island accommodates ten or more large ships” under the jurisdiction of Kavalan, Taiwan.

The right to know is the bedrock of every democracy. The Japanese public deserves to know the other side of the story. It is the politicians who flame public sentiments under the name of national interests who pose the greatest risk, not the islands themselves.

Update: The author would like to include an updated image of the Qing era documents that recorded, “Diaoyutai Island accommodates ten or more large ships”, as mentioned in his blog post.

Record of Missions to Taiwan Waters (1722), Gazetteer of Kavalan County (1852), and Pictorial Treatise of Taiwan Proper (1872).National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.Record of Missions to Taiwan Waters (1722), Gazetteer of Kavalan County (1852), and Pictorial Treatise of Taiwan Proper (1872).

Han-Yi Shaw is a Research Fellow at the Research Center for International Legal Studies, National Chengchi University, in Taipei, Taiwan.

Ending Riyadh Support for Terrorists Can End Syria War

Assad: End of Riyadh Support for Terrorists Can End Syria War

farsnews

 
Assad: End of Riyadh Support for Terrorists Can End Syria War
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that as long as Saudi Arabia continues sending arms and money to Takfiri extremists, the war in Syria can see no end.

According to an article in Lebanese daily Al Akhbar newspaper, Bashar Assad met with several political leaders from regional Arab countries ’10 days ago’ in which they discussed the condition in Syria and ways to end the ongoing deadly crisis in there, Al-Alam reported.

The paper quoted one of the attendants of the meeting who interviewed with Al Akhbar on condition of anonymity.

According to the source, Assad said, Syrian government is dealing with terrorism in several fronts and the country is facing with a massive war supported by foreigners.

“We knew from the beginning that this is a war against our independent rule and this independent ruling has been the main factor driving our resistance and victory,” the source quoted Assad as saying.

He added that Assad appreciated those countries that allied with them in their resistance against terrorism, especially the Russian government which Assad said their support to Syria was not just for Damascus but also for protecting their interests.

The source says Assad told the meeting that foreign support to the militants must stop if an end to the war is sought.

“Time” and “requirements” for ending the war depends highly on halting illegal foreign supports to the armed groups.

“Saudi Arabia and others are strongly supporting terrorism and have deployed tens of thousands of Takfiris in Syria; Saudi Arabia has even been paying 2,000 dollars a month to each militant as a salary,” the source quoted Syrian president.

Stopping supporting militants at the side of Saudi Arabia will have ‘definite results’ in all aspects, Assad told the meeting adding that, “now everyone knows Al-Qaeda is not just a threat to Syria”.

Saudi Arabia, along with Qatar and Turkey have been strongest supporters of the war in Syria with Riyadh and Doha spending billions of dollars to support militants.

Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who is Director General of the Saudi Intelligence Agency has been referred by many as a one of the main figures leading the war against Syria.

The source further said Assad was not optimistic about finding a solution to the war in the near future and said as long as foreign threat and support exists, they can’t stop fighting against them.

Syrian president also said Saudi Arabia’s role in the war cannot be neglected. “Saudi Arabia is leading the most extensive vandalism operation in the whole Arab world,” the source quoted him as saying.

Assad was also critical of what he reminded the attendants of Saudi Arabia’s role in Camp David Accord that normalized Israel’s ties with Egypt and also Riyadh’s support to the war against Lebanon in 1982.

In return, he praised Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for his ‘brave’ stance towards those who wished to harm Iraq.

Syrian president warned Arab political leaders in the meeting about threat of extremism and Wahhabis, as the source said.

Assad was quoted that presence of extremist in the region was a plot for keeping the Arab world retarded.

“I want to remind you that the West never wants to see us developed. I remember when I met former US foreign minister Colin Powell in 2003, he was telling me US conditions about managing relations with Iraq and he asked us not to ever let an Iraqi scientist to set foot in Syria and we rejected this offer, and the US and Israeli spying organizations killed many of these scientist and now they want to empty Iran from brains,” the source quoted Assad as telling the meeting.

Assad furthermore stressed that his government rejects all kinds of Takfiri and Wahhabi thoughts.

The crisis in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over two years.

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