Will Deconstructing the Saudi Royal Family Bring the Terror War To An End?—(goog. trans.)

Prince Khalid bin Farhan bin Abdul-Aziz Prince Khalid bin Farhan bin Abdul-Aziz

Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud on Saturday announced his defection from Al Saud royal family and joined the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia

On 2 July 2012, the Security Council Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee removed the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA) “from section B. Entities and other groups and undertakings associated with Al-Qaida.”   This move was sponsored by Britain as a first step towards using the organization in the Imperial plot (SEE:  Britain Gearing up to replace the Saudi Monarchy By London Based Saad Al Faqih).

saudi-saad-al-faqih

Saad Al Faqih allegedly bought a satellite phone which was allegedly used by bin Laden himself. 

The plot thickens as the Middle East cauldron comes to full boil.]

In the name of God the Merciful 

Statement from the Prince Khalid bin Farhan bin Abdul-Aziz bin Saud al-Farhan Al-Saud

Praise be to God, prayer and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah and after:

It was Lee personal experience and family very bitter with from their hands the power in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will embrace posed to the public later my brother Hardworking Ptoatr and brother Dr. Saad al-Faqih channel reform, and I thank God who enlightened me Beserty through my personal experience harsh with the ruling regime Kingdom where made me taste the taste of injustice since I was a kid to now in order to softest, including felt by so many of my brothers of the people and to be one of them, I realized the extent of the injustice of all kinds and forms and monopolize power and eat rights and stenosis of freedoms and contempt for the judiciary and the manipulation of religion and other practices non-humanitarian which hit the wall rules and provisions of Islamic Sharia laws and international conventions on the protection of human rights and public freedoms and others.
This experience has led me cruel that you do not figure to a group of Alastnajat I find it to be a legitimate and morally announced that filled the patent for edema and a statement of fact.

First: announced proudly schismatic for the ruling family Arabia, where that authority in the kingdom do not adhere to the laws of God, not even the system of positive and their policy and their decisions and their actions are governed by their own will and whims personal just everything issued by the system as alleged proceeded and order but is administered in a manner formality to give the impression of a false commitment to the Sharia.

Second: the belief that the hand of power in the Kingdom that the state belongs them بمقدراتة and land and people is fantastically belief, stems from the beliefs and perceptions and convictions fake.

Third: Just who rejected their hand power reform theses which provided them with many popular symbols of its prestige and respect and popularity in the hearts of the people
And Aamiloha of repression and violence, has refused to also dissertations reform that gave them from within the ruling family, some of which treated tightening and mistrust, others with violence and repression.

Fourth: The problems that we are experiencing in our country are problems that are not temporary or superficial, they are not represented only in the size of unemployment or poor salaries or poor distribution of wealth and capabilities and services … etc., but are deep problems and real linked to political corruption and financial abuse of power security administration and the subordination of the judiciary and the Shura Council of the executive power to suppress the aspirations and creations of the people and exploited for the benefit of a few, past experiences have proved that you can not treat it only through a comprehensive fundamental change.

Fifth: that of the hand it deliberately ignore the bitter reality in the Kingdom and the cries of the oppressed people and insist on provoking people through Albzach case Kharafi which they live and Aiboa only for their own personal interests without regard for the interests of the state or the people, or even national security.

Sixth: that everything reported by the advocates of the reform of the criticism of the political and economic situation and social and judicial services and security and the misuse of religion, etc., is all true and objective and even much further.

Seventh: stress through my knowledge of good including the hand of power in the Kingdom that vanity blind بصائرهم so that they do not respond to the tips or correspondence or letters personally can internally is the machine of repression and external interests, which comes at the expense of human rights and the protection of freedoms so you can not achieve any change, but by means of means pressure, whether political or media or People should not be relied change only through the internal voltage People.

Based on that, I announced my support for all currents reformist sincere aimed Secretary to the interests of the country and its citizens, especially the reform movement led by Dr. Saad al-Faqih and ask all the princes silent who يوافقوننى opinion announcement attitude and stop the silence and passivity and willingness to bear the consequences satisfy God and the homeland.
I ask God to help us and all those who seek to reform in our country to what they prefer and save our country from injustice, corruption and tyranny, peace, mercy and blessings of God.

Khalid bin Farhan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud al-Farhan

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iiUrCOUBbnpMxKJfsQlZkxOngk49xKn-2eIiPHZcGpI/edit?pli=1

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

بيان من سمو الامير
خالد بن فرحان بن عبدالعزيز بن سعود  الفرحان ال سعود

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وبعد :

فقد كانت لى تجربة  شخصية وعائلية مريرة جدا مع من بيدهم السلطة فى المملكة العربية السعودية، والذى سوف يتبني  طرحها علي الجمهور فيما بعد أخى مجتهد بتويتر وأخى  د سعد الفقية بقناة الاصلاح، و أشكر الله الذى أنار لى  بصيرتى  من خلال تجربتى الشخصية القاسية مع النظام الحاكم بالمملكة حيث جعلنى  أتذوق طعم الظلم منذ كنت طفلا والى الأن لكى أنعم بما يحس بة الكثير من أخوتى من أبناء الشعب وأن أكون واحدا منهم،  فأدركت  مدي تفشى الظلم بجميع أنواعة واشكالة والأستئثار بالسلطة واكل الحقوق والتضيق علي الحريات واحتقار القضاء والتلاعب بالدين وغيرها من الممارسات الغير انسانية التى  تضرب بعرض الحائط قواعد واحكام الشريعة الاسلامية والقوانين والمواثيق الدولية الخاصة بحماية حقوق الانسان والحريات العامة وغيرها .

وقد قادتني هذة التجربة القاسية التي لم تعد شخصية الى مجموعة من الاستناجات اجد من الواجب شرعيا وادبيا ان اعلنها للملأ براءة للذمة وبيانا للحقيقة.

أولا:  أعلن متفاخرا أنشقاقى عن العائلة الحاكمة السعودية،  حيث أن السلطة فى المملكة لا تلتزم  بشرع الله ولا حتى بالنظام الوضعى  وسياستهم وقراراتهم وتصرفاتهم تحكمها  ارادتهم وأهوائهم الشخصية فقط  وكل ما يصدرة النظام  من اعتبار مزعوم للشرع والنظام انما يدار بطريقة شكلية ليعطى انطباعا كاذبا بالالتزام بالشرع .

ثانيا: ان اعتقاد الذين بيدهم السلطة بالمملكة ان الدولة ملك لهم بمقدراتة وارضة وشعبة فهو اعتقاد خيالي، نابعا من اعتقادات وتصورات وقناعات وهمية.

ثالثا:  مثلما رفض الذين بيدهم السلطة أطروحات الاصلاح التي قدمت لهم من رموز شعبية كثيرة لها مكانتها  واحترامها وشعبيتها في قلوب الشعب

وعاملوها بالقمع والعنف،  فقد رفضوا ايضا أطروحات الاصلاح التي قدمت لهم من داخل الأسرة الحاكمة حيث عاملوا  بعضها بالتضييق وسوء الظن والبعض الاخر بالعنف والقمع .

رابعا:  ان المشاكل التى نمر بها فى بلادنا هى مشاكل ليست مؤقتة أو سطحية ، فهى ليست متمثلة فقط في حجم البطالة أو ضعف الرواتب أو سوء توزيع  الثروات والمقدرات والخدمات…الخ، بل هى مشاكل عميقة و حقيقية  مرتبطة بالفساد السياسى والمالى وسوء استغلال السلطة والادارة الامنية وتبعية  القضاء ومجلس الشوري  للسلطة التنفيذية بما يكبت طموحات وابداعات الشعب واستغلالة  لصالح قلة قليلة،وقد اثبتت التجارب السابقة انة لا يمكن علاج ذلك الا من خلال تغيير جوهري شامل .

خامسا: ان من بيدهم  الأمر يتجاهلون عن عمد الواقع المرير في المملكة و صرخات الشعب المقهور  ويصرون على استفزاز الشعب من خلال حالة البزخ الخرافى الذي يعيشونة ولا يأبأوا الا لمصالحهم الشخصية  الذاتية بلا أعتبار لمصلحة الدولة أو الشعب أو حتي الأمن القومى .

سادسا: أن كل ما يرددة دعاة الاصلاح من انتقادات للأوضاع السياسية والأقتصادية والقضائية والأجتماعية والخدماتية والأمنية وسوء أستخدام الدين ….الخ،  كلة صحيح وموضوعى  بل وأبعد من ذلك بكثير .

سابعا: أؤكد من خلال معرفتى الجيدة بمن بيدهم السلطة بالمملكة أن الغرور أعمى بصائرهم بحيث أنهم لا يستجيبوا للنصائح أو المكاتبات أو الخطابات فالذي يمكنهم داخليا هو الة القمع وخارجيا المصالح التى تأتى علي حساب حقوق الأنسان وحماية الحريات بحيث لا يمكن تحقيق اى تغيير الا بوسيلة من وسائل الضغط سواءا السياسى أو الاعلامى أو الشعبى ولا ينبغى التعويل في التغيير الا من خلال الجهد الداخلى الشعبى .

بناءا على ذلك فاننى أعلن  دعمى لكل التيارات الاصلاحية الصادقة الهادفة الأمينة على مصلحة الوطن والمواطن وخاصة حركة الاصلاح بقيادة د سعد الفقية  وأطلب من كل الأمراء الصامتين الذين يوافقوننى الراى اعلان موقفهم والتوقف عن السكوت والسلبية والاستعداد لتحمل التبعات ارضاءا لله والوطن .

أسأل الله أن يوفقنا وكل الساعين للاصلاح فى بلدنا لمرادهم وينقذ بلادنا من الظلم والفساد والاستبداد، والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاتة .

خالد بن فرحان بن عبدالعزيز الفرحان ال سعود

The Resistance Always Comes Out on Top

The Resistance Always Comes Out on Top

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The danger Hezbollah poses above all resides in its demonstration beyond a doubt that the Arabs need not bend to Israel’s will and that ridding the region of this colonial menace is possible. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi)

By: Ibrahim al-Amin

Once again, European countries have demonstrated their clear bias against the Arabs and their legitimate rights, at the top of which is the right to armed resistance to occupation.

Hezbollah’s actions do not warrant their inclusion on the EU list of terrorist organizations, even according to a large number of European politicians and human rights activists.

The European states are bothered by the resistance movement’s wide popular support and are hoping to find some way – aside from military means, which have failed – to bring Hezbollah to its knees.

They first resorted to a systematic media campaign to undermine the Resistance’s reputation, then turned to encouraging blatant sectarian incitement to demonize it and drown it in blood, only to end up criminalizing the party in the name of “international law.”

The European “democracies” have been loyal supporters of Israeli occupation and apartheid since the racist nation’s birth from the womb of Britain’s Balfour Declaration. Their blind support for Zionism is firmly rooted in their guilt over the barbaric way they treated Jews during World War II.

The danger Hezbollah poses above all resides in its demonstration beyond a doubt that the Arabs need not bend to Israel’s will and that ridding the region of this colonial menace is possible. Through its actions, the Resistance exposed the cowardice and corruption of the system of Arab regimes who built their armies only to defend their thrones.

Hezbollah is a nationalist and Islamic resistance movement which fought the Zionist monster with faith and courage, while Israel is a Spartan society founded by way of terror and blood, and it knows no language other than warfare.

All efforts to domesticate Hezbollah have resulted in failure. The EU blacklisting has nothing to do with international law or justice, it is little more than an attempt to protect the oppressor from the wrath of the oppressed.

The problem with the European “democracies” is that they believe they are the standard for humanity and it is up to them to judge the actions of others, for only they are the source of those high ideals of freedom, justice and equality. They adamantly refuse to take responsibility for their role in the many social and political problems the people of the region are facing today.

But history moves on. Do the European foreign ministers who voted to blacklist Hezbollah recall how the Nazis used to designate the French Resistance? And did that prevent the Resistance from coming out on top in the end?

Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.

Army Chief Calls-Out To Egyptian Democrats for Counter Demonstrations To Islamists

Egyptian army head calls for street protests

BBC

Breaking news

The head of the Egyptian army has urged people to come out on Friday to demonstrate against “terrorism”.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he wanted the people to give the military a mandate to confront violence and terrorism.

Supporters of Mohammed Morsi have been protesting against the army intervention which removed him as president of Egypt on 3 July.

But Gen Sisi said he was not calling for public violence and wanted national reconciliation.

EU Stops Financing Zionist Colonization of Palestinian Jerusalem

Thus slaps EU its first sanction on Israel

TIMES OF OMAN

 

 

Even in its wildest dream Israel never expected such a move from Europe. Therefore, a stunned Israel reacted proportionately to its bewilderment. From Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu down to officials and even media all described the EU decision as “earthquake”, a “brutality”, “a miserable directive” and a move that will “undermine the peace process”. Israeli media called Europe’s decision a move which will lead Israel towards a “crisis.” European Union decided not to bankroll settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The EU decision is the first sanction imposed on Israel and this has hit Israel hard. The new funding guidelines have precisely expressed EU’s refusal to finance and support Israeli establishments in territories occupied in 1967 and in Golan Heights. Europe hasn’t stopped funding education, research and other projects in Israel but has insisted that Israel must give specific undertaking that European money will never ever be used to finance settlements.

EU explicitly made it clear that it views settlements as illegal — the thing which it has long been saying and Israel persistently ignoring. For decades Europe has been asking Tel Aviv to freeze settlements but watched its advice being flouted with brazen impunity. Today, there are at least 520,000 settlers in West Bank, and East Jerusalem jeopardising peace and killing every possibility of two-state solution.

The Zionists this year have announced to bring in E1 past of Jerusalem under fresh settlement as a punishment for the Palestinians for upgrading their UN membership. Over sixty per cent of Area C in East Jerusalem has already been usurped by the Zionists and to the Palestinians still living in the remaining forty per cent eviction notices have been served.

Frustrations in Europe have been mounting; need to teach the errant a lesson was increasingly becoming necessary. Europe, thus, finally decided to tell the delinquents in Tel Aviv that they cannot get away with their crime and annexation for long. Civilised world would not tank for ever before blackmailing.

For long Israel had been belittling Europe and its relevance in today’s global geopolitics. Its former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has, time and again, been more than obnoxious in his behaviour with European diplomats and heads of states giving out impressions that to Israel Europe has become a passé and it can thrive without any “strategic, economic and cultural ties to Europe.” Lieberman and Israel’s present leadership have been wrong to believe that it can “build strategic depth via Russia and China.”

Carlo Strenger, an existential psychoanalyst and philosopher, says that such a belief was a sheer stupidity. Lieberman failed miserably in his attempts to get support from China and Russia when it mattered. China is at best interested in Israel’s technological and entrepreneurial know-how, and Russia is making clear at every juncture that its interest in playing a central role in the Middle East will in no way be impeded by Israel’s needs — for example by selling advanced missiles to Syria that can reach Hezbollah.

EU’s stand on settlement may breach the barriers and its decision not to finance Israel’s crimes may encourage others to follow the suit. But, more than that the decision shows how peeved Europe has been with Israel. For the past few years and most so during its offensives against Gaza in November 2012 Israel, with impunity, had been destroying infrastructural facilities set up in Gaza. Most of these facilities were EU funded. Angry Europe is in no mood to take any nonsense from Israel.

The condescension and arrogance with which Bibi responded has surprised few. Over the years he has perfected this art to browbeat global dissension. But who cares now. Not at least Europe. The continent has shown Israel its place in the world. In an emerging global order Israel is now gradually getting isolated. The world is indeed becoming impatient with Israel.

In January 6, 2011, EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton made V sign for victory with a chicken leg, standing next to former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad. This angered the Zionists who construed the gesture as an exhibition of overt anti-Semitism, a chutzpah. What the Zionist entity in Middle East failed to understand was the degree to which the world, Europe in Particular, was becoming irritated with Israel.

Neither Bibi’s hubris nor his government’s pomposity will make EU fold or rescind its decision. Stuart Eizenstat, former deputy secretary of the US Treasury, a senior advisor to president Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton’s ambassador to the European Union, has a month ago made Israel aware of its status in the world. Eizenstat warned that if Israel would not change its settlement policies it may be facing more economic sanctions.

“The EU’s new guidelines forbidding financing or supporting Israeli Institutions in the West Bank (has) send the right message” and proves Eizenstat right. Europe has not delegitimised Israel but has made it clear it will not tolerate colonisation of Palestinian land.

The move is not an attempt to impose any external edict on Israel neither a bid to reshape its map. Europe simply seeks to tell the Zionists that their colonisation of Palestinian land is a felony which the world is no longer willing to overlook and condone.

Israel ought to pay heed to the world’s changing perceptions. Else, risk what Yoel Marcus foresees. Bibi will put Israel at the end of the line.

The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman.

KY Senator Pushes Bill To Require Congressional Approval To Arm Syrian Opposition

Aid to unknown rebels in Syria carries U.S. threat

politico

Fighters in Syria are shown. | Reuters

 

The administration has provided no details on how it intends to aid rebels, says the author. | Reuters

 

 

Americans would probably be surprised to learn that their government was arming affiliates of Al Qaeda. But this is essentially what President Barack Obama is about to do.

Syria’s Bashar Assad has carried out unspeakable violence, with as many as 100,000 dead, if not more. There currently are at least 17 armed jihadist groups rebelling against the Syrian regime, including Jabhat al Nusra, an Al Qaeda affiliate “that has emerged as one of the most effective rebel factions in Syria,” according to The Associated Press.

And yet the White House has signaled that it is moving toward arming the Syrian rebels.

 

We have received no public details on how the administration intends to fund arms to these rebels, the vetting criteria U.S. officials will use to distribute weapons or how it intends to monitor the chain of custody over these weapons to assure they do not end up in the wrong hands.

 

Congress cannot provide its oversight function without making these key details public. The Intelligence Committee’s concerns over how these weapons might be misused have slowed their deployment in a further indication of how treacherous this effort is.

 

Most important — if the Constitution still matters — the president needed to ask Congress for authorization to arm these rebels. He did not.

 

We’ve seen this movie before. As The New York Times reported in December 2012: “The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants. … The experience in Libya has taken on new urgency as the administration considers whether to play a direct role in arming rebels in Syria, where weapons are flowing in from Qatar and other countries.”

 

Any attempt to aid the Syrian rebels would be complicated and dangerous, precisely because we don’t know who these people are. To the degree that we do know who they are, we know that significant numbers of them are associated with Al Qaeda — as many as 10,000 fighters, by some estimates.

 

If the United States wants to choose a side in Syria, there is no clear moral choice. More important, there is no clear U.S. national interest in Syria.

 

There is also the question of what happens to Syria’s 2 million Christians. As a minority, these Christians have generally been protected by Assad’s regime, but have been targeted by some of the rebel groups. Imagine if the United States delivered weapons to extremists who, in turn, used them against Christians. Imagine the tragic irony of aiding the same Islamic radicals we have asked American soldiers to fight in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

No question, the Assad regime has committed monstrous atrocities. But this does not mean that the Syrian rebels are in any sense the “good guys.” In Syria, the enemy of our enemy is not our friend. And rebel groups like Jabhat al Nusra are the same enemy we’ve been fighting since Sept. 11, 2001.

 

Consider the recent reversal by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Last year, Dempsey reportedly endorsed a proposal by then-CIA Director David Petraeus to arm vetted members of Syria’s rebel opposition but has since reconsidered his position. Now, Dempsey says he is unsure that the United States “could clearly identify the right people” to aid or arm in Syria. “It’s actually more confusing on the opposition side today than it was six months ago,” Dempsey testified in April.

 

Dempsey is not alone in his uneasiness. According to the latest Pew Research Center poll, more than 70 percent of Americans oppose intervening in Syria. And for good reason: Americans are sick and tired of being dragged into Middle East quagmires.

 

That is why I have introduced bipartisan legislation along with Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) that would prohibit the president from providing military aid to the Syrian rebels without congressional consent.

 

The United States should never get involved where we have no clear national interest. We should not intervene militarily in a country like Syria, where we can’t separate friend from foe and might end up arming the very people who hate us the most.

 

Rand Paul represents Kentucky in the U.S. Senate.

Istanbul Protesters Regroup To Retake Taksim Square

Thousands gather in different areas of Istanbul to march to Taksim Square

hurriyet

 

ISTANBUL

 

 

Thousands in Istanbul walked across the arterial roads hours after the police's crackdown in Taksim.

Thousands in Istanbul walked across the arterial roads hours after the police’s crackdown in Taksim.

Thousands in Istanbul gathered on the streets in several districts of the city to march to Taksim Square, hours after the police’s muscled evacuation of Gezi Park.

Hundreds at the Asian Kadıköy district gathered to cross the Bosphorus Bridge on foot in the direction of the European side of the city. People joined the protesters from their houses, banging pots to make noise while cars on the road sounded their horns. Police intervened against the group, barring the road to prevent the protesters reaching the bridge. The security forces also called on them to continue demonstrations on Bağdat Avenue, the commercial street of the Asian side, where many also gathered following the crackdown in Taksim. Clahses later broke out at Fikirtepe between as police used tear gas to quell protesters.

Many protesters also gathered on the European side in neighborhoods such as Etiler, Bakırköy and Mecidiyeköy, walking on the arterial roads disrupting the car traffic. Clashes broke out between police and protesters near Mecidiyeköy and spread to the side streets of the centric neighborhood.

People in the sensitive Gazi neighborhood, home to many Alevis and where clashes had continued on the sidelines of the protests, also gathered in the streets.

The police’s heavy-handed intervention to evacuate Gezi Park came only an hour after the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ultimatum to protesters, giving them a day to end demonstrations.

Clashes between the police and protesters are continuing around the park.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Demands End of Drone Strikes As First Official Act

Nawaz Sharif elected Pakistan's PM for third time

Nawaz Sharif elected Pakistan’s PM for third time
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s new prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday called for the United States to end its campaign of drone attacks in the country’s tribal northwest in his first address since taking office.

“We respect the sovereignty of others and they should also respect our sovereignty and independence. This campaign should come to an end,” he said after lawmakers endorsed him for an unprecedented third term as premier.

Turkish Prime Minister Denies “Turkish Spring,” Despite Continuing, Nationwide Clashes

[Photographic rebuttal follows Erdogan's denials below.]

Turkey PM denies “Turkish Spring” amid fresh clashes

News Asia

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday rejected talk of a “Turkish Spring”, facing down the worst protests in his decade-long rule as fresh clashes erupted between police and demonstrators in Ankara.

Protesters clash with riot police near Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan office. (AFP/Gurcan Ozturk)

ISTANBUL – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday rejected talk of a “Turkish Spring”, facing down the worst protests in his decade-long rule as fresh clashes erupted between police and demonstrators in Ankara.

Erdogan defied protesters who accuse him of seeking to impose conservative Islamic reforms on secular Turkey, stressing that he was democratically elected.

[ALL PHOTOS PAST 24 HOURS,  FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES]

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Turkey protests in pictures

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Rise Up or Die

“It is time to build radical mass movements that defy all formal centers of power and make concessions to none. It is time to employ the harsh language of open rebellion and class warfare. It is time to march to the beat of our own drum…. Revolt will see us branded as criminals. Revolt will push us into the shadows. And yet, if we do not revolt we can no longer use the word “hope.”

Rise Up or Die

By (about the author)
OpEdNews

skeleton man
Illustration by Mr. Fish

Joe Sacco and I spent two years reporting from the poorest pockets of the United States for our book “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.” We went into our nation’s impoverished “sacrifice zones” — the first areas forced to kneel before the dictates of the marketplace — to show what happens when unfettered corporate capitalism and ceaseless economic expansion no longer have external impediments. We wanted to illustrate what unrestrained corporate exploitation does to families, communities and the natural world. We wanted to challenge the reigning ideology of globalization and laissez-faire capitalism to illustrate what life becomes when human beings and the ecosystem are ruthlessly turned into commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse. And we wanted to expose as impotent the formal liberal and governmental institutions that once made reform possible, institutions no longer equipped with enough authority to check the assault of corporate power.

What has taken place in these sacrifice zones — in post-industrial cities such as Camden, N.J., and Detroit, in coalfields of southern West Virginia where mining companies blast off mountaintops, in Indian reservations where the demented project of limitless economic expansion and exploitation worked some of its earliest evil, and in produce fields where laborers often endure conditions that replicate slavery — is now happening to much of the rest of the country. These sacrifice zones succumbed first. You and I are next.

Corporations write our legislation. They control our systems of information. They manage the political theater of electoral politics and impose our educational curriculum. They have turned the judiciary into one of their wholly owned subsidiaries. They have decimated labor unions and other independent mass organizations, as well as having bought off the Democratic Party, which once defended the rights of workers. With the evisceration of piecemeal and incremental reform–the primary role of liberal, democratic institutions–we are left defenseless against corporate power.

The Department of Justice seizure of two months of records of phone calls to and from editors and reporters at The Associated Press is the latest in a series of dramatic assaults against our civil liberties. The DOJ move is part of an effort to hunt down the government official or officials who leaked information to the AP about the foiling of a plot to blow up a passenger jet. Information concerning phones of Associated Press bureaus in New York, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Conn., as well as the home and mobile phones of editors and reporters, was secretly confiscated. This, along with measures such as the use of the Espionage Act against whistle-blowers, will put a deep freeze on all independent investigations into abuses of government and corporate power.

Seizing the AP phone logs is part of the corporate state’s broader efforts to silence all voices that defy the official narrative, the state’s Newspeak, and hide from public view the inner workings, lies and crimes of empire. The person or persons who provided the classified information to the AP will, if arrested, most likely be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. That law was never intended when it was instituted in 1917 to silence whistle-blowers. And from 1917 until Barack Obama took office in 2009 it was employed against whistle-blowers only three times, the first time against Daniel Ellsberg for leaking the Pentagon Papers in 1971. The Espionage Act has been used six times by the Obama administration against government whistle-blowers, including Thomas Drake.

The government’s fierce persecution of the press — an attack pressed by many of the governmental agencies that are arrayed against WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and activists such as Jeremy Hammond — dovetails with the government’s use of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force to carry out the assassination of U.S. citizens; of the FISA Amendments Act, which retroactively makes legal what under our Constitution was once illegal — the warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of tens of millions of U.S. citizens; and of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which permits the government to have the military seize U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them in indefinite detention. These measures, taken together, mean there are almost no civil liberties left.

A handful of corporate oligarchs around the globe have everything — wealth, power and privilege — and the rest of us struggle as part of a vast underclass, increasingly impoverished and ruthlessly repressed. There is one set of laws and regulations for us; there is another set of laws and regulations for a power elite that functions as a global mafia.

We stand helpless before the corporate onslaught. There is no way to vote against corporate power. Citizens have no way to bring about the prosecution of Wall Street bankers and financiers for fraud, military and intelligence officials for torture and war crimes, or security and surveillance officers for human rights abuses. The Federal Reserve is reduced to printing money for banks and financiers and lending it to them at almost zero percent interest; corporate officers then lend it to us at usurious rates as high as 30 percent. I do not know what to call this system. It is certainly not capitalism. Extortion might be a better word. The fossil fuel industry, meanwhile, relentlessly trashes the ecosystem for profit. The melting of 40 percent of the summer Arctic sea ice is, to corporations, a business opportunity. Companies rush to the Arctic and extract the last vestiges of oil, natural gas, minerals and fish stocks, indifferent to the death pangs of the planet. The same corporate forces that give us endless soap operas that pass for news, from the latest court proceedings surrounding O.J. Simpson to the tawdry details of the Jodi Arias murder trial, also give us atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide that surpass 400 parts per million. They entrance us with their electronic hallucinations as we waiver, as paralyzed with fear as Odysseus’ sailors, between Scylla and Charybdis.

There is nothing in 5,000 years of economic history to justify the belief that human societies should structure their behavior around the demands of the marketplace. This is an absurd, utopian ideology. The airy promises of the market economy have, by now, all been exposed as lies. The ability of corporations to migrate overseas has decimated our manufacturing base. It has driven down wages, impoverishing our working class and ravaging our middle class. It has forced huge segments of the population — including those burdened by student loans — into decades of debt peonage. It has also opened the way to massive tax shelters that allow companies such as General Electric to pay no income tax. Corporations employ virtual slave labor in Bangladesh and China, making obscene profits. As corporations suck the last resources from communities and the natural world, they leave behind, as Joe Sacco and I saw in the sacrifice zones we wrote about, horrific human suffering and dead landscapes. The greater the destruction, the greater the apparatus crushes dissent.

More than 100 million Americans — one-third of the population — live in poverty or a category called “near poverty.” Yet the stories of the poor and the near poor, the hardships they endure, are rarely told by a media that is owned by a handful of corporations — Viacom, General Electric, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Clear Channel and Disney. The suffering of the underclass, like the crimes of the power elite, has been rendered invisible.

In the Lakota Indian reservation at Pine Ridge, S.D., in the United States’ second poorest county, the average life expectancy for a male is 48. This is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere outside of Haiti. About 60 percent of the Pine Ridge dwellings, many of which are sod huts, lack electricity, running water, adequate insulation or sewage systems. In the old coal camps of southern West Virginia, amid poisoned air, soil and water, cancer is an epidemic. There are few jobs. And the Appalachian Mountains, which provide the headwaters for much of the Eastern Seaboard, are dotted with enormous impoundment ponds filled with heavy metals and toxic sludge. In order to breathe, children go to school in southern West Virginia clutching inhalers. Residents trapped in the internal colonies of our blighted cities endure levels of poverty and violence, as well as mass incarceration, that leave them psychologically and emotionally shattered. And the nation’s agricultural workers, denied legal protection, are often forced to labor in conditions of unpaid bondage. This is the terrible algebra of corporate domination. This is where we are all headed. And in this accelerated race to the bottom we will end up as serfs or slaves.

Rebel. Even if you fail, even if we all fail, we will have asserted against the corporate forces of exploitation and death our ultimate dignity as human beings. We will have defended what is sacred. Rebellion means steadfast defiance. It means resisting just as have Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, just as has Mumia Abu-Jamal, the radical journalist whom Cornel WestJames Cone                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   and I visited in prison last week in Frackville, Pa. It means refusing to succumb to fear. It means refusing to surrender, even if you find yourself, like Manning and Abu-Jamal, caged like an animal. It means saying no. To remain safe, to remain “innocent” in the eyes of the law in this moment in history is to be complicit in a monstrous evil. In his poem of resistance, “If We Must Die,” Claude McKay knew that the odds were stacked against African-Americans who resisted white supremacy. But he also knew that resistance to tyranny saves our souls. McKay wrote:

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! We must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

It is time to build radical mass movements that defy all formal centers of power and make concessions to none. It is time to employ the harsh language of open rebellion and class warfare. It is time to march to the beat of our own drum. The law historically has been a very imperfect tool for justice, as African-Americans know, but now it is exclusively the handmaiden of our corporate oppressors; now it is a mechanism of injustice. It was our corporate overlords who launched this war. Not us. Revolt will see us branded as criminals. Revolt will push us into the shadows. And yet, if we do not revolt we can no longer use the word “hope.”

Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” grasps the dark soul of global capitalism. We are all aboard the doomed ship Pequod, a name connected to an Indian tribe eradicated by genocide, and Ahab is in charge. “All my means are sane,” Ahab says, “my motive and my object mad.” We are sailing on a maniacal voyage of self-destruction, and no one in a position of authority, even if he or she sees what lies ahead, is willing or able to stop it. Those on the Pequod who had a conscience, including Starbuck, did not have the courage to defy Ahab. The ship and its crew were doomed by habit, cowardice and hubris. Melville’s warning must become ours. Rise up or die.

 

Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The (more…)

Putin’s “Red-Line”–Defended With “Carrier-Killers” For Syria and A Dozen Russian Warships Permanently Stationed Along the Coast

[SEE:  Syria crisis: Russia 'sends sophisticated weapons']

“Russia has sent sophisticated anti-ship missiles to Syria, US media report.

The New York Times quotes unnamed US officials as saying the missiles could be used to counter any potential future foreign military intervention in Syria.”

P-800 Yakhont missile (1997)  Russia signed the deal to supply Syria with Yakhont missiles in 2007
VIDEO FOOTAGE OF YAKHONT LAUNCH

[SEE: The Indian/Russian Mach 3 Carrier-Killer Missile]


VIDEO FOOTAGE OF BRAHMOS LAUNCH

Yakhont… yahont2  Brahmos2 ..Brahmos

Russia Raises Stakes in Syria

Wall St. Journal

Assad Ally Bolsters Warships in Region; U.S. Sees Warning

By ADAM ENTOUS and JULIAN E. BARNES in Washington and GREGORY L. WHITE in Moscow

Russia expands its naval presence near a key base in Syria in a build-up that U.S. and European officials say appears aimed at deterring intervention in the country’s increasingly bloody civil war. Photo: Getty Images.

Russia has sent a dozen or more warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Syria, a buildup that U.S. and European officials see as a newly aggressive stance meant partly to warn the West and Israel not to intervene in Syria’s bloody civil war.

Russia’s expanded presence in the eastern Mediterranean, which began attracting U.S. officials’ notice three months ago, represents one of its largest sustained naval deployments since the Cold War. While Western officials say they don’t fear an impending conflict with Russia’s aged fleet, the presence adds a new source of potential danger for miscalculation in an increasingly combustible region.

“It is a show of force. It’s muscle flexing,” a senior U.S. defense official said of the Russian deployments. “It is about demonstrating their commitment to their interests.”

The buildup is seen as Moscow’s way of trying to strengthen its hand in any talks over Syria’s future and buttress its influence in the Middle East. It also provides options for evacuating tens of thousands of Russians still in Syria.

The deployments come at a time of heightened tensions. U.S. officials said Thursday that another round of Israeli airstrikes could target a new transfer of advanced missiles, anti-ship weapons known as Yakhont missiles, in the near future. Israeli and Western intelligence services believe the missiles, which have been sold by Russia to Syria in recent years, could be transferred to the militant Hezbollah group within days. Russia has strongly protested previous Israeli strikes in Syria.

Yakhont missiles are an offensive system. Moscow has told Western diplomats it will supply only defensive weaponry to the Syrian regime. But U.S. and Israeli officials have long been worried about Syria’s existing stocks of the weapon. If transferred to Hezbollah or other militant groups, they could provide a serious threat to both Israeli and U.S. warships in the region.

image

Russian Navy and foreign ministry officials didn’t respond to requests for comment about the deployments of the warships.

Russia supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while the U.S. has called for his removal. Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled this week that he is pushing ahead with the sale of an advanced air-defense system to Syria, according to U.S. intelligence reports, over Israeli and U.S. objections.

Hezbollah and its chief sponsor, Iran, also have rallied around Mr. Assad, sharing Russia’s interest in keeping the regime in place. Recent Israeli airstrikes inside Syria have targeted missiles believed to be bound from Tehran to Hezbollah, Western intelligence officials have alleged.

Moscow and Washington have worked publicly in recent days to assemble an international conference involving Damascus. But expectations are low that the meeting could lead to a political transition, as tensions have heightened around the region, and with the U.S. and Russia backing opposing camps.

Amid the strategic turmoil, U.S. and European defense officials say Russia appears to be trying to project power to deter outside intervention in Syria, which it sees as its foothold in the Middle East.

U.S. and European officials believe Mr. Putin wants to prevent the West from contemplating a Libya-style military operation inside Syria. President Barack Obama doesn’t want to intervene militarily, but he has said the calculation could be changed by suspected use of chemical weapons by Mr. Assad’s forces. Likewise, the Pentagon has stepped up military contingency planning in the event of spillover of fighting into neighboring Turkey and Jordan, both close U.S. allies.

Moscow’s deployments appeared designed to show that Russia intends to keep Tartus, its only remaining military outpost outside the former Soviet Union, senior U.S. officials said. Though spare by Western military standards—it consists of a pair of piers staffed by about 50 people, according to Russian data—the base provides a toehold in the region that has grown in strategic and symbolic importance for Moscow.

“It’s not really a base,” said Andrei Frolov, an analyst at CAST, a Moscow military think tank. “It’s more like a service station” that can do limited resupply and very modest repairs.

U.S. officials say, however, that Russia has drawn up plans to expand the base, which it negotiated with Mr. Assad.

Washington’s interest in the base has likewise grown—not because the U.S. sees it as a threat, but because U.S. officials believe that by assuring Russia that the base will remain under Moscow’s control in a post-Assad Syria, the U.S. has a better chance of convincing Mr. Putin to break with Mr. Assad.

Mr. Obama held out some hope Thursday that the coming conference with Russia would help the major powers reach a consensus on how to end the bloodshed in Syria.

“There’s no magic formula for dealing with an extraordinarily violent and difficult situation like Syria’s,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference in Washington with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “I do think that the prospect of talks in Geneva involving the Russians…may yield results.”

Moscow’s diplomacy notwithstanding, U.S. officials believe that in addition to the naval deployments, Russia is moving more quickly than previously thought to deliver S-300 surface-to-air defense systems to Syria.

U.S. officials say the S-300 system, which is capable of shooting down guided missiles and could make it more risky for any warplanes to enter Syrian airspace, could leave Russia for the port of Tartus by the end of May.

Russia’s delivery of such missiles could create a new dilemma for Israel, which has carried out what Western intelligence officials say are at least three airstrikes inside Syria in recent months against suspected weapons shipments to Hezbollah. Israel has yet to target Syrian forces directly, seeking to avoid direct conflict with Mr. Assad, say U.S. and Israeli officials.

Russian officials first announced the navy was deploying ships to the eastern Mediterranean near Syria starting in late 2012, but few details about the deployments have been made public.

In January, the Russian navy used these and other ships to conduct what it billed as some of the largest exercises in recent years in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea for a force that has had relatively low international presence since the Cold War. State media reported that as many as 21 ships and three submarines were involved, as well as planes and other forces.

Before the start of the Syrian civil war, Russian ships stopped at the port only irregularly. But in the last three months, 10 to 15 Russian ships have been near the Syrian port at any one time, U.S. and European officials say. They say Russia currently has 11 ships in the eastern Mediterranean, organized into three task forces, that include destroyers, frigates, support vessels and intelligence-collecting ships. Another three-ship group of amphibious vessels is headed to the region. But U.S. officials said they expect that group to replace one of the groups currently in the region.

“You have more and more warships” concentrated between Cyprus, Lebanon and Turkey, a senior European defense official said, adding that Russia is protecting its sphere of influence in the Middle East and “staking its claim” to Tartus.

Many of the Russian ships in the eastern Mediterranean have stopped in Syria, conducted exercises, port visits or training in the area, and then moved on to the Gulf of Aden to conduct counterpiracy missions, U.S. and European officials said. Others in the aging fleet have returned to Black Sea ports for repairs and resupply in recent weeks, Russian state media reported.

The stops in Syria, according to a U.S. official, signal that Russia wants to show it remains a naval power, even though its strength is diminished from the Soviet era and no longer matches Western capabilities.

“They are stretching their legs,” the official said. “They are very much interested in letting people know they are a blue-water navy.”

The Soviets had ships in the Mediterranean during the Cold War whose mission was to counter the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet. The Russians ended that mission in 1992. But in the last few months, the Russian navy has talked about reviving a similar mission to signal Russia’s influence in the region.

For now, senior U.S. officials said the Russian buildup “is not seen as threatening” to the U.S. Navy, which has two destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean and an aircraft carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf.

“Nobody is forecasting the battle of Midway in the eastern Med,” the senior defense official said.

Write to Adam Entous at adam.entous@wsj.com, Julian E. Barnes at julian.barnes@wsj.com and Gregory L. White at greg.white@wsj.com

Scowling Faces of the Defeated Fake “Islamists” That Should Make Normal Pakistanis Very Proud Today

sour fazl grapes

Fazl rejects PTI mandate in KP

dawn

PESHAWAR: The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) has accused Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf of poll rigging in Mardan, Kohat, Peshawar and Fata and demanded re-election in the areas.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman warned of protests across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if his demand was not accepted.

He said his party did not accept the PTI’s victory in Mardan, Kohat, Peshawar and Fata obtained through massive rigging.

He alleged that results had been changed in the areas and asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take notice of irregularities and order re-election.

Raising doubts over the credibility of elections held across the country, he said the ECP’s failure to stop rigging had made the entire exercise controversial.

People, he said, had expected that the commission would conduct free, fair and impartial polls but they were disappointed.

Replying to a question, he said the JUI-F was in touch with the PML-N, Qaumi Watan Party, Jamaat-i-Islami and independents to explore the possibility of forming a coalition government in KP.

PTI’s response

Responding to the allegations, Asad Qaisar, president of the provincial chapter of PTI, has urged the JUI-F to respect the people’s mandate and sit in the opposition, instead of raising a hue and cry.

He said in a statement that Maulana Fazl had used the name of Islam only to grab power but he was rejected by the people who were aware of his motive.

He said the PTI had emerged as the party of the people under the dynamic leadership of Imran Khan.

He accused Maulana Fazl of accumulating wealth “in the name of Islam”, but the days of corrupt politicians were numbered. “Now people’s true representatives will rule the province.”

The Maulana, he said, cried foul whenever his party was rejected by people in an election.

The JUI-I chief had been baffled by the huge mandate of the PTI, he said, adding that party would form government in the province and serve the masses with dedication.

S-300 Air Defense Systems To Be Delivered To Syria “For Sure”—Putin

 

Russia digs in heels over Syria despite diplomatic push

times of india

AFP 

%20%28Russia%20and%20the%20United%20States%20agreed%20to%20work%20to%20convene%20an%20international%20peace%20conference%20on%20Syria%2C%20a%20move%20UN-Arab%20League%20envoy%20Lakhdar%20Brahimi%20described%20as%20%22the%20first%20hopeful%20news%22%20from%20Syria%20in%20a%20long%20time.%29

(Russia and the United States agreed to work to convene an international peace conference on Syria, a move UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi described as “the first hopeful news” from Syria in a long time.)

MOSCOW: Despite a flurry of diplomatic activity aiming to end a war that has claimed more than 80,000 lives, Russia still shows no signs of abandoning its support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, British Prime Minister David Cameron and now Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have all found time to meet President Vladimir Putin in the last few days in a new effort to find an international consensus.

Russia and the United States agreed to work to convene an international peace conference on Syria, a move UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi described as “the first hopeful news” from Syria in a long time.

But in a sign of its refusal to line up with the West against Assad’s regime, Moscow has defied international calls to pledge to halt deliveries of advanced S-300 missile batteries to Syria.

Meanwhile it is far from certain that the conference, which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said should ideally take place by the end of the month, can take place swiftly.

“If they don’t agree on the conference, its format and the time Assad should go, the casualties will carry on growing in huge numbers,” said Vladimir Akhmedov, a Middle East expert at the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“They would have to have Assad and his opponents at the negotiating table and they so far do not want to talk to him. There are lots of snags,” added Viktor Kremenyuk, deputy head of the Institute of USA and Canada.

Further complicating matters is the fact that the proposed conference would aim to build on an agreement reached by world powers in Geneva last June, which was never implemented, analysts said.

The agreement called for a cessation of violence and the establishment of a transitional government without ever spelling out Assad’s fate.

“It will be based on an idea that has failed. I doubt that the second conference will be more successful than the previous one,” said Akhmedov.

Russia and the West have been deeply divided over the war in Syria since its beginning in 2011.

Even though Moscow has stressed it does not support Assad personally, it maintains he has to be part of any negotiations over future of the country. In contrast, the West wants Assad out.

But recent claims of the use of chemical weapons by both sides, Israeli airstrikes on Syria and the multiplying casualty toll have spurred the uneasy partners into action.

In a bid to make another joint push for peace, Putin met Kerry for two and a half hours at the Kremlin on Tuesday and hosted Cameron for rare talks at his Black Sea vacation residence on Friday.

The next high-profile guest to call on Putin in Sochi is Netanyahu who will visit him Tuesday.

Netanyahu is widely expected to discuss supplies of weapons to Syria such as S-300 surface-to-air-missiles, amid concerns such a delivery would embolden the Damascus regime.

The sophisticated systems can defend against multiple aircraft and missiles and will complicate any foreign intervention.

While military analysts say it remains unclear whether the Kremlin will make good on its promise to deliver the arms, some suggest it is using the supplies as a bargaining chip in its talks with the West.

Opposition weekly The New Times, citing a source in London, said Monday the Russians had insisted in talks with Kerry that Moscow would fulfil its arms contracts with Syria.

The Kremlin will only revisit its decision if the West drops any plans it may have to “dismember Syria” by creating a buffer zone, the magazine said.

The Kommersant daily said Putin had told Cameron during talks that the S-300 systems would be delivered to Syria “for sure,” adding the contract in question was signed in 2010.

Britain and France have been leading a push to have the European Union’s embargo on supplying arms to Syria lifted, a move that could tip the balance of power in favour of rebels.

“Moscow is seeing that the West is getting fed up with the crisis and that it is determined to put an end to the Syrian mess,” said Kremenyuk.

Jordanian Press Claims That Hezbollah To Receive SA-22 Real “Game-Changer”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA-22 (pantsir S1)

Hezbollah’s balance-shifting weapon

ammon news

AMMONNEWS – Exclusive – It will be undoubtedly the first time that Lebanon’s Hezbollah receives a qualitatively sophisticated anti-aircraft weapon able to destroy any aircraft within its effective range.

Hezbollah practically has three types of heat-guided missiles and two types of radar guided missiles, the maximum effective range of which is 8 km and 4 km vertically while the new weapon has a range of 20 km and 15 km vertically, respectively.

This system is SA-22 (pantsir S1) it has two radars one for detection and the other for guidance. It also includes optical detection and a guidance system, with four 30-mm cannons and 12 missiles all mounted on truck.

The system is the latest in the Russian arsenal and is owned by – or under order – for the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Iran, Algeria and Jordan.

Hezbollah’s possession of this type of weaponry allows it to initiate any pre-emptive strike towards Israel, the Zionist entity. It gives Hezbollah the ability to neutralize the Israeli Air Force power, even for short periods within the effective range of the weapon, forcing Israeli air force to bomb from very far distances and high altitudes, aside from the fact that Israeli helicopters will not appear in the field.

The question remains, what number of platforms will be sent to Hezbollah? These numbers will up the stakes in any conflict, considering that the total platforms bought by Syria reached 40.

The reason for sending such weapons to Hezbollah owes to the size and force of the air strike that bombarded Syria last week, where about 20 – 36 Israeli aircrafts took part with the use of BLU-109 and GBU-28 bombs for the first time, causing massive destruction in the targeted sites.

Weapon Specifications: Each platform has 12 missiles with a maximum range of 20 km and a maximum altitude of up to 15 km. It also has four 30 mm cannon with 1400 shells with maximum range of 4 km.

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah had announced last Thursday that his party will support any Syrian effort to reclaim the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel, days after Israeli strikes bombarded Damascus, under the pretext of bombing Syrian weapons being transported to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Hezbollah said that Syria will send it new “game changing” weapons, stressing on Thursday that shipment of advanced weapons would serve as Syria’s reaction to Israeli air raids.

In a televised address, Nasrallah said that his group is ready to receive such weapons, stressing “The resistance [against Israel] is prepared to accept any sophisticated weaponry even if it was to break the equilibrium [in the region].”

Syria to equip Hezbollah with game-changing arms: Nasrallah

Iranian Zelzal 1 Zelzal 2

Hezbollah had these Iranian Zelzal-1/Zelzal-2 Rockets (range 200 km) since 2006 Zionist invasion

Syria to equip Hezbollah with game-changing arms: Nasrallah

the daily star

By Dana Khraiche, Thomas El-Basha

BEIRUT: Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Thursday Syria would supply Hezbollah with game-changing weapons in response to recent Israeli air raids near Damascus and that his party stands ready to assist resistance groups seeking to liberate the occupied Golan Heights.

“The Syrian response to Israel’s air strikes was to tell Israel that if your goal is to prevent boosting the capabilities of the resistance then take note … [Syria] will give [Hezbollah] arms,” he said.

“And [Syria] will provide [Hezbollah] with sophisticated weapons that the resistance has never obtained before,” he added.

He spoke during a televised speech commemorating the 25th anniversary of Hezbollah’s An-Nour radio station.

Nasrallah said his group was ready to use such strategic weapons in its fight against the Jewish state.

“The Lebanese resistance announces that it is ready to receive any sophisticated arms even if it is a game changer and we are ready to obtain and safeguard such weaponry and use it to defend our people and country,” he added.

Last week, Israel carried out air raids on targets in Syria, bringing the total number of strikes by the Jewish state in Syria this year to three.

Western media, quoting Israeli sources, said the Israeli warplanes targeted Iranian-made missiles headed for Hezbollah. Damascus said a Syrian military research center was the target.

Israel has repeatedly warned that it will prevent Hezbollah from obtaining game-changing arms, voicing its concern that Syria’s stockpile of sophisticated weaponry could fall in the hands of its enemies.

Nasrallah denied media reports that 300 Syrian soldiers were killed in the attacks on the military facility, saying “according to my information only three or four martyrs from the Syrian military were killed.”

He said the Jewish state had sought to achieve two objectives through its air strikes: neutralize Syria in terms of the Israeli-Arab conflict and prevent the Lebanese resistance group from building up its arsenal.

Nasrallah, who hinted last week President Bashar Assad’s allies Iran and Russia would intervene militarily to prevent the fall of the embattled Syrian leader, also said Syria’s response to the Israeli assault was to activate its front with Israel – the occupied Golan Heights.

“The secod response [by Damascus] is that it opened the Golan front and by that it transformed the threat [against it] into an opportunity,” he said. “So whoever wanted a war on Syria, the response was to open the Golan front for any popular resistance groups,” he added.

“The third response is to prepare rocket launchers and give orders to implement without referring to the leadership and that frightened Israel which began sending messages [to Syria] of calm,” he said.

Nasrallah also vowed to assist, back and support resistance groups seeking to liberate the occupied Golan Heights.

“Just as Syria stood in support of the resistance to defend and liberate the south [of Lebanon], we announce that we are with the Syrian popular resistance groups to cooperate, coordinate and liberate the occupied Syrian Golan,” he said.

Such a response to Israel, Nasrallah said, pointed the Assad’s careful approach to dealing with the crisis.

“Everything that is happening today indicates that Syria has a strong leadership that is managing the battles with the enemy in a wise, calm and courageous manner which will achieve victory in the future, God willing,” Nasrallah said.

While he reiterated that the only solution to the crisis in Syria was through a compromise between the regime and the opposition, Nasrallah slammed Arab countries for not acting to end the bloody conflict.

“It is shameful that the U.S. be the one seeking Syria’s interests while the Arabs appear as if they’re the ones destroying Syria which is something that falls in the interests of the enemy,” he said.

Turning to domestic issues, including the process of forming a new Cabinet and the drafting of a new electoral law for the upcoming elections, Nasrallah reiterated his party’s demand that the next Cabinet be made up of political parties according to their clout in Parliament.

“Given the domestic and regional circumstances, as well as the recent Israeli strikes on Syria and its continuous daily aggression on Lebanon, in addition to regional tensions, there should be a government of true national partnership,” he said.

“We didn’t ask for a government that represents the actual clout of parties [in terms of popular support] but their [representation] at the parliament level and this government will administer not only the elections but will have other responsibilities even if it lasts for one week,” Nasrallah added.

He also called for a swift formation of the new government.

Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam has said he is wants a government whose ministers are not running in the upcoming elections. The primary task of the new government, according to Salam, should be to administer the general elections with the needed transparency.

The March 14 coalition, particularly the Future Movement, has supported Salam’s Cabinet vision and has asked the Beirut lawmaker to rotate the ministerial portfolios between the various political parties.

Nasrallah also reiterated that his party’s lawmakers would vote in favor of the controversial Orthodox Gathering electoral law if it is put up for a vote during Parliament’s May 15 session.

“Hezbollah will vote on the Orthodox Gathering law because we have already given our word on that and we were clear,” he said.

“But our group has not yet reached an agreement on an alternative law but we are ready to negotiate based on the outcomes of the May 15 talks,” he said, referring to the legislative session called for by Speaker Nabih Berri to discuss and approve a new electoral law.

Bolivia announces expulsion of CIA (USAID)

News Asia

President Evo Morales announced the expulsion of USAID from Bolivia, accusing the US development agency of meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

  • Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks with the press at the Palacio Quemado presidential palace in La Paz. Morales announced the expulsion of USAID representatives from Bolivia, accusing the US development agency of meddling in the country’s internal affairs. (AFP/Aizar Raldes)

LA PAZ: President Evo Morales on Wednesday announced the expulsion of USAID from Bolivia, accusing the US development agency of meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

The United States quickly dismissed the allegations as baseless, and said Bolivia’s action showed it did not want good ties with Washington.

In a fiery speech to workers on May Day, the leftist president of South America’s poorest country said the US Agency for International Development was in Bolivia “for political purposes, not social ones.”

“No more USAID, which manipulates and uses our leaders,” Morales said in the address in La Paz’s Plaza de Armas.

He did not specify exactly how he felt the US agency was interfering in Bolivian affairs. USAID has operated in the Andean nation since 1964.

Morales, a populist and Bolivia’s first indigenous president, has been in power since 2006 and has followed a sometimes nationalist agenda hostile to Western governments and companies.

In 2008 he expelled the US ambassador and agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, accusing them of meddling in Bolivia’s internal affairs.

Bolivia is a major producer of coca leaves, the raw material of cocaine.

During this previous crisis, the United States responded by expelling the Bolivian ambassador and ending trade privileges that it had granted Bolivia.

After a long period of frosty ties, the two countries in 2011 signed a framework agreement to normalize relations and exchange ambassadors again. but tensions remained.

“With the government of the United States we have profound differences of an ideological, cultural and, especially, policy-related nature,” Morales told the La Paz diplomatic corps last year.

“I hope that with the new framework agreement we can improve things, but I doubt it,” he said.

US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Wednesday that all USAID had done in Bolivia was simply to try to help people live better. Washington deeply regrets the decision by Bolivia, he said.

“We deny the baseless allegations made by the Bolivian government,” he added.

After five years of efforts to normalize relations after the 2008 crisis, he said, “this action is a further demonstration that the Bolivian government is not interested in that vision.”

The new US Secretary of State John Kerry had encouraged improved relations with Bolivia.

But bilateral ties suffered another blow recently when Morales said the United States was conspiring against the new government that has taken over Venezuela after the death of his ally Hugo Chavez.

And in early April, the United States announced it was ending the financial and logistical support it had given to Bolivia’s struggle against drug traffickers, although it did donate several aircraft.

In his speech Wednesday Morales said Bolivia was offended by recent Kerry comments to the effect that Latin America was the United States’ backyard.

The United States, he said, “probably thinks that here it can still manipulate politically and economically. That is a thing of the past.”

Morales instructed Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca to inform the US embassy of the expulsion of USAID, “that tool which still has a mentality of domination.”

In Bolivia, USAID has worked to help Bolivia improve its health care system and also runs a sustainable development and environmental program.

Specific goals include boosting farm productivity and food security, expanding access to social services and enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium sized companies, according to the USAID web site.

During Wednesday’s speech, Morales also announced several laws to benefit workers and recalled the seventh anniversary of his nationalization of the hydrocarbon sector, which affected nearly a dozen foreign oil companies.

- AFP/ac

Those who kill in the name of Islam are terrorists and criminals, who ”do not represent Islam at all”

Jihad means Dawah [proper presentation, understanding and appreciation of Islam in its real spirit]. People have misunderstood the concept of jihad. Islam does not permit extremism in all its manifestations, misconstrued for jihad by some unscrupulous elements.

Those who kill people for any reason are terrorists and criminals. They do not represent Islam at all but their own agenda and covetousness. Nobody has the right to snatch anyone’s life. Mankind belongs to Almighty Allah, who is supreme and the only authority [allowed] to snatch life. Qur’an describes Muslims as a “moderate community” and urges them to be merciful, kind and tolerant towards people of other communities as well.–Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Those who kill in the name of Islam are terrorists and criminals who ”do not represent Islam at all”, says renowned Indian scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan. [Sagar Fazal/Khabar]

Maulana: Islam does not permit extremism

khabar

In Islam, no one is allowed to snatch a life, world-renowned Islamic scholar and peace activist Maulana Wahiduddin Khan tells Khabar South Asia in an exclusive interview.

By Altaf Ahmad for Khabar South Asia in New Delhi
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan of India is known worldwide for his teachings on modern Islam, non-violence, and interfaith harmony. He has authored more than 200 books, including, most recently, “The Prophet of Peace” and “Jihad, Peace and Inter-Community Relations in Islam”. An expert in religious affairs, Khan lectures on several popular television channels.

Born in Uttar Pradesh in 1925, he has received numerous national and international awards, including the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honour, the National Integration Award, the Communal Harmony Award, and the National Citizen’s Award, and many others.

Khabar: How do you see Islam and Muslims in the world today?

Khan: Islam advocates equality, peace and brotherhood, but in contemporary times, xenophobia has influenced the Muslim community. Islam urges Muslims to be the ambassadors of peace and brotherhood, but a section of Muslims on the other hand are involved in extremism and prejudice. Intolerance is highly denounced in Islam, and Muslims should exhibit tolerance and promote peace and brotherhood in all circumstances.

Khabar: Have Muslim clergy failed to play their role in spreading Islam in its real spirit? Prophet Muhammad said, “When leaders and clergy are on the right path, people will be on the same path”.

Khan: Muslim clergy tend to be ignorant to their duty and unfortunately have stayed away from the noble mission of Dawah (proper presentation, understanding and appreciation of Islam in its real spirit). In my opinion, they have failed to remove misconceptions about the religion, and contributed in bringing about a good deal of moral degradation among Muslims.

Islam stands for justice, peace and harmony. Extremism is not admissible in Islam. As far as the role of clergy is concerned, Prophet Muhammad says, “The Ulema (scholar) is one who knows the era and people he represents”. When clergy is unaware or unmindful of the affairs of the world, they are bound to lack vision and wisdom.

Khabar: There is a lot of confusion regarding jihad in Islam. What exactly does Holy Qur’an says about jihad?

Khan: Jihad means Dawah. People have misunderstood the concept of jihad. Islam does not permit extremism in all its manifestations, misconstrued for jihad by some unscrupulous elements.

Those who kill people for any reason are terrorists and criminals. They do not represent Islam at all but their own agenda and covetousness. Nobody has the right to snatch anyone’s life. Mankind belongs to Almighty Allah, who is supreme and the only authority [allowed] to snatch life. Qur’an describes Muslims as a “moderate community” and urges them to be merciful, kind and tolerant towards people of other communities as well.

Khabar: How do you view disorder and violence in different parts of the world? Who in your opinion is responsible for such inhuman acts?

Khan: Criminals and terrorists commit such inhuman acts. Such extremists have no religion. We need to denounce inhuman acts committed by these people for their own vested interests.

Khabar: In what situation and for which offences does Islam permit capital punishment?

Khan: Almighty God has created man with utmost respect and dignity. No one is allowed to snatch a life or commit murder of a human being. In Islam, capital punishment is permitted when somebody is murdered in cold blood.

Khabar: What is the legality of blasphemy in Islam? Is capital punishment the only way to deal with blasphemy?

Khan: There is no prescribed law for blasphemy in Islam. Muslims should exhibit tolerance and demonstrate wisdom. Violent protests against Danish cartoonist (Kurt Westergaard) and Salman Rushdie for their anti-Islamic views were a waste of energy. If someone writes against the Prophet Muhammad, we should have sound knowledge to dislodge his propaganda and prove him wrong. We should be well-equipped with logic and reasons to counter unscrupulous elements who want to create confusion with regard to Islam.

Those who embraced Islam in early ages were the opponents of Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad never expressed anger against them or awarded any kind of punishment. Exhibiting high moral and character, Prophet Muhammad converted his enemies into loyalists and trusted friends.

Khabar: What is the significance of the Hijab (veil) in Islam? Is head cover mandatory for girls in schools and colleges? Most Western colleges don’t permit veils.

Khan: Hijab is not what women and girls wear in present times. Schools, colleges and universities have their own set of rules. Girl students should follow and abide by them. Islam does not permit to create disorder in any institution in any circumstances. If you do not like some rules and regulations of an institution, that does not mean you will create problems for others by enforcing your own set of rules.

Islam urges you to be an honest and honourable citizen. One should be loyal to his or her country and likewise to the rules governing an educational institution. You can never be a good Muslim unless you are a good citizen of your country.

Khabar: What role do you see for madrassas in promotion of peace and quality education?

Khan: The madrassas have a limited role and they can’t go beyond that. You cannot expect madrassas to produce Nobel laureates, eminent scientists and reformists. Madrassas teach you about performing Namaz and Hajj (Prayers and Pilgrimage). Worldly knowledge is a must for producing eminent persons in the field of science, information technology and engineering, and Islam is not against it.

 

 

 

Pervez Musharraf formally arrested in Benazir murder case

Pervez Musharraf formally arrested in Benazir murder case

Geo-TV
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested former president, General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in relation to the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

The formal proceedings for the arrest were completed by the FIA Deputy Director at Musharraf’s farmhouse in Chak Shahzad which has been declared sub-jail.

During the interrogation, the former president was asked why Benazir Bhutto was not provided security upon her return to Pakistan, to which Musharraf replied that she was provided complete security. Musharraf also refused to accept the allegations against him and said Benazir Bhutto became the target of terrorists.

The FIA will file a petition seeking the physical remand of Musharraf in the Anti Terrorism court on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, the ATC had allowed the FIA to include Pervez Musharraf in the investigation of Benazir Bhutto murder case.

Musharraf is accused of involvement in a conspiracy to murder Benazir Bhutto, who died in a gun and suicide attack in December 2007. It is one of the three cases he is fighting in the courts since returning home last month after four years in self-imposed exile.

ALSO :
FIA joint investigation team to interrogate Pervez Musharraf   
ATC allows FIA to include Musharraf in Benazir murder investigation   

Lebanese Borders Being Defended Against Syrian Sunni Terrorist Invasion–Hezbollah Argues

Hezbollah Pledges Lebanon Border Defense Against Syrian Rebels

A man walks past blood stain on a street in the border town of al-Qasr in Hermel following artillery shell fire. Photographer: -/AFP/Getty Images

By Donna Abu-Nasr & Nicole Gaouette
Lebanon’s government has failed to protect villages along the Syrian-Lebanese border and Hezbollah has a “national and moral” duty to defend residents there, one of its leaders said.

Nabil Qawooq’s remarks were reported a day after the Shiite border town of Hermel in Lebanon’s northeast came under rocket fire from Syria. Seven 107mm rockets landed in Hermel and villages around it yesterday without causing casualties, the Lebanese Army said in a statement yesterday.

Prior to the attack, residents in the nearby village of al- Qasr received text messages warning that the Free Syria Army, which is fighting to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, would bombard the two communities, the Daily Star reported. Hezbollah backs the Assad government.

“Are we expected to leave our people in the border villages subject to murder, abduction, slaughter and displacement?” Qawooq said at a memorial for a Hezbollah fighter, according to the official National News Agency.

Syrian opposition groups and Lebanese political figures opposed to Hezbollah have accused the group of fighting alongside Assad, an Alawite, whose religion is an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Syria’s insurgents are mostly Sunni. Hezbollah is considered a terrorist group by the U.S. and Israel.

Hezbollah Denial

The Syrian National Coalition, the main political opposition group, has called on the Lebanese government to take the necessary steps to end Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria.

Hezbollah has denied it’s fighting in Syria and has said it’s helping Lebanese Shiites living in Syrian border towns and villages to defend themselves against rebel assaults. Syrian government forces have attacked suspected rebel supply routes inside Lebanon with artillery and warplanes.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement today that all parties to the conflict in Syria should stop indiscriminate cross-border attacks on inhabited areas in Lebanon.

“Even if fighters are present in Lebanon, there is no excuse for any warring party to conduct indiscriminate strikes on residential areas,” said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “All sides need to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians.” Rebels should halt the use of indiscriminate weapons, like rockets, the group said.

The uprising against Assad, which began in March 2011, has killed “well over” 70,000 people, according to a United Nations estimate last month.

Suburb Killings

At least 69 people died during six days of clashes between rebel forces and Assad’s troops in the Damascus suburb of Jdaidet Al-Fadel, including six women and three people under 18, Rami Abdel Rahman, founder of the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said in an interview from Coventry, England.

Abdel Rahman said the Observatory is seeking to identify 11 more bodies. The casualties occurred as government troops sought to drive rebels out of the suburb of Jdaidet Al-Fadel, Abdel Rahman said.

Syria’s official SANA news agency said today the troops have carried out several “operations against terrorists and their dens” in Jdaidet Al-Fadel and Darayya, inflicting losses and destroying their weapons. The opposition Local Coordination Committees said yesterday that government forces killed more than 450 people in Jdaidet Al-Fadel, mostly women and children. Reporters cannot reach the area, making it impossible to reconcile or check the casualty figures.

Aid Doubled

The U.S. will double its non-lethal aid to anti-Assad rebels, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced at a Friends of Syria conference in Turkey yesterday.

The new $123 million in aid “underscores the United States’ firm support for a political solution to the crisis in Syria and for the opposition’s advancement of an inclusive, tolerant vision” for a post-Assad Syria, according to the announcement. Kerry also announced about $25 million in additional food assistance.

Some portion of the non-lethal aid will be used to provide the military opposition with equipment that could include night- vision goggles, radios, military vehicles and body armor.

To contact the reporters on this story: Donna Abu-Nasr in Beirut at dabunasr@bloomberg.net; Nicole Gaouette in Washington at ngaouette@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

Get Prepared EXPO–(This Weekend In Lebanon MO, Apr. 6-7)

Get Prepared EXPO – April 6-7, 2013 – The Largest Survival and Preparedness EXPO in the USA

 

Schedule of Events – Version 7 – 04/05/13

USA Prepares.com Vincent Finelli

 

Get Prepared EXPO – Largest Survival and Preparedness EXPO in the USA

 

80 Full One-Hour Seminars and 100 Exhibits

 

April 5, 6, 7, and 8, 2013

 

Cowan Civic Center, 500 E. Elm Street, Lebanon, MO 65536

 

Tickets On-line $8 per day – $15 for the Full weekend – CLICK HERE

 

Apply to be on TV’s Doomsday Preppers – Meet and have dinner with the casting Director

 

—————————————————————————————————————————

 

USAPrepares.com – Schedule of Events:

 

Friday April 5, 2013 10AM – 5PM– Exhibitor Setup

 

6PM Networking Dinner – Instructors, Exhibitors, Guests

 

Dowds Catfish and BBQ, 1760 West Elm St., Lebanon,

 

MO 65536 – 417-532-1777- $8.99 up

 

—————————————————————————————————————————Saturday April 6, 2013 8AM – Exhibitor Setup

 

Saturday April 6, 2013 9AM – 6PM – EXPO Hall Open for Guests

 

Saturday – Seminar Rooms A, B, C, Entry Lobby, Theater, and Second Floor Mezzanine

 

10-11

 

Theater – Dr. Richard Allen Miller– Mind Control- Learn to Think Like a Navy SEAL .

 

Room A – Nicole Trujillo, Doterra – Medicine Cabinet Makeover – Essential Oils

 

Room B – Judy Dollarhite – USAPrepares.com – Water Filtration at Home or On-The-Go

 

Room C – Ken Hurley, Kyani – Lower High Blood Pressure, Increase Endurance – Naturally

 

Entry Lobby – Edward Campbell – Nobel Mint – Purchasing Gold in Small Amounts

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Bob Gaskin – Bug-in or Bug-out? Which one? And Why?

 

11-12

 

Theater – James Wesley, Rawles – Part -1of 2 – via Teleseminar with Vincent Finelli -Survival

 

Room A- Carl Rickard, CC Silver – What is Colloidal Silver? How it is beneficial to your

 

Room B – Roy Birdsong, Choose Your Own Wireless – Cell Phone Calling Plans – $8 per Month

 

Room C – Nathan Jones, Power Source Solar – Alternative Energy from the Sun – Solar Life

 

Entry Lobby – Bill Whaley – Living off Junk, Creative and Useful Applications discarded Items – Also see special all-day seminar on Monday, April 8

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Eric Vought – Start Your Own Sheriff’s Auxiliary – your first line of defense

 

12-1

 

Theater – James Wesley, Rawles -Part 2 of 2 – via Teleseminar with Vincent Finelli -Survival

 

Room A – Dr Dan Junker – Oxygen Cures – The Underground Cancer Doctor

 

Room B – Alan Busiek (of Doomsday Preppers) Preparedness for Beginners – how to begin

 

Room C – Robb Clopfill – Salad Master: Demonstration – Learn to cook to preserve nutrition – Enjoy sample foods…

 

Entry Lobby – John Dollarhite, DollarValue Computers. EMPs – Preventing Computer Failure

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Stephen Heuer – Synergistic Nutrition - Learn The 5 Factors That Stop Your Body from operating at 100%

 

1-2

 

Theater – Joyce Riley – The Power Hour – When There is no Doctor

 

Room A – Brooklyn Bagwell – Doomsday Preppers – Casting Call – Do you have the preps to be on TV?

 

Room B – Len Pense, Gardening Revolution – Survival High Yield Gardening. Learn how to build your raised bed garden.

 

Room C – John Moore – Violent Climate Change. You can feel the climate changing – Should you relocate?

 

AMP-3 Booth – David Pruett, MD, AMP-3 – Hands-on Suture Seminar Part-1 of 2 by our Emergency Room Doctor – Suture a pigs foot, and take home spare suture kit. For educational purposes only – we are not training you for surgery – Cost $65 – Watch for Free (Class size limited to 20) purchase ticket at the Store Tab at http://www.USAPrepares.com

 

Entry Lobby – Dough Dougherty – Author, Survive USA – Beyond Food and Water – then what?

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Dragon Heaters – Cindy Mathieu – Fire Science: Wood Stoves, Masonry Heaters, and Rocket Heater

 

2-3

 

Theater – Dr. Joel Wallach, DVM – Youngevity – Restore Your Health – Dead Doctors Don’t Lie

 

Room A – Joel Johnson, Kodiak Survival – MacGyver 101. Invisible inventions

 

Room B – Marjory Wildcraft, Grow Your Own Groceries in Your Backyard – Living off the land

 

Room C – Paulette Wohnoutka, Millstreet Market – Build Your Own Bucket of Food. You can

 

AMP-3 Booth – David Pruett, MD, AMP-3 – Hands-on Suture Seminar Part-2 of 2 by our Emergency Room Doctor – Suture a pigs foot, and take home spare suture kit. For educational purposes only – we are not training you for surgery – Cost $65 – Watch for Free (Class size limited to 20)

 

Entry Lobby – Mike Mah – Negotiate for Your Life. Learn the lifestyle of making friends easily

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Dr Cass Ingram – Dr Oregano (Talk Show Host) – The All-purpose Cure and Prevention Herb

 

3-4

 

Theater – Larry Pratt, Teleseminar – Larry Pratt (with Vincent Finelli) – Executive Director of Gun Owners of America – The Second Amendment is in Danger

 

Room A – Mike Nocks, White Harvest Seed – Seeds Planting, Gardening and Saving – what to do right now!

 

Room B – Dr. James Hubbard – Wound Care – Burn Care

 

Room C – Dr. Julie Penick, Penick Health Care – Sea of Toxins. Overweight? Tired? Irritable?

 

Entry Lobby – Caleb Arthur, Missouri Sun Solar – Living With Solar Power

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Dr Bones and Nurse Amy – Survival Medicine

 

4-5

 

Theater – Mat Stein – EMPs and Solar Flares – Fact Fiction and Survival Strategies. Buy your autographed books.

 

Room A – David Pruett, MD, AMP-3 – First Aid Kits Developed by an Emergency Room Doctor – Build yours and take it with you.

 

Room B – Craig Douglas, Forbidden Knowledge – Radiation Detection – Can you detect

 

Room C – John Ragan USAF Officer (Ret) – Author – The Financial State of the Union

 

Entry Lobby – Jeff Olms – Selecting Your First Defense Firearm

 

5-6

 

Theater – Dr Cass Ingram – Dr Oregano (Talk Show Host) – The All-purpose Cure and Prevention Herb

 

Room A – Dr Bones and Nurse Amy – Survival Medicine

 

Room B – Johnny Delerious, Monolithic Dome – Concrete Dome Structures. If you are willing

 

Room C – Lucinda Bailey, Texas Ready – Heirloom Seeds. Grow a 2,000 pound Garden

 

Entry Lobby – Scott Peterson – Down To Earth Seeds – Our Current Food Supply, and Dangers

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Dr Richard Alan Miller – Ask the Doctor – the questions you want answered

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday April 6, 2013 6PM – 8PM– Banquet Dinner – $6, $7 Tickets Required

 

Networking Dinner – Instructors, Exhibitors, Guests

 

Seminar Rooms A, B, and C

 

—————————————————————————————————————————

 

10-11

 

Theater- Dr. Joel Wallach, DVM – Youngevity – Restore Your Health – Dead Doctors Don’t Lie

 

Room A – Stephen Heuer – Synergistic Nutrition - Learn The 5 Factors That Stop Your Body from operating at 100%

 

Room B – Eddie Allen – American Open Currency Standard – Gold, Silver, and Copper barter

 

Room C – Judy Dollarhite – Raising Rabbits and Chickens – In the City – And Her New Book – about her $6 Million USDA Fine

 

Entry Lobby – Mike Mah, No StressMike.com, Hoy Chi, The Ancient Art of Chinese Medicine.

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Ken Hurley, Kyani – Lower High Blood Pressure, Increase Endurance – Naturally

 

11-12

 

Theater – Dr. James Hubbard – The Survival Doctor – Wound Care – Burn Care

 

Room A – Paulette Wohnoutka, Millstreet Market – Build Your Own Bucket of Food. You can

 

Room B – Joyce Riley – The Power Hour – The Truth about Military Experiments

 

Room C – Lucinda Bailey, Texas Ready – Heirloom Seeds. Double Your Tomato Yield

 

Entry Lobby – Dr. Richard Alan Miller – Who Knows – It really doesn’t Matter

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – David Klotz – – The Wal-Mart Takeover of America

 

12-1

 

Theater – John Moore – Violent Climate Change. You can feel the climate changing – do you need to relocate?

 

Room A – Joel Johnson, Kodiak Survival – MacGyver 101. Invisible inventions – that is what

 

Room B – Eric Lancaster, Teraganix – High Yield Gardening on Steroids – Let Microorganisms do the hard work.

 

Room C – Glenn Meder, Survival Still – Emergency Water Distillation – What do you do when there is no clean drinking water?

 

AMP-3 Booth – David Pruett, MD, AMP-3 – Learn how to vacuum pack foods for long term storage.

 

Entry Lobby – Dr Bones and Nurse Amy – Survival Medicine

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Aaron Tarlow -Southern Armory – Buy Your First Survival Firearm – Beginners

 

1-2

 

Theater – Marjory Wildcraft, (Doomsday Preppers Expert), Grow Your Own Groceries – Bugs, the final and last choice for

 

Room A – Valerie Earhart – ABC Books – EMP Proof Information that You Need – We have

 

Room B – Casey Mustion, Hewitt Messenger – Well Drilling and Water Treatment.

 

Room C – Dr. Howard Shayne, DDS, Fox Grape Dentistry – Emergency Dentistry

 

Entry Lobby – Ray Cooley, Solar Labs – Solar Power for Your Home and Business

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Jeff Olms – Selecting Your First Defense Firearm

 

2-3

 

Theater – Sheriff Richard Mack (America’s Sheriff) – The Second Amendment – Our Greatest Threat to Liberty

 

Room A- Bill Whaley – Live Off Junk – Creative and useful applications for items in the trash

 

Room B – Bruce Hough – Buy Your First Farm

 

Room C – Bob Gaskin – What to do When the Lights Go Out – Serious Survival Strategies

 

Entry Lobby – Wes McCollum – VacuCanner – Simple and Effective Process for Food Storage

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Chief Cloudpiler – Native American Medicine – Do you want to be a Medicine Man/Woman – Natural Healing

 

 

 

3-4

 

Theater – David Pruett, MD, AMP-3 – Every Day Carry – The essential Supplies that you must carry with you.

 

Room A – Len Pense, Gardening Revolution – Survival High Yield Gardening. Learn how to…

 

Room B – Ozark Beekeepers Association – Beekeeping for Food Production. It is simple.

 

Room C – Dr Dan Junker – Oxygen Cures – The Underground Cancer Doctor

 

Entry Lobby – Julia Schopick – Author – Honest Medicine – Teleseminar with Vincent Finelli

 

Second Floor Mezzanine – Louis Krudo – Krudo Knives – Knife Fighting – Devense

 

 

 

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Sunday April 7, 2013 – 4PM – Exhibitor Close Down

 

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Monday, April 8, 2013 8AM – 5PM – Special Optional Seminars for Guests

 

8 – 5

 

Seminar Room A – Dr. Richard Alan Miller – Critical Decision Making Power Tools – Learn to Think Like a Navy SEAL – by the man who developed the technology. Limited seating. Cost $35 per person, $50 per couple. On-Line Registration – USAPrepares.com, Store Tab. Dinner at Dowd’s Catfish and BBQ – Optional and on your own

 

 

 

Monday, April 8, 2013 8AM – 5PM – Special Optional Seminars for Guests

 

8 – 5

 

Seminar Room B – MacGyver meets the Junk Man – Presented by the Authors and Developers of “Invisible Inventions” (a.k.a. “MacGyver 101″) and “How to Live on Junk”

 

BASIC / INTERMEDIATE WORKSHOP In this hands-on workshop, Joel Johnson, (“The Real MacGyver”) and Bill Whaley (“The Junkman”) train you to take another man’s trash and turn it into fuel, tools, and weapons essential for emergency survival, to economize, and to think, see, and perform like MacGyver. Cost $35 per person, $50 per household. On-Line Registration – USAPrepares.com, Store Tab. Dinner at Dowd’s Catfish and BBQ – Optional and on your own

Arab League denies seat to Syrian opposition

Arab League denies seat to Syrian opposition

pravda
Arab League denies seat to Syrian opposition. 49595.jpeg

The secretary general of the Arab League (AL) Nabil al-Arabi on Wednesday (07) denied a post in the regional bloc to the so-called Coalition forces and the National Revolution of Syrian opposition (CNFROS).
According to the Iranian news channel in Arabic, Al-Alam, they have refused to recognize the Syrian opposition as the country’s representative in court and said that it could only be represented when forming an interim government in Syria.

Referring to the current wave of violence in Syria, Al-Arabi said CNFROS said they do not deserve to be the representative of Syria within the Pan-Arab organization.

At the meeting of ministers of the Arab League on Wednesday in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, the secretary general of the Arab bloc emphasized a peaceful solution to resolve the Syrian crisis. The statements of Nabil al-Arabi were released after they surfaced on Wednesday about the decision of the Arab League about the Syrian opposition taking a seat on the organization. The information led to a reaction by the Damascus government who said in a statement that it rejected any involvement of the Arab League in international efforts to resolve the Syrian conflict, and accused them of continuing to violate its statutes and its principles.

The Lebanese Foreign Minister, Adnan Mansour, demanded that the Arab League reactivate the participation of Syria in the organization, with the aim of promoting a political solution to the crisis.

The Arab Foreign Ministers took the decision to suspend Syria on November 12, 2011 from Syrian participation in all meetings of the Arab League, under the allegation that Damascus was behind the disturbances that hit the country.

And since March 2011, Syrian citizens are witnessing the bloodshed of their countrymen because of the violence generated by armed groups that are supported by foreigners in order to pave the way for foreign military intervention.

Translated from the Portuguese version by:

Lisa Karpova
Pravda.Ru

Hamid Karzai says US, Taliban are colluding

[Karzai says that Taliban are zeroed-in on the alleged 2014 date, executing bombings with the intent of convincing the Afghan govt. that Western forces will be needed into the indefinite future, collaborating with the Pentagon for common purpose.  Karzai is calling-out the Americans for staging a bloody, fake terror war with the Taliban's help.  He has accused the Americans with the same charge that he has been levelling at the Pakistanis, of working with or supporting the Afghan Taliban.  Pakistan and the US have been working together in Pakistan to stage a phony terror war, now Karzai points-out that the same thing has been happening in his country.  US Special Forces have been given until today to get out of Maidan Wardak.  If Karzai is seriously trying to expose the entire criminal "simulated war" and to put it to an end, then the new Sec. Defense Hagel will be wasting his breath and really getting an earful at his meeting with Karzai today.]

Afghan leader Hamid Karzai says US, Taliban are colluding

south china morning post

Associated Press in Kabul

afghanistan-unrest-us-taliban_sm600_34543131.jpg

Click here to find out more!
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks at a gathering of women to mark International Women’s Day, in Kabul. Photo: AFP

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday accused the Taliban and the US of working in concert to convince Afghans that violence will worsen if most foreign troops leave as planned by the end of next year.

Karzai said two suicide bombings that killed 19 people on Saturday — one outside the Afghan Defence Ministry and the other near a police checkpoint in eastern Khost province — show the insurgent group is conducting attacks to help show that international forces will still be needed to keep the peace after their current combat mission ends next year.

“The explosions in Kabul and Khost yesterday showed that they are at the service of America and at the service of this phrase: next year. They are trying to frighten us into thinking that if the foreigners are not in Afghanistan, we would be facing these sorts of incidents,” he said during a nationally televised speech about the state of Afghan women.

There was no immediate response from the US-led military coalition, which is gradually handing over responsibility for securing the country to Afghan forces.

They are trying to frighten us into thinking that if the foreigners are not in Afghanistan, we would be facing these sorts of incidents
Afghan president hamid karzai

Karzai is known for making incendiary comments in his public speeches, a move that is often attributed to him trying to appeal to those who sympathise with the Taliban or as a way to gain leverage when he feels his international allies are ignoring his country’s sovereignty. In previous speeches he has threatened to join the Taliban and called his Nato allies occupiers who want to plunder Afghanistan’s resources.

His latest remarks come as his government is negotiating a pact with the US for the long-term presence of American forces in Afghanistan and just days after an agreement to transfer the US prison outside of Kabul to Afghan authority fell through. His comments also came while US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel is making his first visit to Afghanistan since becoming the Pentagon chief.

Karzai said in his speech that any foreign powers that want to keep troops in Afghanistan need to do so under conditions set forward by Afghanistan.

“We will tell them where we need them, and under which conditions. They must respect our laws. They must respect the national sovereignty of our country and must respect all our customs,” Karzai said.

Karzai offered no proof of coordination, but said the Taliban and the United States were in “daily negotiations” in various foreign countries and noted that the United States has said that it no longer considers the insurgent group its enemy. The US continues to fight against the Taliban and other militant groups, but has expressed its backing for formal peace talks with the Taliban to find a political resolution to the war.

Karzai said he did not believe the Taliban’s claim that they launched Saturday’s attacks to show they are still a potent force fighting the United States. “Yesterday’s explosions, which the Taliban claimed, show that in reality they are saying they want the presence of foreigners in Afghanistan,” Karzai said.

Protesters in Tokyo demand end to nuclear power

http://www.japantoday.com/images/size/x/2013/03/urn%3Apublicid%3Aap.org%3A1e50ff64bdba4150a3189ca4dc67b7a1.jpg

A protester holds an anti-nuclear power plant sign at a rally in Tokyo on Saturday. AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye

TOKYO —

Protesters in Tokyo demand end to nuclear power

japan today

By YURI KAGEYAMA

Thousands of people rallied in a Tokyo park Saturday, demanding an end to atomic power and vowing never to give up the fight, despite two years of little change after the nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan.

Gathering two days ahead of the second anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that sent the Fukushima Daiichi plant into multiple meltdowns, demonstrators said they would never forget the nuclear catastrophe, and expressed alarm over the government’s eagerness to restart reactors.

“I can’t see what lies ahead. It looks hopeless, but if I give up now, it’s over,” said Akihiro Nakata, a 47-year-old owner of a construction company, who had a drum slung around his shoulder. “I’d rather die moving forward.”

Only two of Japan’s 50 working nuclear reactors have been put back online since the disaster, partly because of continuous protests like Saturday’s, the first time such demonstrations have popped up in this nation since the 1960s movement against the Vietnam War.

People have thronged Tokyo parks on national holidays, and have gathered outside the parliament building every Friday evening. The demonstrations have drawn people previously unseen at political rallies, such as commuter “salarymen” and housewives. Organizers said Saturday’s demonstration drew 13,000 people.

Two years after the disaster, 160,000 people have left their homes around the plant, entire sections of nearby communities are still ghost towns, and fears grow about cancer and other sicknesses the spewing radiation might bring.

Fukushima waste

Fukushima Waste waiting disposal.

But the new prime minister elected late last year, Shinzo Abe, hailing from a conservative party that fostered the pro-nuclear policies of modernizing Japan, wants to restart the reactors, and maybe even build new ones.

The protesters said they were shocked by how the government was ignoring them.

“I am going to fight against those who act as though Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima never happened,” Nobel Prize-winning writer Kenzaburo Oe told the crowd, referring to the atomic bombings preceding the end of World War II. “I am going to fight to prevent any more reactors from being restarted.”

The demonstrators applauded, waving signs and lanterns that read, “Let’s save the children” and “No nukes.” Some were handing out leaflets, pleading to save animals abandoned in the no-go zone.

Kazuko Nihei, 36, was selling trinkets and soap that mothers, like her, who had fled Fukushima had made, hoping to raise funds for children’s health check-ups and their new lives in Tokyo.

“When the government talks about recovery, they are talking about infrastructure. When we talk about recovery, we are talking about the future of our children,” she said.

Another big Tokyo rally was planned for Sunday. A concert Saturday evening featured Oscar and Grammy-winning musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, one of the most vocal opponents of nuclear power. Commemorative services will be held Monday throughout the nation to remember the nearly 19,000 people who died in the disaster.

Less under the spotlight Monday will be a class-action lawsuit being filed against the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co, the utility that operates Fukushima Daiichi, demanding all land, the natural environment and homes be restored to their state before March 11, 2011.

The lawsuit in Fukushima District Court is unusual in drawing people from all walks of life, including farmers, fishermen and housewives, because of the wording of the damage demand.

It has drawn 800 plaintiffs so far, a remarkable number in a conformist culture that frowns upon any challenge to the status quo, especially lawsuits. That number may grow as people join the lawsuit in coming months. A verdict is not expected for more than a year.

“We can’t believe the government is thinking about restarting the reactors after the horrendous damage and human pain the accident has caused,” Izutaro Managi, one of the lawyers, said by telephone. “It is tantamount to victimizing the victims one more time.”

Kazuko Ishige, a 66-year-old apartment manager who was at the rally with a friend from Fukushima, said she was sick of the government’s lies about the safety of nuclear plants.

“I am really angry,” she said. “I am going to have to keep at it until I die.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Waking up in Waziristan

[Pakistan and Afghanistan have begun to deal with each other as if the US and NATO were already long gone.  That will include the opening of new strategic corridors between the two countries, compliments of their friends in the UAE and in USAID, and the commerce which that development will bring.  But, there is little chance that these roads will benefit the US or NATO, since they all pass through hostile territory in Miramshah and in Wana.  This is undoubtedly the reason that the US is so adamant that Pakistan launch an "operation in North Waziristan." The Wana route would be the shortest route from Kabul to Karachi, but can Pakistan wring a cease-fire out of the Wazir militias before the 2014 cut-off, in order to facilitate the withdrawal of NATO?  Will President Karzai's stopping of American warfare by proxy (using elements of the TTP against Pakistan), persuade the Pak Army to halt further support to the Afghan Taliban?  If this is an actual opening to bring peace to Afghanistan, then that does not neccessarily mean that it will benefit the NATO withdrawal mission.  The fact that Karzai has taken his actions against the Pentagon and their surrogates in Eastern Afghanistan (SEE: Afghan Nat. Security Council Meeting Evicts Spec. Forces from Wardak and Logar for Employing Criminal Gangs ) indicates that this is a somewhat hostile move by Karzai.  If Pakistan is looking for some sort of revenge against the US for sabotaging their efforts to rehabilitate their local militants (SEE: India/Pakistani Detente' Went Into the Ground with Mullah Nazir) then there can be little doubt that there will be no NATO convoys getting by the forces of Mullah Nazir Group in either Afghanistan or South Waziristan.  After the State Dept. designation of the Mullah Nazir Group as terrorists (SEE: Terrorist Designations of the Commander Nazir Group and Malang Wazir),look for a major escalation of the drone war upon the group, eventually a resumption of special forces raids, unless other assets like Blackwater and the Mehsud Taliban take-on the Wazirs for Obama.  Will Obama crash Karzai's party?  Only time will tell.]

Pak-Afghan talks for new trade corridor get boost

dawn

A Pashtun man passes a road sign while pulling supplies towards the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing. – File photo by Reuters

A Pashtun man passes a road sign while pulling supplies towards the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing. – File photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan for opening a third trade corridor through Waziristan got a fresh impetus during the visit of Afghan Defence Minister Gen Bismillah Mohammadi when the two countries narrowed their longstanding strategic differences.

The high-ranking Afghan defence ministry delegation departed on Thursday after completing a five-day visit during which they held meetings with civilian and political leadership and inspected a number of Army’s training facilities.

During his several interactions, Gen Bismillah is said to have stressed the need for finalisation of the agreement on third trade corridor, which will not only reduce the travel time and distance between Karachi and Kabul, but will also contribute to development of border areas of both countries.

“Afghans have recognised the centrality of Pakistan for peace and stability in their country not only in terms of kinetic military operations, but also with regard to socio-economic development of conflict zones,” an official said.

The third route has been under discussion since 2003, but deep-running mistrust between the two neighbours had prevented its materialisation. The Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA 2010) had provided for a third entry-exit point on the Pak-Afghan border in addition to the two existing points — Chaman and Torkham, but had deferred its operationalisation till a “mutually- acceptable date”.

The proposed third trade corridor is a three branched route originating from Karachi and ending in Kabul. Once made functional the distance between Karachi and Kabul would be reduced by some 400 kilometres. The traffic on the new trade corridor would pass through less frequently used roads and join the Indus Highway. After crossing the Indus River the route would divide into three branches entering Afghanistan in three different provinces.

The three routes will be Route-1: D.I. Khan-Tank-Makeen-Miran Shah-Ghulam Khan, and onward to Afghanistan; Route-2: D.I. Khan-Tank-Wana-Angoor Adda, and onward to Afghanistan; and Route-3: Bannu-Miramshah-Ghulam Khan, and onward to Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, the traffic would come into the newly-constructed Afghanistan Ring Road.

“The third trade corridor is set to become a reality because of the construction of 2200-kilometre-long Afghanistan Ring Road which connects major Afghan cities and development of road network in Fata by FWO as part of the counter-insurgency operations,” an official said.

He further said: “The biggest spin-off will be the livelihood revolution and economic prosperity that this corridor will bring in the region.
However, in order to draw its true dividend, security situation has to improve.”

TRAINING OF AFGHAN TROOPS: The six-member Afghan defence delegation visited various military education and training institutions, including the National Defence University, Command and Staff College, Quetta, School of Infantry and Tactics, Quetta, Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, National University of Modern Language (NUML) and National University of Science and Technology to witness training activities.

During their visits to these centres full spectrum of training from low intensity conflict to conventional warfare, and from tactical to higher defence training was exhibited.

The Afghan delegation showed keen interest in getting their troops trained in Pakistan.

Pakistan had long been offering training facilities to Afghans, but the offers were not considered because of differences between the two countries.

The new-found Afghan interest in training in Pakistan is being seen as a major progress in relations.

The visiting delegation reportedly acknowledged benefits of training in Pakistan, including the similarity of operational environment in two countries and a better option for training of female soldiers who have been reluctant to train in other countries.

Waking up in Waziristan

pakistan today

Meet the warm, friendly side of Pakistan

South Waziristan was not exactly where I expected to wake upon my birthday in 2012. It is, after all, not yet at the top of everyone’s ‘must visit’ holiday places. To be honest, most friends had been somewhat horrified that I was making this trip, raising the spectre of all sorts of terrible things that could happen, though the more adventurous ones were envious because it’s a place of mystery that few get to visit. But despite the concern, it was peaceful, exciting and remarkably beautiful. South Waziristan is waking up and coming to life again after truly terrible times.

I visited the areas around Jandola, Chagmalai, Spinkai, Kotkai, Janata and Sararaogha in November to talk with the people who have returned after the military operations against the insurgents, and to see what’s happening in the reconstruction and rehabilitation activities. As a consultant who works across the civil-military divide and who regularly evaluates aid and development projects, I am able to assess the quality and outcomes of such projects.

The first thing I noticed was that the locals were warm, welcoming and they weren’t carrying guns. Nobody is allowed to move in these areas with a weapon. The long tradition of carrying weapons has undergone an enforced but important change. The second thing was that all women were not wearing burqas, were out and many were working in the fields. So, that quickly dispelled two well-worn perceptions.

South Waziristan has extraordinary scenery with mountains and cliffs rising sharply against the skyline with a river meandering through beautiful valleys. However, the spectacularly stark terrain makes it a hard place to conduct operations and it is easy to see why the losses were so heavy in subduing the insurgency.

Although casualties have reduced since 2010, peace building will be a long-term challenge given the external influences at play in the region. But much has already been done to restore a peaceful environment for the local people to return to the area to rebuild their lives and it is already making a difference.

For the rehabilitation and reconstruction of South Waziristan, the government of Pakistan is working in tandem with Pakistan Army, and a very small number of international donors, UN agencies and local NGOs. The government has enhanced its footprint. As the security situation further stabilises, more agencies will be able to work in the area. Electricity services for 35 villages have been restored. An impressive new 117km road with excellent bridges transverses the area. This road will join up with a similar road through Wana, to connect with the Indus Highway to form a third trade corridor between the Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics. This will contribute significantly to the economy of the South Waziristan and stimulate development and job opportunities.

Health and education facilities are undergoing reconstruction with 12 health care facilities already completed while some 45 schools for both boys and girls are being rebuilt, many of which are already operating and more are underway.

Although most families have been eager to return, it has been tough for most. Many have returned to damaged or destroyed homes and a complete loss of their livelihoods. UNHCR is building one-room shelters for the more vulnerable returnees such as widows but to date, progress is slow and the shelters are not culturally appropriate as they are mostly built in the open, not with the traditional compound walls. A Pakistani NGO, Resettling the Indus, is building, more culturally, appropriate houses, working with the local communities, and undertaking planning for a number of villages soon to be re-settled.

As part of the resettlement package, families receive food support for a period of six months provided by the World Food Programme and their donors. However, after that, it can be hard as there are still very few jobs and many have to live on whatever savings they have until they can get work or set up a micro-business. Water systems have been restored in 35 areas. Markets have been built in 30 places to help locals re-establish businesses and are handed over at no cost, provided they are used for the purpose agreed. Agricultural practices are being improved to make the small amount of arable land more productive.

Sports stadia have been constructed and are very popular for the favourite pastimes of cricket and football. The sports fields and a new community centre are also venues for festivals and Eid celebrations to bring the communities and those working there together. Discussions with the locals about what life was like in the shadow of the militants, their time away in IDP camps and with host families in other parts of Pakistan, and returning home, were revealing and deeply touching. As a woman, and a foreigner, I wasn’t sure that the men would be particularly comfortable with me. However, they extended their hands warmly to mine, talked freely and laughed with me and were entirely comfortable with me, mingling amongst them to take photographs. It turned out to be rather fun. Many spoke freely but others, still perhaps afraid of repercussions from any lingering militant sympathisers amongst them, were understandably uncomfortable in talking of the past. The terrible atrocities, they underwent at the hands of the militants, are still all too fresh in their minds.

The achievements of the Pakistan Army in South Waziristan are in stark contrast to the experience in Afghanistan of NATO/ISAF with the donor-supported reconstruction through the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). Despite billions of donor dollars pouring in to PRTs, they have not been able to achieve their goals. Lack of ability to stabilise areas, sub-standard materials provided by contractors, plus a frequent lack of cultural understanding have been some of the main inhibitors. But the story is very different in South Waziristan. Unlike the NATO/ISAF troops in Afghanistan, the Pakistan Army is of the same country, the same people, and although it is still challenging, acceptance and cultural understanding is greater. Also, as the army directly controls the reconstruction process on the ground, working closely with and for the government, donors and humanitarian agencies, there is full transparency and accountability.

South Waziristan was a real surprise not only for me but the many people I’ve spoken to since. There is so little awareness of life there. Unfortunately, good news stories do not attract the same attention as the negative. Yes, there will be many big challenges ahead but people’s resolve is greater. Let’s hope that the goal of long-term stability can be fully realised and the people of South Waziristan can prosper in true peace and harmony.

The writer is a disaster management and civil-military relations consultant, based in Islamabad where she consults for government and UN agencies. She has also worked with ERRA and NDMA. She can be contacted at: jennifer.mckay@gmail.com

Afghan Nat. Security Council Meeting Evicts Spec. Forces from Wardak and Logar for Employing Criminal Gangs

[THIS POST HAS BEEN DISAPPEARED---NOT BY ME.]

[The criminal policies of the American Special Forces are finally being called to account in Wardak and LogarProvinces of Afghanistan.  SOCOM's highly illegal practices of fronting criminal gangs, who operate exactly like "terrorists," are the reason for their expulsion in two weeks.  Pentagon strategy consists of training and deploying proxy gangs and warlords to carry-out the most controversial Spec Op tactics, such as  cutting throats, taking heads, torturing, abducting and disappearing people from their beds in the middle of the night, so that Special Forces can  create the impression that their hands are clean.  By "contracting-out" these most extreme actions to locals and private terror outfits like Blackwater, Special Forces are able to manage perceptions, creating the illusion that American hands are clean, just as long as government officials were willing to look the other way.  Evidently, Hamid Karzai is no longer willing to overlook state-sponsored terrorism, even when it is committed by the United States.  In addition to removing American support for terror-gangs in two provinces, Karzai has just arrested Maulvi Faqir of the Pakistani Taliban near Nangarhar, one of two TTP terrorists who were given sanctuary from Army operations in Waziristan in Eastern Afghanistan by Gen. McChrystal, before his early forcedd retirement (SEE:the Militants Floodgate Into Waziristan ).

Karzai is effectively, single-handedly, undoing American counter-terror/counter-insurgency policies in his homeland.  If he can withstand the tsunami of pressure that the Pentagon is surely unleashing about now, and make his decisions hold, then it will be a small matter to also block any Western troops after 2014.  Did Gen. Kayani manage to arrange a deal for all of this in retaliation for the American sabotaging of all Pakistani tribal strategies with the drone-murder of Mullah Nazir (SEE:India/Pakistani Detente’ Went Into the Ground with Mullah Nazir ).]

National Security Council Meeting Discusses Situation in Wardak and Logar Provinces

Afghanistan President    Feb 24, 2013

February 24, 2013 – The meeting of the National Security Council chaired by President Hamid Karzai on Sunday discussed as per agenda the security situation in the provinces of Logar and Maidan Wardak, the presence of the international forces beyond 2014 and the issue of land seizures in Afghanistan.

The meeting began by hearing briefings by the Minister of Interior, Director General for the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), chairman of the Transition Commission, Chief of Army Staff and the respective governors on the security situation as well as on the findings by a delegation that had been assigned to investigate the causes of insecurity in the two provinces.

After a thorough discussion, it became clear that armed individuals named as US special force stationed in Wardak province engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people. A recent example in the province is an incident in which nine people were disappeared in an operation by this suspicious force and in a separate incident a student was taken away at night from his home, whose tortured body with throat cut was found two days later under a bridge. However, Americans reject having conducted any such operation and any involvement of their special force.

The meeting strongly noted that such actions have caused local public resentment and hatred.

In view of the above situation, the meeting made the following decisions:

1.    The Ministry of Defense was assigned to make sure all US special forces are out of the province within two weeks;

2.    All the Afghan national security forces are duty bound to protect the life and property of people in Maidan Wardak province by effectively stopping and bringing to justice any groups that enter peoples’ homes in the name of special force and who engage in annoying, harassing and murdering innocent people; and

3.    Effective from February 24, 2013 onward, the ISAF has to stop all its special force operations in Maidan Wardak province;

The Meeting also called on the local people to cooperate with the governor and security forces in identifying such groups and inform local authorities. The Wardak governor was also tasked to form community councils to engage people in preventing such destructive actions by irresponsible armed groups.

The meeting then heard and endorsed a security operational plan presented by Logar governor for the province.

Also on agenda for the meeting was the issue of land seizure in various provinces in Afghanistan.  The meeting directed the Ministry of Interior, the Attorney General Office as well as the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) to develop an orderly plan to handle the issue of the land seizure and restitute the lands illegally grabbed by powerful individuals by misuse of authority and official position.
The meeting also held an in-depth discussion on the military presence some countries are seeking beyond 2014 in Afghanistan.

The meeting decided that any military presence any country may be seeking to retain under the international coalition after 2014 may be allowed only after Afghan government’s formal agreement and discretion, to be achieved bilaterally.
The meeting underlined that the number, location, scope and the nature of operations of such troops, if agreed, would be determined through direct negotiations with Afghan government.

Historic National Protests Against Obama Planned in 50 States on February 16

Americans for illegal_immigration
by

Contact: Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC)
Press@alipac.us / (866) 703-0864

Americans who oppose the destructive policies of Barack Obama will converge on all 50 state capitals this coming weekend, Saturday, February 16, from 11am to 1pm. In each respective time zone, unprecedented picket style, friendly flash mob style protests will be conducted on public sidewalks outside of state capitol buildings.

Patriotic American protesters will put the American rights of free speech, freedom to assemble, and freedom to petition our government for redress of grievances to the test. Crowds will gather without permits to picket in motion for two hours on public sidewalks within sight of our state seats of government and onlooking vehicular traffic.

Protesters will simply march in a circuit carrying American and state flags, or carrying signs protesting Obama’s stance on a wide coalition of issues. All peaceful and racially inclusive organizations and American citizens who oppose Obama are welcome to attend.

A few of the issues protesters will address are Obama’s unconstitutional Amnesty for illegal aliens decree, support for Amnesty legislation, support for the NDAA, efforts to curtail gun rights, out of control spending and debt, Obamacare, the Fast and Furious Scandal, Benghazi Gate, and much more!

For a complete listing of protest locations in your state and historic protest updates please visit our Facebook event page at…
https://www.facebook.com/events/4653…ref=ts&fref=ts

Those that do not use Facebook, can sign up for updates at http://www.AgainstAmnesty.com

These national protests are being supported by many groups and leaders with the core organizing being done by William Gheen, President of the national organization widely known in the media as Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC).

“It is time for Americans to have an unfiltered and healthy expression of their dissatisfaction with Barack Obama, and to do so in a way that both exercises our diminishing freedoms while also educating citizens and lawmakers about our valid concerns about Obama’s destructive policies,” said William Gheen, President of ALIPAC.

For more information or to schedule interviews in advance of the protests, please visit www.ALIPAC.us

ABSOLUTE PROOF–People Power Stopped Infrared Surveillance Drone Deployment In Seattle!!!

Seattle grounds police drone program

seattletime times

Mayor Mike McGinn ordered the Seattle Police Department to abandon its plan to use drones after residents and privacy advocates protested.

By Christine Clarridge, Seattle Times staff reporter

ALAN BERNER / The Seattle Times

The Police Department had purchased two 3.5-pound Draganflyer X6 Helicopter Tech drones with money from a regional Homeland Security grant.

All surveillance policy involving U.S. citizens should be open to public debate and no… (February 8, 2013, by jimjbear) MORE
Due to its’ past actions the SPD is no where near trustworthy enough to merit these… (February 8, 2013, by ghostly) MORE
About time! A heartfelt thank you to all of those that expressed their… (February 7, 2013, by Dual Processor) MORE
Saying police need to stay focused on “community building,” Mayor Mike McGinn has pulled the plug on the department’s controversial drone program even before it got off the ground.

In a brief statement Thursday, McGinn said he and police Chief John Diaz agreed that it was time to end the program so the Seattle Police Department “can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work that is the department’s priority.”

McGinn said the two drones purchased by the city with federal funds will be returned to their vendor.

When reached for comment, Seattle police referred questions to the mayor’s office. The mayor’s office declined to elaborate on McGinn’s statement.

The announcement came one day after the city held a public hearing on a proposed ordinance outlining restrictions for the department’s drone program, which drew vocal opposition from numerous citizens concerned with intrusions into their privacy. The ordinance was expected to come up for a vote later this month.

The Police Department is among dozens of law-enforcement agencies, academic institutions and other agencies that were given approval last year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to train operators in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones. The FAA action came after President Obama signed a law that compelled the agency to plan for safe integration of civilian drones into U.S. airspace by 2015.

The Police Department purchased two 3.5-pound Draganflyer X6 Helicopter Tech drones with money from a regional Homeland Security grant, envisioning uses during hostage situations and search-and-rescue operations and after following natural disasters. One of the helicopters was expected to be used by the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Police said the unmanned systems would allow the city to have some of the public-safety benefits of a manned helicopter without the prohibitive costs.

But the proposed use of drones by police drew “tremendous, widespread concern among the general public,” according to Doug Honig, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington. When police introduced the program during a public presentation last fall, officers were shouted down by opponents who feared misuse.

Honig said Thursday the ACLU was pleased with McGinn’s action.

“It’s a wise decision,” he said. “Drones would have given police unprecedented abilities to engage in surveillance and intrude on people’s privacy and there was never a strong case made that Seattle needed the drones for public safety.”

But Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, criticized McGinn for taking “the easy way out.”

“It’s harder to define a policy where, in rare circumstances, (drones) could be useful,” said Harrell, who is running for mayor against McGinn. “We could have been a model for other cities to follow.”

Harrell had sponsored the pending council legislation that he hoped would balance the usefulness of the technology with privacy concerns.

The proposed ordinance discussed Wednesday would have banned the use of drones for general surveillance or for flights over open-air assemblies. It also would have required police to obtain a warrant before using drones for all but emergency circumstances, such as situations involving hostages, search-and-rescue operations, the pursuit of armed felons, bomb threats and the detection of “hot spots” in fires, or for the collection of traffic data.

City Councilmember Tim Burgess, another mayoral candidate, said McGinn’s cancellation of the program provides the city with an opportunity to reassess the grant money given to the city for homeland security.

But he went further, questioning the Police Department’s recent installation of 30 surveillance cameras along the city’s shoreline, from Fauntleroy to Golden Gardens. The project is funded by a $5 million federal grant aimed at increasing security at the Port of Seattle and improving the city’s ability to respond to hazards and emergencies.

Police said the cameras, which could be operational by March 31, will provide them with a sweeping view of the port facilities, Elliott Bay and the shoreline.

“We should also assess the cameras at Alki,” Burgess said. “Unfortunately, there has not been the strong, decisive leadership from the mayor on public safety so these things just occur without the kind of oversight and policy discussions we should be having.”

McGinn’s mention of “community building” comes amid police community-outreach efforts following a Department of Justice investigation that found evidence of biased policing and routine use of unconstitutional force. That finding led to an agreement calling for mandated reforms within the department.

The debate in Seattle over drones echoes one taking place across the nation as law-enforcement agencies seek to utilize drone technology. Earlier this week, Charlottesville, Va., ordered a two-year moratorium on the citywide use of unmanned aircraft. It was the first city in the nation to do so, supporters say.

Honig, the ACLU spokesman, said the organization would like to see legislation placing restrictions on the acquisition and use of drones by all Washington state law-enforcement agencies. He also said the acquisition of such technology should be driven by policies and decisions made with public input, not simply by the availability of federal funds.

When King County Sheriff John Urquhart took office last year, he said he returned his department’s drone to Seattle police.

“I came in and said, ‘We’re not going to fly that.’ We hadn’t done our homework, and I don’t think the time is right,” he said Thursday. “What’s happening to Seattle is exactly what I hoped to avoid.”

Christine Clarridge: cclarridge@seattletimes.com or 206-464-8983.

Staff reporter Lynn Thompson contributed to this report.

The Greatest Speech by a Western Statesman This Century?

The Greatest Speech by a Western Statesman This Century?

kenny’s sideshow

32 year old Belgiam MP Laurent Louis’s speech/video in the Belgian Parliament has been widely passed around but has not been seen by the tens of millions that need to hear these truths.

This courageous man makes the stooges and weasels in our Congress look to be exactly what they are…traitors.

Below is the translated transcript.

“Thank you, Mr President. Dear Ministers, dear Colleagues.

Belgium is indeed the land of surrealism.

This morning we learned from the media that the Belgian army is incapable of fighting some extremist soldiers having radical Islamist beliefs existing within its own ranks but who cannot be dismissed for lack of legal means.

However, at the same time, we decide to help France in its war against “Terror” by providing logistical support for its operation in Mali. What wouldn’t we do in order to fight against terrorism outside our borders? I just hope we took care not to send for this anti-terrorist operation, in Mali, these much talked about Belgian Islamists soldiers!

I seem to be joking, but what is going on in the world today does not make me laugh at all. It doesn’t make me laugh, because without any doubt, the leaders of our Western countries are taking the people for imbeciles with the help and support of the Media which are nothing more today than an organ of propaganda of the ruling powers.

Around the world, military actions and regime’s destabilization are becoming more and more frequent. Preventive war has become the rule.

And today, in the name of democracy and the fight against terrorism, our states grant themselves the right to violate the sovereignty of independent countries and to overthrow legitimate leaders.

There has been Iraq and Afghanistan, the wars of the American lie. Later, came Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, where thanks to your decisions, our country has been “first in line” to participate in crimes against humanity, in each case overthrowing progressive and moderate regimes and to replace them with Islamist regimes, and – isn’t it weird ? – Their first act was to impose Sharia law.

This is exactly what is currently happening in Syria where Belgium is shamefully funding the arming of the Islamist rebels who are trying to overthrow Bashar Al Assad. Thus, in the midst of economic crisis, as more and more Belgians can no longer house themselves, feed, heat and cure themselves – Yeah, I can hear what a filthy populist I am – well, the Minister of Foreign Affairs decided to offer the Syrian rebels nine million Euros!

Of course, they’ll try to make us believe that this money will be used for humanitarian purposes … one more lie! And as you can see, for months, our country is only participating to put in place, Islamic regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. So, when they come and pretend to go to war in order to fight against terrorism in Mali, well… I feel like laughing. It’s false!

Under the appearance of good actions, we only intervene to defend financial interests in a complete neo-colonialist agenda. It makes no sense to go to help France in Mali in the name of the fight against Islamic terrorism when – at the same time – we support the overthrow of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad by Islamist rebels who want to impose Sharia Law, as was done in Tunisia and in Libya.

It is about time to stop lying to us and treating people like imbeciles.

The time has come to tell the truth. Arming the Islamist Rebels, as Westerners have, in the past armed Bin Laden, that friend of the Americans before they turned against him, well, the western countries are taking the opportunity to place military bases in the newly conquered countries while favoring domestic companies.

Everything is therefore strategic. In Iraq, our American allies have put their hands on the country’s oil wealth. In Afghanistan, it was its opium and drugs always useful when it comes to make lots of money pretty quickly. In Libya, in Tunisia, in Egypt, or then again in Syria, the aim was – and is still today, to overthrow moderate powers, to replace them with Islamist powers who very quickly will become troublesome and who we will shamelessly attack pretending once again, to fight terrorism or protect Israel.

Thus, the next targets are already known. Within a few months, I bet that our eyes will turn to Algeria and eventually to Iran.

To go to war, to free people from an outside aggressor, is noble. But to go to war to defend the interests of the USA; To go to war to defend the interests of big companies such as AREVA; go to war to put our hands on gold mines, is not at all noble and reveals our counties to be attackers and thugs!

No one dares to speak, but I will not shut up! And if my battle makes me look like an enemy of this system that flaunts the Human Rights in the name of financial, geo-strategic and neo-colonialist interests, so be it!

Flaunting and exposing this regime is a duty and makes me proud. And honestly, I apology for my low class speech, but I say fuck you all, the so-called do-gooders, both left and right-wingers or from the center who are today licking the boots of our corrupted powers and who will be pleased to ridicule me.

I say fuck you all, leaders who are playing with your bombs as kids do in a playground! I say fuck you, you who pretend to be democrats while you are nothing more than low class criminals. 

I don’t have much respect neither for the journalists who have the audacity to label the opponents as mentally retarded while basically, they know very well that these opponents are right.

Finally, I despise, at the highest point, those who believe they are the kings of the world and who are dictating their laws, because I AM on the side of truth, the side of justice, the side of the innocent victims of looting at all cost. And it is for this reason that I have decided to clearly oppose this resolution that is sending our country to support France in its neo-colonialist operation.

Since the beginning of the French operation, the lie was established. We are told that France is only answering the call for help of a Malian president. We almost forget that this president has no legitimacy and that he was put in place to ensure the transition following the coup of March 2012. Who supported this coup d’état? Who started it? For whom is this president of transition actually working? This is the first lie!

The French president, François Hollande dares to pretend to wage this war to fight against the jihadists who threaten (ohhhh do you realize!) who threaten the French and European territory! But what an ugly lie! By taking this official argument, while taking the opportunity to frighten the population increasing the terror alert level, implementing the Vigipirate plan our leaders and media are demonstrating an unimaginable outrage!

How dare they use such a point while France and Belgium have not hesitated to arm and support Jihadists in Libya and that these same countries continue to support these jihadists in Syria.

This pretext is a coverup to strategic and economic purposes. Our countries are no longer in fear of appearing inconsistent because everything is done to hide it. But the inconsistency is apparent. It is not tomorrow that you’ll see a Malian citizen commit an act of terrorism in Europe. No! Not unless we suddenly create one so we can justify this military operation.

Haven’t we created September 11 after all, to justify the invasions, arbitrary arrest, torture and massacre of innocent populations? Thus, to create a Malian terrorist is no big deal!

It must not be very complicated for our bloodthirsty leaders.

Another pretext used these recent months to justify military operations, as the protection of human rights. Ah! This pretext is still used today to justify the war in Mali. But yes! We have to act, otherwise the evil Islamists will impose Sharia law in Mali, stoning women and cutting the thugs’ hands off.

Oh! The intention is truly noble. Noble and salutary for sure. But then why is it – Good Lord – why is it that our countries have contributed in Tunisia and Libya to the accession to power of Islamists who have decided to apply this Sharia Law in these countries which were, not so long ago, still regarded as modern and progressive? I invite you to ask the young Tunisians who have launched the revolution in Tunisia, if they are happy with their current situation? This is all hypocrisy.

The purpose of this war in Mali is very clear. And since no one talks about it, I WILL. The purpose is to fight against China and allow our American ally to maintain its presence in Africa and the Middle East. This is what guides these neo-colonialists operations.

And you will see, when the military operation will be over, France will, of course, keep its military bases in Mali. These bases will be a benefit to the Americans as well. And at the same time, as has always been the case, western corporations will put their hands on juicy contracts that will once again deprive re-colonized countries of their wealth and raw materials.

So let’s be clear, the primary beneficiaries of this military operation, will be the owners and shareholders of the French giant AREVA who has been trying for years to obtain a uranium mine in Falea, a town of 17,000 inhabitants located at 350 km from Bamako.

And I don’t know why, but my little finger is telling me that it won’t take long before AREVA will eventually exploit that mine!

I don’t know, it’s an impression I have. It is therefore out of question that I would take part to this mining colonialism, this modern times colonialism.

And for those who doubt about my arguments, I sincerely invite them to learn about the wealth of Mali.

Mali is a major producer of gold, but recently it has been recently designated as being a country that offers a world-class environment for the exploitation of uranium. How strange!

One step closer to a war against Iran, it is obvious.

For all these reasons and in order to not fall into the traps of lies they are tending us, I’ve decided not to give my support to that intervention in Mali.

Therefore, I will vote against it. And by doing so, I’m being consistent since, I never supported in the past our criminal interventions in Libya or in Syria, and so being the only MP in this country to defend the non-interference and the fight against obscure interests. I really think it is about time to put an end to our participation to the UN or NATO and get out of the EU if Europe, instead of providing peace, providing peace becomes a weapon of attack and destabilization of sovereign countries submissive to financial rather than human interests

Finally, I can only urge our government to remind the President Hollande the obligations resulting from the Geneva Conventions regarding the respect of prisoners of war.

Indeed, I was shocked to hear on television from the mouth of the French President that his intention was to “destroy” – I say “destroy” – Islamist terrorists.

So, I do not want the qualification to be used to name the opponents to the Malian regime – it is always convenient today to talk about Islamic terrorists- to be used to circumvent the obligations of any democratic state in terms of respecting the rights of prisoners of war.

We expect such a respect from the Fatherland of Human Rights. In conclusion, Let me emphasize how lightly we decide to go to war.

First, the government acts without any consent from the Parliament. It appears that it has the right to. It sends equipment, men to Mali. The Parliament subsequently reacts and when it responds, as today, well, this institution happens to be composed of only 1/3 of its members. Much less if we speak of the French speaking MP’s.

It is therefore a guilty lightness which does not really surprises me, coming from a Parliament of puppies, submitted to the dictates of political parties. Thank you.”

(Translation: Geraldine Feuillien)

Complete Transcript PDF

Belgian Parliament Member Blames 9/11 False Flag for Criminal Invasions of Sovereign Countries. 

Please tell everyone you know that there are a few in this world not afraid to take a stand against the world wide criminal syndicate. 

Will Syria Go on the Offensive at The Hague?

Will Syria Go on the Offensive at The Hague?

uprooted palestinians

by FRANKLIN LAMB

La Maison  d’Avocats, Damascus.

Franklin Lamb
Al-manar
A “legal intifada” appears likely for more than just the Palestinians
La Maison d’Avocats, Damascus

Even before the historic 139 to 8 vote of the UN General Assembly on November 29 of this year which opened up a plethora of legal remedies for Palestinians, a “legal intifada” — to borrow a phrase fromFrancis Boyle, Professor of International Law and a longtime advocate of advancing resistance to the illegal occupation of Palestine through the rule of law — has been taking form in this region.

The reasons include nearly seven decades of countless Zionist crimes against Muslims and Christians in occupied Palestine and far beyond. As Professor Boyle has suggested, the opportunities presented to the PLO by the lopsided UN vote “…can mean numerous available legal remedies ranging from the securing of a fair share of the gas deposits off the shores of Gaza, control of Palestinian airspace and telecommunications and, crucially, bringing the Zionist regime to account at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.

SyriaSyria too, currently under enormous pressure from international interference into the internal affairs of the country and the subject of an intense regime change project led by the US and France, has international legal remedies immediately available to it stemming from the actions of the US, UK, France and others in imposing on Syria’s civilian population one of the most severe and clearly illegal layers of sanctions. Were Syria and others to file an Application for an Advisory Opinion with the ICJ few in the international legal community have much doubt that targeting civilians economically and attempting to destroy the Syrian economy — for no other purpose than to ignite rebellion — would be considered a violation of international law at the International Court of Justice.
Granted there are some potential jurisdictional problems given that Syria has not yet accepted the Article 36 Compulsory Jurisdiction of the World Court, as provided in the Statute of the Court, and the strong campaign at the UN that would certainly be waged by the Obama Administration to challenge ICJ jurisdiction to hear a case on behalf of Syria and its civilian population, but they can be overcome. As a general rule, an Advisory Opinion requires a simple majority affirmative vote by the UN General Assembly or an Application by one of the designated UN Specialized Agencies. This might be a tough job to secure the former but it is doable with the latter. Moreover, should Syria accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ it could likely quickly resolve the issue of sanctions by claiming a legal dispute with one or more states that also accept CJ and are supporters of sanctions. For example, the UK, France and their NATO and Gulf allies.

Aspects of a possible filing at the International Court of Justice on the legality of US-led sanctions are currently being researched by seasoned international lawyers and academics, at various Western and International law centers. Supporting efforts being worked on include drafting amicus curie briefs on the issue of the legality of the US-led sanctions to be submitted to the Court, plans for securing the widest possible political support for challenging the US-led sanctions from among Non-Aligned Movement countries, international peace groups, NGO’s, pro-peace websites, bloggers, social media and online activists as well as organizing a skilled media center to disseminate information about the case including quickly publishing, in paperback book form, one of the key Annexes to be submitted to the ICJ upon filing the Application. This volume will present Syrian government and International NGO prepared data on the inhumane effects of the US led sanctions in all their aspects, including by not limited to children, the elderly and the infirm, plus the effects of the US-led sanctions on the Syrian economy generally, i.e. consumer goods, medical delivery systems, financial institutions, currency values and related aspects of the lives of the civilian population of Syria.

Were Syria, and others, to take the illegal and immoral US-led sanctions case to the World Court and other available venues, they would shift their diplomatic position from a defensive status to taking the offense. Such a bold initiative would advance accountability under international law and, because the ICJ would likely grant a Petition for Interim Measures of Protection, the US-led sanctions could be suspended during the course of the judicial proceedings. Obviously this lifting/freezing of the sanctions would immediately and directly inure to the benefit of the Syrian civilian population, including the half million Palestinian refugees in Syria as well as thousands from Iraq.

This would work in concert with the “THREE B’s”, to borrow a phrase from Russia’s top middle east envoy, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Boganov, referring to Mr. Brahimi, Mr. Bogdanov, and Undersecretary William Burns, a former ambassador to Moscow, who would be urged to intensify their focus on achieving a diplomatic resolution of the Syrian crisis based on modified June 2011 Geneva formulation of a transition period leading to the 2014 elections.

Corte Internacional Justica (Tribunal de la Haya)According to several International lawyers surveyed between October and December, 2012, Syria clearly has the facts of the US sanctions case in its favor and there are ample solid legal theories to argue to and convince the World Court. Under the ICJ Statute, the Court must decide cases solely in accordance with international law. Hence the ICJ must apply:
(1) any international conventions and treaties;
(2) international custom;
(3) general principles recognized as law by civilized nations; and
(4) judicial decisions and the teachings of highly qualified publicists of the various nations. From this body of international law the International Court of Justice would find ample basis to support Syria’s claims not only for the benefit of its civilian population but also to advance the rule of law in the global community.

The ICJ is made up of 15 jurists from different countries. No two judges at any given time may be from the same country. The court’s composition is static but generally includes jurists from a variety of cultures. Among the Principles, Standards and Rules of international law that Syria may well argue to the World Court, may include but not be limited to, the following:

The US led sanctions violate international humanitarian law due to the negative health effects of the sanctions on the civilian population of Syria. This renders the sanctions illegal under international customary law and the UN Charter for their disproportionate damage caused to Syria’s civilian population;

The US led severe sanctions regime constitutes an illegitimate form of collective punishment of the weakest and poorest members of society, the infants, the children, the chronically ill, and the elderly;
The US, France and the UK, as well as their allies, have violated the UN Charter by their imposition of severe economic sanctions and threats of military force. The United States, Israel, and some of their allies, regularly threaten Damascus with the “option” of a military strike. The ICJ has ruled previously that “A threat or use of force is contrary to Article 2, paragraph 4, of the UN Charter and fails to meet all the requirements of Article 51, is therefore unlawful”. It has further ruled that “A threat of use of force must be compatible with the requirements of the international law applicable in armed conflict, particularly those of the principles and rules of humanitarian law, as well as with specific obligations under treaties and other undertakings which expressly deal with threats to members of the United Nations.”

Moreover, unilateral US sanctions, without the imprimatur of the United Nations are blatantly illegal under International Law because they are in fact multilateral and impose penalties on any country which opposes the sanctions or does not choose to participate in them;

The US led sanctions amount to an Act of War given their effects including hardships on the general public and that Syria therefore has a legal right to Self-Defense.

The US led sanctions, given their design and intent, constitute acts of aggression against Syria in violation of Article 2 (4) of the UN charter.

The indisputable facts of the US led sanctions case warrant the imposition by the ICJ of Restraining Orders designed to prevent any type of blockade or no-fly zones in Syria and the immediate cessation of the imposition of further economic sanctions against Syria, and also their efforts of securing more sanctions against Syria at the United Nations Security Council. The Restraining Orders, under the umbrella of Interim Measures of Protection, would presumably also seek to prohibit the US and its allies from the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere, from advocating aggressive military actions against Syria, including supplying funding, weapons, and jihadists, as well as Western “Special Forces” currently pouring into Syria from its northern border with Turkey and to negotiate with the Syrian government in good faith to end the current crisis.

Syria can legitimately claim, and would presumably argue at the ICJ and other international forums that the bi-lateral or multilateral economic sanctions, led by the US and its Gulf allies, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are illegal, indeed criminal due to their assault on international humanitarian law and required state practice.

Syria could successfully argue, according to a recent survey of international lawyers conducted in Brussels and The Hague, as well as within Syria’s Maison d’Avocats, that the US led sanctions violate the international law principle of Non-intervention in the internal affairs of UN member states and that the stewards of these sanctions could themselves be subject to international sanctions plus compensatory and punitive damages for the benefit of their victims.

In summary, as Germany’s Green Party, and increasingly, legal scholars and human rights organizations generally are insisting, sanctions against Syria’s civilian population fundamentally violate international law.

Should NATO sets up a no-fly zone and were to launch airstrikes against Damascus, it can and should immediately be sued at The Hague and if the situation deteriorates NATO can and should be held to account for targeting Alawites and Christians on the basis of the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. All participating countries, 142 to date, are obliged to prevent and punish actions of genocide in war and in peacetime. Article 2 of the Convention defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, elements of a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group including killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
Despite Syria’s strong case on both the facts and the law, and the diversity in structure and composition of the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal has a few times over the years been criticized for favoring established powers. Under articles 3 and 9 of the ICJ Statute, the judges on the ICJ should represent “the main forms of civilization and principal legal systems of the world.” This definition suggests that the ICJ does not represent the interests of developing countries. Nevertheless, the World Courts record has been by and large exemplary in applying principles, standards and rules of international law both in contested cases and advisory opinions and Syria has an excellent opportunity to protect its citizens, thwart US and Israeli designs on the region, and advance international accountability — all to the inestimable benefit of all people and nations.

Syria, which the US and Israel and their allies are today working to keep off balance and on the defensive diplomatically, should consider immediately filing an application with the International Court of Justice, and use all other available international legal, political and humanitarian tribunals, to directly challenge and boldly confront the US led sanctions campaign against its people. The Syrian Arab Republic, by taking the offensive at the World Court and elsewhere, will help relieve the enormous pressures on its civilians and advance the principles, standards and rules of international law—for the benefit of all mankind.

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Damascus and can be reached c/o fplamb@gmail.com

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The Renewal of the “Silk Road” Is the Path To World Peace, But the Road Starts In Chahbahar, Iran

[If Russia and India band together with Iran, they will create circumstances exactly the opposite of Western sanction regimes.  Will Obama learn the error of his ways in this matter, or will he greet the news as an adversary would?  It is time for learning, but it is also an age of mass insanity.  Which spirit will prevail?]

Chabahar port2

Russian nod for India’s bid to link south with central Asia

times of india

By , TNN

Russian nod for India’s bid to link south with central Asia

Singh and Putin agreed to unfreeze the north-south corridor through Iran within the next year. India has taken the lead role in pushing for the completion of this project.

NEW DELHI: India’s pet project to link south with central Asia got support from Russian president Vladimir Putin. During their talks in New Delhi last week, Singh and Putin agreed to unfreeze the north-south corridor through Iranwithin the next year. India has taken the lead role in pushing for the completion of this project.

Indian officials said they would push for the completion of the corridor and were willing to step in, if Iran found it difficult to accomplish the task. The corridor is, by and large complete, they said, except for a section inside Iran between Qazvin-Rasht-Astara. The corridor is useless unless the Iranian section is completed. Although the agreement was inked by India, Iran, Russia and Oman in 2001, Tehran has dragged its feet on the project.

Now, the urgency for completion of the project is due to the imminent drawdown of NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014. New Delhi figures that this project will be a game-changer for its trade and openIndian economy to the rising economies in central Asia, by connecting India with Afghanistan and beyond, bypassing Pakistan.

India’s aims in the region is coalescing with Russia, which is paying greater attention to it’s “near abroad”. Russia is concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism in its southern periphery and one of the ways of countering this is to open these landlocked nations to trade and connectivity with India.

Another reason for both Russia and India to concentrate on central Asia is the growing influence and presence of China in this region, which has raised concerns in Moscow and New Delhi. China is far ahead of both Russia and India in establishing connectivity with the central Asian countries — China’s aims being to stabilize its own western periphery, with the restive province of Xinjiang as the focus. Beijing has already built an intricate set of oil and gas pipelines to Kazakhstan, and a Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline. In 2011, the trade turnover between China and the five central Asian countries reached $16.98 billion. Beijing is currently working on a rail link to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. China’s progress, frankly, puts India’s sluggish initiatives in the shade.

India has recently received help from other quarters. Turkey has stepped in, offering itself as a more viable transit route for the corridor, given its already-developed connections with central Asian nations and Russia. On the other hand, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have both asked Indian leaders to consider connecting them to the corridor.

The Northern Distribution Network (NDN), which is being used by the US to transport supplies and weapons to its forces in Afghanistan by steering clear of Pakistan, is on offer for trade and connectivity in the post-2014 environment, said sources. Tajikistan has offered to connect itself to the Zaranj-Delaram road and Afghanistan’s garland highway, which will give it access to Iran’s Chahbahar port.

All of this is certain to raise Iran’s geo-political profile that India and Russia support. Iran, however, has been tardy in putting its own infrastructure in order. However, Iranian diplomats have recently gone on record to say that they have completed “70% of works on construction of Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railroad within the framework of North-South Transport Corridor project.”

Iran, India and Afghanistan have recently started to coordinate work on the Chahbahar port project. Again, here, the delay is on the Iranian side. India has offered to undertake the development of the port in Iran — over $5 billion of India’s oil payments to Iran are sitting in Indian banks in Indian currency, and the idea is that this could be used in the port’s development.

The Chahbahar port would be a lifeline for landlocked Afghanistan, by reducing its dependence on Pakistan. It would also act as a bridge to connect central Asia with India. Ultimately, it promises to open up vast markets in Eurasian countries to Indian goods and services, cutting travel and freight time and cost.

Uzbek and Kazakh leaders have pressed India to complete the project because it would open up the Indian energy market to these countries. Kazakhstan has offered the Satpayev block to India and is slated to become a key uranium supplier to India’s civilian nuclear sector. But lack of connectivity is a serious deterrent at present, said officials. In fact, its cheaper to bring goods to India through China from these countries!

But the focus is to complete the missing section in Iran. Of the 375-km-long Qazvin-Astara-Rasht route, around 300 km is located in Iran. While, 8.5km of railways will be built in Azerbaijan.