Map of No War With Syria Protests

Map of #NoWarWithSyria Protests

interoccupy1

By

Below is a map we created of all listed events on the #NoWarWithSyria FB page, ANSWER, IACenter.org, CODE PINK, The World Can’t Wait, and UNAC. This is being continually updated, so check back frequently!

There are 382 rallies and direct actions for peace in Syria happening from August 29th – September 21st from Hollywood, California all the way to Tokyo, Japan.

MoveOn is organizing national vigils on Monday, September 9th. We do not have access to the locations but you can search for one near you HERE.

Please keep your eye out for the green and purple pins on the map! Greens are set dates in September. Purples are rallies that will happen if/when the US strikes Syria.

Please read the descriptions carefully. In particular check out the many actions happening in D.C. over the next two weeks.

If you see other lists that are missing, or to add an event, please email shenny@interoccupy.net. International actions are welcome!!

PLEASE NOTE: Any pro-Assad demonstrations will not be posted and are not endorsed by InterOccupy.

Thank you!

 
 
 
no war with syria map 

Updated as of 9/8 @ 3:52pm ET (click for active link)

Map Key:
Small Blue = Events before 8/31
Small Red = Events on 8/31
Small Green = Events between 9/1 and 9/8
Large Green = Events after 9/8
Large Purple = Events planned for day of or after attack
 
 

Assad commanders wanted to use poison gas for months—Bild Reports On German Spy Ship Traffic

Oker German spy ship The “Oker” crosses off the coast of Syria, acquaintance listening to the radio and telephone traffic
Photo: Imago

 

Assad commanders wanted to use poison gas for months

German spy ship overheard radio traffic of Syrian troops

  • Bild am Sonntag
  • MARTIN S. Lambeck, KAYHAN Özgenc and BURKHARD UHLEN Broich

Nearly 1,500 people died in the poison gas attack of the Assad regime on 21 August in Damascus. Bild am Sonntag now learned from German security circles: The troops of the dictator wanted to frequent use poison gas.

For about four months, Syrian divisional and brigade commanders have repeatedly called for the use of chemical weapons at the presidential palace in Damascus. The show radio conversations that were intercepted by the fleet service boat “Oker”. The Navy spy ship crossing in front of Syria’s coast.

According to the findings of the monitoring specialists requested by the commanders were poison gas attacks and always rejected the use of 21 August probably not personally approved by Assad.

Regardless of a military strike by the U.S. against Syria , the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) assumes that dictator Assad can keep for a long time in power. According to information from Bild am Sonntag BND President Gerhard Schindler reported on Monday the defense committee of the Bundestag in secret session, the bloody civil war would drag on for a long time. Schindler literally: “It can take years.”

In secret session Schindler compared the fighting between rebels and Assad troops in Greater Damascus with the “Battle of Stalingrad”. Participants in the meeting wanted to know from the intelligence chief, if the civil war is in a final battle.

Schindler then explained his unusual comparison: one for the rule of the Alawite minority in Syria, on the Assad Damascus have a similar level of symbolic meaning as Stalingrad for the Soviet Union under Stalin.

 Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad
Photo: AP

Of a dramatic shift of power within the rebel members of the Committee reported to the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, Volker Wieker. After that, the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) has lost its former military leadership.

The merger of deserters from the Assad troops was – as the highest-ranking German soldier – in fact no longer exists. Instead, become the influence of the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda in the rebel movement more and more – with dramatic consequences. According Wieker there are few defectors from the ranks of the Assad troops. Because deserters were shot by the rebels as a rule immediately.

Yesterday, the 28 EU governments have asked the United States to delay a military strike pending the submission of a UN report on the use of chemical weapons.

 burning tank
A burning tanks of the Syrian government army in Damascus
Photo: AP / PA

What Are the American People Prepared To Do To Stop the Mass-Murder, Barack Obama?

[SEE:  There Will Be NO “AMERICAN SPRING,” Only A Second American Revolution—Bomb Syria, Obumma, and The American People May Bomb You]

NO WAR ON SYRIA

[Saturday---200+ antiwar protestors in D.C., a good start (Protest at White House against Syria strikes).]

CALL FOR ACTION

[From all available indicators, it seems that nothing will stop the CIA President from fulfilling his appointment with oblivion.  After giving the obligatory appearance of caring what the American people say or want, the dictator Obama will move forward to start World War III in Syria, within the next few days.  What are you and I prepared to do to stop him?

WILL YOU RISK ARREST OR BODILY INJURY TO PREVENT WORLD WAR? 

At the very least, concerned Americans by the thousands must be willing to swarm the White House and Congress, but more importantly, we must establish human blockades at military bases and other government offices.  We especially have to focus upon Navy and Air Force bases, since this will be an their show (the Army share of this human tragedy will be covert).  A large enough outpouring of popular derision upon Obama and the US Navy might be enough to cause hesitation at the top of the military food chain, or outright condemnation of Obama's rush to world war, whereby the top Navy brass might emulate their predecessor, Adm. Wm. Fallon and his refusal to let nuclear war happen "on his watch."

Admiral William J. Fallon

Has anybody stopped to consider that all of those cruise missiles and other Navy hardware will be flying over the heads of the Russian fleet, which now patrols Syrian coastal waters?  If Russian and US navies come to blows, what will prevent an escalation to nuclear weapons?]

US reportedly plans for 3 days of attacks on Syria

News Asia

The Pentagon is readying more intense and longer attacks on Syria than originally planned, set to last three days, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

A man stands near destroyed buildings after reported air strikes by Syrian government forces in the rebel-held northwestern Syrian province of Idlib. (AFP/Abu Amar Al-Taftanaz)

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia: The Pentagon is readying more intense and longer attacks on Syria than originally planned, set to last three days, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

War planners now aim to unleash a heavy barrage of missile strikes to be followed swiftly by additional attacks on targets that may have been missed or remain standing after the initial launch, the Times cited officials as saying.

Two US officers told the newspaper that the White House has asked for an expanded target list to include “many more” than the initial list of around 50 targets.

The move is part of an effort to obtain additional firepower to damage Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s dispersed forces.

Pentagon planners are now considering using Air Force bombers, as well as five US missile destroyers currently patrolling the eastern Mediterranean Sea, to launch cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles from far, out of range of Syrian air defences, according to the report.

The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group with one cruiser and three destroyers positioned in the Red Sea can also fire cruise missiles at Syria.

“There will be several volleys and an assessment after each volley, but all within 72 hours and a clear indication when we are done,” an officer familiar with the planning told the Times.

The intensified military planning comes as President Barack Obama prepares to personally make his case to the American people and further press reluctant lawmakers on the need for action after Assad allegedly used chemical weapons on his own people last month.

Obama is scheduled to tape interviews Monday with anchors of the three major broadcast networks, as well as with PBS, CNN and Fox News.

The interviews, to air that night, will precede Obama’s address to the nation Tuesday ahead of an expected full Senate vote.

The president favours a limited attack with only a reduced number of warplanes to drop bombs over Syria, according to the Times.

Amid doubts that a limited US offensive would sufficiently hamper Assad’s military capabilities, one officer told the newspaper that the planned operation would amount to a “show of force” over several days that would not fundamentally change the situation on the ground.

The planned US strike “will not strategically impact the current situation in the war, which the Syrians have well in hand, though fighting could go on for another two years,” another US officer said.

- AFP/xq

 

 

Only Half of the G20 States Endorse Further American War Crimes

sheeple

The SHEEPLE Nations (SEE:  “wooly-minded“) are:  Australia, Canada, France, the U.K., Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain and Turkey

  • US France G20 Sept 2013
    U.S. President Barack Obama meets with French President Francois Hollande and other leaders at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg Sept. 6, 2013. Reuters
    Eleven of the 20 nations at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, have issued a joint statement on the Syrian situation that calls for a “strong international response” and expresses support for the United Nations Security Council, but notes that it “remains paralyzed as it has been for two and a half years” since the Syrian civil war began.

    Therefore, the statement’s signatory nations said, they “support efforts undertaken by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons.”

    Along with the United States, the other 10 nations are Australia, Canada, France, the U.K., Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain and Turkey.

    Russia and China are not among the governments that signed the statement. Neither are the Latin American members of the G-20, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico; India; or Germany.

    The full text of the statement is below.

    The Leaders and Representatives of Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America made the following statement on the margins of the Group of 20 Nations Leaders’ Meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia:

    The international norm against the use of chemical weapons is longstanding and universal. The use of chemical weapons anywhere diminishes the security of people everywhere. Left unchallenged, it increases the risk of further use and proliferation of these weapons.

    We condemn in the strongest terms the horrific chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21st that claimed the lives of so many men, women and children. The evidence clearly points to the Syrian government being responsible for the attack, which is part of a pattern of chemical weapons use by the regime.

    We call for a strong international response to this grave violation of the world’s rules and conscience that will send a clear message that this kind of atrocity can never be repeated. Those who perpetrated these crimes must be held accountable.

    Signatories have consistently supported a strong U.N. Security Council Resolution, given the Security Council’s responsibilities to lead the international response, but recognize that the Council remains paralyzed as it has been for two and a half years. The world cannot wait for endless failed processes that can only lead to increased suffering in Syria and regional instability. We support efforts undertaken by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons.

    We commit to supporting longer term international efforts, including through the United Nations, to address the enduring security challenge posed by Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles. Signatories have also called for the UN fact finding mission to present its results as soon as possible, and for the Security Council to act accordingly.

    We condemn in the strongest terms all human rights violations in Syria on all sides. More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict, more than 2 million people have become refugees, and approximately 5 million are internally displaced. Recognizing that Syria’s conflict has no military solution, we reaffirm our commitment to seek a peaceful political settlement through full implementation of the 2012 Geneva Communique. We are committed to a political solution which will result in a united, inclusive and democratic Syria.

    We have contributed generously to the latest United Nations (UN) and ICRC appeals for humanitarian assistance and will continue to provide support to address the growing humanitarian needs in Syria and their impact on regional countries. We welcome the contributions announced at the meeting of donor countries on the margins of the G-20.  We call upon all parties to allow humanitarian actors safe and unhindered access to those in need.

    European signatories will continue to engage in promoting a common European position.

1000 Americans Rush To Defend Syria As Human Shields

Which Americans will arrive first to Syria?

Will 1000 American ‘human shields’ stop another criminal war?

Franklin Lamb

Damascus

A sort of roller coaster atmosphere pervades Damascus these days with “good” and “bad” news rising and falling, often by the quarter hour. Much of the population is monitoring closely the news and quickly expressing their interpretations of the latest media reports and rumors as well as predicting the fairly precise timing of the now assumed American attack on their country.

 In the very popular, and normally crowded Abaa Coffee House on the edge of the old city in what is called the Sarugha section, students and others enjoy the fine cool mist, as Damascenes have done for years, that is sprayed from ceiling pipes to provide welcome relief from the 37 degree Celsius (98 degrees F) outside temperatures. Many are clued to their laptops and/or in animated conversation analyzing the likely extent and timing of the soon believed to be arriving American missiles.

This observer often meets interlocutors in the Abaa because it’s very pleasant, large with dozens of tables, cheap and two blocks from my hotel.  I have noticed that common greetings are changing from “kif hallack”  ” (how are you?)  and “Arak lahekan” (see you later)  to “Get  home safely” and “Good luck with the checkpoints.”

But there is also a distinct growing esprit de corps and a broad coming together of much of the population here as the countdown to the American attack on Syria begins.  An evident rallying around the Assad regime, which one presumes is the opposite of what the White House was hoping would result from its threats.

A good friend from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society (SARCS) an humanitarian organization doing amazing rescue, and medical services for Syrians and Palestinians during this expanding crisis, described one way that her friends are preparing for the American attack.  “We gathered our important documents, birth, marriage certificate and passport and made photo copies.  Then we leave them with friends in “safe” areas or even bury them somewhere. No one knows how bad the Americans will bomb us. At work we have been told during our final practice drill last Saturday that the next siren will be the ‘real thing’ and we will do as we have planned for.” She added, “Many of my friends and family are leaving but it’s not easy and is very expensive now to go to Lebanon and they don’t want us– and my family has decided to stay in our home no matter what happens in the coming days.”

One common topic being discussed is the reluctance of the American public to attack Syria and how Obama can ignore it.  “What kind of Democracy do you have that your President can ignore the will of the American public?”  this observer is frequently asked.  One soldier who is stationed with his unit just outside my hotel seemed to speak from his heart: “You Americans claim you are trying to help the Syrian people.  Every child knows, both here and in your country I think, that the coming attack will make things much worse for the Syrian people and many others. The American people are good and we hope they can control their government, but we are preparing for the worst and there will be consequences you will come to regret as with Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.”

The government here is assuring the public that Syria is ready for the American attack and that public services will continue.  TV channels show around the clock images of heroic Syrian army exploits with marital and patriotic music. Youngsters, students and workers are gathering at presumed targets offering themselves as Human Shields in solidarity with their countrymen while challenging President Obama to bomb their beloved Syria.

Interestingly, an International Human Shield movement is coalescing according to informed sources here and abroad. One initiative is to bring 1000 Americans and thousands of others, to Syria within the next ten days to guard likely bomb sites reminding one of the International Solidarity Movement international volunteer’s efforts in Occupied Palestine in order to try to protect homes of Palestinians from Government bulldozing.

Some redacted specifics have been disclosed to this observer from an international organizing committee working around the clock on this Human Shield initiative.

Some descriptive excerpts:  

 “International Human Shields are planning on coming to Syria in solidarity with the Syrian people and in an effort to send a global message and hopefully deter an American attack next week.”

“Timing – While moves can be made fast and with all other key elements in place, time is not in our favor.  Ten mores days for preparation would be ideal. The HS initiative assumes that it must be done in such a way that very little time lapse from the official announcement of the action to the actual arrival of the Human Shields on the ground in Syria.”

“ Impact – In order to achieve a significant impact having at least 1000  Americans and several thousand international Human Shields deployed in Syria is the objective. With ideally at least one representative from every UN Member State, as evidence of the true ‘international community’ opposing the American attack.

 The US activist-based steering committee is quickly bringing together professionals in IT, marketing, logistical planning and implementation, spokesperson(s), public relations, accounting, documentarians, and experienced project managers. Ferries from European ports are to be arranged to carry significant numbers of Human Shields from Major European cities. Ideally, several jumbo jets will be chartered to carry human shields from some of the world’s major cities and use of land convoys are under consideration.

An excerpt:  “HS/Government Relations – The first objective of the enemies of Syria will be to portray Human Shields as nothing more than pawns of President Bashar al-Assad. This was precisely what the mainstream media did in 2003, presenting Human Shields as pawns of Saddam.  In order for the Human Shields to have power they must be seen as independent supporters of the people of Syria who represent the will of the vast majority of people around the world who oppose the pending US-led western attack. The HS should however work with prominent leaders in the civilian sector of Syrian society and great effort should be made to produce daily news stories of the Human Shields and Syrian people working together to protect Syria from the ongoing foreign instigated aggression. There are once again many details here and these would need to be discussed and agreed if any action will be able to reach its full potential.”

“Strategy – The sites that Human Shields deploy to must be very well publicized and these sites must be identified as protected sites under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The White House is saying that they are not going to attack infrastructure (as they did with Iraq in 2003), but they must attack the infrastructure as the goal is to drive Syria into the stone age and make it so weak that Israel will through its agents eventually take Syria over. They know that the Syrian people and military cannot be defeated without massive attacks on the infrastructure.

So it is absolutely vital that all power plants, water treatment facilities, bomb shelters (if they exist), civilian communications sites, food storage sites and other such sites that are critical to the civilian population are the primary if not sole focus of sites for the HS to deploy. They cannot deploy to military sites, although I personally feel this is morally defensible, it will neutralize the power of the HS in the public relations realm and intelligent public relations is absolutely critical.

A comprehensive list of protected sites is to be produced immediately and these sites will need to be verified by the most independent sources we can manage to obtain. UN representatives or former representatives would be great, human rights attorneys, legal experts and others of this type are very useful.

There will be room to deploy to sites not specifically listed in the Fourth Geneva Convention, such as with ethnic and religious minority communities who are deathly afraid of the foreign invaders/terrorist. Special emphasis should be placed on Christian populations as the western audience sadly has more sympathy for Christians than Muslims. “

 “Our goal is to personalize the people of Syria and show their suffering through the eyes of the HS with effective daily reports to be uploaded on the Internet and reported by legitimate news agencies such as Press TV, RT and Telesur. A massive effort must be made to educate the public about the reasons for the Fourth Geneva Convention (FGC) and the imperial powers undeniable record of knowingly destroying the lives of ‘protected persons’ as defined in the FGC. There must be high quality, well-spoken Arabic/English speaking spokespersons.

We should be ready to provide evidence of any attack on such sites the moment it happens and have legal briefs prepared to immediately charge the aggressors with war crimes. This is why it is critical that the HS are almost exclusively at sites that are protected by the FGC.”

The Action Plan concludes: “We cannot necessarily stop them from doing what they intend to do, but we can make their aggression harm them far more than Syria and its people in the end. Herein lays the power, using the enemies momentum against him in the most powerful way possible.

Time will tell which Americans will arrive first in Syria, the military or the American public.  Many Syrian are today praying it will be the latter and have pledged to join them to defeat the coming aggression.

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

There Will Be NO “AMERICAN SPRING,” Only A Second American Revolution—Bomb Syria, Obumma, and The American People May Bomb You

[Obumma, There Is One Way To Help the Syrian People---Call-Off Your Saudi Attack Dogs and Stand-Up To the bloodthirsty Republicans. 
If you weren't such a coward and a sell-out to the rest of the human race, then you would not take pleasure from recruiting the Republican Fascists to your side. 
If the anti-Democracy American Congress opens another war front, then the American people must open a war front of their own---right on the White House lawn. 

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Prepare to lay-down your lives for the sake of the human race...come to Washington for action...If the American bombs fall on Damascus, then gather together in Lafayette Square for the beginning of the Second American Revolution!]

no war

Obama wins backing for Syria strike from key figures in Congress

Reuters

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama won the backing of key figures in the U.S. Congress, including Republicans, in his call for limited U.S. strikes on Syria to punish President Bashar al-Assad for his suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said they reached an agreement on a draft authorization for the use of military force in Syria, paving the way for a vote by the committee on Wednesday. However, the draft is much narrower than the request made by Obama and includes a provision barring the use of U.S. troops on the ground.

Speaking after the United Nations said two million Syrians had fled a conflict that posed the greatest threat to world peace since the Vietnam war, Obama said on Tuesday the United States also has a broader plan to help rebels defeat Assad’s forces.

“What we are envisioning is something limited. It is something proportional. It will degrade Assad’s capabilities,” Obama said. “At the same time we have a broader strategy that will allow us to upgrade the capabilities of the opposition.”

Having startled friends and foes alike by delaying a punitive attack on Assad until Congress reconvenes and agrees, Obama met congressional leaders at the White House to urge a prompt decision and assure them it did not mean another long war like Iraq or Afghanistan.

John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor both pledged their support for military action after the meeting.

Votes are expected to be held in the Senate and House next week, with the Republican-led House presenting the tougher challenge for Obama.

The House leadership has indicated the votes will be “conscience votes,” meaning they will not seek to influence members’ votes on party lines. All the same, it would have been a blow to Obama if he had not secured the backing of the top two Republicans.

“I believe that my colleagues should support this call for action,” Boehner told reporters.

The president said strikes aimed at punishing the use of chemical weapons would hurt Assad’s forces while other U.S. action would bolster his opponents – though the White House has insisted it is not seeking “regime change.”

Among other provisions, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee draft, which was obtained by Reuters, sets a 60-day limit on U.S. military action in Syria, with a possibility of a single 30-day extension subject to conditions.

COMPROMISE DEAL

The compromise deal reached by Senator Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the panel, and Senator Bob Corker, the top Republican, includes a provision banning any use of U.S. armed forces on the ground in Syria, according to the draft document.

It requires Obama to consult with Congress and submit to the Senate and House of Representatives foreign relations panel a strategy for negotiating a political settlement to the Syria conflict, including a review of all forms of assistance to the rebels fighting to oust Assad.

Secretary of State John Kerry initially told the committee he would prefer not to bar the use of ground troops to preserve options if Syria “imploded” or there was a threat of chemical weapons being obtained by extremists.

But when Corker, the Republican senator, told Kerry he “didn’t find that a very appropriate response regarding boots on the ground,” Kerry quickly, and repeatedly, backtracked.

Kerry said he was simply “thinking out loud” and raising a hypothetical situation, but he did not want to leave the door open to sending ground troops to Syria.

“Let’s shut the door now,” Kerry said. “The answer is, whatever prohibition clarifies it to Congress or the American people, there will not be American boots on the ground with respect to the civil war.”

An Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday that Obama has failed so far to convince most Americans. Some 56 percent of those surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria, while only 19 percent supported action, essentially unchanged from last week.

In remarks that appeared to question the legality of U.S. plans to strike Syria without U.N. backing, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the use of force is only legal when it is in self-defense or with Security Council authorization.

If U.N. inspectors confirm the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the Security Council, which has been deadlocked on the 2-1/2-year Syrian civil war, should overcome its differences and take action, Ban said.

Assad denies deploying poison gas that killed hundreds of civilians last month.

The Syrian opposition, which said a forensic scientist had defected to the rebel side bringing evidence of the Assad forces’ use of sarin gas in March, has appealed to Western allies to send them weapons and use their air power to end a war that has killed more than 100,000 and made millions homeless.

COMFORTABLE GOING FORWARD

Obama has said he is “comfortable going forward without the approval of a United Nations Security Council that so far has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold Assad accountable.

The presence in rebel ranks of Islamist militants, some of them close to al Qaeda, has made Western leaders wary, while at the same time the undoubted – and apparently accelerating – human cost of the conflict has brought pressure to intervene.

Russia, backed by China, has used its veto power in the U.N. Security Council three times to block resolutions condemning Assad’s government and threatening it with sanctions. Assad, like Russia, blames the rebels for the August 21 gas attack.

Obama was due to leave Washington on Tuesday for a G20 meeting in Russia. France said foreign ministers of some of the G20 member states will convene on the sidelines of the meeting to discuss Syria.

The conflict has divided the Middle East on sectarian lines, with Shi’ite Iran backing Assad and Washington’s Sunni Arab Gulf allies supporting the mainly Sunni rebels. It has also revived Cold War-style tensions between the Western powers and Moscow.

In an interview in Le Figaro, Assad told the French newspaper: “Everybody will lose control of the situation when the powder keg blows. There is a risk of a regional war.”

The U.N. High Commission for Refugees said there had been a near tenfold increase over the past 12 months in the rate of refugees crossing Syria’s borders into Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon – to a daily average of nearly 5,000 men, women and children.

This has pushed the total number of Syrians living abroad to more than 2 million.

That represents some 10 percent of Syria’s population, the UNHCR said. With a further 4.25 million estimated to have been displaced but still resident inside the country, close to one third of all Syrians are living away from their original homes.

Comparing the figures to the peak of Afghanistan’s refugee crisis two decades ago, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, said: “Syria has become the great tragedy of this century – a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history.

“The risks for global peace and security that the present Syria crisis represents, I’m sure, are not smaller than what we have witnessed in any other crisis that we have had since the Vietnam war,” said Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister.

(Additional reporting by Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Steve Gutterman and Timothy Heritage in Moscow, Jeffrey Heller and Dan Williams in Jerusalem, Dasha Afanasieva in Istanbul and Phil Stewart, Arshad Mohammed, Susan Cornwell and Andy Sullivan in Washington.; Writing by Claudia Parsons.; Editing by Christopher Wilson, Jim Loney and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Isn’t It Time Americans Admitted To the World That Iraq War Was Huge Mistake For Us—War Crime For Bush and Cheney

[If true Democracy still exists in our former Constitutional Republic, then the opinion of the American majority must be represented in government.  Before we can export Democracy by force to the rest of the world, we must repair the damage that our leaders have caused here in the Homeland.  For eight years, a strong American majority has considered Bush's war to kill Saddam a huge mistake---a personal vendetta for the Bush family.  Isn't it time that we admitted it to the world?  We have been overlooking ten years of war crimes and crimes against humanity, in order to keep our national pride intact and to pursue an illegal, unjust war which has so far claimed over one-million innocent lives.  Obama has already moved to cover his own ass by shielding Bush and Cheney from international justice for their criminal actions (SEE:  DOJ Asks Court to Grant Immunity to Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld for Iraq War).  End the war, NOW.  Impeach Obama for war crimes and for shielding his war criminal predecessors.]

On 10th Anniversary, 53% in U.S. See Iraq War as Mistake

Republicans most likely to say conflict was not a mistake

by Andrew Dugan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ten years have passed since the United States and its allies invaded Iraq, and it appears the majority of Americans consider this a regrettable anniversary. Fifty-three percent of Americans believe their country “made a mistake sending troops to fight in Iraq” and 42% say it was not a mistake.

Looking back, do you think the United States made a mistake sending troops to fight in Iraq? 2003-2013 trend

The March 7-10 results mark the first time Gallup has asked this question since the full withdrawal of American troops in December 2011. Although majorities or near-majorities have viewed the conflict as a mistake continuously since August 2005, the current 53% is down from the high point of 63% in April 2008.

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war. Though the engagement has now come to an end, this seminal event in recent American history still looms large in the national political consciousness. In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama highlighted the end of the war, stating “a decade of war is now ending” and, more recently, Sen. John McCain confronted now-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel as to whether the 2007 Iraq war “surge” was successful.

Americans initially supported the war, with substantial majorities in 2003 saying the U.S. decision to get involved in Iraq was not a mistake. However, attitudes changed relatively quickly, and by the summer of 2004, a majority of Americans called the war a mistake.

Opinions fluctuated somewhat thereafter but, with one exception, since August 2005, a majority has said the war was a mistake each time Gallup has asked the question — and at several points, more than 60% said so. The last time Gallup asked this question, in August 2010, 55% called the war a mistake.

A majority of Americans also view Vietnam, another major U.S. military engagement of the modern era, as a mistake. The same March survey finds 57% of Americans saying the Vietnam War — which resulted in the most U.S. casualties of the three recent wars — was a mistake, but that is down from 69% in November 2000.

On the other hand, a slim majority of Americans (51%) say the war in Afghanistan — a military engagement still in progress, albeit with a scheduled withdrawal date — was not a mistake. Still, 44% believe sending troops to Afghanistan was a mistake — the highest on record.

Republicans Still Stand Behind Iraq War; Seniors Are Opposed

Wars often spur times of immense national unity — moments in which partisan politics dissipate and dissent is muted. This effect is famously temporary, and with respect to the Iraq war, it is clear that attitudes on whether it was a mistake break heavily along partisan lines, despite nearly unanimous initial support.

Not surprisingly, given that the war was begun in the administration of a Republican, former President George W. Bush, 66% of respondents who identify as or lean Republican say the U.S. did not make a mistake in sending troops to fight in Iraq, while 30% express the contrary view. In contrast, 73% of Democratic leaners or identifiers see the military campaign as a mistake. Twenty-two percent in that group say it was not a mistake.

Looking back, do you think the United States made a mistake sending troops to fight in ... ? Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam (March 2013 results by party ID)

Recent wars have been much more polarizing than past conflicts such as World War II, which enjoyed strong bipartisan support when Gallup last inquired on the matter in 2004. Republicans and Republican leaners say the Afghanistan invasion was not a mistake by more than a 2-1 margin — 66% vs. 31%. Democrats’ and Democratic leaners’ views are inverted on this matter: 56% think it was a mistake to send troops to Afghanistan, while 40% say it was not.

Republicans and leaners are more evenly divided on the Vietnam War — the only war of the three recent ones that was initiated under a Democratic president — with 46% saying it was a mistake and 45% saying it was not. Democrats again lean heavily toward the “mistake” column, by 69% to 23%.

Generational Divide Clear on Recent Wars, Including Iraq

Older Americans are more likely than younger ones to say the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam were a mistake.

Nearly six in 10 Americans aged 65 or older and 57% of those aged 50 to 64 say it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq, compared with 50% each of 18- to 29-year-olds and 30- to 49-year-olds. Majorities of those aged 65 or older — who over their lifetimes have seen various U.S. military operations — see all three wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam) as a mistake, the only age group to do so.

Young adults are the only age group in which a majority says the Vietnam War was not a mistake (51%) — perhaps because they have no personal memory of the conflict.

Looking back, do you think the United States made a mistake sending troops to fight in ... ? Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam (March 2013 results by age)

Implications

On the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war, most Americans judge the conflict “a mistake.” While Americans long ago soured on the military decision, recent opinion has changed little, now that U.S. troops have been completely withdrawn from the country for more than a year. However, the war is not without its supporters. Most Republicans still believe the invasion was not a mistake.

Nonetheless, the national consensus is decidedly against the Iraq war, as well as the more distant Vietnam War. Even the war in Afghanistan, launched shortly after the horrific 9/11 attacks and which President Obama once referred to as the “good war,” has a sizable opposition bloc. The unpopularity of these wars has led some political commentators to warn of a new “American isolationism,” which limits or curtails future military action. While these data cannot confirm this, it is clear that Americans are not of one mind in believing that past military conflicts were the right course of action and, as such, may be more cautious about supporting future actions.

Survey MethodsResults for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted March 7-10, 2013, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,022 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cellphones numbers are selected using random digit dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, cellphone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2012 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the 2010 census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

View methodology, full question results, and trend data.

For more details on Gallup’s polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.

Vladimir Putin expected to use G20 forum to deny chemical weapons claims against Syria

Vladimir Putin expected to use G20 forum to deny chemical weapons claims against Syria

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Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin supports the Assad regime. Source: AP

 

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin will use this week’s G20 world leaders forum to debunk US intelligence justifying an assault on Syria.

The annual gathering of the leaders of top 20 advanced and developing nations including Australia is usually a dry affair, with ratification of previously agreed backroom deals usually revolving about global financial affairs.

But officials from all nations are hurriedly changing their forum preparations which begin in St Petersburg on Wednesday with Syria discussions now set to dominate the agenda.

It is expected Mr Putin, a close ally of Syria, will roundly condemn moves by the West for an assault on Syria, the Russian leader questioning the merits of Allied intelligence.

Both President Obama and Great Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron are pushing for a strike on the Syrian Regime of Bashar al-Assad based on intel pointing to his troops using chemical weapons – specifically sarin – to so far murder more than 1400 civilians including 426 children. It has today been revealed that hair and blood samples from some of the victims has tested positive for the deadly sarin nerve agent.

 

Assad told Syrian TV he denied the allegation and was capable of confronting any attack.

“The American threats of launching an attack against Syria will not discourage Syria away from its principles … or its fight against terrorism supported by some regional and Western countries, first and foremost the United States of America,” he said.

“Syria … is capable of facing up to any external aggression just as it faces up to internal aggression every day, in the form of terrorist groups and those that support them.”

As this year’s G20 host, Mr Putin can direct the forum agenda to a decree and he is expected to declare the chemical claim as nonsense and call for restraint from the West.

Mr Putin, like other leaders, fear any assault could lead to wider conflict, with Iran already threatening broad reprisals against Western interest in the Middle East if nations choose to meddle.

Mr Putin has already challenged his US counterpart and its allies including Britain and Australia to show the international community what it claims is evidence and to do anything less was disrespectful.

“If there is evidence it should be shown,” he said. “If it is not shown there isn’t any.”

UN weapons inspectors are expected to reveal their findings on the claims next week.

Mr Cameron’s push to join the US with a military strike was rejected by the British Parliament prompting Mr Obama to also seek ratification for the move from Congress; the weapons of mass destruction dossier on Iraq which prompted war but turned out to be false forcing both leaders to flinch.

Any strike is expected to be on rocket sites and the Syrian airforce, the alleged major delivery sources of the chemicals. A full on-the-ground assault is not yet being called for although chemical sites have to be identified and confirmed from ground resources.

France has also accused the Syrian Government of having used poisonous gas on civilians in the capital Damascus and is backing a tactical assault.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr is to represent Australia at the G20 forum, in lieu of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who will be on the last days of election mode. The Rudd Government has condemned the use of chemicals by Assad forces but confirmed Australian troop involvement was unlikely with any action likely to be in the form of humanitarian aid.

Currently the G20 agenda will see nations called on to agree to set public debt reduction targets by 2016, building on a pledge made at a previous meeting two years ago. Just how targets will be met will be up to foreign governments to decide.

Other issues on the agenda will be tax evasion, including agreeing to better share data on where companies declare and pay tax and enforcing greater tax transparency particularly by multinationals hiding costs abroad, away from the centre of their majority sales.

“R2P” Can of Worms Reopened—Compassionate Response, Or Lawyers’ Excuse for Imperial Invasion?

Syria carnage reopens debate over ‘responsibility to protect’

By Andre Viollaz

NEW YORK — France’s President Francois Hollande on Tuesday became the first leader to raise the UN-backed “responsibility to protect” to justify possible military action against Syria.

However, world powers remain deeply divided over whether outside military intervention to halt atrocities is justified, with critics viewing the so-called R2P as a smoke screen for Western meddling in other countries’ internal affairs.

The so-called R2P doctrine was passed by the UN General Assembly in 2005 as the world sought a way to prevent a repeat of the horrors of the 1994 Rwanda genocide and the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia.

UN leaders from Kofi Annan onwards and Western governments have hailed R2P as a humanitarian breakthrough, but its invocation, most recently in the 2011 intervention in Libya, has been controversial.

A 2005 UN summit laid down the responsibility for each state “to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

If a state fails to do so, the 2005 declaration committed signatories “to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the Charter, including Chapter VII, on a case-by-case basis and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations as appropriate, should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations.”

The Security Council used R2P in resolutions on Libya and Ivory Coast in 2011.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the use of the doctrine “came of age” when used in the resolutions that allowed military force against Libya’s Moamer Kadhafi after his forces laid siege to the city of Benghazi and the dictator vowed to hunt down and kill rebels “house by house.”

Russia and China, veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council, abstained in the votes on the landmark resolutions 1970 and 1973, which allowed a no-fly zone and appropriate military strikes to protect Libyan civilians.

Russia later complained, however, that NATO went beyond the mandate and used the resolutions to bring down Kadhafi, who was eventually killed in October 2011.

Russia and China have since blocked any Security Council attempt to increase pressure on Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces are now accused by Western nations of launching a chemical weapons strike in the Damascus suburbs last week that left hundreds dead.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that any “outrageous” use of chemical weapons in Syria’s 29-month old conflict would be a war crime.

The responsibility to protect can be carried out through the International Criminal Court investigations into war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

But as Syria is not a member, only the Security Council could refer the case, and Russia is sure to block such a move.

Under a 1950 resolution, at the start of the Korean War, the UN General Assembly decided that if the Security Council was deadlocked, the 193-member assembly could step in to defend international peace and security.

The assembly could give its approval for a military operation now, but it would take time to build up a credible majority.

Swiss Govt. Endures International opprobrium Over Pro-Hezbollah UN Watch Nominee

[(SEE:  Jean Ziegler—Defending Humanity Against Zionist/Imperialist Aggression)  The Zionist Hasbara machinery has been busy trying to fry Mr. Ziegler for many years, especially since his scathing, honest reporting on the attempted Israeli ethnic-cleansing operation in Lebanon in 2006.  Ziegler is an even bigger target because of his vocal criticism of the West's war against humanity and especially the Empire's obscene use of hunger and the promotion of religious schism as weapons of war.  As Special Rapporteur to the United Nations on the right to food, he promoted the brilliant concept of food as an inalienable human right.  His book, Empire of Shame (which doesn't seem to be available in English--editor) is a detailed indictment of the American war against the entire human race, in the service of the elitist "Lords of the Economic War."]

“the crime of September 11 by the U.S. government and transnational corporations as a pretext to conquer the world and control the destinies.”

 

Switzerland nominates Hezbollah advocate for UN Human Rights Council

JPost

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT

Swiss candidate defended French Holocaust denier; UN Watch official says he has “extremist anti-Western and anti-Israel” views.

Jean Ziegler

Jean Ziegler Photo: Reuters
The Swiss government has nominated Jean Ziegler–-a former Social Democratic MP who has praised Hezbollah as a legitimate national movement–- to serve as an adviser to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.The formal notification of Ziegler’s nomination to UN diplomats took place last week, sparking sharp criticism on Monday from a UN watchdog group.

Speaking Tuesday to The Jerusalem Post via phone, Hillel C. Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, said Ziegler has “extremist anti-Western and anti-Israel” views and a long history of attacking the Jewish state. UN Watch urged the Swiss government to rescind its nomination of Ziegler.

In 1982, Ziegler sought the expulsion of President Shimon Peres, then head of Israel’s Labor Party, from the Socialist International association.

In an interview with the Hezbollah publication Al-Akhbar in 2006, Ziegler said “I refuse to describe Hezbollah as a terrorist group. It is a national movement of resistance.”

The 28-member EU designated Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist organization last month. Switzerland is not a member of the EU.

Ziegler’s support for the late French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy was expressed in a 1996 letter, amid controversy over allegations of Holocaust denial in Garaudy’s book, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel: “I am outraged at the legal case they are making against you… All your work as a writer and philosopher attests to the rigor of your analysis and the unwavering honesty of your intentions. It makes you one of the leading thinkers of our time… It is for all these reasons that I express here my solidarity and my admiring friendship,” wrote Ziegler.

Ziegler’s Social Democratic party has been embroiled in Holocaust controversies over the years. The former Social Democratic foreign minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey, proposed seminars on different perspectives of the Holocaust back in 2006, when meeting with an Iranian delegation on the nuclear crisis.

Responding to the UN Watch criticism on Tuesday, the news outlet Swissinfo quoted Ziegler a saying, “This is total defamation, due to a severe report I published in 2002 on the right to food in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The Swiss government defended Ziegler in a letter to the UN: “As a renowned expert with an excellent knowledge of economic, social and cultural rights, Prof. Jean Ziegler has always shown an acute independence of thought. He is a figure that has the ability to actively promote human rights both in the civil society and in the international community.”

Jean Ziegler: Empire shame ignited the war on Lebanon

akhbar-logo2

Bassam Kantar

Jean Ziegler knocks alarm since he took office at the United Nations as a special rapporteur on the right to food. Ziegler shocked the size of the destruction in Lebanon for «News» speech about the war and its aftermath, and is b «surprises» in the Human Rights Council Bassam Kantar concluded day before yesterday, the Special Rapporteur to the United Nations the right to food, Jean Ziegler, his visit to Lebanon carrying in his sleeve a lot of evidence and information to be provided to the Human Rights Council which opened today its second regular session. It is scheduled to discuss the meeting of human rights violations during the Israeli attack on Lebanon. Ziegler knows about himself that he belongs culturally and politically to «Almiiiah». He stressed in an exclusive interview with the ‘news’ that what comes out of him from the views do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the United Nations, is not linked to its mission as a special rapporteur. Known Ziegler that his mission annoy Israel, which not visited along the lines of what he did four experts who had arrived in Lebanon last week, within the mission entrusted to the Human Rights Council fact-finding mission regarding violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during the recent aggression on Lebanon. Had already visited the occupied territories and submitted a report on the tragic situation in the West Bank and Gaza, and raised his report in a timely manner sensation led to the establishment of a fierce campaign upon by an American Zionist organization called «Organization of the United Nations control. But that did not prevent his re-election a few months ago for the same position Due to the high credibility enjoyed by. Ziegler working on a review of his new book in French «shame empire», which will be translated into English as well. It includes a description of «to use the crime of September 11 by the U.S. government and transnational corporations as a pretext to conquer the world and control the destinies. Ziegler saddened for the victims who died as a result of the recent war, and describes the war as’ a human tragedy of Lebanon and Israel. He continues: ‘I refuse to Hezbollah terrorism is described, it is a national resistance movement, and when all efforts fail to liberate the prisoners through diplomatic means, I can understand this movement do detain soldiers to exchange them. But what I could not understand yet is the Israeli reaction to the incident, the families of the two soldiers. Ziegler believes’ that Israel interprets a wonderful principle of self-defense, which was approved by the Article 51 of the International Bill of Human Rights, and gives an example: «imagine if I walked in Beirut and try someone stole my wallet. International Bill give me Right Besdh and the followed, but that does not mean that burned Beirut if it fails. He adds: «So, I see the reaction of Israel against Lebanon in this way and kill all those innocent flagrant violation of international law. And on the report, which سيرفعه to the United Nations, says Ziegler: «will include documentation of detailed Israeli violations committed against the farmers and agricultural infrastructure, and targeted means of transportation, and the presence of hundreds of thousands of mines which paralyzes the resumption of agricultural activity, in addition to the destruction of the right of all irrigation systems in the Litani and sources waters of the south, as well as the elimination of the foundations of physical structures for fishing, and the inability of farmers to harvest olives or banana planting seedlings. And the work of the commission of inquiry formed by the Human Rights Council, Ziegler says: «I can not predict now. But the picture is clear and massive destruction and human rights violations aware. And we will take the light from the legal point of view, as well as empirical knowledge field, which contributes to the Aghtina of the deliberations of the Commission on Human Rights. I think the Council liberated from the constraints of the U.S. government will provide a lot of surprises. Ziegler believes «that the war on Lebanon launched an episode of senseless wars waged by the empire of shame. The disaster of these wars over the daily carnage caused by hunger and not justified by any imperative or saucepan. Behind every victim stands murderer, and the present world order is not fatal, but is also absurd killer. It’s massacre being Baotaiadah not the indifferent. The equation is simple, it has the money to eat and live, but not owned by it suffers to become incapacitated or die, but there is no inevitability or spend, all die of hunger dies Mgtala.

Hezbollah Provided Service To All Humankind By Opposing Imperialist Invasion of Syria

Iran: Hezbollah needed to stabilise region

pravda

Iran: Hezbollah needed to stabilise region. 50844.jpeg

The Islamic Republic of Iran considers “significant” the role of the Islamic Resistance Movement and the Lebanese political party Hezbollah, to safeguard stability in the Middle East, according to the chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy of the Iranian Parliament (Mayles) Alaedin Boruyerdi, in remarks published last Sunday by HispanTV.

“Hezbollah is one of the most important factors in maintaining lasting peace and security in the region,” said Boruyerdi.

The President of the Commission also referred “in view of the strategic geographical position of Lebanon’s enemies seeking to change the security in this country, and that is why Iran always emphasizes the need for the Lebanese to maintain unity.”

Boruyerdi made these remarks during a meeting with the Lebanese ambassador in Iran, Fadi Hay Ali, when he advocated an expansion of bilateral relations between the governments in Tehran and Beirut, in different areas.

“The Mayles supports any initiative to strengthen the friendly connections with Lebanon in the political, economic and cultural areas,” Boruyerdi specified.

In reference to the armed conflict in Syria, said that “the events in this country have made it clear that the world powers cannot use war and massacre to win the willingness of other nations.” An example of the importance of the action of the resistance movement happened last week, when a detachment of Hezbollah in northern Lebanon detected and prevented the invasion of an Israeli commando, from the Palestinian territory.

According to the portal Al-Akhbar, the Israeli unit followed a path between the larger stations of Israel in the west, near the Lebanese village Alma al-Shaab, even passing through the region of the observation mission, or the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Hizbullah Chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in Televised Speech Marking Quds Day

Timeline
  • 55 minutes ago

    Nasrallah: They are seeking to remove the Shiites of the Arab and Islamic worlds from the equation.

  • 59 minutes ago

    Nasrallah: We thank the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic for all they are doing for Palestine and we will remain a vigilant and alert resistance to protect our country alongside the national Lebanese army and we send a big salutation to its command, officers, soldiers and wounded.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Whatever the doctrinal, religious or political dispute might be, Palestine must remain the main cause.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: We in Hizbullah will keep supporting Palestine and we’re keen on good ties with all the Palestinian forces, although we might have our differences sometimes over Syria and Palestine.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: We in Hizbullah stress our commitment to these principles, for which our enemies and sometimes our friends criticize us.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Our people are capable of defeating this scheme and God willing it will be defeated.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Where will this madness lead everyone? This is the responsibility of all the scholars and for the sake of the entire nation efforts must unite to defeat this destructive scheme.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: In Hizbullah, we have always and will continue to seek common denominators and to organize and postpone our differences, because the disputes have become destructive.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: We call on everyone to realize the threats and exert strenuous efforts in every country to resolve its issue through dialogue and halt the bloodshed, in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Pakistan and Somalia. Unfortunately, wherever these Takfiri groups go, there will be disasters.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Anyone backing the Takfiri groups ideologically, financially and in the media and anyone pushing them to the battlefields bears the first responsibility for all the ongoing destruction.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Isn’t it time for the peoples of the region to point their fingers at the countries that are sponsoring this destructive, spiteful scheme, which is the most dangerous scheme our region has witnessed.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Isn’t it time for the peoples of the region to realize that some parties are seeking to destroy the region and its countries, armies and peoples. They don’t only want to fragment the nations but also to fragment the peoples into sects.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: In Egypt, there is an acute political rift, but it is political and not sectarian. The same applies to Yemen, Tunisia and Libya. But when it comes to countries that have diversity, such as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Bahrain, the political conflict is turned into a sectarian conflict and they invoke the conflicts of history.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: What’s worse than this is that they gave some local conflicts a sectarian nature.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: They then used the so-called Shiite expansion and said the priority is confronting the Shiite threat because it poses a greater threat to the nation than the Zionist scheme. To many, Israel is not a threat and an enemy anymore.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Armies were equipped to fight Iran and satellite TV networks were established. Guarantees were given to the U.S. that every tank obtained by the Arab states would not be used against Israel.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Unfortunately, some in the Arab world who are backed by the states and governments of the West are blocking and preventing this priority and are pushing peoples to endorse other priorities and are inventing new wars. First they spoke of the communist expansion and Palestine was forgotten and they spent billions and came up with books, conference and wars. Then they invented the Iranian and Persian expansion and a war that cost billions was waged against Iran. Had they spent only one tenth on Palestine, it would have been liberated.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: All the massacres and plights that we suffered in Lebanon and the region can be attributed to abandoning the priorities and responsibilities.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: We must highlight the priority of this conflict with the Zionist scheme in Lebanon, Syria and Jerusalem.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Accordingly, anyone who stands in the face of the Zionist scheme anywhere in our region and through any means, would be defending his country, people and the future of his children and grandchildren, in addition to defending Palestine.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Israel poses a threat to Jordan and its demise is a national Jordanian interest, it poses a threat to Lebanon and Israel’s demise is a national Lebanese interest.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: The removal of the usurper entity is in the interest of the entire Islamic world and the entire Arab world and it is also a national interest for every country in the region.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Israel poses a grave and permanent threat to all the states and peoples of this region and its capabilities, security, dignity, safety and sovereignty, and anyone who denies that would be practicing obstinacy. Therefore, it is not only an existential threat to Palestine’s people, but also to all the peoples and civilizations of the region.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Entire Palestine, from the sea to the river, must return to its people. No one in the world, no king, prince, Sayyed, leader, president or state has the right to give up a single grain of sand of Palestine’s land.

  • 1 hour ago

    Nasrallah: Today, on August 2, 2013, we critically need to commemorate the occasion, and I thank all of you for heeding the call of Imam Khomeini.

  • 1 hour ago

    Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivering a speech in Dahieh on the occasion of Quds Day: This call was reiterated by Imam Khamenei and it aims to remind Muslims and the world of the Palestinian cause and to rescue Jerusalem from the hands of the Zionist occupiers and it is an occasion to shed light on what Palestine and its people are suffering from the siege, Judaization, starvation and the demolition of holy sites.

The Real Mr. and Mrs. Bashar Al-Asad and the Real Syria In Pictures

Mr. and Mrs. Bashar Al-Asad

Syria’s president is all smiles on his new Instagram account

cnn

By Ben Brumfield and Saad Abedine, CNN

syrianpresidency instagram account  Syrian presidency logo

Bashar Al-Asad Facebook

(CNN) — It’s not quite as epic as posing with a tiger a la Vladimir Putin. But Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has joined Instagram and the photos are propagandastically fantastic.

No ugly images of bloody battle fields taint the feed of the president caught in the middle of a brutal civil war. Instead, it’s photo after photo of him and his wife being caring — and being loved.

There’s al-Assad talking to a little girl by the side of a hospital bed. There’s his wife wiping away a little boy’s tear. There’s al-Assad intently listening to a group of women. There’s his wife intently listening to a group of women. And lots of pictures of him being mobbed, greeted, hugged by adoring masses.

The embattled president announced he was adding Instagram to his social media blitz last week via a message posted to his Twitter account. He also has his own Facebook page and a YouTube channel.

And, judging from the comments, fans in Syria, Russia and Turkey.

“God bless you,” “We love you,” and “We want you to win this war” are common comments posted on the images.

Syria’s Main Kurdish Militia Sends-Out Call for All Able-Bodied Men To Fight Jihadists

NGO: Syria’s main Kurdish militia calls to arms against jihadists

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Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Isa Huso, a prominent Syrian Kurdish politician, was assassinated early on Tuesday outside his home near the Turkish border. (Photo courtesy: Ozgur Gundem website)
AFP, Beirut

Syria’s main Kurdish militia on Tuesday issued a call to arms to all Kurds to fight jihadists after the assassination of a Kurdish leader, a watchdog said.

“The Committees for the Protection of the Kurdish People (YPG) called on all those fit to carry weapons to join their ranks, to protect areas under their control from attacks by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) fighters, Al-Nusra Front and other battalions,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Kurdish call comes hours after Isa Huso, a member of the Supreme Kurdish Council diplomacy committee, was assassinated as he left his house in the Syrian Kurdish city of Qamishli, a pro-Kurdish news agency said.

The Supreme Kurdish Council is a platform bringing together Kurdish groups in Syria.

The call to arms comes weeks into fighting between Kurds and jihadists in several areas of northern Syria.

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.

European Parliament Calls-Out Saudi Wahhabis for Global Support of Islamist Terror Outfits

 

European Parliament The involvement of Salafism Wahhabism in the support and supply of arms to rebel groups around the world

The involvement of Salafism/Wahhabism in the support and supply of arms to rebel groups around the world

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The war in Afghanistan is undoubtedly a key moment in the emergence of an armed rebellion in the Muslim world. The impact of this conflict quickly exceeded the borders of Afghanistan to extend Pakistan. Since then, the Iraq war, the civil war that engulfed Syria and the armed conflict in the Sahel have helped to increase guerrillas in the Muslim world. This study aims to analyze the role of the Salafi / Wahhabi networks in financing and arming rebel group.

 

The involvement of Salafism Wahhabism in the support and supply of arms to rebel groups around the world

(download pdf)

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.

The US’s Afghan Exit May Depend on a Syrian One

The US’s Afghan Exit May Depend on a Syrian One

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Washington’s options in Syria are dwindling – and dwindling fast.

Trumped up chemical weapons charges against the Syrian government this month failed to produce evidence to convince a skeptical global community of any direct linkage. And the US’s follow-up pledge to arm rebels served only to immediately underline the difficulty of such a task, given the fungibility of weapons-flow among increasingly extremist militias.

Yes, for a brief few days, Syrian oppositionists congratulated themselves on this long-awaited American entry into Syria’s bloodied waters. They spoke about “game-changing” weapons that would reverse Syrian army gains and the establishment of a no-fly zone on Syria’s Jordanian border – a la Libya. Eight thousand troops from 19 countries flashed their military hardware in a joint exercise on that border, dangling F-16s and Patriot missiles and “superb cooperation” in a made-for-TV show of force.

But it took only days to realize that Washington’s announcement didn’t really have any legs.

Forget the arguments now slowly dribbling out about why the US won’t/can’t get involved directly. Yes, they all have merit – from the difficulties in selecting militia recipients for their weapons, to the illegalities involved in establishing a no-fly zone, to the fact that more than 70% of Americans don’t support an intervention.

The single most critical reason for why Washington will not risk entering the Syrian military theater – almost entirely ignored by DC policy wonks – may be this: the 2014 US military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Help, we can’t get out”

There are around 750,000 major pieces of American military hardware costing approximately $36 billion sitting in Afghanistan right now. The cost of transporting this equipment out of the country is somewhere close to the $7 billion mark. It would be easier to destroy this stuff than removing it, but given tightening US budgets and lousy economic prospects, this hardware is unlikely to be replaced if lost.

Getting all this equipment into Afghanistan over the past decade was a lot easier than getting it out will be. For starters, much of it came via Pakistani corridors – before Americans began droning the hell out of that country and creating dangerous pockets of insurgents now blocking exit routes.

An alternative supply route through Afghan border states Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan called the Northern Distribution Network was set up in 2009, but is costlier and longer than going via Pakistan. And human rights disputes, onerous conditions on transport and unpredictable domestic sentiment toward the Americans places far too much leverage over these routes in the hands of regional hegemon Russia.

Unlike Iraq, where the US could count on its control over the main ports and Arab allies along the Persian Gulf border, Afghanistan is landlocked, mountainous and surrounded by countries and entities now either hostile to US interests or open to striking deals with American foes.

In short, a smooth US exit from Afghanistan may be entirely dependent on one thing: the assistance of Russia, Iran, and to a lesser degree, China.

All three countries are up against the US and its allies in Syria, refusing, for the better part of 18 months, to allow regime-change or a further escalation of hostilities against the state.

In the past few months, the Russian and Iranian positions have gained strength as the Syrian army – with assistance from its allies – pushed back rebel militias in key towns and provinces throughout the country.

Western allies quickly rushed to change the unfavorable equilibrium on the ground in advance of political talks in Geneva, unashamedly choosing to further weaponize the deadly conflict in order to gain “leverage” at the negotiating table.

But none of that has materialized. As evidence, look to the recent G8 Summit where western leaders sought to undermine Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him “isolated” and referring to the Summit as “G7+1.”

In the meeting’s final communiqué, Putin won handily on every single Syria point. Not only was it clear that the international community’s only next “play” was the negotiations in Geneva, but there was no mention of excluding President Bashar al-Assad from a future Syrian transitional government, once a key demand of opponents. Furthermore, the declaration made it clear that there was no evidence linking chemical weapons use to the Syrian government – had there been any “evidence” whatsoever, it would have made it to paper – and Syrian security forces were empowered, even encouraged, to weed out extremist militias by all the G8 nations.

This was not an insignificant victory for the Russians – it was the first public revelation that Washington, London and Paris have conceded their advantage in Syria. And it begs the question: what cards do the Russians hold in their hand to bring about this kind of stunning reversal, just a week after Washington came out guns blazing?

America – choose your Afghan exit

The US military establishment has, for the most part, stayed out of the fray in Syria, where special ops have been ceded to the CIA and external contractors.

But as the gargantuan task of extricating the US from its decade-long occupation of Afghanistan nears, President Barack Obama has scrambled to accommodate the Pentagon’s top priority. Having assiduously avoided a negotiated political or diplomatic solution with the Taliban for years, he hopes to now pull a face-saving, 11th hour deal out of his hat with foes who will sell him down the river at a moment’s notice.

“The Americans are deeply worried that if the war continues the Kabul government and army might collapse while American bases, advisers, and special forces remain in the country, thereby putting the U.S. in an extremely difficult position,” says Anatol Lieven, a professor and Afghanistan expert at King’s College London, about the already-stalled US-Taliban talks in Doha last week. “They would obviously like to bring about a ceasefire with the Taliban.”

Even if Americans could get to the table, there are a myriad issues that could conclusively disrupt negotiations at any time – in a process that “could take years,” as various US officials concede.

For starters, the involved parties – Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government (which consists of competing ethnic and tribal leaders) and the “new Taliban” – now have multiple interests with regional players like Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, and the neighboring “Stans” which puts a serious strain on any straightforward negotiation goals.

As an example, the very same Taliban delegation now sitting with the Americans in Doha, were traipsing through Tehran late last month – ostensibly with the knowledge of all parties. And this was certainly not the first visit between the two.

While the US arrogantly kept its Afghan foes at arm’s length for years, the Iranians were busy employing soft power in their neighborhood – a task facilitated by a decade of US regional policy mismanagement that has aggravated its own allies in and around Afghanistan.

This isn’t just a matter of Pakistan and Iran inaugurating a once-inconceivable gas pipeline, as they did earlier this year. Iran is now participating in infrastructure and social service projects in the heart of Kabul, has forged working relationships with Pakistani intelligence on a variety of mutual security issues, and has built deep networks within Afghanistan’s political and tribal elite – even with the Taliban, courtesy of mentors in Islamabad.

A US security expert and frequent advisor to US military forces inside Afghanistan and Iraq gives me the bottom line:

“Iran has basically exploited our vulnerabilities and filled those gaps well.
The US’s very presence in Afghanistan has helped Iran gain tremendous influence in both Afghanistan and Pakistan because of widespread disdain for US military activities and intervention, period. This is where Iranian diplomacy has excelled. Iran and Pakistan have ramped up their relationship both in military terms and with local insurgents during the past seven years. Iran has moved in and built mosques, schools in the middle of Kabul, for God’s sakes.”

The Iranians may be able to upset hopes of a smooth US military withdrawal from Afghanistan, but, this source warns, the Russians can potentially play “spoiler” in a big way as well:

“In Kyrgyzstan we have a base there to airlift a lot of supplies – mostly food, small scale things, not heavy equipment – for US soldiers and troops inside Afghanistan. Russia has so much influence there that at one point they threatened to give the Kyrgyz more money for the base that we were renting to kick us out and shut down that essential supply route. We were forced to heavily increase our rent payments to stay there.”

A few days ago, the Kyrgyz parliament voted overwhelmingly to shut down this very Manas base by July 2014, a full six months before the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is set to complete. Was it a coincidence that the vote came up around the time of the G8 huddle in Ireland, dominated almost entirely by news about a stand-off on Syria?

The US military source also explains how easily the Russians can sweeten the pot for the Pentagon:

“We have, concurrently, gained some support to withdraw from Afghanistan thru neighboring Tajikistan with the help of the Russians – and in return we are going to have to help build some infrastructure, like roads, under the auspices of US aid. These negotiations within and between the US and Tajik governments are ongoing. On this, the Russians have given their word that if we can find a way to exit through any of these countries, they will not interfere. Of course, the politics are fluid and anything can change at anytime.”

In April, NATO reached out to Moscow for help and advice on their military withdrawal from Afghanistan. NATO is keen to ensure the cleanest exit possible, but is also concerned about volatility in the aftermath of its departure – and desperately wants to avoid the perception of “mission defeat.”

What about the Chinese?

“China’s interests are a bit different. Less focused on our military withdrawal, more inclined to undermine our long-term influences and goals,” explains my source. “The Chinese are hell-bent on influencing countries for resource extraction and allocation, given their huge domestic demand. They are very competitive with the US and are going after the same resource pool. They undermine US influence because they play the game differently – they will bribe where we have strict rules on bidding, etc., and therefore enjoy more flexibility going after these same resources.”

In other words, like just about everybody else in that neighborhood, China will edge out any US gains made over the past decade – in both the political and economic sense.

In terms of near-term domestic and international political perception, however, that loss will pale in comparison to a failure by the Pentagon to secure the safe exit of its assets from Afghanistan.

“In the final analysis,” says the US military source with great irony, “if we want to get out of Afghanistan quickly and with minimum sacrifice to troops and hardware, it would save us a great deal of trouble if we could exit with the help of – and through – Iran.”

Enter James Dobbins, who was named Obama’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan in May. The veteran US diplomat, who I had the opportunity to interview in Washington three years ago, is an interesting choice for this position precisely because he has been so vocal in advocating for US-Iranian negotiations when few others dared.

Dobbins, notably, engaged actively with Iran in the aftermath of the US invasion of Afghanistan, based on a mutual interest of replacing the extremist Taliban with a more moderate, inclusive government. But further dealings came to an abrupt halt just weeks later, when then-US President George W. Bush delivered his infamous “Axis of Evil” speech, including Iran in this trio of top American foes.

It is doubtful that Dobbins or the Doha talks can work any miracles though. The kind of exit the US needs from Afghanistan must rely on a constellation of determined players and events that would be quite remarkable if amassed.

While it is obvious to all that the combined weight of Russia, Iran and China could tip that balance in favor of an expeditious American exit, what would motivate any of these three – who have all recently been at the receiving end of vicious US political and economic machinations – to help?

A grand bargain over Syria would surely be a sweetener: you and your allies exit Syria, we’ll help you exit Afghanistan.

The problem with Washington though, is that it never fails to botch up an opportunity – always striving for that one last impossible power-play which it thinks will help it gain dominance over a situation, a country, an enemy.

There remains the concern that the US’s oft-repeated Al Qaeda mantra – “disrupt, dismantle, defeat” – will prove to be its one-stop solution for every problem.

And that is the exception to my premise about a Syrian exit. That US spoilers who cannot accept even the perception of vulnerability – let alone an outright defeat – may instead choose to catapult the entire Mideast into a region-wide war for the sake of avoiding a painful compromise.

Sharmine Narwani is a commentary writer and political analyst covering the Middle East. You can follow Sharmine on twitter @snarwani.

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.

Venezuela and Nicaragua make Snowden asylum offers

Venezuela and Nicaragua make Snowden asylum offers

BBC

The presidents of Venezuela and Nicaragua explain their offers

The presidents of both Nicaragua and Venezuela have indicated their countries could offer political asylum to US fugitive Edward Snowden.

Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro said it would give asylum to the intelligence leaker, who is believed to be holed up in a transit area of Moscow airport.

Meanwhile Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said his country would do so “if circumstances permit”.

Wikileaks said Mr Snowden had applied to six additional countries on Friday.

The whistleblowing website said it would not name the countries “due to attempted US interference”.

Mr Snowden has already asked 21 countries for asylum, most of whom have turned down his request.

But even if a country accepted the American’s application, getting there could prove difficult, the BBC’s Steven Rosenberg, in Moscow, reports.

European airspace could be closed to any aircraft suspected of carrying the fugitive, our correspondent says.

Earlier this week, several European countries reportedly refused to allow the Bolivian president’s jet to cross their airspace on its way back from Moscow – apparently because of suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board.

Speculation

President Maduro made his announcement in a speech on Venezuela’s Independence Day.

“As head of state and government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young US citizen Edward Snowden so he can come to the fatherland of Bolivar and Chavez to live away from the imperial North American persecution,” President Maduro said.

The US wants to prosecute Mr Snowden over the leaking of thousands of classified intelligence documents.

Earlier Mr Ortega said Nicaragua had received an application at its embassy in Moscow.

“We are open, respectful of the right to asylum, and it is clear that if circumstances permit it, we would receive Snowden with pleasure and give him asylum here in Nicaragua,” Agence France-Presse quoted the Nicaraguan president as saying.

Daniel Ortega, file photo  14 June 2013 President Ortega said the asylum application was received in Moscow

Daniel Ortega was a fierce opponent of the US during his first period as Nicaragua’s president in the 1980s, after the left-wing Sandinista movement came to power.

Bolivia, which had also suggested it might offer Mr Snowden asylum, saw its presidential plane barred from European airspace on Tuesday.

There was speculation the 30-year-old was on the plane carrying President Evo Morales back from Russia to La Paz earlier this week.

“Edward Snowden has applied to another six countries for asylum,” tweeted Wikileaks, which has been helping the former CIA contractor.

“They will not be named at this time due to attempted US interference.”

The US has been blamed for being behind the decision by France, Portugal, Italy and Spain to close its airspace to Bolivia’s president, whose plane was grounded in Austria for 13 hours as a result.

Earlier on Friday, Spain’s foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo admitted he and the other European countries had been told that Mr Snowden was on board – but refused to say who gave out the information.

He denied Spain had closed its airspace to the presidential plane, explaining that the delay in Austria meant the flight permit had expired and needed to be renewed.

His comment is the first official recognition by the European states that the incident with Mr Morales’ plane was connected with the Snowden affair.

It has been widely condemned by President Morales and several other South American nations, who were critical of the US.

Mr Snowden arrived in the Moscow airport from Hong Kong last month.

He revealed himself to be responsible for the leaking of classified US intelligence documents that revealed a vast surveillance programme of phone and web data.

The documents have also led to allegations that both the UK and French intelligence agencies run similarly vast data collection operations, and the US has been eavesdropping on official EU communications.

The Window to Resist Global Tyranny Is Closing

 

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source: theblaze

LittleBoy-horz

The Window to Resist Global Tyranny Is Closing

 Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show

In Parts one and two, a strong case was made by past revolutionaries that winning the hearts and minds of the people is a necessary precondition before executing quasi-military activities, in an asymmetrical fashion (i.e. guerrilla war).  Further, it was also revealed that although 90% of the country does not approve of the job that its government is doing, about the same percentage are unaware as to the identity of their true enemy and the totality of the globalist agenda.

In Phase one of the battle for the hearts and minds of the people, involves the awakening of the public and this task is totally left up to the alternative media and its supporters. Assuming that phase one is successful, Phase two can commence.

Veteran Brandon Raub arrested for questioning the official version of 9/11 on Facebook.

Veteran Brandon Raub arrested for questioning the official version of 9/11 on Facebook.

A Phase two rebellion will undoubtedly be led by a good portion of the 21.5 million American veterans because they have the know how on what it takes launch a guerrilla war against their oppressors. Subsequently, it should be clear to everyone why this government is targeting the veterans and declaring so many of them to mentally incompetent and using that as the justification to seize their guns and medicate them against their will such as in the case of Brandon Raub. The veterans are the vanguard of the resistance and the administration is attempting to negate much of their influence.

If the veterans were to be the leaders of the coming resistance, who would be their top supporters? It would be the groups and individuals who seek the restoration of American civil liberties. The mostly likely groups would be those people who already demonstrate a fundamental respect for the Constitution and free will in general. These groups would be Christians, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, former Ron Paul supporters, Tea Party members, and Second Amendment supporters. Interestingly, these groups have already been labeled as domestic terrorists in the MIAC Report authored by DHS.

DHS Is Ready for War, Are You?

DHS and the rest of the government understands what is coming. They have been preparing for a long time.  And just what would the DHS be preparing for?  Under the present set of circumstances, Americans, armed with 300 million guns would be a formidable opponent for the globalist occupation forces. So long as America would have the resolve to fight for 7-10 years, there would be a fair chance that the American people would prevail. If only 10% of the veterans participated in the resistance, that is an army bigger than the one the United States presently fields. Add the populations identified in the MIAC Report and this country would literally make it  impossible for DHS and FEMA to control. We would see Irish Republican Army types of IED’s on Wall Street, guerrilla forces attacking trains, oil fields, any symbol of the globalist takeover and would certainly see targeted assassinations of Wall Street bankers. Now you know why, as Jim Maars reported on The Common Sense Show, that so many of the bankers have the left the country.  To recap, Americans certainly have the means and numbers to mount a resistance capable of resisting government tyranny with a good likelihood of winning a war of attrition with the globalist occupiers. However, the globalist forces are capable of mounting very stiff opposition to any rebellion. In fact, it can be argued that at his point in time, the globalists are better prepared than the American people for an upcoming conflict.

Sizing Up the DHS Stasi Forces

DHS has ordered 2.2 billion rounds of ammunition in recent months to go with 2700 armored personnel carriers. Through federalization, DHS controls the local police forces and their allies from NATO (a Bilderberg creation) control a good portion of the military leadership in this country. In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, DHS has demonstrated that they have the means to shut down a large American city without sufficient justification or legitimate legal authority.

DHS has made it clear as to who their enemy is. They recently accepted cutouts of American citizens to be used for shooting targets in order to desensitize the killing of American citizens who might not give up their guns. These targets included a pregnant woman, an older person and even a child.

dhs targets

Recently, Obama and DHS took their treason against the American people to a whole new level and it increasingly clear that DHS is indeed preparing for the coming guerrilla war, even if the majority of Americans are not even aware that this conflict has already commenced.

Stunningly, it is now revealed that Obama has signed an agreement with Putin which allows the use of Russian soldiers on American soil to engage in public venue policing activities..

Let’s ignore for the time being, that Obama just committed an act of treason which should imprison for the rest of his life.  This act by Obama is a declaration of war by this administration upon the American people. However, it is also a sign that this administration is desperate and they know they do not have the means, at the present time, to prevent the “Red Dawn scenario” from coming to fruition. Generally, it takes 1 soldier for every 50 citizens in order to garrison a population. Even with the support of the Russians, it is not likely that they can marshal the necessary number of forces to completely control this country.

russia attacks america 3These modern day Hessian soldiers better watch out because their heads will be a high priority target for guerrilla forces. Of course, the administration will attempt to reduce the odds through incarceration and extermination. It is interesting to note that mainstream broadcaster, Michael Savage acknowledged that this administration plans to use FEMA camps to reduce the threat ratio to this regime. My, how the worm is turning, perhaps we are winning the battle for America’s hearts and minds discussed in Part one.

Phase Three of the Revolution

As Giap, Lawrence and Mao all state that when Phase two is successful, Phase three would be ready to commence. As in Romania, Cuba, China and South Vietnam, we could expect to members of the military to join the resistance when the rebels demonstrate that they have a chance to be successful. At this point, the revolution would turn conventional and territorial occupation becomes a goal. Stage three is the culminating stage of a successful revolution.

The Evil Empire Strikes Back

If America can overcome it soft ways and entitlement attitudes, this country has the resources, leadership and experience needed to carry out a successful guerrilla campaign against the globalist occupiers. However, America’s window of opportunity needed to reclaim their country, is limited because of the emergence of exotic new military technology designed to completely thwart all insurgent actions.

Advanced Anti-Guerrilla Warfare Tactics of the Globalists

The rules of Guerrilla warfare are about to change. Although many of the weapons described below are not yet deployed, it is merely a matter of time. Afghanistan is proving to be the beta testing ground for many of these weapons as is Iraq.  The following technological breakthroughs in military technology have very little value on the battlefield in a conventional war. These weapons systems are anti-guerrilla orientated and they are designed for Americans who will soon try to put a stop to the unfolding tyranny of the bankers who have hijacked our government. We are entering into a new type of guerrilla warfare with extreme counter-measures designed and created by DARPA which is the top secret research arm for the Department of Defense.

DARPA’s sole purpose is built around the goal of developing more efficient and greater means of killing. For those of you who have not figured out that we are about to enter American hunting season and you are the game, you should know that if these weapons systems are every deployed in sufficient numbers, the game is over.

 Every Move You Make, We’ll Be Stalking You

LACOSTE the "All seeing eye"

LACOSTE the “All seeing eye”

In a nowhere to run and nowhere to hide scenario, DARPA, has developed technology which allows the military to spy on entire cities with its Large Area Coverage Optical Search-while-Track and Engage (LACOSTE). LACOSTE is a program of imaging technology that will allow for “single sensor , day or night, ongoing tactical surveillance of all moving vehicles in an urban area. LACOSTE will eventually be able to identify individual humans in the same manner with the next generation of facial recognition software. This surveillance system is being integrated into department store video surveillance, the street light turned spy Intellistreets as well as all traffic cameras. If the globalists want to find you, you better have a “cloaking” device to hide behind. More importantly, most guerrilla activities are designed to occur under the cover of darkness. The cover of darkness is no longer an ally for future American rebels.

Meet the New Boss

Meet the new Boss, The Battlefield Surveillance System

Meet the new Boss, The Battlefield Surveillance System

Many gun owners mistakenly believe that they are going to be able to carry out acts of guerrilla warfare and/or terrorism against an illegitimate government as they begin to lock-down the country under a martial law takeover. Thwarting most ideas of a successful revolutionary effort can be found in the Battlefield Optical Surveillance System (BOSS),which is a device that can be mounted on a truck that scans and deciphers the landscape with lasers and sensors. When it sees the almost imperceptible glint of a rifle scope, or more amazingly it also recognizes you through your retinas as the detection device “paints” you with a laser beam, just prior to your demise.

Boomerang

Boomerang

Boomerang

And even in the unlikely event that you can slip into firing range of your intended target, the Boomerang countermeasure system uses an array of microphones which will be able to instantly decipher the speed and direction of your shot, based on the muzzle report and the shock wave of the bullet as it zips past. Immediately, Boomerang knows where the shot came from, and even what kind of weapon was utilized. This system will reduce all future sniper missions to a Kamikaze endeavor. Therefore, it is a safe bet that prior to moving globalist controlled forces into an area to conduct a roundup, BOSS and Boomerang will be employed to detect and possible resistance and eliminate the resistance by calling in a drone strike.

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide

X-25 "Smart" grenade launcher

X-25 “Smart” grenade launcher

If a drone is unavailable the XM-25 is a “smart” grenade launcher. The weapon is portable and can be carried to the battlefield by a soldier, or even better, a DARPA killer robot who has orders to search and destroy a specific target which will be identified by facial recognition. Once you are located, the X-25 possess a laser range-finder built in to the weapon that can detect the distance to the wall or trench that you’re hiding behind and then blow you and your cover to oblivion.

The “Can’t Miss” Weapon

EXACTO gives new meaning to the phrase "one shot, one kill."

EXACTO gives new meaning to the phrase “one shot, one kill.”

On your last trip to your local gun range, how close to 100% was your accuracy? You might want to consider that the other side has a sniper countermeasure called EXACTO, or the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance. EXACTO is the first ever guided small caliber (“smart”) bullet. If you’ve ever watched a heat-seeking missile follow a fighter jet on the big screen, then you would comprehend the idea of DARPA’s intention for creating a maneuverable and flexible bullet, which is controlled by a guidance system, that moves with the target and adjusts in mid-flight and to eventually shatters a human skull.

Raise the Shields Scotty, Micro Air Vehicles and Killer Robots

Maybe someone in your neighborhood struck a deal with al Qaeda and obtained a couple of RPG’s that the late Ambassador from Libya sold to the terrorists before he was murdered by the administration to make the trail go cold. You might feel that you had a chance against the armored personnel carriers which will be used by DHS. Or, maybe you could shoot down a Predator B drone prior to it launching 100,000 micro drones designed to attack troops at your position. Unfortunately for your forces, the other side possesses the Gizmodo Iron Curtain (GIC) countermeasure can protect a moving vehicle from an incoming RPG, by detecting the projectile and then detonating it. The next generation of GIC’s will be able to do the same with bullets.  

It does not take a rocket scientist to project the next development using this technology. which would be employed to protect drones and other planes. When the globalist forces advance upon rebel positions, they will be nearly impervious to harm and free to carry out their mission. Do you remember the 2700 armored personnel carriers obtained by DHS? In the not too distant future, we will witness the fact that these vehicles will be virtually indestructible.

Conclusion

America does have the capacity to resist tyranny with some degree of success as our people have more resources than any other guerrilla force in world history. America has successful military experience in its ranks in sufficient numbers to make a lot of difference. However, the key to saving America is twofold: (1) America would have to abandon its “soft” mentality; and, (2) the 10% that are awake would have arouse the majority in the time we have left. The guerrilla suppressing technology is so thorough and so completely devastating, that if the globalists are allowed to being this technology to fruition in sufficient numbers, the game is over and the fate of humanity is sealed. For America falls to the globalists, then humanity will follow. Do I think that these two challenges can mitigated? Yes, I do. Do I think we in the alternative media will arouse a sufficient number of people to make a difference? The odds are far less than 50%.  If you share the same world-view as I do that the alternative media may not be successful in arousing America before it is too late, then you need to ask yourself what are you doing to prepare to survive in the NWO?

Total Failure of Zionist’s Egyptian “Mahdi” Project

[This fall of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, preceded by fall of Pig of Qatar, preceded by failure of Islamist terrorists in Syria, also preceded by failure of Qatari-funded Mali Islamist terrorists signifies the closing of this chapter of the latest installment of Tel Aviv and Washington's Mideast Mahdi Project, intended to set the Middle East on fire, in a controlled burn to eliminate all hostility to that little bastion of shit, known as "Israel.  Bravo!  To the brilliant Egyptian people!]

Zionist Stooges Set-Up Mohammed Morsi As Synthetic Muslim “Mahdi”–the Triumphant “Peacemaker”

[This is the Zionist Psyop that the Saudis, Bahrainis and the Pig of Qatar have set-up to further deceive the Muslim masses.  Look to the new "Pharoah" of Egypt to do the bidding of the Jews throughout "Eretz Yisrael" (SEE:  Arab “Leaders” Reveal Their True Zionist Loyalties In Deadly Gazan “Soap Opera” )

 MAKE NO MISTAKE, MORSI SERVES ISRAELI INTERESTS, NOT EGYPTIAN!]

With Gaza ceasefire, Egypt’s Morsi becomes a serious player

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after eight days of shelling and devastation that led to the deaths of 162 Palestinians and 12 Israelis. (Maya Alleruzzo /AP)

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after eight days of shelling and devastation that led to the deaths of 162 Palestinians and 12 Israelis.
(Maya Alleruzzo /AP)

BESSMA MOMANI

The world’s eyes are now on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi as he struggles to sustain what many consider an act of diplomatic acrobatics: stopping the violence in Israel and Palestine.

On Wednesday, Mr. Morsi brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after eight days of shelling and devastation that led to the deaths of 162 Palestinians and six Israelis. That is quite a feat, considering that President Morsi has been on the job for six months, he was not the first choice of his political party, he does not have clear presidential prerogatives because the Egyptian constitution has yet to be ratified, and he is hampered by an Egyptian military that maintains an ominous and watchful eye on politics.

It is notable, then, that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised Mr. Morsi’s “personal leadership” in brokering this difficult ceasefire. Has President Morsi’s diplomatic adroitness broken the pessimistic bent found in some media outlets – some of which have referred to the period following the Arab Spring as an Islamist Winter?

Well, I think it should. Egypt’s brokering of this ceasefire should remind us of how an Islamist-led government can be an effective actor in Middle East relations. Egypt’s elected Muslim Brotherhood government has continued to respect its peace treaty with Israel, despite the pessimism of Mr. Morsi’s critics.

This is not to say that Egypt has continued its modus operandi in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After all, in the midst of the onslaught on Gaza, Mr. Morsi sent his prime minister, Hesham Kandil, to the conflict’s ground zero to lend moral support to Hamas. In contrast, Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak would have turned the other way, hoping the Israelis would get the dirty job done quickly while paying lip service to the Palestinian people.

Cairo’s role in the ceasefire is not only as a broker and a guarantor. Egypt has also agreed to open its border crossings with Gaza to allow the trade of people, food and goods, to help relieve Israel’s economic and humanitarian siege. This will be welcomed by Mr. Morsi’s domestic and regional champions, who sympathize with the plight of Gazans.

Yet this is not without potential problems. Egypt will need to stop the transport of Iranian-made Fajr-5 rockets from Sudan through its territories and under the notorious Gaza border tunnels. Moreover, while there is wide public support in Egypt for lifting the siege on Gaza, there is also support for stopping the emboldened Sinai Bedouins from both attacking the Egyptian army, as they have done in recent months, and from smuggling illicit goods along the routes of the Sinai Peninsula.

In the 1950s, the populist government of Gamal Abdel Nasser served as the Arab Middle East’s de facto regional hegemon, and was arguably a trailblazer in relations with developing countries. Has Egypt returned to its past glory days of being the bona fide leader of the Arab world?

Well, don’t hold your breath. The truth is, Egypt has an enormous set of domestic problems to deal with, and both its people and government have little or no ambition to be a regional leader. It is still a poor country with rampant unemployment, high prices, high illiteracy, a stricken tourist sector that accounts for 25 per cent of the economy, and failing public infrastructure.

Historical circumstances have turned Turkey and Qatar into the new regional brokers, and President Morsi’s successes will not return Egypt to its Nasser days. Nevertheless, despite the death and destruction of the past eight days and the tenuous terms of the ceasefire, there is good reason to highlight the responsible actions of Egypt’s democratically elected Islamist president.

Bessma Momani is associate professor at the University of Waterloo and a senior fellow at The Centre for International Governance Innovation and at the Brookings Institution.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story, which has been corrected, gave an incorrect figure on the number of Israelis killed in the conflict.

DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks To Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile

DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks To Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile

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[Milwaukee police purchased this armored car conversion that has been aptly described as a civilian "tank."]

Related Links


DHS To Buy All Ammo: In The Market For 50 Billion .223 Shell Casings

Michael Savage Talks To Expert About DHS Buying Massive Amount Of Ammunition

DHS Purchases 21.6 Million More Rounds Of Ammunition

DHS Buys 200,000 More Rounds Of Ammunition

(Gateway Pundit)  This is getting a little creepy.

According to one estimate, since last year the Department of Homeland Security has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm.

DHS also purchased 2,700 Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicles (MRAP).

Modern Survival Blog reported:

The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.

Although I’ve seen and read several online blurbs about this vehicle of late, I decided to dig slightly deeper and discover more about the vehicle itself.

The new DHS sanctioned ‘Street Sweeper’ (my own slang due to the gun ports) is built by Navistar Defense (NavistarDefense.com), a division within the Navistar organization. Under the Navistar umbrella are several other companies including International Trucks, IC Bus (they make school buses), Monaco RV (recreational vehicles), WorkHorse (they make chassis), MaxxForce (diesel engines), and Navistar Financial (the money arm of the company).

DHS even released a video on their newly purchased MRAPs.
Via Pat Dollard:

 
The MRAP featured in this video is was in Albuquerque, New Mexico for Law Enforcement Day which was held at a local area Target Store. This MRAP is stationed in El Paso, Texas at The Homeland Security Investigations Office. MRAP is a Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicle.

This article first appeared @ the gatewaypundit

Seize Saudi assets for supporting terrorism?

 

Seize Saudi assets for supporting terrorism?

PressTV

The aftermath of a car bomb attack in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad

The aftermath of a car bomb attack in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad

By Jim W. Dean

The Saudis close relations with Israel has gotten them a free pass on supporting the car bombing campaigns, which seem to be an endless problem in Iraq. It is a classic destabilization campaign with Israeli fingerprints all over it, in conjunction with the usual suspects. That the Iraqi bombing upsurge paralleled the Syrian car bombing in tactics was not missed on those of us who are still awake.”

The West and their Persian Gulf state proxies have made a big mistake thinking that using terrorist proxies as cheap offensive troops was a smart play.

It wasn’t. They have hung targets on all their backs not only for similar retribution like future drone attacks, but also legal prosecution for supporting and engaging in terrorism.

Those in government positions have no immunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity. And where it is not possible to apprehend them and bring them to trial, the American drone attack precedent has established they can be killed wherever they are found, and whoever they are with, by any means possible. That was not a good thing to bring to international relations. I am not the only one who thinks so.

Less messy and a boon to the lawyers is asset seizure, to which the Saudi Royals are very vulnerable because they have extensive personal holdings all over the world, particularly in public companies. As for the evidence, there is an endless supply of retired Intel people who can supply it, plus modern data-mining can update older information in a jiffy.

I have been watching carefully how the Saudi hand in the Syrian turmoil, and more, has been so lightly covered in the mass media, the type of issue suppression one is used to seeing when the Israel Lobby presses a button.

Recent days and multiple sources have now put the numbers of Saudis fighting with the terror rebels at 8,000. That folks is basically a division. It is not a loose mix of religious extremists all wandering through the border areas to magically show up on the front lines as coordinated fighting units.

What we now see is Saudi Arabia at war not only with Syria, but also Iraq, putting the US in a difficult position regardless of its approval or not. Because we have armed the Saudis to a great extent the blood they spill via al-Nusra will be splashed on us.

Even during the Iraq war we had problems with the Saudis as they were funding and arming the Sunni insurgents. This was understandable during the horrible ethnic cleansing days, especially in Baghdad. But Saudi Intelligence had kept a finger in the Iraqi pie ever since to have a counter to the Shia government’s friendliness to Iran and the Russians.

The Saudis close relations with Israel has gotten them a free pass on supporting the car bombing campaigns, which seem to be an endless problem in Iraq. It is a classic destabilization campaign with Israeli fingerprints all over it, in conjunction with the usual suspects. That the Iraqi bombing upsurge paralleled the Syrian car bombing in tactics was not missed on those of us who are still awake.

Our Intel sources have confirmed the current bombing campaign in Iraq’s cities was a feint to draw the army away from the Syrian border area to make it easier to move extremist fighters and now heavier weapons through the border. After several shootouts with these insurgents and losing police and troops the Iraqi army moved in.

They started with a sweep to clear out the training bases, safe havens and recruiting infrastructure that had been set up inside Iraq. Their troops are going back to the border as terrorists will be using save haven areas in Syria under al-Nusra control to stage continual bombings, especially with the Iraqi election coming up. This effectively put Saudi Arabia at war with Iraq also… even if it is irregular warfare. But therein lies the catch.

These acts, their purpose… is an ongoing terror campaign. It could not be going on without the approval of the Royal family, which puts them in violation of all the anti-terrorism laws. While I don’t expect them to be arrested any time soon, I am waiting for the victim countries to begin legal action… seizure of assets for running an ongoing terrorism enterprise. Contrary to popular belief and governments wishing that it were true, officials have no diplomatic immunity from such acts.

The EU and their separate countries have used and abused this differently with Iran. They have illegally sanctioned Iran for a presumed violation of nuclear weapons protocols, without bothering to show the rest of us their evidence. We all know if they had some they would have shown it long ago. And the Israelis using a nuclear bunker buster in Damascus confirmed their longstanding position that their nuclear arsenal was there for its aggressive threat power, not for defense.

Iran’s Bank Mellat just had their banking sanctions overturned by Britain’s Supreme Court in a devastating decision, which claimed the secret testimony used to justify them were bogus. The British taxpayers are looking at half a billion in damages being paid out for this illegal act. And I suspect that similar lawsuits will result in similar damages over the satellite companies taking Press TV off the airwaves in countries where the Israel Lobby pulled the strings.

If such damage awards can be collected for business losses, they should certainly be payable for mass murder and crimes against humanity. And these assets are easily identifiable as the Royal family crowd has helped itself to their countries treasury for many decades now.

As Franklin Lamb reported this week from Beirut, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are using their vast wealth to recruit large numbers of unemployed Arab youth in the area for whom an AK-47, free cigarettes, and $200 a month is step up in status. The paymasters are also free of any GI bill educational, health care or pension costs.

The Israelis also think this war on the cheap, using young Arab cannon fodder troops and Arab money to crush the major state that supports the Palestinians, as a gift almost from heaven. Most Israelis are not religious, which makes it easier for them to play religious Muslims off against secular or different sect ones.

The US is caught in a quandary here – really a lose-lose situation. They allowed themselves to stupidly hide behind the ‘Free Syrian Army’ and Syrian National Council’s refusal of Assad’s early offer to negotiate with no pre-conditions. I can only suspect that someone sold the White House some rosy prediction that Assad could not last another six months of a year.

And whoever thought bringing the Jihadi extremists in as a second flank, they also shot the remove Assad plan in the head. Their terror campaign of high level and civilian assassinations and bombings did not spur more defections. It did just the opposite. And whereas victory has a thousand fathers, failure has none.

The West’s threats to ship more arms in to the rebels were mainly pre-staging to leverage the Syrian opposition to attend the political settlement conference. While weapons have of course been flowing in with CIA logistics coordination, they were not coming directly from US, British, or French armories. But the Saudis are going ahead now, initially with anti-armor weapons and I suspect shoulder fired aircraft weapons soon to follow.

The al-Nusra terrorists are already compromising the ‘Free Syrian Army’ by killing their officers and threatening the families of others. That civil war has already started. Known major al-Nusra headquarters in Aleppo have not been shelled or bombed by the Syrian army, only a mile away. So something strange is going on there.

The Saudis are vulnerable now to counterattack. And if they mess with the Russians, they might find their safe play in Syria was not a safe one at all. Iraq knows it is under attack by the Saudis. Will the Russians help them with signals and satellite? I suspect so.

The US is limited in the cards it can play now. The main one seems to be Jordan, which appears to being used as a pivot to make the Israelis feel a bit more comfortable, and to help the Iraqis with drone patrols along their wide open border with Syria. This would have US assisting the Iraqis fighting the Saudis.

If this is hard to follow, please don’t blame me. It is hurting my head, too. And on top of this we have possible media espionage going on inside Bloomberg with some of the silliness they have published about high US officials pushing for a quick bombing campaign. None of our military sources know anything about this, and everyone universally considers that a lose-lose proposition.

When deep cover media Intel assets are deployed, you know that their handler is in a near panic stage. I suspect that has something to do with Israel losing its air superiority abuse over its neighbors. We are still working hard on a major Bloomberg News story.

JD/HSN

Jim W. Dean comes from an old military family dating back to the American Revolution. His father was a WWII P-40 and later P-51 Mustang fighter pilot. Jim’s mother was a WWII widow at 16, her first husband killed with all 580 aboard when the SS Paul Hamilton, an ammunition ship with 7000 tons of explosives aboard, was torpedoed off the coast of Algiers. He has appeared on PBS most recently on the Looking for Lincoln documentary with Prof. Henry Lewis Gates and lectured at the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Gordon. His current writing focus is on national security, intelligence, black and psyops, military/Intel history including personal video archives, and the current wars. Jim Dean is the managing editor of Veterans Today. More articles by Jim W. Dean

 

Bipartisan Senate group seeks to block military funds to Syria

Bipartisan Senate group seeks to block military funds to Syria

foxnews
FoxNews.com

randpaulsyria12.jpg

A bipartisan group of senators have introduced legislation to block the U.S. from escalating its involvement in the Syrian civil war as concerns mount on Capitol Hill over the Obama administration’s plan to directly arm rebels.

Senators Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Tom Udall, D-N.M,; and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., introduced the bill Thursday to prohibit the Defense Department and intelligence agencies from funding operations in Syria.

Earlier this month, Obama announced the U.S. would begin providing arms and ammunition, after President Bashar Assad’s military dealt the rebels serious setbacks. The conflict is now in its third year with some 93,000 estimated dead.

Paul said he was disturbed by the president’s decision to reverse course and arm the rebels, fearing getting mired in a conflict in which little is known about the fighters battling the regime.

“Engaging in yet another conflict in the Middle East with no vote or Congressional oversight compounds the severity of this situation,” Paul said in a statement. “The American people deserve real deliberation by their elected officials before we send arms to a region rife with extremists who seek to threaten the U.S. and her allies.”

Murphy expressed concern over the possibility that American weapons and money could fall into the hands of terrorist organizations.

“We should be extremely wary of allowing the United States to be drawn into a complicated proxy war that could mire our country for years at a potentially incalculable cost to U.S. taxpayers and America’s reputation at home and abroad,” Murphy said.

The senators said the bill would not apply to non-lethal humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people provided by the U.S.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in May to provide weapons to rebels in Syria, as well as military training to vetted rebel groups and sanctions against anyone who sells oil or transfers arms to the Assad regime.

Speaking at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday, Obama refused to describe the type of military support the U.S. will give to Syrian rebels. He praised a decision by world leaders at the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland to seek a negotiated peace.

Obama said even though leaders could not agree on whether Assad must go, he has decided it is not possible for Assad to regain legitimacy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

U.S. puts jets in Jordan, fuels Russian fear of Syria no-fly zone

[The "Eager Lion" exercise playing-out in Jordan this week is an international Special Forces war game, involving the 5th Fleet's Expeditionary Strike Group 5 and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, commanding more than 40 amphibious assault ships, carrying at least 7 helo aircraft carriers, with up to 200 helicopters, as many as 50 Harrier jump-jets and an unknown number of tilt-rotar Ospreys.  It has been reported that a "detachment of F16s" (24 aircraft?) and Patriot missile batteries would be left in Jordan after the exercise. 

Since Jordan is almost a landlocked country, except for the port of Aqaba, on the Red Sea (Damascus is 286.1 miles away from Aqaba), this means that most of these 40 ships are probably in the Med, where they will be face-to-face with the Russian fleet, now stationed off Syria.  The USS Nimitz Strike Group, with 90 fixed-wing aircraft, is also currently consigned to the 5th Fleet.  Regardless of the number of F16s left behind in Jordan, the Navy alone, has enough assets on hand to put a Syrian "no-fly-zone" in place.  This says nothing about the sabotage potential of nearly one thousand Navy Seals and Marines, that are also on board those ships.  It looks like Obama plans on making Syria a navy operation. 

Hell is coming, probably within a week.  Look for Eager Lion to "go live" at the end of the war game, just like the Sept. 11 attacks and the London train bombing.  I guess that I was getting tired of waiting for Armegeddon to begin, anyway.  We all will have ringside seats to the big Big Show.]

U.S. puts jets in Jordan, fuels Russian fear of Syria no-fly zone

Reuters

A Free Syrian Army fighter communicates using a walkie-talkie in the Mouazafeen neighbourhood in Deir al-Zor, June 14, 2013. Picture taken June 14, 2013. REUTERS-Khalil Ashawi

By Oliver Holmes

BEIRUT

(Reuters) – The United States said on Saturday it would keep F-16 fighters and Patriot missiles in Jordan at Amman’s request, and Russia bristled at the possibility they could be used to enforce a no-fly zone inside Syria.

Washington, which has long called for President Bashar al-Assad to step down, pledged military support to Syrian rebels this week, citing what it said was the Syrian military’s use of chemical weapons – an allegation Damascus has denied.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved a Jordanian request for American F-16s and Patriot missiles to remain in the Western-backed kingdom after a joint military exercise there next week, a Pentagon spokesman said.

Western diplomats said on Friday Washington was considering a limited no-fly zone over parts of Syria, but the White House noted later that it would be far harder and costlier to set one up there than it was in Libya, saying the United States had no national interest in pursuing that option.

Russia, an ally of Damascus and fierce opponent of outside military intervention in Syria, said any attempt to impose a no-fly zone using F-16s and Patriots from Jordan would be illegal.

“You don’t have to be a great expert to understand that this will violate international law,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The idea of a no-fly zone was endorsed by Egypt, the biggest Arab nation. President Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist more distant from Washington than his deposed military predecessor, made a keynote speech in Cairo throwing Egypt’s substantial weight more firmly than before against President Bashar al-Assad.

Despite their differences, the United States and Russia announced in May they would try to convene peace talks involving the Syrian government and its opponents, but have set no date.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said chemical attacks by Syrian forces and Hezbollah’s involvement on Assad’s side showed a lack of commitment to negotiations and threatened to “put a political settlement out of reach”.

Kerry had not previously expressed such pessimism about prospects for the conference, which has run into many obstacles.

These include disarray in the Syrian opposition and military gains by the Syrian army and its Lebanese Hezbollah allies against rebels who have few ways to counter Assad’s air power.

The involvement of Hezbollah fighters on the side of Assad, a fellow ally of the main Shi’ite power Iran, has galvanized Arab governments, including Egypt, behind the rebels, who mostly follow the Sunni version of Islam that dominates the Arab world.

That has hardened sectarian confrontation across the region, which some Arabs hope might be softened by the election of the moderate Hassan Rohani as Iran’s president – though few believe he can truly influence Tehran’s supreme leader.

Mursi, addressing thousands of cheering supporters at a stadium gathering organized by Egyptian Sunni clerics, demanded Hezbollah pull out of Syria and, after his Muslim Brotherhood joined calls for jihad against Assad and his Shi’ite allies, the president said Cairo had now cut diplomatic ties with Damascus.

Egypt’s powerful, U.S.-backed army seems unlikely to involve itself in Syria, but religious passions are running high and more Egyptian volunteers could travel to join the rebels.

AIR STRIKES

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian jets and artillery had again attacked Jobar, a battered district where rebels operate on the edge of central Damascus.

It said heavy artillery was also shelling opposition fighters in the provinces of Homs, Aleppo and Deir al-Zor.

Western powers have been reluctant in the past to arm Syrian insurgents, let alone give them sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles that might fall into the hands of Sunni Islamist insurgents in rebel ranks who have pledged loyalty to al Qaeda.

Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander Salim Idriss told Reuters late on Friday that rebels urgently needed anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, as well as a protective no-fly zone.

“But our friends in the United States haven’t told us yet that they are going to support us with weapons and ammunition,” he said after meeting U.S. and European officials in Turkey.

A source in the Middle East familiar with U.S. dealings with the rebels has said planned arms supplies would include automatic weapons, light mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

The United Nations says at least 93,000 people, including civilians and combatants, have died in the Syrian civil war, with the monthly death toll averaging 5,000 in the past year.

Abu Nidal, from the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham rebel group, said U.S. help was welcome, but questioned how effective it would be.

“I doubt the influx of weapons will significantly tip the balance into our favor,” he said via Skype. “They might help push back regime offensives of the last few days.”

SYRIAN OFFICERS DEFECT

Abu Nidal’s faction is not part of the more moderate FSA, Washington’s chosen channel for military aid, but he said the two groups fight alongside each other on the battlefield.

The FSA was set up by defectors from the Syrian military in August 2011, but many rebel factions operate independently.

Assad’s armed forces have remained relatively cohesive, although a Turkish official said 71 Syrian army officers, including six generals, had just defected to Turkey, in the biggest such mass desertion in months.

Western nations have stopped short of arming Syrian rebels or mounting an air campaign as they did, with U.N. approval, to help Libyan insurgents topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Intervening against Assad is considered riskier because Syria has a stronger military, sits on the sectarian faultlines of the Middle East, and is supported by Iran and Russia, which has vetoed three U.N. Security Council resolutions on Syria.

Yet an apparent shift in the military balance in Assad’s favor, especially with the arrival of thousands of Shi’ite fighters from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, has made his swift removal look unlikely without outside intervention.

However, Israel’s defense minister suggested the pendulum could still swing the other way, despite the capture this month of Qusair, a former rebel stronghold near the Lebanese border.

“Bashar al-Assad’s victory in Qusair was not a turning point in the Syrian civil war, and I do not believe that he has the momentum to win,” said Moshe Yaalon, who is visiting Washington.

“He controls just 40 percent of the territory in Syria. Hezbollah is involved in the fighting in Syria and has suffered many casualties in the battles, and as far as we know, it is more than 1,000 casualties,” Yaalon said in a statement.

“We should be prepared for a long civil war with ups and downs.”

Israel has not taken sides in Syria, but does not want to see any Western anti-aircraft missiles or other advanced arms reach Islamist militants hostile to the Jewish state.

(Additional reporting by Jonathon Burch in Ankara, Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem, Mark Hosenball in Washington, Thomas Grove in Moscow and Tom Perry and Alastair Macdonald in Cairo; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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.

Senator Mark Udall Seeks Review of Patriot Act Amid Surveillance Report—(new Church Committee in the making?)

Senator seeks review of Patriot Act amid surveillance report

Reuters

U.S. Senator Mark Udall speaks during a memorial service marking the anniversary of the Tuscon shooting, at the University of Arizona campus January 8, 2012. REUTERS/Laura Segall

U.S. Senator Mark Udall speaks during a memorial service marking the anniversary of the Tuscon shooting, at the University of Arizona campus January 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Laura Segall

By Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON

(Reuters) – A Democratic senator called on Sunday for a review of the Patriot Act, the post-September 11, 2001, law that gave U.S. intelligence agencies broader powers of data surveillance, after disclosures the government has been collecting massive amounts of data on phone and Internet activities.

Senator Mark Udall, a member of the Intelligence Committee, said he thought another look at the law was warranted as reports of the data collection stirred a debate over privacy rights in the United States.

“I think we ought to reopen the Patriot Act and put some limits on the amount of data that the National Security (Agency) is collecting,” Udall told the ABC program “This Week.”

Udall said there must be a balance between protecting the country against terrorist attacks and respecting Americans’ constitutional rights, including the Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure.

“It ought to remain sacred, and there’s got to be a balance here. That is what I’m aiming for. Let’s have the debate, let’s be transparent, let’s open this up,” he said. “I don’t think the American public knows the extent or knew the extent to which they were being surveilled and their data was being collected.”

The Guardian reported last week that the super-secret National Security Agency has been mining phone records from millions of American customers of a subsidiary of Verizon Communications.

The Washington Post revealed a separate program, code-named Prism, that gives federal authorities access to data from companies including Google Inc., Apple Inc and Facebook Inc on emails, photos and other files.

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky told “Fox News Sunday” he would consider a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the phone surveillance program.

“They are looking at a billion phone calls a day from what I read in the press and that doesn’t sound to me like a modest invasion of privacy, it sounds like an extraordinary invasion of privacy,” Paul said.

But two senior lawmakers defended the Obama administration’s phone and Internet surveillance programs, saying they have helped to prevent attacks on the United States and have been subjected to strict reviews.

“These programs are within the law,” said Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told “This Week.”

“Part of our obligation is keeping Americans safe,” added Feinstein. “Human intelligence isn’t going to do it.”

Republican Mike Rogers, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, agreed with Feinstein that the programs were important for national security.

“One of the things that we’re charged with is keeping America safe and keeping our civil liberties and privacy intact. I think we have done both in this particular case,” he said.

Republican Senator John McCain told CNN he believed the surveillance programs were justified because threats to the United States from abroad have been “growing, not diminishing.”

“I do believe that if this was September 12th, 2001, we might not be having the argument that we are having today,” McCain said.

But the Arizona senator said it made sense for Congress to review the programs. “I think it’s entirely appropriate that we have congressional review, that we have executive review. And we take the case to the American people to some degree as so what we are doing,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Paul Simao and David Morgan; Editing by Doina Chiacu)