President Putin—accusing Syrian army of using chemical weapon nonsense

President Putin: accusing Syrian army of using chemical weapon nonsense


Aug 31, 2013


Moscow, (SANA)-President Vladimir Putin of Russia affirmed that the Syrian government has never used chemical weapons, describing the accusations against the Syrian army of using such weapons as “nonsense.”

“Holding Syrian government responsible for the use of chemical weapon is a provocation and the calls for striking Syria were because of the victories achieved by the Syrian army and the retreat of the opposition’s gunmen,” Putin said in a statement in Vladivostok on Saturday.

The Russian president added that if Washington fails to show the proof, “that means there is none.”

Putin also told the journalists that President Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, should think of the potential victims of a military attack against Syria.

The Russian President called for considering the trajectory of events over the past ten years as the US has always been making the first move to ignite armed confrontations in various parts of the world, which did not solve one single case in Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan.

“Regarding the position of our American colleagues, who affirm that government troops used … chemical weapons, and say that they have proof; well, let them show it to the United Nations inspectors and the Security Council,” Putin added, considering the excuse that the ”information are too classified to present them to anyone” as flimsy and shows their disrespect for their partners.

Putin also expressed surprise at a vote in the British parliament on Thursday that rejected London’s role in a potential war on Syria.

“This was completely unexpected for me,” Putin said, noting, “This shows that in Great Britain, even if it is the USA’s main geopolitical ally in the world … there are people who are guided by common sense.”

The Russian President pointed out that the upcoming G20 summit, which will be held next week in Russia’s Saint Petersburg, could be a platform to discuss the crisis in Syria.

Russia is a vocal opponent of a military intervention in Syria and calls for a political solution to solve the crisis there.

Kremlin said yesterday that that any military intervention in Syria will deal a serious blow to the entire system of world order.

Russia: Military strike against Syria without UNSC approval is act of aggression

Russia reiterated rejection of any military action against Syria outside the Security Council mandate, considering that it would be a violation of international law and an act of aggression if it happened.

“The Russian side has confirmed that any use of force against Syria by the United States, without authorization of the UN Security Council, is an act of aggression and flagrant violation of the principles of international law,” a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry official website after the meeting between the deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and the U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul read.

It also indicated that “Michael McFaul presented all the arguments which the US administration relies upon in accusing the Syrian government of involvement of the use of chemical weapons on August 21, 2013 in Eastern Ghouta.”

Ryabkov called the American side to “refrain from attempts to use this incident in order to justify military pressure on Damascus, and to allow the full implementation of the agreement reached by the G8 summit.”

Ryabkov also stressed the need to submit the report of UN experts working in Syria to the UN Security Council for consideration.

M. Ismael/Mazen

FSA Rebels Fire Chemical weapons (Blue Propane Tank) Mortar in Damascus suburb

TAKEN FROM FSA twitter page  


Watch Rebels fire chemical weapons missile in suburb

In Syria, America Loses if Either Side Wins

In Syria, America Loses if Either Side Wins

nyt logo



A man holds the body of a dead child after what activists claim was a chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on Wednesday.



WASHINGTON — ON Wednesday, reports surfaced of a mass chemical-weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs that human rights activists claim killed hundreds of civilians, bringing Syria’s continuing civil war back onto the White House’s foreign policy radar, even as the crisis in Egypt worsens.


But the Obama administration should resist the temptation to intervene more forcefully in Syria’s civil war. A victory by either side would be equally undesirable for the United States.

At this point, a prolonged stalemate is the only outcome that would not be damaging to American interests.

Indeed, it would be disastrous if President Bashar al-Assad’s regime were to emerge victorious after fully suppressing the rebellion and restoring its control over the entire country. Iranian money, weapons and operatives and Hezbollah troops have become key factors in the fighting, and Mr. Assad’s triumph would dramatically affirm the power and prestige of Shiite Iran and Hezbollah, its Lebanon-based proxy — posing a direct threat both to the Sunni Arab states and to Israel.

But a rebel victory would also be extremely dangerous for the United States and for many of its allies in Europe and the Middle East. That’s because extremist groups, some identified with Al Qaeda, have become the most effective fighting force in Syria. If those rebel groups manage to win, they would almost certainly try to form a government hostile to the United States. Moreover, Israel could not expect tranquillity on its northern border if the jihadis were to triumph in Syria.

Things looked far less gloomy when the rebellion began two years ago. At the time, it seemed that Syrian society as a whole had emerged from the grip of fear to demand an end to Mr. Assad’s dictatorship. Back then, it was realistic to hope that moderates of one sort or another would replace the Assad regime, because they make up a large share of the population. It was also reasonable to expect that the fighting would not last long, because neighboring Turkey, a much larger country with a powerful army and a long border with Syria, would exert its power to end the war.

As soon as the violence began in Syria in mid-2011, Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, loudly demanded that it end. But instead of being intimidated into surrender, Mr. Assad’s spokesmen publicly ridiculed Mr. Erdogan, while his armed forces proceeded to shoot down a Turkish fighter jet, before repeatedly firing artillery rounds into Turkish territory and setting off lethal car bombs at a Turkish border crossing. To everyone’s surprise, there was no significant retaliation. The reason is that Turkey has large and restless minority populations that don’t trust their own government, which itself does not trust its own army. The result has been paralysis instead of power, leaving Mr. Erdogan an impotent spectator of the civil war on his doorstep.

Consequently, instead of a Turkey-based and Turkish-supervised rebellion that the United States could have supported with weapons, intelligence and advice, Syria is plagued by anarchic violence.

The war is now being waged by petty warlords and dangerous extremists of every sort: Taliban-style Salafist fanatics who beat and kill even devout Sunnis because they fail to ape their alien ways; Sunni extremists who have been murdering innocent Alawites and Christians merely because of their religion; and jihadis from Iraq and all over the world who have advertised their intention to turn Syria into a base for global jihad aimed at Europe and the United States.

Given this depressing state of affairs, a decisive outcome for either side would be unacceptable for the United States. An Iranian-backed restoration of the Assad regime would increase Iran’s power and status across the entire Middle East, while a victory by the extremist-dominated rebels would inaugurate another wave of Al Qaeda terrorism.

There is only one outcome that the United States can possibly favor: an indefinite draw.

By tying down Mr. Assad’s army and its Iranian and Hezbollah allies in a war against Al Qaeda-aligned extremist fighters, four of Washington’s enemies will be engaged in war among themselves and prevented from attacking Americans or America’s allies.

That this is now the best option is unfortunate, indeed tragic, but favoring it is not a cruel imposition on the people of Syria, because a great majority of them are facing exactly the same predicament.

Non-Sunni Syrians can expect only social exclusion or even outright massacre if the rebels win, while the nonfundamentalist Sunni majority would face renewed political oppression if Mr. Assad wins. And if the rebels win, moderate Sunnis would be politically marginalized under fundamentalist rulers, who would also impose draconian prohibitions.

Maintaining a stalemate should be America’s objective. And the only possible method for achieving this is to arm the rebels when it seems that Mr. Assad’s forces are ascendant and to stop supplying the rebels if they actually seem to be winning.

This strategy actually approximates the Obama administration’s policy so far. Those who condemn the president’s prudent restraint as cynical passivity must come clean with the only possible alternative: a full-scale American invasion to defeat both Mr. Assad and the extremists fighting against his regime.

That could lead to a Syria under American occupation. And very few Americans today are likely to support another costly military adventure in the Middle East.

A decisive move in any direction would endanger America; at this stage, stalemate is the only viable policy option left.


Edward N. Luttwak is a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the author of “Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace.”

Islamist Terrorists In Syria To Be Targeted Too?

Fateh al-Islam advised Islamist in Syria to beware of US

in serbia

Voice of Russia, The Washington Post

The threats of US military action against Assad have sown widespread panic along many fronts within Syria, including extremists in the opposition, media reported.syria_krs
Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups are redeploying their resources in rebel-held parts of Syria amid widespread fears that any strikes carried out by the US would target not only the Syrian government, said rebels and activists.

In many parts of the northern and eastern provinces that have fallen almost entirely under rebel control, extremist groups have been evacuating headquarters, moving military equipment and, in some instances, fleeing to what is considered safer ground in mountainous terrain.

Fighters of the Free Syrian Army unit in Aleppo are heading for mountains in the west of the province. Convoys of vehicles carrying fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Ahrar al-Sham — a Syrian Salafi group — streamed out of the city Thursday, abandoning their headquarters, witnesses said.

In a statement disseminated on the Twitter account of one of its supporters, the radical group Fateh al-Islam offered advice to Islamists, warning that for every US missile that hits a regime target, another will strike a jihadi base.

“America destroyed jihadi bases in a very short period of time in Afghanistan and Iraq, and killed a large number of them, because they weren’t prepared. So don’t fall in the trap of laziness,” said the supporter, Abdullah Saker, detailing precautionary measures.

Even among rebels who have long hankered for Western help in their fight against Assad, there is widespread confusion and concerns about how the US strikes would unfold.

“People here are very worried the strikes will be intended to help the regime,” said Abu Hamza, an activist in the Damascus suburb of Darayya. “Of course I support it if it means ending the bloodshed, but there has been killing for 2.5 years, so why should we believe the United States is serious now? People lost trust in the U.S. government. They think the U.S. will only act for its own benefit.”

Hamas Warning of Egyptian/Saudi Intelligence Penetration of Gaza

[SEE:  Hamas official: Palestinian Tamarod group was trained by Egyptian intelligence]

Egypt denies intelligence agents working in Gaza

CAIRO, Egypt (Ma’an) — An Egyptian security official on Thursday denied claims by Hamas that Egyptian intelligence agents were working in the Gaza Strip.

“Such false accusations are part of attempts by the Hamas movement to discharge its domestic crisis to Egypt,” the security official told Ma’an.

Earlier Thursday, Hamas security sources said a Palestinian had been arrested the southern Gaza Strip. The man, identified only as M.M., admitted to running a cell for Egyptian intelligence, Hamas security officials said.

They added that the suspect and his group attempted to “disseminating rumors amongst citizens, drivers, and the Gaza society seeking to implicate Hamas and Al-Qassam Brigades in the events in Sinai and the ongoing unrest in Egypt.”

Hamas sources said the group had provided Arab media outlets with fabricated stories. The cell had worked with Egyptian, Israeli and Palestinian Authority intelligence services, the Hamas security officials said.

PTSD, Or PTGD (Post Traumatic GUILT Disorder)?—Living With the Guilt

‘Back Home’: Veteran suicides twice as high as civilian rate

dog tag
Photo by Chase Cook/News21
Mary Anne Burke holds her son’s dog tag after completing a 16-mile walk throughout downtown Washington, D.C. Burke’s son, Raymond Matthew Burke, died by suicide in 2001 while he was on leave from his naval station. Mary Ann Burke and her husband, Raymond Burke, have participated in every Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk and plan to complete two more walks next year.

Editor’s note: This report is part of a project on post-9/11 veterans in America produced by the Carnegie-Knight News21 program.

Fifth in a series of articles.

Veterans are killing themselves at more than double the rate of the civilian population, with about 49,000 taking their own lives between 2005 and 2011, according to data collected over eight months by News21.

Records from 48 states show the annual suicide rate among veterans is about 30 for every 100,000 of the population, compared with a civilian rate of about 14 per 100,000. The suicide rate among veterans increased an average 2.6 percent a year from 2005 to 2011, or more than double that of the 1.1 percent civilian rate, according to News21’s analysis of states’ mortality data.

Nearly one in every five suicides nationally is a veteran — 18 to 20 percent annually — compared with Census data that shows veterans make up about 10 percent of the U.S. adult population.

“Anytime a veteran who fought our enemies abroad or helped defend America from within our borders dies by their own hand, it’s completely unacceptable,” Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, told an American Legion conference in Washington earlier this year. The suicide rate has remained consistently high, he said, adding that more work was needed to address gaps in veterans’ mental health care.

“It’s not enough that the veteran suicide problem isn’t getting worse,” he said. “It isn’t getting any better.”

Law requires prevention efforts

A 2007 law required the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase its suicide prevention efforts.

In response to the Joshua Omvig Veteran Suicide Prevention Act — named for an Iraq war veteran who committed suicide in 2005 — the department’s efforts include educating the public about suicide risk factors, providing additional mental health resources for veterans and tracking veteran suicides in each state. The VA’s mental health care staff and budget have grown by nearly 40 percent over the last six years and more veterans are seeking mental health treatment.

The law mandated that the VA design a comprehensive program to reduce veteran suicides. Provisions included training VA staff in suicide-prevention techniques, factoring mental health concerns in overall veteran health assessments, providing referrals at veterans’ request to treatment programs and designating suicide-prevention counselors at VA medical centers. It also required the VA to work with the other federal departments on researching the “best practices” for preventing suicides.

VA efforts since 2007 have shown some results. The Veterans Crisis Line — a national phone line — has experienced a steady increase in the number of calls, texts and chat session visits from former soldiers struggling with suicidal thoughts. In 2007, its first year, 9,379 calls went to the crisis line. Each year the call volume has increased, reaching a high of 193,507 calls in 2012, totaling about 840,000 overall, according to the VA.

“It’s discouraging to keep looking at the [suicide] rates, and we have to keep plugging away,” said Dr. Jan Kemp, the VA national suicide-prevention coordinator, and program manager of the crisis line. But she said without resources such as the crisis line, “the rates would be higher.”

The VA is analyzing mortality data collected from states and Department of Defense records to try to understand veteran suicides. The task has been “almost impossible” until recent years, Kemp said, because the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not track veteran deaths and most veterans are not enrolled in the VA system.

Suicide statistics


Tracking veteran suicides

Veterans commit suicide at double and sometimes triple the rates of civilian suicides, with the rates varying from state to state. The veteran suicide rate has grown annually at more than double the percentage of the civilian rate. Explore an interactive comparison of veteran suicide rates by state.

News21 sought data on post-9/11 veteran suicides, but state statistics rarely included identifying information or detailed service records. However, a 2012 report from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) showed that between 2002 and 2005, 144 veterans of post-9/11 wars committed suicide out of a total veteran population of 490,346. In 2009, 98 men and women from post-9/11 wars took their own lives, according to that same report.

A plurality of veteran suicides has been among those 65 or older, according to the data. About 19 percent of suicides that took place between 2005 and 2011 were veterans between 18 and 44 years old, among the 36 states with available age data. It is important to reach post-9/11 veterans early, Kemp said, to help mitigate a potential increase in suicides as veterans approach those vulnerable ages.

“Maybe we can change that trajectory,” she said.

War can exact a heavy toll on the mental health of soldiers, but veterans have the same risk factors for suicide as the general population, said Craig Bryan, research director at the University of Utah National Center for Veterans Studies. Those factors include feelings of depression, hopelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder, a history of trauma and access to firearms.

“Veterans who die by suicide look a lot like Americans who die by suicide,” Kemp said.

Veterans experience periods of readjustment as they reintegrate into civilian life. Traits and training needed to survive in a war zone — like maintaining constant alertness — might contribute to troubling behaviors in civilian life, including edgy feelings while being easily startled, according to the SAMHSA report. Suicide warning signs include feelings of being hopeless, out of control, angry or trapped. Combat veterans might experience a variety of stress reactions, including nightmares, sleeplessness, sadness, feelings of rejection, abandonment or hopelessness. Lack of concentration, aggressive behavior, reckless driving, and increasing use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs are other common struggles.

Clinton Hall, 35, lives in Portland, Ore., working as a supply-chain analyst. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army specialist and was discharged in 2007. One of his close friends, who also was a veteran, committed suicide upon coming home.

“The bad part about it is that he didn’t give us a chance to talk. I mean, if he had just said, ‘Hey, Clint I’m thinking about doing this.’ I could have said, ‘hey, man, I’m thinking about doing it, too. You got to have that conversation. You have to tell somebody, as embarrassing as it is,” he said. “All I ever considered when I thought about [suicide] was the guilt I was feeling and just wanting a way out, wanting to not have those memories anymore.”

Concussions also are a chronic risk factor leading to suicidal thoughts, Bryan said, because head trauma makes people more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts. The dangerous daily routines of a soldier — or simply involvement in sports or accidents — increase the risk of injury.

“It turns up the volume on depression,” he said.

In 2010, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki asked governors to collaborate on collecting veterans’ suicides information in their states. Through November 2012, according the VA report, 34 states had submitted data and agreements had been forged with eight others to provide information.

News21 filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the raw data collected by the VA to this point, but it was denied because the “disclosure of raw research data poses a serious threat to the scientific process” and because of fears the information would be misinterpreted without peer review.

Most states provided veteran suicide information gleaned from death certificates. VA research, Kemp said, shows death certificates are about 90 percent accurate and “good enough” to help understand veteran suicides.

Veterans are over-represented among suicides, compared with the general population, a trend seen in most states between 2005 and 2011.

For example, in Alaska, veterans were about 14 percent of the population but represented about 21 percent of all suicides in 2010. The same year in Washington, Census data showed veterans were about 11 percent of the population, but state vital statistics showed they represented about 23 percent of suicides.

Suicide rates within the veteran population often were double and sometimes triple the civilian suicide rate in several states. Arizona’s 2011 veteran suicide rate was 43.9 per 100,000 people, nearly tripling the civilian suicide rate of 14.4, according to the latest numbers from the state health department.

Among states with the widest disparities and highest rates, Idaho had an average annual veteran suicide rate of 49.5 per 100,000 people, according to News21 analysis, compared to a civilian rate of 20 per 100,000. Montana had an average annual veteran suicide rate of 55.9 per 100,000 people and a 23.9 civilian rate.

For the seven-year period, Minnesota had an average suicide rate of 27.7 per 100,000 people, more than double the civilian rate of 13.3, the analysis found.

New Jersey had among the lowest annual veteran suicide rates across the time period, with 17.2 dying by suicide per 100,000 people and a civilian rate of 8.6 Connecticut had a veteran suicide rate of 20.11 per 100,000 people and a civilian rate of 11.

Massachusetts had the smallest disparity and one of the lowest rates, according to the data, with an average annual veteran suicide rate of 12.3 and a civilian rate of 10.3.

About 26 percent of suicides in Oregon were among veterans, with 96 percent of them being male, according to a November 2012 study by the state’s human services department. New21 analysis showed that 24 percent of all Oregon suicides annually were veterans.

As with suicides in general, veterans taking their own lives have been overwhelmingly male — about 97 percent among the 30 states that reported gender demographics. While suicide has traditionally been a problem among white males, it underscores the suicide risks faced by the U.S. veteran population.

In June, the VA hired 1,600 clinicians to assist with mental health counseling for veterans in compliance with an executive order last year from President Barack Obama. This is only part of the solution, Utah researcher Bryan said, because “veterans don’t come to mental health treatment.”

memorial walk photo

Photo by Chase Cook/News21
Memorials to those lost to suicide border the walkways of the George Washington University Yard. Striding between the luminaries are walkers who completed the 16-mile route. About 2,000 illuminated memorials were placed on the lawn and many walkers examined the memorials as they waited for the closing ceremony to begin.

The challenge is understanding suicide in the general population, Bryan said, and then translating those factors for the military and veterans, who are part of a “unique subculture” in the U.S.

“[Veterans] have different rules and different expectations and ways of seeing themselves” and their roles in society, he said. “What we see in society doesn’t always translate as well into the military.”

Part of that culture is mental toughness, he said, along with “elitism” and “feelings of superiority,” mindsets that render traditional suicide prevention methods less effective. “They are very much like elite athletes,” he said of those least likely to complain of pain or injury.

Hall, who was diagnosed with PTSD following his return home, had a message for veterans who might struggle — as he did — with suicidal thoughts:

“Talk to anybody. If you’ve got a number or an email address for your battle buddies, reach out to them. Chances are, they’re feeling the same way you do. If you don’t have anybody to talk to, call the VA. Call the suicide prevention hotline. Hell, if you can find me on Google, contact me and we’ll talk. But don’t do it [commit suicide]. I’m thinking about it, too. I know other people are, too. But don’t do it.”

The Veterans Crisis Line can be reached online or by calling 800-273-8255.

Jeff Hargarten is a former MinnPost intern. Bonnie Campo and and Chase Cook were Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Fellows for News21 this summer.

The Russian Solution To the Qatar Problem

Qatar is not a real Nation, it is as Bandar Bush described it—“nothing but 300 people…and a TV channel..”   Maybe Obama should have entrusted his Syrian sabotage operation to Bandar, in the first place.  Evidently, the Pig of Qatar wasn’t devious enough, or generous enough to buy victory in the Middle East for his “Islamist” underlings to inherit.   He tried to “squeal-by” in Egypt on a war chest that he only partially filled, because of his insufficient generosity.  He undercut his own plans to buy peace with the masses, before Mursi’s terrorists started inflicting their perverse Takhfiri/Wahhabi false “Shariah” upon the people.  The Egyptians reacted predictably, like any sane people would, rising-up and demanding an end to Islamist rule. 

Failure in Syria was also predetermined by Qatari stinginess with their camel-hide purses.  Even though Bandar is now batting “clean-up” there with his al-Nusra Islamists, there is very little chance that he can stall the forces driving Obama,or buy time for a realignment of resistance forces.  Obama is walking a tightrope, while being pulled in two different directions, between his own Democrat interventionists hanging from his left hand and regular bloodthirsty Republicans (who are always screaming for “fresh meat”) dangling from his right hand.  The Syrian gas attack has only multiplied the tensions and started the tightrope bouncing.  It will take a monumental effort on someone’s part, to help Obama get a grip on the situation…even if that someone is Vladimir Putin.  In this case, Putin must endure the scorn of the West, in order to prevent the prevailing Western cult of death from engaging in its own suicidal impulses.  In the end, he will shine as the real “good guy” in all of this, if only his determined resistance is successful in calming everyone else down. 

It is in this regard that we see the true value of resistance to Obama, especially Eastern (Russian) resistance to Obama and the Western cult of power that he represents.  Obama has to be brought back down to earth, before he can take the next step—pushing the button on regional, or global war.  The massive global groundswell against Western bombing of Syria, which we are now witnessing, represents hope, a glimmer of hope that reason might finally be starting to prevail over greed and bloodlust.  If the human race wishes to continue its miserable existence, then it must get its act together, now.  Qatar is the most pressing problem, but it is, at best, merely a symptom of the mental disease that infects the entire species.

The Qatar problem

By Jeremy Shapiro

On the face of it, Qatar has been one of the United States’s most valuable allies in the Middle East over the last decade. Qatar hosts a large U.S. Air Force base in the Persian Gulf and has often provided political and financial support for U.S. initiatives in the Middle East. Indeed, Washington has often encouraged Qatari activism to legitimize U.S. diplomacy, including its political support at the Arab League of a potential U.S. strike against Syria.

But Qatar’s role in the United States’s Middle East policy is far more problematic than is commonly recognized. The tiny yet ambitious Gulf emirate has sought to use its immense hydrocarbon wealth to finance and arm civil wars in Libya and Syria, to support Hamas in Gaza, and to mediate disputes in Sudan and Lebanon. Its interest sometimes align with the United States’s — but too often, they do not. The launch of Al-Jazeera America, the news network its government owns, should redirect attention to Doha’s goals and means.

Qatari activism over the last few years has been a mixed blessing for the United States. Indeed, it has often actively and purposefully undermined U.S. efforts on key problems. In Egypt, for example, Qatar’s lavish and unconditional funding of the Morsi government enabled it to avoid taking the difficult steps that the International Monetary Fund (and the United States) believed were necessary to get the Egyptian economy back on track and to compromise with domestic opponents. In Gaza, Qatar helped undermine U.S. efforts to isolate and delegitimize Hamas by its strong and public embrace of its leadership including through high-level visits to Gaza.

In Libya, U.S. efforts to support the formation of a moderate and inclusive Libyan transitional government capable of effectively governing Libya were constantly thwarted and undermined by an independent Qatari policy. While the United States and its other partners tried to promote the opposition Transitional National Council (TNC) on the world stage, Qatar repeatedly and unhelpfully pushed for a more prominent role for alternative opposition groups that were dependent on Qatar. Qatar also funneled weapons and ammunition to Islamist militias outside of the TNC structure, strengthening the voices of groups opposed to the U.S. vision for post-Qaddafi Libya and undermining the TNC’s ability and legitimacy to establish control. According to a senior Israeli official, “Qatar’s reckless conduct in Libya was disastrous. They supported dangerous Islamist actors.” As was often predicted at the time, these practices contributed to Libya’s inability to form an effective central authority and to rein in those militias.

It has been no better in Syria. Qatar emerged after 2011 as arguably the most important external supporter of the Syrian opposition to the Assad regime. Qatar has spent, according to news reports, over $3 billion on aid to the opposition. Qatar has been among the opposition’s primary suppliers of arms and ammunition and may have the most influence of any external actor with the fractious Syrian opposition. Many allies pose difficulties for the United States in the Syria context, but Qatar has proven the greatest obstacle to forging allied unity on Syria policy. As in Libya, the Qataris have used their influence to frustrate the efforts of the United States and others to foster unity within the Syrian opposition that is the prerequisite for a negotiated solution to the war. According to press reports, Qatar’s actions — its tendency to support multiple Islamist factions, its willingness to engage with Jihadist actors, and its refusal to channel aid solely through the Syrian Military Council (SMC) — have exacerbated the divisions within the opposition and contributed to the opposition’s refusal to negotiate. As Middle East analyst Mishaal Al Gergawi puts it in Al-Monitor, “[t]he parties Qatar supports … have carried a sectarian and non-cooperative message, at times implied and at others stated outright.”

All of this is a problem for U.S. policy on Syria. While U.S. policy on Syria has many defects, no U.S. policy could hope to restore stability unless the United States forged consensus with the countries commonly considered its allies in Syria. If U.S. airstrikes or lethal assistance were to hasten the fall of the Assad regime, opposition unity would be essential for stability in post-Assad Syria. The recent decision by the Obama administration to arm the Syrian opposition is intended in part to foster opposition unity and empower moderates. But without the cooperation of key U.S. allies, U.S. lethal assistance will only exacerbate opposition divides as sponsors compete to fund their favorite proxies. Allied unity is necessary to ensure a coherent opposition and a unified opposition, in turn, is necessary to achieve the negotiated solution the United States seeks.

So what are the Qataris trying to do? According to Mehran Kamrava of Georgetown University, Qatar seeks the prestige that comes from playing a role on all of the big issues of the day. But, judging from its pattern of activity of the past few years, Qatari activism is also clearly part of a larger Qatari strategy that has been playing out across the Muslim world. As Brian Katulis explains, Qatar sees the Arab Awakening as an opportunity to spread Qatari influence through the establishment of Islamist governments that look to Qatar (and not to Saudi Arabia or the United States) for support and guidance. It is this dual interest in promoting influence and ideology that informs Qatari foreign policy from Libya to Palestine.

In many places, this strategy has meant fostering a government made up of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) related groups that are beholden to their benefactors in Doha. Qatar’s decision to patronize MB movements, as opposed to alternative factions, is driven by two factors.

First, Qatar thinks that it can exercise greater control over the MB than other political movements. When the emir took power in the mid-1990s, the MB was a client without a Sunni Arab patron. This enabled Qatar to position itself as a unique and indispensable ally of the MB, with all of the leverage that entailed. In contrast, Salafi movements, for instance, have long enjoyed the patronage of Saudi Arabia. Should Qatar choose to back Salafi groups, it would find itself in a competition for influence with its regional rival, undermining Qatar’s control of its client.

Second, Qatar probably assesses that the MB is the wave of the future in the Middle East, a movement that resonates with pluralities — if not majorities — in many Arab countries, despite its recent setback in Egypt. While Qatar may be able to acquire comparable influence over secular and liberal groups, which also badly need external support, the Qatari leadership likely believes these movements would not afford it much influence abroad. The former emir’s record of supporting MB organizations throughout the region (with Qatar, itself, being the notable exception) and the emirate’s long-standing relationship with the influential MB-affiliated cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi have given Qatar an enormous advantage in cultivating alliances with emboldened Islamist groups throughout the Middle East.

Qatari leaders might logically fear that the march of populist movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood, across the Arab world might someday threaten their rule. But, sheltered by its vast wealth, the Qatari government seems confident it can contain the threat posed by potential domestic MB movements in Qatar while supporting the MB abroad.

This Qatari strategy implies that U.S.-Qatari divides are not simply a difference in tactics, as U.S. officials often assert. Nor is Qatar simply filling a U.S. leadership vacuum. As the Libya example demonstrates, Qatar has the capacity to frustrate U.S. goals even when the United States is deeply engaged. Rather, the superficial similarity in U.S. and Qatari goals masks much deeper and more abiding differences about the two countries’ visions for the Middle East. At times, these visions coincide and allow effective cooperation. But when they don’t, Qatar has proven willing to work actively to frustrate important U.S. policy goals.

In Syria, for example, Qatar’s goal of establishing a MB government dependent on Qatar cannot be achieved through a political settlement. The very process of negotiation, particularly one brokered by the United States and Russia, would dilute the influence of the MB within the opposition and require some degree of compromise with elements of the Assad regime. Thus, Qatar’s goals require military victory, first by the opposition forces over the Assad regime and then by Qatar’s political and military proxies over other sponsors’ proxies within the opposition. So, Qatar’s actions have not been aimed at promoting a political solution in Syria, nor have they been aimed at promoting a more coherent opposition.

One of the most conspicuous — and disruptive — manifestations of this approach was Qatar’s overt support for the divisive MB candidate for interim prime minister, Ghassan Hitto, in March. His selection led nine members of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) to suspend their memberships, undercutting opposition unity, and seemed intended to derail SOC President Moaz Al-Khatib’s initiative to start a dialogue with the regime. Khatib resigned shortly thereafter.

If Qatari involvement in Syria has hindered the prospects for the emergence of a stable, functioning, and representative Syrian opposition, this is not the unintended consequence of a poorly designed or implemented policy. Rather, it is the logical culmination of a strategy that privileges Qatari influence and favored actors over peace in Syria and the stability in the region.

Overall, while Qatar is not necessarily an enemy of the United States, it is certainly not an ally. The usual U.S. government response to such deviationism among partners is to advocate “high-level engagement” to make known U.S. displeasure and to convince the ally of the errors of its ways. But in the Qatari case, engagements at the highest levels on both Libya and Syria (as well as on efforts to get the Qataris to cut off their support to Hamas) have failed to alter Qatari behavior. It is time to recognize this and consider whether the United States needs to reconsider its approach to Qatari activism.

The recent leadership transition in Qatar, in which the emir stepped down in favor of his son, might present some new opportunities for the United States to turn Qatar from its present course. But most analysts agree that there is little indication that the new emir would seek to change Qatari foreign policy. In his maiden speech as emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani seemed to be at pains to demonstrate continuity in foreign policy, vowing to follow his father’s “path” and strongly asserting that Qatar would continue its “independent behavior.” Indeed, Tamim is widely regarded as one of the architects of Qatar’s Libya and Syria policy over the past two years, including his country’s patronage of the MB.

The United States should certainly be open to a more cooperative relationship if Tamim agrees to alter the pattern of recent Qatari policy. But it would be imprudent to assume that the new emir will fundamentally change what Qatar views as a successful policy. If the pattern persists, it will be time to accept that U.S.-Qatari differences do not result from failures to communicate. They are differences over goals in Syria and elsewhere. Accordingly, the United States should cease trying to convince the Qataris that their actions are undermining shared goals and accept their objectives in these cases are not the same as those of the United States. Instead, it is a question of changing the cost-benefit calculus that Qatar faces in its Syria policy. This would be very difficult in the case of Qatar because of its wealth, its role in U.S. basing in the Persian Gulf, and its value to the United States on other geopolitical priorities in which U.S. and Qatari interests are more aligned and Qatar is working well with the United States.

In the end, Qatar is neither an enemy nor an ally of the United States. While the United States cannot build a deep strategic relationship with Qatar, this does not mean it should oppose Qatar at every turn. Rather the United States should realize that it will always have a very transactional relationship with Qatar and thus should seek to get the best deal on every transaction. And, the United States does have some cards to play, and should consider if it decides that the new Qatari government intends to continue Qatar’s recent policies.

In the case of Syria, the United States could try to use its influence with Turkey and Jordan to cut off Qatar’s access to the theater. In Jordan, which fears Qatar’s influence on Islamist actors in Syria, this is not a difficult case to make. But in Turkey, the United States may need to point out that Qatar doesn’t have the intelligence apparatus to support a weapons-delivery process that ensures its cargo reaches the intended recipient with any degree of reliability. It would be very surprising if a significant share of Qatari arms didn’t leak to other groups, including the Kurds given their proximity to shipment routes from Turkey. Even if Bashar al-Assad falls, Qatari efforts may ultimately result in a second civil war that will pit secularists versus Islamists and Arabs versus Kurds and risk the dismemberment of Syria — an outcome that Turkey fears might worsen its Kurdish problem. Concurrently, the United States could try to reduce Qatari influence by encouraging Saudi Arabia, which is more supportive of moderate and secular Syrian factions and more aligned with U.S. goals, to use its financial resources to substitute for Qatar, as new reports indicate may already be happening.

In addition to denying Qatar’s access to Syria, the United States could seek to raise the costs for Qatar of continuing on its current course. The United States could exploit the long-standing Qatari-Saudi rivalry and encourage the Saudis to host Qatari dissidents who challenge the legitimacy of the Thani family and even give them a platform on Al-Arabiya, the Saudi satellite television network (a reversal of the Qatari practice of putting Saudi dissidents on Al-Jazeera). Similarly, the U.S. government could suggest that universities and think tanks invite members of collateral branches of the Thani family at odds with the emir and his branch to events in the United States and elsewhere to demonstrate splits, or at least the perception of splits, within the ruling family. On the international front, the United States could consider embarking on a systematic campaign to publicize the deplorable conditions under which over a million migrant laborers work and live in the emirate. Such negative publicity could tarnish Qatar’s reputation as it gets ready to host the 2022 World Cup and plans a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

On a broader level, dealing with Qatar’s negative effect on U.S. Middle East policies would require changing the terms of the U.S.-Qatari bargain. Qatar is deeply unpopular with its more powerful neighbors and has long sheltered its immense wealth behind a U.S. military presence. It depends on the United States to keep open the shipping lanes that allows its gas to get to the market. But the critical role the United States plays in protecting Qatar from its neighbors buys the United States shockingly little influence with the Qatari government. The Qataris seem to understand that the U.S. desire to play the regional hegemon in the Persian Gulf requires bases in Qatar, giving them all the leverage in the bilateral relationship. They are reinforced in this belief by U.S. officials and military officers who tell them that the U.S. military presence in Qatar is critical to U.S. policy even though its importance is declining dramatically as the United States withdraws from Afghanistan.

The United States could stop reassuring Qatar in this way and, to the contrary, convince it that it has other options for protecting U.S. interests in the Gulf. The existence of such options would undoubtedly focus the Qataris on just how important U.S. protection is to their continued vitality in a very difficult neighborhood. Of course, making this case will actually require devising some realistic alternative basing options. But the first step in doing that is acknowledging the price that the United States is currently paying for its reliance on Qatar.

None of this is easy. But at the end of day, U.S. policy on critical Middle East issues like Syria is being held hostage by the contrary agenda of a tiny country that the United States defends militarily. This is massive failure of diplomacy.

Jeremy Shapiro is a visiting fellow with the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. From 2009-2013, he served in the State Department on the Policy Planning Staff and in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and currently consults for the Policy Planning Staff. The opinions and characterizations in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent officials positions of the United States Government.

Even the Stinking, Snivelling Saudis Don’t Support the Obama/Cameron Attack Plan

[SEE: Widespread Resistance Rising-Up To US/Brit Attack Plan for Syria ]

Arab Allies Withhold Public Support for U.S. Strike on Syria

Wall St. Journal


  • in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and

  • in Amman, Jordan

The U.S. is moving toward possible military strikes against Syria without the public support of any major Arab ally, reflecting broad unease in the region about another Western military intervention.


Syria vowed to defend itself against any foreign attack, while the Arab League said that Damascus had used chemical weapons against its population. Meg Coker reports. Photo: AP.

During his Tuesday briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated the President’s confidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on August 21. He also said that options for a response do not include regime change.

The lack of public endorsement from Arab governments, even from Saudi Arabia and other countries that have helped arm, train and fund rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leaves the West with little political cover regionally should any Western-led attack go badly.

Arab League delegates on Tuesday urged the United Nations Security Council, rather than the West, to take “deterrent” action against Syria to prevent a repeat of alleged chemical attacks on Aug. 21 in the suburbs of Damascus. In Cairo, Egypt Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy appeared to side against intervention, saying on Tuesday, “The solution for Syria must be diplomatic, not militaristic.”

While senior Saudi officials have been urging the U.S. and others behind the scenes to support tougher action in Syria, Arab leaders for more than a year have publicly maintained that any international military action there should be sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council, where Russia and China have blocked action.

In an atmosphere poisoned by persistent violence in Iraq 10 years after the U.S. invasion there, and by top-level disputes between the U.S. and its Mideast allies over the international response to revolutions in Egypt and elsewhere, the Arab world at large is split over whether the West should intervene.

“Don’t expect a big cheer from us,” said AbdulKhaleq Abdullah, a political-science professor in Dubai, of the likely response from the region. “If the results are fine, and the damage is very limited, I think that is gonna be a good sign. Maybe, ‘Wow, give America a D.’ ”

Turkey, in a newspaper interview by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu published Monday, became the first major Muslim Middle East ally of the U.S. to announce it would join an international military coalition against Syria, even without advance U.N. approval.

The weakest Arab states, Lebanon and Jordan, particularly fear possible retaliation and a further deluge of Syrian refugees in the event of a Syria strike.

In June, after a U.S. finding that Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons, U.S. military officials decided to keep fighter jets and Patriot missile batteries in Jordan.

A meeting of U.S., Saudi, and other Western and regional top military officials on Sunday and Monday was devoted mainly to reassuring Jordan of protection in the event of any disruption following a strike on neighboring Syria, as well as to try to plot responses to any further alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria, according to officials in Jordan and in the Gulf familiar with the proceedings.

In Jordan, where a U.S.- and Saudi-backed effort is helping train Syrian rebels, Jordanian King Abdullah publicly called for peaceful settlement. Jordanian officials have repeated that line over the past week.

Jordan already has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria. Its fear is being “dragged into retaliation and war,” a senior Jordanian official said.

Saudi Arabia—for more than a year the strongest advocate of international action on Syria—has limited its public response to last week’s alleged chemical attack to statements by Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal calling for unspecified, decisive action under the U.N.

A Saudi cabinet statement repeated that position Monday night, after the U.S. made clear it was considering a military strike on Syria.

“Not yet,” a Saudi government spokesman said, when asked if the Saudi government had said whether it would support a military strike on Syria.

In principle, and in private, Saudi Arabia probably “would support any act to stop that war, or stop the use of gas,” said Anwar Eshki, a former adviser to Saudi Arabia’s council of ministers, or cabinet, and the head of a Saudi-based strategic research center. Mr. Eshki was referring to the use of poison gas.

Arab leaders, however, for regional political reasons, would think twice before saying in public that they back a Western-led attack on an Arab country, said Mr. Abdullah, the political-science professor at Emirates University in Dubai.

Overall in the Arab world, “People would just look the other way, and hopefully it is brief and surgical and doesn’t extend too far,” Mr. Abdullah said.

And if any intervention went wrong? “A big backlash, probably,” he predicted.

That response could be guided in part by how the Arab leadership publicly addresses the issue. “There has been no preparation done of Gulf audiences by leaders,” that would help reconcile Gulf and other Arab populations to an international military strike on Syria, said Michael Stephens, a Middle East analyst at the Royal United Services Institute in Qatar.

Many Arabs describe themselves as divided—wishing for action that would stop the killing in Syria, but not trusting the U.S. to do it right.

“Sometimes I do wish they would interfere, and sometimes I fear the same things that happened in Iraq will happen there. It’s a matter of trust, and now we don’t trust anyone,” said a Jordanian university professor working in Saudi Arabia, leaving a mosque set inside a sprawling Riyadh shopping mall after sunset prayers Monday night.

—Reem Abdellatif in Cairo contributed to this article.

Write to Ellen Knickmeyer at and Nour Malas at

“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.

Widespread Resistance Rising-Up To US/Brit Attack Plan for Syria

US and UK face fight to keep attack plan on track

A convoy of United Nations (UN) vehicles leave a hotel in Damascus on August 26, 2013 carrying UN inspectors travelling to the site of a suspected deadly chemical weapon attack the previous week in Ghouta, east of the capital. The Syrian authorities approved the UN inspection of the site, but US officials said it was too little, too late, arguing that persistent shelling there in recent days had "corrupted" the site©AFP

The US and Britain were battling to keep their plans for a weekend military strike against Syria on track after the UN secretary-general said time was needed to investigate allegations that the regime had used chemical weapons against civilians.

As the White House and Downing Street prepared to unveil evidence setting out how they claim Syrian government forces launched chemical weapons in an attack last week, officials in London said the Security Council had a “responsibility to act” in response to the atrocity.

However, Russia, the Assad regime’s most powerful ally, argued it was premature to discuss such a resolution while UN inspectors were in Syria investigating the allegations.

President Barack Obama told PBS on Wednesday that he “had made no decision” about any strike but the options that he had been given by his military would allow him to send “a pretty strong signal that (Syria) had better not do it again”.

In the first real sign of substantive congressional concern, John Boehner, the Republican House Speaker, released a letter to Mr Obama demanding he explain in detail any rationale for military action ahead of an attack.

Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general, threw up a further obstacle in the way of the apparent drive by Washington and London for military action this weekend. Speaking at The Hague, he said the UN inspectors would need four more days to carry out their investigation and then time for scientific analysis before reporting back to the Security Council.

A UN spokesman, Martin Nesirky, later clarified Mr Ban’s statement, saying he was referring to a total of four days. This timetable suggests that UN inspectors, who commenced their work in Syria on Monday, but who had their work suspended on Tuesday, would need until Friday to finish their tasks.

The US and its allies say a UN veto by Russia will not stop them taking military action. Western diplomats called the proposed resolution a manoeuvre to isolate Moscow and to rally a broader coalition behind air strikes.

But David Cameron, UK prime minister, was on Wednesday night compelled to back down on plans to hold a vote in the House of Commons on Thursday authorising military action in Syria after the opposition Labour leadership said more time was needed to gather evidence of chemical attacks by the Assad regime.

Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary, said his Labour party, still haunted by its backing for the war in Iraq, would not support intervention in Syria until it had seen the government’s evidence.

Washington has repeatedly said Mr Obama has not yet made up his mind on what action he will order.

William Hague, British foreign secretary, said discussions at the UN would continue over “the coming days” but suggested after a meeting of Britain’s national security body that a Security Council resolution was not essential for a “legal and proportionate” strike.

“If there isn’t agreement at the UN, we still have a responsibility on chemical weapons,” he said. “We have to confront something that’s a war crime, that’s a crime against humanity.”

Russia and China have repeatedly vetoed calls for action against the Assad regime during the country’s two-and-a-half-year civil war.

Vladimir Titov, a Russian deputy foreign minister, called the UK resolution premature and urged the Security Council to wait until the chemical weapons inspectors had delivered their report, according to the Interfax news agency.

Mr Cameron earlier tweeted: “We’ve always said we want the UN Security Council to live up to its responsibilities on Syria. Today they have an opportunity to do that.”

Syria has denied using chemical weapons but the US, UK and France are convinced President Bashad al-Assad’s forces have deployed them.

On Wednesday the inspectors resumed their investigation into last week’s attack in which 300 people were killed. They revisited the site after being prevented from going into the area on Tuesday due to security concerns and having been shot at on their first attempt to reach the location on Monday.

If there isn’t agreement at the UN, we still have a responsibility on chemical weapons. We have to confront something that’s a war crime, that’s a crime against humanity– William Hague, British foreign secretary

If the UN Security Council is unable to agree a stance on Syria, some western officials have suggested the discussion could move to Nato in a move reminiscent of the 1999 war in Kosovo, where a bombing campaign was carried out by the alliance without explicit UN backing.

Nato ambassadors met in Brussels on Wednesday, and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the alliance’s secretary-general, said afterwards that he believed “information available from a wide variety of sources” pointed to the Syrian regime as being responsible for the chemical weapons attack and strongly hinted the alliance was prepared to take action.

“Any use of such weapons is unacceptable and cannot go unanswered,” Mr Rasmussen said in a written statement. “Those responsible must be held accountable. We consider the use of chemical weapons as a threat to international peace and security.”

François Hollande, French president, announced that his country’s parliament would debate Syria on September 4.

Jordan, a staunch US ally, said it would not be used as a launch pad for any attacks, showing it does not want to stoke friction with its northern neighbour.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader and a longtime Assad ally, was quoted by the ISNA state news agency saying that a US strike would be “a disaster for the region”.

“The intervention of America will be a disaster for the region. The region is like a gunpowder store and the future cannot be predicted,” he reportedly said.

The prospect of a strike against Syria continued to affect markets on Wednesday. Oil prices are surging, gold is also rising and stocks are falling.

US West Texas Intermediate rose to $112.24, its highest since May 2011, and Brent crude oil futures jumped to a six-month peak of $117.34 a barrel. Both prices eased in later trading but were still up more than $1 since Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Rigby in London and Monavar Khalaj in Tehran

Russian FM Lavrov Denounces US Double-Standards for Dictators—Says John Kerry Is Lying

[SEE:  Kerry lying about gas attack, regime will press on with military efforts]

Russia: West has no proof Assad launched gas attack, it just wants to fight him

haaretz logo

Russian FM Lavrov tells press conference any use of force in Syria without UN mandate would violate international law and be ‘repetition of past mistakes.’

By and Reuters
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Photo by AFP

Russia warned Western powers on Monday against any military intervention in Syria, saying the use of force without a United Nations mandate would violate international law.    

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a press conference that while the use of chemical weapons in Syria must be investigated, Western powers were jumping to accuse President Bashar Assad’s regime without proof and out of personal dislike for the Syrian leader.

“[The] West is unable to present evidence of the involvement of the Syrian authorities in chemical attacks, but states that ‘red line’ in situation has been passed”, said Lavrov, according to the Voice of Russia.

“You can’t fight regime only because you don’t personally like the dictator leading it and not fight some regimes where you like the dictator,” Lavrov added.

Lavrov also said that Moscow had no plans to be drawn into a military conflict over the civil war in Syria and that Washington and its allies would be repeating “past mistakes” if they intervened in Syria.

“The use of force without the approval of the United Nations Security Council is a very grave violation of international law,” Lavrov told a news conference at which he discussed accusations by rebel forces that Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons.

Russia is Syrian President Bashar Assad’s key ally and one of its main arms suppliers. It is also a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, where it has protected Damascus from three consecutive resolutions that were intended to put pressure on him to end violence.

For more than two years, Moscow has demanded that any change of government in Syria must be carried out via a political process in which Assad must be part, and that no talks on Damascus’ future can be predicated on Assad’s exit from power.

Lavrov said last Wednesday’s alleged chemical attack, which UN chemical weapons experts began investigating on Monday, was probably the work of rebels who wanted to derail plans by Washington and Moscow to hold talks on Syria’s future.

US Space Program Rides On Russia’s Coattails…On Its Rocket Engines, Anyway.

Russian rocket engine export ban could halt US space program


Atlas V (Image courtesy United Launch Alliance)

Russia’s Security Council is reportedly considering a ban on supplying the US with powerful RD-180 rocket engines for military communications satellites as Russia focuses on building its own new space launch center, Vostochny, in the Far East.

A ban on the rockets supply to the US heavy booster, Atlas V, which delivers weighty military communications satellites and deep space exploration vehicles into orbit, could put a stop to NASA’s space programs – not just military satellites.
An unnamed representative of Russia’s Federal Space Agency told the Izvestia newspaper that the Security Council is reconsidering the role of Russia’s space industry in the American space exploration program, particularly the 2012 contract on delivering to the US heavy-duty RD-180 rocket engines.

Previously, Moscow has not objected to the fact that America’s Atlas V boosters rigged with Russian rocket engines deliver advanced space armament systems into orbit. If a ban if put in place, however, engine delivery to the US would probably stop altogether, starting from 2015.

A RD-180 rocket engine used in the first stages of American rockets Atlas-3 and Atlas-5 is displayed at the Glushko Energomash Research and Production Association, Khimki. (RIA Novosti / Sergey Pyatakov)

Over the last decade, most of NASA’s Atlas V heavy rocket launches, performed by the United Launch Alliance (a Boeing/Lockheed Martin joint venture), were carried out using Russian RD-180 dual-nozzle rocket engines, a legacy of the Soviet Buran space shuttle program and its unparalleled rocket booster Energia, which could put 100 tons of spacecraft or satellites into orbit.

Military payloads

It is widely believed that many Atlas V launches have a military payload. Such Lockheed Martin-designed military spacecraft include the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) series of communications satellites launched for Air Force Space Command, the mysterious super-secret Palladium at Night communication platform designed for the US Navy’s Ultra-High Frequency (UFO) Follow-On program and most certainly all three launches of Boeing’s X-37 unmanned demonstrator spacecraft. These are only a part of the military space missions undertaken by Atlas V rockets, boosted by RD-180 engines

A ban could also affect the US’s non-military space exploration launches, which are also highly dependable on the Atlas V rocket and RD-180 engines. The most famous and challenging among them are NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft mission, now traveling to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt (launched in 2006), and the Curiosity Mars rover (launched in 2011) currently operating on the Red Planet

A number of experts told Izvestia that termination of the rocket engine contract would not be a good idea commercially for NPO Energomash, which produces the rockets, because at the moment it makes RD-180 engines exclusively for the US space industry. The rockets typically take Energomash 16 months to produce.

If production of the RD-180 engine is stopped, the enterprise would have to find other contracts to keep production line and experienced staff busy.

“In my opinion, stopping the export of rocket engines to the US is stupid, as we would suffer financial and reputational losses,” Ivan Moiseyev, scientific head of the Space Policy Institute, told Izvestia. “The US would not suffer much and would definitely continue with military space launches, while Russia would have to stop production of the RD-180, because no one else needs the RD-180 engine.”

However, many space experts believe that the US would find it difficult to quickly replace the Russian rockets.
However, Energomash could find other orders soon. Russia plans to start space launches from its new, multibillion-dollar Vostochny cosmodrome in the Far East in 2015. Vostochny will host a heavy rocket class launch pad, which means the producer of world’s most powerful rocket engines will be kept busy for many years to come.

The RD-180 is equivalent to half of the Soviet-era Energia booster, the most powerful liquid rocket engine ever made by man. With 20 million horsepower output, the Soviet-era RD-170 was about 5 percent more powerful, yet 1.5 times smaller, than American’s F-1 first stage rocket engine made for the Saturn V booster of the Apollo lunar program.
Reportedly, when the Energia booster with the Buran space shuttle was launched in November 1988, the massive concrete bays paving the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan were flying around like dry leaves, due to the immense power coming from the four RD-170 engines, which blasted the 2,400-ton rocket booster into space.

he Energiya space rocket system comprising a launch vehicle and the Buran reusable shuttle, 1988. (RIA Novosti / Alexander Mokletsov)

In the post-Soviet era, Russian-US rocket engine cooperation started back in 1996, when America’s General Dynamics Company bought exclusive rights for use of RD-180 in the US, later selling it to Lockheed Martin for its Atlas rocket program. NPO Energomash, the producer of unique engines based in Moscow’s suburb Khimki, signed a contract for production of 50 RD-180 engines and an option for the production of another 51 units.

A specially created joint venture, RD-AMROSS, between NPO Energomash and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, has already delivered 63 engines to the US worth $11-15 million apiece, reportedly 40 of them have already been used. In December 2012, a new contract was signed to deliver another 31 engines. But this contract is now being reconsidered by Russia’s Security Council, according to Izvestia.

Rocket engines: space at stake

The RD-AMROSS joint venture has always been controversial for Russia’s military.

In 2011 Russia’s Audit Chamber announced that the RD-180 rocket engines delivered to the US according to the 1996 contract were sold for only a half of their real production value. The total loss in 2008-09 reached 880 million rubles (about $30 million) or 68 percent of all financial losses of NPO Energomash at the time, the Audit Chamber said.

In an interview, the general director of RKK Energia Corporation, Vitaly Lopota, estimated that at the time of the RD-180 first launch in the late 1980s, USSR was “at least” 50 years ahead of America’s liquid fuel rocket engine technology.

The fragmented F-1 engine components (Image courtesy Bezos Expeditions)

In the 1990s Russia agreed not only to sell unique engines to the US, but also provided the Americans with full documentation on the engine’s design specifications. But the US space industry opted to buy ready engines instead of trying to make them on the own, because of the technological and material engineering gap between the two countries’ space industries.

And today the situation appears to be pretty much the same.

In December 2012, the head of Roskosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, Vladimir Popovkin, commented to Izvestia on the engines: “Americans are buying RD-180 engines and are negotiating to buy promising new RD-193 engines, because they’ve learned that we’re making a quality product, the best liquid-fueled rocket engines in the world. For them it’s easier to buy than to make up with us, [while] for us it is important to ensure the development of the NPO Energomash enterprise.”

In June 2013, the US Federal Trade Commission launched an antitrust investigation into United Launch Alliance, which was accused of “monopolizing” the rocket engine market and thus barring its direct rival, Orbital Sciences Corporation, from obtaining RD-180 engines for its Antares rocket booster to break into the lucrative market for US government rocket launches.

Experts say that the fact that Orbital Sciences Corporation is battling for the RD-180 could only mean that the company has so far failed to acquire anything similar on either the American, or the international space industry market.

Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket is powered by Aerojet AJ-26 engines, which are actually Soviet NK-33 engines produced for the super-heavy N-1 rocket booster of USSR lunar program. Orbital Sciences once managed to buy 43 NK-33 engines stored for decades in Russian space corporation’s depots, and then adopted them for their needs. Now Orbital Sciences would like to restart production of the NK-33, but Energomash announced that this engine is out of production for the time being. In this situation, Orbital Sciences is taking ULA to court for the right to buy Russia’s RD-180 rocket engines.

The fragmented F-1 engine components (Image courtesy Bezos Expeditions)

SpaceNews reported earlier this month that NASA’s internal agency audit is warning that the Orion deep-space manned spacecraft program faces a “difficult budget environment” that ultimately could cause delays and cost increases. The Orion capsule could be launched with various rockets, including ULA’s Atlas V and Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9.

In spring this year, Amazon founder and space enthusiast Jeff Bezos, owner of the Blue Origin space exploration startup, financed a successful expedition recovering two F-1 engines for Apollo project’s Saturn V rocket from the Atlantic sea bed near Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Bezos said that his fascination with space began back in 1969 with the Apollo program, when he saw astronaut Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon.

The rocket engines still remain property of NASA and the US government, and Bezos has promised have NASA put them on display at a museum in Seattle as “testament to the Apollo program.”

“Bizarro” Obama’s Path To Peace

Source: U.S. postpones meeting with Russia about Syria


Parliament building at The Hague, in the Netherlands, from a video still

Parliament building at The Hague, in the Netherlands, from a video still / AP

WASHINGTON The U.S. has put off a meeting that had been scheduled for Wednesday in The Hague between senior diplomats from the United States and Russia as Washington mulls its response to what it says was a chemical weapons attack by the regime of President Bashar Assad, a senior State department official tells CBS News.

“Given our ongoing consultations about the appropriate response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria on August 21, we have decided to postpone Under Secretary (Wendy) Sherman and (U.S. Ambassador to Syria) Ambassador (Robert) Ford’s meeting with a Russian delegation,” the source said.

The meeting was to have taken up plans for an international peace conference aimed at ending Syria’s civil war.

The Three-Front War of Bandar Bush

Bandar the Spiritually Son of Bush’s plan and the three fronts’ war


islamic invitation turkey


Bandar’s plan and the three fronts’ war


There are car bombs and other cars that are about to bomb, there are cars that have blown up and others that are about to blow up, there are suspicious cars and there are other wanted ones, there are mobile and variable lists that are being circulated electronically and via the “WhatsApp”, there are careless security devices on the one hand and other devices working on the other hand on their own expenses and do consider that resolving the issue of abducting the Turkish pilots is a priority and that its importance outweighs the priority of saving the lives of tens or even hundreds of Lebanese, and they also believe that this is the only concern.
Bandar’s plan and the three fronts’ war This is the best of all (as they say in Lebanon), and this means that its spitefulness and meanness is still better than what is inside, and this is no longer a secret. The politicians’ salons are full of tales about what is being plotted against Lebanon, and the security services know the reality of the “largest project” plotted by a cell or a group that decided all at once to trap the country.


The project aims at “bombing Lebanon”, and the issue is neither a theory of conspiracy nor a political accusation against those who plotted that project. Ever since Bandar bin Sultan’s threat and the messages conveyed by the Minister, Walid Jumblat- the rest of the messages are to be received respectively- the entire security intersections link between the “bombing” groups vertically with the absence of any horizontal line between them.


Whether those groups consider themselves as battalions and/or brigades with the diversity of their religious and historical characters, or give their selves the names of their “Heads”, the “operator” is still one. He is neither Muhammad Ahmad, nor Ahmad Taha and not even “Ahmad Al-Asir” and certainly he is not “Abu Ajeena”, and even if the ownership of the “operating phone” is moving between the states and capitals, the financer currently is considered the exclusive operator. Bandar bin Sultan has kept in his hand all the checkbooks, and has opened a new account and is using it without being “accountable” and his only concern is the head of the resistance.


The intervention of Hezbollah in Syria had disastrous impacts on the Saudi Project therein, and Hezbollah in its intervention has caused the failure of the effort to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and this is at least what Bandar believes in. He told this to the Lebanese politician who visited him in Riyadh, adding that he will spare no effort to make Hezbollah regret “If it did not come out of Syria”. What “the honorable” Bandar can do (and Iraq is a model) is represented in what he had already equipped, arranged, and prepared for in issues relating to the requirements of the assumed process of punishment as he claims. Thus, he has entered into Lebanon all the necessary elements from the outside, and hired all the cells and groups that belong to “ally” operators loading them with all the finance and sabotage needs.


Bandar within a short period of time has been able to restore all the keys of “jihadist cells” from other regional parties (Qatar and Jordan), and has used a lot of them in a way that makes them look like separated unrelated movements and operations that have nothing in common neither goals nor motives. However, they were in true fact just a series of deceptive operations with tactical objectives, which aim primarily at stumbling the field of resistance militarily by occupying it on a wide geographical scope from the south (Abra) to Bekaa (Anjar and Hermel), and then in Beirut and the suburbs (the rockets and the explosives of Bir al-Abed and Ruwais).


The second goal against the field of resistance was its human tanks mainly, integrating with the element of geography. It was clear that the operation aims at damaging the resistance in issues relating to the area of its geographic presence, including the popular embraces, which are considered the more painful points that could be targeted in the solid body of resistance.


Yet, the Israeli consequent support was not absent at all, and perhaps one of the most important achievements of Al-Labbouna operation was the exposure of this synchronization and coherence in the Saudi-Israeli targeting of the resistance’s square. Al-Labbouna operation took place in between the two said bombings in terms of timing; the first bombing was in Bir al-Abed and the second was in Ruwais.


This project is not limited at all to the geographical limits of resistance, but it covers all the bombing possibilities in the north, in Bekaa, and in Beirut, including the probability of waging a “civil war”, and this has been echoed by more than one Lebanese political leaders to an extent that made some talk about “civil” and “military” divisions that will follow igniting the spark of the putative civil war. In recent times, conditions for some of the “retired” characters have been created to enable them to bear the responsibilities of tasks similar to the task of the “military governor” within emirates and cantons that do currently exist and do not need but only to raise the flag and to perform the anthem.


All these projects and plans are being monitored and noticed, and concern is not limited to the local devices and parties, but the return of regional and international intelligence activity has been noticed as well largely in Beirut. Active movements by security officials and operators have been monitored in Gulf and Arab States regarding the axis of the Syrian camps and refugees, but their results have been enclosed quickly, as a result of the widespread Palestinian rejection of any process of involvement. Yet, they failed again to collect the Syrians within a specific framework on the Lebanese soil herewith their deep-rooted Lebanese differences on the Syrian territories.


It seems that the resistance has prepared itself well and intensively for the possibility of engaging in a wide-range war on three fronts simultaneously and interdependently in terms of the ferocity and timing; in the south with the Israeli enemy, where it should be in Syria, and certainly internally in case some tried to implement bombing projects against it. In fact, this readiness, which has been “qualitatively” verified in Al-Labbouna and the operation of the famous ambush, has been confirmed as well through the hard work and the valiant effort that led to discovering quickly the networks of bombings and blasting, and was proven at the security level through the rapid spread and through covering large geographical areas that are complex in terms of demography and intersection without compromising the readiness of the “resistance work” and/or the required quality to support Syria when needed.


The recent indications of its readiness was represented in what has been said by someone regarding that the resistance, in addition to continuing the accumulation of specific and advanced training of the Mujahedeen in large numbers, is still taking care of manufacturing and developing its devices what means that none of its organs would be feeble because of its emerging unavailable status. It has been able in the recent period to develop a “typical” and “qualitative” missile in terms of the manufacturing method and in terms of using it against the target and after trying it the efficacy of the “idea” has been proven. Additionally, “technical experts” have been able after experiments to re-develop the explosive and destructive capacities what makes the use of this missile soon after be a big surprise that demonstrate high qualifications and skills that could hardly be found in a local military organization and even can barely be found in regional countries that have weight, aptitude and history in this field.

The Real “Moral Obscenity” In Syria’s Civil War Is How We Started It

JohnKerry-BlackEye-175x275_thumb2   Who kicked Kerry’s ass?

The Real “Moral Obscenity” In Syria’s Civil War Is How We Started It

Peter Chamberlin

(SEE:  Kerry: Use of chemical weapons in Syria “a moral obscenity” )

Which is the greater moral obscenity?  The fact that more than three-hundred civilians have been killed by chemical weapons, or the undeniable fact that over 100,000 Syrians have been killed by various means (most of them civilians), in a premeditated plan to create civil war in another sovereign nation?   (SEE: The Obscenity of Humanitarian Warfare).   The American Sec. of State is invoking moral outrage to justify further escalation of our interference in Syrian national affairs, to the point of committing Western troops in an actual physical aggression against Syria and the Syrian people.

If there was a place in American government or international humanitarian institutions for “morality,” or “fairness,” or “justice,” then all of these august bodies would presently be overwhelmed with ongoing investigations of American war crimes and crimes against humanity, instead of vacuously, deceptively, deliberating military strikes upon the people, who dare to resist American aggression.  Cruise missile, or other airstrikes to cripple the defenses of the Assad government, can only lead to intensified suffering and death for the civilians of Syria, as secular terrorists battle “Islamist” terrorists for control of whatever is left, this mini-civil war promised to follow within Syria, after Western attacks successfully ignite region-wide civil war.

This is NOT a “religious civil war,” as the Western media have erroneously mislabeled the Syrian civil war, misleading its viewers into parroting their manufactured lies about “Islam” around the “water coolers” and gossipy “grape vines,” as the American sheep go about their day in oblivious ignorance.  The idea that this is a religious war is misinformation, manufactured by the palace of lies in Langley.   This is clearly an Imperial war of aggression, directed at every nation in the Middle East (then against the entire world), A WAR AGAINST CIVILIANS.

The brilliant deception is in convincing the people of the world that the US military is fighting against other militaries.  NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.  THE PENTAGON DOESN’T “FIGHT” AGAINST ANY FORCE THAT IS CAPABLE OF “FIGHTING BACK.”  National military defenses are systematically eliminated (“degraded” in Pentagon double-speak), so that the Western proxy forces can murder and terrorize the civilian populations who are under their protection, at will.  The US Defense Dept. (formerly the War Dept.) has waged wars primarily against civilians since WWII, “The Great War,” when American and British bombers openly committed genocide by fire-bombing German and Japanese cities.  The idea then, as now, is to so terrorize the civilian populations that they are forced into rising-up and bringing-down their own governments.  Military psywar specialists have learned how to “weaponize” entire populations against the governments which represent them.  They have refined the art of terror to the point where it is no longer necessary to obliterate entire cities to reap the rewards that are to be earned for the aggressors by the agitated mobs.

All Pentagon war plans revolve around this concept of terror war.  The terror war is launched through semi-peaceful means, meaning that the “fighting” actually begins through “other means,” meaning through political actions.  Disagreements between differing groups and factions within the populations are intensified, in order to capitalize on deep-seated local or national tensiions.

Over the years, the US State Dept. has developed a repertoire of political actions which are all intended to foment civil war, wherever the actions are acted-out.  In addition to this arsenal of destabilizing political actions, the Pentagon has established global communication and smuggling networks to be used in destabilization/terror operations against targeted nations.  Through State’s educational “aid,” the right individuals are identified and selected for political indoctrination into Western neo-liberal ideas.  Through training in Western political tactics and “apprenticeship” programs for selected “activists,” who are at the top of their indoctrination classes, native political foot-soldiers are created, who are then augmented by the latest developments in personal communications technology.  Portable Internet servers enable activists to hook-up to Pentagon-created global communications webs, which provide live feeds to universities and NGEs (non-governmental entities).  The worldwide Iridium Satellite network of 66 functioning satellites provides secure Pentagon-supplied sat-phone services.  New phones are available for several hundred dollars, equipped with an internal GPS, capable of instantly transmitting locations through GPS coordinates for physical targeting, to any phone number, with the push of a single button.  These units are also capable of generating wi-fi networks, anywhere.

In the beginning, activist/interns spend their time organizing like-minded locals into pliable political action groups, for the purpose of raising local awareness and generating opposition to the ruling government.  When sufficient numbers begin to coalesce, activism moves to action, moving in sync with secret provocateurs, who vandalize public property and generally accustom the people to the idea of violence on a minor scale.  When these actions generate anticipated reactions from local authorities, blood will be shed, necessary fuel for enraging the masses.  Through further small steps, the protests move to outright mob violence and police or army recriminations, one-step away from civil war.  All that is needed then, is enough rage and violence to move the mobs to take-up arms.  This is where Syria would now be, were it not for the constant influx of thousands of militant “jihadi wannabes,” who have been gathered together in Syria by the Saudi king and his princely minions of pure evil, like Prince Bandar, who is always serving in total submission to his American/British masters.  Through this leaked document (SEE:  The Original Syrian Media Report Revealing Bandar/Feltman Plan To Destroy the Middle East), Bandar has described the murderous conspiracy in minute detail for us.

Where is the “moral obscenity” in all of this?  The perversion of democracy, to deny certain “inalienable rights” to foreigners?  The intentional creations of civil wars in nations currently at peace?  The entrusting of American foreign policy to bloodthirsty Arab dictators?  Mr. Kerry, only a total liar, in the service of the most evil of Empires, could summon the level of hypocrisy, which you have displayed in this moment in the dark half-light of the pre-dawn of the most evil era in the bloody history of the human species…a species about to sweep itself into the “dustbin of history,” as the earth prepares to enter a post-apocalyptic era of healing, waiting for a better species to rise-up from the ashes of our self-immolation, to take our place as custodians of this sacred place in a dark corner of the universe.

Joint Chiefs from 10 Nations Meet for Emergency Meeting On Syria In Amman, Jordan

Dempsey, allied military chiefs meet in Jordan amid escalating Syrian crisis

stars and stripes

By Slobodan Lekic


AMMAN, Jordan — Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is co-hosting an emergency meeting here of defense chiefs from 10 nations aimed at ensuring the security of this moderate, pro-Western kingdom and preventing a spillover of the escalating war in neighboring Syria, officials said.

The three-day meeting, which opened Sunday, is being co-hosted by Jordan’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Mishaal Zaben, U.S. and Jordanian officials said. It also brings together top generals from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Canada, the semi-official Petra news agency reported, citing Jordanian military sources. It said the commanders “would discuss regional security and implications of the ongoing crisis in Syria.”

The conference comes amid rising tensions as the U.S., France and Britain mull their response to allegations that the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for a chemical attack Wednesday on the eastern outskirts of Damascus that killed hundreds of people.

In Washington, Defense Department spokesman George Little told The Associated Press that the gathering in Amman was designed in part to increase the collective understanding of the impact of regional conflicts on nations.

Dempsey is accompanied by Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Central Command.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy has deployed an extra destroyer to the eastern Mediterranean, bringing to four the number of missile warships in the area capable of firing cruise missiles against land targets.

The Associated Press reported that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel offered nothing Sunday about how the United States might respond to Syria’s purported use of chemical weapons. He said President Barack Obama was still assessing intelligence information on the deadly attack.

“When we have more information, that answer will become clear,” he told a reporter, according to AP.

President Barack Obama has said that a hasty intervention in the 2½-year-old Syrian civil war was problematic because of the international considerations that should precede a military strike.

Obama discussed the situation in Syria by telephone with British Prime Minister David Cameron, the AP reported. It was Obama’s first known conversation with a foreign leader about Syria since reports of the alleged chemical attack. The White House said the two leaders expressed “grave concern” about the reported use of chemical weapons, which both countries oppose.

Damascus has vehemently denied that it carried out toxic gas attacks on the rebel-held areas and accused the insurgents of mounting a chemical attack on its own troops in the area. Syrian television has said its troops found tunnels in which chemicals were stored in rebel areas overrun by government forces. Russia and Iran, Syria’s main allies, have supported calls for a United Nations inquiry into the attack, with both accusing jihadist groups of having carried it out.

The Jordanian military, numbering about 120,000 troops, has been redeploying a large part of its combat units to the northern border with Syria to prevent a spillover of the fighting. Jordanian officials say about 560,000 Syrians have already fled across the frontier.

The United States is believed to have about 1,000 troops based in Jordan, including a headquarters unit, an F-16 fighter detachment at Mafraq air base, as well as Patriot anti-missiles at two sites in the kingdom. In addition, the USS Kearsarge, a Marine amphibious assault ship, is reported to be steaming near Jordan’s only port of Aqaba.

Bandar Praises British Help In Importing Terrorism and Civil War Into Syria

Saudi spy chief hails UK role in persistent Syrian civil war


Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan has in a secret meeting briefed Britain’s MI6 chief Sir Robert Sawers on Riyadh’s role in stoking the Syrian civil war and thanked London for its strategic cooperation to that end.

“At the meeting, the Saudi intelligence chief briefed Sawers on Riyadh’s latest moves on Syria, including the supply of over 400 tons of weapons to the militants in Syria via Turkey,” Fars News Agency quoted unnamed sources as saying.

“We have made the Syrian army engage in a civil war and of course this strategic mission could not be accomplished without your (MI6) cooperation,” the source quoted Prince Bandar as saying during the meeting.

According to the report, the Saudi National Security Council Secretary and Intelligence Chief also reiterated that his country is sending the Salafi and other extremist fighters to Syria to get them killed and trigger religious discord among different Muslims groups in the region.

“The Prince also reminded the different advantages of the Saudi plan in Syria, saying that extremist groups, including the Salafis, have been engaged in the war in Syria and killed in there, while the Lebanese Hezbollah movement has also been pushed into direct confrontation with radical Sunni Muslims,” the source said.

Prince Bandar also reportedly ensured Sawers of control over the extremist mercenaries in Syria so that they do not turn up against Saudi Arabia and its western allies.

Lebanon’s Assafir newspare reported back in June that Prince Bandar has been an intermediary between the western governments and the Syrian militants to deliver heavy weapons to the terrorists.


Did Assad’s ruthless brother mastermind alleged Syria gas attack?

Did Assad’s ruthless brother mastermind alleged Syria gas attack?


Shadowy figure of Maher al-Assad could have been involved in alleged atrocity that hit rebel-held district of Damascus


A Syrian man weeps over the body of a relative killed in what rebels say was a regime gas attack.

A Syrian man weeps over the body of a relative killed in what rebels claim was a regime-led chemical attack on civilians. Photograph: Ammar Al-Arbini/AFP/Getty


He hasn’t been seen for over a year, remaining in the shadows while Bashar al-Assad has been the public face of Syria.

But Maher al-Assad has in many ways played a more decisive role in the country’s civil war than his elder brother, commanding its most formidable military division as it claws back losses and leading the defence of Damascus against an opposition that remains entrenched on the capital’s outskirts. The question many Syrians are asking, after last week’s revelations of an apparent chemical attack on civilians in rebel-held areas, is what role the president’s brother may have played in the atrocity.

Maher has remained a senior member of the Ba’ath party’s central committee and a central pillar of a police state that, despite the ravages of war and insurrection, remains one of the most effective in the world.

As the trajectory of Syria’s war has wobbled throughout the past year, opposition gains in parts being offset by regime advances elsewhere, the 4th Armoured Division Maher commands has been a chief protagonist on behalf of the regime.He has acted as division commander since at least 2000, and at the same time leads Syria’s other premier fighting force, the Republican Guards. Both units have been at the vanguard of the war since its earliest days, and were active again last week as loyalist forces launched their biggest operation yet to root out rebel groups from the capital.

It was while this operation was under way that thousands of residents of east Ghouta were exposed to what scientists increasingly believe was a nerve agent, possibly sarin. Attempts to pin down who was responsible for the attack are now the subject of a global intelligence effort that has already started to zero in on loyalist military units as the likely suspects.

In the days since, Syria has persistently denied having used its stocks of sarin to shell the area.

The 4th division has remained relatively unaffected by desertions and defections that plagued other divisions in the first 18 months of the war. Until about then — 18 July last year — Maher was visibly in charge. Frontline troops saw him often, especially in the hotspots of what was then more an insurrection than the full-blown civil and proxy regional war it is now.

In Deraa he personally led a siege by 4th division troops in March 2011, in response to a spark of defiance by a group of schoolboys, who wrote on a mosque wall calling for Bashar to leave. The division left an unambiguous calling card.

“He came to see us one weekend down there,” said a former 4th division conscript who fled to Istanbul soon afterwards. “He told us not to shoot at the men with guns, because they were with us. He told us only to shoot at people without guns, that they were the terrorists.

“It took me a while to protest at that. He made us shoot at their hearts and heads. And anyone that was shooting high and wide [deliberately] would be beaten, or killed.”

In Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, only nine kilometres south of Deraa, which is now home to a sizeable chunk of the city’s residents, Maher’s name is spoken of with visceral anger.

“His brother is a puppet for Maher and the Iranians,” said Khaled Othman, a plumber from the city, standing in the flap of a UN supply tent. “Maher is the devil. He personally tried to annihilate us just because we defied him. He took pleasure in it, along with his closest officers. Did you see the video of him in the prison?”

The refrain is commonly asked in communities that support the Syrian opposition. It refers to a prison revolt in 2008 that Maher was asked to put down; a task he carried out with brutal efficiency, killing many who had taken guards and soldiers hostage, then filming the bodies with his camera phone.

The phone video is often showed by supporters of the Assad regime as purported evidence of the strength of the brothers. But between the statesman and the general, it has been Maher who has inspired more fear — and speculation.

His last appearance in public was several weeks before an explosion in a meeting room in central Damascus killed security chief, and the Assads’ brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, who had married their sister, Bushra. Also killed that day was the defence minister and several other members of the inner sanctum.

Rumours have circulated since that Maher was also in the room at the time and was wounded. Last year Abdullah Omar, a former press officer in the presidential palace who defected in September, said he had seen Maher visit the palace and he had appeared to have lost part of a hand and leg.

The suggestion has not since been confirmed. Turkish officials believe that the younger Assad was wounded that day — one of the few times that the opposition has got so close to the seat of power. “But he is alive and functioning,” said one senior Turkish diplomat. “And the 4th division is still one of their better units.”

In Lebanon, where in more settled times leaders from all sides of politics beat a regular path to Damascus, there has been nothing from Maher for more than a year.

“We know his wife is in Dubai along with Bushra,” said the leader of one political bloc. “And we know that Bashar will have a hard time keeping him in his box. If they think they are winning, they will behave without any restraint. And if they did the chemical attack, he won’t be far away from it.”

Syria snipers shoot at UN chemical team, spokesperson says

[SEE:  Washington: Syria allowing U.N. access to attack site not ‘credible’]

Syria snipers shoot at UN
chemical team, spokesperson says

now lebanon

Snipers shot at United Nations experts Monday forcing them to pull back from an attempt to investigate a chemical weapons attack near Damascus, a spokesperson said.

No injuries were reported when the first vehicle in a UN convoy was hit as it headed for Ghouta, east of the Syrian capital, but the team had to head back toward their base, said UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky.

“The first vehicle of the chemical weapons investigation team was deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers in the buffer zone area,” Nesirky said.

“As the car was no longer serviceable, the team returned safely back to the government checkpoint,” he added.

“The team will return to the area after replacing the vehicle.”

Hundreds of people were killed in an attack last week at Ghouta in which chemical weapons were allegedly used. Western nations have blamed President Bashar al-Assad’s forces for the attack. The government has blamed opposition rebels.

The UN spokesperson gave no other details on the venue of the sniper attack or from where the shooting came from.

But Nesirky “stressed again that all sides need to extend their cooperation so that the team can safely carry out their important work.”

Assad Govt. Agrees To UN Inspection of Chemical Weapons Attack Site

Foreign Ministry: UN inspection team allowed to conduct investigations into chemical weapons use allegations


Aug 25, 2013


Damascus, (SANA)_The Syrian government and the UN have agreed to a mutual understanding that enters into force immediately, allowing the UN inspection team to investigate an alleged chemical weapons use in Damascus countryside on August 22, an official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said.

The agreement states that the team, headed by Prof. Ake Sellstrom, should coordinate with the Syrian government on the date and time of the team’s visit to the sites agreed upon by the two sides.

The agreement came during a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem with the UN High Representative for Disarmament, Angela Kane earlier this morning.

Al-Moallem expressed Syria’s readiness to cooperate with the UN investigators to expose the false allegations of the terrorist groups accusing the Syrian forces of using chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta.


M. Ismael

Obama’s Hypocritical Double-Standards In Coddling the Spoiled Saudi Dictatorship

[Obama is so deeply indebted to the Saudis for handling his Middle East problems for him, that he is taking the potentially risky step of overlooking previous American condemnations of cluster bomb use (especially by the Israelis), to transfer $.64 billion worth of US cluster bombs to the Saudis.  Since the Saudis have no foreseeable need for such weapons, and since the Saudi king has promised to make-up any US aid to Egypt, we can easily guess where these weapons will really be going….to Egypt. 

“The U.S. government is also withholding more than $1 billion in annual aid to Egypt while the fighting persists.”

The Saudis will make-up for lost America-to-Egypt military aid by transferring US weapons to Egypt.]

Syria Expands Use of Cluster Bombs says HRW


A boy holds unexploded cluster bombs after jet shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Meyasar district of Aleppo, Feb. 21, 2013.

A boy holds unexploded cluster bombs after jet shelling by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Meyasar district of Aleppo, Feb. 21, 2013.

Critics decry US cluster bomb sales to Saudi


More than 40 countries have outlawed cluster bombs due to their long-term impacts on civilians [AFP]

What About the Rockets Allegedly Used To Gas Ghouta, Syria?




chem weapon ghouta

chem weapon damascus. 4PG

chem weapon ghouta 5

chem weapon damascus. 6JPG

chem weapon damascus. 5PG

chem weapon damascus. 6PG

chem weapon damascus. 7PG

chem weapon damascus. 8PG



[Below is a photo of a home-made chemical rocket taken from the Free Syrian Army site back in May.  It is based around a common 20 lb. propane gas cylinder.  From the remains shown by the ITN video, it appears that there was a large cylinder on the Ghouta rocket, implying that it was also home-made.  The pictures from the Guardian and from Naharnet show the same type of rocket.  How is it that all of these people can stand around without protection, even handling the cylinders, with no apparent ill effects.  Perhaps they were all later added to the body count.]

Syrian free army

Free syrian army 2

US and Saudis At Cross-Purposes In the Middle East

Egypt crisis strains US-Saudi ties


Some analysts believe Saudi Arabia’s strong support for Egypt’s military government has put Washington in a bind.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies pledged $12bn to Egypt’s interim government following a coup on July 3 [AFP]
Washington, US – As the administration of President Barack Obama continues wrestling with how to react to the military coup in Egypt and its bloody aftermath, officials and independent analysts are increasingly worried about the crisis’s effect on US ties with Saudi Arabia.

The oil-rich kingdom’s strong support for the coup is seen here as having encouraged Cairo’s defence minister Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood and resist western pressure to take a conciliatory approach that would be less likely to radicalise the Brotherhood’s followers and push them into taking up arms.

Along with the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, Saudi Arabia did not just pledge immediately after the July, 3 coup that ousted President Mohamed Morsi to provide a combined $12bn in financial assistance, but it has also promised to make up for any western aid – including the $1.5bn dollars with which Washington supplies Cairo annually in mostly military assistance – that may be withheld as a result of the coup and the ongoing crackdown in which about 1,000 protestors are believed to have been killed to date.

Perhaps even more worrisome to some experts here has been the exceptionally tough language directed against Washington’s own condemnation of the coup by top Saudi officials, including King Abdullah, who declared Friday that “[t]he kingdom stands …against all those who try to interfere with its domestic affairs” and charged that criticism of the army crackdown amounted to helping the “terrorists”.

‘Unprecedented’ comments

Bruce Riedel, a former top CIA Middle East analyst who has advised the Obama administration, called the comments “unprecedented” even if the king did not identify the United States by name.

Chas Freeman, a highly decorated retired foreign service officer who served as US ambassador to Riyadh during the Gulf War, agreed with that assessment.

“I cannot recall any statement as bluntly critical as that,” he said, adding that it marked the culmination of two decades of growing Saudi exasperation with US policy – from Washington’s failure to restrain Israeli military adventures and the occupation of Palestinian territory to its empowering the Shia majority in Iraq after its 2003 invasion and its abandonment of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and its backing of democratic movements during the “Arab awakening”.

“For most of the past seven decades, the Saudis have looked to Americans as their patrons to handle the strategic challenges of their region,” Freeman said. “But now the Al-Saud partnership with the United States has not only lost most of its charm and utility; it has from Riyadh’s perspective become in almost all respects counterproductive.”

The result, according to Freeman, has been a “lurch into active unilateral defence of its regional interests”, a move that could portend major geo-strategic shifts in the region. “Saudi Arabia does not consider the US a reliable protector, thinks it’s on its own, and is acting accordingly.”

Russian relations

A number of analysts, including Freeman, have pointed to a July 31 meeting in Moscow between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the head of the Riyadh’s national security council and intelligence service, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, as one potentially significant “straw in the wind” regarding the Saudi’s changing calculations.

According to a Reuters report, Bandar, who served as Riyadh’s ambassador to Washington for more than two decades, offered to buy up to $15bn in Russian arms and coordinate energy policy – specifically to prevent Qatar from exporting its natural gas to Europe at Moscow’s expense – in exchange for dropping or substantially reducing Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

While Putin, under whom Moscow’s relations with Washington appear to have a hit a post-Cold War low recently, was non-committal, Bandar left Moscow encouraged by the possibilities for greater strategic co-operation, according to press reports that drew worried comments from some here.

“[T]he United States is apparently standing on the sidelines – despite being Riyadh’s close diplomatic partner for decades, principally in the hitherto successful policy of blocking Russia’s influence in the Middle East,” wrote Simon Henderson, an analyst at the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP).

“It would be optimistic to believe that the Moscow meeting will significantly reduce Russian support for the Assad regime,” he noted. “But meanwhile Putin will have pried open a gap between Riyadh and Washington.”

As suggested by Abdullah’s remarks, that gap has only widened in the wake of the Egyptian military’s bloody crackdown on the Brotherhood this month and steps by Washington to date, including the delay in the scheduled shipment of F-16 fighter jets and the cancellation of joint US-Egyptian military exercises next month, to show disapproval.

US officials have told reporters that Washington is also likely to suspend a shipment of Apache attack helicopters to Cairo unless the regime quickly reverses course.

‘Wake-up call’

Meanwhile Moscow, even as it joined the West in appealing for restraint and non-violent solutions to the Egyptian crisis, has also refrained from criticising the military, while the chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Duma’s upper house blamed the United States and the European Union for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.


Follow our ongoing coverage of the political crisis in Egypt

“It is clear that Russia and Saudi Arabia prefer stability in Egypt, and both are betting on the Egyptian military prevailing in the current standoff, and are already acting on that assumption,” according to an op-ed that laid out the two countries’ common interests throughout the Middle East and was published Sunday by, the news channel majority-owned by the Saudi Middle East Broadcasting Centre (MBC).

Some observers argue that Russia and Saudi Arabia have a shared interest in containing Iran; reducing Turkish influence; co-operating on energy issues; and bolstering autocratic regimes, including Egypt’s, at the expense of popular Islamist parties, notably the Brotherhood and its affiliates, across the region.

“There’s a certain logic to all that, but it’s too early to say whether such an understanding can be reached,” said Freeman, who noted that Bandar “wrote the book on outreach to former ideological and geo-strategic enemies”, including China, and that his visit to Moscow “looks like classic Saudi breakout diplomacy”.

But reaching a deal on Syria would be particularly challenging. While Riyadh assigns higher priority to reducing Iran’s regional influence than to removing Assad, some analysts believe there are ways an agreement that would retain him as president could be struck, as Moscow insists, while reducing his power over the opposition-controlled part of the country and weakening his ties to Tehran and Hezbollah.

But Mark Katz, an expert on Russian Middle East policy at George Mason University, is sceptical about the prospects for a Russian-Saudi entente, noting that Bandar has pursued such a relationship in the past without success.

“I’m not saying it can’t work, but this has been his hobby horse,” he said. “Whatever happens in Saudi-American relations, however, the Saudis don’t trust the Russians and don’t want them meddling in the region. Everything about the Russians ticks them off.”

He added that Abdullah’s harsh criticism was intended more as a “wake-up call” and the fact that “the Saudis are on the same side [in supporting the Egyptian military] as the Israelis has emboldened them”.

A version of this article was first published by Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency.

Syria Has Become Runaway Freight Train for Obama—Big Trouble Ahead

[SEE: Obama’s Nod to US Military Intervention in Syria – Held Back over Dispute with Saudis and Emirates]

Centcom sets up underground war room in Jordan for intervention in Syria

osnet daily

Posted by


Editor’s Note by Scaliger…

The ‘no fly zone’ tainted red on the map is covered from within Jordanian territory by means of even  low-end Air-to-Air missiles, like the previous generation Sidewinder, the AIM-9L, and by means of  e.g. the AGM-65 Maverick against ground targets. The 3,000 strong ‘highly professional’ ‘rebels’ troops  might be target designation troops, who nest on  Syrian soil, detecting and identifying targets and when  appropriate also call in for fire support, which they may then direct spot on using laser designators,  thus minimizing collateral damage. It is clearly stated on the Video part of that Debka article, that all this capacity isn’t intended to remove Assad’s regime but rather ‘to corner it’, which may suggest atkeeping it at a safety distance from the borders of Jordan, Israel and perhaps also from that of the Druze province located at the very southern edge of Syria bordering Jordan, centered around ‘Jabel Druze’ i.e. the Druze Mountain.

This approach is essentially similar to the security zone Israel operated in southern Lebanon since summer 1982 till summer 2000, which gave time and rise to the Hezbollah. Hezbollah has won a strategic status in Syria during 

the recent rebellion against Assad’s regime, while it is much likelier to have remained off the hook of Russian supervision and restraints than Syria itself and than Iranian troops in Syria.

This publication comes amidst Iranian admission of operating 18,000 Uranium-separation centrifuges [Link] which come under the Iranian partnership with the north-Korean military nuclear program [Link]. The American operation in Jordan thus remains besides the strategic point of mitigating for the Iranian nuclear Jihad, which in turn forms a clear and present danger to Europe as much as it does to Israel. 

Sequestration hasn’t prevented Obama’s Secret $8 Billion Bribe To The Muslim Brotherhood, which otherwise could have been funneled towards the destruction of the Iranian nuclear program. ‘Only’ delaying this program by means of military campaigns makes full sense since the New Energy Order is already ramping up and may dominate the global markets already in the next decade.



Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Amman this week to inaugurate the Centcom’s Forward Command in Jordan manned by 273 US officers. US media correspondents were permitted to visit the new war room for the first time on condition of non-disclosure of its location and secret facilities. debkafile’s military sources report that the installation is bomb- and missile-proof against a possible Syrian attack. The US Air Force command section is in direct communication with the US, Israeli, Jordanian and Saudi Air Force headquarters ready for an order by President Barack Obama to impose a partial no-fly zone over Syrian air space.

Another section is designed to coordinate operations between US and Jordanian special forces, as well as the units trained in commando combat by US instructors in Jordan.  A closed section houses CIA personnel who control the work of US agents going in and out of Syria and also a communications center.
In his briefing to US forces Thursday, Aug. 15, Gen. Dempsey commented: “Jordan lives in a very volatile region and at a very critical time in its history. They can count on us to continue to be their partner.”

He suggested that the operation could continue well into next year or beyond.
Situated atop the underground facility is a large surface structure accommodating the American military and civilian offices dealing with Syrian issues from Jordan. It is guarded by US and Jordanian security units.

There are today some 1,000 US military personnel in the Hashemite Kingdom, plus a squadron of F-16 fighters and several Patriot anti-missile batteries strung along the Jordanian-Syrian border to shield Jordanian and American bases and the capital, Amman.
This special debkafile video presentation illustrates US, Saudi, and Jordanian preparations for military intervention in the Syrian civil war and its likely repercussions.

Obama’s final decision on US military intervention – consisting of a no fly and a buffer zone in Syria – is expected in the coming two to three weeks, depending on Dempsey’s recommendations upon his return to Washington after checking out preparations in Israel and Jordan. In neither operation will US boots touch Syrian soil.

The buffer zone in the south up to Damascus would be captured by 3,000 rebels trained in special operations tactics and armed by US forces in Jordan. Jordanian special forces are to spearhead the operation under US command.

Assad may take the fight outside his borders by launching missiles against Israel, Jordan and maybe Turkey.
Hizballah may join in with rocket attacks on Israel. Iran will beef up its active military presence in Syria and Jordan. And Russian Rapid Intervention units are on standby for saving Assad at their Black Sea and South Caucasian bases




More Zionist Press Manipulation of Truth, To Justify the IDF Intensification of the Suffering In Lebanon

[This is the original photo which accompanied the Daily Star report…. Notice the “wooden launch pad” below is merely a 2×12 board, turned on its edge.  Also notice the “shit-eating grin” on the face of the Lebanese soldier, watching the UNIFIL soldier photographing the Katyusha rocket, which is held together with duct tape and black electrical tape, as it is leaning on the “wooden launcher.”  It is obvious to all that this rocket would tip the board over and fall-down, if ignited.  This brings us to the “fuse.”  These rockets are fired like a rifle, with an ignition cap, NOT a fireworks type of fuse.  The rocket is also missing a warhead detonating tip.  Just more garbage being circulated by the Zionist press.]


[Below is the new photo on the report.  Today, IDF warplanes violated Lebanese airspace and bombed the area of the alleged rocket attack (SEE:  Israeli warplane strikes area south of Beirut).]

UNIFIL soldiers arrive at the site where rockets were launched into Israel, on the outskirts of Tyre in Beirut, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

Rockets fired from south Lebanon at Israel

UNIFIL soldiers arrive at the site where rockets were launched into Israel, on the outskirts of Tyre in Beirut, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

BEIRUT: Two of four rockets fired from south Lebanon fell into Israel Thursday, Lebanese security sources said, and Israeli media said one projectile was shot down by the “Iron Dome” defense system.

No casualties have been reported.

The Lebanese Army confirmed the attack in a statement, saying four Katyusha rockets were fired from Tyre, south Lebanon, into Israel at 4:50 p.m.

It added that four wooden launching pads were discovered on the outskirts of Hosh village.

The Army and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon have launched a probe into the incident.


Obama Admin. Treats Gas Terror As Opportunity To Extort UN Mandate for Syria-Wide Witch-Hunt

The White House

white house

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
August 21, 2013

Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

The United States is deeply concerned by reports that hundreds of Syrian civilians have been killed in an attack by Syrian government forces, including by the use of chemical weapons, near Damascus earlier today.  We are working urgently to gather additional information.

The United States strongly condemns any and all use of chemical weapons.  Those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable.  Today, we are formally requesting that the United Nations urgently investigate this new allegation.  The UN investigative team, which is currently in Syria, is prepared to do so, and that is consistent with its purpose and mandate.  For the UN’s efforts to be credible, they must have immediate access to witnesses and affected individuals, and have the ability to examine and collect physical evidence without any interference or manipulation from the Syrian government.  If the Syrian government has nothing to hide and is truly committed to an impartial and credible investigation of chemical weapons use in Syria, it will facilitate the UN team’s immediate and unfettered access to this site.  We have also called for urgent consultations in the UN Security Council to discuss these allegations and to call for the Syrian government to provide immediate access to the UN investigative team.  The United States urges all Syrian parties including the government and opposition, to provide immediate access to any and all sites of importance to the investigation and to ensure security for the UN investigative team.

Sen. McCain Insults Obama On CNN, Contradicts Pentagon Chief Dempsey Implies Incompetence

[SEE:  John McCain wants Syria intervention]

Dempsey: Syrian Rebels Wouldn’t Back US Interests

military dot com


Aug 21, 2013


dempsey testifies 380


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is opposed to even limited U.S. military intervention in Syria because it believes rebels fighting the Assad regime wouldn’t support American interests if they were to seize power right now, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote to a congressman in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.


Effectively ruling out U.S. cruise missile attacks and other options that wouldn’t require U.S. troops on the ground, Dempsey said the military is clearly capable of taking out Syrian President Bashar Assad’s air force and shifting the balance of the Arab country’s 2 1/2-year war back toward the armed opposition. But he said such an approach would plunge the United States deep into another war in the Arab world and offer no strategy for peace in a nation plagued by ethnic rivalries.


“Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides,” Dempsey said in the letter Aug. 19 to Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. “It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not.”


Dempsey’s pessimistic assessment will hardly please members of the fractured Syrian opposition leadership and some members of the administration who have championed greater support to help the rebellion end Assad’s four-decade family dynasty. Despite almost incessant bickering and internal disputes, some opposition groups have worked with the United States and other European and Arab supporters to try to form a cohesive, inclusive movement dedicated to a democratic and multiethnic state.


But those fighting the Assad government range wildly in political and ethnic beliefs and not all are interested in Western support.

As the conflict has gone on, killing more than 100,000 people and ripping apart the delicate sectarian fabric of Syrian society, al-Qaida-linked rebels and other extremist groups have been responsible for some of the same types of massacres and ethnic attacks that the Assad regime has committed. On Tuesday, Kurdish militias battled against al-Qaida-linked fighters in the northeast in fighting that has fueled a mass exodus of refugees into Iraq and risks exploding into a full-blown side conflict.

Dempsey said Syria’s war was “tragic and complex.”

“It is a deeply rooted, long-term conflict among multiple factions, and violent struggles for power will continue after Assad’s rule ends,” he wrote. “We should evaluate the effectiveness of limited military options in this context.”

On Wednesday, two Syrian pro-opposition groups claimed that government forces carried out a “poisonous gas” attack near the capital, Damascus, leaving dozens of people dead. There was no government comment on the claims and the reports could not be independently confirmed.

Despite calling for Assad to leave power in 2011, President Barack Obama has steadfastly refused to allow the U.S. to be drawn directly into the conflict. Officials have said for the past couple of months, however, that the U.S. is prepared to provide lethal aid to vetted, moderate units among the opposition ranks. It’s unclear what, if any, weapons have been delivered so far.

Dempsey’s letter to Engel was another follow-up to a sharp examination he faced in July from the Senate Armed Services Committee ahead of a reconfirmation vote. Unable to answer questions by Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, Dempsey sent a letter afterward saying the establishment of a no-fly zone to protect the Syrian rebels would require hundreds of U.S. aircraft at a cost as much as $1 billion a month and with no assurance that it would change the war’s momentum.

He also discouraged options such as training vetted rebel groups, limited strikes on Syria’s air defenses and creating a buffer zone for the opposition, stressing the need to avoid an outcome similar to Iraq or Afghanistan by preserving a functioning state for any future power transfer. And he cited risks such as lost U.S. aircraft.

Engel, another advocate of more forceful U.S. action, joined the debate by proposing the use of cruise missiles and other weapons against Syrian government-controlled air bases in an Aug. 5 letter to Dempsey. The congressman said such strikes would ground Assad’s air force and reduce the flow of weapons to his government from Iran and Russia, while costing less to U.S. taxpayers and requiring no American troops on the ground in Syria or in its airspace.

Dempsey said this approach wouldn’t tip the balance against Assad and wouldn’t solve the deeper problems plaguing Syria.

“We can destroy the Syrian air force,” he said. “The loss of Assad’s air force would negate his ability to attack opposition forces from the air, but it would also escalate and potentially further commit the United States to the conflict. Stated another way, it would not be militarily decisive, but it would commit us decisively to the conflict.”

“The use of U.S. military force can change the military balance,” Dempsey added. “But it cannot resolve the underlying and historic ethnic, religious and tribal issues that are fueling this conflict.”

Instead, he spoke in favor of an expansion of the Obama administration’s current policy.

The U.S. can provide far greater humanitarian assistance and, if asked, do more to bolster a moderate opposition in Syria. Such an approach “represents the best framework for an effective U.S. strategy toward Syria,” Dempsey said.

YouTube Videos of Chemical Weapons Attack In Syria Posted One Day Before Massacre

News of chemical weapons attack in Syria published one day before massacre happened – Islamic Invitation Turkey

2012 июль коллаж газ сирия газ сирия химическое оружие сирия

The Islamic politics and cultural website Islamic Invitation Turkey claims that several videos were uploaded one day before the reports on chemical weapons use near Damascus in Syria. This evidence shows that the terrorists massacred people then recorded the scenes to deceive the world, but they gave themselves away. Terrorists in Syria uploaded the video of their crimes in East Ghouta, Damascus on August 20, 2013 and then blamed the Syrian government for the attack early on August 21, 2013, says the IIT website.

This evidence supposedly shows the massacre by terrorists in Syria and their struggle to convince the public that the Syrian regime is behind the massacre. You will see that the terrorists uploaded the videos before the massacre and their so-called allegation of the time when the chemical weapons attack by the Syrian Army occurred.


Even if we regard the chemical attack as taking place at 03:30, it is impossible to take the film of the scene and uploading those tens of videos… this shows that terrorists prepared and organized all of the scenes beforehand then accused the Syrian regime of a massacre that terrorists carried out.


They did not even have mercy for the children and used them to deceive the public. They gathered all civilians, women and children to certain areas and then killed them brutally, then blamed the Syrian regime in order to legalize their brutality.


Proof of FSA’s chemical weapons usage isn’t information everyone likes

[(SEE:  Was the Damascus Gas Attack This Qatari False Flag Unfolding, As Reported In January?)   If proof is found, leading back to Qatar, then Russia should present it to the UN, before pounding Qatar back into the sand that the Fat Pig of Qatar crawled out of.]

althani pig man square

Proof of FSA’s chemical weapons usage isn’t information everyone likes

Voice of Russia

химическое оружие полигон Дагуэй испытание химическое оружие

Russia has given irrefutable evidence regarding the use of chemical weapons by the armed Syrian opposition to the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council according to a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin.

The relevant report was submitted to official representatives of the American government. Thus, one of the most acute issues of the civil conflict in Syria can be closed, if there is a political will of Western leaders.

However, this situation is not that simple. Washington claims it is studying the information of the Russian experts, but it continues to blame Moscow of allegedly blocking the investigation into the circumstances of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

In response to numerous accusations on the part of Western leaders against the current Syrian government of having used lethal weapons, Russia has offered to speak the language of facts.

According to Vitaly Churkin, the examination has unequivocally established that rebels had used the poisonous substance sarin on March 19 in Aleppo. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov exposed the details of the results of the investigation.

“Our experts took samples, examined them on the spot in laboratories that are certified by the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons, and came to the conclusion that the shell and sarin that was in it were homemade. There are quite clear and unambiguous conclusions concerning the fact that characteristics of both the shell and this very sarin do not meet the standards used in industrial production. According to our additional data, the shell and this substance were manufactured in February, 2013, in the Syrian territory, which was then under the control of the Syrian Free Army, by one of the groups, which was affiliated with this Syrian Free Army”.

Such information is not to everyone’s liking. And first of all not to those, who are at any cost interested in convincing the world of the opposite.

And there are plenty of them. For example, there are political and military lobbyists in some Western and Eastern countries that benefit from pushing through the decision to supply weapons to Syrian opposition. And this is not only a question of geopolitics, but also of finance.

In the light of the recent veto of the American Parliament on the initiative of President Barack Obama, there already appeared a statement of the official representative of the Pentagon George Little. He says the U.S. will proceed with seeking opportunities of providing military assistance to insurgents.

For those, who just can’t wait to annoy Moscow claiming that it protects the criminal regime, it is also profitable to convince the international community of Bashar al-Assad’s «atrocities». The Syrian opposition is also extremely interested in covering up their actions and blaming their opponents for that.

Meanwhile, the elementary logic indicates that the use of chemical weapons by the government troops is unprofitable for a single «player» in this prolonged drama – for Bashar al-Assad. The army units achieve evident success, and pointed strikes with the use of prohibited types of weapons, traces of which are almost impossible to hide, will put an end to his political career and to all international peace initiatives. But Assad clearly does not look like a suicide.

By the way, before the USA has received the Russian conclusions about the events in Aleppo, the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney once again hurried to prooflessly accuse the Syrian authorities of the atrocities.

Download audio file

But even after the 80-page report of the Russian experts was in the hands of the Americans, the State Department Spokesperson Jennifer Psaki stated that “Washington still does not believe that the opposition used chemical weapons”.

As if it is a matter of faith or belief, and not of exhaustive evidence collected by the Russian specialists. There is a feeling that the US relay statements by militants, who dissociated themselves from the use of chemical weapons calling the Russian report «false and fabricated».

By the way, Jennifer Psaki added that Russia, “although it has provided the report, is blocking the efforts of the UN Security Council aimed at ensuring access of international experts to studying the issue of chemical weapons”.

In response to this, Vitaly Churkin reasonably said that such a decision should be accepted not by the Security Council, but by the Syrian government as a sovereign state. And in fact, it has never avoided that. On the contrary, on the initiative of Damascus, an international Commission was created headed by Swedish Professor Oke Sellstrom, which is awaiting entry into the country.

It is worth noting that recently quite an unexpected statement came from London. The published report of the Committee on Intelligence and Security of the UK says that in case of overthrow of Bashar al-Assad, stockpiles of chemical weapons located in the territory of the country might fall into the hands of militants and terrorists, which may lead to catastrophic consequences.

At the same time, the Swiss press published data refuting the statement of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who had accusing Damascus of using prohibited substances. Thus, with a conscientious attitude to facts and pursuit of objectivity, political intrigues around sarin and other toxic substances must finally give way to constructive initiatives.

Unfortunately, there is little striving for it among those, who want at all costs to deprive Syria of legitimate authority and finally plunge the country into chaos. In this big and not quite fair geopolitical game, the interests of the Syrian people are the last to be taken into account by supporters of hard security measures.

Was the Damascus Gas Attack This Qatari False Flag Unfolding, As Reported In January?

[SEE:  Assad Welcomes UN Weapons Inspectors To Damascus On Monday, Then Gasses Hundreds In Damascus On Tuesday?]

Hacked e-mails reveal ‘Washington approved’ plan to stage Syria chemical attack


On Saturday, Cyber War News released a cache of e-mails allegedly hacked by someone in Malaysia from a British private defense contractor called Britam Defence.

One of the e-mails contains a discussion between Britam’s Business Development Director David Goulding and Philip Doughty, company founder. In the exchange, it’s revealed that there is a plan to unleash chemical weapons in Syria in order to blame it on the Bashar Al Assad regime to justify a direct intervention by U.S. and NATO forces in the country’s civil war. The plan, thought up by the government of Qatar according to the e-mail, is “approved by Washington.”


We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.

We’ll have to deliver a CW (chemical weapon) to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.

They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.

Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?

Kind regards


If this e-mail is authentic, it would confirm what has been reported in the past: that the al-Qaida connected Syrian rebels are planning to unleash chemical weapons as a false flag.

In June, Russia Today reported that Syrian rebels had acquired gas masks and chemical weapons from Libya and “allegedly plan to use it against civilians and pin the atrocity on the Bashar al-Assad regime.”

A Saudi company had further allegedly fitted 1,400 ambulances with a filtering system to protect passengers from gas and chemicals after Syrian rebels launch a chemical weapons attack using mortar rounds, all at the cost of $97,000 each. These ambulances, labeled with “Syrian People’s Relief,” would actually be carrying U.S. and NATO troops. According to Paul Joseph Watson:

The attack, which will involve the use of white phosphorus, sarin and mustard gas, will be launched on a heavily populated town near the Syria/Jordan border, possibly Daraa, after which the vehicles will pour in under the cover of humanitarian aid.

The ambulances…will operate under the guise of an aid mission to help the victims of the chemical weapons attack, but in reality are nothing short of armored personnel carriers.

A buffer zone will be created “that will lead to a NATO military intervention under the pretext of punishing Assad’s regime for the atrocity.”

In December, a video was posted online showing a member of the Syrian rebels testing chemicals on rabbits while jihadist chants go on in the background. In the video, containers labeled Tekkim are shown, which is a Turkish chemicals company. On the wall is a poster with Arabic writing on it that reads “The Almighty Wind Brigade (Kateebat A Reeh Al Sarsar),” according to the Syria Tribune.

A person wearing a lab mask then mixes chemicals in a beaker in the glass box, and we see some gas emitting from the beaker. About a minute later, the rabbits start to have random convulsions and then die. The person says: You saw what happened? This will be your fate, you infidel Alawites, I swear by ALLAH to make you die like these rabbits, one minute only after you inhale the gas.

Assad has maintained that he will not use chemical weapons in Syria’s ongoing war. It would seem unlikely that he would, considering that it would put the militaries of most of the world’s powers against him. Further, an official from within the Pentagon told NBC News that there was no evidence that Assad was planning such attacks.

Intervention in Syria is not about protecting civilians. The Assad regime is allied with the Iranian government, and by overthrowing it, the West has an advantage in an attack on the Islamic Republic.

Pakistan seizes 100 tonnes of bomb-making chemicals Used In Anti-Shia Quetta Blasts

Pakistan seizes 100 tonnes of bomb-making chemicals


The warehouse was stocked with potassium chlorate, ammonium chlorate, sulphur and detonating equipment

Security forces have seized 100 tonnes of bomb-making materials and detained 10 people in a raid in Quetta, south-west Pakistan, officials say.

The cache contained chemicals used to mix bombs, wires and detonating equipment, says Col Maqbool Shah.

They were the same type used in two attacks in the city earlier this year killing more than 120 people, he added.

Balochistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, is plagued by Taliban attacks as well as sectarian violence.

Pakistan map

The raid on the warehouse followed the earlier arrest of two men found driving a truck containing 15 tonnes of potassium chlorate.

They reportedly informed investigators of the presence of potassium chlorate, ammonium chlorate acid, detonating equipment and machines to mix the material together at a compound in the city.

Eighty drums of material had been prepared and were ready to explode if a detonator was attached, and 10 people were arrested, Col Shah, of the Frontier Corps, told Reuters news agency.

“I’m very thankful to God that today we saved Quetta especially and Balochistan generally from a big accident,” he added.

No group was identified as owning the cache of bomb-making equipment.

The Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the two attacks in January which mainly hit Quetta’s Hazara Shia community.

Balochistan province is a major flashpoint for violence between the Sunni and Shia Muslim communities, as well a separatist insurrection by the Baloch Liberation Army.

The Taliban are among the various militant organisations active in the city.

Assad Welcomes UN Weapons Inspectors To Damascus On Monday, Then Gasses Hundreds In Damascus On Tuesday?

[Even an illiterate “Islamist” wouldn’t believe such a wild accusation.  If the Free Syrian Army and their “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” are idiotic enough to believe the illogical claims that they are making, then it is no wonder that Bandar’s boys have decided to take the terror war out of their hands.]“This is a media war but the way they think is really stupid,” purported the official to Baghdadi. “Would you imagine that we would use chemical weapons where a UN team is here to inspect?”

U.N. chemical weapons inspectors to start work in Syria on Monday

(Reuters) – A team of U.N. chemical weapons experts have arrived in Damascus and will start work on Monday to investigate the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war.

[SEE:  Syria opposition group claims hundreds killed in “poisonous gas” attack in Damascus suburbs ]

Activists accuse Syrian forces of using “poisonous gases” in Damascus countryside

Xinhua net

DAMASCUS, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) — Syrian opposition activists on Wednesday posted online videos of dead people who they claimed were “victims of the regime chemical attack,” accusing the army of using “poisonous gases” in Damascus’ countryside overnight.

The report, the first of its kind in activist coverage, showed bodies tossed on the ground in the eastern Gouta and the western Muadamieh suburbs of the Syrian capital.

The accusation came amid a UN mission here to investigate possible use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. The probe was requested by the Syrian government, who accused the Western- backed rebels of using sarin agent in the northern town of Khan al- Asal.

The Syrian government welcomed the arrival of the UN inspectors on Sunday, pledging to cooperate with them and facilitate their work.

Syria is fulfilling “what we have agreed on with the international mission,” Syrian Prime Minister Wael Al-Halqi said. “Our colleagues in the foreign ministry have prepared all the procedures in order to make their work a success.”

The prime minister also accused Turkey of providing armed rebels with chemical weapons that were used in Khan al-Asal, near the northern restive city of Aleppo.

The United States and several European countries have expressed fears that Syria’s chemical weapons may “fall into the wrong hands ” if the Syrian administration falls.

Israel also has said it had intervention plans to secure the arsenals in case of a “regime collapse” in Syria

While Washington warns the Syrian forces’ use of chemical weapons would be “a red line,” the violation of which would trigger military intervention, Damascus repeatedly stressed “even if we had such weapons, we would not use them,” and alleged the rebels might use chemical bombs against civilians to frame the government.

Erdoğan’s Dilemma—Zionists’ Stooge In Syria, Their Critic In Egypt

[He has evidence?  So What?  Just write it off like the Mavi Marmara apology.  Just more Israeli lies.  Erdogan is merely another Sayanim puppet with a very big mouth.]

Turkey has evidence that Israel was behind Egypt coup: Erdoğan



Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. DHA photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. DHA photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has claimed that Israel was behind the July 3 military coup in Egypt, adding that Ankara has evidence as to the country’s involvement in President Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow.

“Now the West starts to say democracy is not the ballot box or not only the box but we know that the ballot box is the people’s will,” Erdoğan said Aug. 20 at an expanded meeting of the provincial chairs of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The prime minister criticized Western countries’ stance vis-à-vis Egypt’s coup, saying, “The West should [understand] the description of democracy, they need to learn it.”

“This is what has been implemented in Egypt. Who is behind this? Israel. We have evidence,” the prime minister said, citing a meeting between an intellectual and the justice minister in France before the 2011 elections.

Erdoğan said the intellectual was Jewish. “‘The Muslim Brotherhood will not be in power even if they win the elections. Because democracy is not the ballot box’: This is what he said at that time,” Erdoğan said.

“Nobody can say the word ‘dictator’ where dictatorship exists. They hang [such people] as they do in Egypt,” Erdoğan said. “Those who want to see a dictator must look at Egypt.”

Erdoğan also criticized Gulf countries that have provided financial aid to Egypt’s military government, asking them whether they had ever given such support to African Muslim countries.

“We know that there are rich people in the Islamic world, but we also know that there are poor people in need of alms. It is those rich of the Islamic world who have supported dictators,” he said.

Did Egypt Police Execute 36 Islamist Prisoners To Prevent Their Escape?

Egypt police say 36 dead Islamist prisoners died from tear gas

 daily news egypt    

“Thirty-six of the prisoners died of suffocation and crowding after tear gas was used to stop their escape,” the ministry said

Police surrounds Rabaa (Photo by Ahmed AlMalky/DNE)

Egyptian Police surrounds Rabaa (File Photo/DNE)

AFP –  Thirty-six Egyptian Islamist prisoners killed on Sunday during an attempted prison break died after suffocating on tear gas, the interior ministry said in a statement.

“Thirty-six of the prisoners died of suffocation and crowding after tear gas was used to stop their escape,” the ministry said.

The official MENA news  agency reported that “unknown gunmen” had tried to aid the prisoners, who kidnapped a police officer.

Earlier, the interior ministry said the inmates rioted while they were being transferred to the north Cairo prison of Abu Zaabal, and that police were “dealing with the situation”.

The Brotherhood-led Anti-Coup Alliance, which is pressing for the reinstatement of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, accused police of killing the prisoners as they were being moved.

“The Anti-Coup Alliance obtained evidence of the assassination of at least 38 anti-coup detainees in a truck transferring them to Abu Zaabal prison today,” the group said in a statement.

“They were reportedly assassinated in their truck with live ammunition and tear gas fired from windows.”

A MENA said later that trucks carrying 612 prisoners came under attack by armed men, and “a number of prisoners” were killed in ensuing clashes.

Police and the military sent reinforcements around the prison, the news agency reported.

The Sniper-Killing of Seventeen-year-old Asma el-Beltagi, Daughter of MB Leader

Egypt: Grief of Muslim Brotherhood leader’s family at death of teenage daughter

the telegraph

Seventeen-year-old Asma el-Beltagi should have had the brightest of futures. She was top of her class in school, had a reputation as a gentle and intelligent young woman, and was loved as the daughter of one of Egypt’s first ever democratically elected leaders.

Asmaa el Beltagy

Seventeen-year-old Asma el-Beltagi was loved as the daughter, Mohammed al-Beltagi, of one of Egypt’s first ever democratically elected leaders.

This video shows how snipers shot and killed MB Leader’s daughter, Asma el-Beltagi. Very tragic scene.

Riyadh Dares To Warn the West

Saudi warns against pressurising Egyptian military over Islamist crackdown

daily star        Firat-news

File - Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal attends an emergency meeting with Arab League foreign ministers, at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, to discuss the political situation in Syria on April 26, 2012. (AFP PHOTO/KHALED DESOUKI)
File – Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal attends an emergency meeting with Arab League foreign ministers, at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, to discuss the political situation in Syria on April 26, 2012. (AFP PHOTO/KHALED DESOUKI)

PARIS: Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned the West against putting pressure on Egypt’s military-backed government to halt a crackdown on supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

“We will not achieve anything through threats,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, told reporters through an interpreter during a visit to Paris.

The Saudi official made his comments after meeting French President Francois Hollande, who on Thursday called for a swift end to a state of emergency imposed by Egypt’s military authorities.

EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels this week to review what steps to take following a bloody crackdown since Wednesday on supporters of Mursi, deposed by the military on July 3. More than 800 people have died in the violence.

The United States sharply criticised the violence and cancelled jointed military exercises with is ally that had been due next month. But Washington has not cut its $1.3 billion in military aid and about $250 million in economic aid to Egypt.

Riyadh was a close ally of Egypt’s former leader Hosni Mubarak, toppled by a popular uprising in 2011 that brought Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood to power, and has long feared the spread of the Islamist group’s ideology to the Gulf monarchies.

On Friday, Saudi King Abdullah called on Arabs to stand together against “attempts to destabilise” Egypt, in a message of support for Egypt’s military and clear attack on the Brotherhood.

Kurdish fighters went to Syria to fight Assad but were used by al-Nusra and ISIS to fight Kurdish militias

Kurdish fighters went to Syria to fight Assad but were used by al-Nusra and ISIS to fight Kurdish militias




Scores of young Kurdish fighters from Iraqi Kurdistan, Sulaimaniyah province, went to Syria to fight the Assad regime recently as the fighting between the Assad forces and rebels intensified. However they found themselves fighting a different force, one of their own ethnic group and language, the YPG (People’s Protection Units), this is according to an interview by the Sterk TV with three young Kurdish fighters who claimed they laid down their weapons when coming in contact with Kurdish-speaking forces on the confrontation lines. The fighters are in YPG detention now.



All the Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria through Turkey using their Iraqi passports. One of the three fighters appearing in the video says he entered Syria through Tal Abyad where he joined the Faruk Brigade and was given a gun and sent to the battle ground.



“They told us that the TV report that there was a battle near Tal Tamar between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Assad regime.  It was about 12 midnight we went to this village near Tal Tamar where we stayed in a room until morning, about 7 or 8 am when there was gunfire. There we found out they were Kurds and we laid down our weapons because we came here to fight Bashar Assad not Kurds”



Another one of the young men says “we came here to liberate the Syrian people form Bashar Assad regime including the Kurds who are part of Syria.. But when we came here they [al-Nusra and ISIS] did not tell us where you are, Ras al-Ain…. there are Kurds, they said there were Bashar Assad regime [forces]. And when we went they told us that we were going to fight against Bashar Assad forces. It was about 12 midnight when we went there to fight, I called on my Kurdish friends in Kurdish and they [al-Nusra and ISIS] told me ‘don’t speak Kurdish”

Leb. Authorities Arrest Four-Member Gang for Beirut Car-Bombs

Four-Member Gang Confesses Attempts to Detonate Naameh, Other Booby-Trapped Cars


إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية


At least three people detained by the General Security Directorate confessed that they were planning to detonate a booby-trapped car found in Naameh neighborhood in South of Lebanon in another location.

Information obtained by Naharnet on Sunday showed that the confessions of the car-bombing ring helped the security agencies seize the car parked in Naameh neighborhood.

The members of the network revealed that the car, which was rigged with explosives, was set to be detonated in another area.

Saturday afternoon security agencies seized a car filled with 250 kilograms of explosives near the municipality building in Naameh.

The Audi car carrying fake license plate numbers contained five barrels of TNT, explosive material, fuses and detonators were found in the car along with a device to remotely detonated it.

The Lebanese army and Internal Security Forces swiftly cordoned off the area.

The state-run National News Agency later reported that the gang, which is formed of four members, confessed that they belong to a network which was planning to detonate several cars across Lebanon.

Later on Sunday, the ISF announced that among the seized material from the explosive-laden car were “five kilograms of an unknown explosive substance” and that a lab test was underway.

If The Rumor Is True, Then Where Did Obama Siphon the $8Billion To Bribe Muslim Brotherhood?

[SEE: Does Jailed Brotherhood leader have goods on Obama? ]


Secret $8 billion deal between Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood?

Below is a summary of the video in Arabic that reveals an agreement made between Barack Obama and Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, to give 40% of Sinai to Hamas in exchange for $8 billion has already been paid to Morsi by Obama.No wonder Obama is asking the Egyptian Army to release Morsi: Obama has asked for the release mohamed-morsi

• SECRET agreement between the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood (not the Egyptian government) to give 40% of the Sinai and the annexation of that part of Egyptian territory in Gaza. The objective is to facilitate the conclusion of a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians

• This agreement was signed by Khairat el Shater (number 2 of the Brotherhood) by Morsi and the Supreme Guide of the Mulsim Brotherhood.

• A sum of U.S. $ 8 billion was paid in exchange for the land.

• An investigation is ongoing Morsi and El Shater. An arrest warrant was filed against the Guide to MB and other members of his office.

• MB signatories to the agreement are liable to the death penalty for treason.

• The Obama administration would try to reach an agreement with El Sissi (Defense Minister): recognition of the legitimacy of the “coup” in exchange for his silence about the secret agreement. But El Sissi would be more interested in the conviction of MB and discredit their organization which is Egypt’s main source of danger.

• The Republican members of Congress are seriously looking into the case. If proven, the process of Obama impeachment could be triggered.


Muslim Brotherhood’s Indictment of Obama’s Double-Standards and Western Hypocrisy

The Ideological Issues—Contradictions of Western Democracy

ikhwan web

June 13,2007


The incidents revealed that democracy, freedom and human rights and all other values propagated by the West and The United States boded them, are a tool for achieving Western and US interests without any real impartiality or fairness.



 If democracy brings in US and Western agents, it will be welcomed and praised, and if it brought freemen who oppose Western and US plans, it would be considered illegitimate, to reveal the ideological hypocrisy of the Western civilization, and it can be considered an indication on a beginning for its certain retreat, and its imminent collapse .



Double Standards


Applying international rules related to rights faces in general two different models:


First: Those abusing rights of and committing crimes against Muslims aren”t held accountable.


Second: Those who resist and defend their rights are treated as war criminals.


The Muslim Brotherhood considers this situation as an epitome of the backwardness in the international system; therefore, it called for starting corrective measures that bring in independence and end surrender.


It is clear that the US administration violates human rights, through denying access of international organizations like the Red Cross to contact detainees in secret prisons which have been recently unveiled or in well-known detention camps like “Guantanamo” in Cuba or in prisons of some Arab countries where opponents are detained, like: Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Syria.



In this context, the Muslim Brotherhood criticized policy of torture that the countries exercise against its citizens or against others, and also operations and forms of human rights violation like detentions, provisional detentions, emergency trials and court-martials against civilians .






Concerning providing freedom, the Muslim Brotherhood demanded international human rights organizations and agencies carry out their role in preventing and hunting all human rights violations. In this regard, the Muslim Brotherhood pointed to multiple forms of human rights violations in Muslim states, committed with a US nod, foremost among which are violating human rights principles, international charters, sealing privately owned companies and institutions in a battle seemingly launched to lead to starvation and displacement of families.


The Muslim Brotherhood sees that tyranny, violating human rights and the countries rudeness towards Muslim peoples are attributed to these peoples” weakness.



The Muslim Brotherhood called for releasing media men kidnapped by militant groups, regardless of their religious affiliation or their political situations, because this may lead to losing freedom of expression and reducing chances of fighting and revealing corruption .



Pillars of a Regime



In this regard, the Muslim Brotherhood considers that Islam presents general rule principles which can deal with the problems that the society faces, like unemployment, inflation, housing, price hikes, collapse of manners and drugs and other problems; the most prominent of these principles are:



1- Preparing and forming a Muslim individual who observes Muslim conscience and morals to be an effective element in building facilities.


2- Reforming the country in media, educational, economic, social and political perspectives.


3- Depending on Islamic reference as a basis.



New Imperial Project



The Muslim Brotherhood thinks that the imperial project aims at destroying the nation”s identity, constants and its material, spiritual and scientific heritage, and it also aims at destroying its present, and monopolizes its future, so as to make it remain subordinate.


Despite the fierceness of the campaign and the huge capabilities provided for the project, there are indications that it has considerably retreated, specially under Anglo-American occupation inability to achieve stability and democracy in Iraq, on the contrary, it demolished the Iraqi state”s pillars, infrastructure and scientific capabilities, and it looted its oil wealth, and destroyed its human wealth .



The Western Civilization



The Muslim Brotherhood thinks that the problem of the Western civilization lies in the fact that it includes aggressive anti-Islam elements proved in the imperial conduct of the Western countries during the 19th and 20th centuries; it is a civilization which is miles away from Christianity, and it was based on non-forgiveness, intolerance and hate; the Western countries desire to dominate over other peoples revealed their aggressive nature.


To confront the Western and US domination, the Muslim Brotherhood thinks that fighting domination requires adopting several factors, including:


1- Spreading Islamic concepts that reject submission to humiliation, and incite to fighting it, and to be on to rise to support the oppressed.


2- Reviving the will of liberation and independence in the peoples, and sowing the spirit of resistance.


3- Supporting Hamas government with all spiritual and material and with experience; to spare the Palestinian people”s need for Western countries which are biased against its freedom and interests.


4- Forming an international relation and a public opinion that fights injustice and seeks establishing rights, justice and peace in the world.


5- Activating the economic boycott against imperialist states, and also boycotting their cultural production.


6- Achieving political, economic and social internal reform, and removing the food and technological gaps with imperialist states.


7- Working on correcting the image of Islam among Westerners, and clarify the truth of our fair causes, and removing the deformed image about Islam and Muslims.


8- Spreading popular movements in Europe and South America opposing US domination.



The Muslim Brotherhood reached a number of recommendations, hoping that the popular powers will cooperate to transfer them to agendas that help in getting rid of the status quo of subordination and tyranny:



First: The need for establishing a popular Arab strategy to face the US and Zionist strategy; and to support the legitimate resistance.



Second: We need a resistance strategy that activates civil and Popular Movements to activate the economic boycott against occupiers, and to open popular subscriptions to support resistance and our occupation-afflicted brothers.



Resistance Right



The Muslim Brotherhood considers that resisting foreign occupation is a main right for peoples and individuals, regardless of the doctrinal differences.


It was very strange to face passive attitudes from Arab governments towards the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance, as they described their activities as risks, but as the situations changed to the favour of the resistance, this attitude changed, thereby showing a need for a distinguished kind of leaders and rules who can realize and estimate the seriousness of the historical circumstances that they face, and rise to the level of a ability to achievement.



Islamic Unity



With the recurrent fuss about doctrinal differences between Sunnis and Shiites, the Muslim Brotherhood considered that doctrinal differences in Islam don”t ban support on the basis that we are Muslims.


The Muslim Brotherhood mentioned that the Ga”fari Shiites are a group of Muslim communities, and there is a consensus on principles of doctrine, worship and manners, and they account for the great majority world”s Shiites, and if there is an amount of disagreement in ideology and opinions on a historical basis, this does not bring them outside the framework of Islam, and hence they brothers in the religion.


The 1940s witnessed an attempt to bring closer Islamic doctrines between the Sunnis and the Shiites; this was with the participation of Imam Hassan Al Banna- may Allah have mercy on him.


If some cite the doctrinal conflict in Iraq between the Sunnis and the Shiites to prove that there is a disagreement on a doctrinal basis, but this another matter attributed to historic actions of the ex-Iraqi regime and its negative attitude towards the Shiites and its aggression on Iran, in addition to Western and Zionist intelligence that seek to escalate the conflict and dismember Iraq.



The Islamic Awakening



The Muslim Brotherhood considers that the awakening of Islamists, based on a comprehensive cultural view of Islam and its moderate method, are one of the sources of strength to face the Western project that aims to attack the Nation.


Thus, the awakening of this Nation is not just a rejection of an injustice afflicting it, or a resistance to a flagrant aggression against it, but it is that it possesses its project which is based on its religion, and is consistent with its identity.


Pak Govt Wimps Out—No Execution of TTP Murderers

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday ordered a temporary stay of executions following objections from the president and rights groups, days before they were due to resume after a five-year moratorium.

The new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in June scrapped the moratorium on the death penalty in a bid to crack down on criminals and Islamist militants in the violence-torn country.

But on Sunday the government announced that executions, which had been scheduled to begin this week, would be stayed temporarily following objections from outgoing President Asif Ali Zardari.

The stay would last until Zardari returns from abroad to discuss the matter with Sharif, a statement said.

“In due deference to the wish of the president, it has been desired that all executions of death sentences may be held in abeyance till the discussion takes place,” it said.

Zardari steps down on September 8, to be replaced by businessman Mamnoon Hussain, a close Sharif ally who was elected in July.

Pakistan had intended to hang two convicted killers from banned sectarian outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) this Wednesday or Thursday in the southern town of Sukkur, officials had said.

Other prisoners on death row had also expected to be executed this week.

LeJ, one of the most feared extremist groups in Pakistan, has been accused of killing thousands of Shiite Muslims. It has close links to the Pakistani Taliban, which has waged an insurgency since 2007.

Taliban militants have said they will consider the executions of any of its prisoners a declaration of war.

Does Muslim Brotherhood Leader Have Proof That Exposes Obama’s Use of “Al-CIA-da”?

Does Jailed Brotherhood leader have goods on Obama?

The Obama administration’s call for the release of Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt is inexplicable. The trip to Egypt by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), during which they called for the same thing is even more inexplicable, especially since both men are demanding answers in Benghazi. Yes, we know Obama’s leanings but why the rush to release these prisoners and not shine a spotlight on them? If the details of an interview with the son of one of those imprisoned leaders is any indication, we may be getting closer to answering that question.

Saad Al-Shater: My father has the goods on Obama

Saad Al-Shater: My father has the goods on Obama

We caution that the following be taken with a grain of salt but considering who said it, we thought it newsworthy too. Here is a direct translation of the key points, followed by some analysis:

In an interview with the Anatolia News Agency, Saad Al-Shater, the son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader, the detained Khairat Al-Shater, said that his father had in his hand evidence that will land the head of United States of America, president Obama, in prison. He stressed that the senior U.S. delegation currently visiting Egypt, knows full well that the fate, future, interests and reputation of their country is in the hands of his father, and they know that he owns the information, documents and recordings that incriminate and would condemn their country. Such documents, he says, were placed in the hands of people who were entrusted inside and outside Egypt, and that the release of his father is the only way for them to prevent a great catastrophe. He stated that a warning was sent threatening to show how the U.S. administration was directly connected. The evidence was sent through intermediaries which caused them to change their attitude and corrected their position and that they have taken serious steps to prove good faith. Saad also said that his father’s safety is more important to the Americans than is the safety of Mohammed Mursi. [emphasis ours]

Khairat Al-Shater: Does he have the goods on Obama

Khairat Al-Shater: Does he have the goods on Obama

That this interview happened and the younger Al-Shater made these claims is backed up by at least six Arabic sources.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

When Saad’s comments are viewed in the context of the bizarre behavior of U.S. officials, it provides the best explanation to date for extremely irrational and inexplicable behavior of those officials.

First, the interview with Saad was dated August 7, 2013. The reference made to “senior U.S. delegation currently visiting Egypt” is presumably a reference to McCain, Graham, and Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns. During that trip, McCain and Graham both called for the release of Muslim Brotherhood leaders with McCain making news by calling Mursi’s ouster a “coup”. Graham suggested that Egypt was “looking into the abyss” and then suggested releasing Brotherhood leaders was the path away from it (huh?). In an interview with CNN, McCain named Al-Shater specifically when asked about individuals that could negotiate a future Egyptian government.

McCain and Graham: Schizophrenia or self-preservation?

McCain and Graham: Schizophrenia or self-preservation?

In what may be an effort to play both sides of the fence, Graham was one of eight Congressional Republicans who sent a letter to incoming FBI Director James Comey, just days before Graham went to Egypt. That letter demanded more answers over what happened in Benghazi. Such a demand, coupled with his call for the release of individuals who, probable cause suggests, should be investigated over Benghazi is beyond curious; it’s schizophrenic.

The two Senators were clearly throwing bones to the Brotherhood. Such behavior makes no sense. It would, however, if Saad Al-Shater is telling the truth; it would also eliminate schizophrenia as a cause.

Second, how about Saad’s claim that his father’s safety is more important to the Americans than is the safety of Mursi? This is where we’d like to introduce Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns. While Graham and McCain were busy sucking up to the Brotherhood in Egypt, Burns visited one of its leaders in prison.

Bill Burns: Met with Khairat Al-Shater for 90 Minutes

Bill Burns: Met with Khairat Al-Shater for 90 Minutes

He didn’t visit Mursi; Burns visited Al-Shater. Reports put that visit at about 90 minutes, despite attempts by both parties to play the visit down. As we reported in EXHIBIT A-1 of Addendum A, Al-Shater is implicated in weapons trafficking through the Sinai and into Gaza as well as negotiating prisoner releases in exchange for terrorists. He has also been jailed multiple times.

Again, why would the United States’ #2 diplomat traipse over to Egypt to talk with a jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader? And why Al-Shater? We can’t answer those questions but we can say that Saad Al-Shater’s alleged charges make more sense than the behavior of U.S. officials.

Of course, State Department ventriloquist dummy Jen Psaki called for the release of Mursi last month:

**UPDATE on August 13, 2013 at 6:30pm EST**
We’ve received feedback from more than one person who doesn’t like our including the “take it with a grain of salt” line in this post. Just to clarify… We have no doubt that Saad Al-Shater interviewed with Anatolia News Agency and said what he said. In fact, that’s the main reason we decided to post about it. We’re simply cautious when relying on the veracity of a witness who happens to be the son of a terrorist and who supports his father’s ideology. We stand by the sourcing.

Saudi King Openly Supports the Murderous Crushing of Democracy In Egypt

[The fat old camel-herder actually came-out and admitted the obvious (SEE:  Saudi King Abdullah Owns the War Crimes Being Committed By Gen. al-Sisi).  Now what is Obama to do?  By publicly embracing the idea of crushing Middle Eastern democratic activism with bullets and clubs, even though it has cost hundreds of lives wherever the Saudi solution has been enacted, Abdullah is openly promoting dictatorship over democracy.  Everything that Washington does is wrapped-up in an American flag and called “Democracy.”  If we allow the Saudi totalitarian model to prevail over the “Democratic” model then we embrace our own destruction and lose all reason and pretense for further foreign aggressions.  With no excuse to “help,” nations to “embrace democracy,” the Pentagon plans for eternal “humanitarian wars” go down the drain.  Obama was sure that his Arab friends would handle the Syrian and Greater Middle East operations for him, when all they did was to divide it all up between themselves.  When the Saudis were given the “green light” to sabotage the Qataran “Islamist” solutions to everything, I am certain that Obama didn’t have a clue that the Saudis would sabotage his entire Middle East project.  Obama thought that he was gaining control of his Middle Eastern hands, but all he accomplished by giving the Saudis control of both hands, was that his right hand chopped-off his left.] 

Saudi king backs Egypt’s military


King Abdullah calls on Arabs to stand together against “attempts to destabilise” Egypt.


………………Eat me, Obama!………………………… 

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has called on Arabs to stand together against “attempts to destabilise” Egypt.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its people and government stood and stands by today with its brothers in Egypt against terrorism,” he said in a statement read on state TV on Friday, backing Egypt’s military leadership.

“I call on the honest men of Egypt and the Arab and Muslim nations … to stand as one man and with one heart in the face of attempts to destabilise a country that is at the forefront of Arab and Muslim history,” he added.

He also said that they are confident that Egypt will recover.

Saudi Arabia was a close ally of former president Hosni Mubarak and has historically had a difficult relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood.

It pledged $5 billion in aid to Egypt after Mohammed Morsi of the Brotherhood was ousted from the presidency last month.

India Facing the Facts On the “Indian Mujahideen”

Will the real Mujahideen please stand up?

Arun Mohan Sukumar


Far from brushing IM’s existence under the carpet, as Ashish Khetan claims, law enforcement agencies have used it as a front to prosecute innocent persons

During the 1950s, the American network CBS hosted a prime-time game show called “To Tell the Truth.” The show’s panel had to correctly identify a reclusive celebrity from a group of three. They could question the group — rules of the game required the impostors to fabricate their response and the real character to tell nothing but the truth. The identity of the person was finally revealed when the game show host asked, rather dramatically, “Will the real ‘X’ please stand up?”

Ashish Khetan would have us believe the Indian Mujahideen has simply stood up in response to police interrogation.

In fact, the IM has been crying itself hoarse to be identified, he says. But the police always picked the wrong “contestants”, i.e. innocent Muslims, to blame for last decade’s terror attacks. Now that they have committed this grievous and embarrassing error, enforcement agencies have sought to brush the IM’s existence under the carpet, writes Mr. Khetan. He wants the Muslim community to “confront” the fact that the IM is for real, and possibly at large.

I’m not Muslim — thus not among Mr. Khetan’s target audience (“Why Muslims should confront the IM”, July 31) — but I have no problems confronting this “reality”. On the one hand, it shocks my liberal sensitivities that State Anti-Terrorism Squads, barking up the wrong tree, have relied on confessions extracted under coercion. On the other, I can rest assured there are some rotten apples out there intent on waging war against the Indian state — after all, bombs don’t go off by themselves. If the debate on Indian Mujahideen is between those who seem cocksure of its operations and those who question its very existence, Mr. Khetan’s version lets me choose the best of both worlds.

But this middle ground is nothing to take comfort in. Muslim men have been wrongfully arrested and prosecuted precisely on account of their alleged affiliation to “terror outfits”. Far from keeping the existence of the Indian Mujahideen under wraps, as Mr. Khetan claims, the state has used it as a front to apprehend and prosecute innocent persons. Courts, too, have wrongly convicted Muslims given the Mujahideen tag. Under these circumstances, Mr. Khetan wants us to make a leap of faith when he says the Mujahideen exists. Why would Muslims buy his argument if doing so means more innocent individuals being picked up and harassed?

Mr. Khetan’s own investigation confirms this apprehension. Himayat Baig, whom the Maharashtra ATS and the media blatantly touted as an IM operative, was handed down a death sentence by a Pune court earlier in April. The petitions Mr. Khetan has filed before the Bombay and Allahabad High Courts, which draw on his investigation, claim Baig was erroneously convicted.

Take also the Delhi sessions court ruling in the Batla House encounter. Last month, the court convicted Shahzad Ahmad, an alleged militant caught pursuant to the encounter, for the murder of Mohan Chand Sharma, the police officer who led it. Popular narrative deduced two things from this verdict: first, that the encounter itself was genuine, and second, that the convict belonged to the IM, as the Delhi Police claimed. Both assertions may indeed be proven true in times to come, but the disappointing Sessions Court verdict does little to prove either conclusively. Shahzad Ahmad has been convicted on the basis of evidence supplied by police officers involved in the encounter. Depositions by “eye-witnesses” — all six of them cops — have not been corroborated. The police apparently did not “involve” local residents (mostly Muslims) during the prosecution for fear of stirring “communal violence”. Without even gently demurring at these outrageous claims, the court has simply noted it is tough to get public testimony.

Even the Sessions Court, which has bought the Delhi Police’s version of the encounter hook, line and sinker, has admitted “there is no evidence” to conclude Shahzad Ahmed was part of the Indian Mujahideen. But this “hardly matters” to the case, the Court has held. The lack of evidence on Shahzad Ahmed’s role in the IM reflects poorly on the Delhi Police’s case that the Mujahideen was responsible for the 2008 Sarojini Nagar blasts.

The Pune blasts and the Batla House encounter cases show how courts are inclined to adopt a less rigorous set of standards for suspects once they are billed as part of the Indian Mujahideen. So far, this problem was confined to enforcement agencies. But now courts of law too have begun to tap into popular discourse about the IM without giving due weightage to evidence.

Responsible policymakers have encouraged this narrative. Mr. Khetan suggests many SIMI activists were falsely implicated in the 2008 Jaipur blasts case. Their arrests have not been questioned, thanks to a now-accepted discourse that the SIMI, a proscribed organisation, has morphed into the IM. The then Home Minister P. Chidambaram suggested in 2011 that, “Many old cadres of the banned SIMI have transformed into IM cadres.” The Minister surely would have been briefed on the IRs Mr. Khetan now has — why did he forgo the space for a nuanced intervention to acknowledge false arrests, while confirming the IM’s schemes?

The ugly political reality is that Muslims acknowledging the IM does little to single out “bad” ones in their midst, while ensuring a good many continue to be apprehended on this pretext. If journalists privy to intelligence reports had insisted on credible evidence before publishing their findings ahead of terror trials, public discourse and judicial pronouncements on the IM would have been better served. To disclose another set of confidential information and expect Muslims to ‘out’ the Indian Mujahideen is facetious.

‘No friends but the mountains’—Washington seeks to ensnare Kurds

‘No friends but the mountains’: Washington seeks to ensnare Kurds


Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a sociologist, award-winning author and geopolitical analyst.

A Syrian Kurdish refugee woman from the Sheikh Maqsud district of Aleppo (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

A Syrian Kurdish refugee woman from the Sheikh Maqsud district of Aleppo (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

The targeting of Kurdish civilians in Syria by US-supported armed thugs is part of a deliberate attempt to galvanize the Kurds and pit them in a resurgent struggle against the non-Kurd regions.

The Kurdish Democratic Union Party and other sources are now reporting that Kurdish men, women, and children are systematically being tortured, raped, and executed. Fighting has broken out between Syrian Kurds and the insurgent forces supported by the US, UK, France, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Iranian Parliament have condemned the targeting of Syrian Kurds while the Obama Administration and its cohorts have remained mostly silent. Lavrov’s insistence that the United Nations Security Council condemns the violence has also been to no avail.

One of the reasons that the Obama Administration has been silent is because they are supporting the butchers behind the massacre and are trying to avoid more embarrassment. The US and its allies, however, will make supportive noise for the Kurds once they get the result they are seeking.

Caught in the crossfire of geopolitical games

The geopolitical importance of the Kurds lies in their geography. Kurdistan sits at the heart of the contemporary Middle East. The mountainous region intersects the boundaries of Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Armenia. Its position makes it the main point of convergence in the Middle East. This has distinguished Kurdistan as a place where regional rivalries and intrigues are played out. It also means that Kurdistan can be used to create upheaval and instability in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran.

The contemporary states of the Middle East have all used the Kurds in their rivalries against one another. Time and time again, however, the Kurds have been manipulated in the geopolitical calculi of the Middle East. They have regularly found themselves to be expendable and effectively dropped as partners by those players that their leaders made ill-conceived alliances with. In the past this took place during the centuries-long conflict between the Ottoman and Iranian Empires. Kurdish chieftains proved to be especially decisive in ensuring an Ottoman victory in the Battle of Chaldiran against the Safavids in 1514. Centuries later, Kurdish militias would be recruited by the Ottoman government in its hostilities with the Armenians of Anatolia in the 1890s, only for Kurdish leaders to mistakenly side with the British and face the wrath of the newborn Republic of Turkey. They would incidentally be betrayed by the British in Iraq a few decades later. The Kurds have been oppressed in Turkey ever since.


Relatives visit a Syrian Kurdish man who was injured during an airstrike on the majority-Kurdish Sheikh Maqsud district of the northern city of Aleppo (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

Relatives visit a Syrian Kurdish man who was injured during an airstrike on the majority-Kurdish Sheikh Maqsud district of the northern city of Aleppo (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

Mohammed-Reza Shah supported the Iraqi Kurds against the Iraqi government until 1975. When he received the concessions he wanted over control of the Shatt Al-Arab from Baghdad, he ended his support of the Iraqi Kurds, leaving them to face the Iraqi military. The alliance between Tehran and the Iraqi Kurds would only be rekindled during the Iran-Iraq War and after the Shah was ousted.

The Israelis, on the other hand, became interested in the Kurds as part of their policy of forming alliances with ethnic groups, such as the Berbers, who live in the sea of Arabs stretching from Morocco to Iraq. Tel Aviv has used Iraqi Kurdistan as a regional base against friends, such as Turkey, and foes, such as Iran and Syria. Yet, Israel has never hesitated to drop the Kurds either.

Using their contacts with the Kurds, it was Tel Aviv that helped the Turkish government capture the Kurdish guerilla leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Turkey in the last decade has slowly loosened its repressive policies against the Kurds as part of its neo-Ottoman bid to expand its economic and political influence in the Middle East. Ankara’s government has even instigated the Iraqi Kurds to clash with the Iraqi federal government, whereas it has been unsuccessful in its attempts to entice the Syrian Kurds into its orbit. It is even alleged that Prime Minister Erodogan had devised a Turkish-Kurdish federation of some sort that would eventually incorporate Iraqi Kurdistan and Syrian Kurdistan with Turkey.

The US government has constantly changed its position on the Kurds. In coordination with the Shah of Iran, Washington actually armed the Iraqi Kurds and led them on. The moment that the Shah got his concessions, the US dropped the Iraqi Kurds by ending its support. The US then started to support Saddam Hussein against the Iraqi Kurds and, under the guise of giving agricultural credits, effectively armed him with the chemical weapons that he used against them and Iran. After America turned its back on Saddam Hussein, the US pushed the Kurds to rebel against Baghdad, only to abandon them once more by leaving them during their hour of need in a position of deadlock. The US and UK would go on to use the Kurds as a convenient excuse for establishing their illegal no-fly zones over Iraq and later to support their invasion in 2003.

Ironically, while Washington condemned Saddam Hussein for mistreating the Kurds, it actually supported and helped the Turkish government against the Kurds in both Turkey and Iraq. Now the Obama Administration is mutely trying to manipulate the Kurds, in Syria and elsewhere, into destabilizing Syria and the Middle East.


A Syrian Kurdish refugee from the majority-Kurdish Sheikh Maqsud district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, holds her baby in a school used as a refugee camp in the northern city of Afrin (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

A Syrian Kurdish refugee from the majority-Kurdish Sheikh Maqsud district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, holds her baby in a school used as a refugee camp in the northern city of Afrin (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

Militarizing the Kurds to Fragment Syria

When the troubles in Syria began in 2011, there was an attempt to recruit the Syrian Kurds. The Syrian Kurds were cautious and the recruitment attempts failed. Despite the best attempts of the Syrian National Council and the other puppet opposition groups outside of Syria, the Syrian Kurds were not drawn into the ranks of the insurgency. Instead the Syrian government gave the Kurds a new level of autonomy.

The systematic massacres of Syrian Kurds mark the start of a new strategy to entangle the Kurds in the fighting inside Syria. The targeting of the Syrian Kurds by insurgent groups like Al-Nusra is premeditated and strategically executed precisely with the intention of galvanizing the Kurds in Syria and elsewhere into forming more armed groups and segregating themselves from non-Kurds. In what looks like the momentum towards a broader regional conflagration, the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan have also threatened to intervene.

There is actually an old and saturnine proverb which is linked to what is happening and, at the same time, speaks to the memory of the Kurdish people about their perception of a tragic history.

The proverb avers that the Kurds have no friends except for the mountains. The most important thing about this proverb is that it is the axiom for what has been a mentality of besiegement among the Kurds: they have no one to rely on but themselves. This is exactly what the mandarins and strategists conducting the operations against Syria want to exploit the Kurds to feel; they want the Kurds to “have no friends except for the mountains” and to “fight the rest.”  The Arabs, the Turks, and the mixture of ethnic groups that comprise the population of Iran are “the rest.”

While Israeli and US analysts and experts keep parroting the same propaganda talking points that Syria will be divided into sectarian mini-states based on faith and ethnicity, the Syrians themselves are refuting this. What these experts are saying will happen is a goal that Washington and Tel Aviv are in fact struggling to achieve in Syria. In this context, the ultimate aim of dragging the Kurds into fighting is to divide Syria and fragment the Middle East via resurgent and militant Kurdish ethno-nationalism that shouts that the Kurds have no friends. The Kurds should not be fooled into becoming the cannon fodder of those who seek to divide the Middle East.

They have more friends than just the mountains. Kurdish history, like the history of the world’s other peoples, is one filled with both tragedy and exultation. The long story of the Kurds has not been one of exclusion and discrimination alone. It has been one of inclusion and regional leadership too. It says something when the great eagle that is on Egypt’s flag and used as a pan-Arab symbol and coat of arms by a number of different Arab states is the emblem of the great Kurdish leader Saladin and that many of the Middle East’s leaders have been Kurds.

Today the CIA Reveals Area 51—What’s Next, “Project Blue Beam”?


Two Reuters Reports On Tunisian “Neutral Cabinet” Contradict Each Other—What’s Up With That?

[The Gulf Times report carries a Reuters tag, yet it is dated before the actual Reuters report.  A search on several different search engines yields no link to an earlier Reuters “Calls For Neutral Cabinet” report, so what is up?]

Tunisian Islamist leader calls for neutral cabinet

Reuters/Tunis, August 14, 2013

The secretary general of Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party said yesterday that he favoured a non-partisan cabinet, in what may be a significant concession to the secular opposition after weeks of anti-government unrest.

Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the Islamist Ennahda movement, speaks during an intervew with a Reuters journalist in Tunis August 5, 2013. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Tunisia Islamist chief rejects demand for neutral government

 (Reuters) – Aug 15, 2013
The chairman of Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party rejected opposition demands for a non-party government on Thursday and said the experience of Egypt should prompt parties to engage in more dialogue to resolve the country’s crisis.



US Proxy Terrorist Force Executes 13 Punjabi Workers In Balochistan

[As an avid Baloch watcher, over the years I have compiled the following two maps at Google Map, marking countless attacks, most of them linked to the BLA (Baloch Liberation Army).] 

[My good friend Tariq Saeedi, editor of NewsCentralAsia, deserves Pakistan’s gratitude for his extensive investigative reports on the birth of the BLA, which were compiled by a team of international reporters at great personal risk (SEE:  Pakistan: Unveiling the Mystery of Balochistan Insurgency — Part One Pakistan: Unveiling the Mystery of Balochistan Insurgency — Part Two ).

This is the first time, to my knowledge, that the BLA has dispatched a force of 200 or more men for a Baloch terrorist operation.  This is very significant, since a renewed BLA offensive on this scale (actually a CIA/RAW operation) means that the Evil Empire is up to something big.  This is a diversionary attack by the forces of Imperialism, intended to distract the gaze of world opinion, while Bandar’s “Plan B” operation gets time to gain control over the Islamist forces in Syria and the Egyptian military takes control of the Muslim Brotherhood.  

The implication of this kind of attack at this time, upon Punjabi workers leaving Balochistan, by Imperialist proxies, is that it was one of those “tickling” attacks that the CIA is so proud of (SEE:  CIA HAS BEEN TICKLING PEOPLE TO DEATH FOR YEARS).  This attack was meant to provoke a retaliatory response from the Punjabi Taliban, a.k.a., TTP.  The timing of the attack also coincides with the announced Aug. 20 hanging date announced by the Pak govt for the first of three Punjabi Taliban (a.k.a., Lashkar e-Jhangvi) at Sukkur Central Prison.]

“The three Lashkar-i-Jhangvi terrorists are Attaullah, to be executed on Aug 20, Mohammad Azam on Aug 21 and Jalal on Aug 22.”

Carnage in Bolan; 13 shot dead

QUETTA, Aug 6:

Gunmen disguised as security personnel killed 11 civilians and two security men after kidnapping them from Punjab-bound passenger coaches near Machh Town in Bolan district, about 80km southeast of here, on Tuesday morning.

“About 200 armed men wearing uniform of Frontier Corps and Levies carried out the attack,” Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani said, adding that the militants had lined up the passengers in the mountains before killing them. Most of the victims were Punjabi labourers.

The coaches were coming from Quetta.

The banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the killings.

Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch condemned the killing and directed the authorities concerned to go after the perpetrators.

Officials confirmed the killing of two security personnel and said the other victims were civilians going to their hometowns of Rahimyar Khan, Sadiqabad, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Multan to celebrate Eid with their families.

According to sources, the militants first attacked an oil tanker carrying fuel for the Pakistan Air Force at a place near Machh town early on Tuesday morning. They engaged personnel of Levies, police and Frontier Corps deployed on the highway for security of vehicular traffic.

In the meantime, armed men set up a fake checkpost and started checking passenger buses coming from Quetta.

They stopped five buses at the checkpost and took away 21 passengers with them to nearby mountains. The sources said the armed men lined up 13 of the passengers after checking their identity cards and gunned them down. They released the other passengers, including six Levies personnel. The 13 bullet-riddled bodies were found in the mountains.

Security forces and local administration officials rushed to the site and the bodies were taken to the Machh District Hospital and later to the Civil Hospital Quetta.

“I brought 13 bodies to the Machh hospital,” Assistant Commissioner Kashif Nabi told Dawn. “The victims were hit from a close range in the head and chest,” sources in the Civil Hospital said. Some of them suffered multiple bullet wounds.

Bolan’s Deputy Commissioner Abdul Waheed Shah said the militants had attacked the oil tanker to engage security forces and set up their ‘checkpoint’ to kidnap passengers. One FC man was killed and the driver of a vehicle injured during an exchange of fire between security forces and the militants.

“Security forces are looking for the militants in the area,” Mr Shah said. Home Secretary Akbar Durrani told reporters that there would be a targeted operation and all resources would be used to capture the killers.

“The operation will cover a vest area,” Zubair Ahmed Kurd, a senior official of the local administration, said.

The 13 victims were identified as Ahmed, Shakeel Ahmed and Mohammad Bakhsh (from Sadiqabad), Mohammad Aslam, Saqib and Hawaldar Arshad (Rahimyar Khan), Shahid (Multan), Shakeel (Dera Ghazi Khan), Abdul Malik (Muzaffargarh), Mohammad Ashraf and Shaukat Ali (Faisalabad) and FC man Safeer Ahmed.

“We are labourers. My relative was going to Alipur village to celebrate Eid with the family but now I am receiving his body,” Mohammad Yousuf said in the Civil Hospital.

“I lost my brother and nephew,” said another man who declined to be identified. He said he worked in an optical shop. “Thanks God my two other relatives are safe, but I lost my bother and nephew.”

A spokesman for the BLA identifying himself as Mirack Baloch said their men had kidnapped and killed 13 people. Calling to journalists from a satellite phone, he said they had killed the passengers after checking their identity. He said 26 people had been kidnapped from different buses and 13 of them, including five Levies personnel, were freed after taking their official weapons.

But according to the officials, eight people escaped when the kidnappers were taking them to the mountains.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the killings and ordered arrest of the perpetrators.

Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai and Senior Minister Sardar Sanaullah Zehri also condemned the killings and said the elements involved in the inhuman act would be brought to justice.

This was the seventh such incident in Bolan.


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



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


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.

Jean Ziegler—Defending Humanity Against Zionist/Imperialist Aggression

[SEE:  Swiss Govt. Endures International opprobrium Over Pro-Hezbollah UN Watch Nominee]

Empire Of Shame—A Conversation With Jean Ziegler

Translated from the French By Siv O’Neall

19 December, 2005

Jean Ziegler, rapporteur at the UN (60.000 civil servants) on questions of food resources has just published a book translated in 14 languages: Empire of Shame (Editions Fayard).

In this 11 MB video [in French] … which corresponds to his recent interview on TV5 (Canadian television), Jean Ziegler presents his work. He explains why, at the time of the French revolution, the idea of providing enough food for all human beings on Earth was still a utopia, a dream, but how today that would be a technically possible thing. But it is impossible because of the way the wealth in the world is captured by a few people, whom he calls the Lords of the Economic War. Those people constitute a Feudal Order and their principal weapon is nothing other than the American military power, which operates from now on without the approval of the UN, without any control. The United States from now on uses torture and assassination as “a necessary thing” and they have withdrawn from the Geneva Conventions. The author announces that the nomination of Wolfowitz as the director of the World Bank is one more disaster, since, in the future, the World Bank, instead of trying to work towards justice, will put itself in the service of the most powerful.

Ziegler reminds us that Bush signed a decree that authorizes armed American commandos to operate outside of the USA while physically eliminating not just guilty people, but mere suspects. He talks about the New Barbarism and an “Organization of Hunger” in the service of the New World Order, murderous and absurd. Ziegler talks about the need for a moral insurrection.

The tone of this man is impressive. The interview on a [French-]Canadian television channel (TV5) took place during prime time.

Listen to what this man is saying, read his book, spread his message. It is your future as a human being that is at stake. (Gian Paolo Accardo)

The Complete Interview:

Jean Ziegler: “We are going towards a new feudalization of the world”

In his new book, ‘Empire of Shame’ (Editions Fayard), which was published on March 10, 2005, [Jean Ziegler], the subversive Geneva sociologist and intellectual – today serving as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food under the UN commission for human rights – moves on to attacking the “private transcontinental companies”. Accused [by Ziegler] of maintaining [3rd world] famine, of destroying nature and of subverting democracy, these corporations extend their influence over the world and they aim at the annihilation of the conquests of the Enlightenment. In order to resist them, we will have to return to the spirit of the French revolution and to stand up, the way president Lula da Silva in Brazil already does.

Your book is entitled Empire of Shame. What is this empire? Why “shame”? What is this shame?

Jean Ziegler: In the favelas (= shantytowns) in the north of Brazil, some mothers may, in the evening, put water in a pot and then put stones in it. They explain to their children who are crying because of hunger that “soon the meal will be ready…”, while hoping that meanwhile the children will fall asleep. Can one measure the shame felt by a mother facing her children who are tortured by hunger and whom she is unable to feed?

However the murderous order of the world – which kills 100,000 people every day from hunger and epidemics – does not only make the victims feel ashamed, but also us, Westerners, Whites, rulers, who are accomplices of this massacre, aware, informed and nevertheless silent, cowardly and paralyzed.

Empire of shame? It could be referring to the generalized impact of the feeling of shame caused by the inhumanity of the world order. What is actually implied here is the empire of the private transcontinental companies, directed by the cosmocrats. The 500 most powerful of these companies last year controlled 52 % of the gross world product, i.e. of the entire wealth produced on the planet.

In your book, you talk about a “structural violence”. What is the meaning of this?

Jean Ziegler: In the empire of shame, controlled by organized scarcity [of food and essentials], war is not sporadic any more, it is permanent. It is not any more a crisis, a pathology, but normality. It does not any more imply the eclipse of reason – as Horkheimer expressed it – it is the very raison d’être of the empire. The lords of the financial war have put the planet under the scalpel of organized economic destruction. They attack the normative power of the States, challenge the sovereignty of the people, subvert democracy, wreak havoc on nature, destroy human beings and their freedoms. The liberalization of the economy, the “invisible hand” of the market, is their way of dealing with the universe; the maximalization of profit is the way it works. I call this practice and this cosmogony structural violence.

Also you talk about the “death throes of the right”. What do you mean by this expression?

Jean Ziegler: In the future, the preventive eternal war, the permanent aggressiveness of the lords, the arbitrary and the structural violence rule without constraints. The majority of the barriers of international law are collapsing. The UN itself is anemic. Cosmocrats are above the law. My book describes the collapse of international law, quoting numerous examples drawn directly from my experience as special rapporteur at the United Nations for the right to access to food.

You qualify famine as a “weapon of mass destruction.” What solutions do you recommend?

Jean Ziegler: Through the debt, hunger is the weapon of mass destruction which is used by the cosmocrats to crush – and to exploit – the people, in particular in the Southern hemisphere. A complex set of measures, immediately feasible and which I describe in the book, could quickly put a term to hunger. It is impossible to sum these up in one sentence. One thing is certain: world agriculture, in the current state of productivity, could feed twice the number of today’s global population. So it is not a matter of fate: hunger is man made.

Some countries are crushed, you say, by the “odious debt”. What do you mean by “odious debt” and what solutions do you recommend?

Jean Ziegler: Rwanda is a small farming republic of 26 000 km2, located on the mountain ridge of central Africa which separates the water from the Nile and the Congo River. Rwandan farmers grow tea and coffee. From April to June 1994, a dreadful genocide, organized by the Hutu government allied with France at the time of François Mitterrand, caused the death of more than 800,000 Tutsi men, women and children. The machetes that were used for the genocide were imported from China and Egypt, and were financed, essentially, by the Crédit Lyonnais. Today the survivors, farmers as poor as Job, must refund to banks and creditor governments even the credits which were used for the purchase of the machetes used by the genocidal Hutus. That is an example of an odious debt. The solution is immediate debt cancellation and without conditions attached or, to begin with, by an audit of the debt, as the International Socialist Organization recommends and the way president Lula did it in Brazil, and then renegotiate the debt item by item. For each item, there are actually criminal components – corruption, hugely padded bills, etc. – which must be reduced. International audit companies, like PriceWaterhouseCooper or Ernst & Young, can perfectly well be in charge of these audits, the way they are each year responsible for auditing the accounts of the multinational corporations.

On several occasions you quote President Lula da Silva as a model. What inspires you with this high consideration for his actions?

Jean Ziegler: I feel both admiration and concern when I consider the political objectives and actions of President Lula: admiration because he is the first president of Brazil who dares recognize that there are 44 million citizens seriously and permanently undernourished in his country and the first who wants to put an end to this inhuman situation; and also concern, because with his country’s foreign debt of 235 billion dollars, Lula does not have the means to put an end to this situation.

In your book you also talk about a “new feudalization of the world”. What do you mean?

Jean Ziegler: On August 4, 1789, the deputies of the French National Assembly abolished feudalism. Their action had a universal repercussion. Today, however, we witness a tremendous step backwards. September 11, 2001 did not only provide George W. Bush with the pretext for extending the influence of the United States over the world, the event also served as justification for the staging of organized economic destruction of the people of the Southern hemisphere by the large private transcontinental corporations.

In your book, you very often refer to the French revolution and some of its protagonists (Danton, Babeuf, Marat…): In what way do you consider that it still has something to teach us, two centuries later, in such a different world?

Jean Ziegler: Read the texts! The Proclamation of Jacques Roux and the Enragés (radical extremists in the French Revolution who demanded strict economic controls) sets the horizon for any struggle for planetary social justice. The founding values of the republic, or more than that, of civilization itself, date from the time of the Enlightenment. However, the empire of shame destroys even the hope for the realization of these values.

In your book, you accuse the total war against terrorism of diverting resources necessary to other more important struggles such as the struggle against hunger. Do you think that terrorism is a false threat, cultivated by some States? If so, what makes you think that? Do you think that this threat is not real or that it deserves a different treatment?

Jean Ziegler: The State terrorism of Bush, Sharon, Putin… is as appalling as Islamic Jihad terrorism of small groups or other insane and bloodthirsty men of that kind. They are two faces of the same kind of barbarism. They are both quite real, since Bush kills and Ben Laden kills. The problem is the eradication of terrorism: it can be done only by the total disruption of the empire of shame. Only through global social justice will it be possible to cut the Jihadists off from their roots and deprive the cosmocrats’ lackeys of their pretexts for counterattacks.

You were appointed special rapporteur at the UN on the right to food in 2002. What reflection did you draw from this mission?

Jean Ziegler: My mandate is fascinating: I am totally independent and answerable to the General Assembly of the UN and the commission for human rights. I have to make a new human right justifiable, through statutory or conventional rights: the right to food. It is a Sisyphus task! It advances millimeter by millimeter. The essential center of this struggle is the collective conscience. For a long time, the destruction of human beings by hunger has been tolerated with a kind of ice cold acceptance. Today, it is regarded as intolerable. Public opinion puts pressure on governments and on the international organizations (WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, etc.) so that basic measures are taken to slay the enemy: land reform in the Third World, suitable prices paid for the agricultural produce of the South, rationalization of humanitarian aid in the event of sudden catastrophes, the closing of the Chicago Stock Exchange for agricultural products and raw materials, which speculates in the rise of prices of major food products, fights against the privatization of drinking water, etc.

In your book, you seem to defend the cause of the “altermondialistes”, even as if you were a spokesman for this movement. How is it that you so seldom participate in the “alternative” demonstrations and that you are generally not regarded as an “alternative” intellectual?

Jean Ziegler: What do you mean? I spoke in front of 20,000 people in the “Gigantino” of Porto Alegre in January 2003. I feel like an organic intellectual of the new planetary civil society, of its multiple faces of resistance, this tremendous fraternity of the night. But I remain faithful to the principles of the revolutionary class analysis, in Jacques Roux, Babeuf, Marat and Saint-Just.

You seem to attribute all the misfortunes of the world to the multinationals and to a handful of States (the United States, Russia, Israel…): isn’t that a bit simplistic?

Jean Ziegler: The order of the current world is not only murderous, it is also absurd. It kills, destroys, slaughters, but it does so for no other reason than the desire for maximum profit for some cosmocrats who are driven by an obsession for power and unlimited greed.

Bush, Sharon, Putin? Lackeys, henchmen. I will add a postscript on Israel: Sharon is not Israel. He is the perversion of Israel. Michael Warshavski, Lea Tselem, the “Rabbis for human rights” and many other resistance organizations incarnate the true Israel, the future of Israel. They deserve our total solidarity.

Do you think that morals have a place in international relations, since they are rather dictated by economic and geopolitical interests?

Jean Ziegler: There is no choice. Either you choose development and normative organization or you choose the invisible hand of the market, the violence of the strongest and the arbitrary. Feudal power and social justice are radically paradoxical.

“Ahead towards our roots”, urges the German Marxist Ernst Bloch. If we do not urgently restore the values of the Enlightenment, the Republic, international law, civilization such as we have built it for two hundred and fifty years in Europe will be annihilated, absorbed by the jungle.

Since the departure of the Taliban, the Middle East and the Arab-Muslim world seem to be hit by a wave of more or less spontaneous democratization (elections in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Palestine, the opening of the presidential election to multiple candidates in Egypt…). How do you feel about that and do you think that democracy can be exported to those countries? Or do you believe that they are condemned to having despotic systems?

Jean Ziegler: It is not a question “of exporting democracy”. The desire of autonomy, democracy, popular sovereignty is innate in human beings, whatever the area of the world where they were born. My friend the great Syrian sociologist Bassam Tibi wants lo live a life in democracy and has a right to it. However, for thirty years he has been living in Germany, in exile from the dreadful dictatorship which prevails in his country. Elias Sambar, the Palestinian writer, another one of my friends, has a right to a free and democratic Palestine, not to an occupied Palestine, nor should he have to live a life under the obscurantist iron rule of the Islamists. Tibi, Sambar and I want the same thing and we all have a right to it: democracy. The problem: the cold war, the instruments of the systems in place by the great powers, and finally the cowardice of the Western democrats, their lack of active and real solidarity have made it possible for the tyrants of the Middle East, of Saudi Arabia, of Egypt, of Syria, of the Gulf and of Iran to last until today.

Gian Paolo Accardo
Source: La Libre Belgique

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

Iran: Hezbollah needed to stabilise region


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).

Nasrallah Claims Hezbollah Recently Stopped Zionist Incursion with Well-Placed IEDs

Nasrallah claims responsibility for border blast

the daily star

Children examine a “Mirsad” drone, which in 2004 violated Israeli air space, at Hezbollah’s museum in Mlita.

BEIRUT: Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Wednesday his party was responsible for wounding Israeli soldiers who crossed into Lebanon last week.

“Hezbollah had prior information that two Israeli units of the Golani brigade were planning to infiltrate Lebanon so we planted the explosives,” Nasrallah said, speaking on the seventh anniversary of the end of July-August war between Lebanon and Israel.

He dismissed reports that leftover ordnance was responsible for the incident, adding that Tel Aviv played down its significance.

“The operation was deliberate and not an accident nor was it the result of a landmine left over from the Israeli occupation of Lebanon,” he said.

Speaking during an extensive interview with Al-Mayadeen television, Nasrallah said his party had closely monitored the blast’s location, adding that two Israeli squads of at least a dozen soldiers were involved.

He said two bombs, detonated remotely, wounded four Israeli soldiers. The first blast targeted the forward team while the second was detonated when the second unit approached their comrades.

“We carried out the Labbouneh operation for reasons of defense and the Israeli enemy was surprised by the response,” he said.

According to the Lebanese Army, an Israeli foot patrol crossed 400 meters into Lebanese territory off the border village of Labbouneh on Aug. 7. Caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour filed a complaint about the violation to the United Nations earlier in the day.

Nasrallah vowed his party would take similar actions in the future.

“We’ll confront any entry by Israelis into Lebanese territory that we know of,” he said. “We’ll cut off the feet of those entering our land.”

During the interview, devoted to the 2006 war, Nasrallah said President Bashar Assad had contemplated sending Syrian troops to Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley if the confrontation escalated and threatened Damascus.

Nasrallah said he asked Assad to hold off, saying his party feared a regional war and that he was confident Hezbollah would emerge victorious. Assad, he added, provided his group with Syrian-made rockets and Kornet anti-tank missiles.

“A lot of rockets we used in July were made in Syria and they were excellent rockets,” he said.

The Hezbollah chief said his party didn’t need to import weaponry from its main ally Iran because “we didn’t need any,” as it had enough weapons to carry on fighting for six months.

Nasrallah also took aim at former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who headed the government at the time.

“We didn’t trust Fouad Siniora when it came to the resistance, from the war’s beginning to its end,” he said. Nasrallah alleged that Siniora’s government delayed informing the United Nations that Hezbollah had endorsed United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a cessation of hostilities.

Nasrallah claimed he had in the past turned down offers by the West to abandon its struggle against Israel, naming former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney as one of those who floated such an offer.

Nasrallah said Cheney, through an intermediary posing as a Western journalist, offered Hezbollah a normalization of ties and further incentives if it changed its policy toward Israel. The Hezbollah chief said he rejected the proposal immediately.

Turning to recent events in Lebanon, Nasrallah denied his party played any role in last week’s abduction of two Turkish Airlines pilots in Beirut. “We heard the news just like everyone else did,” he said.

(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

Bloodbath in Cairo, Egypt, 278 Confirmed dead, Thousands Wounded—So Far

Bloodbath in Cairo, Egypt, leaves 278 people dead, including Sky News cameraman Mick Deane, VP Mohamed ElBaradei resigns


  • Egypt declared a state of emergency
  • Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei resigns
  • Sky News cameraman Mick Deane among dead

SECURITY forces stormed two huge Cairo protest camps supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi, leaving at least 278 people dead in a bloodbath.

The health ministry said 235 people were killed in clashes across Egypt with at least another 2000 people injured.

Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said an additional 43 policemen died in the assault. He said Morsi supporters attacked 21 police stations and seven Coptic Christian churches across the nation, and assaulted the Finance Ministry in Cairo, occupying its ground floor.

It was the highest single day death toll since the 18-day uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Dramatic images have emerged of a police vehicle being surrounded by a mob then pushed off  a a bridge during the clashes.

Mideast Egypt

A police vehicle is pushed off of the 6th of October bridge by protesters close to the largest sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo. (AP Photo/Aly Hazzaa, El Shorouk Newspaper)

Mideast Egypt

A police vehicle is pushed off of the 6th of October bridge by protesters during bloody clashes in Cairo and other cities in Egypt. (AP Photo/Aly Hazzaa, El Shorouk Newspaper)

Mideast Egypt

The police van smashes into the ground after it was ambushed by protesters and pushed off the 6th of October bridge. (AP Photo/Sabry Khaled, El Shorouk Newspaper)

Mideast Egypt

A member of the security forces lies on the ground and another on his police vehicle that was pushed off the 6th of October bridge by protester. (AP Photo/Sabry Khaled)


An Egyptian security force kicks a supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi as they clear a sit-in camp set up near Cairo University in Cairo’s Giza district, Egypt.

The van plunged off the 6th October Bridge before demonstrators attacked the wreckage. It is not known how many people were on board and how many people survived the fall, but bloodied men were seen lying around the van moments afterwards.

Egyptian vice president, Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, announced his resignation in a letter to the interim president saying he did not want to be responsible for “a single drop of blood.”

“It has become too difficult to continue bearing responsibility for decisions I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear,” Mr ElBaradei said.

He said his conscience was troubled over the loss of life “particularly as I believe it could have been avoided”.

“Unfortunately those who gain from what happened today are those who call for violence and terror, the extremist groups,” he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the escalating violence had dealt a “serious blow” to political reconciliation efforts between the military-backed interim government and Morsi’s supporters.

“This is a pivotal moment for all Egyptians,” Kerry said. “The path toward violence leads only to greater instability, economic disaster and suffering.”

As clashes raged in the capital, three churches were attacked in central Egypt, with Christian activists accusing Morsi loyalists of waging “a war of retaliation against Copts in Egypt”.

Egypt clashes

Scores killed in Egypt police clashes

Security forces have stormed two Cairo protests by supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

A Sky News cameraman, Mick Deane, who was covering the violence in Cairo, was one of the victims. UK Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that he was saddened to hear of Deane’s death.

Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, a reporter for the Gulf News, a state-backed newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, was also killed.

Rassd news, a pro-Islamist network, has reported one of their photojournalists – Mosabg El-Shami – had been shot dead in Cairo.

State-run newspaper Al Akhbar reports one of its journalists, Ahmed Abdel Gawad, was killed in Rabaa.

Egypt declared a month-long state of emergency, announced by a presidency statement read out on state television, which began at 4pm (Midnight AEST).  The nighttime curfew affects Cairo and 10 provinces.

The exceptional measures came as “the security and order of the nation face danger due to deliberate sabotage, and attacks on public and private buildings and the loss of life by extremist groups,” the presidency said.

The Egyptian Central Bank instructed commercial banks to close branches in areas affected by the chaos, a sign of alarm that the violence could spiral out of control. The landmark Giza Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum also were closed to visitors for the day as a precaution, according to the Ministry of Antiquities.

The violence drew condemnation from other predominantly Muslim countries, but also from the UN and the United States, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying it had dealt a “serious blow” to political reconciliation efforts in Egypt.

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt

A protester comforts a wounded colleague after Egyptian security forces began to clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt.

Interim president Adly Mansour “has tasked the armed forces, in cooperation with the police, to take all necessary measures to maintain security and order and to protect public and private property and the lives of citizens.”

The assault to take control of the two sit-in sites came after days of warnings by the interim administration that replaced Mr Morsi after he was ousted in a July 3 coup. The camps on opposite sides of the Egyptian capital began in late June to show support for Mr Morsi. Protesters – many from Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood – have demanded his reinstatement.

In a field hospital, its floors slippery with blood, doctors struggled to cope with the casualties, leaving the hopeless cases, even if still alive.

Security officials had spoken of a gradual dispersal of the sit-ins over several days but the dramatic descent on the squares shortly after dawn came as a surprise to many.


Australians in Egypt have been warned to stay away from public gatherings.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) today confirmed that Australians should reconsider the need to travel to the north African nation.

Mick Deane

Sky News cameraman Mick Deane has been shot and killed in Egypt

“Australians who remain in Egypt should avoid all demonstrations, protests and large crowds as they may turn violent,” DFAT said in a travel warning issued today.

Travellers remaining in Egypt should closely monitor media reports warning of civil unrest hotspots.

The department website reports “a number of abductions involving foreign nationals” with some tourists being held by gunmen in regional parts of Egypt.


Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s main seat of learning, which sided with the military in its overthrow of Mr Morsi on July 3, distanced itself from the crackdown.

“Al-Azhar stresses to all Egyptians that it did not know about the methods used for the dispersal of the protests except through media channels,” Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb said in a televised statement.

Witnesses and an AFP correspondent said after firing tear gas security forces surged into Rabaa al-Adawiya, sparking pandemonium among the thousands of protesters who had set up the camp soon after Mr Morsi was ousted.

Men in gas masks rushed to grab each canister and dunk them in containers of water, as the main stage near the mosque of the camp blared Islamic anthems and protesters chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest.)

Egypt Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei

Mohamed ElBaradei has resigned as Vice President after the Egyptian bloodbath.

Clashes quickly erupted between protesters and security forces on the outskirts of the camp, with automatic fire reverberating across the square.

Protest leaders wearing gas masks stood defiantly on a stage while crowds of people wearing face masks stood amid the swirling tear gas as bulldozers began dismantling the camp.

In the smaller of the protest camps at Al-Nahda square in central Cairo, police said they took control of the square after two hours.

Television footage showed flattened tents, as women and children flanked by police and army troops were led out of the square.

Dozens rounded up in the dispersal were shown sitting on the ground, handcuffed and surrounded by security forces.


The violence came amid international appeals for calm.

The US gave a stern warning to Egypt’s leaders, with John Kerry condemning the violence as well as the restoration of emergency rule. He urged them to calm the situation.


In this image made from video, police fire tear gas at supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi in Alexandria, Egypt.

“This is a pivotal moment for all Egyptians,” said Mr Kerry, who spoke by phone with the foreign minister. “The path toward violence leads only to greater instability, economic disaster and suffering.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office called it “a serious blow to the hopes of a return to democracy,” while Iran warned that the violence “strengthens the possibility of civil war.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who also condemned the violence, called for “a genuine transition to a genuine democracy. That means compromise from all sides – the President Morsi supporters but also the military.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all Egyptians to focus on reconciliation, while European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said dialogue should be encouraged through “peaceful protest, protecting all citizens and enabling full political participation.”

The United States, which provides $1.5 billion in mostly military aid to Egypt every year, maintains close ties to the Egyptian military but says it favours a rapid return to elected civilian rule.


It was a dramatic turn of events for the Muslim Brotherhood, who just over a year ago celebrated Mr Morsi’s win as Egypt’s first elected president.

But his turbulent year in power, marred by political turmoil, deadly clashes and a crippling economic crisis, turned many against the Islamist movement.

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt

A member of the Egyptian security forces speaks to a woman holding a stick at they clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

On June 30, millions took to the streets to call on the army to remove Mr Morsi.

Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood urged Egyptians to take to the streets in their thousands to denounce the “massacre”.

“This is not an attempt to disperse, but a bloody attempt to crush all voices of opposition to the military coup,” Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad said on Twitter.

The Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camp, where several Brotherhood leaders had been staying, “is calling on Egyptians to take to the streets to stop the massacre,” Mr Haddad said.

But the anger against the Islamist movement was evident Wednesday as residents of several neighbourhoods clashed with Morsi loyalists.

In Cairo, supporters of the deposed president blocked several roads in the central Mohandesseen neighbourhood, and were working to set up a new protest camp there, witnesses said.

Police were deployed in the area where tear gas was fired and gunshots heard.

Clashes also erupted between security forces and Morsi loyalists in the northern provinces of Alexandria and Beheira, the canal provinces of Suez and Ismailiya and the central provinces of Assiut and Menya.

Mideast Egypt

Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi gather around a police vehicle that was pushed off of the 6th of October bridge by protesters.

In Menya, witnesses said the Saint Ibram and Virgin Mary church and the Saint Mina church were torched.

Assailants also threw firebombs at Mar Gergiss church in Sohag, a city with a large community of Coptic Christians who comprise up to 10 per cent of Egypt’s 84 million people, causing it to burn down, the agency said.

Coptic Pope Tawadros II, together with Al-Azhar’s Tayyeb, had supported the military and sat by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi when he announced that Mr Morsi had been deposed and laid out a new political roadmap for the country.

As authorities struggled to contain the unrest in the country, Egypt’s railway authorities announced that all trains had been grounded to prevent protesters from moving outside of Cairo and reassembling.

Injured Egyptian security forces

Egyptian security forces carry an injured comrade after a police crackdown on a protest camp near Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque. . Picture: AFP


Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi run from Egyptian security forces firing towards them during clashes in Cairo’s Nasr City district, Egypt.


A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi looks on during clashes with security forces in Cairo.

Cairo Now Looks Like Damascus One Year Ago—National Emergency Declared

Egypt declares national emergency

Egypt forces assault protest camp, many scores shot dead


The BBC’s Hugh Sykes in Cairo witnessed a protester trying to stop a tank in its tracks “like Tiananmen Square”

Egypt has declared a month-long state of emergency after scores of people were killed when security forces stormed protest camps in Cairo.


The camps had been occupied by supporters of former president Mohammed Morsi, who was deposed in early July.


State media say the security forces are now in control of the two main camps.


The health ministry says 149 people were killed – but the Muslim Brotherhood, which was behind the protests, says more than 2,000 died.


The state of emergency is scheduled to last for a month. It imposes a curfew in Cairo and several other provinces between 19:00 local time (17:00 GMT) and 06:00.



The measure was taken because the “security and order of the nation face danger due to deliberate sabotage, and attacks on public and private buildings and the loss of life by extremist groups,” the presidency said in a statement.


Vice-President Mohammed El Baradei has announced his resignation from the interim government in the wake of the violence.


“I cannot continue in shouldering the responsibility for decisions I do not agree with and I fear their consequences. I cannot shoulder the responsibility for a single drop of blood,” he said in a statement.


Armoured bulldozers moved deep into the main protest camp outside Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque shortly after dawn on Wednesday morning.


Officials say another protest camp, at Nahda Square, has been cleared and a mopping-up operation in the surrounding streets was under way.


Reporters described wounded protesters being treated next to the dead in makeshift field hospitals.


The 17-year-old daughter of leading Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed el-Beltagy was among the dead, reports say. Asmaa el-Beltagy was shot in the back and chest, her brother said.


A cameraman working for Sky News, Mick Deane, has also been killed – as has a reporter for Gulf News, Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz.


At the scene

Shortly before seven in the morning, from a street corner near the Rabaa mosque encampment, I watched the raid begin.

An armoured military bulldozer drove down towards the barricades on the edges of the encampment. The bulldozer pushed its way through rows of bricks and sandbags. Pro-Morsi protesters responded by throwing stones and burning tyres.

At the same time, riot police in armoured personnel carriers advanced through nearby streets. For more than two hours I heard the crack of live ammunition. The sharp bangs were accompanied by the deeper thud of tear gas explosions.

For a while, it was hard to breathe without a gas mask. Some local residents held handkerchiefs to their faces – and watched the police deployment from their balconies.


The White House condemned the bloodshed, saying it “runs directly counter to the pledges by the interim government to pursue reconciliation”.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged “all Egyptians to concentrate their efforts on promoting genuinely inclusive reconciliation”, his spokesman Martin Nesirky said.


There are also reports of unrest elsewhere in Egypt.


  • About 35 people have died in clashes in the province of Fayoum, south of Cairo, Reuters news agency says.
  • At least five people have been killed in the province of Suez, according to the health ministry.
  • Clashes have also been reported in the northern provinces of Alexandria and Beheira, and the central provinces of Assiut and Menya
  • Hundreds are said to have gathered outside the governor’s office in Aswan in the south
  • State news agency Mena says three churches were attacked, one in the city of Sohag with a large number of Coptic Christian residents


It is still unclear how many casualties were caught up in the two Cairo operations. Figures differ widely and have been impossible to verify independently.


BBC Arabic’s Khaled Ezzelarab says he counted at least 50 bodies at the makeshift hospitals around Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque. He said the injured were too numerous to count.


The health ministry has issued an official death toll of 95.


The interior ministry earlier denied any deaths were caused by its forces firing live ammunition.


“Security forces used only tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters though it was heavily fired at by armed elements from inside the two protest camps, causing the death of an officer and a conscript and the injury of four policemen and two conscripts,” the ministry said in a statement.


The government had congratulated the security forces on their operation.


In a televised statement, a government spokesman praised their “self-restraint” and spoke of the “smaller number” of injuries among protesters.


The government would decisively confront attempts to attack state buildings and police stations, he said.


Syrian PYD Kurdish Leader Returns for Second Round of Talks with Turkish Intelligence

[SEE:  (Turkish Intelligence) MIK + PKK = PYD (Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria)]

Syrian Kurd leader back in Turkey






Clashes continue between PYD and al-Nusra fighters along Turkey’s Syrian border. AFP Photo

Clashes continue between PYD and al-Nusra fighters along Turkey’s Syrian border. AFP Photo

The leader of the main Kurdish group in northern Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), has reportedly returned to Turkey for talks with Turkish officials, in his second visit in less than a month.
The Turkish government had expressed strong concerns about the imposition of a de facto autonomous region in northern Syria after the PYD, which is affiliated to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), increased its control in the area.

While underlining that there was no problem in Ankara in holding talks with PYD leader Salih Muslim, Turkish officials declined to specify an exact date for the imminent arrival of the Kurdish politician. However, Fırat news agency, which is known to have close links to the PKK, reported that Muslim has arrived in Turkey.

“There is no date requested from us by the PYD for holding the next meeting. Still, they may convey this request right after this conversation; it may be too imminent as there is no problem for us in holding talks with the PYD leader. When and if he comes to Turkey, he will be holding talks with officials from the Foreign Ministry and MİT [the National Intelligence Organization],” a Turkish diplomatic source told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Noting that it would be better to elaborate on the agenda and the content of the meeting with Muslim only after the meeting occurs, the same diplomatic source said nobody should look for a specific item on the agenda of the meeting.

“Nobody should behave as if the PYD is the only Kurdish group in Syria that the Turkish government has been talking to. Our contacts with several Syrian Kurdish groups and parties have been going on at different levels,” the source said, while admitting that the traffic between Ankara and the PYD had become more visible in recent weeks given the clashes between Kurds and al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

The People’s Defense Units (YPG), PYD’s armed wing, has been engaged in a violent fight with the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front since mid-July, gaining control of the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn, across from the Turkish town of Ceylanpınar.

Muslim said the possible discussion topics would include humanitarian aid to northern Syria, the opening of border gates and other issues concerning the region. “We are already in dialogue with Turkey. We discussed some topics and they are still on the agenda. We will surely touch on these,” Muslim told Anadolu Agency. “Talking with the leader of the PYD is a major change in our point of view.

Parties that have interests in Syria have reviewed their policies,” he said, adding that they had no secret agenda.

Ankara has three expectations from the PYD: take a clear stance against the Syrian regime, against the PKK, and not imposing conditions, such as autonomous rule, for the future of Syria already at this stage.

Mumbai dock horror: Sailors die after explosion sinks Indian Navy submarine

Mumbai dock horror: Sailors die after explosion sinks Indian Navy submarine

Sub had similar incident in 2010, returned from upgrade in Russia earlier this year

Eighteen Indian sailors were trapped and some were killed after an explosion and fire on a diesel-powered submarine berthed at a base in Mumbai on Wednesday, souring a week of naval milestones, including the launch of a locally built aircraft carrier.

INS Sindhurakshak returned to India’s Navy after undergoing repairs and modernization at a shipyard in Russia. (YouTube)

Defence Minister A.K. Antony said crew members inside the Russian-built INS Sindhurakshak had died. He gave no details.

The explosion just after midnight was likely an accident ,but an investigation was under way to establish the cause, the navy said.

“There are some people who are trapped on board, we are in the process of trying to rescue them,” said navy spokesman PVS Satish. “We will not give up until we get to them.”


Photos distributed by social media users appeared to show a large fireball over the navy dock where the kilo-class diesel-electric submarine was berthed.

The incident, the worst ever for the navy’s sub-surface arm, raised memories of the explosion on the Russian nuclear attack submarine Kursk which sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea in2000, killing all 118 crew members.

(Video screengrab)

The Indian vessel, which returned from an upgrade in Russia earlier this year, had suffered a similar accident in 2010 in which one sailor was killed while it was docked in the southern port of Visakhapatnam.

Typically, such a submarine is fitted with torpedoes and missiles. Torpedoes are launched underwater to attack other submarines while missiles are used for long ranges above water.

There was no immediate word on the status of the weapons onboard the Sindhurakshak.


“Lot of things are in very close proximity, there is fuel, there is hydrogen, there is oxygen, there are weapons with high explosives on board,” said retired Indian navy chief Arun Prakash.

“So a slightest mistake or slightest accident can trigger off a huge accident. The question of sabotage – I mean, all possibilities have to be considered – but sabotage is probably the last possibility.”





India’s navy has had far fewer accidents than the air force, dogged for years by crashes of Russian-made MiG-21 fighters.

However, the country’s fleet of 14 submarines is in urgent need of modernisation and has been hampered by delays in government decisions as it battles corruption allegations.

The Indian Navy’s Sindhurakshak submarine is docked in Visakhapatnam in this February 13, 2006 file photo. (Reuters)

Efforts to build a domestic arms industry to supply the military have made slow progress, with the country still the world’s largest importer.

Earlier this week a locally built aircraft carrier slipped into the sea, though it is not due for completion until 2017.

The navy also announced that the reactor on its first indigenous nuclear submarine was now operational as part of a plan to build a powerful navy to counter China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean.

The Indian Navy’s Sindhurakshak submarine is docked in Visakhapatnam in this February 13, 2006 file photo. (Reuters)

INS Sindhurakshak completed a 2-1/2 year upgrade at a Russian shipyard a few months ago.

The vessel, which was fully operational with weapons onboard, was half-submerged after the fire. A team of navy divers was mobilised to search for survivors and 16 fire tenders were brought in to put out the blaze, local media said.

“There was a loud explosion post-midnight and I woke up,”said Dharmendra Jaiswal, who manages a public toilet opposite the naval dockyard. “I could see the skyline was bright and I could make out that some fire or blast had occurred inside.”

Three people who were near the submarine at the time of the explosion were injured and being treated in hospital, spokesman Satish said.

Karzai Promotes Saudi Puppet As Successor—Pleasing US, He Commits Afghans To Anti-Iranian Struggle

Sayyaf and Massoud
Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, Ahmed Shah Massoud

[Abdul Rasul Sayyaf has always been a Saudi tool.  Sayyaf was educated in Saudi Arabia, sponsored in Afghanistan by the Saudis, where he maintained two terrorist training camps, as well as a “Jehad university” in Islamabad.  He is virulently anti-Shia (Hazara).  “Before the Afshar massacre of Shia civilians in 1993, jihadi leader Abdul Rasool Sayyaf told his officers,Don’t leave anyone alive — kill all of them.'”

Karzai Floats Islamist With bin Laden Ties

Wall St. Journal

By YAROSLAV TROFIMOV KABUL—President Hamid Karzai has suggested that the man who brought Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan could become the country’s next leader, say peopleFor President, Karzai Floats Islamist With bin Laden Ties. Read more … » familiar with discussions ahead of April’s presidential vote. Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, right, has floated Abdul Rasoul Sayyaf, left, as a possible successor.




KABUL—President Hamid Karzai has suggested that the man who brought Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan could become the country’s next leader, say people familiar with discussions ahead of April’s presidential vote.

WO AO979 SAYAF D 20130813185043 Karzai Floats Islamist With bin Laden Ties

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, right, has floated Abdul Rasoul Sayyaf, left, as a possible successor.

Former Islamist warlord Abdul Rasoul Sayyaf has emerged as an unlikely—and, to Western diplomats, unsettling—favorite in recent gatherings that aim to select a consensus candidate.

At an hourslong meeting with power brokers last week, President Karzai tried to persuade Atta Mohammad Noor, the main authority in northern Afghanistan and a potential kingmaker, to support a Sayyaf presidential candidacy, according to people with knowledge of the meeting.

Mr. Atta, the governor of the northern Balkh province and a former Tajik warlord, made no commitments to Mr. Karzai during the meeting—which these people said was also attended by Mr. Sayyaf, Vice President Mohammed Qassim Fahim and former warlord Ismail Khan. The details of the meeting haven’t previously been reported.

It is by no means certain that come April, Mr. Sayyaf, an Egyptian-educated religious scholar, would end up as the preferred candidate of Afghanistan’s government bureaucracy. But the fact that he is seriously considered by Mr. Karzai and other powerful Afghan politicians highlights the degree to which Western influence has declined in Kabul ahead of the U.S. troop withdrawal next year.

Western diplomats say that a position of power, let alone the presidency, for someone like Mr. Sayyaf would imperil the billions of dollars in international commitments to the country. “This would be a disaster,” one senior diplomat said.

Mr. Sayyaf declined to be interviewed. Mr. Atta’s spokesman confirmed that the Balkh governor met with Mr. Karzai in Kabul as part of discussions about the election, and said Mr. Atta hadn’t yet decided whom to support in April. A spokeswoman for Mr. Karzai, Adela Raz, said she had no comment on the matter.

Mr. Sayyaf’s name looms large in the history of militant Islam. Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist movement in the Philippines, is named after him. In the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Sayyaf’s Saudi-backed movement ran training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan that were initially set up for anti-Soviet mujahedeen fighters, according to witnesses and the U.S. government’s 9/11 commission report. These camps eventually attracted thousands of Arab and international jihadis, including many whom fought in Bosnia and Chechnya.

Al Qaeda’s founder came to Mr. Sayyaf’s camps when he joined the anti-Soviet jihad in the 1980s and returned to Afghanistan with Mr. Sayyaf’s help in 1996. Ramzi Yousef, the 1993 World Trade Center bomber, also trained in Mr. Sayyaf’s camps.

The 9/11 commission report described Mr. Sayyaf as the “mentor” of Khalid Shaikh Muhammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks who is currently incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Bin Laden and al Qaeda ultimately found shelter under Afghanistan’s Taliban. Despite his conservative Islamist views, Mr. Sayyaf, an ethnic Pashtun from the Kabul province, before 2001 had joined with many other Afghan warlords in the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. After the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, he found himself a U.S. ally.

Despite his checkered record, Mr. Sayyaf enjoys a degree of support in Afghanistan, both because of his Islamic credentials and his past as a leading commander in the war against the Soviets. These factors also appear to give him a higher name recognition among ordinary Afghans than others inside the presidential establishment whose names have been mentioned as possible Karzai successors.

“Sayyaf is head and shoulders the most controversial candidate among foreigners,” said Graeme Smith, a Kabul-based analyst at the International Crisis Group think ank. “But among Afghans, this does not look that crazy at all.”

Since 2001, Mr. Sayyaf has stayed mostly out of the limelight, but he has been an important member of the political establishment—serving in parliament and maintaining close ties with Mr. Karzai. With a fluent command of Arabic, Mr. Sayyaf has been instrumental in providing a degree of Islamic legitimacy for Mr. Karzai’s government following the Taliban regime’s 2001 ouster, a pivotal role in the government’s public-relations battle against the Islamist insurgents.

“He has religious influence inside and outside Afghanistan—and we cannot say that he has links with al Qaeda anymore,” said the Afghan parliament’s deputy speaker Mirwais Yasini, who also ran for president in 2009.

One Western-leaning politician characterized Mr. Sayyaf as a flexible pragmatist.

“I am not saying he would be as flexible as to be able to change the image that he has left with the people and the world,” said former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, who challenged Mr. Karzai in previous elections and plans to run again in April. “But what is it that he is going to oppose? What did he stand against in these past 13 years?”

Following parliamentary elections in 2010, Mr. Sayyaf—with Mr. Karzai’s support—tried to run for the parliament speaker’s job but didn’t gather enough votes. Since then, he attended parliament sessions only a handful of times, fearing for his safety, according to Mr. Yasini.

Presidential hopefuls must file their nomination papers between Sept. 16 and Oct. 6.

Support from Mr. Karzai’s administration, with its sway over local officials, is seen as crucial for any candidate hoping to win the vote. The president’s meeting with Mr. Atta and his suggestion to back Mr. Sayyaf was part of a round of consultations aiming to find a consensus candidate and didn’t represent a final endorsement, say people familiar with his thinking.

Other likely candidates who may benefit from Mr. Karzai’s support are his brother Qayum and his current foreign minister, Zalmai Rassoul, these people say.

Mr. Rassoul is a distinguished diplomat respected by the international community but with little power base of his own—precisely the reason why he could be backed by Mr. Karzai and other power brokers.

Mr. Karzai has repeatedly said he is committed to stepping down next year when his second term, the maximum allowed under the Afghan constitution, expires. But some of his close allies and relatives, especially in the Karzai family’s home province of Kandahar, have called for postponing the vote and allowing the president to extend his term because of the deteriorating security situation in the country. Such a scenario is likely to cause a major crisis with Afghanistan’s Western backers.

—Ehsanullah Amiri contributed to this article.

Write to Yaroslav Trofimov at

A version of this article appeared August 14, 2013, on page A7 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Karzai’s Successor Pick Has Links to bin Laden.

6916dcb882185043.jpg 150x99 Karzai Floats Islamist With bin Laden Ties

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Karzai Floats Islamist With bin Laden Ties

Hindu Press Whines Over Spy-vs-Spy Manipulation of Khalistani Sikhs for Political Ends


[Khalistan radicalism is one area where India has nothing to blame Pakistan’s ISI for that RAW has not itself been doing for many years (SEE:  INDIA’S COVERT TERRORISM IN PAKISTAN DIRECT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: Praveen Swami).  CIA spy and defector to the US, The CIA’s Previous Man In India’s RAW, Major Rabinder Singh, was in charge of an Indian counter-intelligence operation (CIT-J ) within Pakistan’s Sikh community, which was a mirror image of the Pak operations that India is complaining about today.  The unit was allegedly shut-down in 1997, but that is only allegedly true.   Spy-vs-Spy will soon be the norm in the region, whenever Western operations crawl back home with their tails between their legs leaving the region in turmoil, just like the global economy.  If the American leaders are really the “stewards” of the public trust that they pretend to be, then they would admit their grievous failures now and take immediate emergency measures to set us all upon a path of healing, while Obama and company are still permitted freedom of actions.] 

Pakistani intelligence agency ISI trying to revive Sikh militancy: Government

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Pakistani intelligence agency ISI is trying to revive Sikh militancy in the country, Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.


“Inputs indicate that ISI operatives are known to have assured moral and financial support to pro-Khalistan elements for anti-India activities,” Minister of State for Home RPN Singh said.

He said the government has adopted an integrated approach to counter the attempts to revive militancy which include sustained vigilance along the borders, strengthening of mechanisms for intelligence gathering and sharing.

“A close watch is maintained on the activities of various groups known to have been engaged in trying to foment terrorist activities,” he said.

The Minister said the National Investigation Agency has been investigating into the funding of the banned Babbar Khalsa International (BKI).

Singh said the NIA has registered a case against Punjab-based operatives of BKI based on the allegation that they are receiving funds from UK-based BKI operatives to commit terrorist acts in India with active material and logistic support from Pakistan-based BKI leaders.