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American Resistance To Empire

CIA Surrogate (NYTimes) Releases New Middle East Map—5 countries to become 14

How 5 Countries Could Become 14

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SPILLOVER TO IRAQ

In the simplest of several possibilities,

northern Kurds join Syrian Kurds. Many

central areas, dominated by Sunnis, join

Syria’s Sunnis. And the south becomes

Shiitestan. It’s not likely to be so clean.

In a more powerful twist, all or part of South Yemen could

then become part of Saudi Arabia. Nearly all Saudi commerce

is via sea, and direct access to the Arabian Sea would

diminish dependence on the Persian Gulf — and fears of

Iran’s ability to cut off the Strait of Hormuz.

 

YEMEN SPLITS

The poorest Arab country

could break (again) into two

pieces following a potential

referendum in South

Yemen on independence.

LIBYA UNGLUED

As a result of powerful

tribal and regional rivalries,

Libya could break into its two

historic parts — Tripolitania

and Cyrenaica — and

possibly a third Fezzan state

in the southwest.

PRE-MONARCHY

SAUDI ARABIA

Long term, Saudi

Arabia faces its

own (suppressed)

internal divisions that

could surface as power

shifts to the next

generation of princes.

The kingdom’s unity is

further threatened by

tribal differences, the

Sunni-Shiite divide and

economic challenges. It

could break into the five

regions that preceeded

the modern state.

Possible city-states

3. The Sunni heartland secedes and then may combine with provinces in Iraq to form Sunnistan.

2. A Syrian Kurdistan could break off and eventually merge with the Kurds of Iraq.

1. Alawites, a minority that has controlled Syria for decades, dominate a coastal corridor.

SYRIA: THE TRIGGER?

Sectarian and ethnic rivalries could break it into at least three pieces:

libya

yemen

saudi arabia

Sana

Aden

Sabha

Mecca

Jeddah

Benghazi

MisUrata

Tripoli

Ad Dammam

Riyadh

Baghdad

Erbil

SHIITESTAN

TRIPOLITANIA

FEZZAN

CYRENAICA

WESTERN

ARABIA

SOUTH

YEMEN

NORTH

YEMEN

SOUTH ARABIA

EASTERN

ARABIA

WAHHABISTAN

NORTH ARABIA

ALAWITESTAN

SUNNISTAN

KURDISTAN

MEDITERRANEAN SEA

ARABIAN

SEA

PERSIAN

GULF

STRAIT OF HORMUZ

JABAL AL-DRUZE

EGYPT

iraN

iraq

syria

Maritime Border Disputes with Israel

[The official Israeli map of ongoing hydrocarbon exploration, their English version is yet to appear.]

FireShot Pro Screen Capture #324 - 'Kronenberg-Vilenski Mapping and Publishing Co_ Map of Oil and Natural Gas Explorations in Israel_' - www_mapcenter_co_il_oilandgaz_eng_html

[SEE:  Lebanon tenders encroach on Israeli waters]

“international law experts say that Israeli is liable to lose territory if it does not object to the Lebanese acts in court, or even militarily.”

[SEE:  International ‘security umbrella’ to revive communication between Lebanon’s political blocs]

U.S. backs Lebanon on maritime border dispute with Israel

Amid rising tensions over gas reserves, Israel to submit proposal to UN on where maritime economic border with Lebanon should be over next few days; U.S. endorsed Lebanon’s proposal submitted to UN in August.

By | Jul. 10, 2011
The Tamar gas platform - Albatross - July 10 2011

The Tamar gas platform. Photo by Albatross

In the next few days Israel will submit to the United Nations its take on where its maritime economic border with Lebanon should be, as the two countries scramble for gas reserves estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

Israel’s position is due to be approved by the cabinet on Sunday; Jerusalem argues that Lebanon’s proposal includes major areas belonging to Israel.

Last August, Lebanon submitted to the United Nations its version of where the maritime border should be – the exclusive economic zone. In November, it submitted its version of its western border, with Cyprus.

The Lebanese proposal does not include the large Tamar and Leviathan gas prospects, operated by Delek Energy and U.S. company Noble Energy. But the National Infrastructure Ministry found that the proposal contains reserves with a potential value in the billions of dollars.

The Lebanese also sent their version to the United States, which conducted an expert review and endorsed the document. A senior Foreign Ministry official told Haaretz that the American diplomat in charge of the issue was Frederic Hof, who was responsible for Syria and Lebanon under the former U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. Hof has kept the Israel-Lebanon brief despite Mitchell’s resignation two months ago.

In April, Hof began shuttling between Beirut and Jerusalem. A senior administration official told Haaretz that Hof’s main goal was to prevent the border from becoming a source of tension between Israel and Lebanon, which could give Hezbollah a pretext for targeting Israeli gas installations.

Beyond the political and diplomatic interest, the United States has an economic interest in keeping the parties calm, not least because American companies are involved in the search for gas an oil in Israel, Lebanon and Cyprus. Hof told his counterparts in Jerusalem that Israel should cooperate with setting the maritime border to prevent the creation of an “underwater Shaba Farms,” referring to a contested area on the Israel-Lebanon border.

The Foreign Ministry official said Israel had asked the Americans to relay a warning to Lebanon on the matter. Foreign Ministry officials told Hof that Israel would not allow a provocation on the matter or an attack on Israeli gas installations. They said Israel would consider such an attack an attack on its sovereign territory and would retaliate “strongly” against Lebanon.

Hof responded by suggesting that Israel submit to the United Nations its own outlook on the border and try to launch a dialogue. Hof asked Israel not to turn the issue into a political spat but to see it as an economic and technical matter that could benefit all parties.

Israel rejected indirect talks via the United Nations, calling on Lebanon to begin negotiations on all border issues, not just the maritime border. The foreign and infrastructure ministries believe that Lebanon is claiming vast offshore territories that belong to Israel under international law.

“It’s important to provide the UN with the Israeli version of the border as soon as possible, to react to Lebanon’s unilateral move,” a senior Foreign Ministry official told Haaretz. “Not responding could be interpreted as a tacit agreement. We must act fast to ensure Israel’s economic rights in these areas.”

Israel has become even more concerned about the positioning of the border after learning recently that a Norwegian company has begun searching for gas in the area. The search is due to be completed within months, and the Lebanese government hopes to use the findings to license international energy companies to probe areas that could be in Israel’s exclusive economic zone.

Source: © 2012 Google, © 2012 DigitalGlobe, Data SIO, NOAA, US Navy, NGA, GEBCO, © 2012Cnes/Spot Image, US Department o State Geographer
In June 2010, the speaker o the Lebanese parliament publically disputed Israeli claimsabout its gas discoveries, stating that the southern border o its EEZ was arther souththan it had delineated in its agreement with Cyprus, and included portions o some o  the gas elds discovered by the consortium employed by Israel.
34
Lebanon asked theUnited Nations to mediate the dispute in the context o the mission o the UN InterimForce in Lebanon (UNIFIL), but in early January 2011, the UN reused to do so, statingit was not part o UNIFIL’s mandate.
35
In the summer o 2011, the Lebanese govern-ment claimed Point 23 (instead o Point 1) as the southern border o its EEZ with Israel(See Map 3).
36
To many, this appeared to be a shit in the Lebanese position taken in the2007 Lebanon-Cyprus agreement. However, not only was the 2007 Lebanon-Cyprusagreement never ratied, but it also contained a clause that stated that the southern bor-der o the zone might be changed to take into account other zones.
FireShot Pro Screen Capture #326 - 'LBN 19 Oct 2011_pdf - lbn_mzn85_2011_pdf' - www_un_org_depts_los_LEGISLATIONANDTREATIES_PDFFILES_DEPOSIT_lbn_mzn85_2011_pdf
The official Lebanese UN submission gives the following coordinates for Point 23, the point of contention, as 33 46 8.78E,  33 31 51.17N, which places it precisely where it is marked on the following Google Map—
GAZA ISRAEL EEZ INTERSECT
Source: Israel Ministry o National Inrastructures map indicating the location o the gas drillingsites and approximate underground felds Marine 1, 2 and 3; Mari-B; and Noa. Note: the author hasadded the English translations.

GAZA EEZSource: Lease, license, and permit data based on “Petroleum Rights,” State of Israel, Ministry of National Infrastructures, Oil and Gas Section, June 2011. Note: This map has been modified from the original. The author has added the point from the Egypt-Cyprus Agreement, the Gaza Maritime Activity Zone, and the farthest possible border lines. The location of these points on the map vis-à-vis the Israeli zones are approximate, since the coordinates for the Israeli concession zones are not publically available.

International Security Umbrella for Lebanon To Be Guaranteed By Superpower Pact?

[Barack Obama stands on the verge of pulling-off one of the greatest reversal of fortunes ever witnessed by a democratic politician—if the Obama/Putin gambit is successful, then Obama may turn his diplomatic/military defeat in Syria into a Comprehensive Middle East Peace Treaty.  This magnificent feat of “jujitsu” politics, if successful, will undercut every antagonist involved in this great international soap opera known as the Middle East, including the Zionist state of Israel.  The broad elements of a Middle East breakthrough of unbelievable proportions can be seen developing in the following report from Lebanon’s Daily Star:  international Lebanese security shield; Iranian/Saudi rapprochement; Hezbollah withdrawal from Syrian conflict;  withdrawal of Saudi support for Syrian Islamists; US/Russian security agreement as basis for Nuclear Free Middle East. 

These are just a few of the horizons that are being breached, even now.  If Putin and Obama do what is now needed for the rest of the human race, then they will turn their agreement over Syrian chemical weapons’ disposal into a comprehensive security arrangement covering the entire Mideast region, a solution which appears to be in the process of becoming reality, in the form of superpower guarantees for Lebanese security as a first step.  According to the Daily Star report, the first signs of this agreement bearing fruit will either be a Rouhani visit to Riyadh, or Hezbollah withdrawal from Syria.]

International ‘security umbrella’ to revive communication between Lebanon’s political blocs

daily star
File - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
File – Lebanese President Michel Sleiman speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

The lines of communication between the country’s political blocs will be revived this week, fueled by the global desire to set up a international “security umbrella” over Lebanon that would protect it from regional tensions.

Sources told The Daily Star that President Michel Sleiman informed regional and Western officials that he met in New York during the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering of the situation in Lebanon, which has reached a point that calls for speeding up talks to save the country from a vacuum engulfing all of its institutions.

The sources said that Sleiman was relying on the international and regional rapprochements, particularly that between Washington and Tehran and Riyadh and Tehran, to achieve understandings and agreements within Lebanon on the shape of the government, its makeup and ministerial statement.

Political sources in the country expect a deal coinciding with the agreement over Syrian chemical weapons that is under American and Iranian sponsorship.

The first signs of the awaited internal Lebanese settlement, which is based on an Arab, regional and international rapprochement, is Sleiman’s indication in interviews with the BBC and Tele Liban that Hezbollah is on the verge of pulling its fighters out of Syria.

The statement is based on a number of factors gleaned out of the bilateral meetings held in New York, particularly with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The sources linked President Sleiman’s statement to a broader political context of warming relations between the U.S. and Iran after the phone call between President Barack Obama and Rouhani, which signals the start of a new political era in the region that will feature settlements and normalization on a number of levels.

The sources said the presidential delegation was optimistic, noting that there was international agreement that Lebanon should be isolated from the crisis in Syria in anticipation of a regional settlement. Such a settlement will begin with a pilgrimage visit by the Iranian president to Saudi Arabia, during which he will meet the Saudi king, which will augment an international settlement between Washington and Moscow.

The first signs of this regional resolution will be Hezbollah pulling its fighters from Syria and the diminishing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ presence in some Syrian cities, in return for Saudi Arabia halting its support for Al-Qaeda elements in Syria while retaining its assistance to the Free Syrian Army.

Members of the presidential delegation said Lebanon would be the main beneficiary of this new political stage, though it will not solve all of its internal crises. Lebanon will await the conclusion of regional and international talks on the Syrian chemical weapons issue and Iran’s nuclear file, particularly since a resolution of the first problem will take the Syrian crisis from the street to the negotiating table of the Geneva II peace conference in November, according to diplomatic sources.

This potential improvement in the regional situation was reflected in measures, confirmed by a security official, which relaxed many of the procedures taken by Arab and Western embassies after the latest car bombs in Lebanon and talk of an American strike on Syria, as a result of the return of calm to the Lebanese scene and the protective, international “security umbrella” over Lebanon.

The security official said that embassy staff who departed from Lebanon were instructed to remain careful and vigilant and were restricted from visiting dangerous areas in the country. The staff returned after the American-Russian agreement on Syria. Only the staff of the American Embassy remains incomplete due to a decision by the State Department to await the results of regional and international talks.

Sources say there is noticeable movement on the issue of the Cabinet formation, with exceptional efforts that were evident in the meeting in recent days between former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Speaker Nabih Berri, which featured a long discussion on reviving Berri’s government initiative while leaving the issue of the defense strategy separate. It was agreed that the current priority is social and livelihood issues in light of the difficulties faced by the Lebanese Treasury, which is evident in problems with paying the salaries of public sector employees.

On the Cabinet formation, a glimmer of hope appeared in indications by more than one political faction pointing to a near-agreement on the ministerial agenda of the Cabinet, which could revive talks that are stalled over issues like the kingmaker minister, the entire makeup of the Cabinet and veto power.

The agreement under consideration would include a form of the tripartite declaration of the “Army, people and resistance,” but while separating the words in the text of the declaration by placing them on different lines. The agreement would also include the Baabda Declaration, drafted last year and intended to isolate Lebanon from regional crises. Most of the declaration’s provisions have internal support among the various political factions.

Suicidal Guilt Sweeping Through Pakistani Army As Well

[Every army fighting in America’s terror war is experiencing this troubling development, more suicides than combat deaths.  (The French press reveals that French troops do not seem to be suffering from a plague of combat guilt.)  Pakistani soldiers and Frontier troops SHOULD feel guilty for their immoral actions, the same as the rest.]

British Soldier Suicides Outnumber Afghanistan Deaths in Action

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

The Ultimate Cost of Forcing Moral Young Men To Fight Multiple Immoral Wars

Every 80 Minutes Another US War Veteran Commits Suicide

Growing tendency of committing suicide among Pakistani soldiers deployed in Baluchistan

Balochwarna2Balochwarna
By Archen BaluchOccupied Baluchistan: Reliable sources have revealed that Pakistani soldiers deployed in Baluchistan have been suffering from stress and there has been a sharp rise in committing suicides among Pakistani military personnel. This trend illustrates Pakistani occupying forces are losing the moral and psychological battle against Baluch National Armed forces (Sarmachars, the Freedom Fighters.According to sources Pakistan forces deployed in every nook and corner of Baluchistan are involved are not only involved in gross human rights violations across Baluchistan but they are also depriving Baluch non-combats from their valuables and household goods. Several standing crops were set on fire and women and children harassed during raids on their houses.

The Baluch Sarmachars, whom the Baluch people regard as their protectors and vanguards, have always been there to defend their unarmed and brethren. Freedom Fighters are widely known as Sarmachars –meaning those who never care for their own lives for a bigger cause, in native Baluchi Language. Analysts believe that Pakistan Army is losing the war on psychological front because the Guerrilla operations of Baluch Sarmachars are not only courageous and well-coordinated but deadly as well.

Baluchistan media sources have reliably learned that Differences between Pak armed forces in Baluchistan and Frontier Corps have surfaced and the escalated conflict brought the secrets out in Public and Pakistan Military High Command are highly concerns over the issue.

Though Pakistan army is always in denial, yet a trend of suicide within the armed forces deployed in Baluchistan is on rise and situation of the remaining soldiers continue to deteriorate. The list surfaced so far, shows Major Mohsin Choudry at the top, who hanged himself and was found dead .He, was posted in the Bahlool Area of Chamalang in Kohlu, Baluchistan. It has been learned that the suicide toll reached eight in the same area.

While in the Dera Bugti, Abid Hussain (JCO), and Tanveer Multani (Driver) are also included among those who curtailed their own lives by committing suicide. In the newly established Sui Cantonment Major Kalimullah and Shahid Choudry committed suicide due to psychological stress. Captan Pervaiz and Ziauddin Sawati, from Turbat Cantonment, Yasin and Asif from Khuzdar Cantonment, Mubaashir Hussain and Muhammad Siddique from Gawadar cantonment, Shafqat Ali from Noshki Cantonment, Haider Ali Kharan, Shareef Raza from Qalat, Lieutenant Safdar Ali Butt and Touseef from Kahan, Nujahid Khairullah Shinwari and Yasir Ali from Jaalri, while Malik Waqar Hussain and Ismail Shah have taken their lives at Karmoo Wadh Checkpost.

These are a few names revealed in public so far, the actual number and details maybe much higher and never be brought to public notice, all of the above mentioned personnel and officers suffered the worst stress which forces them to take their lives.

Growing tendency of committing suicide among Pakistani soldiers deployed in Baluchistan

on 2012/7/1 0:00:00 (1013 reads)

By Archen Baluch

Occupied Baluchistan: Reliable sources have revealed that Pakistani soldiers deployed in Baluchistan have been suffering from stress and there has been a sharp rise in committing suicides among Pakistani military personnel. This trend illustrates Pakistani occupying forces are losing the moral and psychological battle against Baluch National Armed forces (Sarmachars, the Freedom Fighters.

According to sources Pakistan forces deployed in every nook and corner of Baluchistan are involved are not only involved in gross human rights violations across Baluchistan but they are also depriving Baluch non-combats from their valuables and household goods. Several standing crops were set on fire and women and children harassed during raids on their houses.

The Baluch Sarmachars, whom the Baluch people regard as their protectors and vanguards, have always been there to defend their unarmed and brethren. Freedom Fighters are widely known as Sarmachars –meaning those who never care for their own lives for a bigger cause, in native Baluchi Language. Analysts believe that Pakistan Army is losing the war on psychological front because the Guerrilla operations of Baluch Sarmachars are not only courageous and well-coordinated but deadly as well.

Baluchistan media sources have reliably learned that Differences between Pak armed forces in Baluchistan and Frontier Corps have surfaced and the escalated conflict brought the secrets out in Public and Pakistan Military High Command are highly concerns over the issue.

Though Pakistan army is always in denial, yet a trend of suicide within the armed forces deployed in Baluchistan is on rise and situation of the remaining soldiers continue to deteriorate. The list surfaced so far, shows Major Mohsin Choudry at the top, who hanged himself and was found dead .He, was posted in the Bahlool Area of Chamalang in Kohlu, Baluchistan. It has been learned that the suicide toll reached eight in the same area.

While in the Dera Bugti, Abid Hussain (JCO), and Tanveer Multani (Driver) are also included among those who curtailed their own lives by committing suicide. In the newly established Sui Cantonment Major Kalimullah and Shahid Choudry committed suicide due to psychological stress. Captan Pervaiz and Ziauddin Sawati, from Turbat Cantonment, Yasin and Asif from Khuzdar Cantonment, Mubaashir Hussain and Muhammad Siddique from Gawadar cantonment, Shafqat Ali from Noshki Cantonment, Haider Ali Kharan, Shareef Raza from Qalat, Lieutenant Safdar Ali Butt and Touseef from Kahan, Nujahid Khairullah Shinwari and Yasir Ali from Jaalri, while Malik Waqar Hussain and Ismail Shah have taken their lives at Karmoo Wadh Checkpost.

These are a few names revealed in public so far, the actual number and details maybe much higher and never be brought to public notice, all of the above mentioned personnel and officers suffered the worst stress which forces them to take their lives.

The Diabolical Pentagon Psychopaths Who Pretend To “Defend” Us

2nd Major Earthquake Strikes Different Area of Balochistan

[SEE: Massive earthquake kills more than 260 in Balochistan ]

Quake of magnitude 6.8 struck several cities in Sindh, Balochistan. PHOTO: CREATIVE COMMONS

QUETTA: A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Pakistan’s Balochistan province on Saturday in a region already devastated by a massive quake earlier in the week.

According to the US Geological Survery, the epicentre of the quake was recorded at 96 kilometres northeast of Balochistan’s Awaran district and 14 kilometres deep.

“It was not an aftershock it was an independent earthquake,” Zahid Rafi, director of the National Seismic Centre of Pakistan, told a local news channel.

“We are checking but no reports of losses have yet been received,” Jan Mohammad Buledi, spokesman for the provincial government of Balochistan told news agency AFP.

Tremors were felt as far away as Jaffarabad, Sibi, Naseerabad and Quetta in Balochistan. Shocks were also felt in Naushero Feroz, Shikarpur, Karachi and Hyderabad areas of Sindh province.

The local meteorological office recorded the intensity of the earthquake at 7.2 on the Richter scale and said the epicentre of the quake was 150 kilometres southwest of Khuzdar.

A session of the Balochistan Assembly in Quetta was adjourned for the day after the shocks were felt in the house.

Meanwhile, the death toll from a 7.7-magnitude earthquake which jolted the same area earlier on Tuesday rose to 515 on Friday with over 600 people injured. The September 24 quake had struck Balochistan’s Awaran and Kech districts and relief work was continuing in the area.

Victims of the September 24 earthquake who were undergoing treatment at the Awaran district hospital headed for open spaces as today’s tremors were felt.

Syed Ali Shah contributed to reporting from Quetta.

The Black Hole of Doha

[Al-Thani is just another spoiled, bloated medieval tyrant.  And this is the guy that Obama chose to conduct American covert policies in the Africa/Middle East region for him.  Such a terrible decision on his part is obvious proof of his incompetence to act as American Commander-In-Chief.  In giving the Pig authority to conduct US foreign policy, Obama has established solid grounds for his own impeachment for the Benghazi affair, as well as for the terrorist takeover of the Western-sponsored Syrian resistance, because of his own bureaucratic laziness.   By allowing the Pig to handle American Islamist policies, he inadvertently brought Western connections to all radical “Islamists” out into the open, helping to confirm the validity of “conspiracy theories” which have exposed the long-term US/Saudi sponsorship of “Al-Qaeda.”]

Qatar’s World Cup ‘slaves’

guardian

Exclusive: Abuse and exploitation of migrant workers preparing emirate for 2022

World Cup construction ‘will leave 4,000 migrant workers dead’
Analysis: Qatar 2022 puts Fifa’s reputation on the line

Link to video: Qatar: the migrant workers forced to work for no pay in World Cup host country Dozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died in Qatar in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses, a Guardian investigation has found, raising serious questions about Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup.

This summer, Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day in Qatar, many of them young men who had sudden heart attacks. The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of labourers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organisation, during a building binge paving the way for 2022.

According to documents obtained from the Nepalese embassy in Doha, at least 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August. More than half died of heart attacks, heart failure or workplace accidents.

The investigation also reveals:

Evidence of forced labour on a huge World Cup infrastructure project.

• Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.

• Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.

• Some labourers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.

• About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal conditions of their employment.

The allegations suggest a chain of exploitation leading from poor Nepalese villages to Qatari leaders. The overall picture is of one of the richest nations exploiting one of the poorest to get ready for the world’s most popular sporting tournament.

“We’d like to leave, but the company won’t let us,” said one Nepalese migrant employed at Lusail City development, a $45bn (£28bn) city being built from scratch which will include the 90,000-seater stadium that will host the World Cup final. “I’m angry about how this company is treating us, but we’re helpless. I regret coming here, but what to do? We were compelled to come just to make a living, but we’ve had no luck.”

The body tasked with organising the World Cup, the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, told the Guardian that work had yet to begin on projects directly related to the World Cup. However, it said it was “deeply concerned with the allegations that have been made against certain contractors/sub-contractors working on Lusail City’s construction site and considers this issue to be of the utmost seriousness”. It added: “We have been informed that the relevant government authorities are conducting an investigation into the allegations.”

The Guardian’s investigation also found men throughout the wider Qatari construction industry sleeping 12 to a room in places and getting sick through repulsive conditions in filthy hostels. Some say they have been forced to work without pay and left begging for food.

“We were working on an empty stomach for 24 hours; 12 hours’ work and then no food all night,” said Ram Kumar Mahara, 27. “When I complained, my manager assaulted me, kicked me out of the labour camp I lived in and refused to pay me anything. I had to beg for food from other workers.”

Almost all migrant workers have huge debts from Nepal, accrued in order to pay recruitment agents for their jobs. The obligation to repay these debts, combined with the non-payment of wages, confiscation of documents and inability of workers to leave their place of work, constitute forced labour, a form of modern-day slavery estimated to affect up to 21 million people across the globe. So entrenched is this exploitation that the Nepalese ambassador to Qatar, Maya Kumari Sharma, recently described the emirate as an “open jail”.

Nepal embassy record Record of deaths in July 2013, from all causes, held by the Nepalese embassy in Doha. Photograph: /guardian.co.uk “The evidence uncovered by the Guardian is clear proof of the use of systematic forced labour in Qatar,” said Aidan McQuade, director of Anti-Slavery International, which was founded in 1839. “In fact, these working conditions and the astonishing number of deaths of vulnerable workers go beyond forced labour to the slavery of old where human beings were treated as objects. There is no longer a risk that the World Cup might be built on forced labour. It is already happening.”

Qatar has the highest ratio of migrant workers to domestic population in the world: more than 90% of the workforce are immigrants and the country is expected to recruit up to 1.5 million more labourers to build the stadiums, roads, ports and hotels needed for the tournament. Nepalese account for about 40% of migrant labourers in Qatar. More than 100,000 Nepalese left for the emirate last year.

The murky system of recruitment brokers in Asia and labour contractors in Qatar leaves them vulnerable to exploitation. The supreme committee has insisted that decent labour standards will be set for all World Cup contracts, but underneath it a complex web of project managers, construction firms and labour suppliers, employment contractors and recruitment agents operate.

According to some estimates, Qatar will spend $100bn on infrastructure projects to support the World Cup. As well as nine state-of-the-art stadiums, the country has committed to $20bn worth of new roads, $4bn for a causeway connecting Qatar to Bahrain, $24bn for a high-speed rail network, and 55,000 hotel rooms to accommodate visiting fans and has almost completed a new airport.

The World Cup is part of an even bigger programme of construction in Qatar designed to remake the tiny desert kingdom over the next two decades. Qatar has yet to start building stadiums for 2022, but has embarked on the big infrastructure projects likesuch as Lusail City that, according to the US project managers, Parsons, “will play a major role during the 2022 Fifa World Cup”. The British engineering company Halcrow, part of the CH2M Hill group, is a lead consultant on the Lusail project responsible for “infrastructure design and construction supervision”. CH2M Hill was recently appointed the official programme management consultant to the supreme committee. It says it has a “zero tolerance policy for the use of forced labour and other human trafficking practices”.

Halcrow said: “Our supervision role of specific construction packages ensures adherence to site contract regulation for health, safety and environment. The terms of employment of a contractor’s labour force is not under our direct purview.”

Some Nepalese working at Lusail City tell desperate stories. They are saddled with huge debts they are paying back at interest rates of up to 36%, yet say they are forced to work without pay.

“The company has kept two months’ salary from each of us to stop us running away,” said one man who gave his name as SBD and who works at the Lusail City marina. SBD said he was employed by a subcontractor that supplies labourers for the project. Some workers say their subcontrator has confiscated their passports and refused to issue the ID cards they are entitled to under Qatari law. “Our manager always promises he’ll issue [our cards] ‘next week’,” added a scaffolder who said he had worked in Qatar for two years without being given an ID card.

Without official documentation, migrant workers are in effect reduced to the status of illegal aliens, often unable to leave their place of work without fear of arrest and not entitled to any legal protection. Under the state-run kafala sponsorship system, workers are also unable to change jobs or leave the country without their sponsor company’s permission.

A third worker, who was equally reluctant to give his name for fear of reprisal, added: “We’d like to leave, but the company won’t let us. If we run away, we become illegal and that makes it hard to find another job. The police could catch us at any time and send us back home. We can’t get a resident permit if we leave.”

Other workers said they were forced to work long hours in temperatures of up to 50C (122F) without access to drinking water.

grieving parents Nepal Dalli Kahtri and her husband, Lil Man, hold photos of their sons, both of whom died while working as migrants in Malaysia and Qatar. Their younger son (foreground photo) died in Qatar from a heart attack, aged 20. Photograph: Peter Pattison/guardian.co.uk The Qatari labour ministry said it had strict rules governing working in the heat, the provision of labour and the prompt payment of salaries.

“The ministry enforces this law through periodic inspections to ensure that workers have in fact received their wages in time. If a company does not comply with the law, the ministry applies penalties and refers the case to the judicial authorities.”

Lusail Real Estate Company said: “Lusail City will not tolerate breaches of labour or health and safety law. We continually instruct our contractors and their subcontractors of our expectations and their contractual obligations to both us and individual employees. The Guardian have highlighted potentially illegal activities employed by one subcontractor. We take these allegations very seriously and have referred the allegations to the appropriate authorities for investigation. Based on this investigation, we will take appropriate action against any individual or company who has found to have broken the law or contract with us.”

The workers’ plight makes a mockery of concerns for the 2022 footballers.

“Everyone is talking about the effect of Qatar’s extreme heat on a few hundred footballers,” said Umesh Upadhyaya, general secretary of the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions. “But they are ignoring the hardships, blood and sweat of thousands of migrant workers, who will be building the World Cup stadiums in shifts that can last eight times the length of a football match.”

• Read the official response to this story

• The Guardian’s investigation into modern-day slavery is supported by Humanity United. Click here for more information

Tehreek Taliban’s “Red-Haired Step-Child” (Jundullah) Takes Credit for the Murder of 60 Christians In Peshawar

 

FEW incidents of terrorism have caused such large-scale outpouring of grief, anger and shame as the massacre in the Peshawar church last Sunday. But will this outrage awaken the Pakistani people to the urgency of dealing with the cancerous growth in their body politic of which the attack on the old church was only a symptom?

As has often happened in such situations, various parties are busy denying responsibility for mass murder in the church. The Taliban say they are not involved and they do not believe in killing innocent people.

The Muslim ulema argue that no true Muslim can commit such horrible excesses. For one thing, the people know better. And for another, considerable confusion has been created by those who own their black deeds and those who always deny them. If these denials are taken seriously even the most efficient detectives might fail to track down the culprits. In any case the search is unnecessary as the list of suspects is quite short.

First, it is impossible to completely delink the Peshawar incident from the ongoing debate on parleys with the militants besieging the state of Pakistan.

Apart from the many unarmed citizens who oppose talks with the militants on the latter’s terms, there are elements in Pakistan, many of them occupying key positions in the country’s politico-religious parties, that would wish the position of the government of Pakistan to be weakened further so that the challengers’ ideological victory can be guaranteed.

At the same time, there may be elements in the militants’ ranks who would like to delay the talks with Islamabad till its surrender becomes irreversible.

Then, the possibility of factional tussle within the pro-negotiation camps on both sides cannot be ruled out. Who should have the decisive voice in the negotiating teams on either side and who should be recognised as the best interlocutors on the other side are issues that can cause serious conflicts. Such wrangling could torpedo the talks altogether.

Any of the elements identified could have launched the assault on the church.

Secondly, there is reason to suspect the sectarian terrorists who have been targeting both non-Muslim communities and minority Muslim sects for quite some time and who seem determined to convert the entire population to their exclusivist creed.

Some of these elements have been on the security forces’ radar for a pretty long time and the latter’s disinclination to proceed against them is one of Pakistan’s most painful enigmas.

Both the militants operating in the northern parts and the sectarian terrorists operating practically throughout the country derive strength from the theocratic assumptions with which the original ideals of Pakistan are being replaced.

Their shared objective is to pull down the state’s democratic structure, its judicial order, its education system and install in their place devices and values of their own choice. There should be no mistake about the identity and objectives of these elements — they are not fighting the state of Pakistan for any of their rights, they want to usurp the right of the entire people of Pakistan to choose their institutions of governance through democratic means.

More dangerous than terrorist attacks is the systematic exploitation of the people’s religious sentiments for instigating violence and hatred against the minorities. The militants have been using the religious card with considerable skill. The result is the creation of an environment that is becoming increasingly hostile to the religious minorities and smaller Muslim sects.

Everybody knows of the migration of hard-pressed non-Muslim Pakistanis from Balochistan and the Sindhi non-Muslims’ grievances regarding abduction and forced conversion of their girls, and kidnappings for ransom.

In Punjab, especially Lahore, new groups of professional Ahmadi-baiters have emerged over the past few months. They are instituting all kinds of cases against the Ahmadis, encouraging land grabbers to seize their property and pushing policemen to demolish structures resembling minarets at Ahmadi prayer houses.

The number of Ahmadi victims of targeted killing is on the rise. Some loose talk in a TV show is enough to petrify the powerful Punjab government and persuade it to malign and strangulate a widely respected school for including a book on comparative religion in its courses.

The main source of strength for both categories of the anti-state bands is their (and their political patrons’) success in presenting themselves as soldiers of Islam.

The people have been divided between those who are fighting alongside the US-Nato forces and those who are defending Islam. Maulana Sherani who heads the Council of Islamic Ideology has just proclaimed that those who support Nato may go on (unsuccessfully) fighting the Taliban.

What he means is that anyone who opposes the killers of Pakistani soldiers and generals and the organisers of suicide bombing missions is a stooge of Nato.

It is this pernicious stereotyping of the militants/terrorists and the defenders of the Pakistani citizens’ right to democratic governance and rule of law that paralyses the custodians of power in Islamabad. They may have recognised the seriousness of the threat militant extremists pose to them but they are yet to draw up a strategy to counter religious militancy and abuse of the Islamic concept of jihad.

The all-party conference that was staged in Islamabad did not even scratch the core issue — the use of religious slogans to justify murder of Muslims and non-Muslim alike and to spare neither mosques nor churches.

What the government must realise is that every concession they offer the militants will worsen the plight of the religious minorities, with women and democratic-minded citizens not far behind them. Pakistan will never be able to protect its integrity and defend its citizens’ lives and properties unless it begins to tame the monster of intolerance it has so thoughtlessly reared.

In Syria, All of the Terrorists Are Becoming “Al-Qaeda”

Syria Islamist Rebel Groups Reject West-Backed Opposition

business insider

Syria rebel groups reject Western-backed opposition; UN team returns to probe chemical arms

BEIRUT (AP) — Several Syrian rebel groups, including a powerful al-Qaida-linked faction, said Wednesday they reject the authority of the Western-backed opposition coalition, as U.N. inspectors returned to the country to continue their probe into chemical weapons attacks.

In a joint statement, 13 rebel groups led by the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front slammed the Turkey-based Syrian National Coalition, saying it no longer represents their interests.

The statement reflects the lack of unity between the political opposition, based in exile, and the disparate rebel groups fighting President Bashar Assad’s regime. Syria’s civil war has killed over 100,000 people so far.

The statement also called on all those trying to topple Assad’s government to unite under a “clear Islamic framework” — an apparent reference to the al-Qaida faction’s aspirations to create an Islamic state in Syria.

It said the rebels do “not recognize” any future government formed outside Syria, insisting that forces fighting on the ground should be represented by “those who suffered and took part in the sacrifices.”

Meanwhile, a team of U.N. chemical weapons arrived in Damascus on Wednesday to continue investigating what officials from the world organization have described as “pending credible allegations” of the use of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war.

The visit of the six-member team, led by Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom, follows a report by the inspectors after their previous trip in September, which said nerve agent sarin was used in an Aug. 21, attack near the capital, Damascus.

The U.S. and its allies say Assad’s regime was behind the attack, and Washington said it killed 1,400 people. Syrian activist groups gave significantly lower death tolls, but still in the hundreds.

Damascus blames the rebels for the attack, and Russia, a close ally of Assad, said the U.N. report did not provide enough evidence to blame the Syrian government. It has also demanded that U.N. inspectors probe other attacks that allegedly included chemical agents.

The United States and Russia brokered an agreement for Syria to give up its chemical weapons but U.N. diplomats say they are at odds on details of a Security Council resolution spelling out how it should be done and the possible consequences if Syria doesn’t comply.

In a speech at the U.N. on Tuesday, President Barack Obama challenged the Security Council to hold Syria accountable if it fails to live up to its pledges.

“If we cannot agree even on this,” Obama said, “then it will show that the United Nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws.”

A statement by the U.N. on Tuesday said the inspectors will use their new visit to gather evidence from the alleged chemical weapons attack on March 19 on the village of Khan al Assal outside the city of Aleppo, which was captured by the rebels in July.

Wednesday’s rebel announcement, carried by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, came almost two weeks after the SNC, the main Western-backed opposition coalition, in Turkey elected Ahmad Saleh Touma as the opposition’s interim prime minister.

Syrian rebels have been deeply divided and clashes between rival groups over the past months left hundreds of people dead, mostly in northern and eastern Syria. Al-Qaida gunmen have been on the offensive against members of the more mainstream Free Syrian Army, though some of the groups that signed on to Wednesday’s statement also belong to the FSA umbrella.

Syria’s conflict has taken on increasingly sectarian tones in the past year, pitting predominantly Sunni Muslim rebels against members of Assad’s minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Baloch Quake Death Toll Rises To 260

 

 

KHUZDAR: Pakistan’s military on Wednesday rushed to reach the scene of a huge earthquake that killed more than 260 people and toppled thousands of mud-built homes when it hit the country’s southwest.

The 7.7-magnitude quake struck Tuesday afternoon in Balochistan province’s Awaran district while aftershocks continued to jolt the northwestern part of the country – the latest tremor measured at 4.7 on the Richter scale on Wednesday.

Officials said 264 deaths had been confirmed so far – 208 in Awaran district alone – and that the toll is expected to rise as rescue teams reach more villages in the remote area.

Provincial home secretary Asad Gilani confirmed the death toll at 264 and said more than 400 were injured.

“The dead and injured both include women and children,” Gailani said. He said efforts were being made to launch a massive relief operation in the quake-affected area. “Our first priority is to retrieve the bodies and shift the injured to hospitals,” he said.

 

The rubble of a house is seen after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran, southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, September 25, 2013. — Photo by Reuters
The rubble of a house is seen after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran, southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, September 25, 2013. — Photo by Reuters

“A total of six districts, Awaran, Kech, Gwadar, Panjgur, Chaghi and Khuzdar, and a population of over 300,000 have been affected by the earthquake,” Jan Muhammad Buledi, a spokesman for the Balochistan government, said while adressing a press conference.

The provincial government spokesman said Iran and Turkey had offered support for the earthquake survivors in Balochistan. He admitted that thousands of earthquake survivors were facing difficulties in Awaran and Kech districts of Balochistan.

Buledi said aid workers were facing difficulties in reaching out to survivors since the communication system was severely affected by the earthquake. He said teams were working to recover bodies, but the priority was to move the injured to hospitals as soon as possible, a difficult task in a desolate area with minimal infrastructure.

“We are seriously lacking medical facilities and there is no space to treat injured people in the local hospitals,” he said. “We are trying to shift seriously injured people to Karachi through helicopters and others to the neighbouring districts.”

 

Survivors of the earthquake walk on rubble of a mud house after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran.—Photo by Reuters
Survivors of the earthquake walk on rubble of a mud house after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran.—Photo by Reuters

The head of the provincial disaster management agency, Abdul Latif Kakar, said that 30 people had died in Kech district, a toll confirmed by another senior local official.

“There is nothing, patients are dying,” Rehmatullah Muhammad Hassani, an earthquake survivor told Dawn.com via phone from District Headquarter Hospital Awaran.

He said the patients were facing difficulties in getting even basic first aid treatment in the hospital. “There are no doctors and paramedics,” Hassani said.

Hassani said that a large number of mud-walled houses had collapsed as result of the powerful earthquake tremors. “We fear there are people still under the rubble,” he said. The Awaran resident added that authorities had yet to launch an effective rescue operation to retrieve the people stuck from under the rubble.

Nazar Muhammad, a paramedic, said 70 injured had been brought to district hospital Awaran for medical treatment. He said: “We have no surgery equipment and we are only providing basic first aid to the survivors.”

The army has sent 100 personnel as medical staff and 1,000 troops to the area to help with rescue efforts and has established a medical centre in Tarteej, one of the worst-affected villages.

The scale of the affected territory is daunting. Awaran’s population is scattered over an area of more than 21,000 square kilometres. More than 60,000 people live within 50 kilometres of the epicentre, according to the UN disaster agency, mostly in easily collapsible mud homes.

Television footage showed collapsed houses, caved-in roofs and people sitting in the open air outside their homes, the rubble of mud and bricks scattered around them.

Abdul Rasheed Baloch, a senior official in the district, said teams had worked through the night to try to retrieve bodies and survivors from the rubble. “Around 90 per cent of houses in the district have been destroyed. Almost all the mud houses have collapsed,” he said.

Some of the dead have already been laid to rest in their villages, he said.

 

A family of Pakistani earthquake survivorss sit with their belongings near their collapsed mud houses in the Mashkail area of southwest Baluchistan province. - Photo by AFP
A family of Pakistani earthquake survivorss sit with their belongings near their collapsed mud houses in the Mashkail area of southwest Baluchistan province. – Photo by AFP

The US Geological Survey issued a red alert on Tuesday, warning that heavy casualties were likely based on past data, and the provincial government declared an emergency in Awaran.

Tremors were felt on Tuesday as far away as New Delhi and Dubai in the Gulf, while people in the Indian city of Ahmedabad near the border with Pakistan ran out into the streets in panic.

Office workers in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi rushed out of their buildings in an experience reminiscent of the 2005 earthquake to that hit the country.

A 7.6 magnitude quake in 2005, centred in Kashmir, had killed at least 73,000 people and left several million homeless in one of the worst natural disasters to hit Pakistan.

Iran’s Red Crescent reported no damage from the latest quake over the border from Pakistan.

 

A survivor of an earthquake sits as he takes tea on the rubble of a mud house after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran. - Reuters Photo
A survivor of an earthquake sits as he takes tea on the rubble of a mud house after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran. – Reuters Photo

Readers from the affected areas who wish to share their experiences through texts, photos and/or videos, can get in touch with us on talktous@dawn.com.

Major Earthquake Hits Southwest Balochistan, 150 Reported Deaths—New Island Rises from Sea Near Gwadar

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A 30 to 40 feet high mountain like island near Gwadar can be seen in the picture. – Photo courtesy Syed Ali Shah

QUETTA/KARACHI: A strong earthquake of 7.8 magnitude struck the southwestern province of Balochistan on Tuesday, killing at least 46 people and prompting a new island to rise from the sea just off Pakistan’s southern coast, officials said.

Spokesman Frontier Corps (FC) Khan Wasey has confirmed the death of 46 people including women and children in Awaran and Kech districts of the province. He said more than one hundred have been injured in the earthquake also.

The government of Balochistan has dispatched 1000 tents, 500 food bags, medicines, 15 ambulances towards Awaran, Jan Buledi, the spokesman for Balochistan government told Dawn.com.

The chief spokesman for Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority, Mirza Kamran Zia, said most of the casualties occurred when houses collapsed on people inside.

Spokesman Balochistan government, Jan Muhammad Buledi has said that earthquake has affected six districts in the province.

Addressing a press conference, he said Awaran was the worst affected district where hundreds of mud-walled houses were demolished as result of the powerful earthquake.

Buledi said the districts include Kech, Gwadar, Khuzdar, Chaghi, Awaran and Panjgoor. “An emergency has been imposed in all districts to help the earthquake survivors,” he said.

The spokesman said the provincial government’s first priority was to rescue the earthquake survivors. “Rehabilitation is second priority,” he added.

He said that the earthquake has severely affected the communication system in the affected districts.

In response to a question about demanding foreign aid, Buledi said, “after assessing the damages, we would make the decision in this regard.”

He said injured were being shifted to Lasbela and Karachi for medical treatment.

Khairjan Baloch, Political Secretary to Chief Minister Balochistan and a former administrator in the worst-affected Awaran district had earlier confirmed the death of 30 people throughout the province.

Baloch said 30 people were killed in Awaran while there were reports of three other deaths in Turbat.

“Six dead bodies have been recovered in Awaran bazar,” said Deputy Commissioner Awaran, Abdul Rasheed Baloch, adding that four dead bodies have been recovered in far flung villages of the district. “I fear more people are trapped inside the collapsed houses,” he said.

Baloch said a rescue operation was launched in the area and all forces were placed on high alert to retrieve the people from the rubble. He said there were reports that hundreds of mud- houses in the district had also collapsed during tremors.

Chief Minister Balochistan Dr. Malik Baloch has ordered deputy commissioners of all 30 districts to remain on high alert in the aftermath of deadly quake. Spokesman for the government of Balochistan, Jan Buledi, told Dawn.com that a rescue operation had been launched in Awaran.

According to the US Geoplogical Survery, the intensity of the quake was measured at 7.8 on the Richter scale while the Pakistan meteorological office said the epicentre was located near Kharan area of Balochistan.

Mohammad Hanif, an official at the meteorological department, said the intensity was measured at 7.7 on the Ricther Scale, which he described as a “very strong earthquake”.

According to television reports, aftershocks were felt all over Balochistan including Quetta, the provincial capital. The earthquake was also felt in the adjoining province of Sindh, including cities of Karachi, Jacobabad, Khairpur, and Nowshero Feroz.

Minor tremors were felt as far away as the Indian capital city of New Delhi, while office workers in the city of Ahmedabad near the border with Pakistan ran out of buildings and into the street.

According to the Times of India, strong tremors shook tall buildings in New Delhi, sending people running out into the streets.

In April a 7.8-magnitude quake centred in southeast Iran, close to the border with Balochistan, killed 41 people and affected more than 12,000 on the Pakistani side of the border.

Island near Gwadar

The earthquake was so powerful that it caused the seabed to rise and create a small, mountain-like island about 600 meters (yards) off Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea.

A 30 to 40 feet high mountain-like island has emerged at western coast of Gwadar as result of the earthquake, Mozzam Jah, Deputy Inspector General Police Gwadar said.

He said a large number of people are gathered to witness the rare phenomenon.

 

Brazilian Pres. Dilma Rousseff Repudiates American Foreign Policy At UN

[Thanks to Wired.com for posting this.]

Pres. Dilma Rousseff at the UN General Assembly

Ambassador John Ashe, president of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Heads of State and Government, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me initially to express my satisfaction in having a renowned representative of Antigua and Barbuda – a country that is part of the Caribbean, which is so cherished in Brazil and in our region – to conduct the work of this session of the General Assembly.

You can count, Excellency, on the permanent support of my Government.
Allow me also, at the beginning of my intervention, to express the repudiation of the Brazilian Government and people to the terrorist attack that took place in Nairobi. I express our condolences and our solidarity to the families of the victims, the people and the Government of Kenya.

Terrorism, wherever it may occur and regardless of its origin, will always deserve our unequivocal condemnation and our firm resolve to fight against it. We will never give way to barbarity.

Mr. President,
I would like to bring to the consideration of delegations a matter of great importance and gravity.

Recent revelations concerning the activities of a global network of electronic espionage have caused indignation and repudiation in public opinion around the world.

In Brazil, the situation was even more serious, as it emerged that we were targeted by this intrusion. Personal data of citizens was intercepted indiscriminately. Corporate information – often of high economic and even strategic value – was at the center of espionage activity. Also, Brazilian diplomatic missions, among them the Permanent Mission to the United Nations and the Office of the President of the Republic itself, had their communications intercepted.

Tampering in such a manner in the affairs of other countries is a breach of International Law and is an affront to the principles that must guide the relations among them, especially among friendly nations. A sovereign nation can never establish itself to the detriment of another sovereign nation. The right to safety of citizens of one country can never be guaranteed by violating fundamental human rights of citizens of another country.

The arguments that the illegal interception of information and data aims at protecting nations against terrorism cannot be sustained.

Brazil, Mr. President, knows how to protect itself. We reject, fight and do not harbor terrorist groups.
We are a democratic country surrounded by nations that are democratic, pacific and respectful of International Law. We have lived in peace with our neighbors for more than 140 years.

As many other Latin Americans, I fought against authoritarianism and censorship, and I cannot
but defend, in an uncompromising fashion, the right to privacy of individuals and the sovereignty of my country. In the absence of the right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore no effective democracy. In the absence of the respect for sovereignty, there is no basis for the relationship among Nations.

We face, Mr. President, a situation of grave violation of human rights and of civil liberties; of invasion and capture of confidential information concerning corporate activities, and especially of disrespect to national sovereignty.

We expressed to the Government of the United States our disapproval, and demanded explanations, apologies and guarantees that such procedures will never be repeated.

Friendly governments and societies that seek to build a true strategic partnership, as in our
case, cannot allow recurring illegal actions to take place as if they were normal. They are unacceptable.
Brazil, Mr. President, will redouble its efforts to adopt legislation, technologies and mechanisms to protect us from the illegal interception of communications and data.

My Government will do everything within its reach to defend the human rights of all Brazilians and to protect the fruits borne from the ingenuity of our workers and our companies.

The problem, however, goes beyond a bilateral relationship. It affects the international community itself and demands a response from it. Information and telecommunication technologies cannot be the new battlefield between States. Time is ripe to create the conditions to prevent cyberspace from being used as a weapon of war, through espionage, sabotage, and attacks against systems and infrastructure of other countries.

The United Nations must play a leading role in the effort to regulate the conduct of States with regard to these technologies.

For this reason, Brazil will present proposals for the establishment of a civilian multilateral framework for the governance and use of the Internet and to ensure the effective protection of data that travels through the web.
We need to create multilateral mechanisms for the worldwide network that are capable of ensuring principles such as:

1 – Freedom of expression, privacy of the individual and respect for human rights.
2 – Open, multilateral and democratic governance, carried out with transparency by stimulating collective creativity and the participation of society, Governments and the private sector.
3 – Universality that ensures the social and human development and the construction of inclusive and non-discriminatory societies.
4 – Cultural diversity, without the imposition of beliefs, customs and values.
5 – Neutrality of the network, guided only by technical and ethical criteria, rendering it inadmissible to restrict it for political, commercial, religious or any other purposes.

Harnessing the full potential of the Internet requires, therefore, responsible regulation, which ensures at the same time freedom of expression, security and respect for human rights.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The choice of the Post-2015 Development Agenda as the theme for this Session of the General Assembly could not be more appropriate.

The fight against poverty, hunger and inequality constitutes the greatest challenge of our time.
For this reason, we have adopted a socially inclusive economic model based on generating employment, strengthening small-scale agriculture, expanding credit, increasing the value of salaries and developing a vast social protection network, particularly through the Bolsa Familia (“Family Stipend”) Program.

Beyond previous achievements, we have lifted 22 million Brazilians out of extreme poverty in only two years.
We have drastically reduced child mortality. A recent report by UNICEF indicates that Brazil has promoted one of the most notable reductions of this indicator in the world.

-Children are a priority for Brazil. This is reflected in our commitment to education. We are the country which has most increased public investment in education, according to the last OECD report. We have also just approved legislation which earmarks 75% of all petroleum royalties to education, and 25% to health services.

Mr. President,
In the debate on the Post-2015 Development Agenda we must focus on the results of Rio+20.

The major step taken in Rio de Janeiro was to place poverty in the center of the sustainable development agenda. Poverty is not a problem exclusive to developing countries, and environmental protection is not a goal to achieve merely once poverty is overcome.

The meaning of the Post-2015 Agenda is the development of a world in which it is possible to grow, include and protect.
By promoting, Mr. President, social ascension and overcoming extreme poverty, as we are doing, we have created an immense contingent of citizens with better quality of life, increased access to information and greater awareness of their rights.
Citizens with new hopes, new desires and new demands.

The protests in June, in my country, are an inseparable part of the development of our democracy and of social change.
My Government did not repress them, on the contrary, it listened to and understood the voices from the streets. We listened and understood because we ourselves came from the streets.
We were educated day to day by the great struggles of Brazil. The street is our ground, our base.

The protesters did not ask to return to the past. They did ask for further progress towards a future of greater rights, participation and social achievements.

It was during this decade that we promoted the greatest reduction in social inequality in the last 50 years. It was during this decade that we created a system of social protection which permitted us to nearly eradicate extreme poverty.

We know that democracy generates the desire for more democracy. Social inclusion demands further social inclusion. Quality Qf life awakens the yearning for more quality of life.

For us, progress achieved is always just a beginning. Our development strategy demands more, as desired by all Brazilians.

We cannot just listen, we must act. We must transform this extraordinary energy into achievements for everyone.

For this reason, I have launched 5 major pacts: the pact Against Corruption and for Political Reform; the Urban Mobility pact, geared towards the improvement of public transportation and urban reform; the Education pact, our great passport to the future, which will be supported by royalties from oil resources; a Health pact which provides for doctors to assist Brazilians in the poorest and most remote regions of the country; and the Fiscal Responsibility pact, to guarantee the economic viability of this new stage.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Although the most acute phase of the crisis is behind us, the situation of the world economy remains fragile, with unacceptable levels of unemployment.

According the ILO Statistics, there are more than 200 million unemployed people throughout the world.
This phenomenon affects populations of both developed and developing countries.

This is the right time to strengthen the growth of the world economy.
Emerging countries cannot alone guarantee the resumption of global growth. More than ever, it is necessary to coordinate actions in order to reduce unemployment and reestablish the momentum of international trade. We are all in the same boat.

My country is restoring economic growth despite the impact of the international crisis over the last years. We rely on three important elements: i) a commitment to solid macroeconomic policies; ii) the continuation of successful social inclusion policies; iii) the adoption of measures to increase our productivity and, therefore, our international competitiveness.

We are committed to stability, to controlling inflation, to improving the quality of public spending and to maintaining optimal fiscal performance.

We reiterate our support, Mr. President, for the reform of the IMF.
Governance of the Fund should reflect the weight of emerging and developing countries in the world economy. Delaying this reform will further reduce the Fund’s legitimacy and effectiveness.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The year 2015 will mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations and the 10th anniversary of the 2005 World Summit.
It will be the occasion to carry out the urgent reform we have been calling for since that Summit.

It is imperative to avoid the collective defeat of reaching 2015 without a Security Council capable of fully exerting its responsibilities in today’s world.
The limited representation of the UN Security Council is an issue of grave concern, considering the challenges posed by the 21 st century.
The immense difficulty in offering a solution to the Syrian crisis and the paralysis in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict exemplify this concern.

In dealing with important issues, the recurring polarization between permanent members generates a dangerous paralysis.
We must provide the Council with voices that are at once independent and constructive. Only the expansion of the number of permanent and non permanent members and the inclusion of developing countries in both categories will correct the Council’s deficit of representation and legitimacy.

Mr. President,
The General Debate offers the opportunity to reiterate the fundamental principles which guide my country’s foreign policy and our position with regards to pressing international issues. We are guided by the defense of a multilateral world, ruled by international law, by the primacy of peaceful solutions to conflicts and by the quest for a more compassionate and just order – both economically and socially.

The crisis in Syria moves us and is cause for indignation. Two and a half years of lives lost and widespread destruction have caused the greatest humanitarian disaster of the century.

Brazil, which has in Syrian descent an important component of our nationality, is profoundly involved with this drama.

We must stop the death of innocent civilians, of children, women and the elderly. We must cease the use of arms – conventional or chemical, by the government or the rebels.

There is no military outcome. The only solution is through negotiation, dialogue and understanding.

The decision of Syria to adhere to the Chemical Weapons Convention and to immediately apply its provisions is of great importance.
This measure is instrumental to overcome the conflict and to contribute to a world free of those arms. Their use, I repeat, is heinous and inadmissible under any circumstances.

For this reason, we support the agreement reached between the United States and Russia for elimination of Syrian chemical weapons. It is up to the Syrian government to implement this agreement fully, cooperatively and in good faith.

Whatever the case, we repudiate unilateral interventions contrary to International Law, without Security Council authorization, which would only worsen the political instability of the region and increase human suffering.
In the same vein, a durable peace between Israel and Palestine takes on new urgency in view of the changes occurring in the Middle East.

The time has come to heed to the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians for an independent and sovereign state.
The time has also come to realize the wide international consensus in favor of the two state solution.
The current negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians should bring about practical and significant results towards an agreement.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The history of the twentieth century shows that forsaking multilateralism is a prelude to wars and the consequent human misery and devastation.
It also shows that the promotion of multilateralism brings benefits on ethical, political and institutional levels.
I renew, thus, an appeal in favor of a wide and vigorous convergence of political wills to sustain and reinvigorate the multilateral system, which has in the United Nations its main pillar.
At its creation, much hope was raised that humanity could overcome the wounds of the Second World War.
That it would be possible to rebuild, from the wreckage and bloodshed, a new world of freedom, solidarity and prosperity.

We all have the responsibility of keeping this fertile and generous hope alive. Thank you.

Ban Ki-moon Hints At Crux of Syrian Dilemma, Without Naming Names

[Mr. Moon is starting to come away from the Imperial position, in blaming world powers for fueling the conflict, without actually elaborating on how the West is responsible for creating this unacceptable situation in the first place.]

UN chief urges leaders to stop fueling Syria war

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during the 68th session of the General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Photo: Seth Wenig

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during the 68th session of the General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Photo: Seth Wenig

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging world leaders to stop fueling the bloodshed in Syria with weapons and get both sides to the negotiating table to end the “biggest challenge to peace and security in the world.”

In his annual state of the world address to presidents, prime ministers and monarchs at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, the U.N. chief said the response to last month’s “heinous use of chemical weapons” outside Damascus “has created diplomatic momentum — the first signs of unity in far too long.”

He called on the U.N. Security Council to adopt an “enforceable” resolution on a U.S.-Russian agreement to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control. He also urged punishment for the perpetrators of last month’s chemical weapons attack, possibly at the International Criminal Court.

The Real Reason for Allowing the Creation of “Social Media” Comes Into View

[I-phones, GPS, Twitter and all personal media can and will be used to keep tabs on us.  Where we are, what we are doing, even what we are thinking, is being monitored,charted and graphed as the preliminary stage to total control of individuals, their actions and their thoughts.  Eventually, the US Police State will come out of the shadows and move against us, all of us, in order to separate us from the rest of the sheeple.  By us, I mean the American resisters.  The new iPhone 5S even takes the owner’sfingerprints, saving them to use as a form of personal identification.  Stop twitting and tweeting, or “twerking” (whatever that is), or using facebook…Throw away your i-phones and anything that records your actions, or any automatic GPS-tracking devices…There will come a time when all of us here in the Alternative Reality will want to be untraceable, or incognito.  Just wait ’til A.I. is given the task of filling the camps with American dissidents.  Our day is coming (SEE:

Normal
0

false
false
false

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

Internet Death List).]

 

Computer program uses Twitter to ‘map mood of nation’

BBC

Twitter app on smartphone
The researchers say the computer program can scan up to 2,000 tweets a second

British scientists have developed a computer program they say can map the mood of the nation using Twitter.

Named Emotive, it works by accessing the emotional content of postings on the social networking site.

The team, from Loughborough University, say it can scan up to 2,000 tweets a second and rate them for expressions of one of eight human emotions.

They claim Emotive could help calm civil unrest and identify early threats to public safety.

More than 500 million people across the world use Twitter, and more than 340 million tweets are posted daily.

The team, from the university’s new Centre for Information Management, say the system can extract a direct expression of anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, shame and confusion from each tweet.

The academics said that using the Emotive software to geographically evaluate any mass mood could help police to track potential criminal behaviour or threats to public safety.

It may be able to guide national policy on the best way to react to major incidents, they added.

‘Sadness and disgust’

Prof Tom Jackson, who led the research team, said that public postings through social media gave a very accurate real-time record of how and what people were feeling.

“Following the murder of solider Lee Rigby in Woolwich there was an outpouring of sadness and disgust through Twitter,” he said.

“Across the country people expressed their emotions at this unprovoked attack, with some using the incident to incite racial hatred against Muslims.

“Two days after his murder his family appealed for calm, stating that their son would not have wanted his name to be used as an excuse to carry out attacks against others.

“This appeal had an almost immediate effect, leading to an outpour of positive sentiment.”

Prof Jackson added: “Twitter is a very concise platform through which users express how they feel about a particular event, be that a criminal act, a new government policy or even a change in the weather.

“Through the computer program we have created we can collate these expressions of feelings in real time, map them geographically and track how they develop.”

Dr Ann O’Brien, who was part of the team that created the study for emotions used by the programme, said it could chart the strength of feeling expressed in both ordinary language and in slang.

“For any incident we can view how reactions grow and diminish over time,” she said.

The system is currently only being used to analyse tweets in the UK, but the researchers said it could easily be scaled up to monitor tweets globally.

Technology-Driven Imperial Aggression—Testing US Weapons On Civilians In the Middle East

Secret technology pushing US into military adventures

PressTV

The file photo shows a child survivor of the US atomic bombardment of the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

The file photo shows a child survivor of the US atomic bombardment of the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
By Gordon Duff

Now that America has these things (modern clandestine technologies), they now want to use them and what better place to test non-existent technology than Syria?”

The development of military technology, beginning with the Strategic Defense Initiative of the Reagan presidency, has given the US capabilities that have remained “dark,” not just secret but “deniable” as well.

The US can simulate any intelligence source, any terror attack, small or large, or even influence public opinion, push groups to follow insane ideas or drive individuals to acts of unspeakable horror.

The best part of this, for America’s political leaders at least, is that they aren’t officially informed. Key congressional leaders like McCain or former Senator Kerry know all of it, know but aren’t talking.

They were the proponents that pushed these technologies, some costing tens of billions of “black budget” dollars, to fruition.

Now that America has these things, they now want to use them and what better place to test non-existent technology than Syria?

Nukes
America’s new addition is to its new generation of nuclear weapons developed at Livermore labs after 1991.

New weapons can be dialed to achieve little or no blast. It is impossible to determine if any large explosion is nuclear or conventional. Nuclear weapons, when used, are claimed to be conventional weapons that hit “arms caches” or “fuel depots.”

Some weapons known as Minimal Residual Radiation (MRR) weapons produce ionizing radiation for only a few hundred yards and all detectable radiation is gone in 72 hours.

Other nuclear weapons are “tuned” to destroy particular materials. Some can destroy steel, turning it into a powder. These are designed to be used on naval targets.

Other nukes are “tuned” to destroy chemical weapons without spreading toxic materials for miles as happened in Iraq. These weapons are now on the Tomahawk missiles deployed in the Mediterranean to be used against Syria.

This is one of the reasons President Obama and Secretary Kerry have been so “cryptic” in discussing their attack plans, how large, how long?
This is why “boots on the ground” is considered unneeded. “Nukes on the ground” is what is planned instead.

Historically, these weapons have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan many times. There are also reports from nuclear weapons experts that the Marine barracks in Beirut may have been hit with a nuclear weapon, another used in Oklahoma City and another still in Bali.

There is clear proof one was used outside Damascus on May 4, 2013. When videos of the mushroom cloud and ball lightning went viral, there was no attempt at a denial.

Control and spin
A key component of a “secret nuke” strategy is calling any reports that contradict official mythology “conspiracy theory.” Pundits and comedians like Jon Stewart, Wolf Blitzer or Rush Limbaugh are key players.

Other totally controlled outlets, Murdoch’s Fox News and Wall Street Journal are, perhaps, the worst followed by DailyBeast.com and Newsweek, Jane Harmon’s AIPAC propaganda rags.

The newest entry is the Huffington Post, saturated with sex and “celebs,” used yesterday to attack Russian videos of Syrian rebels lobbing sarin shells.

A report of a nuclear attack, no matter how much science, as Dr. Chris Busby can attest, will ever hit the western press.

However, a Syrian rebel can film a gas attack, brag about doing it on video and post it on Youtube and it is virtually invisible.

Controlled news has driven the US into using unthinkable weapons, into staging horrific acts of terror and, if possible, being exceeded in every way by Israel.

Targeted individuals
There is mounting evidence that individuals known as “targeted persons” are subjected to attacks that include stalking, threats, staged incidents (accidents and murder/suicide among these) but also use of secret technologies.

The individuals are test subjects, possible security threats, whistleblowers or “Oswald” types. The US has an inventory of several thousand “targeted individuals” who, on command, as in the Charles Bronson film, “Telefon,” are ready to commit acts of terror.

Supporting these operations are “crisis actor” groups, coincidental “security drills (often Israeli companies but others are used too), and a slew of “alphabet soup” agencies, ready to plant evidence, silence real witnesses or commit the acts of terror themselves if the chosen targeted “patsies” fail in their mission.

Ft. Hood, Gabby Giffords, Sandy Hook and the Navy Yard are but a few.

John Anthony Hill was criminally charged in Britain for exposing the 7/7 terror attacks and found not guilty in a trial that was based on substantiating his claims, proving “7/7” was false flag terrorism.

Brain attack tech
Most have heard about MK Ultra or the film “Men Who Stare at Goats.” This mixture of “conspiracy theory” and disinformation media humor is used to limit public knowledge of decades-old programs that have cost endless billions.
What programs?
Here is a partial list:

– “Neural communications”: This capability is meant to allow troops to talk to each other by thought alone, through receptors in their helmets. Sounds crazy? This is an ongoing DARPA project with billions spent, but there was never an intent to use this as authorized. This pure “thought control” project has already yielded results that we may well have seen in the recent terror shootings across the US.
– “Induced psychosis”: Remember the US invasion of Panama? President Noriega was subjected to “rock music” played at unimaginable levels. Today, Israeli companies openly market energy weapon technologies that are capable of causing everything from physical pain to feelings of panic and even suicide. Soon you will be buying them on EBay. The real systems, first developed for use through mobile communications by Ericsson Corporation, are capable of inducing severe psychosis, paranoia and triggering violence.
– “Death rays”: The most advanced “black programs” are capable of inducing ideas but also of causing death. Most common is suicide, sometimes tied to induce terrorist acts.
– “Full Scale”: Targeted individuals most often have their own private “crisis actors.” The important ones are assigned mentally disturbed or abusive “partners,” selected to play on personal weaknesses such as guilt or excessive kindness. Attacks often include induced illnesses, most often fatal cancers or aneurisms, the killing of pets or staged accidents or suicides involving children or grandchildren.

The existence of these programs is fully confirmed, but it is the scale that is frightening. These aren’t programs, they are an industry.

“We got it, let’s use it!”
Breakthroughs in quantum physics have facilitated capabilities unimagined, far beyond simple extrasensory perception or “remote viewing.”

Advanced energy research looking into Tesla’s investigations of the “ether” for obtaining and transmitting energy has yielded capabilities that will never be made public.

“Non-linear” advanced technologies sneak into the consumer world from time to time, products developed and manufactured prior to the development of the processes required to create them.

This has given political leaders a “bag of tricks” that lets them do whatever they desire and never have to answer for it.

The ethos backing this up is entirely Malthusian. Victims, be they dozens or millions, are simply “useless eaters” as Henry Kissinger, chief proponent of the use of “black tech.”

Kissinger “made his bones” as an advocate for the use of nuclear weapons over conventional force. His policies from 40 years ago or more are a reality today.

His thinking, that humanity is no more than cattle, his value system, is the one we are seeing today, pouring out of Washington.

Do we need to ask how humanity has sunk so low? Perhaps, are we naïve in referring to political and economic elites as part of humanity?
Do we have evidence that they consider themselves as such?

GD/NN

Gordon Duff is a Marine Vietnam veteran, a combat infantryman, and Senior Editor at Veterans Today. His career has included extensive experience in international banking along with such diverse areas as consulting on counter insurgency, defense technologies or acting as diplomatic representative for UN humanitarian and economic development efforts. Gordon Duff has traveled to over 80 nations. His articles are published around the world and translated into a number of languages. He is regularly on TV and radio, a popular and sometimes controversial guest. More Press TV articles by Gordon Duff

Russia – China and CSTO draw Red Line about NATO Despotism

Russia – China and CSTO draw Red Line about NATO Despotism

nsnbc international

Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) , – Following US attempts to blackmail Russia into adopting a Security Council resolution which would pave the way for a US aggression against Syria under the UN Charter´s Chapter 7, by threatening to block Syria´s accession to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, China and Russia responded by drawing an unequivocal red line with regards to Syria. The Chinese and Russian position has the support of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), who stressed the need for a peaceful resolution to the situation in Syria at a CSTO council meeting on Monday. 

lavrov us blackmailStrong Russian Response to U.S. Attempt to Blackmail Russia on Syria´s Accession to OPCW.  A U.S. Attempt to blackmail Russia into a concurrent vote for a Security Council resolution that would render a loophole for military aggression against Syria under the UN Charter´s Chapter 7 has prompted unequivocal responses from both Russia and China.

According to statements from Russia´s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, the USA threatened, that it would withdraw its support for Syria´s accession into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons OCPW). The Russian Top-Diplomat responded, saying:

“Our American partners are starting to blackmail us: ‘If Russia does not support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw our support for Syria’s entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry”.

Lavrov described the USA, saying that Russia´s western partners are blinded by an ideological mission for regime change. Lavrov´s statement underpinned what analysts had warned about since Syria agreed with the Russian – brokered “deal” to render its chemical weapons under international control and to become a member of the OCPW.

ChiRusJoint Chinese – Russian Rejection of Threats as Unacceptable. The Chinese National People´s Congress and the Russian Federation Council said, that threats of using force or military intervention against Syria are unacceptable, and that the only way to solve the crisis is dialog.

The joint statement was issued on Monday, at the conclusion of a meeting of the two country´s foreign affairs committies in Moscow. Both the Chinese and the Russian delegates stressed that the long overdue international conference on Syria in Geneva must be held as soon as possible to find a political solution, and to end the suffering of the Syrian people. The joint statement implied the risk that failure to find a political solution could lead to even more tragic developments in the Middle East.

China Comdemned Terrorist Attack on Russian Embassy in Damascus. On Sunday, a mortar shell landed on the territory of the Russian Embassy in Damascus. Although a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson conveyed China´s condolences to the victims, Russia did not report any casualties and states that the embassy is working normally. The attack however, prompted the unequivocal condemnation of China.

On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hong Lei, condemned Sunday´s terrorist attack on the Russian Embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus, saying:

“We express serious concerns over the shellfire attack on the Russian embassy in Syria. We denounce such actions and offer our condolences to the victims of the attack. We call on all parties to observe the Vienna Convention in order to ensure the safety of diplomats in Syria. We call for a cease fire and for starting a dialog to stabilize the situation in the country”. 

The prompt Chinese response to the terrorist attack did not come unexpectedly, as China´s embassy in the former Yugoslavia was “accidentally” attacked with a U.S. American cruise missile. 

Kyi-moon Wan YiChina´s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi to visit USA, Calls for Compromise regarding Syria´s Chemical Weapons as soon as possible. Following Russian announcements of the US blackmail attempt, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, stated to the Chinese news agency Xinghua, that it is important for the international community to reach a compromise regarding Syria´s chemical weapons as soon as possible.

During a meeting with UN Secretary General ban Kyi-moon in New York on Sunday, the Chinese Foreign Minister stressed, that the international community should get rid of these weapons and find a solution for the crisis equivalently. Wang Yi stressed the importance of objectivity, honesty and professional work at the OPCW with regards to Syria´s chemical weapons, and that China is ready to send experts to participate in the inspection and destruction process of chemical weapons in Syria.

Stressing the importance of objectivity, the Chinese Foreign Minister may have preempted further U.S. threats from the USA, to withdraw US support for Syria´s accession to the OPCW and related developments. A recent nsnbc report, for example, warned that both the UK and Germany may be involved in the attempt to frame Syria for non-compliance with its obligation to provide a full inventory.

Putin at CSTO in September 2013Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) warns against the Spread of Terrorism and stress Need for joint Position on resolving Syria Crisis. On Monday, the Council of the CSTO met to discuss the situation in Syria and the risk of the spread of terrorism across the region.

Russia´s President, Vladimir Putin, warned that the spread of terrorism in troubled countries like Syria constitutes a real threat to CSTO member countries. Putin stressed that the terrorist organizations which are currently active in the troubled countries did not appear out of the thin air and that they won´t simply disappear into the thin air.

The Russian President stopped short of openly denouncing the USA and other NATO countries for their well documented and systematic use of al-Qaeda as mercenary brigades for the subversion of targeted nations. NATO implicitly made the subversion of countries by abuse of UN resolutions and in cooperation with al-Qaeda brigades part of its military doctrine at NATO´s 25th Summit in Chicago, in June 2012.

Putin described the terrorist brigades in terms of being a real threat and a real issue that can affect any CSTO member. Putin stressed that the CSTO cannot afford to ignore the situation in Syria and that it is necessary for the CSTO members to formulate a joint position on how to resolve the crisis.

csto 2013 mayCSTO Council Meeting of Greater Importance than it Appears at First Glance. The meeting of the CSTO Council and discussions about formulating a joint position on how to solve the Syria crisis and the risk of terrorism may have greater importance than one can be led to believe by the lack of mainstream media coverage.

Analysts, including Agha H. Amin and Christof Lehmann, have been warning about US / NATO plans to create a string of low-intensity conflicts from the Eastern Mediterranean, along the resource rich and soft underbelly of Russia´s and China´s Middle Eastern and Central Asian republics for some time. F. William Engdahl warns about the risk for an aggravation of the low-intensity conflict in Pakistan´s Baluchistan province, which would impact both CSTO member states as well as China. With regards to China, the U.S. / Globalist pivot has also begun affecting Myanmar and Chinese gas and oil supplies, as Lehmann wrote in 2012.

A joint approach to Syria from the side of the CSTO member states, and increasing Chinese efforts to stress that another US aggression is unacceptable underpins that the “Crisis in Syria” is a de-facto confrontation between the USA / NATO and Russia – China and their allies.

During the opening of the CSTO Council meeting in the Russian city of Sochi on Monday, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said:

We are concerned over the situation in Syria, not only in light of its repercussions on the whole region, but also due to its aftermath on the systems of international laws“.

Both Russia and China are drawing a clear and according to analysts and international experts, a much needed red line with regards to the US push for an illegal military aggression against Syria. In a 2012 article, titled “South East China Sea, A Perfect Crisis for the International Crisis Group, the authors Black, Fetzer, Mezyaev and Lehmann detailed what they called the explosion of international law at its very foundation and the descend into anarchy and despotism with regards to international law.

The statement by Russia´s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, saying: “Our American partners are starting to blackmail us: ‘If Russia does not support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw our support for Syria’s entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry” elicits how far the descend into lawlessness has progressed. The assertive statement also indicates, that the post 2001 period of an unchallenged US/NATO push for global, full spectrum dominance is ending with Syria.

About the Author

– Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

US Weapons Deliveries to “Terrorists in Syria” a Systematic Violation of the Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.

US Weapons Deliveries to “Terrorists in Syria” a Systematic Violation of the Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.

nsnbc international

Arms PipelineChristof Lehmann (nsnbc),- A New York Times article reveals CIA involvement in weapons deliveries to the Syrian insurgents. Weapons which among other end up in the hands of the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch Jabhat al-Nusra.

The article reveals that deliveries by planes have taken place since 2012. The USA, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi-Arabia and others however, have directly and indirectly provided weapons for Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda associated insurgents since early 2011.

Special forces liaisons and special operations combat troops have been on the ground in Syria since 2011, taking among other, part in the spectacular kidnapping of the attorney general of  Hama, Adnan Bakkur, in which  helicopter gunships were involved.

The financing of the subversion began as early as 2007, when the government of Qatar sent USD 10 billion to the Turkish Foreign Minister Davotoglu. The arming of terrorists is not a one off scandal, but official NATO doctrine and a systematic violation of the Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.

As much as the New York Times (NYT) may want to portray arms shipments by plane as spectacular incident, it hardly touches the surface of the criminal attempt of the USA and NATO allies, Saudi-Arabia, Qatar, Israel, post-coup Libya and other, to systematically manufacture a low intensity conflict with the help of well financed and armed proxies, and with the purposes to prevent the completion of the PARS gas-pipeline, to balkanize Syria and Iraq, create a Kurdish Corridor, and to create the precondition for a war on Iran and other conflicts along the soft, resource rich underbelly of Russia and China.

The New York Times article correctly states, that Turkey and Arab governments, with the help of the CIA, over the recent months have increased their military aid to “Syrian opposition fighters”. The New York Times article further states, that the airlift began on a small scale in early 2012, continued intermittently through last fall, and expanded into a much heavier flow in late 2012. According to the NYT, it has grown to include more than 160 cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi-Arabian and Qatari military-style cargo planes, landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, other Turkish and Jordanian airports.

The importance of the NYT article lies in the fact, that it is for the first time, that a major US-American newspaper recognizes, and to a degree documents the fact, that a US intelligence service was involved in delivering weapons to insurgents in Syria, albeit US-President Obama publicly refused to provide more than “non-lethal” aid. The NYT also reports, that officers from US-Intelligence Services have used “secret offices” to help Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia. The NYT also reports that American officials, on the condition of anonymity, have stated, that US-Intelligence Officers have vetted rebel commanders and groups to determine, who should receive weapons as they arrive  (1

The article in the NYT on 25 March was not the first to report about the airlift of arms from Croatia. Already on 8 March The London Telegraph reported about a 3,000 Ton airlift of weapons by Jordan and NATO member Turkey which passed through the Croatian city Zagreb. (2 Subsequently, on 9 March, LandDestroyer and nsnbc published a comprehensive article about the airlift, detailing that the weapons, among other, were being delivered to the Syrian Al-Qaeda militia Jabhat al-Nusra. (3

Reportedly, the CIA has declined to comment about the statements by members of the intelligence community, that the CIA vetted the terrorist groups who received the weapons. However, there are numerous reports which substantiate the direct involvement of the CIA and other NATO member states, Saudi-Arabian, Qatari and other intelligence services, and that, long before March 2013.

US – Special Forces Officer blows the whistle. Already in August 2011 an officer of the United States Special Forces at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, reports to nsnbc on the condition of anonymity, that US Special Forces had been operating in both Libya and Syria for months already, cooperating with predominantly Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda associated militia. (4

The same officer also verified that a training circular for special forces and “foreign students” which were trained by US special forces, the TC 18-01, Special Forces, Unconventional Warfare, from 2010, was a genuine document and reflected the model according to which the US Administration, US-Special Forces, US-Intelligence Services and their allies in Syria were organizing the subversion of the country. February 2012, the TC 18-01 was published in full by nsnbc. (5 No western mainstream media reported about the whistle blower or the TC 18-01.

September 2011 – Helicopter Gunships involved in the Kidnapping of Hama Attorney General Adnan Bakkur. In early September 2011 the attorney general of Hama, Syria, Adnan Bakkur was kidnapped. According to western mainstream media, the attorney general had defected. A video with the attorney general reading a statement that he had defected because of the violent crackdown of the Syrian government against peaceful protesters, was aired on several western mainstream media channels or used as evidence for the attorney general´s defection. The video shows clearly, that Adnan Bakkur “read” his statement under duress.

A reporter for nsnbc in Damascus reported, that the attorney general had been kidnapped and added further detail to the evidence, reporting, that eyewitnesses have seen the kidnappers drive in several cars, including a white Toyota pickup with a heavy machine gun mounted on it. The convoy with the kidnapped attorney general was then met by waiting helicopter gunships. Although the whereabouts of Adnan Bakkur were unknown, it was suspected, that he had been taken across the border to Turkey, where NATO Special Operations forces were training and arming Muslim Brotherhood fighters. (6

Although no independent, international investigation into this high profile kidnapping of the Hama attorney general Adnan Bakkur was conducted it was bearing all the signs of being a Military Intelligence Support Operation (MISO), also known as a PSYOP or psychological operation. Moreover, it is very unlikely that the helicopter gunships were not provided by a NATO member states military.

US Troops from Iraq redeployed to Jordan. Recruitment Center and Intelligence Operations Room in Mekka Street, Amman, Jordan. In December 2012 the blog of the US-American whistle blower Sibel Edmonds, Boilingfrogpost, reported that an unspecified number of US troops which had been withdrawn from Iraq, had been redeployed to airbases in Jordan and to the Jordanian border town Al-Mafraq, near the Syrian border.  (7

On 17 February nsnbc reported, that the Jordanian military, together with US troops, had established a “buffer zone” at the Jordanian – Syrian border near al-Mafraq and reported that a source close to the former Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit had announced the presence of an estimated 43,000 fighters.

At least 20,000 of these fighters, so the former Jordanian prime Minister´s confident, were fighters of the Libyan Al-Qaeda organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), also known under the name “Tripoli Brigades”, under the command of the known Al-Qaeda terrorist Abdelhakim Belhadj and his second in command Harati. The transport of the many NATO mercenaries has reportedly taken place under the cover of medical transports or transports of wounded Libyan “rebels” to Jordan. (8

According to the former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar, who referred to Spanish intelligence services reports, Abdelhakim Belhadj, who also is known under the names Hasadi, Hasidi and other alias, was the mastermind behind the 2004 Madrid train bombings which secured that the Spanish parliament continued deploying Spanish troops to Afghanistan.

After the NATO led conquest of the Libyan capital Tripoli, Belhadj became the military governor of Tripoli, Al-Qaeda´s Libyan Islamic Fighting Groups became the Tripoly Military Council and the Tripoli Brigades. Abdelhakim Belhadj was installed in the position with the knowledge and aid of the US/NATO intelligence services and military, and with the full knowledge of the administration of US President Obama. ( 9

Also from a source close to the former Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit, came the information that the Turkish (NATO) military intelligence service had opened an intelligence and operations room and a recruitment center in Mekha Street, in the Jordanian capital Amman. (ibid.)

Shiploads of Weapons including shoulder fired Surface to Air Missiles, arriving in Turkey, are distributed to insurgents in Syria. One fact that makes statements by the US administration, that it only provides non-lethal aid particularly deceitful is the fact that the Obama administration failed to respond to a report, according to which an entire shipload of weapons which had arrived to Turkey from Libya, and which contained large numbers of shoulder fired SAM-7 and Stinger Surface to Air Missiles, which were then distributed to insurgents in Syria by Turkish, that is NATO military officers. In September 2012 The Times, SANA and nsnbc reported about this largest yet documented shipload of weapons delivered to Syrian insurgents. (11

The “non-lethal aid ” will constitute a considerable threat to international air safety for the foreseeable future, and it is neither unlikely that one or more of the surface to air missiles will be used in a genuine terrorist attack by Islamist radicals against a civilian airliner, or that one or more of them will be used by a radical / double agent posing as a radical Islamist in a false flag terror attack.

The re-opening of the old smuggling route at the Saudi – Iraqi border and US Secretary of State´s  warning to Iraq´s Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki. On 26 December 2012 nsnbc international reported about the reopening of an old smuggling route at the border between Saudi-Arabia and Iraq. The smuggling route, was previously being used for transporting various types of weapons, ammunition  bombs,military equipment and not least drugs to Iraq, begins in Al-Nakhib in the western Al-Anbar province, near the Ar´ar border crossing. The smuggling route has been reactivated to provide a variety of terrorist organizations in Syria, including the Jabhat al-Nusra, with weapons and other equipment. (12  

Weapons and other equipment from Saudi-Arabia, smuggled along this route however, is not exclusively being funneled to Syria. Iraq has since the last quarter of 2012 again become a target of terrorism and sectarian violence, instigated, financed and armed by Saudi-Arabia. In December 2012 a senior Iraqi legislator issued a warning against plots which are being hatched by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi-Arabia against Iraq, calling on citizens of Iraq to be vigilant. Earlier in 2012 Iraq´s Prime Minister Nouri Malaki warned, that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are attempting to carry out an Syria-style plot against Iraq in an attempt to topple the government by deploying terrorists.

In an interview with the Lebanese al-Mayyadeen satellite network earlier in 2012, P.M. Nouri al-Malaki stated: ” Qatar and Saudi Arabia which are meddling to topple the Syrian government are now doing the same meddling to topple the Iraqi regime. Their goal is overthrowing the Iraqi government. Their goal is overthrowing the Iraqi ruling system and not overthrowing me”.  

Earlier in 2012 the prominent Iraqi legislator, Al-Sayhood, issued the warning that much of the strategy which is being financed and carried out by Saudi Arabia and Qatar is in fact masterminded by Israel in an attempt to destabilize the sole Arab nation which so far has stood firm against imperialism and which consequently and consistently has backed the Arab and Palestinian cause. Iraq has over the course of the last four months been subject to several high profile terrorist attacks and assassinations which most likely originated from Saudi-Arabia. (ibid.)

On a surprise visit to Iraq and Iraq´s Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki by US Secretary of State John Kerry however, Kerry demanded that Iraq stops the flow of arms to the Syrian military and the Syrian government. The demand has widely been discredited as hypocritical and many analysts, the scribe included assess Kerry´s statement as part of preparations for a larger media campaign and a campaign of destabilization and terrorism against Iraq.  (14

NATO´s Discount Warfare Strategy, Arms Deliveries to “Terrorist Organizations” or systematic Violations of the Convention against the Use of Mercenaries – The deliveries of weapons and the funding of terrorist organizations, the interface of terrorist organizations with civilian and military intelligence services and western governments attempts to distance themselves as much as possible from terrorism in the view of the western citizens are symptoms of a new NATO military doctrine which was adopted at the 25th NATO Summit in Chicago 2012. (15

Prior to the formal adoption of the doctrine, which could be described as a discount low-intensity warfare model by means of mercenaries, who can be used as either friend or foe, which ideally should result in the procurement of NATO via the UNSC, but which will function as terrorist war of attrition if a UNSC resolution cannot be secured, was first officially endorsed by the two top NATO chiefs Ivo H. Daalder and James G. Stavridis when they called NATO´s intervention in Libya “a teachable moment and model for future intervention”. At NATO´s 25th Summit the model was officially adopted.

The NYT article, although it discloses some of the illegal deliveries of weapons is problematic and misleading to the extend that a correct name for the arms deliveries would be “Arms Deliveries to NATO mercenaries”.

The “terrorist” narrative is no longer viable and it eventually prevents the general public from understanding that the USA/NATO, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi-Arabia, EU and other “Friends of Syria” are systematically violating the Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries. Neither the USA, EU member states, or Turkey have signed the Mercenary Convention. However, Saudi-Arabia and Qatar are signatories. The fact that the convention was not signed by the USA, Turkey, EU, does not necessarily exempt them from its provisions when they cooperate with Saudi-Arabia and Qatar who are signatories.

Christof Lehmann 26.03.2013

International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, 4 December 1989  

Notes:

Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid from C.I.A., New York Times, 25. March 2013 published online at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/arms-air-lift-to-syrian-rebels-expands-with-cis-aid.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

2) US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’. The London Telegraph, 08 March 2013, published online at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9918785/US-and-Europe-in-major-airlift-of-arms-to-Syrian-rebels-through-Zagreb.html 

3) US-British Al Qaeda Airlift: 3,000 Tons of Weapons Fuel Syria’s Destruction , LandDestroyer, 09 March 2013, also published online by nsnbc international at http://nsnbc.me/2013/03/09/us-british-al-qaeda-airlift-3000-tons-of-weapons-fuel-syrias-destruction/

4) Arabian Summer or NATO´s Fall, Christof Lehmann, 29. August 2011, published online at nsnbc at http://nsnbc.me/2011/08/29/arabian-summer-or-nato%C2%B4s-fall/

5) SPECIAL FORCES UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE – TC 18-01, published by nsnbc online at http://nsnbc.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/special-forces-uw-tc-18-01.pdf

6) Syria – Hama: Driver and Bodyguard of Kidnapped General Attorney Confirm Kidnapping. Christof Lehmann, 05 September 2011, published on nsnbc, online at http://nsnbc.me/2011/09/05/syria-hama-driver-and-bodyguard-of-kidnapped-general-attorney-confirm-kidnapping/

7) Foreign Troops Begin to Spread Near the Villages of Al-Mafraq. Sibel Edmonds, Boilingfrogspost, published in nsnbc on 13 December 2011 online at http://nsnbc.me/2011/12/13/foreign-troops-begin-to-spread-in-syria/

8) Attack on Syria likely before March? Christof Lehmann, nsnbc, 17 February 2012, published online at http://nsnbc.me/2012/02/17/attack-on-syria-likely-before-march/

9) Abdelhakim Belhadj The Mask Behind The Many Men, Christof Lehmann, nsnbc, 25 September 2011, published online at http://nsnbc.me/2011/09/25/abdelhakim-belhadj-the-mask-behind-the-many-men/

10) ibid.

11) Largest Shipload of Libyan Weapons Heading to Armed Groups in Syria, SANA, published on nsnbc on 15 September 2012, online at http://nsnbc.me/2012/09/15/largest-shipload-of-libyan-weapons-heading-to-armed-groups-in-syria/

12) Saudi Smuggling Route to Syria Disclosed. Christof Lehmann, nsnbc, 26. December 2012, published online at http://nsnbc.me/2012/12/26/saudi-smuggling-route-to-syria-disclosed-2/

13) ibid.

14) Kerry Demands Iraq Stop “Arms Flow” to Syria even as US Arms/Funds Al Qaeda, LandDestroyer, 25 March 2013, published on nsnbc international at http://nsnbc.me/2013/03/25/kerry-demands-iraq-stop-arms-flow-to-syria-even-as-us-armsfunds-al-qaeda/

15) NATO`s 25th Summit in Chicago in Preparation of Global Full Spectrum Dominance Christof Lehmann, nsnbc, 20 May 2012, published online at  http://nsnbc.me/2012/05/20/natos-25th-summit-in-chicago-in-preparation-of-global-full-spectrum-dominance-interventionism-possible-preparations-for-a-regional-war-directed-against-russia-and-china-and-developments-in-global/

About the Author

– Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

Unravelling Some Deep 911 Threads, Retying Them To Today’s Shooters

The Washington Navy Yard shootings ensure that details of Aaron Alexis’s career with U.S. intelligence agencies will remain inside a deep freezer alongside the dossier on another rogue government agent, the Aurora movie shooter James “the Joker” Holmes. These two villains have striking similarities: Both are linked by an admiration for the ArmaLite AR-15 spray gun and they also suffer bizarre psychiatric disorders, including chronic anxiety, heightened paranoia and strange voices inside their heads.The other feature in common between these now-retired government contractors is their work for the emerging new hub for America’s most advanced espionage capabilities ­ Aurora, Colorado, along with next-door Denver and other sites in the Rocky Mountain region. Alexis had a role in transferring Hewlett Packard network systems vital to NSA intercepts of satellite communications from NSA facilities at East Coast naval bases to Colorado.

Buckley airfield in Aurora, home of the Aerospace Data Center, is currently being upgraded and expanded. Its huge golf-ball shaped antennae capture signals from orbiting satellites operated by the National Reconnaissance Office, NASA and the U.S. Air Force, along with data intercepted from the orbiting spacecraft of other countries and private corporations. This intelligence, once analyzed, is shuttled to the North American Aerospace Command in Colorado Springs, which is also the location of the Air Force Academy. (see “Intelligence service being secretive about who, where and when; post-9/11 decentralization” http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_3431085)

In nearby Lakewood, the Federal Center is being remodeled to house the CIA’s domestic surveillance program, which is aimed eavesdropping on U.S. citizens with the goal of psychological profiling of everyone in the borders (http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/cia_moving_domestic_headquarters_to_denver/)

Before he opened fire on an audience at a Batman movie, Holmes conducted graduate-level neuroscience research in Denver at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, which integrates patient care and clinical trials with frontline biomedical studies. (http://www.ucdenver.edu/about/newsroom/newsreleases/Pages/Neuroscience-Program-and-Holmes-information.aspx) His psychiatric disorders may well be linked to the overexposure to powerful electromagnetic radiation from Buckley airfield and other intelligence centers concentrated in the area.

Although this unlikely pair followed separate career tracks and never met each other, the two shooters were each involved in secret work for the U.S. government. Since hard facts about this duo of evil-doers are scarce as hen’s teeth, the only method left to investigative journalism, short of a long camping trip in the Rockies, is context analysis and scenario development. While much of this discussion is admittedly speculative due to the thinness of evidence and unreliability of ever-changing media claims, the principal focus here is on the background to the secret work that Alexis did for the U.S. intelligence community. Holmes’ research funded by the National Institutes of Health is given passing mention as another facet of the mountain region’s emergence as America’s “Third Line” of strategic defense and tech-based intelligence gathering.

Operational Secrecy on 911

The Aaron Alexis story begins as so many other tragic events of our time on September 11, 2001. As told to the British press by his stepfather Frank Calderon, Alexis was riding up the escalator from the subway station below the World Trade Center just as the twin towers were collapsing. For hours, he remained outside the WTC entrance yet miraculously survived the downpour of shattered glass and splintered steel. Then, according to the stepfather’s account, Alexis participated in the rescue work alongside the first respondents over the following three days. (The Daily Mail, Sept. 18, 2013, Interview by Paul Thompson)

This story of personal heroism was also told to the Seattle police officers who questioned Alexis in 2004 after he shot the tires of a car.  Alexis suspected the construction workers inside the car of being assassins sent to kill him. The gun charges were subsequently dropped by one of America’s toughest police forces, certainly not because of the cock-and-bull tale about WTC patriotism. Security clearances usually get the release from police custody of secret agents in event of common crimes, sparing the CIA the embarrassment of a police report and court case.

The New York Job

Now let’s move on to the salient points of his role in the WTC disaster. At the time of 911, the Bedford-Stuyvesant-born Alexis resided at the Queens home of his stepfather. Calderon himself was employed at “one of the WTC buildings”, where his night shift normally ended at 7 a.m. After the disaster, the stepfather relocated to Richmond, Virginia, where he has since done unspecified work at a local bank. (Daily Mail, Sept. 18) Judging from his modest station in life, Calderon was not a high-rolling stock analyst tracking Asian stock markets. His night job was probably as a security guard.

The security company that watched over the World Trade Center was Stratesec. Its principals until the year prior to the 911 attacks, were Marvin Bush, the brother of former president George W. Bush, and his cousin Wirt Walker III. Stratesec also provided security for United Airlines (two of its jetliners were supposedly hijacked) and for Dulles Airport, where one of the commandeered planes reportedly took off. (This is well-documented by different media, including http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=stratesec )

Alexis, according to his stepfather, worked an IT job inside “a building in the WTC complex.”  (Daily Mail, Sept. 18) The address is off by a few meters. His stepson was employed by building contractors renovating the Fiterman Hall office tower for conversion into an urban campus of the Borough of Manhattan Community College, part of the CUNY system.

The 15-floor building at 81 Barclay Street represented the largest grant ever given to City University of New York. The donor was Miles Fiterman, a lumber tycoon and builder of prefab homes, based in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The Bush Foundation and the Fiterman family are major donors to the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis. (Walker Annual Report, 2002)

Alexis’s IT job was not anything as flashy as programming or software design. He wired computer hardware as a lowly electrician’s apprentice. (His later job for the Navy was as an aircraft electrician and he did the same type of work for a Hewlett Packard subcontractor at several navy bases. The task is by no means easy. Connecting routers, modems, servers, encryption devices, monitors and phone lines for large-scale customers is more complicated than plugging in personal devices.)

Now the curious aspect to this situation is that the Fiterman tower sat cater-cornered (catty-corner in Deep South dialect) to the World Trade Center 7 building. The corners of the two structures were pointed at each other in an ominous fengshui relationship, as hostile as the beaks and claws of a pair of fighting roosters.

Conveniently located between the Filterman and WTC-7 was the New York Telephone Building, since taken over by Verizon. All wires led into the N.Y. Tel, and the bundles of phone cables were protected inside underground utility tunnels that are tall and wide enough for easy access by linemen.

An Internet installation company, especially in those days when DSL meant coaxial cable or dedicated phone lines, had access to the utility tunnels and links to telephone switch boxes. The CIA through one of its many fronts for wiretapping also had routine access to the NYT system.

At a time when not many office managers had a clue about the Internet, a DSL provider could easy install a network of wiring through conduits along the steel girders of the entire World Trade Center. Router closets and inverter boxes placed right on the support beams would attract no attention.

Thus, from the demolition control center in the Fiterman could run cables under the utility tunnels beneath narrow Barclay Street into the New York Telephone network feeding into the World Trade Center. Former military electricians, in the uniforms of a friendly Internet provide, then could efficiently install the boxes packed with electric detonators and explosives at critical points of the structure. Using pyrotechnics (fireworks) control software, the programmers would key in the timing sequence for the blast, as planned by an experienced building-demolition expert. The Internet is far more efficient a system for killing office workers and a rival faction inside the CIA than, say, battery-powered timing devices or chemical fuses.

The other compelling reason for using Internet-triggered demolition, besides easy unnoticed access to site, is that the blasts had to follow the crash of remotely controlled jetliners into the towers. The so-called hijacking is readily done with the remote cockpit software invented by same Israeli company that designed drone-piloting systems for the Israel Defense Force and also the Waterfall critical infrastructure that protects power plants from their Stuxnet virus. The Internet is a remarkable advance for terrorism, false-flag operations, propaganda preliminary to a political coup and for deceiving the public afterwards. 911 was the best pyrotechnics show ever, outdoing the Reichstag fire.

Explosives Inside Filterman

When the 47-story WTC-7 underwent a series of explosions and collapsed at 5:20 on the afternoon of September 11, the adjacent Post Office and N.Y. Telephone building sustained no damage. The Fiterman structure, on the other hand, lost much of its south-facing exterior.

A strange thing then happened. After the WTC-7 upper floors imploded, only then ­ quite inexplicably ­ did a chunk of the Fiterman Building get blown off and soared over its much-reduced neighbor. Like a mortar round, the fragment flew a distance of 200 meters before smashing into the glass atrium of the Winter Garden, which adjoins the yacht harbor on the Hudson River. (“Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive by Joel Meyerowitz, Phaedon Press 2006, p.47)

The role of the Fiterman building in the total schema of 911 has gone virtually unnoticed. The power shot that cracked the glass arch of Winter Garden could not have been caused by the WTC-7 collapse, which exploded toward the opposite direction. The trajectory suggests that the Fiterman’s south face was blown away from inside by a powerful blast from around the 5th floor. The logical deduction is that explosives were being stored inside the Fiterman Building, located opposite WTC-7. (Several maps of the WTC complex are posted online)

Wiring the WTC

The unoccupied Fiterman building was ideal for a demolition team in need of ample space for explosives, strands of wires, detonators, vehicles, gas masks, a first-aid station, electric power generators, a water supply and temporary living quarters. The south-facing rooms had a direct view onto WTC-7 yet had some degree of protection from a blast from across the street, due to the Telephone Building. (The site of conspiracy-theory debunker James Randi has a forum on the Filterman, which contrary to his objective shows disturbing aspects of its demise. http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=116127}

This scenario of an inside job better explains why Aaron Alexis was at Ground Zero on 911. Besides the subway station below the twin towers, there was also a maze of underground walkways that enabled him to pass underneath the WTC complex without risk from flying shrapnel, smoke and molten metal raining down onto the plaza. Not a single member of the firefighting and emergency team has yet come forward with recollections about a tall young black volunteer toiling in the dust for three days straight after the disaster.

The likelier reason for his brief presence is that Alex was ordered to conduct surveillance of the damage done to the towers and then inspect the temporary cables to WTC-7 from the covert operations center inside the Fiterman across the street. Those two extra days, September 12 and 13, were probably spent on evidence-removal duty, necessary tasks such as rolling up detonator wires and disposing of incriminating residue from Ground Zero. Much of this tedious work was done by flashlight at nighttime, when emergency crews unfamiliar with the underground passages dared not enter the smoking hulk.

Enigma Wrapped in Mystery

Soon after 5 p.m. on September 11, the CIA clandestine center in New York, which organized spying on the UN headquarters and monitored Al Qaeda worldwide, was blown to smithereens, killing key operatives investigating links between terrorists and high-ranking politicians. 911 truthers point to the scientific fact that debris from the twin towers could not possibly have caused the implosion of the WTC-7 intelligence center, which housed offices of the CIA and Secret Service. (although a subject of dispute by debunkers, it is  now bwidely documented that the CIA and DoD shared the 25th floor, as cited in WTC-7, Chapter 5, by Gileanz, DiPaolo, et al.;  a list of articles can be found at http://www.911review.org/Wiki/Building7Collapse.shtml)

Frank Calderon, who probably recommended the next-door Fiterman job to his stepson, and finagled a position with typical New York nepotism, was not among the casualties of WTC-7 blast, even if it is highly probable that he worked at that very site as a security guard, because otherwise he would have identified the building number in press interviews.

(Out of consideration for the family’s privacy and peace of mind, it must be stated here that these scenarios are hypothetical, limited by the scarcity of evidence, and done solely for the public benefit in trying to unravel an important chapter of recent history. That the pieces of this mystery fit together as tightly as a jigsaw puzzle is not grounds for harassment or annoying phone calls to the family or Navy Yard survivors.)

While the wreckage at Ground Zero was being slowly demolished by work crews, the exterior of the Fiterman structure was painstakingly wrapped with tarps as if its interior had to hidden from sight. Only much later was the structure demolished without a trace of the workmanship that had gone on inside. One thing is certain and that’s the Bush family, the Fitermans and Larry Silverstein won’t be discussing any of this in public.

The Missing Years

From autumn 2011 until his service with the Navy Reserves started in 2007, Aaron Alexis vanishes into thin air, on record at least. One of  his personally traits that acquaintances mention is that Alexis never talked much. That goes with the training for a security clearance. Whatever work he may have performed during those six years would later qualify him to gain a higher-level security clearance at Navy communications centers that provide raw intelligence to the NSA and CIA.

One outstanding clue to those missing years was his fluency in the Thai language, which enabled him to chant sutras more smoothly than most native Buddhists. (Taunton Daily Gazetter, Mass., as reported by AP) During the early phase of the war on terrorism, Thailand was a major transit point for defense contractors heading for Central Command bases in the Persian Gulf and special-forces camps inside Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

The massive presence of contractors and intelligence agents in Thailand was apparent during my volunteer stint immediately after the 2004 Christmas tsunami. According to Thai sources, the death toll of foreign intelligence personnel began with the drowning of some 350 American uniformed servicemen when the tsunami hit the NSA listening post inside the Thai Navy’s 3rd region headquarters at Ban Thap Mo base on the Andaman Sea, just north of Phuket. (reported in a column by Kavi Chongkittavorn, The Nation newspaper, Bangkok)

More details emerged from local boat captains after they heard about my non-biased reporting from Kashmir and along the Afghan border.  These small-craft pilots on the Muslim-predominant coast told me that some 3,600 American, British and Israeli defense contractors were killed by the tsunami after indulging in a holiday all-nighter on Patong Beach in Phuket. In Krabi, the Israeli Defense Force lost so many of its naval divers that its navy had to close the Gulf of Aqaba outside Eilat port to foreign ships for many months thereafter. Some 200 American mercenaries living in Bangkok were apparently buried in secret graves on the road to Phuket, which is why the Pentagon demanded the bodies of all tsunami victims be disinterred for identification. Was foul play involved? What does one expect from pirates?

The U.S. Navy dispatched four rapid littoral combat vessels from Hong Kong to Phuket, “the fastest ships ever seen”, according to the local pilots. On the fabled island of PhiPhi Don, location of the Leonardo DiCaprio film “The Beach”, Navy helicopters attempted to land but were chased off by local pirates armed with guns and machetes. Later, after all the safety deposit boxes in hotels were broken open and emptied, the helicopters airlifted out every foreign male corpse with a strong physical built to the Navy vessels, which are equipped with refrigerated morgues, for DNA identification in Yokusuka, Japan.

Up to that moment, the number of servicemen killed by the tsunami far exceeded the casualties in the Afghan War. Not a single computer or memory drive of any Western serviceman ever surfaced, and from what I could gather at the local bazaar and from an Israeli intelligent agent planted inside an NGO relief group, all the military hardware was sent toward the Red Sea via Malaysia and Indonesia. As the local boatmen put it, “Allah is Great”. For Bin Laden and his paymasters in the Gulf States, it was a post-Christmas shopping spree.

The wipeout on Dec. 26 showed the CIA to be boys in diapers. During the previous 18 months, a crew of CIA technicians installed any Agency communications center at a plush resort in the Krabi area. The reason is that the listening post at Ban Thap Mo was a joint-intelligence center, partially overseen by the Royal Thai Navy, to keep watch over Chinese and Indian naval activities on the petroleum-rich Andaman Sea. The super-secret Krabi spy facility was aimed at spying on Shell and BP operations in Sumatra, along with Petronas in Malaysia, and monitor their influence on the Thai and Burmese militaries. The CIA was determined to put the oil and gas fields of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Malaysia and India under the control of U.S. energy companies.

Was Aaron Alexis work for the CIA on the Andaman project, or was his work in Thailand restricted to monitoring the Muslim insurgents in south Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, which led to the arrest of top leaders in the Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiya, which bombed hotels in Jakarta.

There is one other CIA posting in Thailand that could use his technical skills then, and that is the rendition airfield and interrogation center at Udon Thani, the Vietnam-era airbase for B-52 bombers, in the Isaan region of northeast Thailand, run under the cover of a Radio Free Asia station. RF Asia was expanding its presence as a Internet news resource, right up his alley. This amazing fluency in Thai would have been seen as a job asset for the CIA. A point to note, here, is that the Alexis tire-shooting incident occurred in 2004 in Seattle, three years before he was seconded to the Navy, and the rendition controversy that rattled the Bush administration in 2006 may have been a factor for this transfer.

Despite the best efforts of the CIA and NSA, the Christmas tsunami made it clear that the war on terrorism was already lost, regardless of divine will or the devil’s doing. Arrogance, corruption and ineptitude had scuttled the post-911 crusade.

As for Aaron Alexis, many of he acquaintances including Thai Buddhist friends have remarked that he constantly carped about insufficient funds and race discrimination. Yet at Christmas season 2004 he was lucky to be a lower-ranking contractor stuck on some remote U.S. base in a desert or in amazingly boring Qatar or Bahrain rather than partying on the beach at Phuket. Sometimes a bit of bad luck can be a blessing in disguise. Though I never saw him there, if Alexis did make it to south Thailand for the rescue and recovery work, it was no paradise. The stench of bloated decomposing corpses was hideous, clinging to one’s skin, hair and nostrils for weeks after.

Working for the NSA

By the end of 2007, Alexis was living in the USA. Readjusting to the States can be a huge letdown and even a culture shock after making as much as a thousand dollars a day as a defense contractor in the Persian Gulf. In Dubai, which boasts the longest bar in the world, you’d see the Americanos just arrived from Baghdad and Doha stumbling in at about 11 p.m. to splash out on single-malt whiskey or a Guinness stout and enjoy the eye-candy from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other stans passing themselves off as bleach-blonde Russians and easygoing Ethiopian ladies posing as exotic Eritreans and Somalis. Nothing’s real in Dubai, the land of mirages.

It’s all part of the pecking order, with Lebanese and Iranian women at the top of the desirables list down on through the former Soviet ranks, then the Chinese and last but least, the bottom-rung Eurotrash tourists. Reverse racism in the Gulf, under which brown, black and yellow beauty fetch more attention than white, is probably a reason why Aaron Alexis was so embittered on his return to the racial rightside-up United States.

The Rising Cost of Living

Alexis joined the Navy Reserves in 2007 and served until early 2011. Never promoted, he was a aviation electrician’s mate third-class, a grade with pay levels as low as the rank. The Navy Reserves is definitely not an officer-track opportunity or road to self-enrichment. Yet, during those four years, Alexis rented an apartment in Oak Hills, a high-end gated neighborhood of Fort Worth (Guardian, Sept.17) and on his many travels stayed at luxury hotels, including the Marriot in Providence, Rhode Island, which is favored by much higher-ranking officers.

What was the secret to a luxury lifestyle on a sailor’s budget? Answer: The CIA. The Agency routinely embeds its intelligence agents into the military Reserves, which provide weapons training, unlimited ammunition, base privileges, cheap beer, fast food, access to secure communications and free air transport to practically anywhere in the world. As a result, Navy and Marine Reserve units acting as the CIA paramilitary force often operated with better transport, superior firepower, more air cover and keener intelligence than regular Army units. (These points are based on my interview of a Marine reservist-CIA agent, who exposed the torture at Abu Graibh.) The Navy-Marine intranet, maintained by Hewlett-Packard, is the world’s largest institutional communications network. Bandwidth is never a problem.

While not embedded in the military, Edward Snowden was a dual CIA-NSA employee because of his assignment to human intelligence and on-the-ground covert operations in Geneva, Switzerland, along with eavesdropping. Aaron Alexis, in contrast, wore three hats ­ NSA, CIA and Navy Reserves – thereby earning a sizeable pay package that allowed extended visits to Thailand and plush accommodations wherever he went.

Hop, Skip and Jump

A review of his movements shows that Alexis hops, skips and jumps from base to base on assignments for the NSA and CIA. The perks of working for several intelligence agencies include time off for language classes and extended vacation breaks en route to distant jobs. For a short while, at least, Aaron Alexis was something of a James Bond.

The following are some of the locations where he worked. (Information on these military facilities can be found at GlobalSecurity.org and Wikipedia)

Fort Worth: His home base was the Naval Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base in White Settlement, Texas. Its landlocked airfield is used by fighter squadrons of the Navy, Marines and Air Force Reserves. More important, the base is headquarters for the Naval Reserve Intelligence Command, which along with its far-flung spy operations has also earned a reputation for breaking encrypted codes. There in Texas, the CIA and NSA collect and analyze data and analysis from their Reservist spies aboard planes and ships and with infantry brigades around the world. (White Settlement is where Alexis worked after leaving the Reserves as a waiter at a Thai restaurant, meditated at a Buddhist temple and was disappointed by a sweetheart. See the Daily Mail, Sept.18)

Seattle: There are no official disclosures about Alexis’s work assignment in this West Coast city where he had a run-in with the police over shooting out tires. Nevertheless his tasks are readily surmised. Naval Reserve Intelligence Area One/Northwest is based at Whidbey Island, site of the racy Richard Gere movie “An Officer and a Gentleman”. As an aircraft electrician’s mate, his task would have been to upgrade the on-board computers and encrypted radio transceivers on the Prowlers, Growlers and Aries jets, which are all used for electronic warfare. Pilot training here involves all four services across the Pacific theater.

(The narrow-apeture radar extensively used around the Puget Sound’s numerous naval facilities along with radar-suppressing electromagnetic pulses probably accounted for the severe psychological disorders Alexis suffered, including anxiety, paranoia and hearing voices inside his skull. (While passing the Whidbey area by car twice in June 2013, my Casio G-shock watch malfunctioned and the radio went dead.)

Newport: The naval station on the Rhode Island shore is home to 50 Reserves units from all four services. The base is also headquarters for the Naval Security Force, which trains military police for occupation of foreign countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan and other territories. The Naval War College at this base provides a highly secretive training program for Navy Reserve Intelligence officers, and Alexis would have upgraded its Internet-based communications and learning network.

Bangkok and Hua Hin: The Joint U,S. Military Advisory Group, located near Lumpini Park, Bangkok, provides weapons and training to the Thai military. Alexis was mainly assigned to Hua Hin, a small port on the Gulf of Thailand, about an 80-minute drive south of Bangkok. The Thai navy forces have the unique duty there of protecting the residence of the King of Thailand, and also for seagoing interdiction against Muslim insurgents in the southern provinces along with signals-intercepts and intelligence gathering on jihadist groups operating in the south and adjoining Malaysia. (His Buddhist faith meant that Alexis was a low security risk in the war as compared with a follower of Islam. BTW, I formerly taught media studies at a university in Hua Hin, where I have observed naval exercises from the beach.)

Ichigaya, Tokyo: After leaving the Reserves in early 2011, Alexis was likely assigned by his subcontractor boss to the Hewett-Packard offices in Tokyo’s Ichigaya district, the headquarters of Japan’s Self-Defense Force and its anti-ballistic missile command. The CIA and NSA spy on their close allies. Trust is the hallmark of a defeated empire.

Fingers on Top Secrets

Whatever the corporate-controlled news media is reporting, Alexis was not a morose loser and misfit. In 2011, he enrolled as an online student to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Fort Worth. (Guardian, Sept. 17) Anyone contemplating suicide amid mass murder is not going to be studying aerodynamics, navigation, flight controls and the finer points of aircraft engineering.

After leaving the Navy Reserves, his new task with The Experts, an IT subcontractor based in Alexandria, Virginia, was to disconnect the Hewlett Packard signals-intercepts hardware in the Washington DC area, which includes the National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Mead, Maryland. The mainframe computers and servers were being relocated to the new NSA West center at Buckley airfield in Aurora, Colorado.

This removal of equipment and personnel to the NSA-CIA centers in Colorado was ordered after series of post-911 debates and studies on the increasing risks of concentrating America’s core intelligence assets on the East Coast, or for that matter along the West Coast. With the same strategic considerations that guide China’s military, which puts its nuclear and missile forces deep inside the interior of continental Asia, America’s intelligence chiefs decided to reposition vital electronic intelligence-gathering capabilities to the Rocky Mountain region in the American heartland.

Swarming the Human Mind

Among their array of evermore advanced intelligence tools, the Pentagon and NSA have cooperated with the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) on a Hewett-Packard Israel project called The Swarm. Led by Ruth Berg, a former researcher at MIT and NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, this image-based software assembles the files, emails, Twitter messages, voice calling and transactions of target individuals into an evolving map that can predict their innermost thoughts and future decisions. The Swarm is essentially the precognition program depicted in the Tom Cruise movie on pre-crime prevention. (www.hpl.hp.com/israel)
Precognitive mapping is also aimed at predicting hidden psychological disorders and criminal (disobedient) tendencies. The Swarm’s diagnostic algorithms are relevant to the neuroscience research of James Holmes, whose studies in molecular biology focused on the biological sources of non-predictable (disorderly, creative) behavior. Toward these goals of total mind-control, President Barack Obama early this year released $1 billion in funding for a national Brain Initiative. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/02/fact-sheet-brain-initiative) Its key U.S. private-sector partner is Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical company that produced LSD for the CIA’s MK-ULTRA program in the 1960s. (see US patent 2997470, Richard P. Pioch, Purdue University, “Lysergic Acid Amides “, 1956-03-05)

Alexis was prescribed a sedative at the VA hospital in Providence after complaining about his mental-health issues and later went to the VA in Washington DC for a refill. (Navy Times, Sept.18) The psychiatrists at the NSA and CIA probably viewed Aaron Alexis as a dedicated and loyal agent who was starting to show signs of a nervous breakdown. He was not exceptional. The only thing that made him stand out was the espionage vulnerabilities associated with his work.

Thousands of people worldwide are suffering from the same symptoms, which can be attributed to microwave telecommunications networks, aperture radar and electronic warfare technology, including voices shouting commands to commit violence, the unbearable torture of screeching noises inside the skull, short-term memory loss and blackouts. (My extensive interviews with a Japanese imprisoned for stabbing a British professor who specializes in telepathy theory led to the correlation of his disorders with the introduction of microwave transceivers on for the Motorola digital mobile phone service to U.S. military bases in Okinawa and the British Telecom’s experiments with the TETRA system in London.)

These symptoms of electromagnetic-related psychological disorders are usually wrongly diagnosed as PTSD, resulting in drug treatment with antidepressants that eventually worsen the condition. (there are many critics among veterans group; a short summary is ast http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43994382/ns/health-health_care ) At first the supervisors will shrug off incidents like the Seattle tire shooting, sweeping the problem under the carpet with excuses, for instance, the errant serviceman’s overdrinking or having the blues over a sexual affair gone sour. As the symptoms worsen and become no longer treatable with drugs, the institutional response is to find a way to dispose of the victim.

Any electronics technician who is conversant with the codes, hardware and software used by intelligences agencies is either a prized asset or a serious liability. There can be no in-between.. For his overseers, transferring Alexis to the new HP operations at NSA West in Aurora was a high-risk proposition. The time had come for preventative measures.

Termination Papers

Despite the high salary, much of it untaxed, the double identity that comes with an intelligence career can make for a lonely existence. Every one of his social contacts would have been routinely investigated and vetted to reduce the potential for espionage and a subsequent security breach. Thus, Alexis avoided family visits, which accounts for why his sister’s husband had never met him in person. For that same reason, immediately after the Washington Navy Yard incident, the controlled mass media intensively interviewed his circle of Thai friends in Fort Worth to determine whether any secrets had been spilled during meditation retreat, an espionage technique used by the Aum Shinrikyo sect on Soviet weapons scientists. (A series of articles was published in the Japan Times Weekly, based on reports from the National Police Agency and interviews with Aum members,)

After his visit to the VA hospital in Newport, as Alexis showed worsening signs. His superiors would have come to a final decision. To allow him to be confined in a sanatorium or move abroad to Thailand was out of the question, due to the risk of discovery by civilian doctors, other patients, attorneys and foreign spies.

A man who knows much too much and cannot be helped might be deployed in other ways, as a fall guy for extrajudicial executions. On the morning of September 16, witnesses were reported in many media outlets as seeing two or three gunmen, one of them a black man of about 50 years of age, an unmistakable difference from the 34-year-old Alexis. The shorter stockier gunman was dressed in green fatigues and fired an AR-15.

When the FBI learned within several minutes that Alexis had rented the ArmaLite for two days only but did not purchase one from a gun store near his stepfather’s residence in Virginia, the AR-15 was dropped from media reports like a hot potato. The story was changed to a sawed-off Remington 12-gauge shotgun, a weapon that lacks an individual ballistic signature. Unlike a rifle bullet, buckshot leaves no traces on its pellets or inside the shotgun barrel.

Buckshot is, of course, not the ideal ordnance for a mass killing, as its lethality and accuracy are limited to close range. So far, no stories have emerged of Navy Yard victims with their heads blown off or intestines spilling out. Most were shot at some distance. The higher-pitched sounds of firing were reattributed to a pair of handguns he allegedly removed from two of his dead victims. It all adds up to an incoherent script, sloppily directed theater and poor gunnery, which in fact was not so imprecise. Most of the scriptwriters need to weeded out.

Lethal Price of National Security

Was the content of the brains of one man worth the killing of a dozen people? It’s worth far more than that to the intelligence services and their political masters. The elimination of a bunch of civilian employees nearing retirement is, if anything, a cost-saving measure for a military pinched by budget sequestration. Let the insurance companies carry the burden and save the money instead for another aircraft carrier. National security is sacrosanct, random people are expendable. As for the moral cost, nobody is innocent.

It is a fair assumption to suggest that among the dozen fatalities, one or more of the victims employed at some top-secret project at the Navy Yard was or were overdue for an exit. It is the proverbial case of killing two, three birds with one stone.

Why then has the CIA not yet terminated James Holmes as was done to Aaron Alexis? The neuroscientist remains alive because his scientific concepts are still marginally useful to the spymasters. Once the inquisitors are done squeezing out every drop of knowledge, the Joker, too, will meet his Maker. As precognition arrives with The Swarm, people will soon learn to become predictable at all times. Remember always: Silence is golden, obedience is platinum ­ or you, too, could end up as collateral damage inside The Yard.

Yoichi Shimatsu, a Hong Kong-based science writer and former editor of the Japan Times Weekly in Tokyo, has done investigative journalism on intelligence affairs in the Asia region over several decades.

Yoichi Shimatsu
Yoichi Shimatsu who is Editor at Large at the 4th Media is a free lance journalist based in Hong Kong. He is former Editor of the Japan Times Weekly. Mr. Yoi is a former Tsinghua University lecturer. He’s been regularly writing to several global media outlets including US, China and so on. He’s been frequently sitting on CCTV News, Blue Ocean Network TV and other global media outlets in China, Hong Kong and other countries.

At Least 5 American Terrorists Participating In Nairobi Mall Seige, According To Militants

‘Most of the hostages’ rescued from Kenyan mall siege as FBI begins investigating claims of Americans’ involvement

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The FBI is investigating whether as many as five Americans were among the small team of terrorists who took over a Kenyan mall and launched a bloodbath that has left at least 68 dead and 175 injured over two days of carnage.

The investigation is in its early stages and until a conclusion of the siege in Kenya —  which spilled into a second bloody day on Sunday — authorities may not know for sure whether any U.S. residents were involved.

The notion that Americans were involved came directly from the terrorists themselves — or at least a Twitter feed purporting to represent the Somali al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab, which has claimed responsibility for the mall attack.

The account listed specific names and home states of the Americans they said were on their side. The group has had several Twitter handles shut down over the course of two days as they blast pro-jihad propaganda across the Internet.

Two of the purported American jihadists are allegedly from the St. Paul-Minneapolis community in Minnesota, which authorities say is the largest Somali population outside of Mogadishu, with some 85,700 members, according to latest the Census Bureau numbers.

The FBI and local authorities should be able to determine quickly if the alleged suspects are at home, and fairly quickly if they may have been radicalized and perhaps gone over seas. But if the individuals have moved overseas, their leanings will be much harder to figure out.

Meanwhile, an unknown number of people were still being held hostage Sunday by the masked gunmen who stormed  the Nairobi  mall Saturday afternoon in Kenya and indiscriminately shot anyone not of Muslim faith

Kenya’s military said on Sunday it had freed most of the hostages from the mall after a major push to take back the shopping center.

“Most of the hostages have been released, and the Kenya Defense Forces has taken control of most parts of the building,” Kenyan military spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna told the television station KTN.

He did not say how many hostages had been held or freed.

Counting America’s Afghan Victims

America’s Afghan Victims

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A boy, injured during a NATO air strike, lies on a hospital bed in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province, February 20, 2011. Reuters/Stringer

When an American soldier dies in Afghanistan, his death is not anonymous. The tragedy of that loss is mourned, and his life is remembered and celebrated. In many cases, the death is covered prominently in local and state media, often for several days. The Pentagon dutifully records the loss, medals are delivered, a ceremonial flag is presented to survivors, and the Defense Department pays the soldier’s family $100,000 in compensation, plus back pay, insurance, housing allowances and more.

This special issue was reported in partnership with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute. Alleen Brown contributed research.

About the Author

Nick Turse
Nick Turse is the managing editor of Tomdispatch.com and an Investigative Fund Fellow at The Nation Institute. He is…
Robert Dreyfuss
Bob Dreyfuss
Robert Dreyfuss, a Nation contributing editor, is an investigative journalist specializing in politics and national…

Also by the Author

Coalition forces sometimes pay compensation to civilian victims and survivors of the suffering we have inflicted—but ISAF keeps no comprehensive records, and the US military denies all responsibility.

If you want stats from the government, you better be prepared to pay.

Also by the Author

A recounting of three horrific US/ISAF civilian massacres, the procedures implemented to prevent such events from happening again—and why those procedures were inadequate.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal himself put it best: “Because of civilian casualties, I think we have just about eroded our credibility here.”

But when an Afghan dies in the war—especially an Afghan civilian—her death is rarely noticed by the outside world. Often, it’s not even recorded by Afghan hospitals or morgues. Asked whether his country keeps records of civilian casualties, Said Jawad, the former Afghan ambassador to the United States, sighs. “In Afghanistan, you know, we don’t even have birth certificates,” he says. “Do you know we don’t even have a list of Afghan soldiers and police, members of the security forces, who are killed?”

Most Americans strongly supported the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, but they have long since turned sharply against a conflict that, in September, entered its thirteenth year—by some measures the longest war in American history. A big reason for the shift in public opinion is the steadily growing list of dead and maimed soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. For politicians, it’s by now rote to declare that the war has cost the United States more than 2,200 dead, thousands more wounded and at least $640 billion. But even among staunchly antiwar politicians and pundits, few bother to mention the cost to Afghans. “It’s just not part of American discourse,” says John Tirman, author of The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars. “You don’t have politicians standing up for civilians.”

It is to correct this unconscionable oversight that The Nation has prepared this report. In this special issue, we focus primarily on those who have died at the hands of the United States and its allies. That’s because Americans, collectively, should be accountable for the violence committed in their name. We should demand that our military act humanely and with a determination to avoid civilian casualties.

A large number of these civilian deaths—perhaps most—have come at the hands of the Taliban and its allies. Since gathering momentum in 2006, the insurgents have shown a reckless disregard for civilians, planting tens of thousands of improvised explosive devices along roadways, setting off suicide bombs in crowded marketplaces, and assassinating countless local officials, tribal leaders and other civilians. As the war evolved, civilian casualties attributable to the insurgents rose from a relatively small number in the years before the insurgency really got under way in the mid-2000s, to 55 percent of civilian deaths, according to the 2008 report of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), to what the UN now says is approximately 80 percent of all civilians killed.

As we shall see, even coming up with rough estimates of civilian casualties is difficult. But it’s an unassailable fact that many of those killed by anti-government forces would almost certainly be alive had the United States never invaded. And the victims of US forces and other foreign troops number in the many thousands. The United States has been singularly uninterested in tracking and accounting for the Afghan dead, whether civilians or combatants. In an echo of the discredited metrics of the Vietnam War era, Gen. Tommy Franks, who led the US invasion in 2001 and served as commander of Central Command (CENTCOM) from 2000 to 2003, was even more blunt. “You know we don’t do body counts,” he said.

In 2008, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the US-led coalition in Afghanistan, reluctantly began to track civilian casualties, setting up the Civilian Casualty Tracking Cell and other mechanisms to do so. But as we report below, this work was woefully incomplete. At the same time, advocates of the vaunted counterinsurgency doctrine promoted by Gen. Stanley McChrystal and then, less stringently, by Gen. David Petraeus, along with academics such as Sarah Sewall of Harvard, instituted a new policy that emphasized the protection of civilians. But despite the policy changes, Afghan civilians continued to die in large numbers—a situation acknowledged by Tim Rieser, a top aide to Senator Patrick Leahy. “No matter how much the Pentagon says that they’re going to revise their tactics or their procedures or whatever, [the deaths] keep happening!” says Rieser, whose boss has been a leading voice for decades on human rights.

Interactive Database: America's Afghan Victims

I. Counting the Dead

Iraq, which endured an eight-year war with Iran, followed by the Gulf War, a dozen years of lethal US-engineered sanctions, the 2003 US invasion and a civil war, still maintains a functioning system of hospitals, clinics and morgues, and researchers are able to make use of roughly accurate demographic data based on household surveys. One such study, published in The Lancet in 2006, estimated, not without controversy, more than 600,000 “excess deaths” resulting from the US war and occupation. There is no parallel study for Afghanistan, according to Neta Crawford, a political scientist at Boston University who has written extensively on civilian deaths in Afghanistan and who has tried to raise funds to conduct a household survey there.

The Asia Foundation, which conducts an annual Survey of the Afghan People, has perhaps come closest to gauging the war’s toll. Based on more than 6,300 interviews with adult Afghans in all thirty-four provinces, the survey reports that over one-fifth (22 percent) of the population—more than 6 million people—personally experienced some kind of crime or violence in their household in 2011. Of those, 8 percent (about 500,000 people) report having suffered violence at the hands of “foreign forces”—i.e., ISAF. And those figures are just a one-year snapshot. Multiply that by twelve years of war, and it becomes evident that millions of Afghans have suffered death, injury, and damage to their homes or livelihoods by US and ISAF forces.

The United Nations, which began to track civilian casualties systematically by 2008, around the same time as the US military and ISAF, arguably did a somewhat better job than the latter—but former UN officials interviewed by The Nation say that even the UN, with trained investigators and many offices spread across the country, managed to track only a portion of those killed. A handful of underfunded local NGOs, including the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Afghan NGO Security Office, have monitored the conflict, but they’ve failed to produce reliable counts. And the Afghan government hasn’t been able to keep track of the war’s human cost.

NGOs outside Afghanistan, including Human Rights Watch, the Center for Civilians in Conflict and the Open Society Foundations, have made valiant efforts to track and document abuses, human rights violations, war crimes and major mass-casualty incidents, but none have maintained a database of civilian or combatant deaths (the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, based in Britain, has compiled extensive data on civilian casualties worldwide resulting from US drone strikes, but not overall civilian casualties in the Afghan War). For some time, Professor Marc Herold of the University of New Hampshire doggedly tracked Afghan civilian casualty incidents, but he included in his data what most analysts say are exaggerated or fabricated reports from the often pro-Taliban Pakistani media. So far, perhaps the best account of casualties was part of the “Costs of War” report prepared by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, under the direction of Catherine Lutz and Neta Crawford. Crawford’s paper “Civilian Death and Injury in Afghanistan, 2001–2011,” updated in February 2013, estimates as many as 19,000 civilians killed by all sides, and she provides a valuable compendium of estimates for combatant deaths too. Still, Crawford’s estimate of civilian casualties relies heavily on the reports of UNAMA, which understates the total number of deaths significantly.

A central part of The Nation’s project on civilian casualties in Afghanistan has been to compile a uniquely comprehensive interactive database of civilian casualty incidents from the beginning of the war in 2001 to the end of 2012. It includes information gleaned from reliable media accounts—in outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian and CNN—of 458 separate incidents, involving between 2,848 and 6,481 people, who died as a result of war-related actions by the United States, its allies and Afghan government forces. It includes high-profile atrocities, including deliberate killings of civilians by coalition forces, such as the wanton murder of at least sixteen people by US Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in March 2012; airstrikes that slaughtered dozens of Afghan civilians who were celebrating a wedding, traveling in a convoy or simply sleeping; and those killed in small groups or singly at military checkpoints, in firefights and during night raids.

When counting Afghanistan’s dead civilians, it’s useful to break the war down into three phases: the initial campaign, involving a small number of US troops, Special Operations Forces and the CIA, backed by a relentless campaign of airstrikes, in 2001 and 2002; the period from 2003 to 2007, when the Taliban-led insurgency slowly began to gain traction; and the period from 2008 to 2013, which has seen the most intense fighting between the US/ISAF coalition and a mature, resilient insurgency.

2001–2002: During the first months of the war, there was no one to count the dead. The Taliban had fled, and there was essentially no government in Kabul. The United States had almost no forces on the ground, and it wasn’t paying attention to civilian casualties anyway. The UN and NGOs were confined to the capital. Yet many died, mostly as a result of US airstrikes. The Nation’s database, which relies on media reports compiled under extraordinarily challenging conditions, records 136 incidents during the first five months of the conflict, involving between 1,200 and 3,155 war deaths.

Other researchers, adopting a more cautious methodology, came up with somewhat lower estimates. In June 2002, the Los Angeles Times published the results of an intensive investigation into civilian casualties caused by US airstrikes between October 2001 and February 2002. Its reporters visited twenty-five Afghan villages, though most of its analysis was based on media reports. After reviewing more than 2,000 such reports, the paper estimated that between 1,067 and 1,201 civilians perished during that period. Another study compiled by Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives, a liberal group based in Washington, also depended on media reports. The study concluded that at least 1,000 civilians—and possibly as many as 1,300—were killed between October 2001 and January 2002.

But perhaps the most hands-on investigation was conducted by William Arkin, a veteran military analyst and bomb-damage specialist, who visited Afghanistan in 2002 with a team from Human Rights Watch. Though Arkin had often worked closely with the US military, in Afghanistan he got little cooperation from CENTCOM or the Air Force, he told The Nation. Worse, he says, “there was no Afghan partner to work with, no humanitarian organizations, no government that gave a shit or had any records. So there were no records. Even at the local level, there were no records! It was really stunning.”

After identifying hundreds of sites that were targets of US airstrikes and visiting many of them, Arkin says it was impossible to sort out current damage from old wreckage. “It’s not precision warfare on top of a pristine landscape,” he says. “It’s chaos on top of chaos.” He estimates that no more than 1,500 civilians died in the first five months of the war—but, he adds, “absent the military looking at it seriously at the time, which they weren’t; and absent the intelligence community having any responsibility for reporting on this subject, which they didn’t; and absent local government records or tracking, which there wasn’t any of, I defy anyone to say how many people died. We couldn’t.”

2003–2007: We could find no evidence that anyone tried to count the dead during these years. According to The Nation’s compilation, between 617 and 1,012 civilians died in eighty incidents involving the US military and coalition forces during this five-year period, though the actual toll is probably far greater, given the scant attention by all parties.

Immediately after the fall of the Taliban government, the United States and the UN focused almost exclusively on “nation building,” even as the insurgency took root under their noses. This was the era of the so-called “light footprint,” when George W. Bush’s administration was obsessed with Iraq. Only 8,000 US combat troops and a contingent of international forces half that size were in the country, and US ground forces were mostly confined to Kabul and a few big military bases. (It wasn’t until October 2003 that the UN Security Council authorized the expansion of the ISAF mission beyond Kabul.)

“When the insurgency started rearing its head, the way that they fought that was with a lot of airstrikes,” says Sarah Holewinski of the Center for Civilians in Conflict [see Holewinski’s article in this issue for more on the center]. “They were dropping 2,000-pound bombs instead of 500-pound bombs. The civilian on the ground was not the priority, so quite a lot of civilians were being killed.”

In its 2008 report “‘Troops in Contact’: Airstrikes and Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan,” Human Rights Watch noted: “The combination of light ground forces and overwhelming airpower has become the dominant doctrine of war for the US in Afghanistan. The result has been large numbers of civilian casualties, controversy over the continued use of airpower in Afghanistan, and intense criticism of US and NATO forces by Afghan political leaders and the general public.” Human Rights Watch estimated that civilian casualties from coalition airstrikes rose from 116 people in thirteen bombings in 2006, to 321 people in twenty-two bombings in 2007.

According to Andre-Michel Essoungou, spokesman for the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations, “UNAMA began monitoring civilian casualties systematically in late 2007. It began to systematize the collection and analysis of that data in 2008 when it published its first report on ‘Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.’ No organization has good or reliable data on civilian casualties from 2001 to 2006, and we have not seen estimates that would be considered reliable.” The UN’s reports during these years were sporadic and mostly guesswork, and both the UN and the media focused on high-profile, mass-casualty incidents. In 2006, a report by the UN high commissioner for human rights noted that there were “approximately 1,500 civilian deaths in 2005, the highest number of civilian deaths in any year since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.” But the emphasis ought to be on “approximately.” In an early attempt at systematically counting civilian dead for 2007, the UN reported 1,523 killed. In her study, Neta Crawford concludes that, at most, 4,065 civilians died as a result of combat between 2002 and 2007, but she acknowledges that “from 2002 to 2005, there were very few counts or estimates made by independent sources of the number of civilians killed in the conflict.”

2008–2013: By June 2008, 48,250 US troops were in Afghanistan. A year and a half later, after two escalations of the war ordered by President Obama, the US troop level passed 100,000. The insurgency, including the Taliban, the Haqqani group and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-i Islami, was full blown, and the war was at its peak.

Both the UN and ISAF created formal body-count mechanisms for civilian deaths in 2008, but they were marred by significant flaws, undoubtedly resulting in an undercount. The Nation’s database, which relies primarily on Western media reports and thus also undercounts the dead, reflects 234 incidents, involving between 972 and 2,229 people killed from 2008 to the end of 2012.

According to the annual UNAMA reports, the number of Afghan civilians who died from war-related violence inflicted by all sides rose steadily: from 2,118 in 2008, to 2,412 in 2009, 2,777 in 2010 and 3,021 in 2011, before falling to 2,754 in 2012, with another 1,319 deaths in the first six months of 2013. Of those, the proportion killed by insurgents rose too, from 55 percent in 2008 to 79 percent in 2012. In all, UNAMA concluded, 2,736 of those killed between January 2008 and June 2013 died at the hands of the US/ISAF coalition and Afghan security forces.

Does the US military have better numbers? Probably not. Both ISAF and the US command maintain records of violent incidents as part of a system called the Combined Information Data Network Exchange, which contains more than 100 different kinds of reports tracking battlefield data. CIDNE is classified, and The Nation was not given access even to a sanitized version of it. But researchers who have seen the classified data suggest that the numbers aren’t there, especially before 2008. We asked Larry Lewis, who in 2010 co-wrote a definitive—and still classified—Joint Civilian Casualty Study for the military called “Reducing and Mitigating Civilian Casualties,” if there were any reliable numbers for the war’s early years. “Not that I ever found,” he says, “and believe me, I looked.” One source, who was part of the Civilian Casualty Tracking Cell set up by the military in 2008, says there was a top-secret room containing highly classified data at ISAF command headquarters, adding: “ISAF does keep a log of civilian casualties. But it was classified, of course. In fact, they had the ‘Five Eyes room’ that very few people could go into. It was called the Five Eyes room for the five countries whose senior people were allowed in: the United States, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.”

None of the sources interviewed by The Nation confirmed that either ISAF or the US military has accurate numbers on dead civilians, even after 2008. Lewis says much of the data that the military does have are suspect, because they’ve been unevenly collected. “There are some commanders that, any time a civilian casualty is suspected, they’ll do an investigation to try to get to the bottom of it,” he says. “Others, they’d only do it if they thought there could be neglect or actual criminality. So there are a lot of different criteria.”

Sarah Sewall, who wrote the introduction to the US Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual, prepared in 2006 under the direction of General Petraeus, was an author with Lewis on the Joint Civilian Casualty Study. Despite the lack of complete and accurate data, she says, the report “relied on a number of anecdotes that we studied in detail, so that’s the way we were able to correct” for the absence of underlying data to draw conclusions about trends and make policy recommendations to the US Army. A nearly complete version of the Joint Civilian Casualty Study was obtained by The Nation.

II. The UN’s Flawed Count

The UN’s human rights and civilian protection team in Afghanistan has done critically important work. Against near-impossible odds, it established a nationwide network of offices and trained personnel to track civilian casualties, investigate incidents, prepare reports, and put pressure on the US/ISAF coalition, the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban to minimize civilian deaths. Since 2001, it has published voluminous reports on the war’s toll, and since 2008 UNAMA has put out annual and semi-annual data on civilian casualties.

However, in a series of wide-ranging interviews, current and former UNAMA officials told The Nation that the UN’s human rights work has been hamstrung by political pressure from top officials to minimize or downplay issues that might undermine the US/ISAF mission; by open clashes with military commanders over whether Afghan deaths should be counted as civilians or combatants; and by severe conditions in which investigations were hampered by security concerns. One former UNAMA official, who spoke to The Nation on background, says that despite enormous problems in collecting data and evidence, the UN’s totals are fairly complete. “I would guesstimate that we’re missing 10 percent of what’s happening out there,” he says. But another former official, who spent years working with UNAMA’s human rights group, says flatly, “What we’ve reported is the tip of the iceberg.”

Especially in the early years of the war, the UN’s effort was very limited. Nazia Hussain of the Open Society Foundations spent much of the 2002–07 period in Afghanistan, including a 2005–07 stint with UNAMA in Kandahar, Jalalabad and Kabul. During that time, she says, security conditions deteriorated sharply, making it harder to go into the field. “There was a lot of confusion and chaos reigning at that time, and civilian casualties were increasing.” She adds, “A lot of the deaths have been attributed to NATO strikes or warlords, but if you double that or triple it, you’ve probably got a realistic number, and it’s probably way more than that.”

UNAMA’s human rights team expanded along with the war. “We have seventy people located throughout the country in the nine regional offices and then the sub-regional offices, which is something like sixteen other offices in addition to the nine,” said one former UN official in 2012. Still, UNAMA was often overwhelmed. The official estimated that in some provinces, there were more than 200 violent incidents per month.

And UN officials are the first to acknowledge that they don’t hear about everything. Often it’s difficult or impossible to visit the site of an incident. Frequently, UNAMA had to interview victims and survivors by telephone, or people from a remote village would have to journey to a provincial capital to visit its office. Often victims of violence weren’t willing or able to share what happened. And sometimes they’d exaggerate the numbers for pecuniary reasons—especially if they thought compensation payments might be offered [for more on such payments, see Turse, “Blood Money: Afghanistan’s Reparations Files,” at TheNation.com].

A former UN official who spent many years in Afghanistan beginning in the 1990s explains how the organization’s approach changed. “After 9/11 and the Bonn Agreement [of December 2001], the US and the UN started re-establishing itself, and a totally different line was taken on human rights and the impact of war on civilians,” she told The Nation. “Basically, the UN went silent. During the Taliban regime, the UN was all the time talking about things of a human rights nature. And very quickly, in 2001–02, there was a very strong message that the UN was no longer going to do that.” Asked where the pressure was coming from, she says, “I think the UN was seen as being very sensitive to the Washington agenda.” Making matters worse, many traditional allies of the human rights groups and the UN’s civilian protection unit, such as the Canadians, the Norwegians and the Dutch, were part of the US-led military coalition. For members of the coalition, the UN’s job was to build the new Afghan government, not to meddle with human rights issues. “We were told that peace was at hand, and so we had to consolidate the peace,” the former UN official says.

As the fighting grew more intense and the UN ramped up its system for counting civilian deaths, ISAF’s politicization of the count intensified too. Kai Eide, who served as the UN’s special representative for Afghanistan from March 2008 to March 2010, recalled that US officials accused the UN of assisting the insurgency by drawing attention to the coalition’s mistakes. “The UN had a strong human rights mandate,” he told The Nation, “and civilian casualties had increasingly become an issue.” A former UN official who spent years in Afghanistan echoed this, noting, “They’ve become a lot more politicized, so that increasingly there are more and more pressures on UNAMA to check and double-check incidents in which it was alleged that people were killed by pro-government forces, which includes both international forces and Afghan forces. And again, that would have an impact on the tallies.”

Eide recounted an early 2008 meeting with Victoria Nuland, then the US ambassador to NATO, in which he was directly warned about disclosures of civilian casualties. In front of Eide’s staff as well as other US military and civilian officials, Nuland laid down the law: “‘No surprises,’ she said sternly,” is how Eide remembers it. “I heard about many of these meetings between our human rights people and those at local offices and lower-level officials at ISAF. I think it was a rather constant effort for quite some time,” he told The Nation. In his 2011 memoir, Power Struggle Over Afghanistan, Eide notes that the “UN could not keep quiet when serious mistakes were committed and caused civilian casualties. Our human rights mandate was clear, and we had no intention of sweeping our concerns under the carpet.”

Further down the chain of command, however, the pressure was intense, and in interviews with The Nation, UN staffers talked about accommodations they’d made to suit US and allied military interests. Often ISAF would claim that any casualties that occurred in a particular incident were combatants, not civilians. Or it would dispute the numbers. Or it would insist that an event UN workers had documented hadn’t happened at all. “So you reach a situation where you have a plausible allegation that something happened in Province X. You go to NATO, and they’d say something like, ‘Well, actually, that’s not what happened,’” says a former UN official, adding that the UN would then reluctantly decide to leave the incident out of its database. Casualty tracking, in effect, became a political negotiation to be resolved by backroom horse-trading. “You’d make a judgment call: ‘OK, well, maybe we’ll throw this one out.’” The former official, who recalls “endless meetings with the military” to decide whether or not to include data, adds, “And with each new report, there was a rival version coming out from NATO saying, ‘Actually, you know, we dispute this, we dispute that, we have other numbers.’ ”

One of the biggest problems between UNAMA and ISAF in trying to reconcile data was the involvement of the ultra-secret US Special Operations Forces in many civilian deaths. Indeed, according to Lewis and Sewall’s Joint Civilian Casualty Study: “Between 2007 and mid-2009, SOF operations (including SOF-directed airstrikes) caused about half of all US-caused civilian casualties.” Yet for the UN, getting cooperation from SOF commanders was nearly impossible. “With ISAF, it was a bit more open. But with the Special Forces, there was no way we could get any information,” says a former UNAMA official. “They insisted that they had killed insurgents. There was no way in. We’d say they were farmers, because the local population had told us, but there was no entry point.”

The situation was the same within ISAF. Lt. Col. Ewan Cameron of the British Army, who served twenty months in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2009, worked on tracking and reducing civilian casualties. But even with his top-secret clearance, he was totally in the dark about SOF activities in his area of operations. “Where civilian casualties were reported to us that resulted from suspected Special Operations Forces action, we could not corroborate that because we did not know that Special Operations Forces activities happened,” he told The Nation. “Indeed, if we were to ask about it, we would’ve been politely turned off.”

William Arkin agrees: “Once you get the CIA involved, once you get black SOF involved, then it doesn’t matter. They play by different rules.” Arkin says that he’s visited top-secret air operations centers where even the military command itself wasn’t aware of what the Special Operations Forces were doing. “They literally didn’t know,” he says. “I’m telling you, they literally didn’t know.”

III. The Military’s Body Count

When isaf finally set up its mechanism for tracking civilian casualties in 2008, it got off to an inauspicious start. “I had a rude welcome,” says one former ISAF official involved in the early days of the Civilian Casualty Tracking Cell, which was created in 2008 with the purpose of monitoring reports of civilian casualty incidents, logging them into a database, analyzing them and producing reports for the higher command. “Four days after I arrived, the person I was supposed to report to was led out of the office in handcuffs, charged with a breach of the UK Official Secrets Act for leaking information about civilian casualties to Rachel Reid of Human Rights Watch. That incident, unfortunately, set the tone for what would be my year on the job. He was led away in handcuffs for doing essentially what we were supposed to be doing!”

The arrested official, a British Army colonel named Owen McNally, didn’t actually leak any vital secrets. He was, in fact, trying to cooperate with civilian NGOs, and he apparently told Reid about some of the directives and guidelines that the US military and ISAF had issued aimed at minimizing civilian deaths. McNally would eventually be exonerated in Britain, but not before the episode turned sleazy. According to Reid and another woman who did casualty work for a different NGO, the British Defense Ministry tried to tar them both with unfounded rumors that they’d had a sexual relationship with McNally.

“The UK Ministry of Defense fabricated the story that he had given me civilian casualties information, and there was a lot of gutter press around it and wink-wink implications,” Reid says. “What he did give me was some information regarding a change in ISAF’s tactical directives concerning the use of one-source intelligence for raids and military actions. The military was very angry, because it was implicit recognition that they’d been conducting airstrikes based on one source.” The scurrilous stories appeared in several British papers, including The Sun, The Times and the Daily Mail.

That troubled start to the Civilian Casualty Tracking Cell was never completely overcome, although in time ISAF and the US command would earn grudging respect from the UN and some NGOs—including Human Rights Watch and the Center for Civilians in Conflict—on issues related to civilian casualties. Still, the Civilian Casualty Tracking Cell and its successor units didn’t always play nice with the UN, and they resisted cooperation with the media, including The Nation.

As noted, in the early years of the war civilian casualty issues were apparently all but ignored by the US military and its coalition partners. A search by ISAF personnel of their records revealed not a single study or survey of civilian casualties between 2001 and 2008. As John Bohannon, who researched the issue for the journal Science, noted in 2011, “The organization in the best position to directly record civilian casualties is the military itself, with nearly 150,000 observers on the ground witnessing the violence every day. But it seemed that the military kept no record of those observations.”

It wasn’t until 2005 that, according to the Army’s Afghanistan Civilian Casualty Prevention handbook, civilian casualties “became a key operational issue in Afghanistan.” And these efforts, it turned out, were failures. “Despite efforts to reduce civilian harm caused by coalition forces,” the 2012 manual reads, “initial initiatives in Afghanistan were not successful in mitigating the issue.” Only after a series of attacks that led to mass casualties did the US military finally start restricting the use of force.

In 2007, Gen. Dan McNeill issued the inaugural ISAF tactical directive. Focused on more effectively shielding civilians during “raids, pre-assault or preparatory fires, and air-to-ground or indirect fires,” the document called for using small arms instead of airstrikes whenever feasible, and limited attacks on compounds to situations in which coalition forces “were taking fire from the compound or there was an imminent threat from the compound, and when there were no other options available to the ground force commander to protect the force and accomplish the mission.”

Still, according to Col. John Agoglia, who headed the Counterinsurgency Training Center in Kabul from 2008 to 2010, the message didn’t resonate. Before 2008, he told The Nation, “there was an awareness, but that awareness wasn’t getting across—in the base, in the field, at the training center.” Similarly, Larry Lewis, who carried out a study of tactical directives for the Pentagon, told The Nation that while ISAF did recognize problems with its methods, the ad hoc response had a limited effect. “So you can see the command was already acknowledging this is detrimental to the mission back in 2007,” he says. “But they were trying to do it in just kind of a ‘Hey, we know this is bad, so we better put out some guidance  and hopefully that will help.’ And it really didn’t help.”

In September 2008, in the wake of a US bombing that killed as many as ninety-two Afghan civilians in the village of Azizabad in Herat Province [see Dreyfuss, “Mass-Casualty Attacks in the Afghan War,” for more], Gen. David McKiernan issued a new ISAF tactical directive that superseded McNeill’s 2007 document. The new order put in place more stringent guidelines for airstrikes, emphasizing the need to reduce civilian casualties during “escalation of force” procedures. Additionally, it “called for acknowledgement of civilian casualties or property damage at all levels, from community level to national level,” and created a mechanism to document civilian casualty incidents through bomb-damage assessments. Three months later, McKiernan issued a slightly revised version that included more restrictive language on airstrikes. The Azizabad attack also prompted CENTCOM to issue a tactical directive to speed the investigation and reporting of civilian casualty incidents.

In May 2009, another devastating US airstrike, this time in Farah Province, killed as many as 140 civilians, according to an Afghan government inquiry. In its wake, CENTCOM commissioned a study to “analyze incidents that led to coalition-caused civilian casualties,” according to a formerly secret briefing obtained by The Nation via the Freedom of Information Act. It found that the 2008 ISAF directive “could have mitigated impact of the Farah incident” but was evidently not followed. The findings also called into question just “how institutionalized this tactical directive” was and found that the rules of engagement were not up-to-date and synchronized.

The study focused a great deal of attention on “fighting the information war.” Briefing materials note that while the International Committee of the Red Cross and Al Jazeera were on the scene of the Farah attack in twenty-four hours, it took three days for the first coalition representatives to arrive and sixteen days for ISAF to issue a press release. “As a result,” reads the secret briefing, “first impressions in the media were established by the Government of Afghanistan, local community interests, and possibly by the Taliban.” ISAF, the study concluded, had ceded “the narrative to those whose interests did not align” with its own. According to a closing summary, the secret report called on ISAF to “engage in the battle for the narrative” in order to minimize the public relations fallout.

General McChrystal issued another tactical directive in July 2009, and in 2010 ISAF issued directives to discontinue the practice of firing warning shots, to limit night raids and to drive in a more courteous manner. “Whereas before, the rules were focused on the problem we had, which was dropping bombs on residential compounds, now they’re focused on any area where there might be a civilian,” said then-Col. Rich Gross, McChrystal’s chief legal adviser (now a general himself). At the same time, the United States was about to lose another battle in controlling the narrative: Pfc. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning was about to put the lie to the military’s long-held refrain that “we don’t do body counts.”

In July 2010, military documents made public by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the US military secretly maintained files relating to 4,024 Afghan civilian war deaths between January 2004 and December 2009 (also known as the Afghan War Logs). For the first time, the public was privy to secret, internal military reports—unprocessed intelligence from troops in the field—detailing the carnage occurring across Afghanistan.

While suggestive, the documents included only cases from the military’s raw operational reports. Larry Lewis said his investigation of civilian casualty incidents from 2001 to 2008 found very incomplete data. “There’s really nothing good out there,” he told The Nation. “I have tried to pull together some numbers that go back to 2007, but I will say…they’re wrong. They’re definitely incomplete, because all I could do was to go to US Army investigations that were initiated because of civilian casualties and use that as a source. But I’m certain there were other incidents that never had an investigation.”

Separately, the Civilian Casualty Tracking Cell was by now logging data on noncombatants killed and wounded by coalition forces from reports sent in by units in the field to ISAF Joint Command. But these data, too, were “inconsistent in type and quality,” according to Lewis and Sewall’s Joint Civilian Casualty Study. As late as February 2010, in fact, the commander of ISAF “was still asking straightforward questions such as whether US-caused CIVCAS [civilian casualty] incidents could be correlated with particular units and/or with that unit’s length of time in theater, and not receiving answers.”

In 2009, ISAF created another investigative body, the Joint Incident Assessment Team, which deploys to sites of reported civilian casualty incidents to conduct separate inquiries parallel to ISAF’s standard investigations. “A JIAT is used to quickly determine the facts when we have an allegation of a significant event such as a civilian casualty,” Air Commodore Michael Wigston of the British Royal Air Force, former director of air operations for ISAF Joint Command, explained to The Nation. The Joint Incident Assessment Team, composed primarily of ISAF personnel with two “Afghan partners,” then compiles a “factual narrative of events…based on interviews with people involved in the alleged incident.” It is, however, only a fact-finding group and is specifically directed to avoid “any issues that are the purview of a formal investigation.” Like other ISAF investigation teams, JIAT reports incorporate no independent experts, receive no outside oversight and are not publicly released.

In 2011, ISAF created the Civilian Casualty Mitigation Team, with a mandate to provide ISAF leaders with “strategic assessments and recommendations to prevent and mitigate CIVCAS.” With a mission statement asserting that the command “takes every effort to prevent and if necessary assess and mitigate each and every CIVCAS event,” ISAF built what it calls a “CIVCAS community,” including the Civilian Casualty Tracking Cell, the Civilian Casualty Mitigation Team, the CIVCAS Mitigation Working Group (which holds monthly meetings with Afghan leaders to discuss relevant issues) and the NGO CIVCAS Working Group (which does the same with NGOs). Methods of investigation were also refined and systematized.

As it developed and expanded, the CIVCAS community largely operated behind closed doors until—in the wake of the WikiLeaks disclosures—ISAF uncharacteristically opened its civilian casualty tracking operation to Science’s John Bohannon. “They were very forthcoming,” Bohannon told The Nation. “They would always say, ‘Look at this, look at that,’ always with an eye toward reducing casualties.”

After some negotiation, Bohannon was granted access to the data, publishing an article in Science in 2011 and making portions of ISAF’s figures available online. “Our database is 100 percent transparent,” said US Navy Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, NATO’s director of communications in Kabul at the time. But ISAF released data on civilian casualties only by region and month, not on specific events. “I pushed them absolutely as far as I possibly could,” Bohannon says. “What they offered up front, at the beginning, was even less detailed and extensive.”

Just before publication, jittery high-ranking military officials asked Bohannon to postpone the story, he told The Nation, but his article was published without delay and, he later heard, was well received in military circles. Within a year, however, ISAF would cut off his access to the CIVCAS community and its data, while providing less than satisfying answers about the change in policy. “Now you’re back in this Kafka castle,” Bohannon says. “You don’t even get reasonable answers. You don’t get coherent answers.”

When The Nation requested an embed with ISAF forces in order to witness the military’s tracking system in action, we were repeatedly rebuffed. Despite the fact that Bohannon had been given access months earlier, The Nation was told that since the Civilian Casualty Mitigation Team and Civilian Casualty Tracking Cell work inside a “secure facility,” members of the public were barred. The Joint Incident Assessment Team commander gave a similar response to an embed request. An ISAF spokesman told The Nation that he “declined to have anyone embed with him on investigations since some of the information is classified.”

Official data indicate that ISAF’s much-vaunted efforts to avoid civilian casualties have had, at best, limited results. Internal reports mistakenly released to The Nation by ISAF indicate that for the first three- quarters of 2011, ISAF forces were responsible for 434 civilians killed or wounded, up from 414 during the first three-quarters of 2010, while deaths attributed to coalition forces ticked only slightly lower, from 175 to 166. Whether this is an artifact of better surveillance and tracking procedures or a failure of ISAF policies is unknown, and it remains unknowable because of ISAF’s veil of secrecy.

Various investigations, including Bohannon’s report in Science and Neta Crawford’s “Costs of War” project, have noted that the US military’s database misses even mass-casualty incidents, such as the September 2009 massacre in the Ali Abad district of Kunduz Province that left nearly 100 people dead, mostly civilians who’d gathered around stalled tanker trucks to collect fuel. In her report, Crawford says: “NATO forces eventually acknowledged that most of those killed were civilians, and Germany made condolence payments to the families of 91 civilians killed and to the families of 11 wounded. Yet, the ISAF CIVCAS database does not record any civilian deaths due to close air support for September 2009 in northern Afghanistan.”

How could the military miss scores of dead and not include them in its own database, even in a widely publicized case such as Kunduz? Clearly, someone in the military bureaucracy is unwilling to admit that the people slaughtered were civilians. Which raises the question: How useful is the Civilian Casualty Tracking Cell database?

IV. Lessons Learned?

The best way to prevent civilian casualties in war is, of course, to avoid war. Short of that, perhaps the best that can be hoped for is that the Defense Department and the military command learn the right lessons from the war in Afghanistan. However, there’s little evidence that these lessons are being institutionalized. And some may have learned the wrong lessons, such as the illusion that the widespread use of “precision” drone missile attacks can reduce civilian casualties. This ignores the untold number of innocents killed in such strikes (the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates up to 1,000 in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia alone), which has created a new generation of anti-American fighters seeking revenge for loved ones and comrades killed.

Sarah Holewinski, executive director of the Center for Civilians in Conflict, has spent years training US military officers on how to avoid civilian deaths, and she’s worked with US and ISAF commanders in shaping directives for the troops. While she says that many of those with experience in Afghanistan did learn the right lessons, it’s far from clear that the Pentagon is preparing to apply them broadly. “What’s needed is an Office of Civilian Protection,” Holewinski says. “You really should have at least a focal person, if not a team, saying, ‘What have we learned? Where in our policies and protocols, and new procedures, and new counterterrorism strategy, can we put these understandings on preventing civilian harm?’ And we’ve been pushing that for about five years, and it really hasn’t gone anywhere. A lot of people I’ve talked to say it’s a bridge too far; they don’t have the resources. Everyone knows civilian casualties are important, but that’s not enough. It doesn’t mean things will actually change.”

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The Joint Civilian Casualty Study acknowledges that, as of 2010, there was no Pentagon office that directly focused on civilian casualties. Further, “there is no cadre of ‘experts’ on civilian casualties and U.S. military operations, nor is there an existing body of knowledge on the topic.” Partly this is because of sheer neglect, and partly it’s because personnel—including senior officers—retire or change jobs and take what they’ve learned with them.

When The Nation asked the study’s authors if there was now, finally, an office in the Defense Department concerned with civilian casualties, the response was a suggestion that it existed in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. But nothing turned up. One officer said, ”I called around to all the offices I could think of in OSD, and they all responded, ‘Not me! Not me! Not here.’” Inquiries elsewhere got similar results.

As the war in Afghanistan winds down, the American people, the media, academia and think tanks all have a role to play in demanding that in any future wars, the United States place the highest priority on avoiding civilian casualties and, if they occur, on being accountable and making amends. If the Pentagon moves slowly, the quickest route is for Congress to hold hearings and then write legislation creating and generously funding such an office, and insisting that its procedures be codified. That, at the very least, would begin to give meaning to the deaths of tens of thousands of Afghans who perished in a needless, misguided and horribly run war.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Afghanistan’s Casualty Data Black Market,” by Nick Turse

How the US War in Afghanistan Fueled the Taliban Insurgency,” by Bob Dreyfuss

America’s Lethal Profiling of Afghan Men,” by Nick Turse

Marla Ruzicka’s Heroism,” by Sarah Holewinski

and also online:

Blood Money: Afghanistan’s Reparations Files,” by Nick Turse

Mass-Casualty Attacks in the Afghan War,” by Bob Dreyfuss

Take Action: Demand the US Military Prioritize Civilian Lives

Three Russian diplomats wounded in shelling attack in Damascus

A shell exploded on the premises of the Russian embassy in Damascus when the Mezzeh neighborhood was being shelled on Sunday morning.

“Three Russian diplomats were wounded. Their lives are not in danger,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The incident is under investigation, the statement says. “Additional steps are being taken jointly with the Syrian authoritieis to ensure the Russian diplomatic mission’s security,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Special forces Stage Assault To Retake Nairobi Mall

Special forces in final assault on attackers

daily nation kenya

A policeman carry's a baby to safety after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least six on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi. The Gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA

A policeman carry’s a baby to safety after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least six on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi. The Gunmen have taken at least seven hostages, police and security guards told an AFP reporter at the scene. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA

In Summary

  • Israeli forces and officers from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations were also assisting their Kenyan counterparts.
  • Officials were understandably tight-lipped about how the attempt to rescue the remaining people would be made but it was clear preparations were underway.
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By JOHN NGIRACHU
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A combination of Kenyan defence and internal security security forces Sunday evening commence the final stage of an assault on the Westgate Shopping Mall to free an as yet unknown number of hostages and other people still in the building.

At 6.15 pm, a Nation reporter at the scene said the helicopters surveying the scene were flying low and there was sustained gunfire in the building with the attackers reportedly holed in a room with bulletproof glass.

The assault is understood to involve officers and soldiers from three units of the Kenya Defence Forces, the Regular and Administration police plus the Anti-Terror Police Unit.

Nation reporters could identify officers and soldiers from the Gilgil-based 20 Para Battalion who are understood to be working with the Special Forces and their colleagues from the Rangers Strike Force.

The 20 Para battalion has traditionally been the best trained unit of the Kenya Defence Forces and their roles as set out in the army are “to conduct airborne operations and special operations in both conventional and unconventional warfare”.

Others involved are the Recce Company of the General Service Unit.

Israeli forces and officers from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations were also assisting their Kenyan counterparts.

Officials were understandably tight-lipped about how the attempt to rescue the remaining people would be made but it was clear preparations were underway.

In the morning, the journalists who had initially pitched camp in the mall’s parking lot were relocated to Peponi Road, 300 metres away.

Helicopters continued circling overhead and several truckloads of soldiers arrived.

Later in the day, two large mobile cranes were taken there, with the Nairobi City Fire Brigade also coming and going.

In a midday press briefing, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku said there had been no communication from the attackers and that “this remains a national security operation.”

“We’re in control of the remote CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) control centre,” he said.

This suggests that they have at least seen the attackers, one of whom survivors said is a ruthless woman.

Mr Ole Lenku said Government’s paramount responsibility is to ensure people still held in the mall come out alive.

Additional reporting by Zadock Angira

Putin’s Address At Valdai International Discussion Club—(ENG. TRANSCRIPT)

Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

At the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. Left to right: Editor-in-Chief of RIA Novosti Svetlana Mironyuk, former German defence minister Volker Ruehe, former French prime minister Francois Fillon, Vladimir Putin, former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi, and President of the US Centre for the National Interest Dimitri Simes.

1/9 Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office Full caption

Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. The theme of the club’s anniversary session is Russia’s Diversity for the Modern World.

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Excerpts from transcript of the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

I hope that the place for your discussions, for our meetings is well chosen and that the timing is good. We are in the centre of Russia – not a geographical centre, but a spiritual one. [Novgorod Region] is a cradle of Russian statehood. Our outstanding historians believe and have analysed how the elements of Russian statehood came together right here. This is in the light of the fact that two great rivers – the Volkhov and Neva – acted as natural means of communication, providing a natural linkage at the time. And it was here that Russian statehood gradually began to emerge.

As has already been pointed out, this year the [Valdai] club has brought together an unprecedented list of participants: more than 200 Russian and foreign politicians, public and spiritual leaders, philosophers and cultural figures, people with very different, original and sometimes opposing views.

You have already been conferring here for a few days now, and I’ll try not to bore you unduly. But nevertheless, I will allow myself to state my views on subjects that you have touched on during these discussions in one way or another. I am not only thinking about analysing Russian historical, cultural, and governance experiences. First and foremost, I am thinking of general debates, conversations about the future, strategies, and values, about the values underpinning our country’s development, how global processes will affect our national identity, what kind of twenty-first-century world we want to see, and what Russia, our country, can contribute to this world together with its partners.

Today we need new strategies to preserve our identity in a rapidly changing world, a world that has become more open, transparent and interdependent. This fact confronts virtually all countries and all peoples in one form or another: Russian, European, Chinese and American – the societies of virtually all countries. And naturally, including here in Valdai, we strive to better understand how our partners are attempting to meet this challenge, because we are meeting here with experts on Russia. But we proceed from the fact that our guests will state their views on the interaction and relationship between Russia and the countries that you represent.

For us (and I am talking about Russians and Russia), questions about who we are and who we want to be are increasingly prominent in our society. We have left behind Soviet ideology, and there will be no return. Proponents of fundamental conservatism who idealise pre-1917 Russia seem to be similarly far from reality, as are supporters of an extreme, western-style liberalism.

It is evident that it is impossible to move forward without spiritual, cultural and national self-determination. Without this we will not be able to withstand internal and external challenges, nor we will succeed in global competitions. And today we see a new round of such competitions. Today their main focuses are economic-technological and ideological-informational. Military-political problems and general conditions are worsening. The world is becoming more rigid, and sometimes forgoes not merely international law, but also basic decency.

[Every country] has to have military, technological and economic strength, but nevertheless the main thing that will determine success is the quality of citizens, the quality of society: their intellectual, spiritual and moral strength. After all, in the end economic growth, prosperity and geopolitical influence are all derived from societal conditions. They depend on whether the citizens of a given country consider themselves a nation, to what extent they identify with their own history, values ​​and traditions, and whether they are united by common goals and responsibilities. In this sense, the question of finding and strengthening national identity really is fundamental for Russia.

Meanwhile, today Russia’s national identity is experiencing not only objective pressures stemming from globalisation, but also the consequences of the national catastrophes of the twentieth century, when we experienced the collapse of our state two different times. The result was a devastating blow to our nation’s cultural and spiritual codes; we were faced with the disruption of traditions and the consonance of history, with the demoralisation of society, with a deficit of trust and responsibility. These are the root causes of many pressing problems we face. After all, the question of responsibility for oneself, before society and the law, is something fundamental for both legal and everyday life.

After 1991 there was the illusion that a new national ideology, a development ideology, would simply appear by itself. The state, authorities, intellectual and political classes virtually rejected engaging in this work, all the more so since previous, semi-official ideology was hard to swallow. And in fact they were all simply afraid to even broach the subject. In addition, the lack of a national idea stemming from a national identity profited the quasi-colonial element of the elite – those determined to steal and remove capital, and who did not link their future to that of the country, the place where they earned their money.

Practice has shown that a new national idea does not simply appear, nor does it develop according to market rules. A spontaneously constructed state and society does not work, and neither does mechanically copying other countries’ experiences. Such primitive borrowing and attempts to civilize Russia from abroad were not accepted by an absolute majority of our people. This is because the desire for independence and sovereignty in spiritual, ideological and foreign policy spheres is an integral part of our national character. Incidentally, such approaches have often failed in other nations too. The time when ready-made lifestyle models could be installed in foreign states like computer programmes has passed.

We also understand that identity and a national idea cannot be imposed from above, cannot be established on an ideological monopoly. Such a construction is very unstable and vulnerable; we know this from personal experience. It has no future in the modern world. We need historical creativity, a synthesis of the best national practices and ideas, an understanding of our cultural, spiritual and political traditions from different points of view, and to understand that [national identity] is not a rigid thing that will last forever, but rather a living organism. Only then will our identity be based on a solid foundation, be directed towards the future and not the past. This is the main argument demonstrating that a development ideology must be discussed by people who hold different views, and have different opinions about how and what to do to solve given problems.

All of us – so-called Neo-Slavophiles and Neo-Westernisers, statists and so-called liberals – all of society must work together to create common development goals. We need to break the habit of only listening to like-minded people, angrily – and even with hatred – rejecting any other point of view from the outset. You can’t flip or even kick the country’s future like a football, plunging into unbridled nihilism, consumerism, criticism of anything and everything, or gloomy pessimism.

This means that liberals have to learn to talk with representatives of the left-wing and, conversely, that nationalists must remember that Russia was formed specifically as a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional country from its very inception. Nationalists must remember that by calling into question our multi-ethnic character, and exploiting the issue of Russian, Tatar, Caucasian, Siberian or any other nationalism or separatism, means that we are starting to destroy our genetic code. In effect, we will begin to destroy ourselves.

Russia’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity are unconditional. These are red lines no one is allowed to cross. For all the differences in our views, debates about identity and about our national future are impossible unless their participants are patriotic. Of course I mean patriotism in the purest sense of the word.

Too often in our nation’s history, instead of opposition to the government we have been faced with opponents of Russia itself. I have already mentioned this; Pushkin also talked about it. And we know how it ended, with the demolition of the [Russian] state as such. There is virtually no Russian family that completely escaped the troubles of the past century. Questions about how to assess certain historical events still divide our country and society.

We need to heal these wounds, and repair the tissues of our historic fabric. We can no longer engage in self-deception, striking out unsightly or ideologically uncomfortable pages of our history, breaking links between generations, rushing to extremes, creating or debunking idols. It’s time to stop only taking note of the bad in our history, and berating ourselves more than even our opponents would do. [Self-]criticism is necessary, but without a sense of self-worth, or love for our Fatherland, such criticism becomes humiliating and counterproductive.

We must be proud of our history, and we have things to be proud of. Our entire, uncensored history must be a part of Russian identity. Without recognising this it is impossible to establish mutual trust and allow society to move forward.

Another serious challenge to Russia’s identity is linked to events taking place in the world. Here there are both foreign policy and moral aspects. We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilisation. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan.

The excesses of political correctness have reached the point where people are seriously talking about registering political parties whose aim is to promote paedophilia. People in many European countries are embarrassed or afraid to talk about their religious affiliations. Holidays are abolished or even called something different; their essence is hidden away, as is their moral foundation. And people are aggressively trying to export this model all over the world. I am convinced that this opens a direct path to degradation and primitivism, resulting in a profound demographic and moral crisis.

What else but the loss of the ability to self-reproduce could act as the greatest testimony of the moral crisis facing a human society? Today almost all developed nations are no longer able to reproduce themselves, even with the help of migration. Without the values ​​embedded in Christianity and other world religions, without the standards of morality that have taken shape over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity. We consider it natural and right to defend these values​​. One must respect every minority’s right to be different, but the rights of the majority must not be put into question.

At the same time we see attempts to somehow revive a standardised model of a unipolar world and to blur the institutions of international law and national sovereignty. Such a unipolar, standardised world does not require sovereign states; it requires vassals. In a historical sense this amounts to a rejection of one’s own identity, of the God-given diversity of the world.

Russia agrees with those who believe that key decisions should be worked out on a collective basis, rather than at the discretion of and in the interests of certain countries or groups of countries. Russia believes that international law, not the right of the strong, must apply. And we believe that every country, every nation is not exceptional, but unique, original and benefits from equal rights, including the right to independently choose their own development path.

This is our conceptual outlook, and it follows from our own historical destiny and Russia’s role in global politics. Our present position has deep historical roots. Russia itself has evolved on the basis of diversity, harmony and balance, and brings such a balance to the international stage.

I want to remind you that the Congress of Vienna of 1815 and the agreements made at Yalta in 1945, taken with Russia’s very active participation, secured a lasting peace. Russia’s strength, the strength of a winning nation at those critical junctures, manifested itself as generosity and justice. And let us remember [the Treaty of] Versailles, concluded without Russia’s participation. Many experts, and I absolutely agree with them, believe that Versailles laid the foundation for the Second World War because the Treaty of Versailles was unfair to the German people: it imposed restrictions with which they could not cope, and the course of the next century became clear.

There is one more fundamental aspect to which I want to draw your attention. In Europe and some other countries so-called multiculturalism is in many respects a transplanted, artificial model that is now being questioned, for understandable reasons. This is because it is based on paying for the colonial past. It is no accident that today European politicians and public figures are increasingly talking about the failures of multiculturalism, and that they are not able to integrate foreign languages or foreign cultural elements into their societies.

Over the past centuries in Russia, which some have tried to label as the “prison of nations”, not even the smallest ethnic group has disappeared. And they have retained not only their internal autonomy and cultural identity, but also their historical space. You know, I was interested to learn (I did not even know this) that in Soviet times [authorities] paid such careful attention to this that virtually every small ethnic group had its own print publication, support for its language, and for its national literature. We should bring back and take on board much of what has been done in this respect.

Along with this the different cultures in Russia have the unique experience of mutual influence, mutual enrichment and mutual respect. This multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity lives in our historical consciousness, in our spirit and in our historical makeup. Our state was built in the course of a millennium on this organic model.

Russia – as philosopher Konstantin Leontyev vividly put it – has always evolved in “blossoming complexity” as a state-civilisation, reinforced by the Russian people, Russian language, Russian culture, Russian Orthodox Church and the country’s other traditional religions. It is precisely the state-civilisation model that has shaped our state polity. It has always sought to flexibly accommodate the ethnic and religious specificity of particular territories, ensuring diversity in unity.

Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other religions are an integral part of Russia’s identity, its historical heritage and the present-day lives of its citizens. The main task of the state, as enshrined in the Constitution, is to ensure equal rights for members of traditional religions and atheists, and the right to freedom of conscience for all citizens.

However, it is clearly impossible to identify oneself only through one’s ethnicity or religion in such a large nation with a multi-ethnic population. In order to maintain the nation’s unity, people must develop a civic identity on the basis of shared values, a patriotic consciousness, civic responsibility and solidarity, respect for the law, and a sense of responsibility for their homeland’s fate, without losing touch with their ethnic or religious roots.

There are broad discussions on how the ideology of national development will be structured politically and conceptually – including with your participation, colleagues. But I deeply believe that individuals’ personal, moral, intellectual and physical development must remain at the heart of our philosophy. Back at the start of the 1990s, Solzhenitsyn stated that the nation’s main goal should be to preserve the population after a very difficult 20th century. Today, we must admit that we have not yet fully overcome the negative demographic trends, although we have veered away from a dangerous decline in the national potential.

Unfortunately, throughout our nation’s history, little value was given at times to individual human lives. Too often, people were seen simply as a means, rather than a goal and a mission for development. We no longer have that right and we cannot throw millions of human lives into the fire for the sake of development. We must treasure every individual. Russia’s main strength in this and future centuries will lie in its educated, creative, physically and spiritually healthy people, rather than natural resources.

The role of education is all the more important because in order to educate an individual, a patriot, we must restore the role of great Russian culture and literature. They must serve as the foundation for people’s personal identity, the source of their uniqueness and their basis for understanding the national idea. Here, a great deal depends on the teaching community, which has been and remains a highly important guardian of nationwide values, ideas and philosophies. This community speaks the same language – the language of science, knowledge and education, despite the fact that it is spread out over an enormous territory, from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. In this way, the community of teachers, the educational community overall, in the broad sense of the word, binds the nation together. Supporting this community is one of the most important steps on the path toward a strong, flourishing Russia.

I want to stress again that without focussing our efforts on people’s education and health, creating mutual responsibility between the authorities and each individual, and establishing trust within society, we will be losers in the competition of history. Russia’s citizens must feel that they are the responsible owners of their country, region, hometown, property, belongings and their lives. A citizen is someone who is capable of independently managing his or her own affairs, freely cooperating with equals.

Local governments and self-regulated citizens’ organisations serve as the best school for civic consciousness. Of course, I’m referring to non-profits. Incidentally, one of the best Russian political traditions, the country council tradition, was also built on the principles of local government. A true civil society and a true, nationally-focused political elite, including the opposition with its own ideology, values and standards for good and evil – their own, rather than those dictated by the media or from abroad – can only grow through effective self-governing mechanisms. The government is prepared to trust self-regulating and self-governing associations, but we must know whom we are trusting. This is absolutely normal global practice, which is precisely why we have passed new legislation to increase the transparency of nongovernmental organisations.

Speaking of any kind of reforms, it is important to bear in mind that there is more to our nation than just Moscow and St Petersburg. In developing Russian federalism, we must rely on our own historical experience, using flexible and diverse models. The Russian model of federalism has a great deal of potential built into it. It is imperative that we learn to use it competently, not forgetting its most important aspect: the development of the regions and their independence should create equal opportunities for all of our nation’s citizens, regardless of where they live, to eliminate inequalities in the economic and social development of Russia’s territory, thereby strengthening the nation’s unity. Ultimately, this is a huge challenge because these territories’ development has been very unbalanced over the course of decades and even centuries.

I would like to touch on another topic. The 21st century promises to become the century of major changes, the era of the formation of major geopolitical zones, as well as financial and economic, cultural, civilisational, and military and political areas. That is why integrating with our neighbours is our absolute priority. The future Eurasian Economic Union, which we have declared and which we have discussed extensively as of late, is not just a collection of mutually beneficial agreements. The Eurasian Union is a project for maintaining the identity of nations in the historical Eurasian space in a new century and in a new world. Eurasian integration is a chance for the entire post-Soviet space to become an independent centre for global development, rather than remaining on the outskirts of Europe and Asia.

I want to stress that Eurasian integration will also be built on the principle of diversity. This is a union where everyone maintains their identity, their distinctive character and their political independence. Together with our partners, we will gradually implement this project, step by step. We expect that it will become our common input into maintaining diversity and stable global development.

Colleagues, the years after 1991 are often referred to as the post-Soviet era. We have lived through and overcome that turbulent, dramatic period. Russia has passed through these trials and tribulations and is returning to itself, to its own history, just as it did at other points in its history. After consolidating our national identity, strengthening our roots, and remaining open and receptive to the best ideas and practices of the East and the West, we must and will move forward.

Thank you very much for your attention.

<…>

MEMBER OF THE VALDAI DISCUSSION CLUB ADVISORY BOARD PIOTR DUTKIEWICZ: Mr President, this is the tenth year that we are meeting with you here.

This is a unique platform and a unique format – there is nothing like it in the world. Thank you for these ten years of warm support for our club.

I have a two-part question concerning your article in The New York Times. It was an excellent idea and a brilliant article.  Indeed, you are personally responsible for stopping the expansion and deepening of the Syrian conflict, which is an enormous achievement.

Question: who came up with this idea? Was it Lavrov, Shoigu, Peskov or someone else? And when did you discuss it for the first time with President Obama?

The second part of the question: it seems to me that you put yourself in a rather awkward position with this brilliant idea, this brilliant article, because you became a kind of hostage. You and Russia have taken on the burden of responsibility for the success of this agreement. You already have many detractors because they do not want to see major global policy to develop as a Putin and Obama duet. What happens if it doesn’t work?

Thank you.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Thank you for your kind words.

My colleagues and I have always been pleased that there are people in the world interested in Russia, its history and its culture. Ten years ago, when I was told that these people would like to come to Russia, talk with us, engage in debate, and want to learn about our point of view on key issues in the development of the nation itself and its place in the world, well, naturally, we supported it immediately; I supported it and my colleagues supported it. I am very happy that over the last ten years, this platform has become even more prestigious compared to the first steps taken a decade ago. The interest in our nation is not waning; on the contrary, it is increasing and growing.

I want to respond to your words of gratitude in kind. I would like to thank all the experts on Russia who remain faithful to their love of our nation and their interest in our nation.

Now, regarding the article. I had this idea completely by chance. I saw that President Obama took the discussion on the possibility of attacking Syria to the Congress and Senate. I followed the course of that discussion and I just wanted to convey our position, my own position, to the people who will be forming their opinions on this issue, and to clarify it. Because unfortunately, the media often present various problems very one-sidedly, or simply stay completely silent.

So this was my idea; I called one of my aides and said that I would like to publish an article in an American newspaper – it didn’t matter which one, but one of the leading ones – so that this information would reach the readers, and dictated what I wanted to see written. You may have noticed that it does not contain anything I have not stated earlier, in various places in public. I have already talked about all of it in one way or another. So I just dictated it, and then when my colleagues put it together, I took a look. I didn’t like everything, so I rewrote and added a few things, gave it back to them, they worked on it some more and brought it to me again. I made some more changes and felt it was ready for publishing. We arranged through our partners that it would be in The New York Times; we came to an agreement with this respected publication that the article would be published without any cuts. If they didn’t like it, we could give it to another newspaper.

But I must give credit to the New York Times editors: they completely abided by our agreements and published everything as I wrote it. They even waived their usual requirements on the number of characters and words in the article; it was a little bit over the limit. They were going to submit it, but then one of my aides said, “President Obama is going to address the nation tomorrow. What if he announces that there won’t be any strikes, that they changed their minds? It’s better to wait.” I said, “Very well.” We waited, and the next morning, I was getting ready for work and I was given President Obama’s speech. I began to read it and realised that nothing had changed fundamentally, so I laid it aside without finishing it. But then I thought, “No, I need to read it to the end.” And when I read all of it, it became clear that my article was incomplete. As you understand, the matter at hand was America’s exceptionalism. So I picked up the article, and right then and there, I hand-wrote the last paragraph. I gave it to my colleagues, they passed it on to The New York Times, and there it was.

Now, concerning responsibility. You know, you are all very experienced, smart and clever people. Here is what I will say about Russia’s special responsibility. We have equal rights and equal responsibilities with all our colleagues involved in the discussion on Syria. This is not the first time I hear that I now carry a special responsibility. We all carry a special responsibility; we all carry it equally. If the attempt to resolve the problem by peaceful means is unsuccessful, that will be a tragedy. But we must investigate before we do take any other steps. My good friend Francois Fillon – we have known each other for a long time and have become friends during our years of working together – talked about how after the report was released by UN experts, it became clear that chemical weapons had been used. But this was clear to us from the very beginning, and our experts agreed. The only thing that is unclear is who used it.

We are constantly talking about responsibility on the part of Assad’s government, whether he used chemical weapons or not. But what if they were used by the opposition? Nobody is saying what we would then do with the opposition – but this, too, is an important question. We have every reason to believe that this was a provocation. You know, it was clever and smart, but at the same time, the execution was primitive. They used an ancient, Soviet-made projectile, taken from the Syrian army’s armaments from a long time ago – it even had “Made in the USSR” printed on it. But this was not the first time chemical weapons were used in Syria. Why didn’t they investigate the previous instances?

This matter should be investigated as thoroughly as possible. If we finally get an answer, despite all obstacles, to the question of who did this, who committed this crime – and there is no question that it was a crime – then we will take the next step; we will then work with other UN Security Council colleagues to determine the culpability of those who committed this crime, together and in solidarity.

Thank you.

MODERATOR SVETLANA MIRONYUK: They say that Senator McCain followed your example and published an article of his own in Pravda newspaper. He probably remembers from the Soviet years that Pravda was a well-known publication and the most popular newspaper in the country. True, a lot of time has passed and things have changed a bit since then, so it’s no longer true. I don’t know if you heard about this or not, Mr President.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: No, I didn’t know about it. I have met the senator before. He was in Munich when I made the speech there that went on to become so famous. Actually, there was nothing anti-American in that speech. I simply stated our position frankly and honestly, and there was nothing aggressive in what I said, if you only take a closer look. What I said then was that we were promised at one point that NATO would not expand beyond the former Federal Republic of Germany’s eastern border. That was a promise directly made to Gorbachev. True, it was not actually set out and written down. But where is NATO today, where is the border? We got cheated, to put it quite simply. That’s the whole story. But there’s nothing aggressive here. It’s more just a reluctance to admit to what I just said. But I didn’t say those words to offend anyone. I said them so that we would be able to lay everything before each other plain and clear and discuss the problems in an honest, open fashion. It’s easier to reach agreements this way. You shouldn’t keep things hidden.

The senator has his own views. I do think though that he is lacking information about our country. The fact that he chose to publish his article in Pravda – and he wanted after all to publish it in the most influential and widely read newspaper – suggests that he is lacking information. Pravda is a respected publication of the Communist Party, which is now in opposition, but it does not have very wide circulation around the country now. He wants to get his views across to as many people as possible, and so his choice simply suggests that he is not well-informed about our country.

Actually, I would have been happy to see him here at the Valdai Club say, taking part in the discussions. As far as I know, our big television channels, the national channels, proposed that he come and take part in an open and honest discussion. There you have it, freedom of speech, freedom of the press. He is welcome to share his point of view with the whole country and discuss things with his equals, with political analysts and politicians, members of the State Duma or the Federation Council.

In this respect, I can only express my regret that our American colleagues did not react to our parliamentarians’ proposal and refused to receive them in Washington for a discussion on Syria. Why did they do this? To be honest, I don’t see anything so bad about this proposal, which, on the contrary, seems to me of interest and the right thing to do. The more we actually discuss things directly with each other, the easier it will be to find solutions.

SVETLANA MIRONYUK: Thank you.

Are there more questions from the floor?

Let’s stick to the subjects if we can, so as not to jump from one topic to another.

Bridget Kendall, go ahead.

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT FOR THE BBC BRIDGET KENDALL: Thank you.

Again about Syria, Russia has been lauded for its achievement for bringing about a deal which looks as though it could lead to the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria, all the more an achievement given that the Syrian government didn’t admit it had them until very recently. Would you have been able to persuade President Assad to do this if there hadn’t been a threat of American military strikes? In other words, did the threat of US military strikes actually play a rather useful role?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Am I right in understanding that you are asking about whether it is the threat of military strikes that plays a part in Syria’s agreeing to have its weapons placed under control?

First, I’d like to ask you all to address your questions to everyone taking part in today’s discussion, so as not to turn this into a boring dialogue. If you permit, I will redirect your question to my colleagues and ask them to share their points of view on this issue.

The threat of the use of force and actual use of force are far from being a cure-all for international problems. Look at what we are actually talking about after all. We are forgetting the heart of the matter. We are talking about using force outside the framework of current international law. We’ve just been saying how the US Congress and Senate are discussing whether to use force or not. But it is not there that this matter should be discussed. It should be discussed in the UN Security Council. That is the heart of the issue. That is my first point.

Second, on whether we will manage to convince Assad or not, I don’t know. So far it looks as though Syria has fully agreed to our proposal and is ready to act according to the plan that the international community is putting together, working through the UN. Russia and the USA, in the persons of Secretary of State Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov have already practically drafted the outlines of this plan. There is a special organisation that will work together with the UN on this matter of eliminating chemical weapons. Syria has declared that it will join and that it indeed already considers itself to have joined the International Chemical Weapons Convention. These are practical steps that the Syrian government has already taken. Will we succeed in taking the process through to completion? I cannot give a 100% guarantee. But what we have seen just lately, over these last few days, gives us hope that this is possible and will be done.

Let me just remind you about how these chemical weapons came about. Syria got itself chemical weapons as an alternative to Israel’s nuclear arsenal, as we know. What can be done about the various issues associated with proliferation and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains a very relevant question today, perhaps the most important issue of our time. If this situation gets out of control, like it once happened with gunpowder, the consequences will be unimaginable. We therefore need to strive towards nuclear-free status in particular parts of the world, especially in such volatile regions as the Middle East.

We need to be very careful in our action so as to give unconditional security guarantees for all participants in this process. After all, there are people in Israel itself who categorically oppose nuclear weapons. You remember the well-known case when a nuclear physicist was sent to prison, served his sentence and still continues to think that his position was right. Why? There is nothing anti-Israeli in his position. He is a Jew himself and a citizen of his country, but he simply believes that Israel’s technological superiority is such that the country does not need nuclear weapons. Israel is already technologically and militarily a long way ahead of the region’s other countries. But nuclear weapons only turn the country into a target and create foreign policy problems. In this respect, there is sense in the position of this nuclear physicist, who disclosed the existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons.

But to come back to your question about whether the plan will succeed or not, we hope that it will.

SVETLANA MIRONYUK: Mr President, I suggest that since we have veered away from defence and security issues, we should give Mr Rühe a chance to reply, ask a question, and express his opinion.

Mr Rühe, you have the floor.

FORMER DEFENCE MINISTER OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY VOLKER RÜHE: Well, I wanted to speak about the young generation in this country.

First, I would like to begin – because I’ve been here from the beginning – to also compliment our Russian friends on the format of Valdai, the architects – because it would not be enough to call them organisers. What we have seen here, I call the culture of inclusiveness and a love of pluralism. And I can tell you, Mr President, we are quite fascinated by the pluralistic voices from Russia, including very powerful statements by people that are in opposition to your politics, and I think this shows the strength of the country, that it was organised in this way.

I’ve never looked at Russia with the somewhat narrow eyes of a defence minister, you know this. I was first here in 1971, and Sergei Karaganov is a friend of mine since the late 1970s. We don’t look it, but it’s a fact of life. We have lived through SS-20 and Pershing.

And what I would like to say is, I came here as Defence Minister in 1995 and I went to St Petersburg. And I said, I don’t want to see any tanks or artillery, or any generals. I want to see the Mayor, Sobchak. And I got to know you also, you were part of his team. Why? He was a lighthouse for me, as a young member of parliament in West Germany, still in the divided Germany, and I think what he was doing was much more important than tanks and artillery, and it has proved to be this way. So it’s a lifelong interest in a neighbour. And we all, I believe, on this continent, are interested in a successful, modern Russia.

Now, the young generation. What I’ve seen – and of course it was very interesting for me to listen to his daughter, who is a powerful voice for the young generation, two days ago.

So what I’ve seen here, what I’ve seen in Russia is you have really an asset to the country, your young generation. They are very intelligent. They want to have a good education. They want to be more internationally connected. And they want to have a bigger say in the politics of your country. They are knocking at the doors of the Kremlin.

The young generation in my country, they also want to build their private lives, they are very much internationally connected. The doors to our Kremlins, which is the parliament and the government, are very open, but they don’t knock at it. They leave it to politicians because they think things have been arranged very well. And we are very sad that some of the very best just want to have a successful private life, but don’t engage in public life.

So my message really is, Russia can be proud of a young generation, even if there are political opponents that want to engage in public life, which is not the case in many of the west European countries. And I’ve said earlier in Russia also, we should give up this visa regime in the West, because that would enable hundreds of thousands of young Russians to come and see our life and our political system. But I must say, it would also change Russia, because once they have studied in Rome or in London or in Washington, because they’ll be forces of change, the necessary change in this country. But I think it would make the country also more competitive.

Now what has that to do with security? I think this is the best way to ensure security and to develop common points of view. And I’m very glad that this culture of Valdai, I don’t think there’s anything – I have been to many conferences, and also to Munich, but Munich is very narrow security-wise, there’s no conference like this in the world.

And also when we listen for four hours to your people about ideas and politics – we very often just talk from Monday to Thursday about our politics. It was very fascinating to see that the Russian speakers are much more interested in fundamental questions of society than we are, which is very much on the surface, what we are debating. So I think this is something to start from, but the real message is, I think it would be a great project of your third term to integrate this young generation when they’re knocking at the door of the Kremlin, because don’t forget, we want more people to knock at the doors of political power in the West, and you can be proud of these people. That’s my message.

SVETLANA MIRONYUK: Thank you, Mr Rühe.

Other questions, please.

PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF THE CENTER ON GLOBAL INTERESTS IN WASHINGTON NIKOLAI ZLOBIN: Good afternoon.

Everyone seems to be expecting me to ask you about 2018 and whether you will run for a new term. But I’m not going to ask that question. Everyone else I have put this question to so far have all said no though, so you might have to run anyway in the end, or else there won’t be anyone at all.

But I want to come back to a question we have already discussed. Unlike you, I did read McCain’s article. It should be said that it is not exactly a reply to your article, because it is really quite a personal article and not related to Syria. I think it is not very politically correct really, but that is my personal view.

Actually, he says there that no criticism of Putin is allowed in Russia. I’m here as a living example of someone who is always criticising you. Even here at Valdai I have often argued with you, but I’m still here as you can see, alive and well. To be honest, I do not entirely agree with the things you said today either. But McCain says that the government Russia has today does not adequately represent Russian society, and that Russia deserves a different government.

In this respect I have a question. I know that relations between the public and the authorities is indeed one of Russia’s big problems, an old, historical problem. Before last year’s election, I recall that you said that there is perhaps a need to change the Constitution, change the relations between government and society, change the mutual responsibility, develop local government and so on. There was the very good idea too of bringing more young people into government. Sometimes I hear voices among the opposition saying that this government should be swept aside and that a new government is needed. You are now serving your third term as President. How do you view today the relations between government and society in Russia? Are you happy with these relations? What should be changed? Is the Constitution really the issue, or is McCain perhaps right in a way? I do not think his argument is correct. But what is your vision now, in the twenty-first century, of the relations between Russia’s highest authorities and society?

Thank you, Mr President.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: You recall the words of one of the world’s outstanding political leaders, a former British Prime Minister, who said of democracy that it “is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”. Probably then – not probably, but for certain – Russia does deserve a better quality of government. Is there an ideal form of government in other countries, including the one that you and Mr McCain represent? This is a big question, a very big question, if we are talking about democracy.

It has happened twice in US history that the President of the United States was chosen by a majority in the electoral colleges, but with a minority of the actual voters. This is an obvious flaw in the electoral procedure, that is to say, a flaw at the very heart of American democracy. In other words, everyone has their own problems.

We perhaps have no fewer problems than you, and maybe even more, though this would only be natural. Russia has gone through the experience of rule under the tsars, then communism, then the disintegration of the 1990s. This has been a period of very difficult and complicated rebuilding. But it is very clear that Russia is on the road to democracy and is looking for its own ways to strengthen these democratic foundations. There is this very fact that for ten years now we have been getting together, debating, openly discussing, even when we used to meet behind closed doors, it all became public anyway. And this is not to mention the other aspects of our life.

As for what kind of government Russia should have, this is something for our citizens to decide, and not for our colleagues from abroad. We held an election a year ago, not so long ago, and the majority of Russia’s citizens voted for me. I base myself on this decision. That does not mean we can now sit on our laurels. I have to work on myself, and our institutions need to improve too. This is just what we are all doing.

Note that we have returned to holding gubernatorial elections in the regions. This practice is not so widespread in the world. Such elections are the practice in the United States, but India say, has a completely different procedure. Many countries do things very much their own way. Germany has its system, France has its way of doing things, and in Russia we have decided to elect regional governors by direct secret ballot.

We have liberalised political parties’ activity. As a specialist on Russia, you know just how many new political parties took part in the regional elections. In many cases they achieved victory, and as far as I know, the winners of elections from these new political parties are here at Valdai too. The improvement process is therefore going ahead. I think it will never stop, because government organisation, the political organisation of society, and democratic procedures need to keep up more or less with a society’s current needs and demands, and society is developing and changing. The political system will change and develop with it.

SVETLANA MIRONYUK: Thank you.

Any other questions?

FOUNDER DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR EUROPEAN REFORM CHARLES GRANT: Charles Grant from the Centre for European Reform, London.

I have a question for the President, but if other panellists wish to comment, I would be grateful, because it’s about Ukraine. I know Mr Prodi has a special interest in Ukraine.

I’d like the President to tell us whether he sees Ukraine as a normal, sovereign, independent country or a country that’s a bit different. I ask that because we have a question now – Ukraine has to choose whether to join the Customs Union with Russia and other countries, or to reach a closer agreement with the EU. And we’ve heard from participants here in the last few days that some people in Ukraine find Russia’s heavy-armed tactics – closing the borders, blocking exports from Ukraine – counterproductive. They have told us this is pushing public opinion in Ukraine to be a little more critical of Russia and perhaps closer to the EU. So could you explain what your strategy is with regard to Ukraine and what kind of country you believe it is.

Thank you.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: My good, long-time friend Romano headed the European Commission for many years. So let’s ask him to open the discussion. I have an answer, and I’m ready to reply to you, but I would like to hear his opinion.

FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF ITALY ROMANO PRODI: First of all, you remember that I was President of the European Commission. And I remember that in our last common press conference, when I was asked about the relation between the European Union and Russia, I said, they must be like vodka and caviar – I don’t know which is which – but we are so strict, and things are not going in this direction. There is something that we have to move or to change, because really – well, maybe my vision is influenced by the fact I am by education an economist – but I see such a complementarity, such a necessity of working together, that I think we have to work in this direction.

And clearly, it’s not only a Russian problem. Europe is fairly divided. In this case, you have countries that are much more inclined to deal with Russia, some others are not confident in that. We also have a different vision in very simple problems like the visa. And I agree that the first step is to have free circulation of young people. The Erasmus project in Europe, which is a very simple circulation of students, is changing the mentality of a generation. We must do the same with Russia.

And clearly, in the case of Ukraine, I think it’s going in the same direction. There is now a double proposal that says, one is the association agreement that will be signed probably in Vilnius at the end of November, and then there is the proposal of, let’s say, the Eurasian economy.

First of all, I am not a technical expert of trade, but all my consultants say, “Look, the two proposals are not incompatible. They are incompatible taken as a picture, as static, but if we sit around the table, with good will, we can make very few changes and then make them compatible.” And so, as I answer to Mr Grant, reinforce the identity of Ukraine – not as a dividing country, but as a bridge between Russia and Europe, because we need bridges, and Ukraine must and can be a bridge between us. This is, I think, my position. And I’m working in this direction because Ukraine is a great country. Forty-five million people, even if the decreasing population is, geopolitically, very important. And it must be an exercise in cooperation between Russia and European Union.

Vladimir, on this point, clearly, why I am so warm about that? Because I think that if we create two divided trade areas, we’ll be, for the future, damaging the structure. Because clearly, Europe is going in the direction of transatlantic trade investment partnership with such a big area.

Russia, with this Customs Union, will have a dimension that is not comparable to the other one. So I think – well, I don’t want to judge Russia, because I do not have the right to do it – but the dimensions of the country, the characteristics of the country, are such that the great change that you are working for, modernisation and technology, needs a strong link with you. From this point of view, really, we are like vodka and caviar. I think the complementarity is so high that you cannot do without us and we cannot do without you. So you have to be very prudent following your doctrine, your diversity cooperation, very prudent to create a structure that then will diverge in the future.

This is the moment in which we must stay around the table, as you did with Syria. Your proposal with Syria is a masterpiece, because first of all, it has avoided the war, and even the American president was not so happy with this war. And second, it was giving the possibility to the Americans to set the big principles of being against the chemical weapons. So they could get a proposal that could be accepted by you.

I think this is the moment in the relations between Europe and Russia to use the same methodology as has been done with Syria. Because if we start to diverge, Russia will be more alone, Europe will be worse off, and the future relations cannot help us in the direction that we both tried to explore in the past.

I agree that to dance, we need to be two. One cannot dance alone. But I think this is the moment in which we have to make these proposals.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: You see what a good idea it was to gave the floor to Mr Prodi.

Yes, Romano and I have been working together for a long time, and we do have a very good personal relationship. That’s how things have played out. In Italy, I have always had good relations with him, and with Mr Berlusconi, with whom he is in constant conflict in the political arena. And Berlusconi is currently on trial for living with women, but nobody would lay a finger on him if he were gay. (Laughter.)

Anyway, I want to talk about Mr Romano’s words. Please note that he is not just an intellectual, although he is indeed a professor, a scientist, a true European intellectual. But he is also a European bureaucrat, down to his core. Just look at what he said: relations between Russia and Europe are like caviar and vodka. But both caviar and vodka are Russian products, products of Russian origin. (Laughter.)

After all, Europe is used to the well-known principle of eating from one’s neighbours’ plate before eating from one’s own.

ROMANO PRODI: Let it be whisky and soda.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Well, whisky and soda is a bad drink to begin with; why ruin the whisky? You should be drinking it straight.

Regarding Ukraine. Ukraine, without a doubt, is an independent state. That is how history has unfolded. But let’s not forget that today’s Russian statehood has roots in the Dnieper; as we say, we have a common Dnieper baptistery. Kievan Rus started out as the foundation of the enormous future Russian state. We have common traditions, a common mentality, a common history and a common culture. We have very similar languages. In that respect, I want to repeat again, we are one people.

Of course, the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian culture and the Ukrainian language have wonderful features that make up the identity of the Ukrainian nation. And we not only respect it, but moreover, I, for one, really love it, I like all of it. It is part of our greater Russian, or Russian-Ukrainian, world. But history has unfolded in such a way that today, this territory is an independent state, and we respect that.

By the way, Ukraine had a long and difficult path to reach its current state today. It was part of one state, then another state, and in each, a part of Ukraine’s public entities were not privileged. The Ukrainian people had a very difficult destiny, but when we united into one Rus, that part of the nation began to develop rapidly, began developing infrastructure and trade. After World War II, the Soviet government allotted somewhere around 1.5 trillion rubles to restore certain companies – very large companies. One third of that funding went to Ukraine.

Let me reiterate: today, Ukraine is an independent state, and we respect that fact. Naturally, selecting priorities and selecting allies is the national, sovereign right of the Ukrainian people and the legitimate Ukrainian government.

How do we see this process of [Ukraine] joining the EU or signing a Customs Union agreement with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus? After all, Russia is also going to sign a new framework agreement. We have already discussed signing [an agreement on] some form of a free trade zone with the European Union, and Romano and I have talked about this as well. This is all possible.

You know what the difference is? The fact that during negotiations on Russia’s WTO accession we agreed on a certain level of tariff protection. This is hard for us because our competition has cheap and – we can say frankly – quite high-quality agricultural products, agricultural machinery. Things are very difficult for us in several other sectors, for our industries. But the level of customs protection in Russia is higher than in Ukraine; I think it is twice as high, or near that.

Why are we marking time in negotiation processes with our European partners? It’s true what I said earlier about them earlier that before eating what’s on their plate, they first eat the neighbours’ food. They are very nice guys, very friendly, polite, pleasant to talk with, we can eat caviar and drink vodka, good German beer or Italian or French wines, but they are very tough negotiators.

At present we can’t even move forward and conclude a new framework agreement, much less a further agreement about free trade. That is because we believe our partners are making excessive demands and, in fact, imposing on us an agreement that we refer to as WTO Plus. That is, it comprises the WTO requirements with regards to open markets and several other things, particularly regarding standards, plus some additional demands.

But first of all we need to digest WTO accession; we cannot go too fast. And we believe that if Ukraine joined the Customs Union and we coordinated our efforts and negotiated with the Europeans, we would have more chances to negotiate better terms of trade with our main economic and trade partner. Europe remains our major trading partner; 50% of our trade is with the European Union.

In this sense, we believe that [joining the Customs Union] serves both our and Ukrainian interests. All the more so since during the negotiation process we would lower energy prices and open Russian markets. According to our calculations, and the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences confirms this, Ukraine would receive an additional $9 billion. Not a minus, but a plus.

How would Ukraine benefit from joining the EU? Open markets? Well, this would make the economy more liberal. But I have no idea whether Ukraine’s economy can cope with such liberalism. It’s none of our business really, our Ukrainian partners must decide this for themselves.

But what is our problem? If import duties are further reduced in Ukraine, then good quality and cheap European goods will make their way there. They will squeeze products of Ukrainian origin out of the domestic market, pushing them where? Towards us. This creates problems. We are therefore warning in advance and saying: we understand all this, it’s your choice, go ahead if you want to, but keep in mind that we will somehow have to protect our market and introduce protectionist measures. We are saying this openly and in advance, so that afterwards you will not accuse us of interfering with anyone or questioning another country’s sovereign right to decide in favour of the EU.

You understand that we will simply need to consider how many goods can access our market and what protectionist measures we will have to take, that’s all. After all, look at the share of agricultural products that Ukraine imports and which end up on the Russian market. I think probably about 70 to 80% of all food imports. And what will they do with their pipes and other products? There’s a whole range of issues, we engage in massive internal cooperation, and some businesses cannot exist without their counterparts. And if we introduce such limitations, these companies – and perhaps whole industries –will then face severe problems. That’s what we’re talking about, that’s what we’re warning about. We are doing so in good faith and in advance, without in any way encroaching on [Ukraine’s] sovereign right to take a foreign policy decision.

SVETLANA MIRONYUK: Thank you very much, Mr President.

I want to give Mr Simes the chance to reply.

PRESIDENT OF THE US CENTRE FOR THE NATIONAL INTEREST DIMITRI SIMES: I enjoyed listening to this whole conversation and the President’s speech. I feel a little uncomfortable, like the honest old man who said: “Mr President, I am an honest old man, I have nothing to lose, and you are a genius.” I do not want to speak like that and won’t do so here.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: That’s a pity. It’s not hard – just say it. (Laughter.)

DIMITRI SIMES: Maybe you’ll like [what I have to say], we’ll see.

I found our previous conversation a little perturbing because it seemed like “all is well, my beautiful marchioness”, except for a tiny trifle. Yes, of course there are problems between Russia and the European Union, there are disagreements between Russia and the United States, but on the whole everything is done with goodwill and mutual understanding. I had the feeling while listening to the conversation earlier that all we have to do is show some goodwill and common sense, and everything will go smoothly.

Friends, we have not yet recovered from, and have only just begun to seek a way out of one of the most serious international crises since World War II. We have not yet emerged from this crisis. Apart from the technical aspects of the situation with Syria’s chemical weapons, there is also a fundamental difference of views. As the President said, Russia’s position is that there should be no use of force.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Without UN Security Council approval.

DIMITRI SIMES: Without UN Security Council approval.

In addition, as the President said, there is no proof that chemical weapons were used by Assad’s government, which in the United States and in Europe is usually referred to only as the regime. The American position and that of leading European powers is fundamentally different.

Why was President Obama forced to take on President Putin’s initiative? As I understand it, not because he fundamentally rejected the idea of ​​a military strike on Syria. As Mr President just said, Mr had Obama addressed the Congress and was clearly preparing the country for a military strike, but he failed. First he was let down by the British Parliament, and then suddenly by American public opinion.

I have never seen anything like what has just happened in the United States. I emigrated there forty years ago, in 1973, and what I have seen in that time is that the majority of Americans are political realists who do not like any foreign humanitarian interventions, and who do not want to spread democracy by using force.

Public opinion does not matter much, because for most people it wasn’t an important issue; that is not why they voted the way they did. And then suddenly, for the first time a real protest hurricane developed very fast, and took on momentum like a snowball. When it began the Administration was certain that they had the support of the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. And after the Senate’s vote, it would be possible to pressure the House [of Representatives], which has a Republican majority.

And suddenly I saw on American television – and I’m sure my American colleagues did too – how at these meetings of congressional representatives, senators and voters, including Senator John McCain, the voters shouted: “How dare you?! What are you doing?!” And the more the Administration and President Obama talked about needing to attack Syria, the greater was the public opposition.

Then your initiative appeared, Mr President, one that allowed President Obama to save face and to recognise the inevitable, that strikes won’t work. But the main motives remain: removing Assad, demonstrating that if the United States and President Obama personally set some kind of red line, in this case the use of chemical weapons, then it cannot be crossed. And if it does happen, then America won’t tolerate that the perpetrator remains in power, or for evil not to be punished, as Washington said. All these points remain valid.

The problem is much broader than Syria. When you talk about Russia’s national identity, I remembered how I was in Russia in 1991 with former President Nixon, and how he spoke at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations. He surprised everyone there by saying that Russia is a part of Western civilisation and that naturally Russia must understand that there are some common democratic mechanisms and free market principles.

He said that Russia should never simply follow along behind US foreign policy, nor should it adopt American Western values​​. Not only is it unnatural for Russia, because it is simply dressing-up the country as something it isn’t, but it will have a boomerang effect. Russian public opinion, Russian policy will never support this in the long term. As a result, there will be some resentment of the United States and the West, and they will have to pay for this.

In conclusion, Winston Churchill, who President Putin referred to earlier, said a very interesting and wise thing about the United States: He said that “you can always count on the Americans to do the right thing – but only after they’ve tried everything else.” I hope that we are coming to the end of trying everything else, and that this will open up a real opportunity for Russian-American relations.

I fully support President Putin’s tough stance, not because I’m not an American patriot, but because I believe that baby talk among great powers is not the way to reach an agreement. One has to understand what to expect from the other country, and what their mettle is.

My question to the President is as follows. I think you showed in your Munich speech and in your highly effective article in The New York Times what Russia will not allow, and the red lines that Russia is laying down. But if you talk one-on-one with President Obama (and I understand that an audience such as this is a different format), what does Russia disagree with in addition to what you said in The New York Times? What would you tell him if the United States saw a window of opportunity and tried to use it? How would you see the possibilities for cooperation with Russia? What concessions could you offer? Is it possible, for example that Russia’s position on some important issues might change?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: First of all, I do not think that the initiative to put Syria’s chemical weapons under [international] supervision contributed, as you said, to saving President Obama’s face. It has nothing to do with saving anyone’s face. It was his decision, based on an empirical analysis of the situation, and I’m very pleased that our positions on this issue coincided. That’s the first point.

Secondly, what would I say? You know, there is no secret here. After all, I spoke to President Obama one-on-one, including last time we met in St Petersburg, we talked on the sidelines of the G20 summit, and at previous meetings in Los Cabos [in 2012]. You know, I always have the same question. After all, the vast majority of people sitting here are experts and I can ask them all, and you too, one of the most respected experts on Russia and international politics, the same question: what is it the purpose? You know, I always ask: what are you trying to achieve? If evil must be punished, what is evil there? The fact that President Assad’s family has been in power for 40 years? Is that evil? The fact that there is no democracy there? Indeed, perhaps there is none as the American establishment defines it.

REMARK: There is no democracy in Saudi Arabia either, but for some reason no one is bombing it.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: See, they say there is no democracy in Saudi Arabia either, and it’s difficult to disagree with that. Nobody is getting ready to bomb Saudi Arabia.

The issue is that we establish a trusting dialogue with Americans and Europeans so that we can listen to each other and hear our respective arguments.

“Evil must be punished. There must be a democracy.” Look at what happened in Egypt: there was a state of emergency there for forty years, the Muslim Brotherhood was forced underground. Then they were allowed to come out into the open, elections were held and they were elected. Now everything is back like it was before. Once again the Muslim Brotherhood has been pushed underground, and there’s a state of emergency. Is this good or bad? You know, we need to realise that there are probably countries and even entire regions that cannot function according to universal templates, reproducing the patterns of American or European democracy. Just try to understand that there is another society there and other traditions. Everything in Egypt has come full circle, came back to what they started with.

Apparently, those who committed the now famous military actions in Libya were also inspired by noble motives. But what was the outcome? There too they fought for democracy. And where is that democracy? The country is divided into several parts which are run by different tribes. Everybody is fighting against everybody else. Where is democracy? They killed the US ambassador. Do you understand that this is also the result of the current policy? This is a direct outcome.

I don’t say this now to criticise or attack anyone. I just want to encourage all of our partners to listen to each other, and to each other’s arguments. Russia has not special interests in Syria, and that is not what we are trying to protect by supporting the current government. Of course not. In my article, I think I wrote something like “We are fighting to preserve the principles of international law.” After all, it was at the initiative of the American founding fathers that when the statutes of the United Nations and its Security Council were signed – and I would stress that this was at American initiative – that they contained a provision that decisions pertaining to war and peace must be made unanimously. This holds profound meaning. No matter how hard or how difficult this may be.

After all, you understand that if any country feels invulnerable and strikes unilaterally wherever it deems necessary, then the international order and the very meaning of the UN and the Security Council will be reduced to zero. This would be a blow to the world order, not simply to Syria. That’s what I’m talking about, do you understand? That’s what I’d like to say to you and this audience, and to our partners in the United States.

To be continued. HERE

Elements Come Together At UN With Great Potential To Discover Better Path

U.N. may see big action on Syria, Iran

the columbian

Stage set for U.S., Iranian leaders to meet for first time since hostage crisis

President Barack Obama, from left, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Russian President Vladimir Putin may meet this week at the UN. It would be the first meeting of American and Iranian leaders since Iran's Islamic revolution and the hostage crisis that coincided with it in 1979.

President Barack Obama, from left, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Russian President Vladimir Putin may meet this week at the UN. It would be the first meeting of American and Iranian leaders since Iran’s Islamic revolution and the hostage crisis that coincided with it in 1979.

WASHINGTON — After years of estrangement, the United States and Russia are joined as partners in a bold plan to rid Syria of chemical weapons. More surprising yet, American and Iranian leaders — after an exchange of courteous letters — may meet for the first time since the Islamic revolution swept Iran nearly 35 years ago.

Hopes are unusually high as world leaders gather at the United Nations in New York this week. While the results are far from certain, all players in the delicate diplomacy confronting them in the coming days could even come out winners in a world increasingly fraught with zero-sum outcomes.

It begins with the U.N. Security Council scrambling to put together a resolution that is sweeping enough to ensure that Syrian President Bashar Assad surrenders all his chemical arms, and with sufficient penalties to discourage him from reneging.

The five permanent members of the Security Council — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France — all hold veto power, and Russia has not shied from blocking a council resolution that would punish Syrian behavior in the civil war. The Russians were especially vigorous in promising to veto air strikes to punish Syria for the Aug. 21 chemical attack that killed hundreds of people in a Damascus suburb. The U.S. blames Assad’s regime for the attack; Russia says there is no proof that the regime was responsible and suggests it may have been the rebels who carried it out.

Lacking U.N. approval, U.S. President Barack Obama — who had warned last year that Assad’s use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” — was nevertheless about to wage a limited air offensive against Syria but pulled up short and sought U.S. congressional approval. It then quickly became clear that Obama would not get that backing, with polls showing the American public solidly against any further military involvement in the Middle East.

At that point, Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped in and strong-armed Assad into agreeing to turn over his chemical arsenal to international control and destruction. Obama, faced with the prospect of attacking Syria against the will of both the U.S. Congress and the U.N. Security Council, jumped to accept the Russian gambit.

“Putin has put himself on the line. This was not done lightly. This was not done to embarrass Obama,” said Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus at New York University. “This was done for what Putin and (Foreign Minister Sergey) Lavrov think is Russia’s national interest.”

James Collins, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, offered a similar assessment.

“Putin has put his neck way out in terms of responsibility for seeing this happen,” he said. “If the Americans can resist the idea they have to micromanage everything and have it done only our way,” the Russians will force Assad to rid himself of chemical weapons.

Nairobi Mall Assault Has To Be Connected To Ongoing Trial of Kenyan Officials At ICC In Hague

Kenya Deputy President Seeks Trial Adjournment, THE HAGUE, Netherlands

[SEE:  Somalian Terrorists Stage Punitive Anti-Israeli Raid—39+ Killed So Far At Jewish Mall In Kenya ]

“Kenyatta said Saturday that his nephew and his fiancé died in the mall attack”

“President Uhuru Kenyatta is also set to stand trial at the ICC in November.”

UN Expert: Family Threatened Over Kenya ICC Trial

NAIROBI, Kenya September 21, 2013 (AP)

A United Nations expert says his family is under threat after bloggers in Kenya identified him as a witness in the trials of Kenya’s leaders at the International Criminal Court.

Maina Kiai said Saturday police informed him a militia group was planning on burning his family homestead in the central Kenya town of Nyeri. Kiai says he is not a witness at the ICC.

Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta and broadcaster Joshua Sang are accused of orchestrating violence that killed more than 1,000 people following a flawed election in late 2007.

ICC judges this week warned against intimidation of witnesses after an attempt was made to reveal the identity of the first witness, who is protected, in the trial of the Deputy President William Ruto

Somalian Terrorists Stage Punitive Anti-Israeli Raid—39+ Killed So Far At Jewish Mall In Kenya

[The story pieced together so far, reveals 10 Somalis took over the new Jewish owned mall, while they killed anyone who could not pass as either Arabic or Somali, determined by victim’s ability to read Arabic writing.  Kenya is being punished for serving as Imperial proxies in Somalia against the “Islamist” fighters.  There are still many hostages being held within the mall, waiting for the next round of slaughter.]

At least 39 killed by Somali terrorists in Nairobi mall

times of israel

Gunmen order Muslims to exit before firing; officials have warned upscale Westgate mall made attractive target because of Israeli ownership

Armed police at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire in an attack targeting non-Muslims at the upscale mall in Kenya's capital. (photo credit:AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

Armed police at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire in an attack targeting non-Muslims at the upscale mall in Kenya’s capital. (photo credit:AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

Kenya’s president said 39 people have been killed and more than 150 injured by armed terrorists who attacked an upscale, Israeli-owned mall in Nairobi on Saturday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said he lost “very close family members” in the attack carried out by “despicable perpetrators” of a cowardly act.

Kenyatta said that hundreds of people were safely evacuated from the mall.

He said security forces were responding to the attack. He called it a delicate operation and said a top priority was to safeguard the lives of those still being held hostage.

Al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Terrified shoppers huddled in back hallways and prayed the militant gunmen lobbing grenades and firing assault rifles inside Nairobi’s top mall Saturday would not find them. When the coast was thought to be clear, crying mothers clutching small children and blood-splattered men sprinted out of the four-story mall.

A woman who had been hiding during the gun battle runs for cover after armed police, seen behind, enter the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, Sept. 21 (AP Photo/Jonathan Kalan)

The al-Qaeda-linked gunmen asked the victims they had cornered if they were Muslim: If the answer was yes, several witnesses said, those people were free to go. The non-Muslims were not.

Somalia’s militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility and said the attack was retribution for Kenyan forces’ 2011 push into Somalia. The group threatened more attacks.

As night fell in East Africa’s commercial capital, hostages remained inside the mall, but officials didn’t or couldn’t say how many. Two groups of army special forces troops had moved inside as the stand-off stretched into its ninth hour.

Police and military surrounded the huge complex as helicopters buzzed overhead. An Associated Press reporter said he saw a wounded Kenyan soldier put into an ambulance at nightfall, an indication, perhaps, of a final shoot-out inside.

Witnesses said at least five gunmen — including at least one woman — first attacked an outdoor cafe at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, a shiny, new shopping center that hosts Nike, Adidas and Bose stores. The mall’s ownership is Israeli, and security experts have long said the structure made an attractive terrorist target.

The attack began shortly after noon with bursts of gunfire and grenades. Shoppers — expatriates and rich Kenyans — fled in any direction that might be safe: into back corners of stores, back service hallways, and bank vaults. Over the next several hours, pockets of people poured out of the mall as undercover police moved in. Some of the wounded were being transported in shopping carts.

AP reported that the cafe attacked is called Artcaffe; Kenyan websites said the cafe is owned by local Israelis.

Gilad Millo, a Nairobi-based Israeli, said two Israeli men and a woman who were in the mall when the attack began were unharmed and safe.

Yariv Kedar, one of the three Israelis who was in the Artcaffe at the time, told Channel 2 he “heard the gunfire getting closer” and bullets whizzed “over our heads” before he managed to escape.

“We started by hearing gunshots downstairs and outside. Later we heard them come inside. We took cover. Then we saw two gunmen wearing black turbans. I saw them shoot,” said Patrick Kuria, an employee at Artcaffe, the restaurant with shady outdoor seating.

Frank Mugungu, an off-duty army sergeant major, said he saw four male attackers and one female attacker. “One was Somali. The others were black,” he said.

Al-Shabab, on its Twitter feed, said that it has many times warned Kenya’s government that failure to remove its forces from Somalia “would have severe consequences.” The group claimed that its gunmen had killed 100 people, but its claims are frequently exaggerated.

“The attack at #WestgateMall is just a very tiny fraction of what Muslims in Somalia experience at the hands of Kenyan invaders,” al-Shabab said. Another tweet said: “For long we have waged war against the Kenyans in our land, now it’s time to shift the battleground and take the war to their land #Westgate.”

Al-Shabab threatened in late 2011 to unleash a large-scale attack in Nairobi. Kenya has seen a regular spate of grenade attacks since then but never such a large terrorist assault.

Nairobi’s mortuary superintendent, Sammy Nyongesa Jacob, said at least 23 bodies killed in the attack had been brought in on Saturday. He said Africans, Asians and Caucasians were among the dead.

Two French nationals and two Canadians were among those confirmed killed in the attack, according to their respective governments. Four Americans were injured, the US State Department said, and the wife of a foreign service national working for the US Agency for International Development was killed.

No details about the injured Americans were released by the State Department, which cited privacy concerns. Consular officers were in contact with the injured and were providing appropriate assistance, a State Department official said.

Secretary of State John Kerry called the attack “a heartbreaking reminder that there exists unspeakable evil in our world which can destroy life in a senseless instant.”

“Attacks like this can’t change who we are, a people committed to peace and justice for all, but rather must reaffirm our determination to counter extremism and promote tolerance everywhere,” Kerry said in a statement. “As we prepare to bring the world’s leaders together at the United Nations next week, we are reminded again in tragedy of our common humanity.”

The US embassy in Nairobi said it was in contact with local authorities and offered assistance. Some British security personnel assisted in the response.

The State Department said it had reports of American citizens injured in the attack but had no further details. It condemned “this senseless act of violence that has resulted in death and injury for many innocent men, women, and children.”

In a separate statement, a White House spokeswoman said some staff at the US Embassy in Kenya have been “tragically affected” by the attack. No other information was provided.

An injured man is treated outside an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, after an attack there left at least 15 people dead, Saturday Sept 21, 2013 (AP Photo/ Jason Straziuso)

An injured man is treated outside an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, after an attack there left at least 15 people dead, Saturday Sept 21, 2013 (AP Photo/ Jason Straziuso)

Another witness, an Israeli in Nairobi, told Army Radio that the gunmen took control of the mall and stationed guards at the entrances.

The mall was hosting a children’s day event, witnesses said.

A local hospital was overwhelmed with the number of wounded being brought in hours after the attack, so they had to divert them to a second facility.

Manish Turohit, 18, said he saw gunmen with AK-47s and vests with hand grenades on them inside the mall before he escaped to hide in a parking garage for two hours.

“They just came in and threw a grenade. We were running and they opened fire. They were shouting and firing,” he said after being marched out of the mall in line with about 15 people who held their hands in the air.

Rob Vandijk, who works at the Dutch embassy, said he was eating at a restaurant inside the mall when attackers lobbed hand grenades inside the building. He said gunfire then burst out and people screamed as they dropped to the ground.

The attack began at the outdoor seating area of Artcaffe at the front of the mall, witnesses said.

Patrick Kuria, an employee at Artcaffe, said: “We started by hearing gunshots downstairs and outside. Later we heard them come inside. We took cover. Then we saw two gunmen wearing black turbans. I saw them shoot.”

The outdoor seating area at Artcaffe in Nairobi's Westgate mall (photo credit: Westgate mall)

The outdoor seating area at Artcaffe in Nairobi’s Westgate mall (photo credit: Westgate mall)

Some people were shot at the entrance to the mall after volleys of gunfire moved outside and a standoff with police began. Ambulances continued to stream in and out of the mall area, ferrying the wounded who were gradually emerging from hiding inside the mall.

Many of those running from the mall clutched small children. Others were crying. Mall guards used shopping carts to wheel out wounded children.

Journalists at the mall said they saw at least 10 dead bodies and dozens wounded hours after the attack began.

The Westgate Mall is situated in Nairobi’s affluent Westlands area and is frequented by expatriates and rich Kenyans. Millo said it was “the most popular spot in Nairobi” for Israelis and Westerners.

Christian Church Bombed By TTP In Peshawar, Over 60 Dead/120 Wounded

[The big difference between blowing-up mosques and blowing-up churches, is that there are as many female victims as there are males, unlike in the Muslim male-only services.  You can see a shaken man carrying the lifeless body of one of Peshawar’s good Christian girls in the photo below.  Maybe such an ugly sacrifice of so many Christians will so rattle the West that we stop using the Pakistani Taliban to wage war against the innocent people of Pakistan and their govt.]

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - A Pakistani man carries the lifeless body of a girl from the site of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – A Pakistani man carries the lifeless body of a girl from the site of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad

Attack on Pakistani church kills over 60 people

stamford advocate

By RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press

 

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A pair of suicide bombers detonated their explosives outside a historic church in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, killing over 60 people in the deadliest-ever attack on the country’s Christian minority, officials said.

The bombing in Peshawar, which wounded another 120 people, underlines the threat posed by Islamic extremists as the government seeks a peace deal with domestic Taliban militants. It will likely intensify criticism from those who believe that negotiating peace with militants is a mistake.

The attack occurred as hundreds of worshippers were coming out of the church in the city’s Kohati Gate district after services to get a free meal of rice offered on the front lawn, said a top government administrator, Sahibzada Anees.

“There were blasts and there was hell for all of us,” said Nazir John, who was at the church with at least 400 other worshippers. “When I got my senses back, I found nothing but smoke, dust, blood and screaming people. I saw severed body parts and blood all around.”

Survivors wailed and hugged each other in the wake of the blasts. The white walls of the All Saints Church were pockmarked with holes likely caused by ball bearings or other metal objects contained in the bombs to cause maximum damage. Blood stained the floor and was splashed on the walls. Plates filled with rice were scattered across the ground.

The attack was carried out by a pair of suicide bombers, said police officer Shafqat Malik. Authorities found their body parts and were trying to determine their age, he said.

The blasts killed over 60 people and wounded another 120, said Arshad Javed, the top health official at the hospital in Peshawar where the victims were being treated. The dead included several women and children, said Sher Ali Khan, another doctor at the hospital.

The number of casualties from the blasts was so high that the hospital was running out of caskets for the dead and beds for the wounded, said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, a former information minister of surrounding Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province who was on the scene.

“What have we done wrong to these people?” asked one of the wounded, John Tariq, referring to the attackers. “Why are we being killed?”

Tariq’s father was killed by the blasts, he said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion will likely fall on one of the country’s many Islamic militant groups. Islamic militants have been blamed for previous attacks on the Muslim country’s Christian minority, as well as Muslim groups they consider heretics.

“This is the deadliest attack against Christians in our country,” said Irfan Jamil, the bishop of the eastern city of Lahore.

The bishop in Peshawar, Sarfarz Hemphray, announced a three-day mourning period and blamed the government and security agencies for failing to protect the country’s Christians.

“If the government shows will, it can control this terrorism,” said Hemphray. “We have been asking authorities to enhance security, but they haven’t paid any heed.”

Islamic militants have carried out dozens of attacks across the country since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office in June, even though he has made clear that he believes a peace deal with the largest group, the Taliban, is the best way to tamp down violence in the country.

Pakistan’s major political parties endorsed Sharif’s call for negotiations earlier this month. But the Taliban have said the government must release militant prisoners and begin pulling troops out of the northwest tribal region that serves as their sanctuary before they will begin talks.

Sharif condemned the church attack in a statement sent to reporters, saying, “the terrorists have no religion and targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and all religions.”

“Such cruel acts of terrorism reflect the brutality and inhumane mindset of the terrorists,” he said.

____

Associated Press writers Zarar Khan and Asif Shahzad contributed to this report from Islamabad.

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Pakistanis help victims of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – Pakistanis help victims of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - A Pakistani man helps an injured victim of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – A Pakistani man helps an injured victim of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - A Pakistani couple help an injured victim of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – A Pakistani couple help an injured victim of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Pakistanis help victims of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – Pakistanis help victims of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Pakistanis help victims of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – Pakistanis help victims of a suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed scores of people on Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years. Photo: Mohammad Sajjad

Putin Ties Issue of Syrian WMD To Israeli Nuclear Weapons, Arguing Syrian Self-Defense

In the poker game with Obama on Syria, Putin playing the Israel card

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After deal to get rid of Syria’s chemical weapons, Russia is dragging the Israeli nuclear issue into the Middle East negotiations.

By Asaf Ronel and Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the final plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in the Novgorod Region, Russia. Photo by AP

 

by  Asaf Ronel

Asaf Ronel
Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Syria’s chemical weapons cache was built up in response to Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons stockpile, and that these nuclear capabilities make Israel into a target.

“Syrian chemical weapons were built in response to Israel’s nuclear weapons,” Putin said, responding to a question about the chances of persuading Syria to give up its arsenal, as agreed under a deal proposed by the Kremlin last week.

Speaking at the Valdai International Discussion Club in the Novgorod Region, north of Moscow, Putin said there are people in Israel who oppose nuclear weapons. Referring to nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, Putin said Vanunu was not anti-Israel, and that he did not change his stance on nuclear weapons even after years in prison.

Putin said that dismantling weapons of mass destruction was a key issue and that “Israel’s technological superiority means that it doesn’t have to have nuclear weapons.” Israel’s nuclear weapons “only make her into a target,” he said.

In a conversation after the panel, Putin told one of the conference participants that Israel will have to agree to get rid of its nuclear weapons, as Syria was giving up its chemical weapons. The difference between Israel and Russia concerning nuclear arms, he said, was that Russia is one of the five legitimate nuclear weapons under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Playing the Israel card

Putin’s statement is a new card in the Russians’ poker game against the Americans vis-à-vis Syria’s chemical weapons, former Israeli ambassador to Russia Eli Magen said. Putin’s statement, he added, followed two similar remarks by senior Kremlin officials in closed conference sessions.

“Russia is dragging the Israeli nuclear issue into the Middle East negotiations,” said Magen, today a senior researcher in the Institute for National Security Studies. “Perhaps this is a turning point in Russia’s approach to Israel. So far Moscow has kept normal relations with Jerusalem.”

But the move may have implications regarding Iran as well. Since Hassan Rohani‘s rise to power, he has been exchanging messages with the West, especially with the United States. If Washington and Tehran start direct negotiations, the Russians will be neutralized in yet another Middle Eastern arena they had been active in, after the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were resumed under American patronage without Moscow’s involvement, he explained.

The Russians, who are also trying to resume dialogue with Iran, are even proposing renewing weapons and military supplies (S-300 air defense missile systems and a new nuclear reactor), Magen said, but added that as of now, it seems that this was not tempting enough for the Iranians. “Perhaps raising the Israeli issue will persuade Tehran to resume their talks with the Russians, since the Americans cannot deliver that,” he said.

However, Vitaly Naumkin, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Chair of Faculty of World Politics, Moscow State University, said Putin did not intend to link Israel’s nuclear weapons to Syria’s chemical weapons.

“Putin said it was preferable for the Middle East to become clean of mass destruction weapons. It’s an old idea Russia has been espousing for years. The Russians see it as the most effective way to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East,” he said.

Naumkin said Putin is not conditioning dismantling Syrian chemical weapons on dismantling Israeli nuclear weapons. “The chemical weapons will be removed from Syria unconditionally,” he said.

As far as the Russians are concerned, the ball is now in the UN Security Council’s court. Moscow says it is interested to assist the UN inspectors, in any way possible, to disarm Syria of chemical weapons. However, Putin’s words left some room for doubt.

“Syria agreed to join the Chemical [Weapons] Convention. Will we be able to accomplish it all? There is no one hundred percent certainty,” he told a crowd of journalists and Russian experts, “But everything we have seen so far in recent days gives us confidence that this will happen … I hope so.” At one of the closed sessions, he sounded even more skeptical: “every effort that will enable us to dismantle,” according to a Kremlin official.

Some experts view these reservations as signs of insincerity on the Russian part. As Magen sees it, for Moscow this is yet another bargaining chip in their attempt to receive a higher return from Washington for disarming Syria. In one scenario, he speculates, Bashar Assad could be left in power, as part of an agreement with the U.S. that would prohibit a military offensive. Another scenario could be something to do with the second Geneva peace conference, where Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his American counterpart John Kerry will discuss ways to end the war in Syria.

The Valdai International Discussion Club is an annual event, held in a different location in Russia every year, in which academics and journalists meet with Russian officials for a series of conferences and forums. The event, organized by the Russian RIA Novosti news agency, provides a unique opportunity to hear the Kremlin’s take on central international events.

Taking part in the forums are some 200 “Russian and international experts on history, politics, economics and international relations” according to the organizers. Marking its tenth anniversary, the event is being held in its inaugural location – a hotel on the shores of Lake Valdayskoye, a favorite vacationing spot for the Russian elites in Soviet times. Despite a décor face-lift, the place still exudes a certain Soviet spirit, for better or for worse.

Moscow considers the event an important venue for promoting the nation’s image, as part of its efforts to portray Russia in a positive light which highlights its complexities. Participants sample the best in Russian cuisine, of course – including a meal served by nuns from the nearby Valday Iversky Monastery, a central site of the Russian-Orthodox Church.

Among the participants are senior Russian opposition members, who are bestowed with a chance to present their views. This year, one of them was Kseniya Sobchak, a TV anchor turned opposition leader. Attending the forums were also senior figures of the Russian church, leaders of the Russian Muslim community and a representative of Russia’s Jewry, who participated in a panel devoted to Russian interreligious dialogue.

‘Garage-manufactured’ chemical ammo

This year, the topic of Syria dominated the conference. Besides Putin, the official Kremlin position was presented in the forum by Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Kremlin’s Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov.

In their dispute with the UN inspectors – and with the West in general – the Russians maintained their position on the culpability for the usage of chemical weapons in Syria. Putin, Assad’s main ally in the more than two-year-old civil war, said he had strong grounds to believe that an August 21 chemical attack in Syria was staged by opponents of the Syrian regime.

“We always talk about the responsibility of the Assad government, if he was the one who used it (a chemical weapon). What if the opposition used it?” Putin said. “We have every reason to believe it was a cunning provocation.”

Russia argues that it has never supplied Syria with ammunition suited for chemical weapons use – and thus the Cyrillic script on shells found to have been used in the August 21 chemical attack in the outskirts of Damascus prove it was carried out using improvised weapons, made, as one official put it, “in garages.” Or as Putin put it, the use of Soviet ammunition could be construed as ”a clever provocation.”

Moreover, Moscow continues to claim ground samples it obtained prove improvised chemical weapons were used by rebels near Aleppo on March 19, adding it is willing to share this evidence. This attack on Kham al-Assal, was at the focus of the UN inspectors’ Syria original mission, before attention was turned toward the large-scale attack near Damascus, for which both the rebels and the Syrian government trade blame.

On a fundamental level, Russia’s policy is an objection to unilateral action in the international arena or one that is not within the framework of international law. As a senior Russian official said, every military action not sanctioned by the UN Security Council or not in self-defense is an act of aggression.

“We see an attempt to violate the principles of international law and create a unipolar world,” said Putin. “Russia is convinced that decisions must be made jointly and not according to the interests of one country. We must understand that there are regions in the world that cannot live according to the same model, whether it is the American model or the European model. They have other traditions.”

The uprising in the Arab world in recent years, he argued, prove his point. “In Egypt we have returned to the starting point. In Libya, they (the West) had noble goals. Now the country is falling apart and everyone is fighting with everyone. Where is the democracy there?”

The founders of the UN had stated that the matters of war and peace should be decided unanimously, Putin noted, and added that if one country would act unilaterally it would undermine international order and the Security Council.

American and Israeli fears

To Israelis, Putin’s statements sound hackneyed. Israel is used to acting in contravention of international law and it views every one of its attacks is viewed as being in self-defense, regardless of the international community’s position.

But for Russia, holding firm on these principles stems from its desire to limit American influence in the world and putting an end to what it sees as arrogance of bringing democracy by force to oppressive countries. Moscow wants to end American military actions across the globe, which are carried out in the name of protecting human rights, but are not supported by Russia.

Russia is reminding that unilateral actions by the U.S. in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya caused in the long run more harm than good. The “Libyan example,” a reference to the disappearance of large quantity of shoulder-fire missiles from Libyan army stockpiles and their transfer into 12 countries, is repeatedly mentioned by senior Russian officials. In their view, there is a clear and direct line heading from what happened in Libya to the events in Syria. When just 25 percent of the rebels in Syria support the West, as they Russians claim, Syrian chemical weapons falling into the rebels’ hands constitutes a threat to the entire world. These warnings speak to both American and Israeli fears.

During his appearance at the conference, Putin mentioned the op-ed piece he wrote that was published in The New York Times. “It was my idea,” he said. “I noticed that [U.S.] President Obama had transferred the discussion over an attack on Syria to the Senate, and I wanted to provide the decision-makers with my position.”

With his characteristic cutting humor, Putin wrote off the response essay written by U.S. Senator John McCain that was published in Russian media and had called Putin a corrupt dictator. “I think that he has a certain deficit of information about our country,” Putin said in reference to the U.S. senator. “He wanted to be published in a newspaper that is most authoritative… Pravda is a respected publication the Communist party, now in the opposition, but the level of its distribution in the country is minimal.”

Network News Analyst Dancing Around the Issue of FEMA Camps In Discussion On “Prolonged Detention” Without Charges

[SEE:  FEMA CONCENTRATION CAMPS: LOCATIONS AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS ]

GENERAL STRIKE CALLED for Entire United States—October 11-13 (Yes We Can!)

one million bikers rally dc

[One-million bikers just completed their convoy to Washington, DC, without effect.  How many long-haul truckers would it take, to shut-down Obama’s war machine for three days?  It is long past time that we found that out. 

Support the GENERAL STRIKE on Oct.11-13.]

Convoy to D.C. – Truckers To Shut Down America in October

SHTFplan-logo-350

Mac Slavo

SHTFplan.comhammerdown

Last year the American Truckers Association prepared a report for Congress highlighting the susceptibility of the nation’s just-in-time delivery system, the majority of which is made possible by the transport and delivery of freight. In the event of a catastrophic disaster such as a war that drives fuel prices through the roof or even a natural disaster such as a solar flare that renders electronic trucks inoperable, there would be a “a swift and devastating impact on the food, healthcare, transportation, waste removal, retail, manufacturing, and financial sectors,” according to the report.

The backbone of commerce in the United States are the truck drivers who spend long hours on the road ensuring our very survival as a modern society.

But with fuel prices continuing to rise, wages dropping, jobs becoming harder to find, and rampant corruption in Washington D.C. furthering the country’s economic death spiral, America’s truck drivers, like the majority of our fellow citizens, are fed up.

Between October 11th and 13th they have called for a general strike, asking truck drivers around the country to refuse to haul freight, a move that could carry with it a significant impact on the American economy.

The protest calls for truckers to make their way to Washington D.C. in a massive convoy in an effort to call attention to, among other things, the Benghazi cover-up, the recent attack which killed 25 members of Seal Team 6, ever rising fuel prices, and claims that President Obama has engaged in treasonous crimes.

Moreover, they’ve requested that the American people join them in solidarity by not shopping or engaging in any economic activity that benefits the government or their corporate interests.

The American people are sick and tired of the corruption that is destroying America! We therefore declare a GENERAL STRIKE on the weekend of October 11-13, 2013! Truck drivers will not haul freight! Americans can strike in solidarity with truck drivers!

Breaker 1 9 calling on all Trucker to shut America down for three days October 11-13. The American people are bleeding out with no relief in sight, It is time to change the NEWS. Let us show our elected officials that we are 100% fed up with corruption and the blatant disregard of the Constitution that they swore to defend.

Bob tail it hammer down to the bull$hit city with flags flying high.

My fellow Patriot this effort is to support the truckers in a major shut down of America ion a 3 day strike October 11th thru 13th.

Obamacare will be in effect and most people will be ready to take action. No commerce on those days stock up on items that you will need. No banking no shopping no money transactions. It does not matter If a million or 50 roll through DC in this effort. Congress will listen to We The People. Which is remove Obama from office for crimes of treason and misdemeanors. We want Congressional hearing on Benghazi and Seal Team 6. Louis Learner put in jail. No amnesty, remove all Muslims in our government that do not uphold the Constitution. Remove Eric Holder from office for crimes against the people and the Constitution. Last but not least is Fuel prices.

Via: The Truckers to Shutdown America Facebook Page

The protest comes on the heels of a massive biker rally held in Washington D.C., and other grass roots efforts to hold the government to account for various Constitutional transgressions including everything from stripping Americans of their right to bear arms, to forced health care mandates soon to be implemented across the country (with exemptions for members of Congress and corporations with insider access, of course).

Calls of accountability have grown louder over the years from all political sides, starting most notably with the Tea Party movement and progressing to Occupy Wall Street.

The corruption and need for real change in America’s government has transcended political lines.

If the hundreds of thousands of truckers across America who keep our delivery systems running efficiently were to join together and stop hauling freight for even a week, the impact would be devastating and could not be ignored.

There’d be no food on the shelves, no fuel at our gas stations, and no medical supplies at our pharmacies and hospitals.

Congress and the President, who would like nothing more than to be perceived as our saviors and benefactors, would have no choice but to address the concerns of freight haulers, because the American people would feel the effects of the protest directly. And, chances are they’d be in the streets protesting themselves because of lack of access to essential goods they can’t live without.

We may often feel as if we, as individuals, have no power against the mighty United States government, but as Karl Denninger points out, we have much more power than we think.

If we get just 10% of America on board the entire game changes.

Especially when the business world — and government — realize that the next one is Black Friday weekend.

Just 10% of Americans can change the course of history, much like they did during the Revolutionary War.

Whether it happens in October, during Black Friday sales this November, or at some point in the future, this seemingly untenable situation is coming to a head.

Robert Kennedy may have said it best:

A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.

Robert Kennedy
Senate Floor
May 9, 1966

The snowball in America continues to roll down the hill, gaining speed and mass.

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The Epic Struggle of A Student Trapped In Gaza

The Epic Struggle of A Trapped Student

 

By: Fidaa Abuassi

 

Last night, I had a dream that I was running, running and running, and I kept running till I glanced an emergency exit. Though I cannot remember whether I made my way out, I woke up feeling breathless. Strangled. Suffocated. I cannot even find a better word to describe that feeling, but I think it would suffice to say I woke up to another morning in Gaza! Every night I sleep hopefully that tomorrow is a “better” day only to have a “bitter” one instead. My mornings in Gaza are as salty as the tap water I wash –or rather taint– my face with. I even replaced my “good morning” to my mother with “sabah el-maleh” (salty morning). Despite myself, however, every night I rekindle my hope that tomorrow will bring me a “good morning”.  

 

 

In this post of mine, I won’t complain about the sewage-scented, salty-taste water nor about the constant power cuts or about the fuel crisis because, despite all of that, I have a “better” life than others’ as my mom always keeps me reminded. Alright then, I shall not complain but can I, at least, lament those “others” and feel sorry that they have a worse life than mine? Yes, mom, I do have a “bitter” life when washing my face, let alone taking a shower, is an issue for me every single morning. And if all the people of Gaza altogether could normalize their suffering, I couldn’t, and never will. Let me just whisper to those who take their life for granted “please don’t.”

 

 

Inspired by my own dream, I wonder why this big prison of Gaza doesn’t have an emergency exit one could use at times of suffocation, of asphyxiation, of depression or of any other emergency situations! I have never felt the need to scream at the top of my voice as I do now. I have never hated my life as I do today. I don’t only despise but also reject this life of imprisonment, this life of injustice, this life of nothing but humiliation and dehumanization. I sometimes wish I were born somewhere else, in a place that knows no borders, checkpoints, permits, or endless papers. I am dreaming of a life beyond these borders, a life without borders because I hate borders so much. I do. I do. And, it is unfair when I have all the needed paperwork to travel, and only a goddamn border has the power to determine whether I can leave or not.

 

If only they knew how hard we worked to make this happen! With the help of many wonderful people I met in the U.S. I got admitted to an MA program and was given an assistantship. Since that wasn’t by any means easy to achieve, I couldn’t have been happier! I thought that, with the school admission letter, my professor’s letter of support, and other letters of recommendation, obtaining a student visa would be a piece of cake.

 

 

I was proven wrong. I was easily denied the visa by the US embassy in Cairo for a reason I still don’t grasp. I remember that upon my leaving the embassy I wanted to go back and scream the hell out at them that how dare they deny me a visa after months of effort! I remember crying my eyes out on my way back to Gaza, still in a state of shock that this couldn’t be possible, and that they must have been mistaken or simply utterly ruthless as, by denying me a visa, they decided that all what we did for months came to naught.

 

 

A few days later after recovering, I refused to give up. I pulled myself together and decided to re-apply again in the US consulate in Jerusalem, knowing that, for a Palestinian from Gaza, going to Jerusalem is almost a mission impossible. The visa application process took a considerable amount of time till I finally succeeded to have a visa interview appointment. I applied for a permit to go there. To my sheer astonishment, I was granted a permit by Israel to go to Jerusalem for my visa interview in the US consulate in a matter of days only. I felt that moment I was the luckiest on earth. My visit to Jerusalem was just surreal.

 

 

After the interview, they usually tell whether one will be given a visa. They didn’t tell me that day. I was told that they would review my documents and let me know their final decision via email. I waited for a response. And waited. And waited. I kept calling, emailing, sending letters, asking the help of this and that, trying every possible means. My university, my sponsor, my friends in the U.S. did their utmost. In my last email to the consulate I sounded so pathetic that they might have felt guilty, so they decided to issue me a visa at last. Two months have already elapsed since the day I started this whole visa process.

 

 

One would think that having the visa should be the end of the trouble. That was just the beginning. The people of Gaza are either damned or damned, for Gaza is really doomed when it was destined to have its borders with Egypt and Israel. With the closure of Rafah border due to what’s going on in Egypt, I couldn’t simply leave, nor could a single Gazan. The very few people who managed to leave experienced hell on their way out.

 

 

I decided to try the other border, the one with Israel: Eretz. In order to cross Eretz and travel via Amman, I will need an Israeli permit, a Jordanian entry approval, the Allenby-bridge blue card (which I knew about only recently), another permit from the government, and not to forget my passport, my visa and my Palestinian ID. There was only a week left for my school to start, and applying to these permits would take at least 3 weeks. The Jordanian approval alone took me two weeks. It has been so far 3 weeks since I applied for the Israeli permit, and I am still waiting. I sometimes wonder if I was made for waiting because I seem I spend most of my time just waiting.

 

 

Two weeks ago, the director of my MA program I enrolled in sent me an email that it is too late for me to join classes since I have missed so far four weeks of classes, and due to that I won’t be able to enter the U.S. though I have a visa valid for a couple of years. I will have to renew the admission letter and the I-20 form to be able to come to the U.S. The school has offered me much help already and generously decided to quickly mail me these new forms.

 

 

I am not really in the mood to talk about our mailing service in Gaza. With the water, power and fuel issues, this one seems irrelevant. The documents arrived safe and sound in Ramallah two days ago. Now, I should find a way to bring them here to Gaza or bring “myself” there to Ramallah! I am afraid the new form will be invalid by the time I get the permit to leave Gaza via Eretz. Here I am, trapped in Gaza, unable to leave due to borders! For those who enjoy the freedom of movement, just remember the thousands and thousands of students who are trapped in Gaza waiting for a gate to open! If you believe that we have the right to education, please sign this petition: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Egypt_Open_Gazas_Rafah_Crossing_1/?copy

 

Islamist blitzkrieg in Syria–Jihadists wiping out moderate rebels

Islamist blitzkrieg in Syria: Jihadists wiping out moderate rebels

Russia-Today
A Free Syrian Army fighter mans an anti-aircraft gun in al-Ghouta region in the eastern rural suburbs of Damascus, August 17, 2013. (Reuters/Mohamed Abdullah)

A Free Syrian Army fighter mans an anti-aircraft gun in al-Ghouta region in the eastern rural suburbs of Damascus, August 17, 2013. (Reuters/Mohamed Abdullah)

Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in Syria have begun an offensive against former allies, wrestling moderate FSA rebels out of the controlled areas. With the US assault on Syria postponed, radical Islamists are seeking ultimate authority to fight Assad.

The latest news coming from the north of Syria suggests that a series of clashes between the former allies have already left a number of casualties and a change of the operational situation in the Syrian civil war.

The FSA leaders have recently acknowledged that clashes between their brigades and Islamist rivals haves reached boiling point.

Last weekend, the very same day Russia’s FM Sergey Lavrov and the US Secretary of State John Kerry hammered out an agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons disarmament, the clashes between FSA associates and the most notorious jihadist groups operating in Syria, the al-Nusra front and the ISIL, were reported by the Daily Beast.

Islamists attacked first, by blowing up the brother of a commander of the Allahu Akbar Brigades, a local FSA group. In retaliation the group launched a counter offensive, killing four jihadists.

On Wednesday militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized the town of Azaz controlled by the anti-Assad Storm of the North Brigade, affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, some five kilometers from the Syrian-Turkish border. Five FSA fighters reportedly died in clashes, with over 100 people taken hostage.

“The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has seized complete control of Azaz. They are in control of the town’s entrances,” Abu Ahmad, an activist inside Azaz, told the AFP news agency.

The shootout in Azaz began after ISIL gunmen attempted to detain a German doctor who has been working as a volunteer at a private hospital in Azaz, accusing him of taking photos of their positions. The doctor managed to escape and is safe now, Rami Abdul-Rahman told the Associated Press, the head of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. But as a result of the clashes FSA’s Northern Storm Brigade has had to withdraw from Azaz.

The ultimate goal of the jihadists must be a crossing at Bab Al Salama on the Syrian-Turkish border, currently controlled by the FSA. The Bab Al Salama is one of the few still operable crossings used by the Syrian opposition to deliver weapons, fighters and humanitarian aid from neighboring Turkey.

Local activist Abu Louay al-Halabi told Al Jazeera that “By taking Azaz, the Islamic State is a step closer to controlling the crossing. Its objective seems to be taking over the whole countryside north of Aleppo.”

In yet another shootout, fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group clashed with FSA’s Rasoul group rebels and drove them out of the town of Raqqah in Syria’s north last Wednesday, reported Lebanon’s Daily Start last week. In this town that fell out of Assad’s control last March, the jihadists stick to the same modus operandi – they detonated a car bomb killing two FSA commanders.

After a fierce fight at Rasoul group headquarters, the FSA militants had to withdraw to Turkish territory.

A Free Syrian Army fighter fires his weapon in Ashrafieh, Aleppo, September 18, 2013. (Reuters/Muzaffar Salman)

A Free Syrian Army fighter fires his weapon in Ashrafieh, Aleppo, September 18, 2013. (Reuters/Muzaffar Salman)

Islamic extremists launch their own war

While last weekend Russia and the United States reached a deal on a framework that will see the removal and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons by mid- 2014, Islamic extremists in Syria made it clear they are not interested in soothing the conflict.

In fact, extremists have taken the Lavrov-Kerry deal to strip Damascus of chemical weapons as a clear signal to act.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri announced that Islamist militants must avoid any alliances with other rebel forces supported by the west and the Gulf Arab states.

“I warn my brothers and people in Syria of unity and jihad and against coming close to any of these groups,” said Zawahri as quoted by Reuters.

The news came as no surprise, particularly after the publication last week of the defense consultancy IHS Jane’s report about almost half of the rebel forces fighting against the Syrian government being either hardline Islamists or open jihadists with strong Al-Qaeda links.

Already in July it had become obvious that there was a coolness between most active jihadists and FSA fighters, when a senior figure of the rebel Free Syrian Army was executed by Al-Qaeda-linked militants during negotiations.

Since the CIA and US special operational troop’s instructors have been coaching Syrian rebels at bases in Jordan and Turkey since November 2012, it is an open question which sides the graduates of such courses have taken by now.

IHS Jane’s report insists there are 100,000 fighters opposing President Bashar Assad’s forces at the moment, of which no less than 45,000 are Islamic extremists that are actually the spearhead of the anti-Assad forces.

A Free Syrian Army fighter fires his weapon during what the FSA said were clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Idlib, September 9, 2013. Picture taken September 9, 2013. (Reuters/Muhammad Qadour)

A Free Syrian Army fighter fires his weapon during what the FSA said were clashes with forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Idlib, September 9, 2013. Picture taken September 9, 2013. (Reuters/Muhammad Qadour)

Total jihad approaching

While the Pentagon continues to insist its plans include equipping and training only “moderate” Syrian rebel forces, the CIA reportedly has got an official blessing to monitor the arming of the Syrian rebels.

The mantra about arming only moderate rebels has been sounding for months now, but since Islamist fighters have now finally become the backbone of the rebel’s forces, it raises the question about the final beneficiary of the US’s reported $400 million aid to the Syrian rebels.

The sudden acts of aggression of jihadists in Syria, attacking relatively moderate FSA fighters, are strangely coinciding with Russia conducting negotiations with both sides of the Syrian conflict in order to bring the warring parties behind to the negotiation table.

Al-Qaeda associates might really succeed in squeezing FSA moderates out of Syria which would automatically put Russia in an awkward position of conducting useless negotiations, with a Syrian opposition swiftly losing its remaining political clout. But that would also mean that the US could only supply weapons directly to Al-Qaeda jihadists as the only remaining force capable of opposing President Bashar Assad.

In that case Moscow would be left with only one imperative: to support the legitimate government of democratically elected President Bashar Assad in order to prevent the Middle East from sliding into the uncontrollable chaos of total jihad.

In turn, if Washington really wants to topple President Assad, it would have to make a choice between either officially declaring its support for Al-Qaeda and its global expansion agenda, or joining Moscow and battle Islamic extremists in the Middle East.

Your Prison Cell Is In Your Own Mind—The Third Reich of Dreams (reposted from 2008)

[Obama is very clearly walking in his Fuhrer’s footsteps, as he leads all of us who are trapped within the American circus, back into our personal cells (SEE:  Obama’s BRAIN Project—Preliminery Nationwide Mind Control).  The current state of US mind-control technology is making it possible to force compliance to govt-mandated status quo, through unvoluntary technological means.  It is REVOLUTION NOW, people…or die a prisoner’s death.]

The Third Reich of Dreams

The Third Reich of Dreams

Frank Berube

“Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind.”

Ruby Tuesday, The Rolling Stones

The dreamer is describing not only how one comes to accept conditions as they are but also the state of mind in which such acceptance grows. This consists of a readiness to be deceived and a tendency to construct alibis for oneself; once one has been conditioned long enough by the right combination of pressure and propaganda, he has become so receptive and malleable that all will to resist disappears.

During the 1930′s, Nazi Germany’s rise to totalitarian power was well under way. Warning signs of the terror to come was being felt by increasing numbers of people. Among them was a young woman of great courage and insight. Charlotte Beradt recorded and collected people’s dreams about the Nazi government’s domination of their lives; dreams that tell of the painful political realities of the emerging Nazi State. In his essay at the conclusion of the volume, published in 1966, Bruno Bettelheim remarked that it was a shocking experience reading this book of dreams and seeing how effectively the Nazis murdered sleep, “forcing its enemies to dream dreams that showed that resistance was impossible and that safety lay only in compliance.”

The following dream was dreamt by a man in his 30′s living in Berlin during the early years of Nazi rule. It demonstrates the potential of our dreamworlds to produce stories that reflect the psycho-political conditions under which we live. Something within us is registering these disturbing vibrations and sending out signals of danger to the frightened conscious mind.

The author of the dream was told by the Nazi authorities to report to the Berlin Railway Station on a Sunday morning to collect money for the Party. Before leaving he said to himself, “What the heck, I won’t be bothered.” So he brought along a pillow and blanket – no collection box – and took it easy.

After about an hour Hitler appeared, wearing high patent-leather boots, dressed as a comical cross between a circus clown and a lion tamer. The dreamer watched Hitler use exaggerated, artificial gestures to win the hearts of schoolchildren. Then he adopted a stern attitude as he lectured a group of older boys and girls. At last he turned to impress a group of old maids by acting coquettish. Suddenly the dreamer began to feel uncomfortable under his blanket. He grew afraid that Hitler would notice that he had no collection box – he might be recognized as one of “the group of those who pretend to sleep.” If caught, he imagined confronting Hitler and telling him that he doesn’t approve of concentration camps.

Hitler continued his appearances around the station with different groups of people, and the dreamer was amazed to see that no one seemed to be afraid of him. He noticed that someone even kept a cigarette in his mouth while talking with him, and many more were smiling! After completing his stint at the station, he picked up his pillow and blanket and went down the main stairway in the station. Then the dreamer saw Hitler standing at the top of the stairs, concluding his appearance with a song from the imaginary opera, Magica, making extremely theatrical gestures, which had the crowd mesmerized. Everybody applauded. He bowed and then went tearing down the stairs, looking foolish in his purple trousers and holding his trainer’s whip. Hitler passed by with no bodyguards and stood in line at the cloakroom like everyone else, waiting patiently to get his coat. At this point the dreamer thought, “Maybe he’s not so bad after all. Maybe I needn’t take the trouble to oppose him.” All at once he realized that instead of a pillow and blanket, he was carrying a collection box.

This dreamer sees Hitler as a manipulator par excellence – an animal trainer – and yet the big act that Hitler puts on works in the end: the dreamer begins to feel that things are not half bad and maybe he doesn’t have to worry about Hitler after all. Winston Smith, sipping his Victory Gin with tears of gratitude in his eyes, reached a similar conclusion about Big Brother, although he got there by a different route.  The average person struggling with their conscience in the face of dehumanizing conditions, is, like Orwell’s hero, “a hero who is basically neither good nor bad, up against the effects of a political system which in the end leaves open but one direction in which he can move – the one toward the movement.” Individuals are embedded in a repressive psycho-political system, unable to act independently or resist the forces that are propelling the motion of society in the direction of Nazi domination.

The Third Reich of Dreams is a book that tells a compelling and revealing story about the hidden side of WWII. It portrays how the German subconscious mind was invaded by totalitarian fear as the Nazi’s plans reached fever pitch during the 1930′s. The grooming of Hitler and his evil cadre, the rise to power of the Nazi State, and the mobilization of the country for Total War, were all carried out with cold-blooded determination and ruthless precision by human beings whose very souls had been violated and whose minds were controlled.

Beradt collected hundreds of dreams during 1933 through 1939, referring to them as “diaries of the night,” providing a view into the inner world of fear and confusion people were feeling as their personal integrity disintegrated and their lives fell apart. The dreams she selected for the book are drawn from the lives of ordinary people who found themselves confronting the mental terror of The Third Reich during the early years of the Nazi regime. These dreams show that this was a war on the human spirit. It was secretly about capturing inner ground and blowing apart the national psyche, destroying all the ground gained over centuries of psycho-spiritual development, doing away with a whole generation of artists, writers, and scientists, and burying the work of these creative people underneath the rubble and ruin of Total War.

As American citizens who live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, we should have learned from Nazi Germany that psychologically terrified people can be pressured into giving up their democratic rights and living in a police state, once their political power has been stolen from them and their lives have been turned upside down. We now know that Nazi propaganda was bolstered with psychotronic technology that fostered an atmosphere of psycho-political terror, desensitizing feelings and thought control. We have to remember that for over a decade, the frightened minds of average German citizens were unable or unwilling to resist the insane domination of Nazi terror, and so could not, or would not, think for themselves and question authority. The horrifying things that were happening were beyond anyone’s control, and so the public was swept along by overpowering Nazi propaganda and State terror, too much in fear to object to the abuse of power, or to do anything about the atrocities carried out against Jews and Communists or others who threatened to undermine The Third Reich.

The Nazis imprisoned and executed people whom they considered sub-human, and those considered enemies of the State. Getting the public to accept this, however tenuous their consent, is something not entirely explainable or understandable by simply saying that Hitler hypnotized the masses. How can human beings stand by and allow their government to enslave and kill people in such a brutal manner and find an acceptable justification for it? Such inhuman behavior cannot be explained merely in terms of people being numbed into apathy for the fate of their fellow humans and allowing themselves to be herded into the mass hysteria of a faceless mob. We must look for the causes of this herd mentality beyond the explanation of “nationalistic frenzy.” Racism and Ideology only go so far in explaining the soul-boggling horror involved in their participation in mass slaughter. Patriotism and Blood are the “front men” for the Nazi State, providing a vessel for the forces of the collective unconscious to pour into.

It’s because of the work of renegade researchers and writers like Charlotte Beradt that we are able to see beyond the conventional historical perspective and open our minds to reviewing controversial material, and hopefully coming to understand, however vaguely, the underground forces and occult underpinnings of The Third Reich. Propaganda and state terror carried the population along on a wave of animistic hysteria, with millions obeying the rules and regulations of the Nazi mental status quo. Yet, Beradt writes, “from the very beginning people from all walks of life and in all their fear and anxiety were able, dreaming, to recognize the aims and principles of totalitarianism and foresee their consequences, so that their dreams ring prophetic in retrospect.”

Today, sixty years later in the USA, the technology of mass mind control has vastly improved and is deadly in its effectiveness. Consequently, the population of the United States is in a worse situation in terms of being forced into mental slavery than were the inhabitants of Germany, Italy, or Russia earlier in the century. American citizens are facing the 90′s form of totalitarian fear, and just like the German people thought sixty years ago, we believe that it could never happen here. But it’s clear by now that the vast majority of Americans still do not possess an adequate understanding of how their minds work, nor are many citizens any closer to comprehending how the national psyche is being manipulated; in short, we’re unable to come to terms with the fact that our subconscious minds are being controlled.

Only century-spanning, trans-generational, psychic genocide can account for the subjugation of the mind that made possible the appalling events of the 20th century. Mass mind control technology has made leaps and bounds of progress over the past half-century; it has succeeded in keeping millions bound to lower levels of consciousness and a self-absorbed existence. Our minds are sinking into the paralyzing stupor of the mental status quo, while our freedom slips away from us and we come closer to facing the apocalyptic abyss that the German people faced over a half century ago.

The Mental Status Quo
There are many inexplicable things about our volatile century that beg understanding, that are more often than not left without answers, or even end up producing more questions. Nothing much can be understood without knowing oneself within. Our inner world is much bigger than we imagine, as our dreams allow us to see. There is a hyper-dimensional world of vast inner space within your mind that is beyond the reach of the senses, accessible only by transcendent means. This hidden inner world exists beyond the perceptual horizon of the mental status quo – it is the undiscovered realm of the deep psyche where our dreams originate. Unknown to the programmed mind, your awakened perception has access to other dimensions beyond the brain and the senses, and hidden somewhere in that vast uncharted territory is your inner self, your true self. But ego-bound people are afraid that if they sail too far beyond the perceptual horizon of the mental status quo (MSQ), they’ll fall off into an inner abyss, like the ships of the flat earth that sailed too far beyond the ocean’s horizon and plunged over the edge into bottomless space.

During earlier centuries, people from Europe knew nothing of the existence of the continent that would become known as America. These days we’re prevented from exploring higher states of consciousness by an ocean of unconsciousness that isolates us on an inner island, limiting our perceptual horizons to a short egotistical range. There are still too many people in this world who are unaware that these other dimensions of consciousness are part of our inner geography.

Be warned that there are political consequences for living in our own worlds, as life in Nazi Germany has shown us. As citizens of America we can already see ourselves losing our right to privacy, and we have to retreat further and further away from society in order to escape from the ubiquitous intrusions of the media and other silent invasions of our psyche. Soon there will be nowhere to hide and no privacy for anyone, and we will be facing the horrible political conditions faced by the citizens of Germany during the 30′s and 40′s as their world fell apart around them, a scary situation illustrated by the following dream.

In 1934, a forty-five-year-old doctor dreamt that he was relaxing on the couch after his consultations reading a book, when suddenly the walls of his apartment disappeared. He looked around and saw, to his horror, that all the other apartments didn’t have walls anymore either. Then he heard a loudspeaker boom, “According to the decree of the 17th of this month on the Abolition of Walls…”

Some time later he realized what had provoked the dream. His block warden came around to ask him why he had not hung a flag at his window. Putting him off, he thinks, “Not in my four walls…” In another dream he finds that the only real escape from the “Life Without Walls” was withdrawing from the public realm, because those who give in and go along become part of the Nazi scene and must surrender their autonomy and conform to whatever mental and social conditions that are required of them. “Now that no home is private any more, I’m living at the bottom of the sea.”

The Nazi MSQ
Conforming to the Nazi MSQ means that you’re going along with a set of rules for inner behavior – thought control – while conforming to political conditions means that you’re doing what the authorities say – social control. As a result of having to deal with the rules and regulations of the Nazi regime, people were being coerced into maintaining the mental status quo, a state-approved way of thinking and behaving that came to be known and practiced by everyone, because to say or do otherwise meant getting into trouble with the authorities and putting your life in danger.

The Nazi mentality provided the mind with the linguistic rules and regulations of the German MSQ, which enabled its citizens to think and speak in standard terms. This manufactured mindset channeled thought and conversation in the direction of conformity, and accounted for the underlying set of beliefs that made up the dogma of The Third Reich, a state-sanctioned view of reality.

In 1933 the author of the following dream was a 30-year old, liberal-minded, pampered woman with no profession. In the dream, street signs had been abolished and posters were set up in their place on every corner, proclaiming the twenty words people were not allowed to say. The words were listed in English, the first was “Lord” and the last was “I,” and the rest were unclear. This dream anticipates the radical restrictions on freedom of expression about matters relating to one’s identity and beliefs that totalitarian regimes have exploited during the 20th century. The posters were substituted for the prohibited street signs, conveying the idea that people had lost their direction, were looking for signposts in their lives, and were finding that they couldn’t speak about God or reflect on who they were. The dream is a parable that illustrates “the dialectical relationship that exists between the individual and the dictatorship.”

The Untold Story of The Unconscious Mind
“What if something should go wrong with the psyche?,” asked psychologist Carl Jung over 30 years ago. Jung was a cartographer of inner space and provided humanity with maps and charts of the lost realms of the deep psyche. Without the knowledge and inspiration of Freud and Jung and other pioneering psychologists, we would still be crawling around in the dark of the mind, classifying altered states of consciousness in religious terms and dumping any kind of transcendent experience into the psychotic and delusional category. During this century it became possible to study the psyche scientifically, enabling us to understand the subconscious basis of conscious awareness, whereas before this century you could only talk about the unconscious mind in occult or religious terms.

Telling the story of the unconscious mind is difficult because it’s not so easy to put into words. All the words that could be useful have been taken over by the authorities and corrupted to the core. The reason we find it so difficult to think clearly or speak coherently about the hanky-panky going on in the unconscious mind is because most of the terms used to describe renegade states of consciousness have been stripped of their original meaning and painted over with a glossy sheen. Dictionaries and encyclopedia’s give descriptions of altered states of consciousness and non-sensory dimensions of the mind like they were psychotic episodes to be neuro-chemically controlled or rendered inactive by psycho-surgery.

It’s useless to depend on words when they have so little power over the shackled thoughts of the mentally enslaved, who wouldn’t dream of leaving the prison even if they had the keys to unlock their cells. Talking about alien ideas is something so full of verbal booby traps that it just about ruins any chance of seriously investigating what’s really going on in any other world except this one. The terms used to describe our inner world as natural and sacred have lost their ability to inspire and guide us, because their meaning has been changed and now we have no structure of thought upon which to build an understanding of ourselves.

Controlling thought in this way reduces the threat that the mind might be led astray by renegade thinking, perhaps discovering the inner curtain and pulling it aside, exposing the shady dealings of the subconscious mind and putting an end to the long-running ego drama. Inner explorers who want to throw some light on the darker side are forced to use matches to illuminate the way, because orthodox religion, behavioral psychology, and materialistic science are drawing most of the illumination from these concepts through their domination of consensus reality and control of language. You can’t talk about mind control, can’t talk about a secret government, can’t talk about hyper-dimensional realities, can’t talk about hidden history, can’t talk about the age-long story of the Human Spirit, and you can’t so much as whisper the naked truth that a big chunk of our mind is missing. Whatever is enforcing unconsciousness must be very powerful because it will not allow any self-reflection or renegade knowledge to threaten its subliminal authority and challenge its hold on the conscious mind.

The Guilt of The Guiltless
The woman who dreamt about the twenty words that couldn’t be spoken considered herself to be quite self-centered, yet her dreams reflect a deep understanding of what was at stake if one surrendered their mind to the Nazis. She had a series of dreams between April and September 1933. Not long after her dream about God and Self, she dreamt that she was all dressed up sitting in a box at an opera house with several tiers, being admired by many people as she watched her favorite opera, “The Magic Flute.” When it came to the line, “This is the devil certainly,” some policemen came stomping in and told her a machine had registered that she thought about Hitler when she heard the word “devil.” She looked imploringly to the crowd for some sign of help, but they all just ignored her. She glanced over to the old gentleman in the adjoining box trying to get his eye, but he turned and spit at her.

This dream manages to capture the way so-called respectable people behave when they’re called upon to respond to unfairness and injustice in their midst. The opera house with its levels of curved tiers is filled with people who do nothing but sit there and stare straight ahead when someone who they could help is in trouble. Later, the woman described the thought-control machine in her dream as being electric with a maze of wires, envisioning remote-control devices and other electronic methods of monitoring and control that were coming into use during the 30′s and 40′s.

One night, after being deeply disturbed by radio reports about book burnings, in which the words “truckloads” and “bonfires” were used repeatedly, she dreamt that all books were being collected and burned. Not wanting to part with the copy of “Don Carlos” that she had since her schooldays, she hid it under the maid’s bed. When the Stormtroopers arrived to take away the books, they marched straight to the maid’s room, pulled the book out from under the bed, and threw it on the truck. At this point she discovered that she hid an atlas and not her copy of “Don Carlos,” and felt guilty.

When we dream, there are psychological mechanisms that censor our unconscious motives by distorting them, preventing us from realizing that which we do not wish to be aware. If people are being subjected to extraordinary conditions of control caused by political repression, their dream content will be distorted. One explanation is that the mind is attempting to alter the circumstances that are leading to surrendering control of our lives. Because of this self-censorship, many dream scenarios that deal with themes of submission and complicity have bizarre overtones, in an attempt to change the character of threatening thoughts before they manifest themselves in our dreams.

In her next dream, the milk man, gasman, news vendor, baker, and plumber are standing around her in a circle, holding out their bills. This did not upset her until she noticed a chimney sweep among them. The 2 S’s in the German word for chimney sweep, Schornsteinfeger, along with his black outfit, made him appear like a threatening gestapo character. It reminded her of the children’s game, Schwarze Kochin, holding out their bills with arms uplifted in the familiar gesture, chanting, “Your guilt cannot be doubted.” What had provoked the dream was that, just the day before, her tailor’s son showed up wearing the uniform of a Stormtrooper, to collect the bill she owed his father. She was outraged because, before Hitler, it had been customary to send the bill through the mail, and she demanded an explanation for a government official collecting the money. The embarrassed young man replied that it had no special significance, he just happened to be in the neighborhood and wearing his uniform when he stopped by. “That’s ridiculous,” she said, but paid the bill anyway.

The woman was aware of how the newly established block warden system functioned and how intrusions were sanctioned by the party uniform. Her dream indicates that she felt guilty about yielding to slight pressure and settling the account. A minor sin of omission, but a significant one, if it leads to more grievous abdications and lapses, “barely recognizable injustices” which keep building up, producing a repressed state of mind that is hard to describe. “The guilt of the guiltless,” comes from the accumulation of these tiny abdications and hiding them away in the subconscious, where they show up in disguise in dreams.

The Language of Consciousness
It’s simply not possible to think about and discuss matters of importance such as the survival of the life of the mind and the preservation of our democratic rights, if the terms and concepts used to describe psychospiritual freedom have had their original meaning squeezed out of them. Today, we cannot speak of threats to our inner freedom, because terms like mind control, secret government, conspiracy theory, the unconscious, paranoia, hidden history – have negative connotations attached to them and deflect the mind away from investigation and study. It’s an academic “given” that all these subjects are not to be taken seriously. The inner world beyond the borders of the MSQ appears incomprehensible to people who have never experienced other dimensions of their psyche. But there is no question that an unconscious realm of the human psyche exists. Its psychological conquest and subliminal colonization has been the deepest darkest secret of the 20th century.

Influencing how we think by controlling language keeps our thoughts safely within the bounds of the MSQ, leaving us quite content with ourselves and perfectly willing to spend the rest of our lives like this. Unable to seriously address things like psychotropic warfare and a global cryptocracy, is a good example of language controlling thought, because if you speak of these things you’ll be classified as a “conspiracy theorist” or you’ll be thought of as downright crazy by members in good standing of the MSQ Club.

The dream-author had several dreams that repeatedly dealt with the new environmental conditions of total control. The woman’s dreams pictured her neighbors sitting in a large circle around her, silent and expressionless, leaving her more imprisoned and lost in each one. Finally, one dream says it all by containing no images, only words: “Am going to bury myself in lead. Tongue is already leaden, locked in lead. Will lie immobile, shot full of lead. When they come, I’ll say, ‘The leaden cannot rise up.’ Oh! They want to throw me in the water because I’m so leaden…”

She had this dream on New Year’s Eve, 1933, after the traditional pouring of molten lead. Like the doctor’s dream of seeking refuge at the bottom of the sea, she wishes to become buried in lead, wanting to completely withdraw from the public realm and hide from herself in the process. These dream-fables are a warning of the insidious mental intrusions that are gradually taking over the consciousness of the people, interfering with the relationship one has with their inner self.

The profusion of prohibitive regulations, along with the steady control the population, were placing increasing pressure on people’s lives, which wore down their will and tore away their defenses, leaving many people compliant slaves at the feet of their mental masters in only a few short years. Yet while this may have been taking place imperceptibly, so that people became gradually accustomed to the takeover of their minds, their dreams were showing this process taking place quite clearly. All the small steps it took to get to this groveling position are there to be seen in their dreams. If one reflects on such dreams and discerns their wisdom, perhaps people wouldn’t allow themselves to become disconnected from their inner selves, and they wouldn’t make very good Nazis. Which is why even dreamland is invaded by The Third Reich.

The MSQ Renegades
Drowning people’s lives in prohibitive regulations drove some people to the brink and others into denial. If they had no way of dealing with these forces of coercion and repression, the only thing they could do is surrender to the authorities and submit their lives to the will of the Nazi State. But some people must attempt to resist these insidious intrusions into their minds and try to stop this domination of their lives by performing simple acts of defiance. Everyday refusals to take part in the ritual destruction of human dignity show the Spirit surviving in the midst of dehumanization. These are the free thinkers who the authorities fear the most, because people who have discovered their inner power and are willing to stand up to The Third Reich are more threatening to the stability of the Nazi State than all their other enemies combined.

The following dream was dreamt by a student whose brother had been arrested, which caused considerable strain and difficulty in his life. There was a party going on in a large building. People who could be arrested for political crimes against the Nazi State, for example degenerate artists and performers, one-time socialists, and relatives of concentration camp inmates, were all sitting in a small attic room, making fun of the well-dressed guests arriving downstairs. The dreamer crept downstairs and overheard someone say that the whole house was filled with tension, and that the stairs to the attic had caught fire as a result.! “The suspects have to be saved ” he yelled into the bedlam. But they only shrugged, “Why shouldn’t the suspects go up in flames?” Suspects are to be defined by the State, and so they get to say who are suspects. In short, everyone is a potential enemy of the state, lumping together internee and relative, artist and friend, activist and employer, into the single category of suspect.

Communists can be dealt with using terror tactics and political subversion, but ordinary people who are inner freedom fighters are another matter altogether. They’re not so easy to dominate and they remain a threat to the State by defending the Individual Human Spirit. They won’t allow their mind to be taken over by any outer authority and they will not participate in any activity where they have to betray themselves or hurt others. As long as such people exist, there is a force for the Nazis to reckon with that is beyond their capacity to deal with and control, because the inner worlds of these human beings have not been violated by the insidious effects of mass mind control.

The following dream, which occurred in the autumn of 1933, was dreamt by an elderly woman who was a mathematics teacher. In her dream it was forbidden under penalty of death to write anything having to do with mathematics. This woman took refuge in a night club, which in waking life she would never have set foot in. The place was filled with drunkards and prostitutes and the music was blaring on. She took a piece of tissue paper from her pocketbook and wrote down a couple of equations in invisible ink, all the time being frightened to death.

Her dream reflects how absurd it is to attempt to ban something that people naturally do everyday. When asked to comment on her dream, she replied simply, “It is impossible to forbid what they are forbidding here!” In her dream, she chose a nightclub to perform her act of defiance, someplace no one would expect to find her, and a place where other forbidden things are going on.

Sitting at a table in the dimly-lit club, she works with the tools of spies to copy the equations that will ensure that her profession survives the destructive forces set against it. As the environment is being transformed by the machinations of the Nazi State, people are becoming alienated from one another and disconnected from the activities that make up their daily lives. Individuals are being taken away from their communities and being turned into obedient servants of the Reich. Yet there are always defiant ones who resist becoming dehumanized, because they are keeping alive within themselves the flame of the Individual Human spirit.

The American MSQ
Our media-saturated minds are being anesthetized with overdoses of doublethink and overflowing mouthfuls of newspeak. And our beleaguered brains are being subliminally and vibrationally assaulted everyday, to the point of dangerous psychic depletion and extreme spiritual vulnerability. New dimensions of language are needed to orient our minds to hyperdimensional realities and to provide a para-linguistic structure to work with these renegade ideas. The transcendent dimensions of language that address the life of the mind are kept out of reach of our thought processes and continue to remain inaccessible to most of us. There are powerful occult forces keeping people unconscious, so it may be expecting too much to think that we could overcome our intense fear of waking up to the transcendent dimensions of our lives.

As Orwell warned, once you take over the language, there is thought control, and then it becomes impossible to think for oneself or question the authorities. What is needed is for each mind to take back the language and personally get rid of all the hype and trivia given to terms whose meaning relates to secret dimensions of consciousness and hidden aspects of history. We need a viable language that is equal to the hyper-dimensional realities it is attempting to describe. In a mathematical way, physics was confronted by the same problem earlier in the century, when its formulas and equations ran up against hyper-dimensional phenomena it just couldn’t explain with current theories. There had to be a bigger picture to see what was happening, and relativity and quantum theories provided that greater perspective.

With the new world order closing in fast, our language needs to undergo a corresponding revolution, as the written word attempts to define and conceptualize other dimensions of reality beyond the range of the MSQ and the prevailing consensus reality. There is no other way to approach this perceptual transformation of our minds: the power of the word – freely thought, spoken, and written. Our psycho-spiritual freedom depends upon their survival.

The Upraised Arm
During the 80′s & 90′s, American citizens have lost, and are still losing, more of our political power and rights through the encroachment on the freedom of the individual of frightening federal laws, but many of us are waking up to what’s going on behind our backs, or maybe I should say, beyond our comprehension. People today are confronting the same fear of unknown forces that the German people were facing during the 30′s, and the subconscious minds of individuals are registering the steady erosion of freedom and its debilitating effects on their daily lives. As the new world order is closing in fast, perhaps people in the United States are dreaming similar dreams.

Three days after Hitler seized power in Germany, Herr S., a 60 year old factory owner, dreamt that he was under so much pressure trying to reconcile his worldly ambitions with his conscience, that he “cracked” from the stress, “breaking his backbone,” leaving him a moral invalid, and no one even laid a hand on him. In the dream, Goebbels was visiting his factory and had all the workers line up in two rows facing each other. Herr S. had to stand in the middle and raise his arm in the Nazi salute. It took him half an hour to get his arm up, inch by inch. Goebbels showed neither approval nor disapproval as he watched him struggle. When he finally got his arm up, Goebbels said, “I don’t want your salute” then turned and went to the door. There the factory owner stood, arm raised, in the midst of his workers, only able to keep himself from collapsing by staring at Goebbels’ clubfoot as he limped out of the factory. As so he stood until he woke up.

This dream recurred many times and in one version, “The effort of lifting my arm was go great that sweat poured down my face like tears, as if I were crying in front of Goebbels.” And in another: “I looked to my workers for a sign of comfort but their faces showed absolute emptiness, not even scorn or contempt.” Finally, while struggling to lift his arm, his back – his “backbone” – breaks. This was a man with lifelong political convictions and who had a strong paternalistic attitude toward his employees. Through several demeaning episodes he is forced to humiliate and debase himself in his own domain in front of his employees, by having to submit to conditions that make him lose his self-respect, and through being coerced into conforming to laws that are unfair and immoral. Herr S. was once a proud man who commanded respect, but now “he feels alienated not only from all that is real in his life but also from his own character, which has lost its authenticity.”

Dreams such as the ones Beradt collected were dreamt by ordinary people confronting repressive conditions, who were looking for psychological ways of dealing with the silent impact of explosive social changes. Charlotte had difficulty gathering material because people were afraid to confide their dreams, and she often heard them say, “I dreamt it was forbidden to dream, but I did anyway.” She states that the dreams produced by German citizens during the 1930′s, unlike the dreams of the victims of wars and revolution of previous centuries, were distinctive in character and content, because “their origin in time and place is explicit: they could only have sprung from man’s paradoxical existence under a twentieth-century totalitarian regime, and most of them nowhere but under the Hitler dictatorship in Germany.”

At some point during her investigation, Beradt realized that these dreams were important seismic readings registering the debilitating effects of totalitarian stress on the minds and lives of ordinary German citizens. Looking at how each dream reflected a personal journey toward dehumanization, with the dream-authors backing away step by step from their former way of life, demonstrated to her that “the minor incident, the personally relevant factor, shows how Nazi totalitarianism functioned.” She wrote:

“It occurred to me from time to time that a record should be kept of such dreams, a thought that now became a plan. They might one day serve as evidence when the time came to pass judgement on National Socialism as a historical phenomenon, for they seemed to reveal a great deal about people’s deepest feelings and reactions as they become part of the mechanisms of totalitarianism. When a person sits down to keep a diary, this is a deliberate act, and he remolds, clarifies, or obscures his reactions. But while seeming to record seismographically the slightest effects of political events on the psyche, these dreams – diaries of the night – were conceived independently of their author’s conscious will. They were, so to speak, dictated to them by the dictatorship. Dream imagery might thus help to describe the structure of a reality that was just on the verge of becoming a nightmare.”

At the end of her book Beradt says that these dreams contain a warning, “the warning that totalitarian tendencies must be recognized before they become overt – before the guise is dropped … before people no longer may speak the word “I” and must guard their tongue so that not even they understand what they say, and before we begin to actually live the “Life Without Walls.”


Frank Berube has written several articles for Paranoia under the pseudonym “Disembodius.” He has now decided to come out. Please send your MSQ-oriented dreams to him at: Frank Berube, 562 Buffington Street, Apt. 7, Fall River, MA 02721.

‘Islamic state’—a preventive war against … ‘Hypocrites’

‘Islamic state’: a preventive war against … ‘Hypocrites’

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The coming days will witness the fierce battles between the «Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant and the various factions (AFP)

Land Sham under Sharia shades soon. Spent applies to «jihadists Syria», having resolved the strongest arm of the ‘al-Qaeda’ choice, to anticipate any potential settlement will inevitably be at their expense. Thus announced «Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant» preventive war against armed opposition groups, entitled «hypocrites exclusion». Thus began the battle of empowerment in the land of Sham

Radwan Murtaza

Launched the great battle in the land of the Levant. Open most radical organization in Syria, a pre-emptive war. Battle began installing pillars ‘Islamic state’, and even draw blood borders. حربته head ‘state Mujahideen’, strangers fighters coming from various parts of the world only. Syrians lack of them. They declared a break with all factions of the Syrian opposition, and even the Islamic ones. Brandished their hostility to them, and then declared open war against everybody. The day before yesterday, set off from the town of Azaz spark confrontation, after it had been preceded by several incidents ملمت the tails to delay the explosion. «Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant» she said: it’s me, then launched a sweeping attack on Azaz. Storm Brigade struck the north. Killed the other elements and arrested then occupied its strongholds. As well as it did with the descendants of the Prophet Brigade, who also arrested the leaders. And clashed with Unification Brigade’s Muslim Brotherhood. And before that, assassinated a leading role in the «Freedom Movement Sham, with the hardline Salafi approach.
Not spared the wrath of «Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant» until the victory Front. Branch of al-Qaeda also found himself in the face of ‘Islamic state’ in the field Syria, the injections withdrew to the blood of the mujahideen. What happens exactly on the land of Syria? Question answered by Islamist leaders that Syrians Seetmnon the rule of ‘al-Qaeda’ Control A month «Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant» their one month. Restores these history of the organization, who was born of the womb of the Islamic State of Iraq. Regulation more stringent led by Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, relationship with tense also «al-Qaeda World», which is led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, as outbids them in their extremism on fundamentalist «base» the same, particularly as the organization’s leader late Osama bin Laden had been warned repeatedly princes jihadists in Iraq to relieve the excess and oppression against Mkhalvém. According to the experience in Iraq, the nature of anti-people. And you know about them permanent desire to engage in a war of attrition. Islamist leaders talk about arid and stresses govern their actions tell their, according to the logic counterpart «right with us and others wrong. These leaders borrows positions of Islamist leaders including, Ivkron that the commander of a brigade-Islam »Zahran Alwash what he called« class transgressing ». The Prince of «Freedom Movement Sham Abu Abdullah Hamwi, فوصفهم of more than once b« extremists foes of the Syrian street », Naaaa one of the leaders of the movement, who was killed by elements« Daash », saying« God bless Abu Obeida, killing prostitutes who اختزلوا religion Gown Short NAPT felt in the face. Congratulations to you by Abdtmoh to Hell ».
There are several facts that field relationship began to deteriorate because of it after it was elements of «Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant» greet a hero’s welcome. Mention of them in the beginning, for example, the arrest of a battalion commander Farouq in Manbej, nicknamed the ‘Prince’, and imprisoned in the Eye Hospital in Aleppo, despite the objections of the opposition factions. Another incident added to their roster. Arrest of Imam Abu Hanifa mosque in Manbej Sheikh Mohammed Saeed Aldepo, who was critical of the actions in his speeches, pointing out that it forbids, in particular arbitrary executions. His arrest sparked popular demonstrations against them. He was released, but he was assassinated after dawn prayers a few days later. Indicted fingers immediately to the militants ‘Islamic state’. Grown popular hatred against these, فأصدروا the statement in which it declared that «the army free our fellow militants, but all those who do not want an Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant apostate must fight.
As for the spark outbreak recent clashes, Vtvid the information that the dispute began after a German doctor in Azaz filmed one wounded «Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant. Otherwise occurred then, evolved into a shooting that killed two members of ‘Islamic state’, but it was soon evolved into a fierce confrontation, after the rejection of a storm brigade north delivery doctor and shooter. In contrast, the information talked about that «the background of the decision of the Islamic State soldiers cleanse the city of Azaz Brigade of the north due to the storm sisters became finally imposed these fighters coming from abroad. About it, under the title of ‘the truth’, published jihadist videotape sites attributed to «Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant, spoke about the ‘spark fighting between the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and a brigade of storm north in Azaz». He said that «the clashes began after the assassination of an element of a brigade north storm two of the Mujahideen of the state», noting that «the State demanded the extradition Mujahideen fought in Azaz, but the leaders of the North refused storm, fell clashes, killing five of them. Turning section photographer to the dispute with the banner of the descendants of the Prophet, revealing that «elements of the descendants of the Prophet attacked the Islamic State of tenderness, and targeted one of its leaders improvised explosive device, which led to his death, and led to clashes, then claimed that the state kill the descendants of the Prophet». The statement also said the same information that «attacking Farouk Brigades headquarters State in Seatri, and the bombing of the mechanisms and assault weapons to the Mujahideen, after their headquarters was bombed from the Assad Army, referring to a relentless media war waged against it.
However, the Cult of the ‘Islamic state’ countless. ضجت the armed opposition factions, all spectra. Also popularly command, it emerged yesterday a demonstration of the people in the garden of the palace in Aleppo, demanding the departure of foreigners, after clashes took place between noon «Daash» Free Army. Also vowed spokesman for the brigade north through the media storm that «Free Army mobilizes to restore Azaz 4 hours before the deadline with Daash».
Sources intersected jihadists that the coming days will witness the fierce battles between the «Islamic state in Iraq and Syria on the one hand, and the various factions on the other. Information indicates that «its choice made open confrontation, as a kind of pre-emptive war to eliminate the rest of the factions, which assumes they Sttktl to fight in the future if matured international settlement.

You can follow Radwan Murtaza via Twitter | @ Radwanmortada

Ankara Police Station Hit By Barrage of Rockets

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Three rockets hit the police facilities building.
Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek confirmed that there
were no casualties. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin
SÖNMEZ

Rocket attack targets police buildings in Ankara

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ANKARA – Anadolu Agency

 

 

 

The attack took place around 10 p.m. in Ankara's sensitive Dikmen neighborhood, Sept. 20. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The attack took place around 10 p.m. in Ankara’s sensitive Dikmen neighborhood, Sept. 20. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

An attack involving three rockets targeted two police buildings in Ankara’s Dikmen neighborhood in the evening of Sept. 20.

There were no casualties as a result of the attack, according to the Health Ministry. However, the rockets have caused material damage to one of the buildings targeted.

Police officers were immediately dispatched to the scene. One of the suspected perpetrators was killed, and the other injured, in the operation launched after the attack.

Interior Minister Muammer Güler arrived at the scene to assess it himself a few minutes after the attack.

One of the rockets struck the first floor of a social facilities building, just above the restaurant. The other rocket hit an annex building located on the grounds of the Police General Directorate’s social service campus, across from the scene of the initial attack. A third rocket did not explode and experts were sent to safely dismantle it.

“There are no deaths or injuries. The perpetrators fired [the rockets] from the bushes on the pavement of Çetin Emeç Boulevard. We have found an unexploded rocket, a backpack and a piece of fabric belonging to the organization [of the suspects] at the point where they committed the attack,” Güler told reporters after examination of the scene.

“All our units have been activated to find the perpetrators. We are of the assumption that they have escaped to the Dikmen Valley,” he added.

Dikmen Valley is a highly sensitive area of Ankara where the Municipality has launched several urban renewal projects, which have caused frequent tensions between security forces and locals.

When asked which group the piece of fabric belonged to, Güler said that investigations will further confirm those responsible for the attack. “This has no importance at the moment. [The piece of fabric] could have been left with an aim of misleading [police].  Our examinations are ongoing,” he said.

One suspect killed

An operation has been launched to find the perpetrators of the attack.

Police intercepted the suspects near the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) campus. One of them was killed while the other was injured during the clashes that ensued, officials said.

Both suspects were seen running from the scene a few moments after the incident took place, witnesses said.

Meanwhile, Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, who was in the middle of a live interview on private broadcaster CNN Türk when the incident occurred, confirmed that the rocket attack did not cause any casualties.

“Activities such as weddings are organized in this facilities building on week-ends. It is a miracle that there were no casualties,” Gökçek said.

Tensions were high in Ankara since the beginning of September due to the Municipality’s road construction project that is set to lead to the destruction of 3,000 trees in ODTÜ’s campus.

Clashes also broke out at the Tuzluçayır neighborhood in the Mamak district during a protest against a controversial project to build an Alevi cemevi and a Sunni mosque next to each other.

Last March, another rocket attack targeted the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) national headquarters, with one rocket hitting a point between the eight and seventh floors, where the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is located.

Authorities have accused the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), the outlawed leftist organization responsible for a suicide attack against the American Embassy in February, of the attack, with Erdoğan saying that it was aimed at disrupting the Kurdish resolution process.

US Drones Over Yemen Capital More Threatening Than “Al-Qaeda”

On Day of Terror Alert: US Drone roam skies of Yemen Capital for first time

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 Hakim Almasmari
On August 4, Yemen was on high security alert and thousands of troops were on a mission to keep the streets safe in the wake of the terror alert. In Sanaa, the fears and worries of ordinary citizens was not from Al-Qaeda but rather from the US drones that were roaming the skies of the Yemeni capital for the first time. Residents in Sanaa were shocked and scared at the humming noise coming from high above, and considered it the biggest threat to their lives.
Some would say, “Now we understand why President Abdurabu Hadi was given five star treatment by the United States in his latest visit. He sold them the Yemeni skies including the capital, and who knows maybe the Yemeni lives.”
The drones remained in the skies of Sanaa for more than ten hours.
Will Sanaa soon witness a drone strike? The capital has never witnessed a drone strike. the closest the strike came were in Sanhan and Khawlan last year, both suburbs of Sanaa, where two strikes were conducted on suspected militants.
Today, roads in Sanaa were empty all day. Women were forcing their children in door fearing the worst. Men angered at how Yemeni lives have become so cheap. Restaurants were empty and people worried that Washington might turn Sanaa into the next Kabul, a city that is now a symbol of the US failed war on terror. Residents of Kabul can only dream to be safe.
If this continues, it could be the beginning of the downfall of President Hadi, and the beginning of militancy and ultra extremism in Sanaa.
Maybe this is exactly what Washington is seeking.
Hakim Almasmari is an American journalist and political analyst based in Sana’a, Yemen. His work has appeared for many of the worlds top media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Washington Post, AlJazeera, Fox News, The Guardian, The National, USA Today among numerous others. Reporting out of Yemen for nearly eight years, he is the current editor in chief for the Yemen Post. He is a university lecturer in the field of international media and also studied business and law. He is a frequent guest on many international TV outlets discussing current local and international affairs. Almasmari is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and speaks English, Arabic, and Urdu.

Baradar To Be Released In Pakistan Tomorrow

Pakistan will release on Saturday its most senior Afghan Taliban detainee, Abdul Ghani Baradar, a one-time military chief often described as the insurgents’ former second-in-command.

Afghan security forces search a building following an insurgent attack on a road construction workers’ camp in the Karukh district of Herat on August 17, 2013.

“In order to further facilitate the Afghan reconciliation process, the detained Taliban leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, would be released tomorrow,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The Afghan government has long demanded that Islamabad free Baradar, whose arrest in January 2010 saw Pakistan accused of sabotaging initiatives to bring peace in war-torn Afghanistan.

“We welcome that this step is being taken,” Aimal Faizi, spokesman for Afghan president Hamid Karzai told AFP. “We believe this will help the Afghan peace process… we are pleased.”

Sartaj Aziz, main adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on national security and foreign affairs, had told AFP on Monday that Baradar “will be released this week”.

His release would bring to 34 the number of Taliban detainees that Pakistan has freed since last year, in what Afghan officials hope will encourage peace talks with Taliban insurgents.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked Pakistan to help open direct dialogue between his government and the Taliban, who consider Karzai an “American puppet” and have refused to hold discussions with his government.

But Aziz had said that Baradar would not be handed over to Kabul, and analysts agree his release will have little impact on talks.

There has been scant evidence that the release of Taliban detainees has had a positive effect on the stalled peace negotiations, and several prisoners are understood to have returned to the battlefield.

Baradar’s influence has also been debated after his years away from the fight.

Baradar was arrested in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi, reportedly in a secret raid by CIA and Pakistani agents, an operation that was described as a huge blow to the Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan until a US-led invasion in 2001.

At the time of his arrest Baradar was reported to have been the Taliban’s second-in-command, the right hand man of the Afghan Taliban’s supreme commander Mullah Omar.

He was the most senior member of the Taliban held after US-led troops invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, bringing down the Islamist regime.

A mid-level Afghan Taliban official told AFP that Baradar’s release will not have any effect on current Afghan situation.

“Baradar’s (release) won’t change anything: he will be just a simple guy with no position in the Taliban network,” he said.

Aziz said it would be Baradar’s choice where he goes once he is freed.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry did not make any statement about Baradar’s future, but a Pakistani official and a Taliban source in northwest Pakistan told AFP that Baradar will likely stay at home in Karachi where his family lives.

“He will be kept as a simple guy in the network who can convey messages from time to time, but who will not be able to reintegrate the shura and regain power,” the Taliban official said.

Born in 1968 in the southern province of Uruzgan, Abdul Ghani Baradar fought the occupying Soviet forces in the late 1980s before becoming one of the founding members of the Taliban movement.

When the Taliban took power in Kabul in 1996 after years of chaotic civil war, the young Baradar was a trusted friend of Omar, and rose to become the movement’s top military strategist.

After the fall of the Taliban, senior militants fled across the border to rear bases in Pakistan, where Baradar became a member of the so-called Quetta Shura, the movement’s ruling council.

Rahimullah Yusufzai, an analyst and expert in Pakistani tribal affairs, said Baradar’s release will have little impact because “he is no longer as important for Taliban as he used to be”.

Yusufzai said the Taliban would prefer to watch Baradar for some time before assigning him any role.

Political analyst Talat Masood said the announcement was a “sort of a confidence-building measure between Pakistan and Afghanistan”.

“However, this release is not likely to make any significant difference in the negotiating process,” he said

When the Militant Islamists Come Marching Home

[French govt. awakens to the dangers of returning Islamists, because of the Imperial games it has been playing.  When these wild-eyed radicals come marching home as veterans of a vicious war, they will have acquired a wide array of new criminal skills.  They will be like “yeast” in breadmaking when they start teaching city gangs how to construct IEDs (improvised explosive devices), or spread their skills and criminal ideology to their criminal friends back home.  If you only worry about 300 veterans returning, then you should multiply that danger factor by ten or one hundred, considering how rapidly the disease of terrorism will spread among the disgruntled masses.  These guys should have known that playing with “Islamist” crazies is like playing with nitroglycerin, its something that sane people just don’t do.  This danger, as well as the greater danger of disaster on a grand scale in the Syrian refugee camps, should have been easily anticipated problems, which would obviously arise from the Imperial strategy.]

France fears backlash from militants fighting in Syria

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France’s interior minister revealed Thursday that hundreds of homegrown Islamist militants were signing up to fight in Syria and warned they could pose a security threat when they come back.

More than 300 French nationals or residents are either currently fighting in Syria’s civil war, planning to go and fight or have recently returned from there, the minister, Manuel Valls, told France Inter radio.

Most of them were young men, often with a delinquent past, who had become radicalised, he said.

“This is a phenomenon which worries me because they represent a potential danger when they return to our soil,” Valls said. “We have to be extremely attentive.”

France, which has the largest Muslim population in western Europe, has increased its monitoring of Islamic radicals since Al-Qaeda-inspired gunman Mohamed Merah killed seven people in and around the southwestern city of Toulouse last year.

It subsequently emerged that Merah had spent time in Pakistan and Afghanistan and that French intelligence had been aware of his contacts with militants in those two countries.

On Tuesday, intelligence officers arrested the French webmaster of a jihadist site on charges of “provoking” terrorism, Paris prosecutors said, adding that the 26-year-old convert to Islam had also played a part in translating magazines published by militant group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

According to British defence consultancy IHS Jane’s, there are up to 10,000 jihadists from all over the world currently fighting in Syria on the side of rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, whose regime they want to replace with an Islamic state.

Experts in counter-terrorism fear that a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on August 21 could inspire more radicals to embark on jihad, or holy war, in Syria, increasing the numbers of a new generation of battle-hardened militants capable of wreaking havoc when they return to their home countries.

“If they are not able to set up an Islamic state in Syria, they’ll come back disappointed,” Marc Trevidic, France’s top anti-terrorism judge, was quoted as saying earlier this week.

At least one French national has died fighting in Syria — a 22-year-old white convert to Islam from Toulouse only identified as Jean-Daniel, who was killed in a clash with government forces in August.

Valls has previously warned that there are “several dozen, perhaps several hundred, potential Merahs in our country” and described their presence as a ticking time bomb.

In October 2012, police shot dead the alleged ringleader of an Islamist cell suspected of carrying out a grenade attack on a Jewish grocery store in a Paris suburb the previous month.

A prosecutor branded that homegrown group of Islamist extremists as the biggest terror threat the country had faced since the Algerian-based GIA carried out a string of deadly bombings in the 1990s.

Islamist groups threatened to stage attacks in France as well as on French targets after Paris intervened in Mali early this year in reaction to advances made by Islamist groups who had seized control of the north of the country.

Citing intelligence reports, Valls said there were more than 130 French nationals or residents currently fighting in Syria, about 50 who had returned home, some 40 who were in transit areas and around a 100 who were likely to travel to Syria.

Obama’s Premeditated Humanitarian Disaster Creating Nightmares for Syria’s Neighbors

[SEE:  Jordan’s Fifth Largest City Is A Syrian Refugee Camp ; 31 years after the Massacre at Sabra-Shatila: justice delayed but gaining ground]

Syria crisis: refugee camps in Lebanon at breaking point

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Children in Shatila, a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut

Shatila camp is a shadowy place, even in bright sunlight. Many of the meandering alleys are so narrow that the sun never reaches the ground and should two people meet, they have to pass each other sideways. The poor sewerage system makes the streets slippery and smelly, and above this labyrinth of alleys hangs a tangle of electrical cables, looping down in dangerous swathes.

The camp lies on the outskirts of Beirut, in Lebanon, and used to be home to around 10,000 Palestinian refugees. But, with the dramatic influx of people from Syria in recent months, numbers have swelled to an estimated 16,000. Shatila’s infrastructure is weak and it is now on the verge of collapse.

Dr Adel Al-Ahmad, who works for the Palestine Red Crescent in Lebanon, says: “There is no one single biggest concern: the biggest concern is everything — water, sanitation, health and shelter.”

Donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal

The streets are slippery, smelly and festooned with electrical cables

Self-reliance

In Shatila, the Palestine Red Crescent runs a health clinic and works with communities there to promote health and provide training on first aid. Dr Adel, who co-ordinates the programme, explains: “Community-based health and first aid is important – especially during a crisis – because people and communities have to depend on themselves.”

Today, some 40 refugee women are gathered at the health clinic to learn about health and first aid. Some of the women are Syrian, some Syrian Palestinians, but they all have same message: more help and support are badly needed.

One mother, expressing the worry felt by many people, says: “Our main concerns are for our children and their needs: nutrition, health, hygiene. Here they cannot go to school, and many are traumatised.”

Critical conditions

Mr Abdulrahman shares two rooms with his family of four children and five adults

A few blocks away live Mr Abdulrahman and his family, who have fled from Homs in Syria. Mr Abdulrahman says: “I am 70 years old and cannot work anymore. Only one of my sons has work, and one of my children is disabled, which is also adding to our problems.” His eyes rest on his teenage son, who is lying on the floor.

The four children and six adults share a two-room flat on the ground floor, partly below street level. The walls are damp and covered with mould. The only furniture is a pile of mattresses in the corner that are laid out on the floor at night. Despite the conditions here, something keeps Mr Abdulrahman optimistic. He clings to the hope that – one day – he will be able to return home.

The British Red Cross is sending funds to support the Palestine Red Crescent’s health work in Lebanon. Donate to our appeal to help us continue supporting people affected by the Syria crisis.

Even the EPA Has Its Own Paramilitary Force

Police State: EPA Raids in Alaska Exposes Heavily Armed Federal Agencies

wizbang

We’ve talked about the police state that is being built right under our very noses many times. But a recent raid on Alaska mines by the EPA is proof once again that far too many government agencies have para-military, heavily armed divisions. And they need to be curtailed.

Did you know that 40 federals agencies have 120,000 full-time agents that are allowed to carry guns?

Did you know the Library of Congress and the Federal Reserve Board have armed divisions?

Why do librarians and bankers need to have SWAT-styled divisions with automatic rifles, body armor, and armored assault vehicles? They all do, you know?

The incident in Alaska was typical, too. The EPA broke out their SWAT-styled fully automatic machine guns, their black body armor, and their jack-booted military operatives to raid a tiny mining community because someone may have violated the so-called safe water act.

Seriously. The government sent paramilitary EPA forces to see if someone was making dirty water.

One miner thought the whole thing was surreal.

“Imagine coming up to your diggings, only to see agents swarming over it like ants, wearing full body armor, with jackets that say ‘POLICE’ emblazoned on them, and all packing side arms,” gold miner C.R. Hammond told the Alaska media.

MrConservative readers might remember the incident in Wisconsin where the state Fish and Game Department sent a heavily armed, SWAT-styled team to a local animal shelter because they had “illegally” taken in a wounded fawn and were trying to nurse it back to health.

The fact is, too many state and federal agencies have a license to kill we the people. We need to start taking these powers away from government as it sets up a barrier between us and them whereby they imagine they have the power to hold us at gunpoint whenever they want to. WE are the employers, here. THEY are not our masters.

SOCOM Tender for Specialized Equipment Capable of Taking Over All Radio Frequencies

Sources Sought to provide a radio broadcast system capable of searching for and acquiring every AM and FM radio station in a specific area, and then broadcasting a message(s) in the target area on all acquired AM and FM radio station frequencies.

 

FireShot Pro Screen Capture #322 - 'Sources Sought to provide a radio broadcast system capable of searching for and acquiring every AM and FM radio st_' - www_fbo_gov_index_s=opportunity&mode=form

Obama’s BRAIN Project—Preliminery Nationwide Mind Control

The 9 Goals of Mind Control: Interim Report

 

 

image source

Nicholas West
Activist Post

Mind control was once reserved only for the farthest corners of conspiracy research. No more. The establishment has re-named mind control as neuroscience, and it is receiving massive funding through initiatives such as Obama’s BRAIN project.

It is a comprehensive plan to map the human brain for purposes of determining how degenerative conditions arise, how thoughts are formed, and how behavior can be reverse engineered to the source of its gestation. Once determined, scientists intend to intervene and control the mind through a variety of methods, both direct and indirect.

The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies(BRAIN) Working Group has now issued its “Interim Report” in a search for continued funding through 2014. It is appropriately titled, as we have arrived at a critical juncture where the arrival of full-fledged, broad-scale direct mind control could become part of our future. Or, the vast complexities of the human brain could be revealed as an insurmountable task to decode, regardless of the amount of funding or wishful thinking of transhumanists and technocrats alike.

There certainly have been a plethora of advertised advancements released in the scientific community indicating that the brain can be altered in very significant ways. So far, the animal research is out in the open, but every announcement is freely coupled with the plan to apply these findings to humans once legal and ethical concerns are overcome. Now might be the time where the public is being conditioned to see the totality of what is being suggested as not only inevitable, but desirable.

First it is important to refer to the very latest that has been revealed by would-be mind control scientists. The following chronology covers a span of just more than two months. These articles clearly show that the theoretical has become quite practical, and it’s ramping up:

July 11, 2013: New Video Game Helps Map Your Every Thought

July 19, 2013: Literal Smart Dust Opens Brain-Computer Pathway to “Spy on Your Brain”

July 29, 2013: Secret DARPA Mind Control Project Revealed: Leaked Document

July 31, 2013: Brain-to-Brain Control Established Between Humans and Animals at Harvard

August 8, 2013: Hardware and Software Combining to Replicate the Human Brain

August 10, 2013: The DNA Nanobots Have Arrived

August 21, 2013: DARPA Issues Request For Information to Create a Computer Brain

 

September 13, 2013: Mind Control Scientists Find New Keys to Unlock Memory

With these developments as background information from our own reports of where we stand, let’s have a look at what the BRAIN project has issued as their 9 core research priorities to be funded in 2014.

There is a bit of technical language used here, but pay particular attention to the recurring assertion of theoretical applications in humans, as well as the repeated language about circuit manipulation.

That “circuit” is the wiring of your brain and, they hope, your thoughts and behavior.

#1. Generate a Census of Cell Types. It is within reach to characterize all cell types in the nervous system, and to develop tools to record, mark, and manipulate these precisely defined neurons in vivo. We envision an integrated, systematic census of neuronal and glial cell types, and new genetic and non‐genetic tools to deliver genes, proteins, and chemicals to cells of interest. Priority should be given to methods that can be applied to many animal species and even to humans.

 

#2. Create Structural Maps of the Brain. It is increasingly possible to map connected neurons in local circuits and distributed brain systems, enabling an understanding of the relationship between neuronal structure and function. We envision improved technologies—faster, less expensive, scalable—for anatomic reconstruction of neural circuits at all scales,such as molecular markers for synapses, trans‐synaptic tracers for identifying circuit inputs and outputs, and electron microscopy for detailed reconstruction. The effort would begin in animal models, but some mapping techniques may be applied to the human brain, providing for the first time cellular‐level information complementary to the Human Connectome Project.

 

#3. Develop New Large‐Scale Network Recording Capabilities.We should seize the challenge of recording dynamic neuronal activity from complete neural networks, overlong periods, in all areas of the brain. There are promising opportunities both for improving existing technologies and for developing entirely new technologies for neuronal recording, including methods based on electrodes, optics, molecular genetics, and nanoscience, and encompassing different facets of brain activity, in animals and in some cases in humans.

 

#4. Develop A Suite of Tools for Circuit Manipulation. By directly activating and inhibiting populations of neurons, neuroscience is progressing from observation to causation, and much more is possible. To enable the immense potential of circuit manipulation, a new generation of tools for optogenetics, pharmacogenetics, and biochemical and electromagnetic modulation should be developed for use in animals and eventually in human patients. Emphasis should be placed on achieving modulation of circuits in patterns that mimic natural activity.

 

#5. Link Neuronal Activity to Behavior. The clever use of virtual reality, machine learning, and miniaturized recording devices has the potential to dramatically increase our understanding of how neuronal activity underlies cognition and behavior. This path can be enabled by developing technologies to quantify and interpret animal behavior, at high temporal and spatial resolution, reliably, objectively, over long periods of time, under a broad set of conditions, and in combination with concurrent measurement and manipulation of neuronal activity.

 

#6. Integrate Theory, Modeling, Statistics, and Computation with Experimentation. Rigorous theory, modeling and statistics are advancing our understanding of complex, nonlinear brain functions where human intuition fails. New kinds of data are accruing at increasing rates, mandating new methods of data analysis and interpretation. To enable progress in theory and data analysis, we must foster collaborations between experimentalists and scientists from statistics, physics, mathematics, engineering and computer science.

 

#7. Delineate Mechanisms Underlying Human Imaging Technologies. We must improve spatial resolution and/or temporal sampling of human brain imaging techniques, and develop a better understanding of cellular mechanisms underlying commonly measured human brain signals(fMRI, Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI), EEG, MEG, PET)—for example, by linking fMRI signals to cellular‐resolution population activity of neurons and glia contained within the imaged voxel, or by linking DWI connectivity information to axonal anatomy.Understanding these links will permit more effective use of clinical tools for manipulating circuit activity, such as deep brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

 

#8. Create Mechanisms to Enable Collection of Human Data. Humans who are undergoing diagnostic brain monitoring or receiving neurotechnology for clinical applications provide an extraordinary opportunity for scientific research. This setting enables research on human brain function, the mechanisms of human brain disorders, the effect of therapy, and the value of diagnostics. Meeting this opportunity requires closely integrated research teams including clinicians, engineers, and scientists, all performing according to the highest ethical standards of clinical care and research (as if this is somehow routine within these fields?? – N.W.). New mechanisms are needed to maximize the collection of this priceless information and ensure that it benefits people with brain disorders.

 

#9. Disseminate Knowledge and Training. Progress would be dramatically accelerated by the rapid dissemination of skills across the community. To enable the broadest possible impact of newly developed methods, and the rigorous application, support should be provided for training—for example, summer courses and course modules in computational neuroscience, statistics, imaging, electrophysiology, and optogenetics—and for educating non‐neuroscientists in neuroscience. (Source and full report)

The recent breakthroughs alluded to previously, and this suggestive interim report, barely scratch the surface as the pace increases toward the dizzying. Add in a type of “living” transistor that uses DNA merged with graphene, plus the advent of quantum computing applied to advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence, and the architecture of the genuine matrix is being designed before our very eyes … and quickly.

As the BRAIN project figuratively pauses for their interim report, it would be wise for us to seriously pause and reflect about the potential implications of these experiments. For those who have genuine concerns about the potential for abuse, as well as runaway consequences similar to what we have seen with GMO and Big Pharma in general, it is time to use any method possible to communicate that this research must be put forth in the public domain for full scrutiny and review, with proper limitations codified.

Already, as with all things science and tech related, DARPA – the military research arm of the U.S. government – has their tentacles all over this research. But, this time, even with their intent to control and use this technology with historically less than peaceful intentions, nanotech has the means to move beyond anyone’s control. The merging of the biological brain and a nearly infinite computational overlay is indeed the final frontier and must gain our full attention while we still have any wits left of our own.

What are your thoughts? Is it inevitable that science will decode the human brain so completely that we will be at the mercy of mad scientists to play us like a version of The Sims? Or is humanity in fact greater than the sum of its parts; non-quantifiable and forever as free and boundless as it wishes to be?

RELATED ACTIVIST POST ARTICLES:
10 Modern Methods of Mind Control
7 Future Methods of Mind Control

Jordan’s Fifth Largest City Is A Syrian Refugee Camp

syrian refugee camp jordan

This is the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. It is eight miles south of the Syrian border.

The population of the camp is estimated to be more than 122,000 refugees, since opening in July 2012, says the UNHCR. That makes it the fifth largest city in Jordan.

Turkey Establishing “Al-Qaeda” State On Its Doorstep

the vancouver sun

Al-Qaida militants expel moderate rebels from Syrian town in some of the worst infighting

This citizen journalism image provided by The Syrian Revolution against Bashar Assad which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian military tank on fire during clashes with Free Syrian army fighters in Joubar, a suburb of Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/The Syrian Revolution Against Bashar Assad)

 

BEIRUT – Al-Qaida militants seized a town near the Turkish border Thursday after expelling Western-backed rebels from the area, demonstrating the growing power of jihadis as they seek to expand their influence across opposition-held Syrian territory.

The infighting — now engulfing many parts of northern Syria — threatened to further split opposition forces outgunned by President Bashar Assad’s troops and strengthen his hand as he engages with world powers on relinquishing his chemical weapons.

Opposition forces who had been hoping that U.S.-led military strikes would help tip the balance in the civil war are growing increasingly desperate after the Obama administration shelved those plans in favour of a diplomatic solution.

Many rebels blame jihadis in their ranks for the West’s reluctance to intervene militarily in Syria or give them the advanced weapons they need. There is also growing concern that the dominant role the extremists are playing is discrediting the rebellion.

Yet the jihadis, including members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaida offshoot, have been some of the most effective forces on the battlefield, fighting alongside the Western-backed Free Syrian Army to capture military facilities, strategic installations and key neighbourhoods in cities such as Aleppo and Homs.

But the two sides have turned their guns on each other. Turf wars and retaliatory killings have evolved into ferocious battles in what has effectively become a war within a war in northern and eastern Syria, leaving hundreds dead on both sides.

“The moderates realized that they’re losing a lot of territory to the Islamists and jihadi fighters, and so they’re more desperate,” said Aaron Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The battles for control of Azaz, a town only few kilometres from the Turkish border, represents some of the worst infighting in recent months.

Members of ISIL overran the town Wednesday evening, killing several fighters from the Free Syrian Army rebel umbrella group, before forcing them to pull out.

Amateur video showed dozens of gunmen with heavy machine-guns on pickup trucks gathering at the border with Turkey with reinforcements. The Associated Press was able to verify the footage based on interviews and other reporting on the events depicted.

A relatively moderate Islamist group with influence in the region, the al-Tawheed brigade, was mediating Thursday to get the al-Qaida-linked militants to leave Azaz, but fighting was continuing.

The prospect of al-Qaida militants so near the frontier is worrisome for the Turkish government, which closed the nearby border crossing of Bab al-Salameh, according to a Foreign Ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The Azaz fighting highlights the turmoil in the rebel ranks. Al-Qaida militants and the al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra have proven remarkably adept on the ground but have increasingly tried to wrest control from more moderate rebels.

Charles Lister, an analyst with HIS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre in Britain, said al-Qaida-linked fighters make up between 10,000 and 12,000 of the insurgency’s estimated 100,000-member force but wield far more influence because of their better discipline and battle experience.

“They (ISIL) capture d from the regime much of the territory that is now under opposition control, and for that reason they will not be excluded from the revolutionary structure even if they have to fight other rebels,” said Mustafa Alani, an analyst at the Geneva-based Gulf Research Center.

“They feel that that the FSA has turned on them because the American pressure to deal with extremists,” he said.

FSA spokesman Loay al-Mikdad said the rebels were acting in self-defence and questioned the purpose of the ISIL storming an area that had been among the first to be “liberated” in Syria.

“They said they came to defend the Syrian people. Now they have turned their guns away from fighting the regime to fighting the Syrian people,” he said by telephone from Turkey.

Kurdish militiamen have also been fighting members of the ISIL and the Nusra Front in predominantly oil-rich, Kurdish areas of northeastern Syria. Dozens have died.

The infighting weakens both sides and bolsters Assad, whose troops have been on the offensive, gaining ground against rebels on multiple fronts.

Assad told Fox News Channel the balance of opposition forces has shifted in the more than two-year conflict, and he alleged that 80 per cent to 90 per cent were members of al-Qaida or its affiliates.

“At the very beginning, the jihadists were the minority. At the end of 2012 and during this year, they became the majority with the flow of tens of thousands from additional countries,” he said.

Residents of rebel-held areas are also turning against extremists for their brutal tactics and for trying to impose Islamic law. There have been numerous demonstrations against the ISIL in opposition-held territory in the north.

Locals say the jihadis are forcing people to close their shops for Muslim prayers and banning the sale of cigarettes.

Ahmad Barbour, an activist in the town of Ariha in the northwestern province of Idlib, said it has gotten to the point where they consider those who carry the revolution flags infidels. Most of them are foreigners flush with cash, he said.

“Everyone hates them except for those who are benefiting financially,” he said via Skype.

Also Thursday, a bus struck a roadside bomb in the village of Jbourin in the central province of Homs, killing 19 people and wounded four, said a local official from the governor’s office, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The village is predominantly Alawite — an offshoot of Shiite Islam and a minority sect of which Assad is a member — but it also has Christians and Sunni Muslims.

The civil war, which has left more than 100,000 dead, has taken increasingly sectarian overtones. Most of the rebels trying to overthrow Assad belong to the majority Sunni sect.

Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said in an interview with the Guardian published late Thursday on its website that neither side in Syria was strong enough to win the conflict. Jamil said the government will call for a cease-fire at a planned peace conference in Geneva, though dates for the talks have not been set and the main Syrian opposition group says it won’t take part if the military has the upper hand on the ground.

___

Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, Barbara Surk in Beirut, Desmond Butler in Istanbul, Raphael Satter in London and Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.

Another Guantanamo Alumni Killed While Leading Islamist Killers, Fighting FOR the United States

[When America’s war against the rest of the human race finally comes to an end, our war crimes and crimes will be easily proved by circumstantial evidence such as this.  It is NOT A COINCIDENCE, that every major terrorist fighting unit that has been encountered over the duration of the American terror war has been led by graduates of the American brain-raping program at Guantanamo.  This is even true for the Afghan Taliban.  These guys, like this Moroccan fellow, Mohammed al Alami, a.k.a., “Abu Hamza al-Maghrebi,” were released onto their home turfs, back around 2006, in order to spearhead the American “jihad” in their homelands.]

Untitled41

Photo of the deceased Abu Hamza al-Maghrebi.

Former Guantanamo prisoner killed in Syria after joining Islamist brigade

 

Reuters

 

 

(Reuters) – A former prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base died fighting for anti-government rebels in Syria, according to an Islamist opposition group which posted a video of his funeral on YouTube.

Moroccan-born Mohammed al Alami, who was released in 2006, is the first former Guantanamo detainee to die in battle in the Syrian civil war, analysts say.

The video, first reported by The Miami Herald, was posted by Harakat Sham al-Islam, one of the Islamist brigades fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It showed the August 5 funeral in which Alami is praised by a rebel leader for enduring “the prison of the Americans in Guantanamo for five years … where he did not reform or change.”

U.S. Defense Department officials had no comment.

Aaron Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who monitors jihadi activities at the website Jihadology.net, said the video appeared to confirm rumors that had been circulating for several weeks about a former Guantanamo prisoner being killed in Syria.

“The sources seem to be legitimate,” he said, adding that the video was posted on a known jihadi website.

Alami fought in Afghanistan and was captured in Pakistan after the September 11 attacks.

He was sent to the U.S. detention facility in Cuba on February 2, 2002 “because of his knowledge of Taliban recruitment, training and tactics as well as his possible affiliation with Al-Qaida,” according to Pentagon records made public by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

He was repatriated to Morocco on February 7, 2006, the records show.

After being imprisoned in Morocco for an unknown period of time, he was released and made his way to Syria, said Zelin.

Alami’s death was likely to feed concerns about the risks of releasing detainees from Guantanamo, even though many have not been formerly charged.

“It has implications for the debate about what the United States does with the individuals still in Guantanamo and what might happen if they return home, or are released,” said Zelin.

There are a number of rebel brigades made up entirely of non-Syrians, the United Nations says, underlining how the 2-1/2-year-old conflict has pulled in neighboring countries and widened sectarian fault lines across the region.

The growing involvement of foreign, Islamist fighters has added to Western reluctance to step in or arm the rebels. Reuters correspondents have met British, Libya and Tunisian militants in Syria who say they fight against Assad.

Lebanon’s Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah militia has been fighting alongside Syrian government forces.

“Former Guantanamo detainees are held in very high light,” said Zelin. “They were imprisoned by Americans and they still kept faith in God and the cause of Jihad. They are viewed as heroes.”

Last month the U.S. repatriated two Guantanamo detainees to Algeria as part of its ongoing effort to close the prison.

So far, the U.S. has released 606 detainees. There are currently 164 prisoners at Guantanamo, including 84 cleared for release years ago.

Obama promised to do away with the facility during his 2008 presidential campaign, citing its damage to the U.S. reputation around the world, but Congress put tough restrictions on detainee transfers in January 2011.

A second Moroccan ex-Guantanamo detainee, Ibrahim bin Shakaran, the leader of Harakat Sham al-Islam, is seen in the video giving the funeral eulogy for Alami. He was described as an al-Qaeda recruiter in Iraq, according to a 2008 Defense Intelligence Agency list of 37 Guantanamo detainees “confirmed or suspected” of having returned to terrorism.

The number of former Guantanamo recidivists was estimated by the DIA in 2008 to be “about 7 percent of those transferred from U.S. custody.”

Alami, was the second known former Guantanamo detainee to be killed this year, Zelin added. A Saudi second-in-command of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen in July.

Said al-Shehri was described by U.S. officials as one of the most important al Qaeda-linked militants to be released from Guantanamo, where he was taken in January 2002 after Pakistan handed him to U.S. authorities.

(Writing by David Adams. Additional reporting by Oliver Holmes in Beirut and Jane Sutton in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; editing by Jackie Frank)

Barbaric Islamist Ghouls Slice Syrian Helicopter Pilot’s Head-Off, After Turkey Shoots It Down for Them

Horrific footage shows Syrian helicopter pilot who was ‘shot down by Turkish forces and then beheaded by rebels’

daily mail

  • Footage apparently shows helicopter pilot shot down by Turkish forces
  • Body can be seen with head removed and surrounded by a group of men
  • Videos also show ‘rebels shooting at pilot’ as he parachutes from craft
  • Turkey confirmed yesterday it did shoot down Syrian helicopter

By Daily Mail Reporter

 

A Syrian helicopter pilot who was shot down by the Turkish military was beheaded by rebels, it was claimed today.

Horrific footage which purports to show a man’s headless corpse dressed in military-style helicopter flight suit and dumped in a ditch has been circulating online since last night, just a few hours after the aircraft crashed.

The film also zooms in on a bloody head lying a few yards from the corpse.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Shocking footage apparently shows a Syrian helicopter pilot beheaded by rebels after he was shot down by Turkish forcesShocking footage apparently shows a Syrian helicopter pilot beheaded by rebels after he was shot down by Turkish forces

 

The film shows a bloody head lying a few yards from the corpseThe film shows a bloody head lying a few yards from the corpse

The footage shows one a group of men surrounding the body search through the man's clothesThe footage shows one a group of men surrounding the body search through the man’s clothes

It has been impossible to establish if the disturbing images do indeed show the chopper pilot or if it is rebel propaganda.

According to website Weasel Zippers, the pilot was beheaded by Syrian rebels after the helicopter was shot down by Turkish warplanes.

The video, which has been released on LiveLeak, shows one of the men searching through the pilot’s pockets.

 

Cable Reveals US Plot To Overthrow Syrian Govt. Began In 2006, After Hezbollah Kicks IDF Ass

Cable reference id: #06DAMASCUS5399

Influencing The Sarg In The End Of 2006

wikileaks1

Origin Embassy Damascus (Syria)
Cable time Wed, 13 Dec 2006 16:03 UTC
Classification SECRET
Source http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/12/06DAMASCUS5399.html

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 DAMASCUS 005399 SIPDIS SIPDIS NEA/ELA NSC FOR MARCHESE TREASURY FOR GLASER/LEBENSON E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/30/2016 TAGS: PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], PREL [External Political Relations], PTER [Terrorists and Terrorism], SY [Syria] SUBJECT: INFLUENCING THE SARG IN THE END OF 2006 Classified By: CDA William Roebuck, for reasons 1.5 b/d ¶1. (S) Summary. The SARG ends 2006 in a much stronger position domestically and internationally than it did 2005. While there may be additional bilateral or multilateral pressure that can impact Syria, the regime is based on a small clique that is largely immune to such pressure. However, Bashar Asad’s growing self-confidence )- and reliance on this small clique — could lead him to make mistakes and ill-judged policy decisions through trademark emotional reactions to challenges, providing us with new opportunities. For example, Bashar,s reaction to the prospect of Hariri tribunal and to publicity for Khaddam and the National Salvation Front borders on the irrational. Additionally, Bashar,s reported preoccupation with his image and how he is perceived internationally is a potential liability in his decision making process. We believe Bashar,s weaknesses are in how he chooses to react to looming issues, both perceived and real, such as a the conflict between economic reform steps (however limited) and entrenched, corrupt forces, the Kurdish question, and the potential threat to the regime from the increasing presence of transiting Islamist extremists. This cable summarizes our assessment of these vulnerabilities and suggests that there may be actions, statements, and signals that the USG can send that will improve the likelihood of such opportunities arising. These proposals will need to be fleshed out and converted into real actions and we need to be ready to move quickly to take advantage of such opportunities. Many of our suggestions underline using Public Diplomacy and more indirect means to send messages that influence the inner circle. End Summary. ¶2. (S) As the end of 2006 approaches, Bashar appears in some ways stronger than he has in two years. The country is economically stable (at least for the short term), internal opposition the regime faces is weak and intimidated, and regional issues seem to be going Syria,s way, from Damascus, perspective. Nonetheless, there are some long-standing vulnerabilities and looming issues that may provide opportunities to up the pressure on Bashar and his inner circle. Regime decision-making is limited to Bashar and an inner circle that often produces poorly thought-out tactical decisions and sometimes emotional approaches, such as Bashar,s universally derided August 15 speech. Some of these vulnerabilities, such as the regime,s near-irrational views on Lebanon, can be exploited to put pressure on the regime. Actions that cause Bashar to lose balance and increase his insecurity are in our interest because his inexperience and his regime,s extremely small decision-making circle make him prone to diplomatic stumbles that can weaken him domestically and regionally. While the consequences of his mistakes are hard to predict and the benefits may vary, if we are prepared to move quickly to take advantage of the opportunities that may open up, we may directly impact regime behavior where it matters–Bashar and his inner circle. ¶3. (S) The following provides our summary of potential vulnerabilities and possible means to exploit them: — Vulnerability: — THE HARIRI INVESTIGATION AND THE TRIBUNAL: The Hariri investigation ) and the prospect of a Lebanon Tribunal — has provoked powerful SARG reactions, primarily because of the embarrassment the investigation causes. Rationally, the regime should calculate that it can deal with any summons of Syrian officials by refusing to turn any suspects over, or, in extreme cases by engineering “suicides.8 But it seems the real issue for Bashar is that Syria,s dignity and its international reputation are put in question. Fiercely-held sentiments that Syria should continue to exercise dominant control in Lebanon play into these sensitivities. We should seek to exploit this raw nerve, without waiting for formation of the tribunal. — Possible action: — PUBLICITY: Publicly highlighting the consequences of the ongoing investigation a la Mehlis causes Bashar personal DAMASCUS 00005399 002 OF 004 angst and may lead him to act irrationally. The regime has deep-seated fears about the international scrutiny that a tribunal — or Brammertz accusations even against lower-echelon figures — would prompt. The Mehlis accusations of October 2005 caused the most serious strains in Bashar’s inner circle. While the family got back together, these splits may lie just below the surface. — Vulnerability: — THE ALLIANCE WITH TEHRAN: Bashar is walking a fine line in his increasingly strong relations with Iran, seeking necessary support while not completely alienating Syria,s moderate Sunni Arab neighbors by being perceived as aiding Persian and fundamentalist Shia interests. Bashar’s decision to not attend the Talabani ) Ahmadinejad summit in Tehran following FM Moallem,s trip to Iraq can be seen as a manifestation of Bashar’s sensitivity to the Arab optic on his Iranian alliance. — Possible action: — PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business. Both the local Egyptian and Saudi missions here, (as well as prominent Syrian Sunni religious leaders), are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should coordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention on the issue. — Vulnerability: — THE INNER CIRCLE: At the end of the day, the regime is dominated by the Asad family and to a lesser degree by Bashar Asad,s maternal family, the Makhlufs, with many family members believe to be increasingly corrupt. The family, and hangers on, as well as the larger Alawite sect, are not immune to feuds and anti-regime conspiracies, as was evident last year when intimates of various regime pillars (including the Makhloufs) approached us about post-Bashar possibilities. Corruption is a great divider and Bashar’s inner circle is subject to the usual feuds and squabbles related to graft and corruption. For example, it is generally known that Maher Asad is particularly corrupt and incorrigible. He has no scruples in his feuds with family members or others. There is also tremendous fear in the Alawite community about retribution if the Sunni majority ever regains power. — Possible Action: — ADDITIONAL DESIGNATIONS: Targeted sanctions against regime members and their intimates are generally welcomed by most elements of Syrian society. But the way designations are applied must exploit fissures and render the inner circle weaker rather than drive its members closer together. The designation of Shawkat caused him some personal irritation and was the subject of considerable discussion in the business community here. While the public reaction to corruption tends to be muted, continued reminders of corruption in the inner circle have resonance. We should look for ways to remind the public of our previous designations. — Vulnerability: — THE KHADDAM FACTOR: Khaddam knows where the regime skeletons are hidden, which provokes enormous irritation from Bashar, vastly disproportionate to any support Khaddam has within Syria. Bashar Asad personally, and his regime in general, follow every news item involving Khaddam with tremendous emotional interest. The regime reacts with self-defeating anger whenever another Arab country hosts Khaddam or allows him to make a public statement through any of its media outlets. — Possible Action: DAMASCUS 00005399 003 OF 004 — We should continue to encourage the Saudis and others to allow Khaddam access to their media outlets, providing him with venues for airing the SARG,s dirty laundry. We should anticipate an overreaction by the regime that will add to its isolation and alienation from its Arab neighbors. Vulnerability: — DIVISIONS IN THE MILITARY-SECURITY SERVICES: Bashar constantly guards against challenges from those with ties inside the military and security services. He is also nervous about any loyalties senior officers (or former senior officers) feel toward disaffected former regime elements like Rif,at Asad and Khaddam. The inner circle focuses continuously on who gets what piece of the corruption action. Some moves by Bashar in narrowing the circle of those who benefit from high-level graft has increased those with ties to the security services who have axes to grind. — Possible Action: — ENCOURAGE RUMORS AND SIGNALS OF EXTERNAL PLOTTING: The regime is intensely sensitive to rumors about coup-plotting and restlessness in the security services and military. Regional allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to meet with figures like Khaddam and Rif,at Asad as a way of sending such signals, with appropriate leaking of the meetings afterwards. This again touches on this insular regime,s paranoia and increases the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction. Vulnerability: — REFORM FORCES VERSUS BAATHISTS-OTHER CORRUPT ELITES: Bashar keeps unveiling a steady stream of initiatives on economic reform and it is certainly possible he believes this issue is his legacy to Syria. While limited and ineffectual, these steps have brought back Syrian expats to invest and have created at least the illusion of increasing openness. Finding ways to publicly call into question Bashar,s reform efforts )- pointing, for example to the use of reform to disguise cronyism — would embarrass Bashar and undercut these efforts to shore up his legitimacy. Revealing Asad family/inner circle corruption would have a similar effect. — Possible Action: — HIGHLIGHTING FAILURES OF REFORM: Highlighting failures of reform, especially in the run-up to the 2007 Presidential elections, is a move that Bashar would find highly embarrassing and de-legitimizing. Comparing and contrasting puny Syrian reform efforts with the rest of the Middle East would also embarrass and irritate Bashar. — Vulnerability: — THE ECONOMY: Perpetually under-performing, the Syrian economy creates jobs for less than 50 percent of the country,s university graduates. Oil accounts for 70 percent of exports and 30 percent of government revenue, but production is in steady decline. By 2010 Syria is expected to become a net importer of oil. Few experts believe the SARG is capable of managing successfully the expected economic dislocations. — DISCOURAGE FDI, ESPECIALLY FROM THE GULF: Syria has enjoyed a considerable up-tick in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last two years that appears to be picking up steam. The most important new FDI is undoubtedly from the Gulf. — Vulnerability: — THE KURDS: The most organized and daring political opposition and civil society groups are among the ethnic minority Kurds, concentrated in Syria,s northeast, as well as in communities in Damascus and Aleppo. This group has been willing to protest violently in its home territory when others would dare not. There are few threats that loom larger in Bashar,s mind than unrest with the Kurds. In what DAMASCUS 00005399 004 OF 004 is a rare occurrence, our DATT was convoked by Syrian Military Intelligence in May of 2006 to protest what the Syrians believed were US efforts to provide military training and equipment to the Kurds in Syria. — Possible Action: — HIGHLIGHT KURDISH COMPLAINTS: Highlighting Kurdish complaints in public statements, including publicizing human rights abuses will exacerbate regime,s concerns about the Kurdish population. Focus on economic hardship in Kurdish areas and the SARG,s long-standing refusal to offer citizenship to some 200,000 stateless Kurds. This issue would need to be handled carefully, since giving the wrong kind of prominence to Kurdish issues in Syria could be a liability for our efforts at uniting the opposition, given Syrian (mostly Arab) civil society,s skepticism of Kurdish objectives. — Vulnerability: — Extremist elements increasingly use Syria as a base, while the SARG has taken some actions against groups stating links to Al-Qaeda. With the killing of the al-Qaida leader on the border with Lebanon in early December and the increasing terrorist attacks inside Syria culminating in the September 12 attack against the US embassy, the SARG,s policies in Iraq and support for terrorists elsewhere as well can be seen to be coming home to roost. — Possible Actions: — Publicize presence of transiting (or externally focused) extremist groups in Syria, not limited to mention of Hamas and PIJ. Publicize Syrian efforts against extremist groups in a way that suggests weakness, signs of instability, and uncontrolled blowback. The SARG,s argument (usually used after terror attacks in Syria) that it too is a victim of terrorism should be used against it to give greater prominence to increasing signs of instability within Syria. ¶4. (S) CONCLUSION: This analysis leaves out the anti-regime Syrian Islamists because it is difficult to get an accurate picture of the threat within Syria that such groups pose. They are certainly a long-term threat. While it alludes to the vulnerabilities that Syria faces because of its alliance with Iran, it does not elaborate fully on this topic. The bottom line is that Bashar is entering the new year in a stronger position than he has been in several years, but those strengths also carry with them — or sometimes mask ) vulnerabilities. If we are ready to capitalize, they will offer us opportunities to disrupt his decision-making, keep him off-balance, and make him pay a premium for his mistakes. ROEBUCK

“That night I saw armed people getting out a caravan of buses… Islamists on the road to Paradise,”

Al Qaeda’s Turkish base?

dw

The target of stray bullets and shells coming from Syria, the small Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar has also turned into a hub for Islamist militants – allegedly backed by Ankara.

Ceylanpinar

From Nevroz Algiç’s restaurant one can taste the spicy local food while enjoying the best views over the front line, literally across the street. The fighting is so close that gunfire can still be heard over the arabesque music blaring out of the loudspeakers.

 

Located 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) southeast of Ankara, Ceylanpinar was once known for its gigantic agricultural complex. However, this city with a population of 40,000 is now yet another victim of the Syrian war. Since October 2012, four residents have been killed and dozens have been wounded by stray bullets, mortars and rockets.

“Before the new teachers would eat here and stay in this guesthouse but none of them wants to come here now. No one knows when the shooting will start or when will it finish,” Algiç tells DW. The bullet holes on these walls are a stark reminder of what’s happening round the corner. Still, material losses are not that important.

“My husband was wounded by shrapnel, my 10-year-old son is traumatized by the explosions and the older one quit university,” adds Algiç, sitting next to one of the broken windows. Behind her, a cargo train slowly moves across the no-man’s land between Turkey and Syria.

It was actually the Orient Express railway, built in 1911, that would help draw the borders of Syria and Turkey 10 years later. Berlin and Baghdad were finally connected but the Kurdish town of Serekaniye was cut in two: the one in Turkey was called Ceylanpinar, its Syrian counterpart was named Ras al Ayn.

On the road to Paradise

Like most others here, Mehmet also has cross-border family ties. The civil servant, who prefers not to disclose his full name, claims that the situation started worsening on a particular night last October.

“That night I saw armed people getting out a caravan of buses. I immediately called the police but they told me not to worry and said that everything was under control,” he told DW. Other residents also spotted armed men crossing the border into Syria. Apparently, they all got the same answer from the local security forces: ‘everything is under control.'”

“We often see buses around with all their curtains drawn. I have no doubt that their passengers are says Mehmet with a sad smile. He criticizes the “silence of the Turkish media on Ankara’s dark moves,” as he puts it.

“Here it’s not about rebels fighting [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad, it’s Jabhat al-Nusraan armed group close to al Qaeda – and Syrian Kurdish fighters engaging in brutal clashes.”

Many believe that Turkey is providing a haven to al- Qaeda-affiliated fighters

From the beginning of the uprising in March 2011, Syria’s Kurds vowed a “third way” – neither with Assad, nor with the insurgents. Theirs is a neutral position that has led to clashes with both sides, but in July 2012 they took over their stronghold areas, in the north of the country.

The YPG – the main Kurdish militia group – and the Free Syrian Army signed a ceasefire on July 12 in Ras al Ayn but Jabhat al-Nusra distanced iself from the truce.

Many local residents told DW that Ankara is hosting Jabhat al-Nusra fighters in a camp near an unchecked border crossing west of Ceylanpinar.

Ibrahim Polat, a local journalist for the Dicle News Agency, says the allegations are true and adds that Ankara’s alleged backing of Islamists goes even further:

“During the last months hundreds of fighters have been taken by Turkish ambulances from Syria to Ceylanpinar hospital and those with more serious injuries were taken to Balikdigol hospital in Sanliurfa, the provincial capital. Kurdish militiaman are systematically rejected in the local hospitals so they are taken to Qamishlo, Syria’s main Kurdish city,” he told DW.

Anonymous sources from both medical centers told DW that there are no wounded fighters in Ceylanpinar, but that several of them are still being treated in Sanliurfa.

“Dirty War”

From his office, Musa Çeri, District Governor and member of the AKP, the ruling party in Turkey, dismisses such claims as “false rumors.”

“It is ridiculous to believe that Turkey could possibly back terrorist groups of any kind. My government would never do such a thing,” he told DW, adding that the government of Ankara is “only” struggling to address the ever-growing number of Syrian refugees on Turkish soil – over 200,000 according to UN figures. “Our religion, Islam, compels us to meet the people’s needs,” he says.

Nonetheless, he doesn’t hide his concern for what he considers to be Turkey’s “most pressing terrorist threat.”

“The Syrian Kurdish fighters are nothing but a branch of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party. If they finally get strong in their areas, they can easily conduct terrorists attacks against us across the border,” he explains. One of Ankara’s biggest fears, he says, is a Kurdish autonomous region similar to that in northern Iraq on Syrian soil.

Arslan fears the social fabric of his town is falling apart

Meanwhile, Ismail Arslan, Ceylanpinar’s mayor, says his town is paying a high price for the war.

“There have been dead and wounded but people also move elsewhere, shops and business fold, property prices collapse.” And there is another price to pay, he says. “In Ceylanpinar, 60 percent are Kurds and 30 percent Arabs while Assyrians, Turks and members of other nationalities comprise the remaining 10 percent. The nature of the conflict is fuelling mistrust among us and causing a split between our people.”

Arslan says he prefers not to comment on the alleged camp nearby, but denounces Ankara’s role in the area.

“Turkey claims to be a democratic country but it is involved in a very dirty war,” he says. “I’m afraid our problems won’t end until Ankara stops supporting al-Qaeda-affiliated groups inside Syria.”

DW.DE

White House Claims “Defense Articles and Services” for Syrian Terrorists Are Non-Lethal In Nature

Statement by the NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on the Presidential Determination with Respect to Syria

white house

Today, the President signed a Presidential Determination exercising his authority to waive certain restrictions under the Arms Export Control Act.  This action will allow the U.S. Government to provide or license, where appropriate, certain non-lethal assistance inside or related to Syria.  This includes:  1) chemical weapons-related personal protective equipment to international organizations, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for the conduct of their operations; 2) chemical weapons-related life-saving assistance for organizations implementing Department of State or U.S. Agency for International Development programs to strengthen local Syrian health care providers’ ability to prepare for and respond to any use of chemical weapons; and 3) defensive chemical weapons-related training and personal protective equipment to select vetted members of the Syrian opposition, including the Supreme Military Council, to protect against the use of chemical weapons.  This action is part of longstanding and ongoing efforts to provide life-saving chemical weapons-related assistance to people in need in Syria.

Presidential Determination — Syria

white house

September 16, 2013

Presidential Determination
No. 2013-15

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

SUBJECT: Provision of Defense Articles and Services to Vetted Members of the Syrian Opposition for Use in Syria to Prevent the Use or Proliferation of Chemical Weapons and Related Materials, Organizations Implementing U.S. Department of State or U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Programs Inside or Related to Syria, and International Organizations for their Use Inside or Related to Syria

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including sections 40(g) and 40A(b) of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), I hereby:

  • determine that the transaction, encompassing the provision of defense articles and defense services to vetted members of the Syrian opposition; organizations implementing U.S. Department of State or USAID programs inside or related to Syria; and international organizations necessary for the conduct of their operations inside or related to Syria, or to prevent the preparation, use, or proliferation of Syria’s chemical weapons, is essential to the national security interests of the United States;
  • waive the prohibitions in sections 40 and 40A of the AECA related to such a transaction; and
  • delegate to the Secretary of State the responsibility under section 40(g)(2) of the AECA to consult with and submit reports to the Congress for proposed exports, 15 days prior to authorizing them to proceed, that are necessary for and within the scope of this waiver determination and the transaction referred to herein.

You are authorized and directed to publish this determination in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA

Obama Waives Constitutional Law To Openly Arm the International Terrorist Army In Syria

[Thanks to the Washington Examiner for breaking the following revelation.  Obama has openly moved to arm the Syrian terrorists by issuing the following waiver on the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act, which outlaws the provision of weapons to “international terrorists.”  Based solely upon Obama’s promise that he knows which of the Syrian outlaws are not terrorists, Obama openly steps outside Constitutional law, and embraces the international terrorists who are waging a war of aggression against the government of Syria.  Obama is siding with war criminals, in order to wage a criminal war of aggression, all in the name of “stopping war crimes.”  It is Obama and the Saudis who are responsible for the criminal war in Syria. 

For the sake of whatever remains of our shredded Constitution, I call upon all residents of the United States to rise-up and to do whatever you can to become an impediment to Obama’s war of aggression.]

Obama waives ban on arming terrorists to allow aid to Syrian opposition

washington examiner

By JOEL GEHRKE

Presidential Determination Syria

aeca.    link to Arms Export Control Act

Sec. 40.

231

Transactions With Countries Supporting Acts of

International Terrorism.

(a) PROHIBITED

TRANSACTIONS BY THE

UNITED

STATES

GOVERNMENT

.

The following transactions by the United States Govern-

ment are prohibited:

(1) Exporting or otherwise providing (by sale, lease or loan,

grant, or other means), directly or indirectly, any munitions

item to a country described in subsection (d) under the author-

ity of this Act, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, or any other

law (except as provided in subsection (h)). In implementing

this paragraph, the United States Government

(A) shall suspend delivery to such country of any such

item pursuant to any such transaction which has not been

completed at the time the Secretary of State makes the de-

termination described in subsection (d), and

(B) shall terminate any lease or loan to such country of

any such item which is in effect at the time the Secretary

of State makes that determination.

(2) Providing credits, guarantees, or other financial assist-

ance under the authority of this Act, the Foreign Assistance

Act of 1961, or any other law (except as provided in subsection

(h)), with respect to the acquisition of any munitions item by

a country described in subsection (d). In implementing this

paragraph, the United States Government shall suspend ex-

penditures pursuant to any such assistance obligated before

the Secretary of State makes the determination described in

subsection (d). The President may authorize expenditures oth-

erwise required to be suspended pursuant to the preceding sen-

tence if the President has determined, and reported to the Con-

gress, that suspension of those expenditures causes undue fi-

nancial hardship to a supplier, shipper, or similar person and

allowing the expenditure will not result in any munitions item

being made available for use by such country.

(3) Consenting under section 3(a) of this Act, under section

505(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, under the regula-

tions issued to carry out section 38 of this Act, or under any

other law (except as provided in subsection (h)), to any transfer

of any munitions item to a country described in subsection (d).

In implementing this paragraph, the United States Govern-

ment shall withdraw any such consent, which is in effect at the

time the Secretary of State makes the determination described

in subsection (d), except that this sentence does not apply with

respect to any item that has already been transferred to such

country.

(4) Providing any license or other approval under section 38

of this Act for any export or other transfer (including by means

of a technical assistance agreement, manufacturing licensing

agreement, or coproduction agreement) of any munitions item

to a country described in subsection (d). In implementing this

paragraph, the United States Government shall suspend any

such license or other approval which is in effect at the time the

Secretary of State makes the determination described in sub-

section (d), except that this sentence does not apply with re-

spect to any item that has already been exported or otherwise

transferred to such country.

(5) Otherwise facilitating the acquisition of any munitions

item by a country described in subsection (d). This paragraph

applies with respect to activities undertaken

(A) by any department, agency, or other instrumentality

of the Government,

(B) by any officer or employee of the Government (in-

cluding members of the United States Armed Forces), or

(C) by any other person at the request or on behalf of

the Government.

The Secretary of State may waive the requirements of the second

sentence of paragraph (1), the second sentence of paragraph (3),

and the second sentence of paragraph (4) to the extent that the

Secretary determines, after consultation with the Congress, that

unusual and compelling circumstances require that the United

States Government not take the actions specified in that sentence.

(b) PROHIBITED

TRANSACTIONS BY

UNITED

STATES

PERSONS

.

(1) I

N GENERAL

.

A United States person may not take any

of the following actions:

(A) Exporting any munitions item to any country de-

scribed in subsection (d).

(B) Selling, leasing, loaning, granting, or otherwise pro-

viding any munitions item to any country described in sub-

section (d).

(C) Selling, leasing, loaning, granting, or otherwise pro-

viding any munitions item to any recipient which is not

the government of or a person in a country described in

subsection (d) if the United States person has reason to

know that the munitions item with be made available to

any country described in subsection (d).

(D) Taking any other action which would facilitate the

acquisition, directly or indirectly, of any munitions item by

the government of any country described in subsection (d),

or any person acting on behalf of that government, if the

United States person has reason to know that that action

will facilitate the acquisition of that item by such a gov-

ernment or person.

The President may waive the prohibitions con-

tained in this section with respect to a specific transaction if

(1) the President determines that the transaction is essential

to the national security interests of the United States; and

(2) not less than 15 days prior to the proposed transaction,

the President

(A) consults with the Committee on Foreign Affairs

238

of

the House of Representatives and the Committee on For-

eign Relations of the Senate; and

(B) submits to the Speaker of the House of Representa-

tives and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Rela-

tions of the Senate a report containing

(i) the name of any country involved in the proposed

transaction, the identity of any recipient of the items

to be provided pursuant to the proposed transaction,

and the anticipated use of those items;

(ii) a description of the munitions items involved in

the proposed transaction (including their market

value) and the actual sale price at each step in the

transaction (or if the items are transferred by other

than sale, the manner in which they will be provided);

(iii) the reasons why the proposed transaction is es-

sential to the national security interests of the United

States and the justification for such proposed trans-

action;

(iv) the date on which the proposed transaction is

expected to occur; and

(v) the name of every United States Government de-

partment, agency, or other entity involved in the pro-

posed transaction, every foreign government involved

in the proposed transaction, and every private party

with significant participation in the proposed trans-

action.

S
EC
. 40A.
242
T
RANSACTIONS
W
ITH
C
OUNTRIES
N
OT
F
ULLY
C
O
OPERATING
W
ITH
U
NITED
S
TATES
A
NTITERRORISM
E
FFORTS
.
(a) P
ROHIBITED
T
RANSACTIONS
.
No defense article or defense
service may be sold or licensed for export under this Act in a fiscal
year to a foreign country that the President determines and cer-
tifies to Congress, by May 15 of the calendar year in which that
fiscal year begins, is not cooperating fully with United States
antiterrorism efforts.
(b) W
AIVER
.
The President may waive the prohibition set forth
in subsection (a) with respect to a specific transaction if the Presi-
dent determines that the transaction is important to the national
interests of the United States.

Pakistan’s Real Enemy

 

“IF you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” — Sun Tzu (524-496 BC)

IN the 21st century, the Chinese general’s musings ring very true in the context of our own predicament in the northwestern tribal land.

The identity of the enemy that has kept us engaged in an internecine conflict for over a decade in our backyard is as clear as day, and yet we prefer to dither.

Many politicians and armchair Fata analysts keep referring to the situation in the tribal hinterland as an uprising by tribesmen whereas ground realities indicate that the composition of the opposing forces is very different to what they imagine.

Ironically, the controversial drone strikes have given us several leads regarding the true identity of the enemy but vital information gets lost in the heated debate surrounding the legality of the lethal technology. A majority of the casualties of the two most recent drone strikes this month were non-local militants who had come from as far as Central Asia to the Arab lands.

If that were not enough, the number of tribal people who have been displaced by the unrest in the tribal areas should have convinced those who keep harping on the ludicrous theme of the nature of the seemingly insoluble problem.

The malaise that has struck the tribal territory on a straight line from the Bajaur and Mohmand agencies in the north to South Waziristan Agency has rendered more than a million people internally displaced.

At any given period of time over the last 10 years, perhaps one in every three persons from the seven tribal agencies has been found to be living as an IDP in camps across the settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The living conditions in the camps have been so deplorable that it has moved even the otherwise stolid civil servants.

An officer who appeared to have been greatly touched by the tragic events, recently disclosed that tribal women rendered homeless by the unrest in the Bara region had been forced into begging. “This is a catastrophe,” the officer was heard to remark.

How could the so-called valiant and formidable tribesmen of yore be today forced to leave their hearths and homes? The question needs to be probed — and not only from a strategic point of view. It is one that also requires a meticulous study by students of anthropology.

The findings could lead us to some very useful information. It is quite likely that such information would reveal that the tribesman has undergone a marked change in lifestyle due to easy access to an urban culture that has been made possible by modern means of communication.

If anything, the recent phase in the tribesman’s life could also expose a docile nature as he is found to have forsaken his home under pressure from outsiders, and done so with little or absolutely no resistance. This would have been unimaginable until recently.

The narrative over the years suggests that the authorities tasked with looking after Fata seem bent on keeping the residents of the tribal agencies in the shackles of a primitive tribalism as otherwise there remains very little that distinguishes the so-called tribesmen from their Pakhtun brethren in the settled areas.

The design appears to be to keep the tribal land as jinxed territory to further the ambitions of some who cannot think beyond the level of the dreaded lowest grade revenue official called patwari.

With the approach of the withdrawal of US-led Nato forces in 2014, tribalism will need to be revisited. No one can afford to let matters be as they are today.

An officer who has served as a political agent in two tribal agencies deeply regrets his two stints. He holds the political agent and the malik system responsible for the underdevelopment of the tribal areas and the subjugation of its people by brute force resulting in inexorable corruption.

“I am going to write on how the political agent-malik combined has mutilated the tribal fabric,” the determined officer has resolved.

It is indeed very intriguing how many tempting possibilities there exist for the patwari, an official possessed of the powers to turn landlords into paupers and vice versa, to rise in rank and serve as the political agent in the tribal area.

It would be simply outrageous to keep entrusting the fate of the tribal lands to the patwari in the post-2014 period. It would in fact amount to continuing to disrespect the intellect of the people of Fata who can now compete with people from settled areas in all spheres of life.

In the days to come, Pakistan will have to decide between keeping tribalism in place and permanent stability across the country. The enemy in the tribal land stands identified — it’s not the tribesmen but the disgruntled zealots from other parts of the country as well as from abroad.

Successive governments in KP have, without mincing words, blamed the unrest in the province on lawlessness in the bordering tribal areas. Fata’s educated and law-abiding people alone hold the key to security and development in their area, and not the artful political agent.

The writer is a freelance contributor.

Giving away Pak territory to Taliban

Giving away Pak territory to Taliban

frontier post

A day ago, Islamabad was so confident of the good intentions of Taliban towards peace talks that it announced to withdraw troops from the tribal areas and Malakand; Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar was so sure of the militants\’ desire for peace that his only worry was about some forces trying to sabotage the peace process.
Today, the TTP, to show its resolve for peace and reciprocate the peaceful intentions of Islamabad, blasted to martyrdom a Major General Sanaullah Niazi, Lieutenant Colonel Touseef and a sepoy in Lower Dir. TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid confirmed that the gruesome act was carried out by his organisation.
Who will Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan blame for this recent act of terrorism because it was not the US, Indian or Isreali agents who planted the bomb which killed two very senior officers of our Army; it was the Taliban. It is the Taliban who don\’t want the talks to succeed. Their consent to talk is a PR stunt and a ploy to buy time to regroup.
This paper in its editorial Futility of talks with militants of 15th August 2013 said, \”The Taliban refuse to accept our Constitution, political, education systems and our life style as Islamic. …annihilation of Pakistani nation, God forbid, will be good riddance for them. They, also, are not even ready to stop suicide attacks on innocent civilians, and our important and sensitive installations as they offer talks for peace.\”
Events are proving that the Frontier Post (FP) was right, unfortunately. FP was started to give a true picture to the people of the situation in the country and the intentions of the enemy from within and out. It will continue to do so.
The Frontier Post warns the government that it will be an irreversible mistake if it withdraws the armed forces and cause irreparable damage to the country. The troops\’ presence in Fata and Malakand has stalled the advances of the terrorists and given some respite to the tribes and the people of the rest of the country. Besides, the positions our army now hold, cost thousands of troops their lives. It has also saved lives of countless tribesmen and the people of Malakand. We should remember the bloody situation in Swat before the army, after a major operation, retook the valley. Will even after the recent terrorist act in Dir, the government still commit the folly of withdrawing forces from Malakand or any part of the tribal areas? Fazalullah is still alive and commanding terrorists from Afghanistan. It is certain that the bomb was planted by his men. The TTP owns the terrorist act, which tells us the terrorists are all the same and united against us. They have no remorse over the innocent lives they took or the grave harm they did to the state of Pakistan. They, rather, hope and plan to continue with their hateful activities.
The attitude of Taliban towards the talk is so negative that even if the government agrees to continue its peaceful efforts after such violent acts, the militants\’ have made their violent intentions clear. Sources, say that Taliban are of the view that they will be putting up demands and Islamabad will have to accept these and also that Pakistan government will not be allowed to put counter demands. The Taliban also are openly propagating the lie that it was Pakistan which started the war against them. They also claim that it was Pakistan which offered peace talks and it was for Islamabad to announce a one-sided ceasefire.
The Taliban will never agree to peace unless they are beaten in war. Right now they feel upbeat about their chances of victory. Our peace offer has only raised their spirit.
Our offer to withdraw troops has given the Taliban victory even before the talks have begun. If the US is talking with Afghan Taliban, it is because it wants its interests and the troops, it is leaving in Afghanistan after 2014, to be safe. It is not handing over American territory to the Taliban. If, however, our Army leaves the tribal areas, it will be giving Pak territory to the Taliban. That is what the terrorists want: to control a territory from where they can launch bigger attacks on Pakistan. This is what the US wants: a hostile territory from where hostile forces can constantly operate to keep Pakistan forever unstable. Nawaz Sharif will be playing in the hands of both the Taliban and the US if he withdraws troops from Fata and Malakand.
Instead of raising false hopes of peace through dialogue, the government should do the sensible and brave thing; it should make the nation ready for decisive but long-drawn war.

The Self-Delusion That Passes for Peace

[Pakistan is doomed.]

The peace delusion

dawn

WHILE approaching our problem of terror and courting peace in earnest there is no room for false bravado. Why object to state functionaries sitting down with disaffected citizens if that can sort out misconceptions that have angered or deluded them into declaring war on the state?

Didn’t Clausewitz, the god of war wisdom, settle once and for all that ‘war is merely the continuation of policy by other means’? So if policy can be pursued by peace talks why yelp for internecine bloodletting?

The logical critique of the inane resolution produced by the all-party conference (APC) isn’t rooted in the desire for vengeance or a conceited notion of honor. An eye-for-an-eye doesn’t produce justice or peace, but revenge. When a state punishes criminals it is not for a singular object but for a whole range of considerations including retribution for wrongful actions, closure for victims, deterring crime to maintain peace in society and reforming the recalcitrant. The moral argument against peace talks is weak.

The loss of over 40,000 citizens and soldiers is an unspeakable tragedy. But wars always produce casualties. If the argument that all blood shed in war must be avenged were to hold, no war would ever end. The paramount obligation of the state is not to fathom the best way to mourn or honour the dead, but to protect the life and liberty of the living. And if as a nation we are unsure whether our Constitution, the sovereignty of our state and a tolerant society are worthy causes, isn’t the choice between war and peace a fake one?

In other words why go to war over pursuit of a policy when the policy is up for negotiation if unacceptable to our adversary. So if we are willing to remodel the vision and future of Pakistan, its laws, political system, foreign policy and social norms, as desired by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), why fight? The critics of the APC’s romantic notion of peace through talks are neither opposed to peace nor talks. Their argument is that there is no real likelihood of talks succeeding and their failure will produce dividends for the TTP.

And in case a miracle happens and talks succeed, the terms on which peace will be secured will either be unsustainable or will require altering the vision for the future of Pakistan in a manner that will be nothing less than complete surrender to the forces of regression and intolerance. The APC resolution thus reinforces the harrowing sense that our national leadership either utterly lacks comprehension of the problem facing us or those at the helm have adopted Madame de Pompadour’s approach to problem solving: ‘after us, the deluge’.

The seeds of militancy and terror were not sown in 2001 when Pakistan elected to side with the US ‘war on terror’. That choice only exposed a design flaw in our national security thinking. We sowed the seeds of militancy when, encouraged by the US in the 1980s, we decided to brainwash, train and employ jihadis in pursuit of our national security policy in Afghanistan. Unlike mercenaries motivated by money or a regular soldier under military discipline, the jihadi militant was manufactured without a ‘turn-off’ switch.

If jihad against infidel Russia was right in the 1980s how could jihad against infidel Yanks be wrong in 2001? It was not jihadists who rebelled against the state; it was the state that rebelled against a just religious cause by agreeing to sleep with the enemy, the jihadists argue. The point is that a state cannot share monopoly over violence with any private militia, whether motivated by religion or not, precisely because it cannot allow a private group to challenge its foreign or security policy backed by threat of use of force.

Our problem of militancy won’t end with the end of the US war in Afghanistan. It won’t end till there exist armed private militias in Pakistan inspired by the virile belief that they have a legitimate right to forcefully change state policies, our political and legal system or social norms, and possess the means to do so.

There can be no sustainable peace in Pakistan so long as the state views religion-inspired militants as a useful weapon that can be controlled and put to good use in the national interest. There can be no sustainable peace till the state is open to allowing militants self-governed sanctuaries in our bad outlands or urban pockets. There can be no sustainable peace if it is a product of the courtesy or mercy shown by militants and not their diminished capacity to inflict violence.

There can be no peace till the state willingly tolerates violence and hatemongering in the name of religion. There can be no peace till the state continues looking away as our foreign Muslim friends fund and patronise sectarian groups in Pakistan. And there can be no peace if it hangs on the promise to implement the Sharia, when there is no agreement in the country over what that means. Shouldn’t the APC have addressed some of these thorny matters?

The manner in which the APC has endorsed unconditional talks with the TTP creates two problems. One, it legitimises the pro-terror narrative that has confused and polarised our nation ie terrorists might be mistaken in killing fellow citizens, but that is understandable because they are so incensed by wrongful state policies. And two, it is terrorists who are setting conditions and defining the framework of talks and not the state, and as a consequence if talks fail the onus will be on the state.

The most charitable assessment of the APC could have been that the sense of tolerance and accommodation exhibited by the APC will cultivate public opinion in favour of use of force in case talks fail. But the manner in which the TTP has responded, our tyrants might just be ahead of our leaders even when it comes to shaping public opinion. Maybe we are being needlessly cynical and our leadership is working with a grand strategy: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

The writer is a lawyer. sattar@post.harvard.edu Twitter: @ babar_sattar

Saudi King’s Bloodlust for Assad Reveals Deep Royal Hatred For Democracy and Diplomacy

saudi creep

Saudis Shun Diplomacy in Syria Crisis

voa

Elizabeth Arrott

 

CAIRO — Saudi Arabia has backed Syria’s rebels in a civil war that has directly affected much of the region, but with little transparency in the kingdom, its precise role remains unclear.While many across the Middle East welcome the diplomatic push for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons, Riyadh, one of the strongest supporters of U.S. military intervention against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is not happy about the switch from strikes to talks.

“[The Saudis] estimate that the deal over chemical weapons is, one, not feasible, but, two, makes it even harder to intervene and brings Bashar al-Assad back into the bargaining game, which is their biggest problem,” says Emile Hokayem, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “They’ve spent the past two and half years trying to delegitimize Assad, and that deal turns Assad into a partner.”

According to Hokayem, Saudi leaders had wanted an even bigger military campaign against Assad than the limited strikes outlined by the U.S.

It’s a dynamic that has played out throughout the conflict: Saudis giving money and weapons to the full spectrum of Syria’s rebels, with the U.S. apparently taking a more cautious approach.

Riyadh’s logic is partially sectarian, with the kingdom’s Sunni leaders arming the mainly Sunni rebels: An offensive against Assad, of the Shi’ite-offshoot Alawite sect, could tip the balance of power in a stalemate that has neighboring countries lined up largely along religious lines.

But political scientist Christian Donath, of the American University in Cairo, thinks current U.S. plans would fail to do that.

“I don’t know whether the U.S. strikes are going to have any kind of effect, specifically on the sectarian tension, or whether it essentially will just serve to weaken to some extent the Assad regime’s military capacity,” he says.

Saudi animosity is not aimed exclusively at Syria’s government, but also at Assad’s biggest regional backer, Iran, a Shi’ite-led Saudi rival. Syria also receives additional help from Shi’ite Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon.

But political analyst Hokayem says it’s not all about religion.

“The regime of Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah have allowed Iran to become a primary power in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he says. “And there’s a sense that if you win in Syria, you win the entire Levant because Syria is the big power there.”

But other analysts say there may be no winning a regional struggle for dominance.

“Saudi Arabia is rich in oil, but their military capability, their soft power and their model is weak,” says Mustafa Labbad, director of the Al Sharq Center for Regional and Strategic Studies. “So everyone is ambitious but no single country can play a regional role as it is described in international relations and strategy.”

But that hasn’t kept Saudi Arabia, or its rivals, from trying.

Turkish Prosecutor Charges Syria Rebels Ordered 10 Tons of Sarin Nerve Agent In Turkey

Turkish prosecutor: Syria rebels ordered 10 tons of sarin nerve agent in Turkey

Abna news

A Turkish prosecutor has filed a report to the court in southern Turkish city of Adana, showing Syria militants have been ordering and receiving chemical material from Turkey. 
 Turkish prosecutor: Syria rebels ordered 10 tons of sarin nerve agent in Turkey

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – A Turkish prosecutor has filed a report to the court in southern Turkish city of Adana, showing Syria militants have been ordering and receiving chemical material from Turkey.On May 28 Turkish security forces found a 2-kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of terrorists from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front who were previously detained.

According to media reports, sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian militants detained in provinces of Adana and Mersia following a search by Turkish police.

Five Turks and a Syrian citizen, named Haitam Kassapwho, who were arrested on the case for allegations of buying chemical weapons in Turkey, have pleaded not guilty, according to the English-language Hurriyet Daily News, which quoted from the indictment.

Prosecution attorney objected the ruling and presented the court with a 132-page document which contained evidence of the suspects’ links to terrorist groups in Syria including al-Nusra Front and al-Qaeda-linked Islamic States on Iraq and Levant (Ahrar al-Sham), a report by the Voice of Russia said.

The document says that radical Salafis groups set up a channel for carrying out terrorist attacks inside Turkey.

According to the document al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham group had tried to buy large amounts of sarin nerve gas and chemical substances used in manufacturing poisonous materials.

The prosecution believes that the suspects have links to Syrian groups close to al-Qaeda and their leaders and were buying chemical materilas from Turkey to send into Syria.

Citing telephone calls made by the suspects, the document shows they ordered at least ten tons of chemicals in total.

“The claim that the suspects didn’t know about the possibility of producing sarin nerve gas from the chemicals they tried to buy is not true which was established when they were testifying,” the document says.

Syrian government has already filed several reports to the United Nations on multiple chemical attacks carried out by foreign-backed militants during the bloody insurgency that has gripped the country since March 2011.

Conflicting reports of an alleged chemical attack near Syrian capital emerged on August 21, which the anti-Syria militants blamed on the Syrian government and prompted US threats of attacking the country.

Syria has categorically denied using chemical weapons and says the attack was a false-flag operation by the militants to open the way for US military action.

On Friday Syria become a full member of the global anti-chemical weapons treaty to show its commitment to ban of using chemical weapons.

‘Fortress Hezbollah’—A Reasonable Resistance In Unreasonable Situation

On ‘Fortress Hezbollah’

FOREIGN POLICY JOURNAL

by Mohammad I. Aslam

The scene of a bombing in south Beirut, August 15, 2013 (AP)

The scene of a bombing in south Beirut, August 15, 2013 (AP)

Even as the fatalities from the last deadly terrorist bomb attack on Beirut’s southern suburbs were being counted, the latest addition to the string of volcanic eruptions that interspersedly emanate from the political and media spheres of those opposed to the powerful Hezbollah movement began to seethe.

As expected, it was void of anything to do with the depths of condolences that should be offered to the families of those killed, or even updates on the potential setting-up of blood donor banks for the dozens maimed in the atrocity that targeted innocent civilians.

Instead, the latest gripe was premised on accusations that Hezbollah had arbitrarily erecting a ‘fortress-like’ security zone around its constituency areas in Beirut—as a barrier to ward off the potential for another attack taking place.

Now considering the severity of the situation in the country and the vulnerability of Hezbollah, an open protagonist in two conflicts in and outside of Lebanon, to potential bomb and missile attacks from Al Qaeda-affiliated extremists, the nature of these accusations certainly warrant a little clarity.

Background

Preceding the 2000 liberation of South Lebanon and for a short while after, Hezbollah indeed had de facto security zones in collaboration with the Lebanese army in Dahiyeh (Beirut’s southern suburbs), as well as autonomous positions which they still secretly maintain, proximate to both the southern border with Israel and the eastern one with Syria.

A common sight around Beirut (Photo courtesy of the author)

A common sight around Beirut (Photo courtesy of the author)

However, in the period that followed the 2000 liberation and even in the aftermath of the 2006 war, Hezbollah voluntarily acquiesced to demands that it give way to joint security controls with the Lebanese army in the manning of these overt security positions, particularly a special security zone located in the neighborhood of Haret Hreik—the epicenter of the movements political administration.

This is not to say that Hezbollah played no part, or was not involved in, the coordinating of intelligence with the state authorities for the protection of these sensitive locations.

Being the most powerful military force in the country, with armaments, capabilities, logistics and technical knowhow that supersedes the fragile Lebanese military almost five times over; it was only natural that it contributed to these efforts by virtue of its successive designation as the country’s ‘national resistance’.

The Syrian spillover

Although resulting from of its tactical victory in the 2006 war against mighty Israel, Hezbollah had all but neutralized any serious threat of overt and covert attacks on its sensitive locations in the country; the foreign-backed civil war in Syria changed the equation drastically.

Threats of retribution on the part of Al Qaeda-linked groups against Hezbollah for its assistance to the Syrian armed forces in specific battles soon became a reality.

What began as the indiscriminate firing of crude rockets and roadside bombings directed at Hezbollah interests in its constituent areas of Beirut and the Bekaa valley culminated into two massive car bombings on its suburban Beirut stronghold, the last of which killed at least 27 innocent civilians on August 15th.

The location of the attacks were obviously designed to render the movement’s largely Shi’ite support base into a perception that the cost of supporting them has become too exorbitant, and the only way to avoid further calamities is to pressure them en masse to disengage from the Syrian conflict.

And with Hezbollah acknowledging the terrorists game plan, it exerted efforts beyond the nominal joint state-resistance agreement to share security, to prevent further attacks which the culprits executed largely owing to the lack of overt preventative measures previously employed by Hezbollah.

Hezbollah’s response

If their adversaries are to be believed, you’d get the impression that Hezbollah was unilaterally setting up a garrison state, erecting infantry fortifications, building fences and walls ringed with electrocution wires and deploying vigilante groups to administer population lock downs and interrogation dungeons, all in the quest for absolute security.

The idea behind the carefully worded propaganda is to present a picture of the movement manipulating the threat of terrorist attacks in order to set up autonomous zones akin to that of a state-within-state.

In reality, the movement hasn’t even remotely established anything their adversaries have gone to great lengths to depict, despite the type of monstrosity which al Qaeda and its evil breed promulgated most vividly on that quiet evening last month.

Truth be told, the overt measures are a mere composition of extra security cordons at almost every entrance to its suburban strongholds and manned by both civilian and uniformed individuals from its affiliated “Union of Municipalities of the Southern Suburbs”, in liaison with security and intelligence personnel from the Lebanese state and Hezbollah itself.

In practice, its materialized into a number of measures all designed to maintain security without causing too much disruption in the daily lives of residents and includes the following:

  1. The stopping and searching of almost every individual and vehicle intending to enter Dahiyeh, both for the iterative process of cross-checking identification as well as using bomb-sniffing dogs and sophisticated detection devices to check for explosive ordnance.
  2. Random stop and searches of suspect individuals in close proximity to these very check-posts or streets leading towards them, fearing they could be terrorist reconnaissance missions.
  3. The imposition of semi-permanent concrete Jersey barriers, a maze of metallic steel security barricades and mobile road blockers all designed to thwart the potential for land borne attacks such as suicide vehicle bombs.
  4. The requesting of feedback from residents of the area with regard to their vehicle/s registration and type, a measure used to prevent unidentified vehicle parking as well as intercepting unauthorized ones.

Naturally, considering the residents of the densely populated southern suburbs amount to just shy of one million people, the increased security arrangements will, by virtue of their very nature, both occasionally clog streets with cars awaiting entrance and make some disruption in the everyday movements of people.

But the counter-argument is that anything but these measures will furnish potential Al Qaeda-inspired car bombers with unfettered access to their localities, which would amount to a suicidal course of action considering their precedent so far, like that in Iraq where they’ve mercilessly slaughtered thousands, is rooted in only two-gear shifts: brutalize or kill.

In this regard, and as any serious analyst of the country’s security dilemmas would note, it’s difficult to fault Hezbollah for their concurrent preoccupation with preventative security.

The show of organized force at entrances to Dahiyeh is not about Hezbollah trying to isolate itself and/or its vote bank.

On the contrary, it’s clearly an attempt by the movement to raise residents morale vis-à-vis the conflicting feelings that some will no doubt be having concerning the striking of a correct balance between individual safety and the liberty to carry out the the errands of daily life.

The unprecedented security measures are also designed to send an uncompromising message to those who orchestrated the bombings, that it’s they who will ultimately feel the despair of their actions, as Hezbollah will now readily be thwarting them without any concessions on the part of the movement’s leadership.

Despite the car bomb phobia gripping the country, no surprise considering the cross-sectarian nature and indifference of targets being hit in major cities, the aftermath of Hezbollah’s measures are still rife with accusations of what some perceive as their heavy-handedness.

The brief detaining of two Saudi nationals and a very recent gun battle near a Palestinian refugee camp that left one dead and five others wounded in the broader vicinity of the southern suburbs, are now being highlighted to arouse ill intent against the movement and its new security deterrence.

But the ultimate line is that since there is, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, a lingering threat of further attacks targeting Hezbollah and its support base in the country, it’s only natural that the movement reserves itself with the means (in the absence of a credible state alternative) to anticipate, adapt and respond to the rapidly changing security environment that it’s now confronted with.

Zawahiri—Terrorist Outcast, Calls for “Al-Qaeda” Boycott of Walmarts and Starbucks

[You kinda have to feel sorry for this obsolete former terrorist leader, even his own former organizaton ignores everything he has to say.  His own alleged henchmen in Syria ignore what he tells them to do.  He issues fatwas to his puny, perhaps nonexistent organization, to wage economic war against “the great Satan,” further demonstrating to the world just how obsolete and powerless Bin Laden’s baby has become.  Reduced to calling for Islamist volunteers to wage a jihad of papercuts and shoving bombs up each others’ asses, now Bandar has rebranded his Qaeda army as “Al-Nusra,” hoping to leave al-Qaeda’s baggage behind, especially now that the Pentagon and the Islamists openly fight on the same side, against the same targets. ]
 

Al-Qaeda calls for economic boycott of U.S.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims to continue attacking Americans in an hour-plus audio message.

An al-Qaeda leader is calling on Muslims to continue attacking Americans in the U.S. in order to attack the economy, the BBC, CBS News and other news organizations are reporting.

“To keep up the hemorrhage in America’s security and military spending, we need to keep the United States on a constant state of alert about where and when the next strike will blow,” CBS News quoted Ayman al-Zawahri as saying in an hour-plus audio message released on jihadi blogs and produced by al-Qaeda.

The message was released to mark the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, CBS reports.

The recording by Zawahri also hailed the April 15th bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line and stressed the importance of small-scale attacks as part of the terror group’s strategy, the BBC reports.

“We must bleed America economically by provoking it, so that it continues its massive expenditures on security,” Zawahri said. “America’s weak spot is its economy, which began to totter from the drain of its military and security expenditure.”

The BBC speculated that the emphasis on smaller-scale strikes might illustrate a diminished ability to carry out attacks of the same magnitude it has planned in the past.

Of the economic boycott, Zawahri said, “We must explain to them that every dollar’s worth of goods that we buy from America and her allies amounts to a bullet or shrapnel that kills a Muslim or Palestine or Afghanistan.”

Snowden nominated for Sakharov Prize

Snowden nominated for Sakharov Prize

iran-english-radio

Former NSA (National Security Agency) contractor Edward Snowden, who exposed the US’s worldwide espionage activities, has been nominated for the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Prize.

Members of the European Parliament announced Wednesday that they would officially nominate the whistleblower for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
The European MPs said Snowden risked his freedom to help protect that of other people and deserves to be honored for exposing “systematic infringements of civil liberties by US secret services”.

The European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) political group, who submitted Snowden’s candidacy, said: “Edward Snowden risked his life to confirm what we had long suspected regarding mass online surveillance, a major scandal of our times…He revealed details of violations of EU data protection law and fundamental rights.”

Snowden leaked information showing that the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conduct massive surveillance operations which monitor the phone records and Internet data of American and foreign nationals and even officials in ally nations.
The Sakharov Prize has been designated for human rights advocacy, which the parliament awards annually to honor individuals who “combat intolerance, fanaticism and oppression.”
The winner of the Sakharov Prize will be announced in October, with the recipient receiving a monetary award of €50,000.

The Syrian Army Has the Ability To Shoot-Down Waves of American Tomahawks—(Parts 1 and 2)

The Syrian army has the ability to fend off waves of Tomahawks launched by the Americans—Parts 1 & 2

the syrian free press net

“L’armée syrienne a la capacité de repousser les vagues de Tomahawks lancés par les américains ~ Partie 1/2 (FRA)”

International Network

Syrian Soldiers in Beirut The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers have on board up to 90 Tomahawk cruise missiles (TLAM) and submarine attack on Los Angeles class – 40, are not new to the Syrian army. Neither the strategic bombers B-52, which may take 20 Tomahawks (CALCM), 8 rotary launchers (there are only 8 to reduce fuel consumption) and 6 under the wings. Or that cruise missile has in memory a predetermined trajectory, the missile once released, can not be changed. Cruise missiles can be launched in salvo, but only one at a time from each destroyer and submarine (by wave of cruise missiles 5-15), the distance between them is at least 20 to 30 km . This is a safety device to prevent midair collisions.

The next wave of cruise missiles can be launched only after the first 15-20 minutes. Experience shows that less than 5-10% of cruise missiles immediately after launch, suffer from technical failure. This is why the missiles are followed accurately within the first 50-70 km by radar ship launch, and if there is more than ± 15 ° relative to the path difference inscribed in his memory, the control of destruct is triggered.

The distance between the destroyers, submarines and bombers launchers Tomahawks and objectives in Syria is covered from one hour 45 minutes to two hours. The time available is sufficient for the commanders of the air force and the Syrian defense AA to calculate with high accuracy the most probable that each Tomahawk will fly from the shore area and when. And the commanders of the Syrian Air Force will establish for each launched Tomahawk, 3-4 air service areas spread successively from an advanced Mediterranean alignment. In these air service areas are sent planes most powerful fighter with the most optimal and controlled for these purposes by the best crews Syrians equipment. There are many implementation details of a very fine, and in the planning of this flawless mission critical to the Syrian army, which, for understandable reasons, I decline to address.

For several decades, the Russian pilots serving in fighter aircraft have been trained in the procedures to intercept and destroy cruise missiles, each running at least four annual live-fire exercises in the polygon of Astrakhan on airplanes without reagents driver perfectly simulate the flight profile of the Tomahawks. Under an agreement between Nicolae Ceausescu and Kremlin officials, a rotation of two groups of 24 Romanian fighter pilots, trained to shoot down cruise missiles were tested until 1991, day and night, fire actual on air targets flying at low altitude in the polygon Astrakhan. In the last years of the Ceausescu era, Romania bought the Soviets a squadron of planes without VR-3 pilot type whose speed maneuverability and flight altitude are identical to those of the Tomahawk. Their primary mission is aerial reconnaissance and, secondarily, they used to train fighter pilots and batteries AA missiles in proceedings attack cruise missiles. For political reasons in 1995, the VR-3 had stopped flying and were then removed from the endowment. Romanian fighter pilots have ever done since 1991 until today, no real exercise to intercept air targets. With time and generational change, they all lost their skills attack cruise missiles.

http://www.ziuanews.ro/dezvaluiri-investigatii/tomahawkul-lui-ceau-escu-16411

During the Gulf War of 1991, the United States launched 35 CALCM and 288 TLAM, and military aggression of NATO against Yugoslavia in 1999, 60 and 150 CALCM TLAM were launched. While fighter pilots had reasonable capacity nor the Iraqis nor the Yugoslav pilots had been trained in the recognition and attack cruise missiles during the night and did not know their path and time of launch . So they were not able to detect and shoot down cruise missiles. If the Russians decide to spend the operating time, the coordinates of the launch and management of each cruise missiles launched by the United States, the probability for the Syrian army to slaughter will be close to 50%. This percentage may increase or tend to zero immediately, depending on the professional competence coupled with the calm displayed by the Syrian military leadership and training of pilots and commanders of batteries AA missiles in this type of mission.

The Syrian Air Force has 60 MiG-29 36 which are M/M2 and SMT versions of which have been installed equipment KOLS / OEPS-29 category (IRST search and target tracking in infrared), the rest are MiG-29 C, which have a S-31E2, less effective. OEPS-29 is based on a sensor mounted in the nose to detect air targets, independently of the operation of the radar. In the opposite hemisphere it detects distant targets 12 to 18, and up to 50 km in the rear hemisphere. In tests, in perfect weather, cooled with liquid nitrogen, OEPS-29 sensor has detected an air target 90 kilometers.

The infrared sensor is coupled to a microprocessor which controls the sweep of the airspace as a radar antenna (within ± 60 ° to the left and right and 60/-15 ° elevation). OEPS-29 is a passive receiver operation is not detected and can not be countered by interference.

60 more MiG-23 MLD and 30 Syrian MiG-25 PD have been modernized by the Russians, being provided with equipment 23MLet TP-TP-26Sh-1 infrared scanning ± 40 ° left and right and 30 / – 15 ° elevation that can detect air targets in the hemisphere opposite to 15-25 km.

One can conclude from the above that, at least in theory, the Syrians have enough time to intercept and shoot down by their own aviation tomahawks launched by the Americans. It remains to show that they want and it is up to managers to do so.

Translation: Avic

The Syrian army has the ability to fend off waves of Tomahawks launched by the U.S.. Part 2/2

International Network

ob_e41a4d_priazove-ssv-201-photo2-frank-Behrends-source-shi No reaction missile batteries and AA artillery of the Syrian army can not be understated, although Tomahawk cruise missiles are almost invisible on their radar.The device seems staged fight in the territory sectors and separate alignments.

http://www.ausairpower.net/Google-Earth/SYRIAOVERVIEW2010.jpg

Damascus, the main target of U.S. attacks targeted a densely means AA, 10 missile batteries S-75, S-125 and 8 28 2K12 batteries (Kub).

http://www.ausairpower.net/Google-Earth/SYRIADAMASCUS2010.jpg

Similarly to the southwest border with Jordan and Israel, where there is 7 batteries S-75, S-125 6 and 9 2K12 batteries (Kub).

http://www.ausairpower.net/Google-Earth/SYRIAGOLAN2010.jpg

But the north-western Syria, where there are two rows of concentric defense AA deeply installments: the coast, the Mediterranean Sea (5 batteries S-75, S-125 12, 2 S-200) and the Hims-Halab (11 Battery S-75, S-125 10, S-200 12 2K12 batteries).

http://www.ausairpower.net/Google-Earth/SYRIACOAST2010.jpg

http://www.ausairpower.net/Google-Earth/SYRIAHIMSHALAB2010.jpg

It should be noted that the fire control stations for missile batteries and AA artillery of the Syrian army have a main channel with detection radar and guidance and an electro-optical channel. Older AA systems rely on a mundane camera 9Sh38/83-2 Karat, the thermal emission sensors mounted atop a mast 21 m

http://www.ausairpower.net/PVO-SV/9A33-1T-EOS-MiroslavGyurosi-1S.jpg

In systems with medium-range AA-S Panţir, Osa 1T, Buk M2 and Thor, the guide channel of fire control stations, based on an independent research module in the infrared spectrum (1TPP1) with two sensors operating over two channels. One search is for omnidirectional airspace operating in the range of 3 to 5 microns, and the other to the strict localization of cruise missiles after thermal imprint in the range of 0.8 0.9 microns. The sensor signals are processed digitally and sent to the fire control center. The time elapsed between the detection of the target and the missile out of the ramp is 4 seconds.

http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/5007/reden5.39/0_5c000_21820f41_orig

The Syrian army has over 4000 portable missiles Russian 9K32, 9K34, and hundreds of the most modern 9K338 Igla-S variant, operators are equipped with night vision. As the cruise missile flying at 50-100 m above the terrain overflown, once detected, the probability of being shot with one portable missile with a maximum range of 5 km, is 48%.

Since 2000, Syria has worked for 10 years with the Italian company Galileo Avionica, which it has imported or produced under license, thousands of military-type infrared cameras, which only 500 were mounted on tanks and fighting machines of infantry.

In addition, the company Rosoboronexport (Russia Romarm) delivered to the Syrian army in June a list of military items, including an unusually large number of individual devices of night vision, based on a request received in March 2013 .

Recall that the time available to the commander of the Syrian AA defense for the reconfiguration of the device AA is fighting an hour, two at the most, after notification by the Russians launch and trajectory of the first wave of missiles cruise. Military art is the happy combination of knowledge of military science, skills exercised in command and above-average intelligence and imagination dose. This is the Syrian commanders AA defense to demonstrate that they have the practical mastery of the art of war. I do not venture to launch assumptions about the optimal configuration of the future defense posture AA Syrian.

Disruptive to the AA Syrian defense dynamic combat factor is interference with decoys, can generate hundreds of false targets in Syrian airspace to trigger premature reaction of the AA defense, allowing penetration necessary cruise missiles. Usually false targets before the cruise missiles 3 to 5 minutes. They depart on a predetermined path and change direction during flight not to reveal the true location of the actual objectives of the cruise missiles. This type of interference has been used successfully in Yugoslavia, wars in the Gulf and Libya by U.S. aircraft EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G Growler EC-130H Compass Call. The Israeli army used to attack targets in Syria, the Gulfstream G550 aircraft interference Shavit.

Jamming aircraft are forced to stay away from the border, beyond the reach of the Syrian AA defense. The radar aircraft interference signal is weaker and more distant than those of false targets it generates, so the automated management of the AA defense takes priority over the most dangerous target, ignoring the camera interference.

The Russian naval group in the Mediterranean constantly monitors the entire spectrum of electromagnetic emissions in the region by boat Priazovie (SSV-201).

With a combined work with electronic equipment batteries AA type S-300 aboard the cruiser Moskva, a few seconds after the start of the show jamming aircraft, crew Priazovie obtained by triangulation method, the location of each interference generator. Once identified, these targets are placed in continuous monitoring data from their trajectory are sent to all Russian ships and space command center in Armavir.

If the Russians have proposed that the Syrians will instantly information from them on the radar screens, and can eliminate all false targets and shoot down aircraft interference.

Translation: Avic

By Valentin Vasilescu , aviation pilot, former deputy commander of military forces at Otopeni Airport, graduate of Military Science at the Academy of Military Studies in Bucharest in 1992.

By Valentin Vasilescu , aviation pilot, former deputy commander of military forces at Otopeni Airport, graduate of Military Science at the Academy of Military Studies in Bucharest in 1992.