ISIL vs Nusra—Al-Qaeda In Iraq Cannibalizes Itself

Daesh and Nusra fight

 

ISIL, Nusra Clash… Who Arbitrates Who?

Al ManarAL-MANAR

Ahmad Farhat

 

Hours after assassinating Abu Khaled Al-Souri in Aleppo, North Syria, the clash took a new turn between the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” and its opponent armed groups like “Al-Nusra Front” and “the Free Ones of the Levant”, and warned of a fierce war that begins in the Levant and extends further beyond Iraq.

While lamenting the death of Souri, leader of Al-Nusra Front, Abu Mohammad Al-Joulani threatened of the worst in case they refused to refer to “arbitration”. This escalatory step was not surprising, as the developments in the Syrian field, especially concerning the warlords clash is a natural result for the Takfiri thought which rejects the other and declares war against him refusing any form of dialogue.

The significant point here is that some groups like “Al-Nusra Front” and “the Islamic Front” denied adopting the Takfiri thought and committing crimes, and held “ISIL” responsible for that.

However, the truth is that all these group adopt the same thought, a Takfiri and eliminative one, and they practice this thought on each other… executions in fields and camps, expulsions against each others’ fighters, booby-trapped cars, suicide bombers, killings among each other, and issuing Fatwas as undercovers for their crimes.

Lately, a voice record was released for head of Al-Nusra Front which is connected to Al-Qaeda, Abu Mohammad Al-Joulani, in which he was heard threatening his former “Prince” Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and demanding him to refer to the “law of Allah” or else members of the front will exile ISIL even from Iraq.

Joulani’s recording does not differ in content from a previous recording for Baghdadi, in which he called upon the armed groups to stop killing his militants or else “take note that in this state, there are men who do not accept injustice…” Baghdadi said.

By listening to the two parts, you cannot find essential differences between both speeches, even in the allegations and evidence they present, as both parts accuse one another of acting in contrary to Sharia, claim that they are being forced for war, and threaten of destruction in indication to the common mentality which has the same origin.

Speaking to Al-Manar website, Secretary General of Al-Ummah (Nation) movement, Sheikh Abdul Nasser Al-Jabri stressed that these groups adopt the term “Takfirism” to legitimize killing and destruction, and indicated that such acts are far from Islam and the Islamic Shria, as Islam preserves people’s life, blood, and honor, while those legitimize the killing of people.

Surprisingly, Al-Nusra Front demands ISIL to refer to the “Law of Allah” and to three “significant scholars” whom Joulani named in his statement and they are “Abu Mohammad Al-Maqdissi, Abu Qutada Al-Filistini, and Suleiman Al-Alwan. Who are these?

Abu Mohammad Al-Maqdissi

His real name according to some internet pages is Issam Barqawi. He is a Jordanian of a Palestinian origin, and was labeled by Saudi media in 2004 as the most important sheikh who encourages violence. He is also considered one of the most significant speculators of “Jihadi Salafism” movement which Al-Qaeda follows.

Al-Maqdissi is imprisoned in Jordan and he communicates with his supporters through letters. A letter recently released by him called for thinking over before pledging allegiance to Abu Baker Al-Baghdadi as a “general Imam for Muslims”.

Abu Qutada Al-Filistini

allegianceHis real name is Omar Mahmoud Othman, He is of a Palestinian origin and was born in Bethlehem in 1960. He was detained by the British authorities who returned him to Jordan last year. Al-Filistini is also a speculator of “Jihadi Salafism”.

Abu Qutada demanded the “prince” of ISIL to pull out his militants from Syria and called on Baghdadi’s men to join Al-Nusra Front under the banner of Joulani who on his part called him to seek reconciliation and declare war against some factions in the “Free Army”. He also called on “The Free Ones of the Levant” movement (which was established by Abu Khaled Al-Souri) to avoid any alliance with what he referred to as “secular factions”. This call was made before reporters at the beginning of this year ahead of his court hearing in Jordan.

Suleiman Al-Alwan

Suleiman bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al-Alwan is a Saudi who follows the Salafist movement. He was arrested several times by the Saudi authorities, and he is now imprisoned in the kingdom.

A voice record for Alwan was broadcast in which he was criticizing Baghdadi and stating that the latter did not have the right to demand anyone’s allegiance…

We notice here that the conflict with ISIL is mostly because of Baghdadi’s demand that the leaderships of “Jihadi Salafism” pledge allegiance to him as their “prince”. For their parts, the Salafists blamed him for accusing them of infidelity and declared war against him amid regional and international intersections.

Arbitration

Sheikh Abdul NAsser Al-JabriRegarding the concept of arbitration, Sheikh Abdul Nasser Jabri indicated that whoever wants to judge should be a scholar who has an experience in judiciary, and whoever wants to demand arbitration should be within the legitimate circle which can only be specified by scholars. Based on that, Jabri stressed that he did not find in any of these individuals the characteristics of a scholar.

Sheikh Jabri clarified that the three names mentioned above were not scholars, adding: “We don’t know where they have studied or who their professors were…”

A question should be asked here. How could he demand arbitration that who is not committed to the legislative law and rather takes the sword as his slogan, killing as his method, and criminality as his ideology, disregarding Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) directions for his Armies on war?

Some of these directions appeared in the following quotes:

Ibn Abbas said: “When the prophet (PBUH) used to address his armies before a war, he used to say: “Go in the name of Allah, and fight for the sake of Allah those who disbelieved in Allah; don’t sell out, don’t bear a grudge, don’t torture, and don’t kill children or worshipers.”

Omran Bin Al-Hasseen said: “The prophet (PBUH) used to urge us to give charity and prohibit us from torturing.”

 

In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, most Merciful

“Therefore give admonition in case the admonition profits (the hearer). The admonition will be received by those who fear (Allah). But it will be avoided by those most unfortunate ones, Who will enter the Great Fire.” {Al-Aala 9-12}

Allah has spoken the truth.

Translated by Sara Taha Moughnieh 

Law Introduced To Duma Enabling Fast Annexation Of Territories In Crisis

Ukraine crisis: Russia mulls new land-grab law

BBC

Pro-Russian protest in Crimea, 27 Feb 14 Ethnic Russians in Crimea reject the new pro-Western leaders in Ukraine’s capital Kiev

Russian MPs have proposed new laws that would make it easier for Russia to incorporate parts of Ukraine, and allow Russian citizenship to be fast-tracked.

Pro-Kremlin party A Just Russia put forward both bills, and linked them directly to the situation in Ukraine.

Separatist and pro-Russian feelings are strong in Ukraine’s Crimea region, which is now the focus of the crisis.

Russian MPs say a referendum or a plea from a territory’s leaders would be enough to trigger the new provisions.

There are already many Russian citizens in Crimea.

In Sevastopol, base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, a majority hold Russian passports.

Under Russia’s existing law, a neighbouring state would have to sign a treaty with Russia to allow part of its territory to become a new “subject” of the Russian Federation.

But Mikhail Yemelyanov, deputy leader of A Just Russia, said the law had been drafted for peaceful times, and did not go far enough for situations where a state was falling apart.

“In conditions where a neighbouring state is disintegrating I don’t think the Russian Federation should be restricted in its ability to accept a territory whose people have expressed a clear will and desire to be in Russia,” he said.

Map of the Crimean peninsula

Since Russia’s war with Georgia in 2008, the breakaway Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have come under Moscow’s control.

Russia poured troops into both regions to help pro-Russian separatists who did not recognise Georgia’s authority.

The other bill to be considered by the Duma – Russia’s lower house – would speed up the procedures for issuing Russian passports.

Passport applicants would not have to pay a state tax, and previous residence in Russia would no longer be required.

In addition, they would not have to have sufficient funds to support themselves and would not have to give up their Ukrainian citizenship.

‘Fascist threat’

The bill’s preamble says it is aimed “at supporting the fraternal people of Ukraine, especially the Russian-speaking ones, who are defenceless in the face of the ‘brown threat’,” a reference to World War Two fascists who wore brown uniforms.

The bill would allow Ukrainians to apply for Russian passports at Russian diplomatic missions before 1 August, and they could become citizens after two months, instead of waiting a year, as is currently the norm.

The plan to have a new fast-track procedure for issuing Russian passports was announced in Sevastopol on Thursday by A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov.

Several Russian MPs have also gone to Crimea, including Russian celebrities – former Olympic ice skating champion Irina Rodnina, former cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova and heavyweight boxer Nikolai Valuev.

Pakistani Press Cowardice Documented In Taliban Squelching of Express Tribune Reporting

Liberal newspaper Express Tribune cowed into silence by Pakistani Taliban

guardian

Media group opts for self-censorship on terrorism after Taliban admits murder of three employees for critical reports on militants

Imran Khan speaks to the media after appearing before the Supreme Court in Islamabad

Imran Khan, former cricketer and head of Tehrik-e-Insaf, which is spared criticism because it opposes attacks on the Pakistani Taliban. Photo: Faisal Mahmood/Reuters

When it was launched four years ago, the Express Tribune set out to become the house newspaper of liberal-minded Pakistanis.

A newcomer to a market dominated by conservative-inclined papers, it made a point of writing about everything from the relentless rise of religious extremism to gay rights.

But in recent weeks the paper has been cowed into silence by an unusually blatant display of power by the Pakistani Taliban.

The paper was forced to drastically tone down its coverage last month after three employees of the media group, which includes another newspaper and television channel, were killed in Karachi by men armed with pistols and silencers on 17 January.

The attack was later claimed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a large coalition of militant groups, which accused the media group of disseminating anti-Taliban propaganda.

Immediately following the killings, the paper’s editor, Kamal Siddiqi, sent an email to staff outlining the paper’s new policy.

Henceforth there would be “nothing against any militant organisationand its allies like the Jamaat-e-Islami, religious parties and the Tehrik-e-Insaf”, the rightwing party led by Imran Khan, that strongly opposes military operations against the TTP.

There would also be “nothing on condemning any terrorist attack”, “nothing against TTP or its statements” and “no opinion piece/cartoon on terrorism, militancy, the military, military operations, terror attacks”.

Reporters have been banned from describing a movement responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians, soldiers and police as “outlawed” or “militant”.

The terrorist attacks that rack the country on an almost daily basis are covered on the news pages, but are pared down.

“We do have exclusives, but we don’t run them,” Siddiqi said. “It’s very frustrating at a personal level for all journalists. But we have decided that we won’t do anything at least for the foreseeable future that will come back to haunt us.”

Other changes include a more conservative approach to photographs of female models in the paper’s lifestyle sections and weekend magazine.

Worst affected are the opinion pages. Once-feisty leader writers have almost entirely overlooked the near-continuous attacks that have rocked the country in recent weeks.

Ayesha Siddiqa, a regular columnist, said the muzzling of Pakistan’s media was contributing to an “absolutely mesmerising information deficit” among the public.

“I said to the editor, ‘what am I to do, start writing about cooking or films?’ Because that’s all that’s left.”

The killings followed a bomb and small-arms attack on the company’s offices in Karachi in December. One reporter on the paper said the attacks had terrified many colleagues.

“The paper has an unusually young staff and a lot of the kids were pretty scared, with parents telling them they should quit,” the staff writer said. “There were some people who said we should fight back, but they were a minority.”

After the killings, a TTP spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, was allowed to join by telephone a live discussion programme on the paper’s sister television station, Express News.

He claimed responsibility for the killings, complained the company “was playing the role of propagandist in this war with the Taliban” and said it had ignored regular complaints he had emailed to the channel.

The TV show’s host, Javed Chaudhry, promised that the station and newspaper would take pains to present the TTP’s position “without any trimming”.

“We will have a balanced and impartial attitude towards you and will convey your point of view to the people but we have only one request: that our colleagues should be protected,” he told the TTP spokesman and watching audience.

The TTP has threatened and attacked journalists in the past, including the BBC after its Urdu-language service aired highly critical comment about the Taliban attempt to assassinate the schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in 2012.

Although much of Pakistan’s national debate is conducted in the country’s generally right-leaning Urdu press and television, the TTP monitors everything.

Ali Dayan Hasan, of Human Rights Watch, said: “The Taliban and other armed groups have threatened the media over their coverage for several years, but now those threats are ratcheting up by accompanying attacks.

“It’s an extremely effective tactic that does far more than just censorship, it also skews the entire national debate.”

Siddiqi, the editor, said he could not risk any more lives.

“The fact is three people have been killed and no one out there is protecting us,” he said, pointing out that no arrests had been made in connection with either of the attacks on the company.

“We are on our own. We have to look out for our own people.”

Ukraine names pro-West cabinet amid looming economic disaster, division

 

Ukraine names pro-West cabinet amid looming economic disaster, division

Xinhua net

KIEV, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — A new cabinet in favor of anchoring Ukraine in the West emerged Thursday with a tough mandate to steer the country away from a looming economic collapse and find a way to mend its division.

Arseny Yatsenyuk, one of the prominent figures leading the anti- government protests to demand the country’s European integration, was named as the new Prime Minister. The 39-year-old politician, economist and lawyer, had served as economy minister, foreign minister, and parliament speaker between 2005 and 2008.

The parliament appointed Vitaly Yarema of the Fatherland Party to be the first deputy prime minister.

Meanwhile, far-right politician Alexandr Such, businessman Vladimir Groysman and former Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk were named deputy prime ministers.

Describing the members of the new cabinet as “political kamikaze,” Yatsenyuk said the main task of his government is to lift Ukraine’s economy, stay on the course toward European integration and preserve the territorial integrity of the state amid a separatism threat.

On Thursday, armed groups seized local government and parliament buildings in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in southern Ukraine and raised Russian flags over them, triggering a separatist rebellion that could tear the country apart.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is teetering on the brink of economic free fall. The former Soviet country with a projected budget deficit of 4.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) for 2014 and the lowest level of foreign exchange reserves in 8 years, is in urgent need of loans to make its debt payments, which has amounted to 17. 4 billion dollars this year.

Ukraine’s new Finance Minister Alexandr Shlapack said here Thursday that his country had submitted a request for financial support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and hoped the international lender could send a mission to work on a new aid package,

“We already submitted a request to the IMF asking to send a mission. We hope the IMF team will arrive here next week,” Shlapack told reporters, adding that Kiev is ready to fulfill the IMF requirements needed to get the bailout which would be less than 15 billion U.S. dollars.

In response to Kiev’s request, IMF agreed Thursday to send a fact-finding team next week to the country, where a political upheaval has dealt a severe blow to its economy.

“This will enable the IMF to make its usual technical, independent assessment of the economic situation in Ukraine and, at the same time, begin to discuss with the authorities the policy reforms that could form the basis of a Fund-supported program,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

Meanwhile, ousted President Viktor Yanukovych denounced that all parliament’s decisions approved in recent days were illegal.

“I still believe myself to be the legitimate head of the Ukrainian state elected in a free vote by Ukrainian citizens,” the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

He urged that the situation in his country should return to the “constitutional field” and insisted the crisis settlement deal reached with the opposition last Friday has not been fulfilled.

In a tit-to-tat response to Yanukovych’s words, Yatsenyuk said the ouster of Yanukovych was legal. “He is no longer the president; he is a wanted person who is suspected of mass murder, a crime against humanity.”

Yanukovych, whom the Ukrainian opposition declared as self- removed from power following months of unrest in Ukraine, also admitted he has asked the Russian authorities to ensure his personal security. The exact whereabouts of Yanukovych has remained unknown since Saturday.

The appearance of the dismissed president on the Ukrainian political scene has caused concern that the political crisis in the Eastern European country may escalate, as some Ukrainians were disappointed by the ouster of Yanukovych.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

The Psywar Hits Qatar

[Was this the opening salvo in the rapidly escalating Saudi/Qatari conflict?  The Pig of Qatar has made a lot of enemies in his attempts to create an Islamist caliphate, the same caliphate which has now become the point of global shock in Syria.  Overlooked, or hidden by the so-called “al-Qaeda split,” was the real Islamist split, the gaping chasm between Riyadh and Doha (SEE:  Qatari Prime Minister: The Saudi regime will inevitably fall by our hands).   A good clean terrorist attack upon a Qatari facility could have been a gift from lots of intel agencies, at the top of the list would be Saudi Arabia and Russia.  Russia has been making threatening motions towards the Saudis for supporting terrorism in Chechnya and for selling the Syrians missiles, but it has also condemned both Wahhabi governments in the past.  The Saudis are currently trying to get the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to cooperate in creating a Qatari “no fly zone,” as punishment for supporting Egyptian Islamists (SEE: Riyadh threatens Qatar over Muslim Brotherhood support  ; Riyadh asks GCC states to condemn Qatar’s actions in Egypt and Yemen  ).  Trying to avoid further hassles, Qatar is allegedly muzzling the radical Islamist mouthpiece of the Ikhwan (SEE: Qatar: Youssef al-Qaradawi unwanted ). 
Obama and the Saudis are still trying hard to play the “moderate Islamist” card, without having much luck.  No one will care about moderate Islamists so long as the radical Islamist extremists dominate the media circus.] 

Twelve dead in Qatar restaurant gas explosion: news agency 

Reuters

By Amena Bakr

DOHA

People stand amidst debris near a Turkish restaurant following a gas explosion in Doha February 27, 2014. Twelve people were killed, including two children, and about 30 wounded when a gas tank exploded at the Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital off Doha on Thursday, authorities in the Gulf Arab state reported. REUTERS-Stringer
Rescue workers and policemen stand amidst debris near a Turkish restaurant following a gas explosion in Doha February 27, 2014. Twelve people were killed, including two children, and about 30 wounded when a gas tank exploded at the Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital off Doha on Thursday, authorities in the Gulf Arab state reported. REUTERS-Stringer
People stand among debris near a Turkish restaurant following a gas explosion in Doha February 27, 2014. Twelve people were killed, including two children, and about 30 wounded when the gas tank exploded at the Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital off Doha on Thursday, authorities in the Gulf Arab state reported. REUTERS-Stringer

People stand amidst debris near a Turkish restaurant following a gas explosion in Doha February 27, 2014. Twelve people were killed, including two children, and about 30 wounded when a gas tank exploded at the Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital off Doha on Thursday, authorities in the Gulf Arab state reported.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

(Reuters) – Twelve people including two children were killed on Thursday when a gas tank exploded at a Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital Doha, authorities in the Gulf Arab state reported.

About 30 others were injured in the blast at the Istanbul Restaurant that one security source said was accidental.

Another security source at the scene said two Asian children were among the dead.

Major General Saad bin Jassim al-Khalifi, Qatar’s head of public security, said non-Qatari Arabs, Asians and one Qatari were among the dead and wounded.

Preliminary investigations suggested a gas tank exploded, setting off a fire and causing part of the building to collapse, he told a news conference. But investigations were continuing to discover why the gas tank exploded.

“It was a very big blast,” he said. “It blew away cars and shrapnel was scattered 50 to 100 meters away.”

Chunks of masonry, metal debris and shattered glass lay outside the restaurant in a northwestern district of the city. Cars nearby were apparently crumpled by the explosion.

The incident was the deadliest in Qatar since May 2012, when at least 19 foreign nationals, including 13 children, were killed by a fire in an upscale shopping mall.

In a separate incident on Thursday, medics and security sources at the Hamad medical city in Doha said dozens of people were hurt in the afternoon due to a gas leak at a chemical plant in an industrial area near Doha.

They gave no figures or details on their condition, but said helicopters were despatched to fly victims of the leak to the Hamad medical center quickly as ambulances had been caught in heavy traffic caused by the restaurant incident.

The gas- and oil-rich Gulf Arab state with an estimated national population of at least 200,000 has one of the highest standards of living in the world. The bulk of the 2 million population of Qatar are foreigners.

The restaurant is on the outskirts of the capital near Landmark mall, a well-known shopping complex usually busy with families.

“I was eating in a restaurant close by and suddenly heard a big (blast) and everything around me exploded,” Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Kareem, an Indian driver, told Reuters at Hamad hospital. “I have too much damage now, my legs are broken and my head is (wounded).”

(Additional reporting by Rania El Gamal, Regan Doherty, and Mirna Seliman; Writing by William Maclean; Editing by Alison Williams and Hugh Lawson)

Watch Syrian Air Force Eliminate 175 Al-Nusra Terrorists

sitting ducks in a rowfrying ducks  crispy nusra ducks

Elimination of dozens of terrorists “Front victory” and “the banner of Islam,”

including Saudis and Qataris and Chechens in East Gouta

26/02/2014 10:50:57

Based on the information you want intelligence unit of the brave members of our military armed terrorist group nationalities of the dead, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar and a Chechen in East Gouta Rural Damascus.

He said a field commander for the CFTC SANA to East Gouta that the unity of our military spotted terrorists / Front victory / and so-called / banner of Islam / while traveling on the hub / Alnchabah Midaa Adra Industrial conscience well reeds Jordan / and caused more than 175 people, including and wounded others.

He added that the field commander of this operation comes as a result of cracking down on armed terrorist groups in East Gouta and ready military units to prevent terrorists from sneaking toward the East Gouta.

He pointed out that the terrorist group was trying to relieve the pressure on the terrorists who receive fatal blows from our military in the region of the brave Kalamoon by bringing terrorists backed by Western nations and regional cross the Jordanian border.

The elimination of terrorists and the confiscation of 300 thousand narcotic pills in their possession Kptagon Damascus Suburbs
It ruled units of our army valiant armed terrorist groups on most of its members from the front of the victory and the so-called Islamic Front and destroyed them with weapons and ammunition in a series of operations against their communities and their hideouts in Damascus.

The sources said it was destroyed nests of terrorists and eliminate them some numbers from the front of the victory northwest town supervisor in farms and Rima threshold and elbow Jers hills and the road broad and Mount Saint Maron in the area Yabrood.

The sources added that the units of our army brave clashed with terrorists Southeast shrine Ms. Sakina in Darya and caused deaths and injuries among their ranks while destroyed and a second unit car equipped with a machine gun and gatherings for terrorists East Electricity Company and Southeast Tower of teachers in the district of Jobar and towns Arbin and Zamalka.

The sources pointed to the fall of many of the terrorists of the so-called Islamic Front dead through the quality of our military units near the shrine stone valiant bin Udai Adra in the country and the expansion of the city of Adra labor housing.

It clashed unit of our army brave with a terrorist group in Tlvia farms and seized a car that was in their possession containing 300 thousand Kptagon narcotic pill.

Netanyahu Makes Fascist Jokes On German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Netanyahu Merkel Hitler There’s a little bit of Hitler in there, I think.

[Did Netanyahu just read the following?]

Angela Merkel: Hitler’s Daughter

http://www.thecontroversialfiles.net/2013/03/angela-merkel-hitlers-daughter.html
by admin,  LIBRARY OF MOST CONTROVERSIAL FILES

Angela Merkel: Hitler's Daughter

Angela Merkel was born in the D.D.R., the Communist portion of Germany in 1954. Her biography says she was born on July 17, 1954, and that she is the daughter of a Lutheran minister from an East German-controlled church. Recently, however, Soviet KJB archive files reveal an entirely different story. Stasi GDR files indicate that she was born on April 20th, 1954, (VN:  wasn’t that Hitlers Birthday April 20?) and details of her birth were included in the records of the German Dr. Karl Klauberg, who was one of the Nazi “death doctors” convicted by Soviet courts and imprisoned. When he later was recognized as a brilliant scientist, he was released after seven years and was recognized as the father of artificial insemination.

The Soviets were even more intrigued when they discovered Dr. Klauberg had preserved frozen samples of the sperm of Adolf Hitler. The forces of darkness in high places decided to try to produce a child from Hitler’s sperm, obviously for occult and illuministic purposes. Dr. Klauberg then brought the youngest sister of Eva Braun (Hitler’s wife), whose name was Gretl, to Eastern Germany, and the result of the experiment produced not a biological son of Hitler, but rather a daughter.

Amazingly, Adolf Hitler was born on April 20th, 1889, and Angela Merkel was born on April 20th, 1954. (April 20th is 11 days before the witches’ high sabat of Beltaine.) Angela became a custodian of the Catholic Church through its connections with the East German Lutheran Church. Once a German Pope would take the Roman throne, Angela Merkel was to also take her biological father’s position as German Chancellor.  (VN:  The holiest days for the occult are from April 19 to May 6; remember, the gulf blow out occurred on April 19.  Those days are some sort of

On April 20th, 2005, the Nazi Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, (16th), precisely on the 116th birthday of Adolf Hitler. Then on November 22nd, 2005, Hitler’s biological daughter, Angela Merkel was elected Chancellor of Germany. The day of that election, November 22nd, was the anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species, which is an antichrist publication denying the Creator of the universe.

If the Soviet record is true, and the evidence is strong, it opens up some amazing possibilities. The undeniable fact is that Angela Merkel came from obscurity to triumviral power as German Chancellor, President of the European Union, and head of the powerful G-8 economic cartel. (VN: Sounds like the rise of Obama here in the US.  Wonder if he is also a rothschild?) When I began to do further research on this, I discovered that Hitler’s father, who took the name Hitler, was the illegitimate son of a Rothschild mistress whose last name was Schicklgruber.

The etymology of the name Hitler reveals that the name means a shepherd who lives in a hut. The name Adolf from Old High German means noble wolf. Thus, his combined name indicates that he was the Shepherd Wolf, or false shepherd. Strangely enough, Pope Ratzinger, or Benedict XVI, also has the title of Shepherd of the Church, and since he took office, the Roman Catholic Church has had a German shepherd. Incidentally, that breed of dog resembles a wolf.

We also know that Adolf Hitler nicknamed himself Herr Wolf. His East Prussian headquarters was called Wolfsschanze; his headquarters in France was called Wolfsschlucht, and his headquarters in the Ukraine was called Werwolf. Will the powerful European Union become the New World Order and Fourth Reich? Only God knows.  (VN:  Fascism was the zionist bankers goal even during WW II but did not happen, so they did project paperclip in order to develop the technology that could counter the sheer advantage of numbers by the filthy masses of cattle, as they like to call us.)

Angela Merkel

One more interesting point is that Chancellor Angela Merkel has an unusual obsession with the works of the occult composer Richard Wagner, who was a Satanist. She made her obsession known in an interview with the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in July 2005. Wagner wrote the infamous composition called Parsifal, which is purely occult and demonic. Parsifal was a favorite of Adolf Hitler as well, and Hitler stated that the music of Wagner occupied his mind.

Angela Merkel, like Adolf Hitler, is deeply fascinated with Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. The valkyries were minor female deities that would ride through every battle to gather the most valiant of the slain and carry them off to a place called Valhalla where they would wait to join the army of Odin in the last battle at the end of the world.

Is this woman, Angela Merkel, being used of Satan to marshal the forces for the last battle called Armageddon? It is also interesting to note that Chancellor Merkel has exactly the same eyes as Chancellor Hitler, and she bears a striking resemblance to him except for the little moustache, of course.

New Ukrainian Boss Warns Russian Troops To Remain In Their Barracks

[SEE:  Armed men seize government HQ, raise Russian flag in Ukraine’s Crimea]

Ukraine Warns Russia on Troop Movements

kyiv post

The interim president of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov

The interim president of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov     © RIA Novosti. Andrey Stenin

KIEV, February 27 (RIA Novosti) – The interim president of Ukraine warned Thursday that any movement by Russian forces outside their bases in the southern republic of Crimea will be interpreted as an act of military aggression.

Already frayed nerves on the peninsula reached breaking point after armed gunmen occupied the parliament Thursday in the Crimean town of Simferopol, only one day after fistfights erupted outside the building between supporters and opponents of the country’s incoming leadership.

Russia, which has a substantial military presence at its leased naval base in the Ukrainian Black Sea city of Sevastopol, has insisted it will not interfere in its neighbor’s affairs, while at the same time voicing worries about possible discrimination against ethnic Russians in the country.

About half of Crimea’s population identifies as ethnic Russian.

Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov appealed to Russian Black Sea servicemen to refrain from leaving their quarters, apparently echoing wider international concern that Moscow may choose to throw its weight behind pro-Russian groups in Crimea seeking to defy authorities in Kiev.

“Any movement, particularly with weapons, outside official residences regulated by our agreement will be interpreted by us as military aggression,” Turchynov said.

Russia maintains thousands of military personnel at bases in Sevastopol that it rents from Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered snap military exercises in Russia’s western regions, including those bordering Ukraine.

Eyewitnesses in central Sevastopol reported seeing Russian armored personnel carriers on Tuesday and there have been other unconfirmed reports of Russian troop movements around the city since the weekend.

Acting Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov posted a link Thursday to an article on a Ukrainian news site reporting on a column of Russian APCs heading for Simferopol on a planned exercise being turned back by local law enforcement authorities.

In recent days, a series of pro-Russian demonstrations have taken place across Crimea. Protesters have said at those gatherings that they do not recognize the current government in Kiev and have called for Russian intervention.

“We, the Saudi family are cousins of the Jews.”

 الخلفية التاريخية للآل سعود، حكام المملكة العربية السعودية

THE ORIGIN AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF

SAUDI ROYAL FAMILY

CIFF
 
Historians have traced that the Sauds belonged to Anza tribe who were settled in Najd around 1450 AD.  It is said that Sauds were originally Jews and shrewd Feudal Lords. 

King Faisal (1906-1975), who ruled the Kingdom between 1964-75, confirmed Jewish ancestry of Saudi Royals.  In an interview  to Washington post on September 17, 1969, King Faisal is reported to have said   “We, the Saudi  family are cousins of the Jews.

We entirely disagree with any Arab or Muslim Authority which shows any antagonism to the Jews; but we must live together with them in peace.  Our country (Arabia) is the Fountain head from where the first Jew sprang, and his descendants spread out all over the world.Read more…..

At a wider scale, the above statement can also be interpreted that since Jews are the descendants of Prophet Isaac ( علیھ السلا م ) and Arabs are the descendants of Prophet Ismail ( علیھ السلا م ), this way they are cousins.
 
It is reported that Saudi Royal family trusts Israeli and US mercenaries as their personal body Guards : US and Israeli mercenary security personnel working for private contractors are allegedly used by Saudi Royal family to guard Saud family Princelings. This Praetorian Guards use balaclava (face cover) and other disguises during security operations which allows for anonymity. Read more…..
 
Saudi Royal’s Jewish ancestry is also confirmed from the fact that they have destroyed and eliminated the entire Islamic Heritage  and established Salafism, a new religion in Arabian Peninsula. Read more .

Ibn Abd al-Wahhab 

Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1799), born in Uyayna in Najd, belonged to Banu Tamim Tribe.  He studied in his childhood from his father.  Later, he spent some time in Basra, Southern Iraq from where he traveled to Makka and Madina.  All historians agree that his new thinking of rebellion against Islam was developed when he was in Basra.  By the time he returned to his native town Uyayna in 1740 he had completely transformed into a rebel against Islam.  He started propagating his new ideology claiming that the entire population of Muslims of Arabian Peninsula and that of the world was Mushrikeen and that what he was preaching was real Islam.
It is reported that initially Abd al-Wahhab managed to convert Uyayna’s Town In-charge Uthman Ibn Mu’ammar into his new religion and with his support started implementing his  new ideology in the town by force. The first evil act committed by Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was, by conspiring with Ibn Mu’ammar, one night, he destroyed the Dome and pious grave of Hadhrat Zayd Ibn al-Khattab (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) who was Sahabi of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and brother of Hadhrat Umer Ibn al-Khattab  (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), the second Caliph of Islam. Destruction of the Dome and his anti-Islam activities in collusion with local Town In-Charge drew the attention of Sulaiman Ibn Mhammad of Bani Khalid, the Tribal Chief of Al-Hasa who was a good Muslim.  He ordered the arrest of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab.  The news reached Ibn Abd al-Wahhab in time and he fled from Uyayna. Read more…
Brief History of Sauds
Mohammad Ibn Saud was a shrewed tribal Lord of neighboring Diriyya, Najd who cared more about power, money and women, as had been the case with most of the feudal lords in medieval times.  He gave protection to Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and quickly envisioned the possibility of forming a State in Arabian Peninsula based on Wahhabism,  the new religious theory preached Ibn Abd al-Wahhab.
 
Thus, the  first Saudi State came into being in the year 1744 AD (1157 AH)  when Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Mohammad Ibn Saud formed an alliance and hatched a political conspiracy to establish a State based on Wahhabism, away from Islam. To cement the alliance further Ibn Saud’s sister was married to Ibn Abd al-Wahhab.  As per the terms of  alliance, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab became de facto Minister for Religious Affairs whose job was to convert people into the new religion and create religious fanaticism in masses.  The plan was to use newly converted religious fanatics to expand Sauds’ territory and eventually form a large Saudi State in Arabian Peninsula. 
 
The following 190 years, between 1744-1932, Sauds fought wars with all Muslim rulers of Arabian Peninsula and were finally successful in wiping out Islam and Muslims from Arabian Peninsula in 1932 when Abdul Aziz declared himself as King of the newly formed state of ‘Saudi Arabia’. 
 
Currently Sauds are planning to expand their territory into major part of the Globe using religious fanaticism of their scholars, particularly Dr. Zakir Naik. Read more …

It is in Hadith –  ‘A person with eyes protruding, with a long beard and head clean-shaven (named Zul-Khawaisara who was from the tribe of Banu Tamim) came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and declared: ‘O Muhammad! (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) fear Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). ‘ The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)  replied:  ‘If  I disobey Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) then who else will obey Him? I am obedient to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) at all times and never disobedient. Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) has sent me as Amin  (Honest for the entire world, but you don’t accept me as an honest man?  A Sahabi (Hadhrat Umer – رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) became infuriated and sought permission to remove him from the presence of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) prevented him from doing so.   After the person had left, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)said:  ‘From his progeny (descendants) will rise a Group who will recite the Holy Quran but it will not go below their throats. They will leave the Deen (Islam) just as an arrow leaves the bowstring. They will kill Muslims but spare the idolaters.  If  I ever confronted these people I would slaughter them just as the people of Aad had been destroyed’. (Mishkat, pp – 535).

Since Ibn Abd al-Wahhab also belonged to Banu Tamim, therefore, as per the above Hadith, he is indeed from the direct descendants of  Zul Khawaisara.  There cannot be two opinions in this context. 

Imam Bukhari has quoted this Hadith from Abdullah Ibn Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) once prayed for Syria and Yemen. It is narrated that there were some people of Najd also present in the gathering and they requested the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to make supplication (du’a) for Najd also. Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) continued saying:  ‘O! Allah, Shower Blessings on Syria and Yemen’.  The people of Najd again requested the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to offer prayers for Najd.  The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said:  ‘It is a place of tremor and mischief (Fitna) and the Horn of Shaitaan will rise from there.’ (Bukhari, Vol – ii, P – 1050).

The above Hadith clearly specifies following  conclusive points.

  •  It is abundantly clear  that the place called Najd is not blessed from Islamic  point of view as Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) called it a place of Fitna and Evil.
  • When we look at the geographical position of Najd, it lies to the East of Madina.   In other Ahadith, it is mentioned that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) pointed his hand towards the East and said, ‘there, that is the direction from where Fitna will emerge. 
  • This place is deprived of the prayers of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)
  • Hoping of any Islamic good coming out of this place is against the Will of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی)
  • In these circumstances, the Wahhabism or Salafism  coming out of this place cannot be good or virtuous.   As per Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) prophecy this religion is tribulation and  fitna in Islam.  We pray Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) to safeguard us from this Fitna.
  • The Arabic word used in the above Hadith is ‘Qarnush Shaitaan’, (horn of Shaitaan) which indeed refers to Ibn Abd al-Wahhab.  However, in Misbahul Lughaat (page 663) (the dictionary used by Salafis/Deobandis, etc.) the meaning of this word is written as  ‘One who follows the advice of Satan’. Therefore, as per the Hadith, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and his devotees (Salafis) are the followers of Satan. 
  • For  the past 100 years, this tribulation (Fitna) has gradually swept the entire world.  Millions of  innocent Muslims have become victims of this movement.  Wahhabis /Salafis and their like minded groups have mislead millions of innocent Muslims with the slogans of Shirk, Kufr, Biddah, etc.

The first Saudi State lasted  between 1744 -1818 when their last ruler Abdullah bin Saud was executed by Ottomans ( دَوْلَتِ عَلِيّهٔ عُثمَانِیّه )Read more… 
The second Saudi state was established in 1824 and lasted till 1890 in central Arabia; when its last ruler Abdur Rahman Ibn Faisal Ibn Turki was defeated by Al-Rashids.  Read more…

Abdul Aziz bin Abdur Rahman Al-Saud (1876-1953) was the founding ruler of third Saudi State in Najd. He had fled and took refuge in Kuwait in 1890 along with his  father Abdur Rahman and entire family when Second Saudi State was defeated by Al-Rashids.

 In 1901,  Abdul Aziz returned to Najd and with the help of Kuwaitis, recaptured Riyadh from Al-Rashids. 

Later on, with the help of  British Government, he established his hold on entire Arabian Peninsula over a period of 30 years.  In 1932 he formally declared  himself King.

These 30 years saw several hundred thousands Muslims killed, all traces of traditional Islam erased and over 60,000 sacred  graves of Sahabah, members of Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) family destroyed and their pious bodies disposed off mysteriously by Abdul Aziz forces.  In a nutshell, Islam was completely wiped out, Muslims totally vanished  and Islamic Arabia was renamed as “Kingdom Saudi Arabia ( المملكة العربية السعودية‎)“. Read more …

Saudis did not stop at that.  They gradually changed Ahadith books, misinterpreted Quranic verses and started massive Salafi Da’wa campaign in the world to legitimize their rule in the Arabian Peninsula. People say that the current plight of Muslims and their innumerable divisions in the world is mainly because of Salafi Da’wa carried out  by the Kingdom spending billions of Petro-dollars wealth.  Read more …

The actual number of Princes and Princesses King Abdulaziz fathered are not known.  Some historians say he fathered 37  or 40 princes  and around equal number of princesses while some others say he fathered more than one hundred children.  Among the women who gave birth to  his children, 22 have been identified by historians who say that the number could be much higher than that.   Read more…

Historians have also mentioned that the personal life of the King  was full of vice, with women, wine and wealth.  He had unknown number of beautiful young women in his Harem and a large nursery of Princes and Princesses born to these women. 

Be it King or pauper, Islam allows only 4 wives, that too on certain conditions.  The children born to women used by the King for sex are known, in Islamic Law,  as illegitimate forbidden children.  There is harsh punishment for fornication in Islam.  We all know, everyone has to pay for his evil deeds. There is no escape in Hereafter.  

The King consolidated his authority ruthlessly, killing every Muslim who did not convert to Salafism and destroying the entire Islamic heritage kept intact for 1300 years by successive Muslim Governments.  His forces wiped out the entire geography of Seeratun Nabi صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Read more …

As an alternative to Islamic heritage, the National Museum at Riyadh built an elaborate pre-Islamic “art rock” helicoptered from Najd sands.   In addition, many plush museum complexes such as Dar al-Malik Abdul Aziz, dedicated to the founding fathers of Saudi Kingdom, have now risen everywhere in the Kingdom.  The Sauds’ goal is to erect gleaming, high-tech relics commemorating  King Abdul Aziz and the ancestors of Saudi Royal family.

The other important goal of the Saud family is to eliminate the last remaining trace of Islam from Arabia, ie., the Green Dome of Prophet Mohammad ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) along with his pious grave.  Read more …

It is reported that, during the last expansion of Prophet’s صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) mosque in late 1980s, Saudis have structurally partitioned the Green Dome from the rest of the Mosque in preparation for razing it into rubble by a powerful dynamite. 

A pamphlet published in 2007 by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and endorsed by their Grand Mufti reads: “The green dome shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet’s ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Mosque.”  The demolition of the Green Dome  has already been checked off to-do list”. Even the pious body of Prophet Mohammad ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), who is ‘Rahmtul lil Aalameen for the worlds, along with the pious bodies of his two prominent companions  is now slated to disappear under the rubble and dust. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.  

We pray for Allah’s (سبحانہ و تعا لی) help to stop Saudis from eliminating Islam and humiliating Prophet Mohammad ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)in this manner.   

We hope  followers of Salafism in the world will think about these undeniable facts and come back to the straight path of Islam for their own good  in this life and in Hereafter.  Read more …

Army arrests a Nusra Front commander in Arsal

Army arrests a Nusra Front commander in Arsal

the daily star

HERMEL/BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army scored another high-profile arrest with the capture of a suspected leader of the Nusra Front, as authorities charged the alleged mastermind of two bombings in the southern suburbs with new crimes.

Nidal Sweidan, a Syrian national who is suspected of being a leader in the Al-Qaeda-linked group, was captured during an Army raid at the home of an Arsal resident, security sources told The Daily Star.

The capture of Sweidan, who sources say is suspected of carrying out terrorist attacks in east Lebanon, is the latest in a string of arrests of several commanders affiliated with militant groups operating in Syria including the Abdullah Azzam Brigades and the Lebanon branch of the Nusra Front.

The Lebanese offshoot of the Nusra Front, a radical group fighting against the regime of embattled President Bashar Assad, has claimed responsibility for three deadly attacks in the country this year including last week’s suicide car bombing at an Army post in the northeastern town of Hermel.

Saturday’s bombing killed three people including two soldiers.

News of the arrest emerged as the state-run National News Agency said that Army Intelligence had detained a man in east Lebanon suspected of funding a detained terror suspect, Palestinian Naim Abbas, who is the alleged mastermind behind two bombings in Beirut’s southern suburbs.

Abbas has been accused along with 20 others of belonging to two Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups, the Nusra Front in Lebanon and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.

Both groups have claimed responsibility for recent car bombings in areas often associated with Hezbollah, claiming the attacks were in retaliation for Hezbollah’s decision to fight in Syria alongside government forces.

The network allegedly includes Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian nationals, but so far only four, including Abbas, who is Palestinian, have been detained.

The alleged financier’s arrest is the latest step in a widening judicial battle against Abbas and his network. Security sources said the alleged financier had handed over $20,000 to Abbas at a meeting in Jounieh. Military Investigative Judge Imad Zein Wednesday issued a new arrest warrant for Abbas, on charges of belonging to an armed group, plotting terror attacks in Lebanon and forging identification papers, judicial sources told The Daily Star.

Abbas has been in custody since Feb. 12. He will be questioned over the new charges next week, the sources said, adding that his interrogation was postponed to allow him to appoint a lawyer.

Abbas has already been charged in connection with the two Haret Hreik car bombings on Jan. 2 and Jan. 21, as well as with the murder and attempted murder of citizens.

The two attacks took place mere meters away from Hezbollah’s political council building, and together killed nine people and wounded over 120 others.

The new charges were reportedly issued based on Abbas’ links to Jamal Daftardar, a commander in the Abdullah Azzam Brigades who was arrested on Jan. 15.

His case is also connected to that of detained preacher Sheikh Omar Atrash, who was also charged with having a role in the Beirut attacks.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for suicide bombings near the Iranian Embassy and Cultural Center in Bir Hasan.

The interlocking ties offer a glimpse at the complex web of militant networks that pose a challenge to Lebanese security services struggling to contain the fallout of the war in Syria.

If Putin Has Any Balls, He Will Now Take Crimea To Secure Sevastapol

 

Moscow Red Square Putin May 2012Russia President Vladimir Putin in Red Square, Moscow, Russia with St. Basil’s in the background. Reuters

Putin orders massive military exercises amid tensions over Ukraine

Putin orders massive military exercises amid tensions over Ukraine

the blade

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered massive exercises involving most of its military units in western Russia amid tensions in Ukraine.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised statement made at a meeting of top military brass in Moscow that the exercise is intended to “checks the troops’ readiness for action in crisis situations that threaten the nation’s military security.”

Shoigu said Putin ordered the exercise Wednesday afternoon. During the first two days, the military will be put on high alert and some will deploy to shooting ranges.

The actual maneuvers will start Friday and will last four days, he said. The exercise will involve ships of the Baltic and the Northern Fleets and the air force.

Shoigu’s statement didn’t contain any reference to Ukraine, where tensions remain high following the toppling of Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych. Russia has questioned the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities and accused them of failing to control radicals who threaten the Russia-speaking population in Ukraine’s east and south.

A senior Russian lawmaker on Tuesday told pro-Russia activists in Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula where Russia has a major naval base that Moscow will protect them if their lives are in danger.

Putin orders massive military exercises amid tensions over Ukraine

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered massive exercises involving most of its military units in western Russia amid tensions in Ukraine.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised statement made at a meeting of top military brass in Moscow that the exercise is intended to “checks the troops’ readiness for action in crisis situations that threaten the nation’s military security.”

Shoigu said Putin ordered the exercise Wednesday afternoon. During the first two days, the military will be put on high alert and some will deploy to shooting ranges.

The actual maneuvers will start Friday and will last four days, he said. The exercise will involve ships of the Baltic and the Northern Fleets and the air force.

Shoigu’s statement didn’t contain any reference to Ukraine, where tensions remain high following the toppling of Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych. Russia has questioned the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities and accused them of failing to control radicals who threaten the Russia-speaking population in Ukraine’s east and south.

A senior Russian lawmaker on Tuesday told pro-Russia activists in Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula where Russia has a major naval base that Moscow will protect them if their lives are in danger.
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/World/2014/02/26/Putin-orders-massive-military-exercises-amid-tensions-over-Ukraine.html#e7JERrCgxZCm1KS6.99

Putin Draws Line In the Sand

[SEE:  Russia draws up plans to destroy Saudi Arabia over latest Terror Attacks in Volgograd]

Russia warns Saudi against giving Syria rebels missiles

the daily star

Rebel fighter prepare the bases to launch homemade missiles during clashes with pro-regime fighters in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 24, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/MEDO HALAB)Rebel fighter prepare the bases to launch homemade missiles during clashes with pro-regime fighters in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 24, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/MEDO HALAB)

KIEV: Russia on Tuesday warned Saudi Arabia against supplying Syrian rebels with shoulder-launched missile launchers, saying such a move would endanger security across the Middle East and beyond.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that it was “deeply concerned” by news reports that Saudi Arabia was planning to buy Pakistani-made shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles and anti-tank systems for armed Syrian rebels based in Jordan.

It said that the aim was to alter the balance of power in a planned spring offensive by rebels on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

“If this sensitive weapon falls into the hands of extremists and terrorists who have flooded Syria, there is a great probability that in the end it will be used far from the borders of this Middle Eastern country,” the foreign ministry said.

Long-existing tensions between Russia and Saudi Arabia have intensified further as a result of the Syria conflict, with Moscow standing by Assad but Riyadh offering open support for the rebels.

Russia is widely seen as Assad’s last remaining major ally in a conflict that has left an estimated 140,000 people dead since it began as a peaceful uprising in March 2011.

Zawahiri’s Stooge In Syria Spouts Empty Threats and 5-Day Countdown To Total War with ISIS

Abu-Mohammad-al-Golani-NUSRA-FRONT2Abu Mohammed al-Golani nusra leader3

[This Golani clown (whoever he proves to be, or whether he even exists at all) has allegedly promised to do the impossible in 5-days.  The fake Islamists’ Front cannot possibly expel ISIS from Syria.  It has even less chance of running Al-Q In Iraq out of Iraq, even the combined might of the Western coalition could not accomplish that.  Yet, here we have the self-avowed spokesman for the old Egyptian doctor warning us to expect the impossible in just five-days. 

This should prove to be entertaining.]

Leader of Syrian militant group challenges rivals

Olympian

The Associated Press
Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2014/02/25/3003531/leader-of-syrian-militant-group.html#storylink=cpy

CAIRO — The leader of a powerful al-Qaida-linked jihadi group in Syria has given a rival al-Qaida breakaway a five-day ultimatum to seek arbitration by leading clerics or be expelled from the region.

Abu Mohammed al-Golani, leader of the Nusra Front, warned the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant that it would be driven both from Syria and “even from Iraq” if it rejected the results of arbitration “under God’s law.”

The threat came in an audio message produced by the Nusra Front media arm al-Manara al-Baydha and posted on militant websites Tuesday.

Al-Golani’s ultimatum came two days after the killing of Abu Khaled al-Suri who acts as al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri’s representative in Syria. He was believed to be assassinated by two ISIL suicide bombers.

 

 

Kerry “Peace” Deal To Set Jordan On Fire

holy war 2050

Islamists say Jordan must freeze peace deal with Israel

the daily star
File - Jordanian protesters, mostly Islamists, demonstrate after prayers in Amman.

File – Jordanian protesters, mostly Islamists, demonstrate after prayers in Amman.

AMMAN: Jordan’s opposition Islamists called on the government to freeze a 1994 peace treaty with Israel as the Knesset was Tuesday to debate Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

“We urge the government to meet the demands of people who have repeatedly called for freezing and eventually cancelling the peace treaty,” the Islamic Action Front (IAF) said on its website.

The Israeli Knesset, or parliament, is due to debate in the evening a bill introduced by MP Moshe Feiglin, a hardline member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, which envisages the “application of Israeli sovereignty” over Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

No vote is envisaged at the end of debate. Netanyahu is opposed to the bill and commentators say it is unlikely to attract much support.

But the IAF, political arm of Jordan’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and main opposition party, said the planned debate “proves that Jordanian policies in dealing with the enemy (Israel) have failed.”

Under the peace treaty, Jordan is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

“The custodianship is a Jordanian national interest and a sacred religious duty,” said the IAF.

Jordanian officials were not immediately available for comment.

The IAF statement came as Israeli police early Tuesday entered the compound to disperse stone-throwing Palestinian protesters, with an Israeli police spokesman speaking of “high tension”.

The Al-Aqsa compound, which lies in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem’s Old City, is a flashpoint because of its significance to both Muslims and Jews.

Sitting above the Western Wall plaza, it houses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques and is Islam’s third-holiest site.

It is also Judaism’s holiest place, as it was the site of the first and second Jewish temples.

Earlier this month a panel of Jordanian MPs warned that “Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa represent a red line”.

Demonstrators raise Russian flag in Kerch

 

 

 

Demonstrators raise Russian flag in KerchPicture: AFP

Kerch. Demonstrators raised a Russian flag onto a pylon of the city hall in Kerch, which is a city on the Kerch Peninsula of eastern Crimea, UNIAN reported.
A protest rally was staged in Kerch by people who oppose EU association. The protesters were carrying flags of the Russian Unity party and others. They were also carrying posters which read ”Shameful intervention” and ”Crimea wants peace”.
The protesters started chanting ”Kerch-Crimea, we want [to be] in Russia” in front of the city hall. The Mayor tried to subdue them without success. Clashes followed.
The demonstrators took down the national flag of Ukraine, which was fastened to a pylon, and raised the flags of Russia and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

© 2014 All rights reserved. Citing Focus Information Agency is mandatory!

Saudi doublespeak hits India’s core interests

Saudi doublespeak hits India’s core interests

pakistan today

M K Bhadrakumar

The writer is a former Indian diplomat.

Pakistan, India, USA and Iran

 

Wow! Shall I credit myself with a touch of prescience? After all, what I wrote about the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince and Defence Minister Salman bin Abdul Aziz’s visit to Pakistan last weekend was spot on. (See my article “Don’t ask what Saudi Arabia can do“).

The AFP just reported quoting Saudi sources that Riyadh is in talks with Islamabad “to provide anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets to Syrian rebels to try to tip the balance of the war to overthrow [Syrian] President Bashar al-Assad.” (here)

But I won’t be triumphalist here, since this is a dangerous development that affects India’s core interests. Saudi Arabia is dealing a terrible blow to regional security by engaging Pakistan (’subcontracting’ might be the right word) in its jihadi enterprise in Syria.

Indeed, Pakistan is terribly unwise to get involved in the Saudi-Iranian, US-Russian proxy war or to dabble in the business of ‘jihad’ all over again when its own house is on fire.

And the most appalling thing is that the Barack Obama administration without whose concurrence King Abdullah won’t venture into this mad adventure, is being plainly diabolical.

WaPo’s David Ignatius disclosed two days ago that the CIA and the Saudi intelligence put their heads together recently in Washington to rev up the ‘jihad’ in Syria by supplying more sophisticated weapons to the rebels.

Of course, Delhi needs to be extremely watchful. Its naiveté is incredible in underestimating the robustness of the Saudi-Pakistani fraternal ties.

What an irony that Defence Minister A. K. Antony was persuaded to visit Riyadh to encourage the Saudis to invest in co-production in the Indian defence industry and to boost and give verve to ml-to-mil ties — and, lo and behold, within two years Riyadh prefers to strengthen Pakistan’s defence industry.

Why such willing suspension of disbelief on our part when it comes to Saudi Arabia? Unfortunately, the heart of the matter is that our domestic politics has crept into this template of our Gulf policy.

The plain truth is that the petrodollar oligarchies are exercising a larger-than-life influence on our corrupt political class. Partly at least, this accounts for the calibrated policy to gradually atrophy India’s relations with Shi’ite Iran in the recent years.

Hopefully, some balance will be restored under a BJP government.

Make no mistake that Pakistan is immensely experienced in demanding and extracting its pound of flesh for such highly professional services rendered in the ‘jihad’ in Syria.

In immediate terms, Salman is due to arrive in Delhi on a three-day visit on Wednesday. We should ascertain the details regarding his move to draw on Pakistani expertise in ‘jihad’ (a number of Pakistani ‘jihadis are already fighting in Syria and Pakistan is also reportedly training the ‘jihadis’ recruited from other countries by Saudi intelligence for the war in Syria.)

The point is, Saudi Arabia has a gory record of being responsible for the induction of the forefathers of the al-Qaeda in this region during the 1980s.

When the war in Syria gets over, will Saudi Arabia rehabilitate these battle-hardened Pakistani jihadis in Riyadh or Jeddah? This is a serious question.

For far too long, India has looked away from the harsh reality that Saudi Arabia is a state sponsoring terrorism, which uses ‘jihad’ as an instrument of policy to perpetrate terrorist acts in foreign countries. Delhi should speak up — unless it has lost its spine and Muslim politics in India trumps national security interests.

Make no mistake that Pakistan is immensely experienced in demanding and extracting its pound of flesh for such highly professional services rendered in the ‘jihad’ in Syria.

In the prevailing regional milieu, when the US and Saudi dependence deepens in the highly strategic enterprise to overthrow the Assad regime, they lose the moral and political standing to stop the Pakistani project to return the Taliban to power in Kabul. They will only see it as a small price to pay.

Colour revolution unleashed in Bosnia

Colour revolution unleashed in Bosnia

SERBIANNA

emblem

By Stefan Karganovic | The color revolution that was expected for over a year in Bosnia has finally started. But the fundamental point that needs to be stressed is that, contrary to what many analysts expected, this is not going to be a “regime change” in the Republic of Srpska only. It is shaping up as a country-wide putsch that will include both the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Republic of Srpska.

That is a very important point because it suggests that Western intelligence services and their governments, of course, wish to have a clean slate in the entire country. The plan is to use mounting social dissatisfaction, for which there are plenty of genuine reasons, in order to provoke general chaos. That chaos, and the illusion of a better life that Western media and propaganda agencies will generate in the minds of the public, will be then used to install a new team of puppets not just at the entity, but at the central level as well.

The basic goal remains to get rid of President Milorad Dodik and his independent policies in the Republic of Srpska, and to bring to power in Banja Luka a team of collaborationists who will facilitate the absorption of the Serbian autonomy into a centralised Bosnian state. The further goals are to bring Bosnia as a whole into NATO and to integrate it completely within Western Euro-Atlantic structures. Under the current constitution that cannot be done without the consent of a compliant government in the Republic of Srpska. What is now a protectorate, with some measure of local autonomy here and there, in the end is therefore to be transformed into a completely subservient Western colony.

 

 

The protestors in Bosnia, like those in Kiev, are motivated by the illusion that, once they “throw the rascals out”, their actions will result in a vaguely conceived and tantalisingly undefined “better life”. However, that will never happen if it is left to Western installed puppets to do the job. As we saw in the Ukraine, only Russia right now can step up to the plate and make a large enough economic contribution capable of improving their lives. The EU has made it clear that they do not have the wherewithal to contribute to the reconstruction of the Ukraine, although they of course do have the small change sufficient to buy the services of the rioters. What applies to the Ukraine  applies also to Bosnia and the Republic of Srpska.

The current upheaval, which began two days ago in the Muslim-Croat Federation town of Tuzla, and spread from there to Sarajevo and other urban centres in the  Federation, has been marked from the start by the use of extreme violence on the side of the protesters. Since the “regime change” operation generally is being orchestrated  following closely Gene Sharp’s scenario of “non-violent resistance” it may strike as a bit odd that in Bosnia the non-violent phase was unceremoniously skipped. In the initial stage, the usual pattern of “provocation – escalation” in fact calls for goading the authorities to assault the peaceful demonstrators so that they could be portrayed as innocent victims. But in this case Western orchestrators may be in a hurry to quickly finish the job in both targeted countries, the Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They may have decided to accelerate the process of installing their puppets while the illusion of a “better life” can still be plausibly nurtured and before the disappointing news of the West’s own deep economic crisis reaches the teeming masses of the East.

The way the uprising is being managed is succinctly portrayed by this picture[1] published on one of the websites of the opposition network:

This suggestive image shows at least three things. First, the aggressive level of street violence practiced by the demonstrators, including the use of burning tires. Second, the old, familiar “Otpor” symbol of the clenched fist, which has characterised similar operations ever since the first successful color revolution under Western auspices in Belgrade in October of 2000, a dead giveaway of the inspiration behind the current events. Finally, the somewhat incongruous English text on what is supposed to be a Bosnian poster, a clear lapsus lingue which undoubtedly in due course must be corrected because it accurately suggests who is behind the entire charade.

Furthermore, all the classical and telltale signs of a Gene Sharp operation are present. The regime change infrastructure that Western specialists have been carefully putting together in Bosnia for the last two years has been given the signal to surface. What we witness now is a very well coordinated network in the Federation and the Republic of Srpska cooperating to achieve identical goals and using all the standard modern technological devices to that end. The demagoguery is suitably vague and focuses on nebulous objectives, such as “respect for rights” and “decent future,” that undoubtedly enjoy mass support in Bosnia just as “end to nuclear radiation” would probably be a popular slogan in Fukushima. Oddly, no specific policies to achieve these high-minded goals are being offered. Right out of Sharp’s playbook, however, demonstrators are appealing to policemen to join them. The anonymous organizers of the Tuzla riots refer to themselves by the acronym “UDAR,” clearly evoking the name of Vitali Klichko’s political organization in the Ukraine.

The authorities in both Bosnian entities are plainly unprepared for what is in store for them. In the Federation, Muslim politicians foolishly mistook the West’s tactical support for an immutable guarantee, just as Egyptian president Mubarak did for years before them, while in the United States activists of the “April 6 Movement” were being trained  to overthrow him. In the Republic of Srpska, not only has the ruling coalition failed to make a timely assessment of the situation and to plan effective counter-measures, but the opposition as well may have miscalculated. They may wake up to realise that they also were manipulated by Western mentors for the sole purpose of undermining President Dodik but that an entirely different set of Western-trained protégés – not they – is slated to be installed.

 

 

Putin Visits With Leaders Manning Next Line of Defense In Western Psywar

[Considering the Ukrainian factor and the urgency of the hour, we can safely assume that Putin’s first important meetings after the close of the Olympic pageantry would be those national leaders manning the next line of defenses between Ukraine and Russia.  The following comes from the website of the President of Russia.  I have added links below to the national challenges currently confronting each of Putin’s visitors (excluding the Korean reps).  After Ukraine, it is reasonable to question whether the Russian military will do anything to prevent the next attack, or simply wait until Russia itself is invaded.

The ongoing US State Dept/CIA blitzkrieg across Europe is just as atrocious and immoral as Hitler’s blitz, even though ours is being committed under the disguise of “humanitarianism.” 

All of our leaders are evil men.]

Vladimir Putin held a number of bilateral meetings

president of russia

February 23, 2014,

41d4c28c8e8795ee9249
Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office Before the closing ceremony of the XXII 2014 Winter Olympics. With President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev. February 23, 2014—(SEE: Bulgarian Nationalists Stage Rally  U.S. to Train Libyan Military Personnel in Bulgaria)
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Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office Before the closing ceremony of the XXII 2014 Winter Olympics. With Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic.February 23, 2014—(SEE:  Colour revolution unleashed in Bosnia)
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Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office Before the closing ceremony of the XXII 2014 Winter Olympics. With Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan.February 23, 2014—(SEE:  Protesters Say ‘No To The USSR’ As Putin Woos Armenia)

Before the closing ceremony of the XXII 2014 Winter Olympics, Mr Putin spoke with President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach. The President and Mr Bach congratulated each other on the successful hosting of the Sochi Olympics.

Mr Putin also spoke with President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic, Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea Chung Hong-won, and President of the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee Kim Jin-sun.

For US Govt, Playing With People’s Lives Is A Way of Life

2taliban-m1a2taliban-m1aasia-pakistani-taliban-want-peace-talks2

Taliban Pakistan Peace Talks:

How to Make Sense, Out of Nonsense?

aljazeera

By Mahboob A. Khawaja

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 24, 2014

Secretive peace talks between PM Nawaz Sharif Government and Taharak Taliban Pakistan (TTP) groups overflowing conspicuous media headlines hardly tell the truth full of hatred and fear of the unknown. Both represent willing suspicion of disbelief that talks could render peace which none have to offer? After political fanfare, Sharif appeared vulnerable to credibility gimmick lingering to his past corruption and missing leadership. Talibans are ruthless convergent groups of unknown changing loyalties to all directions of political and economic maneuverability for their interests and survival. Who will stand on a solid ground for the reality check? There is no formal agenda for talks, no publicly engaged representatives directly at the table and no peace talks as such except rudimentary symbolic gestures carved out of the nowhere to ensure mutual distrust and time killing exercises to protect individualistic interests of the few warlords on both sides of aisle. Pakistani Taliban as media calls them owe their superfluous existence to the emergence of Taliban movement in Afghanistan that previously fought against the occupation of the former Soviet Union and now fighting against the US led NATO occupation of Afghanistan. The goal is to free Afghanistan and set-up an Islamic State of Afghanistan. Its diversion strategic aims have impacted the whole of Pakistan. The key rests with the US and its military priorities and futuristic presence in the region. The present Government under Nawaz Sharif and the Taharake Taliban (TTP) have lot in common to interact at a theatre of absurdities, intrigues and backdoor conspiracies as if they hold credibility in public perceptions. There is no timeframe and no visible indicators who will surrender the guns and bullets in return for peacemaking and a presence at the ballot box. They were a failure before and they are irrelevant in the contemporary global affairs to produce any recognizable legitimacy. Pakistani Taliban are not a political entity formed or shaped under known credible leadership but outcome of transitory political climate linked to the belligerent affairs overwhelming deaths and destructions in Afghanistan and onward to Pakistani towns. Nobody can speculate how and where the peace if at all it is “peace” the ultimate aim will grow out of the nowhere.

Nawaz Sharif has formidable problems of political integrity and intellectual leadership capacity and he was never a credible factor to contribute anything positive to the collective goodness of Pakistan. More precisely, a discredit businessman who twice previously stole and time and opportunities from the life of the nation to groom himself in national politics. Sharif being an outgrowth of the neo-colonial military regime, wanted an outlet to portray peace talks as a strategic change for his last time job as PM.  He was twice dismissed as Prime Minister on corruption charges. General Musharaf tried him on “terrorism” conspiracy hijacking the PIA plane and wanting to kill all the passengers and sent him to ten years of exile to Saudi Arabia. For almost half of a century all Pakistani politicians have entered the reign of power through backdoor conspiracies and military coups and killings of the fellow countrymen. The tragic history tells its own narrative.

Pakistan lives in self-inflicted turmoil of political and military intrigues- all deceiving all – all trying to gain their footing in the powerhouse either by attracting foreign interventions or creating catastrophic political up hazards to dismantle the fabric of the originality of the Muslim nation. The stage actors want power and use it as a divine right of absolutism against the interests of the forgotten masses. Public interest was never a core thrust of the political governance in Pakistan except a shadowy window to patronize few sadistic monsters to play with the life and values of the people.

Taliban are not a legitimate political entity in Pakistani politics as their aims and guidance originates from the Afghanistan engagement. They are known to have enriched schemes of extortion, drug trades and killings the innocents in major cities across Pakistan. How could such lukewarm groups ever negotiate peace making deals?  Is Sharif trying to imagine a new framework of political governance to suit his beleaguered powerbase?  No matter how the talks progress, TTP are a continuing threat to civic, moral and intellectual consciousness of informed Pakistanis. They lack sense of moral and political accountability and to be a rationally organized construct of systematic politics. Their impulse of Islamic “Shariaha” hardly corresponds to the genesis of Islam and its real world functional apparatus. They would claim, take our “Shariaha” or leave it to guns and homemade bullets.

Alarming rates of domestic and foreign generated bloody conflicts –the “war on terrorism” have sucked up the resources of the poverty stricken nation for change and development goals. The 21st century emerging nations pitch in new ideas and ideals to encourage and support the educated, intelligent and talented people to compete for elections and to hold offices of national leadership responsibility. Pakistanis are not so lucky to have such opportunities and leaders and to be living in the competing values of moral and intellectual responsibility. The contemporary world does not appear to have so many failed and treacherous leadership role models as do Pakistan with a set contour of treason to and wholesale sell out of the primary interests of the nation to foreign masters. The Western media headlines and propaganda campaigns skillfully argue that Pakistan is a camouflage state of liars and being run by those who are conveniently available at the global market for cash payments. Pakistani rulers and their behavioral sinking typifies what can go wrong when leadership is indoctrinated and barricaded by the deliberate evolution of corruption, dishonesty and treason to national interests embracing a culture of convenient nepotism, looting, gangsterism and killing  as a political engine to manage the military run politics of Pakistan. Consequently, the world is adding insult to pains and injuries of the morally and intellectually conscientious Pakistanis.

Disillusioned and disconnected with its roots, Pakistan continues to move forward – not towards change, normalcy and progress but to tragic events fermenting planned deaths of the citizenry, destruction of the social, economic and political infrastructures, incapacitated and broken lifelines and ultimately to become a battle ground for mindless ethnic and regional divides and national collapse. TTP is one of the factors in these imposed cruelties on the masses. If these trends resulting from the inhuman and barbaric policies and practices of the ruling elite remain in the pipeline, the nation could end-up losing its freedom and integrity.  You wonder, what is the problem that is insolvable?  Ignorance, lust of power and cruelty to the interests of the people just to specify few.

Taharak-e-Taliban of Pakistan (TTP)  claim adherence to one-way code insisting on the promulgation of “Sahariaha” as system of politics, of which they have no knowledge-based understanding or commitment except emotional outbursts and delusional perceptions of Islamic precepts. Islamic faith does not perpetuate systematic brutality against innocent people and it cannot sanction individualistic absolutism against the collective interests of the Ummah. The Taliban groups failed miserably to caption Islam as a force of moral and intellectual persuasion to spearhead change and reformation (“islaha”) in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Taliban appear to be a rogue and lose groups of many belongings and liabilities. Some could well be doing the proxy wars on behalf of the foreign master chipping-in cash dollars and obsolete weapons left-over across the Afghan old graveyards. Their physical presence could signal the changing outlook for more disasters to create ripple effects in Pakistani politics. Mr. Sharif and the Pakistani intelligence networks are not competent and have no clue how to manage the hidden conspiracies of the few against many impinging on the public nerve for a decade. The peace drama continues behind secluded doors and the nation is targeted daily and the innocent continued to be massacred unabated as if Taliban and some fake forces of vindictiveness are determined to undermine the freedom and integrity of the nation.

Pakistan’s major problem rests with domestic power politics. Those who grab the power through intrigues, political conspiracies, military coups, sectarian killings and large social-economic disruptions as is the on-going Pakistani elite supported and American-British led bogus War on Terror, would never cease to act or see an end to their hegemonic power control. For almost half of a century, Pakistani politics in groomed with military dictators and their few created and installed feudal lord families of the British colonial time- Bhuttos, Sharfis, Zardaris, and of course, some of the military Generals themselves – the chief instigators of individualistic governance and national decline. These are household names of hatred and disgrace to the thinking Pakistanis. The Nation that allows criminally indicted and most corrupt people to hold offices of national governance and responsibility cannot be viewed as Nation of moral values and honor.

The nation appears at moral and intellectuals crossroads. Prevalent corruption has darkened the insights of the thinking people. Even some of the most educated and intelligent ones cannot THINK out of the box. Whereas, able and educated Pakistanis look for escape from reality and are rushing to migrate to foreign lands. Consequently, Pakistan is run by ignorant, corrupt and cruel people who have nothing common in thoughts and values with the aspiring masses.

Pakistan is being destabilized and dehumanized by its own wicked so called politicians who lacked understanding of the ideology of the Muslim nation.  The culture, intellect and values these military and political elite follow are foreign to the genius of the people of Pakistan. Pakistan appears to have its ennobling enemies within itself and daily death tolls and societal destruction provide ample data to think of the growing despotism and politically geared domestic madness to undo the foundation of its existence.

Pakistan’s future is not linked to Nawaz Sharif or peace talks with the TTP. The Government and the Taliban are buying time and opportunities to readjust the changing geo-political climate of the region. America is set to withdraw its NAT led forces in few months. Pakistani official and the TTP would hurry to fill the gap and to acquire upper hand in futuristic warfare. Pakistan security forces are relentlessly waiting which way to turn the table and to counteract the tide of bloody insurgency dipping into the political psyche of Pakistani culture. Unless the Thinking Hub of the Pakistani Freedom Movement and Foundational Values reactivate their thoughts and energies for a Navigational Change, the Nation is at critical crossroads for its own fragmentation and by its own so called monstrous political leaders. How to change the political cruelty and tyranny of the FEW unto ANEW value-based political system of institutions, responsible leadership and governance?  Pakistan desperately needs people of New Vision, New Ideas and political imagination to safeguard the freedom of the nation from ultimate chaos and ruins. Those part of the problems cannot be part of the solutions. Taliban have no sense of harmony and political persuasion in talks and behaviors. Sharif has extended an undeserving label of political recognition to the TTP for which it had no political capacity to operate in conventional wisdom. It is hard to imagine that such divergent and people of divided consciousness of their own role and values could be mindful of the impetus of peace process and negotiation to bridge the widening gaps in thinking and practices for stability and the security of the people of Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif has no vision of the future or leadership role to help Pakistan as daily bloodbath continues under one or another media headlines; nobody can predict how these unknown and halfhearted talks will change the political landscape for peace when the Nation’s own future is at stake.

(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012)

Another Infamous Pakistani Militant Is Killed for the Second Time

[EXPOSING AMERICAN FRAUD]

[Another Taliban leader killed for the second time (SEE: 56 killed in shelling by fighter aircraft, helicopters ).  The continual repetition of this demonstrated pattern of the alleged re-killing of famous militants, either confirms the total and complete unreliability of those Pak spies who identify drone victims for the Western press, or else it confirms consistent Pentagon lying about the alleged “successes” of its drone murder program.  The Pentagon never really knows for sure “who” it kills in these strikes, or whether any militants were killed at all in the isolated mountains, even though nearly every publicized strike is linked with a known militant name.  The sheer number of the drone murders -vs- the limited number of known militant names in Pakistan, necessitates the re-running of the names of the alleged victims.]   

Top Pakistan Taliban commander Asmatullah Shaheen ‘shot dead

BBC

File photo of Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani Shaheen was driving in North Waziristan when he was attacked, reports said

A senior Pakistani Taliban commander has been shot dead in a militant stronghold near the Afghan border, security sources and relatives say.

Asmatullah Shaheen was ambushed as he drove through a village near Miranshah in North Waziristan, reports said. Two others in the vehicle also died.

It is unclear who killed them. There has been no word from the militants.

Shaheen was briefly the Pakistani Taliban interim leader after its chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed last year.

Asmatullah Shaheen, who came from the small Bhittani tribe, shot to prominence in December 2011 when his men kidnapped and killed about 15 security force personnel.

The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says he is believed to have depended on the much larger Mehsud tribe for his clout in militant circles.

Chess in a Minefield–Ukraine

Chess in a Minefield: The Global Implications of the Ukraine Conflict

der spiegel

By Uwe Klussmann

Smoke rising on Independence Square in Kiev

AFP

Smoke rising on Independence Square in Kiev on Thursday.

The bloody conflict in Ukraine could trigger yet another confrontation between the West and Russia. Dominance in Europe is at stake on the geopolitical chess board. While Ukraine itself could descend into civil war.

The quote printed in SPIEGEL 33 years ago was a noteworthy one, and still sounds remarkably topical: “We have to ensure that this Soviet empire, when it breaks apart due to its internal contradictions, does so with a whimper rather than a bang.” The sentence was spoken by US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger during an interview conducted in September of 1981.

This week in Ukraine, one of the core regions of that former empire, it is looking very much like a “bang.” Thursday in Kiev has seen bloody violence that has cost the lives of dozens amid gunfire and brutal clashes on Independence Square. Hundreds have been wounded, many seriously. The violence comes on the heels of similar battles on Tuesday — and mark the beginning of what could become an extended and dramatic conflict over the country’s future.

Some of those who have traveled to Kiev to view the situation first hand in recent weeks are fully aware of what a “bang” looks like — US Senator John McCain, 77, for example, a veteran of Vietnam who was shot down in 1967 and spent over two years as a prisoner of war. In December, he stood on the Independence Square stage in Kiev and called out: “People of Ukraine, this is your moment! The free world is with you! America is with you!”

In other words, the Cold War has returned and Moscow is once again the adversary. The only difference is that the weapons have changed.

It is no longer just the association agreement with the European Union that is at stake. Nor is the future of President Viktor Yanukovych, a man surrounded by rumors of corruption, the focus anymore. Rather, geopolitics has taken center stage and the question as to which power centers in Europe and the Eurasia region will be dominant in the future has become paramount. Former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski once compared the region to a chess board. The players, as always, include the US, Russia, the EU and NATO.

Moscow in Checkmate

It’s a chess game in a minefield. Just how explosive the country called Ukraine really is became clear from a background interview given by former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar — a liberal reformer and friendly to the West — in 2008, one year before his death. Those wishing to make Ukraine a member of NATO, as was the intention of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, overlook the fact that it would put Russia in an untenable defensive position, he said. The effort, he added, should be abandoned.

Brzezinski would love to have put Moscow in checkmate. In his book “The Grand Chessboard,” he writes that without Ukraine, Russia “would become predominantly an Asian imperial state” at risk of being drawn into conflicts in Central Asia. But if Moscow were able to gain control of Ukraine and its resources, Brzezinski wrote, the Russian Federation would be a “powerful imperial state.” He saw danger in a potential “German-Russian collusion” and in the possibility of an agreement between Europe and Russia with the goal of pushing America out of the region.

Essentially, Brzezinski’s point of view is one that guides American strategy to this day: The US wants to keep Russia as far away as possible. If the Europeans get involved in Ukraine and harm their relations with Moscow, that is fine with Washington.

Indeed, US Deputy Foreign Minister Victoria Nuland’s infamous “Fuck the EU” gaffe, can hardly be seen as a mistake. Rather it is a logical, if somewhat vulgar, expression of America’s geopolitical stance.

Weakness in the US Strategy

There’s a weakness to this strategy though: In contrast to the former Baltic Soviet republics with their small populations, it would be difficult to integrate Ukraine with its 45 million residents in the same way.

The country is also deeply divided. The economically weak regions in the west are bastions of nationalists. And Ukraine’s major companies, like its steel mills, ship and turbine building operations are located in the east and are focused on the Russian market.

Russian is the predominant language in daily use in the capital city of Kiev, millions of Russians live in the eastern part of the country and on the Crimea as well. The Black Sea peninsula was first transferred to Ukraine in 1954, and against the will of the people living there.

Indeed, Crimea could soon become the next hot spot in the conflict. Russia’s Black Sea fleet is stationed in Sevastopol, a source of irritation for Ukrainian nationalists and friends of the United States.

At an event in Kiev in October, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt described a “myriad of opportunities” if Ukraine aligned itself with the United States and said “you have no better friend in this endeavor than the United States. … We stand ready to support you, the Ukrainian people, as you find your place in Europe.”

Dangerously Sweet Promises

Sweet promises like that, which seem tantamount to blank checks, have the potential to drive one of Europe’s poorest countries into civil war. It’s not just a government apparatus suspected of corruption that is on the verge of faltering in Ukraine — the foundations of a country whose current borders are hardly sustainable at this point are also being shaken. The tactics adopted so far by Yanukovych’s regime of alternating between brutal strikes and the temporary retreat will only further radicalize the protest movement.

When field commanders capable of anything lay down the law, the dynamic of secession begins, as we previously saw in the Caucuses. The presidium of the Crimean Supreme Council has already threatened that it may urge residents to “defend civil peace” on the peninsula.

Thus far, the Kremlin hasn’t sought to encourage separatist sentiment in eastern and southern Ukraine. And it doesn’t appear that Vladimir Putin and his system of power is interested in the prospect of a civil war in his backyard.

But it still has the potential to break out even if Moscow doesn’t want it. Those familiar with Ukraine’s history know that the militant nationalists in the west of the country have gone time and time again into battles they can’t win. After World War II, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army waged a senseless partisan war for five years against the Soviet state, leaving thousands dead on both sides.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called Ukraine a “powder keg” that one cannot allow to be lit. Whatever the case, romanticizing revolution can only end in a “big bang” — the fallout from which would extend far beyond Ukraine.

Warning–Saudi mayhem ahead

we are all syrians

Warning: Saudi mayhem ahead

Asia Times

By Pepe Escobar

Move over, Peter O’ Toole. It’s Charles of Arabia time. Prince Charles switched to Lawrence mode when he went schmoozing and dancing in Riyadh this past Tuesday with the natives. And just like clockwork, the next day BAE Systems – Europe’s number one weapons peddler – announced that the UK and the House of Saud had agreed on “new pricing” for an extremely juicy deal; 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets.

The Eurofighter is a direct competitor of the spectacularly unsalable French Rafale and the very expensive American F-35s and F-16s. The Associated Press duly included in its dispatch – reproduced by virtually every newspaper around the world – the

Washington-enforced meme “Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are fortifying their military capabilities to counter a perceived threat from regional rivals, particularly Iran.” As if Tehran was going to bomb the House of Saud tomorrow.

The Eurofighter, on the other hand, has already been employed against fellow Arabs – as in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s humanitarian bombing of Libya back to failed-state status. It’s open to debate whether the House of Saud might be tempted to employ it against the enemy within: aspiring Saudi women drivers.

Brandishing the official excuse that near-nonagenarian King Abdullah was not able to receive him, Charles of Arabia declined to discuss with the House of Saud the absolutely appalling women’s rights, migrant workers’ rights and for that matter the full human rights situation in the kingdom. Of course not; this is only brought up when demonizing Russia, China and/or Iran.

Moreover, Charles of Arabia could not possibly ruffle feathers as the French are also positioning themselves as contenders in the Snuggle-Up-with-a-Saudi industrial-military complex game show (worth more than US$70 billion in these past few years). French President Francois Hollande – an abysmal nullity at home but a Great Liberator of Africa and Syria – visited Riyadh in December trying hard to steal significant market share from the Anglo-Americans. The problem is, no sentient being anywhere would even contemplate buying a Rafale.

Here’s the dough, now gimme a bomb
So the House of Saud is stockpiling weapons. Check. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan, aka Bandar Bush, remains on the loose, financing/weaponizing his growing army of mercenaries in the Levant. Check. And the House of Saud is up to something with its ally Pakistan. Check.

Just one day before Charles of Arabia hit Riyadh, Saudi Defense Minister – and, crucially, Crown Prince – Salam bin Abdul Aziz was in Islamabad. The heart of the matter was – what else – a “defense pact”. [1]

Crucially, there’s also a Pipelineistan reverberation. By mid-2013, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was all excited over the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline, which should theoretically go online in 2015. Now he’s not so sure. One doesn’t need to be the perspicacious Charles of Arabia to detect a Saudi hand on all this – actively spoiling the Iran-Pakistan energy partnership.

The House of Saud’s Iranian paranoia has no equal in the whole solar system, and regime change in Syria is a key plank in the retribution scenario. No matter Washington’s non-denial denials of the “we’re not involved” kind, Bandar Bush’s network will soon be supplying mercenary gangs in the Levant with anti-aircraft weaponry.

And guess who’s following Charles of Arabia to Riyadh next month: none other than US President Barack Obama. As part of the House of Saud’s multi-pronged attack, King Abdullah will practically supplicate from Obama (of Arabia?) a decisive push for regime change in Syria.

Meanwhile, the House of Saud is trying to amass as many Pakistani “advisers” as possible to train its paid goons in Syria. The official Pakistani non-denial denial is that they won’t be sending their army to Syria. [2] But in a remix of Afghanistan during the 1980s jihad, a bunch of seasoned “advisers” will more than suffice.

Then there’s the House of Saud nuclear play. Already in 2012, they were advertising the drive to build no fewer than 16 commercial nuclear reactors by 2030 – and on top of it a tech agreement with Beijing was signed.

The House of Saud spent a lot of dough in the Pakistani nuclear weapons program. It’s not even a matter of “acquiring nuclear technology” against Iran; that would take too long. Depending on the result of the P5+1 talks with Iran along 2014, a hyper-paranoid House of Saud could simply rain a mountain of hard cash on cash-strapped Islamabad and just buy one of its nukes.

After all, Riyadh just offered a cool $3 billion to the Lebanese army so that it would buy French weapons – something that over-excited Frenchmen duly interpreted as a Saudi “tactical divorce” from the Barack Obama administration.

Every each way one looks at it, expect major House of Saud-provoked mayhem ahead. Even in Tehran, they are worried about Saudi sanity – as the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei knows all there is to know about the cosmic paranoia, aging King Abdullah (89) riding into the sunset, the fierce succession war to follow, and, meanwhile, Bandar Bush’s warmongering offensive.

Which brings us back to perspicacious Charles of Arabia. He could not have failed to notice there is a direct continuum from medieval Wahhabism and one Osama bin Laden. Until recently, every leadership of every hardcore Islamist gang on the planet shared three traits: they studied in Saudi Arabia; they were financed by Saudi sources (public or private); and they reached their “maturity” in Afghanistan. Now the jihadi landscape is more diversified. So it’s up to Bandar Bush to regiment the new jihadi Google generation into “Islamic Fronts”.

For the House of Saud, though, the agenda always remains the same: demonize Iran; be the dutiful errand boys of the hyperpower and lesser Western “powers”; and buy weapons in droves. No wonder Charles of Arabia happily danced to their tune; after all, these jolly old chaps are “our” gold-medal bastards.

Notes:
1. Pak-Saudi defence cooperation agreed, The News, February 17, 2014.
2. Pakistan Refuse Saudi Demand to Send Pakistan Army in Syria, Pakistan TV.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

Fascism’s Ugly Face in Ukraine

Yulia+Tymoshenko+III-212x300

 and the Pretty Little Mask That Hides It

Fascism’s Ugly Face in Ukraine

the people's voice

by Stephen Lendman

Far-right Ukrainian ultranationalists are fascist extremists. Washington provides support. Oleh Tyahnybok heads the neo-Nazi Svoboda party. It’s allied with likeminded groups.

They openly display Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) red and black flag.

He was a Nazi collaborator. He participated in mass executions and ethnic cleansing.

Svoboda’s slogan is “Ukraine for the Ukrainians.” Bandera said the same thing. He wanted Ukraine made ethnically pure. Mass extermination followed to do so.

Svoboda earlier called itself Socialist-Nationalists. It bears erie resemblance to Hitler’s National Socialism. It reflects fascism writ large.

Hooliganism is longstanding fascist strategy. Blackshirt and Brownshirt violence helped elevate Mussolini and Hitler to power respectively.

Communists, socialists, unionists and other opponents were attacked. El Duce’s 1922 March on Rome coup made him Italy’s youngest ever prime minister.

He took full advantage. He established a one-party state dictatorship. He eliminated competitors. Italy’s business class, military and moderate right wing supported him.

In Weimar Germany’s final years, economic and political crisis conditions existed. Ahead of 1932 parliamentary elections, Prussian authorities reported about 300 acts of politically motivated violence.

About two dozen were killed. Hundreds of others were injured. Brownshirt storm troopers enlisted working class support.

Goebbels provoked communists and social democrats. Propaganda highlighted Nazi martyrs killed or injured in street battles.

Hitler’s Mein Kampf was a revolutionary manifesto. It denounced what he called the world’s twin evils – communism and Judaism.

It openly said Germany’s future “lie(‘s) in the acquisition of land in the East at the expense of Russia.”

He blamed Weimar governance, communists, social democrats and Jews for Germany’s crisis. He wanted an entirely new order established.

He wanted absolute control. He eliminated all competitors. He transformed Germany into a one-party state dictatorship. He wanted Nazi hegemony over Europe.

Right-wing extremism dominates Western societies today. America more than ever resembles a police state. Duopoly power runs things.

Rule of law principles don’t matter. Human and civil rights are disappearing in plain sight. Friendly US fascism is increasingly unfriendly. It’s a short leap to tyrannical rule.

Ideological extremists threaten Europe. They’re more subtle than earlier day fascists. They’re just as dangerous. They want unchallenged power replacing democratic freedoms.

Neoliberalism replaced social justice. Right-wing politics dominates. US Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin.

Not a dime’s worth of difference separates them. Most of Europe operates the same way. Societies are increasingly unfit to live in.

Hard line fascism is a short leap away. Con men like Obama and like-minded European counterparts take full advantage. Powerful interests are served at the expense of all others.

In summer 2013, months before violence erupted in Ukraine, Svoboda conducted paramilitary training.

Obama supports its extremism. So do key EU partners. Fascist elements operated openly in Ukraine since Washington’s 2004 Orange Revolution.

Democratically elected Viktor Yanukovoych was ousted. Viktor Yushchenko replaced him.

Soros money was involved. So were State Department funded organizations. In January 2010, Yanukovych was reelected.

He defeated Yushchenko. His last presidential act was naming Bandera a Hero of Ukraine.

It’s the highest national title award. It’s given for “personal heroism and great labor achievements.” Honoring Bandera caused uproar in Russia, Poland, Ukraine and elsewhere.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and other Jewish groups condemned it. His award was later revoked.

Post-war, he worked for West German intelligence. Washington-recruited Nazi General Reinhardt Gehlen headed it. In 1959, KGB assassins killed him.

His close associates were CIA and MI6 operatives. Their past Nazi affiliation was no deterrent.

Bandara’s legacy thrives in Ukraine today. His present day counterparts get open US support.

In late January, Ukrainian leaders, civic groups and religious organizations wrote Washington, EU officials and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

They condemned neo-Nazi support. They said in part:

“You should understand that in supporting the actions of the guerrillas in Ukraine…you…are directly protecting, inciting and egging on Ukrainian neo-Nazis and neo-fascists.”

“None of these oppositionists (Yatsenyuk, Klitschko, and Tyahnybok) hide that they are continuing the ideology and the practices of the OUN-UPA.”

“Wherever the Euromaidan people go in Ukraine, they disseminate, besides the slogans mentioned above, neo-Nazi, racist symbols.”

“Also confirming the neo-Nazi nature of the Euromaidan is the constant use of portraits of the bloody executioners of our people, Bandera and Shukhevych – agents of the (Nazi military intelligence) Abwehr.”

“Have the UN, the EU, and the USA ceased to recognize the Charter and Verdict of the International War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremburg, where the Hitlerite Nazis and their henchmen were convicted?”

“Have human rights ceased to be a value for the countries of the EU and the world community?”

“Is the Ukrainian nationalists’ devotion to Hitler and his mass murders of civilians now considered democracy?”

Western-supported fascist elements are responsible for violent protests. They’re terrorizing Ukrainians. They’re murdering civilians. They’re killing police.

They’re occupying government buildings. They’re setting others ablaze. Yanukovych defends his country responsibly.

He’s wrongfully blamed for their violence. He’s battling fascism’s ugly agenda.

Rogue elements support it. Others are duped to do so. Washington and EU partners fund it. Most Ukrainians have no idea what’s going on.

Their futures are on the line. So is Ukraine’s sovereignty. Eighty-one years ago this past January 30, Hitler rose to power.

He became Germany’s chancellor. He did so with Western support. He kept it through much of the 1930s.

He established a ruthless dictatorship. Mass slaughter, barbarism and anti-Semitism defined it. He ravaged most of Europe. He murdered millions.

He might have emerged victorious if he hadn’t invaded Soviet Russia. Waging war on two major fronts defeated him. Imagine if things turned out the other way.

Fascism didn’t die. It’s alive and well. It resides in Europe. It thrives in America. US policy exceeds the worst of Nazi crimes.

Hitler’s Third Reich lasted a dozen years. Post-WW II America wages war on humanity. It does so at home and abroad.

Millions ruthlessly slaughtered attest to America’s ruthlessness. Syria is in the eye of the storm. So is Ukraine. Both countries are US-instigated battlegrounds.

How many more will die before both conflicts end? What will happen in their aftermath?

How many more countries will America attack? Venezuela is the top Western Hemisphere target. Iran tops the Middle East list.

Trotsky once wrote:

“Fascism is a particular governmental system based on the uprooting of all elements of proletarian democracy within bourgeois society.”

“The task of fascism lies not only in destroying the Communist vanguard but in holding the entire class in a state of forced disunity.”

“To this end, the physical annihilation of the most revolutionary section of the workers does not suffice.”

“It is also necessary to smash all independent and voluntary organizations, to demolish all the defensive bulwarks of the proletariat, and to uproot whatever has been achieved during three-quarters of a century by the Social Democracy and the trade unions.”

European Jews suffered most under Hitler. So did all other Third Reich enemies.

Washington wants all challengers eliminated. It wants supreme global power. It’s waging war on humanity to achieve it.

It may end up destroying it altogether. How many wars are too many? How many more millions will suffer and die? How much more ravaging is too much?

When will Washington’s imperial agenda be challenged? When will White House lies be universally denounced?

On February 20, an Office of the Press Secretary statement wrongfully blamed Yanukovych. It ignored months of US-instigated, manipulated, supported street violence. It lied said:

“We are outraged by the images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people.”

“We urge President Yanukovych to immediately withdraw his security forces from downtown Kyiv and to respect the right of peaceful protest, and we urge protesters to express themselves peacefully.”

“We urge the Ukrainian military not to get involved in a conflict that can and should be resolved by political means.”

“The use of force will not resolve the crisis – clear steps must be taken to stop the violence and initiate meaningful dialogue that reduces tension and addresses the grievances of the Ukrainian people.”

“The United States will work with our European allies to hold those responsible for violence accountable and to help the Ukrainian people get a unified and independent Ukraine back on the path to a better future.”

It bears repeating. Washington bears full responsibility. Plans to topple Yanukovych were made well before violence erupted.

Obama chose when and how to initiate it. He’s in league with Ukrainian fascist extremists. He wants another imperial trophy. He’ll stop at nothing to get it.

-###-

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

The Little Saudi Who Wants To Be the Big King

 

Saudi Interior Minister Muhammad bin Nayef (R) speaks to his Iraqi counterpart Adnan al-Asadi during the conference of Arab interior ministers in Riyadh, March 13, 2013.  (photo by REUTERS)

Saudi Arabia’s ideological battle with terrorism

al monitor

It’s perhaps unusual for an interior minister to be in charge of foreign policy, travel to world capitals and negotiate transfers of arms to rebels in regional conflicts. But conventions often do not apply in the Arab world and certainly not in Saudi Arabia, where princes perform multiple and diverse tasks. Reports are circulating in the media that Minister of Interior Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, known for his counterterror efforts, will replace his nephew Prince Bandar bin Sultan as the man in charge of the Syrian file. Saudi sources remain unsurprisingly silent on the speculations. The prince’s task allegedly revolves around defeating President Bashar al-Assad by arming moderate Syrian rebels and fighting al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria. Such a specific agenda is reportedly meant to reinvigorate Saudi efforts to remain relevant in Syria, where bin Sultan’s strategies have failed miserably over the last three years. Can bin Nayef achieve this rather difficult objective that would allow him to go beyond his narrow expertise as the security man who defeated al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and eventually emerge as the future monarch of Saudi Arabia?

 

One outcome of the war on terror was the making of “big men” who were granted extensive powers and unlimited budgets to fight the menace of terrorism, uproot its fiercest practitioners, de-radicalize its sympathizers and emerge triumphant over not only terrorists but societies that are ruled with an iron fist. Bin Nayef’s career over the last decade seems to correspond to that of the counterterror “big man.” Like the terror they fight, such “big men” seek to be global. To succeed, they need to reach out to an international constituency and a web of world leaders and intelligence services. Bin Nayef visited Washington several times over the last year or so — the last such visit was on Feb. 11 — seeking dialogue with US President Barack Obama and senior officials in the State Department and the CIA. A counterterror “big man” needs to convince Washington that he knows the terrorists and their hideouts and can turn their religiously saturated discourse on its head and catch them before they unleash their terror on peaceful civilians.

Bin Nayef must have convinced Washington that he knows the terrorists very well, so well in fact that they came too close for comfort. On one occasion, a terrorist was invited to meet him to discuss repentance and reunion with his wife. But treachery won out, and the terrorist turned up with hidden explosives that exploded and mildly injured the prince. The prince inaugurated a showpiece de-radicalization program, almost a five-star rehabilitation resort, where a number of religious scholars, psychologists and sociologists work as counselors re-educating terrorists in the art of tolerance and moderate religious interpretations. After graduating from the program, they are rewarded with a comfortable life, a stipend, a wife and a job. The project attracted international attention as a success story despite the fact that some graduates may relapse and return to their original convictions. Nevertheless, as the program’s founder, bin Nayef emerged as the tamer of terrorists whose expertise is now sought by international counterterrorism agencies from Washington to Singapore.

One difficulty that hindered the program’s success was the fact that Saudi Arabia was fighting a battle with its own ideology. The terrorists were simply putting into practice what their government and its agencies had taught them for years. Bin Nayef was not fighting a battle with an external ideological trend, but a very local one, so local in fact that it helped forge the Saudi state itself, which was conceived as a project to “purify” Islam and eradicate differences. The prince wanted to eradicate the ideology of terror in a state that was founded on eradicating other ways of thinking and behaving, so this dilemma will continue to haunt any serious effort to contain terrorism. To put it bluntly, the prince did not succeed in eliminating terror; he simply pushed it away to countries like Yemen, Iraq and now Syria and Lebanon.

Like many counterterror “big men,” bin Nayef used the pretext of fighting terrorism to further undermine the limited human, civil and political rights that Saudis aspire to enjoy. Like his father, the late Prince Nayef, he presides over a network of security, intelligence and policing agencies that curtail people’s freedom. During the last decade, it has become easy for a Saudi to end up in prison after posting an article on Facebook, appearing on international media outlets or dreaming of establishing a civil society organization. In fact, posting 140 characters on Twitter may lead to a prolonged visit to prison and a delayed trial presided over by one of his “little men,” mainly judges who claim to apply Sharia but in fact they apply the prince’s law. It was no surprise that bin Nayef’s portrait was burned by women demonstrators in Buraidah last year when they called for fair trials and the release of their relatives, held in prison for several years. Torture in bin Nayef’s prisons has become notorious, reported by both international human right organizations and local ones that remain unlicensed in a country that still bans an independent civil society.

The war on terror allowed bin Nayef’s ministry, by now a state within the state, to become too big for comfort. On several occasions, Saudi reformers composed petitions in which they called for limiting the Ministry of Interior’s powers over the judiciary and the provinces. They pointed out that the rule of law and the protection of civil and human rights were lacking in Saudi Arabia and called upon the government to respect the law when dealing with citizens. While retaining their commitment to a national agenda, reformers envisaged a federal system that would free the provinces from the Ministry of Interior’s centralized control and push toward local development and the elimination of poverty and corruption. The unlicensed Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association went as far as asking for putting bin Nayef on trial. His son Muhammad made sure that all authors of petitions were not only put in prison, but also banned from travel for several decades after their release.

On his coming visit to Riyadh in March, certainly Obama will not be concerned with such unpleasant local Saudi details. Like his US predecessors and European counterparts, Obama will congratulate the Saudi leadership for all its efforts to combat terrorism and set a new target for bin Nayef and other Saudi princes, mainly to show how effective they are in Syria, where a raging rebellion is unsurprisingly refusing to calm down, given the multiple sources of funding that are fueling it. It may not be so straightforward for bin Nayef to control Syrian rebels on the Saudi payroll, separate the radicals from the moderates or agree on the meaning of rebellion and terrorism in the Syrian context. Bin Nayef will fight hard on the Syrian front, simply because there is too much at stake — namely, his credentials as he tries to overcome his narrow counterterrorism legitimacy and replace it with that of a statesman. The shift toward positioning himself as the rightful monarch from among the second royal generation after King Abdullah’s death will require something beyond the Saudi local context. Bin Nayef needs to establish his reputation regionally as an arbiter of complex webs of interest groups, countries and rival powers. Success in counterterrorism efforts may be an important but not sufficient precondition for the transformation of a “big man” into the monarch of one of the most important countries in the region and the world. But he can rest assured that his policing excesses at the home front will never worry Obama when he turns up in Riyadh next month.

Bandar Disappears Into Saudi Royal Gulag Again—This Time for Screwing-up In Syria

[As far as we know, Bandar has not been seen publicly since he went on record threatening Putin with the Chechen terrorists.  He will now probably be returned to his former cell, which has been kept warm for him since he was last freed from arrest by Bashar al-Asad (SEE:  Saudi ‘royals’ secret mission to Syria).  Ditching Bandar and his disastrous Syrian policies was no doubt, a prerequisite for renewed joint action between the US and Saudi Arabia.]

Saudi Arabia Benches Veteran Spy Chief on Syria, Replaces Him with Powerful Minister

mtv

 

Saudi Arabia has sidelined its veteran spy chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, as spearhead of the kingdom’s efforts to manage the situation in Syria, replacing him with Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, diplomats told AFP.

 

“A Saudi analyst who serves as adviser to top royals said the changes signaled the kingdom would also now emphasize diplomatic means, including outreach to and pressure on Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, the main backers of Mr. Assad’s regime,” the Wall Street Journal wrote.

 

“Prince Mohammed’s appointment reflects shifting U.S. interests in the conflict, with both the Americans and Saudis increasing their focus on countering al Qaeda-linked groups in Syria,” it added.

 

According to U.S. officials, Prince Mohammed enjoys good relations with Secretary of State John Kerry and CIA Director John Brennan.

 

Two top White House officials – national security adviser Susan Rice and homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco – met last week with Saudi Arabia’s Interior Minister.

 

They discussed security cooperation and efforts to address violent extremism and terrorism across the Middle East, a White House statement said.

 

“They also exchanged views on regional issues and committed to continuing to strengthen our cooperation on a range of common interests,” it added.

 

Senior U.S. officials recently described Prince Bandar as “erratic” and “hot-headed.” Kerry, in private meetings with U.S. officials, singled him out as “the problem” and complained about his conduct in orchestrating Saudi policy in Syria, according to meeting participants.

 

A son of the late defense minister and crown prince, Prince Sultan, and a protégé of the late King Fahd, Prince Bandar was appointed Saudi Arabia’s new spy chief in July 2012.

“Cue The Snipers!!”–Mystery Snipers Enter Ukrainian Destabilization Operation

Ukraine protests: ten killed ‘by sniper’ as fresh fighting breaks Kiev truce

the telegraph

Central Kiev once again a war zone again after protesters charge police barricades in Independence Square, Telegraph reporter counts ten bodies.

Violence Escalates As Kiev Protests Continue

KIEV, UKRAINE – FEBRUARY 20: (EDITORS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT) Anti-government protesters carry the injured during continued clashes with police in Independence square, despite a truce agreed between the Ukrainian president and opposition leaders on February 20, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. Despite an overnight truce, violence has again flared up as Police stormed the ‘Maidan’ protest camp in Independence Square. Heavy casualties have been reported as Special Forces are using live ammunition. Protesters are seeking to oust President Viktor Yanukovych over corruption and an abandoned trade agreement with the European Union.By Jeff J Mitchell (GETTY)

Hopes that a fresh truce could end the confrontation in Kiev were dashed on Thursday when at least ten protesters were shot dead in the space of two hours.

The ten corpses were laid out on the pavement beneath the awning of a cafe on the northen edge of Independence Square, where thousands of demonstrators are still camped. At least three of the bodies displayed single bullet wounds to the head.

One demonstrator, who gave his name as Andreiy, carried in one body on a green military stretcher. “He died between 90 minutes and two hours ago,” he told a Telegraph reporter. “These are all live rounds. You can see what they do. He and all the others were shot in the head, the neck or the heart. None were shot anywhere else like in the legs.”

An anti-government protester shows a live bullet (EPA)

Andreiy blamed a “professional” government sniper, citing the accuracy of the shots, most of which were aimed at the head. The government has insisted that its forces have been acting with restraint.

In the course of a few minutes, three more bodies were brought in to join seven already lying on the pavement, bringing the total to ten. An Orthodox priest clad in black robes conducted an impromptu service over the dead.

Hundreds of armed protesters bombarded police with Molotov cocktails and rocks, regaining control of most of the square they occupied at the start of the three-month political crisis.

Anti-government protesters carry an injured man on a stretcher in Independence Square (Reuters)

Police responded with rubber bullets and stun grenades, although there were also reports of live rounds being used. It was unclear where the gunfire originated.

Officials were evacuated from Kiev’s main government building as the clashes continued.

In a statement published early on Thursday, before the latest fighting, the Ukrainian Health Ministry said 28 people had now died and 287 have been hospitalised during the two days of street violence. Protesters, who have set up a medical care facility in a downtown cathedral, say the numbers are significantly higher.

The latest clashes have been the worst since protests kicked off three months ago after President Viktor Yanukovych shelved an association agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. After Mr Yanukovych shelved the agreement with the EU, Russia announced a $15 billion bailout for Ukraine, whose economy is in tatters.

The two sides are locked in a battle over the identity of this nation of 46 million, whose loyalties are divided between Russia and the West, and parts of the country are in open revolt against the central government.

Smoke rises above burning barricades at Independence Square (Reuters)

The latest bout of street violence began on Tuesday when protesters attacked police lines and set fires outside parliament, accusing Mr Yanukovych of ignoring their demands to enact constitutional reforms that would limit the president’s power – a key opposition demand. Parliament, dominated by his supporters, was stalling on taking up a constitutional reform to limit presidential powers.

Police responded by attacking the protest camp. Armed with water cannons, stun grenades and rubber bullets, police dismantled some barricades. But the protesters held their ground through the night, encircling the protest camp with new burning barricades of tires, furniture and debris.

The ongoing violence on the square on Thursday indicates that more radical elements among the protesters may be unwilling to observe the truce and may not be mollified by the prospects of negotiations. Although the initial weeks of protests were determinedly peaceful, radicals helped drive an outburst of clashes with police in January in which at least three people died, and the day of violence on Tuesday may have radicalised many more.

A protester stands behind barricades during clashes with police (AFP)

Vitali Klitschko, the opposition leader who along with two others met with the president late on Wednesday to discuss a truce, said the president assured them that police would not storm the protesters’ encampment on Kiev’s Independence Square, according to the Interfax news agency.

A brief statement published on the president’s website late on Wednesday did not give details of what terms a truce would entail or how it would be implemented. Nor did it specify how the negotiations would be conducted or give an indication of how they would be different from previous meetings of the president and the opposition leaders.

Political and diplomatic manoeuvering has continued, with both Moscow and the West eager to gain influence over this former Soviet republic. Three EU foreign ministers – from Germany, France and Poland – were heading to Kiev on Thursday to speak with both sides before an emergency EU meeting in Brussels to consider sanctions against those responsible for the recent violence in Ukraine.

President Barack Obama also stepped in to condemn the violence, warning on Wednesday “there will be consequences” for Ukraine if it continues. The US has raised the prospect of joining with the EU to impose sanctions against Ukraine.

On a visit to Mexico, Mr Obama said the Ukrainian military should not step into a situation that civilians should resolve and added that the US holds Ukraine’s government primarily responsible for dealing with peaceful protesters appropriately.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry, in turn, described the violence as an attempted coup and even used the phrase “brown revolution,” an allusion to the Nazi rise to power in Germany in 1933. The ministry said Russia would use “all our influence to restore peace and calm.”

A number of Ukrainian athletes left the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi where they were competing in the Winter Olympics to return home amid the crisis, the International Olympic Committee said.

In Kiev, Ukraine’s top security agency accused on protesters Wednesday of seizing hundreds of firearms from its offices and announced a nationwide anti-terrorist operation to restore order.

Protesters stand behind barricades during a face-off against police forces (AFP)

Demonstrators, meanwhile, forced their way into the main post office on Kiev’s Independence Square, also known as the Maidan, after a nearby building they had previously occupied was burned down in fierce, fiery clashes late Tuesday with riot police. Thousands of activists armed with fire bombs and rocks had defended the square, a key symbol of the protests.

“The revolution has turned into a war with the authorities,” Vasyl Oleksenko, a retired geologist from central Ukraine, said Wednesday. “We must fight this bloody, criminal leadership. We must fight for our country, our Ukraine!”

Before the truce was announced the bad blood was running so high it has fueled fears the nation could be sliding toward a messy breakup. While most people in the country’s western regions resent Yanukovych, he enjoys strong support in the mostly Russian-speaking eastern and southern regions, where many want strong ties with Russia.

Neither side had appeared willing to compromise, with the opposition insisting on Mr Yanukovych’s resignation and an early election and the president apparently prepared to fight until the end.

Opposition parliamentarian Oleh Lyashko warned that Yanukovych himself was in danger.

“Yanukovych, you will end like (Moammar) Gadhafi,” Mr Lyashko told thousands of angry protesters. “Either you, a parasite, will stop killing people or this fate will await you. Remember this, dictator!”

Before the truce announcement, Mr Yanukovych had blamed the protesters for the violence and said the opposition leaders had “crossed a line when they called people to arms.”

“I again call on the leaders of the opposition … to draw a boundary between themselves and radical forces, which are provoking bloodshed and clashes with the security services,” the president said in a statement. “If they don’t want to leave – they should acknowledge that they are supporting radicals.”

In Moscow, the Kremlin said it put the next disbursement of its bailout on hold amid uncertainty over Ukraine’s future and what it described as a “coup attempt.”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters that he and his counterparts from Germany and Poland would meet both sides in Ukraine ahead of the EU meeting on possible sanctions. He said he hoped the two sides “will find a way for dialogue.”

Possible sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes, which could hit hard the powerful oligarchs who back Mr Yanukovych.

Murdering Those Who Seek Peace for Afghanistan

Karzai condemns Raqeeb’s killing after Taliban peace talks in Dubai

pakistan today

Joint Press Availability with President of Afghanistan.

Afghan president says Raqeeb had returned from peace talks when he was killed in Peshawar

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday condemned the killing of a former Taliban minister, saying the victim had recently returned from a Taliban meeting in Dubai where he had supported peace talks.

Abdul Raqeeb was gunned down in Peshawar on Monday as he left a religious seminary where he had been teaching.

He “was a supporter of peace and reconciliation and had just returned from Dubai after attending peace talks when he was killed in Peshawar”, a statement issued by Karzai’s office said.

It was the first official confirmation of a meeting of Taliban in the Gulf state to discuss the moribund peace process.

A Taliban office in Qatar that opened last June was meant to lead to peace talks, but instead it enraged Karzai after it was styled as an embassy for a government-in-exile.

Public efforts at reconciliation have since been frozen.

“No Afghan has real security abroad, especially those patriots who want peace and stability in their country,” Karzai said in the statement.

A senior Afghan Taliban leader confirmed Monday that Raqeeb was part of a group in Peshawar which was “in favour of making some connection with the Afghan government over possible peace talks”.

A senior member of Afghanistan’s government peace council told AFP separately that Aga Jan Motasim, another former minister, was also at the talks in Dubai to “discuss joining the Afghan peace process”.

He declined to say if any government mediators had joined the talks.

Last Thursday the Afghan government released scores of alleged Taliban fighters from Bagram prison, leading to criticism from the United States.

But some analysts say the releases could help kickstart the peace talks with the religious hardliners, who were ousted from power in 2001.

Pakistan is seen as crucial to peace in neighbouring Afghanistan as it was a key backer of the 1996-2001 Taliban regime in Kabul.

Senior leaders of the Afghan Taliban have been targeted and killed in the Pakistani city of Quetta and in Peshawar but nobody has ever claimed responsibility.

Raqeeb’s body was taken to Afghanistan to be buried in his birth place in the northeastern province of Takhar.

[Venezuela is wisely pre-empting the Imperial war upon the Nation before it enters the violent phase that Ukraine now finds itself in.  Ukraine is now in the “2011 Syria” phase, the level of destabilization just short of civil war.  It is easy to see the continuity among all of the targeted nations like Libya, Syria, Egypt  and Ukraine, if you visualize a long straight road, with each of the various destabilization plots laid-out along that line.  Is the CIA and the USA itself to be held responsible for all of the destabilization deaths, or any of them, even just for Ukraine, Syria, or just for the few lives claimed so far in Venezuela?  I am wondering if this goofy trouble-maker is next.]

Roberto Briceño-LeónRoberto Briceño León, responsible for Venezuelan Observatory of Violence

Wanted Opposition Leader Surrenders to Venezuelan Authorities

latin american her trib
Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez turned himself in to the GNB militarized police during an anti-government rally in Caracas

CARACAS – Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, wanted for allegedly fomenting violence during protests last week that left three people dead, on Tuesday turned himself in to the GNB militarized police during an anti-government rally in Caracas.

Lopez was placed in an armored GNB vehicle that left the rally as hundreds of his followers looked on.

Behind the vehicle carrying Lopez were two automobiles occupied by politicians of his Popular Will party.

Lopez, the former mayor of the capital municipality of Chacao, had said moments before that he had come to turn himself over to “unjust justice” rather going into hiding or leaving the country.

“If my imprisonment serves to wake up a people so that Venezuela may definitively wake up and so the majority of us Venezuelans who want change can build that change in peace and democracy, then this infamous imprisonment is worth it,” he said, accusing President Nicolas Maduro of pursuing a vendetta against him.

“Together, we have to be clear that we have to build a way out … This way out, sisters and brothers, has to be peaceful within the framework of the constitution, but also it has to be on the streets,” Lopez said.

At the request of the Attorney General’s Office, a Caracas judge last Wednesday ordered Lopez arrested on a raft of charges that include criminal conspiracy, homicide and terrorism.

Maduro personally blamed Lopez after three people died during protests in Caracas and several other Venezuelan cities to demand the ouster of the leftist president, who said a far-right element of the opposition was seeking to overthrow the government through violence.

Press accounts said personnel belonging to the Sebin intelligence service opened fire in the vicinity of the demonstration last Wednesday.

Maduro has acknowledged that some Sebin personnel disobeyed an order to stay off the streets last week and the government announced Tuesday that the head of the spy service had been fired.

The Ukrainian Extremists Have Guns

[It is really incredible that Obama and Putin have allowed this festering boil in Ukraine to reach this point of rupture.  It is indicative of the high level of violence we are about to witness in Syria and perhaps Lebanon.  The temporary holding pattern established between Russia and the US in Syria over the issue of chemical disarmament is about to give way, as Obama and the Arabs move militarily to secure southern Syria (probably including Damascus), probably with Israeli participation.  Russia is in no mood to tolerate such an intrusion into Syria, implying an impending US/Russian military confrontation.

The opposition is now openly using firearms against the govt.  The violence level has nowhere to go but up.]

Fears of conflict escalation grow as police report numbers of stolen weapons

kyiv post

Ukraine — by Katya Gorchinskaya

Anti-government protesters clash with the police in Kiev on February 18, 2014. Police on Tuesday launched an assault on the main anti-government protest camp on Kiev’s Independence Square after the bloodiest clashes in almost three months of anti-government demonstrations, AFP journalists at the scene said. AFP PHOTO/ ANATOLII BOIKO
© AFP

 

Ukraine’s authorities admitted on Feb. 19 that massive stocks of arms were stolen from regional police and Security Service of Ukraine headquarters, and suggested that those weapons were being transported to Kyiv for use by protesters.

At the same time, the government has not made any meaningful steps towards a peaceful resolution of the deadly conflict beyond declarations that President Viktor Yanukovych is ready for more negotiations with the opposition.

The political gridlock is fueling fears that a new spiral of violence may be imminent.

Protesters attacked a number of government buildings in western Ukraine on Feb. 18 during mass unrest in western Ukraine, including three regional Security Service of Ukraine departments in Lviv and Ternopil and seized the Ivano-Frankivsk department, according to Volodymyr Borodko, the deputy head of the law enforcement agency known more commonly by its SBU nickname.

“The attackers did not take into account the fact that buildings contained limited access documents, special investigation equipment and weapons,” Borodko said.

He said 267 pistols were seized by the protesters, as well as two rifles, three machine guns, 92 hand grenades, and about 15,000 pieces of ammunition.

Serhiy Burlakov, a representative of the Interior Ministry, said that also close to 300 piece of arms were stolen from police departments in Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Rivne and Ternopil regions that were also taken over.

In a separate statement, the SBU said protesters since yesterday have seized more than 1,500 guns and 100,000 rounds of ammunition, which they have used “to commit murders and take hostages,” the service said in a statement.

A new attempt to take over the police department in Khmelnytskiy took place on Feb. 19, the Interior Ministry said.

The law enforcers have started criminal investigations of the takeovers, while the SBU alerted its anti-terrorist units. Also, at least one unit of the army’s paratroopers was moved to Kyiv, according to the defense ministry.

Opposition interpreted these moves as preparation for a new crackdown on EuroMaidan protesters after failure to clear the protesters off the street on the night of Feb. 18. Police units were stopped from advancing when a water cannon and at least one armored personnel vehicles were set on fire by the protesters.

But death toll from violent clashes that continued all day and most of the night was at least 26, and more than 1,000 people were reported injured on both sides, including over 350 law enforcement officers, Burlakov said.

EuroMaidan’s information department sent out an alert on Feb. 19, saying that a new attack by the police is planned at night. During the day, protesters stocked up on Molotov cocktails and rocks and cobblestones dug out of the pavement on Maidan Nezalezhnosti and surrounding streets.

They also took over the central post office building to compensate for the loss of their bases in Trade Union House, which burned down on Feb. 18 and two other buildings nearby, which were taken over by the police.

At a briefing with diplomats, Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara said that protesters were also transporting weapons from western Ukraine to Kyiv to use in future combat.

“I would like to refer to an episode on TV last night where leader of the Right Sector in Rivne Oblast, and he directly admitted that his organization planned and controlled the seizure of regional governments, and moreover, he said that the seized weapons and military vehicles will be sent to Kyiv to use in protests,” Kozhara said.

But Arseniy Yatseniuk, leader of Batkivshchyna, denied that protesters had any weapons. “We categorically to do support anyone who has weapons,” he said.

The Right Sector had previously called on all legal gun owners to join EuroMaidan and protect the protesters from police guns. The Interior Ministry, however, has insisted that police has not been using guns, despite numerous video and photo evidence assembled by the media and protesters.

Burlakov suggested that most of the hundreds of gunshot wounds received by the protesters were actually shots from the back by fellow protesters.

In the meantime, signs came from across the country of government losing control over parts of the country.

The Lviv Oblast Council announced it no longer was taking orders from the central government. Also, an unidentified group of people was reported to build a barricade close to Krakovets crossing point on the Ukrainian-Polish border in Lviv Oblast.

They did not allow Ukrainians to cross, only letting out foreign passport holders and causing delays. It was not clear what their demands were, according to Henrik Litvin, the Polish ambassador to Ukraine.

The Right Sector said they set up a check point on Kyiv-Chop highway and examine most cars to make sure they had no Berkut and “titushki,” the slang term for government-hired thugs who roam Kyiv in gangs at night, attacking and shooting people around the perimeter of EuroMaidan. At least two people were killed on Feb. 18 by titushki, including a journalist of pro-government Vesti newspaper.

In the meantime, the government showed little signs of trying to settle the conflict beyond offers of negotiations. In his address to the nation in the early hours of Feb. 19, President Viktor Yanukovych blamed opposition leaders for instigating violence and saying they will carry responsibility for it.

He also said a compromise needs to be found. “We need to sit at the negotiating table and save Ukraine. Otherwise the future generations will not forgive us for running the state that has to belong to them, our heirs,” Yanukovych said.

But the previous round of negotiations, which took place in the middle of the night on Feb. 18, started badly and finished even worse.

After forcing opposition leaders Yatseniuk and Vitali Klitschko to wait for him for more than an hour, the president then blamed them for violence and deaths. Both leaders left negotiations because they felt no progress was being made, they told Ukrainian media.

Kyiv Post deputy chief editor Katya Gorchinskaya can be reached at katya.gorchinskaya@gmail.com

Who Assassinated Wissam al-Hassan?

Who Assassinated Wissam al-Hassan?

THE ANTI-ORIENTALIST BLOG

October 28, 2012

who of al-Hassan’s foes found it beneficial to get rid of him
in the present time? (Photo credit 
EPA/Nabil Mounzer)

On the 19th of October 2012, a car 
bomb explosion in East Beirut killed 
Police Information Branch Chief Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan with 2 other people. The assassination came as a surprise to many. The person in charge of the most powerful security apparatus in Lebanon is dead, 
who else is safe? 

In the deeply divided country, accusations following every assassination are always ready. March 14 Alliance accuses Syria; while March 8 alliance accuses Israel, 
and the latter accuses Hezbollah.  In this particular assassination however, pointing fingers is not as easy due to Al-Hassan’s enigmatic personality. The only absentee on the day of Rafiq Hariri’s assassination and the mastermind behind many successful security operations, al-Hassan has earned the title of Lebanon’s most skilled security official.


While intelligence officers around the world veer away from politics, in a country as politicized and sectarianized as Lebanon, this is considered a sin. Al-Hassan understood that very well. Although he sided with the Future Movement, the largest constituent of March 14 alliances, he kept channels of communications open with its rivals.

As the divide in the country between political parties grew wider after 2005, al-Hassan played the attaché role between March 14 and March 8 alliances. He coordinated with Hezbollah on internal and external security matters. Furthermore, al-Hassan took credit for dismantling many Israeli espionage networks (More than 30 according to Future Movement sources). Using advanced telecommunication and interception technologies presented by western countries to help with Hariri assassination investigation, the information branch and the military intelligence arrested more than 40 people in the past 7 years, some of which were high ranked army officials and politicians. 

Furthermore, al-Hassan orchestrated Saad Hariri’s visit to Damascus in 2009 after a 4 years long and hostile relationship where Hariri accused the Syrian regime of assassinating his father. Prior to that, al-Hassan was behind Hariri’s acknowledgement of the presence of false witnesses in his father’s assassination investigation, which led to pointing fingers to Syria between years 2005 and 2009. 

On the other hand, al-Hassan himself was accused of fabricating false witnesses in the Hariri case. He was caught on tape helping one of the witnesses, Muhammad Zuhair Al-Siddiq, present a coherent testimony to the investigators, in the presence of Saad Hariri.  It is also believed that he helped provide the special tribunal of Lebanon with evidence that implicates four Hezbollah members in the Hariri assassination. 

Very recently, al-Hassan took once again the centre stage in the ever eventful country; his branch arrested Michel Samaha, a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician, in charges of plotting a terrorist attack. Last but not least, al-Hassan has recently been accused of helping the Syrian opposition through facilitating the flow of arms from the north of the country to bordering Syrian cities.

The questions that arise after each crime are who did it? What are the motives? And who benefits from it? In Post-Syria Lebanon these questions often remained unanswered subsequently to assassinations of such nature. Investigations usually faced political and logistical difficulties that often directed that often led to dead ends. In the case of al-Hassan, the man with many “friends”, the complexity is doubled. March 14 alliance accused Syria, just hours after the explosion, a practice used intermittently since 2005. Israel and some western countries are pointing fingers to Hezbollah, and finally March 8 alliance is pointing fingers to Israel.

The assassination of such controversial figure requires calm and deep analysis that takes in consideration the political context in Lebanon and the region. The man was involved in both the intelligence and political realms. Although he was close to March 14th he never severed relations with March 8. He coordinated with intelligence from over 34 countries in the assassinations that have been taking place ever since 2005. At the same time, he held a public office where he had the responsibility of keeping internal security. 

A portfolio like this will earn you more enemies than friends. The question becomes: who of al-Hassan’s foes found it beneficial to get rid of him in the present time? I will go through the three main suspects that are directly accused of this act: the Syrian regime, Hezbollah, and Israel; all of which have capabilities to do it, but in different capacities.  Assuming that the side that planned the act is a rational actor, an assessment of the motives, momentum, and a brief cost/benefit analysis of each suspect can help draw a better image.

The Syrian regime 

Motives: Syria was blamed for all the assassinations targeting March 14th figures in Lebanon ever since 2004. In al-Hassan’s case, the accusation becomes more plausible since his bureau recently arrested one of the Syrian regime affluent allies in Lebanon in charges of terrorism. Moreover, Saad Hariri is openly supporting the Syrian opposition, and al-Hassan is believed to play an important role in that. The Syrian regime has all the motives to eliminate al-Hassan.  

Momentum: The latest Samaha case and the support for the Syrian uprising have pushed al-Hassan into the spotlight as a serious contender of the Syrian regime. Not surprisingly, a Brigade of the Free Syrian army has been named after al-Hassan shortly after his assassination. High exposure usually deters antagonists to attack since they will be the first to be accused- Assuming that we are dealing with a rational actor-.

Cost/Benefit: Politically speaking, the Syrian regime’s survival of the uprising for more than a year and a half now, have put him in a relatively stronger position compared to his foes. Any error on the part of the regime is exploited ruthlessly by its opponents, inside and outside the country. It helps mount pressures and embarrass the regime’s international and regional allies in the United Nations. With Lakhdar Brahimi’s mission underway (presently trying to bring both conflicting parties to commit to a cease-fire), and the Turks and the West showing weak signs of regression, it is unlikely to see Assad giving a pro bono for his contenders. Eliminating al-Hassan is unlikely to stop the flow of arms to the Syrian opposition from Lebanon. While the regime has shown an uncontestable brutality, it has also shown that it is a self-interested rational actor, looking for survival. In al-Hassan’s case, while revenge is tempting for Assad’s regime, the costs simply outweigh the benefits for the Syrian regime at the present time.      

Israel

Motives: Keeping in mind al-Hassan’ role in uncovering Israeli espionage networks, Israeli motives are not linked directly to al-Hassan himself, but rather to his statute in the Lebanese political scene. Israel’s main adversary in Lebanon is Hezbollah. Around 10 days ago, the Party of God flew a reconnaissance drone for hours over strategic Israeli sites, including the Demona nuclear reactor in the Negev desert. This in itself have undermined years of hard work put in the construction of the iron dome, a rocket and missile defense system that was officially launched in 2011. It has also ridiculed claims of military supremacy of a country that has been banging the drums of war for some time now against a more powerful opponent than Hezbollah, Iran. Defiance as dangerous as this one cannot go unanswered, but at the same time it has to be measured enough to avoid slipping into an unpredictable regional war. 

Momentum: Following al-Hassan’s arrest of a Lebanese pro-Syrian politician, his assassination will automatically draw attention to Syria and Hezbollah as the culprits. It will serve as an immediate deterrence coded message from the Israelis to Hezbollah in response to the latter’s daring and recent drone operation. Finally, it will add to the case against Hezbollah recently being carried out in the international justice system.

Cost/Benefit: The breach of the Ayoub drone is unparalleled in the ongoing cold war between Israel and Hezbollah ever since 2006. Israel is currently unable to respond with a direct military strike, in fear of the implications of such step: a regional war that Israel doesn’t seem ready for. However, the Israelis are not used to let such defiance go unanswered, the 2006 Lebanon war and the 2008 Gaza war are reminders of such reality. What is the best scenario to retaliate and mount pressure on Hezbollah and its allies without slipping into an unpredictable regional war? Experience has shown that Hezbollah’s biggest fear is an internal sectarian civil war that will drain its military wing. While sectarian polarization between Sunnis and Shiites has been building up for a while now in Lebanon and the region, the right trigger can lead to an explosion that will primarily burn Hezbollah. The prominent Sunni official, the dove in March 14 alliance and the main contender of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah, al-Hassan constitutes the perfect subject for the set objective.

Hezbollah

Motives: Al-Hassan helped implicate Hezbollah members in the Rafiq Hariri’s assassination investigation. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has already requested the arrest of four Hezbollah members. Moreover, al-Hassan’s alleged role in supporting the Syrian opposition against the Syrian regime, a strong ally of Hezbollah, puts him automatically at odds with Hezbollah.

Momentum: The assassination will incite sectarian tensions and has already done so. This automatically reflects negatively on Hezbollah. Internal instability has never been a helpful factor for the party. Moreover, Hezbollah has just flown an unmanned drone into Israel. The significance and the importance of such event are overshadowed by al-Hassan’s assassination; taking away of the media impact that Hezbollah always tend to get for any “surprise” related to the conflict with Israel.

Cost/Benefit: The involvement of different Lebanese forces in the Syrian conflict is no longer a secret. The North of Lebanon and parts of the Bekaa valley are dominated by supporters of the Free Syrian Army, and Lebanese politicians are facilitating access to resources for both parties. Neither Hezbollah nor al-Hassan can single handedly change this reality. March 14 politicians are openly against the Syrian regime; al-Hassan might be one of the doves in this group. Furthermore, the damage of the tribunal is already done and the Hezbollah suspects have already been summoned. The complex Lebanese politics will probably never see a definitive end to this story and the suspects will never be handed in, unless Hezbollah is attacked and his military wing forcefully dismantled, at which point, the tribunal will not be the party’s first worries. If it was revenge that Hezbollah is seeking, it will unlikely be done in such a careless way. The party has a reputation of being a patient and a very well-calculated actor. By assassinating al-Hassan, Hezbollah was not going to stop neither the STL process nor the flow of arms to the Syrian opposition, but will gain him sectarian tensions within Lebanon and an additional charge added to his file in the STL.

Similar to previous assassinations in Lebanon, this latest one is unlikely to be resolved any time soon. The scenarios presented above are all plausible but their probabilities vary, and they are meant to present a more in depth understanding of the complexity of al-Hassan’s assassination.

The polarization in the Middle East today has never been clearer. The era of détente between the anti-American and Pro-American camps has ended. Diplomacy has taken a back seat and coercion is the name of the game. In instances like this, resourceful and diplomatic figures, such as al-Hassan, are not needed as much and thus become expendable. As the saying goes “only the dead have seen the end of war.”

Semantic Contortionist Does Back-Flips Trying To Prove the Existence of “Al-Qaeda”

bernies bin laden source

The tangled web of words that ‘al Qaeda’ has become

washington times

Even intel community finds it hard to define

By Guy Taylor

Was it al Qaeda “core,” al Qaeda “prime” or al Qaeda “central,” or was it an al Qaeda “affiliate” an al Qaeda “linked” or an al Qaeda “inspired” group? Or was it just al Qaeda?

In the years immediately after 9/11, the term al Qaeda, which means “the base” in Arabic, became synonymous with a secretive global network that supported 19 terrorists who killed nearly 3,000 people by slamming hijacked airplanes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

Today, the distinction is not so black and white.

With the original notion of al Qaeda being eclipsed by a generation of extremist activity from North Africa to the Middle East, debate is raging over the correct terminology to describe the terrorist threat that has shaped so much of American foreign policy over the past 13 years.

U.S. intelligence officials blame politicians on both sides of the aisle, including the Democratic White House, which seeks credit for defeating al Qaeda, and the Republican-led House, which blames the president for claiming victory prematurely.

But even within the intelligence community, where few mantras are more sacred than that of flying above politics, the definition of bona fide al Qaeda activity around the world has become blurred, a U.S. official recently told The Washington Times.

“No one has yet done justice to the complicated narrative that has become of al Qaeda and how it has become such a sticking point politically in Washington,” said the official. “We, as Americans, are too loose with the term al Qaeda,” and “loose narratives aren’t helpful.”

Al Qaeda as a movement

The situation frustrates some longtime leaders of the U.S. intelligence community, who say al Qaeda is as much a movement as it is any single group — or a patchwork of groups with varying immediate goals and degrees of connectivity.

When examining terrorist attacks, whether they target Americans or not, the question of “whether it’s al Qaeda or not depends on how you want to define al Qaeda,” said Michael V. Hayden, who served as CIA director from 2006 through early 2009.

“It’s one of those things where if you study it too hard, you destroy the specimen,” Mr. Hayden told The Times in an interview. Confusion over what al Qaeda has morphed into stems from analysts, pundits and politicians “trying to make crisp intellectual distinctions about a structure in which there are not crisp intellectual distinctions.”

“It was never a hierarchy and to the degree that it was an organization, it is now a movement,” he said, stressing that the movement has become “far more amorphous” than it was a decade ago.

Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in 2011, and many other members of bin Laden’s original core group have been neutralized by American drone strikes in the Afghan-Pakistani border region.

But the overall movement has “shown resiliency” in other parts of the world, said Mr. Hayden, who added that when it is defined as a movement, “al Qaeda today controls more territory and has more adherents around the world than at any time in its history.”

The 60-year life arc

Al Qaeda “prime,” al Qaeda “core” and al Qaeda “central” are terms intelligence officials and analysts use to describe the group founded by bin Laden during the late-1980s with the goals of killing Westerners and establishing hard-line Islamic rule over various regions.

Organizations that publicly declare allegiance to al Qaeda “central,” which intelligence officials say is headed by former bin Laden deputy Ayman al-Zawahri, are known as the “affiliates.”

Those that have not declared allegiance but share goals and, at times, resources with the affiliates are generally referred to as al Qaeda “linked” or “associated.”

The term al Qaeda “inspired” is used for those that have no known material connection to the affiliates but pursue attacks such as the Boston Marathon bombings last year. Authorities blame those bombings on two Chechen brothers who drew from al Qaeda propaganda on the Internet.

Among the groups that have sworn allegiance to either bin Laden or al-Zawahri are al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and al-Shabab, in Somalia. Another, al Qaeda in Iraq, swore allegiance in the mid-2000s but has morphed into the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Amid intense infighting between the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the Nusra Front in Syria, al-Zawahri declared in a statement on jihadist websites this month that al Qaeda central was cutting ties with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The development — the first public disavowal of an affiliate by al Qaeda central — seemed to bolster Mr. Hayden’s view of al Qaeda as a movement in which hierarchical structures evaporate or take on new forms as it evolves.

The “life arc” of al Qaeda as a movement is likely 50 to 60 years, Mr. Hayden told The Times, adding that the movement is probably halfway through that point.

Seth Jones, a terrorism analyst with the Rand Corp., noted a “tendency among some journalists and pundits to lump all Sunni Islamic groups under the title al Qaeda, which I think has clouded a proper assessment of the movement.”

Mr. Jones told a House panel this month that there is a growing “panoply of Salafi jihadist groups that have not sworn allegiance formally but they are committed to establishing an Islamic emirate, and several of them have plotted attacks against the U.S., against U.S. embassies, against U.S. diplomats, against U.S. targets overseas.”

With regard to the threat to the U.S. homeland, Mr. Hayden said the al Qaeda movement, despite “having more adherents and more territory today than, say, 10 years ago, they are actually less capable now.”

“To pull off another 9/11, that’s actually far less likely now,” he said. “They’re not going to be conducting these big, multi-threaded, long preparation attacks, which frankly, we’d pick up on fine. Conversely, what you now get as the threat is the smaller, more isolated, maybe self-radicalized, one-off, attack. So the attacks are getting more granular and less big. But that also means they’re harder to detect.”

Political pingpong

Some accuse the Obama administration of resisting the characterization of al Qaeda as a movement and intentionally muddling the overall narrative for political reasons.

President Obama told audiences during his 2012 re-election run that al Qaeda’s core had been “decimated” and that the organization as a whole was “on the run.”

“The looseness with which al Qaeda has come to be described is intentional on the part of the Obama administration because what they’re trying portray is that there’s al Qaeda core, and then there’s all these affiliates and the affiliates don’t matter,” said Bill Roggio, editor of The Long War Journal and a scholar focused on al Qaeda at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Administration officials, he said, consistently emphasize distinctions between the original al Qaeda founded by bin Laden and the myriad Salafist groups in North Africa and the Middle East, and often downplay the operational capability of affiliates that have pledged allegiance to the original group.

The goal, Mr. Roggio said, has been to justify Mr. Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign claims of victory over al Qaeda, as well as to put rhetorical heft behind the president’s policies of scaling back the global war on terrorism conceived by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Others say Republicans, eager to tar the Democratic president, are equally to blame for the looseness of al Qaeda references, particularly in light of repeated accusations that the White House engaged in a cover-up by denying al Qaeda’s involvement in the September 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

“What we have,” said the U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “are politicians trying to lay seeds now for 2016, and it muddles these strange things called facts.”

Both parties are guilty, the official added, of using the concept of al Qaeda as a rhetorical weapon for political gain. In doing so, both have promoted generalizations that undermine the U.S. intelligence community’s actual and nuanced view of al Qaeda.

Ties that bind

Another intelligence community source who spoke with The Times on the condition of anonymity said U.S. officials examining the global al Qaeda movement see close ties among associated groups, both between each other and with what is left of the original core.

“The linkages between what’s happening in North Africa, for instance, and al Qaeda core in Pakistan, are actually a little bit stronger than is often portrayed in the media,” the source said, adding that officials who “are privy to intelligence, and have penetrations that show what’s going on,” are “not so enamored by the narrative that al Qaeda has spontaneously combusted into all these different groups in recent years.”

The notion of flexible cohesion among groups appears to align with bin Laden’s vision of the movement. “We need to look at what al Qaeda actually is, and the best way to do that may be to examine bin Laden’s own statements on the matter,” said Mr. Roggio, who pointed to a 2010 letter in which bin Laden suggested that the whole concept of al Qaeda “central” was a construct of the Western media.

“This term was coined in the media to distinguish between al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and al Qaeda in the other territories,” bin Laden wrote in the letter, which was among documents seized by U.S. special operations forces who killed him.

The al Qaeda founder also appeared to say that the original group should have heavy influence over its affiliates but that the affiliates could have significant independence.

Less clear is what bin Laden believed should happen after his own death.

Although the original group may have deteriorated in Afghanistan and Pakistan, concerns are mounting among some in Washington that the U.S. has failed to prepare for what comes next.

Al Qaeda today bears little resemblance to the network in 2001,” said Katherine Zimmerman, who heads a team focused on al Qaeda at the American Enterprise Institute.

“The strategy to disrupt the al Qaeda network by killing senior leadership in a ‘core group’ is based on a faulty understanding that overemphasizes that group’s importance and the current intentions of affiliates to attack the United States,” Ms. Zimmerman told a House panel in September.

Mr. Obama recently has appeared more open to such thinking. “While we have put al Qaeda’s core leadership on a path to defeat, the threat has evolved, as al Qaeda affiliates and other extremists take root in different parts of the world,” he said during his State of the Union address last month.

The rhetoric dovetailed with an analysis given to Congress last week by Bill Braniff, a terrorism analyst at the University of Maryland, who told lawmakers that 2012 was “the most active year of terrorism on record,” with more than 6,800 attacks killing more than 11,000 people worldwide.

“Strikingly,” said Mr. Braniff, “the six most lethal groups in 2012 — the Taliban, Boko Haram, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan, al Qaeda in Iraq and al-Shabab — are generally considered fellow travelers of al Qaeda, and yet al Qaeda itself was not responsible for a single attack in 2012.”

“What should we take from these seemingly contradictory developments?” he said. “Did al Qaeda succeed by inspiring widespread jihadism, or has it lost to a variety of more parochial, albeit popular, actors?”

Before Bin Laden Became a Boogeyman, He Was A Road-Building Contractor In Sudan

Anti-Soviet warrior puts his army on the road to peace

the independent

The Saudi businessman who recruited mujahedin now uses them for large-scale building projects in Sudan. Robert Fisk met him in Almatig

independent-1993 (1)-1

OSAMA Bin Laden sat in his gold- fringed robe, guarded by the loyal Arab mujahedin who fought alongside him in Afghanistan. Bearded, taciturn figures – unarmed, but never more than a few yards from the man who recruited them, trained them and then dispatched them to destroy the Soviet army – they watched unsmiling as the Sudanese villagers of Almatig lined up to thank the Saudi businessman who is about to complete the highway linking their homes to Khartoum for the first time in history.

With his high cheekbones, narrow eyes and long brown robe, Mr Bin Laden looks every inch the mountain warrior of mujahedin legend. Chadored children danced in front of him, preachers acknowledged his wisdom. ‘We have been waiting for this road through all the revolutions in Sudan,’ a sheikh said. ‘We waited until we had given up on everybody – and then Osama Bin Laden came along.’

Outside Sudan, Mr Bin Laden is not regarded with quite such high esteem. The Egyptian press claims he brought hundreds of former Arab fighters back to Sudan from Afghanistan, while the Western embassy circuit in Khartoum has suggested that some of the ‘Afghans’ whom this Saudi entrepreneur flew to Sudan are now busy training for further jihad wars in Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt. Mr Bin Laden is well aware of this. ‘The rubbish of the media and the embassies,’ he calls it. ‘I am a construction engineer and an agriculturalist. If I had training camps here in Sudan, I couldn’t possibly do this job.’

And ‘this job’ is certainly an ambitious one: a brand-new highway stretching all the way from Khartoum to Port Sudan, a distance of 1,200km (745 miles) on the old road, now shortened to 800km by the new Bin Laden route that will turn the coastal run from the capital into a mere day’s journey. Into a country that is despised by Saudi Arabia for its support of Saddam Hussein in the Gulf war almost as much as it is condemned by the United States, Mr Bin Laden has brought the very construction equipment that he used only five years ago to build the guerrilla trails of Afghanistan.

He is a shy man. Maintaining a home in Khartoum and only a small apartment in his home city of Jeddah, he is married – with four wives – but wary of the press. His interview with the Independent was the first he has ever given to a Western journalist, and he initially refused to talk about Afghanistan, sitting silently on a chair at the back of a makeshift tent, brushing his teeth in the Arab fashion with a stick of miswak wood. But talk he eventually did about a war which he helped to win for the Afghan mujahedin: ‘What I lived in two years there, I could not have lived in a hundred years elsewhere,’ he said.

When the history of the Afghan resistance movement is written, Mr Bin Laden’s own contribution to the mujahedin – and the indirect result of his training and assistance – may turn out to be a turning- point in the recent history of militant fundamentalism; even if, today, he tries to minimise his role. ‘When the invasion of Afghanistan started, I was enraged and went there at once – I arrived within days, before the end of 1979,’ he said. ‘Yes, I fought there, but my fellow Muslims did much more than I. Many of them died and I am still alive.’

Within months, however, Mr Bin Laden was sending Arab fighters – Egyptians, Algerians, Lebanese, Kuwaitis, Turks and Tunisians – into Afghanistan; ‘not hundreds but thousands,’ he said. He supported them with weapons and his own construction equipment. Along with his Iraqi engineer, Mohamed Saad – who is now building the Port Sudan road – Mr Bin Laden blasted massive tunnels into the Zazi mountains of Bakhtiar province for guerrilla hospitals and arms dumps, then cut a mujahedin trail across the country to within 15 miles of Kabul.

‘No, I was never afraid of death. As Muslims, we believe that when we die, we go to heaven. Before a battle, God sends us seqina, tranquillity.

‘Once I was only 30 metres from the Russians and they were trying to capture me. I was under bombardment but I was so peaceful in my heart that I fell asleep. This experience has been written about in our earliest books. I saw a 120mm mortar shell land in front of me, but it did not blow up. Four more bombs were dropped from a Russian plane on our headquarters but they did not explode. We beat the Soviet Union. The Russians fled.’

But what of the Arab mujahedin whom he took to Afghanistan – members of a guerrilla army who were also encouraged and armed by the United States – and who were forgotten when that war was over? ‘Personally neither I nor my brothers saw evidence of American help. When my mujahedin were victorious and the Russians were driven out, differences started (between the guerrilla movements) so I returned to road construction in Taif and Abha. I brought back the equipment I had used to build tunnels and roads for the mujahedin in Afghanistan. Yes, I helped some of my comrades to come here to Sudan after the war.’

How many? Osama Bin Laden shakes his head. ‘I don’t want to say. But they are here now with me, they are working right here, building this road to Port Sudan.’ I told him that Bosnian Muslim fighters in the Bosnian town of Travnik had mentioned his name to me. ‘I feel the same about Bosnia,’ he said. ‘But the situation there does not provide the same opportunities as Afghanistan. A small number of mujahedin have gone to fight in Bosnia-Herzegovina but the Croats won’t allow the mujahedin in through Croatia as the Pakistanis did with Afghanistan.’

Thus did Mr Bin Laden reflect upon jihad while his former fellow combatants looked on. Was it not a little bit anti-climactic for them, I asked, to fight the Russians and end up road-building in Sudan? ‘They like this work and so do I. This is a great plan which we are achieving for the people here, it helps the Muslims and improves their lives.’

His Bin Laden company – not to be confused with the larger construction business run by his cousins – is paid in Sudanese currency which is then used to purchase sesame and other products for export; profits are clearly not Mr Bin Laden’s top priority.

How did he feel about Algeria, I asked? But a man in a green suit calling himself Mohamed Moussa – he claimed to be Nigerian although he was a Sudanese security officer – tapped me on the arm. ‘You have asked more than enough questions,’ he said. At which Mr Bin Laden went off to inspect his new road.

(Photograph omitted)

Venezuela Expels US Diplomats Accused of Agitating Revolution

[Duplicating the successful formula for the creation revolutionary-democracy, which has been recently deployed in Ukraine, the US State Dept/CIA has opened a war front in post-Chavez Venezuela.  Like Ukraine, this particular destabilization is focused upon another female martyr

File photo of Miss Universe 2005 contestant Monica Spear of Venezuela, modelling during a swimwear competition in Bangkok

former Miss Venezuela, Monica Spear (and her ex-husband), murdered on a dark, country road after calling for road service.  Instead of a tow-truck, their assistance came in the form of a hail of machine-gun fire.  Since then, Venezuela’s very own mirror image of the Saudi-financed Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, has been agitating Venezuelans to focus upon the local crime rate as the reason for their own “Caracas spring.”

Roberto Briceño-León

Observatorio Venezolano de Violencia  is run by this goofy-looking guy, Roberto Briceño León.

The rowdy State Dept. guy on the ground in Caracas,  taking Leon’s misinformation and running with it, is this guy–

Leopoldo López1

Leopoldo López vows to call new anti-government protests, even though he is currently in hiding for allegedly training and exploiting violent student protesters (SEE:  Venezuelan security forces hunt Leopoldo López).

The next thing to appear on the US checklist for revolution is mysterious sniper deaths. 

The blood that we are shedding all over the world is merging into a mighty red river, which will one day turn into the tsunami of our own making, forever sealing our fate as a Nation among men.]

Venezuela expels three U.S. diplomats it accuses of spurring protests

A Venezuelan opposition supporter waves a Venezuelan flag during a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government at Angel de la Independencia monument in Mexico City, February 16, 2014. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A Venezuelan opposition supporter waves a Venezuelan flag during a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government at Angel de la Independencia monument in Mexico City, February 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Edgard Garrido

(Reuters) – Venezuela ordered out three U.S. diplomats on Monday, accusing them of recruiting students to lead protests that were the OPEC nation’s most serious violence since President Nicolas Maduro’s April election and in which three people were killed.

Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said the three consular staff had used visa visits to universities as cover for promoting opposition protests by students, adding they had 48 hours to leave the country.

The demonstrations, which have energized the opposition but show few signs they can oust Maduro, continued on Monday with scattered protests in Caracas and various provincial cities.

“They have been visiting universities with the pretext of granting visas,” said Jaua, who often faced off against police during his own days as a student demonstrator.

“But that is a cover for making contacts with (student) leaders to offer them training and financing to create youth groups that generate violence,” he told reporters.

The U.S. State Department called the allegations “baseless and false,” adding that Washington supported free expression and peaceful assembly in Venezuela and around the world.

Venezuela has routinely expelled U.S. diplomats in recent years as the relationship between the two countries frayed during the 14-year rule of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro ousted three diplomats in October on charges of stirring up labor protests, and also expelled two earlier in 2013 on the day Chavez died of cancer.

Critics dismiss such moves as theatrics used in times of national commotion to distract from more serious issues.

PROTESTS RUMBLE ON

Student demonstrators have promised to stay in the street until Maduro resigns, though the 51-year-old former bus driver has vowed not to cede even a “millimeter” of power.

He has urged his own supporters to drown out the protests with dance and song in the streets.

The Caracas protests have been limited to mostly upscale areas, and there has been no evidence that Venezuelans could join them en masse or that Maduro could be forced from power.

Small demonstrations early on Monday blocked the main avenues of several affluent neighborhoods of Caracas.

A group of students in Caracas were marching toward the headquarters of the state telecommunications agency, which has come under fire since the government’s decision last week to remove a Colombian station from cable television.

Demonstrators in the Andean city of San Cristobal set up protests burning tires and trash in the morning.

Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, wanted on charges including terrorism in relation to the recent violence, called for students to march with him to the center of Caracas on Tuesday. He said he would then hand himself in.

Citing security problems, the Andean Development Corporation suspended its annual marathon scheduled for this weekend in Caracas.

Venezuela’s highly traded global bonds, which fluctuate sharply on civil unrest or political tension, remained near 18-month lows, though trading in U.S. markets was generally light due to the Presidents Day holiday.

Bank of America said in a research note on Monday that the protests were unlikely to result in a change of government, recommending that investors take advantage of attractive yields on bonds that mature in the coming years.

VIOLENCE ON BOTH SIDES

Only 13 students are still detained after nearly 100 arrests in the past week. Complaints about violent acts by both sides have piled up after five consecutive days of confrontations between police and demonstrators.

Opposition activists say some detained student demonstrators have been tortured, while videos and photos circulating online show uniformed men firing on protesters. Maduro insists police have been restrained in the face of provocation and attacks.

The reporters’ trade union said 11 journalists have been arrested, some of whom were beaten and had their equipment stolen while covering the unrest.

Venezuelan photographer Gabriel Osorio said that on Saturday, troops hit him in the head with a pistol, shot him with rubber bullets and broke one of his ribs.

“I was working, I wasn’t throwing rocks,” Osorio told a local newspaper. “I yelled ‘I’m with the press,’ but that actually seemed to be what triggered their attack.”

Government leaders have denounced violence by demonstrators linked to opposition marches, including vandalizing of buildings and burning of trash along city avenues.

Hooded protesters have gathered outside the headquarters of state TV channel VTV for the past few nights, lighting fires in the streets and hurling stones and Molotov cocktails.

“If anyone thinks they’re going to halt the activities of (state TV), they’re sorely mistaken,” said the channel’s president, Yuri Pimentel.

(Additional reporting by Javier Farias in San Cristobal; Carlos Garcia Rawlins and Jaczo Gomez in Caracas; Arshad Mohammed in Abu Dhabi; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Marguerita Choy and Mohammad Zargham)

“The Murder of Hariri Could Boomerang”–2/15/2005 Editorial, JPost

[Try as hard as they could, the Jerusalem Post was unsuccessful in its attempts to bury this uncharacteristically honest editorial from the Jew-Post, written the day of Hariri’s murder.  According to the following, Hariri’s murderer was more likely to have been a business associate (SEE:  Rafik Hariri’s Business Dealings More Relevant Than Beirut Phone Records), the Lahoud govt, or the enemies of Syria than it was Bashar Assad or Hezbollah.

The most interesting part of the following stream of conjecture is that it may have been done by rogue elements of Syrian intelligence, indicating that Assad does not control his own secret services.  If that was true in 2005, then it must also have been true in 2013, when the German spy ship recorded someone within Syrian intelligence ordering the gas attack upon Ghouta (SEE:  Assad may not be responsible for Syria chemical attack: German paper).  What if these rogue elements of Syrian intelligence are on Bandar’s payroll?]

“The Murder of Hariri Could Boomerang”

jerusalem p

ORLY HALPERN


The murderers of Rafik Hariri knew their target was among the most significant figures in Lebanon. The self-made billionaire helped reconstruct his country after a destructive civil war, knew all the top people in Washington and was a personal friend of French President Jacques Chirac and Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd.

“You can’t go any higher than blowing up Hariri in the middle of Beirut in the middle of the day,” said one analyst in Beirut. “It’s a very powerful message to all the Lebanese, and to the opposition.”

Hariri was the key figure of the Lebanese opposition to the Syrian presence in Lebanon. Some say he was pushing the US and France to pass the UN resolution calling on Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon last September.

But the bomb that ripped through his armored motorcade may have a boomerang effect. Lebanese opposition leaders on Monday night were sounding braver than ever.

Following a meeting in the dead man’s home, the kingpins of the Lebanese opposition made a shockingly direct accusation. They said their country was “captive” and they held the Syrian and Lebanese governments responsible for Hariri’s death.

Lebanese and foreign analysts say the opposition will now “double its efforts” to push Syria out and gain power in the parliamentary elections that will take place in May. It has already asked for the help of the international community.

Still, analysts and Lebanese were confused by the murder. While everyone agreed that Syria was the obvious culprit because of Hariri’s calls for its withdrawal, killing him does more harm than good for Syria.

“It’s totally illogical that Syria would do it,” said Prof. Eyal Zisser, a Syria expert at the Dayan Institute for Middle East Studies at Tel Aviv University. “It would be such a stupid move on their part. Everyone is watching them and they don’t want to destabilize Lebanon.”

But, the order for the assassination may not have come from the Syrian government.

“I wouldn’t point the finger at Damascus necessarily,” Simon Williams, a senior analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London, told The Jerusalem Post. “I would look at those acting on behalf of Syria. There are people making decisions inside Lebanon on Syria’s behalf that I really don’t think have the backing of Syrian leadership.”

Reuven Merhav, the former director of Israel’s quasi-embassy in Beirut in 1983 and later a director-general of the Foreign Ministry, pointed to Hariri’s conflict with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud.

“He didn’t make it a secret that he thinks Lahoud is a puppet of the Syrians,” he said.

Merhav said Hariri could have been killed for business-related reasons, adding, “He did very big reconstruction projects in Beirut.”

Most agreed that the sensational attack did not suit the style of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“Bashar? It’s certainly not his style,” said Edward Walker, president of the Middle East Institute in Washington. “I don’t think it’s something he would do.”

Walker told the Post it was not inconceivable that Bashar knew nothing about it and intelligence agents were acting independently with their Lebanese counterparts.

“The same Syrian security services that were there during the civil war in Lebanon are still around,” he said.

If Assad was not behind the murder then, as US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said recently, “Bashar is not in control.”

Analysts agree.

“Bashar doesn’t have control over his country and his people,” Walker said. “He doesn’t have the death grip [that his father did] over the security forces.”

No matter who was behind Hariri’s death, the actual bombing can hurt Lebanon in a number of ways. Killing a key figure in broad daylight destabilizes its standing in the international community.

“People won’t take the government seriously,” said Walker, who served in the US Embassy in Beirut in the 1970s.

The death of the most prominent economic figure in Lebanon could also be detrimental. Hariri organized an international consortium, under France’s direction, that bailed out Lebanon. That consortium could fall apart and cause an economic meltdown in the country.

Lastly, Beirut and “war-torn” had recently stopped being in the same sentence. Hariri had rebuilt the city and helped turn it once again into a luxurious vacation spot for Westerners and visitors from the Gulf, who enjoy five-star hotels and expensive restaurants along the fancy waterfront. Last year’s 30 percent rise in tourism is now likely to take a nosedive.

What remains to be seen is how this sensational attack will affect the Lebanese people in the upcoming elections. Some may choose to vote for a pro-Syrian government to avoid another civil war.

“A lot of people will be saying we’re only 15 years from a major civil war,” Williams said. “We need to make sure that we’re not running back on that path.”

Obama Strategic Confabs Presage Planned US and France Military Intervention In Syria

[Gen. Sisi is committed to eradicating the policies of Mohamed Morsi.  This means that he is inclined to help Bashar Assad against the Islamist terrorists, despite the fact that Egypt is now running on Saudi money (SEE:  Mohamed Morsi Calls For “Jihad” Against Syria).]

SYRIAN STATE MEDIA REPORT EGYPTIAN MILITARY AND RUSSIA SOLID ON SUPPORTING SYRIA AGAINST EMPIRE AND ITS TERRORISM

News Analysis: Sisi’s visit to Russia signals Egypt “heading East” amid Western pressures

Obama To Brainstorm With Two Arab Kings Named Abdullah–and Netanyahu

Russia: US and France planning military intervention in Syria

MEM middle east monitor

Russian Flag‘Washington has been confused by Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to Moscow, and all options are open,’

Russia may call an urgent UN Security Council meeting to “stop the slide towards escalation in Syria”, Russian sources told Al-Mayadeen channel. The source revealed that Russia had information that Washington and Paris are currently putting a plan for military intervention in Syria to stop the advance of the Syrian army.

However, sources confirmed that there was no agreement on the next round of negotiations in Geneva.

“Washington has been confused by Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to Moscow, and all options are open,” he added, explaining that serious developments are taking place in the Syrian crisis and the relations between Moscow and Washington.

In a swift response, US official accused the Syrian government’s delegation of “shuffling out of every step in Geneva negotiations,” adding that “Washington expects from Russia to exercise pressure on Damascus to engage seriously in the peace talks.”

waging psychological war in Syria

Western media waging psychological war in Syria

PressTV

A Syrian refugee woman walks with her two children under her arms in the Altınözü refugee camp in Hatay, Turkey.

A Syrian refugee woman walks with her two children under her arms in the Altınözü refugee camp in Hatay, Turkey.

With William Hague – UK  First Secretary of State – already comparing the siege of Homs with the Srebrenica massacre of 1995, when over 8,000 Muslims men and children – all boys – were massacred in Bosnia by the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladić, it is easy to understand the role media have played in perpetuating Western nations’ narrative of war in Syria, whereby the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad has been systematically made to appear ever more Barbaric in its alleged atrocities and human rights violations, as to directly endow the West with a moral duty of intervention.

From the onset of the Syrian war, Western powers, with the back-up of the United Nations, have played the liberation and humanitarian card, arguing that their desire to intervene in the crisis was solely motivated by a democratic ambition to see the Syrian people freed from oppression and tyranny, in accordance with their humanist values as well as empathy toward human sufferings.

Ever more stirring the public opinion to believe that President al-Assad has come to incarnate evil in all its splendor as to better justify their own policies and morally questionable reliance on terror militias, Western powers and their allies in the region – essentially Saudi Arabia and Israel – have had to fed their propaganda machine with one grandiloquent fabrication after the other, always pushing the limit of the believable or even the feasible.

Three years into the conflict and it has become all too clear that Syria was a momentous strategic mistake on the part of the US. Having proved more resilient in its opposition of foreign powers, the Syrian army has managed against all odds to not only endure attacks on its soil but to secure tangible strategic advances against Takfiri militants across several regions, de facto defeating its enemies. Since Syria could not be vanquished on the battle field, Western powers reverted to other forms of warfare, propaganda and psychological manipulation.

As per noted by Sun Tzu – the famous Chinese military strategist and philosopher – “All warfare is based on deception.”

Not all is as it seems

In January 2014 the UN published a report in which it decried the unbearable suffering of Syria’s children. Immediately newspapers and TV channels around the world began running the story, as yet further confirmation that President al-Assad was a tyrant which needed toppling. Only they failed to realize that if indeed the report was accusatory, it was so, against the very forces which Western powers so eagerly sponsored and trained; in no case did researchers and field agents concur that the Syrian regime was condoning the ill treatment of its people.

Addressing the press, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon read passages of the report, noting, “The suffering endured by the children in the Syrian Arab Republic since the outset of the conflict, as documented in this report, is unspeakable and unacceptable.” He added in the same breath, “Of particular concern were cases of recruitment or attempted recruitment of children within refugee populations in neighbouring countries. The majority of incidents were related to recruitment by Free Syrian Army-affiliated groups or Syrian Kurdish armed groups.”

Unambiguous in its conclusion the report further read, “Interviews with children and their parents indicated that the loss of parents and relatives, political mobilization and peer pressure from families and communities, contributed to the involvement of children with FSA-affiliated groups.”

Just as people began to question the very necessity and thus legitimacy of Western-backed foreign militias in Syria since they so clearly lacked any form of morality, let alone humanity; media were quick to spin their latest distraction – the regime’s alleged use of barrel bombs on civilian population – to overcome that hurdle. Barrel bombs are typically made from a barrel that has been filled with high explosives, with possibly shrapnel and/or oil, and then dropped from a helicopter.

In a written statement published in early February in which he condemns the alleged use of barrel bombs in Homs, US Secretary of State John Kerry declared, “It is the latest barbaric act of a regime that has committed organized, wholesale torture, used chemical weapons, and is starving whole communities by blocking delivery of food to Syrian civilians in urgent need.”

Given the US government’s track records in all matters inhumane, one could be inclined to remark that Washington, most of all, should refrain from giving lessons in ethicality – comes to mind the unlawful bombing in Yemen of civilian populations by drones as well as the unlawful detention and torture of foreign nationals on American soil, only of course to name a few.

Again, while Western-backed media have been so busy spinning the new so-called horrors of the Syrian regime, as to better cloud their own infringements human rights, no one ever stopped to ponder over the timing of such allegations, or even their veracity.

While US John Kerry’s comments were placard over the news, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Muqdad’s rejections of such accusations went simply unreported. Speaking to the BBC two days after Kerry’s comments were made, Al-Muqdad noted, “We are defending our people against terrorist attacks. We have never bombarded places with civilians.”

The fact however that an estimated 36,000 al-Qaeda operatives have entered Syria seems to be troubling no one, rather, politicians have attempted to rationalize their strategy by vilifying their opponents.

According to recent reports, 14,000 Chechen fighters joined Saudi Arabia’s Takfiri militias as part of the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to raise a formidable army in the Levant.

Moreover, it is important to realize that Syria’s barrel bombs report breakout was first published by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an organization which has been funded by Saudi Arabia for the sole purpose of serving Saudi Arabia. It is the same Observatory for Human Rights which only months ago completely by-passed the issuance of fatwas condoning rape and torture as legitimate weapons of war against civilian populations loyal to the regime.

While no one is denying that horrors have been committed in Syria, one can too easily fall into the trap set by Western narratives, by only looking through their distorted lenses and thus forget that Syria is fighting internationally sponsored terrorism.

CS/SS

Catherine Shakdam is a commentator and political risk consultant. Her writings have appeared in Foreign Policy Association, the Guardian and Majalla among many others. Based in the UK, she worked in collaboration with Yemen Human Rights Minister on shaping new policies to protect women rights.

85 Saudi Intelligence Officers Imprisoned in Syria

More than 100 Foreign Spies Imprisoned in Syria

farsnews
More than 100 Foreign Spies Imprisoned in Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- A new report showed that more than 100 foreign intelligence and military agents from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar are imprisoned in Syria.

According to a report published by the Lebanon-based Al-Manar, 85 Saudi officers, mostly from Saudi intelligence service, are incarcerated in Syria for assisting and training terrorists, Al-Alam reported.

At least 7 of the spy inmates are described as senior officers.

Saudi Arabia’s officials, via a mediator, have made numerous appeals to get their agents released. However, the Syrian government has turned down the pleas.

According to the report, 14 Qatari and seven Turkish intelligence officers are also imprisoned in Syria for similar charges.

Turkish and Qatari officials have also made attempts to get their intelligence agents freed but they have not succeeded.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the insurgents operating inside Syria.

Obama Trying To Fix His Syrian Mistakes, Without Admitting They Were Wrong

Syria at the Edge of ‘Shock Doctrine’

Disappointed that President Obama didn’t bomb Syria last year, the neocons and other war hawks are using the frustrations over initial peace talks in Geneva to ratchet up pressure for a “humanitarian” military assault now, as Rob Prince explains.

By Rob Prince

At a moment when the only viable path open to resolving the Syrian conflict lies in a negotiated settlement between the Assad government and the legitimate opposition, two colleagues at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies, Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel of the Center for Middle East Studies, have put forth an emotional and poorly conceived call for military intervention to resolve the escalating humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Using logic tinted with Cold War reasoning (blaming the Russians is bit out of fashion) and poor examples (Somalia — 1993?) to bolster their arguments, they put forth their ideas on the subject in a New York Times op-ed, titled “Use Force To Save Starving Syrians.” In a one-sided appeal, they place the blame for the Syrian human debacle almost entirely at the feet of the Assad government for virtually all of the violence.

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a leading advocate for "humanitarian" military interventions.

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a leading advocate for “humanitarian” military interventions.

At the same time, the role of Salafist Islamic militants (trained and funded by the Saudis, Qatar, Turkey and ultimately supported and manipulated by Washington) is minimized if not denied. Yet it is these elements who have, to a great degree, essentially hijacked a legitimate Syrian opposition movement, internationalized the struggle and continue to wreak havoc and death in their goal to establish Shariah law in Syria and beyond.

Russia is criticized for failing to restrain the Syrian government’s military actions but no similar demands — none at all – are made of the United States and the Saudis to rein in “allies” fighting in the field. Nor is any weight given to the extensive human, infrastructural and cultural damage these Islamic fundamentalist elements have done or to their utter viciousness, cruelty and politically retrograde nature.

Calling for military intervention as a way to end or at least reduce the bloodshed in Syria does pull at certain ethical heartstrings. But it is, at best, a desperate appeal, and at worst, quite frankly, a cynical move meant to give cover to not especially humane long-term geopolitical considerations.  

Indeed, perhaps the sorriest assumption of their argument is that the United States can save the day and end the humanitarian tragedy in Syria by riding in on its white heavenly horse laden with cruise missiles and drones. Are they forgetting Washington’s long record of supporting totalitarian regimes in exchange for oil in the Middle East and elsewhere, and whose involvement in the Syrian tragedy is, incidentally, far from innocent?

One must make a distinction between “humanitarian intervention” in times of war, and military intervention using humanitarian pretexts. The latter actually has a very long and sordid history going back at least several hundred years and has been used by virtually every colonial and neocolonial military intervention and massacre. It is nothing new, although lately, through the thinking of certain American intellectuals (U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and others) it has been given a new intellectual gloss, “responsibility to protect.”

Pulling out the “humanitarian” pretext has become more in fashion in this post-Cold War era when the United States can no longer argue that countering the “Soviet threat” is a pretext for political and military intervention. Even during the Cold War, the United States would frequently invoke a humanitarian pretext (intermingled with anti-communism) for its Third World interventions, CIA coups, whatever. The bodies of hundreds of thousands of Chileans, Argentines, Brazilians, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, litter the fields and oceans as evidence of the results of that policy.

Of late the swan song of “saving the natives from humanitarian disaster” has been cultivated into a fine art by the French in Africa in their attempt to re-position themselves to insure their share of that continent’s strategic assets, most recently in Mali and now in the Central African Republic. [The French military intervention in Mali, ostensibly to fight radical Islamists, followed those militants spreading their influence across northern Africa as a result of the French-U.S.-led “humanitarian” intervention to oust and kill Muammar Gaddafi in Libya in 2011.]

Washington is learning from Paris how to refine the argument. What is usually omitted or denied is the degree to which (in the case of the French in Mali or the U.S. in Syria) French or American behind-the-scene machinations contributed to the crises exploding in the first place. This is certainly the case for U.S. political activities in Syria — publicly calling for President Bashar al-Assad “to go” by ceding power to a “transitional government” while less openly training, arming and financing some of the most dastardly elements in the Middle East to bring down the Assad regime (or getting regional allies to do so).

Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine aptly applies to what the United States did in Libya (it was Washington pulling the strings even if the French took the lead in the bombing campaign) and what it has tried to do less successfully in Syria: use the pretext of humanitarian intervention to garner public support for a military-initiated regime change. Follow that up with UN Security Council support for limited military actions to give the cover of international law to the operation. Then, immediately violate the UN mandate by unilaterally extending the scope of the approved mission. Get as many “allies” on board to do the fighting to extend the weight of the “coalition of the willing.”

Once the regime change has been accomplished, the societies are restructured along neoliberal lines making for easier economic penetration and exploitation, their formerly more centralized governments fractured in one way or another. Once the fighting is over, offer World Bank and/or IMF structural adjustment aid to restructure the battered economies and infrastructure along neoliberal lines.

In calling for military intervention in Syria — something not even the U.S. military is particularly enthusiastic about — Hashemi and Postel cozy up, as they have before on Iran in 2009 and Libya in 2011, with the likes of AIPAC, along with this country’s band of intrepid and misguided neoconservatives. These are the same elements that pushed this country into invading Iraq and continue to push the Obama administration to intervene militarily in Syria.

What would be worse at the moment than a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria, which has the possibility of aggravating an already destabilized region that much more and probably drawing in other players including Iraq, Iran and possibly Russia? The military situation on the ground over the past year has shifted dramatically in favor of the Assad government and its allies reducing Washington’s hopes for regime change in Syria considerably.

The inner workings of the Obama administration’s decision not to attack Syria last September remain hazy. Perhaps someday the deeper logic of the decision to pull away from the abyss will come to light. They seem to include both regional considerations as well as Washington’s desire, not to be exaggerated, to shift American strategic attention to Asia. The concern that military operations in Syria could result in Iraq- or Afghanistan-like debacles for U.S. policy probably figured into the decision.

Along with near global opposition to a bombing campaign against Syria last September, the futility and probably negative results of such a plan may have also figured into the Obama administration’s decision not to initiate military action. Whatever, that decision not to pull the military trigger against Syria, followed by Washington’s negotiations with both Syria and Iran, are some of the (few) wiser decisions that President Barack Obama has made on Middle East policy since coming to office in 2009.

Regarding Syria, another hard truth, even for sincere humanitarians, is that U.S. (or U.S.-led) military intervention is not likely to improve the humanitarian tragedy unfolding there but instead could even worsen the already bleak reality. Though surely, a U.S.-led bombing campaign would kill many Syrians, including civilians, there is no certainty — none — that it would in any way resolve the conflict.

Rather than ratcheting up the dangers of the Syrian conflict, is it not the time to do just the opposite? Despite the predictably frustrations, should we not, instead, press for a negotiated political solution to a conflict that has proven it will have no military solution? Admittedly, the Geneva negotiations over Syria to date have been little more than a charade, but then are we — the world — not in a better place wrangling over how to settle the Syrian crisis politically rather than fighting over which targets U.S. drones and Cruise missiles might be targeting?

The failure of this round (Geneva II as it is called) cannot be blamed, as the authors do, on Russian machinations. To the contrary, Russia and most particularly its foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, are looking more like the peacemakers in the Syria crisis than is Washington. Global public opinion recognizes very clearly that the Russians have played a positive, if not decisive, role in moving the Syrian crisis from big power military confrontation to negotiations while the Obama administration’s approach is more confused and contradictory.

After a sharp U-turn away from military confrontation last year by agreeing to multi-party negotiations on Syria, the Obama administration seems to have gotten cold feet about pursuing the Geneva process seriously. The fact of the matter is that there is no way, none, that Washington can “resolve” the Syrian crisis independently on its own or to its liking. The Obama administration plan for “regime change” in Syria — what it has been working on now for several years — appears dead in the water.

What is the alternative vision to ending the humanitarian crisis in Syria? What can be done to stop the bleeding? The following are some steps I would recommend that might just make considerably more sense than bombing Damascus or sending U.S. troops to die in yet another Middle East war. It is a global peace offensive that is needed, not military intervention.

1. That the international community could and should call on all parties to initiate an immediate multi-sided ceasefire. Of course, pressure from outside allies would be key. If it would be expected that the Russians and Iranians would hold the Syrian government to task, it would also be expected that the United States and the Saudis would hold their allies on the ground to the same standard.

2. The recruiting, training and arming of all foreign mercenaries should end.

3. Assuming that the ceasefire could be established, then a massive humanitarian aid program, directed by the United Nations, supported by a Security Council resolution should be implemented as soon as possible.

4. The Geneva peace process has to be actively supported. Frankly, as Ibrahim Kazerooni and I have stated on our radio program, in our op-eds for the past three years, in public forums and elsewhere, there can be no military solution to the Syrian crisis. It can only be resolved politically and diplomatically (a position that President Obama has said that he shares).

5. The Geneva negotiations should center on talks between the Assad government and the legitimate Syrian opposition. By the latter is meant, those domestic opponents to the regime, whose grievances against the government are longstanding (and genuine) and whose roots in Syrian society are organic and undisputed. Such negotiations need to be pursued without preconditions beyond maintaining the ceasefire.

6. The Obama administration has to be more engaged in the multilateral Geneva peace negotiations. While Washington made an important decision by not going to war last September, it seems to be essentially paralyzed in moving the negotiating process. Once again, it is time for Obama to display the political courage he showed the world in September by pressing the United States to negotiate seriously in Geneva and not let the domestic political opponents to his Syrian policy (neo-conservatives, AIPAC, etc.) once again gain the upper hand.

Rob Prince is Teaching Professor at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies. In recent years, he has written extensively on North Africa. He is also the publisher of the Colorado Progressive Jewish News.

Lebanese Authorities Busy Interrogating Key To Entire Sunni Islamist Terrorist Suicide-Bomber Network

[This will cause a lot of sleeplessness in Riyadh, at least until he meets the same fate as his Saudi predecessor, Majed al-Majed (SEE:  Leb. Army Busts Top Dog from Abdullah Azzam In Ain el-Hilwen Camp).]

The Army Captures the Suicide Bombers’ Mastermind and Foils “Bloody Sunday”

alakhbar

A car found with explosives is being taken away in the Corniche al-Mazraa neighborhood as the Lebanese army investigates the scene. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah)

Published Thursday, February 13, 2014

A few days ago, sources with links to takfiri groups operating in the Qalamoun region in Syria leaked information that major operations are being planned against Hezbollah in the coming few days. Security agencies circulated information about a plot involving suicide bombers and members of al-Qaeda that was meant to target Dahiyeh – Beirut’s southern suburb – in the coming three days. The plot’s climactic event was meant to take place during the speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah Sunday afternoon to commemorate the anniversary of the martyred leaders of the Islamic resistance.

Although the security agencies pursuing these groups were already on high alert last week, sensitive information about the imminence of the plot’s execution prompted strict monitoring operations which allowed them to determine that the whereabouts of Naim Abbas, a leading figure in the operation, was in Tariq al-Jdideh on a street that connects the neighborhood to the Corniche al-Mazraa area. In a morning raid that took place at 6:30 am, Abbas was found with another person, a Lebanese national, who confessed during investigations that he is a suicide bomber receiving instructions from Abbas to set off a car bomb in Dahiyeh yesterday.

This security operation was part of a plan that covered many Lebanese regions from the northern Bekaa to Beirut, the coastal region of the Chouf, and the outskirts of the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Saida. It included additional measures taken at the junction between Tariq al-Jdideh and the Chatila roundabout that leads to Dahiyeh. It became evident that the whole area was on high alert in the past 24 hours and there is talk of a car bomb delivered to a suicide bomber that has not been found.

The expression “big catch” is often used to underscore the importance of a person arrested by a security agency but it is hard to find someone to whom this description would apply more aptly than Naim Abbas.

The leading figure in al-Qaeda in Lebanon was arrested by the army’s intelligence directorate yesterday. He has a treasure trove of information that would require a lot of time to extract. More importantly, arresting him gave immediate results. His arrest, and subsequent confession, prevented a series of bombings and rockets planned to target civilians in Dahiyeh.

It is a huge achievement for the army and its intelligence directorate which carried out the operation covertly yesterday after taking every possible measure to protect the life of this “big catch.” Abbas is so dangerous that security officials who have monitored fundamentalist movements in Lebanon for more than 15 years could not believe at first that he would risk his life moving around Beirut and Dahiyeh.

But Abbas is truly in custody and before long he began to confess to what he knows. From the first moment of his arrest, he was in a state of shock that led to his collapse according to security sources. He was faced with voice recordings and evidence that accelerated his confession under investigation. He confessed to investigators about the bombings in Dahiyeh in the past weeks, that he was in charge of choosing the target, receiving the booby-trapped car, the suicide bomber, determining the road he would take, and driving him to the outskirts of Dahiyeh. For example, Abbas gave the suicide bomber, Qutaiba al-Sattam, the car near Spinneys supermarket in the Wata al-Mousaitbeh neighborhood. He pointed out that the Choueifat bomber is the only one he chose, recruited, and prepared his operation from A to Z.

He did not only tell investigators about previous operations but about future ones as well. The car that the army found yesterday in Corniche al-Mazraa was prepared to go off yesterday in Dahiyeh. The army also arrested, according to security sources, the suicide bomber (known by the initials M.M,. from North Lebanon carrying a fake ID under the name of a young man from the town of Taalabaya in the Bekaa) who was supposed to drive it.

Just as important as thwarting the car bombs, is foiling a plan to strike Dahiyeh with rockets from the hills overlooking the area. Abbas intended to carry out the operation on Sunday to coincide with Nasrallah’s speech and a number rockets that were supposed to be used were found in the nearby Chouf towns of al-Saadiyat and al-Dibbiyeh.

(Al-Akhbar)

CIA and Other Enslaved Intel Agencies Prevent Taliban and Afghan Peace Talks

‘Foreign intelligence services’ disrupt Taliban talks: Afghan FM

turkish press

“If the foreign intelligence cut ties with the Taliban during the process, negotiations can start,” Afghan foreign minister says.

By Betul Yuruk

ANKARA – Afghan Foreign Minister Ahmed Osmani said ‘foreign intelligence services’ disrupt peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

“If the foreign intelligence (services) cut ties with the Taliban during the process, negotiations can start,” Osmani told an AA correspondent in an exclusive interview. If these foreign elements do not support the Taliban, they cannot survive.”

The Afghan government has repeatedly claimed that the Taliban are supported by Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

“Pakistan must bring the Taliban to the negotiating table,” he said.

The minister also expressed willingness to launch talks with the Taliban.

“We (the Afghan government) first want to begin peace negotiations with the Taliban, then we will sign the security pact with the U.S.,” he added.

The U.S. and Afghanistan have spent months negotiating a ‘Bilateral Security Agreement’ that will allow NATO troops to stay on after 2014.

The planned withdrawal of NATO led-forces has prompted concerns about a possible rise in the number of Taliban attacks.

Osmani said 98 percent of the Afghan people want the security agreement to be signed, however, negotiating a peace agreement with the Taliban would be a more concrete step before signing the security pact.

Thursday, February 13, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency

Obama To Brainstorm With Two Arab Kings Named Abdullah–and Netanyahu

*Reuters

Obama to meet Jordan’s king in California desert

ammon news

AFP- President Barack Obama will launch a new round of Middle East diplomacy Friday in a plush oasis in the arid California desert, hosting a Valentine’s Day summit with Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

Obama and the king will swap the piles of snow in Washington for the Sunnylands retreat at the Annenberg estate in Palm Springs, to discuss issues including the pitiful torrent of refugees pouring into Jordan from Syria.

The meeting will be the first of a trio of meetings between Obama and key Middle East leaders in the coming weeks.

On March 3, the U.S. president will sit down at the White House for his latest encounter with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made no secret of his skepticism over an interim deal that Washington and other world powers reached with Iran on its nuclear program.

Then at the end of March, he will travel to Saudi Arabia, for what is likely to be a sharp personal reminder that Saudi King Abdullah shares Netanyahu’s doubts about Obama’s strategy of testing the sincerity of an Iranian diplomatic opening.

‘Crumbling emirate’

Obama and his royal guest will sit down in California just two days after the U.S. president admitted that Syria was “crumbling,” while his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the civil war-splintered country as an “apocalyptic disaster.”

Jordan has borne the brunt of much of the humanitarian overflow – nearly 600,000 Syrian refugees have now crossed its borders, straining its infrastructure and finances.

Obama has all but admitted that his policy is failing in the expressed U.S. aim of sparking a political transition in Syria leading to the exit of President Bashar al-Assad.

But he frequently notes that the United States is the largest aid donor to Syrian refugees. Washington has so far donated $1.7 billion to the cause, according to the US Agency for International Development.

But there are no signs that the Obama administration believes that a new U.S. policy – or a change in its reluctance to either to do more to arm opposition rebels or to commit direct US military resources – would bring an end to the crisis any closer.

Presidential decision

Obama will also discuss U.S. efforts to broker a settlement between Israelis and Palestinians with the Jordanian monarch, who strongly backs U.S. efforts.

The president’s decision to travel to California to meet King Abdullah has meant some uncomfortable moments on the hotseat for his aides.

Reporters have darkly suggested that the president is using the meeting as an excuse to hunker down at the balmy resort – which boasts a highly regarded golf course – for the long President’s Day weekend.

Abdullah has been in Washington for several days – so could easily have met Obama already – following his talks with Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other officials.

The White House points out that before heading to the summit, Obama will tour efforts to mitigate a historic drought in Californian farmlands.

Can meet there

“The king is also going to go out to California. The president and the king can meet there and will meet there as part of this trip,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in evasive comments that hardly tamped down speculation about Obama’s motives.

US presidents have often met foreign leaders outside Washington – George W. Bush, for instance, often entertained dignitaries at his ranch in Texas.

Obama, who does not own a vacation property, often comes under political fire from Republican foes over his choice of vacation spot — especially when it facilitates his love of golf.

Obama may welcome some informal time with Abdullah in a relaxed setting.

The two men have been friendly ever since the king drove then senator Obama to the airport in a silver Mercedes after dinner at one of his palaces in Amman a few months before the 2008 election.

BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses

Pot Businesses Allowed to Open Accounts With U.S. Banks

BLOOMBERG
By Alison Vekshin
Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg

The U.S. government took a step toward legitimizing the marijuana industry today, allowing U.S. banks to offer accounts and other services to businesses in states where medical or recreational pot sales are legal.

The Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued guidelines for banks intended to reduce the danger sellers face in operating an all-cash business. The rules would give law enforcement more information about marijuana business activity, the agency said in a news release.

“Financial institutions can provide services to marijuana-related businesses in a manner consistent with their obligations to know their customers and to report possible criminal activity,” according to an agency statement.

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BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses

http://www.fincen.gov
Guidance
FIN-2014-G001
Issued: February 14, 2014
Subject: BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) is issuing guidance to clarify Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) expectations for financial institutions seeking to provide services to marijuana-related businesses. FinCEN is issuing this guidance in light of recent state initiatives to legalize certain marijuana-related activity and related guidance by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) concerning marijuana-related enforcement priorities. This FinCEN guidance clarifies how financial institutions can provide services to marijuana-related businesses consistent with their BSA obligations, and aligns the information provided by financial institutions in BSA reports with federal and state law enforcement priorities. This FinCEN guidance should enhance the availability of financial services for, and the financial transparency of, marijuana-related businesses.
Marijuana Laws and Law Enforcement Priorities
The Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) makes it illegal under federal law to manufacture, distribute, or dispense marijuana.1 Many states impose and enforce similar prohibitions. Notwithstanding the federal ban, as of the date of this guidance, 20 states and the District of Columbia have legalized certain marijuana-related activity. In light of these developments, U.S. Department of Justice Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole issued a memorandum (the “Cole Memo”) to all United States Attorneys providing updated guidance to federal prosecutors concerning marijuana enforcement under the CSA.2 The Cole Memo guidance applies to all of DOJ’s federal enforcement activity, including civil enforcement and criminal investigations and prosecutions, concerning marijuana in all states.
The Cole Memo reiterates Congress’s determination that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large-scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels. The Cole Memo notes that DOJ is committed to enforcement of the CSA consistent with those determinations. It also notes that DOJ is committed to using its investigative and prosecutorial resources to address the most
1 Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. § 801, et seq.
2 James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Memorandum for All United States Attorneys: Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement (August 29, 2013), available at http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/3052013829132756857467.pdf.
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significant threats in the most effective, consistent, and rational way. In furtherance of those
objectives, the Cole Memo provides guidance to DOJ attorneys and law enforcement to focus
their enforcement resources on persons or organizations whose conduct interferes with any one
or more of the following important priorities (the “Cole Memo priorities”):3
• Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;
• Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs,
and cartels;
• Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some
form to other states;
• Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the
trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
• Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;
• Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health
consequences associated with marijuana use;
• Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and
environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands; and
• Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.
Concurrently with this FinCEN guidance, Deputy Attorney General Cole is issuing supplemental
guidance directing that prosecutors also consider these enforcement priorities with respect to
federal money laundering, unlicensed money transmitter, and BSA offenses predicated on
marijuana-related violations of the CSA.4
Providing Financial Services to Marijuana-Related Businesses
This FinCEN guidance clarifies how financial institutions can provide services to marijuanarelated
businesses consistent with their BSA obligations. In general, the decision to open, close,
or refuse any particular account or relationship should be made by each financial institution
based on a number of factors specific to that institution. These factors may include its particular
business objectives, an evaluation of the risks associated with offering a particular product or
service, and its capacity to manage those risks effectively. Thorough customer due diligence is a
critical aspect of making this assessment.
In assessing the risk of providing services to a marijuana-related business, a financial institution
should conduct customer due diligence that includes: (i) verifying with the appropriate state
authorities whether the business is duly licensed and registered; (ii) reviewing the license
application (and related documentation) submitted by the business for obtaining a state license to
operate its marijuana-related business; (iii) requesting from state licensing and enforcement
authorities available information about the business and related parties; (iv) developing an
understanding of the normal and expected activity for the business, including the types of
3 The Cole Memo notes that these enforcement priorities are listed in general terms; each encompasses a variety of
conduct that may merit civil or criminal enforcement of the CSA.
4 James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Memorandum for All United States
Attorneys: Guidance Regarding Marijuana Related Financial Crimes (February 14, 2014).
3
products to be sold and the type of customers to be served (e.g., medical versus recreational customers); (v) ongoing monitoring of publicly available sources for adverse information about the business and related parties; (vi) ongoing monitoring for suspicious activity, including for any of the red flags described in this guidance; and (vii) refreshing information obtained as part of customer due diligence on a periodic basis and commensurate with the risk. With respect to information regarding state licensure obtained in connection with such customer due diligence, a financial institution may reasonably rely on the accuracy of information provided by state licensing authorities, where states make such information available.
As part of its customer due diligence, a financial institution should consider whether a marijuana-related business implicates one of the Cole Memo priorities or violates state law. This is a particularly important factor for a financial institution to consider when assessing the risk of providing financial services to a marijuana-related business. Considering this factor also enables the financial institution to provide information in BSA reports pertinent to law enforcement’s priorities. A financial institution that decides to provide financial services to a marijuana-related business would be required to file suspicious activity reports (“SARs”) as described below.
Filing Suspicious Activity Reports on Marijuana-Related Businesses
The obligation to file a SAR is unaffected by any state law that legalizes marijuana-related activity. A financial institution is required to file a SAR if, consistent with FinCEN regulations, the financial institution knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that a transaction conducted or attempted by, at, or through the financial institution: (i) involves funds derived from illegal activity or is an attempt to disguise funds derived from illegal activity; (ii) is designed to evade regulations promulgated under the BSA, or (iii) lacks a business or apparent lawful purpose.5 Because federal law prohibits the distribution and sale of marijuana, financial transactions involving a marijuana-related business would generally involve funds derived from illegal activity. Therefore, a financial institution is required to file a SAR on activity involving a marijuana-related business (including those duly licensed under state law), in accordance with this guidance and FinCEN’s suspicious activity reporting requirements and related thresholds.
One of the BSA’s purposes is to require financial institutions to file reports that are highly useful in criminal investigations and proceedings. The guidance below furthers this objective by assisting financial institutions in determining how to file a SAR that facilitates law enforcement’s access to information pertinent to a priority.
“Marijuana Limited” SAR Filings
A financial institution providing financial services to a marijuana-related business that it reasonably believes, based on its customer due diligence, does not implicate one of the Cole Memo priorities or violate state law should file a “Marijuana Limited” SAR. The content of this
5 See, e.g., 31 CFR § 1020.320. Financial institutions shall file with FinCEN, to the extent and in the manner required, a report of any suspicious transaction relevant to a possible violation of law or regulation. A financial institution may also file with FinCEN a SAR with respect to any suspicious transaction that it believes is relevant to the possible violation of any law or regulation but whose reporting is not required by FinCEN regulations.
4
SAR should be limited to the following information: (i) identifying information of the subject and related parties; (ii) addresses of the subject and related parties; (iii) the fact that the filing institution is filing the SAR solely because the subject is engaged in a marijuana-related business; and (iv) the fact that no additional suspicious activity has been identified. Financial institutions should use the term “MARIJUANA LIMITED” in the narrative section.
A financial institution should follow FinCEN’s existing guidance on the timing of filing continuing activity reports for the same activity initially reported on a “Marijuana Limited” SAR.6 The continuing activity report may contain the same limited content as the initial SAR, plus details about the amount of deposits, withdrawals, and transfers in the account since the last SAR. However, if, in the course of conducting customer due diligence (including ongoing monitoring for red flags), the financial institution detects changes in activity that potentially implicate one of the Cole Memo priorities or violate state law, the financial institution should file a “Marijuana Priority” SAR. “Marijuana Priority” SAR Filings
A financial institution filing a SAR on a marijuana-related business that it reasonably believes, based on its customer due diligence, implicates one of the Cole Memo priorities or violates state law should file a “Marijuana Priority” SAR. The content of this SAR should include comprehensive detail in accordance with existing regulations and guidance. Details particularly relevant to law enforcement in this context include: (i) identifying information of the subject and related parties; (ii) addresses of the subject and related parties; (iii) details regarding the enforcement priorities the financial institution believes have been implicated; and (iv) dates, amounts, and other relevant details of financial transactions involved in the suspicious activity. Financial institutions should use the term “MARIJUANA PRIORITY” in the narrative section to help law enforcement distinguish these SARs.7
“Marijuana Termination” SAR Filings
If a financial institution deems it necessary to terminate a relationship with a marijuana-related business in order to maintain an effective anti-money laundering compliance program, it should
6 Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the FinCEN Suspicious Activity Report (Question #16), available at: http://fincen.gov/whatsnew/html/sar_faqs.html (providing guidance on the filing timeframe for submitting a continuing activity report).
7 FinCEN recognizes that a financial institution filing a SAR on a marijuana-related business may not always be well-positioned to determine whether the business implicates one of the Cole Memo priorities or violates state law, and thus which terms would be most appropriate to include (i.e., “Marijuana Limited” or “Marijuana Priority”). For example, a financial institution could be providing services to another domestic financial institution that, in turn, provides financial services to a marijuana-related business. Similarly, a financial institution could be providing services to a non-financial customer that provides goods or services to a marijuana-related business (e.g., a commercial landlord that leases property to a marijuana-related business). In such circumstances where services are being provided indirectly, the financial institution may file SARs based on existing regulations and guidance without distinguishing between “Marijuana Limited” and “Marijuana Priority.” Whether the financial institution decides to provide indirect services to a marijuana-related business is a risk-based decision that depends on a number of factors specific to that institution and the relevant circumstances. In making this decision, the institution should consider the Cole Memo priorities, to the extent applicable.
5
file a SAR and note in the narrative the basis for the termination. Financial institutions should use the term “MARIJUANA TERMINATION” in the narrative section. To the extent the financial institution becomes aware that the marijuana-related business seeks to move to a second financial institution, FinCEN urges the first institution to use Section 314(b) voluntary information sharing (if it qualifies) to alert the second financial institution of potential illegal activity. See Section 314(b) Fact Sheet for more information.
8
Red Flags to Distinguish Priority SARs
The following red flags indicate that a marijuana-related business may be engaged in activity that implicates one of the Cole Memo priorities or violates state law. These red flags indicate only possible signs of such activity, and also do not constitute an exhaustive list. It is thus important to view any red flag(s) in the context of other indicators and facts, such as the financial institution’s knowledge about the underlying parties obtained through its customer due diligence. Further, the presence of any of these red flags in a given transaction or business arrangement may indicate a need for additional due diligence, which could include seeking information from other involved financial institutions under Section 314(b). These red flags are based primarily upon schemes and typologies described in SARs or identified by our law enforcement and regulatory partners, and may be updated in future guidance.
• A customer appears to be using a state-licensed marijuana-related business as a front or pretext to launder money derived from other criminal activity (i.e., not related to marijuana) or derived from marijuana-related activity not permitted under state law. Relevant indicia could include:
o The business receives substantially more revenue than may reasonably be expected given the relevant limitations imposed by the state in which it operates.
o The business receives substantially more revenue than its local competitors or than might be expected given the population demographics.
o The business is depositing more cash than is commensurate with the amount of marijuana-related revenue it is reporting for federal and state tax purposes.
o The business is unable to demonstrate that its revenue is derived exclusively from the sale of marijuana in compliance with state law, as opposed to revenue derived from (i) the sale of other illicit drugs, (ii) the sale of marijuana not in compliance with state law, or (iii) other illegal activity.
o The business makes cash deposits or withdrawals over a short period of time that are excessive relative to local competitors or the expected activity of the business.
8 Information Sharing Between Financial Institutions: Section 314(b) Fact Sheet, available at: http://fincen.gov/statutes_regs/patriot/pdf/314bfactsheet.pdf.
6
o Deposits apparently structured to avoid Currency Transaction Report (“CTR”) requirements.
o Rapid movement of funds, such as cash deposits followed by immediate cash withdrawals.
o Deposits by third parties with no apparent connection to the accountholder.
o Excessive commingling of funds with the personal account of the business’s owner(s) or manager(s), or with accounts of seemingly unrelated businesses.
o Individuals conducting transactions for the business appear to be acting on behalf of other, undisclosed parties of interest.
o Financial statements provided by the business to the financial institution are inconsistent with actual account activity.
o A surge in activity by third parties offering goods or services to marijuana-related businesses, such as equipment suppliers or shipping servicers.
• The business is unable to produce satisfactory documentation or evidence to demonstrate that it is duly licensed and operating consistently with state law.
• The business is unable to demonstrate the legitimate source of significant outside investments.
• A customer seeks to conceal or disguise involvement in marijuana-related business activity. For example, the customer may be using a business with a non-descript name (e.g., a “consulting,” “holding,” or “management” company) that purports to engage in commercial activity unrelated to marijuana, but is depositing cash that smells like marijuana.
• Review of publicly available sources and databases about the business, its owner(s), manager(s), or other related parties, reveal negative information, such as a criminal record, involvement in the illegal purchase or sale of drugs, violence, or other potential connections to illicit activity.
• The business, its owner(s), manager(s), or other related parties are, or have been, subject to an enforcement action by the state or local authorities responsible for administering or enforcing marijuana-related laws or regulations.
• A marijuana-related business engages in international or interstate activity, including by receiving cash deposits from locations outside the state in which the business operates, making or receiving frequent or large interstate transfers, or otherwise transacting with persons or entities located in different states or countries.
7
• The owner(s) or manager(s) of a marijuana-related business reside outside the state in which the business is located.
• A marijuana-related business is located on federal property or the marijuana sold by the business was grown on federal property.
• A marijuana-related business’s proximity to a school is not compliant with state law.
• A marijuana-related business purporting to be a “non-profit” is engaged in commercial activity inconsistent with that classification, or is making excessive payments to its manager(s) or employee(s).
Currency Transaction Reports and Form 8300’s
Financial institutions and other persons subject to FinCEN’s regulations must report currency transactions in connection with marijuana-related businesses the same as they would in any other context, consistent with existing regulations and with the same thresholds that apply. For example, banks and money services businesses would need to file CTRs on the receipt or withdrawal by any person of more than $10,000 in cash per day. Similarly, any person or entity engaged in a non-financial trade or business would need to report transactions in which they receive more than $10,000 in cash and other monetary instruments for the purchase of goods or services on FinCEN Form 8300 (Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business). A business engaged in marijuana-related activity may not be treated as a non-listed business under 31 C.F.R. § 1020.315(e)(8), and therefore, is not eligible for consideration for an exemption with respect to a bank’s CTR obligations under 31 C.F.R. § 1020.315(b)(6).
* * * * *
FinCEN’s enforcement priorities in connection with this guidance will focus on matters of systemic or significant failures, and not isolated lapses in technical compliance. Financial institutions with questions about this guidance are encouraged to contact FinCEN’s Resource Center at (800) 767-2825, where industry questions can be addressed and monitored for the purpose of providing any necessary additional guidance.

Scripting The Fake Reality Stream

Meta-Scripting The Fake Reality Stream

event horizon

Richard Sauder

Maybe you’ve seen the story making the rounds recently on the Internet about how the current stock market chart is so closely paralleling the chart from 1929, just before the crash that brought the roaring ’20s to a close and ushered in the deep gloom and despair of the Great Depression years of the 1930s, immediately followed by the Second World War.
 
 

And that brings up an interesting question: are Wall Street and the City of London following a script? Is it a script that several decades ago reliably caused financial chaos and suffering and issued in a devastating Second World War, and that therefore is being implemented again, for the same reasons, only on an even grander scale, to create even greater financial chaos and suffering, to result in a World War that is even more destructive and murderous than the Second World War?

Is that one of the reasons that the vast majority of the trading on the world’s exchanges is now managed by powerful banks of corporate computers running highly complex, statistical algorithms that buy and sell shares of stock at speeds that the human mind cannot comprehend? Have the machines been given free rein to crash the system just the way it was done in 1929? In other words, is what we are seeing consciously programmed into the system to ensure that the events of 1929 to 1945 are repeated, only with far more devastating effect, this time around?

I think so. I think we are seeing raw evil unleashed.There is real, calculated malice behind contemporary events. 

Technology has changed radically, there are three and one half times as many people in the world now as there were in 1929, the economy is far larger and more complex, and yet we are to believe that the stock market chart now, almost exactly mirrors the stock market chart in 1929?

We are to believe that that is due to mere chance, random coincidence?

No, sir. No, ma’am.  It’s a set up. The whole global system is rigged. 

I used to know a man who did this sort of thing for a stock brokerage. He was an aggressive, obnoxious, alcoholic, really foul mouthed, 30-year old. But he had an aptitude for advanced statistics and higher mathematics. In fact, he had an MS in applied mathematics and statistics and he wrote algorithms that were programmed into the brokerage’s computers. That’s the rule nowadays. The algorithms that the big financial houses use are quite complex and they determine what stocks and financial instruments are bought and sold, in what quantity, when and where, under what circumstances and how long they are held. Large trades are made in mere fractions of a second. 

And men like my former acquaintance make this system go. Actually, they are just the peons, the programmers who are told what to do. They are given the game plan by other players higher up in the control hierarchy, or at least they are given the part of the game plan that they are to put into play, and they then make it so. They program the computers accordingly.

The entire global system is modeled in detail. Intricate multivariate analysis, that correlates reams of data from corporations, huge financial institutions, government agencies, spy agencies, scientific studies and more, is run through banks of super-computers. Everything is modeled and gamed and schemed, again and again, for maximum global profit, for maximum global destruction.

Why?

Because we are dealing with malevolent, wicked entities at the top of the control structure who are larcenous beyond belief and whose blood lust knows no bounds. They thrive on planetary pillage and genocidal destruction. They literally have it down to a science that they manage on a global scale.

That is how you explain what is happening at Fukushima. That is what is driving the vicious take down of the whole of humanity and their consequent impoverishment. That is ultimately behind the preparations for martial law and fascist dictatorship in the USSA and other countries. That is what is behind the international chemtrail program. That is what is behind preparations for a probably nuclear, World War Three. 

Evil run amok. And it’s being directed from behind the scenes, by shadowy entities. I don’t know if they are all human, or whether the ones who appear human, even are, in actuality, human beings, according to the ordinary acceptation of the word, “human.”

We are dealing with something truly malevolent and hard, and it does not mean well. If you look at the available evidence it trends in the direction of humanity’s enslavement and/or extinction. And not in the far distant future. We are talking about events that are in motion right now.

I refer you to the ghastly, ongoing catastrophe at Fukushima, Japan. Or the rapidly developing, global police state. Or to the ever more oppressive and repressive, global, financial system. Or to the rampaging ecological crisis — as dead zones appear in the seas, the oceans die off, and the great forests are cut down. And that is just part of what we are facing.

For Every Subversive Political Force You First Need the Counterfeit Force

[The US completion of most Nazi research has empowered the Pentagon with the ability to manipulate popular opinion and to drive mob psychology.  The continuation of Germany’s trauma-based mind-control sciences to their logical outcome has endowed American leaders with a whole new generation of psychological weaponry which are far superior to conventional weapons, because they are far less destructive, while practically guaranteeing mission success.  As seen in “coloured revolution” after colored revolution, or in each successive “spring” or “awakening” movement, CIA/State Dept. operators/manipulators have been able to effectively weaponize populations and use them to overthrow every national leader that has been targeted, up until Bashar Asad and Russia fouled-up their perfect plan.  One deceptive innovation is the key to all of these CIA manipulations–The creation of counterfeit opposition movements.  For every successful democratic-revolution, there must be a false opposition, even if we call them “Taliban.”]

“From Egypt, Ukraine, the Turkish-Syrian border, Cuba and Thailand”

How the West Manufactures “Opposition Movements”

counter punch
by ANDRE VLTCHEK

Government buildings are being trashed, ransacked. It is happening in Kiev and Bangkok, and in both cities, the governments appear to be toothless, too scared to intervene.

What is going on? Are popularly elected administrations all over the world becoming irrelevant; as the Western regime creates and then supports thuggish ‘opposition movements’ designed to destabilize any state that stands in the way of its desire to fully control the planet?

***

They are shouting and intimidating those who want to vote for the moderately progressive government that is presently leading Thailand. There is no dispute over the electoral process – voting is generally free, as both international observers and most of the local Election Commission members agree.

Freedom, legitimacy or transparency is not what is at stake now.

The rhetoric varies, but in essence, the ‘protesters’ are demanding the dismemberment of the fragile Thai democracy. Most of them are paid by the upper-middle and upper classes. Some of them are thugs, many hired for around 500 Baht a day (roughly US$ 15) in the villages of the restive southern provinces of the country. They are accustomed to the use of violence, their body language and facial expressions clearly show it.

Government officials of the legitimate government have to climb over blockades, or beg protesters to allow them to enter their own offices.

People who came to vote in the pre-election round were intimidated and insulted, and one man was almost strangled to death.

While life in the capital has been fully disrupted, the government does not dare to send in tanks or the police to clear the streets. It should. But it is too scared of the army and the monarchy – two pillars of this outrageous hybrid of savage capitalism and feudalism – comparable only to even worse regional nightmares, such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

It is all in the open now: the government speaks of its fear, while the military sends poisonous threats through the lackey media and through ‘leaks’.

What is happening and what is at stake? The Prime Minister’s older brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, while he was PM himself, attempted to bring in a modern capitalist system to this submissive and deeply scared nation. And not only that: he housed the poor, introduced an excellent free universal medical care system (much more advanced than anything ever proposed in the United States), free and very advanced primary and secondary education, and other concepts deemed dangerous to the world order, and to the local feudal elites, as well as the army.

Thai elites, whose love of being obeyed more than wealth, admired and feared, reacted almost immediately. The PM was exiled, barred from returning home to his country, and smeared. There were military coups, mysterious ‘alliances’, rumours, and ‘secret messages’ coming from a ‘very high place’. There was outright killing, a real massacre, when the so called ‘Red Shirts’, supporters of Mr. Shinawatra (ranging from moderate reformists to Marxists) were butchered by snipers, some shot in their heads.

But the people, the poor, the majority of Thailand, particularly those from the North and Northeast, reacted in a stoical and most determined fashion. Whenever elections were called, whenever the regime outlawed the pro-Shinawatra political parties, the new ones emerged, and kept winning the elections.

In 2011, Mr. Shinawatra’s sister, Yingluck, became Thailand’s Prime Minister.

‘Protestors’ blocked several central arteries of Bangkok, declaring that “Thailand is not ready for democracy”, and that “if elections should determine the country’s future, pro-Shinawatra forces would keep winning”.

That, of course, would be unacceptable to the elites and to many Western countries that have, for decades, benefited from the Thai feudal system.

One of Thailand’s generals, ‘refused to rule out the possibility of another military coup’.

What the opposition proposed was some hazy concept, of a government of technocrats, which would govern until Thailand ‘is ready’ to vote: read until people’s power is broken and it would become certain that a pro-elites, pro-monarchy and pro-military government would be ‘freely’ elected.

In the meantime, thugs are blocking public streets; cultural centers but not malls. They are described as ‘protesters’ in both Europe and the United States.

And here we are coming to the core of things: The terror of the military and feudalism was dressed up in the clothes of rebellion, even revolution. It was given legitimacy, even a certain romantic flair.

Fascism is raising its ugly head, once again. And the West is fully aware of it, and in fact it is openly supportive of the regime that is now de facto governing Thailand from behind the curtains. Because it is the regime it helped to manufacture.

***

I left Bangkok and while in the air, one thought kept repeatedly coming to me: many of the places I had been writing about lately are living a very similar reality as Thailand is.

Those elected democratically, those progressive in their core, these governments all over the world have been under severe attacks by some armed thugs, bandits, and anti-social elements, even by outright terrorists.

I saw it on the Turkish-Syrian border. I heard the stories of many locals, in the Turkish city of Hatay, and in the countryside near the Turkish-Syrian border.

There, I was stopped, prevented from working, interrogated by the local police, army and religious thugs, when I was trying to photograph one of those ‘refugee camps’ built by NATO specially for Syrian fighters, who were housed, trained and armed in this area.

Hatay was overran by Saudi and Qatari jihadi cadres, pampered by the US, EU and Turkish logistics, support, weaponry and cash.

The terror these people have been spreading in this historically peaceful, multi-cultural and tolerant part of the world, could hardly be described in words.

Children from the borderline village described raids, theft and violence, even killing, by anti-Assad ‘rebels’.

Here, and in Istanbul where I worked with Turkish progressive intellectuals, media and academia, I was explained to again and again, that the anti-Syrian ‘opposition’ has been trained, financed and ‘encouraged’ by the West, and by Turkey (a member of NATO), causing the death and destruction of millions of lives in the entire region.

As I write these words, RT is broadcasting an exclusive report from the Syrian city of Adra, the city that had been plundered and destroyed by pro-al Qaida and the pro-Western ‘opposition’ forces, including the Free Syrian Army.

This is the city where, allegedly, one month ago, people were murdered, stoned alive, burned in barrels, and beheaded.

Instead of stopping support for the racist, bigoted and extremely brutal Syrian ‘opposition’, Washington continues demonizing Assad’s government, and threatening it once again with military action.

***

And those thugs, in the countries that elected their own patriotic or progressive governments, were hired by local elites on behalf of the Western Empire.

And before that, the so-called ‘elites’ were hired, funded, or at least trained/’educated’ by the West.

On an ‘intellectual’ level, the private media outlets have been fiercely competing with each other, over which one would become more submissive towards the foreign handlers. The militaries and the most regressive feudalist, even fascist forces all over the world (see Ukraine, for instance) are clearly getting back into the saddle, benefitting and taking full advantage of the trend.

All this has been happening in different degrees and with variable levels of brutality, in Thailand, China, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Zimbabwe and many other places all over the world.

Right after reading my article about the situation in Thailand, published on 30 January, my Brazilian reader reacted:

“Similar to our Brazil: though in a faded… somewhat lighter environment but substantially the same… the local elites, right now in January 2014, are doing whatever they can, to prevent the re election of Ms Dilma Roussef… You are an experienced Latin America´s observer, you know very well…”

The process, the tactics, are almost always the same: Western-paid media, or Western media directly, discredit designated popular governments, then ‘scandals’ are created, colors designated to some newly constructed ‘opposition’ movement, thugs selected and paid, and finally deadly weapons ‘miraculously’ appear at the ‘protest sites’.

As long as the government is ‘nationalist’, really patriotic and defending the interests of its own people against international plunder, (not like the Abe’s government in Japan which is peculiarly described as ‘nationalist’, but in reality it fully sides with US foreign policy in the region), it gets marked, and it appears on an invisible but powerful hit list, old-fashioned mafia-style.

As Michael Parenti correctly and colorfully described: “You do it our way, or we break your leg, capice?”

I witnessed President Morsi of Egypt (I was critical of his rule at first, as I was critical of the government of Mr. Shinawatra, before real horror swept both Egypt and Thailand), being overthrown by the military, which, while in its zealous over-drive, managed in the process to murder several thousands of mainly poor Egyptian people.

I was then in Egypt, in and out, for several months, filming a documentary film for the South American television network, Telesur.

In disbelief and dismay I witnessed my revolutionary friends going into hiding, disappearing from the face of the earth. This happened as outrageously arrogant families cheered on the military murderers with no shame, openly.

The logic and tactics in Egypt were predictable: although still capitalist and to a certain extent submissive to IMF and the West, President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, were a bit too unenthusiastic about collaborating with the West. They never really said ‘no’, but that had not appeared to be enough for the Euro-North American regime, which, these days, demands total, unconditional obedience as well as the kissing of hands and other bodily parts. The regime demands old-fashioned, Protestant-style obedience, complete with self-deprecation and a constant feeling of guilt; it is ordering true and ‘sincere’ servility.

It appears that almost no country, no well-liked government can escape annihilation, if it does not fully submit.

It went so far that unless the government in a developing countries such as Philippines, Indonesia, Uganda or Rwanda, sends a clear message to Washington, London or Paris that “we are here simply to make you, in the West, happy”, it would risk total annihilation, even if it was elected democratically, even if (and actually ‘especially if’) it is supported by the majority of the people.

All this is nothing new, of course. But in the past, things were done a little bit more covertly. These days it is all out in the open. Maybe it is done on purpose, so nobody will dare to rebel, or even to dream.

And so, the revolution in Egypt has been derailed, destroyed, and cruelly choked to death. There is really nothing left of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, just a clear warning: “never try again, or else”.

Yes, I saw the ‘elites’ of Egypt dancing, and celebrating their victory. The elites love the army. The Army guarantees their continuous place at the zenith, their power. The elites even make their little children hold portraits of the military leaders responsible for the coup, responsible for thousands of lost lives, responsible for breaking the great hopes and dreams of the Arab world.

What I witnessed in Egypt was chilling, and it resembled the 1973 coup in Chile (a country which I consider my ‘second or third home’); the coup, which I am not old enough to remember, but footage of which I have seen again and again, in silent and never diminishing horror.

‘Or else’ could be the torture and murder of people in Bahrain. ‘Or else’ could be Indonesia in 1965/66. Or it could be the ‘collapse of the Soviet Union’. ‘Or else’ could be civilian airliners exploding mid-flight; a Cuban plane was destroyed by CIA agents. It could be ravaged Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, or Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, bombed into the stone ages. ‘Or else’ can easily be some fully devastated country like Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama or the Dominican Republic. Or ‘or else’ could mean ten million people butchered in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for both its natural resources and for the anti-imperialist outspokenness of its great leader, Patrice Lumumba.

Now in Egypt, Mubarak’s clique is rapidly coming back to power. He was a well-trusted ‘devil’, and the West quickly realized that to let him fall would be a serious strategic blunder; and so it was decided to bring him back; either personally, or at least his legacy, at the coast of thousands of (insignificant) Egyptian lives, and against the will of almost the entire nation.

The military of Egypt, of course, cannot be allowed to fall, either. The US has invested billions and billions of dollars in it, and the soldiers are now literally in control of half of the country. And it is a very reliable organization: it murders without scruple any being attempting to build a socially just society in this the most populous Arab nation on earth. And it plays with Israel. And it loves capitalism.

Two countries are separated by thousands of miles, and belong to two different cultures, located on two continents; Thailand and Egypt. In both countries, people spoke. They voted in their leaders. Not some Communist government, mind you: just a moderately socially-oriented one in Thailand, and a moderately nationalist/Islamic one in Egypt.

In both cases, the feudal and fascist elites went to work, immediately. Those that are behind them, that are financing them, and ‘morally’ supporting them, is, I believe, absolutely clear.

***

Ukraine is not a fresh victim of destabilization tactics of the European Union, which is so sickly greedy that it appears it, cannot contain itself anymore. It salivates, intensively, imagining the huge natural resources that Ukraine possesses. It is shaking with desire dreaming of a cheap and highly educated labor force.

European companies want to get into Ukraine, by all means. But one has to be careful not to allow the Ukrainian hordes to enter that sacred and thoroughly racist fortress – the European Union. Europe can plunder all over the world, but it is strict and brutal to those who want to get in and ‘steal its jobs’.

Of course the EU cannot do in Ukraine, what it freely does in many places like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It cannot just come and pay some proxy countries, as it pays Rwanda and Uganda (that are already responsible for the loss of over ten million Congolese lives in less than 2 decades), to plunder Ukraine and kill almost all those people that are resisting.

Europe, again and again, for centuries, has proven that it is capable of massacring entire nations without the slightest mercy, (while showing almost zero historic memory) and with almost no moral principles, at least compared to the rest of the world. But it is canny, and unlike the United States, it knows plenty about tactics, strategy and PR.

What the EU did in Libya is clear. Anyone claiming that the United States is acting on its own, must be exercising enormous discipline not to see how closely linked are the interests and actions of the old and new usurpers of Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Asia and Oceania. France is acting, once again, as the arch neo-colonial thug, particularly in Africa.

But Ukraine is ‘right there’, too near geographically, to the EU itself. It has to be destabilized, but it all has to appear very legitimate. ‘The rebellion’, ‘revolution’, ‘uprising of its people’; that is the way to handle things ‘properly’.

More than a month ago, a bizarre deal was proposed, where European companies would be allowed to enter and clean Ukraine of its natural resources, but the people of Ukraine would not be allowed to even come and work in the EU.

The government, logically and sensibly, rejected the deal. And then, suddenly, Thai-style or Egyptian-style thugs appeared all over the streets of Kiev, armed with sticks and even weapons, and went onto trashing the capital and demanding the democratically elected government to resign.

The groups of thugs include many neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and common criminals. They are emboldened by the Thai-style fear of the Ukrainian government, to use force. They are setting on fire police officers, blocking and occupying government buildings, preventing the administration from serving the people.

Just as their ‘orange’ predecessors, they have been manufactured and carefully crafted, before being released into the wider world.

***

In Africa, just to mention a few cases, tiny Seychelles, a country with the highest HDI (Human Development Index by UNDP) has for years been bombarded with criticism and destabilization attempts. The Government provides excellent totally free (including medicine) medical care and free education. The people of Seychelles are well fed and housed. It is definitely not a perfect society, but, together with Mauritius, it is the best the African continent has to show. But that does not seem to be relevant.

Propaganda from outside, as well as the mainly British-sponsored opposition press, is trashing the system.

One wonders why, but then, on closer scrutiny and understanding of the Empire, things become clear: The Seychelles used to cooperate closely with both Cuba and North Korea, on educational fronts and in other fields. It was too ‘socialist’ for the Empire. And for those retirees seeking an exclusive hedonist lifestyle, it would be acceptable to be surrounded by blue and maybe even by brown, but definitely not by red.

Eritrea, dubbed as the ‘African Cuba’, may be a proud and determined nation, but it was designated as total pariah and outcast state by most of the Western powers. It was hit by sanctions and punished for who knows what.

“We are trying to be inclusive, democratic and fair”, the Eritrean Director of Education recently told me, in Kenya. “But the more we do, the more we care about our people, the more infuriated Western countries appear to be.”

He was a very wise man and so he did not appear to be surprised. Both of us were just ‘comparing notes’.

Zimbabwe is another clear and extreme case. There, the West evidently and openly supports ‘the opposition’, against the government that is loved and supported by the great majority of citizens; the government of liberation struggle against colonialism and imperialism.

Provoked by outrageous lies disseminated by the mainly British mass media, I visited Zimbabwe last year, disputing point-by-point all the main propaganda points directed against Harare. Needless to say, my report, published by CounterPunch, created outrage against Western propaganda, all over the African continent.

The West builds and feeds ‘rebellions’ and ‘opposition’ against Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Brazil, and Ecuador, to mention just a few countries high on its hit list.

In Venezuela, the US sponsored an aborted coup, and it directly pays for hundreds of organizations, ‘NGO’s’ and media outlets, with the direct goal of overthrowing the revolutionary process and the government.

In Cuba, the people of this proud and humanist nation have been suffering for decades. They have been enduring what can only be described as terrorism against their beautiful country. The US and the West have sponsored invasions, terrorist acts, even attempts to influence weather patterns and cause devastating droughts. Crops have been poisoned.

Any Cuban ‘dissident’, any thug that takes up arms against the Cuban system and the government, would get immediate funding and support from the United States.

Even Western media outlets, performing secret polls in Cuba, often come to the conclusion that the majority of Cuban citizens support their system. But that only infuriates the West further. Cuban people are paying a heavy price for their freedom, for their pride, for their independence.

There are many other examples how the ‘opposition’ and terror against ‘unpopular’ (in the eyes of the West) governments are built.

Bolivians almost lost their ‘white’ and-right wing province of Santa Cruz, as the US supported, many say financed the ‘independence movement’ there, obviously punishing the extremely popular government of Evo Morales for being so socialist, so indigenous and so beloved. Brazil, in one great show of solidarity and internationalism, threatened to invade and rescue its neighbor, by preserving its integrity. Therefore, only the weight of this peaceful and highly respectable giant saved Bolivia from certain destruction.

But now even Brazil is under attack of the ‘manufacturers of opposition’!

I don’t want to write at length about China here, in this report. Readers are already familiar with my stand, but in summary: The more high-speed trains the Communist government builds, the more public parks, free exercise machines, more public transportation lines and wide sidewalks, the more it attempts to make medical care free for all once again, the more it attempts to make education free and public – the more it is being smeared and called ‘more capitalist than capitalist states (while over 50% of country’s production remains firmly in state hands).

Russia, like China, Cuba or Venezuela, is demonized relentlessly, every day and every hour. Any oligarch, any deranged pop figure, who criticizes the government of President Putin, is immediately elevated by the US, German and other Western governments, to the level of sainthood.

All this is definitely not because of the Russian human rights record, but because Russia, like the Latin American countries and China, is determinedly blocking Western attempts to destabilize and destroy independent and progressive countries all over the world. It is also due to the increasing influence of the Russian media, particularly RT (Russia Today), which became a commanding voice of resistance to Western propaganda. Needless to say, this writer is proudly associated with RT and its efforts.

***

It is certain that what the world is experiencing now, could be described as ‘the new wave’ of a Western imperial offensive. This offensive is taking place on all fronts, and it is rapidly accelerating. Under the proud Nobel Peace Price winner, Barack Obama and his closest European Neo-cons and ‘socialists with brown insides’, as well as the re-elected fascist Prime Minister of Japan, the world is becoming an extremely dangerous place. It feels like some frontier town invaded by violent gangs.

The biblical perception of ‘those who are not with me are against me’ is gaining new depth.

And be aware of the colors. Be aware of the ‘uprisings’, or anti-government ‘protests’. Which one is genuine and which one is unnaturally created by imperialism and neo-colonialism?

It all appears to be extremely confusing to the majority of people who are getting stuffed on the corporate media feed. Actually, it is supposed to be confusing! The more confused people get, the less capable they are to rebel against real dangers and oppression.

But in the end, despite everything, on the 2nd of February, the people of Thailand voted! They climbed the barricades; they fought with those who were attempting to close polling stations.

And in Ukraine, the majority still supports their government.

And Venezuela and Cuba have not fallen.

And the jihadi cadres are not yet in control of Syria.

And Eritrea and Zimbabwe are still behind their leadership.

People are not cattle. In many parts of the world they are already realizing who their real enemies are.

When the US sponsored a coup against Chavez, the military refused to follow, and as a handpicked businessman was sworn-in as President, the military began moving tanks towards Caracas, in defense of the legitimate and elected leader. The revolution survived!

Chavez passed away, and some say that he was poisoned; that he was infected with cancer, that he was hit from the North. I don’t know whether it is true, but before he died, he was photographed, bold and sweating, suffering from an incurable disease, but determined and proud. He was shouting: “Here nobody surrenders!” And this one image and one short sentence, inspired millions.

I remember, last year in Caracas, standing in front of a huge poster depicting his face, spelling out his words. I would thank him; embrace him if I could, if he were still alive. Not because he was perfect – he was not. But because his life and his words and actions inspired millions, pulled entire nations from depression, from gloom and doom, from slavery. I read from his face this: “They try to screw you by all means, but you fight… You fall but you fight again. They try to kill you but you fight… For justice, for your country, and for a better world.” Chavez did not say this, of course, but that is how it felt, looking at his photograph.

By then, most of South America was free and united against Western imperialism, and hard to defeat. Yes, here, nobody surrendered!

The rest of the world is still very vulnerable and mostly in shackles.

The West is continuously manufacturing and then supporting oppressive forces, be they feudal or religious. The more oppressed people are, the less disposed they are to fight for justice and for their rights. The more scared they are, the easier it is to control them.

Feudalism, religious oppression and cruel right-wing dictatorships, all that serves perfectly well both the market fundamentalism of the Empire, and its obsession with controlling the planet.

But such an arrangement of the world is abnormal, and therefore temporary. Human beings are longing for justice and, in their essence, are a sharing and decent species. Albert Camus, correctly, arrived at the conclusion in his powerful novel “The Plague” (analogy to fight against fascism): “there is more to admire than to despise in humans”.

What the West is now doing to the world; igniting conflicts, supporting banditry and terror, sacrificing millions of people for its own commercial interests, is nothing new under the sun. It is called ‘ordinary fascism’. And fascism came and was defeated, in the past. And it will be again. It will be defeated because it is wrong, because it is against natural human evolution, and because people all over the world are realizing that the feudal structures that Western fascism is trying to administer all over the world, belong to the 18th century, not to this one, and should never again be tolerated.

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His discussion with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism is now going to print. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. He has just completed the feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

The Most Powerful Weapons Are Psychological–The Weaponization of the People

[The US completion of most Nazi research has empowered the Pentagon with the ability to manipulate popular opinion and to drive mob psychology.  The continuation of Germany’s trauma-based mind-control sciences to their logical outcome has endowed American leaders with a whole new generation of psychological weaponry which are far superior to conventional weapons, because they are far less destructive, while practically guaranteeing mission success.  As seen in “coloured revolution” after colored revolution, or in each successive “spring” or “awakening” movement, CIA/State Dept. operators/manipulators have been able to effectively weaponize populations and use them to overthrow every national leader that has been targeted, up until Bashar Asad and Russia fouled-up their perfect plan.  One deceptive innovation is the key to all of these CIA manipulations–The creation of counterfeit opposition movements.  For every successful democratic-revolution, there must be a false opposition, even if we call them “Taliban.”]

“From Egypt, Ukraine, the Turkish-Syrian border, Cuba and Thailand”

How the West Manufactures “Opposition Movements”

by ANDRE VLTCHEK

Government buildings are being trashed, ransacked. It is happening in Kiev and Bangkok, and in both cities, the governments appear to be toothless, too scared to intervene.

What is going on? Are popularly elected administrations all over the world becoming irrelevant; as the Western regime creates and then supports thuggish ‘opposition movements’ designed to destabilize any state that stands in the way of its desire to fully control the planet?

***

They are shouting and intimidating those who want to vote for the moderately progressive government that is presently leading Thailand. There is no dispute over the electoral process – voting is generally free, as both international observers and most of the local Election Commission members agree.

Freedom, legitimacy or transparency is not what is at stake now.

The rhetoric varies, but in essence, the ‘protesters’ are demanding the dismemberment of the fragile Thai democracy. Most of them are paid by the upper-middle and upper classes. Some of them are thugs, many hired for around 500 Baht a day (roughly US$ 15) in the villages of the restive southern provinces of the country. They are accustomed to the use of violence, their body language and facial expressions clearly show it.

Government officials of the legitimate government have to climb over blockades, or beg protesters to allow them to enter their own offices.

People who came to vote in the pre-election round were intimidated and insulted, and one man was almost strangled to death.

While life in the capital has been fully disrupted, the government does not dare to send in tanks or the police to clear the streets. It should. But it is too scared of the army and the monarchy – two pillars of this outrageous hybrid of savage capitalism and feudalism – comparable only to even worse regional nightmares, such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

It is all in the open now: the government speaks of its fear, while the military sends poisonous threats through the lackey media and through ‘leaks’.

What is happening and what is at stake? The Prime Minister’s older brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, while he was PM himself, attempted to bring in a modern capitalist system to this submissive and deeply scared nation. And not only that: he housed the poor, introduced an excellent free universal medical care system (much more advanced than anything ever proposed in the United States), free and very advanced primary and secondary education, and other concepts deemed dangerous to the world order, and to the local feudal elites, as well as the army.

Thai elites, whose love of being obeyed more than wealth, admired and feared, reacted almost immediately. The PM was exiled, barred from returning home to his country, and smeared. There were military coups, mysterious ‘alliances’, rumours, and ‘secret messages’ coming from a ‘very high place’. There was outright killing, a real massacre, when the so called ‘Red Shirts’, supporters of Mr. Shinawatra (ranging from moderate reformists to Marxists) were butchered by snipers, some shot in their heads.

But the people, the poor, the majority of Thailand, particularly those from the North and Northeast, reacted in a stoical and most determined fashion. Whenever elections were called, whenever the regime outlawed the pro-Shinawatra political parties, the new ones emerged, and kept winning the elections.

In 2011, Mr. Shinawatra’s sister, Yingluck, became Thailand’s Prime Minister.

‘Protestors’ blocked several central arteries of Bangkok, declaring that “Thailand is not ready for democracy”, and that “if elections should determine the country’s future, pro-Shinawatra forces would keep winning”.

That, of course, would be unacceptable to the elites and to many Western countries that have, for decades, benefited from the Thai feudal system.

One of Thailand’s generals, ‘refused to rule out the possibility of another military coup’.

What the opposition proposed was some hazy concept, of a government of technocrats, which would govern until Thailand ‘is ready’ to vote: read until people’s power is broken and it would become certain that a pro-elites, pro-monarchy and pro-military government would be ‘freely’ elected.

In the meantime, thugs are blocking public streets; cultural centers but not malls. They are described as ‘protesters’ in both Europe and the United States.

And here we are coming to the core of things: The terror of the military and feudalism was dressed up in the clothes of rebellion, even revolution. It was given legitimacy, even a certain romantic flair.

Fascism is raising its ugly head, once again. And the West is fully aware of it, and in fact it is openly supportive of the regime that is now de facto governing Thailand from behind the curtains. Because it is the regime it helped to manufacture.

***

I left Bangkok and while in the air, one thought kept repeatedly coming to me: many of the places I had been writing about lately are living a very similar reality as Thailand is.

Those elected democratically, those progressive in their core, these governments all over the world have been under severe attacks by some armed thugs, bandits, and anti-social elements, even by outright terrorists.

I saw it on the Turkish-Syrian border. I heard the stories of many locals, in the Turkish city of Hatay, and in the countryside near the Turkish-Syrian border.

There, I was stopped, prevented from working, interrogated by the local police, army and religious thugs, when I was trying to photograph one of those ‘refugee camps’ built by NATO specially for Syrian fighters, who were housed, trained and armed in this area.

Hatay was overran by Saudi and Qatari jihadi cadres, pampered by the US, EU and Turkish logistics, support, weaponry and cash.

The terror these people have been spreading in this historically peaceful, multi-cultural and tolerant part of the world, could hardly be described in words.

Children from the borderline village described raids, theft and violence, even killing, by anti-Assad ‘rebels’.

Here, and in Istanbul where I worked with Turkish progressive intellectuals, media and academia, I was explained to again and again, that the anti-Syrian ‘opposition’ has been trained, financed and ‘encouraged’ by the West, and by Turkey (a member of NATO), causing the death and destruction of millions of lives in the entire region.

As I write these words, RT is broadcasting an exclusive report from the Syrian city of Adra, the city that had been plundered and destroyed by pro-al Qaida and the pro-Western ‘opposition’ forces, including the Free Syrian Army.

This is the city where, allegedly, one month ago, people were murdered, stoned alive, burned in barrels, and beheaded.

Instead of stopping support for the racist, bigoted and extremely brutal Syrian ‘opposition’, Washington continues demonizing Assad’s government, and threatening it once again with military action.

***

And those thugs, in the countries that elected their own patriotic or progressive governments, were hired by local elites on behalf of the Western Empire.

And before that, the so-called ‘elites’ were hired, funded, or at least trained/’educated’ by the West.

On an ‘intellectual’ level, the private media outlets have been fiercely competing with each other, over which one would become more submissive towards the foreign handlers. The militaries and the most regressive feudalist, even fascist forces all over the world (see Ukraine, for instance) are clearly getting back into the saddle, benefitting and taking full advantage of the trend.

All this has been happening in different degrees and with variable levels of brutality, in Thailand, China, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Zimbabwe and many other places all over the world.

Right after reading my article about the situation in Thailand, published on 30 January, my Brazilian reader reacted:

“Similar to our Brazil: though in a faded… somewhat lighter environment but substantially the same… the local elites, right now in January 2014, are doing whatever they can, to prevent the re election of Ms Dilma Roussef… You are an experienced Latin America´s observer, you know very well…”

The process, the tactics, are almost always the same: Western-paid media, or Western media directly, discredit designated popular governments, then ‘scandals’ are created, colors designated to some newly constructed ‘opposition’ movement, thugs selected and paid, and finally deadly weapons ‘miraculously’ appear at the ‘protest sites’.

As long as the government is ‘nationalist’, really patriotic and defending the interests of its own people against international plunder, (not like the Abe’s government in Japan which is peculiarly described as ‘nationalist’, but in reality it fully sides with US foreign policy in the region), it gets marked, and it appears on an invisible but powerful hit list, old-fashioned mafia-style.

As Michael Parenti correctly and colorfully described: “You do it our way, or we break your leg, capice?”

I witnessed President Morsi of Egypt (I was critical of his rule at first, as I was critical of the government of Mr. Shinawatra, before real horror swept both Egypt and Thailand), being overthrown by the military, which, while in its zealous over-drive, managed in the process to murder several thousands of mainly poor Egyptian people.

I was then in Egypt, in and out, for several months, filming a documentary film for the South American television network, Telesur.

In disbelief and dismay I witnessed my revolutionary friends going into hiding, disappearing from the face of the earth. This happened as outrageously arrogant families cheered on the military murderers with no shame, openly.

The logic and tactics in Egypt were predictable: although still capitalist and to a certain extent submissive to IMF and the West, President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, were a bit too unenthusiastic about collaborating with the West. They never really said ‘no’, but that had not appeared to be enough for the Euro-North American regime, which, these days, demands total, unconditional obedience as well as the kissing of hands and other bodily parts. The regime demands old-fashioned, Protestant-style obedience, complete with self-deprecation and a constant feeling of guilt; it is ordering true and ‘sincere’ servility.

It appears that almost no country, no well-liked government can escape annihilation, if it does not fully submit.

It went so far that unless the government in a developing countries such as Philippines, Indonesia, Uganda or Rwanda, sends a clear message to Washington, London or Paris that “we are here simply to make you, in the West, happy”, it would risk total annihilation, even if it was elected democratically, even if (and actually ‘especially if’) it is supported by the majority of the people.

All this is nothing new, of course. But in the past, things were done a little bit more covertly. These days it is all out in the open. Maybe it is done on purpose, so nobody will dare to rebel, or even to dream.

And so, the revolution in Egypt has been derailed, destroyed, and cruelly choked to death. There is really nothing left of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, just a clear warning: “never try again, or else”.

Yes, I saw the ‘elites’ of Egypt dancing, and celebrating their victory. The elites love the army. The Army guarantees their continuous place at the zenith, their power. The elites even make their little children hold portraits of the military leaders responsible for the coup, responsible for thousands of lost lives, responsible for breaking the great hopes and dreams of the Arab world.

What I witnessed in Egypt was chilling, and it resembled the 1973 coup in Chile (a country which I consider my ‘second or third home’); the coup, which I am not old enough to remember, but footage of which I have seen again and again, in silent and never diminishing horror.

‘Or else’ could be the torture and murder of people in Bahrain. ‘Or else’ could be Indonesia in 1965/66. Or it could be the ‘collapse of the Soviet Union’. ‘Or else’ could be civilian airliners exploding mid-flight; a Cuban plane was destroyed by CIA agents. It could be ravaged Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, or Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, bombed into the stone ages. ‘Or else’ can easily be some fully devastated country like Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama or the Dominican Republic. Or ‘or else’ could mean ten million people butchered in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for both its natural resources and for the anti-imperialist outspokenness of its great leader, Patrice Lumumba.

Now in Egypt, Mubarak’s clique is rapidly coming back to power. He was a well-trusted ‘devil’, and the West quickly realized that to let him fall would be a serious strategic blunder; and so it was decided to bring him back; either personally, or at least his legacy, at the coast of thousands of (insignificant) Egyptian lives, and against the will of almost the entire nation.

The military of Egypt, of course, cannot be allowed to fall, either. The US has invested billions and billions of dollars in it, and the soldiers are now literally in control of half of the country. And it is a very reliable organization: it murders without scruple any being attempting to build a socially just society in this the most populous Arab nation on earth. And it plays with Israel. And it loves capitalism.

Two countries are separated by thousands of miles, and belong to two different cultures, located on two continents; Thailand and Egypt. In both countries, people spoke. They voted in their leaders. Not some Communist government, mind you: just a moderately socially-oriented one in Thailand, and a moderately nationalist/Islamic one in Egypt.

In both cases, the feudal and fascist elites went to work, immediately. Those that are behind them, that are financing them, and ‘morally’ supporting them, is, I believe, absolutely clear.

***

Ukraine is not a fresh victim of destabilization tactics of the European Union, which is so sickly greedy that it appears it, cannot contain itself anymore. It salivates, intensively, imagining the huge natural resources that Ukraine possesses. It is shaking with desire dreaming of a cheap and highly educated labor force.

European companies want to get into Ukraine, by all means. But one has to be careful not to allow the Ukrainian hordes to enter that sacred and thoroughly racist fortress – the European Union. Europe can plunder all over the world, but it is strict and brutal to those who want to get in and ‘steal its jobs’.

Of course the EU cannot do in Ukraine, what it freely does in many places like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It cannot just come and pay some proxy countries, as it pays Rwanda and Uganda (that are already responsible for the loss of over ten million Congolese lives in less than 2 decades), to plunder Ukraine and kill almost all those people that are resisting.

Europe, again and again, for centuries, has proven that it is capable of massacring entire nations without the slightest mercy, (while showing almost zero historic memory) and with almost no moral principles, at least compared to the rest of the world. But it is canny, and unlike the United States, it knows plenty about tactics, strategy and PR.

What the EU did in Libya is clear. Anyone claiming that the United States is acting on its own, must be exercising enormous discipline not to see how closely linked are the interests and actions of the old and new usurpers of Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Asia and Oceania. France is acting, once again, as the arch neo-colonial thug, particularly in Africa.

But Ukraine is ‘right there’, too near geographically, to the EU itself. It has to be destabilized, but it all has to appear very legitimate. ‘The rebellion’, ‘revolution’, ‘uprising of its people’; that is the way to handle things ‘properly’.

More than a month ago, a bizarre deal was proposed, where European companies would be allowed to enter and clean Ukraine of its natural resources, but the people of Ukraine would not be allowed to even come and work in the EU.

The government, logically and sensibly, rejected the deal. And then, suddenly, Thai-style or Egyptian-style thugs appeared all over the streets of Kiev, armed with sticks and even weapons, and went onto trashing the capital and demanding the democratically elected government to resign.

The groups of thugs include many neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and common criminals. They are emboldened by the Thai-style fear of the Ukrainian government, to use force. They are setting on fire police officers, blocking and occupying government buildings, preventing the administration from serving the people.

Just as their ‘orange’ predecessors, they have been manufactured and carefully crafted, before being released into the wider world.

***

In Africa, just to mention a few cases, tiny Seychelles, a country with the highest HDI (Human Development Index by UNDP) has for years been bombarded with criticism and destabilization attempts. The Government provides excellent totally free (including medicine) medical care and free education. The people of Seychelles are well fed and housed. It is definitely not a perfect society, but, together with Mauritius, it is the best the African continent has to show. But that does not seem to be relevant.

Propaganda from outside, as well as the mainly British-sponsored opposition press, is trashing the system.

One wonders why, but then, on closer scrutiny and understanding of the Empire, things become clear: The Seychelles used to cooperate closely with both Cuba and North Korea, on educational fronts and in other fields. It was too ‘socialist’ for the Empire. And for those retirees seeking an exclusive hedonist lifestyle, it would be acceptable to be surrounded by blue and maybe even by brown, but definitely not by red.

Eritrea, dubbed as the ‘African Cuba’, may be a proud and determined nation, but it was designated as total pariah and outcast state by most of the Western powers. It was hit by sanctions and punished for who knows what.

“We are trying to be inclusive, democratic and fair”, the Eritrean Director of Education recently told me, in Kenya. “But the more we do, the more we care about our people, the more infuriated Western countries appear to be.”

He was a very wise man and so he did not appear to be surprised. Both of us were just ‘comparing notes’.

Zimbabwe is another clear and extreme case. There, the West evidently and openly supports ‘the opposition’, against the government that is loved and supported by the great majority of citizens; the government of liberation struggle against colonialism and imperialism.

Provoked by outrageous lies disseminated by the mainly British mass media, I visited Zimbabwe last year, disputing point-by-point all the main propaganda points directed against Harare. Needless to say, my report, published by CounterPunch, created outrage against Western propaganda, all over the African continent.

The West builds and feeds ‘rebellions’ and ‘opposition’ against Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Brazil, and Ecuador, to mention just a few countries high on its hit list.

In Venezuela, the US sponsored an aborted coup, and it directly pays for hundreds of organizations, ‘NGO’s’ and media outlets, with the direct goal of overthrowing the revolutionary process and the government.

In Cuba, the people of this proud and humanist nation have been suffering for decades. They have been enduring what can only be described as terrorism against their beautiful country. The US and the West have sponsored invasions, terrorist acts, even attempts to influence weather patterns and cause devastating droughts. Crops have been poisoned.

Any Cuban ‘dissident’, any thug that takes up arms against the Cuban system and the government, would get immediate funding and support from the United States.

Even Western media outlets, performing secret polls in Cuba, often come to the conclusion that the majority of Cuban citizens support their system. But that only infuriates the West further. Cuban people are paying a heavy price for their freedom, for their pride, for their independence.

There are many other examples how the ‘opposition’ and terror against ‘unpopular’ (in the eyes of the West) governments are built.

Bolivians almost lost their ‘white’ and-right wing province of Santa Cruz, as the US supported, many say financed the ‘independence movement’ there, obviously punishing the extremely popular government of Evo Morales for being so socialist, so indigenous and so beloved. Brazil, in one great show of solidarity and internationalism, threatened to invade and rescue its neighbor, by preserving its integrity. Therefore, only the weight of this peaceful and highly respectable giant saved Bolivia from certain destruction.

But now even Brazil is under attack of the ‘manufacturers of opposition’!

I don’t want to write at length about China here, in this report. Readers are already familiar with my stand, but in summary: The more high-speed trains the Communist government builds, the more public parks, free exercise machines, more public transportation lines and wide sidewalks, the more it attempts to make medical care free for all once again, the more it attempts to make education free and public – the more it is being smeared and called ‘more capitalist than capitalist states (while over 50% of country’s production remains firmly in state hands).

Russia, like China, Cuba or Venezuela, is demonized relentlessly, every day and every hour. Any oligarch, any deranged pop figure, who criticizes the government of President Putin, is immediately elevated by the US, German and other Western governments, to the level of sainthood.

All this is definitely not because of the Russian human rights record, but because Russia, like the Latin American countries and China, is determinedly blocking Western attempts to destabilize and destroy independent and progressive countries all over the world. It is also due to the increasing influence of the Russian media, particularly RT (Russia Today), which became a commanding voice of resistance to Western propaganda. Needless to say, this writer is proudly associated with RT and its efforts.

***

It is certain that what the world is experiencing now, could be described as ‘the new wave’ of a Western imperial offensive. This offensive is taking place on all fronts, and it is rapidly accelerating. Under the proud Nobel Peace Price winner, Barack Obama and his closest European Neo-cons and ‘socialists with brown insides’, as well as the re-elected fascist Prime Minister of Japan, the world is becoming an extremely dangerous place. It feels like some frontier town invaded by violent gangs.

The biblical perception of ‘those who are not with me are against me’ is gaining new depth.

And be aware of the colors. Be aware of the ‘uprisings’, or anti-government ‘protests’. Which one is genuine and which one is unnaturally created by imperialism and neo-colonialism?

It all appears to be extremely confusing to the majority of people who are getting stuffed on the corporate media feed. Actually, it is supposed to be confusing! The more confused people get, the less capable they are to rebel against real dangers and oppression.

But in the end, despite everything, on the 2nd of February, the people of Thailand voted! They climbed the barricades; they fought with those who were attempting to close polling stations.

And in Ukraine, the majority still supports their government.

And Venezuela and Cuba have not fallen.

And the jihadi cadres are not yet in control of Syria.

And Eritrea and Zimbabwe are still behind their leadership.

People are not cattle. In many parts of the world they are already realizing who their real enemies are.

When the US sponsored a coup against Chavez, the military refused to follow, and as a handpicked businessman was sworn-in as President, the military began moving tanks towards Caracas, in defense of the legitimate and elected leader. The revolution survived!

Chavez passed away, and some say that he was poisoned; that he was infected with cancer, that he was hit from the North. I don’t know whether it is true, but before he died, he was photographed, bold and sweating, suffering from an incurable disease, but determined and proud. He was shouting: “Here nobody surrenders!” And this one image and one short sentence, inspired millions.

I remember, last year in Caracas, standing in front of a huge poster depicting his face, spelling out his words. I would thank him; embrace him if I could, if he were still alive. Not because he was perfect – he was not. But because his life and his words and actions inspired millions, pulled entire nations from depression, from gloom and doom, from slavery. I read from his face this: “They try to screw you by all means, but you fight… You fall but you fight again. They try to kill you but you fight… For justice, for your country, and for a better world.” Chavez did not say this, of course, but that is how it felt, looking at his photograph.

By then, most of South America was free and united against Western imperialism, and hard to defeat. Yes, here, nobody surrendered!

The rest of the world is still very vulnerable and mostly in shackles.

The West is continuously manufacturing and then supporting oppressive forces, be they feudal or religious. The more oppressed people are, the less disposed they are to fight for justice and for their rights. The more scared they are, the easier it is to control them.

Feudalism, religious oppression and cruel right-wing dictatorships, all that serves perfectly well both the market fundamentalism of the Empire, and its obsession with controlling the planet.

But such an arrangement of the world is abnormal, and therefore temporary. Human beings are longing for justice and, in their essence, are a sharing and decent species. Albert Camus, correctly, arrived at the conclusion in his powerful novel “The Plague” (analogy to fight against fascism): “there is more to admire than to despise in humans”.

What the West is now doing to the world; igniting conflicts, supporting banditry and terror, sacrificing millions of people for its own commercial interests, is nothing new under the sun. It is called ‘ordinary fascism’. And fascism came and was defeated, in the past. And it will be again. It will be defeated because it is wrong, because it is against natural human evolution, and because people all over the world are realizing that the feudal structures that Western fascism is trying to administer all over the world, belong to the 18th century, not to this one, and should never again be tolerated.

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His discussion with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism is now going to print. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. He has just completed the feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

Al-Qaeda In Arabian Peninsula Formed By Saudi Guantanamo/”Rehabilitation” Graduates

[Al-Qaeda In Arabian Peninsula was a merger between Saudi and Yemeni terrorists, many of the Saudis were either Guantanamo brainwashing academy graduates, or graduates of Riyadh’s notorious, fraudulent terrorist “rehabilitation” program.]

“Former prisoners at the US Guantanamo prison who had been returned to Saudi Arabia for rehabilitation in December 2006 later escaped to Yemen, two years ago after completing a reform programme.

Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda branches merged in January 2009 to form AQAP.”

Yemen hands over 29 ‘Qaeda’ militant

astro awani

 

Yemen hands over 29 'Qaeda' militant
RIYADH: Yemen has handed over 29 Saudis wanted for suspected links to Al-Qaeda, the interior ministry announced on Thursday.

“As part of joint efforts between security services in the two countries, the kingdom has received 29 Saudis… (who) had joined Al-Qaeda in Yemen,” interior ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki told AFP.

Eleven of them had already been jailed and later released from prison in Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s oil-rich neighbour, he said.

Nine others were on trial in the kingdom when they fled, said Turki.

The defence ministry in Sanaa announced the handover this week without giving details.

Saudi authorities are hunting for dozens of the ultra-conservative kingdom’s citizens who have joined Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen.

Former prisoners at the US Guantanamo prison who had been returned to Saudi Arabia for rehabilitation in December 2006 later escaped to Yemen, two years ago after completing a reform programme.

Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda branches merged in January 2009 to form AQAP, posing a serious threat to Western interests across the region.

After a wave of deadly Al-Qaeda attacks in the kingdom between 2003 and 2006, Saudi authorities launched a crackdown on the local branch of the group founded by the late Osama bin Laden, himself Saudi-born.

Pakistan Prepares for Another Million+ Afghan Refugees Before Presidential Election

Photographer: Shah Marai/AFP via Getty Images Workers install a campaign banner of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah

Pakistan Said to Prep for Afghan Exodus by July on Taliban

BLOOMBERG

A labourer prints posters of presidential election candidates at a printing press in… 

Pakistan is bracing for a worst-case scenario that may unfold as early as July in which about three million refugees from Afghanistan cross the border in a 20-day span, according to a person familiar with government plans.

The scenario may occur if Taliban militants start killing candidates in the run-up to Afghanistan’s presidential elections in April, creating an unstable environment when President Hamid Karzai steps aside officially a few months later, said the person, who asked not to be named because he’s not authorized to speak publicly. The timeline is underpinning Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, the person said.

Pakistan will conduct a military operation to flush out militants in Waziristan and other border areas if negotiations fail, the person said. It will be too difficult to conduct an offensive against Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters after June because of a possible refugee crisis, the person said.

Sharif began talks last week with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, to end violence that has killed more than 40,000 citizens since 2001. Failure to contain Taliban militants as the U.S. reduces troop levels in Afghanistan risks worsening the world’s biggest protracted refugee situation and derailing Sharif’s efforts to revive South Asia’s second-biggest economy.

 

No Deadline

Sharif, in Ankara to attend a trilateral summit with Karzai and Turkey’s leaders, said the TTP is eager to reach an agreement with the government, The Express Tribune reported, citing his comments to reporters. He said no deadline should be imposed on the talks, according to the report.

There is always a sense of urgency in attaining peace and stability, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said by phone, referring to the talks between the government and the militants. She declined to discuss scenarios that may emerge in Afghanistan after it holds presidential elections, saying that the government prepares for all eventualities.

While there is no specific timeframe for the Sharif-TTP peace talks, they should be concluded “in days and weeks and not in months and years,” Rahimullah Yusufzai, a government-appointed negotiator, said by phone. “Everybody knows that there would be violence,” if the talks failed, he said.

Suicide Bombers

“Pakistan will have a maximum of six to eight months to prepare for the worst-case scenario — they will have to make sure something happens before that,” said Hasan Askari Rizvi, a Lahore-based security analyst who previously taught at Columbia University in New York, referring to either a military strike or a peace deal. “If there is great turmoil in Afghanistan and civil strife escalates, you will have a new wave of refugees.”

The Pakistani Taliban sees no urgency to reach an agreement with Sharif’s government because the group has been in a state of war for a decade, Maulana Abdul Aziz, a negotiator appointed by the group, said in a Feb. 7 interview. The TTP has as many as 500 female suicide bombers ready to act, he said.

More than 40,000 Pakistanis have been killed in violence since 2001 as militants battle to implement Islamic sharia law in Asia’s fourth-most populous country. The Pakistani Taliban has demanded the withdrawal of troops from tribal areas and the release of prisoners, Dawn newspaper reported on Feb. 10, citing officials it did not identify.

Afghan Refugees

A suspected suicide attack on a police bus today killed at least 11 people and wounded another 50 in the country’s commercial hub of Karachi. Nine people were killed yesterday in a separate attack on a pro-government tribal elder in the country’s northwest who has fought militants in the past.

Pakistan now hosts 1.6 million registered Afghans in refugee villages and host communities, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It has facilitated the voluntary repatriation of 3.8 million Afghans from Pakistan since March 2002, it said.

Pakistan could have half a million refugees from Afghanistan arrive after October or November, Abdul Qadir Baloch, federal minister for states and frontier regions, said by phone from Islamabad. He declined to comment on a timeframe for a military strike if talks fail, saying he’s not directly involved.

“If this process may fail, we might go for an operation,” Baloch said, without giving specifics on timing. “But thereafter again it needs to be followed by talks.”

U.S. Troops

Afghanistan’s security forces are taking a hit as the U.S. withdraws intelligence, reconnaissance and bomb-detection technologies, with army and police units struggling to hold areas after clearing insurgents, according to the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. Pakistan is also having difficulty fighting militants, it said.

“The Pakistan military has been engaged in some limited security operations in North Waziristan, although it is unclear when large scale operations will commence,” U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the Pentagon intelligence agency, said in prepared testimony for a Feb. 11 Senate hearing.

As of Feb. 1, the U.S. had 34,000 troops in Afghanistan, the fewest since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. The war has killed more than 2,300 Americans and cost tax payers more than $500 billion since the U.S. invaded after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Karzai has refused to sign an agreement that would keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond this year, prompting the U.S. to look to his successor to seal the accord. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, and retains control of areas along the border with Pakistan.

Taliban Targets

The Taliban sees Afghanistan’s elections as illegitimate and plans to target anyone across the country who tries to cast a ballot, Zabihullah Mujahed, a spokesman for the group, said by phone from an undisclosed location.

“Anyone who is a candidate, who supports a candidate and who votes for a candidate will be our target,” Mujahed said.

Karzai, who took power in 2001 shortly after the U.S. invasion, is restricted by the constitution from serving another five-year term. New elections must be held if a presidential candidate dies before the declaration of election results, according to the constitution.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for gun attacks earlier this month that killed one campaign worker and wounded another in Saripul province. Unidentified gunmen on Feb. 1 shot dead two aides of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister, in Western Herat province, according to spokesman Sayed Fazel Sancharaki.

Instability in Afghanistan may prompt people to leave the country, particularly for Pakistan, Islamuddin Jurat, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations, said by phone.

“Pakistan is considered by Afghans as the main country to head toward, but I don’t think millions of Afghans will leave country after elections,” Jurat said. “It could be possible in a high emergency situation after coalition troops withdraw that millions of people will leave Afghanistan to Pakistan.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Augustine Anthony in Islamabad at aanthony9@bloomberg.net; Eltaf Najafizada in Kabul, Afghanistan at enajafizada1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net

Classes Cancelled Today At Anbar Technical College–Samarra Branch

Mistake kills 21 ISIL fighters in Samarra

PUK MEDIA

     Mistake kills 21 ISIL fighters in Samarra

 

21 ISIL fighters became victims to their own act while they were trying to plant explosives to an automobile.

Security sources from Samarra in Salahaddin Province informed that the incident occurred due to a technical error while planting the explosives, which resulted in the death of 21 ISIL fighters.

The entire incident is caught on tape and has been published online by ISIL as propaganda for their activities.

The explosion took place yesterday 8 a.m. in Jalam area in Samarra, a place crowding with ISIL gunmen.

PUKmedia

Al-Qaeda In Iraq Issues Its Own “Al-Qaeda” Currency In Anbar

ISIL currency is unacknowledged in Anbar

PUK MEDIA

     ISIL currency is unacknowledged in Anbar

 

Hameed al-Hais an Official in Anbar province, stressed that the recently spread currency launched by the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) is unacknowledged in Anbar, adding that anyone who carries the ISIL currency shall be treated as an ISIL member.
The 100-guinea note bore the likeness of former Al Qaida chief Osama bin Laden on one side, and the two World Trade Centre towers attacked by the group on September 11, 2001 on the other.
Al-Hais also called on the residents of Anbar Province to cooperate with the Iraq security forces in their fight against the terrorists of al-Qaida in Anbar.
Reported by Azad Ahmed
PUKmedia

One Day After Ab Azzam Brig. Cell Busted In Sidon, Someone Releases the Following “Fluff” Piece

Al-Qaeda offshoot releases video of Iran embassy attack

the daily star
This snapshot taken from a YouTube video shows Mouin Abu Dahr, one of the two suicide bombers behind the attack on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut on Nov. 19, 2013.
This snapshot taken from a YouTube video shows Mouin Abu Dahr, one of the two suicide bombers behind the attack on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut on Nov. 19, 2013.

BEIRUT: The Qaeda-linked Abdallah Azzam Brigades allegedly released a video Wednesday showing footage of the Nov. 19 double suicide attack against the Iranian embassy in Beirut, for which it has claimed responsibility.

The 18-minute video, entitled “The attack on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut,” went viral on social media after it was posted, although could not be independently verified.

The video includes recorded warnings from the group’s late leader, Majid al-Majid, who died last month in a Beirut military hospital, as well as from Mouin Abu Dahr, one of two suicide bombers who carried out the attack, which killed 30 people and wounded over 150 others.

The group’s spokesperson, Sirajeddine Zureiqat, also appears in the video threatening the Defense Ministry and Lebanese Army Intelligence.

“I tell [Hezbollah], the [Army] Intelligence and the heroes of the Defense Ministry, enough looking for al-Qaeda and terrorism cells, your oppression of the Sunnis is creating al-Qaeda in the hearts of the Sunni youths and a [reason] to confront you and to face the humiliation suffered by our people,” he says.

The video features excerpts from Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speeches, and footage of attacks it claims are “led by Iran and its tools against Sunnis in several Arab countries” including Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Iran and Syria.

Majid, who was wanted by Riyadh, Washington and Beirut on terrorism charges, was detained by the Lebanese Army on Dec. 26 but died in custody of kidney failure. In the video, he warns Hezbollah to withdraw its forces from Syria.

“The operations conducted against Hezbollah so far are just the beginning; worse attacks will come if they do not withdraw all their fighters from Syria,” he says. “Let them know they will regret everything they did.”

Abu Dahr, the suicide bomber, says that he chose to take his own life attacking the embassy “to cause more losses for the enemy.”

“I chose suicide bombings rather than armed clashes because… [bombings] can reach places that battles cannot,” he says.

Abu Dahr, who hailed from the southern city of Sidon and had links to a fugitive Islamist preacher, also criticizes Iran and blames the Islamic Republic for the misfortunes of Sunnis throughout the region.

“The criminal country [Iran] is fighting Muslims, collaborating with the US in occupying Afghanistan and Iraq, supporting Huthis in Yemen, supporting the [Syrian] regime in killing our brothers and people in Syria, supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon and protecting the border in South Lebanon from the Zionist enemy,” Abu Dahr says.

Abu Dahr also reveals that he fought alongside Salafi Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir against the Lebanese Army in Sidon’s Abra neighborhood in June, 2013, “to protect my neighborhood and my religion.”

“I could never forget what happened in Abra. No one forgets the attacks against his relatives and neighbors,” he says in the video.

Abu Dahr also vows his group will continue attacks against Hezbollah, claiming that the number of “those who are ready to martyr is greater than the party’s members.”

He also calls for the complete withdrawal of Hezbollah from Syria, and the release of Islamist inmates in Roumieh prison.

The video was released following the Army’s announcement that it had arrested a Palestinian leader in the Abdullah Azzam Brigades and seized two cars in the Bekaa Valley and Beirut that had been rigged with explosives.

Pak. Terrorists Hit Elite Police Anti-Terrorist Rapid Response Force–12 Officers Martyred

622x350a
Photo By Shakil Adil/AP, Pakistani police officers examine a damaged bus at the site of a bombing in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. A bomb attack killed at least several police officers and wounded dozens others in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi on Thursday.
 
622x350
Photo By Shakil Adil/AP, Pakistani investigators survey a damaged police bus at the site of bombing in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. A bomb attack killed at least several police officers and wounded dozens others in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi on Thursday.
622x350b
[Notice the complete absence of a bomb crater, indicating that the explosive was either on the bus, or a RPG or other rocket.]
Photo By Shakil Adil/AP, Pakistani security officials and journalists gather at the site of a bombing in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. A bomb attack killed at least several police officers and wounded dozens others in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi on Thursday. A van exploded after hitting a bus the officers boarded moments after it had left a training school in what appeared to be a suicide attack, said police officer Rao Anwaar.

Car bomb kills 12 officers in south Pakistan

houston_chronicle102510

By ADIL JAWAD, Associated Press

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — A parked car bomb targeting Pakistan’s elite police commando force killed at least 12 officers and wounded 55 people in the southern city of Karachi on Thursday, police said, raising doubts about the success of an ongoing peace process with the Pakistani Taliban.

Hours after the attack, Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed responsibility for the bombing, which took place as a bus with the officers was leaving a training complex.

As the bus drove by a parked van, the van exploded, said police officer Rao Anwaar. Karachi police chief Shahid Hayat said the initial investigation suggested there was a remotely-detonated bomb on the van.

Nearly 50 officers on board the bus were from the Rapid Response Force, a special anti-terrorist police squad, Anwaar said. Most of the wounded also were officers on the bus.

Pakistani TV channels showed the blast scene littered with broken glass and pieces of vehicles scattered around.

The wounded were rushed to nearby hospitals, and 12 of them were in critical condition, said Dr. Seemi Jamali at the city’s Jinnah Hospital.

Thursday’s attack took place in the port city of Karachi, which has long been a center of ethnic, political, militant and sectarian violence.

Shahid, the Taliban spokesman, said the militants carried out the bombing to avenge the killing of their associates at the hands of police and paramilitary rangers. He said that until there was a formal ceasefire in place with the government, the Taliban would continue such attacks.

The assault is the latest in a series of attacks at a time when the Pakistani government is trying to strike a peace deal with local Taliban militants fighting in the country’s northwest to end the violence that has killed thousands of security forces personnel, government officials, political workers and civilians in recent years.

Militants killed nine members of an anti-Taliban militia on Wednesday in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar, a day after assailants threw hand grenades inside a cinema, killing 13 in the city.

The Pakistani Taliban have been waging a bloody war against the government in a bid to overthrow the authorities and enforce their harsh brand of Islamic Shariah law.

The Pakistani Taliban, formally called Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, are separate from the Taliban fighting NATO-forces in neighboring Afghanistan. Although the two groups share similar ideology, the Pakistani Taliban have focused their fight against the Pakistani government.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has made negotiating with the militants a centerpiece of his new government elected last May.

After some initial stumbles, the government’s efforts have picked up steam in recent weeks with both sides naming people to represent them in the talks.

Maulana Samiul Haq, who heads the Taliban’s negotiating team, said both the militants and the government have recommended a cease-fire as a confidence-building measure.

The two teams were scheduled to meet again on Thursday.

Critics say the militants have used such peace deals to gain time to strengthen themselves and regroup.

___

Associated Press writer Riaz Khan in Peshawar contributed to this report.

Pakistan’s Shaky Control Over Its Frankenstein Taliban Creation

ISI TALIBAL, OBAMA CARTOONS

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

Pakistan Taliban eyes Afghan-style takeover

Asia Times
By Tanveer Jafri

Pakistan has increasingly become a target for terrorist violence, particularly sectarian attacks, over the last two decades. As security forces prove no match for the insurgents, the wealthy and intellectual elites are fleeing the country.

The spread of extremism has hurt the country’s international image. This was worsened by a Human Rights Watch report released last month which reported that terrorist groups are operating with complete immunity in certain regions.

It is as if the government and military have either closed their eyes to terrorist activities or they are simply incapable of dealing with them. Concerns are being expressed that the insurgents will soon take over Karachi, as armed groups have done in cities in Iraq and Syria.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Raheel Sharif face the seemingly insurmountable tasks of improving morale among security forces while also combating the spread of terrorism.

Murders and assassinations have become daily occurrences across the country. The heightened intensity of attacks by Sunni militant groups such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or Pakistani Taliban in recent weeks suggest their main motive is to create complete anarchy. However, these forces could also be planning to replicate the 1992 ouster of Mohammad Najibulla in Afghanistan by the Afghan Taliban.

Evidence of this can be seen in their targeting of army bases, security checkpoints and defense establishments, as well as their sectarian attacks on Shi’ites.

To commit these violent acts, they are recruiting fidayeens (suicide bombers) in large numbers. For instance, 12 security personnel were killed on January 22 in different attacks, while just two days earlier 22 army personnel were killed in the bombing of on army cantonment in the Bannu area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The TTP took responsibility for these attacks.

Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the TTP, claimed that the latter attack was carried out to avenge the killing of senior commander Wali-ur-Rehman last May. He said that Pakistan army was their enemy and that these strikes would continue.

Although Pakistan claims to have killed at least 40 terrorists in assaults on Taliban hideouts in the aftermath of these attacks, the government is still undecided over launching a full-scale operation in the tribal areas that give the TTP shelter.

Expressing the growing desperation of some Pakistanis over this delay, Bilawal Bhutto, son of the late Benazir Bhutto, has said that there is an urgent need to take military action against the terrorists.

Bilawal said that people like Osama bin Laden or other terrorists must not become the international face of Pakistan. Instead, the country must take a stand against insurgents and bring some hope to the population.

Meanwhile, taking another step ahead in talks with the Taliban, the Nawaz Sharif government has constituted a four-member committee to discuss the modalities of the talks. This committee includes two senior journalists, Rahimullah Yousufzai and Irfan Siddiqui, as well as former diplomat Rustam Shah Mohammed and retired Inter-Services Intellgence major Aamir Shah.

This committee will lead the talks with the Taliban, which were started last week, then submit a report to the Interior Ministry of Pakistan. However, one early potential stumbling block is the TTP’s stipulation that the implementation of Islamic sharia law is necessary for peace.

“Sharia law is needed because the government, martial law and democracy have failed to solve the country’s problems,” said Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, the head of the TTP’s three-man committee set up for peace talks with the government. He added, “The Taliban are fighting a war for the implementation of a [Pakistan] constitution which has been violated by the leadership.”

Such pre-conditions raise doubts that the Taliban will take the proposals of the Sharif government seriously. Meanwhile, it is unclear if the Pakistani army will continue to follow the government’s orders if it keeps losing so many personnel in Taliban strikes.

Will the officials and army remain mute spectators to the theatre of violence? Does the Nawaz Sharif government or General Raheel Sharif have any idea about how deeply the extremists have infiltrated their ranks?

It can’t be denied that the Sharif government feels threatened by the Taliban. That is likely why Sharif has started talks with the insurgents. It has been reported that his decision to create a four-member committee for these talks was taken to check growing desperation within the army over terrorism.

It seems the Pakistan Army is in no mood to tolerate more losses of personnel and more attacks on its establishments. However, terrorists are unlikely to fully honor the spirit of dialogue as they have already taken the path of violence.

In these circumstances, the likelihood of a military coup is increasing. What is required is a large, continuous and decisive assault on the Taliban. Otherwise, it won’t take long before Pakistan becomes another Afghanistan.

Tanveer Jafri is a columnist based in India.

CENTCOM Supports Pakistani Army Acting As Enforcer for Saudi Anti-Democracy Agenda

[If CENTCOM is all for it, then you know just how bad the idea really is.  The Pak Army has always served as a Saudi proxy force, whenever the total inadequacy of the Saudi military becomes apparent, as in the Siege of Mecca, as back-up for the Saudi rape of Democracy in Bahrain, etc.  In a natural outplaying of the Saudi underwriting of Pakistan’s “Islamic bomb,” if push comes to shove, Saudi Arabia will be sheltered under the Pak nuclear umbrella.  The Saudi royals hate Iran for daring to counter their nuclear monopoly in the Gulf.  The royals hate “Democracy” even more than they hate Shia Iran, simply because the common folks of Saudi Arabia are more dangerous to their longevity than would be a nuclear Iran.]

Pakistani-Saudi relations play role in fostering regional peace

CENTCOM online

High-level military delegations have been exchanging visits as they iron out security and defence co-oepration deals.

By Yasir Rehman

ISLAMABAD – Close political and defence ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are needed for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan, senior observers on both sides of the Pakistani-Afghan border say.

The two countries over the past month traded high-level visits setting up a security and defence co-operation agreement that Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is expected to sign during a planned visit to Pakistan February 15-17.

The flurry of high-level meetings started when Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud visited Pakistan January 7-8 and called for collective efforts to eradicate terrorism from South Asia.

Another high-ranking Saudi, Deputy Defence Minister Prince Suleman Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, visited Pakistan for a week starting January 20. He discussed defence co-operation and regional issues with Pakistani political and military leadership, including President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

During those talks, Nawaz Sharif underscored Pakistan’s support for the peace process in Afghanistan and noted that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in the regional interest, a January 21 statement from his office said.

Nawaz Sharif thanked Riyadh for its role in implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism in all its forms.

Gen. Raheel Sharif, the Pakistani army chief of staff, February 4 rounded off the exchanges when he arrived in Saudi Arabia for another defence-related visit.

The army leader, on the first leg of his visit, discussed defence and security co-operation with Crown Prince Salman, who also is Saudi defence minister and first deputy prime minister, in Riyadh.

Before returning home, the general discussed enhanced defence co-operation with Prince Suleman, Pakistani Inter-Services Public Relations said in a February 8 statement.

Co-operation could bring peace to region

The two countries share similar views on improving the region.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy very close political, economic and defence relations, Senator and Prof. Khurshid Ahmad, chairman of the Islamabad-based Institute of Policy Studies, said.

“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are co-operating with each other in security matters … they have the same position on the Afghan issue and can help Afghans bring stability to their country,” he said.

Haji Deen Mohammad, a member of the Afghan High Peace Council, is aware of the position Pakistan and Saudi Arabia hold in Afghanistan.

Both countries have a role in Afghanistan and together they can bring stability and peace, he said. “Pakistan is our immediate neighbour with whom we have unbreakable relations, and Saudi Arabia is a country that has extreme respect among Afghans.”

The two countries have a major role in bringing peace, Kabul-based political analyst Faiz Mohammad Zaland agreed.

Afghanistan is seeking support from countries like Saudi Arabia to establish a durable peace, he said. “Closeness between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is also important for Afghanistan because both brotherly nations can help Afghans to bridge their differences.”

Islamabad and Riyadh have a history of working together during trying times, senior Islamabad-based Arab reporter Jamal Ismail said, noting that they teamed up to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan (1979-1989).

Together, they can bring all Afghan factions to one table, he said.

“Both nations have a common approach towards the challenges confronted by the Islamic countries and the region,” Ismail said. “Saudi Arabia has genuine concerns about the Iranian nuclear issue and about its support of militant groups including Hizbullah, and Pakistan as the sole nuclear Muslim nation can be a nuclear umbrella for Saudi Arabia.”

Leb. Army Busts Top Dog from Abdullah Azzam In Ain el-Hilwen Camp

[They have nailed the man behind all of the many murders over the years which have been blamed on Hezbollah, starting with and including the murder of Rafik Hariri.  Before they were the AbAzzam Brigade, they called themselves “Al Nusra wal Jihad fi Bilad al Sham” (Victory and Jihad in Greater Syria).]

Alleged killer of Hajj and Eido is reportedly revealed.

“Naim Abbas  behind the assassination attacks that took the lives of former army officer Francois al-Hajj and Beirut MP Walid Eido.   On the morning of December 12, 2007, Brigadier General Francois Hajj was assassinated in Baabda, while Walid Eido was killed on Beirut’s seafront on June 13 that same year, both by car bombs.”

Army Arrests Top Abdullah Azzam Brigades Official, Defuses Car Bomb in Beirut

the daily star

 

 

 

W460

Military experts defused on Wednesday a car bomb in Beirut after the army announced the arrest of a Palestinian leader in the Qaida-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades, described as the group’s number two man in Lebanon.

A communique said following careful follow-up and monitoring after he came out of the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilwen near Sidon in the South, the army intelligence in Beirut made the arrest of Naim Abbas, who is being questioned under the supervision of the judiciary.

Following his arrest, Abbas admitted to plotting to blow up a car, the communique said.

So the military defused around 100 kilograms of explosives, several rockets and explosives belts placed in a black SUV that was parked in Corniche al-Mazraa neighborhood, where he was arrested.

Photos showed the explosives carefully placed in the seats of the Toyota Rav 4 in small packs.

The state-run National News Agency said the suspect was planning to use the car in a bombing in Beirut’s southern suburbs.

The army also seized laptops and other electronic devices during a raid on a warehouse in Corniche al-Mazraa, reports said.

The raid and the process to defuse the car bomb brought traffic to a standstill for several hours after soldiers blocked the main road in both directions, they said.

According to the communique, the army was carrying out raids in several areas after Abbas informed it about the locations of other booby-trapped vehicles.

Abbas has close ties to Sheikh Omar al-Atrash, a cleric from the Bekaa Valley who was arrested last month, and later charged with detonating bombs and explosive-rigged vehicles, attacking the army in Majdelyoun and al-Awwali bridge areas in the southern city of Sidon and launching rockets on Israel.

In a related development, the military prosecutor charged on Wednesday Ali Hussein al-Hujairi for links with al-Atrash and for belonging to a terrorist organization.

Judge Saqr Saqr referred al-Hujairi, who was also arrested last month, to the first military examining magistrate Nabil Wehbe.

Several of the latest bombings in Hizbullah strongholds in Beirut’s southern suburbs and the Bekaa have been claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades whose leader, Majed al-Majed, was captured by Lebanese authorities in December and died in custody later.

Still Working to transfer Saudi Terrorism to Iran

[Below is a clipped article from “Intelligence Online,” a Paris-based intelligence newsletter which covers global intelligence news.  Before the CIA picked-up the current line of bullshit emanating out of Riyadh and started pushing the “al-Qaeda” is a lone wolf Uzbeki terrorist working out of Iran, every intelligence agency knew who was responsible for all Sunni terrorism—SAUDI ARABIA!]

[SEE: US Treasury Dept Helping To Frame Iran for Saudi Terrorism  ]

Saudi Arabia and Turkey’s intelligence services are banking on jihadist groups to bring down Bashar al-Assad.(…) [ 311 words ] [€5,2]

 

Israeli Projects Implementer Al-Nusra Front, Saudi-Made with Lebanese Assistance

islamic invitation turkey

13 January 2013

A specialized report in strategic affairs issued in Paris revealed that the Saudi General Intelligence is the founder and establisher of “al-Nusra Front in Levant” that plots to establish an “Emirate in Syria.”

Al-Nusra Front, Saudi-Made with Lebanese Assistance

In detail, an “Intelligence Online” report, which receives information from foreign intelligence sources, mentioned, “The Saudi General Intelligence, controlled by Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, exploited its broad calls with Takfiri [atoning] movements in Iraq to help establish al-Nusra Front, a low-profile Takfiri movement.”

The report added, “Thanks to funding from the General Intelligence Department and support from the Saudi Intelligence in Lebanon, al-Nusra was able to swiftly arm its forces, and make the Syrian regime suffer painful blows through its expertise in Iraqi bombings.”
Strikes of this sort included dominating Sheikh Suleiman Base in Aleppo and invading Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp on the 16th of December 2012.
However, many websites had recently published what seemed to be leaked confidential documents issued from the KSA’s Interior, which spoke of “a Saudi military official supplying armed groups in Syria with money and weaponry.”

Another leaked document mentioned “an amnesty to hundreds of criminals sentenced to death on charges of drug-trafficking, murder, and rape, was issued to send them to fight in Syria among the militias of the [so-called] Free Syrian Army.”
Moreover, the US administration had recently listed “al-Nusra Front” as a terrorist organization for being linked to al-Qaeda, after performing hundreds of bombings and attacks in Syria.

Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State

On a parallel note, “al-Nusra Front” had revealed that it seeks to establish a so-called “Islamic” State in Syria, stressed by its chief Abu Mohammad al-Joulani on the Qatari Jazeera Channel, when addressing his followers, “The regime’s collapse in Syria will create a vacuum that you are qualified to fill.”
He further accentuated that he is heading towards “establishing an Emirate and Shura Council in Syria.”

Furthermore, Le Nouvel Observateur French weekly cited an “al-Nusra” spiritual leader Abu Mohammad al-Atawi as saying, “Victory will not cease in Syria,” foreseeing that “triumph is months away.”

Al-Atawi, who taught for a long time in KSA before returning to Jordan, saw that “The Arab Spring will help Salafists invade the world, starting with Tunisia, then Egypt, Libya, all the way to Syria, and soon in Jordan,” revealing that the Front “includes 8,000 men and is increasing.”

Al-Nusra Front and Militia Dominance in Syria

In a similar context, the Salafist Takfiri leader in Jordan Mohammad al-Shalabi, aka “Abu Sayyaf”, in an interview with the weekly, emphasized his participation in founding “al-Nusra Front” after leaving jail last year on charges of plotting attacks on Jordanian Army bases there.

He further highlighted that he is currently gathering fighters all over Jordan to send them to Syria.

Abu Sayyaf underscored, “The Front’s ideology is the same of that of al-Qaeda,” indicating that his organization “that moved its battle from Iraq to Syria is about to dominate other fighting groups.”

 

 

 

 

Pak Army Chief in Riyadh Making Plans With Crown Prince Salman

Pak Army Chief Meets Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh

caravan

pak-army-chief-shareef-with-Crown-prince-in-RiyadhRIYADH/ISLAMABAD, FEB 5 (MAMOSA Report) — Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif was warmly received by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister here today.

The Crown Prince expressed warm sentiments about Pakistan and said that the Kingdom has a special relationship with Pakistan. The two sides expressed satisfaction at the status of bilateral cooperation in the field of defense.

In a reflection of the warmth existing between the two countries, the Crown Prince conferred King Abdulaziz Order of Excellence on General Raheel Sharif.

The visit is the first ever abroad by the Pakistan army chief and indicates the importance Pakistan’s defense forces attach to relations with the Kingdom. The General is in the kingdom for pushing plans for a “new era in strategic partnership” between the two countries, Dawn reported, adding that he is expected to talk about the “whole gamut” of Pak-Saudi ties.

The army spokesman said Gen Sharif had been invited by the Saudi authorities for the visit.

On the first day of his visit to Riyadh, the General had a busy schedule. He held meetings with General Hussain bin Abdullah Al Qubayal, Chief of General Staff, Saudi Armed Forces and Lieutenant General Eid bin Awad Al Shalawi, Commander Royal Saudi Land Forces in Riyadh. In these meetings, in which Pakistan Ambassador to Saudi, Muhammad Naeem Khan was also present, the two sides reviewed status of bilateral cooperation and agreed to further strengthen defense cooperation.

General Raheel Sharif also visited the Ministry of Interior and held a meeting with General Abdul Rahman Al-Rubaian, Deputy Minister of Interior.

General Raheel Sharif was briefed on the counter-terrorism performance of the Ministry. He expressed appreciation of the functioning of the Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Centre for Counseling and Care for rehabilitation of militants. He said that the two countries enjoy close cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism.

Earlier, General Sharif was accorded high protocol on his arrival in the Kingdom yesterday. He was received by His Royal Highness General Fahd bin Turki, Deputy Commander, Royal Saudi Land Forces at the airport. General Raheel Sharif will continue his engagements in Riyadh tomorrow.

The Army Chief is in the kingdom on a three-day visit. Dawn reported today that the Pakistan Army has always had excellent relations with the Saudi leaders. The two maintained same level of relationship even during the five years of PPP government during which the political ties apparently remained rather cold.

However, a new momentum in the ties is visible since the change in the government and more importantly after the visit of Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal to Islamabad last month. The foreign minister’s visit was immediately followed by Saudi deputy defense minister’s extensive trip in which he explored the opportunities for expanding defense cooperation.

The deputy defense minister had led a 17-member team on the exploratory visit.

Though, no new defense deal between Riyadh and Islamabad has been struck as yet, but there are indications that the two are interested in expanding cooperation in the fields of training, military exchanges, and sale/purchase of defense hardware. Pakistan-China joint production of JF-17 Thunder jets are one of them, media reports said.

Fear of Iran Drives Saudi Terrorism and Warmongering

The real reason behind house of al-saud terrorism and warmongering

lunatic outpost

It seems the reason behind all the terrorism of salafi-wahabi-takkfiri in Syria, Russia and Yemen with support of the terrorist al-saud family of saudi-arabia is their hatred for IRAN. The al-saud have even said this.

They are willing to destroy ME and terrorize the world out of their hatred for Iran.

Why House of Saud fears/hates Iran

In countless media interviews and statements, it is clear that the Saudi rulers have an abiding obsession with Iran – an obsession that betrays an intense fear and hatred.

Senior members of the House of Saud have let it be known that their real focus in Syria, for example, is not primarily the government of Bashar al Assad, and their desire for regime change, but rather the main target is Assad’s closest regional ally – Iran.

Everywhere in the region, the paranoid House of Saud sees the hand of Iran. In an oped piece in the New York Times in December, the Saudi Ambassador to Britain, Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz al Saud, accused Iran without any evidence, saying that it “has financed and trained militias in Iraq, Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon and militants in Yemen and Bahrain.” This is, of course, ironically crass, coming from the House of Saud, which is provably the sponsor of terrorists or terror regimes, such as the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra in Syria, ISIS in Iraq and the ruling Al Khalifa despots in Bahrain.

But the main point here is that Saudi Arabia, or at least its rulers led by the aging King Abdullah, is transfixed in animosity towards Iran. That obsession is driven by a visceral hatred. Why?

The short answer is self-preservation. But there are at least three specific reasons for this hatred, and they are inter-related.

The first is religious. The official religion of Saudi Arabia is Wahhabism. In this extreme deformation, Shia Islam is viewed as an intolerable apostasy. It is not just Shia that are perceived as “infidels”. All forms of Muslim faith, including Sunnis, as well as Christians and other religions, that are deemed to not conform with the Wahhabi fundamentalist doctrine are considered infidels and are subject to merciless attack, even to the point of death.

In the warped Wahhabi belief Shia Muslims are the worst kind of “infidels”. This explains why Shia and the closely related Alawite are subject to the most barbaric forms of violence in the Syrian conflict, where the anti-Syrian government militants are mainly driven by Wahhabi ideology – also known as Takfiris.

For historical reasons, Iran is the centre of Shia Islam in the region and the world. Iran therefore qualifies as the centre of Saudi hatred.

The second factor goes back to the Islamic Revolution in Iran. When the Iranian revolution succeeded in 1979 to kick out the US-backed dictator, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, that turmoil threatened all autocratic rulers in the region from the inspirational impact it conveyed to other populations to rise up against oppressive regimes. The House of Saud felt particularly threatened. That is why the Saudi rulers responded immediately by setting up the Persian Gulf Defense pact in the early 1980s, which comprised the other monarchies of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Indeed, the Saudi rulers’ hatred of Iran has only intensified since the Iranian revolution. The House of Saud views Iran’s demonstratively more democratic credentials as a mortal threat to its despotism. The more Iran’s political influence grows in the region, the more the Saudi rulers fear an existential threat. This explains the paranoid mindset of the House of Saud towards Iran, as expressed by its ambassador to Britain cited above, which suspects that Iranian subversion is everywhere, even when it isn’t.

The third factor is more mundane, but perhaps is the ultimate concern for the House of Saud – the vital issue of oil and gas economics.

Of the 12 OPEC member states, the top three producers are Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. Of most significance is Iran’s enormous gas wealth, which is as yet hardly tapped as an economic resource. Natural gas is the fuel of the future for the next century, being more efficient as an energy source in terms of transport via pipelines and in terms of calorific output. Environmentally, natural gas is a much cleaner fuel than oil, giving off much less harmful byproducts from combustion.

Iran is reckoned to hold the largest known reserves of natural gas on Earth in its Pars Field. If Iran’s international relations were normalized by the removal of trade sanctions, the country stands to become an even more formidable global source of energy. Of particular strategic importance is the European market for which Iran would be a top supplier, along with Russia (a non-OPEC member).

This development, which has an inexorable trajectory owing to irrepressible human need, is seen by the House of Saud as an imperative threat. Saudi Arabia is endowed with oil, but much less so with natural gas. Saudi strategic value as an energy producer is therefore on the wane, whereas Iran is bound to grow owing to its vast natural gas deposits.

At all costs, from the Saudi point of view, Iran must be prevented from developing its potential energy wealth. Saudi Arabia is living on borrowed time. Its oil reserves will eventually be surpassed by Iran’s gas riches. Already, the Saudi rulers are sitting atop a demographic time bomb of an increasing and unemployed youth population, which so far has been placated with state fiscal handouts from its oil exports. The days for those handouts are numbered.

What will happen when Saudi’s oil economy goes into demise, and is sidelined with the new global energy economy of natural gas in which Iran is a leading nation? That will translate into greater Iranian political influence in the region and a diminishing hold on power by the sclerotic Saudi autocrats.

The political and economic fate of the United States is closely tied to the Saudi petrodollar economy and that of the other Persian Gulf monarchies. The bankrupt American dollar is already largely on life-support due to the Saudis and their related sheikhdoms dealing in the commodity with the greenback and funneling profits into the US Treasury, propping up the dollar.

If Iran were to develop to its full potential, trade in oil and more importantly natural gas would most likely be denominated in Euro, Ruble, Yen or Yuan. That is a doomsday scenario for the US dollar and its long overdue collapse.

Ultimately, Washington shares the intense antipathy of the House of Saud towards Iran’s unfettered political and economic freedom. Not for arcane Wahhabi reasons, but for vital economic self-preservation. Hence, the sharp rebuke from Washington this week when a French business delegation visited Iran to explore possible partnerships. US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly phoned his French counterpart Laurent Fabius in a panic to protest at the delegation. The last thing the Americans want to see is Iran doing independent trade with Europe without the dollar.

The Saudi despots and their American patrons cannot afford Iranian development as an economic power. That directly threatens the House of Saud, politically and economically, which in turn threatens Washington to its very core.

For all of the above reasons, the Saudi rulers fear Iran above all else. The Zionist Israeli regime and its desecration of Islamic sanctities in East Al Quds (Jerusalem) does not even raise a single heckle for the Al Saud – the self-proclaimed Custodians of Islam. Their only fear and hatred are expressed in waging covert war against Iran and its allies, including Syria and the people of Bahrain, Iraq, Yemen and anywhere else. They want Iran contained, thwarted, sanctioned at all costs, and Washington by geopolitical necessity is on the Saudi side.

But as the tectonic plates of global energy needs shift inexorably over the coming decades, the Saudi rulers and their American patrons will find themselves on the losing side. In a very real way, this spells death to al Saud and the American Empire. Hence, the hatred.
presstv

Lebanon Busts Saudi Business Front for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Hezbollah, Lebanon army bust Qaeda-linked militants in Beirut

PressTV

Hezbollah fighters parade during a ceremony honoring their martyrs in the southern suburbs of Beirut. (File photo)

Hezbollah fighters parade during a ceremony honoring their martyrs in the southern suburbs of Beirut. (File photo)

Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement and the country’s security forces have arrested members of an al-Qaeda-linked militant group in southern Beirut.

The militants belonging to the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had infiltrated into the southern suburb of Dahiya under the guise of a business company.

Reports say the Saudi spy agency had purchased the business license to provide a cover for the secret ISIL agents.

The militants were operating in an area close to a Hezbollah stronghold.

Hezbollah forces had the group under surveillance for nearly one year and submitted the evidence to Lebanon’s army.

Lebanon has been embroiled in a string of deadly bomb attacks in recent months. Many view the violence as a spillover of the conflict in neighboring Syria.

Terrorist groups of the al-Nusra Front and the ISIL operating in Syria have claimed responsibility for a number of the bombings in Lebanon.

US Treasury Dept Helping To Frame Iran for Saudi Terrorism

[This is in keeping with the new narrative–“Iran sponsors Al-Qaeda, not the Saudis.”  Much like they previously used the excuse of one ghost terrorist in Kurdish Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as part of their contrived excuse to invade Iraq, they are now finding one “Al-Qaeda” guy, who is allegedly in Iran, to blame for the “Islamist” fiasco in Syria.  The US is helping Riyadh get out of the mess it is making before international authorities can act upon evidence produced by Syria implicating the Saudis in Sunni terrorism.  Through some sort of diplomatic “ju jitsu,” Iran is to suddenly become responsible for Saudi Al-Qaeda war crimes in Syria (SEE: Secret Riyadh/Obama Deal To Abandon Saudi Jihadis In Syria? ).  By helping absolve the Saudis for the mess in Syria Obama is setting the stage for helping the Saudis prepare for the nasty tsunami backlash that is sure to follow any real abandonment of their terrorist armies in Syria.  It will be interesting to see how they accomplish this without Bashar Asad’s help.]

U.S. targets key Iran-based Al-Qaeda facilitator

the daily star

yasin_al_suri Yasin_al_Suri_Photo

BEIRUT: A key Al-Qaeda member based in Iran is facilitating the transfer of foreign fighters to Syria to aid forces affiliated with the global network, including the Nusra Front, the U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday.

Olimzhon Adkhamovich Sadikov, described by the Treasury Department as an Iran-based Islamic Jihad Union facilitator, was designated for acting on behalf of and providing support to Al-Qaeda.

Iranian officials, according to the Wall Street Journal, denied the accusations, saying Washington was harming diplomatic efforts aimed at ending the international standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program.

According to the Long War Journal, a respected counter-terrorism blog, the IJU is an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Both groups are closely allied with Al-Qaeda.

Sadikov, also known as Jafar al-Uzbeki and Jafar Muidinov, “provides logistical support and funding to Al-Qaeda’s Iran-based network,” the Treasury said.

It said Uzbeki serves as a “key extremist smuggler based in Mashhad, Iran, near the country’s border with Afghanistan, and has provided visas and passports to numerous foreign fighters, including Al-Qaeda recruits, to facilitate their travel.”

He also “assisted extremists and operatives transiting Iran on their way into and out of Pakistan and Afghanistan,” the Treasury said.

“Uzbeki has also provided funding to [Abdel Aziz Khalil, AKA Yasin] al-Suri, who has resumed leadership of Al-Qaeda’s Iran-based network after being temporarily detained there in late 2011.”

The Treasury Department designated Suri in July 2011 and has authorized monetary rewards for information leading to his location.

“As head Al-Qaeda facilitator in Iran, Yasin al-Suri is responsible for overseeing Al-Qaeda efforts to transfer experienced operatives and leaders from Pakistan to Syria,” the Treasury said.

Suri is responsible for “organizing and maintaining routes by which new recruits can travel to Syria via Turkey, and assisting in the movement of Al-Qaeda external operatives to the West.”

The Treasury department said the Al-Qaeda network in Iran “has facilitated the transfer of funds from Gulf-based donors to Al-Qaeda core and other affiliated elements, including the Nusra Front in Syria.”

“The Iran-based Al-Qaeda network has also leveraged an extensive network of Kuwaiti jihadist donors to send money to Syria via Turkey,” it added.

The United States has blacklisted the Syria-based Nusra Front as a terrorist organization.