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American Resistance To Empire

Pakistan Continues To String-Up Its Terrorists–Musharraf Attacker Hanged In Peshawar

Another convict in Musharraf attack case executed in Peshawar

Geo TV

Another convict in Musharraf attack case executed in Peshawar

 

PESHAWAR: Niaz Muhamamd, convicted of orchestrating the murder attempt on former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, was executed here at Central Jail on Wednesday.

Niaz Muhammad who belonged to Swabi was an aide of Adnan Rashid, a notorious militant leader and an accused in the Musharraf attack case.

The death row prisoner was shifted from Haripur Central Jail to Peshawar last night where he was executed early in the morning.

Jail authorities say the body would be moved to Swabi for burial. A military court had handed down death sentence to Niaz Muhammad for the 2003 attack on Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistan lifted a moratorium on capital punishment after a deadly militant attack in a Peshawar school that killed almost 150 people majority of them children on December 16.

 

Rafik Hariri and Nasrallah Were Prepared To Work Together Before Beirut Assassination

[SEE:  Saad Hariri Admitting That It Was A Big Mistake To Accuse Hezbollah of Murdering His Dad ]

Hezbollah, Rafik Hariri were readying alliance: STL defense

daily star LEB

BEIRUT: Hezbollah and former Premier Rafik Hariri were preparing to form a broad, powerful Sunni-Shiite coalition in Lebanon before he was killed, defense lawyers at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said Wednesday, pushing back against claims that the relationship was tense in the run-up to the assassination.

In his seventh day of testimony in The Hague, Hariri’s former adviser and Economy Minister Marwan Hamade also revealed that Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah told him in a secret meeting in the spring of 2005 that he “did not know” if Syria had anything to do with an attempt on his life in late 2004, the first in a string of attacks targeting anti-Syrian political figures in Lebanon.

Hamade survived the car bombing that targeted him in October days after his bloc in Parliament opposed the re-election of the deeply unpopular pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, which passed after alleged threats from Syrian President Bashar Assad in a meeting with Hariri.

“I asked him, ‘Sayyed, did you target me last October?’ And he said absolutely no,” Hamade testified, referring to the secret meeting with Nasrallah and Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Musawi, which he said was either in late April or early May.

“I followed up with a quick question, ‘Did the Syrian brothers have a role?’ he continued. “He told me ‘I do not know.’”

If the details of the meeting are accurate, it would be the first time Hezbollah has expressed ambivalence regarding Syrian involvement in the string of political assassinations in Lebanon that began with the attempted killing of Hamade.

Hezbollah publicly says that accusations against Syria are politically motivated. It has blamed Hariri’s killing on Israel despite the widespread belief at the time that Syria was behind the attack.

The STL is trying in absentia five Hezbollah members accused of complicity in the Valentine’s Day bombing in 2005 that killed Hariri and 21 others and led to massive demonstrations that forced the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

But the other intriguing parts of the hearing were the questions posed by Antoine Korkmaz, the defense lawyer for Mustafa Badreddine, a senior Hezbollah operative accused of being the apex of the conspiracy, implying that the alliance between Hariri and Nasrallah was broader than previously believed.

In his questions, Korkmaz asked Hamade if he was aware that Hariri and Nasrallah had formed a joint, permanent committee of Future Movement and Hezbollah cadres to prepare for the 2005 parliamentary elections, holding meetings every 10 days including secret sessions in Paris.

Korkmaz claimed the frequent meetings between Hariri and Nasrallah and the creation of the parliamentary committee were precursors to what he described as a “comprehensive” Sunni-Shiite alliance that was set to be announced in 2005.

If true, the claims point to a much broader rapprochement and budding political alliance drawing together Hariri and Nasrallah that went far beyond their public cordiality at the time, and hinted at a possibly far-reaching settlement that would have brought together Lebanon’s Sunni and Shiite communities, now at loggerheads over the Syria war.

Korkmaz pointed out that the Future Movement and Hezbollah ran in joint parliamentary lists in some districts in 2005 and Nasrallah ordered his party’s supporters in an edict to vote for the March 14 candidates in the Aley/Baabda district.

Hamade said that Hezbollah had sought the electoral alliance in 2005 after Hariri’s assassination because they realized there was a change in the balance of power with the withdrawal of Syria’s troops.

Korkmaz also asked whether Hamade was aware that Hezbollah had launched its own investigation into the Hariri case and had shared its results with the Hariri family and Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, who would later become the Lebanese intelligence chief, in addition to pledging to take “all necessary measures” to find and apprehend Hariri’s killers.

Hezbollah’s investigations at the time had revealed that a bomb with a size in excess of 1,000 kg and was above ground had destroyed Hariri’s motorcade, before U.N. investigators had drawn their own, matching conclusions.

Korkmaz asked Hamade if he thought Nasrallah was being truthful when he expressed his sorrow for Hariri’s assassination and condemned the crime during the March 8 rally after the attack, recalling how he visited Qoreitem Palace personally to offer condolences.

“You ask me about the credibility of these words – at that moment, we were seriously thankful to him for those statements,” Hamade said. “On the other hand, we were frustrated and surprised at the [March 8] festival, what became a festival to defend the Syrian regime and its tools in Lebanon.”

Korkmaz also offered up a surprise revelation, showing that an individual who had called Hamade’s telephone in late 2004 had also called a telephone belonging to Sami Issa, an alias of Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine, on a telephone that was allegedly used only to contact other members of the conspiracy.

Hamade said he did not know who used his cellphone at the time since he had lost it in the car bombing that targeted him in October 2004, but suggested it may have been a ploy by the assassins to mislead investigators.

Korkmaz also read out newspaper columns written by Hamade in the late 1990s and in 2000 praising Syrian presidents Hafez and Bashar Assad, in an attempt to discredit his statements on Syria’s growing domination and oppression of the Lebanese before the assassination.

Hamade said he had changed his views on the relationship with Syria with the growing clampdown and control exerted by Assad over Lebanon after the Israeli withdrawal in 2000.

 

Bandar bin Sultan’s Blueprint for Civil War

Bandar bin Sultan’s “Blueprint for Civil

War”

Peter Chamberlin

bandar3 jeffrey feltman

[Only the Jewish press took note of this most newsworthy report.  The  Western media didn’t even bother ridiculing it or calling the idea of an actual “blueprint for Syrian civil war” “ludicrous.”  Now that most of the facts reported in the Syrian news report have largely come true, reading it should seem less like fiction to all of you non-believers.  For the rest of us, the the report is self-validating, simply because of its prophetic accuracy.  Proving “premeditated mass-murder” in Syria will make the preliminary case for Nuremberg-like war crimes trials possibly “crimes against humanity” for both Bandar bin Sultan and Asst. Sec. State Jeffrey Feltman, or anyone who helped them commit the criminal acts.]

(a) Crimes against peace:

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

Why did website linked to Syria regime publish U.S.-Saudi plan to oust Assad?

haaretz logo

Mar. 30, 2011
A regime-linked Syrian website reports on a U.S.-Saudi plan to foment unrest and oust Bashar Assad through killings, mass demonstrations and arson, not unlike what is happening now.

By Zvi Bar’el

The heavy blackout imposed by Syria on coverage of the deadly demonstrations there, including the number of casualties and the extent of the serious damage caused to Ba’ath Party offices in a number of cities, is not hindering another kind of reporting.

The media there are seeking out details of involvement of “foreign elements” they say are trying to foment a revolution in Syria. These reports impart information about kinds of vehicles these “elements” have used, the weapons in their possession and the means by which they have recruited demonstrators.

The Syrian media have never been as open as they are now in describing the subversives. The sunshine reached new levels with a recent expose by the Champress Internet site, which has close ties to the regime, on a secret Saudi-American plan to topple the government of President Bashar Assad, presented in full.

According to the report, the plan, which was first broadcast on the Iranian Arabic-language television station Al-Alam, was formulated in 2008 by the Saudi national security advisor, Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Jeffrey Feltman, a veteran U.S. diplomat in the Middle East who was formerly ambassador to Lebanon and is currently the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs.

 

The following Eng. translation of Bandar’s Syrian confession, exactly how it was published in Champress, was saved for us by Stratfor Global Intelligence firm (Mossad)

From: “Chris Farnham” <chris.farnham@stratfor.com>

Media sources reveal details of a conspiracy by Bandar Bin Sultan and Feltman to “destroy” Syria

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en/Article/view/86507

March 30, 2011

Several media sources have revealed the details of a “well-organized” plan
to destroy Syria and create chaos in the country. The plan is said to be
drawn up by Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador to the United
States, in collaboration with the former U.S. Ambassador in Lebanon,
“Jeffrey Feltman” to overthrow the regime in Syria and to bring Syria back
to the “stone age”, according to the sources.

The lengthy and detailed plan, developed by Bandar bin Sultan and his
friend Feltman in 2008 with a funding reached $ 2 billion, consists of
many items and precise details which significantly intersect with the
incidents of disturbances the city of Daraa has recently witnessed.
According to sources, the plan “strategically” depended on the
exploitation of peoples’ legitimate desire in freedom, dignity and getting
rid of corruption and on the turning of these wishes into a revolt against
the regime through convincing the people that the road to reform from
within the regime is closed and the solution is an all-out revolution.

 

However, the plan tactically divided Syria into three areas (big cities,
small cities and villages), and the established five types of networks:

 

1- The “Fuel”: This network comprises educated and unemployed youths who
are to be linked in a decentralized way.

2- The “Thugs” network which includes outlaws and criminals from remote
areas, preferably non-Syrians.

3- The “Ethnic-Sectarian” network which consists of young people with
limited education representing ethnic communities that support or oppose
the president. They must be under the age of 22.

4- The “Media” network that comprises some leaders of civil society
institutions which have European funding not American one.

5- The “Capital” network which comprises traders, companies owners, banks
and commercial centers in Damascus, Aleppo and Homs only.

On how to use these networks and link between each others, the plan
provides for:

The utilization of ambitious young people from the first network (Network
of fuel)
through attractive phrases such as:

– You must have a voice

– Change can’t be achieved except by force

– Your future is yours to determine

– Your silence is the cause, and so on a*|.

The plan also provides for exploiting the skills of members of the second
network (Network of thugs) through:

– Training the thugs on professional killing including sniping and
murdering in cold blood.

– Training them on burning public buildings quickly by using flammable
substance.

– Training thugs on penetrating prisons police centers and security
buildings.

According to the plan, members of the third network (sectarian ethnic
network)
will be exploited by

– Feeding their strong feeling of support for or opposition against the
President.

– Making them feel that their communities are threatened in all cases.

– Creating the concept of using excessive force against others.

– Convincing them of the idea that all who oppose them in anything are
traitors.

– Leading them to a “state of color blindness”, so see only black and
white.

-Exploitation their age and lack of knowledge of history and geography and
leading them to the brink of being ready to do anything.

The fourth network (media network) will also be exploited to serve the
plan. Members of this network will be recruited and their skills will be
enhanced to lead the (public opinion) through:

– Enabling them to communicate with the media by satellite phone that
can’t be monitored or cut off.

– Promoting them as nationalists and as individuals who don’t oppose to
the regime, but call for civil society.

Qualifying cadres and training them on techniques of modern media such
as blogging and using the Internet
which help them communicate with the
public.

– Holding regular meetings with them and coordinating their efforts so
that no one will contradict the other.

The fifth network (capital network) will be exploited by using their fear
of their money being wasted, so the following must be achieved:

– Linking traders with trade officials in the European embassies under the
cover of trade relations.

– Holding luxurious parties to be attended by businessmen and during which
exclusively Arab Gulf deals and investments are to be made.

Threatening them with certain sexual relations that are filmed for later
blackmailing them.

– Urging them against the regime and creating ideas such as: “The country
is yours and outsiders control you. The regime makes wealthy people on
your expense. You are the ones who build the country and others rule it.
Bashar al-Assad steals you via taxes and his supporters enjoy it. All your
businesses projects are a loss due to bribery and corruption. Your wealth
is threatened and must be transferred outside Syria because the regime
will collapse. We will make you rule the country after the collapse of the
regime. “

The plan also contained in its “executive” chapter several scenarios, and
precise details of how to start and move, how networks will be exploited
and how to move forward.
According to executive chapter, the plan adopts the following stages:

1- If a targeted person from the Fuel Network responded, another stage
will immediately begin based on exploiting his/her need for money, so the
plan starts to:
– Provide him/her with small amounts of money.
– Ensure him/her a rented car, a cellular phone and Internet connection.
– Ask him/her to look for and bring other young people and use the same
method with them.

– When the number of young people reach 5000 in major cities and 1500 in
small cities and 500 in the villages, these people are asked to start to
express their desire in change and reform. At this very stage any talk
against any side of the people must be avoided. Not a word on sectarian,
partisan, rightist or leftist basis is allowed at this stage.

As this stage proceeds, objections by non-enthusiasts are to be faced by a
set of appropriate responses such as:
– If someone says there is a change, the response must be: “There is no
change at all. This is all a lie”
– If he says change is coming, then the response must be: “We have heard
this for more than 40 years”
– If anyone says that time is not suitable, the response must be: “So when
must we move. Are we going to move after 100 years”
– If one says that of our dignity lies in resisting America, the response
must be: “We have nothing to do with resistance, we want to live” and so
ona*|

A Moving group has to be pushed into streets inside already existing
gatherings
such as in crowded markets, in mosques after prayers and in
narrow alleys. This group is divided into three rings: The shouters, the
photographers, and the hidden people.
The shouters gather at the center
of the circle and begin chanting within the gathering. This ring is
surrounded by the ring of the hidden people, while the photographers’ ring
surrounds all. If anyone tried to disperse the shouters the hidden people
defend them under the pretext: ” let them speak”, and if no one try to
disperse them, the same ring of the hidden people assaults the shouters
and disperse them. In both cases,” We get an excellent picture for the
media.”

– In general, the authorities have to be provoked to be drawn into the use
of torture and cruelty
. Here the authorities have to choose one of two
solutions; either to intervene or not to intervene.

– If the authorities don’t interfere, the number of enthusiasts will begin
to increase, because young people’s demands will attract a bigger number
of new enthusiasts who all, according to the plan, must not know anything
about the network link.

If the authorities intervene and arrest one of the network members,
he/she must make himself/herself appear “innocent and pathetic”,
immediately change his/her stance and illusively promise the authorities
not to do that again.
According to the plan he/she is to be completely
frozen to the final stage, but funding continues.

– If the authorities intervene and arrest one from outside the network,
the incident must fully be exploited by raising the level of demands. If
the security forces torture him/her, this will be better as it will help
in fueling the people’s feelings and here phrases linking torture to the
whole regime not only to the security forces are to be promoted and the
following statements and ideas are to be disseminated: “Have you seen
what happened to the poor man, this is what the president wants. It isn’t
fair, the man wants only to live. Do those traders only have the right to
have money. Is it a government or a group of thieves. The reason behind
this is the top leadership”, and so on …

2- When moves start in the streets, people must be instigated as fast as
possible to change their just demands into calls for the downfall of the
regime. Here the following must be implemented:

– The second network, “network of the thugs”, is introduced to the scene
immediately to attack all of the demonstrators and security personnel.

Videos and photos for dramatic events which hurt religious and social
feelings, such as attacking women, preferably veiled ones, must be taken.
As a result alleged demonstrators shout general slogans and if they are
attacked by security forces it will be very excellent. But if they are
attacked by civilians, the group says “security forces dressed in civilian
clothes,” attacked the demonstrators. However, if no one attack them, a
member of the same group will attack the demonstrators, even if this leads
to minor injuries. Video shots must not last more than 20 seconds and they
must be taken from a very close position not from a far one.

The rapid use of bloodshed, because of its significant impact on the
people. This includes the killing of a protester from outside the network,
preferably a youth from big and famous families, or a youth who has major
social ties or a highly educated person, especially a doctor, an engineer
or an intellectual. The killing must be committed rapidly by

Dec. 31, 2011   Dec. 31, 2011

snipers and with bullets of the same type used by police or security forces. This
stage also includes the killing of security personnel or guarding police.

120324013012-syria-homs-pipline-story-top Burning properties of the traders

who have been involved in the plan and
dragging them into a state of fear together with other economic figures
with the purpose of having influence on the lives of as many people as
possible.

– Provoking Bashar al-Assad loyalists and engaging them in polemics with
others, especially the Islamists,. Here the loyalist are to be accused of
being from the intelligence and that they are horns of the regime and
beneficiaries from the authority.
Creating mistrust and tension between the loyalists and the people,
telling about the near end of Bashar al-Assad and calling for random
supportive demonstrations and calls advocating slaughter, murder and
terrorism
are planned to be launched. In turn, opponents keep calm and
delay any move till after the creation of sectarian and ethnic killing.
They have to be well-organized in their calls for political reform,
freedom, democracy and civil life.

– Foiling any attempt to attain political solutions by the regime through
burning symbols of power such as the Baath Party headquarters, police
stations, prisons and security forces centers in addition to distorting
Bashar al-Assad pictures.
3- The fourth network (The media) is introduced. The aim here is to link
Bashar al-Assad to all previous era and to devalue all his actions by
opening all the old files and holding the current regime responsible for
them.

Bandar bin Sultan recognizes in his plan that Bashar Assad enjoys a real
popularity inside and outside Syria that should not be underestimated. He
believes that this popularity must be exploited and transformed from a
point of strength into a point of weakness through the use of the
enthusiasm of supporters against demonstrations.

To undermine the military, the government and the security system, Bandar
believes that they must be torn into sects, and here comes the role of the
third network the
( ethnic-sectariannetwork) taking into account the
neutralization of major doctrines like the Shafi’I and the Hanafi. This
will be done as follows:

– Urging each sect to commit horrible bloody massacres against violators.
These crimes must be filmed and posted to the
media as soon as possible.
The start should be in places far from Damascus and there should not be a
lot of blood for fear that people may retreat.

 

 

[SEE:  Lattakia, Alawite farmer tortured,eye plucked out by moderate FSA beheaders 18+ brutal ]

For instance,

in Latakia

and Tartous, people from the Alawite sect from the network slaughter youths from the Sunni sect, cut parts of their
bodies
chant long live Bashar.

In Aleppo

Salafis from the network attack Alawites’ villages, burn their
homes and terrorizing the people to leave their villages
and chant “Death
to the “Nasirien” death to the enemies of the Sahaba”.

children al hasakah In Hasakah,

Arabs from the network

 4fe415213fe1e6bb65958bbb3798232d slaughter and

19693-fuck!-young-boy-hanged-in-syriabig1  hang some young people

and make fun of the Kurds in a visual way without language and clear
enough to be understood by the Kurds without translation.

christians Some Christians,
particularly Armenians are planned to be killed.

daria sniper 2011 In Daraa,

“snipers” from outside the city of Daraa kill young people from
the Jawabra and the Mahamid families without approaching anyone from the
Abazeed and the Masalmeh families.

Al-Boukamal In the city of Al-Boukamal,

the Shi’ites kill Sunnis and scream, “Oh Karbala, Oh Hussein”.

In Homs, Arabs kill Turkmen and loot their shops, particularly gold shops
and also kill Catholic Christians and Murshdis
.
In Sewidaa, Druze members of the network kill a number of Christians in
surrounding villages and burning several churches
In Qamishli, Kurd members of the network avenge the killing of Kurds in
Hasaka. Some Armenians also kill Arab Muslims.
In Deir Ez-Zour, “snipers” from outside the city kill young people from
the Agidat and Bani Naeem tribes without approaching smaller tribes like
the “Rolla”, the “Jabour” or the “Shummar” and scream during the filming
in the name of the “Bokhabour and the “Mohassan”.

Bandar thinks that the regime as a whole will be busy trying to settle the
disputes between communities and ethnic groups. Bashar al-Assad will send
delegates from his government to resolve sectarian and ethnic differences
while Damascus will be empty of government pillars and here comes the turn
of Damascus where each minority group avenge and the city flares up from
all sides. This will be done as follows:

– The Christians in the east of Damascus kill Muslims who live among them
in areas like Qassaa and Bab Touma. They also kill the Druze in the
village of Jaramana.

– The Sunnis in the south of the city kill Shiites living among them in
the “Shaghour” and the “Muhajereen” areas.

– Salafis in the areas of “Duma” and “Darayya” burn the headquarters of
the municipality, courts and police stations.

Alawites in the west of the city in “Mezze Jabal” area kill Sunnis who
live among them.

– Kurds in the north of the city in “Rukn Eddin” area attack Arabs from
all sects.

Meanwhile, Bandar believes that the army will be divided, the security
systems and the government will collapse and Bashar will only have the
Republican Guard, which he will not be able to move because the army will
stand against him. This will make Bashar al-Assad’s presence in power the
cause of all problems, and here comes the role of the fifth network the
(network of the capital). The following has to be implemented:

– Holding a meeting between capital owners (businessmen) and leaders of
the army and security bodies as well as ministers from Damascus and
Aleppo. The plan is to convince them to abandon Bashar al-Assad promising
them survival after the end of the President’s rule.

– In case some businessmen refuse to cooperate, they are threatened of
canceling authorizations, of withdrawing investments and of sex scandals
if they are among those penetrated by sexual relations.

– In case some army leaders refuse, they are threatened of imprisonment or
assassination
. If it is possible under a state of chaos, officers of high
ranks, not from Damascus or Aleppo, could be assassinated to terrorize
them.

-A national council of businessmen, ministers and security chiefs must be
formed and recognized by the United States, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia
and Egypt.

peter.chamberlin.hotmail.com

Intra-Saudi War In Syria Evidence of Real “Civil War” Within the Saudi Royal Family

[Here is another forgotten, unfinished piece which is full of interesting links.  It is leftover from 2014.]

Global Jihad being portrayed as an alternative “al-Qaeda”
Syrian Jihad: The Weakening of al-Qaeda’s Leadership

it is nearly impossible to understand WHY Obama has chosen to sponsor Islamist terrorists in their criminal aggression against Syria, or Libya, but many pieces have fallen together lately which might explain HOW Obama’s minions engineered a synthetic “civil war” against the government of Bashar al-Assad.

The manufactured war in Syria has finally settled into a pattern, revealing that the “Islamist” forces have been built into the largest, most effective anti-Syrian fighting force.  The battle now is between the Islamists and the Free Syrian Army, between the Islamists and the Kurds, and within the Islamist forces themselves, as two groups of militant Islamists (both identified with “Al-Qaeda”) fight it out for dominance in the anti-Syrian aggression. Meager Western reporting on this inter-rebel fight is limited to reporting is all done for the purpose of creating an extremist rating scale, to be used in judging the various factions of the Syrian rebellion, before releasing military aid to those groups.  With ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, formerly “Al-Qaeda In Iraq”) set as the most extreme on one end, and FSA (Free Syrian Army) on the other end, as least extreme, we are being encouraged to see a group of “moderate extremists,” where there is none.  This is a manipulative psychological ploy intended to whitewash the bloody image earned by the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusrah, the “Islamic Front” and probably the new “army of mujahidin.”

Rash, radical actions taken by Bandar bin-Sultan and his Saudi intelligence agency have so disrupted the anti-Assad rebel coalition in Syria as to turn the insurgency into a free-for-all fight for dominance.  Multiple fronts and “armies” have sprouted almost overnight, as radical terrorists choose-up sides for an Islamist civil war between dozens of both new and old terrorist outfits designated by unfamiliar Arabic names and groupings of letters.  This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to decipher the growing mess, or to understand just “who” is on “what” team. One group calls itself “Al-Qaeda In Iraq,” the other may call itself Al-Nusra, but they swear allegiance to Ayman Zawahiri, the CEO of “Al-CIA-da.”  Al-Nusra is the new Saudi Al-Qaeda battalion.  Their first known terrorist act is to take claim for the murder of Rafik Hariri (SEE: UN Hariri Murder Report Unravels Abu Adas Mystery).  Actually, it is doubtful that AQ In I can even be considered to be true “Al-Qaeda,” since the group’s leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in Iraq.  Zarqawi’s Qaeda credentials were always shaky anyway, as seen in seized letters from Zawahiri written to Zarqawi.

According to this difficult to understand editorial on Al-Qaeda In Iraq and the Levant, the organization was picked-up and “re-structured by Baghdadi in 2006 from 26 factions, including the organization «base» [Al-Qaeda].”   (Nowhere is it explained how this shadowy man was able to finance this restructured private army).  When Bagdadi brought his retrained fighters to the war in Syria, he tried to forge an alliance with Al-Nusra, until this merger was denounced by Zawahiri.  This is the so-called split within “Al-CIA-da.”  The Saudis and the other Gulf monarchies are now openly, brazenly, pouring money and equipment to both sides of their homegrown “Al-Qaeda” forces, in the war to reshape the Middle East to Saudi/Israel liking.  The alleged “fighting” reported within Al-Qaeda is more of a conflict between the Islamists’ royal sponsors in Riyadh, than anything to be reported from the battlefield.

The Syrian war is now following Saudi/Qatari plan, hatched by Bandar bin-Sultan, in his struggle to regain royal favor.   Since his conflict with Prince Turki, a royal spat which led to Turki’s resignation as Saudi Ambassador to the US in 2006, Bandar had wanted his job of 22 years back, no matter how much he had to sabotage Turki to have things his way, even if it disrupted US foreign policy plans as a result.  Bandar is a long-time friend of Israel, Turki is anti-Israeli.  “Bandar Bush” was not just the only royal who was tight with both Presidents Bush, he was also a close neocon adviser to Cheney.  Bandar was the whispering voice in W’s left ear, while Prince Turki (who was then the actual Saudi Ambassador to Washington) was talking low in Bush’s other ear, urging him to oppose Cheney’s plans for attacking Iran.  Bandar spoke for the American/Saudi/Israeli “cowboys, while Prince Turki represented the “Deep State” elements, having served as one of the founders of the super-secretive “Safari Club” (**SEE NOTE at end of report).

The turmoil generated by the conflicting opinions being fed to Bush signalled the end of the “War On Terror,” as we knew it then.  After that, Bush was hesitant to act, after so many very important people had tried so hard to convince him that every single step before him was probably wrong.  Both the Iraq war and the Afghan occupation went into idle, as the Pentagon was without direction from the Commander-In-Chief.  This rudderless period was the apathetic fuel which powered Obama’s run for the White House.  Bush and Cheney had done so much that was wrong, based upon the advice given by Bandar Bush and others like him, that any Democrat nominated for president would have won by default, because the American people were spiritually worn-out .

(SEE:—Prince Bandar’s Wake-Up Call).

July 23, 2006  U.S. Plan Seeks to Wedge Syria Away From Iran

 

 

Dec. 8, 2006   Tony Blair intervenes in BAE investigation on behalf of Saudis.   VIDEO
December 12, 2006   Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, flew out of Washington yesterday after informing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and his staff that he would be leaving the post after only 15 months on the job

It all went off the tracks with the Israeli debacle in Lebanon, basically losing to Hezbollah’s superior planning (July 12 – August 14, 2006).  Bandar failed to produce local support on the ground for Israel, other than some token terrorism.  Israel expected massive air support from the US, which was not forthcoming.  Ehud Olmert tried his best to convince Bush to open a front against Syria, to help them snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat, to no avail.  After that, Bush no longer trusted Bandar and Cheney’s advice.  He lost his zeal for setting the Greater Middle East on fire.

,

 

Somehow, for whatever reasons, the Saudi royal family has been, and remains, under the control of the CIA.

It stands to reason that the conflict generated around Bandar is a result of his “cowboy” ways, still pushing the Neocon agenda to crush Iran, still working with, or for the CIA.  He has been working to help implement the CIA’s plans, often taking Saudi royal interests where King Abdullah didn’t want them to go.  By reviving the “Al-Qaeda” network and the supply lines which keep them running, Bandar/CIA, organizing around credible “Islamist” leaders from elsewhere in the Middle East.  Like the rest of the terror war, the CIA/militant network has been driving the rest of the terror war.  The CIA is training men to kill American soldiers…training them AND using them.

 

**  .”It has been  reported that the feud was over Saudi policy regarding America’s Iranian policy (SEE:  Prince Bandar’s Ambitions: Turki-Bandar Feud Over US Politics Cause of Resignation)12/13/2006.  Turki favored a more even-handed diplomatic approach, embodied in the Arab Peace Initiative for Palestinian statehood at the UN and supporting the moderates in Iraq, while Bandar wanted to butt heads with the Iranians, in order to solve the Sunni/Shia problem once and for all (SEE:  Prince Bandar Allegedly Advocating Military Response Against Iran)– – December 14, 2006

In short, Bandar represented the militant Cheney wing of the Republicans, while Prince Turki  was the Saudi advocate for the moderate Baker/Scowcroft wing.  Bush had grown tired of being let down by the ‘Cheneys’ and ‘Bandars’ lined-up at the American seat of power….Much like his pal Cheney, Bandar seemed to skulk back into the shadows after that, as efforts to drive the terror war covertly seemed to crash head-on into operations intended to prolong the individual wars, producing obvious contradictions, which began to arouse the suspicions of the American people.  Bush turned the wars over to the Pentagon advisers, thereafter turning his deaf ear towards the spies.   Bandar disappeared completely from the public eye in 2008,…In his absence, King Abdullah had given cautious support to the diplomatic measures that Prince Turki had been pushing.  Abdullah had even given Turki’s ideas on rapprochement with the dark sheep of the Arab fold, Syrian Bashar Hafez al-Assad”

This massive psychological let-down for Bandar probably contributed to his “Dark Period.”   ambitious Bandar overplayed his hand in the Kingdom by trying to force the Saudi king into supporting Cheney’s desire to crush the Ayatollahs.  He then played right into Syrian hands, according to Yusuf Dhia-Allah (SEE:  Saudi ‘royals’ secret mission to Syria), when he was allegedly arrested in Damascus on the 12th of February, 2008 (right after the bomb assassination of Hezbollah Imad Mughnieh, in Damascus, the very same night).   He entered Syria with an entourage, using false identies, with millions of dollars in cash with him.  While in Syrian hands, he “sang like a canary,” revealing all of the plan which he was there to find allies for destabilizing Syria.  He allegedly entered into a conspiracy with American Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman, coming-up with a plan for subversion.   Bashar Assad managed to keep the information secret until it was published in 2011-03-30 by Syrian Champress (SEE:  The Original Syrian Media Report Revealing Bandar/Feltman Plan To Destroy the Middle East).  Bandar confessed of major information about the assassination of the Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri and Leader Imad Mughnieh, in addition to sabotage schemes planned for Syria.”

 

 

When the royal family learned that Bandar was being held in Syria since his 2008 arrest, his release was brokered by King Abdullah himself, who took custody of Bandar on 8 October 2009, while in Damascus to mend fences with Assad, following Bashar Assad’s visit to Riyadh on March 11, 2009.

Gaddafi condemns Arab leaders29 Mar 2008

Nicolas Sarkozy in Syria, held on 3 and 4 September 2008.

Qaddafi Erupts, on Schedule–March 30, 2009

Most of the most damaging Iranian press reports about the Saudis have been confirmed in the breaking of this report.  Abdullah forced him into “house arrest,” where he allegedly hatched a plan for a palace coup, probably leading to heavier confinement, until his unique skills became needed again.  He returned from obscurity with great fanfare on October 15, 2010, for unknown reasons.  Around that time, highly unusual events began to happen in the region.

On July 28, 2010, the Japanese supertanker M. Star reported that a large explosion had occurred on the huge ship, while transiting the Persian Gulf.  (this was allegedly the first act of new terrorist group, Abdullah Azzam Brigades)

August 6, Major-General Yuri Yevgenyevich body found along the shore near Çevlik, turkey, approximately 40 north of Tartus.

on or about Aug.14, British analyst Gareth Williams disappeared, turning-up dead, stuffed in a duffel bag, about one week later, on Aug. 20

[SEE:  The Obscenity of Humanitarian Warfare]

The Syrian conflict began on 15 March 2011,  In April 2011, the Syrian government deployed the Syrian Army to quell the uprising[40]]

30-03-2011  SYRIAN OIL AND GAS NEWS: Announcement for International Offshore Bid Round 2011 Category: Oil Ministry Decisions & Declarations

May 25, 2011, a massive explosion at Abadan oil refinery in Iran during a visit by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

On July 7, a huge explosion takes place at an ammo dump explosion in Abadan, Turkmenistan.

on Jul 11, 2011, another  massive explosion rips through another  ammunition dump, this one is in Cyprus.

The blast killed 12 people, including the commander of the Greek Cypriot navy, along with the commander of the naval base.  The head of the Army resigned in protest, after the disaster.

Syria announces discovery of new gas field near Homs—August 17, 2011, Daily Star

Executive Order 13582– Blocking Property of the Government of Syria and Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to Syria—August 18, 2011

On October 11, 2011 Two Men Charged in Alleged Plot to Assassinate Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States. 

Heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Sultan, Bandar’s father, died on October 21, 2011. 

an attempted bombing of Bashar Assad (which killed his intel. chief) on Jul 18, 2012, On July 19, 2012, Bandar became the new head of Saudi intelligence.

His near assassination on Jul 31, 2012

(Prince Turki and his international organization enabled Reagan to bypass Congressional bans on sending weapons to the Contra death squads.  It has continued to operate in secret since then, without restraint of any govt. oversight, utilizing private contractors and retired military and intelligence personnel to carry-out America’s secret foreign policy.  Through random publicity of their exploits, they became known as the “rogue” CIA.  This international paramilitary force came to call itself the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, before Bush and Cheney started calling them “Al-Qaeda.”)  This is the “Al-Qaeda” that is fighting for US interests in Syria and elsewhere.  They are the mercenaries who hire themselves out to the highest bidder.  In addition to these veteran killers, there is always a growing force of true “jihadis,” who are eager to wage war against the “infidels,” in the name of Allah.  These are the berserk killers who have swallowed the CIA/Wahhabi doctrine, hook line and sinker.  The Saudis are professionals in the advanced arts of brainwashing, as developed by the CIA.   As far as buying mercenaries to act as “true believers,” nobody can outbid the Saudis in their quest to kill their neighbors.

Saad Hariri Admitting That It Was A Big Mistake To Accuse Hezbollah of Murdering His Dad

A man walks away from an area where clashes happened between Hariri supporters and the Lebanese army after the former prime minister lost his position when his government collapsed. (Matthew Cassel)

Lebanon PM: Accusing Syria in Hariri killing was a mistake

jerusalem p
Sep 6, 2010

Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri said Monday that it was a mistake to accuse Syria of being behind the 2005 assassination of his father.

The statement was a major turnaround for Hariri, who for years has blamed Damascus for his father’s death in a massive truck bombing in Beirut.

Syria directly dominated Lebanon for nearly 30 years and kept tens of thousands of troops on its soil. The killing of Hariri’s father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri, sparked anti-Syrian protests and led to Syria’s withdrawal.

Hariri told the Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat in an interview published Monday that “during a period of time we accused Syria of being behind the assassination … This was a political accusation, and this political accusation has ended.”

Hariri’s comments came a week after UN prosecutor Daniel Bellemare said that there would be no rush to indict suspects in the international probe into the killing of the former Lebanese prime minister.

“Let me state clearly that the indictment has not been drafted yet,” Bellemare was quoted as saying by the website NOW Lebanon. “I will only file the indictment when I am satisfied there is enough evidence.”

Did Obama Help Eliminate Kaddafy To Keep Libyan Money In European Banks?

NATO rescues euro in Libya

courtfool_info

Libya NATO intervention intended to save French banks and thus the euro

Xander Meyer,
Xander News
September 1, 2011

A Libyan rebel fighter takes pictures of killed soldiers. Some 50,000 Libyans paid with their lives for the temporarily for saving the French banks and the euro.

In the mainstream media in recent months proclaimed so much nonsense about the supposedly necessary, but in reality scandalous “humanitarian” NATO war against Libya -in some 50,000 deaths would are- that we still have a number of hard facts put a list showing that had the real reasons to expel Gaddafi nothing with his nonexistent “bloodshed” but everything to do with saving the major problems facing French banks and thus the European éénheidsmunt, the euro. Learn how incredibly -again- was misled by politicians and the media.

The fact is that in countries such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates no military intervention is planned to depose the ruling dictators there. On the contrary, European countries like Germany support these regimes even with skills and weapons. Why indeed intervene in Libya?

In October 2010, Nuri Mesmari, the head of Gaddafi’s secretariat in Paris questioned by the French secret service. Applications in the Asian media reported that Mesmari against hefty payment Libyan state secrets betrayed. For French President Nicolas Sarkozy was a hard slap in the face, especially since Gaddafi’s plan would be to withdraw all Libyan oil assets from Europe. Those funds were located especially in French banks and would be transferred to Asia.

Fear of collapse French banks

Sarkozy feared that this step would have far-reaching consequences for the already serious financial problems facing French banks, which would not survive the removal of Libyan oil billions. As a result of the collapse of the French banks France would not be able to participate in the European rescue fund, which would also collapse. There would be a chain reaction that would endanger the survival of the euro and the euro zone.

Another factor was the fact that Gaddafi had announced no French Rafale fighter jets to buy more and to award the construction of a Libyan nuclear power plant in any case to a French consortium. French oil company Total wanted new oil contracts in Libya, but Gaddafi gave it to the Italian ENI group (Gaddafi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are good friends).

The rest went something like the revolution in Iran in 1953. Then it was the CIA that caused this, now it was the French who did the same in Libya. In the prestigious Asia Times was everything again its nice to put a row. First France assured himself of the support of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain with the promise to make these regimes now alone on the human rights violations in these countries. Both Arab regimes then took care of the support of the Arab League. The US and other European countries participated -including Netherlands- “natural” it in order to prevent the imminent collapse of the French banks.

Rebel Uprising organized by France

French topfilosoof and media darling Bernard Henri-Lévy was flown to Benghazi to be the mouthpiece of there by the Western secret services patched ‘rebel’. In the presence of the media drummed Henri-Lévy phoned from Benghazi with Sarkozy and announced it would go off the beginning of the Libyan democratic movement that Qaddafi. Libyan billions (7.6 billion from the government and an additional private billions of Gaddafi) were then frozen and French banks were rescued, at least temporarily.

The whole circus looked for the Western population from credible enough. In Libya, the existing rivalry between the various tribes exploited to the media step by step over the imaginary conquests of areas to leave messages by the rebels. The next phase was already planned: supporting these rebels by NATO.

Reports that the CIA in 1500 fighters from Afghanistan to Libya would have flown to support the rebels there were from Pakistani government circles, whose relationship with the CIA had fallen far below freezing. Since the so-called off by Osama bin Laden Pakistan began in anger bring all kinds of false rumors about the CIA in circulation. One of these rumors concerned the transfer of hundreds of Persians and Uzbeks to Libya. The numerous journalists in Libya, which continually accompanied the rebels, however, are not there come a Persian or Uzbek.

Oil Deal in exchange for aid revolt

Back to France, where the Libyan oil billions for the most part will remain in the possession of the French banks. Of probably more than € 10 billion will France there namely at most € 1.5 billion release for the new Libyan government. Incidentally, banks in other EU countries, where also Libyan oil billions are parked, now relieved. Indeed, one can now sell in exchange for these billions of many goods to Libya. The new Libyan government must finally show her gratitude for the “liberation” of their country. The media reports today that France has indeed a secret oil deal with the rebels closed in exchange for French support for the uprising against Gaddafi (3).

Soon it will become clear whether Libya still decide to purchase French fighter jets, the construction of a French nuclear power plant and the awarding of oil concessions to the French Total. The secret services will have to see how they can provide various contacts of new work. Gaddafi’s Dutch whore madam was already questioned by the AIVD. They provided the regime with the necessary prostitutes, and would now for the new rulers can do the same.

France distributes spoils

So now you know how the “democratic” Libyan resistance movement originated and who was behind it. Some 50,000 people paid with their lives for the collapse of the French banks and thus the euro while sliding forward. Today you will find in Paris a ‘reconstruction’ conference, where more than € 34 billion, of which Libya has in Western banks stand will be ‘divided’. Sarkozy has already emerged as the big man reconstruction of Libya. In other words, he wants through billion contracts with the new Libyan rulers the preponderance of the spoils of war in France.

Last Saturday we reported that nota bene linked to Al Qaeda brigades have now become the boss in Tripoli. Yesterday, President Obama confirmed this (2). In short, where the West in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq has been fighting for years against Al Qaeda, the same Muslim extremists are now in Libya aided by NATO in the saddle. It is further proof that the so-called Western principles are totally worthless as soon as (much) money is at stake. The real hoerenmadams therefore are in the financial and political power elite.

Middle East ablaze?

The big (end) game meanwhile continues. Sarkozy has already publicly announced that the Islamic Republic of Iran could well be the next military target. The Turkish-Saudi preparations for military intervention in Syria are in full swing. Please note once again how the next great war, the entire Middle East -and maybe even daarbuiten- ablaze could put just as the Libyan revolution planned by France in our media as a “complete surprise” will be presented. (1)

Xander

(1) KOPP
(2) DEBKA
(3) NOW

Gazprom Buys-Out Ill-Fated South Stream Partners, After EU Cuts Its Own Throat

“’Bulgaria was strong-armed or attempts were made to discourage it from making certain decisions or giving certain permissions,’ Germany’s former chancellor Gerhardt Schroder…said at a closed-door meeting of Russian and European business circles in Moscow.” (Germany’s ex-chancellor names two reasons for South Stream termination)

© AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel

Russia’s Gazprom buys 50% stake in South Stream Transport BV to become its 100% owner

itar tass

South Stream Transport B.V. was set up to do the planning and construction works and to operate the seabed South Stream pipeline that was supposed to be laid across the Black Sea

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Russia’s gas giant Gazprom said in a release on Monday it had signed a deal with Eni, Wintershall and EDF on the purchase of 50% of shares in South Stream Transport BV.

Thus, Gazprom will be a 100% owner of the company.

Commenting on the decision to sell its stake in South Stream Transport BV, Wintershall said participants in the project had decided to close it since there were no guarantee permits for the South Stream further construction could be issued soon whereas economic impacts of delays in the project implementation could hardly be calculated.

South Stream Transport B.V. is an international joint venture set up to do the planning and construction works and to operate the seabed South Stream pipeline that was supposed to be laid across the Black Sea. Gazprom’s share in the company was 50%, Italy’s Eni held a 20% stake, France’s EDF – 15% and Germany’s Wintershall Holding GmbH – also 15%

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the decision on Russia’s withdrawal from the project on December 1 while on visit to Turkey. South Stream was Gazprom’s global infrastructural project of a gas pipeline system with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters across the Black Sea stretching from Russia to Bulgaria and through Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia further to Austria. Vladimir Putin blamed  the EU and Bulgarian authorities for lack of cooperation.  According to the South Stream Transport Company, European companies will suffer direct losses valued at no less than €2.5 billion due to the termination of the project.

Instead of South Stream, Gazprom will build a gas hub on the Turkey-Greece border under a new 63 billion cubic meter pipeline project. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said the construction of a gas pipeline to Turkey will make it possible to reduce the risks linked with natural gas transit through Ukraine.  Russia’s steel pipe manufacturers hope that all their products originally meant for the South Stream project will be redirected to the new gas pipeline project.

Chechnya Imprisons Saakashvili’s Recruiter for Islamic State Terrorist

[SEE: The body of Georgian fighter killed in Ukraine returns to Georgia]

saakashvili

Chechnya Sentences Georgian ‘IS Recruiter’ To Six Years

RFE

big news network

chechnya sentences georgian is recruiter to six years

A court in the Chechen capital, Grozny, has sentenced a Georgian man to six years in prison for attempting to recruit two Chechen men to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Syria.

The defendant, 25-year-old Beslan Cincalashvili, allegedly resided legally in Chechnya from July through August 2014. During this time, prosecutors alleged that he met with two Chechen nationals in Grozny and attempted to persuade them to travel to Syria to join militant groups.

that Cincalashvili promised the men assistance with passports and in traveling to Syria via Georgia.

Cincalashvili’s lawyer, Luiza Killayeva, told the Caucasian Knot on December 27 that the court had handed down its guilty verdict and sentence on December 25.

Killayeva, who prior to the ruling had slammed the case against Cincalashvili as “flimsy,” said that her client was considering an appeal against the ruling, but that she thought such a move would be “practically useless.”

There are very few details about the case against Cincalashvili, including about his background and motivations. According to his lawyer, he moved to Grozny from Georgia about eight years ago and worked in the construction industry. It is not known which region in Georgia Cincalashvili comes from, but his surname and connections with Chechnya indicate he is likely to be an ethnic Chechen from the Pankisi Gorge.

Cincalashvili’s lawyer said on December 27 that she and her client believed that the two witnesses in the case, based on whose testimony Cincalashvili had been convicted, had been “planted” — presumably by the security services. The two witnesses approached Cincalashvili in a Grozny park and started to talk to him, telling him they wanted to fight in Syria and asking how they could get there.

It is not known how many ethnic Chechens from the Chechen Republic are fighting in Syria, but the issue is a highly sensitive topic for the Chechen Republic and in particular for its leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov — whose original position was to deny that Chechens were fighting in Syria at all — that “the overwhelming majority” of Chechen militants in Syria are “residents of Western countries who were born there or who left 20 years ago.” A great deal of Russian and Western media attention has also been given to ethnic Chechens from Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge who are fighting in Syria, mostly because of the high profile of Pankisi resident Umar Shishani, Islamic State’s military commander in Syria.

In recent months, Chechnya has prosecuted at least three Chechen residents who returned from Syria, the most recent being a man named as Aslan Albekov, who according to news reports is accused of fighting in Syria between August and December 2013. Albekov’s case was on December 24, and he has yet to be sentenced.

— Joanna Paraszczuk

EU Leadership Still Self-Blind To US Evil Intentions for Europe and Russia

[SEE:  West wants to end confrontation with Russia over Ukraine – EU foreign policy chief ]
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini…rejected the idea that the EU’s position on the crisis differs from that of the US.
“It is not true that there is a soft Europe stance, which opposes the US hardline position.”
Mogherini said that Washington’s views on Russia match those of Europe…“everyone wants to get out of the logic of confrontation.”

‘F**k the EU’

Victoria Nuland: US-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Geoffrey R. Pyatt: United States Ambassador to Ukraine

Biden says US ’embarrassed’ EU into sanctioning Russia over Ukraine

Russia-Today
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

America’s leadership had to embarrass Europe to impose economic hits on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine – even though the EU was opposed to such a motion, US Vice President Joe Biden revealed during a speech at Harvard.

“We’ve given Putin a simple choice: Respect Ukraine’s sovereignty or face increasing consequences,” Biden told a gathering at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics on Thursday.

The consequences were the sanctions which the EU imposed on Russia, first targeting individual politicians and businessmen deemed responsible for the crisis in Ukraine, then switching to the energy, defense, and economic sectors.

“It is true they did not want to do that,” Biden admitted.

“It was America’s leadership and the president of the United States insisting, oft times almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose costs,” the US vice president declared.

AFP Photo / Patrick Hertzog

AFP Photo / Patrick Hertzog

Those costs deemed behind the ruble’s historic plunge not only forced America’s ExxonMobil to retreat from Russia’s Arctic shelf, but also provoked counter-measures from Moscow, which suspended certain food imports from the EU.

Russia’s counter-sanctions have hit many of the EU’s agricultural states. EU members, particularly those close to Russia, were the most affected by the loss of the Russian market.

For instance, the Netherlands – the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products – is set to lose 300 million euro annually from canceled business with Russia, as it accounts for roughly 10 percent of Dutch exports of vegetables, fruit, and meat.

At the same time, Poland was hit hard by the Kremlin’s sanctions, as its food exports to Russia totaled $1.5 billion in 2013.

Spain, a large exporter of oranges to Russia, is estimated to miss out on 337 million euro ($421 million) in food and agriculture sales, while Italy has estimated its losses at nearly 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion).

Following pressure from local farmers, a 125 million euro EU Commission Common Agricultural Policy fund was established, from which the growers are expected to get some cash, while Amsterdam is willing to cover the cost of transporting excess produce to eight food banks across Holland.

Overall, Moscow’s one-year food embargo against the EU, the US, Norway, Australia, and Canada will block an estimated $9 billion worth of agricultural exports to Russia.

With European countries now at a loss with apple and dairy surplus, it is not exactly clear whether EU producers will be able to return to the Russian markets after the one-year ban expires.

However, this is no secret to the US, as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland remarked on Thursday.

“Implementing sanctions isn’t easy and many countries are paying a steep price. We know that. But history shows that the cost of inaction and disunity in the face of a determined aggressor will be higher,” Nuland said.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013. (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013. (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

Nuland’s reference to necessary action against the “aggressor” might be taken with a grain of salt by the Europeans, as the “F**k the EU” leak is still fresh in their memory.

The four-minute video – titled ‘Maidan puppets,’ referring to Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital – was uploaded by an anonymous user to YouTube.

Nuland was recorded as saying the notoriously known phrase during a phone call with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, as the two were seemingly discussing a US-preferred line-up of the Ukrainian government. It apparently referred to Washington’s policy differences with those of the EU on ways of handling the Ukrainian political crisis, with Nuland suggesting to “glue this thing” with the help of the UN and ignore Brussels.

The US State Department did not deny the authenticity of the video and stressed that Nuland had apologized for the “reported comments.”

Recovery From Regional Nuclear War–(highly technical)

Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss

post nuke war

Exec. Order for U.S. Department of Hasbara

[SEE: A Guide To HASBARA TROLLS ]

white house

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Executive Order 13584 –Developing an Integrated Strategic Counterterrorism Communications Initiative

EXECUTIVE ORDER

DEVELOPING AN INTEGRATED STRATEGIC COUNTERTERRORISM COMMUNICATIONS INITIATIVE AND ESTABLISHING A TEMPORARY ORGANIZATION TO SUPPORT CERTAIN GOVERNMENT-WIDE COMMUNICATIONS ACTIVITIES DIRECTED ABROAD

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 2656 of title 22, United States Code, and section 3161 of title 5, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The United States is committed to actively countering the actions and ideologies of al-Qa’ida, its affiliates and adherents, other terrorist organizations, and violent extremists overseas that threaten the interests and national security of the United States. These efforts take many forms, but all contain a communications element and some use of communications strategies directed to audiences outside the United States to counter the ideology and activities of such organizations. These communications strategies focus not only on the violent actions and human costs of terrorism, but also on narratives that can positively influence those who may be susceptible to radicalization and recruitment by terrorist organizations.

The purpose of this Executive Order is to reinforce, integrate, and complement public communications efforts across the executive branch that are (1) focused on countering the actions and ideology of al-Qa’ida, its affiliates and adherents, and other international terrorist organizations and violent extremists overseas, and (2) directed to audiences outside the United States. This collaborative work among executive departments and agencies (agencies) brings together expertise, capabilities, and resources to realize efficiencies and better coordination of U.S. Government communications investments to combat terrorism and extremism.

Sec. 2. Assigned Responsibilities to the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications.

(a) Under the direction of the Secretary of State (Secretary), the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (Center) that has been established in the Department of State by the Secretary shall coordinate, orient, and inform Government-wide public communications activities directed at audiences abroad and targeted against violent extremists and terrorist organizations, especially al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents, with the goal of using communication tools to reduce radicalization by terrorists and extremist violence and terrorism that threaten the interests and national security of the United States. Consistent with section 404o of title 50, United States Code, the Center shall coordinate its analysis, evaluation, and planning functions with the National Counterterrorism Center. The Center shall also coordinate these functions with other agencies, as appropriate.

Executive branch efforts undertaken through the Center shall draw on all agencies with relevant information or capabilities, to  prepare, plan for, and conduct these communications efforts.

(b) To achieve these objectives, the Center’s functions shall include:

(i) monitoring and evaluating narratives (overarching communication themes that reflect a community’s identity, experiences, aspirations, and concerns) and events abroad that are relevant to the development of a U.S. strategic counterterrorism narrative designed to counter violent extremism and terrorism that threaten the interests and national security of the United States;

(ii) developing and promulgating for use throughout the executive branch the U.S. strategic counterterrorism narratives and public communications strategies to counter the messaging of violent extremists and terrorist organizations, especially al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents;

(iii) identifying current and emerging trends in extremist communications and communications by al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents in order to coordinate and provide thematic guidance to U.S. Government communicators on how best to proactively promote the U.S. strategic counterterrorism narrative and policies and to respond to and rebut extremist messaging and narratives when communicating to audiences outside the United States, as informed by a wide variety of Government and non-government sources, including nongovernmental organizations, academic sources, and finished intelligence created by the intelligence community;

(iv) facilitating the use of a wide range of communications technologies, including digital tools, by sharing expertise among agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and extending best practices;

(v) identifying and requesting relevant information from agencies, including intelligence reporting, data, and analysis; and

(vi) identifying shortfalls in U.S. capabilities in any areas relevant to the Center’s mission and recommending necessary enhancements or changes.

(c) The Secretary shall establish a Steering Committee composed of senior representatives of agencies relevant to the Center’s mission to provide advice to the Secretary on the  operations and strategic orientation of the Center and to ensure adequate support for the Center. The Steering Committee shall meet not less than every 6 months. The Steering Committee shall be chaired by the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy. The Coordinator for Counterterrorism of the Department of State shall serve as Vice Chair. The Coordinator of the Center shall serve as Executive Secretary. The Steering Committee shall include one senior representative designated by the head of each of the following agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Treasury, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Counterterrorism Center of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Broadcast Board of Governors, and the Agency for International Development. Other agencies may be invited to participate in the Steering Committee at the discretion of the Chair.

Sec. 3. Establishment of a Temporary Organization.

(a) There is established within the Department of State, in accordance with section 3161 of title 5, United States Code, a temporary organization to be known as the Counterterrorism Communications Support Office (CCSO).

(b) The purpose of the CCSO shall be to perform the specific project of supporting agencies in Government-wide public communications activities targeted against violent extremism and terrorist organizations, especially al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents, to audiences abroad by using communication tools designed to counter violent extremism and terrorism that threaten the interests and national security of the United States.

(c) In carrying out its purpose set forth in subsection (b) of this section, the CCSO shall:

(i) support agencies in their implementation of whole-of-government public communications activities directed at audiences abroad, including by providing baseline research on characteristics of these audiences, by developing expertise and studies on aspirations, narratives, information strategies and tactics of violent extremists and terrorist organizations overseas, by designing and developing sustained campaigns on specific areas of interest to audiences abroad, and by developing expertise on implementing highly focused social media campaigns; and

(ii) perform such other functions related to the specific project set forth in subsection (b) of this section as the Secretary may assign.

(d) The CCSO shall be headed by a Director selected by the Secretary, with the advice of the Steering Committee. Its staff may include, as determined by the Secretary: (1) personnel with relevant expertise detailed on a non-reimbursable basis from other agencies; (2) senior and other technical advisers; and (3) such other personnel as the Secretary may direct to support the CCSO. To accomplish this mission, the heads of agencies participating on the Steering Committee shall provide to the CCSO, on a non-reimbursable basis, assistance, services, and other support including but not limited to logistical and administrative support and details of personnel. Non-reimbursable details shall be based on reasonable requests from the Secretary in light of the need for specific expertise, and after consultation with the relevant agency, to the extent permitted by law.

(e) The CCSO shall terminate at the end of the maximum period permitted by section 3161(a)(1) of title 5, United States Code, unless sooner terminated by the Secretary consistent with section 3161(a)(2) of such title.

Sec. 4. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to an agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 9, 2011.

Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick/The Brotherhood of the Bell


JFK to 911 Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick 


The Brotherhood of the Bell

Obama Is Starting A Bigger War That Every Living Human Will Come To Regret

A Cyber War with North Korea and an Economic War with Russia

war is crime

Why Hasn’t ISIS/Al-Qaeda Ever Attacked Israel?

Terrorist Bedfellows: Saudi Arabia and Israel

21st century wire

Oye-Vey
A tale of two religious states, both hell-bent of purifying their arid lands of anyone who is not like them.One very important fact which is often lost on Americans of all levels and persuasions, is that the regime in Saudi Arabia is absolutely pro-Israel. Thus, anything Israel wants, Saudi does. Both export their own brands of terror. They are partners in business, as well as partners in crime...


BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Both Saudi and Israel need to remain close in order to maintain their artificial desert fiefdoms.

More importantly, both Israel and Saudi Arabia (both states are tethered to the US and Great Britain) fear and loath the concept Arab nationalism, and any secular Arab governments in the Middle East, and thus will do anything to put it down. Destabilization is good, so long as the two can divide the spoils and maintain a monopoly of force and power in the region.

While Israel remains busy terrorizing the native Palestinian population, or exporting false flag terror through the Israeli Mossad, the royal pestilence, who themselves enjoy regular and frequent beheadings (see image below) inside their backward medieval wahabi Bardo, has been quietly backing their sand pirates currently running amok in Syria and Iraq, namely al Qaeda, Jabat al Nusra Front, and ISIS/ISIL/IS, as “freedom fighters” in Syria, have now joined their Zionist cousins in Tel Aviv to rid the region of the real freedom fighters of the Lebanese resistance against the Israeli occupation, Hezbollah.

1-Saudi-Beheading
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: ISIS and Saudi share a penchant for chopping off people’s heads.

Why are the Saudis so upset with Hezbollah? Three reasons…

Firstly Hezbollah are Shi’ite (Shia) muslims, which according to extremist Wahabi royal hegemony doctrine – are the wrong sect of Islam, or not the ‘master sect’ (sound familiar?). Secondly, Hezbollah are doing a fine job of smiting Saudis proxy militants and IS death squads in Syria and Lebanon. Lastly, like Israel, Saudi are also afraid of all things Iranian (mostly they fear any economic competition) and since Hezzbollah are allied with Tehran, and like Israel, Saudi doesn’t like any resistance to their private ambitions.

Isn’t it rich of Riyadh to be crying to the UN about terrorist groups when their Empire of Sand (and oil) is one of the world’s worst sponsors of militant Salafist terrorism?

Meanwhile, the US plays man-in-the-middle, brokering lucrative arms deals for both Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Both are client states, the only difference is that Saudi Arabia still pays for its arms, while Israel is on the US dole, still getting free hand-outs from the US taxpayer (that’s right, Americans unknowingly pay for Israeli fancy weaponry)…

Saudi Envoy Wants Hezbollah Back on UN Terror List

Yalibnan

BEIRUT – Saudi Arabia asked On Wednesday the U.N. Security Council to add Hezbollah to its list of “terrorist organizations”.“We call on the council to place Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations,” Saudi envoy to the Security Council Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said.

Mouallimi stressed that his country is committed to “international cooperation aimed at eradicating terrorism,” noting that “Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries that confronted terror.”

“The threat of foreign fighters in Syria is not limited to the country in which they are carrying out their acts, as it rather transcends the borders to reach the entire world,” Mouallimi added.

Hezbollah was founded by the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) soon after the 1979 revolution in Iran. The group is fighting in Syria to save the Bashar al-Assad regime.

On November 12, The Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) boasted of how it has supplied Lebanese Hezbollah with missile systems.

Brigadier General Hajizadeh, commander of IRGC’s aerospace section told the regime’s Fars news agency: “The factories that manufacture missiles in Syria are built by Iran and the missiles designed by Iran are being manufactured there.

He said the Lebanese Hezbollah “has been taught how to build missiles by Iran” and they “have become quite expert in this field”.

Hajizadeh said all these projects were implemented with the “prodding and encouragement” of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself and that it was the “wisdom of His Excellency that we build missiles with pinpoint accuracy”.

The Iranian regime’s export of missiles and related technology to other countries is in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions banning the activity.

Other Shiite groups

Mouallemi also called on the Security Council to blacklist Shiite Iraqi militia, the League of the Righteous, and the Shiite Syrian militant group, the al-Abbas Brigades.

The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday added Libya’s Ansar al-Sharia to its terror list over the Islamist group’s ties to Al-Qaeda, AFP said Wednesday.

Source: NCR-Iran Agencies

Another Fistfight In Georgia Parliament Over “Enemy of the State” Saakashvili and His Goons In Ukraine

[SEE:  Georgian PM Declares Saakashvili Enemy of State ]


Dec. 26 Fistfight in Georgia Parliament over troops seduced by Saakashvili’s snake tongue into resigning from Georgian Army to enlist in Ukraine Fascist forces fighting in the east.


Last year’s brawl in Georgia Parliament (Dec 11, 2013) over sending troops to fight in Ukraine.

Turkish Ship Lurking Off Cyprus Finally Withdraws After Gas Test Well Comes Up Dry

[SEE:  Disappointment as nothing found in block 9 “Onasagoras” reservoir of Cyprus EEZ ]

Hope for Cyprus talks amid reports Turkish ship Barbaros withdrawing 

ekathimerini

New hope for the possible resumption of stalled Cyprus talks emerged on Christmas Day amid reports in the Turkish media that the Turkish seismic vessel Barbaros would withdraw from Cypriot waters on Tuesday.

The Barbaros has been violating Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) since October 20 when it entered the area amid Turkish protests over Cypriot authorities launching licensed oil and gas drilling activities in the area.

The violation by the Barbaros prompted Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades to pull out of the latest United Nations-mediated Cyprus peace talks.

According to press reports, Turkish-Cypriot negotiator Ergun Olgun said the Barbaros is set to withdraw from the area by December 30 having completed its exploration activities, paving the way for the resumption of stalled talks.

There was no immediate reaction from Cypriot authorities to the reports.

Despite indications of a possible thaw in the Eastern Mediterranean, tensions in the Aegean appear to have resurfaced.

Turkish military officials alleged that Turkish fighter jets were harassed by Greek F-16s while conducting training flights over the Aegean Sea earlier this week.

The claims come after a spate of violations of Greek air space in the Aegean by Turkish aircraft.

Russia Organizing Syrian National Dialogue Forum Meet In Moscow

Press release on the meeting between Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister and Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa, and a delegation of the Syrian National Dialogue Forum
2825-09-12-2014

On 9 December, Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister and Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa, met with a delegation of the Syrian National Dialogue Forum, which has arrived in Moscow. There was an exchange of opinions about the situation in Syria, with a focus on the outlook for the progress of the inter-Syrian dialogue, based on the Geneva Communique, dated 30 June 2012.

The Russian side reiterated its proposal for Moscow as a platform for contacts between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition as a step in the interest of invigorating the political settlement of the Syria conflict. Support was expressed for the peace efforts by Staffan de Mistura, the UN secretary general’s special envoy for Syria, including the idea of a so-called local freeze.

9 December 2014

Russia To Back Palestinian UN Statehood Resolution

Russia says it backs Palestinian UN statehood bid

times of israel

Moscow to support measure that calls for 2017 Israeli withdrawal from West Bank, East Jerusalem

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov (photo credit: AP/Mikhail Metzel
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov (photo credit: AP/Mikhail Metzel)

A top Russian official said Thursday that Moscow will support a draft resolution on Palestinian statehood at the United Nations Security Council.

Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Russia would vote in favor of the controversial bid, which calls for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines by the end of 2017, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

Moscow also expressed hope that all other members of the Security Council would support the measure and that it will not be vetoed.

“As far as we understand the Palestinians, the vote may take place shortly although they have yet to set the precise date. We have repeatedly said that we will vote for this resolution,” Gennady said, according to the report.

The resolution, which was presented to the United Nations Security Council by Jordan last week, calls for a “lasting and comprehensive peace solution” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that “fulfills the vision of a Palestinian state,” while demanding a phased Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem and the West Bank that does “not exceed the end of 2017.”

Gennady said a vote could be called on the resolution within 24 hours, though officials have indicated the vote likely won’t take place until January 2015 at the earliest.

Although Russia enjoys cordial relations with Jerusalem, Moscow has long championed Palestinian statehood and has been on friendly terms with the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

The bid is widely expected to be vetoed by the US.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that Washington does not support the resolution in its current format, but has maintained Washington’s support for a two-state solution and hinted that the US could support alternative wording.

Palestinian officials say they have come under US pressure to delay the vote at least until after Israel holds elections on March 17. However, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said earlier this week that he had rejected Washington’s request to push off the vote.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, a colleague of Gatilov’s, had previously announced his country’s support for a UN resolution backing a Palestinian state during a Cairo conference for international donors supporting reconstruction of the Gaza Strip after this summer’s conflict between Israel and Hamas.

“So we say [to Palestinians], if you find one option or another suitable, then we will support you as friends…. We think that the Palestinian case is fair, meaning that people have a right to self-determination, up to establishing their state,” Bogdanov told journalists in October.

Pak forces kill Taliban ‘facilitator’ in Peshawar school attack

AFP
Peshawar, December 26, 2014
Pakistani security forces have killed a Taliban commander who allegedly facilitated the Peshawar school massacre, which left 150 people dead in the country’s worst ever terror attack, officials said Friday.

Named only as “Saddam”, the militant was killed Thursday night in a gunfight with security forces in the restive Khyber tribal area, which borders the northwestern city of Peshawar where last week’s horrific attack took place.

“Commander Saddam was a dreaded terrorist, who was killed in an exchange of fire with the security forces in Jamrud town of Khyber tribal region,” top local administration official Shahab Ali Shah told a press conference in Peshawar.

https://i0.wp.com/www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/12/debris1.jpg
Rescue team members go through debris inside the Army Public School, which was attacked by Taliban gunmen. (Reuters photo)

“Six of his accomplices were injured and arrested.”

He added that Saddam is believed to have facilitated the school attack, although the extent or capacity of his alleged involvement was not yet known.

“Authorities are currently interrogating the injured terrorists,” Shah said.

He described Saddam as an important commander in the Pakistani Taliban, or Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and said he had masterminded several bomb attacks.

Saddam and his accomplices had been involved in several recent attacks on security forces that had resulted in heavy casualties, Shah said.

The Taliban and other militants have taken refuge in Khyber from a major army offensive launched in June in North Waziristan, another restive tribal area on the Afghan border that has been a hub for Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants since the early 2000s.

Meanwhile, a US drone strike on a Taliban compound in North Waziristan killed at least four militants on Friday, officials said, the second such incident in a week.

Another drone strike in North Waziristan on December 20 killed at least five militants, officials said.

The area is generally off-limits to journalists, making it difficult to independently verify the number and identity of the dead.

Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out militant sanctuaries in North Waziristan, which have been used to launch attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani military says it has killed more than 1,700 militants so far in its heavy offensive in the tribal zone, with 126 soldiers having lost their lives.

Pakistan has ramped up its anti-terror strategy in the wake of the December 16 slaughter at an army-run school in Peshawar, where 134 children were among the victims gunned down by heavily-armed Taliban militants.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced the establishment of military courts for terror-related cases in order to accelerate trials, and he has also lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty, reinstating it for terrorism-related cases.

Officials said Monday that Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in the coming weeks.

– See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/facilitator-of-taliban-school-attack-killed-in-pakistan/article1-1300554.aspx#sthash.DG0Ap2YY.dpuf

Azeri Authorities Shut-Down Radio Free Europe Over “Serious Crimes” Investigation

Employees of the Attorney General conducted a search of the Baku bureau of Radio “Azadlig”

vesti.az

Employees of the Attorney General conducted a search of the Baku bureau of Radio "Azadlig"

This morning, at about 10:30 a group of employees of the investigation department of the cases of very serious crimes General Prosecutor’s Office raided Azerbaijan in Baku Bureau of Radio “Azadlig” (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)).

As the Vesti.Az quoting radio “Azadlig”, which were the law enforcement officers to provide a proper decision.

At the same time were disconnected phones and the Internet, employees were not allowed to sit at the computer.

The search was conducted in the presence of a lawyer Yalcin Imanov and witnesses. Announced that the search was conducted in connection with proceedings in a criminal case.

Zionist Scum Shoot 5-Year Old In the Face With “Rubber” (Coated Metal) Bullet

Israeli serviceman shoots 5yo Palestinian in the face (GRAPHIC IMAGES)

Russia-Today
Download video (26.89 MB)

Israeli police have fired a rubber bullet at a five-year-old Palestinian boy’s face as he was getting out of a school bus on his way home, the child’s family told Palestinian media. He sustained a skull fracture under his eye.

The incident happened when Muhammad Jamal Ubeid and his 14-year-old sister stepped out of the school bus and started walking home in al-Issawiya, an Arab village and neighborhood in East Jerusalem, on Wednesday.

“An Israeli soldier fired a black rubber-coated bullet at the child from a close distance, injuring him under the eye,” Muhammad’s uncle told the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.

READ MORE: IDF strikes Gaza in retaliation to rocket fire

Muhammad was taken to the nearby Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus, where the doctors said the boy had a fracture in the bone below his eye. The hospital confirmed that his wound was typical of ones inflicted by rubber bullets.

Muhammad Jamal Ubeid (image from facebook.com)

Muhammad Jamal Ubeid (image from facebook.com)

The hospital officials told Haaretz that the boy’s condition was satisfactory and he was headed for surgery.

The child was later transported to the Hadassah Medical Center in the Ein Karem neighborhood, West Jerusalem.

RT Paula Slier visited Muhammad a few hours after surgery in Hadassah Medical Center in the Ein Karem and talked to his parents.

“He’s an innocent boy, he didn’t do anything! Why did this happen to him? I’m really worried about my son – they [Israelis] are the racists, not us!” Muhammad’s mother told RT.

“He’s 5-years-old, he’s an innocent child, he didn’t have a rifle, he didn’t have a phone,” added his father. “This is racism, they want to kill us because they hate us. We are Palestinians and they hate us.”

READ MORE: Palestinian minister dies after run-in with IDF soldiers in West Bank protest

The village residents who witnessed the incident, told Haaretz that Muhammad was standing outside his home while Israeli police fired rubber bullets at children and teenagers. The latter were throwing stones at vehicles on nearby Ma’aleh Adumim Road.

However, according to the Muhammad’s uncle, there were no clashes in the area between Palestinians and Israelis at the time of the shooting.

On Thursday, Jerusalem police released a statement indicating that police officials used riot-control means. However, they didn’t confirm that the child was injured during the incident.

“A new and in depth examination was conducted following the reports of an injured child being hospitalized and it was found that a number of masked [protesters] threw rocks, Molotov cocktails and shot fireworks at a border police force operating [on Wednesday] on the slopes of Isawiya, to prevent harm to citizens traveling on the road towards Ma’ale Adumim,” the police said in its statement.

They added that Israeli police forces “dispersed the rioters.”

“It is not known if a child was injured during this incident. All the information was transferred to the [Justice Ministry] department for investigating the police,” added the statement.

Muhammad Jamal Ubeid (image from facebook.com)

Muhammad Jamal Ubeid (image from facebook.com)

Little chance of justice?

Ziyad Hamuri from the Jerusalem Centre for Social and Human Rights told RT there were surveillance cameras in the area, which would show that there were no clashes near the school bus where the boy was shot at.

But according to Hamuri, there is little chance of justice for the injured boy, as Arabs “do not succeed” in Israeli courts, as opposed to Jewish settlers.

“We fear that there is a discrimination in the Israeli law. When it comes to a settler, they have their rights, but in our side, we [Palestinians] don’t have our rights,” the activist said.

Hamuri stressed that this is not the first time firearms have been used against Palestinian children, saying that their use against protesters is not justified. He wondered why the IDF prefers using bullets as opposed to riot control means such as tear gas, pointing out that the so-called rubber bullets are actually rubber-coated metal projectiles that can cause serious injury or death.

“It seems that there [are] orders for them. We have seen two months before that the interior minister declared that they [police] can use such weapons against the people,”
Hamuri said.

According to al-Issawiya accounts, Muhammad is the second child in the area to be hit by foam-tipped bullets in the upper body, which is forbidden by police rule.

In November, an eleven-year-old was shot at a close range in the face by a sponge bullet in al-Issawiya. Saleh Samer Attiyeh Mahmoud lost his left eye and the vision of his right eye was also severely damaged.

Earlier Haaretz reported that Israeli police officers were using foam-tipped bullets, which are generally used for riot control. They are harder than other kinds of bullets and are particularly dangerous for children and teenagers.

Al-Issawiya, along with other East Jerusalem neighborhoods, has heavy Israeli police presence amid ongoing protests over the Israeli occupation.

READ MORE: Israel approves over 350 new settlements in occupied Jerusalem

Israel claimed East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War, with its annexation never being recognized internationally. Since then, Israel has built numerous settlements, which are now under military regulation, with different laws applied arbitrarily to certain areas.

Pakistan Reveals 20-Point Anti-Terrorism Action Plan

P.M. Sharif Announces Anti-Terrorism Action Plan

Newsweek-logo

By AFP and Newsweek Pakistan

Prakash Singh—AFP

Twenty-point plan of action includes establishment of military tribunals and media regulation.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said it would set up military courts for terror-related cases, as part of an ambitious anti-terrorism plan following a deadly Taliban school attack that killed 150 people.

In a midnight address to the nation after almost 11 hours of deliberations with leaders of political parties, Sharif said strong action was needed to root out extremism and warned no mercy would be shown to those behind attacks.

He announced the establishment of military courts as part of the 20-point plan of action—a week after a six year moratorium on the death penalty was lifted for terror cases in the wake of the deadliest assault by militants in Pakistani history.

“Special courts, headed by the officers of armed forces, will be established for the speedy trial of terrorists,” he said. He said the special courts would operate for two years.

“The Peshawar atrocity has changed Pakistan, we need to eradicate the mindset of terrorism to defeat extremism and sectarianism,” said Sharif in the televised speech. “This horrendous attack has shaken the nation … the terrorists struck the future of this country, when they murdered those children.”

The plan also includes cutting financial aid to terrorists and preventing banned organizations from operating with new names.

He also announced the formation of special anti-terrorism force and regularization of madrassahs.

The ambitious “plan of action” included a wide range of measures including constitutional amendments, banning space for terrorists in electronic and print media, destroying their communication systems, and the repatriation of Afghan refugees. “As a father I can under how heavy these coffins were for their parents,” he said referring to the victims of last Tuesday’s massacre. “With their blood, our children have drawn a line between us and terrorists,” he said.

The meeting took place at the prime minister’s house in Islamabad.

“Only terrorists would be tried in these [military] courts and these would not be used for political objectives,” said the leader of the opposition Syed Khursheed Shah. “The aim of setting up military courts is to ensure the speedy trial of terrorists, there are so many loopholes in our judicial system and it has failed to deliver,” Shah said. He said the all the political parties had agreed to amend the Constitution to facilitate the establishment of the military courts.

The meeting also passed a unanimous resolution condemning the attack.

A list of the 20-point action plan follows:

1) The government has decided to enforce executions for terrorists sentenced to death. Implementation on this has begun.

2) To avoid criminals evading punishment due to weaknesses in the legal system, special trial courts will be established under military officers so such elements can be dealt with without delay. These courts will exist for two years. Constitutional amendments will be made for these courts.

3) No armed militant group or organization will be allowed to operate.

4) The anti-terrorism organization, NACTA, will be strengthened and activated.

5) Literature, newspapers and magazines that are spreading hate, violence sectarianism, extremism and intolerance will be investigated and taken action against.

6) All funding for terrorists and terrorist organizations will be eliminated.

7) Banned organizations will not be allowed to re-establish themselves under another name.

8) A special anti-terrorism force will be created of 10,000 soldiers will be created.

9) Action is being taken to stop religious extremism and protect minorities.

10) The government will register and regulate all madrassahs.

11) Print and electronic media will be banned from glorifying the views of terrorists and terrorist organizations.

12) Reforms in FATA will be given priority to ensure the speedy return of internally displaced persons.

13) The communication networks of terrorists will be completely dismantled.

14) The government will take steps to stop the spread of terrorism on the Internet and social media.

15) There will be no space left for terrorism in any part of the country, including Punjab.

16) The ongoing operation in Karachi will continue until it accomplishes its goals.

17) For broader political consensus, stakeholders will work to empower the Balochistan government.

18) Decisive action will be taken against sectarian elements.

19) A comprehensive policy for the repatriation of Afghan refugees is being developed.

20) The government will focus on legislation to ensure provincial intelligence organizations get access to terrorists’ communication networks and anti-terrorism organizations.

TANAP Will Trump “Turkish Stream”—Putin Loses

Why TANAP is more important than the Turkish Stream

hurriyet

A surprising Russian proposal to construct a new natural gas pipeline from Russia to Europe via Turkey in order to bypass both Ukraine and Bulgaria is still one of leading issues being discussed in the relevant capitals.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cancelation of the South Stream that had been planned to carry 63 bcm natural gas to European markets via the Black Sea and Bulgaria led to the so-called Turkish Stream, with plans to station a gas terminal on the Turkish-Greek border. Many government sources and pro-government analysts argue that this will contribute to Turkey’s efforts to become an energy hub in the coming years. In this column on Dec. 3, I tried to analyze why Turkey has to be cautious in making this deal with Russia.

This column, however, will argue that the realization of the Turkish Stream would nix the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) project, which is in fact much more important for Turkey and its allies in the Caucasus. The Turkish Stream, however, is extremely important for Russia, which felt cornered after a series of sanctions from the EU and the U.S.

To make the picture clearer, let’s cite three important developments that occurred last week. The first was a visit by a high-level delegation from the EU led by Federica Mogherini, the new foreign policy chief in Brussels, accompanied with EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn. As reported in the press, the EU officials clearly urged Turkey to better align its foreign policy with Brussels, recalling that its recent deals with Moscow undermine the sanctions imposed on the country. That also includes energy policies.

The second development was about the details of the Turkish Stream, which were revealed by Russian Deputy Energy Minister Kiril Molodtsov. Molodtsov said the pipeline was planned to be ready by late 2017 – in just three years – after which Russia will be able to transport around 50 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe. Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, however, informed that this $20 billion-worth project could start to function in either 2019 or 2020, and that they were still working on its technicalities. He also underlined that the project would not be only a transit gas pipeline, but it would be distributing to European markets.

Yıldız’s statement came a few days after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the deal with Russia was non-binding and required the completion of more talks on the details. However, out of Yıldız’s words, one can see that Turkey has already begun negotiations on the nature of a final deal with Russia with a strong announcement of determination to accomplish the project. Yıldız has also said Turkey is ready to host any pipeline crossing through its soil, in reference to the Cyprus reserves.

However, the issue is not as simple as Yıldız puts it. Turkey’s neighborhood is full of energy source countries and there will always be a competition and clashes of conflict between these countries in their efforts to market their reserves. Plus, Turkey cannot look at the issue solely from an opportunistic perspective, as pipelines and energy corridors make up an important part of the strategic planning of all of regional countries.

This aspect was visible during the recent tripartite meeting between the foreign ministers of Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan in Turkey’s eastern city of Kars. One of the issues discussed during the joint press conference was Turkey’s signing of a memorandum of understanding with Russia for the construction of the Turkish Stream.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had to clearly underline that Turkey’s priority was the TANAP project. “We know how important [TANAP] is for Turkey, Georgia and Europe, particularly southeastern Europe. Along with the TAP [Trans Adriatic Pipeline], the TANAP is a project that could carry natural gas to different European countries. We should all exert efforts for the completion of this project, regardless of the decrease in oil and gas prices,” he stressed.

Çavuşoğlu’s statement is particularly important because he admitted that TANAP’s objective is no different from the Turkish Stream. Both will supply natural gas to European markets. However, given the decrease in energy demands in European markets, it will be hard to have two pipelines operating at the same time.

Georgian Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili openly expressed his satisfaction at hearing from Çavuşoğlu that Turkey’s priority is the TANAP, while underlining that the project was vital for regional development. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, however, recalled once again that the TANAP should be considered together with the TAP and stated that it will cost around $45 billion. “It will be the greatest project within the EU,” he said.

“This project has global significance. According to estimations, the first gas will come to Turkey late 2018 or early 2019. We, as Azerbaijan, have committed to Turkey that we will invest around $20 billion for these projects,” Mammadyarov said, in a diplomatic reminder to his Turkish colleague.

Turkey’s priority should be opening its territories to projects that would increase its regional weight, as well as its role in the future energy equation. The future energy game will require the introduction of new players like Iraq, Iran and the Caspian region, and Turkey should assure these countries that they can completely rely on it when transporting their reserves to European and global markets.

December/13/2014

Lal Masjid

Maulana Abdul Aziz

Taliban threatens activist for standing up against Red Mosque

 

times of india

ISLAMABAD: Taliban have threatened a Pakistan civil society activist for spearheading a protest movement against the cleric of Red Mosque here who had initially refused to condemn the Peshawar school massacre.

Maulana Abdul Aziz initially refused to speak against the horrible attack in Peshawar that killed 148 people, mostly children, resulting in protests outside the mosque in the heart of Islamabad.

Muhammad Jibran Nasir, one of the leaders of the protesters, said that he was threatened by Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman of Taliban splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar for leading the protests.

He posted the recording on the internet which shows Ehsan telling Nasir to stop his protests or he and his family would be targeted by the rebels.

“If the case against Red Mosque cleric is not withdrawn and if you did not stop protests, then don’t forget that you or your family will not be secure,” the caller said.

Nasir later told media that he would not back down from their planned protests today outside the Lal Masjid.

“We are not afraid. We are not backing out,” he said. A case has been registered against Aziz at the Aabpara police station on Friday, three hours after protesters had gathered outside it demanding the cleric be arrested for supporting Taliban.

Aziz is known sympathiser of Taliban and al-Qaida and has even named a library in the madrassa after Osama bin Laden.

The Red Mosque had had a series of run-ins with the authorities in Pakistan. The mosque was the scene of a deadly 10-day siege in 2007 between security forces and the followers of Abdul Aziz. The operation against the mosque had caused much outrage in the jihadi circles.

More than 100 people had died in the military take over of the mosque.

Nicaragua Begins Construction of New Canal, When Will SOUTHCOM Intervene?

The impressive numbers Grand Canal of Nicaragua

semana

Nicaragua celebrates the start of construction of the canal in its territory.

Photo: BBC

This Monday, December 22, Nicaragua ceremony celebrates start of construction of a new canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A project worth US $ 50,000 million.

Depends on who you look, the project of the Grand Canal of Nicaragua, which seeks to compete with that of Panama, would be a scar in the heart of Central or artery to inject new blood into the region.

According to the government of Daniel Ortega, will provide many economic benefits to the country and end the extreme poverty and unemployment. But some suspect that it is not economically viable and environmental experts believe it could have a negative environmental impact.

HKND company, based in Hong Kong, received a 50-year concession for the rights to build the canal and another 50 years to handle it. Leading the company is a mysterious Chinese billionaire Wang Jing.

This waterway will be longer, deeper and wider than the Panama Canal.
BBC World offers a look at some of the figures that involves the work and realize how challenging it is.

50,000

Those are the millions of dollars that is expected to require the construction of channel Nicaragua, according HKND, the company’s Hong Kong who is in charge of the project.

278

The long anticipated Nicaragua Canal in kilometers. That of Panama is 77 kilometers, so the new channel will be more than three times longer average.

8,624

Surface of the Great Lake Nicaragua in km2. The canal route will pass through this body of fresh water, most of Central America, which has generated criticism from environmentalists.

5

The number of years that is expected to last the work, as announced by its promoters. The plan is to start construction in late 2014 and that the channel begins operating in 2020.

10

The years it took the United States to build the Panama Canal, completed in 1914.

50,000

The amount of people who, according HKND, used the work of the canal. The company says it will also create 200,000 indirect jobs.

27.6

The maximum depth in meters, which will channel whose width varies between 230 and 520 meters.

41

The age of Wang Jing, the mysterious businessman who runs HKND, who has been criticized for its lack of experience in ventures of this type, involving a huge engineering challenge.

50

Duration in year concession loan from Nicaragua to HKND, which can be extended for another 50.

1833

First official mention in Nicaragua on the proposed construction of a canal, in a decree of December 10 of that year. A society formed in the Netherlands would be in charge of the work.

Nicaragua Canal route
Photo: BBC

Kandahar Commander Prepares “Kick In the Teeth” For Fleeing TTP Taliban

Afghan commander orders attacks on insurgents in Pakistan

stars and stripes
By Carlo Munoz

Abdul Raziq 2

Abdul Raziq, Kandahar Chief of Police, speaks to the assembled locals of Kajran in Daykundi Province during a shura on October 22, 2013. DoD photo by Cpl. Mark Doran, Australian Defence Force/Released.

 

KABUL, Afghanistan — The police chief in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar has ordered his forces to attack Pakistani-based Tehrik-i-Taliban insurgents inside Pakistan, adding fuel to rising tensions along the countries’ shared border.

Police Brig. Gen. Abdul Raziq issued the order Friday, informing senior officials at the ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs in Kabul of his plans, Kandahar police spokesman Ahmad Zia Durrani said Monday. The move will be a “kick in the teeth” to Taliban and other insurgent groups based in Pakistan looking to strike inside Afghanistan, Durrani added.

Government officials in Kabul did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Raziq’s move came as Islamabad and Kabul are set to discuss coordinated military actions against the terrorists’ hideouts along the porous, mountainous border between the two nations.

Last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif threatened to send Pakistani troops into Afghan territory to kill or capture terrorist leaders responsible for the bloody attack Dec. 16 on a Pakistani military school. The massacre at the Army Public School and College in Peshawar, in which 149 people perished, was the deadliest terrorist attack in the country’s history.

Pakistan claims to have captured several suspects tied to the Peshawar attack, but has not provided details on the number of arrests made or the identities of those taken into custody.

Durrani said Afghan border policemen were “continuously complaining of attacks” on their outposts from inside Pakistan. Tents used by the insurgents to mount their assaults were clearly visible inside Pakistani territory just 300 meters from the border, he added.

During a tour of the region last week, Raziq ordered Afghan troops to attack the camps and directed them to respond if other targets on the Pakistani side of the border present themselves, Durrani said.

“We destroyed all those tents with heavy machine-gun fire,” the spokesman said, but made clear that at no time did Afghan forces set foot on Pakistani soil.

It is not the first time the controversial Kandahar police commander has called for direct strikes against Taliban bases inside Pakistan. Since taking control of the restive province in southern Afghanistan, Raziq has faced multiple accusations of leading unsanctioned cross-border raids into Pakistan.

His willingness to pursue insurgents on both sides of the border made Raziq a favorite among U.S. and NATO commanders. But critics claim that coalition forces also turned a blind eye to allegations of corruption and human rights abuses in the region as a result of the campaign.

Islamabad reportedly intercepted communications from Tehrik-i-Taliban commander Umar Naray from across the border in Afghanistan showing that he coordinated the school attack. In an emergency visit to Kabul last week, Pakistani Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif requested Kabul’s support in joint operations to capture Mullah Fazlullah, head of the Pakistan Taliban, who is also reported to be hiding in northeastern Afghanistan.

Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.

munoz.carlo@stripes.com

The west is shooting itself in the foot

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Rouble rubble, sliding oil and jihad: The west is shooting itself in the foot

firstpost

R Jagannathan

For a long time now, it has been apparent that geopolitical power is shifting eastwards, from the US and Europe to Asia, especially China. Less understood is how the west is hastening its own decline as a result of its hubris-driven policy and an inability to understand that the cold war is over.

The falling price of oil — caused more by West Asian geopolitics than just plain old demand and supply factors — is driving another nail in the coffin of western dominance.

Here’s the plot: the US is trying to economically ruin Russia with sanctions and cheaper oil, and the Saudis are trying to do the same to Shia Iran (both Russia and Iran need $100—plus oil to balance their budgets). The Saudis are also trying to screw America’s shale oil producers by pushing oil prices down, says this Reuters commentary.

Representational image. AFP

In this scenario, the ultimate loser will be the west, as this kind of oil politics can only send West Asia down in flames, triggering more geopolitical conflicts than can be managed. The west will simply be unable to handle the fallout, as it found out to its cost in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.

The first intimations of the decline of the west came with 9/11, when the strongest country in the world was humiliated by a bunch of motivated Islamist plane-stealers.

But 9/11 was only an indication of vulnerability. What really did the west in was its response to it.

Instead of opening up and challenging the world to find a better alternative to liberal democracy, the west went into a shell and closed itself to the world. The US built itself into a fortress, and tried to beat its enemies to pulp using superior military technology. It failed.

Under George W Bush, the US not only attacked the Taliban in Afghanistan, but also Iraq, even though the latter had done nothing to harm the interests of the west. It was a pure ego trip, and ego tripped the Americans.

An America over-extended in West Asia and driven to financial excess at home (Lehman, etc) began hastening its own decline. After sneering at Japan for its inability to revive itself for 20 years, Europe slid into the same self-defeating policy of closing itself up to outsiders, and adopting a common currency where the poorer parts of the Union in southern Europe suffered while the richer, northern parts (Germany, Scandinavia) benefited from the ready internal market.

Soon we had all parts of the west struggling to grow, and printing money feverishly to save themselves from another Great Depression. So far, they have achieved only the opposite: the money that was meant to ignite demand for credit and get the economies moving has largely boosted asset prices. It has left the poor and middle classes where they were: in debt and without too many jobs. The rich have gotten richer, as only the rich own assets of significance. QE1, QE2 and QE3 inflated the wealth of the rich.

Now, the west is firing more shots at its own foot by trying to fight the cold war all over again with Russia.

In order to teach the Russians a lesson for meddling with Ukraine and annexing Crimea, America and Europe are busy imposing economic sanctions against it and forcing oil prices down. Reason: Russia needs oil to be selling at over $100 to earn enough to pay its bills. The economic sanctions against Russia are also intended to hurt – and this is happening, as is clear with the reduction of the rouble to rubble over the last few months.

But it is one thing to punish an aggressor, quite another to punish him without hurting yourself. But this is exactly what Europe and America have achieved. Sanctions do not hurt only the target economy: it means you hurt yourself by not being able to do business with Russia. Most of Europe is linked to Russia through the energy trade. A collapse of Russia means one more market gone.

The dramatic fall in oil revenues has not made Russia any more willing to sue for peace with the west. In fact, it may have strengthened Vladimir Putin’s resolve to fight on. Just as the US attack on Iraq only strengthened the jihadis, the sanctions against Putin may have strengthened him. Asks Angus Roxburgh in this Guardian blog: “But what will we gain if the only effect (of the sanctions) is to destroy the Russian economy? Perhaps the hope is to destabilise the country so much that Putin is overthrown. (I detect much schadenfreude among observers, who desperately hope a collapse of the Russian economy will bring about Putin’s fall.) If so, it is a highly dangerous game of chance. Pouring fuel on Kremlin clan wars that we barely understand would be the height of folly. We have no idea what the outcome might be – and it could be much worse than what we have at present.”

A Russian economic crash and defaults will wreck global economic growth further. Does the west gain from this?

And it’s not only America that’s trying to cut off its nose to spite the face. As this Reuters report shows, Saudi Arabia is trying to ruin Iran’s economy by holding global oil prices down – a punishment for supporting Syria’s Bashar Assad in the fight against Saudi and Qatar-backed rebels. Some Islamic groups that originally came to fight Assad are now banded together under the banner of ISIS — a scourge that makes al-Qaeda seem like a bunch of boy scouts.

A collateral purpose of the Saudis is to try and kill America’s shale oil producers – who may have to start closing shop if oil prices dip below $50 a barrel. In short, the Saudis are trying to harm America’s new-found energy independence, with consequences that cannot be foreseen.

“Saudi Arabia is playing a dangerous game — there is little evidence that authoritarian regimes like Russia and Iran would change their behaviour under economic pressure. Worse, the Saudi policy could backfire, making Russia and especially Iran more intransigent in countering Saudi influence in the Middle East,” says the Reuters commentary by Mohamad Bazzi.

The problem with oil is not that its production is really unprofitable to most of Opec’s members even at current prices, but its price is important for government revenues and budget deficits. According to a Deutsche Bank estimate, Saudi Arabia needs oil prices at $99.2 to fiscally break even – but it has enough foreign exchange reserves to not bother about that for now. For Bahrain, Oman, Nigeria, Russia and Venezuela, the fiscal breakeven prices are $136, $101, $126, $100 and $162 respectively – prices that are unlikely to be attained in the next couple of years without a sharp drop in Opec and global output (or a sharp revival in global growth). An IMF report says that Iran, Iraq and Algeria need oil prices of over $100 a barrel to balance their budgets.

So, despite the falling share or oil in the global economy, its role in geopolitics has not diminished.

So let’s repeat how geopolitics is sending oil down. America wants to fix Putin (and hence falling oil helps), the Saudis wants to fix Iran (so again oil’s fall helps), the Iranians want to fix the Saudis by fomenting Shia insurgencies everywhere and the net result is the unleashing of an ISIS on the world. ISIS is financing jihad by selling the oil under its control at even lower prices. Falling oil prices presage an even more unstable and violent West Asia.

The west is hastening its own fall by playing such games to ruin others, and encouraging its allies to follow suit, without realising that this can boomerang on itself.

If West Asia goes down in flames, and America and Europe, already clobbered by an economic downturn, are forced to spend even more defending themselves and their allies in the aftermath, who wins?

“Green Men” Without Insignias Multiplying In Belarus–Locals Getting Nervous

GREEN MEN BELARUS “Yesterday I saw soldiers while I was walking around the station. I drew attention to the fact that they were wearing the uniform differing from the one of our soldiers. They were wearing green winter caps without insignia or chevrons. I walked up to them to ask who they were and whether it was a Belarusian uniform. I got the answer: “We are Russians”. They said they were from Bryansk. Then I asked about possible military exercises to take place but they replied: “No, there will be a war, so we have rotation and trainings”, he said.

Rumours in Bryansk about invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine

CHARTER 97

Rumours in Bryansk about invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine

Trains going to Ukraine through Bryansk will be cancelled from December 14.

The Russian Monitor website learnt it from a reader.

“We received a letter from Marina Nikolayevna from Bryansk. We cannot that the information is true, but we think we should publish it,” the website writes.

Journalists quote the letter.

“Very interesting things happened: all trains going to Ukraine via Bryansk will be cancelled from December 14,” the reader writes. “A wave of Ukraine-phobia can be noticed in the city. For example, Chernigov Hotel, the oldest one in the city, was renamed as Central.

Governor is reported by the press to fear provocations organized by Ukrainian terrorists. The media stir up a sort of patriotic psychosis. Bad rumours are circulating that a provocation, almost an invasion, can be expected on the border in the nearest days.

People say everywhere they are ready for guerilla warfare. It seems new, because people haven’t been enthusiastic about “patriotism” in the last few months and got tired of refugees.

The sixth Ruslan aircraft flew to Seshcha, the biggest aerodrome in European Russia. I am frightened. Bryansk is only 200 kilometres from Chernihiv.”

Charter97.org reported yesterday that “green men” were noticed in Homel. Soldiers in unmarked uniform claim they are Russian soldiers from Bryansk who arrived for rotation and training. They say “war will begin soon”.

From “Radio Mullah” To Mass-Murderer of School Children–(SATIRE)

fazlullah1

Book Review: ‘I am Fazlullah’

pakistan today

An inspiring tale of ambition, activism and radio jihad

 

‘I am Fazlullah’ is the story of a brave young boy Fazal Hayat from Swat and his courageous fight that transformed his native town. It narrates the boy’s valiant journey from being Fazal Hayat to becoming Fazlullah and tells us about the global rude awakening that he conjured by taking a stand against Pakistan’s biggest militant organisation, Tehreek-e-Malala Pakistan (TMP). Fazlullah’s bravery meant that the world stood up and took notice of his noble fight for terrorism.

The book, co-authored by Christinullah Christina, begins with Fazlullah being born to Biladar Khan, “a Pukhtun of Babukarkhel clan of the Yusufzai tribe of the Swat District”. From an early age Fazlu aspired to be in the jihad business, and his first step in the right direction was marrying the daughter of TNSM head Sufi Muhammad – considered to be among the best career moves of all time in the jihad sector. And fittingly an entire chapter of the book is dedicated to narrating how young Fazlu kidnapped Sufi Muhammad’s daughter from his Madrassa.

Seeing Fazlu’s ambitions the then president Pervez Musharraf banned TNSM and had Sufi Muhammad arrested, which meant that Fazlullah began living his childhood dream of leading a banned terrorist organisation. Fazlu has led TNSM, collaborated with the TTP, established parallel governments, developed a $2.5 million Madrassa and enjoyed jihadi success in Afghanistan but his biggest achievements are in the field of activism and entertainment.

Fazlu’s passion for radio jockeying and social activism combined as he started his own FM channel broadcasted exclusively in the Swat Valley. Fazlullah won the Best Male RJ award in Annual Pakistan Media Awards for his exclusive coverage of assassinations and beheadings, and his shows “Midnight with Mullah”, “Maulana Mornings”, “Jihad Jockeys” and “Wajib-ul-Qatal Weekends” received soaring ratings as well as critical acclaim.

Just when one thought our pioneering RJ (radio jihadist) had found his niche, an epoch-making event changed not only Fazlu’s life but that of budding jihadists and terrorists in Swat and around the globe.

As TMP militants increased their stranglehold over the Swat Valley and started spreading the propaganda of education and tolerance, Fazlu protested peacefully by closing girls’ schools, burning CDs, DVDs and computers, killing female dancers, massacring polio workers (despite suffering from polio himself) and assassinating people refusing to pull their shalwars above the ankle. But when the TMP paid no heed to the protests, Fazlu bravely began audio blogging anonymously. His blogs were played on his FM channel and in almost every mosque in Swat.

However, when the TMP – blindfolded by the venom of education – had had enough of Fazlu’s “dramatics”, the brave young boy was attacked by the TMP militants. Miraculously Fazlu survived the enlightenment attempt, and the only wounds that were caused were merely inkblots and paper cuts. This led to Pakistani liberal fascists launching their propaganda on social media questioning how Fazlu wasn’t enlightened despite being attacked by education from such a small distance. Having been attacked by the educatory arsenal of books and pens from such close proximity, Fazlu had to be sent to the northwest of Afghanistan for proper treatment.

The enlightenment attempt sparked an international outpouring of support for Fazlullah. Fazlu’s story spread like fire as the world became aware of the menace of TMP and their perverted interpretation of education, and realised the struggle that a young boy has to face as he endeavours to become a terrorist.

Fittingly Fazlu was invited to speak at the UN, where he delivered an invigorating speech the most touching quote of which was: “Let us pick up our guns and bombs. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one terrorist, one suicide jacket and one detonator can change the world. Terrorism is the only solution.”

Also rather appropriately Fazlullah was also shortlisted for the Nobel Peace Prize, with the gamblers betting heavily on him. It was thought that since President Obama won the award while American troops wreaked havoc in Iraq and Afghanistan and EU won it when euro debt crisis plagued global economies in the recent past, Fazlullah was a shoo-in for the prize. But it was the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that eventually won the award for letting chemical weapons spiral out of control in the Middle East.

‘I am Fazlullah’ has received acclaim from all the proverbial corners of the world, despite some quarters criticising Christinullah Christina for failing to conceal the co-author’s well-known bias against education and tolerance. The book is a bestseller in Pakistan already, despite threats by TMP against its purchase.

Leading journalist Ansar Abbasi gave the book five stars out of five, solely for the number of times Fazlullah wrote PBUH in the book – 137 times, according to Abbasi’s count. Other leading journalists Talat Hussain and Orya Maqbool Jan praised the book for doing nothing but “depicting true Muslim sentiments”, which according to them was the sole purpose of writing a book. O.M.J. was particularly ecstatic about reading Fazlu’s opinion about Ahmadis and Salman Rushdie, which he confessed were the only two paragraphs he had read from the book, but insisted that they were enough to justify the 10/10 he gave ‘I am Fazlullah’.

Liberal fascist Pervez Hoodhbhoy however condemned the book for being pro-jihadists in an altercation with Abbasi and Orya Maqbool on a live television show.

After witnessing the warm reception that ‘I am Fazlullah’ got, All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association decided to make the book mandatory in private schools’ curricula. And not only did the book replace the Islamiyat books being taught at the schools, chapters from the book were also added in the science and social studies curricula to teach the children about the construction of suicide jackets and jihadist terrorism.

The chairman of the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation particularly praised the book for its clarity of thought that according to him would ensure that the children are no longer confused by the ideas of tolerance and secularism.

‘I am Fazlullah’ is a rousing tale of ambition, activism and radio jihad. It’s a story of bravado and struggle. Simultaneously it is also an ideological book and one that would help young professionals mould their budding careers into illustrious ones.

It can also be read as a marketing book about how one could brand products that influence the lives of millions of people. However, most importantly the book gives us all the insights that we need into the life of a brave, young boy who is destined to become the leader of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the very near future.

Kunwar Khuldune Shahid is a financial journalist and a cultural critic. Email: khulduneshahid@gmail.com, Twitter: @khuldune.

CIA Primer for “US operational travelers” Who Are Sneaking Into EU

CIA Travel Advice To Operatives

wikileaks1

schengen

Download the PDF for CIA Advice for Operatives Infiltrating Schengen

Download the PDF for CIA Assessment on Surviving Secondary Screening

 

China pledges to help Russia, If Needed

China pledges to help Russia overcome economic hardships

Russia-Today

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. (AFP Photo/How Hwee Young)
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. (AFP Photo/How Hwee Young)

China’s foreign minister has pledged support to Russia as it faces an economic downturn due to sanctions and a drop in oil prices. Boosting trade in yuan is a solution proposed by Beijing’s commerce minister.

Russia has the capability and the wisdom to overcome the existing hardship in the economic situation,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi told journalists, China Daily reported Monday. “If the Russian side needs it, we will provide necessary assistance within our capacity.

The offer of help comes as Russians are still recovering from the shock of the ruble’s worst crash in years last Tuesday, when it lost over 20 percent against the US dollar and the euro. The Russian currency bounced back the next day, but it still has lost almost half of its value since March.

At his annual end-of-year press conference on Thursday, Vladimir Putin acknowledged the ruble has been tumbling along with the price of oil, and estimated that Western sanctions account for 25-30 percent of the Russian economic crisis. However, the president’s economic forecast is that the slump will not be a lasting one.

Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng proposed on Saturday to expand the use of the yuan in trade with Russia.

Reuters/Carlos Barria

Reuters/Carlos Barria

He said the use of the Chinese currency has been increasing for several years but western sanctions on Russia had made the trend more prominent, Reuters cited Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV as saying.

Gao said this year’s trade between China and Russia could reach $100 billion, approximately 10 percent growth compared to last year.

The minister said he did not expect cooperation on energy and manufacturing projects with Russia to be greatly affected by the current crisis.

Many Chinese people still view Russia as the big brother, and the two countries are strategically important to each other,” Jin Canrong, Associate Dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University in Beijing, told Bloomberg. “For the sake of national interests, China should deepen cooperation with Russia when such cooperation is in need.

Gazprom’s Power of Siberia pipeline – to deliver 4 trillion cubic meters of gas to China over 30 years – construction commencing September 2014. (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi)

Gazprom’s Power of Siberia pipeline – to deliver 4 trillion cubic meters of gas to China over 30 years – construction commencing September 2014. (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi)

China has been increasingly seeking deals in its own currency to challenge the US dollar’s dominance on the international market.

And Beijing is not alone in attempts to counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions and the US currency.

BRICS, the group of emerging economies that comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, accounting for one-fifth of global economic output, has been pursuing the same goal. The five nations agreed in July to increase mutual trade in local currencies, and also to create a BRICS Development Bank with investment equivalent to $100 billion as an alternative to the Western-controlled World Bank.

“The Powers That Be” To Attempt TOR Shut-Down In Next Few Days

Possible upcoming attempts to disable the Tor network

tor

The Tor Project has learned that there may be an attempt to incapacitate our network in the next few days through the seizure of specialized servers in the network called directory authorities. (Directory authorities help Tor clients learn the list of relays that make up the Tor network.) We are taking steps now to ensure the safety of our users, and our system is already built to be redundant so that users maintain anonymity even if the network is attacked. Tor remains safe to use.

We hope that this attack doesn’t occur; Tor is used by many good people. If the network is affected, we will immediately inform users via this blog and our Twitter feed @TorProject, along with more information if we become aware of any related risks to Tor users.

The Tor network provides a safe haven from surveillance, censorship, and computer network exploitation for millions of people who live in repressive regimes, including human rights activists in countries such as Iran, Syria, and Russia. People use the Tor network every day to conduct their daily business without fear that their online activities and speech (Facebook posts, email, Twitter feeds) will be tracked and used against them later. Millions more also use the Tor network at their local internet cafe to stay safe for ordinary web browsing.

Tor is also used by banks, diplomatic officials, members of law enforcement, bloggers, and many others. Attempts to disable the Tor network would interfere with all of these users, not just ones disliked by the attacker.

Every person has the right to privacy. This right is a foundation of a democratic society. For example, if Members of the British Parliament or US Congress cannot share ideas and opinions free of government spying, then they cannot remain independent from other branches of government. If journalists are unable to keep their sources confidential, then the ability of the press to check the power of the government is compromised. If human rights workers can’t report evidence of possible crimes against humanity, it is impossible for other bodies to examine this evidence and to react. In the service of justice, we believe that the answer is to open up communication lines for everyone, securely and anonymously.

The Tor network provides online anonymity and privacy that allow freedom for everyone. Like freedom of speech, online privacy is a right for all.

Pakistan Lines-Up Another 55 Terrorists and Murderers To Be Hanged Within Days

55 convicts to be sent to the gallows in a few days

dawn

ISLAMABAD: At least 55 death-row terrorists, whose mercy petitions have been rejected by President Mamnoon Hussain recently, are likely to be hanged during the next few days.

Before the lifting of a moratorium on executions, mercy petitions of more than 55 convicted terrorists had been pending with the presidency since 2012 as the then president Asif Ali Zardari had not taken any decision on them, apparently because of international pressure, an official told Dawn on Sunday.

“The former president neither granted relief to the convicts nor abolished the moratorium,” a presidency official said.

He said the interior ministry in the wake of the lifting of moratorium on executions would issue black warrants and the condemned prisoners would be sent to the gallows accordingly.

In reply to a question about a statement of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan that more than 500 people would be hanged, the official said the presidency had not received any mercy petition since 2012. However, he added, it expected to receive hundreds of mercy petitions in near future.

Normally, once a mercy petition is rejected and death warrant is issued, it takes at least 14 days to hang the convict as the required process has to be adopted. However, the Punjab government, which is dealing with majority of people on death row, recently made amendments to its laws and reduced the period to two days. It also changed a law under which executions could be carried out only at 4am and now convicts can be hanged any time.

The summary of death warrants is initiated by the interior ministry, forwarded to the presidency through the Prime Minister’s Office and then sent back through the same cannel so that the ministry can issue the warrants.

Retired Justice Tariq Mehmood said it did not mean that 500 people on death row would be hanged the next day because they might have been sentenced by lower or high courts and not by the Supreme Court. “And even if they have been sentenced by the Supreme Court they have a right to file mercy petitions to the president,” he said.

He said there was no time bar on filing a mercy petition and any convict could submit it any time, but mostly they pleaded for mercy after the decision of the apex court.

“If the convict cannot file his mercy petition or he has no family member to do so, it is the duty of the jail authority concerned to file it on his behalf,” he added.

we are the bloodthirsty warmongers

Villain or victim? Vladimir Putin in aggressive form - but we may be pushing him too far
PETER HITCHENS: Forget ‘evil’ Putin – we are the bloodthirsty warmongers 

daily mail

This is a time of year for memories, and the ones that keep bothering me are from my childhood, which seemed at the time to be wholly happy and untroubled.

Yet all the adults in my life still dwelt in the shadow of recent war. This was not the glamorous, exciting side of war, but the miserable, fearful and hungry aspect.

My mother, even in middle-class suburban prosperity, couldn’t throw away an eggshell without running her finger round it to get out the last of the white. No butcher dared twice to try to cheat her on the weights.

Haunted all her life by rationing, she would habitually break a chocolate bar into its smallest pieces. She had also been bombed from the air in Liverpool, and had developed a fatalism to cope with the nightly danger of being blown to pieces, shocking to me then and since.

I am now beset by these ingrained memories of shortage and danger because I seem surrounded by people who think that war might be fun. This seems to happen when wartime generations are pushed aside by their children, who need to learn the truth all over again.

It seemed fairly clear to me from her experiences that war had in fact been a miserable affair of fear, hunger, threadbare darned clothes, broken windows and insolent officials. And that was a victory, more or less, though my father (who fought in it) was never sure of that.

Now I seem surrounded by people who actively want a war with Russia, a war we all might lose. They seem to believe that we are living in a real life Lord Of The Rings, in which Moscow is Mordor and Vladimir Putin is Sauron. Some humorous artists in Moscow, who have noticed this, have actually tried to set up a giant Eye of Sauron on a Moscow tower.

We think we are the heroes, setting out with brave hearts to confront the Dark Lord, and free the saintly Ukrainians from his wicked grasp.

This is all the most utter garbage. Since 1989, Moscow, the supposed aggressor, has – without fighting or losing a war – peacefully ceded control over roughly 180 million people, and roughly 700,000 square miles of valuable territory.

The EU (and its military wing, Nato) have in the same period gained control over more than 120 million of those people, and almost 400,000 of those square miles.

Until a year ago, Ukraine remained non-aligned between the two great European powers. But the EU wanted its land, its 48 million people (such a reservoir of cheap labour!) its Black Sea coast, its coal and its wheat.

So first, it spent £300 million (some of it yours) on anti-Russian ‘civil society’ groups in Ukraine.

Then EU and Nato politicians broke all the rules of diplomacy and descended on Kiev to take sides with demonstrators who demanded that Ukraine align itself with the EU.

PUTIN: The crisis should be resolved at some point

Fall: There is a complacent joy about the collapse of the rouble. Above, the dollar-rouble rate on Friday

Imagine how you’d feel if Russian politicians had appeared in Edinburgh in September urging the Scots to vote for independence, or if Russian money had been used to fund pro-independence organisations.

Then a violent crowd (20 police officers died at its hands, according to the UN) drove the elected president from office, in violation of the Ukrainian constitution.

During all this process, Ukraine remained what it had been from the start – horrendously corrupt and dominated by shady oligarchs, pretty much like Russia.

If you didn’t want to take sides in this mess, I wouldn’t at all blame you. But most people seem to be doing so.

Taking sides: Britain and the US have backed the Gulf states' desire to destroy the Assad government in Syria. While Russia has been a major obstacle

There seems to be a genuine appetite for confrontation in Washington, Brussels, London… and Saudi Arabia.

There is a complacent joy abroad about the collapse of the rouble, brought about by the mysterious fall in the world’s oil price.

It’s odd to gloat about this strange development, which is also destroying jobs and business in this country. Why are the Gulf oil states not acting – as they easily could and normally would – to prop up the price of the product that makes them rich?

I do not know, but there’s no doubt that Mr Putin’s Russia has been a major obstacle to the Gulf states’ desire to destroy the Assad government in Syria, and that the USA and Britain have (for reasons I long to know) taken the Gulf’s side in this.

But do we have any idea what we are doing? Ordinary Russians are pretty stoical and have endured horrors unimaginable to most of us, including a currency collapse in 1998 that ruined millions. But until this week they had some hope.

If anyone really is trying to punish the Russian people for being patriotic, by debauching the rouble, I cannot imagine anything more irresponsible. It was the destruction of the German mark in 1922, and the wipeout of the middle class that resulted, which led directly to Hitler.

Stupid, ill-informed people nowadays like to compare Mr Putin with Hitler. I warn them and you that, if we succeed in overthrowing Mr Putin by unleashing hyper-inflation in Russia, we may find out what a Russian Hitler is really like. And that a war in Europe is anything but fun.

So, as it’s almost Christmas, let us sing with some attention that bleakest and yet loveliest of carols, It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, stressing the lines that run ‘Man at war with man hears not the love song which they bring. Oh, hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing’.

Or gloat at your peril over the scenes of panic in Moscow.

Russia Modernizing Entire Missile Force–88 Brand New, Next Gen. ICBMs by 2015

[SEE: Russian nuclear forces to get more than 50 new missiles in 2015 — Putin]

Russian military received 38 intercontinental missiles in 2014 — defense minister

itar tass

Russian Air Force has taken into service more than 140 jets and 135 helicopters this year, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said

BULUVA

Bulava missile launch
© MIT corporation

MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces added 38 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to their tables of equipment this year, including 22 submarine-based missiles, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Friday at an expanded session of the Defense Ministry’s Board.

The percentage of upgraded armaments in the Armed Forces has thus reached 56%, he said. The Strategic Missile Troops now have three new regiments operating Yars missile complexes.

By the end of December, the Navy will have three strategic nuclear-powered submarines of the Borei class. The first of them, the Yuri Dolgoruky, has already come on full-scale combat duty.

Another two submarines, the Knyaz Vladimir (Duke Vladimir) and the Knyaz Oleg (Duke Oleg) have merged with the forces of permanent combat readiness.

Shoigu said in his report Russia’s strategic missile forces were at a level that enabled them to perform the tasks of nuclear containment.

Russian Air Force has taken into service more than 140 jets and 135 helicopters this year, Shoigu said.

This year, aerospace defense brigades were restructured in air defense squadrons which the Defense Ministry abandoned in 2009-2012 according to plans approved by the then-Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. The Air Force also set up a combined air division and an air defense squadron.

The report said that 142 jets the Air Force received include 53 multifunctional fighter jets Sukhoi Su-30 and Su-35. Meanwhile, 18 modernized interceptors MiG-31VM, 16 fighter-bombers Su-34 and 28 different transport and training jets were handed to the military.

As many as 135 helicopter gunships include 46 choppers and 72 assault helicopters.

Meanwhile, seven air defense missile systems S-400 Triumf were brought into service in Russian Air Force for the past day, the report said.

Aerospace Defense Forces put on combat duty Voronezh-type highly prefabricated radar stations in Russian westernmost city of Kaliningrad and Irkutsk in Russia’s Far East, the document added. Another two similar radars were put on combat trial in Barnaul and Yeniseisk in eastern Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk territory. The coverage of these radar stations reaches 6,000 kilometers, they can be deployed for 12 to 18 months against 5-7 years of Voronezh predecessors.

EVIL IS AS EVIL DOES

Who’s the evil one? Let’s not be naive

NEWS SENTINEL

We live in a country that has experienced 17 years without war since our founding. In Iraq we have gone from fighting “evildoers” (i.e., al-Qaida) to a “war on evil” (the Islamic State).

The Nov. 18 editorial in The News-Sentinel stated that ISIS members are “crossing the line” with their beheadings of Americans. The editorial ended with the thought that “people who aren’t ready for ‘boots on the ground’ had better at least get their heads out of the clouds.” The editorial made me consider who is naive.

I am amazed at the naivete of people who advance the thesis that ISIS is uniquely evil. They seem able to see evil in others, but not in the mirror. They appear to have no knowledge of our past and present actions.

Where to start? Smallpox blankets to Native Americans? Unnecessary atomic bombs? White phosphorus? Cluster bombs? Napalm? Agent Orange? Depleted uranium that Nazis wouldn’t use? Landmines? Or our singular effort to weaponize space?

Amazing that weapons are evil when others use them, but not us. We never consider violence perpetrated by Christians. It started with Emperor Constantine — continued through the Crusades, the Inquisition and two World Wars courtesy of Christian Germany.

We even call the Nazis we brought here to help our space program evil (1,500 Nazis Operation Paperclip — look it up). We considered prosecuting them only after we drained all their knowledge. We are outraged that a few get Social Security. Talk about naive; how do people think we got to the moon? Wernher Von Braun is both a Nazi and American hero.

The real irony is that the beheadings we currently condemn were considered benevolent in our English past (the alternative was death by torture). ISIS is familiar with our prisons and torture.

I graduated from high school the year Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City. I worked with recent Vietnam combat veterans. Ask them about heads on poles, heads on helicopter skids and necklaces of brown ears.

We say a caliphate has no place in the 21st century. Isn’t it ironic that Muslims wishing to return to the eighth century is ludicrous, but Jewish people returning to A.D. 70 Israel makes perfect sense?

Americans need to consider if empire has a place in the 21st century. People who burn children to death have lost the right to call others evil.

Tim Tiernon is a resident of Fort Wayne.

Egypt Looking To Suckle On the Qatari Teat, Al-Sisi Lightens-Up On the Islamissts

[SEE: Egypt drops anti-Islamist hardliner intel chief]

Al-Sisi receives Qatari envoy in a bid to restore ties

Al-Sisi receives Qatari envoy in a bid to restore tiesPresident Abdel-Fattah Al-SIsi

President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi received on Saturday Qatari diplomatic envoy Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdel-Rahman, along with the president of the Saudi Royal Court Khalid Al-Tuwaijri, amid efforts to restore deteriorated diplomatic ties between Egypt with Qatar.

“Egypt is looking forward to starting a new phase beyond past conflicts, counting on the efforts of all parties to work towards positive relations with Qatar,” the Egyptian presidency said in a press statement.

The visit comes as part of an initiative announced by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz earlier in November in the “Riyadh Supplementary Agreement”.

The last Qatari diplomatic delegation, headed by Qatari Ambassador to Egypt Saif Al-Buainan, had attended Al-Sisi’s inauguration ceremony in June 2014.

A drastic change in Qatar’s foreign policy was evident at the six-leader Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting earlier this month.

Qatar joined other GCC states which voiced “full support to Egypt and the political programme of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi”.

Egypt and Qatar have been at odds since former president Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July 2013 in a popular uprising. Qatar had denounced Morsi’s ouster, declaring that the revolution was a coup against a democratically elected leader.

Last March, Egypt’s Arab Gulf allies, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar over political disputes regarding Qatar’s policies.

Last month, however, the three countries agreed to return their diplomats to Qatar in an effort to restore relations.

One Good Reason For Moscow To Put the Screws To Georgia

Mamuka Mamulashvili“Through fighting in Ukraine Georgians are protecting their homeland from Russian aggression.”Mamuka Mamulashvili , commander “Georgian Legion” to Ukraine

The body of Georgian fighter killed in Ukraine returns to Georgia

agenda.ge

The body of Georgian Aleksandre Grigolashvili, who has been killed in Ukraine while fighting against pro-Russian rebels, is already at his home in Kutaisi.

The plane which carried Grigolashvili landed in Tbilisi International Airport at 08:30 in the morning. Georgian volunteer fighter was brought to his homeland by his two Ukrainian allies.

The arrival ceremony at the airport was attended by Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimer Gurgenidze and Council of Ukraine, as well as family members and friends of deceased Grigolashvili. After the ceremony, Grigolashvili’s body was taken to his home in Kutaisi.

“The whole Government, people are in solidarity with this family and our presence at the airport is the expression of it. We want to show support to Grigolashvili’s family,” Vladimer Gurgenidze said at the Airport.

Ukrainian Consul to Georgia also commented at the airport and thanked Georgian people for standing with Ukraine.

“I want to console the family of Aleksandre and thank Georgian society on behalf of Ukrainian people. Thank you for standing with us in the most difficult moment for our country,” he said.

The plane carrying the body of Grigolashvili should have arrived in Tbilisi yesterday by midnight, however due to heavy fog in Georgia it landed in Yerevan.

Aleksandre Grrigolashvili died on December 18. He was 32 years old. According to his family members, he went to Ukraine two months ago. In 2007-2008 years Grigolashvili served in the Georgian army and fought in Georgia’s occupied Tskhinvali region and in Afghanistan.

A farewell ceremony to honor fallen Georgian fighter took place at Maidan, Kiev yesterday. Georgia’s Consul to Ukraine Konstantine Sabiashvili has stated that the ceremony was attended by Georgia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Mikheil Ukleba and Georgian Diaspora representatives.

Pakistan Thins-Out the Terrorist Backlog–Four More of the Creeps Hanged Today

pak hanging
[Pakistan hangs its first terrorists, Friday.  Aqeel Ahmed, aka, “Dr. Usman” on the right, his accomplice, Arshad Mehmood, is the broke-neck corpse on the left.]

Four convicts in Musharraf attack case executed in Faisalabad

dawn

Mateen Haider | GA Tanveer
FAISALABAD: Four death-row prisoners, who were convicted for involvement in an attack on former military ruler Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf, were executed on Sunday at a district jail in Faisalabad.

Civilians Zubair Ahmed, Rasheed Qureshi, Ghulam Sarwar Bhatti and Russian citizen Akhlaque Ahmed were shifted from Faisalabad Central jail to the death cell in a district jail late on Saturday.

The prisoners had to be shifted to a district jail under strict security measures because the lever which is used to open the trapdoor to carryout hangings was not present in the Central jail.

Family members of the death-row prisoners were allowed to meet the convicts for the last time prior to the hanging.

Securitywas tightened in the city to avoid any untoward incident. Additional contingents of security personnel were deployed while containers and barricades were placed on the routes leading to the district jail.

Read: Army chief signs death warrants of six convicts

Similarly preparations were underway in Lahore for the execution of four death row prisoners in Kot Lakhpat Central Jail. The executions are expected to be carried out within the next 24-36 hours. All routes leading to the jail were sealed with the deployment of military personnel and installation of cellphone jammers around the jail premises.

In Sukkur, authorities called in the relatives of two terrorists, belonging to the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi who had been sentenced to death 10 years ago in a sectarian killing case, to hold a final meeting on Monday.

Read: Militant siege of Peshawar school ends, 141 killed

An antiterrorism court on Friday had issued black warrants for Attaullah alias Qasim and Mohammad Azam alias Sharif who had been given death sentence by an antiterrorism court in July 2004 for killing Dr Ali Raza Peerani on sectarian grounds in June 2001 in the Soldier Bazaar area.

Both terrorists were arrested from Karachi. Tuesday has been decided the day of their execution.

Earlier on Friday, two former military men were executed in the Faisalabad district jail. Usman a former soldier of the army’s medical corps, was executed in relation to an attack on the headquarters of the Pakistan Army in 2009 in Rawalpindi. Arshad Mehmood, who was a trooper and also hanged, was among five convicts who were handed out the death sentence for their role in an Al Qaeda-inspired assassination attempt on Musharraf’s life in late 2003.

The hangings on Friday were the first death sentences carried out after the government ended a six-year moratorium on executions on Wednesday, in response to the Peshawar tragedy.

In response, Taliban groups released messages vowing revenge for the deaths of their comrades-in-arms.

Pakistani and Afghan Troops To Conduct Joint Anti-Fazlullah Operation

Pak-Afghan security forces to carry out coordinated ops: Aziz

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Saturday said that security forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to carry out coordinated operations against terrorists along the Pak-Afghan border.
Talking to journalists after a seminar, the adviser said that the Afghan leadership in Kabul has assured the Pakistan of full cooperation in countering terrorism. After the Peshawar incident, Pakistan is determined to take affective measures against terrorists and the Afghanistan government assured its full cooperation so that no one crosses the border during operation from either side, he said.
He said that Afghan President Asraf Ghani assured that his country’s soil would not be used against any country, particularly Pakistan. He also told journalists that both Pakistan and Afghanistan were going to establish SOPs (standard operating procedures) over border so that crossing of terrorists from one country to another be stopped. The SOPs for better border management between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been finalised and would be presented for approval before a joint military group meeting expected to take place soon.
Aziz said that Pakistan and Afghanistan would launch coordinated action against the terrorists, while forces of both the countries would not infiltrate each other’s borders.
He also hoped that India would show significant progress in the Samjhauta Express case. The Samjhauta Express blast that took place in the Delhi-Lahore train in 2007 had left nearly 70 people, mostly Pakistanis, dead. About the existence of RAW in Peshawar, the adviser totally rejected the perception. About plans to re-arrest Zakiur Rehman, he said the government itself was going on an appeal to detain him. He rejected the plea that Pakistan is doing so because there is India pressure over it.
Earlier, addressing a seminar, Sartaj Aziz lauded the international community for expressing solidarity with Pakistan over the Peshawar school tragedy. He said Pakistan would continue its cooperation with the international community on war against terrorism, adding that the main issue between Pakistan and India was misunderstanding.
He further said that Pakistan was worst affected by the scourge of terrorism and it condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Sartaj Aziz added serious efforts should be made to resume Pak-India talks. He termed as unfortunate the suspension of secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan.

Kill the Banker

Kill the Banker

vice

Aftermath of the Wall Street bombing of 1920. Photo by New York Daily News via Getty Images 

A little violence can sometimes work to defend against predatory bankers. Consider the farmers of Le Mars, Iowa. The year was 1933, the height of the Great Depression.

A finance bubble on Wall Street had crashed the economy, the gears of industrial production had ground to a halt, and 13 million Americans had lost their jobs. Across the Corn Belt, farmers couldn’t get fair prices for milk and crops, their incomes plummeted, and their mortgages went unpaid. Seeing opportunity, banks foreclosed on their properties in record numbers, leaving the farmers homeless and destitute.

So they organized. Under the leadership of a boozing, fist-fighting Iowa farmer named Milo Reno, who had a gift for oratory, several thousand farmers across the Midwest struck during 1933, refusing to sell their products. “We’ll eat our wheat and ham and eggs” went the popular doggerel of the movement. “Let them”—the bankers—”eat their gold.”

They called it a farmers’ holiday and named their group the Farmers’ Holiday Association. In speeches across the Midwest, Reno inveighed against “the destructive program of the usurers”—by which he meant, of course, the ruinous policies of Wall Street and the banking industry. Farmers, he said, had been “robbed by a legalized system of racketeering.” He said that the “forces of special privilege” were undermining “the very foundations of justice and freedom upon which this country was founded.” He compared the farmers’ fight to that of the Founders, who had taken up arms. He warned that the farmers might have to “join hands with those who favor the overthrow of government,” a government that he considered a servant of corporations. “You have the power to take the great corporations,” he said, and “shake them into submission.” One of his deputies in Iowa, John Chalmers, ordered FHA men to use “every weapon at their command.” “When I said weapons,” Chalmers added, “I meant weapons.”

In Le Mars, the weapon of choice was the hanging rope. On April 27, 1933, in a series of incidents that would become national news, hundreds of farmers descended on a farm that was being foreclosed under the eye of the local sheriff and his deputies. They smacked the lawmen aside, stopped the foreclosure, and dragged the sheriff to a ball field in town, where they brandished their noose. Instead of hanging the sheriff, however, they went for a bigger prize: the county judge, Charles C. Bradley, who was presiding over the foreclosures.

Bradley was seized at his bench, dragged from the courtroom, driven into the countryside, dumped on a dusty road, stripped naked, “beaten, mauled, smeared with grease and jerked from the ground by a noose as [the] vengeful farmers shouted their protests against his foreclosure activities,” reported the Pittsburgh Press. According to one account, the mob “pried his clenched teeth open with a screwdriver and poured alcohol down his throat.” An oily hubcap was placed on his head, the oil running down his face as the farmers smashed Iowa dirt into his mouth. “That’s his crown,” they said.

The judge was hauled into the air on the hanging rope, until he fell unconscious, and was then hauled up again. When he revived, the farmers told him to pray. “Only a prayer for Divine guidance which Judge Bradley uttered as he knelt in the dust of a country road sobered the mob,” reported the Pittsburgh Press, decrying the event as a harbinger of “open revolution.”

The farmers, knowing they were about to involve themselves in murder, spared Bradley. He was bloodied, covered in filth, humiliated, and this was enough.

The threat of continued unrest fomented by Reno and the FHA had its intended effect: State legislatures across the Midwest enacted moratoriums on farm foreclosures. By 1934, the country was seething with revolt. Industrial laborers in Toledo, Ohio, and Minneapolis, Minnesota; dockworkers across the West Coast; and textile workers from Maine to the Deep South mounted strikes and protests demanding fair pay, worker protections, and union representation. They encountered brute force at the hands of local authorities and thugs in the pay of business interests. The strikers in Toledo and Minneapolis responded not by peaceably dispersing but by fighting back with clubs and rocks. According to the newspapers, a savage battle unfolded between autoworkers and the militia of the Ohio National Guard in Toledo, with the tear-gassed strikers unleashing their own gas barrage against the authorities, “matching shell for shell with the militiamen.” Truck drivers fought in bloody hand-to-hand combat against the enforcers of the pro-business Citizens’ Alliance in the streets of Minneapolis. A prominent corporate leader in the city was said to have announced, “This, this—is revolution!”

Indeed, it was in part the specter of violent revolution during the 1930s that spurred Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Congress to legislate the historic reform of capitalism called the New Deal. The government protected labor from the cruel abuses of big business, legalized unions, established the social security system, and put the usurers on Wall Street under the thumb of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal watchdogs, locking them in the regulatory cage where they belonged. The people had spoken and forced the government to listen.

Milo Reno of the Farmers’ Holiday Association speaking at Cooper Union in New York City in 1934. Photo by Bettmann/Corbis

Following the Wall Street crash of 2008, which sent the country into the debacle of the Great Recession, I began writing a futurist novel inspired by my readings about the Le Mars revolt. I titled it Kill the Banker, in honor of William “Wild Bill” Langer, two-time governor of North Dakota during the 1930s, US senator from 1941 to 1959, and staunch supporter of the Farmers’ Holiday Association. During a campaign stop at the height of the Depression, he told voters, “Shoot the banker if he comes on your farm. Treat him like a chicken thief.” We don’t have politicians like Wild Bill anymore.

In the novel I imagined a cabal of terrorists who wage a campaign against Wall Street. Like the Red Army Faction—Marxist maniacs who from the 1970s through the 90s spread terror across Europe—my terrorists, who call themselves the Strangers, assassinate members of the elite banking class who have escaped justice. The Strangers go after Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse. They bomb the New York Stock Exchange. They have no ideology except slaughter of their perceived enemy, killing for the sake of killing, much as a man makes money for the sake of money—as an expression of power.

The Strangers take their hapless captives from Bank of America to a basement in the mountains of upstate New York, where they hold mock trials that they post to YouTube, passing judgment before the American masses: death by torture. The Wall Streeters protest their innocence as mere cogs in the machine. The Strangers strap them to a steel chair bolted to the floor, piss in their mouths, tear off their fingernails, spear out their eyes, smash their testicles with a ball-peen hammer, remove their intestines with a pair of pliers, string their guts like Christmas lights, and behead the sobbing victims with a rusty saw.

It was a lousy novel from the start, more agitprop than storytelling, and I abandoned the project after 30,000 words of gore, concluding that terrorists are as tediously predictable in fiction as they are loathsome in real life. The farmers of Le Mars would have wanted nothing to do with the Strangers.

Part of my research for the book was the historical precedent of terrorism against Wall Street. Until the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995—eclipsed only by the attacks of 9/11—the Wall Street bombing of September 16, 1920, was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil. At noon, a horse and buggy, laden with 100 pounds of dynamite and 500 pounds of cast-iron sash weights for shrapnel, pulled up in front of 23 Wall Street, the offices of J. P. Morgan, the richest, most powerful, most ruthless investment banker of his time. Morgan had manipulated the national economy to his benefit, exploited workers, and destroyed lives. He was, like our current crop of financiers, a vicious bastard, and he was the likely target of the bomb.

The driver fled, and minutes later there was a terrible explosion. A “mushroom-shaped cloud of yellowish, green smoke,” said one observer, “mounted to a height of more than 100 feet, the smoke being licked by darting tongues of flame,” as “hundreds of wounded, dumb-stricken, white-faced men and women” fled in panic. Instantly, bodies were “blown to atoms”; a woman’s head, hat still on, was sent hurling into a concrete wall, where it stuck; and “great blotches of blood appeared on the white walls of several of Wall Street’s office buildings.”

Thirty-eight people were killed, 143 wounded. No group ever claimed responsibility, and the crime was never solved. It was likely the work of Italian socialist revolutionaries who had been on a bombing campaign across the US during the previous year, hitting elected officials and law enforcement. The Wall Street bombing was supposed to be their finest hour. Mostly they killed clerks, stenographers, and brokers—lowly office workers. J. P. Morgan wasn’t even in town that day. The attack, which caused $2 million in damage (about $24 million in today’s money), produced in the public only fear and revulsion and a newfound sympathy for Wall Street.

The ideology of revolutionary terrorism targeting big finance in the US originated with a Bavarian-born immigrant named Johann Most, who, upon his arrival in New York in 1882, observed—as accurately then as today—that “whoever looks at America will see: the ship is powered by stupidity, corruption, or prejudice.” He denounced Wall Street and the ruling class as “the reptile brood.” He wrote that “the existing system will be quickest and most radically overthrown by the annihilation of its exponents. Therefore, massacres of the enemies of the people must be set in motion.” In 1885 he published a book, Revolutionary War Science, to bring on the massacre. It had a helpful subtitle: A Little Handbook of Instruction in the Use and Preparation of Nitroglycerine, Dynamite, Gun-Cotton, Fulminating Mercury, Bombs, Fuses, Poisons, Etc.

Most was a deformed runt, his days spent in a fever of resentment, and in the end, though he traveled the country making speeches and fostering hatred, he didn’t throw a single bomb. He did, however, inspire others to eliminate the reptile brood. In 1892, Alexander Berkman, an anarchist agitator, tried to kill Henry Frick, partner of Andrew Carnegie in the Carnegie Steel Company, which was notorious for its maltreatment of workers. Later, Berkman was allegedly involved in the failed 1914 plot to kill industrialist John D. Rockefeller, who had presided over massacres of his striking employees. It was a catalogue of failures, whose sole result, perversely, was to turn public opinion in favor of the enemies of the people.

In the 1970s, carrying the banner of revolutionary destruction, the Weather Underground, a radical offshoot of Students for a Democratic Society, bombed a Bank of America branch as part of an anti-capitalist campaign whose targets included military installations, courthouses, corporate headquarters, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the US Capitol building. The Weathermen, as they were known, were gentlemanly in their attacks: Prior to detonation, they often issued an anonymous warning to evacuate the targeted site, in order that no person would be harmed. The scores of bombings in the 70s proved totally ineffective in achieving the Weathermen’s main goal: “the creation of a mass revolutionary movement” for the overthrow of the US government.

An unidentified man stands in the blown-out doorway of a downtown Oklahoma City business after the bombing in 1995. Photo by Rick Bowmer/AP 

On September 29, 2009, a 64-year-old Phoenix resident named Kurt Aho, who was suffering from cancer, stood outside his foreclosed home with a .357 Magnum and shot out the tires of two trucks sitting in his driveway. It was three years after the bursting of the housing bubble, and almost exactly one year after the onset of the Great Recession. Millions of homeowners, desperate and fearful, without jobs or revenue, couldn’t keep up with their mortgage payments. And the banksters came calling to kick them out.

The cars belonged to two real estate investors who said they had purchased Aho’s home out of foreclosure from Bank of America. Now they wanted to see their new property. Aho was in shock. He had lived in the house for 29 years, had raised his children there.

According to his daughter, Tammy Aho, he was experiencing financial troubles. He was a construction contractor. Unable to find enough work, he was living off credit and struggling with his illness. In June 2009, Aho had contacted Bank of America to ask for a loan modification. Bank representatives told him—”not directly,” said Tammy, “but in a roundabout way”—that he needed to fall behind on his payments. “They told him that if you get six months behind on your mortgage they will help you modify the loan.”

It would be a strategic default. He followed the advice. Bank of America assured him the modification was being processed. They assured him of this up to the very minute the property was sold at auction on September 29, when Aho found the two investors standing on his lawn.

Aho asked the investors for proof of ownership, but they had none at hand. They claimed the paperwork was still being completed. He told them to get off the property. They refused. That’s when the gun came out and the tires went flat and the two men fled. Aho, for the moment, had stopped the taking of his home.

Aho was responding not simply to his own personal crisis but to the widespread perception that the banks were coming after everyone. Starting roughly in 2000, more than a dozen financial institutions, Bank of America most prominently, colluded with mortgage lenders to extend home loans to anyone who could fog a mirror—basically a long line of suckers who were told they could own a big house with only a waitress’s tips. These risky loans, pooled into mortgage-backed securities that the banks knew to be lousy investments, were marketed as AAA-rated bonds and sold to institutional investors worldwide for trillions of dollars.

The banks, flush with cash, pumped more money into more shoddy home loans, with the lenders on the Street scamming to get more warm bodies to sign on the line. Real estate prices skyrocketed in the largest financial bubble in history. And when it burst, producing this country’s most severe housing-market collapse ever—worse than during the Great Depression—homeowners like Aho were left holding overpriced mortgages on houses whose real value had plummeted.

Between 1990 and 2014, the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors spent $3.8 billion lobbying Congress, and it was during those years that lawmakers in both parties increasingly did the bidding of their buyers by massively deregulating the finance industry. Congress overturned FDR’s banking reforms of the 1930s, allowing mega-mergers of banking, securities, and insurance companies. It relaxed the laws governing the operations of the mega-banks and opened financial markets to the abuses of instruments like mortgage-backed securities. And in the revolving door of corporatocracy and government, by the mid 1990s the bankers themselves had nailed jobs heading up the very institutions—the Federal Reserve, the SEC, the Department of the Treasury—mandated to enforce what few laws remained to keep the industry from preying whole-hog on the public.

Bank of America eventually settled at least 21 lawsuits from investors and regulators over securities fraud related to its peddling worthless mortgage-backed securities. The gamut of its frauds ranged from the obscene sophistication of junk mortgage bonds to the paper-pushing thuggery of predatory lending and unlawful foreclosure. According to the National Association of Attorneys General, Bank of America was among five mega-banks that organized the infamous “robo-signing” of illegal foreclosure affidavits, producing forged and fabricated documents to speed the eviction of homeowners so that the properties could be re-sold for more profit.

The bank played cruel games with homeowners, routinely promising them loan modifications—as in the case of Kurt Aho—only to claim to lose the paperwork, bullying ahead with the foreclosure. A class-action suit settled last February found the bank engaged in a “kickback scheme inflating the cost of insurance that homeowners were forced to buy.” The Department of Justice reported that one of the bank’s subsidiaries “wrongfully foreclosed upon active duty servicemembers without first obtaining court orders.” According to investigative journalist Matt Taibbi, the totality of Bank of America’s corruption and venality meant rigged bids in 2008’s multitrillion municipal bond market, dubious arbitration disputes with its credit-card holders, and rampant charging of account holders with bogus overdraft fees, robbing its own customers of $4.5 billion.

And this is just Bank of America. At least a dozen other large banks and mortgage lenders have been implicated in similar frauds.

Instead of handing out prison sentences, the government gave bailouts to Bank of America and its allies. The company would have flushed itself down the shitter after the 2008 crash if the Department of the Treasury hadn’t stepped in with a $45 billion infusion of cash in 2009. By 2011, according to Taibbi, the Federal Reserve had put taxpayers on the hook for as much as $55 trillion of the bank’s bad investments.

The tens of billions of dollars in fines forced by federal regulators on Bank of America and a dozen other financial behemoths were pittances measured against the real cost to the economy of the bank-created bubble and crash, which the US Government Accountability Office has conservatively estimated at $12.8 trillion. The government nevertheless crowed victory over a chastised Wall Street. Congress’s own specially appointed Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission found that executives at the highest level likely knew about—and possibly even condoned—the frauds committed by their companies. Yet only one executive went to jail. In a nation whose government has been captured by its bankers, this farce of enforcement, effectively a legalized system of racketeering, is the accepted norm.

Liberty Plaza in New York City on September 11, 2001. Photo by Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

Yet those who fought back against Wall Street did go to jail, or worse. In May 2009, for example, Daniel Gherman defended his home in Riverside, California, by booby-trapping it with phony bombs after it had been foreclosed. The bombs were ineffectual, but the homeowner was charged with four counts of possessing facsimile explosives.

In July 2010, a homeowner facing foreclosure drove his car to a PNC bank branch in Illinois late one evening and ignited a bomb, destroying the car and shattering the windows of the bank. No one was hurt, and the homeowner, David Whitesell, waited across the street for the cops to arrive. It’s been reported that his intention was to make a political statement. He was charged with arson and criminal damage to property with an incendiary device.

In February 2011, a man named Elias Mercado, of San Marcos, California, drove his car into the front door of a Bank of America branch at 4 AM. According to news reports, he plowed through two sets of glass double doors and hit a coffee table, a wall, a cubicle, a teller counter, and several plants. He backed up two times, hitting more furniture, and departed via the newly created exit where the double doors had stood. His car left a trail of bank parts, and he was later caught and charged with burglary of a building and evading arrest.

In April 2012, a man named James Ferrario, armed with an assault rifle, gunned down and killed a sheriff’s deputy and locksmith in Modesto, California, as the two men served an eviction on his apartment. And so on. A man in Florida, charged with arson and attempted manslaughter, set his home on fire when it was foreclosed. Another Florida man bulldozed his home to the ground before the bank could seize it. A California man fearing homelessness and suffering from a fatal illness robbed a Bank of America of $107,000 to fund his 17 percent mortgage.

It’s a depressing litany. No citizens came to their aid, no farmers with a rope rallied at their door, no Homeowners’ Holiday Association had their backs. The acts of defiance were rabid, isolated, hopeless, and ultimately meaningless.

Foreclosure #2, St. George, Utah, 2007. Photo by Steven B. Smith

In September 2011, Occupy Wall Street erupted on the scene. Here was a movement that held out the promise of uniting against the banking industry. I spent a good deal of time at Zuccotti Park—the protesters’ headquarters—as a reporter, though I was also a believer in the movement. When I saw a young woman holding a sign that said WALL STREET: THE ENEMY OF HUMANITY, I wanted to hug her. I wanted to tell her about Milo Reno and Wild Bill Langer.

The postmortem offered by the media was that the movement’s inability to formulate tangible goals, its lack of demands, its steadfast adherence to the principles of “non-hierarchy,” its refusal to elect or bow to a leadership, its unwillingness to embrace the traditional system of interest-group politics—all resulted in its self-destruction. Occupy, we were meant to believe, committed suicide because of its untenable framework.

This was not the whole story, of course. A movement that vowed to undo Wall Street was undone, at least in part, by federal and state and local governments bent on protecting Wall Street. We know this because of the work of the nonprofit Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, which in 2012 obtained a ream of documents from the US Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security—memos, emails, briefings—detailing how Occupy was targeted for destruction. The documents show that the FBI, the DHS, and local police departments coordinated to surveil, infiltrate, and undermine Occupy encampments across the nation.

“From its inception the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the PCJF. Anti-terrorist branches of the FBI swung into action to deal with the threat of the Occupiers—who, it should be remembered, avowed and practiced a philosophy of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. The heavily redacted documents even state that members of the Occupy movement in New York, Seattle, Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas, were targeted for assassination by a person or persons the FBI refused to identify. According to the documents, “[ name redacted] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.” The FBI never informed Occupiers of the danger.

According to Verheyden-Hilliard, instead of protecting citizens from possible assassination, federal law enforcement ended up as “a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.” And when the final blow came, as journalist Dave Lindorff reported, the FBI and DHS helped local law enforcement plan and execute the raids on the encampments that drove out the Occupiers in Zuccotti Park and in dozens of other cities. Those raids were characterized by a terrific show of force. Beating, tear-gassing, mass arrest of peaceful protesters: This is how Occupy came to an end. The Occupiers offered no organized resistance. They scattered like leaves.

Sociologist Max Weber once observed that “the modern state is a compulsory association which organizes domination. It [seeks] to monopolize the legitimate use of physical force as a means of domination.” This monopoly on violence is the distinguishing characteristic of the modern nation-state, according to Weber. But Weber warns that the state’s use of physical force comes with a caveat: The state must prove its legitimacy by protecting the interests of the public—say, when police defend a crowd against a gun-wielding maniac.

The maniacs on Wall Street, of course, have friends at the highest rungs of government—a bought-and-sold government whose work as a servant of the wealthy and the powerful is unexcelled, but whose legitimacy as a protector of the public interest looks increasingly suspect. The people have a moral right to rise up against such a government and, ultimately, to question its monopoly on violence; this is the imperative of revolution. Good luck with that in the age of crowd-control devices, militarized police units, Hellfire drones, mass-surveillance systems, and the panoply of domestic laws that render even peaceful protest a potentially criminal act. The apparatus of state domination has grown ever larger, more powerful, complex, effective, and terrifying—at the same time, the domination of the state by corporate interests has been perfected as never before. One doubts the farmers of Le Mars these days would survive ten minutes with their pathetic length of hanging rope.

Police arrest demonstrators of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Photo by Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos

When Kurt Aho shot out the tires of the cars of the two investors, a swarm of Phoenix police officers descended on his residence, including an armored-car unit, a SWAT unit, and sniper teams on adjacent rooftops. According to police, Aho was told to come out of the house, drop his weapon, and approach the armored car with his hands over his head. He appeared in his doorway, half-dressed, pistol in one hand, a beer in the other. There was a round of negotiations. Aho refused to depart from the premises. “You’re gonna have to kill me,” he said.

Tammy Aho raced to her father’s house and pleaded with officers to let her talk with him. She had recently lost her own house to foreclosure, and she was in the process of moving in with her father. “Not only would he be homeless if we lost this place,” Tammy told me—”my kids and I would be homeless.”

The cops rebuffed her. “I told the police, if you’re gonna shoot him, shoot him in the knees—buckle his knees. But they didn’t listen.”

An hour passed in the standoff. Kurt drank his beer. What happened next is disputed. Police claimed that Kurt opened fire, and the police answered with rubber bullets, hitting him in the arm and knocking him down. Tammy Aho says the cops fired without provocation, and that only then did Aho squeeze off several rounds, hitting the armored car. A well-placed bullet in his chest killed him instantly on his front lawn. “After they killed him,” Tammy told me, “the cops sat around eating pizza and taking pictures of each other and laughing like it was no big deal.”

European Anti-Crimea Resolution

COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) No 692/2014

of 23 June 2014

 

Article 2

It shall be prohibited: (a) to import into the European Union goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol; (b) to provide, directly or indirectly, financing or financial assistance as well as insurance and reinsurance related to the import of the goods referred to in point (a).

Article 3

The prohibitions in Article 2 shall not apply in respect of: (a) the execution until 26 September 2014, of trade contracts concluded before 25 June 2014, or of ancillary contracts necessary for the execution of such contracts, provided that the natural or legal persons, entity or body seeking to perform the contract have notified, at least 10 working days in advance, the activity or transaction to the competent authority of the Member State in which they are established. (b)goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol which have been made available to the Ukrainian authorities for examination, for which compliance with the conditions conferring entitlement to preferential origin has been verified in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 374/2014 (2) or in accordance with the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

Article 4

It shall be prohibited to participate, knowingly and intentionally, in activities the object or effect of which is to circumvent the prohibitions laid down in Article 2.

Article 5

Actions by natural or legal persons, entities or bodies shall not give rise to any liability of any kind on their part if they did not know, and had no reasonable cause to suspect, that their actions would infringe the measures set out in this Regulation.

Article 6

1.No claims in connection with any contract or transaction the performance of which has been affected, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by the measures imposed under this Regulation, including claims for indemnity or any 24.6.2014 L 183/10 Official Journal of the European Union EN (1)OJ L 302, 19.10.1992, p. 1. (2)OJ L 118, 22.4.2014, p. other claim of this type, such as a claim for compensation or a claim under a guarantee, particularly a claim for extension or payment of a bond, guarantee or indemnity, particularly a financial guarantee or financial indemnity, of whatever form, shall be satisfied, if they are made by: (a) designated natural or legal persons, entities or bodies listed in Annex I to Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014; (b) any natural or legal person, entity or body acting through or on behalf of one of the persons, entities or bodies referred to in point (a); (c) any natural or legal person, entity or body which has been found by an arbitral, judicial or administrative decision to have infringed the prohibitions set out in this Regulation; (d) any natural or legal person, entity or body, if the claim relates to goods the import of which is prohibited under Article 2. 2.In any proceedings for the enforcement of a claim, the onus of proving that satisfying the claim is not prohibited by paragraph 1 shall be on the natural or legal person, entity or body seeking the enforcement of that claim. 3.This Article is without prejudice to the right of natural or legal persons, entities or bodies referred to in paragraph 1 to judicial review of the legality of the non-performance of contractual obligations in accordance with this Regulation.

Article 7

1.The Commission and the Member States shall inform each other of the measures taken under this Regulation and share any other relevant information at their disposal in connection with this Regulation, in particular information in respect of violation and enforcement problems and judgments handed down by national courts. 2.The Member States shall immediately inform each other and the Commission of any other relevant information at their disposal which might affect the effective implementation of this Regulation.

Article 8

1.Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions of this Regulation and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. The penalties provided for must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. 2.Member States shall notify the rules referred to in paragraph 1 to the Commission without delay after the entry into force of this Regulation and shall notify it of any subsequent amendment.

Article 9

1.Member States shall designate the competent authorities referred to in this Regulation and identify them on the websites listed in the Annex. Member States shall notify the Commission of any changes in the addresses of their websites listed in the Annex. 2.Member States shall notify the Commission of their competent authorities, including the contact details of those competent authorities, without delay after the entry into force of this Regulation, and shall notify it of any subsequent amendment. 3.Where this Regulation sets out a requirement to notify, inform or otherwise communicate with the Commission, the address and other contact details to be used for such communication shall be those indicated in the Annex.

Article 10

This Regulation shall apply: (a) within the territory of the Union, including its airspace; (b) on board any aircraft or any vessel under the jurisdiction of a Member State; (c) to any person inside or outside the territory of the Union who is a national of a Member State; (d) to any legal person, entity or body, inside or outside the territory of the Union, which is incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State; (e) to any legal person, entity or body in respect of any business done in whole or in part within the Union.

Article 11

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Luxembourg, 23 June 2014.

For the Council The President C. ASHTON

 

Proposal to expel Russia from the UN Security Council?

The proposals to expel Russia from the UN Security Council and a draft law renouncing the non-bloc status of Ukraine play into the hands of party of war supporters, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“Appeals for expelling Russia from permanent members of the UN Security Council, the same as the draft law loudly declaring the rejection of the off-bloc status and Petro Poroshenko’s decree on the economic siege on the southeast are nothing but homage paid to the rhetoric desired by the party of war in Kyiv,” Lavrov said at a press conference at the end of negotiations with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic.

“It is a pity because this party really exists and members of this party of war appeal for a repeat of the Serbian Krajina operation (SEE BELOW) in southeastern Ukraine,” Lavrov said.

The armed operation in Serbian Krajina which did not recognize the jurisdiction of the Croatian government was held by Croatian military servicemen in the 1990s.

“It was said back then that the territorial integrity was restored by force and our Western partners not only accepted but also welcomed that,” Lavrov said.

He said he proceeded from the premise of Poroshenko’s unwavering support for an exclusively peaceful settlement in southeastern Ukraine.

The Invasion of Serbian Krajina

by Greg Elich
[Mr. Elich is a freelance scholar who has written extensively about Yugoslavia.]

In early August 1995, the Croatian invasion of Serbian Krajina precipitated the worst refugee crisis of the Yugoslav civil war. Within days, more than two hundred thousand Serbs, virtually the entire population of Krajina, fled their homes, and 14,000 Serbian civilians lost them lives. According to a UN official “Almost the only people remaining were the dead and the dying.” The Clinton administration’s support for the invasion was an important factor in creating this nightmare.

The previous month, Secretary of State Warren Christopher and German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel met with Croatian diplomat Miomir Zuzul in London. During this meeting, Christopher gave his approval for Croatian military action against Serbs in Bosnia and Krajina. Two days later, the U.S. ambassador to Croatia, Peter Galbraith, also approved Croatia’s invasion plan. Stipe Mesic, a prominent Croatian politician, stated that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman “received the go-ahead from the United States. Tudjman can do only what the Americans allow him to do. Krajina is the reward for having accepted, under Washington’s pressure, the federation between Croats and Muslims in Bosnia.” Croatian assembly deputy Mate Mestrovic also claimed that the “United States gave us the green light to do whatever had to be done.” (1)

As Croatian troops launched their assault on August 4, U.S. NATO aircraft destroyed Serbian radar and anti-aircraft defenses. American EA-6B electronic warfare aircraft patrolled the air in support of the invasion. Krajina foreign affairs advisor Slobodan Jarcevic stated that NATO “completely led and coordinated the entire Croat offensive by first destroying radar and anti-aircraft batteries. What NATO did most for the Croatian Army was to jam communications between [Serb] military commands….” (2)

Following the elimination of Serbian anti-aircraft defenses, Croatian planes carried out extensive attacks on Serbian towns and positions. The roads were clogged with refugees, and Croatian aircraft bombed and strafed refugee columns. Serbian refugees passing through the town of Sisak were met by a mob of Croatian extremists, who hurled rocks and concrete at them. A UN spokesman said, “The windows of almost every vehicle were smashed and almost every person was bleeding from being hit by some object.” Serbian refugees were pulled from their vehicles and beaten. As fleeing Serbian civilians poured into Bosnia, a Red Cross representative in Banja Luka said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. People are arriving at a terrifying rate.” Bosnian Muslim troops crossed the border and cut off Serbian escape routes. Trapped refugees were massacred as they were pounded by Croatian and Muslim artillery. Nearly 1,700 refugees simply vanished. While Croatian and Muslim troops burned Serbian villages, President Clinton expressed his understanding for the invasion, and Christopher said events “could work to our advantage.” (3)

The Croatian rampage through the region left a trail of devastation. Croatian special police units, operating under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, systematically looted abandoned Serbian villages. Everything of value – cars, stereos, televisions, furniture, farm animals – was plundered, and homes set afire. (4) A confidential European Union report stated that 73 percent of Serbian homes were destroyed. (5) Troops of the Croatian army also took part, and pro-Nazi graffiti could be seen on the walls of several burnt-out Serb buildings.(6)

Massacres continued for several weeks after the fall of Krajina, and UN patrols discovered numerous fresh unmarked graves and bodies of murdered civilians. (7) The European Union report states, “Evidence of atrocities, an average of six corpses per day, continues to emerge. The corpses, some fresh, some decomposed, are mainly of old men. Many have been shot in the back of the head or had throats slit, others have been mutilated… Serb lands continue to be torched and looted.” (8)

Following a visit in the region a member of the Zagreb Helsinki Committee reported, “Virtually all Serb villages had been destroyed…. In a village near Knin, eleven bodies were found, some of them were massacred in such a way that it was not easy to see whether the body was male or female.” (9)

UN spokesman Chris Gunness noted that UN personnel continued to discover bodies, many of whom had been decapitated. (10) British journalist Robert Fisk reported the murder of elderly Serbs, many of whom were burned alive in their homes. He adds, “At Golubic, UN officers have found the decomposing remains of five people… the head of one of the victims was found 150 feet from his body. Another UN team, meanwhile is investigating the killing of a man and a woman in the same area after villagers described how the man’s ears and nose had been mutilated.” (11)

After the fall of Krajina, Croatian chief of staff General Zvonimir Cervenko characterized Serbs as “medieval shepherds, troglodytes, destroyers of anything the culture of man has created.” During a triumphalist train journey through Croatia and Krajina, Tudjman spoke at each railway station. To great applause, he announced, “There can be no return to the past, to the times when [Serbs] were spreading cancer in the heart of Croatia, a cancer that was destroying the Croatian national being.” He then went on to speak of the “ignominious disappearance” of the Serbs from Krajina “so it is as if they have never lived here… They didn’t even have time to take with them their filthy money or their filthy underwear!” American ambassador Peter Galbraith dismissed claims that Croatia had engaged in “ethnic cleansing,” since he defined this term as something Serbs do. (12)

U.S. representatives blocked Russian attempts to pass a UN Security Council resolution condemning the invasion. According to Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic, American officials gave advice on the conduct of the operation, and European and military experts and humanitarian aid workers reported shipments of U.S weapons to Croatia over the two months preceding the invasion. A French mercenary also witnessed the arrival of American and German weapons at a Croatian port, adding, “The best of the Croats’ armaments were German- and American-made.” The U.S. “directly or indirectly,” says French intelligence analyst Pierre Hassner, “rearmed the Croats.” Analysts at Jane’s Information Group say that Croatian troops were seen wearing American uniforms and carrying U S. communications equipment. (13)

The invasion of Krajina was preceded by a thorough CIA and DIA analysis of the region. (14) According to Balkan specialist Ivo Banac, this “tactical and intelligence support” was furnished to the Croatian Army at the beginning of its offensive. (15)

In November 1994, the United States and Croatia signed a military agreement. Immediately afterward, U.S. intelligence agents set up an operations center on the Adriatic island of Brac, from which reconnaissance aircraft were launched. Two months earlier, the Pentagon contracted Military Professional Resources, Inc (MPRI) to train the Croatian military.(16) According to a Croatian officer, MPRI advisors “lecture us on tactics and big war operations on the level of brigades, which is why we needed them for Operation Storm when we took the Krajina.” Croatian sources claim that U.S. satellite intelligence was furnished to the Croatian military. (17) Following the invasion of Krajina, the U.S. rewarded Croatia with an agreement “broadening existing cooperation” between MPRI and the Croatian military. (18) U.S. advisors assisted in the reorganization of the Croatian Army. Referring to this reorganization in an interview with the newspaper Vecernji List, Croatian General Tihomir Blaskic said, “We are building the foundations of our organization on the traditions of the Croatian home guard” – pro-Nazi troops in World War II. (19)

It is worth examining the nature of what one UN official terms “America’s newest ally.” During World War II, Croatia was a Nazi puppet state in which the Croatian fascist Ustashe murdered as many as one million Serbs, Jews, and Roman (Gypsies). Disturbing signs emerged with the election of Franjo Tudjman to the Croatian presidency in 1990 Tudjman said, “I am glad my wife is neither Serb nor Jew,” and wrote that accounts of the Holocaust were “exaggerated” and “one-sided.” (20)

Much of Tudjman’s financial backing was provided by Ustashe émigrés and several Ustashe war criminals were invited to attend the first convention of Tudjman’s political party, the Croatian Democratic Union. (21)

Tudjman presented a medal to a former Ustashe commander living in Argentina, Ivo Rojnica. After Rojnica was quoted as saying, “Everything I did in 1941 I would do again,” international pressure prevented Tudjman from appointing him to the post of ambassador to Argentina. When former Ustashe official Vinko Nikolic returned to Croatia, Tudjman appointed him to a seat in parliament. Upon former Ustashe officer Mate Sarlija’s return to Croatia, he was personally welcomed at the airport by Defense Minister Gojko Susak, and subsequently given the post of general in the Croatian Army. (22) On November 4, 1996, thirteen former Ustashe officers were presented with medals and ranks in the Croatian Army. (23)

Croatia adopted a new currency in 1994, the kuna, the same name as that used by the Ustashe state, and the new Croatian flag is a near-duplicate of the Ustashe flag. Streets and buildings have been renamed for Ustashe official Mile Budak, who signed the regime’s anti-Semitic laws, and more than three thousand anti-fascist monuments have been demolished. In an open letter, the Croatian Jewish community protested the rehabilitation of the Ustashe state. In April 1994, the Croatian government demanded the removal of all “non-white” UN troops from its territory, claiming that “only first-world troops” understood Croatia’s “problems.” (24)

On Croatian television in April 1996, Tudjman called for the return of the remains of Ante Pavelic, the leader of the Croatian pro-Nazi puppet state “After all, both reconciliation and recognition should be granted to those who deserve it,” Tudjman said, adding, “We should recognize that Pavelic’s ideas about the Croatian state were positive,” but that Pavelic’s only mistake was the murder of a few of his colleagues and nationalist allies. (25) Three months later, Tudjman said of the Serbs driven from Croatia “The fact that 90 percent of them left is their own problem… Naturally we are not going to allow them all to return.” During the same speech, Tudjman referred to the pro-Nazi state as “a positive thing.” (26)

During its violent secession from Yugoslavia in 1991, Croatia expelled more than three hundred thousand Serbs, and Serbs were eliminated from ten towns and 183 villages. (27) In 1993, Helsinki Watch reported: “Since 1991 the Croatian authorities have blown up or razed ten thousand houses mostly of Serbs, but also houses of Croats. In some cases, they dynamited homes with the families inside.” Thousands of Serbs have been evicted from their homes. Croatian human-rights activist Ivan Zvonimir Cicak says beatings, plundering, and arrests were the usual eviction methods. (28)

Tomislav Mercep, until recently the advisor to the Interior minister and a member of Parliament, is a death-squad leader. Mercep’s death squad murdered 2,500 Serbs in western Slavonia in 1991 and 1992, actions Mercep defends as “heroic deeds.” (29) Death squad officer Miro Bajramovic’s spectacular confession revealed details: “Nights were worst for [our prisoners]… burning prisoners with a flame, pouring vinegar over their wounds mostly on genitalia and on the eyes. Then there is that little induction field phone, you plug a Serb onto that… The most painful is to stick little pins under the nails and to connect to the three phase current; nothing remains of a man but ashes… After all, we knew they would all be killed, so it did not matter if we hurt him more today or tomorrow.”

“Mercep knew everything,” Bajramovic claimed. “He told us several times: ‘Tonight you have to clean all these shits.’ By this he meant all the prisoners should be executed.” (30)

Sadly, the Clinton administration’s embrace of Croatia follows a history of support for fascists when it suits American geopolitical interests: Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, Indonesia’s Suharto, Paraguay’s Aifredo Stroessner, and a host of others. The consequences of this policy for the people affected have been devastating.

***

 

Footnotes

1) “Weekly: U.S. Gave Zagreb ‘Green Light,’ ” Tanjug (Belgrade), 26 July 1995. “In Croatia, U.S. Took Calculated Risk,” Stephen Engelberg, New York Times News Service, 12 August 1995. “Cleansing the West’s Dirty War,” Joan Phillips, Living Marxism (London), September 1995. “Who Has Given the Go-Ahead?,” interview with Stipe Mesic, Panorama (Milan), 8 August 1995. “The United States Gave Us the Green Light,” interview with Mate Mestrovic, by Chantal de Rudder, Le Nouvel Observateur (Paris), 10 August 1995.

(2) “International Inaction in Croatia Will Complicate Bosnian War,” George Jahn, Associated Press, 7 August 1995. “NATO Destroyed Krajina Missile Systems,” Bosnian Serb News Agency (SRNA) (Belgrade), 6 August 1995. “Abandoned People Must Flee,” interview with Slobodan Jarcevic by Cvijeta Arsenic, Oslobodjenje (Sarajevo—Bosnian Serb), 23 August 1995.”Cleansing the West’s Dirty War,” Joan Phillips, op. cit.

(3) “Huge Refugee Exodus Runs Into Shelling, Shooting, Air Attacks,” George Jahn, Associated Press, 8 August 1995. “Croat Planes Shell Refugees,” Tanjug, 8 August 1995. “SRNA Review of Daily News,” SRNA, 8 August 1995. “Cleansing the West’s Dirty War,” Joan Phillips, op. cit. “Refugees Trapped by Croat Shelling,” Robert Fox and Tim Judah, Electronic Telegraph (London) (Online), 8 August 1995. “Croat Mob Attacks Nuns in Fleeing Convoy,” Patrick Bishop, Electronic Telegraph, 11 August 1995. “Over 1,000 Serbs Missing in Krajina,” Tanjug, 28 January 1997. “Croat Grip Is Tightened as 100,000 Flee,” Tim Butcher, Electronic Telegraph, 7 August 1995.

(4) “UN Says Croatians Loot, Use Peacekeepers as Shields,” Associated Press, 6 August 1995. “Helsinki Committee Reports on Krajina Operations,” Hartmut Fiedler, Oesterreich Eins Radio Network, 21 August 1995. “EU Observers Accuse Croatia of Breaches of Law,” Tanjug, 27 October 1995. “UN: Croatians Systematically Burned Serb Homes,” Tanjug, 14 August 1995. “Croats Slaughter Elderly by the Dozen,” Robert Fisk, The Independent (London), 10 September 1995. “Croats Plunder Their Way through Krajina,” Mon Vanderostyne, De Standard (Groot Bijgaarden, The Netherlands), 9 August 1995. “UN Says Croats Loot Serb Villages in Krajina,” Agence France-Presse, 17 August 1995. “EU Report Accuses Croatia of Atrocities Against Rebel Serbs,” Julian Borger, The Guardian (Manchester), 30 September 1995. “Krajina ‘Torched State,’ ” SRNA, 21 August 1995. “What Was Once Home to 300 Families Is Now a Graveyard,” Sarah Helm, The Independent, 24 August 1995. “Helsinki Committee Chronicles Human Rights Abuses,” Tanjug, 28 August 1995. “Memorandum on the Ethnic Cleansing of and Genocide Against the Serb People of Croatia and Krajina,” Yugoslav Survey, third quarter, 1995.

(5) “Krajina Bears Signs of Croat Ethnic Cleansing,” Randolph Ryan, Boston Globe, 8 October 1995. “UN Official Confirms Croatian Crimes in Krajina,” Tanjug, 13 October 1995.

(6)”Krajina Bears Signs of Croat Ethnic Cleansing,” Randolph Ryan, op.cit

(7) “Croats Burn and Kill with a Vengeance,” Robert Fisk, The
Independent, 4 September 1995. “Croats Leave Bloody Trail of Serbian Dead,” Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, 9n October 1995. “Reports Say Croatia Uses Killing, Arson,” John Pomfret,
Washington Post, 30 September 1995. “UN Asks for Inquiry into Krajina Killings,” Reuters, 18 August 1995. “EU Observers Accuse Croatia of Breaches of Law,” op. cit. “UN Finds Evidence of Mass Killings in Croatia,” Reuters, 2 October 1995. “Croats Slaughter Elderly by the Dozen,” Robert Fisk, op. cit. “EU Report Accuses Croatia of Atrocities Against Rebel Serbs,” Julian Borger, op.cit. “UN: Executions, Possible Mass Graves in Krajina,” Agence
France-Presse, 18 August 1995. “Helsinki Committee Chronicles Human Rights Abuses,” op cit. “Evidence Emerging of Crimes Against Krajina Serbs,” Tanjug, 30 August 1995. “Croats Accused of Atrocities,” Associated Press, 29 September 1995.

(8) “Croats Burn and Kill With a Vengeance,” Robert Fisk, op.cit.”EU Report Accuses Croatia of Atrocities Against Rebel Serbs, ” Julian Borger, op. cit. report broadcast, RTBF-1 Television Network (Brussels), 20 August 1995. “Memorandum on the Ethnic Cleansing of and Genocide Against the Serb People of Croatia and Krajina,” Yugoslav Survey, third quarter, 1995.

(9) “Krajina Operation: Helsinki Committee Member Describes Atrocities in Krajina,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 25 August 1995.

10) “UN Asks for Inquiry into Krajina Killings,” op.cit. “UN Finds Evidence of Mass Killings in Croatia,” op. cit. “UN: Executions, Possible Mass Graves in Krajina,” op. cit.

(11) “Croats Slaughter Elderly by the Dozen,” Robert Fisk, op. cit.(12) “Croats Ready for a Fresh Offense Against Serbs,” Patrick Bishop, Electronic Telegraph, 16 August 1995. addresses by Franjo Tudjman, Radio Croatia Network, 26 August 1995. “U.S. Says Croatia is Not Guilty of Ethnic Cleansing,” Patrick Moore, Open Media Research Institute, 10 August 1995.

(13) “Croatian Minister Says U.S. Gave Advice on Offensive,” Jasmina Kuzmanovic, Associated Press, 5 August 1995. “Croatia Takes Effective Control of What’s Left of Bosnia,” San Francisco Chronicle, 11 August 1995.

(14) “NATO in Dubrovnik,” Vladimir Jovanovic, Monitor (Podgorica, Yugoslavia), 23 June 1995.

(15) “AP Report on U.S. Peace Strategy,” Associated Press, 13 November 1995.

(16) “AP Report on U.S. Peace Strategy,” Associated Press, op cit.” U.S. Troops Operate in Croatia,” Associated Press, 3 February
1995.

(17) “Invisible U.S. Army Defeats Serbs,” Charlotte Eagar, The
Observer (London), 5November 1995.

(18) “Military Cooperation Agreement Signed with U.S.” HTV Television (Zagreb) 13 October 1995.

(19) “We Can Prevent Any Serbian Maneuver,” interview with Tihomir Blaskic, by Jozo Pavkovic, Vecernji List (Zagreb), 11 March 1995.

20) “Croatian Leader’s Invitation to Holocaust Museum Sparks Anger and Shock,” Diana Jean Schemo, New York Times News Service, 21 April 1993.

(21) “Croatia, at a Key Strategic Crossroad, Builds Militarily and Geographically,” Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy (London), 31 January 1993. “Who is Franjo Tudjman?” Narodna Armija (Belgrade), 1 March 1990.

(22) “Criticism of Tudjman Award to Ustashe,” Foreign Broadcast Information Service Media Note (Media Summary), 27 January 1995. “Nationalism Turns Sour in Croatia,” New York Times News Service, 13 November 1993. “Plan to Honour Ustashe Killers Outrages Minorities in Croatia,” Ian Traynor, The Guardian, 18 October 1993. “Trpimir for an Executioner and a Victim,” Mirko Mirkovic, Feral Tribune (Split, Croatia), 20 February 1995. “Croatian General Former Ustashe,” Tanjug, 26 February 1995.

(23) “Croatia Grants Awards to Nazi-Era War Veterans,” Reuters, 7 November 1996.

(24) “New Croatian Money Anathema to Serbs,” John Pomfret, Washington Post, 31 May 1994. “Plan to Honour Ustashe Killers Outrages Minorities in Croatia,” Ian Traynor, op.cit. “Pro-Nazi Legacy Lingers for Croatia,” Stephen Kinzer, New York Times News Service, 30 October 1993. “Monument to Anti-Fascism Desecrated in Croatia,” Tanjug, February 1995. “Another Anti-Fascist Monument Blown Up in Croatia,” Tanjug, 11 April 1995. “Croatia, Symbols of Crimes,” Miodrag Dundjerovic, Tanjug, 1 June 1994. “Croatia Adopts New Currency Recalling Fascist Era,” Reuters, 9 May 1994. “Hiding Genocide,” Gregory Copley, Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, 31 December 1992. “Croatia is Rehabilitating Ustashism and the Independent State of Croatia,” Politika (Belgrade), 12 February 1993. “Tudjman Calls for All-White Peace Force in Croatia,” Eve Ann Prentice, The Times (London), 11 April 1995. “Croatia to Seek Expulsion of Non-White U.N. Troops,” Tanjug, 10 April 1995.

(25) Interview with Franjo Tudjman, HTV Television (Zagreb), 22 April 1996.

(26) Address by Franjo Tudjman to the Croatian World Congress in Brioni, Radio Croatia Network (Zagreb), 6 July 1996.

(27) “Croatian Towns, Villages Cleansed of Serbs,” Tanjug, 26 January 1993. “Savovic: Croatia Expelled 300,000 Serb,” Tanjug, 5 November1993 “Serb Party Official: 350,000 Serbs Driven Out.” Tanjug, 26 August 1994.

(28) “Croatian Police Tactics Cited,” Associated Press, 3 October 1994. “Helsinki Committee Chair: Collective Vendetta Against Croatia’s Serbs,” Tanjug, 7 may 1994. “Protests Prevent Latest Wave of Croatian Apartment Evictions,” Radio Free Europe, 12 July 1994. “Croatian Human Rights Activist: Zagreb Backs Human Rights Violations,” Tanjug, 28 September 1994. “Rights Groups Report Abuses by Croatia,” David Binder, New York Times News Service, 7 December 1993.

29) “Interior Minister Aide Accused of War Crimes,” ZDF Television Network (Mainz), 17 May 1994. “Slovene Daily Says Croatian Leaders Keep Quiet About Massacre of Serbs,” Tanjug, 14 January 1994. “Croatian Paper Calls Mass Killings of Serbs a National Disgrace,” Tanjug, 12 July 1994. “Zagreb Knows About Mass Killings of Serbs,” Tanjug, 23 July 1994. “Dossier: Pakracka Poljana,” Feral Tribune (Split, Croatia), 1 September 1997. “Death Camps and Mass Graves in Western Slavonia: Marino Selo and Pakracka Poljana,” dossier prepared by Serbian Council, Belgrade, 1993.

(30) “Miro Bajramovic’s Confession,” Feral Tribune (Split, Croatia), 1 September 1997. “Croatian’s Confession Describes Torture and Killing on Vast Scale,” Chris Hedges, New York Times, 5 September 1997.

http://www.tenc.net
[Emperor’s Clothes]

Cyprus–No Exploitable Quantities of Hydrocarbons Found So Far

[SEE: Cyprus Gas Tests Hit Glitch]

“Noble Energy on Sept. 5 began a drill stem test (DST) at the A-2 well in its Block 12 concession offshore Cyprus, flaring the well to check for the possibility of natural gas in the seabed but it was unsuccessful because of technical problems, the Cyprus News Agency said.”

Cyprus: No Exploitable Quantities of Hydrocarbons Found in ‘Onasagoras’

Greek_news_Greek_Reporter

cyprus_eez_390_2510

Cyprus was prepared for the possibility that no hydrocarbon reserves would be found in the “Onasagoras” area in block 9 of Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Minister of Energy Giorgos Lakkotrypis told journalists on Friday announcing the preliminary results of the exploratory drilling of Italian-South Korean consortium ENI/KOGAS, according to which no exploitable quantities of hydrocarbons were found in “Onasagoras.”

The Minister underlined that the government will focus on the commercial exploitation of `the very important field of “Aphrodite” in block 12 of Cyprus` EEZ, “as soon as possible,” noting that discussions on the issue are very advanced.

Referring to “Onasagoras,” he said that on international level drillings in sea depths like in Cyprus technically have a 26% chance of success.
(source: CNA)

Eastern Mediterranean Gas Won’t Solve Europe’s Energy Dilemmas

Eastern Mediterranean Gas Won’t Solve Europe’s Energy Dilemmas

GMF German Marshall Fund

 

 

 

WASHINGTON — The energy ministers of Israel, Cyprus, and Greece are talking up possible natural gas exports from their countries as a way of diversifying Europe’s energy supplies away from Russia. They have lobbied the European Commission to conduct a feasibility study for an undersea gas pipeline to bring Israeli and Cypriot gas to Europe via Greece. Silvan Shalom, energy minister in Israel’s outgoing government, said that such a pipeline would ensure that European consumers obtain the cheapest possible gas.

Such advocacy catches the mood of anxiety in Europe about possible blackouts caused by continuing hostilities between Ukraine and Russia. However, studies for the German Marshall Fund show that the technical and commercial viability of a sub-sea Mediterranean pipeline is doubtful. The water between the offshore fields and Greece is very deep, some 2,000 meters in places, and the distance involved is 1,200 kilometers, a major challenge.

Eastern Mediterranean gas would not be cheap for European consumers, given the high costs of exploration, extraction, and transport. In any event, future gas prices in different markets are uncertain, new sources of supply are coming on stream constantly, and demand for additional gas in Europe will remain subdued in the absence of significant economic growth.

The quantity of gas so far discovered offshore Israel and Cyprus limits their capacity to become major exporters. Proven reserves are sufficient to be a game-changer for their own economies but not to attract the kind of investment needed to transport gas to Europe by pipeline or by ship as liquefied natural gas (LNG). Moreover there has still been no final investment decision to develop Leviathan, the largest Israeli offshore field. Discoveries offshore Cyprus are modest and contested by Turkey, which has sent a warship to the zone.

The European Commission has included a sub-sea Mediterranean pipeline or electricity cable on a list of possible future “projects of common interest.” But without major technological breakthroughs, these notional projects will remain on the drawing broad. However, exploration is continuing offshore Cyprus, seismic surveys in the Israeli Exclusive Economic Zone have detected a possible large new field, and export prospects could be re-evaluated if considerable additional quantities are found.

With elections in the offing in Israel, Greece, and, indeed, northern Cyprus, there is a temptation to brandish ambitious schemes to build pipelines or electricity cables, without worrying about the fine print. But this is likely to meet a skeptical response in the absence of significant new discoveries. It is also a distraction from more realistic options.

Israel and Cyprus have significant export markets on their doorstep: Egypt and Jordan. Both countries face supply bottlenecks, and Egypt has raised fuel and electricity prices to cut state subsidies and reduce the budget deficit. Gas from Israel could help close the gap between demand and supply in Egypt and Jordan and prevent blackouts, which are a major source of discontent in countries already facing severe political pressures. The relatively short pipelines involved would not require huge infrastructure investments. Existing LNG plants in Egypt could also process Israeli gas for export. When the Palestinian Authority builds a planned power station in the West Bank, it too could become a customer for Israeli gas. Such projects face political risks but until now the governments and companies concerned have not flinched.

Israel is already benefitting from its own offshore energy. Fifty percent of the country’s power generation now comes from natural gas. Air quality has improved and the burden of energy imports on the balance of payments has been reduced. Cyprus can look forward to similar benefits when its offshore fields come on stream around the end of the decade. Greece is prospecting for oil and gas in the Ionian Sea and in the Sea of Libya, south of Crete.

Ministers from these new or aspiring energy producers should explain realistically to their publics the benefits of the prudent development of their countries’ resources. They should give priority to markets in their own and neighboring countries, eschewing the temptation to talk up grandiose export schemes unless and until the numbers add up. Above all, Cyprus, Greece, and other EU countries should work together to build a functioning European energy union that will diversify types and sources of energy and reduce dependence on dominant suppliers.

Sir Michael Leigh leads GMF’s project on energy in the Eastern Mediterranean. He is also a senior fellow with the Transatlantic Academy, an initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Washington, DC. This article draws on a letter from the author that appeared in the Financial Times on December 5, 2014

Turkey Asks Interpol To Arrest Fethullah Gulen for Supporting Zaman News, a.k.a., “Armed Terrorist Group”

Turkey issues arrest warrant for Erdoğan rival Fethullah Gülen

guardian

Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen The warrant marks an escalation in the battle between Erdogan and Gülen whose movement has millions of followers worldwide. Photograph: Stringer/Turkey/Reuters

 

Constanze Letsch

 

A Turkish court has issued an arrest warrant for the US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, a former ally of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has since become a fierce critic.

In his request for the warrant, Istanbul public prosecutor Hasan Yilmaz accused Gülen of leading a criminal organisation. According to Turkish media reports, the charges include operating an armed terror group, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. Yilmaz said that “sufficient tangible evidence showing that Gülen committed a crime was collected during the investigation”.

Turkish authorities are now able to apply to Washington for extradition of the elderly cleric, though such a request is likely to put strained relations with Turkey’s Nato ally under further pressure.

Following a string of orchestrated raids on media outlets with ties to the cleric last Sunday, the warrant marks another escalation in the battle between Erdoğan and Gülen, whose movement, also known as Hizmet, has millions of followers worldwide.

Erdoğan has accused his foe of establishing a “parallel structure” within the state by placing his followers in institutions such as the judiciary and the police, and of exerting strong influence through his media empire. Gülen denies any intent to overthrow Erdoğan or the Turkish government.

The European Union has strongly condemned the raids, which Erdoğan defended as a necessary response to “dirty operations” against the Turkish government.

Speaking at the opening of an extension to an oil refinery near Istanbul, Erdoğan told his EU critics to mind their own business: “We have no concern about what the EU might say, whether the EU accepts us as members or not, we have no such concern. Please keep your wisdom to yourself,” he said.
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EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn described the police operation as “not really an invitation to move further forward” with Turkey. The US State Department has also expressed concern, urging Turkish authorities “to ensure their actions do not violate [the] core values [media freedom, due process, and judicial independence]”.

On Friday, a Turkish court also kept a media executive and three other people detained during Sunday’s raids in custody pending trial, all of them on charges of being members of a terrorist group.

Hidayet Karaca is the head of the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group, a media organisation known to have close ties to the Gülen movement. Ekrem Dumanli, editor-in-chief of the Zaman newspaper also linked to Gülen, was released pending trial, but forbidden from travelling abroad before the completion of the criminal investigation.

Human rights groups criticised the court’s decision. “Human Rights Watch is concerned at today’s court decision to place journalist and Samanyolu broadcasting group head, Hidayet Karaca, in pre-trial detention,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, HRW’s senior Turkey researcher. “Pre-trial detention should be the exception, and keeping journalists in custody on dubious terrorism charges without clear justification harms media freedom and is likely to further dent Turkey’s international reputation.”

The power and influence of the elderly cleric and his far-reaching network have long been a defining issue of Turkish politics. The domination of Erdoğan’s AKP in Turkey was aided by his alliance with Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1998. Those who dared to speak up and criticise the Gülen movement were swiftly punished, often through dubious court cases and on fabricated charges.

The relationship between the two turned sour after a corruption scandal in December last year that implicated the government, Erdoğan’s closest associates and his family. Maintaining that the sleaze allegations were unfounded and part of a coup attempt led by Gülen, Erdoğan purged the police of thousands of officers, transferred prosecutors linked to the investigation and tightened control over the judiciary. Prosecutors dropped the corruption charges this year.

Erdoğan said that both the operations and the purges of state institutions would continue, and added that the judiciary and some others, including the state scientific agency Tubitak, must yet be “cleansed of all traitors”.

GHQ attack mastermind Dr. Usman, accomplice hanged

 

FAISALABAD: The mastermind of General Headquarters (GHQ) attack and his accomplice were hanged to death at district jail, Faisalabad, ARY News reported Friday.

Arshad Mehmood, accomplice of Dr. Usman along with  was also hanged at district jail Faisalabad after their death sentence summary was signed by the army chief and prime minister.

According to sources, both the death convicts kept on seeking pardons from jail administration when they were taken to the gallows.

Aqeel Ahmed aka Dr. Usman was also involved in attacking Sri Lankan team back in 2009.

GHQ attack mastermind and former member of army’s medical team Aqeel Ahmed, aka, Dr. Usman.

Mehmood was convicted on charges of attacking former president (retd) general Pervez Musharraf.

Army contingent was deployed inside Faisalabad district jail where Dr. Usman and Mehmood were incarcerated.

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Thursday signed death warrants for six militants on death row after the government ended a moratorium on capital punishment in terror-related cases, the military said.

“COAS signed death warrants of 6 hardcore terrorists (pending execution) convicted by FGCM in accordance with law,” military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa tweeted.

Security officials said the six were convicted by a military court and were awaiting execution.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced on Wednesday an end to the moratorium on the death penalty in terror-related cases after a Pakistani Taliban massacre at a military-run school killed 148 people, mostly children.

Pakistan Hangs Notorious Terrorist Mastermind, “Dr. Usman”

ndtv

Pakistan Executes Two Terrorists After Lifting Moratorium on Death Penalty

Islamabad:  Two convicted terrorists were today hanged in Pakistan two days after the government ended a moratorium on capital punishment in terror-related cases.

Dr Usman, a former serviceman guilty of involvement on the attack on Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009, was executed along with another ex-military personnel, Arshad.

Four more executions will reportedly take place in Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore where a high alert has been sounded.

On Thursday, Pakistan’s military chief had signed death warrants for six terrorists on death row. Security officials said the six had been convicted by a military court and were awaiting execution.

The announcement came hours after the government warned prison officials of a possible jailbreak in the restive northwest province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa following the end of the moratorium.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced on Wednesday an end to the moratorium on the death penalty in terror-related cases after a Pakistani Taliban massacre at a military-run school killed 148 people, mostly children.

The assault in the northwestern city of Peshawar is the deadliest ever terror attack in Pakistan and has shocked the nation.

Political and military leaders have vowed in response to wipe out the homegrown Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands of ordinary Pakistanis in recent years.

Pakistan imposed a de facto moratorium on civilian executions in 2008, though hanging remains on the statute book and judges continue to pass the death sentence.

Only one person has been executed since then, a soldier convicted by a court martial and hanged in November 2012.

PAF Airstrikes Kill 57 Terrorists of Lashkar e-Islami and TTP

[SEE:  Situationer: Mangal Bagh back in the spotlight ]

Air strikes kill 57 terrorists in Khyber Agency

the news pak

 

RAWALPINDI: Security agencies have killed 57 terrorists through air strikes in the Tirah valley of Khyber Agency.

 

According to DG ISPR, after the Peshawar incident Army Chief General Raheel Shareef has reviewed the on going operation against terrorists.

 

DG ISPR said that an operation was underway in the Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency. He also said that 20 air strikes were made on different bases killing 57 terrorists.

‘We have killed all the children… What do we do now?’

54924241796d9 Pakistani security forces take up positions on a road leading to the Army Public School that is under attack. — Reuters/File

‘We have killed all the children… What do we do now?’

dawn

 

PESHAWAR: “We have killed all the children in the auditorium,” one of the attackers told his handler. “What do we do now?” he asked. “Wait for the army people, kill them before blowing yourself,” his handler ordered.

This, according to a security official, was one of the last conversations the attackers and their handler had shortly before two remaining suicide bombers charged towards the special operations soldiers positioned just outside the side entrance of the Army Public School’s administration block here on Tuesday.

This and other conversations between the attackers and their handlers during the entire siege of seven and a half hours of the school on Warsak Road form part of an intelligence dossier Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif shared with Afghan authorities on Wednesday.

“Vital elements of intelligence were shared with the authorities concerned with regard to the Peshawar incident,” an Inter-Services Public Relations statement on Gen Sharif’s visit to Afghanistan said.

Pakistan has the names of the attackers and the transcripts of the conversation between one of them, identified as Abuzar, and his handler, ‘commander’ Umar.

Umar Adizai, also known as Umar Naray and Umar Khalifa, is a senior militant from the Frontier Region Peshawar.

Security officials believe he made the calls from Nazian district of Afghanistan’s Nangrahar province and now want the Afghan authorities to take action.

The officials believe that a group of seven militants attacked the school. Five of them blew themselves up inside the administration block and two others outside it.

The attackers entered the building by climbing its rear wall, using a ladder and cutting barbed wire. They all headed for the main auditorium where an instructor was giving a first-aid lesson to students of the school’s senior section.

“Did the attackers have prior knowledge of the congregation in the main hall? We don’t know this yet. This is one of the questions we are trying to find an answer to,” a security official said.

A watchman standing at the rear of the auditorium appears to be the first victim because of a pool of congealed blood splashed in one corner of several steps in the open courtyard.

Finding the rear door closed, the militants charged towards the two main entry and exit doors and this is where the main carnage appears to have taken place, according to a military officer who took part in the counter-assault. Pools of blood at the entrance on both sides bore testimony to the horrific, indiscriminate shooting.

“There were piles of bodies, most dead, some alive. Blood everywhere. I wish I had not seen this,” the officer said.

The students in the hall appear to have rushed to leave the place after hearing the first round of shooting, and this was where they barged into the waiting militants who were blocking the two doors.

Inside the main hall, there was blood everywhere, almost on every inch of it. Shoes of students and women teachers lay asunder. Those who had hid behind rows of seats were shot — one by one, in the head.

More than 100 bodies and injured were evacuated from the entrances and the hall.

Every row of seats was bloodied. On one seat, there were blood-stained English notebooks of two eighth-grade students, Muhammad Asim and Muhammad Zahid.

A corner to the right of the stage in the auditorium, where an instructor was giving the lesson, was where a woman teacher, who had beseeched the militants to have mercy and let the children go, was shot and later burnt.

By that time, the Special Services Group (SSG) men had arrived and fighting had ensued and the militants were forced to make a run for the administration block, just a few metres away.

Security officials believe the death toll could have been far higher had the militants reached the junior section before the arrival of the SSG personnel.

It is from inside the administration block that the militants fired at the SSG men. Four of the militants blew themselves up inside the lobby of the block when they were cornered.

The impact was huge and devastating. There were pockmarks from the flying ball bearings and human flesh and hair were plastered to the ceiling and the walls.

One of the bombers blew himself up in the office of the Headmistress, Tahira Qazi. Her office stands gutted. Her body was recognised later. A leg of the bomber was lying around.

Two students and three staff members were killed in the administration block along with the headmistress.

The last two bombers charged towards the SSG men who had taken positions on either side of the flank entrance to the block.

One of them exploded himself and after a while, the second one did. Shrapnel and ball bearings hit the rear wall, some pierced through the trees opposite the entrance.

This is where the seven SSG men were injured. One of the personnel who had taken position behind one of the trees was hit in the face, but is reported to be in stable condition.

The assault came to an end but left several questions.

Could the tragedy have been avoided? Yes, given prior specific intelligence tips of August and repeated conveyance of concerns by some teachers regarding the school’s vulnerability vis-a-vis its western and northern boundary walls.

Could the casualties have been avoided or minimised? Probably not, given the short response time. By the time the SSG men arrived and began the operation within 10 to 15 minutes of the assault, the militants had carried out much of the carnage.

There was no clarity on the number of militants and their location. The SSG team arrived through the front gate covered by two armoured personnel carriers. As they moved from block to block, the first major priority was to secure the junior section.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2014

Taliban Spokesman Claims School Attack “Payback” for Waziristan Operation

Pakistani forces reclaim school following gruesome attack

NATIONAL TURK

Army troops killed seven militants who stormed a military-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar Tuesday, the Pakistani government said.

Army spokesman Major General Asim Salim Bajwa told reporters gunmen killed 141 people — 132 students and 9 staff members — in one of the deadliest attacks the country has seen in its 66-year history.

He said all seven militants were killed in the operation.

“The school has been cleared and handed over of school administration,” Bajwa said.

“They [militants] did not come for the purpose of hostage. They stormed the school and started killing students and staff members”, he added.

He said 7 army commandos have been wounded in the operation and two of them were in serious condition.

The gunmen began the siege by burning their vehicle, a sign that they had no intention of coming out alive, according to officials and eyewitnesses.

Dressed in uniforms of a local government-backed paramilitary, they scaled the school’s walls and entered an auditorium where a farewell party for the year’s graduates was taking place.

The militants immediately began firing on students, killing and injuring many of them, witnesses said.

“I was trying to snatch my cap from [my friend] Mustafa when I heard sounds of shots. Our class teacher, who was standing outside, entered the auditorium and shouted: Lay down, lay down,” Muddassir Shah told The Anadolu Agency from his bed at Lady Reading Hospital.

“She closed the auditorium’s main door and rushed to close the back door as heavy firing began outside. As we were trying to figure out what was happening, someone started hitting the main door, and in no time, broke it.”

Another student, Mahmood Khan, said the attackers burst into his class and started firing.

“My mind was completely blank as bullets were hitting and injuring my colleagues,” Khan said. “I fell on the ground while trying to hide behind a table. All of a sudden, three blood-soaked bodies fell on me. Their blood soaked my body and clothes. I do not know how and why, but I closed my eyes.”

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan militant coalition claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it a response to the Pakistani army’s anti-militant operations in the Waziristan tribal area, which began on June 15.

“We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,” Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani said. “We want them to feel the pain.”

The army said it killed more than 1,500 Taliban militants in the past six months.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said there will be no return from the ongoing military offensive against the Taliban.

“Terrorists have struck in our hearts, but let them know that military operations will continue until terrorists are eliminated,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said.

Meanwhile, at least 100 soldiers have been killed in landmine blasts and clashes with militants in the restive region.

The fight has since broadened to include other militant groups and has spread across the tribal belt, displacing 1.5 million people.

Since October, much of the fighting has been focused in Khyber Agency, 15 kilometers from Peshawar, where Taliban militants have found new havens.

This led to a new military operation called Khyber-One and a new wave of displaced tribesmen.

The Next Economic Crisis, the Real Crisis, Will Exceed $100 Trillion

The Real Crisis Will Be North of $100 Trillion

zero hedge

The 2008 crash was a warm up.

 

Many investors think that the markets could never have a crash again. They think that the 2008 meltdown was a one in 100 years crisis.

 

They are wrong.

 

The 2008 Crisis was a stock and investment bank crisis. But it was not THE Crisis. THE Crisis concerns the biggest bubble in financial history: the epic Bond bubble…

 

If you need proof that bonds are in a truly epic bubble… one that will implode the financial system when it breaks… consider that half of ALL government bonds in the world currently yield less than 1%.

 

What is clear is that the world has become addicted to central bank stimulus. Bank of America said 56pc of global GDP is currently supported by zero interest rates, and so are 83pc of the free-floating equities on global bourses. Half of all government bonds in the world yield less that 1pc. Roughly 1.4bn people are experiencing negative rates in one form or another.

 

These are astonishing figures, evidence of a 1930s-style depression, albeit one that is still contained. Nobody knows what will happen as the Fed tries to break out of the stimulus trap, including Fed officials themselves.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/oilprices/11283875/Bank-of-America-sees-50-oil-as-Opec-dies.html

 

Why are yields this low?

 

Because, by holdings interest rates at zero or even negative, global Central Banks have forced investors to pile into bonds in search of yield (stocks are too risky for many of the largest pools of capital).

 

When investors pile into bonds, bonds rally, which drives yields lower. This has been reinforced by the fact that Central Banks have been engaging in or promising QE (buying Government debt) consistently for the last five years. So investors have been front-running the Fed and other Central Banks.

 

After all… if you know a Central Bank will buy your bond at a price that is higher from where the market prices it… you effectively know there is a “bigger fool” waiting in the wings.

 

The end result?

 

The bond bubble today is over $100 trillion. When you include the derivatives that trade based on bonds it’s more like $500 TRILLION. And it’s growing by trillions of dollars every month (the US issued $1 trillion in new debt in the last 8 weeks alone).

 

When this thing bursts it’s going to be an absolute disaster as it will involve entire countries going bust.

 

If you’ve yet to take action to prepare for the second round of the financial crisis, we offer a FREE investment report Financial Crisis “Round Two” Survival Guide that outlines easy, simple to follow strategies you can use to not only protect your portfolio from a market downturn, but actually produce profits.

 

You can pick up a FREE copy at:

http://www.phoenixcapitalmarketing.com/roundtwo.html

 

Best Regards

Phoenix Capital Research

Russia: We Have The Right To Put Nuclear Weapons In Crimea

Russia: We Have The Right To Put Nuclear Weapons In Crimea

business insider

Russia announced on Monday that it believes it has the full right to deploy nuclear weapons in the recently annexed Crimean peninsula.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Interfax news agency that since Crimea was now a part of Russia, Moscow had full rights to deploy nuclear weapons into the region.

Lavrov argues that Crimea can be treated just like any other part of Russia and can therefore host nuclear infrastructure. “Now Crimea has become part of a state which possesses such weapons in accordance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty,” says Lavrov. “In accordance with international law, Russia has every reason to dispose of its nuclear arsenal … to suit its interests and international legal obligations.”

The Russian foreign minister is using “international law” selectively here. After all, only a small handful of countries, including Syria, Venezuela, and Afghanistan, recognize Russia’s annexation of the peninsula. The rest consider Russia’s seizure of the region to be an illegal act of aggression.

Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March following a widely disputed referendum. The vote was carried out after thousands of Russian troops had already entered the peninsula. The validity of the referendum has been called into question following a 97% approval rate for union with Russia.

In the face of crippling Western sanctions and a crashing ruble, Lavrov likely mentioned Russia’s ability to place nuclear weapons in the contested peninsula as a means of rallying the Russian people around Moscow’s nationalist policies.

“Lavrov has brought up this nuclear weapons issue to demonstrate that the Kremlin considers Crimea such an inalienable part of Russia that it may choose to do with it whatever it wants, including the deployment of nukes,” Alexander Golts, a deputy editor of Yezhednevny Zhurnal and a Russian political expert, told the Los Angeles Times.

Lavrov’s insistence that Russia has the right to move nuclear weapons into Crimea marks only the latest instance in which Russian officials or pro-government public figures have spoken openly at the country’s arsenal. In March, a prominent Russian broadcaster warned that Moscow could turn the US into “radioactive dust.” This was followed by a warning from the Russian Pravda that Moscow had a “nuclear surprise” for the West in November.

Technically, neither the US nor Russia can move strategic nuclear forces without verifying the deployment with the other country due to the 2010 New START treaty, which set a timeline for mutual cuts to the countries’ nuclear stockpiles. Any Russian movement of strategic nuclear weapons into Crimea (long-range, high-yield weapons, as opposed to tactical or battlefield nuclear warheads) without prior notification to the US would result in Russia violating the treaty.

Obama Finds the Man Most Eager To Initiate Govt. Behavioral Control and Makes Him Surgeon Gen.

[If you are a smoker, overweight, a diabetic, or own a gun, then you are now a special project for the new Surgeon General.  Whatever it is that makes you such a cigarette-smoking, fat slob, who doesn’t eat properly, while twirling your unlocked gun on your finger and bouncing little “what’s his name” on your knee, then Obama’s new man is out to get you.  In other words, Obama is going to change the behavior of all American redneck, “white trash” and whoever copies their bad habits.  Look for your medical care to steer you through the nightmare world of psychiatry, if you want to continue receiving any health care at all. 

And you thought that our world was FUCKED-UP before this.]

The Covert Dictatorship Called “Obamacare”   ;  The rise of the Psychiatric State under Obamacare ;  ROTHSCHILDS HIDDEN BEHIND obama AND THE GENOCIDAL OBAMACARE ?  ;  Obama To Save Medicare By Killing-Off the Sick and the Elderly  ; Americans Slowly Waking-Up To Harsh Reality of the Unaffordable Nature of “Affordable Care Act”Obamacare Is A Bureaucratic Cyber-Weapon—“Stuxnet” for Healthcare Plans 

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on obesity, medical marijuana, vaccines—and, yes, guns

QUARTZ

 

Vivek Murthy is the new Surgeon General of the United States, after a hard-won confirmation by the Senate yesterday. Murthy, whose position that guns are a health-care issue in the US earned him the ire of the country’s powerful gun lobby, will serve a four-year term as the nation’s top doctor and public health advocate. The position has lacked a permanent director since July 2013.

Murthy co-founded Doctors for America, a group of 16,000 physicians and medical students that sent a strongly-worded letter (pdf) last year to the Congress, urging politicians to take stricter measures to stop gun violence. That earned him the ire of the National Rifle Association, slowing his confirmation, but may have also been one of the factors that ultimately helped him win the support of dozens of politicians, medical groups, and universities.

The letter proposed attempting to cut gun deaths in half by 2020, by banning assault weapons, tightening safety regulations, funding research on gun violence, and repealing laws that ban physicians from discussing gun safety with patients. It said:

The circumstances and causes of gun-related injuries and death are diverse–mass shootings, suicides, individual disputes, robberies, and accidents. There is no single provision that will stop these tragedies from happening, so we must approach the issue from all available angles, just as we have successfully approached other threats to public health such as motor vehicle accident deaths and deaths from fire and drowning.

During his February 2014 opening remarks (pdf) in front of a Senate nominating committee, Murthy stressed the US’s other health problems, saying if he was nominated he hoped to “marshal partnerships across the country to address the epidemics of obesity and tobacco-related disease, to reduce the crippling stigma of mental illness, to roll back the resurgence of vaccine preventable disease” and to address many other issues.

During that nearly tw0-hour hearing, senators questioned him about his track record on public-health management, what he thinks of medical marijuana (he’s heard of “anecdotal evidence” but believes “more information” is needed to safely prescribe it), and, predictably, guns.

“I do not intend to use the Surgeon General’s Office as a bully pulpit for gun control,” Murthy said, in response to a question from a Republican senator:

My concerns with regards to issues like gun violence have to do with my experience as a physician, seeing patients in emergency rooms who have come in with acute injuries; but also seeing many patients over the years who are dealing with spinal cord injuries, post traumatic stress disorder, and other chronic complications from gun violence.

In his May 2014 address to graduates of Harvard Medical School, he first thanked the crowd for not opposing him as commencement speaker, saying that “it’s nice to be out of the line of fire, for a change.” He then delivered a speech that stressed the courage necessary to be doctor when medicine is facing “crises with costs, quality, and coverage,” and “critical public health challenges.”

Murthy called on the students to follow in his footsteps and become public-health advocates:

We can no longer remain within our exam rooms and ignore what happens in our communities. As physicians and dentists, we must have a presence in both places. Our sacred responsibility is both to help the patient in front of us and also to safeguard the health of the nation.