Extension of the American War On Syria

Extension of the conflict

Voltaire Net

by Thierry Meyssan

Thierry Meyssan continues his narration of the war which sets Washington and its allies against the rest of the world. Egypt has entered the fight. Israël has attacked Syria. Turkey maintains its troops in Iraq, despite protestations from Baghdad. We are heading towards a fifth Russo-Chinese veto at the Security Council against the French initiative.

Voltaire Network | Beirut (Lebanon)
Thierry MeyssanThierry Meyssan French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

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The Russian Minister for Defence, Sergueï Choïgou, has published an assessment of Russian military actions in Syria. In the space of one year, he confirms- «… they have liberated 586 localities and more than 12,000 square kilometres of territory, eliminated approximately 35,000 terrorists, including more than 2,700 from Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries». He opposed these results to those of the United States, who, while they claim to be fighting terrorists, are in fact supporting them against the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Douma unanimously adopted the Russo-Syrian agreement authorising the deployement of the Russian Air Force on the Syrian base at Hmeimim, and this for an unlimited duration. This text had been secretly signed in August 2015, and was only presented to the Douma in order to make the Russian position public. The Douma specified that Russian military presence in the Levant is indispensable to the fight against terrorism.

Simultaneously, we saw the start of the greatest Russo-Egyptian military exercises since the time of Gamal Abdel Nasser. The Russian chiefs of staff indicated that these manœuvres would enable the coordination of the two armies in their struggle against the jihadists, notably in the desert. By doing so, Russia has officialised its military deployment in Egypt, as well as Syria and Yemen (even if their presence in Yemen is for the moment unofficial).

Several US Generals have revealed that the situation has never been so serious since the Korean war. According to them, a confrontation between the United States and Russia would be brief, but of an amplitude never before equalled in History. General Mark A. Milley, chief of staff of the land army, has affirmed that the opposing Navy and Air Forces would cancel one another out, and that the bloodiest combats would take place on the ground. Ambassador Charles W. Freeman, Jr. has warned against taking action when the United States and Russia have so far managed to avoid nuclear war.

The PKK, in other words the Turkish Kurds, have taken advantage of the situation to re-occupy Jarabulus, in the North of Syria. Turkey denounces the Iraqi protestations directed against it, but refuses to withdraw its troops from Iraqi territory, asserting that only the presence of Turkish soldiers was contested by Baghdad, while about thirty states are deployed in their country.

Above all, assuming that Washington and Moscow were too occupied by their confrontation to intervene, the Israëli army attacked the area adjacent to the occupied Golan Plateau.

In August 2014, Tel-Aviv forced the expulsion of the Blue Helmets, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Forces (UNDOF), and replaced them with jihadists from Al-Qaïda. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had his photo taken with some of the 500 jihadists being treated at the Ziv Medical Centre. He declared in June 2016 that he would never restitute Golan to its Syrian owner. Judging this to be a step too far, the United States and Russia agreed to write a project for a Resolution calling for Israël to cease its support for terrorists and allow the UNO to re-assume its mission. The Resolution was to be published in August, but the project did not survive the deterioration of relations between Moscow and Washington.

The Israëli artillery bombarded all afternoon, as did their Air Force, which fired on Syrian territory from Israëli airspace. The jihadists operated under the cover thus provided.

In the case where Israël and the jihadists should manage to open a corridor between the Syrian demilitarised zone and the farms of the Lebanese Chebaa, it would become possible to extend the war to South Lebanon. The Kurdish populations of this area, loyal to Prince Talal Arslan and the Syrian Arab Republic, rather than Walid Joumblatt, would run the risk of being exterminated by the jihadists.

At the diplomatic level, the United States have asked for the opening of an enquiry about the Syro-Russian offensive against the jihadists in East Aleppo for «war crimes». The representative of the Secretary General for Syria, Steffan de Mistura, has proposed guaranteeing the safety of combatants if they decide to leave East Aleppo for Idleb, thereby interrupting the battle and saving civilians. But this compromise (inspired by the Director of Political Affairs for the UNO, Jeffrey Feltman, on behalf of Washington) was rejected by France.

After consultation with Israël, Paris decided not to integrate the amendments that its Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Marc Ayrault, had negociated with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and to present his project on Saturday at the Security Council. Mr. Ayrault will personally visit New York to defend his text.

The French project plans to ban all bombardement of East Aleppo, whether by artillery or aviation, and to forbid any flight over the city by military aircraft. Russia immediately confirmed that it would veto the motion. We do not yet know the Chinese position, but it is possible that we will see the fifth joint veto by Moscow and Beijing on the NATO initiatives concerning Syria, which would then become the greatest subject of international friction since the Second World War. This blockage could call into question the future of the United Nations.

Translation
Pete Kimberley

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Understanding the Roots of Our Divine Myths

What’s this guy’s story?  Credit: bastetamon | Shutterstock.com

Where Did Satan Come From?

live-science

By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer

 

The devil goes by many names — Satan, the Prince of Darkness, Beelzebub and Lucifer to name a few — but besides this list of aliases, what do people really know about the brute? That is, how did the story of Satan originate?

Many ancient religions have scriptures detailing the struggle between good and evil. For instance, in the Zoroastrian religion, one of the world’s earliest, the supreme deity, Ormazd, created two entities: the chaotic and destructive spirit Ahriman and his beneficent twin brother, Spenta Mainyu, said Abner Weiss, a psychologist and the rabbi at the Westwood Village Synagogue in Los Angeles.

“The ancient world struggled with the coexistence of good and evil,” Weiss told Live Science. “They hypothesized a kind of demonic, divine force that was responsible for evil, arising out of the notion that a good god could not be responsible for bad things.” [Gallery: Sun Gods and Goddesses]

However, Satan was not a prominent figure in Judaism. In Hebrew scripture, a demon-like figure appears only in the Book of Job. In that book, an “adversary” or “tempter” asks God whether the prosperous man Job would continue to praise God after losing everything. God takes up the challenge, and strips Job of his wealth and family, leaving the man wondering why such a horrible fate befell him.

But in this story, God wields more power than this adversary; as such, this evil tempter challenges God, who then takes away Job’s fortune, Weiss said.

“[Judaism] found the notion of God having to share authority as limiting the omnipotence and even the omniscience of God,” Weiss said. “And therefore, Satan was never personified as a source of evil that was equally powerful.”

But Satan did become a part of certain Jewish sects beginning around the time of the Common Era, when Jesus was born, Weiss noted. Moreover, Judaism’s mystical teachings, called the Kabbalah, mention a light side and a dark side, but the dark side is never given equal power to the light, Weiss said.
Christianity’s devil

Any Sunday school student can tell you that Satan is a fallen angel, but this fall actually isn’t described in the New Testament, or the Christian bible, said Jerry Walls, a professor of philosophy at Houston Baptist University and author of “Heaven, Hell and Purgatory: Rethinking the Things That Matter Most” (Brazos Press, 2015).

However, Satan suddenly appears in the gospels as the tempter of Jesus, with nary an introduction of how the evil presence got there. So, Christian theologians have come to this conclusion: If God created the universe, and everything God creates is good, then Satan must have been something good that went bad, Walls said.

“The only thing that can go bad by itself is a free being,” Walls said. “Since there was evil before human beings came on the scene, the inference is [Satan] must have been a fallen angel.”

There are other references to Satan in the Bible, depending on different interpretations. The Hebrew Bible has two passages about people who aren’t respectful toward God. In these passages, Isaiah 4 and Ezekiel 28, human rulers make outrageous boasts, and some Christians interpret these actions as expressions of Satan, Walls said.

Moreover, the gospel of Paul in the New Testament refers to the snake from the Garden of Eden as Satan, though the snake isn’t described that way in Genesis, Walls said. In this sense, the snake and Satan can be seen as tempters that try to get people to disobey God, but aren’t always successful, Walls said. [Spooky! Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena]

“The first Adam fell to the temptation of Satan,” Walls said. “Christ is described as the second Adam, who successfully resisted temptation.”
Satan as “the enemy”

Satan can also emerge as the enemy — the “other,” or an “outside” group.

“I thought of Satan as a kind of a joke, kind of a throwaway character,” said Elaine Pagels, a professor of religion at Princeton University and author of “The Origin of Satan” (Random House, 1995). “In the Book of Job, he’s practically a device to explain what happened to Job.”

The Hasids, a Jewish sect whose name translates into “The Holy Ones,” were the first group in Judeo-Christian history to seriously discuss Satan, she said. The Hasids lived just before the Common Era and didn’t like how the Romans and some of their Jewish collaborators ruled their country, Pagels said.

So, the Hasids withdrew from Jewish society and began preaching about the end of times, when God would destroy all of the evil people, “which meant all of the Romans and all of the Jews who cooperated with them,” Pagels said.

The Hasids took a radical position: They said that they were following God, while their enemies had turned to the dark side, possibly without even knowing it. “So now, it’s the ‘Sons of God’ against the ‘Sons of Darkness,'” Pagels said. “It’s a split Jewish group.”

At this point of her research, Pagels had an epiphany, she said: The concept of Satan emerges when communities split. Radical groups want a clean break between themselves and their enemies, and so they describe their enemies as Satan, as devils who will one day face God’s wrath.

“I realized that when people talk about Satan — like if somebody says, ‘Satan is trying to take over this country’ — they’re not thinking of some supernatural battle up there in the sky,” Pagels said. “They can give you names and addresses. They know whom they’re talking about.”

For instance, extremists might say, “America is the Great Satan.” That’s because “when people talk about Satan, they’re talking about people, too,” Pagels said.

The Hasids likely had a big influence on early Christianity, because Jesus and John the Baptist preached similar ideas to those of the Hasids. That is, they said that the end of the world was coming and that God wouldn’t tolerate evil people, Pagels said. This meant the Romans and the people working with them, she said. [Supernatural Powers? Tales of 10 Historical Predictions]

Turning an enemy into Satan is useful, she added. It suggests that “our opponents are not just people we disagree with — they’re bad. You can’t negotiate with them. You can’t do anything with them, because they’re essentially evil.”

Original article on Live Science.

Now Saudis Offer To Investigate Their Own Murderous Airstrike On Sana, Since Denial and Cover-Up Didn’t Work

[After first Saudi royal excuse-makers expressed outrage to news media–

“Other causes of bombing are to be considered….Absolutely no such operation took place at that target.”]

[SEE:  Saudi Coalition Airstrike Massacre On Sanaa Funeral–Many Military Personnel Present]

Saudis to probe Yemen airstrike that hit funeral home

usa_today_long

The Saudi government said Sunday that it would investigate reports that an airstrike hit a packed funeral hall in Yemen’s capital, killing more than 140 people and injuring hundreds.

The Saudis said U.S. experts would assist with the investigation into Saturday’s attack in Sanaa. In a statement the Saudi-led coalition called the bombing “regrettable and painful” and expressed condolences.

The country has been racked by civil war between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and Yemen’s internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Saudi-led bombing campaign has presented difficulties for the United States. The Saudi coalition’s air campaign has been plagued by allegations that it has killed civilians by indiscriminate bombing. More than 3,980 civilians were killed and 6,909 injured since the beginning of the war in March 2015, according to the aid group Oxfam.

The U.S. military has provided limited support for the Saudi-led campaign but has stopped short of providing targeting and other direct assistance.

On Saturday, the White House said it was prepared to reduce its support even further in the wake of the recent allegations.

“We are deeply disturbed by reports of today’s airstrike on a funeral hall in Yemen, which, if confirmed, would continue the troubling series of attacks striking Yemeni civilians,” National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement Saturday.

“In light of this and other recent incidents, we have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led coalition,” the statement said.

Saturday’s funeral was held for Sheikh Ali al-Rawishan, the father of Galal al-Rawishan, the interior minister in the rebel-led government, the Associated Press reported.

Among those killed was Maj. Gen. Abdul-Qader Hilal, head of the capital’s local council, officials said, while Galal Al-Rishwan was seriously wounded, the AP said.