Lavrov: No double standards
ISIL Clamors for a Shiite-Free Saudi Arabia
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), said Turkey's support for what he described as radical opposition groups in Syria had broken a tradition of neutrality and left Turkey exposed.
Turkey's oldest political party, the CHP was founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, father of the modern republic, and has long been seen as the preserve of so-called "White Turks", the urban elite which ran Turkey for much of the 20th century.
The party, Turkey's second biggest, is campaigning on a platform of economic reform and of repairing international ties. But it is struggling to poll above 30 percent due to a lack of popularity among the pious masses suspicious of its secular ideals.
President Tayyip Erdogan's vision of a Middle East with political Islam and Turkey at its heart is anathema to CHP's secular and social democratic supporters.
"Turkey's foreign policy has left it more isolated than ever, both from the European Union and the Middle East," Kilicdaroglu told Reuters in an interview a week ahead of a June 7 parliamentary election.
"The current government is interfering in the internal affairs of other countries directly ... This is against our past, our culture," he said, after addressing tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters in the capital Ankara on Sunday.
"The burden of Turkey's foreign policy is falling on our people. More than 2 million Syrians are in Turkey, many of them begging on the streets," Kilicdaroglu said, warning some may "become involved in underground business".
Under Erdogan's Islamist-rooted AK Party, Turkey has become one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's fiercest critics, pushing for his ouster, allowing the political opposition to organise on its soil and opening its border to refugees.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Saudi counterpart Adel Jubeir reiterated the common vision of the two countries on key regional issues such as Yemen and Syria at a meeting held on Sunday, according to a statement published by the Saudi News Agency SPA...
The Saudi foreign minister said the two countries share a vision regarding the Syrian crisis, stating that both seek the ouster of President Bashar Al-Assad and the protection of Syrian governmental and military institutions “so they can deal with the challenges after Assad's ousting.”
He denied the presence of a joint Egyptian-Russian initiative on the Syrian crisis, but said that the two countries do coordinate since Moscow is an effective actor in regards to Syria.
“Through their established relationship, Russia can play a leading role in persuading the Syrian regime of the necessity of engaging in a political process with the different opposition elements, which Egypt and Russia seek to support,” added Shoukry.
Speaking in a local ceremony in southeastern region of Dezful, chairman of the 'Expediency Council' Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said certain groups prefer problems to remain because resolution of issues may endager their interests.
Iran is at odds with world powers regarding its peaceful nuclear program but certain groups are sabotaging the diplomatic approach and insult leaders of negotiations in order to secure their interests, the official added.
He noted that the negotiators are doing their best to decrease world powers' excuses to put pressure on Iran.
Rafsanjani referred to the turmoil and sectarian violence in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Bahrain, Afghanistan and Pakistan and he urged Muslims to be united against enemies' divisive plots...
Critics of President Rouhani's policies particularly its foreign policy have launched a campaign known as “We Are Concerned” and have asked him on different occasions to give up his moderate policies and adopt the past policies of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Flashback 2014: Hard-line opposition
taking center stage in Iran
A public conference, entitled “We’re concerned” (“delvaapasim”), was held at the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran on May 3. The panellists included conservative and far-right leaning parliamentarians, former government officials and think-tankers.
For the most part, Iranian hardliners argue that Foreign Minister Zarif’s negotiating team is giving away too much, too soon and therefore risks selling out Iran’s national interests...
“What we are saying is that this [negotiating] team is entering the talks with a soft position and a diplomacy of smiling, which is not appreciated in a country like Iran that has given martyrs and struggled many years for the victory of its Islamic Revolution,” Mohammad Hossein Karimi-Ghadoosi, a parliamentarian and leading figure of the hard-line Islamic Endurance Front (Jebhe-ye paaydaari), told LobeLog.
Karimi-Ghadoosi also believes Iran might be perceived as weak with such a reconciliatory approach.
The political ideology promoted by this far-right conservative faction constantly reinvigorates the revolutionary spirit of the late 1970s...
“Negotiations on behalf of the system of the Islamic Republic must follow the path of Islamic ideals,” said Karimi-Ghadoosi in reply to my question about what negotiation strategy he prefers. (www.lobelog.com)
& the Iran-Iraq War: 1980-1988
Saddam Hussein feared that Iran's new revolutionary leadership would threaten Iraq's delicate Sunni-Shia balance and would exploit Iraq's geostrategic vulnerabilities--Iraq's minimal access to the Persian Gulf, for example...
The Iran-Iraq War was multifaceted and included religious schisms, border disputes, and political differences.
Conflicts contributing to the outbreak of hostilities ranged from centuries-old Sunni-versus-Shia and Arab-versus-Persian religious and ethnic disputes, to a personal animosity between Saddam Hussein and Ayatollah Khomeini.
In his writings and preachings Khomeini expanded the theory of velayat-e faqih, the "guardianship of the jurisconsult (clerical authority)", to include theocratic political rule by Islamic jurists.The Holy Defense - No peace with the enemy In the intellectual framing of the Iran-Iraq War, the Islamic Republic, led by its founding father, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, believed it was fighting a Holy War. In Iran the war has gained the epithet, Defa-e Moqadas, or “the Holy Defense.”
The Iraqis perceived revolutionary Iran's Islamic agenda as threatening to their pan-Arabism.
Khomeini, bitter over his expulsion from Iraq in 1977 after fifteen years in An Najaf, vowed to avenge Shia victims of Baathist repression.
For Iran’s leaders, the ideological magnitude of the war helped blur national boundaries, parsimoniously dividing the world into good and evil. (The National Interest, 23-10-2014)
The war began on Sept. 22, 1980, with an Iraqi land and air invasion of western Iran, although Iraqi spokespersons maintained that Iran had been engaging in artillery attacks on Iraqi towns since Sept. 4. Iraqi president Saddam Hussein claimed as the reason for his attack on Iran a territorial dispute over the Shatt al Arab, a waterway that empties into the Persian Gulf and forms the boundary between Iran and Iraq.
The Iraqi offensive was initially successful, capturing the port city of Khorramshahr by the end of 1980. Iranian resistance proved strong, however, and Iraqi troops had withdrawn from the occupied portions of Iran by early 1982.
Nevertheless, Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini declared that Iran would not cease fighting until Saddam's regime was toppled. (www.encyclopedia.com)
September 1982 Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon told a Paris press conference: "Israel has a vital interest in the continuing of the war in the Persian Gulf, and in Iran's victory." Such views were not Sharon's alone; Prime Ministers Itzhak Shamir (Likud) and Shimon Peres (Labor) shared them too. (Irangate: The Israel Connection)
TRIPOLI - Libya's public finances, wracked by a dramatic loss in oil revenue that has been exacerbated by a power struggle between rival governments, are foundering.
The crisis has prompted the authorities in Tripoli, who control much of western Libya, to plan cuts to petrol subsidies, to delay public salary payments and to ban on imports from cars to steel.
And it has already been forcing the central bank - which is treading a fine line between rival governments and funds the whole country - to burn through its foreign reserves. Libya needs $30 billion to fund imports annually and typically spends $40 billion on its budget.
"Libya is on the verge of economic and financial collapse," UN Special Envoy Bernadino Leon, who has been trying to end a power struggle between the two governments, said last week...
The economy is essentially being hit on two sides. The dinar currency has lost 35 percent of its value against the dollar since January alone. Oil production, meanwhile, has fallen to 400,000 barrels a day, or a quarter of what was the case before an uprising toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Several governments have tried to change subsidies, which make up one third of the budget as much of the cheap fuel and food gets smuggled abroad, but have shied away in the end fearing pressure from armed factions.
"The fact that the Tripoli-based authorities are now contemplating subsidies reform is a sign of just how bad finances are getting, even by the standards of the past two years," said Alex Warren of advisory group Frontier, which runs The Libya Report website."But subsidies are arguably the last thing you'd want to cut in terms of social stability," he said.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited the IDF Homefront Command base on Tuesday to observe the Homefront Command's annual nationwide drill "Turning Point." "Like every other citizen of Israel I'm taking part in the drill, including today when I hear the siren..." said the prime minister.
According to Netanyahu the security challenges Israel is facing are continuing to grow, with the prime threat being rockets and missiles provided for the most part by Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism.
He emphasized that "when it comes to the security of Israel, I rely first of all on ourselves, and the proof of that is the agreement being formulated between world powers and Iran, which both paves the path for Iran to many atomic bombs and also streams in many billions (of dollars) into the coffers of Iran."
"With this money it (Iran) can continue to arm our enemies with high-trajectory weapons and other weapons, and it will also arm its war and terror machine, which is acting against us and against the Middle East, and it is many times as dangerous as the terror machine of Daesh, even though it too is very dangerous," warned Netanyahu, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State (ISIS).
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that all members in Shanghai Cooperation organization (SCO) agree on joining Iran to the regional bloc.
Al-Manar correspondent in Russia quoted Lavorv as saying: “We will look into the expansion of the organization.”
During a summit for the SCO’s foreign ministers in Ufa, Lavrov said joining Iran can take place as far as the Islamic Republic’s nuclear issue is settled by the end of June. He added that the SCO would also look into joining India and Pakistan.
The SCO is an intergovernmental organization which seeks to strengthen mutual trust and facilitate effective cooperation between its member states in political, trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural areas as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection.
It was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Iran, along with four other countries, currently holds observer status in the organization.
Arutz Sheva is the voice of the religious Zionists
in Israel and the Christan Zionists in the USA.
In the cocooned-safety of Tehran, Persia, the black-turbaned Shiite Ayatollah Khamenei tweets about his love of children learning to read.
Meanwhile, in the pursuit of his Persian genocide of the Jewish and Arab peoples, Khamenei inflames, instigates, and he arms any Muslim who wants to kill any Jew, Christian, or any other sectarian form of Islam...
Ayatollah Khamenei, and his band of megalomaniacal Iranian henchmen, are literally and figuratively fighting to the last drop of the blood of two million Shiite Alawites of Syria...
While Khamenei preaches sobriety, piety, and planting trees, the ruling class of Iran is raking in gazillions of dollars in profits based on sowing bedlam and mayhem and instigating the murders of hundreds of thousands of Muslims Arabs and thousands of Jews throughout the world...
Khamenei’s Revolution is a fraud, and Khamenei is the Grand Ayatollah of Genocidal Lies.
And where is President Obama, the erstwhile leader of the free world? Obama is enabling this genocidal Islamo-Nazi corrupt regime to acquire a nuclear weapons arsenal.
Mark Langfan is Chairman of the Freeman Center. He is also the chairman of Americans for A Safe Israel.
Mark Langfan's Mission: We are dedicated to the premise that a strong Israel is essential to Western interests in the Middle East, and that the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and the Golan are the best guarantee against strategic vulnerability...
Today Damascus, Soon, Khuzestan
"We are in the midst of an intense battle that is being waged against the State of Israel, an international campaign to blacken its name," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the cabinet meeting this past week...
Addressing the Knesset, the new justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, argued that anti-Semitism was at the root of the boycott campaign. "In the previous century, Jews were dehumanized," she said. "Now, it is the State of Israel that is being dehumanized."
Molad, the Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy, published a survey recently about the boycott movement.
According to Molad, 90 percent of the boycott demands coming out the West are linked to Israel's activities in the territories. The remaining 10 percent are aimed at undermining the very existence of the State of Israel, under the flag of the BDS movement.
"In all the areas we examined," say Molad sources, "we found that the existing obstacles and the obstacles that are likely to emerge in the future are all directly linked to Israel's rule over the territories and the Palestinian population."
Not a single country in the West questions Israel's right to exist, but there is also no Western country that is willing to accept additional settlement construction.
With the exception of various Evangelical churches, it's impossible to convince people in the West that Israel's West Bank settlements are justified.
It matters not how many lecturers we send to address them, or how much money we invest in our campaign. It simply can't be done.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely can tell them that God promised her all of the Land of Israel, from the Euphrates River in Iraq to the sea; but her God is not their God.
Blind adherence to US policies and the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions have turned fatal for Europe; the axis of Russia-China-BRICS is set to overturn the global economic system and to prevail over the hegemony of the US, according to Folker Hellmeyer, the chief economist of the German Bremer Landesbank.
“European countries, like Finland and Austria, who have strong developing businesses in Russia, place fewer orders within Germany. Moreover, the European corporations evade sanctions and create high-efficient production facilities in Russia. We, therefore, lose this potential capital stock, which is the basis of our prosperity, and Russia wins.”
The relationship of trust between Russia and Germany and the EU is somewhat broken. And it will take years to rebuild it. As the result, such companies as Siemens and Alstom have lost major projects in Russia, he said.
The potential damage not only for Germany but for the whole of the EU, therefore, is much more comprehensive than what is being shown by current figures.
Meanwhile, Moscow, Beijing and other BRICS countries are looking forward to building the largest projects of the modern history: the construction of new Eurasian infrastructure from Moscow to Vladivostok, in South China and India.
Participation of the Western countries in these mega-projects looks quite uncertain, Hellmeyer said.
“For me, the conflict has already been set,” he said. “The axis Moscow-Beijing-BRIC has won.”
Neither problem in the world nowadays can be solved without Moscow or Beijing, said the economist.
Aiman Odeh, chairman of the Arab United List, on Sunday decried the “Israeli occupation” at the Herzliya Conference, and condemned the Israeli Left for not doing more to force Israel to surrender Judea, Samaria, and most of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority.
“The Israeli occupation is the longest since the end of World War II, and the last one,” said Odeh. “We are in favor of the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1948 armistice lines, and I as an Israeli Arab have a huge stake in this.
“Because I am a part of this state, I am terribly torn,” Odeh said. “I am a part of this country and of the Palestinian nation. I want this for the Israeli nation as well.
A society cannot be moral when it occupies another nation... We must free both nations from the occupation,” he added.
Speaking earlier, Zionist Union/Labor Party head Yitzchak Herzog said that he wished to “divorce” the Palestinians, and create a Jewish state with a majority of Jews.
This was no way for the leader of the opposition, much less one who purports leftist views, to behave, said Odeh. “The Zionist Left wishes to rid itself of the Palestinians in order to retain a Jewish majority.
What kind of way is this for a leftist group to behave? With a Left like this, who needs a Right? “What about me, the Israeli Arab,” queried Odeh.
“What do you have to say to me? Is your approach one of granting the Palestinians their place in the sun, or just an exercise in racism?
What is the difference between the left and the views of Avigdor Liberman, who is in favor of 'transfer?'
Former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said that George W. Bush was wrong to try and push democracy on Iraq and that NATO has become unfit to deal with modern threats and should be replaced by a more global alliance to fight Islamist extremism.
Rumsfeld’s remarks, made in an interview with The Times, mark a rift between the views of his then commander-in-chief, President Bush, who tried to push democracy right across the Middle East in the aftermath of toppling Saddam Hussein in 2003, although Rumsfeld apparently did nothing at the time to assuage his concerns.
“I’m not one who thinks that our particular template of democracy is appropriate for other countries at every moment of their histories. The idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic. I was concerned about it when I first heard those words.”
Rumsfeld also said that NATO and the UN were no longer capable of coping with modern threats such as Islamic extremism, chemical weapons, Iran, and slavery, and instead said there should be a coalition of “right thinking” nations from across the globe.
He warned that Arab nations are disintegrating, and said that the West’s airstrikes in Libya had served to further destabilize the region.
“The movement for a caliphate, the movement against nation states is central and fundamental. And no one’s talking about it. Have you ever heard anyone at the UN begin to think about that concept?” he asked.
He pointed the finger at President Obama, saying he had failed to show leadership...
“We can’t police the world, it’s too big, but people want to know what to think about their futures and the risks. Leaders need to tell them what is happening and have the guts to stand up and say, ‘This is what I think.’”
He predicted that IS would take decades to defeat and that it was about countering their ideology rather than bullets and airstrikes.
“You begin to look at this thing not like a war but more like the Cold War ... you’re not going to win this with bullets, you’re in a competition of ideas..."
Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the United States to stop the war against Iraq, calling the campaign "a serious political mistake."
"If we install the rule of force in place of international security structures, no country in the world will feel secure," he said. "That is why Russia insists on a quick end to military operations."
US-Power & de-Baathification
For the neo-conservatives Iraq must not only be de-Ba'athized, but Washington must also be accorded the opportunity to show the world, (especially other Muslim states) just how powerful and determined the United States is to both wage war and enforce political reform.
Using munitions on a "scale never before seen."
U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks, in his first comments on the U.S.-led war with Iraq, said Saturday that allied forces were encountering resistance from Saddam Hussein's troops but had not seen evidence of weapons of mass destruction.
Jack Perry: A Moral Defeat
I fear we are going to suffer a great defeat in our war in Iraq. Not a military defeat; I assume we shall have our military victory. I mean a defeat of the America we might have been, the America of our ideals.
"Iraqi women are arguably the first to see their status go from one of the highest in the region to one of the lowest, in less than two decades. (Now followed closely by their sisters in neighbouring Syria.)" Al-Jazeera, 8-3-2015
IRAQ: Women were more respected under Saddam
"For the people who havn't read `Zabiba and the king` It might come as a surprise, but Saddam always believed in feminism and emancipation of the women." Rusty Shackleford
“When US troops entered Iraq, we thought it would be a great opportunity for Iraqi women to begin having their voices heard,” said Senar. “But we were wrong – the opposite has happened, and we’re losing ground by the day.”
“The current leaders don’t think of us as potential presidents or vice-presidents, arguing that women can’t hold such important posts,” said Shams Yehia, a professor at Baghdad University who helped conduct the survey. “We appeal to all bodies to force the Iraqi government to give us our rights back.”
"In general women were living much better off under Saddam," Yanar Mohammed, a women's rights advocate with the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq told The Media Line. "The Iraq that I grew up in was a very modern Iraq and we had basic human rights."
"The U.S. occupation created a political vacuum and allowed what they call the 'cultural groups' to have their way in Iraq," Mohammed continued.
"These religious groups were able to gain access to the constitution and allow people to turn to Sharia instead of civil law. So there is no longer any strong civil law to protect us and there are now big parts of Iraq which are being ruled under Sharia, in which women have very little rights."
"The Americans just let the rule of the jungle go ahead - whoever is the strongest will rule - and the Islamists are the strongest," she said.
"So now we are living in a new Islamist Iraq, with Islamic courts all over Baghdad and women totally vulnerable to religious law: a man can marry four wives, a girl that is twelve years old, it's almost impossible for women to get divorced. None of this was the case in Saddam's time." (Houzan Mahmoud 2010)
This is the moment Syrian women tear off their black shapeless robes as they obliged to wear by ISIS order when they enter Kurdish-controlled territory after fleeing for their lives from the clutches of “Islamic State”. (Alalam, 6-6-2015)
If our party participates in any coalition government, it would first change
Turkish policy towards Syria. We will not offer arms for different parties in Syria and we will open our doors and extend our hands to the government and enhance the outcome of Geneva process.
Those are tangible steps not theories and are work plans which our party is outlining. Deputy Chairman of the Turkish Republican People’s Party (CHP) Faruk Logoglu pledged Monday.
The future of Syria should be determined by the Syrian People, Logoglu said in an interview with the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV, adding that "We will work for supporting the choices of the people of the region not the choices of the Muslim Brotherhood and we will not interfere in the internal affairs of any other country".
Logoglu called upon the Turkish opposition parties to agree on common goals for the formation of the upcoming government and not to abandon the principles “because what is important is adopting a responsible policy that maintains good relations with the neighboring countries including Syria and Iraq”.
Erdogan’s governing Party (AKP) won the election with around 40,79 % of the votes, this percentage gave it an estimated 258 seats in Turkish Parliament, the Turkish Republican People’s Party (CHP) led by Kamal Klijdar Ihsanoglu ranked second with 25,1% of the votes and took 132 seats, while the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) led by Devlet Bahceli won the third position with 16,4 % and took 81 seats.
They turned Turkey into a country that is
in touch with terror organizations.
Guler Yilmaz, Al-Monitor, September 3, 2013
In an interview with Taraf, former Turkish ambassador and vice chairman of the Republican People’s Party, Osman Faruk Logoglu says that Turkey is losing its weight in the Middle East and criticizes Ankara’s Syria policy.
Taraf: What should be Turkey’s role in the Syrian issue? What mistakes is Turkey making in its Syria policy?
Logoglu: Everything the government is doing regarding Syria is wrong... Turkey followed a biased, partisan policy. It supported the opposition and fully marginalized the regime.
The AKP government thus became a direct party to the clashes in Syria. That wasn’t all: The government is also giving all kinds of direct or indirect support to civilian and military elements of the Syrian opposition forces.
Taraf: What is the effectiveness of Turkey in the Middle East? Is it an important actor in the Middle East?
Logoglu: The AKP’s image and prestige — including the personal prestige of the prime minister — has been reduced to zero in all Arab countries...
What has Turkey contributed to address the problems of the Palestinian people? Nothing...
Developments regarding Egypt, Iraq and Syria have made Turkey an actor not to be taken seriously...
They are trying fervently to motivate the Western world to intervene in Syria. They are warmongering...
Three to four months ago, our ambassador in Chad declared on Twitter that al-Qaeda is not a terror organization. If the government backs such a declaration by an ambassador, no problem. But if not, there should have been a sanction. I submitted a parliamentary query asking, “Is it true that al-Qaeda is not a terror organization? If it is, what action did you take regarding that ambassador?” They didn’t reply...
They turned Turkey into a country that is in touch with Jabhat al-Nusra and other terror organizations.
Egypt has summoned the US ambassador to Cairo to voice anger at a visit to a conference in Washington this week by a delegation of prominent Muslim Brotherhood members.
The government of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi has long been unhappy with the US administration’s engagement with the Brotherhood movement, which Cairo has outlawed as a terrorist organisation.
But US diplomats have consistently ignored the Egyptian complaints and engaged with the full political spectrum in Egypt, including secular and religious reformists.
The Obama administration sees the Brotherhood as a legitimate political group...
“We will remain in contact with a variety of political and other organisations,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said. “We met with this group in the past and we will remain in contact with organisations from across the political spectrum” in Egypt.
State Department officials quietly met Brotherhood members during a similar trip to Washington in January by former Egyptian parliamentarians and members of the Brotherhood-backed Freedom and Justice Party of deposed president Mohammad Morsi.
The Brotherhood delegation in Washington this week includes Amr Darrag, a senior Egyptian leader of the group, Canada-based adviser Wael Haddara, and Maha Azzam, who is not a Muslim Brother and chairs the Brotherhood-backed Egyptian Revolutionary Council, which calls from exile for [president] Sisi’s toppling.
Amr Darrag is the head of the political office of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a senior leader of the Anti-Coup Pro-Legitimacy National Alliance.
In an interview with the Mekammileen (We shall continue) satellite TV channel affiliated with the opposition in Egypt (and which broadcasts its programs from outside Egypt), Dr. Darrag said: "The putschists thought the Muslim Brotherhood was simply a reformist group that would quickly succumb and accept the illegitimate coup. But the reality has proved the traitors wrong.
"Change inside the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt emanates from its youth, at all levels… The only coup in history challenged with popular protest for more than a year and a half is the traitorous and illegitimate coup in Egypt.
A revolutionary new day witnesses the close of a whole year of devastation and disasters for this homeland since the traitorous murderer made himself president of Egypt, after he and his ilk sabotaged and trampled the first democratic experience in Egypt with their military machine, armored vehicles, bullets and blood.
Egypt is in a state of ruin in all fields, a year after the inauguration of the traitorous coup commander Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi as president, grabbing by sheer force the country's top post from the first elected civilian President, a position which is evidently too large for him and his abilities...
There is neither safety nor security in the junta's Egypt, only a group of thugs and murderers who know nothing but killing, oppression and the shedding of innocent blood.
Amid all this devastation at the hands of the failing military junta, Egypt's revolutionaries put hope in people's hearts and emphasize that the traitorous putschists will not be allowed to rest on their stolen chairs, and the Revolution will not be killed in Egypt's squares, but will keep going on until victory.
To the free men and women of Egypt's Revolution…
Rise against repression, injustice and the oppressors. Do not stop until Egypt is liberated from the hands of the military murderers.
Come out and rise with your brothers in the capitals of all countries around the world to lay siege to Al-Sisi the butcher abroad.
Mohamed Montaser, Muslim Brotherhood Spokesman
In the three-way war ravaging Syria, should the local al Qaeda branch be seen as the lesser evil to be wooed rather than bombed?
This is increasingly the view of some of America’s regional allies and even some Western officials.
The three main forces left on the ground today are the Assad regime, Islamic State and an Islamist rebel alliance in which the Nusra Front — an al Qaeda affiliate designated a terrorist group by the U.S. and the United Nations — plays a major role.
Outnumbered and outgunned, the more secular, Western-backed rebels have found themselves fighting shoulder to shoulder with Nusra in key battlefields.
Reaching out to a terrorist group
is the only rational choiced
Libya 2012: hononoring Bin-Laden and Salafist preacher Al-Arour
As the Islamic State, or ISIS, gains ground in both Syria and Iraq, reaching out to Nusra is the only rational choice left for the international community, supporters of this approach argue.
At first, it was mostly Turkey and Qatar that aided Syrian Islamist rebels cooperating with Nusra. Regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia was more reluctant, wary of abetting al Qaeda, an avowed enemy of the House of Saud.
In recent months, however, Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman has moved to work much more closely with Doha and Ankara in supporting the Islamist-dominated rebel alliance that includes Nusra. These countries prefer to see Nusra and its allies, rather than Islamic State, move into territory surrendered by Damascus.
“The Turks, the Saudis and the Qataris have decided that the problem above all is to get rid of Bashar al-Assad, and the Americans don’t have leverage over them to change what they are doing,” said Robert Ford, who served as U.S. ambassador to Syria in 2010-2014 and is now a scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington.
“Those countries are willing to use even the extremist groups like Nusra to bring down Assad..."
“It is unfortunate that certain Arab countries try to convince the U.S. and the rest of the antiterrorist alliance to rehabilitate Nusra,” said Sejean Azzi (Lebanon’s labor minister)...
“This is great error — we refuse the choice between ISIS and Nusra, We want to choose between democracy and dictatorship, not between terrorism and terrorism. If the Syrians have to choose between ISIS, Nusra or Assad, they will choose Assad.”
While countries such as Qatar have pressed Nusra to sever its ties with al Qaeda, it is unlikely that its U.S. designation as a terrorist group will be lifted soon...
Yet, with Islamic State on the offensive, Washington is likely to go “pretty far” in tolerating the budding collaboration between its regional allies and Nusra, said U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis, who retired two years ago as NATO’s supreme allied commander.
“If our allies are working with them, that is acceptable..." “I don’t think that is a showstopper for the U.S. in terms of engaging with that coalition.”
Israel demands stronger sanctions on Iran. "It would be an historic mistake not to take full advantage of the sanctions." "Sanctions must not be eased when they are so close to achieving their intended purpose."
(Netanyahu's security cabinet statement, 15-10-2013)
The chief rabbi and UN secretary-general met this week during the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions held in Kazakhstan. Representing the State of Israel, Rabbi Yosef warned: "We recently saw with our own eyes that words can kill. As leaders, we must reject any kind of boycott."
In his speech, the rabbi explained that an attitude of tolerance must be adopted in order to eventually reach peace between people and religions.
He added that Judaism educates for tolerance, and therefore it is customary to take three steps back when saying "Oseh Shalom Bimromav" ("He who makes peace in His heights"). "In order to reach peace, each side must take three steps back," he said.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is continuing its efforts to initiate an international boycott against Israel...
Mustafa Barghouti, the general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) movement and a leading figure in the movement to boycott Israel, called for the international solidarity movement supporting the Palestinian Arabs to strengthen their economic attack on Israel.
He also called for the pro-Palestinian movement to work to bring about sanctions against Israel, and to cause financial investments to be pulled from the Jewish state.
Speaking at a press conference at Oxford University in London this Wednesday, Barghouti said the boycott is targeting the "occupation" and the "racist separation regime."
The boycott "is the greatest expression of the human struggle in peaceful ways supported by the right of peoples to freedom, as it was in South Africa."
"The hysterical propaganda of the Zionist parties in Israel confirms the effectiveness of the boycott and the alternative national strategy which combines a popular struggle and the boycott movement to bring a change in the balance of power, instead of relying on methods that have failed throughout the years that have passed," said Barghouti.
The United States and its Western allies are trying to ensnare Russia in an audacious disinformation trap over the Ukraine conflict.
Russia is being held up as the guilty party that is undermining the shaky Minsk ceasefire; and Western economic sanctions are being extended "until Russia implements the ceasefire".
The prove-a-negative trap works like this: allegations are simply levelled, then amplified and repeated ad nauseam by Western mass media and an array of "experts" and pundits.
It's the Big Lie technique of Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels. There is no substance to the allegations and there is no obligation to present evidence to verify, thanks to the dutiful and unquestioning nature of Western corporate "journalism".
The proving-a-negative conundrum has been used elsewhere by Washington.
Recall how Saddam Hussein's Iraq was compelled to "demonstrate" that it did not possess weapons of mass destruction.
Saddam couldn't comply with that ultimatum because Iraq did not have any WMDs. But his "failure" was construed as "evidence" that the Iraqi leader was concealing WMDs. Then in March 2003 the US under President GW Bush launched a genocidal war of occupation on the country, during which over a million Iraqis died, and whose horrific legacy of violence and extremism still persists to this day in that country and the wider region.
We see the exact same ruse played against Iran. Tehran is accused by Washington and its Western allies of secretly planning to build a nuclear bomb.
No evidence is produced despite countless IAEA inspections, and indeed Western intelligence agencies have quietly admitted there is no evidence of any such nuclear ambitions. But still the accusations and insinuations continue against Iran, which then "justify" the imposition of crippling economic sanctions and interminable political wrangling that denies Iranian national rights.
All because Iran can't prove a negative, that it is not building a nuclear bomb now, or sometime in the future.
Russia is finding itself contending with the same irrational Western mindset. It is a mindset that is deliberate and cynical...
Wrapping up the Group of Seven summit in Germany this week, US President Barack Obama said that "more costs" would be piled on Russia over its "aggression in Ukraine". If Putin "wants to wreck his economy that's up to him," Obama said...
Obama's assertions were echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that Russia faces another six months of Western-imposed economic and diplomatic penalties.
Damascus, 13-6-2015. The statue of Virgin Mary and some historical bells seized earlier by terrorists were restored to their original place in Maaloula town, Damascus Countryside.
The ancient town, located near Damascus, was overrun by terrorist organizations in September 2013. Since April 2014, the date when the army restored security and stability to the town, several pieces and icons have been retrieved gradually. (Syria Breaking News)
The Mother is the key to our mystical reunion with God.
Mary, representing the Divine Mother, is one of the most
revered figures in the West. Many consider her their spiritual
As Mother and Teacher, Mary comes to liberate the feminine principle and spiritually transform us...
The nature of man and woman is comprised of both masculine and feminine energy. These polarities, the masculine and the feminine, have to be balanced for us to become spiritually and psychologically whole.
From the Mother we learn the things we need to do in order to raise the light of the Mother and magnetize the light of the Father. (Sacred Wind)
She is a Queen, but not the Queen of Justice, punishing the guilty. She is the Queen of Mercy, full of compassion and pardon for sinners. This is why the Church makes us call her expressly "the Queen of Mercy". (www.catholictradition.org)
AMMAN, Jordan — Tariq Aziz was laid to rest Saturday after a ceremony in his honor at a church in the Jordanian capital, Amman, eight days after the debonair Iraqi diplomat died in prison of a heart attack. Aziz died June 5 at age 79.
Hundreds of Iraqis and Jordanians attended the church services of Aziz, the only Christian in Saddam Hussein's inner circle, at St. Mary of Nazareth church in Amman.
"You had frightened your enemies when you were free, and you had frightened them even after your soul left your body which had suffered from the prison's darkness," said Aziz's daughter, Zeinab, speaking at the ceremony."Your message has reached everybody in the whole world," she said.
Supporters of Aziz chanted pro-Baath party slogans outside the church. Supporters also carried pictures for former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
After the ceremony in Amman, Aziz was buried in the historical Christian town of Madaba.
Tareq Aziz & Baathism
"We had to find an alternative. There was the communist ideology. There was the liberal system, which we read about in the books. And there was the nationalist movement -- the Arab Socialist Party...
24-5-2006: Tareq Aziz testifies
Secular EthicsSecular ethics is a branch of moral philosophy in which ethics is based solely on human faculties such as logic, reason or moral intuition, and not derived from purported supernatural revelation or guidance (which is the source of religious ethics).
Secular ethics comprises any ethical system that does not draw on the supernatural, such as humanism, secularism and freethinking.
Secular ethics frameworks do not necessarily contradict theological value systems. For example, the Golden Rule or a commitment to non-violence, could be supported by those within religious and secular frameworks. Secular ethics systems can also vary within the societal and cultural norms of a specific time period. (Wikipedia Info)
Sistani is a cleric fit for a secularist state
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18
Everyone must let go of those sentiments which carry hatred and bigotry. Follow the noble manners.
God has made people into different tribes and races so that they may know each other. Do not be overcome by narrow-minded views and personal egos.
Do you not see how the majority of Muslims today are engaged in self-destruction where they spend their resources, energy, and wealth on killing and destruction of each other?
They should instead spend their resources and wealth on the advancement of knowledge and multiplying their resources and improve the welfare of the people.
Turning to education, Dr Hassoun said, "Let us teach our school pupils that what is sacred in the world is man" since man "is the creation of the creator".
If we want peace, starting for example with Palestine and Israel, he suggested that rather than building walls, "let us build bridges of peace"...
"We must create states on a civil basis, not a religious basis", adding "I don't impose my religion on you, nor do you impose your religion on me". (European parlement, 15-1-2008)
Obama is an 'opportunist,' Hillary Clinton no different just 'more militant'
“No other country is better equipped to meet traditional threats from countries like Russia, North Korea, and Iran – and to deal with the rise of new powers like China,” the candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, said during her first major campaign speech on Saturday. “As your President, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep Americans safe.”
The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Press and Information Department, Maria Zakharova, struck back at the ex-US Secretary of State and former first lady, saying that the Democrats were apparently trying to create a “new dragon” in order to gloriously slay it.
“In order to defeat a dragon, the Democrats first needed to create it, which they have been doing successfully in recent years,” Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page, adding that a proper election campaign required a new and worthy global enemy.
One small country like North Korea is a problem too insignificant for a “superpower, capable of basically anything,” Zakharova said. And Iran, which the US is struggling to strike a deal with, is no longer a suitable candidate for the role of “global evil,” she added...
“So welcome! The new ‘enemies of the American people’ – the ‘traditionally threatening’ Russia and a ‘rising’ China.”
“We can not say we want progress and development and at the same time insist that we don’t care about the world…, a world that more and more is interconnected, a world in which we need a good policy, not coarse words”. Hassan Rouhani, 29-2-2008
President Hassan Rouhani has addressed a meeting of clerics, elites and martyrs families. He told the meeting that his government would welcome ‘fair and constructive criticism.
President Rouhani called all government and state organizations to remain committed to the principle of moderation; “in Islamic Revolution and in Sacred Defense we saw moderation on the top of political conduct; we should consider moderation in allocating the budget to provinces,” added the president, extending his examples of moderation to respecting and recognizing women’s capabilities and competence in management and executive positions.
“The government has put aside criteria such as gender; rather, what is critical, are expertise, chastity, and capacity of women; the government has waged efforts to attach to this criteria in bringing women’s capabilities to the fore as a force which helps growth and foster the culture of tolerance,” said Rouhani, citing moderation and respect as pivots of its path in handling affairs; “ethnic groups should respect other groups,” he added.
Rouhani admitted problems hitting the environment and dubbed it as ‘a major issue of the country,’ which should not be abandoned with indifference; on province’s huge number of young talents, President also cited unemployment as a disturbing issue, which would not be solved without investments in different sectors.
“The economy should be in the road to upheld technology; in road to this objective, some sparks have lighted the road to knowledge-based companies, with current 1,500 of such companies receiving resources for activity,” Rouhani said.
U.S. Ambassador David Hale has said that jihadists are seeking to saw the seeds of hate in Lebanon but that the Lebanese are capable of defeating them if they stay committed to state institutions.
“Extremist groups from across the border seek to sow seeds of hate, divide the Lebanese people, and destroy our shared values of mutual respect and understanding,” said Hale on Monday at a ceremony held in BIEL on the occasion of U.S. Independence Day.
“It will take time and perseverance, but those extremists will fail, so long as the Lebanese people remain committed to their state institutions, true to their values which are so much stronger than the false ideology of extremism, and stand by their army and security services,” he said.
Only those institutions have the legitimacy to defend the country and its borders, and are accountable to the Lebanese people, he stated.
The U.S. independence was celebrated early this year out of respect for the holy month of Ramadan, which will coincide with the fourth of July.
Hafez al Assad Speech about Muslim Brotherhood 1982
Events in 1982 were preceded by an attempt on president Hafez al-Assad's life by the Islamists as well as the bloody attack on Islamic students from the local military academy. A real rebellion broke out in the city after months of growing instability. At that time, people were so terrorized by the Muslim Brotherhood that they were afraid to let their children out onto the streets.
However, there was no use of force until the Islamists struck first.
The events that took place then in Hama were terrible. A mobile guillotine was fixed onto a truck and driven around the city. The Islamists used it to destroy anyone who somehow displeased them.
Qatar expressed "deep concern" on Wednesday over a death sentence handed down by an Egyptian court against ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and called for his release.
"Doha adds its voice to the countries calling for the verdict to be quashed and Morsi released," said the statement on the official Qatar News Agency.
An Egyptian court on Tuesday upheld a death sentence handed down against Morsi on charges of plotting jailbreaks and attacks on police during the country's 2011 uprising.
It also sentenced him to life in prison on charges of spying for Iran and militant groups including the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, several of whose leaders are based in Qatar.
The Egyptian court also upheld death sentences against around 100 other defendants, including the Qatar-based cleric Yusuf Qaradawi, who was tried in absentia.
Ties between Doha and Cairo had been strained over Qatar's backing for Morsi, ousted by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2013.
The dispute triggered a crisis last year pitting Qatar against its Gulf neighbors Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- all backers of Sisi.
It ended in a compromise in December, when Qatar pledged its support to Sisi, even though it still shelters many leaders of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood which is now blacklisted as a terrorist group in Egypt.
Muslim Brotherhood Statement on Latest Court Sentences
Freedom & Justice Party, June 17,2015
The Muslim Brotherhood affirms that the life imprisonment and death sentences today (Tuesday) are null and void, issued by judges and a Mufti who have sold themselves to the murderous military junta, judges and Mufti who do not deserve to sit on their esteemed seats, but in history's waste-baskets, where seats have been booked for them...
With many legal irregularities and crimes committed in the trials [...] the judiciary and the Mufti have reached the end point where there is no repentance or turning back...
With their sentence today for the execution of the elected President and the homeland's honorable leaders, the traitorous military junta have cut off all routes of retreat, and set themselves up for fair retribution...
The group urges the homeland's people to rise in a massive popular protest Friday, a protest against the fascist criminal Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and his gang...
The day will come for the inevitable retribution. God's verdict against all those corrupt murderers has already been issued...
Arab party Hadash (left-wing) is likely to be included on a list of parties denied financing under a revolutionary anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) bill, according to the party's guidelines.
Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman (right wing) introduced the bill Thursday.
The law would strip political parties of government funding if they supported boycotts of any Israeli products, including those from Judea and Samaria.
The bill would also halt funding for day-to-day operations for parties that are already in the Knesset.
Hadash is one of these parties, as it recently released a press release entitled, "Boycott - Legitimate Civil Resistance."
"Hadash welcomes the international boycott of companies that operate in settlements in the occupied territories, and considers the ban a legitimate form of civil resistance," the release states.
"[Hadash] welcomes all expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people and its just struggle - including a ban on commercial companies involved in the occupation and violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, which is a form of legitimate civil resistance."
Hadash also called on "all nations of the world, unions and trade unions, to intensify the fight for a just peace in the region, based on respect for the rights of nations and cease all injustices, oppression and racism."
Hadash is part of the Arab Joint List, along with United Arab List (UAL - Ra'am-Ta'al) and Balad.
Profile: Avigdor Lieberman
BBC News, 6 November 2013
Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, is one of Israel's most popular and controversial politicians.
Mr Lieberman was born in 1958 in Kishinev in the USSR, now Chisinau in Moldova. He emigrated to Israel at the age of 20 under the Law of Return...
He became active in student politics and began his career working for Likud, serving as the party's director general between 1993 and 1996, followed by a year as head of Mr Netanyahu's office during his first term as prime minister.
He left Likud and founded his own party, Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home).
Most recently, he was criticised by the EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, for comparing the bloc's Israel policy to European countries' attitude towards the Jews before and during world war 2..
BDS began some ten years ago. However, in the United States and probably also in Europe, it is only in the past few years that people not actively engaged in Palestinian solidarity work have become aware of its existence.
Gandhi is reputed to have said: “first they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”
BDS is now in that third stage. It should therefore come as no surprise that the Israelis have put out the word that BDS is anti-Semitic...
What is fueling the rise of the BDS movement are Israeli efforts to break the back of Palestinian resistance – so that the majority of Palestinians remaining in the Promised Land will up and go, ceding the entirety of Mandate Palestine to 'the Herrenvolk' (a race, people, or nation whose members consider themselves superior to members of other groups).
After three assaults on Gaza in six years, and with the election of a virulently reactionary government that includes overtly racist members, the remarkable thing is that BDS is not farther along...
Netanyahu and his political allies, along with all their predecessors since the settlement movement began, have been doing their best to block Palestinian national aspirations.
Their objective, obviously, is to establish Israeli-Jewish sovereignty over the entirety of Mandate Palestine, and to expel as many Palestinians as they can.
This is why they maintain Gaza as an outdoor prison, why they decimate it periodically, and why they have never stopped ethnically cleansing the West Bank...
In short, Netanyahu’s Israel has made BDS morally imperative.
Israel's culture minister, who has clashed with the country's artistic elite over accusations of censorship, has further fuelled the dispute by calling some of them "petty bores" and "hypocrites".
"The world of culture is an ungrateful world," she said in a recorded interview with a women's magazine which was broadcast Friday on radio. "I say to myself, who am I working for? For a group of ungrateful people who think they know everything, some of them petty bores, hypocrites..."
Miriam "Miri" Regev (born Miriam Siboni on May 26, 1965) is an Israeli politician and a former Brigadier-general in the Israel Defense Forces, in which she served as IDF Spokeswoman. She is currently a member of the Knesset for Likud and Minister of Culture and Sport.
Regev was recently successful in passing a bill that would annex the Jordan Valley and place it under full Israeli sovereignty. The bill passed in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.
In her view Jewish sovereignty in Al-Aqsa Mosque is the most important embodiment of the political, religious and cultural sovereignty of “the Jewish people on their land”.
Flashback: The land of Israel is ours
Knesset Member Miri Regev (Likud) offers Netanyahu
her version of speech for the US Congress
Miri Regev, YNet News, 24-5-2011
Honorable speaker, House of Representatives of the Unites States of America, distinguished Congress Members, ladies and gentlemen.
I, the prime minister of the Jewish State, am proud to deliver a speech at the House of Representative's plenum, which holds a statue of Moses facing the speaker's chair alongside a status of Maimonides...
The roots of the alliance between the US and Israel go back to the first settlers who landed in the "new Canaan" in the 17th Century and continue with America's founding fathers, who viewed Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samuel and Gideon as a source of inspiration in the struggle for independence and for the federal system that turned into the world's leading democracy.
Congress members..., in 1967, we were able to unite Jerusalem and return to the cradle of Jewish history that gave rise to the Jewish and Judeo-Christian traditions, which stand at the root of America's morality, law and political system...
Against the backdrop of events in the Middle East, Israel holds a prominent place as the only state that is stable, trusted, holds proven capabilities and is democratic and an unconditional ally of the United States...
Israel aspires for peace with all its neighbors, but nations do not place the cradle of their culture and their security on the negotiating table...
The anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli incitement in the Palestinian education system, religious establishment and media, as well as Palestinian terror, reduces the chance for genuine peace.
Israel opened the gate for peace with the Palestinians when it initiated the establishment of a Palestinian Authority in 1993... However, since 1993 the education for hate and terror reached unprecedented levels.
The Palestinians must dramatically change their conduct in order to facilitate the fulfillment of the aspiration for peace.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish People, and not only to the Jews who live in that land. All founding founders of Zionism believe in this.
We are talking here not only about Israel's security, but also about the Jewish People's rights in the Land of Israel.
King David's kingdom, the Hasmoneans and the State of Israel are all one and the same. All stretched out a hand in peace, and I too stand here before the nations of the world and wholeheartedly declare: We are ready for peace.
Maimonides has no concept of human rights
Michah Gottlieb, in: Moses Mendelssohn as a Guide for Orthodoxy
"A Gentile slave has to be enslaved forever ... one of the main reasons being that since the Jewish nation is the elite of the human race ... they deserve to have slaves serving them." Maimonides
Maimonides has no concept of human rights and he does not deem tolerance a value. Thus he rules that one who does not perfect his intellect is not truly a human being; that a Jew without proper belief is not an Israelite, but a heretic whom one is commanded to hate and kill; and that one is not permitted to save a dying Gentile.
In contrast, Mendelssohn seeks to show that religious diversity, tolerance, and respect for human rights are Jewish values. For this reason, the slogan “From Moses to Moses there never arose one as great as Moses” was applied to him even in his own life. Mendelssohn addressed perplexities that Maimonides could not even conceive...
Mendelssohn is the Jewish thinker closest in spirit to the American founders.
Mendelssohn envisioned the removal of irrational dogma and superstition from religion. He was committed to values that we often call “secular” such as the pursuit of individual happiness in this world, tolerance, and respect for religious diversity, but he saw these values as deriving from religious principles.
Many Zionists hated Mendelssohn because they saw him as the father of the maskilic dream that Jews could be respected equal citizens in Gentile states.
The Arab world and the Middle East have been experiencing national and political instability since 2011.
To many, it may seem that the Arab world is the most problematic spot on the globe, but there are some countries which sympathize and empathize with the current situation in the Middle East, and Russia is one such country.
"We view Russia as an important state in the modern world. Our relations have a long history... We will work to develop bilateral relations in all areas." Muhammad Bin Salman
Saudi Arabia and Russia are facing the same challenges even though they belong to two different geopolitical turfs. The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center has reported that around 2,000 Russian citizens have joined Daesh (the self-proclaimed IS). Experts estimate that there may be 5,000 more.
These statistics leave Saudi Arabia and Russia standing on the same side of the fence as both countries are concerned about their national unity and security, the threats of the Western world and the continuation of their culture and heritage.
That is why both countries realize the importance of establishing a strong and open line of communication and focusing on factors which are to their mutual benefit...
Together, Saudi Arabia and Russia can collaborate and cooperate to achieve global economic, commercial, industrial and scientific excellence...
Russia is one of the strongest powers on the globe and the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Russia was established more than 80 years ago.
In combining the strength and power of the Russian Federation and the economic potential of the Middle East, represented by Saudi Arabia, the two countries are bound to conquer any challenge that they may face.
Their cooperation will ensure the national unity and security of the two countries and will open doors for a Saudi-Russian economic power in the future.
Address to the Conference on the European/Russian Crisis, Delphi, Greece, June 20-21, 2015
The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in the rise of the neoconservatives to power and influence in the US government.
The neoconservatives have interpreted the Soviet collapse as History’s choice of “American democratic capitalism” as the New World Order.
Chosen by History as the exceptional and indispensable country, Washington claims the right and the responsibility to impose its hegemony on the world.
Neoconservatives regard their agenda to be too important to be constrained by domestic and international law or by the interests of other countries.
Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neoconservative, penned the Wolfowitz Doctrine shortly after the Soviet collapse. This doctrine is the basis of US foreign and military policy.
The doctrine states:
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union.”
Notice that Washington’s “first objective” is not peace, not prosperity, not human rights, not democracy, not justice...
The Wolfowitz doctrine requires Washington to dispense with or overthrow governments that do not acquiesce to Washington’s will. It is the “first objective.”
The media disguises the reality...
Today the media throughout the Western world serves as a Propaganda Ministry for Washington.
The Western media is Washington’s Ministry of Truth. Gerald Celente, the trends forecaster, calls the Western media “presstitutes,” a combination of press prostitutes.
In the US Putin and Russia are demonized around the clock. Every broadcast alerts us to “the Russian threat.” Even Putin’s facial expressions are psychologically analyzed. Putin is the New Hitler...
Any and every one who takes exception to the anti-Putin, anti-Russian propaganda is branded a “Putin apologist,” just as 9/11 skeptics are dismissed as “conspiracy theorists.”
In the Western world, the few truth-tellers are demonized along with Putin and Russia.
The world should take note that today, right now, Truth is the most unwelcome presence in the Western world. No one wants to hear it in Washington, London, Tokyo, or in any of the political capitals of Washington’s empire.
The majority of the American population has fallen for the anti-Russian propaganda, just as they fell for “Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” “Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people,” Iranian nukes,” the endless lies about Gaddafi..
To understand Washington, go online and read the neoconservative documents and position papers. You will see an agenda unconstrained by law, by morality, by compassion, by common sense. You will see an agenda of evil.
The danger of the neoconservative ideology is that it is in perfect harmony with powerful economic interests.
In the US the left-wing has made itself impotent... The European left-wing, once a progressive force, even a revolutionary one, has become a reactionary force...
The inability even of intellectuals to recognize and accept reality means that restraints on neoconservatives are nowhere present except within Russia and China.
Some 59 percent of Israeli Jews believe the state should recognize Reform and Conservative rabbis and grant them the same legal status as their Orthodox counterparts, according to an opinion poll released Monday.
Commissioned by Hiddush, a nonprofit organization that works to promote religious freedom in Israel, the poll reveals a disparity among Israelis regarding the level of influence Orthodox institutions have on daily life in Israel.
The poll found that 71% disagreed with President Reuven Rivlin’s recent decision to backtrack on hosting a bar mitzvah ceremony for disabled children at his residence officiated by a Conservative rabbi.
Hiddush Director Rabbi Uri Regev called on Rivlin to reconsider his decision...
“The president must not act as if he is the exclusive President of Orthodoxy, to the exclusion of the largest streams of world Jewry,” he said in a statement.
The poll results reveal that respondents who identified as national-religious or ultra-Orthodox largely supported the president’s decision to exclude the Conservative rabbi from the bar mitzva — at 67% and 92% respectively.
In Israel, there is less religious freedom for non-Orthodox Jews than anyplace in the Western world.
Israel—and its American friends—regularly proclaim that it is a society in which there is “religious freedom.” Its definition of this term, however, is unique. Conservative and Reform rabbis have no right to perform weddings or funerals and their conversions are not recognized. Orthodox Judaism is, in effect, the state religion.
The Declaration of Independence read in the great hall of the Tel Aviv Art Museum on May 14, 1948 was modeled on the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the American Declaration of Independence.
It was, writes Hebrew University Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell in The Founding Myths Of Israel, an “article for export, an act of public relations. It had no legal standing in Israeli jurisprudence and thus could not serve as a point of reference with regard to the rights of man, with regard to gender equality or with regard to equality before the law, which, if applied, would have made the Arabs remaining in Israeli territory full citizens.
The Orthodox chief rabbinate wields exclusive control over all Jewish aspects of the secular State of Israel.
Each city and town also elects its own local Orthodox chief rabbi. There is a national network of Beth Din (“religious courts”), each headed by approved Orthodox Au Beit Din judges, as well as a network of “Religious Councils” that are part of each municipality. The chief rabbinate retains exclusive control and has the final say about all matters pertaining to conversion to Judaism, the kosher certification of foods, and the status of Jewish marriages and divorces. The Israel Defense Forces also relies on the chief rabbinate’s approval for its own Jewish chaplains, who are exclusively Orthodox.
Not only can Conservative and Reform rabbis not officiate at religious ceremonies, but any marriages, divorces and conversions they perform are not considered valid. Conservative and Reform Jews have been prohibited from holding services at the Western Wall on the grounds that they violate Orthodox norms regarding the non-participation of women.
Rabbi Uri Regev, who heads the Israeli organization Hiddush, which promotes religious freedom, declares: “There is no sensible reason that the chief rabbinate should continue to exist as a state power-wielding institution... This outdated and coercive institution damages the reputation of Judaism and subverts the rule of law...”
Israel’s theocracy is not quite what Zionism’s founder, Theodor Herzl, had in mind. In fact, Herzl had minimal interest in religious Judaism. In his novel Altneuland, all non-Jews have equal rights...
Outlining his vision for a new Jewish state, Herzl summed up his vision of an open society: “It is founded on the ideas which are a common product of all civilized nations. … It would be immoral if we would exclude anyone... Our motto must therefore be, now and forever, ‘Man, you are my brother.’”
When it came to the question of religion and the state, Herzl wrote: “Faith unites us, knowledge gives us freedom. We shall therefore prevent any theocratic tendencies from coming to the fore on the part of our priesthood..."
Allan C. Brownfeld is a syndicated columnist and associate editor of the Lincoln Review, a journal published by the Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, and editor of Issues, the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism.
Hillary Clinton’s greatest billionaire backer has been Haim Saban, a dual United States-Israel citizen and hardline supporter of Israel, who has openly commented, “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel…"
Saban has supported Hillary in her senatorial and 2008 presidential campaigns and he, along with his Saban Family Foundation, donated from $10 million to $25 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Saban was born in Egypt to a family that emigrated to Israel in 1956 with most of the Egyptian Jewish population after the Suez War, in which Israel, along with Britain and France, attacked Egypt. Although he has lived in the United States for over thirty years, Saban maintains a strong loyalty to Israel...
Saban’s foremost purpose is to aid Israel by increasing American support for the Jewish state. He has publicly described his method to achieve this goal by stating that the “three ways to be influential in American politics” are to make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets.
In line with that thinking, he funds the American Israel Education Foundation, which is essentially a branch of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — located in the same building..
In 2002, he founded the Saban Center for Middle East Policy (which in 2014 dropped the name Saban, though maintaining the connection with him) at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
Michael O’Hanlon, who was in the Saban Center and is now Co-Director of the Brookings Institution’s Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, supported the US war on Iraq in 2003, backed troop surges in Iraq and Afghanistan, signed letters and policy statements of the neocon Project for the New American Century, and advocated the use of American ground troops in Syria to oust the Assad regime.
In 2008, O’Hanlon supported John McCain for president, though he had been listed as an advisor to Hillary Clinton before she lost the nomination to Obama.
Also, at the Saban Center, and remaining there after the Saban name was dropped, is Kenneth M. Pollack, who supported the invasion of Iraq... Much more recently, on March 24, 2015, Pollack testified before a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Senator John McCain, that Iran was far more dangerous than ISIS or al Qaeda..
Pollack was one of Hillary Clinton’s chief foreign policy advisors while she was in the Senate and supported her candidacy for president in 2008.
The most significant war hawk who happens to be, or at least has been, a bona fide neocon in the Brookings Institution is Robert Kagan of the seemingly omnipresent Kagan clan (father Donald, brother Frederick, sister-in-law Kimberly and wife Victoria Nuland, who, as a leading figure in the US State Department, played a major role in fomenting the Russia-Ukraine crisis).
Kagan was the foreign policy advisor to John McCain in 2008. In recent years, however, Kagan, who joined Brookings in 2010, has tried to distance imself from his neocon past... Instead of 100 percent neoconism, he now espouses something that could be described as neocon-lite.
In 2014, Kagan implied that he might support Hillary Clinton for President. “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy,” he remarked. “If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue, it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that...”
Numerous commentators have pointed out that Hillary is not only hawkish but is attracting support from neocons and neoconnish Democrats.
In 2014, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Glen Greenwald, an anti-war leftist, commented bluntly about Hillary Clinton:
“She’s a f***ing hawk and like a neocon, practically. She’s surrounded by all these sleazy money types who are just corrupting everything everywhere.
But she’s going to be the ﬁrst female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted as racist. It’s going to be this completely symbolic messaging that’s going to overshadow the fact that she’ll do nothing but continue everything in pursuit of her own power.”
Dr. Stephen Sniegoski is the author of The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton continues to be embroiled in controversy, as on Thursday the US State Department said it cannot find 15 work-related emails from Clinton's private server that were released this week by a committee probe of the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
The emails consist of a series of unverified intelligence reports passed to her when she was US Secretary of State by her longtime political confidant Sidney Blumenthal, officials told the Associated Press.
Clinton is under pressure for having used a private email server while in office in breach of federal regulations, in a move that potentially was used to hide sensitive correspondences that officials are required to document. Suspicions were raised higher when thousands of emails in the server were wiped by Clinton.
Speaking about the revelation of the 15 deleted work emails, Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told Fox News on Thursday that the finding was "significant and troubling."
He added that the 15 erased emails revealed by the probe show Clinton "was soliciting and regularly corresponding with Sidney Blumenthal - who was passing unvetted intelligence information about Libya from a source with a financial interest in the country..."
He advised then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the need for a “ferocious” bombing campaign in Libya during the U.S.’s 2011 military intervention. He sent flattering notes and told Mrs. Clinton she should take her rightful place in history for helping oust former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
A new batch of emails released by a congressional committee Monday offers a rare window into the unique and complicated role that Sidney Blumenthal has played in the life of Mrs. Clinton, now the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The committee had asked Mr. Blumenthal for documents and deposed him last week as part of a broader investigation.
Mr. Blumenthal, a former journalist with the New Yorker and Washington Post, served in the White House during Bill Clinton’s second term and worked on special projects and as a communications strategist.
When she became secretary of state in 2009, Mrs. Clinton had wanted to hire Mr. Blumenthal, who had played a prominent role in the Clinton White House. White House aides objected, in part due to tensions dating back to the Democratic primary. Instead, Mr. Blumenthal joined the payroll of the Clinton Foundation, the family’s charity.
When the U.S. and other nations battled the Gadhafi regime in 2011, Mr. Blumenthal sent. Mrs. Clinton a string of emails to her private email account that often included intelligence assessments passed on from a source whom the Select Committee on Benghazi, which was created to probe the 2012 death of the U.S. ambassador there, identified as former CIA official Tyler Drumheller.
It is unclear from the exchanges precisely what Mrs. Clinton thought of Mr. Blumenthal’s notes. When she replied, she kept the answers brief, although occasionally encouraged him to send more material.
Mr. Blumenthal’s advice to Mrs. Clinton was wide-ranging.
An email from Mr. Blumenthal to Mrs. Clinton on March 26, 2011 is titled “Shock & Awe.”
“Though Libyan air defenses have been degraded under the no-fly zone directive, Qaddafi’s army’s morale and cohesion might be conclusively shattered by another round or two of ferocious bombing targeting concentrations of his military assets,” Mr. Blumenthal wrote.
There was no reply to that message from Mrs. Clinton in the cache of documents released Monday.
Another email shows Mr. Blumenthal eager for Mrs. Clinton to receive credit for the intervention, which culminated in Mr. Gadhafi’s death.
“This is an historic moment and you will be credited for realizing it,” he wrote August 22, 2011.
“When Qaddafi is finally removed, you should of course make a public statement before the cameras wherever you are, even in the driveway of your vacation house. You must go on camera. You must establish yourself in the historical record at this moment.”
Today, Libya is a fractured state beset by civil war.
US Senator John McCain visits rebelsUS Senator John McCain has visited Syria to meet rebels in the war-torn country. Sen McCain is understood to have entered Syria through Turkey and was on the ground there for several hours. He met General Salim Idris as well as 18 other rebel commanders...
Earlier this month, American Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford briefly crossed into northern Syria to meet opposition leaders. (bbc news, 27-5-2013)
Ibrahim Kalin: spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan:
From the first days of the Arab Spring, the AKP (Justice and Development Party) supported Islamist parties: Rached Ghannouchi in Tunisia, Mahmoud Jibril in Libya and Mohamed Morsi in Egypt.
The party furnished the Muslim Brotherhood with specialists in political communication and advised them in order to impose their common vision of Islam in their respective societies.
In September 2011, as a sign of this alliance, Mr. Erdogan helped to create the Syrian National Council in Istanbul, which was slated to become the Syrian government in exile - an instance which was entirely under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In 2012, Mr. Erdogan welcomed to the AKP congress the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood now in power, the Egyptian Mohamed Morsi and the Palestinian Khaled Meschal. He also organised a conference for the Brotherhood on the 10th July 2013, among whose particpants were Youssef Nada, Mohammad Riyad al-Shafaka (the Brotherhood’s guide in Syria) and Rached Ghannouchi. By precaution, it was his old friends from Millî Görüs, and not the AKP, who delivered the invitations.
When, in September 2014, Qatar avoided war with Saudi Arabia by inviting the Muslim Brotherhood to leave the Emirate, Mr. Erdogan seized the opportunity and became the Brotherhood’s only « godfather » on the international stage.
Ibrahim Kalin, Ankara, May 23, 2011:
Despite setbacks in Libya, Yemen, and Syria, the democratic wave has already begun to change the Middle East’s political landscape.
The Arab Spring strengthens rather than weakens Turkey’s position in the Arab world, and vindicates the new strategic thrust of Turkish foreign policy.
Turkish officials have stated on various occasions that change in the Arab world is inevitable...
"Simply put, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Nahda Movement in Tunisia, and Hamas in Palestine will all play important and legitimate roles in the political future of their respective countries.
This means that Americans and Europeans will need to engage these groups publicly and directly, as Turkey has done, not secretly or indirectly, as they have in the past. After all, they are now part of the emerging political order in the Arab world.."
We believe that the United States must bolster any agreement by doing more in the region to check Iran and support our traditional friends and allies.
This does not mean major U.S. ground combat operations in the Middle East. But it does mean taking initiatives like the following:
* 1. In Iraq: Expand training and arming not only of Iraqi Security Forces but also Kurdish Peshmerga in the north and vetted Sunni forces in the West...
Sideline Iranian-backed militia and separate them from Shiite units (“popular mobilization units”) that are not under Iranian control.
* 2. In Syria: Work with Turkey to create a safe haven in northern Syria where refugees can obtain humanitarian aid and vetted non-extremist opposition fighters can be trained and equipped.
Capitalize on Bashar al-Assad’s increasing weakness to split off regime elements and seek to join them with U.S. trained opposition elements.
Consider designating as terrorist organizations Iranian-backed Shiite militias responsible for egregious atrocities.
* 3. In Yemen: Expand support for Saudi Arabia and the UAE in pressuring the warring parties to the negotiating table while seeking to split the Houthi elements away from Iran.
* 4. Regionally: Interdict Iranian arms bound for extremist groups and continue to counter its efforts to harass commercial shipping and our naval forces. Reaffirm U.S. policy to oppose Iran’s efforts to subvert local governments and project its power at the expense of our friends and allies.
We urge the U.S. administration to create a discreet, high-level mechanism with the Israeli government to identify and implement responses to each of these concerns...
Taking the actions we propose while the nuclear negotiations continue will reinforce the message that Iran must comply with any agreement...
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a spin-off the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is an influential beltway think tank whose members have advocated a host of hawkish, "pro-Israel" policies over the years.
It is considered a core member of the "Israel lobby," a constellation of policy and advocacy groups devoted to pushing an Israel-centric U.S. agenda in the Middle East. Many of WINEP's current and former scholars have been closely associated with neoconservatism, and the organization has generally been supportive of the "war on terror" policies pushed by groups such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Right Web is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies (www.ips-dc.org). See more at: Washington Institute Website)
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad reiterated on Saturday that fighting terrorism demands concerted efforts by all countries, warning of the growing international threat posed by terrorism, SANA reported.
He was speaking during a meeting with South African President’s two envoys to the Middle East Zola Skweyiya and Aziz Pahad and the delegation accompanying them.
The President highlighted the dangers of the Takfiri terrorism the Syrian people are being subjected to that is provided direct support by regional sides and a cover by some Western countries that only claim to be fighting terrorism.
He cited the terrorist attacks that have taken place in several countries worldwide as a proof that terrorism has indeed turned into “an international problem” having at its very core an extremist ideology that knows no limits...
President al-Assad told the envoys that the peoples of the Middle East region believe that the BRICS group, which includes South Africa as one of its members, is able to play an efficacious role in uniting efforts of the world countries.
This role is seen, he added, in light of the fact that the main objective of the states of this group - which also includes Brazil, Russia, India, China- is to boost security and stability in the world through the establishment of balanced international relations and compliance by the international conventions based on respecting the sovereignty and unity of countries and peoples’ right to self-determination.
Palestine's increased recognition in the international community has continued, with the Vatican signing it's first treaty with the "State of Palestine," calling for "courageous decisions" to be made to help end the ongoing Israeli-Arab conflict and secure a peaceful two-state solution.
The treaty relates to the Catholic Church's activities in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and comes after the Vatican first announced in May that it would formally recognize the Palestinian state.
Israeli officials have condemned the signing of the treaty...
While more than 130 countries around the world, including Russia, China and Poland recognize Palestine as a state, many western governments have refused to join the global consensus...
Mohammad Khatami(2002): It is no freedom if only the people who agree with those in power and with their ways and means are free: "Let me declare my belief clearly. The destiny of the religion's social prestige today and tomorrow will depend on our interpretation of the religion in a manner which would not contradict freedom. Whenever in history a religion has faced freedom, it has been the religion which has sustained damage..."
"When we speak of freedom we mean the freedom of the opposition. It is no freedom if only the people who agree with those in power and with their ways and means are free."
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has called for greater judicial transparency, saying that political offenses should be clearly defined so that legitimate political activity can flourish.
“A new law should specify what is political or security crime so that political activity increases and our country’s image improves in the world,” Rouhani told a gathering of high-ranking judicial officials in Tehran on Sunday.
In a televised address, he called on the judiciary to show greater leniency towards political opponents.
Every year hundreds of people, among them high profile figures and many Kurds, are thrown in jail or executed for political activity or “enmity against the state.”
Rouhani, a cleric elected in 2013 with the promise of enacting reforms and greater openness in Iran’s clerical government, said that the vague language defining political and security crimes should be more concrete.
Prior to Rouhani other officials have raised the question of writing political crime into law, particularly during the presidency of Mohammad Khatami from 1997 to 2005
Like Khatami and other officials who have raised this issue, Rouhani faces an uphill battle against hardliners who oppose greater openness.
Shortly after Rouhani’s speech, Chief Justice Sadegh Larijani took the podium to criticize “the liberal views of some leaders.”
Wikipedia info: Sadegh Larijani is a well-known critic of ex-president Mohammad Khatami and his reforms. In March 1998 an article by him attacking Khatami's call for a civil Islamic society and Abdolkarim Soroush's philosophy was published in Sobh newspaper. Larijani proclaimed:
"We support a society which is based on the spirit of Islam and religious faith, in which Islamic and religious values are propagated, in which every Koranic injunction and the teachings of the Prophet of Islam and the Imams are implemented. It will be a society in which the feeling of servitude to God Almighty will be manifest everywhere..."
He also criticizes the views of people who says that while there is a society, or civilization, of Muslims, there is no such thing as an Islamic society or civilization, and that Islam is a spiritual and individual way of life, not an ideology.
Legalism & the Bible:
To avoid falling into the trap of legalism, we can start by holding fast to the words of the apostle John, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17) and remembering to be gracious, especially to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4). “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat” (Romans 14:10).
Matthew 7: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
defenders of human rights...
The demand for equal rights in every vocation of life is just and fair; but, after all, the most vital right is the right to love and be loved.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today, upon receiving the main annual assessment of the Jewish People Policy Institute for 2014-2015, that “there is no future for the Jewish people without the state of Israel and there is no future for diaspora Jews without the Jewish state.”|
The report indicated that the total number of Jews in the world, including the offspring of mixed marriages, has reached 16 million - nearly the 16.6 million of 1939...
Netanyahu noted that “in order to secure the people’s future one should secure the future of the state. The state of Israel is under an attack on its very existence from two sources: the first is the physical one, due to Iran’s attempt to arm itself with nuclear weapons, and the second is the global campaign of delegitimation, denying our right to exist.”
Islamic State insurgents threatened on Tuesday to turn the Gaza Strip into another of their Middle East fiefdoms, accusing Hamas, the organization that rules the Palestinian territory, of being insufficiently stringent about religious enforcement.
The video statement, issued from an Islamic State stronghold in Syria, was a rare public challenge to Hamas, which has been cracking down on jihadis in Gaza who oppose its truces with Israel and reconciliation with the US-backed rival Palestinian faction Fatah.
"Eight years they control the territory, and have yet to enforce one Islamic teaching," the ISIS speaker said in the video.
"We will uproot the state of the Jews (Israel) and you and Fatah, and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be over-run by our creeping multitudes," said a masked Islamic State member in the message addressed to the "tyrants of Hamas".
"The rule of sharia (Islamic law) will be implemented in Gaza, in spite of you. We swear that what is happening in the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp, will happen in Gaza," he said, referring to Islamic State advances in Syria, including in a Damascus district founded by Palestinian refugees.
Hamas is an Islamist movement that shares the jihadis' hostility to Israel but not their quest for a global religious war, defining itself more within the framework of Palestinian nationalism.
by Gordon Welty, Wright State University, Dayton, USA
Palestinian nationalism is the national movement of the Palestinian people. It has roots in the national liberation movements emerging in the 19th and 20th centuries, calling for the rejection of colonialism and movements calling for national independence.
The development of the Palestinian national movement can be traced back at least to the beginning of the twentieth century, when the crumbling Ottoman Empire gave rise by the end of the First World War to the territorial expansion of the Western imperialist powers -- including France, Britain, and later the United States -- into the Middle East.
Palestine, the provincial territory controlled by the Ottoman state, had for centuries been home to the Palestinian people.
But while successful national uprisings in the Balkans and elsewhere in the Empire led to the establishment of independent nation states, the area inhabited by the Palestinians and the surrounding regions extending to the Persian Gulf and the Arabian peninsula came under the control of the European powers which intervened and turned them into mandates of one or another of the leading imperialist states of the period -- Britain and France.
This occupation of Arab territories by the Western powers intensified with the creation of the State of Israel on Palestinian lands at mid-century. The Zionist oppression of the Palestinian people in Israel, their forced expulsion from their homeland to neighboring Arab states as refugees, and their harsh treatment by the Zionist state in the occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank during the 1970s and 1980s have given rise to a strong sense of national identity and to a struggle for national independence...
Over the course of the twentieth century, Palestinian aspirations for national self-determination developed to the point that they came to represent a coherent and realistic strategy and tactics for attaining Palestinian objectives.
In strategic terms, the shift from seeking the overthrow of Zionism, to creating a democratic secular successor to the Zionist state, to creating a state that would be geographically contiguous to the Zionist state represent stages in a maturing understanding of what the objective of self-determination entails at different historical moments...
The short-term prospect for the Palestinians is not so bright. So long as their indirect oppressor, the United States, is unchecked in its hegemony, in the "New World Order," the likelihood of Palestinians exercising their internationally recognized right of national self-determination is slim.
Bernard-Henri Levy: Turning to Syria
Bernhard Levy argues that NATO intervention to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi has set a “precedent” in the 21st century for developing a new doctrine for toppling regimes...
Levy goes on to affirm that the Syrian regime will be toppled along the lines of the Libyan scenario, adding that all that is left in Syria is “the final scene which has not been completely written yet.” (Al-Akhbar, 23-11-2011)
"Syria is gone. Syria is dying. The funeral will be declared in due time. This Bashar Assad, he will be remembered in history textbooks as the one who lost Syria," Gilad told an intelligence conference organized by the Israel Defense journal on Monday.
"Until now he has lost 75 percent of Syria ... He is, practically, governor of 20 percent of Syria. And his future, if I may predict it, is shrinking all of the time. And maybe we will have him as the president of 'Alawistan'," Gilad added.
Israel has largely sought to keep out of the insurgency next door... However, Israel has provided humanitarian relief to rebels fighting Assad's forces.
Syria and Israel are long-running enemies, having fought wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973. In the 1967 war, Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria and retains the territory, a high plateau overlooking southwest Syria and the approach to Damascus.
"...the wider Nato mission which is to protect civilians will continue for as long as it is needed..."
David Cameron, 22-8-2011
The old courthouse in central Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city and the birthplace of the uprising against Moammar Gaddafi, is a shelled-out ruin — a testimony to the destruction and chaos that permeate this North African country four years after the
war that ousted Gaddafi...
Today, Libya is bitterly divided between an elected parliament and government that are cornered in the country's east, with little power on the ground, and an Islamist militia-backed government in the west. Hundreds of militias are aligned with either side or on their own, battling for power and turf.
The U.N.-backed talks between rival factions have not yet managed to strike a power-sharing deal. Meanwhile, Libya's Islamic State affiliate is fighting on different fronts, losing ground in its eastern stronghold of Darna while expanding along the country's central northern coastline.
For Benghazi, the past year was the worst. Near-daily street fighting has pitted militias made up of a myriad of al-Qaida-linked militants, Islamic State extremists and former anti-Gadhafi rebels against soldiers loyal to the internationally recognized government and their militia allies...
Many landmarks have been destroyed, including much of the Old City, with its Moorish arches and Italian facades. The Benghazi University, its archives and department buildings have been hollowed-out, occupied in turn by militiamen who put snipers on rooftops and turned the campus into a warzone...
Charred and wrecked cars, piles of twisted metal and debris act as front-line demarcations between warring factions. In many neighborhoods, Libyan soldiers have blown up entire buildings to clear snipers' nests or in search of underground tunnels used for smuggling weapons.
Schools have closed, few hospitals remain open, and wheat and fuel shortages force residents to line up for hours every day outside bakeries and gas stations. Many neighborhoods have been emptied out by fleeing residents, only to be looted and torched by marauding militias.
More than a fifth of Benghazi's 630,000-strong population has been forced out of their homes. Those with money fled abroad. The rest sought refuge in other Libyan towns and cities, or crowded into Benghazi's makeshift camps and schools turned into shelters. Civilians still in the city live against the backdrop of gunshots and ambulance sirens that fill the night.
Essam al-Hamali, a member of the Benghazi Crisis Committee, said there are 140,000 displaced individuals in the city alone.
"We have declared Benghazi a disaster zone," al-Hamali said. "But it seems that no one cares."
Washington and the Civilians of Libya
Posted on 19. Mar, 2011 by Prof Lawrence Davidson
Whether you believe that the United Nations resolution authorizing extensive intervention in the Libyan civil war is justified or not, and whether you believe that the admittedly eccentric forty two year rule of Muammar Gadhafi over a complex and fractious tribal society has been cruel or not, there is one thing that all objective observers should be able to agree on.
All should agree that the rationale put forth by the United States government for supporting the impending NATO intervention, that this action is to be taken to bring about an immediate end to attacks on civilians, is one of the biggest acts of hypocrisy in a modern era ridden with hypocrisy.
There is, of course, no arguing with the principle put forth. The protection of civilians in times of warfare, a moral good in itself, is a requirement of international law. Yet it is a requirement that is almost always ignored. And no great power has ignored it more than the United States...
Thus, when President Obama gets up before the TV cameras and tells us that Libyan civilians have to be protected, when UN ambassador Susan Rice tells us that the aim of the UN resolution is to safeguard Libya’s civilian population and bring those who attack civilians before the International Criminal Court, a certain sense of nausea starts to gather in the pit of one’s stomach.
It was Oscar Wilde who once said that "the true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity." I think that politicians learn, some easier than others, to live their lives like this. (Opinionmaker.org 2011)
Cosmic Evil and the ‘Great Game’
By Kevin Boyle on March 20, 2011
It is difficult to make much sense of our latest war against Gaddafi.
The one thing we can know with absolute confidence is that ‘our’ motivation for embarking on this latest adventure is NOT humanitarian...
This is a humanitarian mission? The peoples of Palestine and all points east must shake their heads in bewilderment that western politicians can continue to sell this kind of nonsense to their supposedly well-educated citizens.
It’s the simple ‘divide and rule’ game that is as old as the hills.
As it is difficult (or perhaps impossible) to see a clear and coherent rationale behind the west’s assault on Gaddafi, perhaps it is just a matter of creating the division, throwing in a large measure of murderous chaos (great for corporate profits of course) and letting the chips fall where they may……in the confident expectation that whatever fall-out occurs it can be managed to ‘our’ advantage. (Truthseeker 2011)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fancied the violent 2011 “regime change” in Libya such a triumph that her aides discussed labeling it the start of a “Clinton Doctrine,” according to recently released emails that urged her to claim credit when longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was deposed in 2011....
Since then, the cascading Libyan chaos has turned the “regime change” from a positive notch on Clinton’s belt into a black mark on her record...
It turns out that Gaddafi’s warning about the need to crush Islamic terrorism in Libya’s east was well-founded, although the Obama administration cited it as the pretext to justify its “humanitarian intervention” against Gaddafi.
The vacuum created by the U.S.-led destruction of Gaddafi and his army drew in even more terrorists and extremists, forcing the United States and Western nations to abandon their embassies in Tripoli a year ago.
One could argue that those who devised and implemented the disastrous Libyan “regime change” – the likes of Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power – should be almost disqualified from playing any future role in U.S. foreign policy.
Instead, Clinton is the Democratic frontrunner to succeed Barack Obama as President and Power was promoted from Obama’s White House staff to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations — where she is at the center of other dangerous U.S. initiatives in seeking “regime change” in Syria and pulling off “regime change” in Ukraine.
The Sephardic Chief Rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, paid a condolence visit to the Rosenfeld family at Kochav Hashachar in the Binyamin region. The family lost its son, Malachi, earlier this week.
Rabbi Yosef was also invited to the central synagogue in the community, next to the high yeshiva, and offered words of encouragement to the residents of Kochav Hashachar...
Late Tuesday afternoon, Malachi succumbed to wounds he sustained in a shooting attack near the village of Shvut Rachel the previous night.
Two Palestinian groups, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Fatah al-Intifada, claimed responsibility for the attack, Haaretz reported.
Hundreds of friends and relatives took part in the funeral, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett.
Malachi's father, Eliezer, spoke of his deep bond with Malachi and asked: "What did we do wrong, God, what did we do wrong?”
The leadership of the community said in a statement: "We will become stronger and settle throughout our land..."
In the autumn of 1979, Gush Emunim (a right-wing activist movement) launched a "Doubling Campaign ", aiming to increase the number of communities in Judea & Samaria of which there were only 20 at the time. Ofra initiated the establishment of Kochav Hashachar, and directed new couples to the new community which became independent a year later. Kochav Hashachar was, at that time, a military settlement surrounded by good, fertile lands which led to agriculture becoming an important occupation of the community. (binyamin regional council)
"The United States must continue to lead the world
in order to ensure our economic prosperity and national security”
John McCain, 5-1-2012
The Pentagon's new "National Military Strategy" released Wednesday warns that the threat of major war with another nation is "growing" and significant changes to the military personnel policies and culture will be required to succeed in the 21st century. The 17-page document was updated to reflect a new global security situation in which the U.S. is facing near-peer adversaries like Russia and China while simultaneously trying to diffuse non-state militant groups like the Islamic State.
"Since the last National Military Strategy was published in 2011, global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode," Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, wrote in his introduction to the strategy document.
The strategy specifically calls out Iran, Russia and North Korea as aggressive threats to global peace.
According to the strategy document, the US military must be ready to counter "revisionist states" such as Russia that are challenging international norms... "We are working with allies to deter, deny and -- when necessary -- defeat potential state adversaries," the document says.
It also mentions China, but notably begins that paragraph by saying the Obama administration wants to "support China's rise and encourage it to become a partner for greater international security," continuing to thread the line between China the economic ally and China the regional competitor.
"None of these nations are believed to be seeking direct military conflict with the United States or our allies," the strategy states. "Nonetheless, they each pose serious security concerns which the international community is working to collectively address by way of common policies, shared messages, and coordinated action."
Later, the document notes that "today, the probability of U.S. involvement in interstate war with a major power is assessed to be low but growing."
However, "hybrid conflicts" — not just the Islamic State, but forces such as the Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine — are likely to expand.
Revisionist state is a term from Power Transition Theory within the wider field of international relations. It is used to describe states.
Powerful and influential nations in international relations such as the United States, United Kingdom, France and other nations like Japan that are better placed in the world order, are likely to fall under the category of status quo states (seek the status quo), while North Korea, Iran, Russia and other nations dissatisfied with their place in the international system are termed revisionist states (seek revision in international relations).
Russia is not expecting a soon change in the hostile policies it’s subject to, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the country’s Security Council, adding that Moscow is not going to “trade its sovereignty.”
“The reasons for pressuring Russia are clear: the country is conducting an independent policy and doesn’t trade its sovereignty. This is not to everyone’s liking, but it can’t be any other way,” he said.
Putin’s statement comes after the Pentagon unveiled its new military strategy where it said that Russia, North Korea and Iran are among its new challenges...