Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)
"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries. What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."
Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002
"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003
A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.
"That is the issue that will continue in this country... It is the eternal struggle between these two principles -- right and wrong -- throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle.
The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings." Abraham Lincoln (October 15, 1858 Debate at Alton, Illinois)
"Happy day, when, all appetites controlled, all poisons subdued, all matter subjected, mind, all conquering mind, shall live and move the monarch of the world. Glorious consummation! Hail fall of Fury! Reign of Reason, all hail!" Abraham Lincoln (February 22, 1842 Temperance Address)
"...To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task." Fyodor Dostoevsky (to his brother Mikhail, Dec. 22, 1849)
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon
“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)
"Holism is the most fundamental discovery of 20th century science. It is a discovery of every science from astrophysics to quantum physics to environmental science to psychology to anthropology.
It is the discovery that the entire universe is an integral whole, and that the basic organizational principle of the universe is the field principle: the universe consists of fields within fields, levels of wholeness and integration that mirror in fundamental ways, and integrate with, the ultimate, cosmic whole...." "For many thinkers and religious teachers throughout this history, holism was the dominant thought, and the harmony that it implies has most often been understood to encompass cosmic, civilizational, and personal dimensions. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and Confucius all give us visions of transformative harmony, a transformative harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos."
About political holism
Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent. Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.
Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy. Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.
"The West creates enemies; in the past it was the communism then it became Islam, and then it became Saddam Hussein for a different reason. Now, they want to create a new enemy represented by Bashar. That's why they say that the problem is the president so he has to leave. That is why we have to focus of the real problem, not to waste our time listening to what they say." (Bashar al-Assad, 9-11-2012)
The policy should be to help peace in the region, to fight terrorism, to promote secularism, to support this area economically, to help upgrade the mind and society like you did in your country. That is the supposed mission of the United States, not to launch wars. Launching war doesn’t make you a great power." (Bashar Al-Assad, 26-1-2015)
Tehran, IRNA – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Thursday cautioned the Islamic Ummah about interventions by the West:
“Nowadays, many Muslim countries lack an Islamic identity,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“So the West interferes in their beliefs, culture, economy and politics,” he added. This intervention by the West results in disagreements, discord and confrontation within the Islamic Ummah...
He urged Muslims to adhere to the Quran and its teachings: “We’re separated from the Quran and its concepts. We must try to make the Quranic concepts part of the common concepts and general discourses of our nations,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
One of the Quranic concepts which offers an insight and a principle is infidelity toward Taghut, he said.... (Taghut refers to idolatry or to the worship of anything except Allah.)
God is greater than religions and holy books
"The greatest part of Iranian majority take great pride in our history."
Not just Islamic or pre-Islamic. But our entire history." (Islam & Zoroastrianism)
"Most Iranians associate Zoroastrianism with Iran's long forgotten glory before the Arab invasion. The theological aspects of that ancient religion are neither widely known nor part of its appeal. We are painfully aware of the fact that Islam came to us not as a force of liberation but enslavement, that we were quite prosperous (though living in a rather socially unjust society) before the Arab invasion and we feel that Zoroastrianism is somehow tied to that prosperity and civilization." (Mehran Janghorbani, 22 Oct 2014)
"The greatest part of Iranian majority take great pride in our history. Not just pre-Islamic. But our entire history.
Well, we are cultural, linguistic, geographical, genetic, traditional, liturgical descendants of our Iranian ancestors, as such we have many traditions, everyday phrases and references that comes from thousands of years ago. We have many historical monuments and sites from our ancestors. We celebrate holidays, dating back thousands of years ago. We use words that has been the same for thousands of years.
As such, we are the same as our ancestors, whether pre or after the Islamic conversion of our people and land. This is a fundamental part of our nation, our national identity, both as people and individuals." (Ben Jamshideyan)
The axis of Zoroaster’s teaching is the faith in the divinity of Ahura Mazda, the Lord of Wisdom.
Ahuramazda’s seven Amshaspands are guiding lights to salvation and happiness in the same way as they assure Ahuramazda’s presence (good spirit) in the soul of righteous people. Devils and their rivals symbolize Ahriman’s (evil spirit) in people and the task of the righteous people is to subdue and restrain them.
The stone-carvings in Persepolis illustrating wrestling of the kings and heroes in fact symbolize this act of subjugation of the evil spirit and its devils and not what researchers and Iranologists have so far interpreted. The pendentives of the main hall leading to the rooms are thought to be a royal hero fighting with a lion, cow or the mythological shirda’l (winged monster).
Now as mentioned above Zoroastrian worldview is based on the opposition of the evil spirits, the struggle of the seven Amshaspands with their rivals and the cooperative role of all righteous creatures in this battle.
In addition, Asha (meaning justice and righteousness) plays a vital prominent role in this struggle and asha vana’n (Asha’s followers) are in constant struggle and opposition with dorvenda’n (followers of dorouj, Lie). The name of Asha is mentioned in almost every page of Gathas.
In Yasna, chapter 29, paragraph 2 it is said: “The Creator of the universe then asked Asah, who would you like to rule the world who would defeat and restrain the followers of lies and anger?”
In Yasna (chapter 31, paragraph 18) it is said: “Therefore, you should not listen to the words and teaching of Dorvands (followers of Lies or devils) who bring about destruction and ruin and you should resist them with arms.”
According to Zoroaster’s teaching, human salvation is only possible with the knowledge of Ordibehesht (guardian of Fire), compassion of Bahman, devotion of Shahrivar (guardian of metals), patience of Sepanda’rmaz (guardian of the Earth), perfection of Khorda’d (guardian of Waters) and Eternal life of Morda’d (guards plantations).
We can see a pictorial representation of the first four passages in the pendentives of the main hall of Persepolis in the form of slaughter of the devils and their use in its column capitals.
Unification with Ahuramazda requires the blending of human knowledge with love and passion of life developed in the service of humanity.
We find in the inscriptions remaining from these kings the phrases such as “We built everything on the approval of Ahuramazda,” “May Ahuramazda protect me,” “May Ahuramazda protect my country and whatever I did and all that my father did,” “Protect these people, for if they propagate, Ahuramazda will bless this dynasty with eternal life.” Darius the Great (549 BC– 485/486 BC) declares in one of his inscriptions that: "A great God is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created yonder sky, who created man, who created happiness for man, who made Darius king, one king over many, one lord over many"
Astrological Interpretation of Ahrimanic Evil Forces
All astrological signs can be described in a positive way (doing good), but also in a negative way (doing evil). The stone tablets in Persepolis are warning us for the dark sides of Taurus (the cow), Lion and Scorpio (the winged monster)
1. The Cow = Taurus ('I Have')
The fallen Bull usually has a ruthless craving for money, power, food, sex or other extreme desires. It’s all about (capitalist) greed and gluttony.
Taurus at their worst are obsessed with their own comfort while compulsively spending money on their both physical and material desires (food and luxury items).
Keywords: Stubbornness (It is impossible to move them from their decisions once they’ve made up their mind), Materialism, Possessiveness (the more they love their partner, the more possessive they become) and Self-indulgence (tend to be rude and ignorant of others’ emotions).
2. The Lion ('I Rule')
Most of the dark traits have to do with an overblown sense of self. Leo says, "Who do you think you're dealing with?" That's when you see (Sun) Leo acting high and mighty, and belittling those they see as beneath them (imperialism).
Leos are very competitive. A dark side Leo trait is 'Schadenfreude' -- smiling inside when others are down on their luck. It's worse when they act like they're sorry, and it's over-the-top insincere.
If you've fallen out of favor, by insulting them in some way, it's often a permanent banishment type scenario. The Lion is proud, so a dark side trait takes that to the extreme -- arrogance, vanity, self-absorption.
A dark behavior then is not being able to cop to mistakes and adjust the course, even if it's doomed. They don't want to admit that others are right, or that you've created a mess.
3. The Winged Monster = Scorpio ('I Destroy')
A negative Scorpio is a "malcontent": a person who constantly feels attacked and misunderstood.
Ironic and sarcastic, saying the opposite of what they mean, they are of course misunderstood. They have creative powers, but if unused, their creativity backs up and sours and they begin to obsess or fantasize and joke about committing crimes (might is right) or suicide (self-destruction).
Negative Scorpio stews for years over a slight or becomes an embittered crank believing he or she has achieved greatness the world is too stupid to recognize. And a negative Scorpio thinks anger is a strength when it is a weakness.
Keywords: Vengeful, Fixated, Self-Destructive, Insecure.
(Negative) Taurus = Capitalist greed, Lion = Imperialism, Scorpio = Might is Right
Quran 9.31: "They have taken their rabbis and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one God only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him)."
“The essential element in authoritarian religion and in the authoritarian religious experience is the surrender to a power transcending man. The main virtue of this type of religion is obedience, its cardinal sin is disobedience..."
“Humanistic religion is centered around man and his strength. Man must develop his power of reason in order to understand himself, his relationship to his fellow men and his position in the universe."
"Religious experience in this kind of religion is the experience of oneness with the All, based on one’s relatedness to the world as it is grasped with thought and with love."
-- Question: Let’s start directly with the latest developments. Russia has warned that there might be other alleged chemical attacks. What are the precautionary measures that Syria has taken in order to prevent that?
-- President Assad: First of all, terrorists have used chemical materials more than once in the past several years and in more than one region throughout Syria. We have asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to send specialized missions to investigate what happened. And every time, the United States obstructed these investigations or prevented sending such missions in order to carry out such investigations.
This is what happened last week when we called for investigations over the alleged use of chemical weapons in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. The United States and its allies prevented OPCW from taking that decision. As far as we are concerned, we still insist on an investigation, and we and our Russian and Iranian allies are trying to persuade OPCW to send a team to investigate what happened, because if it doesn’t, the United States might repeat the same charade by fabricating the use of false chemical weapons in another place in Syria in order to justify military intervention in support of the terrorists.
-- Question: But the Pentagon says that Syria has chemical weapons. Is it true that Syria has kept one percent of the weapons it has committed itself to hand over and destroy four years ago?
-- President Assad: You and I remember well what happened in 2003, when Colin Powell showed the world in the United Nations what he claimed to be the evidence which proves that President Saddam Hussein possessed chemical, nuclear, and other weapons. However, when the American forces invaded Iraq, it was proven that all he said was a lie. Powell himself admitted that the American intelligence agencies deceived him with that false evidence. That wasn’t the first nor will it be the last time. This means that if you want to be a politician in the United States, you have to be a genuine liar. This is what characterizes American politicians: they lie on a daily basis, and say something and do something different.
That’s why we shouldn’t believe what the Pentagon, or any other American institution says, because they say things which serve their policies, not things which reflect reality and the facts on the ground.
-- Question: How do you assess the current policy of Donald Trump in the world, and in Syria in particular?
-- President Assad: The American President has no policies. There are policies drawn by the American institutions which control the American regime which are the intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, the big arms and oil companies, and financial institutions, in addition to some other lobbies which influence American decision-making.
The American President merely implements these policies, and the evidence is that when Trump tried to move on a different track, during and after his election campaign, he couldn’t. He came under a ferocious attack.
As we have seen in the past few week, he changed his rhetoric completely and subjected himself to the terms of the deep American state, or the deep American regime. He ultimately does what these institutions dictate to him. This is not new. This has been ongoing American policy for decades.
-- Question: Western and American media talk now about moderate terrorists and extremist terrorists. In reality, is there a difference between the two groups?
-- President Assad: For them, a moderate terrorist is someone who carries out acts of beheading and slaughter but without carrying al-Qaeda flag, or without saying “Allah Akbar,” while an extremist terrorist is a person who carries the flag and says Allah Akbar when carrying out acts of beheading and slaughter. This is the only difference. For the United States, all those who serve its political agenda against other states are classified as moderate opposition and not as extremist and terrorist...
-- Question: How was life during these past six years in this besieged country?
-- President Assad: Life has certainly been tough to every Syrian citizen. The terrorists have destroyed the infrastructure. In certain areas, electricity is on for one or two hours, and there are areas in which there’s no electricity at all. There are areas in which electricity has been cut off for more than two or three years. People don’t know television, children do not go to school, there are no medical clinics or hospitals, and nobody treats the ill. They live a prehistoric existence thanks to the terrorists.
There are areas which did not have water for years, like what happened in Aleppo, which did not have water for many long years. Sometimes, they use polluted water for drinking, washing up, and other purposes. Life has been very tough.
"The West creates enemies" (Bashar al-Assad 2012)
A scapegoat is a (demonized) person or people “made to bear the anxious blame for others.” The scapegoated individual or subgroup is seen as a threat to the comfort and the successful functioning of the group as a whole and therefore must be eliminated. Whether the perceived threat is true or not is incidental: scapegoating is more about feelings than truth. As far as the group is concerned, the scapegoat is the sacrifice needed to ensure survival.
-- Question: One of the main targets during these years has been the person of Bashar al-Assad. Western media have been waging a media campaign against you. Am I sitting now with this devil portrayed by the media?
-- President Assad: Yes, from a Western perspective, you are now sitting with the devil.
This is how they market it in the West. But this is always the case when a state, a government, or an individual do not subjugate themselves to their interests, and do not work for their interests against the interests of their people.
These have been the Western colonial demands throughout history. They say that this evil person is killing the good people. Okay, if he is killing the good people, who have been supporting him for the past six years? Neither Russia, nor Iran, nor any friendly state can support an individual at the expense of the people. This is impossible. If he is killing the people, how come the people support him? This is the contradictory Western narrative; and that’s why we shouldn’t waste our time on Western narratives because they have been full of lies throughout history, and not something new.
-- Question: How does Bashar al-Assad envision the end of the war?
-- President Assad: Today, foreign intervention in Syria aside, the problem is not complicated, for the majority of the Syrians are tired of the war and want a solution. They want to return to safety and stability. There is a dialogue between us as Syrians, there are meetings, and people live with each other, i.e. there is no real barrier. The problem now is that with every step we make towards a solution and regaining stability, the terrorist gangs receive more money and weapons in order to blow the situation up.
-- Question: Are you prepared to have reconciliation with those who carried arms against the Syrian people?
-- President Assad: Of course, and this has actually happened in many and different places, and some of them have fought side by side with the Syrian Army, some fell martyrs, and some returned to their cities and live in the part under government control. We don’t have a problem. Tolerance is essential to end any war. And we are proceeding on that track.
Turkey is eyeing new ties with the United States under the administration of President Donald Trump.
“I believe that we will open a fresh page with Trump,” Erdoğan said at the Atlantic Council’s Istanbul Summit on April 28, voicing the country’s disturbance over Washington’s cooperation with the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“The hesitant attitudes toward terrorist organizations need to be abandoned as soon as possible,” the president said.
“Everyone needs to accept that a terrorist organization can’t be eliminated with another one,” Erdoğan said, adding that there could be no such thing as “a good terrorist organization.”
“We can’t achieve anything with the logic ‘this terrorist organization is on my side, so it’s good, but the other one is against me, so it’s bad.’ All terrorist organizations are bad. Thus, we need to continue our struggle against terrorist groups in joint solidarity. When we do that, the world will be safe from these gangs and killers,” he also said.
“The U.S. acting with PYD in Syria is damaging the spirit of alliance and partnership,” Erdoğan said, adding that Turkey would never allow the establishment of a “terror corridor” in northern Syria.
“As you know, there are some ignorant people who are attempting to establish a state in northern Syria. They say the ignorant are brave.
During his speech, Erdoğan reiterated his call for a safe zone in northern Syria.
“Let’s declare the region in northern Syria a safe zone cleared from terror, declare it a no-fly zone at the same time and continue train-and-equip efforts here. Turkey is ready to do its part....”
Question: What's a safe zone?
Answer: A zone controlled by Turkey-backed 'Free Syrian Army' opposition forces
The FSA factions established new training camps in Aleppo’s countryside, near the Turkish border, to include the large number of fighters who recently joined in, in addition to the senior fighters who have been fighting within FSA ranks for some time now.
The training operations began intensifying on April 1, and internal training camps were set up near the Syrian-Turkish border.
Mahmoud Suleiman, the commander of the Sultan Muhammad al-Fatah Brigade affiliated with the FSA, told Al-Monitor, “About 400 fighters out of the senior combatants of the Sultan Muhammad al-Fatah Brigade are currently undergoing intensive training in an internal camp near the Turkish border in Aleppo’s countryside...” Speaking to Al-Monitor, Col. Haitham Afisi, the commander of the 51st Brigade affiliated with the FSA in Aleppo’s countryside, hopes that the training his brigade is undergoing will result in forming a national army based in Aleppo’s countryside.
Other factions relied on their own capabilities to train their fighters. The Sultan Murad Division is currently training 100 fighters in a camp near the Turkish border, according to the division’s leader, Col. Ahmed al-Othman.
Al-Mu'tasim Brigade, affiliated with the FSA and based in Aleppo’s countryside, is also among the factions that started training its fighters after the end of the Turkish-led military operation. The brigade, backed by the United States under the Pentagon’s training program, benefitted from defected Syrian officers who have high skills in military training, according to Capt. Anis Haj, the commander of al-Mu'tasim Brigade’s training camp near the city of Marea. “The FSA internal training camps come in preparation for the next military battles the FSA will lead against terrorist organizations, which include Assad’s regime and its supporting militias.."
Last month Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again suggested that a new national Syrian army should be created, adding that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) could form part of such an army.
Turkey has influence over at least 2,000 FSA fighters in northwest Syria, which it uses as an allied proxy force in its ongoing Euphrates Shield operation. Erdogan, more likely than not, wants these forces to secure territories captured in the operation for the longer term, if and when the Turkish military withdraws.
Ankara is also reportedly bringing in more factions across northern Syria into these territories as well as opposition forces defeated in Aleppo by the Syrian regime and Russia in December. However, the feasibility of this plan remains dubious, as pointed out by analysts consulted by The New Arab.
"Yes this is an effort to create an alternative opposition Arab army," said David Pollack of the Washington Institute.
"The idea is to prevent [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad from regaining the whole country, to prevent the PYD [Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party] from expanding, to offer a new force to liberate Raqqa, and to convince the US to support all three goals.
But I don't think Turkey has enough Arab allies to do much more than hold its existing zone, perhaps adding al-Bab and Manbij on the edges," he concluded. Joshua Landis, a Syrian expert and director of Oklahoma University's Center for Middle East Studies, is also highly sceptical of Turkish success:
"I don't think Turkey will have more success in building a new Syrian army than the US had," he said. "Syrian Arab rebels are terribly divided. The West has failed numerous times to unite them...." "This is wishful thinking on the part of Erdogan. "
“We are hoping for the sun of a new fraternity to rise above our world.” This was the key message of a less than 10-minute address Pope Francis gave at Al-Azhar on Friday 28 April in Cairo.
The pope of the Catholic Church, who arrived in Egypt earlier in the day, spoke during the closing session of a two-day international peace conference hosted by Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s most important centre of Islamic teaching, with a large participation of Muslim and Christian clergy.
In his address, Pope Francis stressed the role of education, development and dialogue as essential requirements to end the call for violence. He also said that an end has to be put to the access of arms and money which are used by some people to commit acts of violence and that religious liberties and rights should be respected. Pope Francis expressed gratitude to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayyeb for having called for the conference on international peace.
In his address, Al-Tayyeb stressed the need for dialogue and fraternity to prevail. He argued that the time had come for religion to assume the call of peace and to take the world back to the path of spirituality that would put violence and anger aside.
The visit of Pope Francis to Al-Azhar in Old Cairo came after his talks with President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi at the presidential palace in Heliopolis.
Has President Donald Trump outsourced foreign policy to the generals?
So it would seem. Candidate Trump held out his hand to Vladimir Putin. He rejected further U.S. intervention in Syria other than to smash ISIS. He spoke of getting out and staying out of the misbegotten Middle East wars into which Presidents Bush II and Obama had plunged the country. President Trump’s seeming renunciation of an anti-interventionist foreign policy is the great surprise of the first 100 days.
The Jabotinsky Dream:
I have, I rule & I will destroy
Among the achievements celebrated in Trump’s first 100 days are the 59 cruise missiles launched at the Syrian airfield from which the gas attack on civilians allegedly came, and the dropping of the 22,000-pound MOAB bomb in Afghanistan. But what did these bombings accomplish? The War Party seems again ascendant. John McCain and Lindsey Graham are happy campers.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. commander is calling for thousands more U.S. troops to assist the 8,500 still there, to stabilize an Afghan regime and army that is steadily losing ground to the Taliban. Iran is back on the front burner. While Tillerson concedes that Tehran is in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, Trump says it is violating “the spirit of the agreement.” .. Iran is “destabilizing” the region, and threatening U.S. interests in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.
But Iran is an ally of Syria and was invited in to help the U.N.-recognized government put down an insurrection that contains elements of al-Qaida and ISIS... It was not Iran, but the U.S. that invaded Iraq, overthrew the Baghdad regime and occupied the country. It was not Iran that overthrew Col. Gadhafi and created the current disaster in Libya.
Who is behind the seeming conversion of Trump to hawk?
The generals, Bibi Netanyahu and the neocons, Congressional hawks with Cold War mindsets, the Saudi royal family and the Gulf Arabs — they are winning the battle for the president’s mind. We are to recognize that our true enemy in the Mideast is not al-Qaida or ISIS, but Shiite Iran and Hezbollah, Assad’s Syria and his patron, Putin.
And until Hezbollah is eviscerated, Assad is gone, and Iran is smashed the way we did Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen, the flowering of Middle East democracy that we all seek cannot truly begin.
The destruction of Aleppo
Film by Sinan Saeed and Tom Duggan — April 27, 2017
A Russian government spokesperson praised the Kurdish forces in their fight against ISIS.
Meanwhile, the co-Chair of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Salih Muslim, and PYD Europe representative Abdulselam Mustafa met with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gennady Gatilov in Geneva on Thursday. The two sides discussed the recent developments in northern Syria, including the Turkish air strikes against the People’s Protection Forces (YPG).
“On April 25, it was reported that Turkish jets carried out a series of strikes on the positions of Kurdish self-defence detachments near Mount Karachok in northeastern Syria and near Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharov said on Thursday.
“I would like to remind you that Kurdish detachments are the most effective fighting force in the war against ISIS terrorists in northeastern Syria. We were greatly disturbed by reports of Ankara’s operations,” she said.
“There is reason to believe that if it was not for the hasty US attack on Syria’s Shayrat Airbase, which was outside the bounds of international law, Turkey would not have carried out the recent strikes. It is necessary to put an end to arbitrariness on Syrian soil,” the Russian official said.
Turkey’s airstrikes overnight to April 25 on areas of Iraq and Syria along the border trigger most serious concerns in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
“As the Turkish side declares, the strikes targeted positions of armed units of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Syrian Democratic Forces linked to Democratic Union Party,” the ministry said. “Such moves trigger most serious concern in Moscow..."
“The fact that Turkish airstrikes were conducted on the territory of sovereign states in bypass of their legitimate governments cannot but cause concern. We consider these actions inadmissible, running counter to the founding principles of inter-state relations,” the ministry said.
“In this situation we urge all parties to restraint. It is necessary to demonstrate due political foresight and focus attention on a most important for today task – countering international terrorism represented by Islamic State, (Jabhat al) Nusra and other affiliated groups...”
- KurdWatch: There are many voices in Syria demanding the fall of President Bashar al-Assad and his regime. What are your demands?
- Salih Muslim Muhammad: We demand a fundamental change to the oppressive system. There are some who hold up the slogan: the fall of the regime. In contrast we demand the fall of the oppressive authoritarian system.
Our problems are not problems of powers. The ruling powers in Damascus come and go. For us Kurds, this isn't so important...
- KurdWatch: Can you imagine working with the Muslim Brotherhood?
- Salih Muslim Muhammad: No. The Muslim Brotherhood does not acknowledge the existence of the Kurds. They have signed an agreement with Turkey that they will deny the existence of the Kurds if they come to power in Syria... (Kurdwatch, 20-10-2011)
MOSUL, Iraq— Nearly 10,700 homes and buildings have fully or partly been destroyed in western half of Mosul following the intense clashes and bombing campaigns over the past months to drive out ISIS (ex Al-Qaeda) militants from their last holdouts in the city, according to the Iraqi members of parliament.
Lawmaker Izadin Dawla warned of the “future consequences” for the residents in Mosul, describing the war destruction as a “true catastrophe” which could become a “great threat” for life in the war-torn city.
“The city and its infrastructure have been virtually demolished including its offices, schools, hospitals, the roads and the bridges, the electricity wire networks and the communication systems,” Dawla, a Sunni MP, said Friday.
The operation to retake Mosul from ISIS, named ‘We Are Coming Nineveh,’ started in October last year with the Iraqi army gaining swift victories in eastern half of the city.
But the battle, as anticipated, has been slow in western, more densely populated areas of the city where the old town is located and where narrower roads and pathways have often halted the advancement of army convoys and troops.
Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army Osman Ghanimi has said that the operation to recapture the entire western Mosul will be completed within a month.
According to Ghanimi around 35 percent of the western half of the city is still controlled by the militants. The battle is especially intense in districts around the Grand Mosque of Mosul, also called the Nour Mosque, in the old town where the ISIS leader Abubakir Baghdadi declared his caliphate in 2014.
Parts of the destruction on the buildings and the infrastructure has been inflicted by the militants, according to lawmaker Naif Shammeri who is also a member of the parliament’s defence and security committee. “The militants try to level a place with the ground before abandoning the area,” Shammeri said. The number of refugees fleeing the war in Mosul surpassed half a million in April, according to the lawmaker Raad al-Dahlaki, chairman of the Iraqi parliament’s migration and displacement committee but the UN has warned the number could reach 1 million if the clashes continue.
I welcome the participants of this conference to our country.
I highly appreciate, as well do the Libyan people, the convening of the International Greens' Conference at this time in our land, especially because it is a time in which they face a new attack in the chain of new colonialism's attacks. This attack is motivated by the imperialistic spirit, which believes in invading the world for its own greeds, without any regard for the independence of peoples and their right to life.
Imperialism does not give any weight to freedom and human rights. Also, as you are well aware, imperialism is responsible for the destruction of the environment and the spoiling of the Earth.
The correct path is the one taken by the International Green Movement; it is the path of non-coexistence with the evil forces of injustice and aggression.
The right path is to search for an alternative, and I am glad that the term "alternative" was added to the name of the movement. The point we should stop at is the word "alternative", which is the essence of the Green Book... We hope that the International Green Movement will contribute towards changing the world and creating the alternative.
We would like to draw attention at this important meeting of the International Green Movements to the fear that the Green and Alternative Movements may become a part of the New World Order whose change they seek.
With the passing of time, the Greens became members in parliaments. Thus, the Green Movement turned into a political entity with party structures in some parts of the world, which is exactly what is wanted by the current evil World Order, i.e., to contain and tame the Movement by having it participate in the game. This should be rejected.
The present World Order is an illusion and has lost its reason for continuity, for it has lost the progressive character needed to enable it to match the movement of history.
The countries leading the world order have no arguments to convince others, nor do they enter into dialogues, except for the resort to force, which means bankruptcy in terms of ideology and logic.
We notice that this order is approaching its end because of its resort to force and to state terrorism in solving their problems. The prevailing language now is that of military option, embargo, blockade and economic sanctions. This is the only dictionary left to the current World Order which has proven its bankruptcy.
Muammar Gaddafi: Earth is your mother (Positive Taurus Philosophy)
"Truly, the earth is your mother; she gave birth to you from her insides. She is the one who nursed you and fed you. Do not be disobedient to your mother -- and do not shear her hair, cut off her limbs, rip her flesh, or wound her body. You must only trim her nails, make her body clean of dirt or filth. Give her medicine to cure any disease. Do not place great weights above her breast, weights of mud or stone above her ribs. Respect her, and remember that if you are too harsh with her, you will not find another. Sweep the accumulated iron, mud, and stone from her back. Relieve her of the burdens that others have placed on her unfairly. Revere the cradle in which you grew up, the lap in which you lay. Do not destroy your final resting-place, your place of refuge, or you are the losers and you shall truly regret it.. (The Green Book)
Taurus is a Earth sign. Green is a Taurus-affiliated color because it mimics the grass, trees. This sign is sustaining, solid, reliable, tangible. Where Aries starts things, Taurus "sets" them and maintains and perserves them. Look for all things of the earth, such as soil, sand, rocks, gemstones, mud and salt.
Also of course fruits of the earth such as plant life, trees, flowers, vegetables, and grains. The Taurus energy is sensual...... food, drink, a comfortable chair...
Gaddafi's favorite book: The Outsider, by Colin Wilson
'Truth must be told'
"For the bourgeois, the world is fundamentally an orderly place, with a disturbing element of the irrational, the terrifying, which his preoccupation with the present usually permits him to ignore.
For the Outsider, the world is not rational, not orderly. When he asserts his sense of anarchy in the face of the bourgeois' complacent acceptance, it is not simply the need to cock a snook at respectability that provokes him; it is a distressing sense that the truth must be told at all costs, otherwise there can be no hope for an ultimate restoration of order. Even if there seems no room for hope, truth must be told..." (Saddam's Death, page 72)
Now, when I see the world map, it is a joke and a mockery. Should the world continue in this manner, the globe will be turned into a colossal prison.
The Security Council cannot seriously protest being that it was the mastermind behind the whole idea. It is imprisoning peoples instead of solving their problems. It has become very easy for the Security Council to adopt sanctions or imprison peoples. Even when the Security Council protests, it does it only on blatant and absurd matters and to no effect. This pattern will continue as Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Cuba, Korea and China are all targeted for imprisonment...
All elections in the world are rigged. Only the rich win elections. It is the rich who are ruling the world, polluting the environment and manufacturing and buying weapons.
It is the rich who are creating slaves and the poor, for without the rich, there would have been no poor. Wherever there are the rich there are the poor. Wherever there is a slave there is a master, because without comparing, how do we know that a given person is a slave or is poor? They use technology for their own benefit, but are not interested if the people's earth is polluted. The rich are the leaders of parliament and parties. They are the leaders of the tyrannical forces and political party movements.
They have been there during the First and Second World Wars. They have fuelled these wars. They are even now still fuelling world wars everywhere on earth.
The present state of war around the globe is the result of an accord between the major countries - for when they ended the confrontation between themselves, they exported their wars to other parts of the world. Everywhere and on every continent, there are wars; daily, people are being killed and injured. This is no coincidence, for it was planned by this World Order itself.
The power centres which are running the world, and are now creating evil, must be ransacked by the masses so that parliaments are ridiculed from within. People should not go to vote or take part in the farcical elections.
When someone is nominated for the presidency in any given state in the world, people should not go to vote 'yes' or 'no'. This denial will be the most important expression of their will...
On October 20, 2011, Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi was brutally murdered by a mob of NATO-backed ‘rebels’, after first being beaten and violated in the most barbaric fashion. History leaves no doubt that not only was the Libyan leader murdered on this day but Libya itself.
The regime-change crew who dominate Western governments have a long indictment sheet against their names. Since 9/11 they have wrought havoc and human misery on a grand scale in their determination to reshape and own a world that has never been theirs to own. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya – Syria currently embroiled in a pitiless conflict for its survival as a secular, non-sectarian state – this is the miserable legacy of nations which speak the language of democracy while practising the politics of domination.
UN Security Council Resolution 1973, passed in March 2011, marked the end of the Arab Spring and the beginning of the Arab Winter.
In Benghazi, where the anti-Gaddafi movement was centred, Islamists predominated. There was no nationwide mass movement in Libya, such as those that swept across Tunisia and Egypt, and no popular support for toppling a government and leader who presided over a society that enjoyed the highest standard of living of any in Africa.
Loyalist Gaddafi forces were defeated by NATO not the opposition forces emanating from Benghazi. Indeed it was at the point at which the country’s armed forces were approaching Benghazi, preparatory to crushing the uprising, when NATO intervened – based on the lie of protecting civilians when in truth it was intent on regime change.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton openly called for the political assassination of Moammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader. “We hope he can be captured or killed soon,” she said — while in Libya, to Libyans.
It is actually against the law, what the US government is doing. And not some kind of United Nations “law” or international legal standard... State-sponsored assassination is actually illegal according to the laws of the United States itself.
Gone are the days of kangaroo courts, hangings and unintentional video leaks of those hangings, a la Saddam Hussein. Gone are the days of tragic accidents of air and ground transportation that involved leaders of foreign nations. Gone are the days of sudden illnesses followed by rapid death of high level foreign enemies. [Hillary and company], in contrast to their public distancing from Israel and its leaders, have quite comfortably eased their way into the same policy that Israel has proudly sponsored for decades: the state will sanction assassination of its political enemies and the world will be clear on who did it.
Since the beginning of the White House transition in January, members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet have been gathering for weekly prayer sessions led by Capitol Ministries Pastor Ralph Drollinger.
Ralp Drollinger: “America’s bankrupting entitlement policies stem from bad theology, the theology of Theological Liberalism” – namely, the Social Gospel, which is an “aberrent” and “heretical” theology"...
"Nowhere in Scripture is the Institution of the State in view as it pertains to societal responsibility for the needs of the less fortunate." (Capitol Ministries, 29-8-2016)
“From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”
At his inauguration, Donald Trump made this pledge to the American people. Despite leading the first unified Republican government in a decade, Trump failed to deliver on this pledge in his first 100 days in office.
The brand of populism that helped Trump’s rise to power has been squeezed out by the longstanding division within the Republican Party between the GOP establishment and the conservative movement. Over the past 100 days, a conventional Republican presidency wedded to conservative orthodoxy has emerged, albeit with Trump’s distinctive character flaws.
A Trumpian populist policy agenda has also been hampered by the dynamics within the White House.
After the failed travel-ban orders and his demotion from the National Security Council, Steve Bannon saw the influence of his populist faction wane. Major infighting with Jared Kushner’s centrist faction further undermined Bannon’s standing and endangered his position in the administration. This chaotic environment ultimately allowed Paul Ryan and Reince Priebus to persuade Trump to favor orthodox conservatives’ priorities. No episode demonstrated this better than the Obamacare-repeal debacle.
Trump and Ryan launched the Republican legislative agenda with a deeply unpopular and regressive health-care reform bill, the American Health Care Act.
It would have kicked 24 million Americans off insurance by 2026, including many of Trump’s blue-collar supporters. Only 17 percent of the public supported the AHCA. The principle that the federal government should ensure universal health-care coverage is now widely accepted by the American public, and was accepted by Trump during the campaign. Any Republican health-care plan that violates this principle is doomed to fail...
Regardless of whether Trumpism is ultimately a success or a failure, the GOP needs an ideological realignment. By rigidly endorsing orthodox conservative thinking and frustrating Trumpian populism, Republicans risk a major electoral backlash... From Abraham Lincoln to Ike Eisenhower, the GOP often used the power of the state to defend Main Street from Wall Street, fight for the rights of African-Americans, and protect America’s vital interests in the world.
Rather than being a doctrinaire exponent of “anti-government conservatism”, the Republican Party was a pragmatic force for “good-government conservatism.”
It is a rich history for Republicans to draw upon and help create a moderate and patriotic populism that appeals to working-class Americans of all colors. Republicans need to revive this tradition so they can forge a middle way between the globalist consensus and the nationalist insurgency.
Hamas leader Khaleed Mashaal revealed the new roadmap for peace in the conflict between Palestine and Israel as he announced the group's revised foundation document in a press conference in Qatar's capital Doha.
The group's exiled leader Mashaal said there is no compromise in liberating historical Palestine and no recognition of Israel. He said that Hamas agrees on building a sovereign state of Palestine in 1967 borders... A state along 1967 borders is the goal of Hamas' main political rival, the Fatah movement led by Mahmoud Abbas.
It also accepted the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the "national framework" for Palestinians. Mashaal added that Hamas rejects any initiative that fails to recognize Palestinians' right to return.
The new political document also came with an updated notion of the use of force. "The struggle against Zionism is not against Jews and the Jewish faith. We oppose all kinds of violence and extremism," Mashaal said, noting that the fight is against "Zionist occupation."
He said it also underlines that opposition to Israel does not need to be through armed means and that the document is more suited to their current position, than the founding charter, which was intended to motivate Palestinians during the First Intifada uprising against Israeli rule. He said the group went through the charter and removed elements they believed could be used to portray them as anti-Semitic.
Hamas leaders have previously floated the idea of accepting a long-term truce with Israel that established a Palestinian state along the 1967 border, but Monday's announcement meant it became official Hamas policy. In the new program, Hamas redefines itself as a national liberation group, distancing it from its parent movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed by Gaza neighbor Egypt.
Hamas's move appears aimed at improving relations with Gulf Arab states and Egypt, which label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, as well as with Western countries, many of which classify Hamas as a terrorist group because of its hostility toward Israel. Israeli prime ministerial spokesman David Keyes dismissed the document, accusing Hamas of unsuccessfully "attempting to fool the world" while continuing to use violence against Israel
DUBAI // A pan-Arab military force is needed to battle extremism and protect against regional threats, the Secretary General of the Arab League said on Monday. Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the region was facing the most critical time he had witnessed, with the rise of ISIL and situations in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
"And we need to fight Daesh and extremism through education, economic development and by providing a media framework to control their message, which is sabotaging young people’s mentalities and minds.
"Syria used to be called the heart of Arab nations and now it’s about to explode under pressure to have three different governments."
The forum stresses the roles and responsibilities of the media in conveying the UAE’s message of peace and cooperation.
"The objective is to provide clear ideas of the role expected to be played by media in the coming period," said Mona Al Marri, chief executive of the Dubai Media Office. "Media is now required more than ever...
"The UAE has chosen that its message to the world is always a message of peace and cooperation based on tolerance, peaceful coexistence and mutual respect."
The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership at the end of 2011, following months of repression of an opposition movement supported by Turkey (Muslim Brotherhood), NATO (zionists) and Gulf monarchies (opportonists). All opposition members are enemies of the secularist, pan-Arabist (anti-Zionist) Ba'ath Party.
In 2003 Arab Nationalism was destroyed in Iraq by Right-Wing Shiites & the Coalition of the Willing (Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and Uzbekistan)
Recently Syrian state propaganda has taken a strange turn where Alikhbaria, the pro-regime TV channel, broadcast an ultranationalist 10-minute film entitled 'Our roots in the ground'.
It starts off with a montage of funerals of regime soldiers killed in battle, before we see a girl speaking to her dead father and Asma Al Assad, the wife of the Syrian leader, comforting the bereaved relatives. Halfway through the film, Mrs Al Assad appears on camera and gives a short interview.
The wife of the planet’s last Baath ruler appears to reject the ideology’s core principles, and speaks about how Syrians have a culturally distinct, non-Arab, identity...
Arab nationalism is nowhere to be seen in this clip.
This is reinforced by the way she speaks, which is in a very distinct Syrian dialect and not in Standard Arabic.
In the film she says: "We are the descendants of those who taught the world the letter. We are the descendants of those who taught the world the arts of medicine, trade and architecture. This history is part of the Syrian identity."
Not only is she referring to the Phoenician alphabet – which was the ancestor of the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic writing systems – but she’s referencing the fact that Syria was a major trading power more than 3,000 years ago.
The message she appears to convey is that Syrians were in Syria before the Arabs arrived and their descendants will remain in Syria long after the Arabs have gone. This is completely incompatible with Baathism... While no one can predict what will happen in Syria, when the wife of the general secretary of the Baath party appears on TV and makes it clear that Syrians aren’t Arabs, it’s pretty safe to say that Baathism as an ideology is well and truly dead.
DAMASCUS, (SANA)- President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday received a copy of the new draft constitution from the head of the National Committee charged with drafting a new constitution for the Syrian Arab Republic, during a meeting with the Committee's members
Arab civilization, which is part of human heritage, has faced through its long history great challenges aimed at breaking its will and subjecting it to colonial domination, but it has always rose through its own creative abilities to exercise its role in building human civilization.
The Syrian Arab Republic is proud of its Arab identity and the fact that its people are an integral part of the Arab nation. The Syrian Arab Republic embodies this belonging in its national and pan-Arab project and the work to support Arab cooperation in order to promote integration and achieve the unity of the Arab nation. ...
... Syria has occupied an important political position as it is the beating heart of Arabism, the forefront of confrontation with the Zionist enemy and the bedrock of resistance against colonial hegemony on the Arab world and its capabilities and wealth. The long struggle and sacrifices of our people for the sake of its independence, progress and national unity has paved the way for building the strong state and promoting cohesion between the people and their Syrian Arab army which is the main guarantor and protector of the homeland’s sovereignty, security, stability and territorial integrity; thus, forming the solid foundation of the people's struggle for liberating all occupied territories. ...
Since the beginning of the 21st century, Syria, both as people and institutions had faced the challenge of development and modernization during tough regional and international circumstances which targeted its national sovereignty. This has formed the incentive to accomplish this Constitution as the basis for strengthening the rule of law. ....
... All of this is attainable through a system of fundamental principles that enshrines independence, sovereignty and the rule of the people based on election, political and party pluralism and the protection of national unity, cultural diversity, public freedoms, human rights, social justice, equality, equal opportunities, citizenship and the rule of law, where the society and the citizen are the objective and purpose for which every national effort is dedicated. Preserving the dignity of the society and the citizen is an indicator of the civilization of the country and the prestige of the state.
Keywords: Arab Nation, Arab identity, Zionist enemy, Colonial domination, Rule of law, protection of national unity, dignity of the society and the citizen, political and party pluralism.
In the 69th year of the state’s establishment, one part of Israel — under the orchestration of the government — will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem and raise a glass to 50 years since the liberation of 'Judea & Samaria' (the biblical names of the West Bank) and the Golan Heights.
Another part of Israel, along with the state’s Arab minority, will mark the jubilee of the forced annexation of East Jerusalem to Israel and its occupation of the West Bank. (For now, the Syrian civil war has removed the Golan Heights from the equation.) On May 1 millions of Israelis sing the national anthem, "Hatikva" ("Hope"): “To be a free people in our land.” But does ruling over another nation make the Jewish people residing in Zion freer than they were 50 years ago?
And where is “our land” anyway? Even after 69 years of existence, “our land” does not have recognized borders.
On the 69th anniversary of its independence and the 50th anniversary of its splendid military victory in June 1967, Israel is moving away from the realization of the Declaration of Independence crafted by its founders and read on the 5th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar (May 14), 1948.
It says the state “will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel.”
It also says that the State of Israel will ensure complete equality of social and political rights for all its citizens, regardless of their religion, race and gender.
It calls on the Arab people, residents of the State of Israel, to preserve peace and take part in the building of the state based on full and equal citizenship and appropriate representation in all the state’s institutions, both temporary and permanent.
In Israel (since 1966) some 1.8 million Arab citizens currently enjoy full political rights and play a significant role in the building of the state.
But since June 1967, Israel has been using its military might to rule some 3 million other people (Palestinians) who live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as the 2 million Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip.
Israel holds their fate in its hands, depriving them of their freedom, trampling on their dignity and violating their basic human rights.
More than 15 years have gone by since all the member states of the Arab League extended a hand to Israel in an offer of peace and good neighborliness with their 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.
The Arab League confirms the initiative each year anew and continues to extend its hand in peace. But instead of accepting the outstretched Arab hand, Israel has taken the lands it conquered in 1967 and is holding on to them.
The evils of the occupation and the desire to conceal them erode Israelis’ freedom of conscience to the extent of declaring open season on anyone who opposes these evils.
"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate! The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people.. But they were born free.
They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003
As a 'Jewish State' Israel is a theocracy, a form of government that goes back to 400 bC. The Jewish theocracy was founded by the Babylonian Scribe EZRA, a leader of the Israelites returning to the Land of Israel.
It was the end of the era of the independent, anti-authoritarian prophets (wise men, advisers, men of conscience...).
A theocracy is favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom.
You don't have the right to question the laws of the clergymen, who have taken over the role of God. Serving God is serving priests... (Read more: Saddam's Death, page 75)
The head of Libya's UN-backed unity government and a rival military commander have agreed to find a solution to the country’s six-year-old conflict. Fayez al-Sarraj, the leader of the Government of National Accord (GNA), and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, whose fighters control most of eastern Libya including key oil ports, held a rare meeting in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
The two sides issued separate statements on Wednesday, urging a resolution to Libya's political and economic conflict. They stressed the importance of unifying efforts to fight Takfiri terrorist groups. Libya has faced a power vacuum since a US-led military intervention resulted in the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The country now has two governments, one based in the capital, Tripoli, and the other based in the far east in the city of Tobruk. The United Nations supervised a series of negotiations in 2015 that led to the establishment of the GNA late that year. However, both Haftar and the eastern-based parliament have refused to recognize the UN-backed unity government. The formation of a new unified Libyan army loomed large in the negotiations.
Sarraj said in his statement that the two sides had agreed to put in place "a strategy... to form a unified Libyan army" under civil control. Haftar's statement said the two parties had agreed to allow "the military establishment... to fully play its role in the fight against terrorism."
The UAE has “lauded” the Khalifa Hafter-Faiez Serraj talks held in Abu Dhabi yesterday, describing it as evidence of “tangible progress” in reaching a political solution in Libya.
A statement by the UAE foreign ministry praised what is said was “the determination shown by the two sides to reach a solution to the current political stalemate in Libya”. The UAE would continue to support efforts that sought to find a solution to Libya’s problems, it said “inclusive of all key players and regions in Libya”.
“The key financial institutions in Libya, including the Central Bank, the national oil company and the investment authority, share the responsibility to work together to prevent deterioration of the economy,” the foreign ministry said.
“They should work to create a mechanism to equally distribute Libyan national resources among all parties in Libya, while exerting more efforts to prevent armed groups from monopolising such resources and using them as tools for gaining political influence,” it added.
A delegation from the Saudi-backed Jaysh Al-Islam militant group issued a statement on Tuesday that demanded the removal of Iran from the Syrian peace talks in order to ensure a ceasefire across the country.
“Iran is an aggressor state, an enemy of the Syrian people. It is part of the problem and we do not accept any role in the present and future of Syria as a guarantor or sponsor,” the statement obtained by TASS reads. Jaysh Al-Islam alleges Iran is behind the sectarian war in Syria, despite the fact the Saudi-backed group has targeted minority religious sects in the past.
Jaysh Al-Islam’s leader, Mohammad Alloush, also claimed that armed groups linked to Tehran were fighting on the side of the government in Syria.
“Remove all sectarian terrorist militias affiliated with the regime of 'Vilayat al-Faqith' in Iran from Syria, by taking effective and strict measures to this,” the document said.
Rule or guardianship by a jurist. The concept gained wide currency in the Shii world when it was used as the title of a published series of lectures given by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1969 .
It became the form of Islamic government in Iran when Khomeini came to power in 1979 and became the supreme arbiter of all matters of government in Iran. The concept derives from the historical understanding that the exclusive right of interpretation of Islamic law belongs to religious scholars. The idea of guardianship as rule forms the basis of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The constitution of Iran calls for a faqih, or Vali-ye faqih (Guardian Jurist), to serve as the Supreme Leader of the government.
In the context of Iran, Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist is often referred to as "rule by the jurisprudent", or "rule of the Islamic jurist
Reformists reject the absolutist nature of the state's highest religious authority (wali-ye faqih).
-- Ayatullahs Husayn ‘Ali Montazeri, Mohsen Kadivar, Yousef Saanei, Bayat Zanjani and Mehdi Karrubi have attempted to devise a model in which sovereignty belongs to the public and limits the clergy's role in daily matters of the state to oversight and guidance.
-- Ayatullahs Kazemeyni Boroujerdi and Mojteba Shabestari argued for a clear-cut separation between the church and the state so that the public can choose its form of government since no specific form is prescribed in Islam.
The Syrian Revolution: Fighting for Wahhabism, Salafism and Jihadism.
A Friday sermon from rebel controlled northern Syria, the speaker talks about the recent battle of Aleppo
in which the rebels broke the siege of Aleppo city, this sermon is dated 5/08/2016
Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah (22 January 1263 – 26 September 1328) was a Islamic scholar, theologian and logician. He lived during the troubled times of the Mongol invasions, much of the time in Damascus. He was a member of the school founded by Ahmad ibn Hanbal and is considered by his followers, along with Ibn Qudamah, as one of the two most significant proponents of Hanbalism.
Ibn Taymiyyah sought the return of Sunni Islam to what he viewed as earlier interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, and he is considered to have had considerable influence in contemporary Wahhabism, Salafism, and Jihadism.
His strong opposition to what he believed to be un-Islamic innovation (bid‘ah), caused upset among the prominent Sufis of Egypt.
During his time in prison he wrote that, "when a scholar follows the ruling of a ruler which contravenes a ruling of God and his messenger, he is a renegade, an unbeliever who deserves to be punished in this world and in the hereafter."
The militant organization Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant used a fatwa of Ibn Taymiyyah to justify the burning alive of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh.
Ibn Taymiyya's fatwa on Alawites as "more infidel than Christians and Jews" has been recited by Muslim Brotherhood affiliated scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi and the Syrian rebel Islamist leader of Jaysh al-Islam Zahran Alloush.
In a talk show broadcast live on state TV on Wednesday night, incumbent President Hassan Rouhani underlined the importance of “political independence” and “democracy” as the main achievements of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Touching on his plans for domestic politics, Rouhani stressed the need to boost the democratic participation of people and remove the existing restrictions in this regard. He underscored the need to give more freedom to people in the cultural and economic arenas and minimize the government’s intervention in those areas. “Wherever there is more freedom, more accomplishments are made and whenever there is freer competition we feel more successful,” he added.
Commenting on foreign policy priorities, the president pointed to Iran’s continued assistance to its neighbors and friendly nations and added, “Regional stability is very crucial for us” as Iran’s security is interrelated with those of its neighbors.
The president described the upcoming elections as “special”, saying, “There is a competition between two management styles for the country,” saying his administration would resort to “a moderate method” of running the state and would benefit from “the ideas of the people in national decision-making.”
Baqer Qalibaf underlined the need for financial transparency among the officials and said, “If I become the president, I will be committed to inform the people and the Judiciary of the assets belonging to me, the ministers and top officials at provincial governor offices beyond what is stipulated under the law.”
Touching on his foreign policy agenda, Qalibaf said that promotion of interactions with neighbors, regional countries and other nations are top priorities.
“Building a wall around the country and creating no economic ties has no justification whatsoever,” he said. Qalibaf stressed his resolve to make efforts to turn Iran into the “first economic power in the region.”
Ceasefire guarantor states Russia, Iran and Turkey have adopted a memorandum on the creation of four security zones in Syria, during peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana.
The de-escalation zones were earlier proposed by Russia. They are aimed at separating extremist groups, including Islamic State terrorists (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front), from the moderate opposition.
Idlib, Latakia and Homs are included in the safe zones, as well as parts of Aleppo, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Under the memorandum, any fighting between government forces and armed opposition will cease within the safe zones.
The zones will be emptied of weapons as there will be a tight ban on the use of firearms in these zones. The zones will be open to humanitarian organizations and construction operation of civil infrastructures will start in the zones. Checkpoints and observation posts are to be positioned along the de-escalation lines... They will provide free movement of unarmed civilians and humanitarian access to the areas, under guarantor states’ control. Russian chief negotiator Aleksandr Lavrentyev stated that Russia is ready to send its observers to the established zones and work more closely with the US and Saudi Arabia on Syria. He also said that a working group on an exchange of captives could be settled by the evening.
Some representatives of the Syrian armed opposition walked out of the meeting, according to media reports. “We don’t accept Iran’s participation as a guarantor state,” one opposition delegation member reportedly shouted during a speech by Kazakhstan’s foreign minister at the signing ceremony.
Most members of the delegation reportedly remained in the room, however. Iran says it is a massive step toward the de-escalation of the long-standing conflict and bloodshed in Syria:
"We support any initiative aimed at de-escalation of the conflict in Syria, prevention of bloodshed, destruction, leading to the fleeing of the Syrian people from their native territory. We support any step aimed at a ceasefire," an Iranian Foreign Ministry official told RIA Novosti.
The UN special envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, welcomed the deal, calling it “an important, promising, positive step in the right direction in the process of de-escalation of the conflict.”
"We will bring back the ruling of Islam"
Abu Bilal al-Homsi, member of the
Homs Revolutionary Council, 23-8-2012
Syria’s armed opposition said on Thursday it could not accept creating safe zones in Syria because it threatens the country’s territorial integrity and said it would also not recognize Iran as a guarantor of the peace plan. Russia, Turkey and Iran signed on Thursday a memorandum on creating safe zones in Syria, while the delegation of the armed Syrian opposition walked out and shouted angrily after a new round of peace talks held in the Kazakh capital Astana.
Russia, Turkey and Iran act as guarantors of the Astana peace process.
“We want Syria to maintain its integrity,” opposition delegate Osama Abu Zaid said after the three guarantor states, Russia, Turkey and Iran signed a memorandum on creating safe zones in Syria at peace talks held in the Kazakh capital Astana.
“We are against the division of Syria. As for the agreements, we are not a party to that agreement and of course we will never be in favor (of it) as long as Iran is called a guarantor state.”
Osama Abu Zeid is a native of Homs, where he served as a media activist and founding member of the Homs Revolutionary Council after the Syrian uprising began in 2011.
Meanwhile, the Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said that next Syria peace talks would be held in Astana in mid-July.
The Syrian armed opposition said on Wednesday it had suspended its participation in the peace talks and demanded an end to government bombing of areas under its control
"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.." Mohammad Khatami, President of Iran, 2002
Iran's main pro-reform opposition leaders plan to speak out from their confinement under house arrest this month to publicly back President Hassan Rouhani for re-election, aides say, helping win over voters disillusioned with the slow pace of change.
Rouhani was elected in a landslide in 2013 on promises to ease Iran's international isolation and open up society. He is standing for a second term against five other candidates...
In his first term, Rouhani expended his political capital pushing through a landmark agreement with global powers to limit Iran's nuclear program in return for the lifting of international financial sanctions. But even his supporters acknowledge he has made comparatively little progress on his domestic agenda, after promising that Iranians should enjoy the same rights as other people around the world.
Some reformist critics say he neglected the cause of curbing the powers of the security forces and rolling back restrictions that govern how Iranians dress, behave, speak and assemble.
Nevertheless, Iran's two leading champions of the reform movement, former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karoubi, will urge voters to back him, Ardeshir Amir-Arjomand, a Paris-based spokesman, said. Rouhani has already won the backing of former President Mohammad Khatami, considered the spiritual leader of the reformists, who declared his support on his website on Tuesday. Iranian newspapers and broadcasters are banned from publishing the former president's image or mentioning his name.
Some of Rouhani's allies say he will be able to make more progress on his domestic agenda if he wins a clear, fresh mandate for another four-year term, which would prove to the hardliners that the public wants change. "Iranians want to be free and live freely. They are not against the Islamic Republic. People will continue to fight for their rights," a senior official in Rouhani's government said on condition of anonymity.
A Fountain Of Life: Politics serving Thought and Virtue
Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, 2002
"The civil society which we aspire to establish is based on our collective identity whose attainment requires the continuous and ceaseless endeavours of intellectuals and thinkers.
It is not a treasure that can be unearthed overnight, rather, it is a fountain of life and morality from whose constant effusion we will benefit.
Therefore enjoyment of this treasure is gradual and dependent on scrupulous cognizance and re-examination of our heritage as well as our doctrinal and intellectual tradition on the one hand, and sophisticated, scientific and philosophical understanding of the modern world on the other.
Hence, it is the thinkers and men of learning who are pivotal in this movement and play the principal role. Our success along this path depends upon politics serving thought and virtue and not acting as a confined and restrictive framework for them."
Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said, "When Imam Mahdi appears, some people who were thought to be of his family will desert him, and others who were known as sun and moon worshipers will join him." (Mizan al-Hikmah)
Natal chart of Imam Mahdi: Sun (Lion) and Uranus (Aquarius) are dominant signs. Alter-Ego-signs (represented by companions, friends and partners, who have to be an essential part of his world - the world of 'I and the Other') are Virgo - Gemini (intellectuals, thinkers) and Cancer (Moon=compassion, Mercy) and Aquarius (Uranus=brotherhood, modernity, freedom)
Herodotus the historian said that Persians worshipped the sun, moon and the elements, particularly fire. To Zoroastrians, fire is the manifestation of the deity Ahura Mazda.
The primary religion in Iran today is the Shia sect of Islam but the far older faith of the prophet Zoroaster is still openly practiced, particularly in the central and northwestern regions of the country. Zoroastrians are protected as "People of the Book" in Islam.
Just as the Cross, the Star of David and Mecca serve as altar symbols for Christians, Jews an Muslims, Light is to the Zarathushtis a blazing symbol of divine illumination, enlightenment, warmth, love and energy.
The Zarathushti says his or her prayers before a lighted incense burner, a candle or a lamp. He or she may face other luminaries, the sun, the moon, and the stars when praying to Omniscient God. A perpetual fire is kept in a special vase in the house of worship.
The Syrian Alawis:
Light is the essence of God
Light is the very essence of God, so the 'Alawis worship the sun and the moon seeing them as the abodes of 'Ali, Muhammad and Salman. Actually there are two divisions within the 'Alawis: The Shamsiya (from the Arabic Shams, meaning sun), identify 'Ali with the sun and Salman with the moon. The other group, the Qamariyah (from Qamar, the moon), identify 'Ali with the moon and Salman with the sun. Prayers are said facing the sun.
The Mahdi - horoscope based on Sjia-birth-data
Imam Mahdi , savior of humanity, is the only son of Imam Hassan Askari (AS) the 11th Imam, who was born on the dawn of 15th of Shaaban 255 A.H. (869 C.E.) in Samarra, Iraq. He became the God-appointed Imam when his father was martyred in 260/874. Imam Mahdi (AS) went into occultation (disappearance) at the same time.He will reappear when Allah wills. (Shia-Info)
Prophet Mohammed says that he can be recognized by these signs: "His hair will be profuse. His forehead will be large and concave. His nose will be small, with a slight bump at the bridge. His front teeth will be spaced apart. He will have a mole on his cheek. He will not have a beard but will be clean shaven.
His clothing will be like a flame. He will wear two robes, one an under robe. The color of his face will be sometimes yellow like gold, sometimes very dark and sometimes shining like the moon. His body will be small. His legs will be like those of a young girl.
All the teachings of all the religions of the world will be in his heart from birth. All the science and knowledge of the world from the beginning of time will be in his heart...
From the Bihar Al Anwar (Ocean of Light) a compilation of discourses by the Prophet Mohammed and some of the Shia Islam Imam's. It was compiled in the 17th century by Mohammed Baqir Majlisi, a famous early Shia scholar.
MAHDI - Sun in house 1
Any person with Sun in the 1st house strives towards inner authenticity and they should never submerge their individuality to please others. This placement suggests there is a strong determination to choose one's own course in life, and the energy of the Sun, needs to radiate out of the personality.
MAHDI - Uranus in 1st House
Those born with Uranus in the 1st house can be described as having unusual and unconventional qualities. Since the first house represents our physical appearance as well as our personality, there may be something non-conformist about the way these people dress or behave.
The individual is viewed as a rebel, reformer, or highly unusual in their manners, appearance and attitude. Sometimes these people enjoy being different and unpredictable. Uranus here likes to do what they please regardless of customs and norms. Uranus is associated with new discoveries, risk taking and scientific or occult exploration. Uranus in the 1st house wants to be autonomous, independent and freedom orientated, and they are inclined to strike out in an entirely new way.
The sadism and greed of the American Republican Party was on full display Thursday, as the House GOP voted to destroy Obamacare and remove the coverage for pre-existing conditions (50 million Americans suffer from them).
Oh, this sabotage is camouflaged, but the way Trumpcare would work would make health insurance too expensive again for the 40 million people who were uninsured in 2008...
Here are some of the countries that are better than the US Republican Party:
-- President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has pledged universal health coverage in Iran by 2018.
The GOP is always going on about how Iran is the world’s major sponsor of terrorism (this is not true), but even these bloodthirsty ghouls apparently are better than US Republicans inasmuch as they want to make sure poor children don’t have to just die for lack of money to pay for treatments.
-- Then there is China, where the government has successfully covered all 1.3 billion citizens.
The Republican Party has made its way in the world by promising that if some businessmen are allowed to get fabulously wealthy that will lift all boats. What they said Thursday is that there are 40 million boats they won’t be lifting. But now the Chinese Communist Party has shown that it really can lift all boats.
It is not clear why there is private health insurance. There are some things that the market does poorly and should be nationalized, as is the case in most advanced countries..
The US is the only advanced economy where millions are left without health insurance and are one illness away from bankruptcy and one paycheck away from dying or seeing their children die...
Decisions on the de-escalation zones in Syria adopted at the talks in Astana are related to Washington’s initiatives on putting an end to violence in Syria put forward at the beginning of this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the MIR TV network on Saturday.
"The United States proposed at the beginning of this year, with a view to creating conditions to ensure safety of civilian population, to stop violence in those regions where fierce fighting was underway between government and armed opposition forces," Russia’s top diplomat said.
"It is not by chance that the United States welcomed the results of the meeting in Astana, specifically, an agreement on setting up de-escalation zones," he noted.
The memorandum on setting de-escalation zones was signed in Astana on Thursday by Russia’s chief negotiator, Russian Presidential Envoy on the Syrian Settlement Alexander Lavrentiev, Deputy Undersecretary for the Middle East and Africa at the Turkish Foreign Ministry Sedat Onal and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs, Hossein Jaberi Ansari.
A ban on military operations, including aviation flights, will be imposed in the de-escalation zones as of May 6. Russia, Iran and Turkey have agreed to take all necessary steps to fight against terrorism both in these areas and beyond.
The countries acting as ceasefire guarantors will set up a joint working group on de-escalation ten days after signing the memorandum. It will deal with defining the boundaries of the de-escalation zones and safe zones, among other issues. The maps of the designated areas will be drafted by May 27.
The memorandum is to be in force for six months with the possibility of automatic extension for the same period. According to Lavrentiev, the document could become indefinite.
Turkey should encourage opposition to abide by agreement on de-escalation zones TASS, May 05, 2017
Russia expects Turkey to encourage the Syrian opposition to abide by the memorandum on de-escalation zones, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters on Friday.
"Our Turkish counterparts also are the guarantors of the ceasefire so they should work effectively to ensure that the Syrian armed opposition abides by the memorandum signed by Turkey, Iran and Russia," he said.
The US involvement in monitoring "depends not only on us," he said. "It is necessary to ask the Americans, other parties concerned whether or not they want that. There are certain problems here, for example, relations between the US and Iran."
Bogdanov noted that the details concerning the implementation of the memorandum, including involvement in monitoring activities, are to be clarified by experts and military officials of the countries acting as guarantors of the ceasefire (Russia, Iran, Turkey). "Some issues need to be clarified. Naturally, we need to rely on the Syrian parties’ opinion, primarily that of the the legitimate government, a UN member - the Syrian Arab Republic," he emphasized.
A group of hardline (Islamist) Misratan militias have lambasted the Khalifa Hafter-Faiez Serraj Abu Dhabi meeting, vowing to “crush” the UN-backed government as a result.
“If the world wants fair elections, it must remove the criminals,” a statement signed by some dozen militias calling themselves the Misratan Revolutionaries Operations Room in Tripoli. The group is attached to the militants, led by Misrata military council and its head Ibrahim Ben Rajeb, who for many weeks have been trying to bring down the municipal council..
In their statement, the group, which does not represent mainstream forces in the city, said it would “purify” Misrata of its municipal council. It also threatened militias in Tripoli allied to the Presidency Council, including those led by Haitham Tajouri, Hashim Bishr, and Ghneiwa: “We are ready to clear the capital of them,” the militias declared.
In March, the mainly-Misratan forces supporting the would-be alternative “Government of National Salvation” (GNS) of Khalifa Ghwell were beaten by the local Tripolitan militias and forced out of the capital. These latter, known as “the Quartet” (being Bishr, Ghneiwa, Tajouri and Abdul Raouf Kara), now effectively control the city along with their allies. The Misratan statement follows a similar one from the GNS and its leader Khalifa Ghwell. It described (anti-Islamist) general Khalifa Hafter as a “retired military citizen who does not have any political status” and Serraj as someone “who does not have a legal status”.
The vast bulk of local people support the (moderate) municipal council, political observers in the city say.
The meeting between Presidency Council head Faiez Serraj and Libyan National Army leader Khalifa Hafter has also been widely welcomed, they say. “Only ten percent don’t want it,” claimed one local official.
Director General of Antiquities and Museums Ma’moun Abdul-Kareem revealed on Wednesday the restoration of 89 pieces of antiquities that were stolen by terrorist organizations in previous times from inside Syria and been smuggled abroad.
In a special statement to SANA on the sidelines of the “Treasures of the Syrian Heritage” Exhibition which was opened at the National Museum in Damascus, Abdul-Kareem said that all the archaeological pieces have been recovered through Lebanon, adding that “in cooperation with Interpol and UNESCO, the sale of dozens of stolen Syrian antiquities has been stopped in European capitals.”
”All these acts have been turned into the courts and we have every right to defend our archaeological artifacts as long as they are Syrian and went out illegally and to return them to Syria even after twenty years,” he said.
Islam did not begin with Muhammad, it has always existed.
He considered that this exhibition is a “message of awareness” to the world about the great efforts exerted by the General Establishment of Antiquities and Museums in protecting the Syrian cultural heritage...
He pointed out that Syrians and all governmental and non-governmental institutions should work to protect Syrian archeological sites, which reach at more than 10,000 archaeological sites.
In turn, Assistant Culture Minister Tawfiq al-Imam noted that the exhibition shows the volume of the destruction that affected the Syrian antiquities due to attacks of terrorist organizations, which tried and still trying to blur the identity and civilization of Syria.
The Pakistan Repatriation Council (PRC) recently organized a symposium to mark the 79th death anniversary of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the great Muslim poet, philosopher, thinker and lawyer. Allama Iqbal is widely known as the Poet of Islam or the Poet of the East.
A host of speeches were delivered and poems recited to commemorate the extraordinary talent and genius of Allama Iqbal in a wide range of poetry, philosophy, law, economics and politics.
Allama Iqbal was born on 9 November 1877 in Sialkot city in the western part of Punjab Province of British India, which is now part of Pakistan. His father, Sheikh Noor Muhammad, wanted to see his son specialize in religious studies. However, his friend, Syed Mir Hassan, advised him not to restrict his son to studying at an Islamic seminary but instead enroll him in a regular school.
His father listened to this advice and subsequently Mir Hassan became Allama Iqbal’s teacher and guide. He learned Persian, Arabic and Urdu and was admitted to Scotch Mission College in Sialkot where Mir Hassan was a professor of Arabic language.
He received a diploma from Murray College Sialkot and later obtained his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, English literature and Arabic from the Government College Lahore. He received his Masters of Arts degree from the same college.
After obtaining a Masters degree, Allama Iqbal worked as a teacher at the Government College for some time. Then, he traveled to Europe to pursue his higher education and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from a German university. He became well known as a philosopher and was often compared with the great philosophers of Germany such as Goethe and Nietzsche....
The aim of life is self-realization and self-knowledge
Iqbal's poetic works are written primarily in Persian rather than Urdu. Among his 12,000 verses of poetry, about 7,000 verses are in Persian.
In 1915, he published his first collection of poetry, the Asrar-e-Khudi (Secrets of the Self) in Persian. The poems emphasise the spirit and self from a religious, spiritual perspective.
In Asrar-e-Khudi, Iqbal explains his philosophy of "Khudi," or "Self." Iqbal's use of the term "Khudi" is synonymous with the word "Rooh" (breath of life, soul..) mentioned in the Quran. "Rooh" is that divine spark which is present in every human being, and was present in Adam, for which God ordered all of the angels to prostrate in front of Adam. One has to make a great journey of transformation to realise that divine spirit.
Iqbal condemns self-destruction. For him, the aim of life is self-realization and self-knowledge.
He charts the stages through which the "Self" has to pass before finally arriving at its point of perfection, enabling the knower of the "Self" to become a vice-regent of God.
In his Rumuz-e-Bekhudi (Hints of Selflessness), Iqbal seeks to prove the Islamic way of life is the best code of conduct for a nation's viability.
A person must keep his individual characteristics intact, but once this is achieved he should sacrifice his personal ambitions for the needs of the nation. Man cannot realise the "Self" outside of society.
Also in Persian and published in 1917, this group of poems has as its main themes the ideal community, Islamic ethical and social principles, and the relationship between the individual and society.
Although he is true throughout to Islam, Iqbal also recognises the positive analogous aspects of other religions.
Iqbal's 1924 publication, the Payam-e-Mashriq (The Message of the East) is closely connected to the West-östlicher Diwan by the German poet Goethe.
Goethe bemoans the West having become too materialistic in outlook, and expects the East will provide a message of hope to resuscitate spiritual values.
Iqbal styles his work as a reminder to the West of the importance of morality, religion and civilisation by underlining the need for cultivating feeling, ardour and dynamism. He explains that an individual can never aspire to higher dimensions unless he learns of the nature of spirituality.
Iqbal's 1932 work, the Javed Nama (Book of Javed) is named after and in a manner addressed to his son, who is featured in the poems. It follows the examples of the works of Ibn Arabi and Dante's The Divine Comedy... Iqbal depicts himself as Zinda Rud ("A stream full of life") guided by Rumi, "the master," through various heavens and spheres and has the honour of approaching divinity and coming in contact with divine illuminations.
In a passage re-living a historical period, Iqbal condemns the Muslim who were instrumental in the defeat and death of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula of Bengal and Tipu Sultan of Mysore respectively by betraying them for the benefit of the British colonists, and thus delivering their country to the shackles of slavery. (Wikipedia Info)
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened the weekly Knesset meeting on Sunday morning by speaking about US President Donald Trump's upcoming visit to Israel.
"In two weeks, the State of Israel will host US President Donald Trump, and his wife, on his first presidential trip outside the United States," Netanyahu said. "President Trump will be warmly welcomed here as a great friend of Israel and as is customary for the leader of our greatest ally, the United States.
"The President is seeking to examine ways of renewing the peace process with the Palestinians. I share in this desire as do the citizens of Israel. We want peace. We are also educating our children for peace.
"Former minister Benny Elon – may his memory be blessed – passed away over the weekend. "Benny loved the Land of Israel, the State of Israel and the heritage of Israel, and worked greatly on their behalf.
Benny Elon (successor to the assassinated Rehavam Ze'evi in the ultra-right-wing Modelet party) was a keen supporter of the continuation of the Israeli settlement enterprise in the West Bank and return to Gush Katif, and did not recognize a Palestinian right for self-determination in any part of the Eretz Israel ("Land of Israel"), the area which he stated God gave to the Jews according to the Hebrew Bible.
As such, he rejected efforts for establishing peace in the Middle East as viewed by the mainstream. Instead, he suggested an alternative proposal called The Right Road to Peace, also known as the Elon Peace Plan.
The Elon Plan: Palestinians will become strangers in their own country
The Elon Peace Plan (also formerly "The Right Road to Peace"; now "The Israeli Initiative") is a plan to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict through the principles of rehabilitation of Palestinian refugees, Israeli sovereignty, and strategic cooperation with Jordan.
The plan was originally proposed in 2002 by then-Israeli tourism minister Rabbi Binyamin Elon. It advocates the formal annexation of West Bank and Gaza by Israel, the Palestinians becoming citizens of Jordan, which would become a Palestinian state.
The Palestinian refugee camps would be dismantled, and the Palestinian refugees would be fully absorbed into their host countries. (Wikipedia info)
('Kill Gaddafi, Kill Assad') Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 2012
Egypt's Giza Criminal Court has sentenced Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and two other defendants to life in prison, two defendants to five years in prison and acquitted 21 others in the ‘Rabaa operations room’ retrial.
In April 2015, Badie, along with 13 other defendants, was sentenced to death while 37 others were sentenced to life in prison for setting up an "operation room" at a protest camp supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adawiya area in the summer of 2013.
After Morsi’s ouster in July 2013, the now-banned Brotherhood -- from which the ex-president hails -- and other supporting Islamist groups held a sit-in in Rabaa Al-Adawiya to protest his deposal.
In Monday's verdicts, Badie, Mahmoud Ghozlan and Hossam Abu Bakr received life sentences. Salah Sultan and his son received five years in prison.
The acquitted include two journalists, Hani Salah El-Deen and Ahmed Sobai. Others included Omar Malek (son of Brotherhood leader Hassan Malek), who faced a death sentence in the 2015 trial, former MPs Saad El-Hoseiny and Ahmed Abu Baraka and brotherhood media spokesman Gehad El-Haddad. The retrial verdicts can still be appealed.
-- President Assad: The rifts we have witnessed in modern history have come with the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood and the negative role they have played after the independence of many Arab countries like Syria.
They created the first split between Pan-Arabism and Islam, working hard to form a country for Islamists and another for nationalists. These attempts continued when colonist powers in Lebanon attempted to create a country for Muslims and another for Christians.
The implications of the Muslim Brotherhood have transpired, the most dangerous of which is the presence of Al Qaeda which was generously supported by the West on the back of the Islamic revolution in Iran. .... The more schism in a country, the less it is able to accommodate its entire people. On the contrary, Syria is still accommodating to all Syrians due to people’s ability to grasp these realities and reject this strife hence preventing it from materializing. Syria remains for all Syrians as long as we can prevent these pockets of extremisms from spreading....
In a previous interview, I discussed the role of religious clerics.... The majority of those who emanated from mosques at the beginning chanting “Allah Akbar” did so to incite chaos and hatred whilst knowing nothing of religion. Others attended mosques to protest and chant “Allah Akbar” but in reality they did not know how to pray.
On the other hand, the religious institutions have existed for decades and they have been empowered and supported as far back as the1980’s during the Muslim Brotherhood crisis. The crisis at that time highlighted the importance of nurturing religious belief correctly since many Syrians were misled due to misguided religious awareness. The Muslim Brotherhood exploited the weaknesses in religious clerics and in society propagating themselves as strengthening religion in society against an “atheist” state fighting religion. Consequently, and based on the above, I believe that on the backdrop of this crisis, we need to embrace religion and religious institutions, and certainly not the opposite. ...
-- Interviewer: Taking into consideration these distorted concepts and perverse practices in our society from beheading and slaughtering to sectarianism and fragmentation, are we beginning to see the defeat of Arab Nationalism to the hands of fanaticism and takfiri ideology?
-- President Assad: Arab identity is endangered by three factors: firstly, an absolute deviation towards the West, secondly, the inclination towards extremism and thirdly, the performance of successive Arab governments which has led some to shift away from the core of Arab nationalism.
These three deadly threats have dealt severe blows to Pan-Arabism, but Arab nationalism is still alive and this can be felt in the popular mood. Pan-Arabism will not collapse because it is deeply rooted in our Arab identity.
This should not be understood as being anti-religion; on the contrary, we support religion. Religion is a calling, a higher calling to teach the word of God and should be elevated to a much higher level than ruling people’s daily lives. Religion is for all humanity and not exclusive to a certain group; it has a higher purpose than the details and nuances of our human lives which encompass wrongdoings, sins, perversities and whims. Religion should not be reduced to a political party. Religion augments moral values, which in turn reinforces politics, parties, the economy and prosperity. It is for these reasons that we do not recognise them as a political party.
A decade ago I published a book, Israel and the Clash of Civilisations, that examined Israel’s desire to Balkanise the Middle East, using methods it had refined over many decades in the occupied Palestinian territories. The goal was to unleash chaos across much of the region, destabilising key enemy states: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
The book further noted how Israel’s strategy had influenced the neoconservative agenda in Washington that found favour under George Bush’s administration. The neocons’ destabilisation campaign started in Iraq, with consequences that are only too apparent today.
I predicted – correctly – that Israel and the neocons would continue to push for more destabilisation, targeting Syria next, with disastrous consequences. If successful, the Balkanisation process will undoubtedly move on and intensify against Lebanon and Iran.
Balkanisation has been a powerful way to isolate and weaken states...
What we have seen unfolding over the past 15 years is part of a lengthy process – often described in the West as a “war on terror” – that is not designed to “liberate” or “democratise” Middle Eastern states. If that were the case, Saudi Arabia would have been the first state targeted for “intervention”. Rather, the “war on terror” is part of efforts to violently break apart states that reject US-Israeli hegemony in the region...
A coalition of the US, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Turkey and Israel exploited initial challenges to the Syrian regime, seeing them as an opening. They did not do so to help democracy activists but to advance their own, largely shared agendas. They used Sunni jihadist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS to advance their interests, which depend on the break-up of the Syrian state...
We know the consequences of this policy: massive sectarian bloodspilling, huge internal population displacement and the creation of waves of refugees who head towards the relative stability of Europe, the seizure and dispersal of military arsenals that spur yet more fighting, and the inspiration of more militant and reactionary ideologies like that of ISIS. If Syria falls, it will not be the end of the “war on terror”. Next, these agents of anarchy will move on to Lebanon and Iran, spreading yet more death and destruction.
I Have, I Rule and I Will Destroy
Will Psychopaths Rule The World?
The most striking traits of the psychopath are lack of empathy and conscience.
Other traits are common to narcissism: psychopaths have a grand vision of their own importance. In their minds, everything is owed to them because they are exceptional. They are never wrong, and failures are always the fault of others... incapable of feeling guilt.
Basically, the psychopath perceives others as objects. He has a mechanical view of people and human relationships (and, in some way, of himself as well)...
The psychopath almost always develops an immoderate taste for money; he idealizes it as the epitome of power, the very essence of the social; he thinks that people can be bought and sold like things, and life often proves him right.
The psychopath feels only very superficial emotions and has no real feelings for anyone... He is unable to empathize, but learns to simulate it, sometimes with a tendency to histrionics (Latin histrio, “theater actor”). He is a manipulator. It is through his extraordinary ability to feign, trick, trap, and capture that the psychopath draws his power. Although he himself is immunized against guilt, he becomes a master in the art of using guilt to dominate others.
In his megalomania, the psychopath is convinced that when he uses others, it is for their own good.
Keywords: Lack of empathy, narcism, exceptionalism. Incapable of feeling guilt. Others are objects or commodities. Manipulation, morality is based on money. 'If you cann't use them, destroy them'
Mohamed Talbi, known for his staunch opposition to political Islam and religious obscurantism and as a prolific writer whose ideas often became the centre of controversy, has died in Tunis at the age of 95.
The Tunisian Ministry of Culture called Talbi, who died May 1, “one of the pillars of intellectual activity in Tunisia” and said that he “belonged to the founding generation of the modern Tunisian university.” Throughout his career, Talbi argued that more emphasis should be put on the intended meaning of the Quranic text rather than laws and strictures.
Talbi said that any modernist project in the Muslim world must begin by revising and reviewing religious thought. Muslim thinkers “must frankly face their heritage and past. There were errors made in our history and we have to expose them before moving on,” Talbi said.
In a more recent interview with weekly magazine Jeune Afrique, Talbi pointed out that “the Quran was the only [holy text] that includes the very clear and very secular expression: "There is no compulsion in religion.” Talbi was a fierce opponent of Salafist thought, referring to it as “anti-Islamic.”
-- What is your mission as a historian and Muslim scholar?
-- Mohamed Talbi: I am an historian and I therefore do not wish to make any statement in the name of Islam because I do not hold the mandate to do so. In fact, no one is in a position to claim infallibility to tell or hold the Truth.
I shall, however, say that I am leading a fight against the rigid and conservative interpretation of the Quranic text.
The prevailing conservative interpretation of the Quran is not the only one available to us. According to Abu Hanifa, in 150 Hegira, God does not only speak to the dead but also to the Living.
If his words are alive, as mentioned in the Hadith, then we are compelled to 'read the Quran as if it has been revealed to you'.
This would imply that I have to listen to it with today's spirit, in my very present situation, and interpret it as such.
This is very much part of the dynamic interpretation of the Quran that I want to advocate. I prefer it over a conservative and static reading that tends to prescribe and over-determine the orality or 'speech' of the text.
I want to give that speech back to God, against those who have monopolised it and pretend to be the only infallible speakers. If I were in front of God, I would tell him: 'This is how I understood your words. I did my best to understand you. It is now up to you to judge the sincerity of my approach.'
The injunction here is to read the Quran with your eyes. There are several possible interpretations of the Quran yet only one text. This leads us to evoke the right to be different.
All sects and modern movements are the result of various interpretations of the Quran.
Some justify violence and legitimise it by rejecting pluralism and the right to be different. And these are precisely the ones I condemn. Hence, it is essential to reach with pen and ink, rather than blood, a cultural space that banishes violence and intellectual terrorism. A space
which allows an evolution of the Quran...
We should reject the desire that society must be governed by the sacred text, and concentrate, instead, on the nature of its reading. The Quran is not politics. It is neither a Constitution nor a code of behaviour. It is Light and the Source of Inspiration that is viable at every moment of time and life. Islam is, first and foremost, a secular religion where the people are sovereign not the rulers.
It is interpretations of the sharia that has spread chaos and strife. We must, therefore, get rid of the lies before being able to understand the foundations of the Muslim faith and Islamic thought. The sharia is man-made invention. In fact, the terms sharia or indeed 'politics' do not belong to the Quranic lexicon and is nowhere to be found.
The term, Shu'ra, however exists in the Quran. It is a generic term that means 'consultation' or 'dialogue' which does not necessarily relate to any specific political system but to life as a whole.
Shu'ra means to assess the rights and wrongs before making any decision, be it in the family, nation, or humanity as a whole.
The Sh'ura ensures different kinds of freedom, including bodily freedom, freedom of expression, and the freedom of justice for all as well as social cohesion. This is the kind of Islam I defend.
Dictatorship is, by definition, an abuse and a denaturalisation of the Quranic message. In addition, fighting for freedom is a must for the Muslim. Freedom is not a gift; it is an eternal struggle for justice and freedom that is never completely won.
I am not suggesting the Western imperialistic notion of freedom - the one that allows you to invade and declare war anywhere there is oil present. On the contrary, I would like to think that Arabs are now in a position to give voice to the deepest meaning of the word 'freedom' and negotiate it within an equation that includes justice.
I believe that Arab thinkers have got an important mission in their hands. It is their duty to re-think freedom and the way it is interpreted by the West. Freedom in the context of egalitarianism, fairness and empathy is in my view the most important promise made by the Arab world today...
Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani — who is seeking a second term — has changed his approach ahead of the May 19 presidential elections. In the past few days, Rouhani has become unprecedentedly straight and clear in his speeches, injecting more hope in his supporters.
On May 7, in a speech in Orumiyeh province in northwest Iran, Rouhani said, “They state that [everyone] must pay their taxes, but no one asks them [if they] have paid [their] taxes..."
In recent days, one of the slogans that conservative Raisi has emphasized is to tax the influential and wealthy companies and figures instead of poor people. However, Raisi is the custodian of the holy shrine of the eighth Imam of Shiites and hasn’t paid taxes since he took office in the last year. Rouhani also slammed conservatives for questioning freedom of expression in his government, saying those who silenced people in recent years and issued media bans on figures are behind these slogans against his administration.
“Please don’t talk about freedom of expression, and [don’t] put liberty at shame. Do not talk about the tolerance of criticism while nobody dares to criticize the body you are working for,” said Rouhani, referencing his conservative rivals...
In a speech on May 8 in Hamadan in western Iran, Rouhani accused his rivals of striving to enforce gender segregation in the streets. “In a meeting, they decided to build walls in streets. They sought to divide the streets for women and men, just like when they issued a circular for gender segregation in their workplace. You don’t know them; I know them,” said Rouhani, adding, “If you don’t cast your votes, they will come to build walls in the streets."
Mentioning the media ban on former President Mohammad Khatami by the judiciary, Rouhani said, “Why have you isolated the great figures of our society … the ones who brought up the dialogue of civilizations? Based on which law and rule [have you banned them]?”
President Mohammad Khatami's speech at the U.N.-sponsored Conference of Dialogue Among Civilizations in New York on 5 September. Translated by the U.S. Federal Broadcasting Information Service (FBIS).
One of the issues, which I can only briefly touch upon, here today, is Iran's exceptional geographical location. It connects Far East, Middle East, Central Asia, and Indian Subcontinents and many other Asian cultures and civilizations to Europe...
One of the unintended, if only natural, consequences of this strategic geographical location has been the fostering of a certain cultural sense, which forms the primary attribute of the Persian soul in the course of its historical evolution. The Iranian spirit has a remarkable and exceptional capacity, that we could refer to as its capacity to integrate.
The capacity to integrate involves reflective contemplation of the methods and achievements of various cultures and civilizations in order to augment and enrich one's cultural repertoire.
The spiritual wisdom of Shahab al-Suhrawardi [Iranian philosopher], which elegantly synthesizes and integrates ancient Persian wisdom, Greek rationalism with Islamic intuitive knowledge presents us with a brilliant and exceptional example of Persian capacity to integrate.
What we ought to consider, in earnest today, is the emergence of a world culture. World culture cannot and ought not to ignore characteristics and peculiarities of any particular local culture with the aim of imposing its own upon them...
In order for the world culture to assume a unified identity, in form and substance, and avoid the chaos caused by various cultural discords, it must engage all the concerned parties in dialogues aimed at exchanging knowledge, experience and raising understanding in diverse areas of culture and civilization. The absence of dialogue among thinkers, scholars, intellectuals and artists, from various cultures and civilizations, precipitate an imminent danger of cultural homelessness. Such a state of cultural homelessness, would deprive people of solace whether in their own culture or in the open horizon of World Culture.
One goal of dialogue among cultures and civilizations is to recognize and to understand not only cultures and civilizations of others, but those of 'one's own". We could know ourselves by taking a step away from ourselves and embarking on a journey away from self and homeland and eventually attaining a more profound appreciation of our true identity.
It is only through immersion into another existential dimension that we could attain mediated and acquired knowledge of ourselves in addition to the immediate and direct knowledge of ourselves that we commonly possess. Through seeing others we attain a hitherto impossible knowledge of ourselves.
Member states of the United Nations should endeavour to remove barriers from the way of dialogue among cultures and civilizations, and should abide by the basic precondition of dialogue. This fundamental principle rejects any imposition, and builds upon the premises that all parties to dialogue stand on essentially equal footing.
The symbolic representation of Themis - goddess of divine law and justice - has already gained virtually global acceptance, as its statue appears on judiciary courts of many nations. It is now time to ask Themis to remove her blindfold. Let us ask her to set aside the lofty scale that currently weighs political and economic might as the sole measure. Instead, she should call all parties to an open discussion in various domains of thought, culture and civilization.
Dialogue is not easy. Even more difficult is to prepare and open up vistas upon one's inner existence to others. Believing in dialogue paves the way for vivacious hope: the hope to live in a world permeated by virtue, humility and love, and not merely by the rein of economic indices and destructive weapons.
Emmanuel Macron, former French banker, won the second round of presidential election in France giving hope to his country, Europe, and the entire world in the present chaotic situation.
The 39-year-old Macron was elected the president gaining 66.1% of the votes and beating his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.
“This was a choice between patriots and globalists…,” Le Pen tweeted on May 7 following the final result of the election was announced. She stressed that she would be the voice of opposition in France.
“Macron offers five more years of failure, more power to the EU and a continuation of open borders. If Marine sticks in there, she can win in 2022,” tweeted the US president Donald Trump after Macron’s victory in the elections. Trump’s statements prove the world that radicalism is a growing problem, which has to be taken into account seriously to stop further chaos, devastation and bloodshed in the world.
In the present situation where we see some warmongers are trying to beat the drum of war wherever and whenever they can as well as the growing support of terrorism by those warmongers allies which leads the world to chaos, taking the power in France by far-rights could even worsen the situation and bring devastating consequences not only to France but also to Europe and the world.
“Ensemble la France” (All together France) was the motto of Macron’s presidential campaign, expressing his concern to unify all people in France regardless of their nationalities, religions, ethnicities, or even ideologies and indicating that France should be an opportunity for all.
As a country known to be the cradle of love, the French decided to choose love instead of hatred and extremism. Love is an element strongly needed in the contemporary world as a major solution to overcome radicalism and violence.
It can gather the most, if not all, together in tricky situations and the French perceived it right at time.
“My responsibility will be to gather all men and women together to confront the enormous challenges awaiting us and to act,” Macron said in the dawn of his victory. “I will fight with all my power against the divisions which undermine us and knocks us back,” he further added reassuring that radicalism has no place in his government.
Therefore, there is still hope for the people of the world to get rid of extremism and violence by making wise choices as has happened in France. People of this wounded planet have seen enough violence, ignorance and prejudice...
Today, after six years of regime-change operations that failed to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and install a compliant regime in Damascus, the west’s strategy seems to be shifting toward partitioning Syria.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia vows to establish a free Syria using the arms provided to them by the United States, YPG spokesman Redur Xelil said in a statement obtained by Sputnik.
Specifically, the new U.S. policy would seek to sever the unimpeded geographic line between Iran and Israel by creating a buffer entity that runs through Iraq and Syria.
In Syria’s northeast/east and in Iraq’s northwest/west, where the Islamic State once occupied a vast swathe of territory, ISIS has helped to enable this U.S. goal by delineating the borders of this future buffer zone.
The only question is which U.S. “asset” will rule that buffer zone once it is liberated from ISIS.
Would it be Sunni Arabs of the sectarian variety? A declassified 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report seemed to suggest this option when it confirmed U.S. and Western support for the establishment of a “Salafist Principality” on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Or will it be a Kurdish-ruled zone? U.S.-Kurdish machinations have, after all, borne a similar Shia-thwarting buffer on Iran’s western border with Iraq, with the creation of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) headed by the famously opportunistic and corrupt Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani.
In the immediate aftermath of the ISIS invasion, Reuters quoted a KRG official saying: “Everyone is worried, but this is a big chance for us. ISIL gave us in two weeks what Maliki couldn’t give us in eight years.”
Two years later, in July 2016, the KRG’s Peshmerga ministry gave credence to those claims by announcing that “Peshmerga forces will not withdraw from areas they have recaptured from the Islamic State.”
Last week, the “Kurdistan” flag was hoisted above all government buildings in Kirkuk—a move deemed unconstitutional and opposed by local non-Kurdish leaders and the Iraqi government alike.
In Syria, one can see a picture developing that mirrors Iraq’s experiences with the Kurds, Americans, and ISIS.
Under U.S. patronage, areas occupied by the terror group are allowed to be “recaptured” by Kurdish forces, with a smattering of subordinate Arab Sunni forces to lend broader legitimacy.
Kurdish-controlled territory now traverses much of Syria’s three northern governorates where Kurds remain a minority and has earned the wrath of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has sent in troops and Arab proxies to break this “Kurdish corridor,” placing him in direct confrontation with the objectives of Washington, his NATO ally.
The Kurdish Nationalist Party (PYD) and its military wing. the People’s Protection Units (YPG), have unilaterally declared Hasakah a federal Kurdish state, a designation that is unrecognized by the Syrian government and other states. Kurds barely make up 40 percent of the governorate’s population, which consists of Assyrians, Arabs, Armenians, Turkmen, and other ethnic groups as well.
Likewise, in Aleppo, the most populous of Syria’s 14 governorates, where 40 percent of Syrian Kurds reside, Kurds make up only 15 percent of the population and are a majority only in Afrin and Ayn al-Arab (Kobane). The entire Kurdish population of Syria amounts to about 10 percent (although figures are slightly disputed both upward and downward). And there is not a single contiguous line of Kurdish majority-populated areas from the northeast to northwest of Syria.
If the U.S. forges ahead with plans to lead its Kurdish allies into the Raqqa battle it will risk further alienating Turkey.
In fact, all U.S. gains could be abruptly reversed with this one Kurdish card. Nothing is more likely to draw Syrians, Iraqis, Turks, and Iranians together than the threat of a Kurdish national entity that will seek to carve itself out of these four states.
And as the U.S. tries to establish “self-rule” by its allies in the northeast of Syria, it will once again be confronted with the same crippling infighting that comes from foisting an un-organic leadership onto populations.
Syria will become an American quagmire. Washington simply cannot manage its partition plans with so few troops on the ground, surrounded by the terror forces it so recently spawned, as able adversaries chip away at its project. Stealing Syria will not be an easy trick.
The United States has told Turkey that the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) will not remain in the region after the operation to take Syria’s Raqqa from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on May 12.
Speaking to reporters in London where he is on an official visit, Yıldırım said Washington’s decision to provide weapons to YPG militants in the fight against ISIL would “harm relations” between the two NATO allies.
However, he also said the U.S. had assured Turkey that “the region’s demographics would not change” as a result of the upcoming campaign on Raqqa, a key concern for Ankara.
Celebrations are being organised by the authorities in Benghazi to mark the third anniversary of the start of the Dignity (“Karama”) operation launched by general Khaifa Hafter to destroy Islamist militants in the city.
Starting on 16 May and lasting three days, the festivities are being presented in part as marking the Libyan National Army’s victory in having cleared most of the militants out of the city and in part to commemorate those who died in the operation and the suffering endured by the people of Benghazi. They will include military parades, speeches from leading figures officials and well as other events.
Foreign media, have been invited to cover the event. Ahead of it, a linked four-day Libyan-Egyptian festival – the Al-Ahram Cultural Festival – is already taking place and early this morning a planeload of journalists and other media personalities landed in Benina Airport from Cairo on a chartered Afriqiyah airbus to take part.
libya, benghazi 2015-2016
The festival has as its slogan “Together, we triumph over terrorism”.
In an effort to drum up public enthusiasm, the chairman of Benghazi Municipality’s committee responsible for them, Rajab Musa Al-Jaghdaf has called on residents to hang out flags and decorations and join in the festivities.
Parliament’s Religious Affairs Committee approves a draft law which restricts the issuing of fatwas to licensed preachers, reports Gamal Essam El-Din
moderates versus radicals
A five-article law drafted by Religious Affairs Committee Secretary-General Omar Hamroush restricts the issuing of fatwas to clerics affiliated with Al-Azhar, Dar Al-Ifata, the Complex of Islamic Research and the Ministry of Religious Endowment’s General Directorate of Fatwas. Clerics must first secure a licence from Al-Azhar or another affiliated religious institution before they issue fatwas...
Religious teaching of preachers, imams and members of the teaching board of Al-Azhar University should not be considered as constituting a public fatwa.
Hamroush told Al-Ahram Weekly the draft law is part of ongoing efforts to reform religious discourse. “The law aims to tighten the grip on radical Islamist agendas, particularly when they are expressed in the form of fatwas,” said Hamroush...
“These so-called fatwas paved the way for militant jihadists to bomb churches and threaten Coptic families in North Sinai. They sow the seeds of sectarian tension in Egypt.”
More than 1,200 people including rebels left two opposition-held districts of Damascus on Friday under an agreement that will bring Syria's government closer to exerting full control over the capital. For more than two years, the government of President Bashar al-Assad has touted such "reconciliation deals" as the best way to end the country's brutal war. Friday's evacuations were part of the first such deal for the Syrian capital itself.
According to Syrian state news agency SANA, 718 rebels were among a total of 1,246 people evacuated from the Damascus districts of Barzeh and Tishrin.
Earlier on Friday, SANA said that 664 people including 103 rebels had left the northern district of Barzeh, but it did not give a number for Tishrin. A source from the pro-government National Defense Forces confirmed the same number of evacuees from Barzeh and told AFP they left on 12 buses.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that months of negotiations had been held to secure the evacuations of three rebel districts of Damascus: Barzeh, Tishrin and Qabun, also in the northeast. Syria's government has announced its intent to include more Damascus neighborhoods in the deal, among them Qabun and the Palestinian camp of Yarmuk in the south.
"We are working on Qabun and there is the Yarmuk camp, where talks are under way for the evacuation of armed groups," Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said earlier this week.
DAMASCUS - Civilians and rebels began evacuating a third opposition-held district of Damascus on Sunday, bringing the government closer to cementing its control over the Syrian capital.
An AFP correspondent inside Qabun saw around 10 buses carrying out residents and fighters in the morning, after a deal for the neighbourhood was announced late Saturday following heavy fighting. The agreement mirrors those implemented earlier this week in the nearby rebel-held districts of Barzeh and Tishrin.
State media announced the evacuation had started, and an activist inside the remaining opposition-held part of the district earlier confirmed preparations for the operation were underway.
The evacuation deal came on Saturday night after government forces advanced inside the neighbourhood.
"The Syrian army yesterday managed to encircle dozens of armed elements inside Qabun neighbourhood, forcing them to surrender and hand over their weapons," a source from the pro-regime National Defence Forces militia said. The deals for Qabun, Barzeh and Tishrin neighbourhoods follow a pattern of agreements under which the rebels agree to surrender in exchange for safe passage to opposition-held territory elsewhere.
The government has made securing control of the last remaining rebel districts in the capital a key priority.
US presidential envoy: War in Mosul nearing its end, Raqqa is the focus By Rudaw, 16-5-2017
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The war against ISIS in Mosul to retake the city from the radical group is nearing an end, says the US presidential envoy to the global coalition Brett McGurk, and that the militants will have to surrender or die.
“I'm not going to put timelines on it, this has been a long and very difficult campaign but ISIS (the Islamic State group) is down to its last stronghold in the western part of the city and it's really just a matter of time.”
He said that the priority was now driving ISIS out of its capital city of Raqqa in Syria.
For the planned operation against Raqqa the US recently decided to arm the Kurds in Syria, and for that, said McGurk, Washington is in discussions with Turkey that opposes the deal.
“We've got (Turkish) President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan in Washington this coming week. So we're in constant discussion with Turkey but first and foremost we have to get ISIS out of Raqqa.”
McGurk said that Raqqa was a place that still posed a threat and lessons had been learned in Iraq for the upcoming operations in Syria.
“Raqqa is where they're planning and plotting attacks against us, and the lessons we've learnt here in Iraq are making sure that we return people to their homes and that local areas are returned to the local people who live there. That includes the Arabs of Raqqa, that is the plan.” he explained.