Archive for the ‘Cameron’ Category

ORIENT TENDENCIES: ANY SOLUTION FOR SYRIA IS A DEFEAT FOR THE US

March 19, 2013

Posted on March 18, 2013 by Libya 360°
Monday March 18, 2013, no 123
Weekly information and analysis bulletin specialized in Arab Middle Eastern affairs prepared by neworientnews.com
Editor in chief Wassim Raad
wassimraad73@gmail.com
New Orient Center for Strategic policies

The American plan

By Ghaleb Kandil

The painful truth that the secretary of state John Kerry finally accepted is that any solution in Syria is a defeat for the United States, the West, the petrodollars kings and Turkey. Also, Washington and his allies try to circumvent this solution by announcing their intention to arm the terrorist gangs and threatening to widen the battlefield before sitting down at the negotiating table in a Russian-American summit which date will be soon, according to diplomats.

At the request of Kerry, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of France and Britain, Laurent Fabius and William Hague, called for arming rebels in Syria. Then Prime Minister of Her Majesty, David Cameron, has denied these intentions, while President François Hollande almost stammered at the meeting of the European Union. Knowing that weapons and communications equipment provided by the West are already for months in the hands of terrorists, who are unable to make significant progress on the ground, despite the support of U.S, Western and Arab instructors, in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

After a severe political warning issued by Russia, information was conveyed that promises to provide new weapons designed primarily to boost the morale of armed gangs with the approach of the Russian-American negotiations. Till the last minute, Americans want to use the capacity and energy of those they invented, trained, armed and financed. Is not that the reason they were created?

A dramatic political development took place last week in Syria, when Russia has launched a stern warning to the address of American who maneuver and delay on the principles Geneva agreement. The Franco-British announcement about sending arms to the rebels was an opportunity for Moscow to underline that this decision constitutes a violation of international law. Sergei Lavrov’s remarks, Russian deployment of warships to the Syrian port of Tartous, arfe a reminder of the red lines that the West must not overstep about the type of weapons they send to terrorists.

During his last tour in the Middle East, John Kerry has flip-flopped on the terms of the agreement with Russia in Geneva. But he was finally forced to make a political statement which had the effect of a shock to his allies and auxiliaries, recognizing that President Bashar al-Assad was an unavoidable negotiator. So, Washington finally abandoned the condition of a president’s departure, as a precondition for national dialogue.

Despite this, the United States remains tempted by the plan of the last minute, trying to change the internal balance of power in Syria in preparation for the start of negotiations. This is a desperate move to avoid total political defeat. It is in this context that we should interpret the training of Syrian terrorists by U.S. instructors in Jordan, sending 3,000 tons of weapons purchased in Croatia by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and scenarios on a Israeli intervention in order to build a security zone in Syria, entrusted to terrorists.

But in the opinion of experts, any Israeli military adventure in Syria and Lebanon would be a catastrophe for the that state, for Western interests and for the entire region. The balance of forces is indeed strong and well anchored, and the axis of the Resistance, with its international alliances -Russia, China and the Brics- has the necessary capacity to thwart any offensive and to break U.S. hegemony over the world.

In this context, the experts agree on the fact that despite the war in which it is engaged, the Syrian army still has significant capabilities in addition to anti-air defense and ballistic missiles, which remain intact.

France-Press Agency recognizes the supremacy of the Syrian army

On the occasion of the second anniversary of unrest in Syria, France-Press Agence published a report about the ground developments in Syria that proves, despite the attempt to exaggerate the role and achievements of the terrorists, that Syrian army controls the main areas of the country and continue to have the initiative. Here are excerpts from this report:

“On the ground, the situation is still volatile in Syria. Assad’s army still defending Damascus and territories in the west and center of the country, while the rebels aided by jihadi fighters advancing gradually in the north and the East. Inventory of fighting by region:

Damascus and its province:

Nearly eight months after launching the “battle of liberation” of Damascus, the rebels remain confined to the outskirts and suburbs south and east of the fortified capital.

The army rejects their attempts to penetrate the heart of Damascus, where large plan targets, however, are affected by deadly attacks, mostly claimed by the Al-Jihad Front Nosra.
The eastern region of Al-Ghouta, where rebels took up, was the scene of fierce battles. South-east of Damascus, the army also tried to take completely the city of Daraya.

In the north:

A Raqa (northeast), Ahrar al-Sham and al-Nosra Front showed the greatest success by taking fully on March 6 Raqa, capital of the eponymous province. This is the first major city in the country to fall into the hands of the rebels. Aviation nevertheless continues to bomb the insurgents.

In the region of Idleb (northwest), large areas of the province are in the hands of the rebels, but the provincial capital is still under military control.

With the help of foreign jihadists arrived via the porous border with Turkey, the rebels took two border crossings and military base air Taftanaz. Islamists in the north have better access to weapons that the rebels center.

In Aleppo, the country’s second city, the front was opened in July 2012 with an attack by rebels who now control most of the province. Front ccused of being linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq and classified by Washington on its list of “terrorist organizations”, is also active in Aleppo.

In the east:

In the city of Deir Ezzor. Rebels take advantage of the porous border with Iraq to move weapons and fighters. And opponents of the regime took 80% of the province, but the army still controls the majority of the provincial capital. Al-Nosra Front is located in Deir Ezzor.
In the province of Hasaka, in majority Kurdish rebels fought Kurdish fighters in Ras al-Ain, before a truce in February. Elsewhere in the region, jihadists took over large territories.

Center:

After a siege of nine months of rebel strongholds in Homs, the army launched a new offensive, supported by aviation and pro-regime militias. Resumption of rebel enclaves to ensure army full control of the center of the country.
Hama region is also largely under control of the army.

In the west:

The heart of the Alawite community, of Bashar al-Assad, is under control of the army, with the exception of some Kurdish and Turkmen enclaves in the north of Latakia.

In the south:

In Deraa, cradle of the revolt, the rebels took many villages, but the majority of the province is still controlled by the regime.
Soueida City remains generally calm on his side, the leaders of the Druze community, have maintained neutrality.
Located on the cease-fire line with Israel over the Golan, the province of Quneitra is the scene of intermittent fighting.

STATEMENTS

Michel Sleiman, president of the Lebanese Republic

«Our position is clear: We reaffirm our neutrality and it is the army which is in charge of border security. It belongs to the army to ban all phenomena which constitute a violation of the declaration of Baabda. We take responsibility to prevent smuggling of weapons and militias across the border. Lebanon must stop fighters from crossing the border into Syria. Lebanon’s stability is the responsibility of all of us. We ordered the Lebanese army to stop all armed men intending to fight in Syria, the belong to the opposition or not. It is necessary to strengthen the Lebanese Army and to ensure adequate needs so that it can perform its duty. Lebanon refuses to be a transit point for weapons or place of training fighters regardless of their affiliation.»

Assem Kanso, Lebanese MP (Baath Party)

«Al-Front Nosra has now a strong presence in Lebanon as well as the so-called Free Syrian army. What has lately happened at Ersal and the method with which the two Lebanese soldiers were killed prove that Al-Qaeda is among us. The impact of the dismemberment plot of Syria began to manifest itself clearly in Lebanon. There is US-Zionist a plan to push into Lebanon the extremists active in Syria after the failure of their objectives in this country. Their idea is to create a kind of balance with Hezbollah. I’m worried about what awaits us. The situation is not safe at all in Lebanon.»

Fouad Siniora, Lebanese former Prime minister

«I doubt that the Orthodox project be submitted to the vote of Parliament, since it violates many constitutional norms. This proposal violates the Constitution, the spirit of coexistence and national pact. It brings us back to the year 1860. Free Patriotic Movement supports Orthodox project to inflame tensions within society. This law may cause problems, both nationally and regionally.
Organizing the elections on time is crucial since the mandate of MP’s is four years. The only problem is Hezbollah strengthening its grip on government and constitutional institutions, so as to ensure the sustainability of its weapons.»

Nabil Kaouk, Vice-president of Hezbollah Executive council

«The other side continues to provoke incidents because he does not want an election law that ensures true parity, which could be detrimental to him. The 1960 law was given on the carpet to cause 8-March, however, they know that there is zero percent chance that the elections are held on the basis of this law. The intervention of the U.S. ambassador in the electoral issue has a positive aspect because it helped us to see who are, in power and in opposition, those who continue to listen to Americans and to obey their orders. Israel wants to cause discord between Sunnis and Shiites in the region and Lebanon. At the same time, there is a worsening of speech exacerbating sectarian tensions between communities. Resistance is above religious considerations. It carries a national project in the region.»

EVENTS

  • Ø The extremist militant Chadi Mawlaoui turned the Lebanese judiciary to ridicule by saying Friday he had “no confidence in the Lebanese judiciary” and announced he would not appear before the judge. Mawlaoui made the remarks after the government commissioner to the Military Tribunal, Judge Sakr Sakr, has filed a lawsuit against him and nine others for belonging to an armed group with the aim to carry out terrorist acts.
  • Ø London’s intentions to supply weapons to the Syrian opposition is contrary to the position taken in this regard by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has suggested the Russian journalists in New York the spokesman of the organization, Martin Nesirky.
  • Ø Israel’s military chief Benny Gantz said on Monday that “terrorist” groups fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad alongside other insurgents were becoming stronger. “The situation in Syria has become exceptionally dangerous. The terrorist organizations are becoming stronger on the ground. Now they are fighting against Assad but in the future they could turn against us,” Gantz said. The Israeli chief of staff, who was addressing an annual security conference, warned that the Syrian army’s “very important” arsenal “could fall into the hands of these terrorist organisations.” Several radical Islamist groups have joined the ranks of the nearly two-year Syrian rebellion against Assad’s regime, Al-Nusra Front being the most prominent.

PRESS REVIEW

As Safir (Lebanese daily, close to the majority, March 15, 2013)
Paris, Mohammad Ballout

The call of the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, to lift the European embargo on the shipment of arms to the “Syrian resistance” opens a new chapter in the Syrian war. Asked whether the steps taken by France and Britain in favor of arming the opposition in Syria come in response to the agreement that is emerging between Russia and the United States on the Syrian track, the spokesman of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, said, showing reserves: “We continue to work with our international partners to achieve a political solution.”

If the goal is really to arm the opposition, the fact remains that France did not wait for Laurent Fabius to implement it. Indeed, the French intelligence services are active for a long time on the Syrian-Turkish, Syrian-Jordanian and Syrian-Lebanese borders, to train and arm the opposition. Therefore, Fabius recent statements can be blamed on an attempt to join the bandwagon of Russian-American agreement that advances without the French is one of the engines. The two international sponsors in Syria have rejected the European during negotiations and meetings that take place between them. Sergei Lavrov statements who recently reported an agreement with the Americans to engage Bashar al-Assad in the political process justifies the fears of France that a political initiative is taken unilaterally by Washington and Moscow prior to Doha Arab Summit. A Syrian opposition figure says that the head of Russian diplomacy had promised opponents he met earlier this week in Moscow that Russia will put forward an initiative to the Americans, whose content will not be disclosed before the Doha Summit.

By raising his voice, the French minister seeks to carve out a place in the deal in which the U.S. and Russia work.

An Nahar (Lebanese Daily, close to march-14 coalition)

Sarkis Naoum (March 14, 2013)
After the accusations against Hezbollah by the Bulgarian authorities to be involved in the bombing of Burgas, the United States thought that the time had come to try to persuade the European Union (EU) to include the party on its list of terrorist organizations. But they have so far failed to achieve their objective, because some members of the Union believe that Bulgaria has launched a prosecution but justice in this country has not yet delivered its verdict. In addition, some other countries are waiting for the end of judicial proceedings in other “crimes” attributed to Hezbollah in Europe. Also, Britain called to distinguish between military and political brandes of Hezbollah. It supports the inclusion of its military wing on the terrorist list but would allow the political branch to continue its activities in Lebanon. The reasons for failure are many, but American and U.S. observers cite two in particular: the fear of most EU members to see Hezbollah attacking UNIFIL contingents, which are provided by major European states; the concern for European countries and major powers to preserve stability in Lebanon.

However, the United States are not convinced of the reasons given by the Europeans. Washington believes that Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsor do not dare to attack UNIFIL because they fear the consequences. As well, the party would do nothing to undermine Lebanon’s stability because it wishes to preserve its image as protector of the country, refusing to be led into wars.

The question that arises is why Hezbollah has resumed his “terrorist activities” in Europe and Asia, as claimed by the United States. American observers argue that despite its undeniable “libanism” Hezbollah remains bound to Iran by Islamic religious ideology. But Iran is facing challenges regarding its nuclear program, and the possible collapse of the Syrian regime.

Al Joumhouria (Lebanese daily, close to March 14 Coalition, March 15, 2013)

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said the “door is always open to an agreement on the electoral law. I have retreated my project that the protagonists had not approved, but I cannot wait long. If other projects are not delivered to me, I will be obliged to convene a plenary session of the House to vote on the Orthodox project, which is the only one to have the support of the parliamentary majority. “
Mr. Berry said he could wait up until mid-April, “but even so, if I feel a genuine desire for all to achieve a consensual electoral law, I can wait a little more.” Mr Berry has also expressed concern for the security situation in the country, which he said could torpedo the elections even in the case of an agreement on the electoral law.

The Speaker of the House said that it is possible to reach a consensual act until the end of April, otherwise, the holding of elections is at stake and Lebanon will face the possibility of extension the mandate of the Parliament.

Al Akhbar (Lebanese Daily close to the majority, March 15, 2013)
Radwan Mortada

The balance of power on the ground in Syria has not decisively shifted, whether in favor of the regime or the armed opposition. A stalemate prevails along the battle fronts, with minor breaches here and there.

Hit-and-run attacks are the predominant strategy in the hot zones, while the remainder of the front lines appear to currently enjoy a “declared truce,” although the calm is sometimes shattered by sniper fire or mortar rounds. Overall, the armed opposition controls most rural areas in the country as well as some villages that adjoin cities, while the regime continues to hold all [major] cities in Syria.
Every attack by either side is met by a counter-attack. Likewise, the belligerents habitually conduct “tactical withdrawals,” only to reposition their forces and launch renewed attacks.

The two sides often reverse their combat roles: The opposition forces control a region previously held by the regime, before the Syrian army intervenes to retake it. The same happens in reverse with the opposition in other areas.

In some places, the clashes appear to mimic “rings of fire.” For instance, when the armed opposition tightened its control on al-Qasir, the regime intervened and placed the town under siege.
But the rebels brought in reinforcements and encircled the besiegers themselves. The result was that the opposition ended up controlling inner and outer “rings,” while the regime controlled a ring in between.

Meanwhile, the problem of bypassing siege lines can always be resolved with cash. Every checkpoint, whether maintained by the army or the rebels, carries its own price.

For example, the guards at one checkpoint in Quseir charge 4 million Syrian pounds (about US$56,000) in return for leaving it unmanned for an agreed upon period. Al-Akhbar has learned that some Syrian army soldiers have even bribed officers to agree to post them in flashpoints, to profit from such opportunities.

Militarily, Syria’s map is divided into two major zones, which can then be further broken down into safe areas, less safe areas, and hot areas, respectively. The first zone comprises the areas under the regime’s full control, including coastal regions such as Latakia (with the exception of some parts of the countryside), Tartous, and Banias. The regime also controls the governorate of Suwaida and the cities of Damascus and Idlib.

On the other hand, the opposition controls the northern and western, as well as some of the southern and eastern parts, of the Idlib countryside, in addition to large stretches of the countryside around Aleppo and Homs. The opposition also holds most of the province of al-Raqqa; a large part of the Hasaka countryside; a part of Deir al-Zorr and its environs; a chunk of the Daraa countryside; and some liberated regions of the Golan Heights.

Areas like al-Maliki, al-Maysat, Abu Rumana, Mazzeh and Mazraa [in Damascus], meanwhile, are widely considered to be the safest, despite mortar rounds falling on their outskirts from time to time. The same applies to areas like Karm al-Zaytoun, al-Zahra and Mazarea.

Other areas in Damascus are considered safe only during the day, including Masaken Barzeh, Bab Touma and al-Abbasiyeen. For instance, just one kilometer from the latter, snipers from the regime forces and oppositional militants are stationed on opposite sides.

In the Damascus countryside, there have been clashes in Jobar, Zamalka, Arbeen and al-Moadamiyeh for more than two weeks, while Daraya, [a town in the Damascus countryside], remains mostly under opposition control, despite intensive operations by the Syrian army there.

The regime now controls the main airport road, with the exception of the interchange linking eastern and western Ghouta, which sees occasional clashes.

It is worth noting here that all international roads are under the regime’s control, though they sometimes come under attack from opposition militants.

The armed opposition is also present in [Damascus suburbs like] al-Hajar al-Aswad, Yarmouk, Zabadani, Daraya and eastern and western Ghouta. Control of Joussieh, [a Syrian village on the border with Lebanon], is for the time being shared between the regime and the opposition.

In the Homs governorate, the opposition controls Talbiseh, Zafarana, Rastan and Dar al-Kabireh. Additionally, the opposition holds areas like Bouweida, al-Khalidiya, Bab al-Sibaa, and the town of Quseir.

The opposition presence extends to the outskirts of the city of Homs. Although these areas are almost completely besieged by regime troops, there are frequent attempts by the rebels to fully recapture them.

Areas where some kind of declared truce prevails include those along the stretch of the Qalamoun Mountains and the Nabak Highway, which the regime uses to move troops to Homs.

While the countryside around Hama is controlled in large part by the opposition, the city remains under regime control. Many in the opposition like to compare this city today to a “military fort,” citing a trench dug recently by regime troops to prevent anyone from entering or leaving except through crossings controlled by loyalist forces.

A similar situation exists in Aleppo. While the regime controls 80 percent of the city, most of the countryside is under opposition control. Some of the flashpoints in this governorate often witness military operations, while the areas closest to Turkey enjoy a relative calm, with the exception of those that come under rocket attack or are hit by air strikes.

[In Central Syria,] the old city of Tadmur (Palmyra) is still in regime hands; however, the opposition currently controls the surrounding villages.

While Banias was the site of some of the first protests in March 2011 – immediately after Daraa – the regime brought the town back under its control, with the exception of the opposition-held corridor that leads to Jordan.

Finally, the [southwestern] governorate of Suwaida can be counted as an exclusive pro-regime region – notwithstanding the fact that dissident officer Khaldoun Zeineddine, who hails from the area, established the so-called Sultan Basha al-Atrash rebel brigade, before he was killed in action.

Al Akhbar (March 14, 2013)

Lebanon-based news channel al-Mayadeen reported that three Russian battle-cruisers have docked at the Port of Beirut where they are expected to stay for three days before heading north to the Tartus port in Syria.

The Tartus base is Russia’s only remaining foreign military base and is seen as a major strategic asset for Moscow, which is widely believed to be arming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s beleaguered government.

Two Russian warships had previously docked at the Syrian naval base last November ostensibly to load fuel and water and make minor repairs according to Russian authorities.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned the Arab League on Thursday that its recent decision to give Syria’s seat to the opposition National Council would “legalize arms supplies to militants and terrorists.”

The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership in November 2011, accusing President Bashar al-Assad of using lethal force against protesters. The Arab League offered Syria’s vacant seat to the Syrian National Coalition at a meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo on March 6.

“Considering that the most battle-worthy force standing up to Syria’s regular army is admittedly Jabhat al-Nusra, a terrorist group, it is easy to see who will become the ‘end user’ of that assistance,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

He claimed there was still a chance for talks between the Syrian government and the various opposition groups.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday Russia is taking no sides in the Syrian conflict and hopes the Syrian opposition will soon form a team to negotiate with government representatives. Moscow has previously said it is ready to provide a venue for negotiations.

Al Akhbar (March 13, 2013)

Amal Khalil
Salafi Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir tested his supporters on the night of 13 March by sending out messages that the army was about to breach his mosque, prompting hundreds of Salafis to block roads in Tripoli, Beirut, and Saida.

It all started when soldiers at an army checkpoint in east Saida stopped one Ahmad al-Assir’s supporters, Sheikh Assem al-Arifi, after discovering that his car papers were forged.

Arifi’s driver refused to abide by the army’s orders and fled to Assir’s mosque nearby. In what may have been an attempt to test the readiness of his supporters, Assir fired off text messages and posts on his Facebook page claiming that the army was preparing to assault the mosque.

Despite the small number of people who took to the streets, the incident nevertheless rattled the uneasy peace prevalent in a number of cities, particularly in Saida and Tripoli, where Assir’s supporters and allies tend to be concentrated.

According to army sources, several hundred young men responded to Assir’s call, blocking roads in Saida, Beirut, and Tripoli for a short period of time before being reopened by security forces.
Army sources in Saida maintained that they “had no intention of entering the mosque, and would not do so under any circumstance.” They had merely asked the mosque’s guards to hand over Arifi, who they explained had counterfeit papers and refused to abide by the army’s orders.

Earlier in the day, Assir – who had previously avoided a direct confrontation with the armed forces – called his supporters and their family members to the mosque and declared that it was time to break the army’s siege.

It is worth noting that the army had begun to implement a security plan at noon the same day, which included establishing permanent checkpoints around the mosque to search all vehicles exiting and entering the area under Assir’s control.

In the northern city of Tripoli, the response to Assir’s call was surprisingly fast as Salafis and groups of armed men descended on Nour Square, threatening to declare jihad against the army if Assir’s mosque was breached.

Notably, the protesters ripped down pictures of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz and replaced them with al-Qaeda banners.

In Beirut, protesters blocked two main roads around the Tariq al-Jadida area. Smaller groups of demonstrators also tried to block main arteries in Akkar near Tripoli, in Nahmeh south of Beirut, and in the Bekaa in the east of the country.

It is clear that Assir is ratcheting up the pressure on the army as it tightens security measures around his mosque by resorting to panicked text and Internet messages, one of which called on Muslims around the world to picket Lebanese embassies in their respective countries.

Al Watan (Syrian Daily, March 13, 2013)

The army is in perfect condition and that it has at its disposal enough men and weapons to fight for years to defend Syria. Syria is in a state of war and facing a real invasion. Citizens could also join in the battle.

Los Angeles Times (American Daily, March 16, 2013)

Kurt Nimmo

“President Obama has not authorized drone missile strikes in Syria, however, and none are under consideration”. But the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center behind drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen “shifted several targeting officers to improve intelligence collection on militants in Syria who could pose a terrorist threat,” current and former government officials tell the newspaper.

The CIA will assemble detailed dossiers on key militants and the files will be used to help opposition figures with moderate views prevail over extremists.

Excluded from the report is the fact al-Qaeda is critical to the CIA’s effort to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria and “opposition figures with moderate views” are militarily irrelevant. Without the fanatical Sunni Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda offshoot, the effort to violently unseat Assad would have failed long ago.

“The extremist group is growing in part because it has been the most aggressive and successful arm of the rebel force,” David Ignatius wrote for the Washington Post on November 30, 2012. “Jabhat al Nusra, which U.S. officials believe has links to al Qaida, has become essential to the frontline operations of the rebels fighting to topple Assad,” added David Enders writing for McClatchy Newspapers on December 2.

In March, 2012, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted that al-Qaeda and other groups on the State Department’s terror list are fighting with the officially approved opposition rebels in Syria.
A former CIA officer told the Los Angeles Times the move to expand the drone war into Syria may present the opportunity to target Hezbollah and other groups in the region. “It opens the door for a lot of other things,” he said.

The CIA’s public notice that it plans to use drones in Syria is a sterling example of classic problem-reaction-solution. The CIA, along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistani intelligence, are responsible for creating the vexatious monster the government and its mockingbird media insist requires and endless war on terror, the expenditure of trillions of dollars, and the erosion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights at home as an unprecedented police state is put in place.

Der Spiegel (German Weekly, March 12, 2013)

Americans are training Syrian anti-government fighters in Jordan, according to participants and organisers. It is not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were from the army but some wore uniforms. The training focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.
Some 200 men have already received such training over the past three months and there are plans in the future to provide training for a total 1,200 members of the “Free Syrian Army” in two camps in the south and the east of the country
 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Mali, Algeria, Libya: the real reason Britain signed up for war on Africa

February 17, 2013

The truth behind the ‘war on terror’ is that it is part of Western powers’ imperialistic quest to secure natural resource reserves for their corporations

By Patrick Kane
Huff Post
14 February 2013


With the start of 2013 the ‘war on terror’ has burst back into the headlines. The attack on a BP gas plant in Algeria sparked declarations from David Cameron which identified North Africa as the new front line.

Already the UK has backed military intervention in Mali and upgraded military support for Algeria and Libya. In Algeria, Cameron announced a strengthened ‘military partnership’ to combat terrorism and “improve security in the region”, and in Libya he pledged more British training for security forces and support for securing the country’s borders.

The reality of the never-ending ‘war on terror’ is that it is integrally bound up with an imperialistic drive for resources.

Central to understanding David Cameron’s rapid reaction to events in North Africa is a government document published in November last year to little or no fanfare.

That document is the UK’s Energy Security Strategy, released by the Department for Energy and Climate Change: the first time the UK has ever produced such a strategy. The document rings the alarm for the UK’s future energy security, stating, “Declining reserves of fossil fuels in the North Sea are making the UK increasingly dependent on imports at a time of rising global demand and increased resource competition”, which is leaving the UK “increasingly exposed to the pressures and risks of global markets”.

The point is illustrated with some dramatic statistics: UK oil production, which currently provides for 70% of UK oil demand, is “expected to decrease by 5% per year”, meaning that within 20 years the North Sea oil supplies will have run out, leaving the UK completely dependent upon imports, whilst global demand for oil is predicted to increase by 15% by 2035.
 
There will be even more competition for gas supplies, with global demand forecast to rise by 55% by 2035. Again, declining North Sea supplies mean that the UK will go from importing about 50% of the gas it uses currently “to nearly 70% by 2025”.

At international level, the document identifies the importance of “energy diplomacy” in securing UK supplies of oil and gas for the future. Energy diplomacy, it says, includes “maximising commercial opportunities” for UK corporations, forcing open new markets to guarantee them unrestricted access to valuable energy resources.

Here we get to the crux of the strategy: it is not the ordinary UK citizen that is being protected- for evidence look no further than the exorbitant energy bills crippling Britain’s poor- but the interests of UK corporations which supply the energy.

This ‘energy diplomacy’ is of course a euphemism for militaristic British foreign policy. This includes the provision of military aid and weapons sales to regimes which control strategic energy reserves regardless of how repressive and violent they may be, as well as the readiness to use military force against states or groups which threaten UK energy security interests or those of UK allies.

Of course, militaristic British policy focussed upon securing energy resources at the expense of human rights is not new, for evidence just look at Nigeria. What we are witnessing currently is an increased sense of urgency to take control of strategic energy resources.

The Ministry of Defence in 2010 laid out its analysis of future strategic threats to the UK, and predicted that in coming years major powers are “likely to use their defence forces to safeguard supplies [of hydrocarbons]”. It identified North Africa as a strategically important area where a key focus of European states’ engagement will be on securing access to energy resources.

The military cooperation agreements announced last month with Algeria and Libya are part of UK ‘energy diplomacy’ aimed at securing access to strategic resources in North Africa. Both countries are identified in the UK Energy Security Strategy as producers of gas and oil which are important trading partners and hence countries which are important to the UK’s energy security.

Algeria now supplies 5% of the UK’s gas needs, whilst Libya is not only an important trading partner, but is a country whose oil supply is so important to the global oil market that the price of oil rose by 10-20% when armed conflict erupted there in 2011. Before the conflict in Libya had even finished, it was reported that BP had begun talks with rebel leaders aimed at securing access to the country’s oil wealth, and the French foreign minister publicly stated that it was “fair and logical” for French companies to benefit after French military intervention in the country.

In Mali, France’s UK-backed intervention is in support of a regime which violently seized power in a coup d’etat last April which led to the country’s suspension from the African Union. Could the large, as yet unexploited uranium and oil reserves thought to be contained in the deserts of Northern Mali and Eastern Niger explain the eagerness to back such a regime?
For a clear example of the link between Western commercial energy interests and militarism in North Africa, just look over the border from Mali at Niger. Last week, the president of Niger announced that French special forces have been deployed to the country to protect the huge Arlit uranium mine owned by French multinational Areva, in response to instability in the region. French companies used to have exclusive access to uranium supplies in Niger, however a change in government policy in 2007 ended the exclusivity, meaning they now face competition from Chinese and Indian companies.

The truth behind the ‘war on terror’ is that it is part of Western powers’ imperialistic quest to secure natural resource reserves for their corporations. We should all fear for the peoples of energy-rich regions as the global resource grab plummets new depths.

 
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Galloway to David Cameron: What is the difference between the jihadists in Mali we oppose and the jihadists in Syria we back?

February 12, 2013

George Galloway MP to British Prime Minister David Cameron:

What is the difference between the jihadists in Mali we oppose and the jihadists in Syria we back?

David Cameron hailed the C-17 transport plane, pictured at RAF Brize Norton, before news emerged that one of the aircraft had broken down at French airbase
Response to David Cameron

Bradford West MP George Galloway responded to Prime Minister David Cameron’s refusal to answer a parliamentary question, by resorting to a cheap insult, by detailing the Arab tyrannies and puppet presidents Britain backs.

‘I asked a reasonable question, to detail the difference between the jihadists in Mali we oppose and the jihadists in Syria we back and in response to a legitimate inquiry I received a sneering insult more fitted to the gutters of Eton than the Mother of all Parliaments,’ Galloway said. ‘Britain is guilty to backing the worst, most bloodthirsty dictators in the world, bar none. This country backs and arms the foul Saudi Arabian sheikhdom which has the least democracy and probably the worst human rights record on the planet.

Then there’s Bahrain. And what about Egypt where this government backed Mubarak until almost the end? And it is less than a week ago, isn’t it, that the Foreign Office was warning British citizens to get out of Benghazi immediately for fear of their lives – at risk from the same jihadis we supplied, armed and fought for.’

Galloway added: ‘I have written to the Prime Minister today about his response to me and I will be interested how he responds.’

Below is the text of the letter:

Wednesday 30th January 2012

Dear Prime Minister,

I’m sure on reflection you will realise that your answer to me today was beneath you and unbecoming for a British Prime Minister. I will deal with the complete absence of a substantive reply in a moment. But let me deal first with the vulgar abuse.

I do not support any Arab dictatorship, unlike you. It is you who is selling weapons to the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia and providing military training there. It is you who is supporting the Bahraini dictatorship. It is you who supported the Mubarak dictatorship until its last hours. Ditto the late dictatorship in Tunisia, Yemen etc. It is you who has the warmest possible relations with the dictatorships in the Gulf. I could go on, believe me. I, on the other hand, have spoken, written and broadcast against all Arab dictatorships. Perhaps your staff, in preparing your reply, will provide you with the evidence of this. I also read Frankenstein until the end.

I told one of your predecessors, Lady Thatcher, on the eve of the triumph of those whom your party routinely described as ‘Afghan freedom fighters’ that she “had opened the gates to the barbarians…. And that a long dark night would now descend upon the people of Afghanistan”. I warned repeatedly against the folly of the creation of the Arab-Afghan force which became Al Qaida. Immediately after 9/11 I said in the House that “I despise Osama Bin Laden, the medieval obscurantist savage. The difference is that I have always despised him. I despised him when you (pointing at the Tory benches) were giving him guns and money”.

I find it genuinely inexplicable that you are doing it all over again. This is a tragedy which begins to look farcical when one considers the issue which I raised today with you.

We are now killing Al Qaida in Mali and helping Al Qaida kill in Syria – killing Christians, killing Shiites, killing Kurds, killing Druze, killing Sunnis who won’t join their jihad, and soon, trust me, they will be killing each other.

There may be “key differences” between Al Qaida in Mali and their counterparts in Syria. I asked you to explain these to the House today. You refused. But it is a question which will not go away before a puff of vulgar abuse.

I look forward to your reply. I am seeking to publish this letter.

Yours sincerely,

George Galloway MP
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
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Afghanistan security better before British troops arrival: Karzai

February 5, 2013

 
Karzai questions NATO troosp fight against terrorism in AfghanistanAfghan president Hamid Karzai who is currently in United Kingdom to attend a tripartite summit with Asif Ali Zardari and British prime minister David Cameron questioned the international troops fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and said security situation in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan was better before British troops were deployed.
 
Karzai also expressed doubts regarding foreign troops fight in the right part of the country for the past 10 years and questionned whether western forces were pulling out because they had realised the mission was a mistake, or if they believed they had successfully broken up the country’s terrorist groups.
 
In an interview with the Guardian and ITN before the summit president Karzai said, “They feel fulfilled with regard to the objective of fighting terrorism and weakening al-Qaeda, or they feel that they were fighting in the wrong place in the first place, so they should discontinue doing that and leave.”
 
President Karzai without blaming international troops for the security problems said Helmand had been more peaceful before the arrival of British and US troops in 2006.
 
Karzai said Afghans are more concerned regarding reconstruction of Afghanistan which was ruined during three decades of war rather than assuming if the west believed their mission had failed.
He said, “Whatever happened was the past and now we are looking forward.”
 
In a bid to encourage a peace deal with the militants groups in Afghanistan president Karzai said he is expected to use the summit hosted by Mr Cameron to press Pakistan to release more Taliban prisoners, including a former second in command.
 
As NATO troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan next year Britain hopes that closer ties between them will help the search for a settlement with the Taliban
 

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Stop the War Coalition Newsletter

January 24, 2013

Inline       images 1

1b Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ


Bulletin
. 23 January 2013

www.stopwar.org.uk | office@stopwar.org.uk | 020 7561 9311twitter.com/STWuk | facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition
In this newsletter:
1)
The new scramble for Africa
2) International Conference:
    Confronting War Ten Years On

****************************
1) The new scramble for Africa


David Cameron wants to commit the West to a new and ongoing war in Africa. In his own words, the war against terrorism in Africa will “require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months.”  After the disasters of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, it beggars belief that Western governments are still pursuing the same policies and are prepared to spread the War on Terror to a new continent. The hostage crisis in Algeria was a devastating example of the consequences of the West’s escalating wars.

Next month’s international anti-war conference is a chance to discuss these developments, refocus the movement and launch new anti-war initiatives.

The conference now features an extra panel on the new scramble for Africa featuring Ghanaian writer and activist Explo Nani-Kofi (see article http://bit.ly/WtDnR2) and journalist Victoria Brittain. More details about next month’s conference below.
Read more on Mali and the blowback in Algeria.
  • Mali: the fastest blowback yet in this disastrous war on terror – Seumas Milne – http://bit.ly/VVBdeP David Cameron declares the ‘war on terror’ endless – Lindsey German – http://bit.ly/UkVREM Algeria, Mali and the obscene remake of Western interventions – Robert Fisk – http://bit.ly/Wtc5Kx

****************************

2) International Conference:    Confronting War Ten Years On

It is because of the ongoing and new forms of Western intervention abroad that the anti-war movement must refocus its efforts. Our international conference next month will be a platform to launch new initiatives and hear from a range of speakers from Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Africa and Canada..

  • Saturday 9th February 2013 – Friends House, Euston, London. Map
  • Full details about the conference can be found at www.tenyearson.org.uk
  • Share the event with your friends on Facebook

Speakers include

  • Tariq Ali, Tony Benn, Phyllis Bennis, Victoria Brittain, Chris Cole, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Brian Eno, Lindsey German, Manuel Hassassian, Kate Hudson, Owen Jones, Jemima Khan, Seumas Milne, Robert Montgommery, Andrew Murray, Derrick O’Keefe, Mitra Qayoom, Sami Ramadani, Salma Yaqoob, Rafeef Ziadah
New speakers
  • Shamiul Joarder, Friends of Al Aqsa
  • Explo Nani-Kofi, Ghanaian writer and activist

Order of the day

  • Plenary 1: The consequences of war (10.30 – 11.45am)
  • Parallel Sessions (12.00 – 1.15pm)
    • Palestine and the Middle East crisis
    • Drones and remote control imperialism
    • Art and war
    • The new scramble for Africa
    • Islamophobia: challenging the new racism
  • Lunch (1.15 – 2.15pm)
  • Plenary 2: The war on terror today (2.15 – 3.30pm)
  • Plenary 3: The international movement (3.45 – 5pm)
Book now to avoid disappointment.

Tickets cost £15 or £8 for concessions.

Telephone 020 7561 9311 to pay by card or pay online at the conference web site www.tenyearson.org.uk 

Cheques made payable to Stop the War Coalition should be posted to
Stop the War Coalition
1b Waterlow Road
London N19 5NJ

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The Chosen President Of The Chosen Country

December 30, 2012
By Daniel Mabsout,

It is up to the people to decide on which side they want to be and with how to start their coming new year . Do they want to be on the side of dignity or on the side of indignity ? Let the people , all people decide their position in this coming year , let them decide whether they will stand on the side of those who are protecting man or on the side of those who are exposing him ,and let them not hide their minds and heads in some sectarian or racist affiliation.

Do they want to start the New Year all over again with Obama and his Gulf stooges or they seek something different ? Do they want hired killers to decide for their lives and for that of their children or they want safety for themselves and their children ? Do they want to live under the law of hired executioners and war lords or they want to live according to their individual beliefs that are in harmony with others’ ?

It is Syria and the Syrians and the president of Syria who are now defending and protecting humanity against the killers who are set loose by the mad world order to slaughter half of the humanity and subjugate the other half . These killers work under the label of freedom and democracy , the democracy of Uncle Sam and that of Israel . This democracy is being exported every where and has caused now the death of 40 thousand Syrians and the displacement of hundreds of thousands and the destruction of churches and the persecution of minorities and the killing of so many innocents. This is the law of Uncle Sam, the same Uncle Sam who destroyed Libya after destroying Iraq and who is unsettling the whole Arab world .

The problem of Syria is that it is not bending and will not bend . : The problem of the president of Syria is that he does not want blood and chaos to rule over Syria .

All people are invited on this new year event to identify their enemy and get acquainted with him: the enemy of man and that of humanity in general . Who is the enemy man ?
Who is working on destroying man and disintegrating societies ?
What is US doing and Obama and Cameron and the Gulf stooges and Arab puppets, and what is Israel doing?

Let us ask this question and look into their deeds and then let us look at those who are facing this enemy and confronting him with all that they have got and let us be honest about it .
Is Syria the country that is invading and threatening other countries with war and nuclear weapons ? Is the president of Syria waging war on Afghanistan and Pakistan ?
Did he shell Gaza an bombard Lebanon , did he kill one million Iraqis ?

There is no point in defending ourselves if we mistake the enemy . Let us identify him and acknowledge his actions and deeds , let us open the eyes of our friends and enemies to the fact that, in some remote place , in a country of the Arab world, a president and his people have been chosen to defend man against the enemies of man and to stand up to the right of people to exist and live with dignity and the right of a country to be independent and autonomous .

Somewhere, in some place, in a homeland called Syria, a battle is taking place between the forces of good and the forces of evil .
Somewhere, in some remote place, your future and the future of your children will be decided. Somewhere in a remote place, the forces of evil have rallied against a man and against a country and are spilling blood and sacrificing innocence and causing utter destruction every where .

Let those who have been deceived open their eyes or those who believe that there is anything happening there that could be called revolution open their eyes and ears . What is happening in Syria is the assault of forces inimical to man. Call it sectarianism or whatever , it is simply man who is targeted in all this by criminals who have no other identity.

It has thus been decided that this remote place called Syria – which has become the homeland to all- carries the banner of Resistance to evil and freedom from the forces of evil and salvation and resurrection .It has been decided that president Bashshar al Assad becomes the hero of such endeavor that involves confronting the biggest conspiracy ever carried on against a peaceful country and a peaceful people

Happy New Year Syria! May Syria teach us all the lesson of Resistance and freedom ! May its enemies be cursed and doomed! May the president of Syria reap the benevolent fruits of his courage, commitment and forbearance ! Happy New Year Syria , let this year start a new chapter in the history of mankind where the forces of evil will learn the lesson of their lives!

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Why they call him ‘Agent’ Cameron

December 16, 2012

by Stuart Littlewood

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Britain’s prime minister David Cameron has again shown why he should stand down from British politics.

In a speech to Conservative Friends of Israel at a lunch the other day he said – and not for the first time – things that are deeply disturbing to people who expect him to put British interests first. He again compromised himself and this country with ridiculous pledges of support for a foreign military power whose behaviour is beyond the Pale and an affront to human decency. Here are some of his remarks…

I am a passionate friend of Israel – and that’s the way it’s going to stay.

In that case you shouldn’t be in British politics, Mr Cameron. You have fallen foul of the Seven Principles of Public Life, especially the principle of ‘Integrity’ which says quite simply: “Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.”

We promised to stand up for Israel and in Government that’s exactly what we’ve done. We said it was ridiculous that Israeli officials felt unable to visit Britain because of the malicious and unfounded use of arrest warrants so we changed the law to end it.

Unfounded? Tzipi Livni, fr example, was responsible for launching the pre-meditated blitzkrieg four years ago which caused the deaths of 1,400 defenceless Gazans (including 320 children and 109 women), horribly maimed thousands more and caused immense devastation to essential infrastructure and services. She showed no remorse. Livni’s office issued a statement saying she was proud of Operation Cast Lead, and speaking later at a conference at Tel Aviv’s Institute for Security Studies, she said: “I would today take the same decisions.”

We said we’d resist calls for boycotts on Israel and yes – we are going to keep on working with Israel, doing business with Israel, trading with Israel.”

Even though Israel is in continual breach of EU-Israel Agreement rules and forcibly prevents its neighbours, the Palestinians, from doing business and trade with the outside world…

To me it is clear what needs to happen… We need the Palestinians to understand there is only one path to statehood, and that is through negotiations with Israel. We made that clear with that UN vote a couple of weeks ago.

Wrong. The correct path to statehood is through implementation of international law and UN resolutions and the approval of the international community. Only when the illegal occupation is ended and the right of self-determination is restored can meaningful talks begin.

We said that Britain could not support a resolution that set back the prospects for peace and that did not commit the Palestinians to return to negotiations without preconditions. Well: they did not provide the assurances that we asked for. So… we did not vote for it.

Pure blackmail. Bullying Palestinians into resuming failed and discredited talks to bargain with the thief for the return of their lands and property when it is still being stolen with impunity, is utterly immoral. There can be no peace under occupation. And nobody ‘negotiates’ with a gun to their head, nor should they be expected to.

And I have made something else clear that needs to be made clear to the Palestinians. Britain will never tolerate the obscenity of a football tournament named after a suicide bomber who killed 20 Israelis in a restaurant. We will not tolerate incitement to terrorism.”

This is about Wafa Idris. It has become a favourite rant and Cameron was banging on about it a couple of months earlier at another top Jewish gathering. According to The Jerusalem Post (September 2011) a Fatah-affiliated youth centre in the Ama’ari refugee camp near Ramallah named a sports event after female suicide bomber Wafa Idris, a 28 year-old paramedic who had been shot several times by Israeli rubber bullets during her work for the Red Crescent. Relatives said she was angry at seeing children shot and killed by the IDF in Ramallah. Idris was the first Palestinian woman to carry out a suicide bombing. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a subsidiary of Abbas’s Fatah (who are Cameron’s friends in Occupied Palestine), claimed responsibility for the bomb attack although her family said she was not known to be an activist with any Palestinian militant group.

Cameron, before opening his mouth, might have asked what led her to do it. Wafa Idris was born in the Ama’ari refugee camp http://www.unrwa.org/etemplate.php?id=105 . Set up by the Red Cross in 1949 it provided tents to refugees from Jaffa, Ramla and Lydda, towns allocated for an Arab state in the UN Partition but subjected to a bloody programme of ethnic cleansing in 1948.

In Lydda the Israelis massacred 426 men, women, and children. 176 of them were slaughtered in the town’s main mosque. See http://www.palestineremembered.com/al-Ramla/al-Lydd/index.html for lurid details. Out of the 19,000 people who called Lydda home, only 1,052 were allowed to stay. The remainder were forced to walk into exile in the scalding July heat leaving a trail of bodies – men, women and children – along the way.

The slaughter in Lydda was led by a certain Moshe Dayan. The event was witnessed by two American newspapermen who reported that “practically everything in their way died. Riddled corpses lay by the roadside.” They saw “the corpses of Arab men, women and even children strewn about in the wake of the ruthlessly brilliant charge”. This appalling war crime didn’t prevent Dayan becoming a great hero in Israel, and later defence minister and foreign minister.

Today Tel Aviv University has a Moshe Dayan Centre named after the war criminal, but I haven’t heard Cameron complain about that. Likewise the Menachem Begin Centre in West Jerusalem is named after the terrorist leader responsible for the bomb attack in 1946 on the British mandate government based in the King David Hotel, killing 91. Has Agent Cameron anything to say about that?

Back to the Ama’ari refugee camp, now run by the UNRWA, where Wafa Idris was obliged to live in squalor as a result of Israel’s criminal land-grab and forcible eviction of her parents from Ramla. At Ama’ari 10,500 people are squeezed into less than 1 square kilometre in dreadful conditions.

However the camp’s football team has won the Paltine football championship several times and qualified to represent Palestine in regional and international competitions.

The Arab media were lavish in their praise for Idris, the “courageous Palestinian girl”, and as a result she became a heroic symbol of Palestinian womanhood in their struggle to throw off the occupation. If it’s OK for Israel to name major institutions after its famous terrorists what right has Cameron to get upset when a Palestinian football team similarly commemorates one of theirs?

 So, in Gaza too, Hamas need to know that they must renounce violence and they will not be allowed to dictate the way forward in the peace process.

Does Cameron have the balls to tell Israel it too must renounce violence? Hamas, in case he has forgotten, is the legitimate democratic authority. He may not like it but he should respect it and work with them, like the good democrat he claims to be.

Last month, when rockets rained down on Israel, we were unequivocal about the right of Israelis to live free from attack by terrorist groups on their border.

When Gaza suffers air strikes on a daily basis, how unequivocal is Cameron about the right of Palestinians to live free from attack by the terrorist state occupying their lands?
I’ve never had to run for cover as the air-raids sound overhead. I’ve never had to give gas masks to my children. I do understand that for the Israeli people, uncertainty isn’t such a great thing. It means instability. Anxiety. Fear.

If he goes to Gaza he can experience fear and anxiety in abundance under Israeli air raids. I vividly remember as a kid being bombed by the Nazis every night in London – and not with garden-shed whizz-bangs. I remember German bombers flying at rooftop height down our street to avoid the anti-aircraft guns. At least they didn’t use white phosphorus like the Israelis.

Cameron’s hyper-partisan, head-over-heels friendship – no, obsession – with Israel is allowed to steer nearly every aspect of Britain’s foreign policy. What drives this? You need look no further than The Jewish Chronicle which in 2006 reported on the backers bankrolling David Cameron‘s bid for power and provided a fascinating insight into how the pro-Israel lobby infiltrates government and destroys the principles of integrity and accountability so vital to public life.

When Cameron became Conservative leader he proclaimed: “The belief I have in Israel is indestructible – and you need to know that if I become Prime Minister, Israel has a friend who will never turn his back on Israel.”

Agent Cameron is very careful not to let the words ‘justice’ and ‘law’ pass his lips in connection with Israel’s illegal occupation of the Holy Land. And he and his foreign secretary, Hague, will put on a wonderful show of hand-wringing, deploring and urging whenever Israel commits atrocities, but they never condemn the racist regime or use any obvious levers like suspension of trade or other sanctions.

On the contrary, they shamelessly find ways of rewarding the Israeli regime’s crimes against humanity, making us complicit with its racist ambitions.

Stuart Littlewood

14 December 2012

Comment:

“Britain’s prime minister David Cameron has again shown why he should stand down from British politics.”

The Problem is not Cameron but the British politics. The zionist entity is the fruit of that politics, a British creation. Ask Galloway. Does the British friends have have the balls to admit that.


“Hamas, in case he has forgotten, is the legitimate democratic authority. He may not like it but he should respect it and work with them, like the good democrat he claims to be.”

Hamas was elected as a resistance movement, and I can assure you, the moment Hamas drop the gun, Cameron would be happy to deal with Hamas, and I can assure you also, at that very moment, Hamas will lose its legitimity.

Aqrab Karbala

December 15, 2012

Was there a massacre in the Syrian town of Aqrab? 

As David Cameron insisted more needed to be done to back Syrian rebels, Chief Correspondent Alex Thomson is the first outside journalist to report from the town of Aqrab and can reveal that rebel forces could be behind one of the worst atrocities yet.

 
 
تسعة أيام من الحصار اضطر بعدها الضحايا إلى تبليل أقمطة الفتيات بالمطر وعصرها من أجل الشرب، وضرب الأطفال من أجل البكاء لتحويل دموعهم إلى رشفات من الماء!؟
لندن، الحقيقة(خاص): بعد أربعة أيام من مجزرة “عقرب”، أو ما يمكن تسميته بـ”كربلاء عقرب”، وخلافا للرواية القذرة التي عممتها “هيئة التنسيق الوطني” من خلال مسؤولها الإعلامي و”مرجعها الحقوقي” النصاب الدولي رامي عبد الرحمن، والتي أنكرت حتى حق هؤلاء في أن يكونوا ضحايا لعصابات”الفاروق” الإجرامية، دخلت “القناة الرابعة” البريطانية ، ممثلة بمراسلها أليكس تومسون، بلدة”عقرب” في ريف حماة وأجرت تحقيقا ـ بثته مساء أمس ـ حول المجزرة التي وقعت في الحادي عشر من الشهر الجاري ، والتي زعم نصاب المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان وبقية الوهابيين من حلفائه في المجموعات المسلحة، أن السلطة قتلتهم يوم الثلاثاء الماضي ( 11 /12) بالقصف المدفعي والجوي، قبل أن تتبنى هذه الرواية “هيئة التنسيق الوطني” بزعامة حسن عبد العظيم ـ المرشد السياسي لـ”لواء الإسلام” وقائده زهران علوش!
القناة البريطانية، ومراسلها، اللذان لا يخفيان عداءهما للنظام السوري منذ سنوات ، وخصوصا إبان الأزمة الراهنة، قابلا ثلاثة شهود ( الفتى علي الحسين / 16 عاما، حياة يوسف التي لا يزال مصير زوجها مجهولا وساق ابنها البالغ 18 عاما والذي كسر المسلحون ساقه ولم يعالجوه طيلة فترة الحصار، ومادلين حسين) وفق معايير التحقيق الاستقصائي : وهو أن لا يعرف أي منهم أن الآخرين سيقدمان شهادات للمحقق، والجميع لم يكان يعرف بوصول القناة إلى المنطقة ، الذي كان وصولها مفاجئا، كما يقول تومسون. هذا فضلا عن إجراء المقابلات في أماكن منفصلة بغياب تواجد ممثلين عن الحكومة.
ويقول تومسون كانت إجابات الثلاثة متطابقة تماما في جميع التفاصيل. فقد أجمع الثلاثة على أن مسلحين ملتحين وصلوا في الثاني من الشهر الجاري إلى القرية في أربع أو خمس سيارات من جهة بلدة”الحولة” التي تقع في المنطقة. لكن مادلين تضيف” لم يكونوا يلبسون مثل السوريين العاديين (…) وعربيتهم لم تكن سورية، بحيث لم نكن نفهم ما يقولونه”، في إشارة إلى أن ملابسهم غير مألوفة في المنطقة ، ولهجتهم ليست سورية.ونشير هنا إلى أن المنطقة تعج بمئات المسلحين الأجانب( تركمان، شيشان، باكستانيين ، مغاربة ..إلخ) الذين يقاتلون في صفوف عصابات”الفاروق” وبقية عصابات “الجيش لحر” الأخرى.
بدأت الواقعة في الثاني من الشهر الجاري حين وصل المسلحون إلى القرية وعمدوا إلى جمع حوالي خمسمئة من أبناء القرية ، رجالا ونساء وأطفالا، ينتمون إلى الطائفة العلوية ، وضع بعضهم في منزل من طابقين (يظهر باللون الأحمر في الشريط المرفق جانبا) يملكه رجل أعمال محلي يدعى “أبو اسماعيل” كرهائن. وهو المنزل الذي زعمت مواقع المتردين ومرصد رامي زرقاء اليمامة أن السلطة قصفته جوا وبالمدفعية. وكان مطلبهم هو أن يأخذوا النساء والأطفال إلى معسكر للمسلحين في “الحولة” يستخدمه “الجيش الحر” لاستخدامهم دروعا بشرية لمنع السلطة من قصف المعسكر، على أن يقتلوا الباقين من الرجال ، كما كانت نساؤهم وأولادهم يعتقدون. علما بأن منطقة “الحولة” يسيطر عليها المسلحون منذ فترة طويلة.
حاول المسلحون إدخال الطمأنينية المخادعة في قلوب الضحايا، من خلال محاولة إقناعهم بانهم لن يؤذوهم ” فنحن من الحولة ومن الرستن ، إخوانكم في الإسلام ، ولن نؤذيكم”، لكأنما كانوا يريدون اختطافهم لمشاهدة عرس أو فيلم كوميدي مسلّ، وليس لاتخاذهم دروعا بشرية!
لكن الجميع أصروا على البقاء معا أو الرحيل معا ، فإما أن يموتوا معا أو يعيشوا معا.
التحول الدرامتيكي حصل عصر الإثنين الماضي حين جاء ثلاثة لممارسة الوساطة ، وهم الضابط المتقاعد من الجيش “حامد عز الدين” و إمام البلدة “السني”، حسب تعبير الصحفي، الشيخ سعيد هواش ، ورئيس البلدية / المختار “الهشاب”. لكن المفاوضات ، التي امتدت حتى الثامنة مساء ، انتهت إلى طريق مسدود.
في تلك المرحلة بدأ المسلحون إطلاق النار من النوافذ والصراخ بالرهائن إن المبنى مفخخ، فيما يبدو أنه محاولة منهم لمنعهم من الفرار إلى خارجه. وقد استمر إطلاق النار حتى منتصف الليل وسط بكاء وعويل الرهائن والفوضى التي دبت في داخل المبنى . وبعد ذلك جرى إبرام نوع من”الصفقة”، حيث حضرت ثلاث سيارات نقلت حوالي 70 من الرهائن إلى مكان آمن على بعد حوالي ميل من المنطقة. لكن سيارة رابعة أخذت رهينتين إلى “الحولة” (امرأة وطفل) حيث يقع مشفى ميداني للمسلحين، لمعالجتمها من جراح أصيبا بها أثناء إطلاق النار. والواقع ليس هذان سوى السيدة ” أم أيهم” و”الطفل” اللذين أجبرهما المسلحون لاحقا على تسجيل إفادات كاذبة مثيرة للسخرية أصبحت هي “الرواية المتداولة حول العالم”( أي الرواية التي روجها الفاجر رامي عبد الرحمن وإعلام”هيئة التنسيق”، وبعدهما بقية وسائل الإعلام الأخرى). أما الباقون (حوالي مئتين)فقد اختفوا. وهم الذي قتلوا على الأرجح.
وبحسب ما رواه التحقيق، فإن الرهائن ، وعلى امتداد تسعة أيام ، حرموا من الطعام والماء. وفي مرحلة من المراحل وصل الأمر بالنسوة إلى وضع أقمطة (إشاربات) الفتيات تحت المطر من خلال النوافذ من أجل عصرها وشرب ما علق بها ، بينما قامت نسوة أخريات بضرب الأطفال فقط من أجل أن يبكوا ويرتشف العطشى دموعهم! والحال إننا أمام مشهد كربلائي بامتياز، يستعيد مشهد جنود يزيد وهم يمنعون الماء عن الطفل المحموم “عبد الله بن الحسين”، قبل أن يقتل بسهم في رقبته!
تحقيق القناة البريطانية يختتمه أليكس تومسون بتسجيل ملاحظات لفتت انتباهه:
أولا ـ الغريب ، كما يقول، هو أن المتمردين ( ومعهم مرصد زرقاء اليمامة الرحماني في لندن) يقولون إن المبنى الذي احتجز فيه الرهائن “دمرته السلطة بالكامل” بالمدفعية والطائرات يوم الثلاثاء الماضي ، علما بأن المسلحين أرغموا “أم أيهم” على القول إن أزواجهم فجروا قوارير الغاز في المبنى!!. ومع ذلك رأينا المبنى وصورناه ، وقد أكد لنا الرهائن المحررون وبقية سكان القرية الذين قابلهم أنهم كانوا فيه. وهو في الواقع سليم . ( هذه الملاحظة نضعها برسم النصاب عبد الرحمن الذي روج لخبرية تدمير المبنى. فهو ـ ورغم أنه يرى سوريا وحتى إصابات الجرحى وعددهم من لندن كما زرقاء اليمامة ـ لم ير المبنى!!).
ثانيا ـ هناك ملاحظة أخرى غريبة، والكلام للصحفي البريطاني، فقد راجعت مواقع المتمردين (يركز الصحفي على موقع”زمان الوصل”، الذي يضطلع بالترويج لأكاذيب المسلحين مع شريكه موقع” كلنا شركاء”) وأشرطة الفيديو الخاصة بهم على موقع “يوتيوب”، ابتداء من الثاني من هذا الشهر، ولكني لم أعثر على أي إشارة إلى “عقرب”! فهل من المعقول أن يتجاهلوا قيام السلطة ـ حسب روايتهم ـ بما قامت به ، بحيث يمكن أن يقلب الدعاية لصالحهم تماما!؟
ثالثا ـ إن المتمردين ، وحين تقع مجزرة من قبل السلطة، سرعان ما يضعون الجثث على موقع يوتيوب ويملأون الدنيا ضجيجا حولها . والسؤال الآن : إذا كانت الحكومة اقترفت مذبحة فعلا بحق ما يصل إلى 250 مواطنا من”طائفة الرئيس”، لماذا لم يقم المتمردون بوضع أشرطة لهذه الجثث على الشبكة!!؟ ( سؤال آخر موجه أيضا للفاجر المذكور أعلاه).
تبقى الإشارة أخيرا إلى أن المبنى والمنطقة كلها لا تزال محتلة ومحاصرة من قبل المسلحين كما يظهر في نهاية الشريط، بحيث أن الصحفي لم يستطع أن يدخل الحي، واكتفى بتصوير المبنى الذي احتجز فيه الرهائن عن بعد.
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ـ راجع هنـــا التحقيق الأولي الذي نشرته “الحقيقة” بعد ساعات على وقوع المجزرة، والذي يتقاطع في الكثير من خطوطه مع تحقيق القناة البريطانية.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Gaza’s courage under fire puts a brake on the Zionists’ evil ambition

November 25, 2012

 
by Stuart Littlewood
Friday, November 23rd, 2012


netanyahu

Israel’s latest brainless onslaught has spectacularly backfired.

First, the courage and resilience of the Palestinians in Gaza has won the hearts and minds of the world. In Stephen Lendman’s words,

“we’re all Gazans now”.

The Hamas government, which has been forced to operate under impossible conditions ever since it was elected in 2006, earns grudging admiration and can hold its head high. Hated in the West because they are not for sale, Hamas should be accepted as a key player in the diplomatic process from now on.

Israel comes out of it smelling even worse than before and is now universally despised. It has shown itself to be the ultimate terror state and should be booted out of the United Nations.

The quisling Abbas, who skulked in the shadows and whose diplomatic machinery in the capitals of the world remained silent during the slaughter, ought to accept the revolver on the silver tray. He has no democratic legitimacy, no popular mandate. He’s finished.

The West’s leaders, from Obama, Clinton, Cameron and Hague down, who support the Zionist psychopaths, promote their vile purpose, reward their non-stop atrocities and even lie their heads off to defend them, are exposed for what they are – enemies of peace and unfit to serve in the governments of decent people.

For the benefit of those who prattle about terror killings, here is the score. In the 12 years since the first Intifada (September 2000) up to the end of September 2012 Israel killed 6,550 Palestinians in their homeland. Of these 1,335 were children. Over the same period Palestinians killed 590 Israelis in their homeland, including 85 children. This is a kill-ratio of 11 to 1. When it comes the children the Israelis are even more proficient achieving a kill-ratio of nearly 16 to 1. The figures, which now need updating to include the latest slaughter, come from the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem which keeps count of such things.

No national leader worth his salt would tolerate his countrymen being unlawfully reduced in this way. The West perhaps is beginning to realise that Gaza too has a right to defend itself, and that right is non-negotiable.

Will Mr Obama, Ms Clinton, Mr Cameron and Mr Hague continue to pledge undying support for a regime capable of such butchery? I expect the answer to be ‘yes’ because these statistics aren’t new, the shutters should have come down on those responsible years ago. This quartet’s determination to perpetuate the cruel occupation when they could end it with a snap of the fingers means they are probably beyond redemption.

All these things and many more combine to turn the tide. One can sense that civil society across the globe is disgusted with Israel’s crimes against humanity and disrespect for the religious heritage of the Holy Land.

Who are the terrorists now?

Inappropriate use of the T-word by people with sinister motives is one of the biggest obstacles to a just solution. Why does Britain blindly accept America’s branding of Hamas as a terrorist organization? As John Pilger and others have pointed out, Hamas is the Arab world’s only democratically elected government and draws its popularity from its resistance to the Palestinians’ oppressor and tormentor of 64 years.

There’s nothing wrong with the definition of terrorism in GW Bush’s Executive Order 13224, Section 3 –

http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/terror/terror.pdf – which the US uses to outlaw and crush any individual, organisation or nation that gets in its way. The joke is that it fits the US itself, and its special buddy Israel, like a glove. And they can’t see it.

But it would be difficult objectively to classify Hamas as a terror government given decades of brutal occupation, dispossession, economic suffocation, ethnic cleansing and denial of human rights at the hands of a lawless neighbour. The correct word for them is “guerrilla”, as General Sir Mike Jackson said last Sunday.

When democratically elected Hamas foiled a CIA coup in 2007, John Pilger noted that the event was (and still is) reported in the western media as “Hamas’s seizure of power”. Furthermore, Hamas is never described as a government, let alone a democratic one, as it should be. Neither does the West acknowledge Hamas’s generous offer of a ten-year truce and support for a two-state solution, with just one condition: that the Israelis obey international law and end their illegal occupation beyond the 1967 borders.

Added to which Norman Finkelstein, in his book This Time We Went Too Far, says: “In June 2007 Hamas foiled a putsch orchestrated by the US, Israel and elements of the Palestinian Authority. Hamas has been repeatedly accused of ‘seizing control’ when it was correctly taking action to enforce its authority.” [my italics]

It’s all about maintaining Israel’s ‘deterrence capacity’

Israel tried to justify Operation Cast Lead Mk1, launched in December 2008, by claiming self-defence against rocket attacks but the main motives, says Finkelstein, were to restore Israel’s “deterrence capacity” and counter the threat posed by a new Palestinian “peace offensive”.

Deterrence capacity is about “keeping Arabs so intimidated that they could not even conceive of challenging Israel’s freedom to carry on as it pleased, however ruthlessly and recklessly”. The 1967 war had been unleashed for that same purpose.

He explains how Hamas’s readiness to accept a two-state solution (on the internationally recognised pre-1967 borders) and the June 2008 ceasefire brokered by Egypt together caused Israel a dilemma in view of its aversion to any permanent peace. Foreign minister Tzipi Livni wanted a period of calm but said any extended truce “harms the Israeli strategic goal, empowers Hamas, and gives the impression that Israel recognises the movement”. Israel’s strategic goal, of course, was (and still is) to retain the valuable parts of the West Bank by making the occupation permanent. Israel therefore would need to provoke Hamas into resuming its attacks “then radicalise or destroy it, thereby eliminating it as a legitimate negotiating partner”.

Let’s keep that in mind in the weeks and months ahead. Israel won’t want the truce to last too long. And the Zionist regime’s strategic goal won’t have changed. Hamas are in the way ánd must be crushed. So we can expect the Israeli offensive to continue, perhaps by other means at first.

Furthermore, Israel is neurotic on the question of its own legitimacy and insists that Hamas acknowledge the Jewish state’s right to exist. This is comical considering the manner in which it came into being and the arm-twisting by the US to push the 1947 partition plan through the UN. Up till then Britain, which undertook the mandated responsibility for Palestine, had promised a Jewish homeland “within” Palestine, with all Jews living there as Palestinian citizens.

The question whether the UN acted lawfully in giving away 56% of another people’s lands to racist interests that owned only 7% will continue to be asked. Furthermore Israel today refuses to define its borders, so the question for Hamas (and everyone else) is: what exactly are we supposed acknowledge or recognise even if we were in the mood to do so? Israel has expanded its 56% to 78% by land-grab and ethnic cleansing. Its snaking separation wall annexes even more.

So the incessant bleating for everyone to recognise its ‘right to exist’ is seen by many as a fraudulent way of claiming legitimacy on whatever borders Israel’s brutal military can push to. If Hamas buckle they’ll ‘legitimise’ and sign away all of Israel’s territorial gains at the Palestinians’ expense – past, present and future. But Hamas, says Finkelstein, “draws a very clear distinction between Israel’s right to exist, which it consistently denies, and the fact of its existence, and it has stated explicitly that it accepts the existence of Israel as a fait accompli…”

In the meantime, where is Israel’s recognition of the Palestinians’ right to exist in their homeland and their right to self-determination?

We wait to see if the international community at long last ensures that Gaza can rebuild, restore public health, enjoy a modicum of normal life and trade freely with the outside world.
 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Does anyone seriously think it’s about rockets?

November 19, 2012


by Stuart Littlewood

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Gaza Missile Attack by Israelis

“They stole my land,
burnt my olive trees,
destroyed my house,
took my water,
bombed my country,
imprisoned my father,
killed my mother,
took my job,
starved us all,
humiliated us all,
But I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.
So they stole more of my land,
burnt my olive trees,
destroyed my house,
took my water,
bombed my country….”

These words are printed on a tee-shirt I sometimes wear. They cut through the propaganda crap straight to the true cause of the latest unpleasantness in Gaza.

This morning (Sunday) the BBC continued its descent into the journalistic cesspit, pushing the Israeli line on the atrocities being committed in the Holy Land. You only needed to see BBC1′s ‘Sunday Morning LIve’ which matched an incoherent Palestinian newspaperman against Charlie Wolf, an obnoxious import from Boston USA. Nobody touched on the underlying causes, not even the presenter Samira Ahmed. It was ignorant and shambolic, yet on the basis of this encounter viewers were invited to vote whether the Israeli bombing was justified.

According to Wiki, Wolf during his talkSPORT show in 2005 described Rachel Corrie (the American activist murdered by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza) as “scum.” OFCOM ruled his remark was in breach of the “Generally Accepted Standards” section of the Broadcasting Code and said it was “seriously ill-judged”.

Why would the BBC hire such a rabid and offensive pillock if it intended to provide a reasoned and balance debate? I certainly object to having the likes of Wolf beamed into my home on a Sunday morning, or any other morning, by our fee-snatching national broadcaster.

I hear that when the poll result was announced 56% voted “No” and 44% “Yes” to the question “Are Israeli military actions justified?”. The programme’s website now states

the results “are not available to the public at this time”. The plot thickens…

But it’s not so difficult to figure out when the Controller of BBC1 is Danny Cohen, a Jew. Such a surprise….

According to the BBC
  • Cohen is responsible for the overall direction of BBC One.
  • This includes its strategy, the ideas that are developed and all programmes that are commissioned to be transmitted on BBC One, both on television and online.
  • He also oversees the scheduling of the programmes.
  • As creative leader, Cohen determines BBC One’s editorial policy, priority, style and presentation based on analyses of target audience needs.

And he’s paid over £250,000.

An earlier BBC1 offering this morning, the Andrew Marr Show, had General Mike Jackson calling Hamas what they actually are – guerrillas. He deliberately avoided the well-worn and inaccurate propaganda slurs such as “militants” and “terrorists”. If you call them that, what names are left for the Israelis? I wonder if he’ll get his knuckles rapped…

Marr made his leanings clear by saying: “From a military perspective people have to remember how small Israel is and how open to rocket attack…” without mentioning Gaza’s much greater vulnerability by not only being tiny, impoverished and overflowing but having no military to speak of at all

Israel wants the entire Holy Land and Gaza’s gas

GazaThroughout the latest crisis western leaders, news readers, chat-show hosts and assorted pundits have focused on the “thousands” of rockets fired by Hamas.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is reported as saying: “There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately in order to allow the situation to deescalate.”

Cowardly acts? Who is the coward? Israel, which uses sophisticated state-of-the-art weaponry (courtesy of the US taxpayer) to relentlessly attack an unarmed, half-starved and densely packed population who have nowhere to run because their borders have been sealed 24/7 for 6 years, or the Gaza’s guerrillas who fight back with anything that comes to hand including garden-shed rockets?

What if Hamas dumped all their rockets in the sea tomorrow? Would the illegal blockade be lifted? Would Gazans enjoy the same freedoms as other nations? Would their democratically elected government be allowed to get on and govern? Would they be able to open their sea port to foreign ships and rebuild and operate their airport? Would they be able to import and export and carry on trade and develop their economy and prosper like other countries?

Would they be allowed to develop and benefit from their offshore gas field? Would their fishermen be allowed to fish in unpolluted waters? Would their young people be able to come and go and take up places at foreign universities?

Would Israel clear out of Gaza’s airspace permanently? Would the Israeli navy cease its piracy and stay out of Palestinian territorial waters? Would you and I be able to visit Gaza direct?

Fat chance. None of this would suit Israel. So Palestinians would be no better off.

Remember, there are no rockets coming out of the West Bank. Yet the illegal Israeli occupation there continues and so does the ethnic cleansing, the land theft, the illegal settlements, the colonization, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the throttling of the economy, the abduction and ‘administrative detention’ of civilians and the massive interference with freedom of movement. Nothing has changed for West Bank Palestinians who DO NOT FIRE ROCKETS. And there is no sign of an end to their torment.

The bloody assault on Gaza therefore has much more to do with Israel’s ambition to expand racial dominance in the Holy Land, make their occupation permanent and seize Gaza’s offshore gas field than the paltry damage from crude and erratic rocket-fire. The Palestinians holed up in Gaza are simply in the way of the Grand Plan and have to be removed or totally subdued. This was the case 4 years ago when Israel launched Operation Cast Lead after staging the same sort of provocation as they did last week.

Israel’s deputy prime minister Eli Yishai let the cat out of the bag when he said of the latest military operation: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for forty years.” He is also reported as saying: “We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages destroying all infrastructure including roads & water.”

If he carries it out he’ll have written his arrest warrant for mega war crimes. Obama, Cameron and Hague actually pledge support for this maniac and his loathsome pals Netanyahu and Barak, implicating us in their foul crimes. I’d like to subject Obama, Cameron and Hague – and their families, for bombing engulfs women and children also – to just one night of the London blitz and see how they like it. London at least had defences, functioning emergency services and an extensive subway network. Gazans don’t. And Gazans have had to put up with raids night after night for years on end.

Actually I’d like to include the entire United Nations Security Council in that experience, also its useless worm of a secretary-general.
 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!