Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category

Syrian army stunned the world – With the beginning of April, the transition to foreign war

April 11, 2013

دام برس – متابعة – اياد الجاجة
لأنها بكل وضوح ستنسحب من الشرق الاوسط ولكن بشرط ان تبقى اسرائيل وأعراب الخليج قادرة على فرض الشروط في المنطقة ولأن سوريا تملك الاسلحة التدميرية البعيدة المدى وتشكل خطرا على اسرائيل ، فلابد من تدمير هذه الاسلحة ولأن تدمير الاسلحة لا يمكن بدون هجوم امريكي على تلك القواعد والمراكز ولأن تلك القواعد والمراكز مازالت مجهولة مع كل التقنيات المستخدمة .
فان الحرب على سوريا تعني حربا مجهولة الزمن والنتائج لذلك التخبط والتأرجح مستمر.
وفي النتيجة لا حل بدون حرب ولا يستطيع احد خوض تلك الحرب ولذلك اللعب بالأوراق بدء اوروبا تنسحب لتتدخل وأمريكا تنسحب لتتدخل في اطراق الصين .
وتركيا تخضع للتهديد الروسي ، والحرب على الحدود بدأت بالإنذار وستنتهي بالأرض حرب استنزاف و مع نهاية اذار تبدأ الحرب الخارجية.
عندما أعلن أوباما أنه سيزور إسرائيل وبعض دول المنطقة تحدثنا بأن وراء هذه الزيارة ما ورائها وأننا مطالبون بالحذر الشديد تجاهها وبعد ان تمت زيارته لابد من طرح عدة مسائل ليتبين حقيقة الزيارة وأهدافها الغير معلنة.
أوباما يرتب أوراق حلفاؤه استعداداً لحدث استراتيجي في المنطقة يتطلب جمع الحلفاء وهو حدث لا يبتعد عن عدوان خارجي على سورية.
– يرى أصدقاء سورية أن أوباما تجاوز الخطوط الحمراء، وأنه بحاجة إلى حدث يرد على زيارته واستعداداته للحرب.
– يظهر الحدث الكوري الذي أشعر أوباما أن أمريكا تحت خط النار.
– يتراجع أوباما بعد أن يدرك أنه وقع في مطب كبير.
– يسقط ميقاتي في وزارته النائية بالنفس.
– الملك الأردني يتخبط.
– تخلو الساحة من تأثيرات زيارة أوباما إلى المنطقة، ويتم تفريغ الزيارة من مضمونها.
وفي النتيجة الورقة الآن أصبحت بيد سورية وهي وحدها من يملك الآن حرية المبادرة
فقد حذرت سورية دول الجوار من إيواء معسكرات التدريب الإرهابي وحملتهم مسؤولية ذلك.
وهي تستعد لمعركة عالمية لمحاربة الإرهاب العالمي.
وهنا لابد من طرح عدة أسئلة هل هي الحرب خارج حدود الأزمة الداخلية؟ ومن يستطيع مواجهة سورية اليوم؟ خاصة بعد الإعلان الخطير في كوريا؟ هل هي بداية جديدة أم نهاية حتمية للحدث؟ وهل هو انقلاب ربيعي على الأرض السياسية؟
بعد فشل الاجتماع التآمري في الدوحة ورسالة مجموعة بريكس لكل من يزج نفسه في الحرب على سورية أعلن القيصر بوتين اعلان مناورات عسكرية وبشكل مفاجئ وهنا يطرح مراقبون مجموعة من الاسئلة ستشكل الاجابة عليها منهج للمرحلة المقبلة.
– لماذا أعلن بوتين عن مناورات عسكرية في البحر الأسود؟
– لماذا كان الإعلان في وقت حرج في الصباح الباكر؟
– لماذا كان الإعلان في مكان حرج وهو طائرة عودته من قمة بريكس؟
– لماذا لم يقم بإعلام الناتو بذلك وفق الاتفاقات المبرمة؟
– ما علاقة ذلك بالحدث السوري؟
كل تلك الأسئلة سيجيب عليها السيد نون قريبا علنا نستطيع أن نقدم للمتابعين دراسة تحليلية للواقع السوري ومدى تأثير الأزمة السورية على السياسة العالمية.
كل تلك الأسئلة سيجيب عليها السيد نون قريبا علنا نستطيع أن نقدم للمتابعين دراسة تحليلية للواقع السوري ومدى تأثير الأزمة السورية على السياسة العالمية.

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
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Volunteers Versus Hired Thugs

April 10, 2013

Daniel Mabsout,

159837742[1]

As we move from chapter to chapter the Syrian story seems to challenge all expectations . No one thought the Syrian army would hold together and keep resisting . All predictions said that the Syrian army will collapse after few months of fighting . The army has not collapsed and the question in Intelligence Services is : What held the Syrian army together ?
Instead of defending itself and the country the Syrian army is now attacking the enemy , and instead of falling apart, it is growing in size and is organizing Syria’s National Defense Forces (photo above) : an emergency army of volunteers whose number is around 8o thousands and will grow to become 390 thousand men and women who have undergone training to share in defending Syria. This growth in size of the defense forces is met on the other side by a decrease in the number of hired thugs among whom many have chosen to leave the battle field and many were killed as well.


The last visit of Obama to the region had for role to escalate the situation and push Jordan to introduce 1400 FSA soldiers to Syria after they received training in Jordan at the hands of US and British officers. Another 10 thousand thugs were introduced to Darayya . Weapons were shipped from France and Great Britain through Croatia who added weapons to the delivered arms of the opposition that were paid by the Saudis to be smuggled through Jordan and Turkey .This has been going on since last November and lasted until February .
In Lebanon, 1400 al Qa’ida fighter are staying in training camps sponsored by French officers on the ground who cross to Syria from time to time to operate there . Despite this, the situation on the ground is in favor of the Syrian army who is achieving many victories whether in Dar’a and Darayya, or in the vicinity of Damascus , in Aleppo and in Homs itself .
The goal of the army is to have full control over all major cities in Syria and to secure the main roads and highways so as to keep life going . In Homs, the army is controlling now almost the whole of the city and has taken possession again of Baba ‘ Amro after chasing the thugs out . THE FIGHTERS ARE INFORMING THE ARMY THAT THEY WANT TO WITHDRAW and soon Homs will become a safe city. Hama is under total control of the Syrian army and Aleppo is eighty percent under its control, while the outskirts of Aleppo are 50% under the control of the Syrian army and the Syrian army is getting ready to clean the whole city first, then than to proceed to the neighborhoods .

No doubt that the progress of the Syrian army is also due to the conflict among the factions of the opposition- mainly the FSA and the al Nusra- who lately targeted Riad al As’ad – chief commander of the FSA- in a car explosion that led to the amputation of his leg . The opposition also suffered great losses ; at least 300 were killed inn Dar’a alone .
At the political level , the opposition is not faring better. In exile, the Muslim Brothers of the Coaltion of Dawha are seeing their supporters on the ground decrease in number and the government formed in Dawha , with Ghassan Hetto as Prime Ministe, r cannot enter Syria and is forced to hide somewhere on the Turkish borders . The leader s of the so called opposition- especially the Muslim Brothers- are not doing much except staying at five stars hotels at Dawha or elsewhere. They are bankrupt politically and ideologically.

This does not mean that what the battles will end soon . No one knows when the confrontations with the criminal thugs will end, but now they have become on the defensive, and the terrorist attacks they make in Damascus prove their inability to take hold of one region and isolate it and keep it under their control as a foot for their fake government . Wherever the thugs of the opposition are found on the Syrian ground , it is because the Syrian army has not yet carried on the plan of evacuating them .

Numbers figuring in this post and the information related to them are from Lebanese Journalist : Ghalib Kandeel
 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!

Nasser Kandil: The Game is over

April 7, 2013

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!

Obama’s bitter options

April 7, 2013
كؤوس أوباما المرة
غالب قنديل
تستهلك الإمبراطورية الأميركية مزيدا من الوقت في محاولات يائسة لدفع الكؤوس المرة التي تنتظرها مع التسليم المستحق بهزيمتها في سورية بانهيار هيمنتها الأحادية على العالم و برضوخها لقدر الشراكة السياسية القهرية مع روسيا و الصين اللتين انتقلتا إلى الهجوم الاستراتيجي انطلاقا من صخرة الصمود السوري الثابتة في مجابهة الحرب العالمية التي تستهدف الدولة العربية السورية الحرة و المقاومة فما هي تلك الكؤوس المرة التي سيجبر الأميركيون على تجرعها.
أولا كشف الخبير العالمي في قضايا الطاقة البروفسور مايكل كلير الكثير عن خفايا الاهتمام الأميركي الاستراتيجي المتصاعد بمنطقة الباسفيك في دراسة كشف فيها عن وجود كميات هائلة من الغاز و النفط تحت الجزر المتنازع عليها بين الصين و اليابان و في هذا المجال الآسيوي الهام توجد دولة عملاقة هي الصين و دولة “عاصية ” متحالفة معها و تحظى بدعمها و هي مقيمة على لوائح الإرهاب الأميركية منذ زمن الحرب الباردة و لم تفلح جميع ادوات الحصارو التحريم في تركيعها و هي تغالب المشيئة الاستعمارية منذ انهيار الاتحاد السوفيتي و قد نجحت في سلسلة من المناورات الذكية بشأن ملفها النووي فقاومت الضغوط الأميركية والتفت عليها و بعد تفكيك مفاعلاتها النووية و ختمها بالاسمنت أعادت إنهاض مشروعها بعد حرب تموز 2006 و مع ظهور ملامح التبدل في التوازن العالمي و كوريا الديمقراطية هي دولة زوتشيه التي تعني بالكورية الاعتماد على الذات ، كناية عن شعب واسع العلم و الثقافة و معبء بقوة بفكرة الاستقلال و التطلع لتوحيد الوطن الكوري الذي مزقته الإمبريالية الأميركية في الخمسينات من القرن الماضي .
ثانيا مع تراكم مظاهر الفشل و الغطرسة الأميركيين في التصميم على مواصلة الحرب العدوانية التي تقودها الولايات المتحدة ضد الدولة الوطنية السورية قررت روسيا و الصين تسديد لكمة موجعة ترغم الإمبراطورية العجوز على استعادة شيء من العقلانية في سلوكها السياسي الأحمق الذي تبدى بانقلاب أوباما على التسوية المتفاهم عليها مع الروس بشأن وقف العدوان على سورية و الكف عن إرسال الإرهابيين و تزويدهم بالمال و السلاح و هو عرض تضمن دفع اوباما للاعتراف بالهزيمة مع حفظ ماء الوجه الأميركي تجاوبت معه سورية لتوفير التضحيات و الالام على شعبها لكن الولايات المتحدة التي انقلبت سوف تضطر لدفع كلفة أعلى من مجرد الإقرار بالفشل كما تشير الوقائع المتحولة .
بدعم روسي صيني و بمؤازرة سياسية واضحة من هذين الجبارين ترفع بيونغ يانغ التحدي في وجه الإمبراطورية العجوز الفاشلة بقيادة حفيد الزعيم التاريخي كيم إيل سونغ الذي أقام قلعة صناعية ضخمة أجبرت صواريخها الجاهزة باراك أوباما لطلب معونة بكين و موسكو في احتواء حدث أشد خطورة من ازمة الصواريخ الكوبية في الخمسينات من القرن الماضي .
ثالثا سوف يتوسع جدول الأعمال على طاولة المباحثات الصينية مع الإدارة الأميركية حول الأزمة الكورية بعدما اضطرت الولايات المتحدة للاعتراف بجدية التهديد الكوري بعد إنكار و اتخذت قرارها المعلن بنشر بطاريات الصواريخ المضادة للصواريخ تحسبا من تنفيذ الأمر القيادي المصادق عليه الذي تبلغته القيادة العليا للجيش و القوات المسلحة الكورية التي أعطت سلاحها الصاروخي إحداثيات عسكرية في قلب الولايات المتحدة و حملت القواعد الأميركية في آسيا كأهداف جاهزة للقصف .
مستقبل العالم سيكون في صلب التفاوض الدولي الذي يوشك ان ينطلق و بنود التفاوض تتركز من وجهة النظر الروسية الصينية على تصفية الهيمنة الأحادية الأميركية ووقف العدوان على سورية و الاعتراف الصريح بالهزيمة امامها و تفكيك منصات العدوان و هو ما سيؤذن بولادة مارد عربي هو سورية المقاومة بقيادة الرئيس الأسد و السير في طريق الاعتراف بقوتين نوويتين جديدتين هما كوريا و إيران و الرضوخ لشراكة مالية و اقتصادية جديدة مع مجموعة البريكس التي أطلقت استعدادها لتحرير علاقاتها الاقتصادية من آليات التحكم المالي و المصرفي الأميركي بعد قمتها الأخيرة فإما منظومة عالمية مستقلة و منافسة قابلة للتوسع او تغييرات هيكلية متفاهم عليها تنهي سيطرة نيويورك على شرايين العالم .

Jordan rushes towards the Syrian adventure

April 5, 2013

الأردن يندفع نحو المغامرة السوريّة

 

‏الجمعة‏، 05‏ نيسان‏، 2013

أوقات الشام

ياسر قبيلات
بات واضحاً اليوم في عمان أن الأردن لا يدير سياسة خاصة في ما يتعلق بالأزمة السورية. ولكنه يحاول التواؤم مع أدوار إقليمية ودولية يتم اقتراحها عليه، أو تحديدها له، وأن الأمر تعدى مجرد لعب دور المضيف الحدودي لحركة اللاجئين السوريين، إلى مناقشة (وربما تقديم) المساهمة الأردنية في ثلاثة اتجاهات هي: تدريب مجموعات مسلحة مرتبطة بمخططات الولايات المتحدة وحلفائها حول سوريا، وطبيعة المشاركة الأردنية في أي عملية عسكرية مقبلة (قد يكون الإعداد لها بلغ مرحلة متقدمة)، وإيجاد «المنطقة العازلة» بواحدة من الصيغ العديدة، التي يجري تداولها.

ومن اللافت ان الإشارات إلى ذلك جاءت منذ بداية الشهر الماضي، وقبل انعقاد قمة الدوحة التي تردد أن الأردن أظهر تردداً وموقفاً مختلفاً عن عتاة خصوم سوريا العرب، وما تبع القمة من صخب برلماني أردني، يُعتقد أنه موجه ومبرمج من دوائر رسمية، ضد قطر والسعودية، ما يستدعي سؤالاً حول مدى انسجام «الممانعة» الأردنية في وجه مقررات الدوحة مع توجه الأردن نحو ركوب حافلة المغامرة السورية.

في السياق ذاته، تأتي تصريحات رئيس الوزراء الأردني عبدالله النسور بشأن استعداد حكومته لإعلان ثلاث محافظات شمال البلاد (المفرق، اربد، عجلون) مناطق منكوبة، مع إظهار النية للذهاب بذلك إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي. رافقتها كذلك تقديرات علنية تؤكد أن الأسوأ لا يزال بانتظار الأزمة السورية، وأن تداعيات هائلة وشيكة ومرتقبة ستدفع بملايين السوريين للجوء إلى المملكة، ليبلغ عدد هؤلاء نحو ثلاثة ملايين لاجئ.

وقال النسور، في جلسة خاصة مع إعلاميين أردنيين، إن ثمة حرباً مقبلة، سمّاها «عالمية»، ستترك تأثيرها الكبير على الأردن، وبطبيعة الحال على سوريا؛ لكن هذه التقديرات (أو ربما المعلومات) لم تستدع منه أن يعيد حساباته في ما يتعلق باللجوء السوري، بل على العكس أكد أن الأردن لن يغلق أبوابه أمام حركة اللجوء، ما يشير إلى أن الجار الجنوبي لسوريا ليس ببعيد عن محاولة انتهاز «الرياح المقبلة» والاستثمار فيها مسبقاً.

وتركز النغمة السائدة في عمان على أن الأردن سيفعل كل ما من شأنه ضمان حدوده الشمالية، مع ملاحظة أن هذا القول لم يقتض الحد من اللجوء باتجاه الأردن، ولا ضبط الحدود وإغلاقها أمام المسلحين الذين باتوا يستخدمون ثلاث عشرة نقطة حدودية غير رسمية للعبور إلى سوريا. مع ملاحظة أن «درعا» باتت مفردة سهلة على لسان المسؤولين الأردنيين، بالدرجة نفسها التي يُظهر بها الإسرائيليون رغبة في تحريك الحدود وراء الجولان المحتل، واستثمار جهود المجموعات المسلحة في إطفاء نظام الدفاع الجوي السوري في تلك المنطقة.

ومن الواضح أن الأردن لن يبادر إلى تنفيذ تلميحاته الخطرة، ولكنه يستعد لها بانتظار خطوات لاعبين رئيسيين كبار (الولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل)، يمكنهم أن يقتحموا المشهد السوري بفعل نوعي، يرفع الحرج عن عمان التي ستنطلق إلى القيام بدورها تحت شعار تدارك الوضع الإنساني الذي سيجد «الإخوة السوريون» أنفسهم في خضمه، وهذا قد يفتح المجال لاحقاً لإيجاد مبررات قابلة لتسويق المشاركة الأردنية في عمليات موضعية بحجة التعامل مع مخزون الأسلحة الكيميائية.

ومن اللافت أن موسكو الرسمية، التي تصر على تسمية مقررات قمة الدوحة «قرارات الجامعة العربية» حصراً، لا تعلن مواقف محددة من خطط وسيناريوات باتت تحيط اليوم بالأزمة السورية من كل جهة؛ على أن هذا «الصمت» لا يمكن فهمه باعتباره رفع يد وتسليماً بـ«القدر». ففي الجانب السوري كذلك مثل هذه البرهة التي يخفت فيها التعليق العلني على «المجريات»، ما يفتح شهية الأسئلة على طبيعة الحديث الروسي السوري وراء حجاب الصمت.

معركة جنوب سورية

 
‏الخميس‏، 04‏ نيسان‏، 2013
أوقات الشام
محمد شمس الدين
يؤشر اندلاع المعارك واحتدامها في الجهة الجنوبية لسورية، الى أن المخطط الغربي – العربي قد فشل حتى اللحظة في إخضاع شمال البلاد وعلى امتداد المدن الساحلية وصولاً الى العاصمة دمشق وأريافها، لسيطرة المسلحين الذين باتوا يتدربون على أيدي أقوى الجيوش في العالم بعد دخول الولايات المتحدة الأميركية على خط التدريب والتسليح المباشرين، بعدما كان دورها يقتصر على التوجيه في غرف العمليات التي يديرها ضباط من فرنسا وبريطانيا وبعض الدول العربية، من المناطق التركية القريبة من الحدود الشمالية.


تخضع الحرب في سورية في المرحلة الحالية لإشراف مباشر من قبل فريق عسكري اميركي، شُكّل خصيصاً لهذه الغاية، بهدف إحراز تقدّم ملموس في القتال ضد قوات الجيش السوري في محاولة لانتزاع مناطق لم تستطع المحاولات التي جرت سابقاً انتزاعها لإقامة منطقة عازلة، طالما شكلت مطلباً رئيسياً للمسلحين وما يسمى بـ»الجيش الحر» منذ بدء الأزمة في سورية تكون منطقة آمنة لهم ولإدارة نشاطهم وبالتالي إقامة الحكومة الموقتة فيها لممارسة إشرافها على ما أطلقوا عليه مناطق محرّرة أو يجري تحريرها تباعاً بحسب الرؤية الغربية للأمور.



هل زار ملك الأردن دمشق سراً ؟
تعهد الرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما في لقائه بالملك الأردني – الذي أبدى خشيته من تفاقم الأوضاع السورية وامتدادها الى بلاده- بأن الحسم سيكون قريباً وهذا الحديث جرى في سياق طلب أوباما من الأردن فتح أراضيها لعمليات التدريب الأميركية للمسلحين، لأن الدراسات التي أجرتها وكالة الاستخبارات الأميركية وقيادة الجيش الأميركي في المنطقة، توصلت الى أن البقعة الأنسب لممارسة هذا النشاط هي الأردن لاعتبارات عديدة منها أن التحرك فيها وتأمين عمليات الإنزال سيكون بعيداً عن أية مخاطر أو استهدافات مباشرة للمدربين أو القوات التي تؤازرهم وتحديداً من «إسرائيل» التي نصحت بدورها الأميركيين أن يتم التمركز في الأردن بدلاً عن تركيا حيث غرفة العمليات الفرنسية – البريطانية – العربية.
غير أن الخطة الأميركية الموضوعة تلحظ أن التحرك يجب أن يكون من جنوب سورية عبر الحدود الأردنية لأنها بحسب مصادر مطلعة، الأضعف في سياق الجبهات الموزعة المفتوحة على الأراضي السورية، وعلى اعتبار أن الجيش السوري يركز قواته على جبهة الشمال وتحديداً في مدينتي حلب والرقة والذي يستعد لمهاجمتهما في عملية «قيصرية» بعدما استطاع فتح طرق الإمداد شمالاً خلال الشهرين الماضيين، ما أضعف قدرة المسلحين على التحرك وأفشل مخطط إقامة المنطقة العازلة من جهة الحدود التركية بعد محاولات استمرت قرابة السنتين.
وتركز الخطة الأميركية من خلال اختيار الجهة الجنوبية لسورية انطلاقاً من الأردن على أن يكون القتال في أقرب مسافة ممكنة من العاصمة دمشق، لأن ذلك من شأنه أن يزعزع من وضع الحكومة السورية خاصة إذا ما تم تسجيل أي تقدم يذكر على هذا المحور، وهو ما تمت محاولته بتركيز الاشتباك في محيط مدينة درعا القريبة من الحدود الأردنية وبلدة داعل التي استطاع الجيش السوري أن يقضي فيها على المسلحين بشكل كامل.
لكن سقوط داعل لن يشكل مؤشراً على سيطرة الجيش السوري نهائياً على المنطقة الجنوبية بعد الكشف أمس عن تجهيز 3 آلاف مقاتل تم تدريبهم أخيراً في الأردن باتوا على أتم الاستعداد لخوض الحرب بتكتيكات حربية أميركية، وبالطبع بتجهيز وإشراف أميركيين هذه المرة، في حين حددت صحيفة «الواشنطن بوست» موعداً لذلك، استناداً الى مصادرها بأن العملية ستكون في نيسان الجاري بدلاً من أيار أو حزيران المقبلين بعدما تم تسريع التدريبات وإنجازها بعد النتائج التي خلصت اليها مشاروات أوباما حول الأزمة السورية في كل من الأردن و«إسرائيل».
البناء

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‘America’s looming hangover in the Middle East’

April 2, 2013

‘America’s looming hangover in the Middle East’

 

“… Obama’s support for Syrian oppositionists reflects the same sort of hubristic thinking. His administration started backing opposition elements in 2011, not to help Syrians but to weaken Iran’s regional position and perhaps even spark the Islamic Republic’s overthrow. This proved unrealistic, for Assad’s government even today represents sizable constituencies. As time passed and Assad didn’t fall, concern that jihadi extremists gaining ever greater prominence in opposition ranks would target U.S. interests (as happened in Libya) prompted the administration to temper its stance in advance of the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Now it is returning to the imperial game, disregarding risks to both U.S. security interests and regional stability. That’s why, in contrast to his charade on the Palestinian issue, Obama put real effort during his Middle East trip into brokering a renewal of Israeli-Turkish relations — for, in Washington’s view, Israeli-Turkish cooperation could facilitate a renewed push for Assad’s removal. 

Just three days after Obama’s Jerusalem speech, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Baghdad, with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki beside him, that Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Clinton, assured him Maliki “is going to do whatever I say.” (Maliki immediately replied, “We won’t do it.”) Though played it off as a “joke,” Kerry’s talking points for what he later described as “spirited” private talks with Maliki reflected a conviction that Washington can in fact leverage Baghdad’s compliance with U.S. demands on Syria. Kerry told Maliki that barring Syria-bound Iranian aircraft from Iraqi airspace is a condition for Iraq’s inclusion in discussions of Syria’s post-Assad future. Kerry also warned that failing to cooperate in ending the Syrian conflict on Washington’s preferred lines — through Assad’s removal — raises the danger that fighting will “spillover” and destabilize Iraq.This ignores that Maliki’s interests are profoundly threatened by Assad’s prospective displacement by U.S./Saudi/Turkish-backed opposition forces. (That’s why Maliki said that, while wanting good relations with Saudi Arabia, he will conclude a formal alliance with Iran if Assad falls.)  

The most likely result of rebel “success” is not the Assad government’s replacement by a coherent, nationwide alternative. It’s Syria’s devolution into warring fiefdoms, with forces loyal to what’s left of the government battling increasingly fractious opposition militias that fight each other as much as they fight the Assad camp. Under these circumstances, Washington has no plausible claim it can stop extremist jihadis now fighting in Syria from taking their campaign for a new salafi ascendancy into Iraq. Maliki has a clear interest in seeing the Syrian conflict stop. But the only credible way this can happen is if America and others backing Syrian rebels get behind a new political compact for Syria, based on power-sharing between government and opposition. Until then, Iraq’s interests — like those of Iran, Russia, and China — lie in thwarting efforts by Washington and its partners to remake the regional balance by targeting the Assad government. That’s a recipe for prolonged carnage, in Syria and perhaps elsewhere, that smarter — and less imperial — U.S. policy could avert.”

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Obama and Palestine’s Forgotten Past

April 2, 2013

Mugs with pictures of U.S. President Barack Obama wearing a keffiyeh, displayed in a souvenir shop in Gaza City, on 9 November 2010. (Photo: AP -Adel Hana)
 
Published Monday, April 1, 2013
 
In George Orwell’s 1984, the Party had the power to reach into the past and decide whether or not a particular event had ever happened. The Party slogan declared that “who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” President Obama’s recent visit made it abundantly clear that Israel has a stranglehold over the past, the present, and the future.

In the three days of his official visit to Israel, Obama made a series of speeches, visited the grave of Theodor Herzl, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Holocaust Museum. This carefully orchestrated tour tied together past, present, and future.

From the moment he stepped off Air Force One, President Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu drove home the message that this is “our historic homeland” and that Jerusalem is “our ancient capital.” There were frequent references to Israel’s biblical heritage, with Peres proclaiming that Obama would “see the hills and mountains where our prophets preached. Where the soul of the Jewish people was born. Where the State of Israel was created.” The skilfully crafted rhetoric effortlessly connects the ancient past to Israel’s present and its claims to sovereignty over the land and Jerusalem.

One of the key sites that Obama visited was the Shrine of the Book housing the Dead Sea Scrolls. The visit’s significance was made clear in Netahyahu’s opening remarks: “You will see the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls, the world’s oldest text of the Bible, written in Hebrew here 2,000 years ago, scrolls that bear witness to the timeless bond between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.” Obama was being presented with what Netanyahu wanted him to believe are the title deeds to the land.

If the Shrine of the Book presented the title deeds, then Obama’s visit to the Holocaust Museum showed that the control of the past guarantees the future. The theme here was the threat to the survival of the Jewish people. It was used to justify US military support for Israel and its use of force. In the words of Peres: “You support us as we rebuild our ancient homeland and as we defend our land. From Holocaust to redemption.”

Obama was keen to reciprocate and reinforce the message of his hosts that Israel’s roots are set firmly in the biblical past. He talked of walking on “the historic homeland of the Jewish people,” and that “the founding of the Jewish State of Israel was a rebirth, a redemption unlike any in history.” Like Peres, his use of the word “redemption” ties past and present together. It echoes George W. Bush’s remarks at the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel that “what followed was more than the establishment of a new country. It was the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David – a homeland for the chosen people of Eretz Yisrael.” Obama reinforced the connection between past and present with the phrases “a nation of museums and patents” and “timeless holy sites and ground-breaking innovation.”

Given this was the run up to Passover, Obama used the theme of biblical exodus to link Israel’s origins and future with those of the US. This powerful story of liberation from slavery and persecution, immigration and the gift of a promised land, provides a foundation narrative for both nations. Yet the exodus story is also a tragic tale of dispossession of an indigenous population slaughtered and driven from its land.

In keeping with the failure to mention this side of the story, Obama’s fleeting visit to Ramallah and Bethlehem ignored Palestine’s past. President Abbas spoke of “a people proud of their history, heritage, culture, and symbols” continuing “the path of their ancestors, extending since the ancient times over this land – their land.” But unlike his visit to Israel, Obama did not reciprocate or reinforce this message. Strikingly, he did not mention Palestine’s past nor did he visit any major archaeological sites, such as Jericho. His brief visit to Bethlehem was designed to appeal to an American Christian audience rather than suggest that Palestine had roots in the past.

Although Obama referred to “a viable and contiguous Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people,” the term “historic” was conspicuously absent. The Palestinians were made to appear as though they have only shallow roots set in modern soil. Three millennia of history are ignored as though they have no connection to its modern inhabitants. If Palestine has no control of the past, then it has no control of the future.

Israel’s territorial claims are underpinned by its appeal to a biblical past; powerful images that resonate with an American audience that funds the military and economic aid so vital to Israel’s control and occupation. This foundation narrative has been undermined by historians in recent years who have questioned the biblical account of events.

Yet a coherent history of Palestine stretching from the ancient past, including the biblical periods, to the present has not yet emerged to challenge the powerful images used so effectively by Peres, Netanyahu, and Obama. The cultural struggle for a history of Palestine that ties these centuries to the present is crucial in the struggle for self-determination.

Palestine is denied a present because there is no political will on behalf of Obama or successive American governments to force Israel to negotiate meaningfully; there was no mention of the 1967 borders or illegal settlements. As long as the past belongs to Israel, Palestine has no future.

Keith W. Whitelam is Emeritus Professor and former head of the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of Rhythms of Time: Reconnecting Palestine’s Past and The Invention of Ancient Israel: The Silencing of Palestinian History.

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect Al-Akhbar’s editorial policy.

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"Much of what was being reported on Syria was propaganda. Perhaps Israeli, perhaps rebel, perhaps Turkish, perhaps American. But obviously propaganda.

April 2, 2013

Via FLC

‘National funeral for former Syrian Defence Minister General Hassan Ali Turkmani, Defence Minister Daoud Rajha and Assef Shawkat,’
“The WSJ has a fascinating account of how President Obama’s efforts to extend our will without military intervention failed in Syria. Early in the article, it describes that, as the Administration was debating intervening directly last summer, senior officials “misjudged” the situation because rebels “appeared” to be getting close to killing Bashar al-Assad.

“… Just as pressure to intervene grew last summer, White House officials were buoyed by a series of attacks where rebels appeared to be getting close to killing Mr. Assad. Several senior officials now acknowledge the U.S. misjudged how long Mr. Assad could hold on….”
 

Many paragraphs later, the article elaborates on what caused this “misjudgment” about Assad’s resilience. It describes how in this period last summer, the Obama Administration was focused on post-Assad planning, rather than on getting rid of Assad, because the intelligence had “created a sense” that Assad would be ousted by the rebels acting alone.

The administration committee charged with Syria policy was kept on a tight leash by Mr. McDonough, then the deputy national security adviser and a close confidante to Mr. Obama, participants say. They said Mr. McDonough made clear that Mr. Obama wasn’t interested in proposals that could lead the U.S. down a slippery slope to military intervention; instead, he had the committee focus mostly on post-Assad planning. “It was clear to all participants that this was what the White House wanted, as opposed to really focusing on key questions of how do you get to the post-Assad period,” one participant said. Administration officials said one of the reasons the committee was told to focus on post-Assad planning was because intelligence at the time created “a sense” in the White House that Mr. Assad could be killed by rebels or his own people, eliminating the need for riskier measures to support the rebel campaign. 

“Appeared to be getting close” … “created a sense.” The article doesn’t say it explicitly, but either the intelligence the White House was getting about Syria was faulty, or the White House was reading into the intelligence what it wanted to hear (perhaps in their hopes that the “Obama Doctrine” would work better than Donald Rumsfeld’s fetish for a light footprint). That passage on how problematic intelligence led the Administration to assume Assad’s downfall is almost immediately followed by the airing of a dispute about whether or not the Administration was also focused on “strategic

… Likewise, high-level White House national security meetings on Syria focused on what participants called “strategic messaging,” how administration policy should be presented to the public, according to current and former officials who took part in the meetings. Another administration official disputed that account, saying there were multiple cabinet-level meetings “with extensive and rigorous analysis presented” and that he didn’t recall strategic messaging ever being a “central topic of discussion at senior levels.” [my emphasis] messaging.”


I find it telling that WSJ so closely follows a description of some kind of problem with intelligence with the (disputed) suggestion that even as the Administration was acting on faulty intelligence, it was focusing on its own “strategic messaging.”
Go skim Moon of Alabama’s archive from last July. It’s a very good read not only of the abundant open source evidence Assad might not be ousted so easily (and if he was, the problems that would create), but also of how much western propaganda was spinning what was going on in Syria.

That’s the thing: much of what was being reported — in public western reports, at least — was propaganda. Perhaps Israeli, perhaps rebel, perhaps Turkish, perhaps American. But obviously propaganda.

Now, the article presents a different chronology: the Administration got faulty intelligence (or misread what it got), and in response moved onto spinning what they were doing in Syria.

But I can’t help but wonder whether the Administration fell for its own propaganda about what it was doing in Syria?

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US official: "Qatar acting like the ‘mouse that roared’ …

April 1, 2013

Via FLC

MEPGS: Excerpts;

“…President Obama’s trip to Israel was widely hailed as a great success. Though, in the opinion of many, long overdue [State Department officials were urging the White House to reach out to the Israeli public from the time of his 2009 Cairo speech to the Moslem World]. Nonetheless, even the President’s most vocal critics, privately conceded that it was, at least, a major public relations coup. And by pulling off a last minute phone call between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Turkish counterpart Prime Minister Erdogan, which seems to have resulted in the beginnings of a rapproachment between the one time allies and close friends of the US, he also appeared to add substance to his visit.. 

Nonetheless, his visit and that of his newly minted Secretary of State, John Kerry, made little in the way of progress on the most intractable problems in the region. As one State Department official put it, “We have gotten nowhere on the Iranian nuclear issue, Syria continues its slide into ever more violent chaos and little remarked upon but uppermost in the minds of many of us, is the downward economic and political spiral that is occuring in Egypt.
The latter issue was the subject of intense discussions between Kerry and Gulf leaders in Riyadh. While Syria may have topped their list of concerns, the US pressed first and most vigorously on the question of aid to Egypt. The Moslem Brotherhood-led government of Mohamed Morsi has, in the words of one US expert “badly mismanaged” the Egyptian economy. An International Monetary Fund delegation, which visited Cairo 10 days ago, was again frustrated in its attempts to get Morsi & Co. to deal with the ruinous state of the Egyptian economy, first by reducing, if not eliminating state subsidies [To be fair to Morsi, says one State Department veteran, when former President Mubarak tried to reduce food subsidies, his efforts were met by wide spread rioting]. Still, Kerry tried to push the wealthy Gulf States to provide financial support, or at least investment in Egypt. But the answer, according to well-placed US officials, was a resounding `No’.
In fact, US officials consider some of the Gulf states to be working against the current Egyptian regime. In particular, the United Arab Emirates has been vocal in its opposition to the “Brothers”. Meanwhile, there are a number of wealthy Saudi supporters of the even more radical Salafists in Egypt, and they have become more active than ever. As one veteran US official sums up the situation: “Egypt is too big to fail. This is a country that controls one of the world’s most important waterways [The Suez Canal] and whose population comprises one quarter of the Arab world]….the US has been unable to “light a fire” under the Gulfis on Egypt, the reverse can be said to be the case with the Gulf states’, led by Qatar, to get the US more involved in the chaos that is now Syria. Once again acting like “The Mouse that Roared,” Qatar has led the charge to overthrow the Assad regime in Damascus. …. But to the Gulf states and increasingly our French and British allies, the goal of Assad’s removal as soon as possible trumps the concerns about which group will gain the upper hand if the regime in Damascus collapses. …

If published reports are accurate, there has been some movement by the Administration towards greater involvement. “With increased humanitarian aid, some covert support based in Jordan and the high profile visit by Kerry to Baghdad to persuade the Iraqis to stop facilitating Iranian supplies to Assad, we are, says one US official, willy-nilly winding up on the side of the Sunnis, in their fight against Iran” (and the so-called Shia-arc that stretches from Teheran to Beirut). …”

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World from Behind the Wall

March 30, 2013

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Behind the Wall“Put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own. Living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements not just of those young people but their parents, their grandparents, every single day. It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. It’s not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands; or restricting a student’s ability to move around the West Bank; or displace Palestinian families from their homes Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer. Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land.” -President Barak Obama in Israel 2013

Would that the President might take his own advice—“Put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes”—he need only open his eyes beyond the wall that imprisons the Palestinians he speaks about: see how the wall blinds the Jews to the plight of the people they drove from their land, see the barren landscape on the other side rubble strewn, savaged by bulldozers and missiles, see the people caught in a maelstrom of poverty and deprivation, listen to the mothers and wives weep for their husbands and sons jailed without charge in Israel’s Gulag where escape comes by self-starvation as the only defense against indefinite torture and lives lost to family and friends, listen to the cries of the people of the world who have condemned this barbaric behavior only to run into the President’s own wall–the veto in the UN Security Council that effectively denies the justice he so righteously exalts, “Peace is also just.” How true and how easily it could be made a reality if he were to simply abstain during the vote that sought to bring this defiant state before the International Court of Justice finally after 64 years of impunity to the very justice this President mouth, as though saying it levitates him beyond criticism.

Indeed, “Look at the world through their eyes,” let Americans look at the state of Israel through Palestinian eyes to witness the monstrous injustice that exists in this “democratic state” that “shares America’s values,” America’s only “friend” in the mid-east. Let’s look at how the Israeli government responds to the President’s call for justice for the Palestinians, within three days of his visit. Let’s report on a peaceful protest that has gone unnoticed by the American press with the exception of Tim King’s Salem-News: “Israeli forces have sprayed Palestinian homes in the village of Nabi Saleh with “skunk”* as a punishment for organizing weekly protests against the Apartheid Wall built on occupied West Bank land (March 26, 2013). See the video provided by the paper that the eyes of all might be opened:

While the American press offered nothing about this incident, Reuters and the Guardian did as well as The Middle East Monitor which provided this background information: “Israeli forces have sprayed Palestinian homes in the village of Nabi Saleh with raw sewage … as a punishment for organizing weekly protests against the Apartheid Wall built on occupied West Bank land. Human rights watchdog B’Tselem published a video showing Israel’s armoured tanker trucks fitted with “water cannons” which spray the foul fluid at Palestinian protesters. B’Tselem said in a statement that the Israeli forces also targeted all the houses of the village with the sewage. The powerful jet broke windows and caused a great deal of damage in the houses, said the Israeli organization. “It also causes environmental damage,” it pointed out. The non-lethal weapon has been added to the Israelis’ armoury for crowd control, said B’Tselem, even though the video shows clearly that it is also used against Palestinian-owned property”.

How can the people of the United States tolerate such despicable and inhumane behavior from a supposed friend? When did Americans decide that peaceful protests should not be allowed? When did Americans decide that their tax dollars should provide a state the means to shower humans and their homes in foul smelling chemicals that literally cloaks them in animal smell used by animals for self-protection but used here to prevent intelligent dissent from oppressive military aggression. Literally forcing silence to prevent disagreement. These are the ruthless and barbaric actions of a state that has no respect for humans other than its own; it casts a pall over its ”friend,” the American people, by making them complicit in such abominable behavior, it smells to high treason, an insult to those who have provided an estimated 3 trillion dollars of support that this state might exist (Rense.com).

What is particularly disturbing is the fact that minds have designed this “strategy” to quell dissent, a fundamental right and duty of democratic people. It tells us that the state of Israel does not value dissent; its newspapers can carry debates by its Jewish citizens but it will not tolerate dissent from those it occupies or its non-Jewish citizens.

Look through the eyes of the Palestinian mother and father who have struggled mightily to maintain a home through these years of deprivation; watch them see this “shit,”a term used in Vermont to describe the spreading of cow manure on the fields in the spring, but this is not Vermont nor are the Israelis “shitting the fields,” pulverize the house breaking through the windows saturating furniture, beds, even kitchen utensils depriving them of basic forks and knives to use at dinner. What is this but collective punishment of the innocent who at worst wanted to demonstrate against the occupation peacefully. There is no self-defense here; it is rather sheer racist hatred of others, demeaning, shameful, a means to inflict uncontested force against the defenseless, the coward’s way to self-fulfillment.

No state can spread such “shit” on its people with impunity except Israel protected as it is by our captured Senators like Lindsey Graham, who had the audacity to interrogate a true patriot, Senator Hagel, who pledged his oath of office to the United States not a foreign government, because he was beholden to AIPAC knowing as he sat there the answer to his question to Hagel, name a Senator Mr. Hagel who is afraid of Israel, with the answer written all over his obsequious face, you Senator Graham.

This is not the democracy Americans practice; it is a sham democracy that protects the few and emasculates those excluded. Democracy is inclusive. Had I not witnessed this behavior in this decade of advanced civilization, I would have thought that it came from the mind of our most enlightened sci-fi satirists, Kurt Vonnegut, Aldous Huxley, or George Orwell, minds capable of dreaming the impossible couched in scenes of the savage country or 1984; perhaps reality has caught up with comic satire.

Obama’s trip to Israel demonstrated, in the words of AIPAC, America’s “resilient friendship, based in large part on an unshakable dedication to common values. Commitment to democracy, the rule of law, freedom of religion and speech and human rights are all core values shared between the United States and Israel” (AIPAC). What is that rule of law that binds these two countries together that such a vicious display of animosity against neighbors would be inflicted so shortly after the President of this “resilient friendship” left the country having asked the Israeli people to consider “Looking through the eyes of their neighbors at the conditions imposed on them by the Israeli occupation”?
The Israeli government has imposed Military Order 101 that requires an Israeli permit if more than 10 people gather, something similar to the “parade permits” required in the old south to ensure no demonstrations against “Bull Connor’s peaceful world.” Martin Luther King had to face that same logic in the United States in August of 1963. Certainly our President knows the brilliance of King’s logic that tore apart the logic of occupiers and oppressors that denied the rights of people who live in a free, open and equitable land, a truly democratic land that treats all its citizens by rules of law as civilized societies must: “…I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the eighth-century prophets left their little villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their hometowns; and just as the Apostle Paul left his little village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to practically every hamlet and city of the Greco-Roman world, I too am compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my particular hometown.” Is not this the purpose of the President’s visit to Israel, to announce to the world that America will not tolerate injustice done in its name by its “resilient friend” that receives 8 million a day from the lagers of the American taxpayer?
But there’s more, much more that King argued before the American government when it was forced to confront its immorality and illegality after 90 years of segregation, oppression and deceit against its own people. “I am cognizant,” King asserted, “of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly…You deplore the demonstration that are presently taking place in Birmingham. But I am sorry that your statement did not express a similar concern for the conditions that brought the demonstration into being.”

How prophetic of the conditions that have yoked the United States to the state of Israel. Indeed that state wants to forge a “security agreement” that would link its behavior to that of the United States and literally drive our policies in concert with theirs. Skunk tankers would become American tools against its own people even as we permit, even encourage, the lawlessness that drives Israeli policies against its neighbors whether the American people agree or not. Thus do we become complicit in the evil perpetrated by that rogue state.

But some will assert that America had laws requiring permits to gather, to protest peacefully, and to march against the immoral actions of its local military authority. And King demolished that logic by appeal to a human nature that knows barbarity does not and should not rule in a civilized state.

“One may well ask, “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: there are just laws, and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all.”Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. Toput it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

We, the humans that design and implement the rules of law, do so to ensure that all are treated equally under that law; if not we have abrogated the responsibility of civilized humans to act on behalf of all and thus have become but beasts dependent on instinct and ruthless force to exist. That is not the principled foundation upon which the United States was fashioned. And while the nation did not begin its days in keeping with its principles, it never erased them but rather attempted in time to reconcile its beliefs with the implementation of laws that corrected its deficiencies.

Well might we ask how this President reacted to the foul actions of the Israeli government when it uses such despicable actions against the people it is responsible for protecting under the rules of international occupation? This is what he said: “So peace is necessary. But peace is also just.Peace is also just. There is no question that Israel has faced Palestinian factions who turned to terror, leaders who missed historic opportunities. That is all true.”

[But it is as well deceitful; it addresses only the concerns of one side, the “resilient friend” of the U.S. Why no mention of the Nakba, the defiant use of illegal terrorist destruction by the Jewish Agency and its armies against the legal authority of the Mandate Government charged by the international community to protect both the indigenous people of Palestine and the immigrants arriving from Europe? Why no mention of the 64 years of intentionally stalled peace negotiations’ that resulted in the virtual takeover of all the land of Palestine? Why no mention of the original intention of the Jewish Agency and its adherents to remove by whatever force necessary the Arabs from the land of Israel when in fact they didn’t own it or have “historical” right to it? Why pretend to the world that the Palestinians have been the perpetrators of terrorism when they have the legal right to defend their homeland against illegal occupiers and oppressors?]

“And that’s why security must be at the center of any agreement.”

[Security for whom? Do not the Palestinians need security when the reality on the ground has been the theft of virtually all their land? Only security for the state of Israel against the Palestinians when the state of Israel has the fourth largest military in the world and the Palestinians have no military?]
“It has to be done by the parties.”

[Certainly it is obvious to all that the United States cannot be a broker for peace between these parties. It is yoked to the state of Israel irrevocably. Only the UN can bring resolution by bringing Israel before the Security Council to determine how it will reconfigure its borders so that the state of Palestine can be fashioned legitimately and justice for all can be established.]

“But the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, their right to justice, must also be recognized.”

[If this is Obama’s desire than does he has a responsibility to take action to ensure it happens. Doing nothing will change nothing. Let the 95% of the world’s population that has recognized the rights of the Palestinian people (188 nations out of 193 allowed by their vote acceptance of the people of Palestine to member status in the UN) direct the process by which justice can be done.]

If we look at the world from behind the wall that imprisons the Palestinian people, we must accept the injustice that pervades the Zionist government’s treatment of their neighbors. Any law that degrades human personality as Martin Luther King states is unjust. What is more degrading to the human personality than to be drenched in the sewage that flows from the Jewish squatters’ settlements or sprayed by the skunks that use their protective innards to deny the democratic right of dissent? A just people create just laws, laws that uplift human personality. Peace is just as the President said; would that he would make it so.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
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