Margaret Thatcher’s criminal legacy

April 11, 2013
 

 
Tue Apr 9, 2013 6:33PM GMT
 
Such fulsome praise may be expected coming from so many war criminals. But it is instructive of how history is written by the victors and criminals in high office. Obama, Cameron, Hollande and Merkel should all be arraigned and prosecuted for war crimes in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia and Mali, among other places. Kissinger has long evaded justice for over four decades for his role in the US genocide in Southeast Asia during the so-called
Vietnam War in which over three million people were obliterated in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.”

Hours after the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the history books are being re-written and the beatification of the Iron Lady is well underway.

Current British premier David Cameron praised Lady Thatcher for having “saved Britain” and for making the has-been colonial power “great again”.

Tributes poured forth from French and German leaders, Francoise Hollande and Angela Merkel, while US President Barack Obama said America had lost a “special friend”.

Former American secretary of state Henry Kissinger and former Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev also lamented the loss of “an historic world figure”. Polish ex-president Lech Walesa hailed Margaret Thatcher for having brought down the Soviet Union and Communism.

Such fulsome praise may be expected coming from so many war criminals. But it is instructive of how history is written by the victors and criminals in high office. Obama, Cameron, Hollande and Merkel should all be arraigned and prosecuted for war crimes in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia and Mali, among other places. Kissinger has long evaded justice for over four decades for his role in the US genocide in Southeast Asia during the so-called Vietnam War in which over three million people were obliterated in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

The British state is to give Thatcher, who died this week aged 87, a full military-honours funeral. The praise, eulogies, wreaths and ceremonies are all self-indictments of association with one of the most ruthless and criminal political figures in modern times.

So, here is a people’s history of Thatcher’s legacy.

She will be remembered for colluding with the most reactionary elements of Rupert Murdoch’s squalid media empire to launch a war over the Malvinas Islands in 1982, a war that caused hundreds of lives and involved the gratuitous sinking of an Argentine warship, the Belgrano,
by a British submarine.

By declaring war, rather than conducting political negotiations with Argentina over Britain’s ongoing colonial possession of the Malvinas, Thatcher salvaged her waning public support in Britain, and the bloodletting helped catapult her into a second term of office in Downing Street. Her political “greatness” that so many Western leaders now eulogize was therefore paid in part by the lives of Argentine and British soldiers, and by bequeathing an ongoing source of conflict in the South Atlantic.

It wasn’t just foreigners that Thatcher declared war on. Armed with her snake-oil economic policies of privatisation, deregulation, unleashing finance capitalism, pump-priming the rich with tax awards subsidised by the ordinary working population, Thatcher declared war on the British people themselves. She famously proclaimed that “there was no such thing as society” and went on to oversee an explosion in the gap between rich and poor and the demolition of social conditions in Britain. That legacy has been amplified by both successive Conservative and Labour governments and is central to today’s social meltdown in Britain – more than two decades after Thatcher resigned. Laughably, David Cameron, a protégé of Thatcher, claims that she “saved” Britain. The truth is Thatcher accelerated the sinking of British capitalism and society at large. What she ordered for the Belgrano has in a very real way come to be realised for British society at large.

During her second term of office in the mid-1980s, the Iron Lady declared war on the “enemy within”. She was referring to Britain’s strongly unionised coal-mining industry. Imagine declaring war on your own population. That is a measure of her pathological intolerance towards others who did not happen to share her obnoxious ideological views – ideological views that have since become exposed as intellectually and morally bankrupt.

For over a year around 1984, her Orwellian mindset and policies starved mining communities in the North of England into submission. Her use of paramilitary police violence also broke the resolve and legitimate rights of these communities. Miners’ leader Arthur Scargill would later be vindicated in the eyes of ordinary people, if not in the eyes of the mainstream media. Britain’s coalmines were systematically shut down, thousands of workers would be made unemployed, and entire communities were thrown on the social scrap heap. All this violence and misery was the price for Thatcher’s ideological war against working people and their political rights.

The class war that Thatcher unleashed in Britain is still raging. The rich have become richer, the poor decidedly more numerous and poorer. The decimation of workers’ rights and the unfettered power given to finance capital were hallmarks of Thatcher’s legacy and are to this day hallmarks of Britain’s current social decay. But that destructive legacy goes well beyond Britain. The rightwing nihilistic capitalism that Thatcher gave vent to was and became a zeitgeist for North America, Europe and globally. The economic malaise that is currently plaguing the world can be traced directly to such ideologues as Margaret Thatcher and former US President Ronald Reagan.

A final word on Thatcher’s real legacy, as opposed to the fakery from fellow war criminals, is her role in Ireland’s conflict. Her epitaph of “Iron Lady” is often said with admiration or even sneaking regard for her supposed virtues of determination and strength. In truth, her “iron” character was simply malevolent, as can be seen from her policies towards the Irish struggle for independence from Britain. In 1981, 10 Irish republican prisoners, led by a young Belfast man by the name of Bobby Sands, died from hunger strikes. The men died after more than 50 days of refusing prison food because they were demanding to be treated as political prisoners, not as criminals. Thatcher refused to yield to their demands, denouncing them as criminals and callously claiming that they “took their own lives”. No matter that Bobby Sands had been elected by tens of thousands of Irish voters to the British House of Parliament during his hunger strike. He was merely a criminal who deserved to die, according to the cold, unfeeling Thatcher.

As a result of Thatcher’s intransigence to negotiate Irish rights, the violence in the North of Ireland would escalate over the next decade, claiming thousands of lives. As with Las Malvinas dispute with Argentina, Thatcher deliberately took the military option and, with that, countless lives, rather than engage in reasoned, mutual dialogue. Her arrogance and obduracy blinded her to any other possibility.

As the violence gyrated in Ireland, Thatcher would also embrace the criminal policy of colluding with pro-British death squads. Armed,funded and directed by British intelligence, these death squads would in subsequent years kill hundreds of innocent people – with the knowledge and tacit approval of Lady Thatcher. It was a policy of British state terrorism in action, sanctioned by Thatcher. One of those victims was Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane, who was murdered in February 1989. He was shot 12 times in the head in front of his wife and children by a British death squad, after the killers smashed their way into the Finucane home on a Sunday afternoon.

Thus whether in her dealings with Las Malvinas row with Argentina, the British working people or Irish republicans, Margaret Thatcher was an intolerant militarist who always resorted to demagoguery, violence and starvation to get her political way. She was a criminal fascist who is
now proclaimed to be a national hero.

Reports this week say that Thatcher died with Alzheimer’s, the brain-degenerating disease in which the patient loses their faculty for memory. Western leaders, it seems, would also like to erase public memory of Thatcher’s criminal legacy.

FC/JR

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!

BDS movement and the Palestinian Principles

April 11, 2013

BDSPalestine, (Pal Telegraph) – The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are the basic pillars for constructing a legitimate movement seeking justice, peace and reconciliation. Any departure from them or attempts to jettison any part of it is certainly a shameful u turn and an insult against the entire Palestinian people. It insults Palestinians who sacrificed their lives, the many hundreds of thousands that are imprisoned, the millions that live in squalor and degradation as refugees and indeed the entire Palestinian cause.

As the last two decades have shown, concession of fundamental rights is not the road to peace and reconciliation. Under Oslo Palestinian Authority compromised their inalienable rights to no avail.
At the core of Palestinian cause is justice for Palestinian refugees including the Right of Return of all refugees who were forcibly expelled from their homes. Many shameful attempts were made by Israel and America to suppress the just cause of the refugees by settling them in their Diaspora or proposing to allow not more than 150,000 to return not to their original homes but the future Palestinian state in Gaza and West Bank. Previous attempts to dissolve the right of return were proposed by Mark Etheridge, at Lausanne Conference, Gordon R. Clapp and many others. But all failed and Palestinian refugees in the camps remain resolute in their desire to return.

Bluntly speaking, Palestinian Authority –through its officials- implicitly affirmed a fair and just solution to the refugee issue without any reference to the rights of the refugees as stated under international law, and without any frame of reference to suggest what justice for refugees constitutes. This misconceived position leaves an inalienable right of the Palestinian people subject to a process of unequal and unfair negotiations.

BDS Movement and Mission Statement Change

Contrastingly, civil organisations and solidarity movements are closer to Palestinian rights. However few have adopted the PA track of two-state solution based on 1967 borders, which in my view has damaged the – one state solution, is the most appropriate way out for peace– cause of peace and justice in Palestine. It should be clear to any movement or active organisations that their struggle should be built only on the basic rights of Palestinian people. There should be no wavering of rights of the Palestinian people by organizations claiming to stand up for justice for the Palestinians.

It is noticeable that the BDS movement is achieving a resounding success in isolating Israeli apartheid. The movement is drawing assimilation between Israeli apartheid and the South Africa which is totally valid.

Looking at the BDS website, the movement seems to have compromised the most fundamental of Palestinian rights: In an entirely underhanded way the BDS National Committee had changed the wording of its mission statement from
demanding that Israel ends Its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands
to
Its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967.

The interpretation of the change is very essential. Without doubt, the un-amended version seeks to end occupation and colonization of all Arab lands, which explicitly include the 1948 lands and by extension includes the plight of Palestinians refugees expelled from their lands in 1948. However this dramatic change positions the BDS movement closer to Israel without bridging the gap between current reality and future peace. The change is also contradicting facts on the ground. Limiting the struggle to 1967 aims to achieving a two-state solution which is already lifeless! The BDS struggle should be based on the principals of inalienable rights of the Palestinians without compromising them through an imagined political end.
The movement also stated it is founded on, “Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

UN Resolution 194 which appears encouraging and favorable to many is, as interpreted by Israel, vague on the issue of return other. The resolution states, in article 11, “Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date”

Resolution 194 and the Right of Return

The mechanism of the return of refugees here seems to be very broad. Stating, “should be permitted to do so” can be interpreted in various way. There is no clear indication to which party belongs the power of permitting them back. Is it Israel? Israelis interpret the resolution as non-binding and that it doesn’t oblige them to allow refugees to return. Here you can read more on how Israel blank read the resolution

Resolution 194 cannot be read in isolation as Israel does but must be taken in consideration with all other related declarations and the whole body of International law which includes Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

A popular resistance like the BDS should not be advocating such ambiguity but instead should be absolutely clear about justice and human rights and at the least position itself closer to the Palestinian people. The BDS movement should match the aspirations of us, the Palestinians and not cower to outside pressure. As a Palestinian, I think Palestinian refugees will only be satisfied with BDS if it repositions itself to the inalienable rights of Palestinians instead of wilting under pressure.

A better formulation of the BDS movement’s position stated unambiguously would be to change from “Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties” as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

To

Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in article 13(b) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which states: “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

There should be a clear position from those who are leading the BDS movement. They should be explicit and unequivocal in their position regarding Palestinian refugees. On what basis has this change been made? More shockingly, the Arabic and Palestinian public are not aware of this dramatic shift. The change had been made on the English language and for Western audiences only. This raises a number of questions, why? Why now? Under what pressure has this change been made? And what mandate you have to do so?

This article is meant to clarify the misunderstanding around this topic. BDS should be clear about its mission statement. It is not meant as an attack against BDS, as I’m a firm believer of its actions and performance. It’s the only way to expose Israel and show its real apartheid nature.
 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
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The U.S. retreat smokescreen in Syria?

April 11, 2013

هل بدأت أميركا بإطلاق دخان حجب التراجع في سورية؟

‏الخميس‏، 11‏ نيسان‏، 2013

أوقات الشام

ع .د أمين حطيط
أ. عندما يحلّل المراقب ما تسارع من مواقف ووقائع ميدانية محيطة، أو ذات صلة بالأزمة السورية، يكون ملزماً بالبحث عن الاتجاه الذي سلكته تلك الأزمة، وستكون الأيام المقبلة مجالاً لظهوره بشكل علني أكثر وضوحاً، وهنا لا بد من التوقّف عند أمور ملفتة أهمها:


أن تعلن الأمانة العامة للأمم المتحدة، المعروفة التبعية والولاء لأميركا، تبعية وصلت إلى حدّ الظن بأن الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة هو أحد موظفي الخارجية الأميركية، من غير الفئة الأولى، أن المجموعات المسلحة في سورية تتلقى السلاح بشكل أساسي من مخازن ليبيا عبر تركيا وشمال لبنان، وهو إعلان ملفت، لانه يحمّل لبنان وتركيا وبشكل مباشر تبعة تسليح الإرهاب في سورية، والكل يعلم موقع هاتين الدولتين في السياسة الأميركية.

ان تسارع «جبهة النصرة» للمبايعة العلنية لأيمن الظواهري – المسؤول الأول في القاعدةباعتباره أميرها، وتأكيد انتمائها البنيوي والعضوي لتنظيم القاعدة التي أعلنت أميركا الحرب عليها باعتبارها رأس الإرهاب في العالم ونظمت ضدها الحملات العسكرية في معرض محاربة الإرهاب، رغم ان الحقيقة التي اعترفت بها أميركا نفسها، انها هي من أسّس ونظم واستعمل هذا التنظيم القائم على الفكر التكفيري الإقصائي الإلغائي، واعتمد من أجل تشويه الخط المقاوم المستند إلى الفكر الإسلامي الحركي الإنساني، فاعتمدت القاعدة لخلط المقاومة بالارهاب الذي يمارس ضد الإنسان – اي إنسان لا يكون من أتباع هذا الفكر ما يبرر قتاله. فأميركا أسست تنظيم القاعدة، وأعلنت الحرب عليه، والآن تلحق «النصرة» بالقاعدة لتكون أيضا مشمولة نظرياً بالحرب الأميركية، ما يبرر تراجع علني لأميركا عن دعمها في سورية.

ان يستدعي أوباما ثنائي تنفيذ العدوان على سورية بوجهه الميداني والاعلامي والتمويلي ( قطر وتركيا) بعد شهر واحد من الانطلاق في تنفيذ خطته المعروفة بـ»خطة أوباما»، التي شاءها صاحبها ان تكون الرصاصة الأخيرة القاتلة لسورية، والتي تمكنه من إحياء المشروع الأميركي في المنطقة، استدعاء واكبته الصحافة الغربية والأميركية بحديث عن ضيق وغضب ولوم أميركي للأدوات التنفيذية، بسبب عجزها عن توفير فرص النجاح المطلوب للخطة التدميرية الأميركية.

ان يحقق الجيش السوري إنجازات ميدانية مذهلة في مناطق دمشق ودير الزور وحمص وإدلب، إنجازات صعقت المعتدين، وجعلت العاقل منهم يعيد الحسابات في جدوى المتابعة ودفعت آخرين من أرباب القتل والإجرام والإرهاب إلى شن العمليات الإرهابية الانتحارية التي استهدفت المدنيين في دمشق وادلب. ب. يحصل كل ذلك، في ظل رسم خريطة للمسلحين في سورية تظهر أحجامهم وأوزانهم، كما حدّدت او روّجت الجهات الغربية المعنية بالصراع الكوني على سورية، خريطة أظهرت ان هذه الجماعات تعمل تحت عناوين عدّة، وهي:

تنظيمات جماعة الإخوان المسلمين: وهي صاحبة المشروع الرئيسي في الأزمة السورية، والتي تتطلع عبر الصفقة المعقودة مع الغرب، للاستيلاء على الحكم، وقد سارعت هذه الجماعة إلى عسكرة الحراك السوري المناهض للنظام وأطلقت الخلايا المسلحة وأنشأت الكتائب والألوية والأفواج تحت تسميات إسلامية شتى، لكنها لم تصل في قدراتها إلى السيطرة العسكرية المحكمة على اي منطقة في سورية، ولا يقدّر لها ذلك، حتى ولو طال الأمر لسنوات إضافية عدّة. جبهة النصرة: وهي الأكثر تنظيما، وأفرادها هم الأكثر شراسة واحترافا واستماتة في القتال، وهي التي استطاعت ان تجمع في صفوفها مسلحين نسبتهم الغالبة من غير السوريين، وبالتالي فانها لا تملك حظوظاً او فرصاً حقيقية للوصول إلى السلطة وتقديم البديل عن النظام السوري القائم. فهي جماعات تستطيع ان تقتل وتدمّر ولكنها لا يمكن ان تحكم. الجيش السوري الحر: وهو عنوان فضفاض، تعمل تحته جماعات وخلايا غير مترابطة ولا تتبع لقيادة واحدة وكفاءاتها القتالية محدودة، ومعظم أفراد هذا الجيش من غير العسكريين (العسكريون لا يتعدون نسبة الـ 15 %)، وبالتالي فإن فرص نجاحه في الوصول إلى السلطة محدودة جدا، لا بل يمكن القول بان الواقع والمتغيرات الميدانية والدولية لا تترك له مجالا للتفكير بوضع اليد على الحكم وجلّ ما يمكنه فعله هو الالتحاق بجماعة الإخوان المسلمين ليكون جزءا من أدواتهم العسكرية في المرحلة السابقة لانتهاء الازمة، وبعد ذلك كل جزء يكون في طريق، ولا يكون لهذا المكون غير المنظم حظ في البقاء والمكاسب.

المسلحون الأكراد: الذين يتسارع تنظيمهم الشعبي، ولكن دون ان يتجاوز مناطقهم، وبالتالي فان سقفهم وطموحهم لا يتعدّى تلك المناطق.

و يبقى المسلحون المحليون الذين استفادوا من اختلال الأمن والاستقرار، فلجأوا إلى السلاح وإقامة الخلايا الإجرامية الصغيرة التي لا همّ لها سوى القيام بأعمال السلب والسطو والنهب وتنفيذ بعض عمليات القتال، وقد توسعت دائرة هؤلاء إلى الحد الذي بات الحديث عن أعداداهم يصل إلى القول بانه يلامس الـ 5000 مسلح ان لم يتعدّه إلى 7000. في ظل هذه الخريطة تدرك أميركا بأن تحقيق أهدافها عبر الحلّ العسكري الإرهابي باتت شبه معدومة، وبان مصلحتها الآن تفرض التهيئة الجدّية لعمل اخر ينقذ مصالحها، عمل لا يكون القتال والإرهاب طريقه الوحيد كما حصل حتى الآن، كما ان أميركا ومن باب الأزمة مع كوريا وتصاعد حدّة السلوك العسكري الروسي، باتت تدرك بان مواقعها في العالم بدأت تتزعزع، وليس سهلا عليها وهي من كانت تمني النفس ان تحكم العالم في نظام أحادي القطبية، ان تضطر لإلغاء إطلاق صاروخ حتى لا تستفز الآخرين وتتسبب بمواجهة لن تكون في مصلحتها على الأقل معنوياً، لكل ذلك نرى بان أميركا هي التي أوعزت بحصول ما ذكر من إعلان ودفعت الأمور إلى هذا المستوى من أجل إنشاء بيئة تمكنها من التراجع عن خطة اوباما، ويشكل مستند تبرير متصل بما تعلنه من حربها على الإرهاب، فهل يكون في هذا الدخان ستار يحجب التراجع الأميركي عن الأنظار، وعملا يفتح الطريق أمام سلوك جدّي صادق تلتزمه أميركا في حزيران المقبل، لوضع قطار الحل السلمي على سكته الآمنة؟

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
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Israel Channel 2 program on Anti-Semitism (must watch)

April 11, 2013

Israel defines itself as the Jewish State, its tanks are decorated with Jewish symbols, it commits crimes against humanity in the name of the Jewish people, and yet, Israeli TV can’t understand why people out there express some anger towards Israel. Zionism or Jews. I can’t make up my mind whether this is tragic or just sad -time is overdue for Israel and Jews to self-reflect.
The TV program fails to define what ‘anti Semitism’ is. It also fails to suggest since when Jews are Semites.

In spite of being an Israeli (Hebrew) TV program, many of the segments are in English.

Interestingly enough, just a year ago, Ethnic Cleanser enthusiast Alan Dershowitz crowned me as the ‘biggest danger to the Jewish people.’ This time I am not mentioned at all. I guess that our Zionist, AZZ and their Palestinian Sabbath Goyim grasped by now that the Anti Semite/Racist label is not going to work with me. I easily survived the smear. They will soon try something new. I can see them working hard.



  

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LEBANON, ARABS AND SYRIA

April 11, 2013
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The Peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis have been set on track and HAMAS is to join these talks . But the collapse of the Syrian regime – expected in order to involve Syria in the peace process after setting aside the Lebanese Resistance- has not happened and the Syrian new government – headed by Ghassan Hitto- does not qualify for representing Syria and engaging in these talks . Some are even expecting this new government to resign. This has caused KSA to disengage itself a little bit from the Syrian involvement especially after the losses the opposition has witnessed on the ground and after the rising of the Qatari influence- – whether in the Arab League or in Tunisia or in Egypt where it is reaping almost all the fruits of the revolutionary spring .

KSA is shunning now the Muslim brothers in Egypt while Qatar has already poured 8 billions in the Egyptian banks to support the Egyptian government of the Brothers . Same goes for other countries where the Saudi role has been somehow marginalized in favor of the Qatari role . For this reason the rush to Lebanon to sponsor a new government to bring the country under Saudi custody and keep away the Qataris who are supposed to start manipulating again their puppet in Saida called Ahmed al Aseer.

On the ground, in Syria, the Syrian army has greatly improved its tactics and now is choosing its own battles and has brought the elite troops to protect Damascus . The Syrians succeeded also in spotting the headquarters of the opposition – where decisions are taken- and many of the officers who have defected, and whose names have been kept secret, have returned to Syria to play an Intelligence role which has boosted the Intelligence capacities of the Syrian Army .

The opposition is losing its support on the ground , and most people who opposed the regime and supported the opposition want order and peace to be restored which the opposition- with its many factions and conflicts- cannot guarantee. The undecided people which still form a majority are now standing with the legal state. .It is worthwhile mentioning that almost a million and half a million Syrians from the country side- mostly working the land- have been displaced , some of them have taken refuge in neighboring countries under very difficult conditions .

The true legal political opposition is not in linked to any fighting group on the ground and is exposing greatly the Muslim Brothers and Nusrat al Qa’ida and the Russians at a loss as whom to address from the opposition to set on the negotiations with the Syrian regime by gathering a group of the opposition who agree on starting unconditional talks with the Syrian authorities as wished by the US administration lately .

Escalation is expected on the Syrian front until the talks scheduled for June between Russia and US. Meanwhile the Jabhat al Nusra in the form of its leader – Abu Muhammad al Joulani – has recognized Ayman al Zawahiri as a leader . Heavy weapons are reaching the opposition among them anti air craft missiles and long ranged missiles .Car explosions are thus expected in major cities arranged by Jabhat al Nusra who coordinates closely with the CIA and was responsible for hitting the Security Syrian Head Quarters last year .

Turkey and Erdogan seem to be the major losers – until now – whereby the understanding with the PKK and Ocalan does not seem to stand and the Kurdish fighters in Turkey have not withdrawn to Kandeel Mountains, in Kurdistan Iraq, as agreed, after giving them freedom to move in the regions on the borders with Turkey in coordination with the opposition.

Information from Journalist Sami Kleib
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SHIPPING DEATH AND DESTRUCTION TO SYRIA

April 11, 2013
Posted on April 10, 2013 by
By Sharmine Narwani

“The weapons of choice in (today’s) new conflicts are not big-ticket items like long-range missiles, tanks, and fighter planes, but small and frighteningly accessible weapons ranging from handguns, carbines, and assault rifles on up to machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and shoulder-fired missiles,” explained William Hartung more than a decade ago in an article entitled The New Business of War.

“Because they are cheap, accessible, durable, and lightweight, small arms have been a primary factor in the transformation of warfare from a series of relatively well- defined battles between ‘two opposing forces wearing uniforms’ to a much more volatile, anarchic form of violence,” says Hartung, now director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy in Washington DC. “More often than not, today’s wars are multisided affairs in which militias, gangs, and self-anointed “rebels” engage in campaigns of calculated terror, civilian targets are fair game, and the laws of war are routinely ignored.”

“The ready availability of small arms makes these conflicts far more likely to occur, far more deadly once they start, and far more difficult to resolve once the death tolls mount and the urge for revenge takes hold.”

Hartung could have been describing Syria today. And no – the anarchic, violent rebels he describes in his article do not appear everywhere else in the world except in Syria. They are the Syrian prototype.
Tens of thousands of Syrians killed, millions displaced as a result of violence in their direct environment. Would these figures be so wretched if there were no armed rebellion? Most certainly, no.

Since early 2012, the Syrian death toll has increased at least tenfold as rebel supply lines opened up, borders became more porous and the militarization of the conflict was accepted in the mainstream.
The more protracted a conflict, the increased likelihood that a “culture of violence” will develop, further contributing to illegal and dangerous behaviors that most often target vulnerable civilian populations and cause a general breakdown in human rights conditions.

Says security expert Edward Mogire, the “proliferation and easy availability” of these weapons “exacerbate the degree of violence by increasing the lethality and duration of hostilities, and encouraging violent rather than peaceful resolutions of differences.”

Sending weapons? Forget about that peace plan then.

So what’s stopping regional and international players from slapping a total arms embargo on Syria to prevent more death and destruction? Russian President Vladimir Putin, an ally of the Syrian government, last week again called for a halt to weapon flows “to all sides of the conflict.”

Yet calls to increase weapons to Syria’s disparate militias still continue every day from other members of the UN’s Security Council. France, the UK and the US (FUKUS) – who claim they do not directly arm the rebels – have collectively provided hundreds of millions of dollars in “non-lethal assistance” to – er – make them more lethal.

Hiding behind a much-touted public posture of “non-intervention,” all three have in fact “intervened” militarily in the Syrian conflict – from training rebel forces, to providing them with military intelligence in preparation for battle, to actually coordinating and transporting weapons into the hands of militiamen.

Washington’s laughable excuse for helping transport weapons into the highly volatile Syrian military theater is that “other states would arm the rebels anyhow.” Whines one US official to the New York Times: “These countries were going to do it one way or another…they weren’t asking for a ‘Mother, may I?’ from us.”

Thought: You could sanction them, instead of helping them load the truck.

“They” are ostensibly Qatar and Saudi Arabia, two thoroughly undemocratic Islamist regimes who are aggressively vying for the upper-hand in the Syrian rebellion by channeling money and weapons into the hands of their preferred rebels. Washington has military bases – official and secret – in both countries, and therefore an awful lot of leverage.

The FUKUS states like this setup. First, they get to maintain a sliver of deniability for weaponizing Syria. Second, all three western states are bankrupt on paper and have recalibrated their 21st century military strategies to utilize third parties to fight irregular wars against political foes.

FUKUS is fully aware that these weapons transfers are contributing to death, destruction and displacement inside Syria. They are ranking members of NATO, which says the following about the dangers of weaponizing conflicts:

“The illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) has a detrimental impact on regional security, fueling and prolonging existing conflicts thereby destabilising regions and exacerbating international security. Many of the security threats that we face today as organisations, states and regions can be linked to the pervasive problem of illicit SALW. Terrorists, organised criminal gangs, insurgents and even pirates, often find their crimes much easier to commit due to easy access to these weapons.”

Breaking out of the “Revolution Trance”

Two years into the Syrian conflict, there are no signs of “popular, peaceful protests” against the government of Bashar al-Assad. At this point, there’s little point in arguing whether there ever was significant enough opposition to unseat Assad through mass protest – a feature of other successful Arab uprisings.

Today, the only players inside Syria to present any kind of sustained, effective opposition front are armed rebels. Neither the domestic nor external Syrian non-military opposition play a major role in anyone’s calculations, except for rubber-stamping some political decisions.

Many opposition activists, who have nowhere else to turn in their quest to unseat Assad, still uncomfortably rally behind the rebels as their last shot to affect regime-change. But the fact is that there would be no sustained rebellion without massive direct assistance from foreign nations.
Is there a “revolution” when the entire Opposition-Operation is coordinated on the Jordanian and Turkish borders, orchestrated from Doha, and funded by the Americans, Saudis, British, French, Qataris and other smaller players?

No, of course not.

The Syrian “revolution” – whatever many intended for it to be – is one large foreign-backed regime-change special op. With all the various interests vying for dominance inside this space, it is no surprise that the “rebellion” has disintegrated into violence and chaos.

Even in early 2011, it was obvious that regime-change would need some help in Syria. From the first weeks, gunmen shot out at security forces from within peaceful protests; snipers targeted vulnerable civilians in areas where these deaths would have maximum impact; groups of armed men attacked army checkpoints, on and off-duty security forces, and pro-government civilians.

The first external observers in Syria – the Arab League – saw rebel groups bombing civilian and military targets, pipelines, infrastructure. The next lot of monitors – from the United Nations – warned rebels to desist in their looting, destruction of public and private property, assassinations, kidnappings and vandalism.

It took a very long time to concede that there are foreign jihadists in the battle – a story that went from “regime lies!” to “there are only a handful” to “yes, okay, a few dozen” to “thousands” today.
We recognize that the majority of the militias are ideologically Islamist, with an increasing number declaring their partiality to sharia law and an Islamic state in secular Syria.
We see with ever increasing frequency that rebel groups are carrying out crimes against humanity: summary executions, torture, kidnappings, human shielding – but we caveat it with “not as much as the regime,” although we have no independent measure of this.

Since 2011, Syria has seen armed militias entering villages, towns and cities that are not their own and stripping them bare. Shops are shuttered in these areas, remnants of burned vehicles dot the roads, factories are looted and the spoils of war are sold off to purchase more supplies – or for profit. Revolution isn’t what all of them are after. Some seek their own turf; others want power, money.
You’ve seen the videos of these militias. Unlike in 2011, these are now verifiable rebel videos – they have their own websites and they film their own atrocities. You wouldn’t want them in your town.
We can’t even really get to know them well, such is their fondness for militia-musical-chairs, which they play every time an opportunity arises to trade-up to better-funded, better-armed groups. This fluidity gives us pause – there’s also no way to track their weapons.

Question: Are there any decent rebels out there at all? Answer: Who cares? Weaponization is Syria’s biggest enemy – the bane of all Syrians today. Weaponization is the single biggest factor contributing to the escalation of violence in this conflict and, more importantly, is the single biggest factor precluding its peaceful resolution.

Good guys? Wrong question. On the same day that US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that there were “moderates” among the militias, America’s top military man shot him down:

“About six months ago, we had a very opaque understanding of the opposition and now I would say it’s even more opaque,” said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. “I don’t think at this point I can see a military option that would create an understandable outcome,” he cautioned, adding that Syria presented “the most complex set of issues that anyone could ever conceive, literally.”

Unless, of course, one wanted to foment a protracted, destabilizing conflict to split Syria into pieces and ensure even more chaos. With no guarantees about the flow and exchange of deadly weapons inside the country, Syria would be a classic war with no end:

“Guns rarely go silent after wars end,” said Human Rights Watch in a report on weapons in the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq. “To the contrary, the widespread availability of small arms in many post-conflict countries has greatly added to the death toll. Particularly where security is weak, former combatants have not been disarmed, and abusive actors have not been held accountable for past behavior, a situation of lawlessness can emerge where civilians are at grave risk.”

Next week, a number of states backing a military solution inside Syria will meet to ramp up the conflict – the US, Turkey, France, UK, Jordan, the UAE, Germany, Italy, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. On the table is a discussion to send further weapons into Syria.

Why? To protect civilians, to stop the humanitarian crisis, to stem the refugee problem, of course.
 

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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.

 

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Israel Favors Qaeda over Assad: Regime will not Fall Soon

April 11, 2013
Local Editor
 
Israel ruled out on Tuesday that the Syrian regime would fall anytime soon, pointing out that Israel did not favor Bashar Al-Assad over Al-Qaeda, as the first formed an “axis of extreme evilness”.

Amos GiladSpeaking to Yedioth Ahronoth, Head of the Diplomatic-Security Bureau in the Zionist Defense Ministry, Amos Gilad, indicated that the “deterioration in Syria has allowed groups such as Al-Qaeda to establish itself in the country,” yet highlighted that he did not favor Assad because he is in an “axis of extreme evil.”

On the Zionist entity’s relation with Turkey, Gilad considered that “reconciliation agreement” between both parts was important due to “Iran’s nuclear situation”.

“Turkey has been enemies with Iran or Persia for 1,000 years; it (Turkey) cannot allow them to arm themselves with nuclear weapons. Turkey is not ready for Iran to go nuclear,” Gilad told the Zionist daily.

The “Israeli” official further emphasized that “even if Israel’s relations with Turkey did not return to their previous level, the importance of the reconciliation agreement was in that it stopped the deterioration of relations between the two countries.”

Source: Israeli Media
11-04-2013 – 15:16 Last updated 11-04-2013 – 15:16

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World Alarmed over N.Korea Missile Launch, Pyongyang Slams Seoul Policies

April 11, 2013
Local Editor
 
North Korea kept the world on edge Thursday over an expected rocket launch, as Pyongyang said that Seoul’s confrontation policies were responsible for the closure of Kaesong joint industrial zone.
South Korean intelligence says the North has prepared two mid-range missiles for imminent launch from its east coaNorth Koreast.

Although Pyongyang has not announced any launch, many observers expected it will take place during the build-up to the April 15 birthday for late founder Kim Il-Sung.

State media said foreign delegations had already begun arriving in Pyongyang for the event, which is one of the most important dates on the North’s calendar.
The missile launch may also coincide with some high-profile visits to South Korea, with both US Secretary of State John Kerry and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Seoul on Friday.

Yonhap news agency quoted military sources as saying the North was moving multiple missiles around in an apparent bid to confuse outside intelligence-gatherers about its intentions.

INTERNATIONAL ACTIONS

“North Korea… with its bellicose rhetoric, its actions, has been skating very close to a dangerous line,” US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday.

“Our country is fully prepared to deal with any contingency, any action that North Korea may take or any provocation that they may instigate,” Hagel added.

The South Korea-US Combined Forces Command has raised its “Watchcon” status from 3 to 2 to reflect indications of a “vital threat”, while the South’s national police force has also beSouth Korea USen placed on “heightened terror alert.”

The North last week told foreign diplomats in Pyongyang they had until April 10 to consider evacuation, and followed that with a similar warning to foreigners in South Korea to get out ahead of a possible “thermo-nuclear” war.

The European Union said the seven EU countries with embassies in North Korea saw no need to leave, and added that it saw no risk to EU citizens in the South.

“If foreigners plan to visit this country… they will meet no problems whatsoever,” said South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-Young.

For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned against heating up the crisis, and stressed that Moscow and Washington were cooperating closely.

“On North Korea we have no differences with the United States,” Lavrov told journalists after meeting John Kerry on the sidelines of a G8 foreign minister’s meeting in London.

“One just shouldn’t scare anyone with military manoeuvres and there’s a chance that everything will calm down,” Lavrov said.

“CONFRONTATION POLICIES”

Meanwhile on Thursday, North Korea renewed a threat to permanently close its Kaesong joint industrial zone with South KorNorth Korea South Koreaea, blaming the “confrontation” policies of the South’s new president, Park Geun-Hye.

“Needless to say Kaesong industrial district will cease to exist should the Park Geun-Hye regime continue pursuing confrontation,” the North’s Bureau for Central Guidance to the Development of the Special Zone said.
“The current powerholder in the South can never be able to shake off responsibility for having Kaesong, which survived even the traitor Lee Myung-Bak’s term in office, all but closed,” a bureau spokesman said.

Pyongyang announced the withdrawal of its 53,000 workers and the suspension of operations at Kaesong at the beginning of this week, as military tensions on the Korean peninsula soar.

President Park, who was sworn in at the end of February, described the move as “very disappointing” and warned the North it would severely impact the trust of future investors.

Source: Agencies
11-04-2013 – 13:37 Last updated 11-04-2013 – 13:37

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UN REPORT HIGHLIGHTS FLOW OF WEAPONS FROM LIBYA, ACROSS TURKEY TO SYRIA

April 11, 2013

Posted on April 10, 2013 by

UN Report Stresses Flow of Weapons from Libya to Terrorists in Syria across Turkey and Northern Lebanon

Apr 10, 2013

UNITED NATIONS, (SANA)- In a new proof added to the group of media reports which unveiled the involvement of Arab and foreign sides in arming the terrorist groups in Syria, a UN report stressed that Libya had become a key source of weapons in the region.

The report, which was made by the UN Security Council’s group of experts, who monitor an arms embargo imposed on Libya in 2011, stressed that the arm shipments which had been organized from various locations in Libya, including Misrata and Benghazi, were transferred to Syria via Turkey and northern Lebanon.

The report said that the significant size of some shipments and logistics involved suggest that representatives of the Libyan local authorities might at least have been aware of these shipments, if they were not directly involved, Reuters stressed according to the UN report published on Tuesday.

The report added that weapons spreading from Libya at an “alarming rate” fueling the war in Syria, Mali and other countries and enhancing the arsenals of extremists and the criminal gangs in the region.

‘Illicit flows from Libya are fuelling the existing conflicts in Africa and the Levant and enhancing the arsenals of a huge number of non-state groups, including terrorist groups”, the report said.

In the same context, several media reports unveiled operations on supplying terrorist groups in Syria with weapons to hinder the political solution based on dialogue, among which what the American republican senator Rand Paul has admitted last February on sending a shipment of weapons from Libya to Syria under US supervision.

Some reports stressed that the Croatian capital, Zagreb had turned into a crossing to the weapons and arms to the terrorist groups in Syria.

Another reports held Washington and its allies responsible for training terrorists in camps in Jordan.

H. Zain/ R. Milhem
 

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