The regional and international standoff headed by Saudi Arabia against Qatar is not going to be resolved anytime soon. What does the simmering crisis mean? And why has Donald Trump taken the Saudi side? CrossTalking with Sharmine Narwani, Mohammed Cherkaoui, and Foad Izadi.
What are we to make of Hillary Clinton's emails, recently revealed by Wikileaks? Here we examine the first two that were released. "In my view Clinton is as mad as a cut snake. You will see through these documents that the emphasis is entirely on Israel's interests, not America's, and whatever she thinks they are not the same. Of course she is completely in the hands of the Zionist lobby, as was Australia's recent Prime Minister Gillard, who lent her services to the Clinton campaign. But then Clinton is in the hands of anyone with money and the power to swing votes. She talks of Israel's security dilemma. Well, that's a good one: a state with an estimated 200-400 nuclear weapons (yes, a couple would be enough) facing states without even one has a security dilemma? ..." (Earth to Earth, Turkey.)
Mad as a cut snake?
Earth to Earth, writes about Hillary's emails:
"In my view Clinton is as mad as a cut snake. You will see through these documents that the emphasis is entirely on Israel's interests, not America's, and whatever she thinks they are not the same. Of course she is completely in the hands of the Zionist lobby, as was Australia's recent Prime Minister Gillard, who lent her services to the Clinton campaign. But then Clinton is in the hands of anyone with money and the power to swing votes. She talks of Israel's security dilemma. Well, that's a good one: a state with an estimated 200-400 nuclear weapons (yes, a couple would be enough) facing states without even one has a security dilemma?
She talks of trading off Syria for Iran, i.e. if the United States removes Bashar al-Assad then Israel might not attack Iran. We know this is what both Israel and Saudi Arabia were encouraging in the time of the Bush administration. They wanted the U.S. to do it. Can anyone imagine what the consequences would be of military strikes on live nuclear reactors?
Yet here Clinton talks of such a war as if it's something on the supermarket shelf she can't decide whether to pick up. In the second email, she talks of U.S. reluctance to launch an air war on Syria. In fact that is exactly what it wanted, but was blocked by Russia. (Thank heavens!) Never mind, says Clinton, we can do it without the U.N. and Russia won't object.
This is total crap. From the word go, it was clear that Russia had far too much invested in Syria, in the preservation of a government chosen by the Syrian people and in the preservation of its own regional and global strategic concerns, to let Syria go. Clinton thinks the U.S. could just walk in and bomb the Syrian air force into submission. This was never going to happen and clearly someone with more sense than Clinton prevailed. She says that Syria is not like Libya, where the 'opposition' was unified (I think this is the word she uses.) Again, crap. There was never any Libyan opposition strong enough to fight any further than the municipal limits of Benghazi. The 'rebels' were the window dressing for the full scale air assault by the U.S., Britain and France. At no stage were they unified. These emails at least help us to understand why Clinton could be the/one of the most dangerous U.S. presidents ever elected. Don't forget her threat to obliterate Iran if it attacks Israel (never likely - it would be the other way around but geared to look like an Iranian attack or a preemptive Israeli attack) and don't forget her threat of a few days ago, to renew the war on Syria and destroy Assad. Where we started we finish: this is exactly what Israel wants and there is absolutely nothing in it for the U.S. How shocking is it that the mainstream media has closed ranks behind this lying, corrupt and very dangerous person and has launched the most vicious campaign I have ever seen against a presidential candidate, Donald Trump." (Earth to Earth, Turkey)
WMDs all over again
Iran has been inspected and reinspected for nuclear weapons, revealing none, like the weapons of mass destructionn (WMDs) that did not exist in Iraq, but these two emails from Hillary Clinton (recently available by Wikileaks) reveal a focus on the idea that Iran may develop nuclear weapons capability. Israel is not officially supposed to have nuclear weapons, but Mordechai Vanunu, a former Israeli nuclear technician and peace activist revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986. In Hillary Clinton's emails below, which were written in 2012, she operates on the premise that Israel has nuclear weapons and that the United States approves of this and wants Israel to maintain nuclear hegemony in the region. She sees solidarity between Iran and Syria as inimical to this state of affairs, reflecting the US claim that Iran aims to develop nuclear weapons as a deterrent to Israel bossing the region around. She says, "The result would be a precarious nuclear balance in which Israel could not respond to provocations with conventional military strikes on Syria and Lebanon, as it can today." Of course its Arab enemies accuse Israel itself of provocation and Israel has a history of acts of terrorism. Hillary Clinton also suggests that, if Iran got nuclear weapons then Saudi Arabia might expect nuclear weapons. But that hasn't stopped the United States supplying Saudi Arabia with every other kind of weapon, as its top world customer.
Casual promotion of mayhem
In order to prevent the mooted scenario of an independent Arab state catching up with Israel, Clinton recommends destroying the relationship between Syria and Iran by destroying the Syrian government by promoting a civil war. Well we now know the result of Hillary's preferred policy has been mayhem in Syria and Iraq, spreading all the way to Europe in the largest wave of refugees since the second world war. Clinton gives her opinion that if Iran were to get nuclear weapons it could use them as a deterrent to Israel's military threats in the region, yet she also reveals that she believes that Israel is on the point of "launching an attack on Iran that could provoke a major Mideast war". [Ed. This email was written some time in May 2012 and Israel has not engaged in nuclear attacks on the region yet.]
Poor predictability of her policies and failure to see their consequences
She also claims that Russia would not "stand in the way" if the [United States] were to intervene in Syria (meaning stoke war there). But she is writing some time in May 2012 and Putin only became Russian president in May 2012. (Relatedly, Clinton also reveals that she knew the US had stirred the pot in Kosovo.) These emails are now about four years and a few months old. Since Hillary wrote them, we have seen that Russia finally did intervene in Syria, although it stayed out of that fight for as long as possible. It unwisely failed to veto US interference in Libya, but the consequences of US/NATO intervention in Libya were so horrible that it became unlikely that Putin would go along with such a thing again. US interference in Ukraine put Russia in a position where it had to draw a line as it became clear that the US was surrounding Russia with military bases and attempting, through NATO, to alienate Russia's allies and trade partners.
It seems that Hillary's United States wants to use Israel to promote its own interests in the Middle East but this would go against Russia's and Arab interests, with the exception of Arab states, such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which have aligned with Israel and the United States/NATO. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are financing religious terrorism (ISIS and others) against Syria, Iraq and Libya. Turkey, led by a pro-Muslim Brotherhood president, was seen as a US/NATO ally and was benefiting by buying cheap oil through ISIS but it relies a lot on trade with Russia and recently has apologised to Russia for shooting down a Russian plane.
Hillary advocates for the most brutal regimes, not against them
Hillary's reductionist descriptions of the presidents of the only two secular states in the Middle East - Libya (now destroyed by US/NATO) and Syria - as brutal dictators - are being used to justify her recommendation of US intervention to create civil wars all over the Middle East and to destroy Syria and isolate Iran. Going into the future, towards this scenario, Saudi Arabia has been allowed to maintain among the most brutal regimes on the planet, with total subjugation of women as slaves; it has been allowed to engage in genocidal war in Yemen, not only with impunity, but Mr Trad, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador at the UN in Geneva, was elected as chair of a panel of independent experts on the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014. Meanwhile Ms Clinton is part of a U.S./NATO wolf-pack that pretends to be 'intervening' in the Middle East to rid it of 'brutal dictators'.
Where Trump seeks dialogue, Clinton wants war
What can we make of these emails, of the woman who wrote them, of the country that she represented as Secretary of State, of her candidacy for its president? For what reason should the world allow Israel to defend its position and call the shots in the region, on behalf of non-regional players who are interested in controlling the region's oil and challenging Russia and China's interests in the region? It seems obvious that Israel must share some of its territory with a new Arab state called Palestine, sooner or later, and disarm its nuclear stores. It seems obvious that the United States should establish good relations with Russia, which could help balance out expansionary ideas in China or for a caliphate in a damaged Middle East, instead of ramping up its military displays in Europe and pushing at Russia's borders.
And here are Hillary Clinton's emails:
Email from Hillary Clinton: UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05794498 Date: 11/30/2015 RELEASE IN FULL
The best way to help Israel deal with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.
Negotiations to limit Iran's nuclear program will not solve Israel's security dilemma. Nor will they stop Iran from improving the crucial part of any nuclear weapons program — the capability to enrich uranium. At best, the talks between the world's major powers and Iran that began in Istanbul this April and will continue in Baghdad in May will enable Israel to postpone by a few months a decision whether to launch an attack on Iran that could provoke a major Mideast war.
Iran's nuclear program and Syria's civil war may seem unconnected, but they are. For Israeli leaders, the real threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is not the prospect of an insane Iranian leader launching an unprovoked Iranian nuclear attack on Israel that would lead to the annihilation of both countries. What Israeli military leaders really worry about -- but cannot talk about -- is losing their nuclear monopoly. An Iranian nuclear weapons capability would not only end that nuclear monopoly but could also prompt other adversaries, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to go nuclear as well. The result would be a precarious nuclear balance in which Israel could not respond to provocations with conventional military strikes on Syria and Lebanon, as it can today.
If Iran were to reach the threshold of a nuclear weapons state, Tehran would find it much easier to call on its allies in Syria and Hezbollah to strike Israel, knowing that its nuclear weapons would serve as a deterrent to Israel responding against Iran itself.
Back to Syria. It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel's security — not through a direct attack, which in the thirty years of hostility between Iran and Israel has never occurred, but through its proxies in Lebanon, like Hezbollah, that are sustained, armed and trained by Iran via Syria. The end of the Assad regime would end this dangerous alliance. Israel's leadership understands well why defeating Assad is now in its interests. Speaking on CNN's Amanpour show last week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak argued that "the toppling down of Assad will be a major blow to the radical axis, major blow to Iran.... It's the only kind of outpost of the Iranian influence in the Arab world...and it will weaken dramatically both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza."
Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel's security, it would also ease Israel's understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly. Then, Israel and the United States might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that military action could be warranted. Right now, it is the combination of Iran's strategic alliance with Syria and the steady progress in Iran's nuclear enrichment program that has led Israeli leaders to contemplate a surprise attack — if necessary over the objections of Washington. With Assad gone, and Iran no longer able to threaten Israel through its, proxies, it is possible that the United States and Israel can agree on red lines for when Iran's program has crossed an unacceptable threshold. In short, the White House can ease the tension that has developed with Israel over Iran by doing the right thing in Syria.
The rebellion in Syria has now lasted more than a year. The opposition is not going away, nor is the regime going to accept a diplomatic solution from the outside. With his life and his family at risk, only the threat or use of force will change the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's mind.
Email from Hillary Clinton: UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05794498 Date: 11/30/2015
The Obama administration has been understandably wary of engaging in an air operation in Syria like the one conducted in Libya for three main reasons. Unlike the Libyan opposition forces, the Syrian rebels are not unified and do not hold territory. The Arab League has not called for outside military intervention as it did in Libya. And the Russians are opposed.
Libya was an easier case. But other than the laudable purpose of saving Libyan civilians from likely attacks by Qaddafi's regime, the Libyan operation had no long-lasting consequences for the region. Syria is harder. But success in Syria would be a transformative event for the Middle East. Not only would another ruthless dictator succumb to mass opposition on the streets, but the region would be changed for the better as Iran would no longer have a foothold in the Middle East from which to threaten Israel and undermine stability in the region.
Unlike in Libya, a successful intervention in Syria would require substantial diplomatic and military leadership from the United States. Washington should start by expressing its willingness to work with regional allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to organize, train and arm Syrian rebel forces. The announcement of such a decision would, by itself, likely cause substantial defections from the Syrian military. Then, using territory in Turkey and possibly Jordan, U.S. diplomats and Pentagon officials can start strengthening the opposition. It will take time. But the rebellion is going to go on for a long time, with or without U.S. involvement.
The second step is to develop international support for a coalition air operation. Russia will never support such a mission, so there is no point operating through the UN Security Council. Some argue that U.S. involvement risks a wider war with Russia. But the Kosovo example shows otherwise. In that case, Russia had genuine ethnic and political ties to the Serbs, which don't exist between Russia and Syria, and even then Russia did little more than complain.
Russian officials have already acknowledged they won't stand in the way if intervention comes.
Arming the Syrian rebels and using western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and airplanes is a low-cost high payoff approach. As long as Washington's political leaders stay firm that no U.S. ground troops will be deployed, as they did in both Kosovo and Libya, the costs to the United States will be limited. Victory may not come quickly or easily, but it will come. And the payoff will be substantial. Iran would be strategically isolated, unable to exert its influence in the Middle East. The resulting regime in Syria will see the United States as a friend, not an enemy. Washington would gain substantial recognition as fighting for the people in the Arab world, not the corrupt regimes. For Israel, the rationale for a bolt from the blue attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would be eased. And a new Syrian regime might well be open to early action on the frozen peace talks with Israel. Hezbollah in Lebanon would be cut off from its Iranian sponsor since Syria would no longer be a transit point for Iranian training, assistance and missiles. All these strategic benefits and the prospect of saving thousands of civilians from
murder at the hands of the Assad regime (10,000 have already been killed in this first year of civil war).
With the veil of fear lifted from the Syrian people, they seem determine to fight for their freedom. America can and should help them — and by doing so help Israel and help reduce the risk of a wider war.
Wikileaks has launched a searchable archive for 30,322 emails & email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was Secretary of State.
 Mordechai Vanunu (Hebrew: מרדכי ואנונו; born 14 October 1954), also known as John Crossman,#cite_note-2">#cite_note-3"> is an Israeli former nuclear technician and peace activist#cite_note-4"> who, citing his opposition to weapons of mass destruction, revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986.#cite_note-nyt2004-5">#cite_note-6"> He was subsequently lured to Italy by a Mossad agent, where he was drugged and abducted by Israeli intelligence agents.#cite_note-nyt2004-5"> He was transported to Israel and ultimately convicted in a trial that was held behind closed doors.#cite_note-nyt2004-5">
Vanunu spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 in solitary confinement. Released from prison in 2004, he became subject to a broad array of restrictions on his speech and movement. Since then he has been arrested several times for violations of those restrictions, including giving various interviews to foreign journalists and attempting to leave Israel. He says he suffered "cruel and barbaric treatment" at the hands of Israeli authorities while imprisoned, and suggests that his treatment would have been different if he had not converted to Christianity from Judaism.#cite_note-7">
In 2007, Vanunu was sentenced to six months in prison for violating terms of his parole. The sentence was considered unusual even by the prosecution who expected a suspended sentence. In response, Amnesty International issued a press release on 2 July 2007, stating that "The organisation considers Mordechai Vanunu to be a prisoner of conscience and calls for his immediate and unconditional release."#cite_note-8"> In May 2010, Vanunu was arrested and sentenced to three months in jail on a charge that he met foreigners in violation of conditions of his 2004 release from jail.
Vanunu has been characterized internationally as a whistleblower#cite_note-9">#cite_note-10"> and by Israel as a traitor.#cite_note-11">#cite_note-12">#cite_note-13"> Daniel Ellsberg has referred to him as "the preeminent hero of the nuclear era".#cite_note-14"> Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordechai_Vanunu
See also: Kennedy, the Lobby and the bomb, previously published (2/5/2013) on VoltaireNet. (As of 6/8/2016, images are missing from the candobetter.net republication, so, at least, until this fixed, we recommend that you read the original Voltaire Net version.)
 http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/terrorism.html See also re the attack on the USS Liberty in 1967:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRZSzdQuOqM. http://www.globalresearch.ca/israels-history-of-chemical-weapons-use/5352003
 In 2015 Saudi Arabia was the world's biggest importer of weapons and the top recipient of American-made arms from 2011-2015, followed closely by the United Arab Emirates, according to research compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which has been analyzing international arms transfers since 1968. See http://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/24/politics/us-arms-sales-worldwide/
 The Syrian President, as Gaddafi did until recently, presides over a secular state. He does not want a caliphate. But the United States and Israel are promoting all the extreme groups and leaders in the Middle East who do want a caliphate to restore something akin to the Ottoman Empire, which relied on slavery for its administration and succession. Iran, although a Muslim state, presents a bulwark against Wahabism (Saudi Arabia's religion, which condones mass slavery). Iran did not have the same tradition of mass slavery as the rest of the Ottoman Empire. Farazmand, Ali (1998) “Persian/Iranian Administrative Tradition”, in Jay M. Shafritz (Editor), International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp 1640–1645 – Excerpt: "Persians never practiced mass slavery, and in many cases the situations and lives of semi-slaves (prisoners of war) were in fact better than the common citizens of Persia." (pg 1642). Cited in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Iran#cite_note-1 This article describes the aims of a caliphate. http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/261264/its-not-isis-we-need-beat-its-caliphate-daniel-greenfield
Those rightly outraged at the murder of Tori Johnson and the death of Katrina Dawson on 16 December at the end of the Martin Place siege and at the murder of 11 people on 7 January 2015 in Paris by terrorists (see #appendix1">embedded Syrian Girl video) should also contemplate the fact that, since March 2011, the people of Syria have suffered terrorism on a scale which is vastly greater than these two tragedies. Since March 2011, they have faced an invasion by hordes of foreign terrorists coming from almost every corner of the globe and not just the Arab world. These invaders have been paid for and supplied by the United States, its European allies and its allies amongst the Arab dictatorships including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. So far, over 200,000 Syrians have been killed at the hands of these terrorists. As a consequence, the Syrian government has demanded of the United Nations act against the terrorists' sponsors.
The article below was previous published in SANA (12/4/15).
Damascus, SANA – Syria demanded deterrent measures by the United Nations against the terrorist organizations and the states backing and sponsoring them.
The Syrian demand was expressed in two identical letters which the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry addressed to Chairman of the UN Security Council and UN Secretary General on Sunday.
It was prompted by the bloody terrorist rocket attacks which hit Aleppo city yesterday, leaving heavy casualties of at least 19 civilians dead and scores of others wounded and causing massive material damage.
The new crime, the letters said, came as a response from the regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Jordan to the "important" outcomes that were reached at the latest Moscow inter-Syrian talks.
In their "clear message" delivered by their agents of the so-called "moderate opposition", those regimes have sought to foil any political solution that could be reached by the Syrians themselves without foreign interference, the letters added.
The Foreign Ministry dismissed the claim of those and other countries of them sending "non-lethal" weapons to the terrorists, stressing that a new type of destructive weapons seemed to have been used in Aleppo attack.
Several four-story buildings were completely demolished, falling on their inhabitants’ heads, according to the letters.
The Ministry blamed the continuation of terrorist acts on those countries which have not ceased providing direct support to the Takfiri terrorist organizations, including the notorious Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra, in addition to the so-called "Free Army", "Islam Army", "Islamic Front", "Liwa al-Fateh", "Ahrar al-Sham Movement", "Al-Ansar Front", etc.
Striking out at this continued support, the Ministry said the terrorist organizations would not have been capable of launching such bloody attacks, was it not for those countries shielding these organizations against punishment and continuing to supply them with weapons and explosives.
It named France, Britain, Jordan and the US as accomplices in backing the terrorists.
The Ministry demanded a Security Council non-politicized action towards enforcing counterterrorism resolutions in deeds not only in words.
The Security Council, it said, is also called upon to cooperate and coordinate with the Syrian government, which "has been combating terrorism for years on behalf of the entire world people."
The Syria government, the Ministry said, stresses dodged determination to continue fighting terrorism in Syria and defend its people by virtue of its constitutional responsibilities.
#appendix1" id="appendix1">Appendix 1: "The Charlie Hebdo Attacks Exposed" by the Syrian Girl
#related" id="related">Appendix 2: Other related articles
Land Destroyer | Syria: America's Democratic Terrorists? (10/4/15), VoltaireNet | Western wars have killed four million Muslims since 1990 (11/4/15), Global Research | Syria at the UN: US, Britain, France, Jordan Refuse to Name ISIL as “Separate Terror Group" (11/4/15), Global Research | Syria: "Al-Qaeda Linked Rebels" Are Al-Qaeda (13/4/15), Global Research | Israel moves to Cover-up its alliance with al-Qaeda in Syria (14/4/15), PressTV | Turkey, Saudis to form anti-Syria military alliance: Report (14/4/15).
Syrian Fee Press | Israeli [occupation] army admits aiding al-Qaeda in Syria (12/4/15) – Asa Winstanley. Whilst informative it dismisses some 'conspiracy theories' about the Syrian conflict:
Popular conspiracy theories have it that al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” (also known as DAESH, ISIS or ISIL) are Israeli- and/or US-intelligence creations.
While there’s no evidence for that, it’s certainly true that the US-UK invasion of Iraq in 2003, and its consciously sectarian occupation regime of the country thereafter, created the conditions in which al-Qaeda in Iraq (later known as ISIS) was formed and thrived. Veteran journalist Patrick Cockburn demonstrates this most convincingly in his essential new book The Rise of Islamic State, which I have previously lauded here.
From my recent viewing of some of the articles about the Syria conflict to which Asa seems to be referring, a conspiracy by the United States and its allies to set up ISIS as a bogus extremist 'anti-west' army to undermine popular domestic opposition to war seems to be a highly plausible explanation of the recent course of events. However, having read these words by Asa Winstanley, I will have to re-examine these articles more closely.
Another irritating feature of this article and so much other material which otherwise seems to be strongly opposed to the United States' planned aggression against Syria, is its insistence on labeling of the Syrian government a 'regime' :
Hizballah (my spelling is 'Hezbollah' - Ed) and Iran, allies of the Bashar al-Assad regime, are aiding the government in Syria and fighting on the ground alongside Syrian army troops against al-Qaeda, the “Islamic State” and other Sunni rebel groups.
Could Asa be truly unaware that on 4 June 20914, Syrians overwhelmingly endorsed President Bashar al-Assad in presidential elections, as attested to by four International observers at a United Nations Press conference. See Global Research | Syria's press conference the United Nations doesn't want you to see (20/6/15) with embedded 52:45min video, republished on Candobetter.
tinyurl.com/98c63cn The cold-blooded murder of Syrian postal workers, hurled to their deaths from the top of a three story building, has been captured on a YouTube video broadcast by the Syrian Girl embedded within this artcle. Any possible doubt about the criminality and savagery of the Syrian 'rebels' and their US, NATO, Israeli and Arab sponsors will surely be dispelled by this chilling video. A more uplifting video of an interview of the Syrian Girl by Alex Jones is also included.
Few who have spent more than a minimal amount of time examining the news reports of the Syrian conflict in recent months, would have failed to grasp the implausibility of the claim by the mainstream media that the Syrian conflict is a popular uprising against the hated, brutal, dictatorship of Bashar Al-Assad. If this were the case, then why wouldn't the inhabitants of Damascus and Aleppo have flocked to the side of the insurgents, on the occasions on which they launched offensives against these cities? The fact that the Syrian army has again and again driven the insurgents out of populated urban regions is surely evidence that the insurgents do not have the support of Syrians.
A closer examination of the Syrian conflict will reveal the coverage of the Syrian by the mainstream media and much of the supposed 'alternative' media to have been extremely untruthful. Some of the more telling of many examples of misinformation include:
- Blaming the Assad Government for the Houla massacre, when the victims of the massacre were government supporters.
- The apparent start of a massacre of kneeling Syrian Government supporters facing guns and the apparent impact of at least one gunshot captured on a video in Aleppo in a report by the BBC's Ian Pannell. The fate of those kneeling Syrians was not revealed to the viewers.
- Repeated claims that the Assad Government was on the brink of collapse.
Most recently, only on 12 August the cold-blooded murder of 6 Syrian postal workers was captured on a YouTube video lasting 2 minutes and 48 seconds, which is embedded below. At the outset of the video, there are three battered and immobile bodies of three postal workers on the ground at the foot of a 3 storey building. During the video three more postal workers die after they are hurled from the top of the building onto the ground. YouTube warns that that the video could be most distressing to some members of the public and should >not be viewed by children.
Stills from the above video included below.
A more uplifting video, also to be found on the Syrian Girl's channel is the following interview of her by Alex Jones. Many viewers may be surprised to learn that the Syrian Girl's own family had fled Syria in the past when it was ruled by Bashar Al-Assad's father. Her reasons for supporting the current Syrian Government against the supposed 'rebels' are explained in a most revealing and interesting video. (If you find yourself unable to comfortably view the video below because of the chillng images displayed above images, you may prefer to view it directly on YouTube.)
See Syria defends itself against NATO sponsored terrorism of 15 August 2015 for latest developments or click on 'Syria' tag for other stories about Syria.
Syrian Terrorists Bomb UN Observers in Damascus of 16 Aug 2012.
HUGE chunk of Victorian farmland - about 11 times the size of Melbourne's CBD - has also controversially fallen into foreign hands. Qatar-based Hassad Foods, which is the agricultural arm of the Qatar government, recently agreed to pay about $35 million for more than 8000 hectares of sheep-grazing and cropping land in Victoria's Western District.
Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa and bread riots in other regions - caused by record high food prices - have reminded governments of the cost of failing to guarantee domestic food security.
Qatar-based Hassad Foods, which is the agricultural arm of the Qatar government, recently agreed to pay about $35 million for more than 8000 hectares of sheep-grazing and cropping land in Victoria's Western District. As well as prized Kaladbro Estate in western Victoria and Queensland’s Clover Downs, Hassad’s burgeoning portfolio also includes 6800 hectares of sheep grazing land in Canowindra in New South Wales.
Hassad Australia - a subsidiary of parent company Hassad Food Group - owns 250,000ha, stretching from Queensland to Western Australia, which has been bought in the past three years.
It's been confirmed that big parcels of Western Australian farming land have sold to Middle East interests.
An “Australian”company, Hassad Australia Pty Ltd., backed by the Qatari Government, has bought 27,000 hectares.
There are three major land aggregations , five at Jerramungup in the south-east, three at Bindi-Bindi, east of Moora, and one at Esperance.
An additional HUGE chunk of Victorian farmland - about 11 times the size of Melbourne's CBD - has also controversially fallen into foreign hands. Qatar-owned Hassad Australia finalised its recent purchase lof 10 properties at Telopea Downs , on the border of Victoria and South Australia.
Food security fears
Fears about the planet’s ability to feed a projected 9 billion people by 2050 have driven much of the recent demand for land. Since 2007-2008 food price crisis triggered a flurry of export bans and restrictions by major food producers like Brazil, China, India and Argentina, Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa and bread riots in other regions - caused by record high food prices - have reminded governments of the cost of failing to guarantee domestic food security.
Australia for sale
A report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences in January found 11 per cent of farmland, 9 per cent of water entitlements and 1 per cent of agricultural businesses were owned by foreign interests.
Australia is the driest continent with irregular weather and is subject to natural disasters such as droughts and fires. We also have little more than 6% arable land, threatened by urban sprawl. At same time, our mining wealth is largely be consumed by the "nation building" infrastructure for our swelling population instead of being invested into the future.
With shallow policies and grotesque short-termism from Canberra, the public should be very concerned about any more land being sold to foreign countries.
Qatar's unsustainable growth
Qatar, an arid country of some 1.8 million inhabitants jutting off Saudi Arabia into the Gulf, can only produce about 10% of its food needs and is desperately reliant on imports. Currently, only 1.6 % of Qatar is arable land and agriculture only contributes 0.1% to gross national product, according to the FAO.
The government expects Qatar’s population to rise by 2.1% a year over the next five years, reaching 1.9 million in 2016.
Qatar’s population has more than doubled from around 614,000 in 2000 to 1.699 million at the end of 2010. Qatar's oil and natural gas industries account for 50 percent of GDP, 85 percent of export earnings and 70 percent of the government's revenue.
As well as food security, air, water, and land pollution are also significant environmental issues in Qatar. In addition to smog and acid rain, the nation has been affected by the air pollution generated during the Persian Gulf War. Pollution from the oil industry poses a threat to the nation's water.
There's nothing sustainable about Qatar's environmental/population growth record, so why should they bother with any such issues in their Australian property buy-ups?
Qatar's water consumption has tripled in the last seven years, the energy and industry ministry and chairman of the Permanent Committee on Water Resources has said. Per capita consumption of water in Qatar is 460 liters per day, one of the highest in the world, and the production of desalinated water in Qatar doubled four times over the past two decades.
Most native species are small, but the larger, diurnal species, like the Arabian oryx, gazelle and ibex, have been hunted down to extinction. The Arabian oryx, al-maha in Arabic, is Qatar's national emblem. It was once believed to have been hunted down to extinction, but some herds have survived outside Qatar.
December 03, 2011 - At least 25 special permits have been issued to dignitaries belonging to the Arabian peninsula allowing them to hunt the internationally protected Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata) during the hunting season 2011-2012. The permit holders include at least three rulers, many crown princes, and other members of royal families. The houbara bustard is a very shy bird species and inhabits arid areas away from human population, but at least one of the permit holders, belonging to Qatar, has been allocated the city of Dadu in Sindh for hunting. The Qatari Government is currently in the process of reintroducing the Arabian gazelle, which is near extinction, to its desert domain. Before 2001, when Qatar signed a key international treaty, known as Cites, restricting trade in endangered animals, it was not illegal to import rare animals.
Experts have sounded the alarm over a massive decline in the number of sharks populating the waters around Bahrain - saying the Gulf was in danger of becoming a "marine desert". Many larger species of the sea's most famous predator were in danger of disappearing from the region altogether. Unchecked construction, sedimentation, a lack of fresh water, overfishing and pollution have been cited as the key threats to the Gulf's shark population.
Experts are now warning the Gulf could actually become a "dead" area of water unless urgent legislation is passed in all countries bordering it, with decades of rapid development taking a huge toll on the marine ecosystem.
Qatar, the first member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to host the discussions later this year aimed at limiting global warming, illustrates the scale of the challenge the world faces to cut greenhouse gases.
European Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, a representative responsible for climate change action, feels that Qatar being the host of this year’s summit has the potential to play a positive role in shaping the international climate change debate. If Qatar will show that [although] the rest of the world has seen it as a sort of traditional oil economy, that there they [are starting] to diversify, there you find smarter solutions, there you start to apply solar or other kinds of renewable energies and it will not harm your economy - as a long-term strategy it will benefit your economy.
The irony is great: Climate Change negotiation in Qatar will take place atop vast natural gas deposits and in a country with the highest per-capita greenhouse gas emissions in the world, almost three times those of the United States.
Australia's food security first
With Australia's food security not as secure as supposed, then this sale is a betrayal by our government. Our sovereignty should be promoted, not sold off to the highest bidder. Australia is now a net importer of horticultural products, whereas it was a net exporter only a few years ago. Wheat, dairy, fishing and sugar production are all down from their previous peaks.
Earlier detailed research by researcher Dr McGovern, lecturer in the Queensland University of Technology’s school of economics and finance, found that Australia exports only around 25 per cent of its agricultural produce at second-stage production, not 80 per cent as has often been supposed.
There's a great international market opportunity for an increase in food production in Australia, but there's no explanation on just this feat going to be achieved, especially if climate change scientists are correct and our food chain is increasing out of our hands.
The Government claims it applied a rigorous national interest to all foreign investment applications.
The spokesman Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury, said foreign investment could help Australian companies and farmers gain access to new export markets, grow their businesses and create jobs. The exports will be to the Middle East and jobs will be lost as Australian farmers will struggle to compete with big monolithic agricultural foreign government-endorsed businesses. The food will not be for Australians but for their own people.
Population growth has exploded in the Middle East and there are cultural limits to facing the problem, so they are seeking out resources in countries like Australia with poor leadership and permeable borders.
Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce said "under the current tutelage of Wayne Swan we can totally rely on the fact that this purchase, (purchase of 10 properties at Telopea Downs) like every other purchase that has ever been made, will never be stopped".