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Sophie Shevardnadze

Terrorism is a new ideological trend, has nothing to do with Islam - Grand Mufti of Syria interview by Sophie Shevardnadze

The Middle East conflict - war in Syria and Iraq - has already spilled over. No one is safe from the terrorist attacks, neither East, nor West. Islamic State claims it is still strong, and its ideas are attracting new recruits to replace those killed on the field. Islamic State says the horrors it perpetrates are done in the name Allah - spurring resentment against Muslims all across the globe. Today, we speak to an Islamic scholar, a Grand Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, to see how the jihadists have twisted the idea of Islam. And does their agenda have anything to do with Islam at all? Republished from

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister on Yemen, Iraq, Syria, IS, Saudi Arabia and US

Originally published under the title of "Iran's deputy FM: Yemen's president uses terrorists to fight rebels," this is the transcript, with links to the video, of Sophie Shevardnadze's interview with Iran Deputy Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. The beginning of the video is particularly instructive, as Hossein Amir-Abdollahian gives a run-down on what is happening from Iran's very close perspective. Among other things, it becomes clear that Iran does not believe that the United States is trying to stop IS. Saudi Arabia has said that it is going to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says it will not let this happen. It also says that it will not let Syria fall. The Minister says that the reason the United States wants to wreck Syria is that then it will have destroyed the main Russian foothold in the Middle East and that will allow the United States to dominate the region and maintain world hegemony. See also this Crosstalk episode where US realpolitik intentions and consequences and rhetoric are discussed in a very informed manner, particularly in relation to Yemen.

Video & transcript: Prof Sean McFate on rising danger of mercenary armies forming corporate military states or running amuck

The United States has been gradually replacing its own military with military contractors to the degree now where they formed 50% of troops in Iraq and 70% of troops in Afghanistan deployed in its name. What happens to those business model troops when the US wants to wind down military activity in a particular place? They are private armies with power and money and the risk is that they will use it to extract a living, as in splintered Libya. The bigger risk is that they will form corporate military states in their own right - as ISIS pretends to. Professor Sean McFate spent some years - mostly in Africa - as a mercenary, largely because he was curious about this. "Mercenaries have always been there, where there is bloodshed going on. The times when whole armies of mercenary troops, or even personal regiments were bought and sold seemed to be long gone. But now, they are called Private Military Companies, and their popularity among the governments rises, with the US leading the trend of shopping at the market of force. Are we witnessing the end of the age of national armies? And why mercenaries are in such high demand these days? We put these questions to Professor Sean McFate, who once was a private military contractor himself." (Sophie Shevardnadze)

Video: John Pilger on the media and US aggression in Caspian region - interview by Sophie Shevardnaze


Video and transcript inside. Sophie Shevardnadze interviews war correspondent, John Pilger, about media coverage of war in the Ukraine and Syria. He describes the media bias of the west and says how it is impossible to get an unbiased view of what is happening unless you build your own from the internet. Because this man commands so much respect from a complacent and obedient old 'Left' in Australia, there may be some hope that Australians who see this interview will start to question what they are being told by their governments, oppositions, and mainstream media about Syria and Ukraine. Pilger confirms the impression that the United States is baiting Russia aggressively, trying to draw it into war, in order to take over that part of the world. So far Russia has refused to be drawn, despite extreme provocation from an apparently psychopathic Western foreign relations policy actors.
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