Stella Moris @StellaMoris1), the mother of two of Julian Assange's children, spoke today to a London protest in support of the Palestinian resistance to Israel's recent aggression against the Gaza strip. She told the large crowd how Julian had previously revealed secret communications amongst Senior Israeli officers in their planning of wars against Palestinian men, women and children.
Can Palestine be liberated while the US illegally occupies Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq? Apparently Melbourne's pro-Palestine movement thinks Palestine can be liberated while Syria has much of its territory illegally occupied and US troops also illegally occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.
I attended both the Freedom Protest and the huge pro-Palestine Protest in Melbourne yesterday on 15 May 2021. At both protests I intended to show my support for each of those two respective causes and to distribute our leaflet on Julian Assange. 
Unfortunately, I did not stay long at the Freedom Protest, because I thought that it would be more promising and and more productive to go to the pro-Palestine protest. My reason was that I supposed the Palestine protest would attract a wide range of related left-wing causes, such as people who support the Syrian and Venezuelan people. I also expected that people there would be very receptive to the leaflet in support of Julian Assange I had to distribute.
Where, at the Freedom protest, nearly everyone I approached with a leaflet was happy to accept it, I was disappointed to discover that at the pro-Palestine protest, whilst most accepted a copy of my leaflet and many even thanked me and expressed support for Julian Assange, a surprising number of people there were quite hostile to my handing out those leaflets.
In hindsight, I now realise that I should have challenged those people to explain to me their apparent hostility to Julian Assange. Many of those who were hostile seemed to me to be members of the supposedly far-left socialist parties, one of which I was associated with, more than 30 years ago. I could have said to any one of those people:
"Don't you realise that because of Wikileaks and Julian Assange it is not nearly as easy as it once was for the United States to continue its support for Israel or to fabricate pretexts to start other wars in the Middle East? Don't you realize that, by giving people the ability to safely leak information from inside the US government and the US military, Wikileaks helps people in countries like Palestine fight there for their freedom?"
Unfortunately, I did not.
How can Free Palestine Melbourne be more effective?
I also felt that the overall approach of the pro-Palestine protest was seriously flawed.
Even more so, the Hamas resistance in the Gaza strip, so villified by Israel and the corporate newsmedia, should be commended for their heroic acts of solidarity with their fellow Palestinians on the West Bank who were being savagely repressed at the al-Aqsa mosque and elsewhere whilst having even more of their homes demolished to make way for yet more illegal Israeli settlements.
Hamas chose, from its tiny vulnerable coastal enclave, to launch missiles northwards into Israel in an effort to make Menachem Begin, the crooked Prime Minister of Israel, reconsider his decision to steal more Palestinian land. For that Hamas and other residents of the Gaza strip have paid a terrible price.
However, such military resistance alone, either in Gaza or in the West Bank, is likely to bring peace and justice to Palestine.
Unless other positive strategies to end the conflict are put forward and adapted by the Palestinian resistance, that conflict can only descend to an even more terrible and fratricidal conflict out of which there can only be two possible outcomes:
the total destruction of the Palestinian nation within the borders of Palestine; or
The destruction of Israel, with all Israelis expelled from the land.
Obviously, neither of these two outcomes are acceptable.
A lot of ordinary Jewish Israelis have decent attitudes towards the Palestinians. It's sad that a very high proportion do seem to support Netanyahu, and the terrible crimes being committed against Palestinians - at least according to mainstream news. But I think any strategy to defeat the Israeli government has to recognize that a sizable proportion of Jews in Israel do not approve of driving Palestinians out of their land. These Israelis can be reached, and should be given support to develop a different, non-apartheid, form of government, and to form opposition to the continual predations by pro-Israeli settler property developers in the Gaza strip and their military support.
What about Syria?
At the Palestine protest, I also found it curious that no mention was made at all about Syria and all the other conflicts going on in the Middle East, right next door to Palestine. There's a terrible war going on in Syria, right at this moment, and I felt it striking that not a word was said about that.
Estimates of the number killed so far in Syria since march 2011 vary between 388,652 and 594,000. (See Syrian Revolution 120 months on: 594,000 persons killed and millions of Syrians displaced and injured (14/3/2021) SOHR. 14 March 2021.) Of these, between 131,145 and 180,440 are from the Syrian Arab Army or their allies, who are defending their country. An estimate of the number of mostly foreign terrorists killed so far in Syria varies between 142,684 and 198,684. (See PDF document SOHR 14th Annivesary (1/6/2020) - whilst these figures are contested and difficult to confirm, but they do give some idea of the scale of the loss of life caused by this conflict.)
Every week there have been a number of illegal Israeli air strikes against Syria in support of the continuing terrorist war, of more than ten years duration so far, against the Syrian Government.
Very recently, Syria got so fed up with the Israeli air strikes on its territory, that they actually launched a missile strike themselves against Israel in response.
The failure of any of the speakers, at that pro-Palestine protest, to mention this war, or any other of the recent conflicts in the Middle-East - Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon - is difficult to understand.
Australian foreign policy is important for Palestinians - We need to hold our government to account
Not only did the Melbourne protest not seem to have any practical help for the Palestinian struggle, or for all the other people in the Middle East, but it did not hold the Australian government to account for effectively siding, since 2011, with terrorist insurgency in Syria, which has been an outspoken supporter of Palestinians for decades.
I can't say at the moment that any protests in which I have recently participated have grown to be really sizable, but I have taken part in small pro-Syria protest movements, and I'm still doing so. As in protest movements in support of Julian Assange, we know that every time we reach anyone, any time someone listens to us, it has an impact on Australian politics, because people then become aware of what our foreign policies actually are, and that what is happening in Palestine and Syria, or to Julian Assange, etc., depends to some extent on what is happening in Australian foreign policy. If no state outside Israel supported Israeli apartheid, or sanctions on Syria, or the imprisonment of Julian Assange, then it is most unlikely that any of these shocking processes would have endured for any length of time. Therefore, it is very important for any Australian protesting about conditions overseas to make links to any enabling policies right here in Australia, to be aware of what their own government is doing, or of how a decent and compassionate Australian government could help prevent the harm being done to people, by actively speaking up against it. It seemed to me that this awareness and consciousness-raising was absent at the pro-Palestine protests yesterday.
When we were protesting a few years ago against US-NATO intervention in Syria, we pointed out the Australian government's shameful role in sanctioning Syria, basically in supporting a siege against the Syrian people. We argued that supporting war against Syria had implications for the attitude that people should have towards the Australian government.
Where was there a similar attempt to raise awareness in the pro-Palestinian protest?
The pro-Palestine protest acknowledged, to some degree, the illegal acquisition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, rather than Tel Aviv. However, there was very little focus on the wrong of the Australian government's support for American policy towards Israel and the rest of the Middle East, in facilitating that change of Israel's capital. I only heard disapproval for Australia's support for these bad policies expressed once in any of the speeches. The failure to more emphatically point out corrupt Australian government policy in the pro-Palestinian protest was a serious shortcoming.
I mean, we should be able to influence foreign policy by appealing to or placing pressure on our local parliamentarians, as well as on the parliaments in elections. However, if people are not made aware of our complicit foreign policies and the need for these to change, it is as if we are giving up on the area where we could be most effective.
It is to be hoped that more protests will be organised, since the conflicts in the Middle East are ongoing, and will not abate without concerned, persistent, and informed, activism.
The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network calls on the Australian Government to stop its support of the Israeli occupation and condemn the theft of Palestinian homes and land by Israel.
The Australian Government cannot pretend it does not have a role in the violence perpetrated by the Israeli military against Palestinians.
The Government has given a substantial amount of money to Israeli weapon manufacturers who supply the occupation, including $1.8 billion worth of Government contracts to Israeli weapon manufacturer Elbit Systems since 2010.
Furthermore, the Government's claim that occupied Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and failure to recognise both the Palestinian State as well as Palestinians' right to self-defence, amounts to support of the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
Over recent days, we have also seen the Israeli military raid Al-Aqsa Mosque, which may amount to a war crime; kill over 100 people, including 28 children; assist extremists in stealing Palestinian houses; and conduct a ground invasion of Gaza.
Due to these events, the ongoing occupation and, as Humans Rights Watch recently reported, Israel's perpetuation of an Apartheid system, IPAN calls on the Government to:
- Unequivocally condemn the violence against Palestinian protesters
- Call for Israel to immediately stop its occupation of Palestinian territory
- Pursue a policy of diplomacy and non-violence
- Stop awarding contracts to weapon manufacturers who supply the Israeli military
Syrian/British PressTV journalist, Richard Medhurst (pictured) reports on Syria's missile strike towards Dimona. Finally, after years of enduring missile strikes from Israel on top of the 10 year old takfiri terrorist invasion than has cost Syria, by one outdated estimate, 400,000 lives, Syria has hit back at the rogue state on its border.
The U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva has compiled and released a list of companies which operate in the illegal settlements in the West Bank, which is a chunk of land east of Israel, formerly Palestine, of which Israel took military control in 1967. Israel has encouraged property development in the region and for Jewish settlers to move in, but Palestinians (and most of the international community) consider it illegally occupied Palestinian land. The tragic political impasse between Israel and Palestine has recently been highlighted by property developer and US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the century," involving his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is also a real-estate developer. The 'deal' advocates for Israel further fragmenting what land remains to Palestinians and further reducing their exiguous political rights. Palestinians were not included in the consultation surrounding this 'deal', although they are its object.
"About 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlements are widely considered illegal under international law, though Israel has always disputed this. The Palestinians have long called for the removal of the settlements, arguing that their presence on land they claim for a future independent Palestinian state makes it almost impossible to make such a state a reality." (BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51477231"
The role that property development plays in this and other land-grab conflicts is striking. The materials used in construction are also excellent vehicles for money laundering. Property developers take over many of the roles of government, driving massive immigration, and birth rates where they can, in order to keep up demand and maintain land-price inflation. Property development is often mistaken for a constructive activity, but the reality is that bulldozers trash both nature and democracy, just like tanks. Planning requires strict control by citizens. Putting it in the hands of vested interests destroys self-determination. Australia is the victim of similar land-grabs and erosion of democracy, although at this point, Australians are still free to move within their continent. Australian state governments, Australian property developers, and Israel have and seek mutual investments in property development and population growth engineering. 
List of Companies operating in the illegal settlements in the West Bank, according to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva
Afikim Public Transportation Ltd.
American Israeli Gas Corporation Ltd.
Amir Marketing and Investments in Agriculture Ltd.
Amos Hadar Properties and Investments Ltd.
Ariel Properties Group
Ashtrom Industries Ltd.
Ashtrom Properties Ltd.
Avgol Industries 1953 Ltd.
Bank Hapoalim B.M.
Bank Leumi Le-Israel B.M.
Bank of Jerusalem Ltd.
Beit Haarchiv Ltd.
Bezeq, the Israel Telecommunication
C Mer Industries Ltd.
Café Café Israel Ltd.
Cellcom Israel Ltd.
Chish Nofei Israel Ltd.
Citadis Israel Ltd.
Darban Investments Ltd.
Delek Group Ltd.
Dor Alon Energy in Israel 1988 Ltd.
Egged, Israel Transportation Cooperative Society Ltd.
Energix Renewable Energies Ltd.
EPR Systems Ltd.
Expedia Group Inc.
Field Produce Ltd.
Field Produce Marketing Ltd.
First International Bank of Israel Ltd.
Galshan Shvakim Ltd.
General Mills Israel Ltd.
Hadiklaim Israel Date Growers Cooperative Ltd.
Hot Mobile Ltd.
Hot Telecommunications Systems Ltd.
Industrial Buildings Corporation Ltd.
Israel Discount Bank Ltd.
Israel Railways Corporation Ltd.
JC Bamford Excavators Ltd.
Jerusalem Economy Ltd.
Kavim Public Transportation Ltd.
Lipski Installation and Sanitation Ltd.
Matrix IT Ltd.
Mayer Davidov Garages Ltd.
Mekorot Water Company Ltd.
Mercantile Discount Bank Ltd.
Merkavim Transportation Technologies Ltd.
Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd.
Modi’in Ezrachi Group Ltd.
Mordechai Aviv Taasiot Beniyah 1973 Ltd.
Motorola Solutions Israel Ltd.
Municipal Bank Ltd.
Naaman Group Ltd.
Nof Yam Security Ltd.
Ofertex Industries 1997 Ltd.
Bank Otsar Ha-Hayal Ltd.
Partner Communications Company Ltd.
Paz Oil Company Ltd.
Pelephone Communications Ltd.
Proffimat S.R. Ltd.
Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd.
Rami Levy Hashikma Marketing Communication Ltd.
Shalgal Food Ltd.
Shapir Engineering and Industry Ltd.
Sonol Israel Ltd.
Tahal Group International B.V.
Unikowsky Maoz Ltd.
Zakai Agricultural Know-how and inputs Ltd.
ZF Development and Construction
ZMH Hammermand Ltd.
Zriha Hlavin Industries Ltd.
Alon Blue Square Israel Ltd.
Altice Europe N.V.
Amnon Mesilot Ltd.
Ashtrom Group Ltd.
Booking Holdings Inc.
Brand Industries Ltd.
Delta Galil Industries Ltd.
eDreams ODIGEO S.A.
Export Investment Company Ltd.
General Mills Inc.
Hamat Group Ltd.
Indorama Ventures P.C.L.
Mayer’s Cars and Trucks Co. Ltd.
Motorola Solutions Inc.
Villar International Ltd.
PressTV presenter discusses with his two guests how Syria has, after more than 7 years, triumphed over tens of thousands of terrorist invasders, who were armed and paid for by the United Sytated, IIsrael, Saudi Arabia and their allies.
Oksana Boyko successfully challenged most, but not all, of Ayalon's lies and distortions.
Ayalon's supposed justification for Israel's violation of international law is that they were only attacking Iranians and Lebanese Hezbollah who were supposedly there, not to help defend Syria against tens of thousands of terrorist invaders, but to attack Israel.
Oksana Boyko, however, pointed out that Iran and Hezbollah only intervened in Syria after many years of war against Syria by terrorist proxies of the United States and its allies.
Given that, by one estimate, 400,000 Syrians including 80,000 soldiers have died in that conflict since March 2011, the actual and potential consequences of that conflict for Israel are trivial in comparison. It's unfortunate that Oksano Boyko did not provide those figures.
Ayalon pushed the Big Lie, long ago refuted, that the war in Syria was a sectarian conflict between Sunni Islam and Shiite Islam.
Ayalon also claimed that Israel is the only democracy in the region, ignoring the fact that all elections held in recent years in Syria, particularly the Presidential election of 7 June 2014 in which 88.7% the 73.42% of eligible Syrian voters who voted, voted for President Bashar al-Assad, were verified by International observers. In Syria, unlike in Israel, where Palestinians are excluded, all residents - Sunni, Shiite and Alawite Muslims, Christians, Jews, Kurds, Armenians and others, are entited to vote.
No viewer aware of the facts about Israel can be left in any doubt that the criminality of Ayalon and the country he represents has not diminished since Israeli warplanes sank the USS Liberty in 1967 killing 34 crew members in an attempt to provide the United states with a pretext to join Israel in its war against Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
There is in fact a Middle Eastern nation that is in fact in control of a vast, undeclared stockpile of nuclear weapons. This nation does have the capability of deploying those weapons anywhere in the region. It is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its arsenal has never been inspected by any international agency. But this nation is not Iran. It's Israel. (James Corbett)
DONALD TRUMP: I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. In a few moments I will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating US nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction.
When President Trump announced that the US was going to de-certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and reinstitute sanctions on that country, one of the reasons he cited for that move was the presentation of “new” evidence from Israeli intelligence showing that the Iranians had lied about its nuclear program during the negotiation of that deal.
TRUMP: Last week Israel published intelligence documents long concealed by Iran conclusively showing the Iranians regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: A few weeks ago, in a great intelligence achievement, Israel obtained half a ton of the material inside these vaults. And here’s what we got; 55,000 pages. Another 55,000 files on 183 CDs. Everything you’re about to see is an exact copy of the original Iranian material
Theatrical props and dramatic rhetoric aside, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent presentation on the “Iranian nuclear deal” in fact contained no new information.
That Iran had explored a nuclear weapons program prior to 2003 has been known and admitted for years. That they have an archive of this information is not a violation of the Iranian nuclear deal completed in 2015. In fact, if anything, Netanyahu’s presentation actually proved the exact opposite of what was intended: Namely, that Iran is abiding by the terms of that treaty and is not covertly pursuing any nuclear weapons activity. That’s why they had to go back to 15 year old information and present it as if it was something new and revelatory.
But here’s the real head-scratcher in this new round of propaganda over the Iranian nuclear non-threat: There is in fact a Middle Eastern nation that is in fact in control of a vast, undeclared stockpile of nuclear weapons. This nation does have the capability of deploying those weapons anywhere in the region. It is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its arsenal has never been inspected by any international agency. But this nation is not Iran. It’s Israel.
This is the story of the real Middle East Nuclear Threat. You’re watching The Corbett Report.
Hand-wringing over Iran’s nuclear program is nothing new. It became a mainstay of western political discourse after an Iranian dissident revealed the Iranian government’s plans for a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz in August 2002. But the surprising fact for Americans and others around the world who get their information from the corporate mainstream media, is that Iran’s pre-2003 nuclear weapons program has long been known and admitted. Since 2003, when the program was scrapped, not a single piece of evidence has been presented (not even by Netanyahu or the Israeli government) that the Iranian government ever pursued anything other than what it said it was pursuing: a nuclear energy program.
Not that that fact has ever stopped Netanyahu from using any opportunity to use cartoon-level propaganda tactics to convince the world otherwise:
NETANYAHU: In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages.
The first stage: they have to enrich enough of low enriched uranium. The second stage: they have to enrich enough medium enriched uranium. And the third stage and final stage: they have to enrich enough high enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Where’s Iran? Iran’s completed the first stage. It took them many years, but they completed it and they’re 70% of the way there.
Now they are well into the second stage. By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Ladies and gentlemen, what I told you now is not based on secret information. It’s not based on military intelligence. It’s based on public reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Anybody can read them. They’re online.
So if these are the facts, and they are, where should the red line be drawn?
The red line should be drawn right here. Before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb. Before Iran gets to a point where it’s a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon.
Each day, that point is getting closer. That’s why I speak today with such a sense of urgency. And that’s why everyone should have a sense of urgency.
Of course, Iran was not pursuing nuclear weapons and Netanyahu’s Wile E. Coyote bomb and red line warnings bore no greater semblance to reality than the cartoon propaganda surrounding Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction.” Not only did the IAEA repeatedly confirm that Iran never diverted any nuclear material into any military program, but even the US intelligence community itself conceded that Iran was not trying to build a nuclear bomb. Most remarkable of all was Mossad’s own assessment that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.”
As I detailed earlier this year in “We Need to Talk About the Iran Protests,” fearmongering over Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program was the basis for an extraordinary series of measures against the country in recent decades. These measures included “NITRO ZEUS,” a full-scale military cyberattack against Iran the best-known element of which was Stuxnet, the military-grade cyberweapon co-developed by the United States and Israel that specifically targeted Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz.
Iran’s non-existent nuclear program also provided the pretext for sanctions aimed at crippling the country’s economy, including the de-listing of Iranian banks from the Swift Network connecting the world’s financial institutions.
But the great irony is that there really is a nuclear armed nation in the Middle East. It is not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It does not allow inspections of its arsenal. It does not even officially acknowledge its stockpile of nuclear weapons. It has even resisted the push for an international treaty recognizing a nuclear-free zone in the middle east. And that country is Israel.
Sometimes ranked as the world’s sixth largest nuclear superpower, Israel actively pursued a nuclear program from the time of its inception as a state in 1948. By the late 1950s, they had begun building a reactor and reprocessing plant at Dimona with British and French aid. And by 1967, a classified CIA report estimated that Israel would be capable of producing a nuclear warhead in “six to eight weeks.” Shortly thereafter, it is believed, Israel began producing and stockpiling a nuclear arsenal.
OLENKA FRENKIEL: It was the young Shimon Peres, back in the fifties who negotiated a secret deal with the French to buy a nuclear weapons reactor like theirs. But while Dimona was going up, intelligence reports reached Washington that Israel was building an atom bomb.
Despite claims that Dimona was for peaceful purposes only, Israel’s leader Ben Gurion was summoned to Washington. President Kennedy feared an arms race in the Middle East and demanded inspections. But when inspectors finally entered the plant in May 1961 they were tricked. They were shown a fake control room on the ground floor. They were unaware of the six floors below where the plutonium was made.
PETER HOUNAM, Freelance journalist: Well this was something of great pride and almost a legendary story in Dimona, according to Vanunu. When the Americans came they were completely hoodwinked. All the entrances including the lift shafts were bricked up and plastered over so it was impossible for anyone to find their way down to the lower floors.
FRENKIEL: After Kennedy’s assassination the pressure on Israel was off. His successor Lyndon Johnson turned a blind eye. Then In 1969 Israel’s Golda Meir and President Richard Nixon struck a deal, renewed by every President to this day. Israel’s nuclear programme could continue as long as it was never made public. It’s called “nuclear ambiguity.”
The term “nuclear ambiguity,” in some ways it sounds very grand. But isn’t just a euphemism for deception?
SHIMON PERES, Former Prime Minister of Israel: If somebody wants to kill you, and you use a deception to save your life it is not immoral. If we wouldn’t have enemies we wouldn’t need deceptions. We wouldn’t need deterrent.
FRENKIEL: Was this the justification for concealing the floors of the plutonium reprocessing areas from the Americans, the inspectors, when they came?
PERES: You are having a dialogue with yourself, not with me.
FRENKIEL: But that’s been documented in a number of books.
PERES: Ask the question to yourself, not to me.
FRENKIEL: I mean, is it not true?
PERES: I don’t have to answer your questions, even. I don’t see any reason why.
FRENKIEL: Ambiguity is a luxury unique to Israel. Today the country’s an inspection-free zone, protected from scrutiny by America and her allies.
Although estimates vary, it is now believed that Israel has somewhere between 75 and 400 nuclear warheads, and that it possesses the capability to deliver these warheads to Iran.
The existence of this stockpile, while known to governments around the world for decades, was only revealed to the public in 1986, when The Sunday Times published photographic proof and a detailed account of Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program. That story was provided by Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at the Dimona facility, who spent decades behind bars for his part in revealing this truth to the world.
NARRATOR: On October 5th, 1986, The Sunday Times announced they had evidence to prove that Israel had become the world’s sixth biggest nuclear power, having developed their arsenal beneath the Negev desert at Dimona. Photographs like this were given to the Sunday Times by a former technician at Dimona, Mordechai Vanunu.
Mordechai Vanunu’s family, Moroccan Jews, settled in the Negev in the early 60s, inspired by the idea of being a part of Israel. Vanunu did national service in the army. Then, while he worked at Dimona he began studying philosophy. He became active in student politics. He opposed Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. Vanunu came to believe that Israel’s nuclear development program was immoral. He left Damona and, eventually, Israel itself.
Vanunu arrived in Sydney armed with photographs he’d taken inside Dimona. Here, he turned his back on Judaism and became a Christian. He met Oscar Guerrero, a Colombian journalist who urged him to sell his secrets to The Sunday Times. His evidence was processed at a local photo shop. Vanunu talked openly about what he’d done.
It’s said that by the time Vanunu arrived in London on September the 12th, 1986, Australian intelligence had already alerted MI6 and the CIA, and Mossad—Israeli intelligence—had already begun questioning his family in Israel. The Sunday Times disguised their informant and moved him from place to place for protection. But in Leicester Square one day, Vanunu met a blonde who called herself “Cindy,” a beautician from Florida. Meanwhile, Oscar Guerrero, eager to profit from what he knew, turned to The Sunday Mirror. Vanunu’s photograph appeared on page one. Vanunu began to despair. At this point, Cindy was able to lure him to Rome to sp end the weekend with her at her sister’s apartment. Not once did Vanunu suspect that Cindy was a Mossad agent and that this was the beginning of a plot to kidnap him.
In Rome, the tactics of the Mossad agents changed dramatically.
MEIR VANUNU: In the apartment, two Israeli agents attacked him and bit him and strangled him really hard. And then chained him, injected drugs [in]to his body. And later on he woke up in a small cell on a boat. The boat went to Israel for a few days and he arrived to Israel on the 7th of October, 1986.
Vanunu was assumed dead until he turned up weeks later in Tel Aviv. Vanunu himself, on his way to court, gave the first clue of what had happened to him. Scrawled on his hand was the message “Vanunu was hijacked from Rome, Italy. 30.9.86. BA 504.”
But a key element of the story is missing from the handful of documentaries that acknowledge Israel’s nuclear stockpile. Namely, that these weapons were not merely developed by Israeli scientists working in isolation, but with the aid of a nuclear smuggling ring that helped develop and advance Israel’s arsenal by stealing important nuclear technologies from their “ally,” the United States. These rings and their activities have been known about and even investigated by the FBI for decades, but largely kept secret from the public.
GRANT F. SMITH: In terms of the FBI uncovering a multi-node network, this one happened to be centered in California. MILCO was a company that was incorporated in 1972 by a man named Richard Kelly Smyth. He was discovered sending 800 krytrons, which are dual-use items that could be used to trigger nuclear weapons. When he was discovered doing that, he skipped bail in the mid-1980s and disappeared until he was picked up by Interpol in the early part of 2000.
And so the story is interesting and explosive, because after multiple attempts and denials we had a document release in which the key contact, or one of the key contacts that Smyth was meeting with to set up sales in Israel was none other than Benjamin Netanyahu. And so the document—which I’m kind of holding up right here for the people who are on video—actually names Benjamin Netanyahu as being an employee of Heli Trading Company, which was the node in Israel that would receive Ministry of Defense requisitions that they would pass on to MILCO.
And so the interesting thing about this, of course, is the high-profile nature of Benjamin Netanyahu, [and] the fact that the smuggling ring ring leader has been identified as Arnon Milchan, a person any American knows for his movie productions such as Pretty Woman and other favorites, who is running this and who a recent book has named as being a top economic espionage fly a spy for LAKAM, who worked under Benjamin Bloomberg and Rafi Eitan. But the FBI documents that we published on July 4th related to an antiwar.com story which was really short and direct. And its core focus was on the fact that in a period when Netanyahu was building himself up as a leader in the terrorism industry—hosting major conferences, having just returned from his studies in the United States, hosting major conferences in the Jonathan Netanyahu Terrorism Institute, named after his brother who was killed on the Raid on Entebbe.
Here’s a person who was supposed to be working as a furniture company executive, and yet these documents which are very credible because of what they were—which is testimony from Richard Kelly Smith after he was returned his exile overseas and finally forced serve a prison sentence. These were the statements he made to an FBI agent in a district attorney office when they debriefed and wanted to know what the extent of the nuclear technology smuggling network was and—boom!—there’s Benjamin Netanyahu.
Benjamin Netanyahu. And now this unindicted nuclear smuggler is lecturing Iran about a 15 year old, long-acknowledged nuclear weapons program that never produced a single nuclear weapon.
Even more worryingly, Israel’s nuclear knowledge has not only helped to arm its own nation, but actually helped to proliferate nuclear weapons to Pakistan through the so-called Khan network. One of the men who helped to transfer the nuclear triggers used in the construction of the Pakistani bomb was Asher Karni, an orthodox Jew living in South Africa who had been a major in the Israeli army prior to emigrating to Cape Town. Upon his arrival there in 1985, he began teaching Torah at the local synagogue and educating Jewish youth, encouraging them to relocate to Israel.
In 2004, U.S. authorities arrested Karni for his role in supplying the nuclear triggers and in 2005 he was sentenced to three years in prison. It has never been officially explained why this Israeli citizen and former Israeli military officer was interested in helping proliferate nuclear technologies to Pakistan.
But perhaps the greatest irony of all is that it is Iran who has been arguing for decades that the Middle East should be a nuclear-free zone. The idea was first floated by the Shah in 1969, and was first formally proposed by Iran in a joint UN General Assembly resolution, but the idea failed to garner any support. The idea was again raised by then-Iranian President Ahmedinejad in 2006 and yet again by then-Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki in 2008, but these calls to banish nuclear weapons from the Middle East have not even been acknowledged by the west, let alone seriously considered.
Now more than ever, the prospect of a nuclear-free Middle East seems the only way to prevent a nuclear conflagration that threatens to draw in the world’s superpowers, and yet the idea is being ignored by Israel and its staunchest ally, the United States.
Why does Israel refuse to declare its nuclear weapons stockpile? Why do they refuse to sign on to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty?
Why do they refuse IAEA inspections of their nuclear facility?
Why did they kidnap and imprison Mordechai Vanunu for 18 years for providing the proof of this nuclear program?
And perhaps most importantly, why does the United States, the only country who could single-handedly force NPT compliance from Israel, still refuse to even admit the openly-acknowledged status of Israel as a nuclear power?
Don’t hold your breath waiting for these questions to be answered by the teleprompter readers on the nightly news.
Still, as even many in the mainstream are now admitting, Netanyahu’s presentation on Iran’s nuclear non-secrets are a cheap display of political theatrics. The only thing he ended up doing is underlining the point that Iran, unlike Israel, fully cooperated with the IAEA, lived up to its obligations as a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and pointedly has not violated the 2015 nuclear deal.
And now that the United States has allowed the Israeli tail to wag the American dog once again by de-certifying that Iranian deal without valid cause, negotiators in North Korea and elsewhere will be watching, reminded yet again that a promise from the American empire isn’t worth the signed agreement it’s written on.
Is Trump just falling in line with the evil establishment and going for more 'regime change' in Syria like Obama who preceded him? Is this another illegal invasion of Syria by the United States and NATO? Probably not, because the Syrian President would have complained, but has said nothing. Neither has Russia. Nor has Turkey. Something new is going on in Syria and it may actually be good. Could the end of this terrible war inflicted by US-NATO upon Syria finally be in sight?
Despite Trump's formal disapproval of Iran, Iranian television has once again risen above the situation in delivering a superbly objective inquiry or debate about what Trump's 400 new troops might be doing in Syria. You can watch it here http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/03/09/513707/US-military-Marines-Syria and it will probably soon appear on Press TV's you-tube channel. This episode of Press TV's 'The Debate', canvasses the opinion of Jim W. Dean, the managing editor of Veterans Today, from Atlanta, and James Jatras, a former US diplomat, from Washington, on the deployment of hundreds of US Marines to Syria. As usual interviewer Kaveh Taghvai's questions are right on the nose.
On RT a day or two ago, probably 8 March Russian time, Catherine Shakdam (Middle East commentator) also argued that during the recent talks in Geneva, which the US attended, the US probably obtained Russia and Syria's permission to enter Syria and cooperate with the Syrian Army and Russian troops. There is no public confirmation of this and Trump has repeatedly said that he isn't going to give details of his military plans - and I don't think Russia or Syria would either.
We cannot help noticing that Putin has both Erdogan & Netanyahu in Moscow at the same time, ostensibly for individual talks with Putin... but it is interesting they're both there together, if we take into account their mutuality of interests.
In the meantime,Catherine Shakdam/s interview has been removed from the RT news record as far as I can see from searching, with a talking [male] head from UK being much more dour on Trump. Not that Shakdam is pro-Trump; she was also keen to portray him as trying to seize victory from the jaws of Syria and Russia for his own glory. For all the Soros/Clinton/Obama administration's conspiracy confabulation regarding RT, that online broadcasting channel, with its American channel based in Washington, D.C., was almost entirely anti-Trump before the US election and remains anti-Trump, with Watching the Hawks, The Big Picture and Redacted Tonight playing to the New York and Washington Left. In this it probably fails to reflect Putin's own preferences. Before the running up to the election The Big Picture was generally quite stimulating because of the wide-ranging politics of its invited panelists. As the election actually loomed, host Tom Hartman seemed to panic and dropped all his republican-sympathetic guests, delivering a kind of CNN program. Crosstalk and Going Underground seem to be the only relatively objective programs on the subject. Excellent and original female interviewers Oksana Boyko and Sophie Shevardnadze, who have their own programs, Worlds Apart and SophieCo respectively, are pretty even-handed, but Boyko has indicated a distrust for Trump's administration. Perhaps Boyko's opinion is a reflection of the new-class influence of post-graduate education in the United States. This does not stop her programs having breadth, however. Sophie Shevardnadze is an exceptional polyglot with a wide international education.
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.
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.
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.)
 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
Last month, US secretary of State John Kerry called for Syria to be partitioned saying it was "Plan B" if negotiations fail. But in reality this was always plan A. Plans to balkanize Syria, Iraq and other Middle Eastern states were laid out by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a 2006 trip to Tel Aviv. It was part of the so called "Project For a New Middle East". This was a carbon copy of the Odid Yinon plan drawn up by Israel in 1982. The plan outlined the way in which Middle Eastern countries could be balkanized along sectarian lines. This would result in the creation of several weak landlocked micro-states that would be in perpetual war with each other and never united enough to resist Israeli expansionism.
"Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi'ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan… " Oded Yinon, "A strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties",
The leaked emails of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reveal advocates of the Oded Yinon plan were behind the US push for regime change in Syria. An Israeli intelligence adviser writes in an email to Hillary,
"The fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies,".
Kerry's plan B comment came right before UN's special envoy de Mistura said federalism would be discussed at the Geneva talks due to a push from major powers. Both side's of the Geneva talks, the Syrian Government and the Syrian National Coalition flat out rejected Federalism. Highlighting the fact that the idea did not come from the Syrian's themselves. The Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Al Jaafari, said that the Idea of federalization would not be up for discussion. "Take the idea of separating Syrian land out of your mind," he would say.
But some may not completely understand the full implications of federalism and how it is intrinsically tied to balkanization. Some cite the fact that Russia and the United States are successful federations as evidence that federation is nothing to fear. However the point that makes these federalism statements so dangerous is that in accordance with the Yinon plan the borders of a federalized Syria would be drawn along sectarian lines not on whether any particular state can sustain its population. This means that a small amount of people will get all the resources, and the rest of Syria's population will be left to starve. Furthermore, Russia and the US are by land mass some of the largest nations in the world, so federalism may make sense for them. In contrast Syria is a very small state with limited resources. Unlike the US and Russia, Syria is located in the Middle East which means water is limited. In spite of the fact Syria is in the so-called fertile crescent, Syria has suffered massive droughts since Turkey dammed the rivers flowing into Syria and Iraq. Syria's water resources must be rationed amongst its 23 million people. In the Middle East, wars are also fought over water.The areas that the Yinon plan intends to carve out of Syria, are the coastal areas of Latakia and the region of Al Hasake. These are areas where a substantial amount of Syria's water, agriculture and oil are located. The intention is to leave the majority of the Syrian population in a landlocked starving rump state, and create a situation where perpetual war between divided Syrians is inevitable. Ironically promoters of the Yinon plan try and paint federalism as a road to peace. However, Iraq which was pushed into federalism in 2005 by the US occupation is far from peaceful now.
Quite simply, divide and conquer is the plan. This was even explicitly suggested in the headline of Foreign Policy magazine, "Divide and conquer Iraq and Syria" with the subheading "Why the West Should Plan for a Partition". The CEO of Foreign Policy magazine David Rothkopf is a member of to the Council of Foreign Relations, a think tank Hillary Clinton has admits she bases her policies on. Another article by Foreign Policy written by an ex-NATO commander James Stavridis, claims "It's time to talk about partitioning Syria".
The US hoped to achieve this by empowering the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremist groups, and introducing Al Qaeda and ISIS into Syria. The Syrian army was supposed to collapse with soldiers returning to their respective demographic enclaves. Evidence of this could be seen in the headlines of NATO's media arm in 2012, which spread false rumours that Assad had run to Latakia, abandoning his post in Damascus. The extremists were then supposed to attack Alawite, Christian and Druze villages. The US hoped that enough Alawites, Christians and Druze would be slaughtered that Syria's minorities would become receptive to the idea of partitioning.
Then NATO planned on shifting narratives from, "evil dictator must be stopped" to "we must protect the minorities". Turning on the very terrorists they created and backing secessionist movements. There is evidence that this narrative shift had already started to happened by 2014 when it was used to convince the US public to accept US intervention in Syria against ISIS. The US designation of Jabhat Al Nusra as a terrorist organisation in December of 2012 was in preparation for this narrative shift. But this was premature as none of these plans seemed to unfold according to schedule. Assad did not leave Damascus, the Syrian army held together, and Syrian society held onto its national identity.
It could be said that the Yinon plan had some success with the Kurdish PYD declaration of federalization. However, the Kurdish faction of the Syrian national coalition condemned PYD's declaration. Regardless, the declaration has no legal legitimacy. The region of Al Hasakah where a substantial portion of Syria's oil and agriculture lies, has a population of only 1.5 million people, 6% of Syria's total population. Of that, 1.5 million, only 40% are Kurdish, many of which do not carry Syrian passports. PYD's demand that the oil and water resources of 23 million people be given to a tiny part of its population is unlikely to garner much support amongst the bulk of Syria's population.
Former US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger understood that the key to dismembering a nation was attacking its national identity. This entails attacking the history from which this identity is based upon. In an event at Michigan University Kissinger stated that he would like to see Syria balkanized, asserting that Syria is not a historic state and is nothing but an invention of the Sykes-Picot agreement in the 1920's. Interestingly, Kissinger is using the same narrative as ISIS, who also claims that Syria is a colonial construct. In fact, ISIS has been a key tool for Kissinger and the promoters of the project of a New Middle East, as ISIS has waged a campaign of destruction against both Syrian and Iraqi historical sites.
In spite of efforts to convince the world of the contrary, the region that now encompasses modern day Syria has been called Syria since 605 BC . Sykes-Picot didn't draw the borders of Syria too large, but instead, too small. Historical Syria also included Lebanon and Iskandaron. Syria and Lebanon were moving towards reunification until 2005, an attempt at correcting what was a sectarian partition caused by the French mandate. Syria has a long history of opposing attempts of divide and conquer, initially the French mandate aimed to divide Syria into 6 separate states based on sectarian lines, but such plans were foiled by Syrian patriots. The architects of the Yinon plan need only have read Syria's long history of resistance against colonial divisions to know their plans in Syria were doomed to failure.
The next really big difference between Palestinians and ISIS is that ISIS is composed of jihadi "foreign fighters" and mercenaries who are in it for the bucks -- and, yes, for the raping and pillaging aspect too. On the other hand, Palestinians have spent the last 65 years protesting against their own enslavement and genocide by a neo-colonialist power with no heart. "If force doesn't work, use more force," is the current policy of Israeli neo-colonialists.
For the past 65 years, Palestinians have been brutalized, robbed and enslaved by Zionist neo-colonialists armed to the teeth with panzer divisions, gestapos, concentration camps, blitzkriegs, chemical weapons and storm troopers. And now Palestinians are fighting back with stones, knives and their bare hands -- just like back when the slave Spartacus finally told the Romans, "Enough!"
"What did you think, the Palestinians would sit still indefinitely?" says Gideon Levy's latest article in Haaretz. "Did you really think Israel would continue on its course and they’d just bow their heads in submission? Jerusalem has become the capital of apartheid. No other city so discriminates and dispossesses or is so violent. Gun-toting Mayor Nir Barkat, who’s largely responsible for the discrimination and dispossession in his city, incites against a third of its population — an unbelievable phenomenon in its own right. And you thought 300,000 people would acquiesce?" http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.680443
"But aren't Palestinians being anti-Semitic?" you might ask me at this point. Yes and no. Yes, there is a Spartacus-like slave rebellion taking place in Jerusalem right now, against a supposedly Jewish state. So on the face of things, this rebellion does actually look kind of anti-Semitic.
But, no, the current Palestinian rebellion isn't anti-Semitic at all -- because the self-styled "Chosen People" master-race wannabees who currently control Israel have poisoned what used to be the shining ideal of a Jewish State and now, under these oligarchs' thumb, Israel has degenerated into just one more dying slave-state carcass whose ideals have been compromised. Israel today is no more a Jewish state than the greedy oligarchs who viciously put down Spartacus's rebellion were supporters of the ideal of a shining Roman democracy.
"But aren't Palestinians all just a bunch of terrorists who go around knifing Israeli soldiers?" you might finally ask me in desperation. Knifing soldiers? Really? You are complaining that Palestinians are now using kitchen knives to defend their families against fully-armored storm troopers and panzer divisions who kill their children, enslave their adults and steal their land? Really?
Hell, Spartacus used a knife to rebel against slavery too. I rest my case.
According to the RSPCA, since ESCAS was introduced, Israel's live export market has been the subject of numerous complaints regarding the treatment of Australian animals. Apart from inhumane loading and handling, abattoirs in Israel continue to use barbaric inversion slaughter boxes which rotate cattle upside-down to have their throats cut without stunning.
Hidden cameras set up by Animals Australia investigators have captured harrowing vision of routine abuse inside one of Israel’s biggest abattoirs. Just like Bakar Tnuva, (exposed in 2012), the Deir Al Asad slaughterhouse passed audits and was given the ‘tick of approval’ by live exporters and the Australian Government.
This must be incredibly painful, and terrorizing for the animals, but now, footage from the Dabaah abattoir has revealed even more appalling treatment at the point of slaughter.
Australian cattle that have just been attacked in what's crudely called "slaughter" are staggering onto the kill-room floor with their throats gaping open, to be eventually hoisted while still conscious. Workers are seen twisting and breaking their tails to make it easier for them to attach the hoisting shackles.
This abattoir is deemed compliant with every single requirement of ESCAS by the exporter-appointed auditor. Australia is compliant to this torture by supplying the animals!
When Animals Australia investigator visited Vietnamese abattoirs last month, he witnessed what Australian cattle who commonly fall ‘outside the system’ are subjected to. It is the same fate suffered by local cattle as well as those imported from other countries when they are slaughtered in the ‘traditional method’: A frightened bull is marched onto a blood soaked kill floor. He is restrained tightly by a rope around his neck. A slaughterman stands before him wielding a sledgehammer!
In 2013, the first video evidence showing Australian cattle being hit with sledgehammers was provided to the Department of Agriculture by a concerned member of the public. But instead of halting live cattle exports at that time, the industry chose to rapidly expand the trade and increase market share in Vietnam.
It's unconscious-able that our government fully supports this evil trade. We've had sledgehammer attacks, sheep buried alive, and every atrocity imaginable, but the live export trade continues.
While profits benefits producers, and Australia's economy, any industry built on such horrendous animal abuse and abandonment of ethnics is completely unacceptable, and must end.
Kennedy, the Lobby and the Bomb (6/9/13) | VoltaireNet. This article, by Laurent Guyénot, first published on Voltaire Net on 2 May 2013, covers critically important historical events which commenced with John F. Kennedy's Presidency (1961-1963) and ended with the 6 Day War of 1967. On 8 June 1967, the fourth day of the Six Day War, even though the United States was an ally of Israel, Israeli warplanes bombed the intelligence ship, the USS Liberty in the Mediterranean Sea and began strafing sailors in the water in an attempt to ensure that there were no survivors. The clear intention was to blame the sinking of the USS Liberty on Egypt and use that as a pretext for the United States to join Israel in its war against Egypt and other Arab nations.
After the Saudi aggression on Yemen and the aerial bombardment campaign on its different regions, more than 2600 innocent lives have been lost, most of who are women, children and the elderly. The silence of the world on such an atrocity is heart breaking to say the least. To add to this, more than 4000 people have been injured who cannot receive medical treatment due to the lack of supplies in this poverty stricken country.
With the financial and media support of the Persian Gulf countries such as Qatar, UAE and Bahrain alongside the military and armament support of America, England and the Zionist regime, the Saudi warplanes have destroyed numerous hospitals and clinics, 76 schools and centers of learning, 6 oil refineries, 1500 residential buildings and governmental institutions.
The devastation caused by the Saudis has destroyed water and electricity installations, bridges and important highways connecting different cities. This has created an immeasurable amount of difficulties in the lives of the oppressed people of Yemen which furthermore has led to the prospect of a humanitarian crisis for the residents of those cities.
Until now, numerous human rights organizations and Yemeni hospitals and clinics have declared a state of emergency and announced the urgent need for food, medicine and health supplies. The lack of electricity, food supplies and a supply of clean drinking water are among the most urgent needs.
Taking into account the widespread censorship on the news related to the people of Yemen and the multi-dimensional support of the Western and Arabian countries to these deadly attacks, it has once again become the responsibility of the people and grass roots human rights activists to make the suppressed voices of the oppressed Yemenis heard in the world. By breaking the inhumane restrictions of the media on Yemen, the people will fulfill a historic duty in the face of this humanitarian crisis, and by exposing the truth of the war mongering nature of Aale Sa’ud and America, they will stop the march towards another humanitarian disaster.
For this cause, a group of grass roots anti-war activists from different countries in the world have gathered together to condemn “Operation Decisive Storm” by announcing the creation of an international campaign with the title of “The Breeze of Mercy”. This is with the hope that the campaign can be an ointment for the deep wounds inflicted upon the nation of Yemen and a few steps of friendship towards its war inflicted people.
This international campaign will work to break the media censorship on the plight of the Yemenis, call for a stop in the continuation of this oppressive war and look to gather funds and donations from friends all over the world for the 170,000 displaced and war inflicted people of Yemen.
Many refugee advocates seem to be entirely unaware that Syria - constantly damned by the mainstream media - is the only country which has given permanent status to the Palestinians who lost their country to Israel. Knowing this gives us a perspective on why US/Israel/NATO is so keen to destroy Syria: their chief target is to destroy any chance of Palestine reestablising itself from Syria. In this article the author, a former resident of Aleppo, with relatives still in Syria, describes some of the history of Palestine-Syrian cooperation and how recently foreign 'Arab Spring' money has religiously radicalised resistance movements in Palestinian refuges in Syria to turn against the secular Syrian Government, to the great satisfaction of Palestine's enemies. Author's name updated 12-4-2015
The situation in Yarmouk (if not in all the region) is so surreal, that I neither can imagine nor describe it without feeling as if I'm drunk or having drug-induced hallucinations. It all looks incoherent to me.
The Syrian government helped "Hamas" for decades, and had suffered international sanctions because of this. It supported them, and gave them safe haven when every other Arab nation refused.
The Syrian government trained Hamas in digging underground tunnels to fight Israel, as a resistance movement. Then the "Arab Spring" started, and the leaders of "Hamas", who are "Muslim Brotherhood" in origin, changed loyalties, thanks to the temptation of the money of Qatar; the allurement of the Great Neo-Ottoman Erdogan; and the glamour of ruling the whole Middle East, starting with Egypt and Tunisia (by their fellow Muslim Brotherhood). They thought they had become a Super Power that didn't need Iranian aid anymore, nor a haven in Syria, nor Hezbollah's training.
It would have been way better if they had just left Syria when it needed friends to stay with it in this time of crisis, or if they had just become neutral and not joined the government or the rebels.
Instead, they stabbed the government in the back! Using all the techniques that had been taught by Syrians, Lebanese, and Iranians to use against the Israelis, they used them against Syrians! They spread the "knowledge" of digging tunnels and taught it to the Free Syrian Army and all those crazy rebels; they taught them how to make bombs in a certain way which both Hezbollah and Syrian intelligence knew that no other Hamas knew!
Then, they created a military faction called "Aknaf Beit al-Maqdes # The Environs of Jerusalem" (ABM), between 26th of Dec 2012 - early Mar 2013, who occupied Al-Yarmouk Refugee Camp and used it as their base against the Syrian government. Their name should mean that they would fight in Jerusalem, not in a refugee camp in Damascus, but that is logic, and we are talking about living a surreal nightmare where nothing makes any sense! That ABM prevented any relations with the Syrian government on grounds that it was going to fall sooner or later, or because it was "infidel", and they don't need its help! People in the camp started to starve, and many died because of extreme starvation as there was no way for food to come in!
Dozen of conciliation attempts had been rejected at the last minute because of the moody and elusive ABM militia, while blaming it on the "murderer regime" of the mainstream media. The Syrian Government chose to use other Palestinian movements to try to regain the camp from the ABM, and the Syrian Arab Army (Syria's army) besieged the whole camp to keep it isolated from Damascus, although it's not that easy because the camp is almost a part of the greater Damascus today. Before these crises, unless you were one of the camp's inhabitants, you would not have known whether you were inside or outside the camp's borders.
In 1948 and 1967 Yamouk was 8 km away from Damascus, but not anymore because of the urban expansion through the intervening decades. The Syrian president didn't want to be involved in a war against any Palestinian movement, because he didn't want history to say that he had once killed a Palestinian refugee. They were defending Damascus city when necessary, and they preferred other loyal Palestinian movements to do the work. (A minor scale proxy war? So be it).
All that time though, Hamas refused to admit their relationship with the ABM militias, claiming that they were individuals from Hamas who took their own decisions, and that they weren't coordinating with the head of Hamas. Everyone though knew that no other than the notorious Khaled Mish'al, one of the main heads of Hamas, who lived in Syria for more than a decade (2001-2012) and who is living today in Qatar, was the creator of the ABM! A few days ago, Mesh'al reportedly made contact with one the leaders of loyal Palestinian resistance movements in Damascus, Ahmed Jibril, asking for them to assist the ABM against ISIL! For 2 years, he maintained that ABM were not part of Hamas, but lately, he seems more responsible and aware.
'Rebels' refused to use allocated battlefields, preferred civilian areas
Many other nearby towns and small cities had succeeded in conciliation attempts, agreeing that all the armed gangs of "al-Nusra / al-Qa'eda" could leave peacefully to go to other areas. There was a government plan to push them out to some arid areas where there were no civilians, where fighting would be easier and civilian causalities would not be involved.
So, where did these armed gangs go? Right to Yarmouk Refugee Camp, where the ABM greeted them like brothers!
Well, those very "brothers" (who included Palestinians, Syrians, and multinational foreigners) pledged allegiance to no one but the wealthy ISIL, which pays way more than any other terrorist group these days, and which was in the nearby town of el-Hajar el-Aswad.
From el-Hajar el-Aswad, 400 ISIL militants invaded the Refugee Camp at night, in the early hours of April the 1st, where another 200 Nusra fighters joined them, and started their usual orgy of killing against whoever remained of the unfortunate people and the elusive ABM fighters.
The outcome was that ABM fighters divided into 3 factions: One division joined ISIL; the other resisted it and fought it; and the third surrendered to the loyal Palestinian parties who besieged the camp, and therefore, to the Syrian Army.
ISIL had invaded most of the camp, and its members beheaded the very elusive heads of ABM militias. They removed the Palestinian flags from the tops of the buildings and trampled them!
The population of Yarmouk before the Syrian crisis was around 150,000. Although mostly Palestinians, many Syrians lived there as well, as individual Syrian families or through intermarriage with Palestinians. Most of them fled within the last few years. Some even made it all the way to Gaza. There they suffered in the last war with Israel, so that they said wherever they go the war is running after them. Some of them left for other areas in Syria. Some left Syria completely. Some went to Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, where they discovered the great difference between Palestinian Refugee camps in Syria and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. In Syrian refugee camps they lived well, with full rights except for voting and citizenship, just like the holders of Green Cards in the U.S., or Permanent Residence in Canada, and a special passport which permitted them to travel. They were entitled to free education and health care, like any Syrian citizen. In the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon they had only minimum rights as human beings, not including the right to work They suffered from the double racial stigma of being both Syrian and Palestinian - the very two nationalities that are so hated by half the Lebanese. (That is another long story for another time.)
After all these events, the number left in Yarmouk before ISIL invasion was less than 20,000.
Now, because ISIL is in the camp, it's a completely different story for the Syrian Arab Army. They won't wait until ISIL becomes a threat to Damascus. The Palestinian authority in Ramallah has told the Syrian government to do whatever they need to do. [#fnYmk1" id="txtYmk1"> 1 ] That means the refugee camp is likely to be flattened like a parking lot very soon, unfortunately.
Hamas has a different attitude. They are asking all fighting parties in the camp to stop the bloodshed between the "brothers"! I bet they are still going to use any Syrian attack against the camp as another smear to demonize the Syrian "regime"!
As PLO Secretary Khaled ‘Abdel-Majeed reportedly said, "If the Syrian Arab Army were dropping perfume they would probably be accused of using chemical weapons". Those mysterious "Barrel Bombs" sound as if they are way more dangerous than any atomic bomb in the mainstream media! Like parrots, they keep talking about that elusive weapon as if it was the most dangerous weapon ever used in wars! [#fnYmk2" id="txtYmk2"> 2 ]
Syria's Palestinian refuges major target of Israel, US NATO war on Syria
Israel is living its real Spring! One of the main goals of that war on Syria, was to destroy the Palestinian refugee suburbs (known as camps) in it, and to create hatred and enmity between Palestinians and Syrians. Each Palestinian refugee camp in Syria and other surrounding states is a memory for the people. They are stubs and seeds for future resistance against Israel, a motivation for all Palestinians to go back home one day in the future.
No wonder that those camps have been attacked everywhere in Syria, for no reason but to scatter their inhabitants and turn them into double and triple refugees, and maybe, to leave that land and go as far away as Latin America, where they do indeed accept Palestinian refugees !!!
Israel's proxy war against Palestinians
But, Israel didn't carry out these acts itself. It had a proxy war. Coordinating with the entire Axis (NATO, Gulf states, ISIL), they succeeded in one of their goals. Whether Hamas knew that and didn't mind because it was drunk with sectarianism and filthy petro-dollars; or they didn't know and thought that they were doing the right thing for their people: the result is a complete catastrophe for Palestinians!
Today, most Syrians say that they don't care about Palestine anymore, and to let them go and liberate their country themselves! I refuse to say so, because I know that this is exactly what Israel wants, however I have a real problem with few of Hamas's corrupted heads and leaders. If the movement doesn't kick them out, or split from Hamas and create another group under another name, there will be no solution for that complex problem.
The wound is so deep, and such treason usually has no cure for many generations to come. I heard for the last eight months that a split has already happened inside Hamas, as the people fighting on the ground in Gaza are very upset with their corrupted leaders in Qatar and Turkey. The fighters in Gaza still have good relations with both Iran and Hezbollah, while their leaders do not, and still have a dream of the Muslim Brotherhood controlling states and countries, thinking this to be an opportunity that comes once a century. They can't let it go without gambling all their resources on it. Turkey and Qatar would make Khaled Mesh'al live in five star hotels with a seven digit bank account, way better than the life of Yarmouk Refugee Camp.
But neither Turkey or Qatar will give him a bullet to fight Israel.
Plus these states are blackmailing those leaders and putting pressure on them by using the People Cards: They are ready to rebuild Gaza, and to feed the Palestinians, but that is not for free. In exchange, I guess, they have to turn into a political authority, just like the one in Ramallah, and get rid of their arms and missiles. More illusions, more promises, more wishful thinking and blah blah blah.
We all saw what happened after the Oslo Accords in the early 90's till today: NOTHING! Or let's say, nothing for the Palestinians, while ongoing benefits for the Israelis.
It's a surreal situation that shows how stupid humans can become. On the subject of Palestinians, the Israeli-Gulf-NATO axis has won and succeeded 100%, unfortunately.
#fnYmk2" id="fnYmk2">3.#txtYmk2"> ↑
With regard to the mythical and legendary weapon of "Barrel Bombs"! It seems that everyone in the whole world is talking about these weapons, and I wonder why, if such a powerful weapon exists in Syria, why the Syrians didn't use it against Israel to liberate the Golan Heights at least? Or is this mythical weapon a pretext to try to prevent he Syrian army from using its airforce against the terrorists? What should the Syrian army use? Swords and Daggers ? It's a war, and it's a very dirty one, against criminal terrorists that have no mercy in their hearts. Those terrorists are launching daily random shells from what they called "Hell Cannon". Hell Cannon is a weapon used against civilians, as a punishment because they didn't join the "Blessed Revolution", and because they supported the "Infidel Regime"! The UN doesn't see those arms, nor the slaughtering, nor the massacres, nor the suicide bombers in children's schools and busy markets. It sees only the mighty "Barrel Bombs"!
Polish media outlet Nie has published a bombshell account about direct Polish involvement in Ukraine's destabilization. Its source alleges that the Polish Foreign Ministry had invited Ukrainian militants into the country and trained them outside of Warsaw in September 2013.
Candobetter editorial comment: Modern history since the time of the Second World War is full of paradoxes.
No other people have suffered as much at the hands of the German Nazis as the Jews and the Poles. Yet, Israeli soldiers and, as this article shows, Polish military instructors, helped the Ukrainian neo-nazis to destabilise the elected Government of President Viktor Yanukovych and overthrow it in the putsch of 22 February 2014.
Considering the destructive actions and fatalities they would later be responsible for during the EuroMaidan riots, such a connection would directly link Warsaw to the pandemonium. It would also implicate Poland in being the "Slavic Turkey" of NATO in Eastern Europe. The impact of Nie's reporting can also affect domestic Polish politics, as it would prove that the political elite misled members of Parliament, which could later have direct political repercussions for Tusk's "Civil Platform". This scandal serves to highlight that Poland is starting to emulate the methods of its invited neo-colonial headmaster, the US, thereby deepening the puppet-master relationship between Warsaw and Washington.
According to the report, 86 Euromaidan militants, some of whom appeared to be over 40 years old, came to Poland under the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The pretext for plausible deniability was that they were in the country to promote cooperation between the Warsaw University of Technology and the National Technical University in Kiev. In reality, however, these individuals were whisked away to Legionowo, a town on the outskirts of Warsaw. There, at the police training center, they spent four weeks engaged in a regiment of destabilization training.
Polish police academy "students" beating Berkut officer on Euromaidan in Kiev, January 2014.
The source goes on to state that pictures of the participants show them clothed in Nazi regalia and tattoos, with their Polish military instructors lacking any outward identification as such. At the facility, militants learned the following techniques: crowd management; target identification; tactics; leadership; behavioural management under stressful conditions; protection against police gasses; building barricades; and importantly, they engaged in shooting classes, which incidentally included sniper rifles. Quite clearly, the "students" who came to Warsaw were there for war, not academic work, and their training there resulted in the christening of Bandera's spiritual descendants.
These revelations underline how the EuroMaidan militants had prior Western-backed training, and that Poland was chosen as the location for their instruction. Through its direct involvement and support in training the radicals, Poland is quickly living up to its reputation as NATO's most important frontline state. When the Polish Sejm voted in early December, 2013 to show its "full solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine, who with great determination show the world their desire to ensure their country's full membership in the EU", little did they know that the violent vanguard which had just days before thrown Molotov cocktails and attacked police officers likely acquired their tactics less than an hour's drive from where they casted their vote. Most members of parliament likely did not have a clue that their government was training those violent elements and would be shocked to know that this was the case.
The ultimate irony is that Poland is training fighters who honor a man that glorified in ethnically cleansing Poles from Ukraine in the most horrendous ways imaginable during World War II. For all of its blaring patriotism and nationalist sentiment, the Polish government is actually working against its long-term interests by backing such radical anti-Polish elements right next door.
This "Bandera Brinksmanship" reminds one of the US' foreign policy mentality of allying with and building dangerous radical forces that may later come back to harm them (i.e. Al Qaeda in the Soviet's Afghan conflict and the Libyan and Syrian-based international jihadis of today). Through its greedy and nationalistically minded cooperation with the US in seeking to de-facto resurrect the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Poland has abandoned its European principles and blindly set itself on becoming America's bulldog in Eastern Europe.
#FFFFFF;">President John F. Kennedy, Arabist and renowned for his support for Algerian Independence struggle
#FFFFFF;">President Johnson, who colluded with Israel in its unsuccessful attempt to sink the USS Liberty and blame Egypt
#F5F3DA;font-size:100%;line-height:120%">Editorial Introduction: This article, by Laurent Guyénot, first published on Voltaire Net on 2 May 2013, covers critically important historical events which commenced with John F. Kennedy's Presidency (1961-1963) and ended with the 6 Day War of 1967. On 8 June 1967, the fourth day of the Six Day War, even though the United States was an ally of Israel, Israeli warplanes bombed the intelligence ship, the USS Liberty in the Mediterranean Sea and began strafing sailors in the water in an attempt to ensure that there were no survivors. The clear intention was to blame the sinking of the USS Liberty on Egypt and use that as a pretext for the United States to join Israel in its war against Egypt and other Arab nations.
#F5F3DA;">The sinking of the USS Liberty was intended to be a classic false flag terrorist attack like 9/11 and in the mould of the Operation Northwoods proposal which had been put to former President Kennedy in March 1962 and rejected. However, the presence of witnesses on a nearby Soviet warship prevented the Israeli warplanes from finishing their work and foiled Israel's plan to attribute this crime to Egypt. This was done with the active collusion of U.S. President Johnson, who subsequently attempted unsuccessfully to cover it up. A war on a much larger scale -- potentially even an all out nuclear war -- was thus prevented. The criminality of the current President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry, who was recently caught out lying about Syria, has more than one chilling precedent 17 in the actions of President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ).
Exactly fifty years ago a crucial episode took place in the history of "U.S. democracy"; an epic struggle whose outcome would influence the future of the entire world. Laurent Guyénot revisits those events and recalls what was at stake at that critical historical juncture.
Kennedy and the AIPAC
In May 1963, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations opened an investigation into the covert activities of foreign agents on U.S. soil, focusing in particular on the American Zionist Council and the Jewish Agency for Israel. #fnSubj1" id="txtSubj1">1 The investigation was prompted by a report from the Chairman of that standing Committee, Senator J. William Fulbright, written in March 1961 (declassified in 2010), stating: "In recent years there has been an increasing number of incidents involving attempts by foreign governments, or their agents, to influence the conduct of American foreign policy by techniques outside normal diplomatic channels." By covert activities, including "within the United States and elsewhere," Fulbright was referring to the 1953 "Lavon Affair" #fnSubj2" id="txtSubj2">2 , where a group of Egyptian Jews was recruited by Israel to carry out bomb attacks against British targets, which were to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood so as to discredit Nasser in the eyes of the British and Americans.
The Senate investigation brought to light a money laundering racket through which the Jewish Agency (indivisible from the State of Israel and a precursor to the Israeli Government) was channeling tens of millions of dollars to the American Zionist Council, the main Israeli lobby in the United States. Following this investigation, the Department of Justice, under the authority of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, ordered the American Zionist Council to register as "agents of a foreign government," subject to the requirements of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, involving the close monitoring of its activities.
This attempt to counter Israel's growing interference in U.S. politics undoubtedly enjoyed the support of the President. At the time when he was still a young journalist covering the United Nations inaugural conference, John Kennedy was troubled by Israel's ability to buy politicians, up to and including the President himself. By recognizing the State of Israel on May 15, 1948, (just ten minutes after its official proclamation) despite the unanimous disapproval of his government, President Harry Truman not only gained a place in biblical history ("Truman's historic act of recognition will remain forever inscribed in golden letters in the 4000-year history of the Jewish people", declared the Israeli ambassador), he also pocketed two million dollars to revitalize his re-election campaign. "That's why our recognition of Israel was rushed through so fast," Kennedy told his friend novelist and essayist Gore Vidal #fnSubj3" id="txtSubj3">3
In 1960, John Kennedy himself received a financial aid offer from the Israeli lobby for his presidential campaign. He decoded Abraham Feinberg's proposal for his journalist friend Charles Bartlett in the following terms: "We know your campaign is in trouble. We're willing to pay your bills if you'll let us have control of your Middle East policy." Bartlett recalls Kennedy's promise that "if he ever did get to be President, he was going to do something about it#fnSubj4" id="txtSubj4">4 Between 1962 and 1963, he submitted seven campaign finance reform bills but all were defeated by the influential groups they sought to restrain.
All government efforts to stymie the corruption of American democracy by Israeli agents were stopped short by Kennedy's assassination and his brother's replacement at the Department of Justice by Nicholas Katzenbach. The American Zionist Council evaded foreign agent status by dissolving and renaming itself American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Ten years later (April 15, 1973), Fulbright commented on CBS: "Israel controls the U.S. Senate. [...] The great majority of the Senate of the U.S. -- somewhere around 80 percent -- are completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants Israel gets." AIPAC continued the same practices, dodging any sanction even when its members were caught red-handed in acts of espionage and high treason. In 2005, two AIPAC officials, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, were acquitted after having received from a member of the Pentagon Office of Special Plans, Larry Franklin, documents classified as Secret-Defense which they transmitted to a senior Israeli official.
In 2007, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt demonstrated in their book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy that AIPAC and less prominent pro-Israel lobbies were the main cause of the war in Iraq and, more broadly, the determining factor in the foreign policy of the U.S. in the Middle East. Considering that nothing has changed, there is no reason to believe that the government of Benjamin Netanyahu will not also obtain from the United States the destruction of Iran that it consistently clamors for.
#F5F3DA;font-size:90%;line-height:110%">On October 3, 2001, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was reported by Kol Yisrael radio to have said to his Foreign Minister Shimon Peres that "We, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it." His successor Benjamin Netanyahu gave a demonstration of that on May 24, 2011, before the U.S. Congress, when members of both houses stood up to cheer him 29 times, in particular after each of the following remarks: "In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers"; "No distortion of history could deny the 4000- year-old bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land"; "Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967"; "Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel."
Kennedy, the bomb and Dimona
Had Kennedy lived, Israel's influence would most certainly have been curbed on yet another front, that of nuclear weapons. By the early 1950s, David Ben Gurion, who combined the functions of prime minister and defense minister, had engaged his country in the secret manufacturing of nuclear weapons, diverting the Atoms for Peace cooperation program, naively launched by Eisenhower, from its intended goals. Briefed by the CIA about the real purpose of the Dimona facility as soon as he moved into the White House, Kennedy put heavy pressure on the Israelis not to pursue it. He demanded that Ben Gurion open up Dimona for regular inspections, at first in person in New York in 1961, then through formal and increasingly insistent letters. In the last one, dated June 15, 1963, Kennedy urged that a first visit should take place immediately, followed by regular visits every six months, otherwise "This Government's commitment to and support of Israel could be seriously jeopardized#fnSubj5" id="txtSubj5">5." The reaction to this message was astonishing: Ben Gurion resigned on June 16, thus avoiding receipt of the letter. As soon as the new Prime Minister Levi Eshkol took office, Kennedy sent him a similar letter, dated July 5, 1963.
Kennedy's intention was not to deprive Israel of a power which was reserved to the United States and its NATO allies. The President's approach was part of a much more ambitious project, which he had announced on September 25, 1961, nine months after taking office, before the General Assembly of the United Nations: "Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be inhabitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us. [...] It is therefore our intention to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race - to advance together step by step, stage by stage, until general and complete disarmament has been achieved#fnSubj6" id="txtSubj6">6." The message was well received by Nikita Khrushchev, who responded favorably in a 26-page confidential letter dated September 29, 1961, delivered through secret channels. After the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the nuclear war that was narrowly avoided thanks to their composure brought the two heads of State even closer to the awareness of their shared responsibility to liberate humanity from the nuclear threat. Khrushchev sent Kennedy a second private letter in which he expressed the hope that at the end of Kennedy's eight years of presidency, "we could create good conditions for peaceful coexistence on earth and this would be highly appreciated by the peoples of our country as well as by all other peoples#fnSubj7" id="txtSubj7">7." Despite other crises, Kennedy and Khrushchev continued this secret correspondence, now declassified, comprising a total of 21 letters in which the intention to abolish nuclear weapons was a prominent concern.
In 1963, negotiations led to the first limited test ban treaty prohibiting nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, outer space and underwater, which was signed on August 5, 1963, by the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom. Six weeks later, on September 20, 1963, Kennedy manifested his pride and hope before the United Nations: "Two years ago I told this body that the United States had proposed and was willing to sign a limited test ban treaty. Today that treaty has been signed. It will not put an end to war. It will not remove basic conflicts. It will not secure freedom for all. But it can be a lever, and Archimedes, in explaining the principles of the lever, was said to have declared to his friends: 'Give me a place where I can stand and I shall move the world.' My fellow inhabitants of this planet, let us take our stand here in this Assembly of nations. And let us see if, in our own time, we can move the world to a just and lasting peace#fnSubj8" id="txtSubj8">8." In his last letter to Kennedy, handed to U.S. Ambassador Roy Kohler but which was never forwarded to the addressee, Khrushchev also took pride in this first historic treaty that "has injected a fresh spirit into the international atmosphere." He formulated other proposals, borrowing Kennedy's words: "Their implementation would clear the road to general and complete disarmament and, consequently, to the delivering of the peoples from the threat of war#fnSubj9" id="txtSubj9">9."
#F5F3DA;font-size:90%;line-height:110%">For Kennedy, the nuclear weapon was the negation of all historical efforts to civilize war by sparing civilians. He said to his friend and assistant Kenneth O'Donnell during his campaign for the Test Ban Treaty, "I keep thinking of the children, not my kids or yours, but the children all over the world." In his televised speech on July 26, 1963, he reiterated: "This treaty is for all of us. It is particularly for our children and our grandchildren, and they have no lobby here in Washington#fnSubj10" id="txtSubj10">10."
In the sixties, nuclear disarmament was a realistic goal. Only four countries had a nuclear weapon. There was a historic opportunity to be seized, and Kennedy was determined not to pass it up. "I am haunted by the feeling that by 1970, unless we are successful, there may be ten nuclear powers instead of four, and by 1975, fifteen or twenty#fnSubj11" id="txtSubj11">11," he uttered prophetically during his press conference of March 21, 1963. While all NATO member states and countries of the communist bloc were following the example of the USA and the USSR and taking a first step towards nuclear disarmament, Israel was acting secretly on its own, and Kennedy was determined to prevent it.
Kennedy's death a few months later eased the pressure on Israel. Johnson chose to turn a blind eye on the activities at Dimona. John McCone, the CIA director appointed by Kennedy, resigned in 1965, complaining of Johnson's lack of interest in the subject. Israel acquired its first bomb around 1967, without ever admitting it. Nixon was just as unconcerned as Johnson, while his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger privately expressed his satisfaction at the idea of having friendly Israel as a nuclear ally. Nixon, who ushered the "deep state" into the White House so to speak, played a double game: at the same time as he publicly supported the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (which was not a U.S. initiative), he sent a contradictory top-secret National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM-6) saying: "There should be no efforts by the United States government to pressure other nations [...] to follow suit. The government, in its public posture, should reflect a tone of optimism that other countries will sign or ratify, while clearly disassociating from any plan to bring pressure on these countries to sign or ratify#fnSubj12" id="txtSubj12">12."
According to 2011 figures from SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute), there are today across the world about 20,000 nuclear bombs with an average power 30 times that of Hiroshima, which equals 600,000 times Hiroshima. Of these, 1,800 nuclear warheads are on alert, i.e. ready to be launched in only a few minutes. With less than 8 million people, Israel is the world's sixth nuclear power.
#F5F3DA;font-size:90%;line-height:110%">"If the President had his way, there would be a nuclear war each week#fnSubj13" id="txtSubj13">13," Kissinger was reported to have said. In the 1950s, Nixon had recommended to Eisenhower the use of the atomic bomb in Indochina and Korea.
#F5F3DA;font-size:90%;line-height:110%">It was not until 1986, with the publication in the Sunday Times of photographs taken by Israeli technician Mordechai Vanunu inside Dimona, that the world discovered that Israel had secretly developed the atomic bomb. After being kidnapped by the Israeli secret services, Vanunu was convicted of the charge of "betraying state secrets." He spent 18 years in prison, including 11 in complete isolation. Since his release in 2004, he is prohibited from leaving Israel and communicating with foreign countries.
Johnson and the USS Liberty [#fnSubj16" id="txtSubj16">16]
Kennedy would not be remembered in Tel Aviv as a friend of Israel. In addition to his attacks against the outrageous lobbying activities of Israel and its nuclear power ambitions, Kennedy defended the right of return of the 800,000 Palestinian refugees expelled from their neighborhoods and villages in 1947-48. On November 20, 1963, his delegation to the United Nations called for the implementation of Resolution 194 crafted for this purpose. Kennedy probably never got the chance to read Israel's hysterical reactions in the newspapers: two days later, he was dead. Johnson's rise to power was greeted with relief in Israel: "There is no doubt that, with the accession of Lyndon Johnson, we shall have more opportunity to approach the President directly if we should feel that U.S. policy militates against our vital interests," considered Israeli newspaper Yedio Ahoronot. Far from reproaching Israel for its ethnic cleansing, Johnson fully embraced the myth of "a land without people for a people without a land", even going so far as to compare in front of a Jewish audience, "Jewish pioneers building a house the desert" with his own ancestors colonizing the New World - which, in fact, unintentionally underscored the equivalence between Israel's denial of its ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and the denial by the Americans of their own genocide history.
While Kennedy had cut down aid to Israel, Johnson increased it from 40 million to 71 million and to 130 million the following year. While the Kennedy administration had authorized the sale of a limited number of defensive missile batteries to Israel, under Johnson more than 70% of the aid was earmarked for military equipment, including 250 tanks and 48 Sykhawk offensive aircraft. Military aid to Israel reached 92 million in 1966, more than the total of all previous years combined. Conversely, by denying them U.S. aid, Johnson forced Egypt and Algeria to turn to the Soviet Union to maintain and upgrade their defense systems. In June 1967, Johnson gave Israel a "yellow light" for its so-called "preventive" war against Egypt, by a letter dated 3 June, when he assured Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol of his determination to "protect the territorial integrity of Israel [...] and provide as effective American support as possible to preserve the peace and freedom of your nation and the area."
Kennedy's death deeply affected the Arab world, where his portrait graced many homes. "Now, De Gaulle is the only Western head of state on whose friendship the Arabs can rely," said Gamal Abdul Nasser. While reducing aid to Israel, Kennedy had generously provided grain to Egypt as part of the Food for Peace program. For that country, the short-lived presidency of John F. Kennedy will have been an enchanted interlude, a dream shattered all too soon. In 1954, under Eisenhower, Egypt had been the target of false flag terrorist acts perpetrated by Israel in order to "break the West's confidence in the existing Egyptian regime [and] to prevent economic and military aim from the West to Egypt#fnSubj14" id="txtSubj14">14," according to the very words of the head of military Intelligence (Aman) Benjamin Givli in a secret, today declassified, telegram. The accidental ignition of an explosive device led to the exposure of the conspiracy, sparking the scandal which became known as the "Lavon Affair" after defense minister Pinhas Lavon, a scandal which was quickly stifled by Israel and the United States. Prime Minister Moshe Sharett, who advocated a moderate brand of Zionism, respectful of international rules, acknowledged at that time (but only in private) the irresistible rise of extremists, among which he included future President Shimon Peres, who "wants to frighten the West into supporting Israel's aims"and that "raises terrorism to the level of a sacred principle#fnSubj15" id="txtSubj15">15."
Kennedy's death gave free rein to this Machiavellian terrorism which Israel has developed into an art form. Two days before the end of the Six Day War, the Israeli army launched against the USS Liberty the most famous and disastrous of its false flag attacks. On the sunny day of June 8, 1967, three unmarked Mirage bombers and three torpedo boats flying an Israeli flag bombed, strafed and torpedoed for 75 minutes this NSA (National Security Agency) ship -unarmed, floating in international waters and easily recognizable - with the obvious intention of leaving no survivors, machine-gunning even the lifeboats. They only stopped at the approach of a Soviet ship, after killing 34 crew members, mostly engineers, technicians and translators. It is assumed that if they had succeeded in sinking the ship without witnesses, the Israelis would have attributed the crime to Egypt, so as to drag the United States into war on the side of Israel.
According to Peter Hounam, author of Operation Cyanide: Why the Bombing of the USS Liberty Nearly Caused World War III (2003), the attack on the Liberty was secretly authorized by the White House as part of the project labeled Frontlet 615, "a secret political arrangement in 1966 by which Israel and the U.S. had vowed to destroy (Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser)." The orders issued by the White House that day, which delayed the rescue mission by several hours, suggest that Johnson not only covered up the Israelis post-facto, but also conspired with them. Oliver Kirby, the NSA Director for Operations at the time, reported to journalist John Crewdson of the Chicago Tribune (October 2, 2007) that the communications transcripts from the Israeli planes intercepted by the NSA and sent to Washington immediately, left no doubt as to the identity of the attackers, and about the fact that they were aware it was a U.S. target before the attack: "I'm willing to swear on a stack of Bibles that we knew they knew [that it was a U.S. ship]." Unmasked, Israel claimed it was a case of mistaken identity and offered its apology, which Lyndon Johnson meekly accepted on the grounds that "I will not embarrass our ally." When, in January 1968, Johnson received Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to Washington and then invited him to his Texas ranch, relations were cozy.
Israel will have drawn a lesson of impunity whose influence on its future behavior should not be underestimated: the price for failure in a false-flag operation against the United States is zero. In fact, failure is impossible, since the Americans will themselves step in to cover up Israel's crimes. Better yet, Johnson rewarded Israel by lifting any restriction on military equipment: weapons and U.S. aircraft immediately flocked to Tel Aviv, soon turning Israel into the top customer of the U.S. military industry.
#fnSubj17" id="fnSubj17">17. #txtSubj17">↑ Another precedent was President Johnson's war against the people of Vietnam, in which Australia participated. The false flag pretext, used to justify the escalation of the war and the aerial bombardment of Vietnam in 1964, was the fraudulent claim that the Destroyer USS Maddox had been attacked by Vietnamese warships off the coast of Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin.
MikoPeled, whose father Mattitya Peled served as a General in the Israeli Army, speaks at a forum in Seattle, in the United States on 9 Oct 2012.
The talk includes a comprehensive explanation of how the Palestinians were progressively expelled from more and more of their homeland since 1947. Myths that depict Israel as merely defending itself from the aggression of Palestinians and neighbouring Arab nations in the wars of 1947 and 1967 are demolished. (The talk is embedded in this article. It can be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etXAm-OylQQ .
Editorial comment: The humanity and moral courage of both Miko Peled and his late father Mattiya Peled (pictured, right) can be seen from this broadcast of one hour and eight minutes. Also the knowledge, insight and judgment of Miko Peled are very helpful.
However, I dispute Mattiya's analysis in the following points, which, although not directly related to the question of Israel and Palestine, are nonetheless major issues in their own right:
1. He considers the issue of #iran">Iran as a 'distraction' to the critical issue of justice for Palestine.
2. Just before the end of the talk, he implies that the anti-Vietnam-War protest movement successfully stopped the #vietnam">Vietnam War.
Infowars said its "inside source" listed the following June issues for discussion:
destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities within three years;
prolonging war on Syria by arming anti-Assad elements;
Whilst Palestine remains a critical issue, it has, on a number of occasions in recent months been given focus by the mainstream media in obvious attempts to momentarily divert attention away from its losing campaign of lies in support of the Western imperialists' proxy terrorist war against Syria. This war is aimed ultimately at Iran, Russia and China. So Iran cannot rightly be considered a 'diversion'.
The Vietnam War was not stopped until after horrific devastation was inflicted upon the whole of the Indo-China peninsula by US and allied bombers, warships and ground forces. The real fight to end the war was fought by President John F. Kennedy, murdered in 1963 and his younger brother Bobby Kennedy, who was murdered in 1968 and by Jim Garrison who fought legal battles in New Orleans to unmask the murderers of JFK. Had JFK or his brother lived or had Garrison succeeded, the war would almost certainly have ended by 1969 at the latest.
In reality, the leaders of the anti-Vietnam-War protest movement, failed to support Garrison's investigation into the murder of JFK. Had they done so, Garrison almost certainly would have succeeded. With JFK's killers unmasked, Bobby Kennedy would almost certainly have lived to become US President and been able to end the war by no later than January 1969. Instead, Bobby Kennedy was also murdered and President Nixon, who was elected in his place, continued the ground war and aerial bombardment of Vietnam until 1973. The fighting against the US puppet government of South Vietnam persisted until 1975.
After Vietnam's formal victory in 1975, its economic ruin from the war caused it to be subsequently enslaved to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This has taken away from the Vietnamese people much of what little they were able to gain in 1975.
#fn1" id="fn1">1.#txt1">↑ This article on VoltaireNet is exceptionally helpful and informative. It covers events of the mid-1960's in the Middle East which followed the 1963 murder of JFK. The bombing of the USS Liberty by the Israeli Air Force during the Six Day War of 1967 was raised by a member of Miko Peled's audience in the broadcast embedded above.
On 8 June 1967, the fourth day of the Six Day War, the USS Liberty surveillance vessel was bombed and survivors machine gunned. Only the presence of Soviet Air Force fighters, who witnessed the attack, prevented all the survivors from being killed and the sinking of the USS Liberty then being blamed upon Egypt. This attack was also covered up by President Johnson, who intended to use the false flag sinking of the USS Liberty as a pretext to join Israel's war against Egypt and overthrow the government of Gamal Abdel Nasser.
This also reveals why the Israeli Intelligence agency Mossad almost certainly had a hand in the murder of JFK. As an outspoken supporter of Arab nationalism, particularly the struggle of the Algerian FLN against the French colonialists, from when he was elected to the US Senate in 1952, John F. Kennedy understood the insidious role played by Israel in the Middle East and in thr United States itself.
This article shows it most implausible that JFK was the imperialist war-maker that the likes of Noam Chomsky and the phoney left have attempted to depict him as.
Syrian rebel fights Assad 'tyranny' by cutting off prisoner's head with a knife. See #FsaSadism">embedded video - NOT suitable for viewing by children.
In recent days, world public opinion and the global balance of power has shifted markedly in favour of the embattled nation of Syria and its allies. Nevertheless, it is imperative for every person opposed to mass murder to give whatever support they are able to the courageous Syrian people in their fight against the terrorist 'Free' 'Syrian' Army (FSA) proxies of the US and its allies.
Since early 2011, following the start of NATO's bloody war against Libya, the Syrian Government of President Bashar al-Assad has faced the start of a similar attempt at 'regime change' by terrorist 'Free' 'Syrian' Army (FSA) proxies of the United States and its allies. Unlike the tragic course of events which unfolded in Libya, the Syrian Arab Army (hereafter referred to as simply the "Syrian Army") has withstood the terrorists, contrary to repeated pronouncements by the lying mainstream media that Assad's downfall was imminent, although as many as 70,000#fn1">1 Syrians may have already perished.
Since Tony Cartalucci wrote this article, world public opinion and the international balance of power has shifted markedly in Syria's favour. As an example the Summit of the BRICS coalition of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which concluded on 27 March, opposed moves to escalate the war against Syria and threats to invade Iran. Russia has given a firm show of support for its Syrian ally by conducting large naval exercised off the Black Sea coast of NATO member Turkey, which has been supplying FSA terrorists and giving them sanctuary.
US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel have conspired to destroy Syria by way of arming sectarian extremists since 2007.
The West now admits it, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have
provided thousands of tons of weapons to militants in Syria - while also
conceding that Al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, Jabhat al-Nusra is the best armed, most well equipped militant front in the conflict.
US, Saudi, Israeli-backed terrorists are now committing a myriad of
horrific atrocities against all of Syria's population, including Sunni
Muslims - meaning neither "democracy" nor even "sectarianism" drives the
conflict, but rather the destruction of Syria in its entirety.
US State Department acknowledges Syria faces threat from Al Qaeda,
demands blockade of arms/aid from reaching government to fight
terrorists the US State Department admits are present in every major
March 30, 2013 (LD) - Since 2007, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel documented as conspiring to overthrow the Syrian government by way of
sectarian extremists, including groups "sympathetic to Al Qaeda," and in
particular, the militant, sectarian Muslim Brotherhood. While the West
has attempted to portray the full-scale conflict beginning in Syria in
2011 as first, a "pro-democracy uprising," to now a "sectarian
conflict," recent atrocities carried out by US-Saudi-Israeli proxies
have shifted the assault to include Sunni Muslims unable or unwilling to
participate in the destruction of the Syrian state.
Such attacks included a mortar bombardment of Damascus University, killing 15 and injuring dozens more, as well as the brutal slaying of two prominent Sunni Muslim clerics - the latest of which was beheaded,
his body paraded through the streets of Aleppo, and his head hung from
the mosque he preached in. While the West attempts to mitigate these
events by labeling the victims as "pro-government," the reality is that
the forces fighting inside Syria are funded, armed, directed, and
politically supported from abroad - and therefore do not represent any
of the Syrian people's interests, including those Syrians who do not
support the government.
It is abundantly clear that the West's goal is neither to institute
"democracy," nor even take sides in a "sectarian conflict," but rather
carry out the complete and permanent destruction of Syria as a
nation-state, sparing no one, not even Sunnis.
Such a proxy war exists contra to any conceivable interpretation of
"international law." The world is left with a moral imperative to not
only denounce this insidious conflict brought upon the Syrian people,
compounded and perpetuated entirely by external interests, but demands
that concrete action is taken to ensure that this act of aggression is
brought to an end.
The US, UK, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have admitted to colluding together,
flooding Syria with thousands of tons of weapons via Jordan to Syria's
south, and NATO-member Turkey to Syria's north. And in an otherwise
inexplicable conundrum, while the likes of US Secretary of State John
Kerry insist this torrent of weapons is being directed to "moderates,"
neither the US nor its allies are able to explain why Al Qaeda terror
front Jabhat al-Nusra has emerged as the most heavily armed, best equipped militant organization in the conflict.
US Secretary of
State John Kerry said on the sidelines of a Syrian opposition meeting in Italy last month that the weapons are ending up in the hands of secular groups. "I will tell you this: There is a very clear ability now in the Syrian opposition to make certain that what goes to the moderate, legitimate opposition is in fact getting to them, and the indication is
that they are increasing their pressure as a result of that," he said,
But even AP admits that
activists estimate there are 15-20 different brigades fighting in and
around Damascus now, each with up to 150 fighters. Many of them have
Islamic tendencies and bear black-and-white Islamic flags or
al-Qaeda-style flags on their Facebook pages. There is also a presence
of Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the strongest Islamic terrorist groups
fighting alongside the rebels.
Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks --
ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised
explosive device operations -- in major city centers including Damascus,
Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr.
According to the US State Department, al-Nusra is carrying out hundreds
of attacks with a wide array of weaponry, across the entire nation of
Syria, indicating a massive front and implying an equally massive
network of logistical support, including foreign sponsorship. What's
more, is that the US State Department acknowledges al-Nusra's presence
even in cities close to Syria's borders where the CIA is admittedly
overseeing the distribution of weapons and cash. The New York Times, in
their June 2012 article, "C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition," reported that:
A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern
Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across
the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according
to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.
With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply
increased their military aid to Syria's opposition fighters in recent
months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the
uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic
data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of
The article would also state:
Although rebel commanders and the data indicate that Qatar and Saudi
Arabia had been shipping military materials via Turkey to the opposition
since early and late 2012, respectively, a major hurdle was removed
late last fall after the Turkish government agreed to allow the pace of
air shipments to accelerate, officials said.
Simultaneously, arms and equipment were being purchased by Saudi Arabia in Croatia
and flown to Jordan on Jordanian cargo planes for rebels working in
southern Syria and for retransfer to Turkey for rebels groups operating
from there, several officials said.
The US State Department acknowledges that the well armed, prominent
terror front al-Nusra is operating in the very areas the CIA is feeding
weapons and cash into.
Image: (Above)West Point's Combating Terrorism Center's 2007 report,Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq"
indicated which areas in Syria Al Qaeda fighters filtering into
Iraq came from. The overwhelming majority of them came from Dayr Al-Zawr
in Syria's southeast, Idlib in the north near the Turkish-Syrian
border, and Dar'a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border. (Right)
A map indicating the epicenters of violence in Syria indicate that the
exact same hotbeds for Al Qaeda in 2007, now serve as the epicenters of
so-called "pro-democracy fighters" and also happen to be areas the US
CIA is admittedly distributing weapons and other aid in.
Such a reality directly
contradicts the US State Department's official position, and no
explanation is given as to how "moderates" can be provided with such
extensive support, and still be eclipsed militarily and logistically by
terror-front al-Nusra. That is, unless of course, the US, British,
Saudi, and Qatari weapons aren't simply just handing the weapons
directly to terrorists, precisely as planned as early as 2007.
The Destruction of Syria Began in 2007, Not 2011
While the West has attempted to reclaim Syria as part of its sphere of
influence for decades, concrete plans for the latest proxy war were laid
at least as early as 2007. It was admitted in 2007 that the US, Saudi
Arabia, and Israel conspired together to fund, arm, and direct sectarian
extremists including militants "sympathetic" to Al Qaeda, particularly
the Muslim Brotherhood, against the governments of Iran and Syria. In
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh's 2007 New Yorker
article, "The Redirection: Is the Administration's new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?" the conspiracy was described as follows:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush
Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in
the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has co-operated with
Saudi Arabia's government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations
that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is
backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations
aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has
been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant
vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
Hersh also cited US, Saudi, and Lebanese officials who indicated that,
"in the past year, the Saudis, the Israelis, and the Bush Administration have developed a series of informal understandings about their new
strategic direction," and that, "the Saudi government, with Washingtons
approval, would provide funds
and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad,
of Syria. The report would also state:
Some of the core tactics of the redirection are not public, however. The
clandestine operations have been kept secret, in some cases, by leaving
the execution or the funding to the Saudis, or by finding other ways to
work around the normal congressional appropriations process, current
and former officials close to the Administration said.
Mention of the Muslim Brotherhood already receiving aid even in 2007 was also made:
The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a branch of a radical Sunni movement
founded in Egypt in 1928, engaged in more than a decade of violent
opposition to the regime of Hafez Assad, Bashir's father. In 1982, the
Brotherhood took control of the city of Hama; Assad bombarded the city
for a week, killing between six thousand and twenty thousand people.
Membership in the Brotherhood is punishable by death in Syria. The
Brotherhood is also an avowed enemy of the U.S. and of Israel.
Nevertheless, Jumblatt said, "We told Cheney that the basic link between
Iran and Lebanon is Syria--and to weaken Iran you need to open the door
to effective Syrian opposition."
There is evidence that the Administration's redirection strategy has
already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front
is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a
faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who
defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A.
officer told me, "The Americans have provided both political and
financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial
support, but there is American involvement."He said that Khaddam, who
now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the
knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front's
members met with officials from the National Security Council, according
to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the
Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.
It is clear that the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel planned to use
sectarian extremists against the nation of Syria starting at least as
early as 2007, and it is clear that now these sectarian extremists are
carrying out the destruction of Syria with a massive torrent of weapons
and cash provided by the US and its regional allies, just as was
described by Hersh's report.
A Moral Imperative to Save Syria
Syria is under attack by an insidious, premeditated foreign assault,
intentionally using terrorist proxies in direct and complete violation
of any conceivable interpretation of both national and international
law. The world has a moral imperative to support the Syrian people and
their government as they fight this assault - both politically and
logistically. While US Secretary John Kerry is unable to account for how
his nation's support for moderates has left Al Qaeda's al-Nusra front
the premier militant faction in Syria, he has demanded that Iraq help
stem the flow of alleged aid Iran is providing the Syrian government as
it fights these terrorists.
Does US Secretary of State John Kerry deny that Syria is fighting a
significant (and continuously growing) Al Qaeda presence within their
borders, which according to the US State Department's own statement, is
operating in every major city in the country? What conceivable
explanation or excuse could be made to justify the blockading of aid
sent to Syria to fight Al Qaeda terrorists? In fact, why isn't the US
aiding the Syrian government itself in its fight against Al Qaeda - a
terrorist organization the US has used as an excuse to wage unending
global war since 2001 when Al Qaeda allegedly killed some 3,000 American
Does Secretary Kerry believe that further arming "moderates" is a
legitimate strategy to counter Al Qaeda's growing presence in Syria when
these "moderates" openly defend Al Qaeda's al-Nusra? The US' own
hand-picked "Syrian opposition leader," Mouaz al Khatib, demanded
the US reconsider its designation of al Nusra as a terrorist
organization. Retuers reported in their article, "Syrian opposition urges U.S. review of al-Nusra blacklisting," that:
The leader of
Syria's opposition coalition urged the United States on Wednesday to
review its decision to designate the militant Islamist Jabhat al-Nusra
as a terrorist group, saying religion was a legitimate motive for Syrian
"The decision to consider a
party that is fighting the regime as a terrorist party needs to be
reviewed," Mouaz Alkhatib told a "Friends of Syria"
meeting in Morocco, where Western and Arab states granted full
recognition to the coalition seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
The US is directly responsible for the emergence and perpetuation of Al
Qaeda and other extremist groups in Syria. The statements of Secretary
John Kerry are made merely to maintain an increasingly tenuous
"plausible deniability." The precedent being set by the US and its
allies is one of using full-scale proxy invasions, that if successful in
Syria, will be directed into Iran, up through the Caucasus Mountains in
Russia, and even onto China's doorstep via extremists the West is
cultivating amongst the Uighurs. It is also clear that
the West is directly responsible for the extremists within their own
borders, and that these extremists are being used as a political tool
against the people of the West, just as they are being used as a
mercenary force abroad.
A united front between nations against this wanton
state sponsorship of terrorism is needed - with nations pledging
political and logistical support to the Syrian people to defeat this
open conspiracy. Individually, we can identify, boycott, and permanently replacethe corporate-financier interests
who conceived of and are driving this agenda. Failure to stop such wide
scale criminality against the Syrian people now, will only invite
greater criminality against us all in the near future.
#FsaSadism" id="FsaSadism">Appendix: Video of prisoner's head being removed with knife
The following video is not recommended for children. It is one of a number irrefutable examples of the sadism of those fighting against the Syrian Government.
#fn1" id="fn1">1. The figure of 70,000 dead, has been provided by the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) which is opposed to the Government of President Bashar al-Assad, and so has an obvious motive to either fabricate death tolls or to inflate deaths resulting from actions by the Syrian Army (or the Syrian Arab Army to use its full name). However the toll in Syrian military and civilian dead cannot be light and, judging from the staggering death tolls of many hundreds of thousands dead in Iraq following the illegal 2003 invasion, the toll stands to become much higher, should the Syrian Army be defeated.
Given that the supporters of the armed insurgency against the Syrian Government of President Bashar al-Assad, namely the governments of United States, Australia, their NATO allies and the Arab dictatorships of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, are the same who waged the illegal wars against Iraq in 1991 and 2003, from which 3.3 million Iraqis died, according to one estimate shouldn't we expect Australia's newsmedia, this time to subject the claims made by these same governments to more scrutiny? Shouldn't the Syrian government, which is being accused by the Western newsmedia of making foreign intervention necessary, at least, be allowed to put its case? Evidently not, judging by the Australian newsmedia's failure to report on the included interview of Bashar Al-Assad conducted by The Sunday Times on 3 March.
Sunday Times: Mr. President your recent offer of political dialogue was qualified with a firm rejection of the very groups you would have to pacify to stop the violence: the armed rebels and the Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition alliance.
So in effect you are only extending an olive branch to the loyal opposition, mostly internal, that renounces the armed struggle, and who effectively recognizes the legitimacy of your leadership, who are you willing to talk to, really?
President Assad: First of all, let me correct some of the misconceptions that have been circulating and that are found in your question in order to make my answer accurate.
Sunday Times: Okay.
President Assad: Firstly, when I announced the plan, I said that it was for those who are interested in dialogue, because you cannot make a plan that is based on dialogue with somebody who does not believe in dialogue. So, I was very clear regarding this.
Secondly, this open dialogue should not be between exclusive groups but between all Syrians of every level. The dialogue is about the future of Syria. We are twenty three million Syrians and all of us have the right to participate in shaping the country’s future. Some may look at it as a dialogue between the government and certain groups in the opposition - whether inside or outside, external or internal -actually this is a very shallow way of looking at the dialogue. It is much more comprehensive. It is about every Syrian and about every aspect of Syrian life. Syria’s future cannot be determined simply by who leads it but by the ambitions and aspirations of all its people.
The other aspect of the dialogue is that it opens the door for militants to surrender their weapons and we have granted many amnesties to facilitate this. This is the only way to make a dialogue with those groups. This has already started, even before the plan, and some have surrendered their weapons and they live now their normal life. But this plan makes the whole process more methodical, announced and clear.
If you want to talk about the opposition, there is another misconception in the West. They put all the entities even if they are not homogeneous in one basket – as if everything against the government is opposition. We have to be clear about this. We have opposition that are political entities and we have armed terrorists. We can engage in dialogue with the opposition but we cannot engage in dialogue with terrorists; we fight terrorism. Another phrase that is often mentioned is the ‘internal opposition inside Syria’ or ‘internal opposition as loyal to the government.’ Opposition groups should be loyal and patriotic to Syria – internal and external opposition is not about the geographic position; it is about their roots, resources and representation. Have these roots been planted in Syria and represent Syrian people and Syrian interests or the interests of foreign government? So, this is how we look at the dialogue, this is how we started and how we are going to continue.
Sunday Times: Most have rejected it, at least if we talk about the opposition externally who are now the body that is being hailed as the opposition and where the entire world is basically behind them. So, most of them have rejected it with the opposition describing your offer as a “waste of time,” and some have said that it is “empty rhetoric” based on lack of trust and which British Secretary William Hague described it as “beyond hypocritical” and the Americans said you were “detached from reality.”
President Assad: I will not comment on what so-called Syrian bodies outside Syria have said. These bodies are not independent. As Syrians, we are independent and we need to respond to independent bodies and this is not the case. So let’s look at the other claims.
Firstly, detached from reality: Syria has been fighting adversaries and foes for two years; you cannot do that if you do not have public support. People will not support you if you are detached from their reality. A recent survey in the UK shows that a good proportion British people want “to keep out of Syria” and they do not believe that the British government should send military supplies to the rebels in Syria.
In spite of this, the British government continues to push the EU to lift its arms embargo on Syria to start arming militants with heavy weapons. That is what I call detached from reality–when you are detached from your own public opinion! And they go further in saying that they want to send “military aid” that they describe as “non-lethal.” The intelligence, communication and financial assistance being provided is very lethal. The events of 11th of September were not committed by lethal aids. It was the application of non-lethal technology and training which caused the atrocities.
The British government wants to send military aid to moderate groups in Syria, knowing all too well that such moderate groups do not exist in Syria; we all know that we are now fighting Al-Qaeda or Jabhat al-Nusra which is an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, and other groups of people indoctrinated with extreme ideologies. This is beyond hypocritical! What is beyond hypocrisy is when you talk about freedom of expression and ban Syrian TV channels from the European broadcasting satellites; when you shed tears for somebody killed in Syria by terrorist acts while preventing the Security Council from issuing a statement denouncing the suicide bombing that happened last week in Damascus, and you were here, where three hundred Syrians were either killed or injured, including women and children - all of them were civilians. Beyond hypocrisy when you preach about human rights and you go into Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and kill hundreds of thousands in illegal wars. Beyond hypocrisy is when you talk about democracy and your closest allies are the worst autocratic regimes in the world that belong to the medieval centuries. This is hypocrisy!
Sunday Times: But you always refer to the people fighting here as terrorists, do you accept that while some are from the Jabhat al-Nusra and those affiliated to Al-Qaeda but there are others such as the FSA or under the umbrella of the FSA? That some of them are the defectors and some of them are just ordinary people who started some of the uprising. These are not terrorists; these are people fighting for what they believe to be the right way at the moment.
President Assad: When we say that we are fighting Al-Qaeda, we mean that the main terrorist group and the most dangerous is Al-Qaeda. I have stated in many interviews and speeches that this is not the only group in Syria. The spectrum ranges from petty criminals, drugs dealers, groups that are killing and kidnapping just for money to mercenaries and militants; these clearly do not have any political agenda or any ideological motivations. The so-called “Free Army” is not an entity as the West would like your readers to believe. It is hundreds of small groups – as defined by international bodies working with Annan and Al-Ibrahimi - there is no entity, there is no leadership, there is no hierarchy; it is a group of different gangs working for different reasons. The Free Syrian Army is just the headline, the umbrella that is used to legitimize these groups.
This does not mean that at the beginning of the conflict there was no spontaneous movement; there were people who wanted to make change in Syria and I have acknowledged that publically many times. That’s why I have said the dialogue is not for the conflict itself; the dialogue is for the future of Syria because many of the groups still wanting change are now against the terrorists. They still oppose the government but they do not carry weapons. Having legitimate needs does not make your weapons legitimate.
Sunday Times: Your 3-staged plan: the first one you speak of is the cessation of violence. Obviously there is the army and the fighters on the other side. Now, within the army you have a hierarchy, so if you want to say cease-fire, there is a commander that can control that, but when you offer cessation of violence or fire how can you assume the same for the rebels when you talk about them being so many groups, fragmented and not under one leadership. So, that’s one of the points of your plan. So, this suggests that this basically an impossible request. You speak of referendum but with so many displaced externally and internally, many of whom are the backbone of the opposition; those displaced at least. So, a referendum without them would not be fair, and the third part is that parliamentary elections and all this hopefully before 2014; it is a very tall list to be achieved before 2014. So, what are really the conditions that you are attaching to the dialogue and to make it happen, and aren’t some of the conditions that you are really suggesting or offering impossible to achieve?
President Assad: That depends on how we look at the situation. First of all, let’s say that the main article in the whole plan is the dialogue; this dialogue will put a timetable for everything and the procedures or details of this plan. The first article in my plan was the cessation of violence. If we cannot stop this violence, how can we achieve the other articles like the referendum and elections and so on? But saying that you cannot stop the violence is not a reason to do nothing. Yes there are many groups as I have said with no leadership, but we know that their real leadership are those countries that are funding and supplying their weapons and armaments - mainly Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
If outside parties genuinely want to help the process they should be pressuring those countries to stop supplying the terrorists. As with any other sovereign state, we will not negotiate with terrorists.
Sunday Times: Critics say real and genuine negotiations may be the cause of your downfall and that of your government or regime, and that you know this, hence you offer practically impossible scenarios for dialogue and negotiations?
President Assad: Actually, I don’t know this, I know the opposite. To be logical and realistic, if this is the case, then these foes, adversaries or opponents should push for the dialogue because in their view it will bring my downfall. But actually they are doing the opposite. They are preventing the so-called ‘opposition bodies outside Syria’ to participate in the dialogue because I think they believe in the opposite; they know that this dialogue will not bring my downfall, but will actually make Syria stronger. This is the first aspect.
The second aspect is that the whole dialogue is about Syria, about terrorism, and about the future of Syria. This is not about positions and personalities. So, they shouldn’t distract people by talking about the dialogue and what it will or will not bring to the President. I did not do it for myself. At the end, this is contradictory; what they say is contradicting what they do.
Sunday Times: You said that if they push for dialogue, it could bring your downfall?
President Assad: No, I said according to what they say if it brings my downfall, why don’t they come to the dialogue? They say that the dialogue will bring the downfall of the President and I am inviting them to the dialogue. Why don’t they then come to the dialogue to bring my downfall? This is self-evident. That’s why I said they are contradicting themselves.
Sunday Times: Mr. President, John Kerry, a man you know well, has started a tour that will take him this week end to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, where he will be talking to them about ways to ‘ease you out.’ In London and Berlin earlier this week, he said that President Assad must go and he also said that one of his first moves is to draft diplomatic proposals to persuade you to give up power. Would you invite him to Damascus for talks? What would you say to him? What is your message to him now given what he said this week and what he plans to say to his allies when he visits them over the weekend? And if possible from your knowledge of him how would you describe Kerry from your knowledge of him in the past?
President Assad: I would rather describe policies rather than describing people. So, it is still early to judge him. It is only a few weeks since he became Secretary of State. First of all, the point that you have mentioned is related to internal Syrian matters or Syrian issue. Any Syrian subject would not be raised with any foreigners. We only discuss it with Syrians within Syria. So, I am not going to discuss it with anyone who is coming from abroad. We have friends and we discuss our issues with friends, we listen to their advice but at the end it is our decision as Syrians to think or to make what’s good for our country.
If anyone wants to ‘genuinely’ – I stress the word genuinely – help Syria and help the cessation of violence in our country, he can do only one thing; he can go to Turkey and sit with Erdogan and tell to him stop smuggling terrorists into Syria, stop sending armaments, stop providing logistical support to those terrorists. He can go to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and tell them stop financing the terrorists in Syria. This is the only thing anyone can do dealing with the external part of our problem, but no one from outside Syria can deal with the internal part of this problem
Sunday Times: So, what is your message to Kerry?
President Assad: It is very clear: to understand what I said now. I mean, not a message to Kerry but to anyone who is talking about the Syrian issue: only Syrian people can tell the President: stay or leave, come or go. I am just saying this clearly in order not to waste the time of others to know where to focus.
Sunday Times: What role if any do you see for Britain in any peace process for Syria? Have there been any informal contacts with the British? What is your reaction to Cameron’s support for the opposition? What would you say if you were sitting with him now, especially that Britain is calling for the arming of the rebels?
President Assad: There is no contact between Syria and Britain for a long time. If we want to talk about the role, you cannot separate the role from the credibility. And we cannot separate the credibility from the history of that country. To be frank, now I am talking to a British journalist and a British audience, to be frank, Britain has played a famously (in our region) an unconstructive role in different issues for decades, some say for centuries. I am telling you now the perception in our region.
The problem with this government is that their shallow and immature rhetoric only highlight this tradition of bullying and hegemony. I am being frank. How can we expect to ask Britain to play a role while it is determined to militarize the problem? How can you ask them to play a role in making the situation better and more stable, how can we expect them to make the violence less while they want to send military supplies to the terrorists and don’t try to ease the dialogue between the Syrians. This is not logical. I think that they are working against us and working against the interest of the UK itself. This government is acting in a naïve, confused and unrealistic manner. If they want to play a role, they have to change this; they have to act in a more reasonable and responsible way, till then we do not expect from an arsonist to be a firefighter!
Sunday Times: In 2011 you said you wouldn’t waste your time talking about the body leading opposition, now we are talking about the external body, in fact you hardly recognized there was such a thing, what changed your mind or views recently? What talks, if any are already going on with the rebels who are a major component and factor in this crisis? Especially given that your Foreign Minister Muallem said earlier this week when he was in Russia that the government is open to talks with the armed opposition can you clarify?
President Assad: Actually, I did not change my mind. Again, this plan is not for them; it is for every Syrian who accepts the dialogue. So, making this initiative is not a change of mind. Secondly, since day one in this crisis nearly two years ago, we have said we are ready for dialogue; nothing has changed. We have a very consistent position towards the dialogue. Some may understand that I changed my mind because I did not recognize the first entity, but then I recognized the second. I recognized neither, more importantly the Syrian people do not recognize them or take them seriously. When you have a product that fails in the market, they withdraw the product, change the name, change the packing and they rerelease it again – but it is still faulty. The first and second bodies are the same products with different packaging. Regarding what our minister said, it is very clear.
Part of the initiative is that we are ready to negotiate with anyone including militants who surrender their arms. We are not going to deal with terrorists who are determined to carry weapons, to terrorize people, to kill civilians, to attack public places or private enterprises and destroy the country.
Sunday Times: Mr. President, the world looks at Syria and sees a country being destroyed, with at least 70,000 killed, more than 3 million displaced and sectarian divisions being deepened. Many people around the world blame you. What do you say to them? Are you to blame for what’s happened in the country you are leading?
President Assad: You have noted those figures as though they were numbers from a spreadsheet. To some players they are being used to push forward their political agenda; unfortunately that is a reality. Regardless of their accuracy, for us Syrians, each one of those numbers represents a Syrian man, woman or child. When you talk about thousands of victims, we see thousands of families who have lost loved ones and who unfortunately will grieve for many years to come. Nobody can feel this pain more than us.
Looking at the issue of political agendas, we have to ask better questions. How were these numbers verified? How many represent foreign fighters? How many were combatants aged between 20 and 30? How many were civilians – innocent women and children? The situation on the ground makes it almost impossible to get accurate answers to these important questions. We all know how death tolls and human casualties have been manipulated in the past to pave the way for humanitarian intervention. The Libyan government recently announced that the death toll before the invasion of Libya was exaggerated; they said five thousand victims from each side while the number was talking at that time of tens of thousands.
The British and the Americans who were physically inside Iraq during the war were unable to provide precise numbers about the victims that have been killed from their invasion. Suddenly, the same sources have very precise numbers about what is happening in Syria! This is ironic; I will tell you very simply that these numbers do not exist in reality; it is part of their virtual reality that they want to create to push forward their agenda for military intervention under the title of humanitarian intervention
Sunday Times: If I may just on this note a little bit. Even if the number is exaggerated and not definitely precise, these are numbers corroborated by Syrian groups, however they are still thousands that were killed. Some are militants but some are civilians. Some are being killed through the military offensive, for example artillery or plane attacks in certain areas. So even if we do not argue the actual number, the same applies, they still blame yourself for those civilians, if you want, that are being killed through the military offensive, do you accept that?
President Assad:Firstly, we cannot talk about the numbers without their names. People who are killed have names. Secondly, why did they die? Where and how were they killed? Who killed them? Armed gangs, terrorist groups, criminals, kidnappers, the army, who?
Sunday Times: It is a mix.
President Assad: It is a mix, but it seems that you are implying that one person is responsible for the current situation and all the human casualties. From day one the situation in Syria has been influenced by military and political dynamics, which are both very fast moving. In such situations you have catalysts and barriers. To assume any one party is responsible for all barriers and another party responsible for all the catalysts is absurd. Too many innocent civilians have died, too many Syrians are suffering. As I have already said nobody is more pained by this than us Syrians, which is why we are pushing for a national dialogue. I’m not in the blame business, but if you are talking of responsibility, then clearly I have a constitutional responsibility to keep Syria and her people safe from terrorists and radical groups.
Sunday Times: What is the role of Al-Qaeda and other jihadists and what threats do they pose to the region and Europe? Are you worried Syria turning into something similar to Chechnya in the past? Are you concerned about the fate of minorities if you were loose this war or of a sectarian war akin to that of Iraq?
President Assad:The role of Al-Qaeda in Syria is like the role of Al-Qaeda anywhere else in this world; killing, beheading, torturing and preventing children from going to school because as you know Al-Qaeda’s ideologies flourish where there is ignorance. Ideologically, they try to infiltrate the society with their dark, extremist ideologies and they are succeeding. If you want to worry about anything in Syria, it is not the ‘minorities.’ This is a very shallow description because Syria is a melting pot of religions, sects, ethnicities and ideologies that collectively make up a homogeneous mixture, irrelevant of the portions or percentages. We should be worrying about the majority of moderate Syrians who, if we do not fight this extremism, could become the minority – at which point Syria will cease to exist.
If you worry about Syria in that sense, you have to worry about the Middle East because we are the last bastion of secularism in the region. If you worry about the Middle East, the whole world should be worried about its stability. This is the reality as we see it.
Sunday Times: How threatening is Al-Qaeda now?
President Assad: Threatening by ideology more than the killing. The killing is dangerous, of course, but what is irreversible is the ideology; that is dangerous and we have been warning of this for many years even before the conflict; we have been dealing with these ideologies since the late seventies. We were the first in the region to deal with such terrorists who have been assuming the mantle of Islam. We have consistently been warning of this, especially in the last decade during the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. The West is only reacting to the situation, not acting. We need to act by dealing with the ideology first. A war on terror without dealing with the ideology will lead you nowhere and will only make things worse. So, it is threatening and it is dangerous, not just to Syria but to the whole region.
Sunday Times: US officials recently, in particular yesterday, are quoted as saying that US decision not to arm rebels could be revised. If this was to happen what in your view will the consequences in Syria and in the region? What is your warning against this? Now, they are talking about directly equipping the rebels with armament vehicles, training and body armaments.
President Assad: You know the crime is not only about the victim and the criminal, but also the accomplice providing support, whether it is moral or logistical support. I have said many times that Syria lies at the fault line geographically, politically, socially and ideologically. So, playing with this fault line will have serious repercussions all over the Middle East. Is the situation better in Libya today? In Mali? In Tunisia? In Egypt? Any intervention will not make things better; it will only make them worse. Europe and the United States and others are going to pay the price sooner or later with the instability in this region; they do not foresee it.
Sunday Times: What is your message to Israel following its air strikes on Syria? Will you retaliate? How will you respond to any future attacks by Israel especially that Israel has said that we will do it again if it has to?
President Assad: Every time Syria did retaliate, but in its own way, not tit for tat. We retaliated in our own way and only the Israelis know what we mean.
Sunday Times: Can you expand?
President Assad: Yes. Retaliation does not mean missile for missile or bullet for bullet. Our own way does not have to be announced; only the Israelis will know what I mean.
Sunday Times: Can you tell us how?
President Assad: We do not announce that.
Sunday Times: I met a seven year old boy in Jordan.
President Assad: A Syrian boy?
Sunday Times: A Syrian boy who had lost an arm and a leg to a missile strike in Herak. Five children in his family had been killed in that explosion. As a father, what can you say to that little boy? Why have so many innocent civilians died in air strikes, army shelling and sometimes, I quote, ‘Shabiha shootings?’
President Assad: What is his name?
Sunday Times: I have his name ... will bring it to you later.
President Assad: As I said every victim in this crisis has a name, every casualty has a family. Like 5 year-old Saber who whilst having breakfast with his family at home lost his leg, his mother and other members of his family. Like 4 year-old Rayan who watched his two brothers slaughtered for taking him to a rally. None of these families have any political affiliations. Children are the most fragile link in any society and unfortunately they often pay the heaviest price in any conflict. As a father of young children, I know the meaning of having a child harmed by something very simple; so what if they are harmed badly or if we lose a child, it is the worst thing any family can face. Whenever you have conflicts, you have these painful stories that affect any society. This is the most important and the strongest incentive for us to fight terrorism. Genuine humanitarians who feel the pain that we feel about our children and our losses should encourage their governments to prevent smuggling armaments and terrorists and to prevent the terrorists from acquiring any military supplies from any country.
Sunday Times: Mr. President, when you lie in bed at night, do you hear the explosions in Damascus? Do you, in common with many other Syrians, worry about the safety of your family? Do you worry that there may come a point where your own safety is in jeopardy?
President Assad: I see it completely differently. Can anybody be safe, or their family be safe, if the country is in danger? In reality NO! If your country is not safe, you cannot be safe. So instead of worrying about yourself and your family, you should be worried about every citizen and every family in your country. So it’s a mutual relationship.
Sunday Times: You’ll know of the international concerns about Syria’s chemical weapons. Would your army ever use them as a last resort against your opponents? Reports suggest they have been moved several times, if so why? Do you share the international concern that they may fall into the hands of Islamist rebels? What is the worst that could happen?
President Assad: Everything that has been referred to in the media or by official rhetoric regarding Syrian chemical weapons is speculation. We have never, and will never, discuss our armaments with anyone. What the world should worry about is chemical materials reaching the hands of terrorists. Video material has already been broadcast showing toxic material being tried on animals with threats to the Syrian people that they will die in the same way. We have shared this material with other countries. This is what the world should be focusing on rather than wasting efforts to create elusive headlines on Syrian chemical weapons to justify any intervention in Syria.
Sunday Times: I know you are not saying whether they are safe or not. There is concern if they are safe or no one can get to them.
President Assad: This is constructive ambiguity. No country will talk about their capabilities.
Sunday Times: A lot has been talked about this as well: what are the roles of Hezbollah, Iran and Russia in the war on the ground? Are you aware of Hezbollah fighters in Syria and what are they doing? What weapons are your allies Iran and Russia supplying? What other support are they providing?
President Assad: The Russian position is very clear regarding armaments - they supply Syria with defensive armaments in line with international law. Hezbollah, Iran and Russia support Syria in her fight against terrorism. Russia has been very constructive, Iran has been very supportive and Hezbollah’s role is to defend Lebanon not Syria. We are a country of 23 million people with a strong National Army and Police Force. We are in no need of foreign fighters to defend our country. What we should be asking is, what about the role of other countries, - Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France, the UK, the US, - that support terrorism in Syria directly or indirectly, militarily or politically.
Sunday Times: Mr. President, may I ask you about your own position? Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov recently said that Lakhdar Ibrahimi complained of wanting to see more flexibility from your regime and that while you never seem to say ‘no’ you never seem to say ‘yes’. Do you think that there can be a negotiated settlement while you remain President, which is a lot of people are asking?
President Assad: Do not expect a politician to only say yes or no in the absolute meaning; it is not multiple choice questions to check the correct answer. You can expect from any politician a vision and our vision is very clear. We have a plan and whoever wants to deal with us, can deal with us through our plan. This is very clear in order not to waste time. This question reflects what has been circulating in the Western media about personalizing the problem in Syria and suggesting that the entire conflict is about the president and his future. If this argument is correct, then my departure will stop the fighting. Clearly this is absurd and recent precedents in Libya, Yemen and Egypt bear witness to this. Their motive is to try to evade the crux of the issue, which is dialogue, reform and combating terrorism. The legacy of their interventions in our region have been chaos, destruction and disaster. So, how can they justify any future intervention? They cannot. So, they focus on blaming the president and pushing for his departure; questioning his credibility; is he living in a bubble or not? is he detached from reality or not? So, the focus of the conflict becomes about the president
Sunday Times: Some foreign officials have called for you to stand for war crimes at the International Criminal Court as the person ultimately responsible for the army’s actions? Do you fear prosecution by the ICC? Or the possibility of future prosecution and trial in Syria?
President Assad: Whenever an issue that is related to the UN is raised, you are raising the question of credibility. We all know especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union – for the last twenty years - that the UN and all its organizations are the victims of hegemony instead of being the bastions of justice. They became politicized tools in order to create instability and to attack sovereign countries, which is against the UN’s charter. So, the question that we have to raise now is: are they going to take the American and the British leaders who attacked Iraq in 2003 and claimed more than half a million lives in Iraq, let alone orphans, handicapped and deformed people? Are they going to take the American, British French and others who went to Libya without a UN resolution last year and claimed again hundreds of lives? They are not going to do it. The answer is very clear. You know that sending mercenaries to any country is a war crime according Nuremberg principles and according to the London Charter of 1945. Are they going to put Erdogan in front of this court because he sent mercenaries? Are they going to do the same with the Saudis and the Qataris? If we have answers to these questions, then we can talk about peace organizations and about credibility.
My answer is very brief: when people defend their country, they do not take into consideration anything else.
Sunday Times: Hindsight is a wonderful thing Mr. President. If you could wind the clock back two years would you have handled anything differently? Do you believe that there are things that could or should have been done in another way? What mistakes do you believe have been made by your followers that you would change?
President Assad: You can ask this question to a President if he is the only one responsible for all the context of the event. In our case in Syria, we know there are many external players. So you have to apply hindsight to every player. You have to ask Erdogan, with hindsight would you send terrorists to kill Syrians, would you afford logistical support to them? You should ask the Qatari and Saudis whether in hindsight, would you send money to terrorists and to Al-Qaeda offshoots or any other terrorist organization to kill Syrians? We should ask the same question to the European and American officials, in hindsight would you offer a political umbrella to those terrorists killing innocent civilians in Syria?
In Syria, we took two decisions. The first is to make dialogue; the second is to fight terrorism. If you ask any Syrian, in hindsight would you say no to dialogue and yes to terrorism? I do not think any sane person will agree with you. So I think in hindsight, we started with dialogue and we are going to continue with dialogue. In hindsight, we said we are going to fight terrorism and we are going to continue to fight terrorism.
Sunday Times: Do you ever think about living in exile if it came to that? And would you go abroad if it increases the chances of peace in Syria?
President Assad: Again, it is not about the president. I don’t think any patriotic person or citizen would think of living outside his country.
Sunday Times: You will never leave
President Assad: No patriotic person will think about living outside his country. I am like any other patriotic Syrian.
Sunday Times: How shaken you were you by the bomb that killed some of your most senior generals last summer, including your brother-in-law?
President Assad: You mentioned my brother-in-law but it is not a family affair. When high-ranking officials are being assassinated it is a national affair. Such a crime will make you more determined to fight terrorism. It is not about how you feel, but more about what you do. We are more determined in fighting terrorism.
Sunday Times: Finally, Mr. President, may I ask about my colleague, Marie Colvin, who was killed in the shelling of an opposition media center at Baba Amr on February 22 last year. Was she targeted, as some have suggested, because she condemned the destruction on American and British televisions? Or was she just unlucky? Did you hear about her death at the time and if so what was your reaction?
President Assad: Of course, I heard about the story through the media. When a journalist goes into conflict zones, as you are doing now, to cover a story and convey it to the world, I think this is very courageous work. Every decent person, official or government should support journalists in these efforts because that will help shed light on events on the ground and expose propaganda where it exists. Unfortunately in most conflicts a journalist has paid the ultimate price. It is always sad when a journalist is killed because they are not with either side or even part of the problem, they only want to cover the story. There is a media war on Syria preventing the truth from being told to the outside world.
14 Syrian journalists who have also been killed since the beginning of the crisis and not all of them on the ground. Some have been targeted at home after hours, kidnapped, tortured and then murdered. Others are still missing. More than one Syrian television station has been attacked by terrorists and their bombs. There is currently a ban on the broadcast of Syrian TV channels on European satellite systems. It is also well known how rebels have used journalists for their own interests. There was the case of the British journalist who managed to escape.
Sunday Times: Alex Thompson?
President Assad: Yes. He was lead into a death trap by the terrorists in order to accuse the Syrian Army of his death. That’s why it is important to enter countries legally, to have a visa. This was not the case for Marie Colvin. We don’t know why and it’s not clear. If you enter illegally, you cannot expect the state to be responsible. Contrary to popular belief, since the beginning of the crisis, hundreds of journalists from all over the world, including you, have gained visas to enter Syria and have been reporting freely from inside Syria with no interferences in their work and no barriers to fulfill their missions.
Updated with footnote re Cambodia. This article, originally published on Counterpunch on 22 Feb 2012, is being re-published here on candobetter.net with the kind permission of Jeffrey St Clair, the editor of Counterpunch and its author Israel Shamir. My concern about the proxy war, currently being waged illegally against against Syria, by the US, its NATO allies, Israel and the Arab dictatorships, caused me to undertake research into this earlier conflict which involved Syria. Until I spotted this article, much of the material seemed not to explain the war very well and was biased towards Israel. The author, now a resident of Russia, fought in the war on the Suez Canal against the Egyptian army.
Shamir shows how much of the war was choreographed and the result of a conspiracy by the US, the government of Israel and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat amongst others.
The principle victims of that conspiracy were Syria, who had to face a savage assault by most of Israel's armed forces in the Golan Heights and the Palestinians. Other victims included Egyptian soldiers and Israeli soldiers who were set up to die in the choreographed battles along the Suez canal.
This war led to the US displacing the Soviet Union as the most influential power in the Middle East, the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union and, ultimately, to the terrorist war now being waged against Syria by mercenary proxies of Israel, the US, the Arab dictatorships and their NATO allies.
Here in Moscow, I recently received a dark-blue folder dated 1975. It contains one of the most well-buried secrets of Middle Eastern and of US diplomacy. The secret file, written by the Soviet Ambassador in Cairo, Vladimir M. Vinogradov, apparently a draft for a memorandum addressed to the Soviet politbureau, describes the 1973 October War as a collusive enterprise between US, Egyptian and Israeli leaders, orchestrated by Henry Kissinger. If you are an Egyptian reader this revelation is likely to upset you. I, an Israeli who fought the Egyptians in the 1973 war, was equally upset and distressed -- yet still excited by the discovery. For an American it is likely to come as a shock.
According to the Vinogradov memo (to be published by us in full in the Russian weekly Expert next Monday), Anwar al-Sadat, holder of the titles of President, Prime Minister, ASU Chairman, Chief Commander, Supreme Military Ruler, entered into conspiracy with the Israelis, betrayed his ally Syria, condemned the Syrian army to destruction and Damascus to bombardment, allowed General Sharon's tanks to cross without hindrance to the western bank of the Suez Canal and actually planned a defeat of the Egyptian troops in the October War. Egyptian soldiers and officers bravely and successfully fought the Israeli enemy -- too successfully for Sadat's liking as he began the war in order to allow for the US comeback to the Middle East.
He was not the only conspirator: according to Vinogradov, the grandmotherly Golda Meir knowingly sacrificed two thousand of Israel's best fighters -- she possibly thought fewer would be killed — in order to give Sadat his moment of glory and to let the US secure its positions in the Middle East. The memo allows for a completely new interpretation of the Camp David Treaty, as one achieved by deceit and treachery.
Vladimir Vinogradov was a prominent and brilliant Soviet diplomat; he served as ambassador to Tokyo in the 1960s, to Cairo from 1970 to 1974, co-chairman of the Geneva Peace Conference, ambassador to Tehran during the Islamic revolution, the USSR Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. He was a gifted painter and a prolific writer; his archive has hundreds of pages of unique observations and notes covering international affairs, but the place of honor goes to his Cairo diaries, and among others, descriptions of his hundreds of meetings with Sadat and the full sequence of the war as he observed it unfold at Sadat's HQ as the big decisions were made. When published, these notes will allow us to re-evaluate the post-Nasser period of Egyptian history.
Vinogradov arrived to Cairo for Nasser's funeral and remained there as the Ambassador. He recorded the creeping coup of Sadat, least bright of Nasser's men, who became Egypt's president by chance, as he was the vice-president at Nasser's death. Soon he dismissed, purged and imprisoned practically all important Egyptian politicians, the comrades-in-arms of Gamal Abd el Nasser, and dismantled the edifice of Nasser's socialism. Vinogradov was an astute observer; not a conspiracy cuckoo. Far from being headstrong and doctrinaire, he was a friend of Arabs and a consistent supporter and promoter of a lasting and just peace between the Arabs and Israel, a peace that would meet Palestinian needs and ensure Jewish prosperity.
The pearl of his archive is the file called The Middle Eastern Games. It contains some 20 typewritten pages edited by hand in blue ink, apparently a draft for a memo to the Politburo and to the government, dated January 1975, soon after his return from Cairo. The file contains the deadly secret of the collusion he observed. It is written in lively and highly readable Russian, not in the bureaucratese we'd expect. Two pages are added to the file in May 1975; they describe Vinogradov's visit to Amman and his informal talks with Abu Zeid Rifai, the Prime Minister, and his exchange of views with the Soviet Ambassador in Damascus. Vinogradov did not voice his opinions until 1998, and even then he did not speak as openly as in this draft. Actually, when the suggestion of collusion was presented to him by the Jordanian prime minister, being a prudent diplomat, he refused to discuss it.
The official version of the October war holds that on October 6, 1973, in conjunction with Hafez al-Assad of Syria, Anwar as-Sadat launched a surprise attack against Israeli forces. They crossed the Canal and advanced a few miles into the occupied Sinai. As the war progressed, tanks of General Ariel Sharon crossed the Suez Canal and encircled the Egyptian Third Army. The ceasefire negotiations eventually led to the handshake at the White House.
For me, the Yom Kippur War (as we called it) was an important part of my autobiography. A young paratrooper, I fought that war, crossed the canal, seized Gabal Ataka heights, survived shelling and face-to-face battles, buried my buddies, shot the man-eating red dogs of the desert and the enemy tanks. My unit was ferried by helicopters into the desert where we severed the main communication line between the Egyptian armies and its home base, the Suez-Cairo highway. Our location at 101 km to Cairo was used for the first cease fire talks; so I know that war not by word of mouth, and it hurts to learn that I and my comrades-at-arms were just disposable tokens in the ruthless game we -- ordinary people -- lost. Obviously I did not know it then, for me the war was a surprise, but then, I was not a general.
Vinogradov dispels the idea of surprise: in his view, both the canal crossing by the Egyptians and the inroads by Sharon were planned and agreed upon in advance by Kissinger, Sadat and Meir. The plan included the destruction of the Syrian army as well.
At first, he asks some questions: how the crossing could be a surprise if the Russians evacuated their families a few days before the war? The concentration of the forces was observable and could not escape Israeli attention. Why did the Egyptian forces not proceed after the crossing but stood still? Why did they have no plans for advancing? Why there was a forty km-wide unguarded gap between the 2nd and the 3rd armies, the gap that invited Sharon's raid? How could Israeli tanks sneak to the western bank of the Canal? Why did Sadat refuse to stop them? Why were there no reserve forces on the western bank of the Canal?
Vinogradov takes a leaf from Sherlock Holmes who said: when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. He writes: These questions can't be answered if Sadat is to be considered a true patriot of Egypt. But they can be answered in full, if we consider a possibility of collusion between Sadat, the US and Israeli leadership -- a conspiracy in which each participant pursued his own goals. A conspiracy in which each participant did not know the full details of other participants' game. A conspiracy in which each participant tried to gain more ground despite the overall agreement between them.
Before the war Sadat was at the nadir of his power: in Egypt and abroad he had lost prestige. The least educated and least charismatic of Nasser's followers, Sadat was isolated. He needed a war, a limited war with Israel that would not end with defeat. Such a war would release the pressure in the army and he would regain his authority. The US agreed to give him a green light for the war, something the Russians never did. The Russians protected Egypt's skies, but they were against wars. For that, Sadat had to rely upon the US and part with the USSR. He was ready to do so as he loathed socialism. He did not need victory, just no defeat; he wanted to explain his failure to win by deficient Soviet equipment. That is why the army was given the minimal task: crossing the Canal and hold the bridgehead until the Americans entered the game.
Plans of the US
During decolonisation the US lost strategic ground in the Middle East with its oil, its Suez Canal, its vast population. Its ally Israel had to be supported, but the Arabs were growing stronger all the time. Israel had to be made more flexible, for its brutal policies interfered with the US plans. So the US had to keep Israel as its ally but at the same time Israel's arrogance had to be broken. The US needed a chance to "save" Israel after allowing the Arabs to beat the Israelis for a while. So the US allowed Sadat to begin a limited war.
Israel's leaders had to help the US, its main provider and supporter. The US needed to improve its positions in the Middle East, as in 1973 they had only one friend and ally, King Feisal. (Kissinger told Vinogradov that Feisal tried to educate him about the evilness of Jews and Communists.) If and when the US was to recover its position in the Middle East, the Israeli position would improve drastically. Egypt was a weak link, as Sadat disliked the USSR and the progressive forces in the country, so it could be turned. Syria could be dealt with militarily, and broken.
The Israelis and Americans decided to let Sadat take the Canal while holding the mountain passes of Mittla and Giddi, a better defensive line anyway. This was actually Rogers' plan of 1971, acceptable to Israel. But this should be done in fighting, not given up for free.
As for Syria, it was to be militarily defeated, thoroughly. That is why the Israeli Staff did send all its available troops to the Syrian border, while denuding the Canal though the Egyptian army was much bigger than the Syrian one. Israeli troops at the Canal were to be sacrificed in this game; they were to die in order to bring the US back into the Middle East.
However, the plans of the three partners were somewhat derailed by the factors on the ground: it is the usual problem with conspiracies; nothing works as it should, Vinogradov writes in his memo to be published in full next week in Moscow's Expert.
Sadat's crooked game was spoiled to start with. His presumptions did not work out. Contrary to his expectations, the USSR supported the Arab side and began a massive airlift of its most modern military equipment right away. The USSR took the risk of confrontation with the US; Sadat had not believed they would because the Soviets were adamant against the war, before it started. His second problem, according to Vinogradov, was the superior quality of Russian weapons in the hands of Egyptian soldiers — better than the western weapons in the Israelis' hands.
As an Israeli soldier of the time I must confirm the Ambassador's words. The Egyptians had the legendary Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, the best gun in the world, while we had FN battle rifles that hated sand and water. We dropped our FNs and picked up their AKs at the first opportunity. They used anti-tank Sagger missiles, light, portable, precise, carried by one soldier. Saggers killed between 800 and 1200 Israeli tanks. We had old 105 mm recoilless jeep-mounted rifles, four men at a rifle (actually, a small cannon) to fight tanks. Only new American weapons redressed the imbalance.
Sadat did not expect the Egyptian troops, taught by the Soviet specialists, to better their Israeli enemy -- but they did. They crossed the Canal much faster than planned and with much smaller losses. Arabs beating the Israelis -- it was bad news for Sadat. He overplayed his hand. That is why the Egyptian troops stood still, like the sun upon Gibeon, and did not move. They waited for the Israelis, but at that time the Israeli army was fighting the Syrians. The Israelis felt somewhat safe from Sadat's side and they sent all their army north. The Syrian army took the entire punch of Israeli forces and began its retreat. They asked Sadat to move forward, to take some of the heat off them, but Sadat refused. His army stood and did not move, though there were no Israelis between the Canal and the mountain passes. Syrian leader al Assad was convinced at that time that Sadat betrayed him, and he said so frankly to the Soviet ambassador in Damascus, Mr Muhitdinov, who passed this to Vinogradov. Vinogradov saw Sadat daily and asked him in real time why he was not advancing. He received no reasonable answer: Sadat muttered that he does not want to run all over Sinai looking for Israelis, that sooner or later they would come to him.
The Israeli leadership was worried: the war was not going as expected. There were big losses on the Syrian front, the Syrians retreated but each yard was hard fought; only Sadat's passivity saved the Israelis from a reverse. The plan to for total Syrian defeat failed, but the Syrians could not effectively counterattack.
This was the time to punish Sadat: his army was too efficient, his advance too fast, and worse, his reliance upon the Soviets only grew due to the air bridge. The Israelis arrested their advance on Damascus and turned their troops southwards to Sinai. The Jordanians could at this time have cut off the North-to-South route and King Hussein proposed this to Sadat and Assad. Assad agreed immediately, but Sadat refused to accept the offer. He explained it to Vinogradov that he did not believe in the fighting abilities of the Jordanians. If they entered the war, Egypt would have to save them. At other times he said that it is better to lose the whole of Sinai than to lose a square yard on the Jordan: an insincere and foolish remark, in Vinogradov's view. So the Israeli troops rolled southwards without hindrance.
During the war, we (the Israelis) also knew that if Sadat advanced, he would gain the whole of Sinai in no time; we entertained many hypotheses why he was standing still, none satisfactory. Vinogradov explains it well: Sadat ran off his script and was waited for US involvement. What he got was the deep raid of Sharon.
This breakthrough of the Israeli troops to the western bank of the Canal was the murkiest part of the war, Vinogradov writes. He asked Sadat's military commanders at the beginning of the war why there is the forty km wide gap between the Second and the Third armies and was told that this was Sadat's directive. The gap was not even guarded; it was left wide open like a Trojan backdoor in a computer program.
Sadat paid no attention to Sharon's raid; he was indifferent to this dramatic development. Vinogradov asked him to deal with it when only the first five Israeli tanks crossed the Canal westwards; Sadat refused, saying it was of no military importance, just a "political move", whatever that meant. He repeated this to Vinogradov later, when the Israeli foothold on the Western bank of became a sizeable bridgehead. Sadat did not listen to advice from Moscow, he opened the door for the Israelis into Africa.
This allows for two explanations, says Vinogradov: an impossible one, of the Egyptians' total military ignorance and an improbable one, of Sadat's intentions. The improbable wins, as Sherlock Holmes observed.
The Americans did not stop the Israeli advance right away, says Vinogradov, for they wanted to have a lever to push Sadat so he would not change his mind about the whole setup. Apparently the gap was build into the deployments for this purpose. So Vinogradov's idea of "conspiracy" is that of dynamic collusion, similar to the collusion on Jordan between the Jewish Yishuv and Transjordan as described by Avi Shlaim: there were some guidelines and agreements, but they were liable to change, depending on the strength of the sides.
The US "saved" Egypt by stopping the advancing Israeli troops. With the passive support of Sadat, the US allowed Israel to hit Syria really hard.
The US-negotiated disengagement agreements with the UN troops in-between made Israel safe for years to come.
(In a different and important document, "Notes on Heikal's book Road to Ramadan", Vinogradov rejects the thesis of the unavoidability of Israeli-Arab wars: he says that as long as Egypt remains in the US thrall, such a war is unlikely. Indeed there have been no big wars since 1974, unless one counts Israeli "operations" in Lebanon and Gaza.)
The US "saved" Israel with military supplies.
Thanks to Sadat, the US came back to the Middle East and positioned itself as the only mediator and "honest broker" in the area.
Sadat began a violent anti-Soviet and antisocialist campaign, Vinogradov writes, trying to discredit the USSR. In the Notes, Vinogradov charges that Sadat spread many lies and disinformation to discredit the USSR in the Arab eyes. His main line was: the USSR could not and would not liberate Arab soil while the US could, would and did. Vinogradov explained elsewhere that the Soviet Union was and is against offensive wars, among other reasons because their end is never certain. However, the USSR was ready to go a long way to defend Arab states. As for liberation, the years since 1973 have proved that the US can't or won't deliver that, either -- while the return of Sinai to Egypt in exchange for separate peace was always possible, without a war as well.
After the war, Sadat's positions improved drastically. He was hailed as hero, Egypt took a place of honor among the Arab states. But in a year, Sadat's reputation was in tatters again, and that of Egypt went to an all time low, Vinogradov writes.
The Syrians understood Sadat's game very early: on October 12, 1973 when the Egyptian troops stood still and ceased fighting, President Hafez el Assad said to the Soviet ambassador that he is certain Sadat was intentionally betraying Syria. Sadat deliberately allowed the Israeli breakthrough to the Western bank of Suez, in order to give Kissinger a chance to intervene and realise his disengagement plan, said Assad to Jordanian Prime Minister Abu Zeid Rifai who told it to Vinogradov during a private breakfast they had in his house in Amman. The Jordanians also suspect Sadat played a crooked game, Vinogradov writes. However, the prudent Vinogradov refused to be drawn into this discussion though he felt that the Jordanians "read his thoughts."
When Vinogradov was appointed co-chairman of the Geneva Peace Conference, he encountered a united Egyptian-American position aiming to disrupt the conference, while Assad refused even to take part in it. Vinogradov delivered him a position paper for the conference and asked whether it is acceptable for Syria. Assad replied: yes but for one line. Which one line, asked a hopeful Vinogradov, and Assad retorted: the line saying "Syria agrees to participate in the conference." Indeed the conference came to nought, as did all other conferences and arrangements.
Though the suspicions voiced by Vinogradov in his secret document have been made by various military experts and historians, never until now they were made by a participant in the events, a person of such exalted position, knowledge, presence at key moments. Vinogradov's notes allow us to decipher and trace the history of Egypt with its de-industrialisation, poverty, internal conflicts, military rule tightly connected with the phony war of 1973.
A few years after the war, Sadat was assassinated, and his hand-picked follower Hosni Mubarak began his long rule, followed by another participant of the October War, Gen Tantawi. Achieved by lies and treason, the Camp David Peace treaty still guards Israeli and American interests. Only now, as the post-Camp David regime in Egypt is on the verge of collapse, one may hope for change. Sadat's name in the pantheon of Egyptian heroes was safe until now. In the end, all that is hidden will be made transparent.
Postscript. In 1975, Vinogradov could not predict that the 1973 war and subsequent treaties would change the world. They sealed the fate of the Soviet presence and eminence in the Arab world, though the last vestiges were destroyed by American might much later: in Iraq in 2003 and in Syria they are being undermined now. They undermined the cause of socialism in the world, which began its long fall. The USSR, the most successful state of 1972, an almost-winner of the Cold war, eventually lost it. Thanks to the American takeover of Egypt, petrodollar schemes were formed, and the dollar that began its decline in 1971 by losing its gold standard -- recovered and became again a full-fledged world reserve currency. The oil of the Saudis and of sheikdoms being sold for dollars became the new lifeline for the American empire. Looking back, armed now with the Vinogradov Papers, we can confidently mark 1973-74 as a decisive turning point in our history.
Israel Shamir has been sending dispatches to CounterPunch from Moscow.
 Whilst the Soviet Union appears to have behaved admirably in this conflict, the same cannot quite be said of their treatment of the embattled Vietnamese the previous year. In April 1972 as Vietnam was being blasted by a savage bombardment of B-52 bombers, U.S. President Nixon was welcomed to Russia by then Soviet Premier Brezhnev. (Later, in July as the bombardment of Vietnam continued, he was also welcomed to Beijing by Chinese 'communist' leader Mao Zedong.)
#cambodia">Editorial comment : Shamir's unorthodox views about Pol Pot's rule of Cambodia, 1975-1979 Israel Shamir has also written Pol Pot Revisited of 17 Sep 2012. This account of the Khmer Rouge's rule of Cambodia disputes claims that 2–3 million died on Cambodia's killing fields between 1975 and 1980. As one, who had supported the struggle of Vietnamese, Laotions and Cambodians against the United States and wanted to see that triumph vindicated, the media reports of the alleged genocide seemed to, instead, at least in part, vindicate the war of the United States to prevent these ruthless killers from coming ro power. Whilst it seems highly unlikley to me that Shamir, who fought for Israel in 1973, would have a motive to fabricate the above account of the Yom Kippur war, I am not yet convinced of his account of Cambodia from 1975 until 1979, whilst I would like to be.
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.
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.)
End Immigration - it sux resources away from Australia's homeless, unemployed and growing underclass. Migrants by plane rob locals of affordable housing, jobs, you name it. State infrastructure can't cope with 200,000 immigrants a year. The Green Foreign Labor Coalition is imposing upon Australians what British colonists did to Aborigines - taking over, marginalising, deculturing. National television programmes that antagonise Australians, pit immigrants against locals, that stir up racism like Joe Hildebrand's 'Dumb, Drunk and Racist' do not help.
End Immigration - it sux resources away from Australia's homeless, unemployed and growing underclass.
Immigrants by plane, arrive in Australia by lifestyle choice, and so rob locals of affordable housing, jobs, you name it. State infrastructure can't cope with 200,000 immigrants a year.
The Green Foreign Labor Coalition is imposing upon Australians what British colonists did to Aborigines - taking over, marginalising, deculturing.
The only difference is that instead of proud Aboriginals standing up for their rights and getting physically shot down for doing so, proud traditional Australians standing up for their rights are getting socially shot down by 'politically corrupt' media by being branded 'racist'.
Crap! Any traditional people in any country who are concerned about excessive foreign immigration impinging upon their way of life have a right to express their concern. It's called local resistance when seeing what was valuable in one's own home is being usurped by foreigners. No foreigner has any right to invade another's homeland, but to only arrive with permission and with conditional rights of a host people.
Gillard's Green Foreign Labor and her One-Worldist mandate have undemocratically abused electoral power over Australians. Gillard's 200,000 immigrants a year and passive accomodation of illegal boat arrivals (beyond the croc-o-political tears) have denied Australians their rights to democratic social preservation and self determination. Gillard is beholden to the dangerous New Greens dictation of Sarah Hanson-Young.
Joe Hildebrand (pictured) is playing into the One-Worldists agenda.
Hildebrand's nationwide programme 'Dumb, Drunk and Racist' not only denigrates Australia's tolerant society, but fuels xenophobia and local unrest by teasing out racism and by playing the race card about traditional Australians on ABC's current affairs programme 'Dumb, Drunk and Racist. Why did Hildebrand not run his programme insightfully in Cronulla? Hildebrand is idealistic in his puritan One Worldist vision. He fails to appreciate Australian natural insecurity and that resistance to the statistically recent overwhelming number of foreigners is but a mild and admirably tolerant resistance. Still naive Hildebrand eggs on anyone he can find in the street to say at least something racist while they are intoxicated and so prove his unjust prejudice against ordinary Australians.
Such prejudiced content is more akin to an SBS mission statement, rather than coming from the respected ABC.
If Hildebrand is to be impartial and wants to sample REAL racism then he needs to do a follow up programme in:
Compare Racism in India: Read More"Most Indians think racism exists only in the West and see themselves as victims. It's time they examined their own attitudes towards people from the country's North-East."
Compare Racism in China: Read More"The daughter of a Chinese mother and an absent African-American father, 20-year-old Lou caused a media storm when she was named one of Shanghai's five finalists for Let's Go! Oriental Angel, an American Idol-style show. But her fame has been for all of the wrong reasons, after her appearance provoked a vigorous and often vicious nationwide debate on whether she was even fit to be on Chinese television because of the colour of her skin."
Compare Racism in Israel: Read More"Civil rights group: Israel has reached new heights of racism - New report indicates 26% rise in anti-Arab racist incidents; 74% of Jewish youths call Arabs 'unclean.'"
These are just to name a few. Australians are exceedingly tolerant by international standards. Our post World War II history proves it.
It is Hildebrand who is dumb for unnecessarily inciting racist sentiments that can exist below the surface in any society. Australia does not need this programme. He needs to be fair and cover the same subject overseas. He will be lucky to get back to lucky Australia, alive.
First ViewI have hesitated to use the word 'genocide' to date because I think often the rhetoric can get very inflated in discussion of this conflict. Inflated rhetoric muddies the waters and prevents clear thinking. (That doesn't mean we shouldn't use words that express our emotions, but these need to be meaningful. Mistaken and over-use of emotive rhetoric devalues the currency of language. Then we don't have words for realities which do exist. People stop listening when the language has lost meaning. And 'genocide' is problematic because of the wide gap in ordinary usage and its meaning in international law.The condition of the people of Gaza is utterly dreadful as the #approachingGenocide">article below shows, far worse than for those in Lebanon, bad though that is. So what other word adequately describes what is now going on in Gaza?The approaching genocide in GazaPalestinians forced to scavenge for food on rubbish dumps
By Patrick Cockburn in Jerusalem
Published: 09 September 2006
The Israeli military and economic siege of Gaza has led to a collapsein Palestinian living conditions and many people only survive bylooking for scraps of food in rubbish dumps, say international aid agencies.
"The pressure and tactics have not resulted in a desire forcompromise," Karen Abuzayd, the head of the UN Relief and WorksAgency is said to have warned. "But rather they have created massdespair, anger and a sense of hopelessness and abandonment."
Israel closed the entry and exit points into the Gaza Strip, home to1.5 million Palestinians, on 25 June and has conducted frequent raidsand bombings that have killed 262 people and wounded 1,200. Thecrisis in Gaza has been largely ignored by the rest of the world,which has been absorbed by the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon.
"Women in Gaza tell me they are eating only one meal a day, breadwith tomatoes or cheap vegetables," said Kirstie Campbell of the UN'sWorld Food Programme, which is feeding 235,000 people. She added thatin June, since when the crisis has worsened, some 70 per cent ofpeople in Gaza could not meet their family's food needs. "People areraiding garbage dumps," she said.
Not only do Palestinians in Gaza get little to eat but what food theyhave is eaten cold because of the lack of electricity and money topay for fuel. The Gaza power plant was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in June. In one month alone 4 per cent of Gaza's agriculturalland was destroyed by Israeli bulldozers.
The total closure imposed by Israel, supplemented by deadly raids,
has led to the collapse of the Gazan economy. The 35,000 fishermen
cannot fish because Israeli gunboats will fire on them if they go
more than a few hundred yards from the shore. At the same time the
international boycott of the Hamas government means that there is no
foreign aid to pay Palestinian government employees. The government
used to have a monthly budget of $180-200m, half of which went to pay
165,000 public sector workers. But it now has only $25m a month.
Aid agencies are frustrated by their inability to persuade the worldthat the humanitarian crisis is far worse in Gaza than it is inLebanon. The WFP says: "In contrast to Lebanon, where humanitarianfood aid needs have been essentially met, the growing number of poorin Gaza are living on the bare minimum."
It is possible for foreign journalists to visit Gaza but it is alaborious process passing through the main Israeli checkpoint at Erezand then walking down a long concrete tunnel. The kidnapping of twoFox television employees by criminals - though they were laterreleased - has also dissuaded several TV companies from covering thecrisis.
The total closure imposed by Israel dates from the seizure of CplGilad Shalit by Palestinian militants on 25 June. Between then andthe end of August, Israeli security forces killed 226 Palestinians,54 of them minors, in the Gaza Strip, according to the Israeli humanrights organisation B'Tselem. Of these it says that 114 were taking no part in any hostilities.
The quickest way to alleviate the crisis would be for Israel to allowthe Rafah crossing into Egypt to reopen, according to the mayor ofGaza City. But any restoration of the economy would require thereopening of the other crossing points at Erez and Karni.
* Israel lifted its sea blockade of Lebanon yesterday after aninterim maritime task force led by an Italian admiral deployed offthe Lebanese coast, the commander of UN peacekeepers said.
The "Gaza Genocide" article brings a new dimension to your forum, one perhaps not welcomed by all.
I am a Jew, of the proud rather than self-hating variety, having said that I have over the years been abused for being a leftie, opposing war, especially in Iraq and being concerned with human rights issues.
I try hard to view the middle east with as much objectivity as possible, I only wish there were more adherents of Islam with whom I could discuss ideas. It seems always the Jews/Israeli's who monopolise soul-searching.
Like other readers, I have not visited Gaza (except briefly 40 years ago as a civilian) and therefore I read other peoples biased perspectives.
The article you disseminated was composed by a professional Arabist, but ignoring stupid words like "genocide" suggesting the wish to exterminate perhaps half a million people? Many of the facts concerning the suffering of Gazans were correct, they are indeed suffering and the poor are likely to be hungry. In London in the 1960's I used to listen to Moscow English language radio, the news was often similar to the BBC, just some words and inferences altered. The article is of the same kind.
Israel has cracked down hard on Gaza and the suffering and loss of life is undeniable, but please allow me a couple of paragraphs of perspective. Since 1948 the Egyptians, who have either controlled or bordered their brethren, have absolutely refused citizenship or even afforded Gazans entry or travel permits So the simplest solution has gone.
Since Israels (unilateral and overdue) withdrawal from the area ther have been tunnels for armaments, terrorist incursions and regular shelling of Israel. Presumably these acts have been orchestrated by the same "criminal elements" who regularly kidnap westerners, and of course are not connected with the Palestinian Government.
Years ago, before the intafada was organised, most Gazans had a rising standard of living, the majority worked in Israel at high rates of pay. Their exclusion is a direct result of the majority of terrorist murderers in Israel coming in from the Gaza with the workforce.
The cutting of aid to Gaza from Europe and the US is directly resulting from the Government refusing to recognise Israel's existence, I seemed to miss that point in the genocide hysteria, perhaps I mistakenly thought that the Arabs wanted to exterminate Israel.
The Israeli attacks on Gaza are a direct result of cross border raids, kidnapping and shelling of Israel's towns.
I detest war and condemn all parties to conflicts, but before rattling on about genocide, remember the causes of the problem.
I call upon those who disagree with me to offer a solution, as long as it recognises all parties right to exist ... I am sad to note that whilst Israels record is far from perfect, each recent withdrawal has resulted in further attacks in defiance of all commonsense
The only successful peace has been with Egypt and Jordan, where strong Governments signed a peace treaty and have upheld it, so why no genocidal attacks there?
To this simple soul the only end to suffering will be when a government in Gaza takes control,is able to halt terrorist activities and recognises borders. Then the Israelis will clear out and the West will resume aid.
Whether self hating or just hatemongering, there can be no less productive human action.