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Wealthy Gulf states may arm Syrian rebels to ‘get the Russians to back off’ – US officials

RT | September 27, 2016

With the Syria ceasefire in tatters, there is a growing possibility that wealthy Gulf states might arm Syrian rebels, looking to shield themselves from Syrian and Russian warplanes, with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, according to a report.

One US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that Washington has kept high numbers of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), considered to be a threat to low-flying aircraft, out of Syria by uniting Western and Arab allies behind sending training and infantry weapons to moderate opposition groups while the US conducted talks with Russia.

Fed up with dancing to Washington’s tune, Gulf allies or Turkey may sooner or later silently agree to wealthy individuals supplying MANPADS to opposition groups in Syria, another US official said. … continue

Bennis’s Delusions of Massive Opposition to Israel Evaporate Under Harsh Light of Reality

By Jeff Blankfort | Dissident Voice | September 26, 2016

There is massive opposition to Israeli actions in the United States today, particularly importantly in the Jewish community, where there’s been an enormous shift in that discourse.

So you still have organizations, right-wing organizations like AIPAC that include very wealthy donors, no doubt, but they no longer can even make the claim–which was probably never true, but it certainly is no longer true–that they speak for the majority, let alone all, of the Jewish community.

You now have an organization like J Street in the center. You have Jewish Voice for Peace on the left, which has over 200,000 supporters across the country. So you have a very different scenario now of where public opinion is.

— Phyllis Bennis, interviewed on The Real News Network, September 14, 2016

Massive opposition to Israeli actions in the United States? Within the Jewish community? Who does Phyllis Bennis thinks she’s kidding and, as importantly, why is she doing so? That there is no sign of any activity or combination of activities in the US opposing Israel’s actions that qualify as massive among the larger public and definitely not within the Jewish community should be patently as well as painfully obvious.

Her comment becomes even more mystifying since it came on the day that Barack Obama announced that the US would award Israel a record breaking $38 billion in arms over the decade beginning in 2018. What opposition there was to the deal on the part of the public, much less the Jewish community, was barely visible. … continue

‘World Powers Responsible for Migrant Crisis Must Help Lebanon’

Sputnik – 26.09.2016

1044319377The international community bears responsibility for what is happening in Syria and should do more to help Lebanon hosting a huge Syrian population, an adviser to the Lebanese Democratic Party (LDP) leader told Sputnik.

“They are giving us nothing absolutely… even though the international community is the one responsible now for what is happening to Syria and in Syria,” Saleem Hamadeh said.

Lebanon, alongside Jordan and Turkey, has been a key destination for thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing the five-year-long war in the country.

According to Hamadeh, Lebanon now hosts around 1,750,000 Syrians, which is a third of its own population.

“I think that international community should give us support in this, financial support and give us direct path on how to deal with this serious issue which will affect the demography of the Lebanese people and our country,” Dr. Hamadeh said.

There are concerns that many Syrians plan to stay in Lebanon after the Syrian crisis has been resolved, the adviser to the LDP president said. The UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, estimates that Palestinians living in Lebanese refugee camps make up 10 percent of the country’s population.

Free for Ever… Nahed Hattar

By Jamila Assi | jamilaeyes | September 25, 2016

Nahed Hattar was not murdered on the morning of September 25, he was murdered the moment the Jordanian Prime Minister, Hani Al-Mulki, called for suing him for a silly cartoon he reposted on his personal page. Hattar was murdered the moment he was accused of blasphemy for insulting “the god of ISIS.” He was murdered the moment his arrest warrant was issued, and the moment his opponents went out calling for his execution publically without anyone arresting them for such threats. […]

Thinking that his assassination was for pure religious reasons is too naive, Hattar’s political views and attitude have the biggest share in the accumulating hatred against him in Jordan, read his writings and listen to his interviews and you will understand that religion is not the only problem. His support for Syrian government, his deep support for resistance axis, and his leftist views seemed to threat Jordanian authorities, so he left them no other option but to finish him. … Read full article

US not arming Nusra, but our allies might – State Dept

RT | September 26, 2016

Al-Nusra Front is a terrorist group and the US will never provide it with any aid, said the State Department, reacting to revelations in a German newspaper – while admitting that unnamed US allies might be backing the jihadist militants in Syria.

On Monday, the German newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger published an interview with an Al-Nusra commander in Syria, identified only as “Abu Al-Ezz.” In the interview, conducted 10 days ago outside of Aleppo, Al-Ezz said that US allies were providing Al-Nusra with tanks and artillery.

“The Americans are on our side,” Al-Ezz reportedly said.

The US government has categorically denied providing any aid to Al-Nusra, while admitting awareness that its allies in the region may be arming the militants. … continue

The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World

By Michael Howard | CounterPunch |  September 26, 2016

The New York Times’ latest endorsement of Hillary Clinton is, as any reasonable person might assume, and to use Hillary’s favorite new word, deplorable. In the interest of discharging the irritation engendered by reading it, I’ll just briefly highlight some of the Gray Lady’s more outrageous assertions.

First, though, I’d like to applaud them for a rather novel, albeit entirely incoherent, bit of duplicity. Acknowledging in their euphemistic way that Hillary Clinton has achieved nothing of any significance while serving in government (“Mrs. Clinton’s work has been defined more by incremental successes than by moments of transformative change”), the editors contend that this ought to be counted as one of her strengths, for “[i]t shows a determined leader intent on creating opportunity for struggling Americans at a time of economic upheaval and on ensuring that the United States remains a force for good in an often brutal world.”

It’s a total non-sequitur, but at least they tried something wild. … continue

Extremist Jewish settlers attack Christians in Jerusalem

MEMO | September 24, 2016

A group of extremist Jewish settlers attacked a gathering of Palestinian Christians in the occupied city of Jerusalem, Israeli radio reported on Friday.

The Israeli settlers, led by the extremist Jewish activist Penzi Gopstein, attacked the gathering which was organised inside a hall on Thursday night whilst chanting anti-Christian slogans and insults.

A lawyer representing the Bishops’ Council in Jerusalem, Wadei Abu Nassar, condemned the attack and denounced it as a “provocation.”

He called for the Israeli occupation authorities to bring criminal charges against Gopstein and his followers over their continuous “violence” and “incitement.”

On Thursday, the Israeli news website Ynet News published a story about Gopstein and his group and how they spread hatred against Palestinians in Jerusalem.

According to Days of Palestine, a Palestinian news monitoring site, a group of Israeli Jewish settlers from the anti-assimilation Lehava organisation headed by Gopstein march every Thursday in Zion Square in Jerusalem and verbally and physically assault Palestinians. … Full article

Clinton meets Netanyahu, rejects UN solution for Palestine

Press TV – September 26, 2016

2796d08a-1179-4a3c-80c8-084b722b5f71US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that she opposes a UN-brokered solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pledging to fight efforts to “delegitimize” the Tel Aviv regime.

The former US secretary of state and Netanyahu met at a hotel in Manhattan, New York, on Sunday evening, hours after the Israeli PM’s meeting with Clinton’s Republican rival, Donald Trump.

During the meeting, Clinton endorsed the two-state solution for the ongoing conflict in Palestine, but also expressed “her opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution,” including the UN Security Council, her campaign said in a statement.

Clinton doubled down on “her commitment to countering attempts to delegitimize Israel, including through the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement,” the statement further read. … continue

The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War

By Diana Johnstone | CounterPunch | September 26, 2016

If the British Empire was built on the playing fields of Eton, United States world hegemony gets its training in Hollywood studios and advertising agencies. Selling your product, or yourself, by looking sincere is a cultivated American art. Current top U.S. leaders are expert practitioners.

In the space of a few days, Samantha Power, John Kerry, and Barack Obama all turned in war-winning performances. … continue

Yemen’s Sammad Proposes Border Truce with Saudi

Al-Manar | September 26, 2016

manar-00916660014697983535Head of the new Yemeni council, Salah al-Sammad, proposed on Sunday a truce on the country’s border with Saudi Arabia in an exchange for a halt in Saudi-led strikes on his country.

The proposal coincided with a surge in fighting after peace talks were suspended last month.

Sammad called on Saudi Arabia to “stop naval, air and land aggression, cease air raids and lift the blockade of our country, in exchange for an end to combat operations on the border and to missile launches into Saudi territory,” he said, in a speech published on the sabanews website.

Sammad also urged the UN and “peace-loving states” to exert pressure on the attacking Saudi regime to accept the offer.

He also suggested an amnesty for “combatants who have sided with the aggression,” a reference to fighters who back the Saudi-US assault on Yemen. … Full article

Greedy Pro-war US Lobbyists are Eager to Allow the Middle-Eastern Carnage to be Carried On

By Jean Perier | New Eastern Outlook | September 26, 2016

Allegations regarding the “peace-loving nature of Saudi Arabia and its aspirations amid the so-called fight against terrorism have been recently discussed by political circles across Western countries.

Western officials have unleashed particularly harsh criticism toward Riyadh in connection with its ongoing military operations in Yemen that have claimed civilian lives by the hundreds. For instance, the UN coordinator for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, announced on August 30 that the Saudi armed intervention resulted in a civilian death toll of 10,000 people in just 18 months of fighting.

British political and business circles are now questioning the approval of the sale of 3 billion pounds worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia that London approved, similarly such concerns are being voiced in France, with Paris having sold up to 13 billion euros worth of weapons to Riyadh.

This year, Saudi Arabia has been particularly busy purchasing weapons from among the largest arms exporters in the world, including the United States, Germany and Canada. The total worth of all contracts exceeds a staggering sum of 16 billion dollars. A brief analysis of the weapons purchased by the Saudis indicates modernization attempts made in a bid to prepare for a large scale ground conflict.

Last June, Saudi Arabia purchased 419 Canadian LAV-6 lightly-armored infantry fighting vehicles also known as Kodiaks. In August, the United States approved the sale of 153 M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Saudi Arabia, a contract that will earn Washington 1.15 billion dollars. Additionally, Saudi Arabia is expected to purchase 153 .50 caliber heavy machine gun, 266 M240 medium machine guns, smoke grenade launchers and an extensive amount of equipment for field repairs for their new American-made tanks. … continue

UK military, MI6 need to be scaled back: Labour leader

Press TV – September 26, 2016

… The opposition leader, who was recently re-elected to lead the party, said that, the British military was consuming too much money and that Britain should no longer have a “huge land-based defense force.”

Corbyn then slammed the country’s intelligence services for planning new recruitment programs.

The UK Secret Intelligence Service, aka MI6, is about to employ an extra 1,000 spies.

“I don’t necessarily think that’s particularly necessary,” he said. … Read full article

Blair v Corbyn: Labour leaders past & present clash over Iraq war crimes claims

RT | September 26, 2016

iraq_torture1_narrowweb__200x259Iraq War-era Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he is sorry that UK troops are facing war crimes allegations, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said banning prosecutions outright would be “a step too far.”

The topic of legal investigations into allegations of abuse and potential war crimes by UK troops during Britain’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have become a hotly debated topic in recent weeks, with political, legal and military figures quarrelling over the issue.

Controversial former PM Blair told the Guardian on Sunday that he did not “think this process should ever have been put in place.

“I am very sorry that our soldiers and their families have been put through this ordeal,” he said.

“Our armed forces gave extraordinary service in both Iraq and Afghanistan and this type of investigation simply makes their job harder to do.”

In an interview with the BBC after his second party leadership win on Saturday, current Labour leader Corbyn struck a more critical tone.

“I have spoken to a number of soldiers who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. I recognize the awful conditions they were asked to serve under and the difficulties they had with that. But I do think there has to be a recognition that we have signed up to international law on the behavior of troops.” … Full article

Yawn… Jews Are Furious Once Again

By Gilad Atzmon | September 25, 2016

The Sunday Express reports: “Jewish community furious at re-election of ‘antisemitic’ Jeremy Corbyn”

Jewish campaigners have reacted with fury to the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn, warning that with the left-winger in charge, the Labour Party is “no longer a safe place for British Jews”. Maybe, but also maybe it is time to accept that Jews don’t feel safe anywhere –  not in France, not in Belgium, not in Monroe, NY, not even in Israel despite the IDF being one of the strongest armies in the world. But beware. If Jews do not feel safe anywhere, then making the Labour party into a Jewish safe haven may well be considered an anti-Jewish act.

It’s fair to say that Jews have worked hard to make the Labour party and Corbyn supporters, hostile to their interests and their political-lobbying culture. Yet, despite the intensive Jewish campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran Left leader again won the mandate by a landslide  (62% of the votes). But in a statement released minutes after the result of the leadership contest was announced, Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, blasted: “Though we are an apolitical organisation … the Labour Party is no longer a safe place for British Jews.”

We also learn that Parry Mitchell, a senior Jewish Labour peer has quit the Labour party today over Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘lukewarm’ approach to anti-Semitism. The Jewish peer struggles to cope with the democratic process. “Jeremy has no leadership qualities whatsoever – his little group like him and they think he’s the Messiah, but he will never become the leader and prime minister of this country,” Lord Mitchell told BBC One’s Sunday Politics. … continue

Israel calls on Norwegian theater to help remove fake BDS clip

RT | September 26, 2016

Tel Aviv has urged the National Theatre of Norway to deny links to and remove a video in which a fake theater official called for a boycott of Israel and its HaBima Theater. The Norwegian theater denied its part but stopped short of criticizing the clip.

While the theater apparently had no role in producing the video, the Israeli Foreign Ministry demanded that it should “clearly and immediately repudiate” the clip, as well as take “necessary measures to have the video removed from every site.” … continue

‘FIFA Tarnishing Football by Allowing Games on Stolen Land’

Al-Manar | September 26, 2016

Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused world football’s governing body FIFA of “tarnishing the beautiful game” by allowing “games on stolen land”.

In a report published on Sunday, HRW said that FIFA was legitimizing the building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank—considered illegal under international law—and was sponsoring business activity that supports the settlements.

The New York-based body urged FIFA to force six Israeli football clubs based in settlements in the West Bank to relocate from occupied territories or be banned from competitions recognized by football’s governing body. … continue

This Florida Public School Principal Is Into Forcing Patriotism At Athletic Events

By Rokia Hassanein | Wall of Separation | September 19, 2016

Earlier this month, I wrote a blog about some extreme opinions towards Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand during the National Anthem. Last week, another disturbing story emerged.

This time, a Florida public school principal threatened to remove students from school-sponsored sporting events if they choose not to stand for the National Anthem.

“You will stand and you will stay quiet, if you don’t, you are going to be sent home and you’re not going to have a refund of your ticket price,” Lely High School Principal Ryan Nemeth said in a video, according to an NBC 2 report.  “It’s something that I’m very passionate about and something we are going to do.”

Nemeth obviously feels strongly about this issue, but that doesn’t mean he can force others to adopt his view. People who choose not to stand probably feel passionate about their form of protest as well. … continue

President Trump would ‘recognize Jerusalem’ as Israeli capital

Press TV – September 25, 2016

3388f6f1-2ece-4568-994d-328371adb5c3Republican nominee Donald Trump promises Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the state of Israel” if he emerges victor in the US 2016 presidential election.

The meeting at the Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, on Sunday took nearly 90 minutes as Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser, Jared Kushner, was on hand for the meeting along with Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.

“A Trump administration would finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the state of Israel,” the Trump campaign said in a press release.

The two talked about “the special relationship between America and Israel and the unbreakable bond between the two countries.” … continue

Israeli military indicts 145 Palestinians for social media posts

Press TV – September 25, 2016

The Israeli military has indicted at least 145 Palestinians so far this year after accusing them of inciting anti-Israeli sentiments over social media.

The Israeli military said on Sunday the indictments were made for posts on social media websites such as Facebook, which is a popular network among Palestinians.

Israel has launched a violent campaign to stamp out the online calls for resistance by Palestinian activists and groups.

Tel Aviv threatens those Palestinians who do not appear for interrogation with arresting their family members instead. … Full article

Former hunger striker Malik al-Qadi released by Israel, transferred to Palestinian hospital

qadi-transferMa’an – September 24, 2106

JERUSALEM – Israeli authorities released former hunger-striking prisoner Malik al-Qadi to Palestinian medics on Saturday to transfer him to a hospital in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said on Saturday morning that its staff was transferring al-Qadi from the Israeli Wolfson Medical Center to the Istishari Arab Hospital in the city of Ramallah.

Al-Qadi is in a dire health condition after going without food for 68 days to protest being held in administrative detention — internment without trial or charges — by Israel.

Al-Qadi ended his hunger strike on Wednesday, along with fellow prisoners Muhammad and Mahmoud al-Balboul, after an agreement with the Israeli prisons services not to renew their administrative detentions. … continue

Syrian and Palestinian Units liberate Handarat Refugee Camp from Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham

nsnbc – September 24, 2016

Units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) supported by the Palestinian Liwa Al-Quds liberated the Palestinian Handarat refugee camp in Aleppo province from Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusrah.

The Handarat refugee camp is located 13 kilometers northeast of the city of Aleppo. The 14 Palestinian refugee camps, including Handarat were reluctantly drawn into the war in Syria after its onset in 2011.

Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusrah, conceded that the Syrian Arab Army and fighters from the Palestinian Liwa al-Quds had succeeded to seize the camp. The insurgents reported that the Syian – Palestinian ground troops were supported by Syrian as well as Russian air cover.

Bomb squads and engineers are currently in the process of clearing Handarat for boobie traps, mine, improvised explosive devices and other hazards left behind by the insurgents or caused by the fighting; Anong others, unexploded ordinance. … continue

Israel wants Syria destroyed as presaged by the Oded Yinon plan

By Mark Taliano | American Herald Tribune | September 25, 2016

Before the externally-orchestrated dirty war on Syria started with the externally-orchestrated “Arab Spring” psy op; before the “peaceful protestors” shot the unarmed Syrian security forces; and before the West armed, trained and funded the international mercenary cannibals who loot, rape, and plunder; Syria was an oasis of civilization surrounded by imperial puppet states.

Syria was prosperous, with a growing economy. It had food sovereignty, with a “strategic” stock of millions of tons of high quality wheat , not the “Franken-food” bio-tech variety; it had a strong central bank with no usurious IMF loans; it had a popular, reformer President; it had a mostly well-educated, secular, pluralist, forward-looking population; and it was the fourth safest country in the world.

After almost six years of illegal war launched by some of the most militarily advanced countries, and years of illegal sanctions imposed by these same criminal governments – including Canada’s puppet government – Syria is still standing strong. It still has a popular, elected President and government. And it is still a beacon of civilization. … continue

Another Kerry Rush to Judgment on Syria

Consortium News | September 24, 2016

The U.N. withdrew its claim that an airstrike hit its Syrian relief convoy but Secretary of State Kerry relied on the outdated claim in lashing out at Russia in a repeat of his earlier rushes to judgment, writes Robert Parry. – Read article

UK blocks UN inquiry into Saudi war crimes in Yemen

Press TV – September 25, 2016

The United Kingdom has blocked European Union efforts to launch an independent international inquiry into Saudi Arabia’s war of aggression in Yemen.

The Netherlands had hoped to gather support for its proposal that the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva establish an inquiry to look into war crimes and civilian deaths in Yemen, The Guardian reported.

The proposal, submitted Friday by Slovakia on behalf of the EU, was replaced by a much weaker call for the UN body to dispatch a mission “to monitor and report on the situation” after the UK refused to give its backing. […]

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson last week rejected the need for an independent investigation, saying the UK was “using a very, very wide variety of information sources” about the war in Yemen.

Since the conflict began, the British government has approved more than £3 billion in arms sales to the Saudis and military contractors hope more deals are in the pipeline. … Full article

Seven civilians killed, several injured in Saudi airstrikes in Yemen’s Ibb

Press TV – September 25, 2016

Saudi Arabia’s latest airstrikes on its impoverished neighbor Yemen have claimed the lives of seven civilians and injured several more.

The civilians were killed on Sunday as Saudi warplanes targeted residential areas in Yemen’s southern province of Ibb.

According to local sources, the toll for attacks may increase as some of the injured are in critical condition.

Earlier, Saudi jets attacked the Kamaran district and an Air Force Base in Yemen’s western and coastal province of Hudaydah and the Political Security Office in the northwestern province of Sa’ada. … Full article

North Korea: Rogue Aggressor or Cornered Victim of Aggression?

Sputnik – 24.09.2016

North Korean officials and state media are well-known for their bombastic rhetoric and threats to ‘wipe out their enemies’, while conducting a series of nuclear and ballistic missile tests condemned by the international community, Russia included. But once in a while, Pyongyang manages to offer a somewhat reasonable explanation for their behavior.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Friday may have been such an occasion.

During his speech, Ri stated bluntly that Pyongyang would continue to build up its nuclear arsenal to deter against threats, including US nuclear weapons and conventional US and South Korean military forces, which regularly engage in ‘provocative’ military exercises along North Korea’s borders.

“The acquisition of a nuclear arsenal is the policy of our state,” the diplomat bluntly admitted. “As long as a nuclear-armed state exists that has hostile relations with our country, our national security and peace on the Korean peninsula can be defended only with reliable nuclear deterrence,” Ri added.

At the same time, the diplomat stressed that his country “is doing everything to prevent armed conflict and its escalation, taking countermeasures for self-defense when met with aggressive US exercises by the US and South Korea.”

“Our decision to strengthen our nuclear arsenal is a justified measure of self-defense to protect our nation from the constant nuclear threat posed by the United States,” Ri said. … continue

Obama implicated in Clinton email scandal – New FBI docs

RT | September 24, 2016

President Barack Obama used a pseudonym when communicating with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by email, while her IT company referred to her email deleting as a “cover-up”, new FBI documents reveal.

360845_barrack-obamaThe heavily-redacted documents, almost 200 pages, include summaries of interviews with senior Clinton aides concerning the private email server, and brings to light details previously unknown.

During the interview with Huma Abedin, who served as deputy chief of staff under Clinton, the FBI reportedly presented her with an email exchange between Clinton and a person she did not recognize. The FBI then revealed the unknown person’s name was believed to be a pseudonym used by Obama. Abedin reacted by saying, “How is this not classified?”

This exchange could expose Obama as having mislead the public on the issue, given his 2015 statement that he found out about Clinton’s use of a private email server “the same time everybody else learned it, through news reports.”

The State Department will not make public the emails Clinton exchanged with Obama, citing “presidential communications privilege,” as reason to withhold the emails under the Freedom of Information Act, Politico reports. … continue

Hillary’s Secret ‘Ideas for Regime Change’ Program Gave Rise to Arab Spring

Sputnik – September 24, 2016

“I’m going to give you credit for the ‘peaceful’ protests” wrote Huma Abedin to Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the collapse of the Mubarak regime in Egypt as evidence mounts that the United States manufactured the overthrow of an ally.

New documents first analyzed by Breitbart News show that the US State Department under Hillary Clinton developed and forged a program first started in the last months of the Bush presidency focused on training radical groups, including the controversial Muslim Brotherhood, on how to effectively use social media and other communication outlets to cause disruption and even topple governments.

The program known as Alliance of Youth Movements Summit was co-founded by a close adviser to Clinton, Jared Cohen, during his tenure with the State Department at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, which enabled anti-Mubarak activists to organize and plot the eventual overthrow of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

The program was forged on November 18, 2008, only two weeks after Barack Obama was elected US President but during the “lame-duck” portion of the Bush administration with the first summit held at Columbia Law School in New York. … continue

Syria militants to get heavy weapons from foreign supporters

Press TV – September 24, 2016

Militants in Syria say they are about to receive new types of heavy weapons from their foreign supporters as the Damascus government continues with a major offensive in the northern city of Aleppo.

Colonel Fares al-Bayoush, head of the Northern Division of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) militant group, said Saturday that he expected the delivery of more “heavy weapons, such as rocket launchers and artillery” from their foreign sponsors, Reuters reported. […]

The United States, along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, has been channeling military support to militants fighting under the banner of the FSA for several years.

The support for the militants described by Washington as “moderate” includes training by the Central Intelligence Agency and anti-tank missiles. … Full article

Syria FM censures exploiting humanitarian sufferings of Syrians

Press TV – September 24, 2016

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has censured certain governments in the Middle East and the West for taking advantage of the humanitarian sufferings of Syrians to reach their political objectives.

In an address to the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday, Muallem said Syria was being constantly blamed for the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country, especially in the war-ravaged northern part, regardless of the fact that certain states favored the continued humanitarian catastrophe to advance their own objectives.

The Syrian foreign minister said Western governments continued to accuse the Syrian military of resorting to siege and starvation as a tactic of war, but at the same time supported militants to use people most affected by the conflict as human shields.

Muallem said Syria would spare no effort to put an end to the sufferings of Syrians and give them back their dignity. He also stated that the country faced a tough task of coping with systematic destruction by foreign-backed militants. … continue

Lavrov urges finding, examining ammunition used to hit aid convoy

Mehr News Agency – September 24, 2016

For objective probe in incident with attack on UN humanitarian convoy in Syria it is necessary to find and examine ammunition used to hit the convoy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

In order for the investigation of the incident with the humanitarian convoy in Syria to be considered objective, the ammunition used on it must be shown, Sergei Lavrov said during an interview with the TV channel Rossiya-1.

“Now it is necessary to conduct an investigation. Probably the easiest way and the very first step that should be made is to [examine] the ammunition that was used [during the attack] on the convoy,” Sergei Lavrov said.

“First there appeared information claiming it was hit with artillery, and then this information disappeared. After that people spoke about helicopters; I think everyone would be able to understand what happened if we were able to see the ammunition.” … Full article

Did The US Target Syrian Aid Convoy With Hellfire Missile?

Signs Of The Times | September 22, 2016

Footage of the nighttime attack on the Syrian aid convoy in Aleppo has surfaced. But there’s something curious about how the footage has been appearing on Western news reports. […]

Thermobaric Hellfire air-blasts don’t leave craters, and they typically start fires. No craters are visible in footage of the burned convoy.

The Russians have thermobaric bombs, too, according to PavewayIV, but they use different particles and their blast patterns are different: either no “sparkles” or long-duration “sparkles”, not the fast-duration flash as seen in the video of the Aleppo blast. … Read full article

Guardian sells space to war-profiteers to promote war

By Kit | OffGuardian | September 24, 2016

… The same company which made money off the aftermath of the Libyan war, is now sponsoring an article calling for war in Syria. It is an undeclared agenda, a classic conflict of interest, and totally disgusting. That it takes place in a supposedly “liberal paper”, with supposedly “progressive values”, in the name of charity and humanitarianism, is the height of modern hypocrisy.

The Guardian is selling space in their paper to for-profit companies, who publish pro-war opinion pieces, trying to incite public support for a war that will make them money. … Read full article

Soldiers Close All Roads Leading To Nablus

IMEMC News – September 24, 2016

Israeli soldiers closed, on Friday evening, all roads leading to the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and prevented Palestinians from crossing for several hours.

1225200003The soldiers installed many roadblocks, even closing minor roads leading to the city, completely sealing it, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

The army claimed there was what it called “a security incident,” but did not provide any further information, and later removed the blockades.

Also on Friday evening, sources have reported that several Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, after the soldiers invaded Zabbouba village, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

On Saturday at dawn, several Israeli army jeeps invaded a number of communities in the West Bank district of Bethlehem, and summoned three Palestinians, including an elderly man, for interrogation at the Etzion military base, north of Bethlehem.

Canadian firm sells Bahrain software to censor Internet

Press TV – September 24, 2016

A Canadian company has sold Bahrain technology used to block opposition websites and human rights content on the Internet, Canadian activists say.

Specialists from internet watchdog Citizen Lab said in a report that Canadian Netsweeper website-blocking applications had been identified on nine internet service providers (ISPs) in Bahrain.

The report further disclosed that testing on the ISP of the state-run Bahrain Telecommunication Company (Batelco) showed that at least one of the Netsweeper installations was in use in the small Persian Gulf kingdom. … continue

How One Man Held off Nuclear War

By Cesar Chelala | CounterPunch | September 23, 2016

As the possibilities for confrontation between Russia and the United States seem to increase, it is worth remembering how close the world was to a nuclear disaster as a result of the nuclear missiles installed in Cuba by the Soviet Union. At the time, the world was saved from that horrific scenario by the agreement between President John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

However, it is possible that the world came even closer to annihilation due to similar events that began to be publicly known in 2002. Those events culminated in what is known as Black Saturday, and made U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara state that the United States came “very close” to nuclear war, “closer than we knew at the time.” The hero behind the events mentioned by McNamara was Vasili Arkhipov, a Soviet naval officer. … continue

NATO Mission Now to ‘Spread Stability’ Beyond Borders of Member Nations

Sputnik – 24.09.2016

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance has entered a new era in which its mission is to “spread stability” in other nations, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday.

“[NATO has entered] An age where we must do both collective defence and manage crises and promote stability beyond our borders,” Stoltenberg said in comments delivered at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Stoltenberg, a former prime minister of Norway, offered no conditions or geographical limitations about the terms or countries in which NATO aims to promote stability… Full article

Corbyn re-elected in landslide win as Britain’s Labour leader

Press TV – September 24, 2016

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has retained the leadership of the opposition political party after a bruising campaign.

Corbyn, who was initially elected last year, took 62 percent of the vote, beating challenger Owen Smith on Saturday.

Surveys had indicated that Corbyn would easily defeat his challenger as he maintained widespread support of party members attracted by his socialist anti-austerity policies and “authentic” image.

On Wednesday, Corbyn urged for the party to unite behind his leadership. He reminded lawmakers that he has the support of rank-and-file members of the party and warned them not to challenge him again.

“We owe it to the millions of people Labour exists to represent to end the sniping and personal attacks, and work together for all those who depend on the election of a Labour government. Anything else would be destructive self-indulgence,” Corbyn said in a statement.

“All Labour Party members and MPs have a responsibility to work within the democracy of our party and respect the leadership of whoever is elected.”

The 67-year-old socialist and peace campaigner has shown little interest for Britain’s special relationship with the US and is opposed to nuclear weapons, including the costly Trident nuclear missile system that is maintained by the US.

Corbyn also is a critic of Israel and NATO. As member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, he invited members of the Hezbollah and Hamas resistance movements in 2009 to parliament where he called them “friends.” … See also Campaign Against Anti-semitism launches official complaint against Jeremy Corbyn