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Why is the UK pushing the EU to designate Hezbollah as a “terrorist” group?

By Phil Greaves | notthemsmdotcom | May 22, 2013

A distinct increase of negative coverage has been forming in Western and Gulf press. This focus is specifically regarding Hezbollah’s direct involvement in the battle currently raging to take control of the Syrian town of Qusair; its overall role in Lebanon and the region, and its ties to both Syria’s President Assad, and the government of Iran.

As the Syrian conflict has gone on, Salafi/Jihaddi fighters from at least 30 different nationalities have poured through Syria’s borders, with the tacit approval of various state sponsors of the Syrian ‘opposition’. In turn, and for the best part of two years, compliant media have obliged in their attempts to subvert the Salafi/Jihaddi fundamentalist dynamic that has formed the core of the ‘opposition’s’ fighting force; finally relenting and admitting the fact not a single secular force is fighting against the Syrian Government. Contrary to this wilful ignorance or blatant subversion of facts; Western and Gulf media outlets now deem it their utmost priority to highlight not only Hezbollah’s direct involvement; but indeed, go to great lengths to highlight every single Hezbollah death, injury, movement or sneeze inside Syria.

Several issues need to be addressed in this somewhat disparate state of so-called ‘independent’ media when it comes to coverage of Hezbollah. The first and most glaring point is that demonizing Hezbollah and its supporters falls straight into the propaganda program of Israel and the United States, in their attempts to block resistance to US/Israeli/GCC occupation and expansion. The reasons behind this demonization are clear: the US and Israel are not, now, or anywhere in the future willing to allow Hezbollah to operate on Israels’ northern border unimpeded, and both wish to see the resistance group annihilated. The ‘news’ media will dutifully oblige its paymasters with the required public demonization through assumption of guilt and propaganda.

The Burgas Bombing and implicating Hezbollah

Since the Bulgarian Government announced its findings into the bombing of a tourist bus that killed five Israeli tourists, and a Bulgarian bus driver in July 2012; the western press, AIPAC  and neo-con associated DC ‘think tanks’, and western government officials have gone into propaganda overdrive. Using somewhat vague statements from the Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, in a quite liberal manner; these parties with vested interests have determined culpability for the bombing fall’s on Hezbollah. One fundamental issue should be cleared before drawing any conclusion, that is, the Bulgarian Interior Minister’s statement on the issue post-investigation: (my emphasis)

“A reasonable assumption, I repeat a reasonable assumption, can be made that the two of them were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah,”

This is by no means a definitive statement, leaving room for interpretation suggests the Bulgarian minister is not so sure of his convictions. In this New York Times article ,we learn of the supposed damning ‘evidence’ that has led western officials and lackey media alike, to conclude Hezbollah’s’ guilt: (my emphasis)

With help from the United States and Israel, investigators here broke the case — and linked it to Hezbollah — using a tip from a secret source and some old-fashioned detective work, tracing the printer that had produced two forged licenses back to Lebanon….Europol determined that a fake Michigan driver’s license recovered at the scene had come from Lebanon….The identity of the Australian was the second major breakthrough. In September, a European intelligence service tipped off the Bulgarians about an Australian bombmaker of Lebanese descent, the former senior Western official said. The intelligence service said he had moved to Lebanon to join Hezbollah’s military wing. Mr. Tsvetanov said Tuesday that the Australian and the Canadian moved to Lebanon, one in 2006 and one in 2010.

These snippets of anonymous information are quite literally all the evidence that has been provided to date of Hezbollah association in the Burgas bombing. So because the fake ID’s were produced in Lebanon: that proves Hezbollah made them. And because the bombers alleged and, as yet unidentified, accomplices were from Lebanon: that also proves they are “tied to” Hezbollah. Clearly, the ‘evidence’ provided to date is circumstantial, at best. This lack of clear evidence will not stop either western, nor Israeli government officials, and, again, their lackey media and ‘think-tank’ counterparts in apportioning sole responsibility to Hezbollah, giving the ultimate desired outcome of guilt without trial, or indeed, any public evidence.

As investigative reporter Gareth Porter noted in February, the whole Bulgarian report is based on no more than an “assumption” or, “hypothesis” for Hezbollah complicity; yet this report form’s the basis for calls in the EU to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group. Porter goes on to state:(my emphasis)

Major revelations about the investigation by the former head of the probe and by a top Bulgarian journalist have further damaged the credibility of the Bulgarian claim to have found links between the suspects and Hezbollah….The chief prosecutor in charge of the Bulgarian investigation revealed in an interview published in early January that the evidence available was too scarce to name any party as responsible, and that investigators had found a key piece of evidence that appeared to contradict it.

Karadzhova revealed how little was known about the two men who investigators believe helped the foreigner killed by the bomb he was carrying, but whom Tsvetanov would later link to Hezbollah. The reason, she explained, is that they had apparently traveled without cell phones or laptops…..Only two kinds of information appear to have linked the two, according to the Karadzhova interview, neither of which provides insight into their political affiliation. One was that both of them had led a “very ordered and simple” lifestyle, which she suggested could mean that they both had similar training.

The other was that both had fake Michigan driver’s licenses that had come from the same country. It was reported subsequently that the printer used to make the fake Michigan driver’s licenses had been traced to Beirut.

But Karadzhova’s biggest revelation was that investigators had found a SIM card at the scene of the bombing and had hoped it would provide data on the suspect’s contacts before they had arrived at the scene of the bombing. But the telecom company in question was Maroc Telecom, and the Moroccan firm had not responded to requests for that information.

That provenance of the SIM Card is damaging to the Hezbollah “hypothesis”, because Maroc Telecom sells its cards throughout North Africa – a region in which Hezbollah is not known to have any operational bases but where Al-Qaeda has a number of large organisations.

Morocco is also considered a “staunch ally” of the United States, so it is unlikely that the Moroccan government would have refused a request from the United States to get the necessary cooperation from Moroccan Telecom.

Clearly, anyone claiming Hezbollah was responsible for the Burgas bombing is pushing a somewhat skewed and misinformed agenda. Not only is the ‘evidence’ both flimsy and circumstantial; the chief prosecutor laid doubt on any possible Hezbollah role on live television. Why would Israel, or the US choose not to follow the SIM card? Or even bother to request the Moroccan telecoms company release the information?

Britain launches campaign in the EU

This brings us to recent reports of the British governments renewed attempts to persuade the EU to designate Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist organisation. The UK is now pushing the EU for this designation to enable possible sanctions, and the Burgas bombing is a key component in the case against the organisation; the bombing is mentioned in virtually every article on the issue, and has been cited as a reason for Germany’s apparent sway in the UK’s direction.

For Israel, the United States and their GCC partners, the timing could not be better. Again, the hypocrisy is blatant. None of the NATO states that are pushing for terrorist designations against Hezbollah, have a negative word to say on the plethora of militant Salafi/Jihaddi groups they have abetted into Syria; (*other than Jabhat al Nusra*) these groups have not only attacked Syria’s security infrastructure and Government personnel, they have also openly committed massacres, hundreds of car bombings in built-up civilian areas, extra-judicial killings, rape, torture, and looting. But these are the good guys the west are supporting in their valiant fight for democracy in Syria? Or strict Sharia?

As these western/GCC proxies start to lose more and more ground against the Syrian Army, (and Hezbollah have been a key factor in that.) Israel pursues illegal military airstrikes against supposed “game changing” weapons, and the NATO states dutifully push their “diplomatic” pressure in the UN and the EU against Hezbollah under dubious allegation’s. These dynamics are inextricably linked to the Western/Israeli/GCC efforts to block the “Shiite crescent”.

In Lebanon itself, the US/UK et al accuse Hezbollah of being responsible for current conflagration on the Syrian border, which is also flaring up in northern Tripoli; without mentioning the fact Lebanon has been a key route for opposition militants to enter Syria. Since the very start of the Syrian crisis, northern Lebanon and the town of Qusair have been a rebel transit point and stronghold; allowing the free flow of heavily armed militant Salafi/Jihaddi fighters. But this seems to be what western leaders promote, and are indeed making great efforts to support. William Hague talks of “conflict spread” and propagates the falsehood that Hezbollah pose a threat to Lebanese internal security, while the UK and its allies arm, fund, promote, and provide diplomatic cover to the very Salafists Hezbollah is busy defending Shiite villages and Syrian civilians from. The West is supporting the very same democracy spreading Salafi/Jihaddi proxies that completely expelled all Christians from Qusair upon their arrival. Is the west and its allies, in its determination to overthrow the Assad government, and by extension destroy any resistance Hezbollah can muster against Israeli aggression, now supporting ethnic cleansing?

If Hezbollah, who up until the Syrian crisis; peacefully co-existed in a country belonging of 18 different sects no less, and being an active member of Lebanese government and its security infrastructure: are supposed terrorists. Then one has to ask: what are the extremist, sectarian militants the west is supporting supposed to represent? Freedom Fighters? Furthermore, and, considering the insurmountable volumes of evidence of western state-sponsored terror, one must also ask: what purpose, other than further ‘legal’ UN-endorsed western-led military aggression, does the designation of Hezbollah as “Terrorist” ultimately serve?

May 28, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Comments Off on Why is the UK pushing the EU to designate Hezbollah as a “terrorist” group?

John Kerry’s Political Posturing on Palestine

By BOB FANTINA | CounterPunch | May 28, 2013

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attempts to put his particular spin on resolving the generations-old crisis of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, he has travelled to the World Economic Forum. There he waved the possibility of $4 billion investments in the Palestinian economy, from a worldwide conglomerate of investors, over a period of three years. Of course, he hasn’t specified who these investors would be. It was reported that “… Kerry did not identify specific companies with plans to set up shop in the West Bank or how he hoped to remove obstacles to Palestinian commerce.”

The U.S. government in 2013 will give Israel over $3.15 billion, an increase over the billions it gave Israel last year. Yet the U.S. doesn’t ever seem to have any problem determining where that money comes from: the U.S. taxpayer has for decades been funding the apartheid state of Israel.

Regarding removing obstacles to Palestinian commerce, perhaps we could take a look at what some of those obstacles are.

*Israel has established countless checkpoints all over the West Bank. Customers wanting to get to stores that may be a few blocks from their home may have to travel miles to get to them, because IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers arbitrarily close checkpoints whenever the mood so strikes them. Or, they might leave a checkpoint open, but prevent people from passing through by asking countless questions, demanding assorted identification, or simply telling them they have to wait until the soldiers are good and ready to speak to them. That could be today, or possibly, tomorrow. Or maybe the day after. And if a potential customer decides to try a different route, through a different checkpoint, there is no guarantee the response there will be any different. Merchants attempting to get to their own stores face the same checkpoints and challenges.

*Farmers need to plant seeds, irrigate crops, care for them and eventually harvest them. This becomes difficult when they require permits from Israel to plant and harvest on their own land. A Palestinian farmer may request a permit to plant during planting season, but be granted the permit only long after planting season has passed. If he or she is fortunate enough to be given permission to plant at the appropriate time of year, he/she must simply hope that permission to harvest will be granted when appropriate. It is not unusual for Israel to grant permission to a Palestinian farmer to harvest his/her crops long after they have spoiled in the field.

*If a farmer is sufficiently lucky to be permitted to plant and harvest on his/her own land at an appropriate time, the challenges do not end. Once the crops are harvested and loaded onto vehicles to be taken to market, the checkpoints challenge is then faced. Often, farmers are delayed so long by IDF soldiers at checkpoints that their produce spoils before they are allowed to pass through.

*Israel has built an excellent road system all over the West Bank. Unfortunately, Palestinians aren’t allowed to use those roads. If a new Israeli-only road happens to cross over a Palestinian road, Palestinians are then unable to use their own road; they are not permitted to cross over an Israeli road.

*The situation in the Gaza Strip is even worse. Israel controls all the borders, land, sea and air, and permits only a very limited number of imports or exports.

Yet despite these and other unspeakable human rights violations, the U.S. provides Israel with billions and billions of dollars every year. So if Mr. Kerry would like to remove obstacles to Palestinian commerce, perhaps he might want to consider ending U.S. aid to Israel.

As has every recent Secretary of State prior to him, Mr. Kerry is pushing for renewed negotiations, without preconditions. Can anyone tell this writer how that makes sense? Israel is anxious to restart negotiations without any preconditions. Why wouldn’t it? Israel takes whatever it wants from Palestine, oppresses the people, bombs them, kills them, destroys their homes, at will, with no accountability.

Why wouldn’t Israel want to ‘negotiate’, with no preconditions? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can say to the world, managing, somehow, to keep a straight face, that he is willing to return to the bargaining table at any time. Of course, while doing so, he keeps building illegal settlements on Palestinian land, and his IDF terrorists continue to ply their trade on Palestinians.

In order for any two groups to negotiate, each must have something the other wants that can only be obtained by surrendering something the other side wants. Israel has been stealing Palestinian land for over sixty years; Palestine has nothing that Israel wants that Israel can only obtain by giving up something that Palestine wants. Israel has been given free reign, mainly by the United States, although the rest of the world has been complicit in Israel’s crimes, to take whatever it wants from Palestine, with complete impunity. Therefore, no negotiations can exist between Israel and Palestine. For Mr. Kerry to suggest that they can demonstrates either his ignorance or his firm conviction in the stupidity of the world community.

But there are signs that the world community is waking up. Palestine’s admission as a member state in the United Nations last year, passed by a huge majority, was a giant step. Now the weak, spineless Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas must apply to the International Criminal Court. The U.S., of course, opposes such a move, as it opposed Palestine’s admission to the United Nations. One wonders why; if Israel is not guilty of unspeakable crimes against the Palestinians, what does it have to lose if the U.N. investigates? What the U.S. seems to most fear is a loss of financial support from Israeli lobbying groups for individual reelection campaigns. Human rights? The almighty dollar trumps them every time.

ROBERT FANTINA is author of ‘Desertion and the American Soldier: 1776 – 2006.

May 28, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Qatar seeks to send Yemen’s military elite to fight alongside the Free Syrian Army

Yemen Post | May 27, 2013

Qatar which has been a staunch supporter of the Free Syrian Army against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria is now looking to enroll Yemen’s military elite to fight alongside other Arab-backed militias in a bid to offset Assad’s recent advances against the opposition.

Yemen Republican Guards, Yemen’s best of the best, the very units which were meant to ward off former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s foes are now being bid for by foreign powers in a regional effort to depose Syria’s regime.

Faced with the very possibility that Assad could after all outrun his enemies, strong of the support of Iran and the Hezbollah and restore his hold over the country, the Free Syrian Army has turned to his sponsors for support, awaiting more troops and more weapons.

While regional powers have committed money and military equipment, as well as allowed volunteers to cross over onto Syria to swell the resistance ranks, none has so far agreed to commit men to the conflict, a move which would equate to a declaration of war against the Syrian regime.

Qatar is now looking to by-pass the hurdle by sending Yemen Republican Guards to the front. Of course the men would go in their civilian capacity, hired as mercenaries by the State of Qatar.

According to local newspapers, Qatar would be looking to enroll 10,000 soldiers.

Military officials have warned that such a move would leave Yemen vulnerable, its defenses weakened.

May 28, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | Comments Off on Qatar seeks to send Yemen’s military elite to fight alongside the Free Syrian Army

Jewish settlers setting up tent and planning road on Palestinian owned land in Al Khalil

International Solidarity Movement | May 27, 2013

Hebron, Occupied Palestine – This morning, settlers from Kiryat Arba, an illegal israeli settlement in the city of Al Khalil (Hebron), started to place road markers for the construction of a road through the Palestinian olive groves of Wadi al-Hussein. They were accompanied by Israeli military and police.

Palestinians, including the owners of the land, gathered in the area to stop any attempt of illegal construction in their land and were confronted by armed Israeli settlers, police and army. A number of international observers were there to monitor the situation. The settlers claimed that they had a court order for road construction. However, they were unable to bring any official papers to back this claim.

A while later, some settlers who remained in the area started putting up a tent in the olive groves, unhindered by the police who have the legal duty to prevent them from land theft. They equipped the tent with chairs and surrounded it with Israeli flags.

Wadi al-Hussein is a Palestinian neighbourhood in Al Khalil, which, due to its proximity with the illegal israeli settlements of Kiryat Arba and Givat Ha’avot, has suffered a lot from settler violence and oppression by the Israeli forces.

Settlers tent in the Palestinian olive groves (Photo by ISM)

Settlers tent in the Palestinian olive groves (Photo by ISM)

Israeli forces and Palestinian land owners arguing about the settlers tent (Photo by ISM)

Israeli forces and Palestinian land owners arguing about the settlers tent (Photo by ISM)

Road marker placed by settlers (Photo by ISM)

Road marker placed by settlers (Photo by ISM)

May 28, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Comments Off on Jewish settlers setting up tent and planning road on Palestinian owned land in Al Khalil

Iran strongly rejects claims by Yemeni foreign minister

Press TV – May 28, 2013

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi has strongly rejected recent claims by Yemen’s foreign minister about Iran’s interference in the Arab country’s affairs.

Expressing surprise at Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi’s recent remarks about the smuggling of Iranian arms to Yemen, Araqchi rejected the claims as baseless and said, “Unfortunately, the Yemeni foreign minister talks in the same manner as the previous government that was overthrown by the people of Yemen.”

The Iranian official reiterated Tehran’s respect for Yemen’s sovereignty and unity, adding that Iran has never withheld any effort to help the Arab country’s calm and development.

It is not the first time that Yemen has made unfounded claims about Iranian interference in its domestic affairs.

Earlier in February, Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a UK-trained field marshal, accused Iran of smuggling arms into the Arab country. The Yemeni government asked the United Nations to probe a seized ship it claimed contained “Iran-made weapons.”

In a letter to President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Zhang Yesui on February 14, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaei rejected the claim as fabrication.

Khazaei said initial investigations showed that the ship intercepted by the Yemeni government does not belong to the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian official said the ship had been registered in a European country and sailed under the flag of Panama and none of the vessel’s personnel were Iranian.

May 28, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Comments Off on Iran strongly rejects claims by Yemeni foreign minister

Russia slams end of EU arms embargo, calls S-300s ‘stabilizing factor’ in Syria

RT | May 28, 2013

The failure of the European Union to agree on a new arms embargo for Syria is undermining the peace process, Moscow says. But the delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missiles may help restrain warmongers.

The comments come from Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, referring to the results of Monday’s meeting in Brussels. After a lengthy negotiating session, EU governments failed to resolve their differences and allowed a ban on arming the Syrian opposition to expire, with France and Britain scoring an apparent victory at the expense of EU unity.

The EU’s move, which the Russian diplomat branded as an “example of double standards”, opens the door for Britain and France to supply weapons to Syrian rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Criticizing Europe’s decision to open the way for potential arms shipments to Syrian rebels, Russia insists that its own sale of arms to the Syrian government helps the international effort to end the two-year-long conflict, the diplomat added. He was referring to the delivery of the advanced S-300 long-range air defense systems, which Russia is carrying out under a contract signed with Syria several years ago.

“Those systems by definition cannot be used by militant groups on the battlefield,” Ryabkov said. “We consider this delivery a factor of stabilization. We believe that moves like this one to a great degree restrain some hotheads from escalating the conflict to the international scale, from involving external forces.”

The S-300 is a series of Russian long-range surface-to-air missile systems designed to intercept ballistic missiles, regarded as the most potent weaponry of its class. The missiles are capable of engaging aerial targets as far away as 200km, depending on the version used.

Once the Russian SAM missiles are deployed by Syria, it will have a better control of its airspace. The country endured three airstrikes this year, which are widely thought to have been conducted by Israel, but were never officially confirmed as such.

Britain and France have made a commitment not to deliver arms to the Syrian opposition “at this stage,” an EU declaration said. EU officials, however, said the commitment effectively expires on August 1.

London and Paris have argued support for rebels fighting Assad by allowing EU arms deliveries, despite the fact that extremist elements are known to work alongside the rebels.

Other EU governments, led by Austria and Sweden, argued that sending more weapons to the region would increase violence and spread instability.

Russia’s envoy to NATO Aleksandr Grushko said that the abolition of the EU arms embargo on the Syrian opposition will only exacerbate armed conflict in that country.

“We need to refrain from taking steps that would be contrary to this logic. Such steps include armed or non-lethal support to the opposition. This just adds fuel to the fire,” Grushko said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Moscow and Washington remain undecided as to the content of a proposed international conference on Syria, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

“There remains a gap between the positions of Russia and the US regarding some issues and aspects of this major international crisis,” he emphasized.

“And we, for our part, cannot agree to hold such events [the international conference on Syria] amid a situation where partners and possible participants in such a conference seek to impose solutions on the Syrian people from the outside, as well as predetermine the course of a transitional process, the parameters of which have not been determined yet,” Ryabkov said.

May 28, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , | Comments Off on Russia slams end of EU arms embargo, calls S-300s ‘stabilizing factor’ in Syria

EU Continues with US-Led Sanctions against Syrians as It Scraps Arms Embargo

By Franklin Lamb | Al-Manar | May 28, 2013

Beirut – Under withering pressure from Washington and the UK, the European Union met this week to decide whether to increase the pressure on the Syrian public by repealing the March 2011 arms embargo that was intended to prohibit arms shipments to Syria and whether or not to continue economic sanctions against the Syrian public.

On 5/27/13 it decided to open the flood gate of arms flow into Syria and to keep the civilian targeting economic sanctions in place.

Lobbying for scrapping the arms embargo, set to expire at midnight on 31 May, had reached nearly historic intensity at EU HQ in Brussels, London and Washington. Recently, the US State Department demanded that every one of the 27 European Ambassadors posted in the US appear at the State Department for “consultations to avoid any misunderstandings about what the White House was expecting at the upcoming EU meeting.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry had been urging the EU to gut the arms embargo so as to expedite weapon shipments to the rebels. It currently appears that Britain now has the support of France, Italy and Spain, while Germany appears neutral and Austria, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic are still opposed. “Fine for him to say, but what is Washington willing to do?” one European foreign minister opposed to lifting the ban put it to BBC correspondent Lyse Doucet.

This week’s EU meeting, which was postponed three months ago, raised again the obligation of the international community to respect the laws of armed conflict and the Geneva Convention with respect to protecting the civilian population during armed conflicts and virtually every other international humanitarian law requirement.

For the American administration, designing and applying economic sanctions in order to pressure a population to break with its government to achieve regime change or any other political objective, as in the case of both Syria and Iran are fundamentally illegal under US law.

Just as soon as a group of Syrian-Americans and/or Iranian-American file a class action lawsuit in US Federal District Court ( the Court will have in persona and subject matter jurisdiction and the Plaintiffs will have standing to sue, given that they are American citizens) and the day after filing when they would no doubt file a Motion petitioning the Court for an Interim Measure of Protection (injunction) immediately freezing and lifting the US-led sanctions against the two countries civilian population, pending the final Court (Jury Trial) on the merits, the Obama administration is going to face serious judicial challenges to its outlawry.

William Hague, the UK Defense Minister, was quite active the past several days supporting the various Syrian militias’ arguments including: “The EU arms embargo must be lifted because the current economic sanctions regime is ineffective.” Presumably the right honorable gentleman means by “ineffective” that these brutal sanctions have not broken the will of the populations to settle their own affairs without transparent foreign interference. This is true if by “effective” Hague means that the US-led sanctions, that target Syria’s civilian population for purely political purposes of regime change, will cause the people of Syria, who unlike their leaders, are the ones directly affected by the sanctions to revolt over the lack of medicines and food stuffs plus inflation at the grocery stores.

Mr. Hague surely must be aware that very rarely, if ever at all in history, have civilian targeted sanctions designed to cause hardships among a nation’s population for purely political purposes actually broken the population such that they turned against their governments. Both the Syrian and Iranian sanctions have confirmed history’s instruction that the civilian targeting sanctions imposed from outside tend to have the exact opposite intended effect. This is true particularly modernly with more available information, and that the populations turn not against their national governments but rather against those foreign governments viewed as being responsible for these crimes.

The British, French, Turks and the Americans (the latter, not actually an EU member but then, who would know from its involvements in EU deliberations?) were the zealots in Brussels advocating amendment of the imposed arms embargo so that weapons can be sent to “moderate” forces in these countries largely nurtured and sustained “opposition”.

The UK Defense Minister gave his colleagues repeated assurances that weapons would be supplied only “under carefully controlled circumstances” and with clear commitments from the opposition… We have to be open to every way of strengthening moderates and saving lives rather than the current trajectory of extremism and murder.”  The assurances have apparently convinced very few.

Unanimity was needed to repeal the embargo and several countries were opposed. So it was allowed to lapse. One Austrian official told the BBC that allowing lethal weapons to be sent into a war zone “would turn EU policy on its head.” Another European diplomat insisted that “It would be the first conflict where we pretend we could create peace by delivering arms,” the diplomat said. “If you pretend to know where the weapons will end up, then it would be the first war in history where this is possible. We have seen it in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Weapons don’t disappear; they pop up where they are needed.”

Oxfam warned before and after the vote of “devastating consequences” if the embargo ends.”There are no easy answers when trying to stop the bloodshed in Syria, but sending more arms and ammunition clearly isn’t one of them,” the aid agency’s head of arms control, Anna Macdonald told the media this week.

The result of the predicted 5/27/13 European Union meeting prevented the renewal of the arms embargo on Syria, raising the possibility of a new flow of weapons to various jihadist militias working with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, among others, to bring down the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Sustaining a personal rebuke of sorts given that the EU did not affirmatively oppose the embargo as he had hoped, William Hague, the British foreign secretary, told the media after more than 12 hours of stormy talks: “While we have no immediate plans to send arms to Syria, it gives us the flexibility to respond in the future if the situation continues to deteriorate and worsen,”

As a claimed safeguard of some kind, according to EU officials, the European Union declared that member states who might wish to send weapons to Syrian rebels “shall assess the export license applications on a case-by-case basis” in line with the organization’s rules on exports of military technology and equipment.

Some of the 27 EU countries are now even more concerned that anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons given to “moderate” militiamen (per Libya?) would end up Lord knows where, in the hands of salafist, jihadist-takfiri militants, including those from the al-Nusra Front, which has pledged fealty to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The current embargo includes the following:

  • Ban on export/import of arms and equipment for internal repression since May 2011All Syrian cargo planes banned from EU airports
  • All Syrian cargo planes banned from EU airports
  • EU states obliged to inspect Syria-bound ships or planes suspected of carrying arms
  • Assets freeze on 54 groups and 179 people responsible for or involved in repression [many who are not involved in decision making are included-ed]
  • Export ban on technical monitoring equipment

In February this year, EU foreign ministers agreed to enable any EU member state to provide non-lethal military equipment “for the protection of civilians” or for the opposition forces, “which the Union accepts as legitimate representatives of the Syrian people”.

As is its habit recently, the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU’s diplomatic service, has spoken on both sides of this critical issue. On the one hand it has cautioned against “any counterproductive move” that could harm the prospects of the Geneva conference and suggests extending the embargo to allow “more time for reflection”. On the other suggesting that lifting the arms embargo would only prolong the war.

The practice of targeting a civilian population by outsiders in order to achieve political objectives such as regime change is fast heading for the dustbin of history given its blatant violation of all norms of international humanitarian law and common decency reflected in the values of most societies.

This week revealed on which side of history the European Union has chosen to anchor itself on the issue of targeting civilian populations in a blatant attempt to achieve regime change. It affirmatively voted “to renew all the economic sanctions already in place against the Syrian government.”

One imagines, as surely the EU is aware, that officials are not suffering much from the economic sanctions, but rather it is exactly those the EU claims to want to help, who will continue to suffer rises in the cost of living generally as well as the sanctions causing shortages of medicines and medical equipment as well as specialized cancer treatments and other medicines for seriously ill drug-dependant citizens.

May 28, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , , , | Comments Off on EU Continues with US-Led Sanctions against Syrians as It Scraps Arms Embargo