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Syrians Return Home as the Terrorists are Pushed Out

By Steven MacMillan – New Eastern Outlook – 07.07.2017

After six years of fighting a brutal and long war against foreign-backed terrorist proxy forces, the Syrian army – and its allies – have made significant gains in recent months. The Syrian army’s recent triumphs include liberating many areas in the Homs province, reaching the Iraqi border in what was described as a “strategic turning point in the war,” in addition to securing the Aleppo province from ISIS. It is clear that the Syrian army has the upper hand in the conflict, a fact that the hawks in Washington, London, Brussels, Riyadh and Tel Aviv find too difficult to stomach.

As the Syrian army prevails on the ground, capturing territory from the militants in the process, hundreds of thousands of Syrians are returning to their homes. As Andrej Mahecic, the spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, said in a press briefing at the end of June, many Syrians are returning “to their homes” partly due to a “real or perceived improvement in security conditions” in many regions recently liberated:

“[The] UNHC is seeing a notable trend of spontaneous returns to and within Syria in 2017. Aid agencies estimate that more than 440,000 internally displaced people have returned to their homes in Syria during the first six months of this year. In parallel, UNHCR has monitored over 31,000 Syrian refugees returning from neighbouring countries so far in 2017. 

The main factors influencing decisions for refugees to return self-assisted mostly to Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Damascus and to other governorates are primarily linked to seeking out family members, checking on property, and, in some cases, a real or perceived improvement in security conditions in parts of the country.” 

Although the conflict is far from over, and the rebuilding of Syria will likely cost hundreds of billions of dollars, many Syrians can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. The defeat of foreign-backed mercenaries and the stabilization of Syria has always been of central importance to help solve part of the refugee/migrant crisis that has gripped Europe in recent years.

Short of any extremely reckless action by the West and its allies, the Syrian army will continue to liberate large parts of the country from the foreign-backed militants, paving the way for more internally and externally displaced Syrians to return to their homes. In their desperation however, the enemies of Syria may again stage a false flag chemical weapons attack and blame it on the Syrian government, in an attempt to justify a major military intervention to turn the tide.

The Need to Resist Balkanization 

The second option available to the enemies of Syria is to continue the agenda of attempting to Balkanize Syria into different micro-states and mini-states, with the West clearly using Kurdish factions in an attempt to further this strategy. Ideally, the enemies of Syria wanted to force regime change in Damascus and then Balkanize the country into multiple rump states, although with regime change looking increasingly unrealistic, Balkanization in itself has become a central objective of the West.

There is literally an abundance of evidence that supports the thesis that Balkanization is a major goal of the West and its allies. In 1982, Oded Yinon, an Israeli journalist who had close connections to the Foreign Ministry in Israel, wrote an article titled: “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties.” In the document, Yinon detailed how the “dissolution of Syria” into “ethnically or religiously unique areas” was a primary objective of Israel:

“Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short-term target. 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, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan” (p.11, point 22).

A decade later, an article appeared in an extremely influential US publication which echoed the strategy advocated by Yinon. Published in the 1992 issue of Foreign Affairs, the magazine of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), the article was titled: Rethinking the Middle East, and was written by Bernard Lewis, the British-American historian, neoconservative and CFR member. In the article, Lewis outlines how many Middle East states could disintegrate into a “chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions and parties:”

“Another possibility, which could even be precipitated by fundamentalism, is what has of late become fashionable to call ‘Lebanonization.’ Most of the states of the Middle East—Egypt is an obvious exception—are of recent and artificial construction and are vulnerable to such a process. If the central power is sufficiently weakened, there is no real civil society to hold the polity together, no real sense of common national identity or overriding allegiance to the nation state. 

The state then disintegrates—as happened in Lebanon—into a chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions and parties. If things go badly and central governments falter and collapse, the same could happen, not only in the countries of the existing Middle East, but also in the newly independent Soviet republics, where the artificial frontiers drawn by the former imperial masters left each republic with a mosaic of minorities and claims of one sort or another on or by its neighbours.” 

In 2013, the former US Secretary of State and CFR member, Henry Kissinger, revealed his desire to see Syria Balkanized into “more or less autonomous regions” whilst speaking at the Ford School:

“There are three possible outcomes. An Assad victory. A Sunni victory. Or an outcome in which the various nationalities agree to co-exist together but in more or less autonomous regions, so that they can’t oppress each other. That’s the outcome I would prefer to see. But that’s not the popular view…. I also think Assad ought to go, but I don’t think it’s the key. The key is; it’s like Europe after the Thirty Years War, when the various Christian groups had been killing each other until they finally decided that they had to live together but in separate units. So that is the fundamental issue, and we’re beginning to move towards that” (from 27.35 into the interview).

Then at the end of 2015, Foreign Affairs published an article titled: Divide and Conquer in Syria and Iraq; Why the West Should Plan for a Partition. It was written by Barak Mendelsohn, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Haverford College and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. In the article, he argues that the “solution” to the current crisis in Syria and Iraq is the Balkanization of these countries into multiple micro-states, creating an “independent Sunni state” (or Sunnistan) in the process: 

“The only way to elicit indigenous support is by offering the Sunnis greater stakes in the outcome. That means proposing an independent Sunni state that would link Sunni-dominated territories on both sides of the border. Washington’s attachment to the artificial Sykes–Picots borders demarcated by France and Britain a century ago no longer makes sense. Few people truly believe that Syria and Iraq could each be put back together after so much blood has been spilled. A better alternative would be to separate the warring sides. Although the sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shias was not inevitable—it was, to some extent, the result of manipulation by self-interested elites—it is now a reality.” 

This is just a snapshot of the evidence that proves that the enemies of Syria want to Balkanize the country, with the Brookings Institution being another US think tank that has advocated this strategy, in one form or another, ad nauseam. Officials in Syria are well aware of this plan however, that is why the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, has repeatedly emphasised that he wants to recapture all of Syria.

July 8, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Canadian court upholds $1.7 billion ruling against Iran

Press TV – July 4, 2017

A Canadian court has accused Iran of supporting terrorism, upholding a previous ruling that requires the Islamic Republic to pay around $1.7 billion in damages to “American victims of terrorism.”

Ontario’s Court of Appeal rejected Iran’s request to reconsider the ruling on Monday night, arguing that doing so would amount to a breach of Canada’s Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act (JVTA).

The JVTA allows victims of terrorism to sue foreign states for damages.

The accusation came despite Iran’s firm response to similar cases in the past, where various American and European courts had taken punitive measures against Tehran over unproven claims of complicity in terror.

The new case was brought by families of American citizens who had been killed in a series of attacks between 1980s and 2002, mostly blamed on Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements Hamas and Hezbollah.

The families claimed that the Iranian government supported the two organizations and was therefore responsible for their actions.

The complaints were first filed in the US but the claimants turned to Canada after finding out that the Iranian government had more properties and bank accounts there.

A one-story house in Toronto, an industrial building in Ottawa and two bank accounts were among the assets that were sought in the case.

Without offering further elaboration, the court also claimed in its ruling that Iran was seeking to “frustrate” the JVTA’s implementation.

The Iranian government had reportedly told the court that it had immunity in the case. It had also argued that the judgment was against international law and exceeded the maximum damages allowable in Canadian law.

Tehran also argued that the victims had to prove Iran’s role in each attack instead of just repeating the US government’s baseless allegations.

The court said Iran was only immune in terrorism cases that had occurred before January 1985, when Canada’s State Immunity Act was passed.

A recurring trend

Last year, the US Supreme Court ruled that around $2 billion had to be turned over to the American families of the people killed in a 1983 bombing in Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran.

Likening the act to “highway robbery,” Iran said back then that it would seek reparations.

The trend of the unfair rulings continued in March, when a New York court ordered Iran to pay $7.5 billion in damage to families of victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks and $3 billion to a group of insurers over related claims.

The ruling surprised many since Washington had clearly blamed the attacks on the al-Qaeda terror group and even investigated members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family who had proven ties to the terrorist organization.

Various investigations have revealed that 15 of the 19 plane hijackers involved in the attacks were Saudi nationals and some of them had received large sums of money from Saudi royals.

The ruling lost even more weight in September, after the US Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), clearing the path to sue Saudi Arabia for the tragic death of over 3,000 people.

It was reported in March, however, that a judge in Luxembourg had quietly put a freeze on $1.6 billion in assets belonging to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to compensate the 9/11 victims.

The Canadian court’s ruling came days after yet another anti-Iran ruling by a US court, which allowed the American government to seize an Iranian charity’s office tower in New York City over claims that it was used to breach Iran sanctions.

July 4, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Empire-Speak

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By Jacob G. Hornberger – Future of Freedom Foundation – June 28, 2017

One of the most fascinating aspects of living under imperialism is the lexicon that this philosophy brings into existence. It’s called Empire-Speak. Given the complexity of this specialized language, it usually takes people years of education and training to master it.

One of the finest examples of Empire-Speak appeared last week in a Washington Post op-ed by Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who often appears as a commentator on Fox News. Krauthammer penned an op-ed entitled “The Great Muslim Civil War – and Us” that is an absolute masterpiece of Empire-Speak.

Comparing what is happening in the Middle East to Europe 1945, Krauthammer describes the “great Muslim civil war” that has enveloped the Middle East, which he writes, is “approaching its post-Islamic phase.” ISIS is about to be defeated on the battlefield, he writes, and the parties are now maneuvering, as they did after World War II, to “determine postwar boundaries and spheres of influence.” Once ISIS loses its hold on Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, “the caliphate dies.”

So does that mean that the Pentagon and the CIA can finally declare victory in the Middle East and come home after more than 25 years of warfare in the Middle East? Does that mean that there can now be a ticker-tape parade in New York City honoring the victorious American forces?

Are you kidding? As Krauthammer points out, all that has gone before is just “the end of the beginning.” Things are just getting started. After all, as Krauthammer points out, “At stake is consolidation of the Shite Crescent.”

Who would have known? I’ll bet that 99 percent of Americans haven’t even heard of the “Shite Crescent” or that it’s being consolidated. Thank goodness we have Krauthammer and other people well-versed in Empire-Speak to tell us about it.

According to Krauthammer, the world is witnessing a gigantic battle between Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims.

Leading the Shiite side is Iran. Combined with Russia, Syria, Iraq, and Hezbollah (“which Krauthammer labels the “tip of the Iranian spear”), this is the so-called “Shiite Crescent.” According to Krauthammer, it poses a “nightmare for the entire Sunni Middle East.”

On the opposing side of this gigantic battle are the Sunnis, led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the United States. Needless to say, this is considered the good side of the war.

As I was reading through his op-ed, I kept hoping that Krauthammer would not omit one of my favorite terms in Empire-Speak: “the hegemon.” Isn’t that a great term? Whenever I hear an imperialist refer to the danger of the rise of a “regional hegemon,” I think of Transformers or Godzilla.

Krauthammer didn’t disappoint. He states that Syria is “the central theater of a Shiite-Sunni war for regional hegemony.” Moreover, Russia — yes, that Russia! — Krauthammer labeled “the outside hegemon.” OMG! Scary, right? Maybe even scarier than rise of communism and the Soviet Union, the two official enemies of the Cold War era.

What’s really going on here?

Krauthammer is simply preparing the American people for what lies ahead — more interventionism, more imperialism, more militarism, and more death and destruction at the hands of the US Empire. And, of course, more official enemies as old official enemies are defeated or disappeared.

You see, I bet you thought that once ISIS was defeated, the troops could finally be brought home and revel in their glorious victory. Sort of like “Mission Accomplished” after the US invasion of Iraq.

Not so. Undoubtedly expressing the mindset of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the rest of the US national-security establishment, Krauthammer is telling us that unfortunately we cannot rest. We must continue to soldier on, presumably until the Shiite Crescent is defeated and the world is no longer facing the possibility of a rise of a “regional hegemon.” And don’t even think for a moment that once that is accomplished, the war will finally be over. It will simply spell the beginning of the end of the beginning.

As I stated soon after the 9/11 attacks, the “war on terrorism” is going to be just like the war on drugs, where every drug lord they kill or capture is soon replaced by dozens more.

The real problem is that the US Empire keeps running out of official enemies. If we go back to the maneuvering after World War II to which Krauthammer refers, we see US officials converting their World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union, to a new official enemy, one that necessitated, they said, the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state.

As we all know, for the next 45 years the Cold War was a bonanza for the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, and what President Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex.” Ever-increasing budgets and powers. The best part, for them, was that it was never supposed to end. The Cold War was supposed to go on forever because communism and the Soviet Union were supposed to go on forever.

But life can be cruel. In 1989, the Soviet Union suddenly and unexpectedly dismantled itself, declared socialism a bankrupt philosophy, and unilaterally declared an end to the Cold War, thereby depriving the US Empire of its big official Cold War enemy.

No problem. A new official enemy was soon announced: Saddam Hussein, dictator of Iraq and former partner of the US Empire (just like Stalin had been). Throughout the 1990s, Americans obsessed over Saddam Hussein and how he was coming to get us and the rest of the world with his WMDs.

To oust Saddam from power, the Pentagon and the CIA began wreaking death and destruction in Iraq, including 11 years of sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.

That led to terrorist blowback and a new official enemy: “terrorism,” which ultimately enabled US officials to invade Iraq and oust their official enemy, Saddam Hussein, from power, and install a new regime in Iraq, a Shiite Muslim regime.

Over time, the “terrorists” have morphed into “the Muslims,” which are now viewed as the new official enemy.

Which brings us back to Krauthammer’s op-ed. If the Muslims are the new official enemy, how is that the United States is on the side of the Sunnis in what Krauthammer describes as a giant Muslim civil war that is now supposedly taking place? Aren’t Sunnis Muslims too?

Hmmm. So does this mean that we are no longer supposed to focus on Muslims in general or even “radical Muslims” or “extreme Muslims” but instead on “Shiite Muslims” as the new official enemy?

Oh, another thing Krauthammer doesn’t make clear: If we are now battling the Shiite Muslims, why did the US government use its invasion and occupation of Iraq to install a Shiite regime there? And why is it that US troops have been killing and dying for some 14 years to preserve the existence of that Shiite regime? Why are they still doing so? Were Americans wrong to thank the troops for their service in Iraq by bringing into existence a regime that is now part of the “Shiite Crescent,” which, according to Krauthammer, is now facing us on the field of battle?

Boy, imperialism sure is hard to learn and comprehend. Just like Empire-Speak.

July 3, 2017 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

UN rejects Israel claims of Hezbollah operating under cover of NGO

The picture released on June 22, 2017 shows an installation of the Lebanese environmental NGO Green Without Borders which Israel alleges to be used by Hezbollah fighters.
Press TV – June 24, 2017

The United Nations has dismissed Israeli accusations that Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement is setting up observation posts on the border under the guise of an environmental NGO.

Earlier this week, the Israeli military published photographs and footage showing what it claimed to be Hezbollah observation posts established on behalf of “Green Without Borders” near the frontier with the occupied territories.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon sent a letter of protest to the UN Security Council, denouncing the alleged “dangerous provocation” and accusing Hezbollah of carrying out undercover reconnaissance activities.

The council should “demand that the government of Lebanon dismantle these observation posts immediately, and prevent any future activity of Hezbollah and its affiliates in southern Lebanon, particularly near the Blue Line,” he said, referring to the UN-drawn boundary between Lebanon and the occupied lands.

On Friday, however, UN spokeswoman Eri Kaneko rejected Tel Aviv’s allegation against Hezbollah and said that members of Green Without Borders had only planted trees in the area over the past years.

She stressed that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) “has not observed any unauthorized armed persons at the locations or found any basis to report a violation of [Security Council] Resolution 1701,” passed at the end of the 33-day Israeli war on Lebanon in the summer of 2006.

UNIFIL remains in contact with the Lebanese armed forces on monitoring the border to ensure there are no violations “and to avoid any misunderstandings or tensions that could endanger the cessation of hostilities.”

The 33-day war, which killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, ended on August 14, 2006, after a UN-brokered ceasefire went into effect.

Since then, UNIFIL has also been charged with monitoring the cessation of hostilities.

Israel’s claims come while it frequently violates Resolution 1701 by invading Lebanon’s airspace.

The Lebanese army and Hezbollah have on numerous occasions reported border breaches by Israeli troops attempting to install espionage devices and tracking equipment in Lebanese territory.

June 24, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 6 Comments

Syrian Army, Hezbollah reaches border with Iraq for the first time in years

By Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News | 09/06/2017

DAMASCUS – Late on Friday afternoon, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Hezbollah and allied Iraqi paramilitary contingents dashed through southeastern Homs and reached an Iraqi border point, thus slicing adrift the frontline between rebel forces based in the Al-Tanf region and ISIS militants in the neighboring Deir Ezzor governorate.

Unopposed by the US Airforce and its vetted Syrian proxies, the SAA and its allies drove through over 40 kilometers of abandoned desert territory and managed to link up with an Iraqi garrison across the border.

The advance was confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Defense and an Hezbollah-linked outlet moments ago.

Effectively, the SAA is now able to reopen trade between Damascus and Baghdad. Government forces have not controlled any parts of the largely ISIS-controlled border with Iraq since 2014.

In addition, Hezbollah is now able to be supplied with weapons from Tehran via an all-important land route. Previously, the Lebanese group relied on complicated airlifts for new armaments.

June 10, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lieberman urges US to pressure for expelling Hamas leaders from Beirut

Palestine Information Center – June 9, 2017

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – The Israeli war minister, Avigdor Lieberman, on Friday urged the visiting American UN ambassador Nikki Haley to pressure Beirut to expel Hamas anti-occupation leaders.

According to the Hebrew-language Walla news site, Lieberman launched calls to expel prominent Hamas leaders from Lebanon following a meeting with the American UN ambassador Nikki Haley.

“Hamas leaders in Lebanon should be banished because they are working against Israel,” claimed Lieberman.

Over recent weeks, an ad hominem campaign has been waged against Palestinian anti-occupation leaders affiliated with Hamas resistance movement in an attempt to deport them from their countries of residency.

June 9, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Trump should learn from Reagan’s folly in Lebanon

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | June 8, 2017

Even by American standards, the White House statement on the terrorist attacks in Tehran on Wednesday will stand out as a new threshold in the US’ doublespeak on terrorism. Tehran has rejected the US statement as “repugnant”. In a thinly veiled reference to Saudi Arabia, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif hit back that the terrorism that Iran has to counter is perpetrated by “US clients”.

The reports from Tehran are saying more explicitly than initially that Saudi Arabia is responsible for the terrorist attacks (for which ISIS has formally claimed responsibility.) The big question is how far the Saudis acted alone or whether there has been some tacit coordination with the US (and Israel.) All three players – US, Saudi Arabia and Israel – have had covert links with the ISIS. It is useful to recall an Israeli army colonel was once taken prisoner by the Iraqi forces during an operation against the ISIS (here).

Interestingly enough, a statement by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps made it a point to link the terrorist attacks in Tehran with US President Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh two weeks ago. It said, “The public opinion in the world, specially the Iranian nation sees this terrorist action that happened a week after the joint meeting of the US president with the heads of one of the reactionary regional states that has constantly been supporting Takfiri terrorists as to be very meaningful, and believes that ISIL’s acknowledging the responsibility indicates their complicity in this wild move.”

Indeed, the US carried out a second attack today within a week on the Syrian government forces in Al-Tanf in the south-eastern region. The timing is interesting. It signals that the US is drawing a “red line” for the Syrian government forces from approaching the border crossing with Iraq. In strategic terms, it is further confirmation that the US at the behest of Israel and Saudi Arabia is indirectly challenging the Iranian presence in Syria. (See my earlier blog The scramble for control of Syrian-Iraqi border.)

Iran is unlikely to be cowed down by the terrorist strikes on Wednesday. It has a long history of resilience while facing terror attacks. Israel and the US intelligence have left no stone unturned in the past to destabilize the Iranian regime and to assassinate Iranian leaders. President Hassan Rouhani pointedly recalled this in his message to the nation on Wednesday, while reiterating that “The terrorist incidents in Tehran today will, no doubt, strengthen the will of the Islamic Iran in the campaign against regional terrorism, extremism and violence.” The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei virtually played down the Tehran attacks (FARS).

The fallouts of Wednesday’s attacks are sure to be felt in the period ahead. The US-Saudi-Israeli game plan will be to get Iran bogged down at home. The Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had explicitly warned Tehran last month that a war will be forced on it on Iranian soil by Riyadh. The Saudis are of course acting in their over-confidence that Trump has been literally bought over by King Salman. The Saudis have probably got through to Trump’s family members – his Jewish son-in-law in particular – just as they once had the Bush family eating out of their hands. Some reports have disclosed that King Salman gave away lavish gifts to Trump worth $1.2 billion.

When it comes to Iran, Trump can count on the Congress rallying behind him for taking a hard line. The US lawmakers are generously funded by the Jewish lobby and are heavily compromised to Israel. So, a vicious cycle can develop whereby Congress keeps imposing fresh sanctions against Iran while the White House continues to provoke Tehran. To be sure, Israel can heave a sigh of relief that the narrative has once again shifted away from the Israel-Palestine conflict toward terrorism and Iran.

The US-Saudi-Israeli calculation will be that at some point, Tehran may begin retaliating. But it is highly unlikely that Iran will retaliate in the same coin as its adversaries – with terrorism as a key instrument of state policy. It will plan its moves carefully, methodically. An extensive proxy war is far more likely. Its impact will be felt in Yemen, Syria and Iraq – even Afghanistan.

From this point, the American forces deployed in these countries may begin to feel that life is getting to be a lot more dangerous than they ever knew. Do not rule out at some point in a conceivable future a repetition of the Beirut experience of October 23, 1983 when a single Lebanese militant killed 241 American marine, navy, and army personnel. It was the single deadliest attack on American Marines since the Battle of Iwo Jima. By February 1984 Ronald Reagan had ensured that the US marines were completely withdrawn from Lebanon. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. Trump is pushing the envelope recklessly.

June 8, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel regime threat to Middle East nations, humanity: Larijani

Press TV – May 29, 2017

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says the “aggressive and racist” nature of the Israeli regime has always been and will remain a source of threat to the nations in the Middle East and humanity in general.

In a message on Monday, Larijani offered his congratulations to Secretary General of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, on the 17th anniversary of the liberation of southern Lebanon from the Israeli occupation.

He said resistance was the only way to liberate Palestine from the Israeli occupation.

“The multiple victories of the Islamic resistance [movement] against the Zionist regime (Israel) clearly demonstrate that the lofty aspirations of the Muslim Ummah for the liberation of the occupied Palestinian territories can be achieved only through harmony, solidarity and resistance,” Larijani added.

The top Iranian parliamentarian expressed confidence that unity and solidarity among different Lebanese groups would shape a “bright future” for people in Lebanon and the Islamic resistance movement.

The Israeli regime first invaded Lebanon in 1978 and later escalated the military operation into a full-scale offensive in 1982.

During the 22-year entanglement with Lebanon, the Israeli military took heavy blows from Lebanese resistance fighters and reportedly lost some 900 of its soldiers.

Following the 1982 offensive, known as the First Lebanon War, Tel Aviv refused to leave southern Lebanon and kept its military presence there in defiance of the UN Security Council Resolution 425 that called on the regime to immediately withdraw.

However, the Zionist enemy eventually buckled under the resistance put up by Hezbollah fighters and pulled out its forces from the occupied areas overnight on May 24, 2000, in what observers call a humiliating defeat for the regime in Tel Aviv and a glorious victory for Hezbollah.

Hezbollah’s victory also served as a source of inspiration for the Palestinians, who launched their second anti-Israel uprising, known as al-Aqsa Intifada, in the occupied territories only four months after Tel Aviv’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon.

Addressing the Lebanese nation from the southern city of Hermel on Thursday, Nasrallah said when southern Lebanon was occupied by Israel, no country in the world except Iran and Syria helped end the occupation.

He added that the resistance has grown strong enough not to wait for support from the rest of the world or from inside or outside the country.

May 29, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Only Iran, Syria helped Lebanon when it was occupied by Israel

Press TV – May 25, 2017

Secretary General of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, says when southern Lebanon was occupied by Israel, no country in the world except Iran and Syria helped the country to end occupation.

Nasrallah made the remarks while delivering a speech in commemoration of the 17th anniversary of the liberation of the southern Lebanon from the Israeli occupation.

Addressing the nation from the southern city of Hermel, Nasrallah said resistance has gotten strong enough not to wait for support from the rest of the world or from inside the country or outside.

Lambasting the world’s indifference toward the occupation of Lebanon by Israel, he said when Lebanon was occupied no country in the world, neither the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, nor the Arab League, nor the United Nations or America helped Lebanon.

“Only the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria helped Lebanon against Israeli occupation,” the Hezbollah chief added.

He noted that the only time that resistance was helped against Israel was under former president, Émile Lahoud, parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, and former prime minister, Selim al-Hoss.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah described the close cooperation between Lebanese army troops and Hezbollah fighters as the main reason behind the 2000 victory over the Israeli regime’s aggression and winning back the occupied lands of southern Lebanon.

He stressed that during the occupation, Western countries stood by Tel Aviv throughout the 15 years in which the Lebanese territories were occupied by Israel’s military forces.

He also praised the steadfastness of the Lebanese nation in the face of Israel and foreign-sponsored Takfiri militant groups.

Riyadh meeting aimed to threaten Iran, resistance

Referring to a recent meeting among leaders of several Muslim countries in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, which was also attended by US President Donald Trump, the Hezbollah chief said anything that was said and decided during the Riyadh meeting would have no effect on the situation in Lebanon, because since the new president has come to office, good consensus has been reached inside the country over a host of issues.

Pointing to participation of an official Lebanese delegation in the Riyadh meeting and that the al-Mustaqbal party had hailed the final statement of the Riyadh summit, he said, “We have reached an understanding in Lebanon to differ over political matters, but follow the same line on economic and security matters.”

He added that the final statement of the Riyadh summit was not acceptable for the resistance movement and it would have no effect on the situation in Lebanon.

Nasrallah also noted that Muslim leaders attending the Riyadh summit had no information whatsoever about the meeting’s final statement, and had emphasized that they will not take heed of the statement.

The Riyadh summit was simply organized in order to glorify US President Donald Trump, the Hezbollah chief said, adding that the meeting sought to threaten the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as the resistance in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

‘Saudi Arabia is the center of world terrorism’

Taking Saudi rulers to task for inviting Trump to the Riyadh summit, Nasrallah described Trump as the US president, who has disrespected Islam as well as Arab nations the most during his presidential campaigning.

He added that Saudi Arabia simply invited Trump to get his support in the face of rising global criticism of Riyadh’s role in fostering terrorism.

“The entire world knows that Saudi Arabia is behind the spread of terrorist Takfiri ideology,” he said adding that the Saudi-backed terrorists were wreaking havoc across the world and that their damage was not limited to a single country or the Islamic world, but had spread to the Western countries as well.

“Saudi Arabia is the center of world terrorism. It is responsible for the creation and supplying arms and munitions to al-Qaeda, Taliban and Daesh terrorist groups. The kingdom’s Wahhabi ideology is fanning the flames of sectarianism and sedition in the Muslim world,” he said.

Nasrallah slams Bahrain’s “heinous assault” on peaceful protesters

Elsewhere in his remarks, the secretary general of Hezbollah censured Bahrain’s Al Khalifah regime for the brutal crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.

He termed the assaults against supporters of the country’s prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim in the northwestern village of Diraz as “heinous,” calling for the immediate release of the 77-year-old cleric, who is the spiritual leader of the country’s dissolved opposition bloc, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.

Riyadh trying to isolate Tehran due to is support for resistance

Turning to Saudi Arabia’s military onslaught against Yemen, Nasrallah hailed the Yemeni nation’s steadfastness, emphasizing that the Riyadh regime is perpetrating crimes against humanity in the impoverished country through starving and slaughtering ordinary people.

The Hezbollah leader underlined that Saudi Arabia was haplessly seeking to isolate Iran, because of its support for anti-Israel resistance movement, including in Yemen.

He added that Saudi officials had paid billions of dollars to US statesmen in this regard forgetting all about the plight of poor Muslims.

Noting that Saudi Arabia’s aggression of Yemen was a clear political and military failure, Nasrallah advised Saudi authorities to put hostility towards Iran aside and engage in negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

He also leveled strident criticism against Arab leaders for their disregard of the important role that Iran is playing against terrorism in the Middle East region.

Nasrallah also dismissed allegations against the Hezbollah resistance movement as “repetitive,” stressing that members of the group were unfazed by ongoing threats and were fully prepared to defend their land, nation and the future of their children.

The Hezbollah chief stressed that the resistance movement in the region was stronger than ever, adding that Daesh terrorists will soon be defeated in both Iraq and Syria.

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Here’s why Saudi Arabia and Israel are allies in all but name

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | May 22, 2017

Those who claim that Israel is opposed to Donald Trump’s now openly warm relations with Saudi Arabia are missing the actual point. On the surface, many assume that Israel and Saudi Arabia have poor relations. Neither country has diplomatic relations with one another, one is a self-styled Jewish state while the other is a Wahhabi Sunni monarchy.

But they both have the same regional goals, they both have the same enemies and both are intellectual anachronisms in a 20th century that has seen the fall of multiple monarchies, the end of traditional European colonialism and the fall of segregated regimes in Africa (Apartheid South Africa and UDI Rhodesia for example).

Israel and Saudi Arabia have always been enemies of secular, Arab nationalist states and federations. Whether an Arab state is Nasserist, Ba’athist, socialist, Marxist-Leninist or in the case of Gaddafi’s Libya a practitioner of the post-Nassierist Third Political Theory: Israel and Saudi Arabia have sought to and in large part have succeeded, with western help, at destroy such states.

Unlike Israel’s Apartheid military state and Saudi Arabia’s human rights free monarchy, the aforementioned Arab styles of government are worthy of the word modern. These are countries which had progressive mixed economies, had secular governments and societies, had full constitutional rights for religious and ethnic minorities, they championed women’s rights and engaged in mass literacy programmes and infrastructural projects. In the case of the Syrian Arab Republic, such things still apply.

Such things still have wide appeal not just in the Arab world but universally. The very charter of the UN subtly implies that such goals are the way forward.

Secular Arab governments have therefore not fallen due to their lack of popularity but they have fallen due to political and military aggression from Israel, monetary blackmail and terrorism funded from and by Saudi Arabia and a combination of all of the above from the United States and her European allies. Useful idiots in the west who claim that groups like the obscurantist and terroristic Muslim Brotherhood represent majoritarian public opinion in secular Arab states are simply worse than useful idiots: they are lying, dangerous idiots.

This is why Syria is a country that Israel and Saudi Arabia are both interested in destroying. Both countries have indeed invested time and money into destroying Syria and thus far they have not been successful.

Syria is the last secular Arab Ba’athist state in the world. Unlike in Israel, minorities have full constitutional rights and unlike in Saudi Arabia, all religions are tolerated. In Syria, women can act, speak and dress as they wish.

Syria’s independence has in the past thwarted Israel’s ambition to annex Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and additional parts of Syria itself (Israel still occupies Syria’s Golan Heights). Syria has also been a true ally of the oppressed Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

Likewise, Syria has hurt Saudi Arabia and fellow backward Gulf state Qatar’s ambitions to expand their petro-empires. Qatar remains desirous to construct a pipeline running through Syria, something Qatar wants done on its terms and its terms alone.

Furthermore, since Saudi Arabia has little to offer the world in terms of culture, Saudi attempts to control and colonise their more educated and worldly Levantine Arabs is done through a combination of bribery and through the use of Salafist terrorist proxies such as ISIS and al-Qaeda.

There is also a psychological element to the mutual warfare which Saudi Arabia and Israel have waged on secular states like Syria.

So long as Syria exists, Saudi Arabia cannot say that there is no alternative to its backward style of government in the Arab world. Of course, others like Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt are secular states (Iraq less so now than at any time since independence), but these states have been wholly compromised through war and in the case of Egypt through political malaise.

Syria remains strongly independent and refuses to surrender its values.

Both countries also seek to destroy Iran. Iran unlike Saudi Arabia and Israel, practices an ethical foreign policy. Far from wanting to export its Islamic Revolution, Iran has been a staunch ally to secular Syria and has been at the forefront of the fight against Salafist terrorism like ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Iran has also taken a principled stance on Palestine, whilst most Arab states with the exception of Syria, have long ago given up on the Palestinian cause.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have superficial differences in foreign policy, but their main goals are exactly the same. Both seek to retard the progress of the Arab world and to taint Islam as something it is not.

Saudi Arabia and Israel both want non-Muslims to think of Islam as something representing bombs, female enslavement, physical mutilation and barbarity. Syria has shown the world that real Islam looks a lot like Christianity and frankly a lot more like Christianity than atheistic Europe does in 2017.

Saudi Arabia and Israel are allies in the material and psychological war against secular, modern Arab countries. It is a war which the United States has been fighting on behalf of Riyadh and Tel Aviv for decades.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Preparing for War on Hizbullah

By Abdel Bari Atwan  | Raialyoum | May 20, 2017

The US-led war on the Islamic Sate group under the banner of fighting terrorism may be viewed by many, especially by Arab members of the coalition that is waging it, as legitimate. But in our view it increasingly looks like a cover or smokescreen aimed at paving the way, or bestowing legitimacy on, a different war: one aimed at eliminating resistance to Israel in the region, and specifically the Lebanese Hizbullah movement.

The US war for Kuwait in 1991 was fought for the same purpose. A trap was set, after careful planning and precise distribution of roles, for Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Its aim was to drag him into Kuwait to provide a pretext for destroying Iraq, aborting its scientific progress and military ascendancy and undermining its regional role. It is no exaggeration to say that the proxy war on Syria war has a similar objective – not only to destroy and fragment Syria as an adversary of Israel, but to lure a reluctant Hizbullah into the conflict and thus diminish its enormous popularity and the place it gained in hearts of tens or hundreds of millions of Arabs after its two great victories against Israel: First, when it succeeded in liberating southern Lebanon from Israeli occupation in 2000 after years of persistent resistance, and again in July 2006 when it also fought valiantly and stood fast in epic resistance to an Israeli onslaught that sought to annihilate it.

Most of the regional moves currently being made by the US — including Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Riyadh and the Eager Lion military exercises in Jordan – have one ultimate objective: to declare all-out war on Hizbullah. This includes drying up its financial resources and criminalizing the organization, in the same way Saddam Hussein was criminalized and the Palestinian resistance movement prior to that: first during the days of the PLO and its factions, and then with the rise of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups that continue to fight Israel.

The West has a variety of problems with Iran, and the country’s nuclear ambitions are one of the most prominent. But it is possible to live with, and even contain, these ambitions by various means. However, Iran’s unforgivable sin in the West’s eyes was to support Hizbullah in Lebanon and transform it into a formidable military force that poses a real deterrent and threat to Israel at a time when the Arab states were surrendering to it. Many have stopped referring to it as the enemy and instead begun building bridges of cooperation and normalization with it and treating it as a strategic regional ally.

Hizbullah crossed all American and Israeli red lines by developing a vast missile capability (100,000 missiles according to some estimates) along with fighting skills that most of the region’s armies — including the Israeli army — lack, combining attributes of conventional armies with expertise in guerrilla warfare. Moreover, four years of fighting in Syria has further strengthened, developed, and modernized these skills.

There have been reports in recent days of an unpublicized closed-door meeting in Washington involving a number of Gulf and Arab states aimed at agreeing a strategy for confronting Hizbullah in the coming period. Participants included Saudi Arabia and Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE. This was intended to prepare for the two multilateral summits (with Arab/Muslim leaders and Gulf rulers respectively) that Trump will attend in Riyadh.

Reports from this meeting indicate that the joint Western-Arab plan for confronting Hizbullah include imposing financial sanctions on the organization’s members, supporters and sympathizers around the world, especially Lebanese expatriates in Africa and Europe who provide financial support for the party or institutions affiliated or close to it. This will involve measures to monitor money transfers and dry up all the party’s external funding sources in order to create difficulties for its leadership in financing its political and military structures and its extensive social institutions and activities.

The war on the hardline jihadi groups such as the Nusra Front and IS is drawing towards a close. Nusra is besieged in Idlib, rural Damascus and a few enclaves in rural Aleppo. The recent Astana agreement delegated the task of liquidating it to the so-called moderate Syrian opposition factions backed by the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. As for IS, it has lost most of Mosul, and the war to liberate al-Raqqa by the US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is now imminent, and will begin as soon as sufficient supplies of American tanks, armoured vehicles and missiles have been delivered to these forces.

In other words, the destruction of the ‘Islamist’ groups that are internationally designated as terrorist organizations will open the door wide to the more important war on Hizbullah, not only in Syria but in Lebanon too. It is to begin with an economic war and culminate in a military offensive — as, indeed, the wars on Iraq did.

Could this scenario which is being implemented in stages against Hizbullah (and by extension Iran) achieve the same success it did against Iraq – and prior to that against the Palestinian presence in Lebanon, which was ended with the 1982 Israeli invasion? It is hard to give a categorical answer to this hypothetical question. What can be said, however, is that circumstances have changed, and Israel has changed as well. Hizbullah is the pivot of a regional and confessional structure, and has the open and total support of Iran, and of Iraq to a lesser degree. Any war against it will not be easy. If the 1991 scenario succeeded in Iraq, that was due above all to Arab collusion and betrayal, as well as the demise of the Soviet Union which left the US as the world’s unchallenged hegemon.

The wars currently unfolding in the region and the conspiracies being hatched are all for the sake of enhancing Israel’s security and stability and maintaining its military power and supremacy. It is ironic that this is happening around the time of the centenary of the infamous Balfour Declaration and Sykes-Picot agreements. For the task now being undertaken is aimed at consolidating the Zionist presence in Palestine and the region envisaged in that Declaration, while dismembering the states that emerged from the womb of those agreements.

May 20, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel, Zionism | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Proposed US anti-Hezbollah bill will harm Lebanon

Al-Manar – April 25, 2017

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said yesterday that the new anti-Hezbollah sanctions bill that the US Congress is considering would “greatly harm Lebanon and its people”.

Aoun told a delegation from the American Task Force for Lebanon, an organisation that includes Americans of Lebanese heritage and businessmen, that ”the draft law that is being prepared in Congress to slap new financial sanctions on Lebanese parties, institutions and individuals will greatly harm Lebanon and its people.”

The president pointed out that Lebanon is making the necessary contacts to prevent the issuance of the law and welcomed any effort by the American Task Force for Lebanon in this regard.

US Congress is planning to review additional and tougher sanctions against Hezbollah and all its affiliates and allies, a move that could have negative political and financial ramifications on Lebanon if the proposals pass without amendments.

The proposed law might for the first time target the Amal Movement led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri as well as senior Hezbollah officials, headed by its Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, members of his political bureau and parliamentarians.

April 25, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment