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A warrior prince rises in Arabia as the monarch of all he surveys

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | June 22, 2017

The royal decree of June 21 by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman appointing his son Mohammed bin Salman as the Crown Prince and next in line to the throne is a watershed event in Middle East politics. Such a development has been expected for some time, but when it actually happened, it still looks momentous and somewhat awesome.

For a start, 31-year old MbS, whom many tend to deride as the “warrior prince”, has earned a reputation for being rash in the use of force. The extremely brutal war in Yemen is his signature foreign-policy project. Saudi Arabia, famous for its caution and its glacial pace of decision-making, has changed remarkably since MbS trooped in alongside King Salman to the centre stage of the Saudi regime in January 2015.

Considering King Salman’s age and health condition, MbS is being positioned in advance so that there will be no succession struggle. MbS has been steadily tightening his grip on the key instruments of power through the past 2-year period – national security apparatus and intelligence, armed forces and oil industry – in a grim power struggle with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who has now lost the game and is retiring from the arena.

With the vast powers of patronage vested in MbS as the Crown Prince, make no mistake, the winner takes it all. In short, the Persian Gulf’s – nay, Middle East’s – power house is about to get a new ruler who is only 31 and he may lead Saudi Arabia for decades.

The timing of the shift in the power fulcrum cannot but be noted. It is exactly one month since US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia. Trump’s visit revived the Saudi-American alliance, which was adrift during the second term of President Barack Obama. MbS has emerged as the Trump administration’s number one interlocutor in the Saudi regime, superseding Nayef who used to be the favorite of the Obama administration.

MbS has forged links at personal level with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. In a rare gesture, the Prince invited Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump to his residence for a private meal during father-in-law Trump’s visit to Riyadh. So, Saudi-US relations from now onward will be a cozy, exclusive, secretive family affair imbued with a “win-win” spirit – as it used to be in the halcyon days when the Bush family was holding power in the US.

Trump’s visit to Riyadh signalled that Saudi Arabia has regained its stature as the US’ number one partner in the Muslim Middle East. Trump has publicly endorsed the Saudi stance in their standoff with Qatar, which, incidentally, is widely attributed to MbS.

MbS is widely regarded as the mastermind of the tough policy policy to isolate Qatar to make it submissive and has personally identified with the virulently anti-Iran thrust in the Saudi regional strategies. Therefore, MbS’ ascendancy impacts Middle East politics along the following fault lines:

·         The war in Yemen;

·         The standoff with Qatar;

·         The Saudi-Iranian tensions;

·         The nascent Saudi-Israeli regional axis;

·         Situation in Syria and Gaza and/or Lebanon; and,

·         The crackdown in Bahrain.

It remains to be seen whether the unity of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) can be preserved. MbS enjoys personal rapport with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. But other GCC states — Kuwait, Oman and Qatar — will have a profound sense of unease about the “warrior prince” and this may lead to some major realignments in the Persian Gulf.

On the one hand, MbS may advance a normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel. If that happens, Israel breaks out of isolation and the Arab-Israeli conflict can never be the same again. Again, it is conceivable that MbS may throw the Palestinians under the bus. On the other hand, Iran too may finally succeed in breaching the GCC cordon that Saudi Arabia had erected, which in turn, may somewhat blur the sectarian divide in the Muslim Middle East and bring about a convergence of interests with Qatar and Turkey as regards perceived Saudi hegemony.

MbS is a man in  a hurry. He has radical ideas to transform Saudi society and its economy under the rubric of Vision 2030. He has brought in western-educated technocrats into the governmental apparatus, replacing the Old Guard. How the conservative religious establishment views these winds of change remains the big ‘unknown unknown’ — especially MbS’ management style such as his openness to out-of-the-box thinking, his uniquely public profile in a deeply conservative country, his risk-taking character and his willingness to break conventions.

There is indeed a lot of pent-up disaffection within Saudi Arabia, which makes the period of reform and transition very tricky. The example of Shah’s Iran readily comes to mind. In the ultimate analysis, therefore, the big question is Who is the real MbS?

Clearly, his conduct so far cannot be the yardstick to fathom his personality, since it was primarily a swift, decisive action plan to elbow out the incumbent Crown Prince and take his job. Now that MbS’ actual hold over the levers of power is going to be unchallenged, his priorities can also change. Indeed, there are intriguing sides to his personality – his personal role in forging Saudi Arabia’s working relationships with Moscow, his determination to reduce the economy’s dependence on oil, his appeal to the Saudi youth as the harbinger of “change” and so on. The bottom line is that social and political stability in the country is vital for the success of Vision 2030, in which MbS has staked his prestige, envisaging wide-ranging structural reforms, geo-economic restructuring and the infusion of massive investments.

King Salman’s recent visit to China underscored that MbS understands the potential linkage between his Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Of course, China is highly receptive to the idea, too. Deals worth $65 billion were signed in Beijing during King Salman’s visit. Similarly, MbS has been a frequent visitor to the Kremlin and enjoys some degree of personal rapport with President Vladimir Putin. The OPEC decision on cut in oil production has been a joint enterprise in which Putin had a “hands-on” role. Rosneft has signalled interest in acquiring shares in Aramco when its “privatisation” begins next year, and at the recent meet of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the two countries agreed to set up a joint energy investment fund.

MbS, who is Saudi Defence Minister, has also intensified his country’s military cooperation with Russia and China. A notable project will be the Chinese drone factory to be set up in Saudi Arabia. Again, Russia is in talks currently for the sale of T-80 battle tanks to Saudi Arabia, among other weaponry.

Suffice to say, MbS is quite aware of the seamless possibilities that the multipolar world setting offers. It is useful to remember that MbS is a unique Saudi prince who never attended a western university. He is far from a greenhorn in the world of politics either, having begun as fulltime advisor to the council of ministers in 2007.

Indeed, his trademark is his assertiveness in foreign policies that stands in sharp contrast with the traditional Saudi style, and, which, therefore, looks aggressive. But then, it needs to be factored in that the war in Yemen and the strident anti-Iran outlook are immensely popular in the domestic opinion in terms of the surge of Saudi nationalism. The big question, therefore, will be how he deploys the surge of nationalism — amongst the youth, in particular — in his hugely ambitious plan to reform and modernise the country. Traditionally, Saudi rulers used to derive legitimacy from the approval of the Wahhabist religious establishment. (Read an Al Jazeera write-up on MbS’s profile here.)

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Qatar: ‘Neighbors’ leading economic siege hacked our news agency

Press TV – June 21, 2017

Qatar says it has evidence showing the same “neighboring” countries that are leading a boycott campaign against Doha had a hand in the alleged hacking of its state news agency, an incident that triggered an unprecedented diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf region.

Attorney General Ali bin Fetais al-Marri Ali bin Fetais al-Marri told a press conference in Doha on Tuesday that the hacking incident originated in “neighboring countries,” without naming them.

“We have evidence to show that iPhones originating from the countries laying siege to us have been used in this hacking. We have enough evidence to point the finger of blame at these countries,” Marri said.

Last month, the Qatar News Agency (QNA) released comments attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, describing Iran as an “Islamic power,” praising the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and criticizing US President Donald Trump.

Qatar said hackers had broken into the QNA website and published the fake news, but the denial did not convince the Riyadh regime and its Persian Gulf Arab allies.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Qatari attorney general said it was “very soon” to give specific phone numbers for those he said were responsible for the hacking.

He also noted that Qatari investigators had traced the internet service providers used to the Saudi-led allied countries.

“We have sent the information to the countries concerned and we are awaiting their response,” Marri pointed out, adding, “As far as we are concerned, the case is very clear.”

Following the hacking report, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and cut off transport links with Qatar in early June, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, an allegation rejected by the Qatari government.

They put 12 organizations and 59 people associated with Qatar on a terror sanctions list.

Marri said the blacklist was “baseless” and stressed that Qatar would legally pursue those who had done harm to it.

Qatar has long been at odds with other Arab countries about the Muslim Brotherhood, which the UAE and Egypt regard as a terrorist group.

Back in March, 2014, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain temporarily recalled their ambassadors from Doha after alleging that it has been interfering in their domestic affairs. The diplomatic relations resumed eight months later when Qatar ordered some Muslim Brotherhood members to leave the country.

The recent dispute, however, is said to be the worst to hit the Persian Gulf since the formation of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 1981.

Observers say the fresh rift surfaced in the wake of Qatar’s break with past policies and its leaning toward Russia and Iran.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said lately that Doha would not “surrender,” vowing to keep “the independence of our foreign policy.”

June 21, 2017 Posted by | Deception | , , , , | Leave a comment

All of Saudi Arabia’s moves benefit Israel: Iran’s parliament speaker

Press TV – June 20, 2017

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has slammed Saudi Arabia for working covertly with Israel, saying all Riyadh’s actions in the region serve the Tel Aviv regime’s interests and are to the detriment of Muslim nations.

Larijani made the remarks in a meeting with ambassadors of Muslim countries to Tehran on Monday.

“We have tried hard to make the Saudis understand that their measures are to the detriment of the Muslim Ummah, but they only make harsher remarks every day and engage Muslim countries,” he said.

Larijani further pointed to Saudi Arabia’s “very unpleasant” policies in dealing with regional countries, saying the Saudis exert force in Syria, attack Yemen to make it their own backyard, fuel tensions in Bahrain, and have now targeted Qatar.

“Eventually, all Saudi moves are in favor of Israel,” said Larijani, adding that they want to keep terrorists on their feet and even provide support to some terror groups such as al-Nusra Front.

The top Iranian parliamentarian further warned Muslims “not to be trapped in a bigger plot.”

Iran had obtained documents showing that the Saudis provided Israel with intelligence during the 33-day war on Lebanon in the summer of 2006, he added.

“The dependence of some Muslim countries on Israel is catastrophic and a stain of shame, while the Muslim Ummah should be sensitive to the fate of Palestine,” Larijani said.

As a result, he said, International Quds Day is of great importance, expressing hope that Muslims would demonstrate their unity on this day.

The late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini, named the last Friday of the lunar fasting month of Ramadan as the International Quds Day, which falls on June 23 this year.

The day is commemorated each year by worldwide rallies, with participants voicing their support for the Palestinian nation and calling for an end to the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities and its occupation of Palestinian lands.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian parliament speaker stressed that the Islamic Republic pursues the policy of creating consensus and unity.

He further thanked the Muslim ambassadors for expressing sympathy over the twin terrorist attacks in the Iranian capital, which killed 17 people and injured over 50 others.

On June 7, gunmen mounted almost simultaneous assaults on Iran’s Parliament and the Mausoleum of Imam Khomeini. The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the assaults.

Additionally, Larijani said that the Islamic Republic has been grappling with terrorism for years and in recent years the scourge has affected the Muslim world.

June 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

US, allies sponsor Daesh: Adviser to Syria’s Assad

Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Press TV – June 18, 2017

A political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused the US and its allies of financing and arming the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in a bid to tear the region apart and deplete its resources.

Bouthaina Shaaban made the remarks in a statement to journalists after meeting with visiting China’s Special Envoy for Syria Xie Xiaoyan and the accompanying delegation in Damascus on Saturday.

While the US and its allies sponsor Daesh, the alliance supported by Russia and China stands against the expansion of terrorism in the Arab country, Shaaban said.

Russian and China, two of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, have vetoed resolutions against the Syrian government that is battling foreign-sponsored terrorists since 2011.

There are UNSC resolutions, under which those responsible for committing, organizing and supporting terror acts as well as facilitating the movement of terrorists must be held accountable, but these motions have not been implemented at all, the Syrian official noted.

UNSC Resolution 2253, adopted unanimously in December 2015, covers asset freeze, travel ban, arms embargo and listing criteria for Daesh, al-Qaeda militants and “associated individuals, groups, undertaking and entities.”

Elsewhere in her remarks, Shaaban said that the Syrian army and its allies had recently managed to reach the Syria-Iraq border and “dealt a severe blow to the terrorists” through unified efforts, underlining the importance of strengthening communication between the two neighbors in that regard.

Washington’s agenda intersects with that of Daesh, which serves the interests of Israel, she added.

The Syrian official also denounced as unjustified the US deployment of rocket launchers to southern Syria and its attacks on the army positions.

Earlier this week, Russia said the US had deployed the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers from Jordan to its base in the Syrian town of At-Tanf, warning that the equipment could be used against Syrian government forces.

Additionally, on two occasions in June and May, US warplanes attacked a Syrian military position near At-Tanf, killing an unspecified number of people and causing some material damage.

The US claimed that the Syrian forces who came under the attack posed a threat to its forces in Syria.

The Syrian army denounced the assaults, saying they demonstrated US support for terrorism, at a time when the Syrian army and its allies were making gains against Daesh militants.

June 18, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

UNSC liable for consequences of Saudi war on Yemen: Ansarullah

Press TV – June 17, 2017

Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has held the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) accountable for the consequences of the deadly Saudi aggression, stressing that the nation reserves the right to defend itself.

Mohammed Abdulsalam, the movement’s spokesman, said on Saturday that the UNSC issues statements that encourage the invader to continue its attacks and sieges, increasing the suffering of millions of Yemenis and dashing hope for a political resolution of the conflict, the al-Masirah television network reported.

The Yemeni army and allied popular forces would use all means to respond to Saudi assaults as Yemen, like other nations, reserves the right to defend itself against any invasion, Abdulsalam said.

The UNSC, which is in charge of preserving global peace, should know that the Saudi war supported by the US arms and financial aid, threatens international security, he added.

The Houthi official also stressed that the deterioration of the health situation in Yemen with the outbreak of Cholera is “a source of shame” for the body that claims to be promoting human rights.

He further held Saudi Arabia responsible for the stalemate in talks between Yemen’s warring sides, the siege on Yemen and Sana’a Airport activities.

In a lengthy statement on Thursday, the UNSC called on the Houthis and allies to cease all attacks at Saudi Arabia.

It also urged Yemen’s warring sides to reach a UN brokered deal on management of the strategic port city of Hudaydah at a time that the country slides closer to famine.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a brutal military campaign against Yemen for more than two years to eliminate the Houthi movement and reinstall a Riyadh-friendly former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The military campaign, however, has failed to achieve its goals and left over 12,000 Yemenis dead.

The country is also grappling with a Cholera epidemic.

Earlier this week, Save the Children charity said at least 942 people have been killed since the outbreak began in Yemen in April.

It further warned that the rate of infection is increasing and that one child is contracting the disease every 35 seconds.

“Disease, starvation and war are causing a perfect storm of disaster for Yemen’s people. The region’s poorest country is on the verge of total collapse, and children are dying because they’re not able to access basic healthcare,” said Grant Pritchard, Save the Children’s Yemen director.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection that is spread through contaminated food or water. It can be effectively treated with the immediate replacement of lost fluids and salts, but without treatment it can be fatal.

June 17, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Oliver Stone: Israel is more dangerous than Russia

Do we have enough evidence which points to the idea that Israel has been meddling in U.S. elections and foreign affairs? Yes.

“You can’t mention Israel, Bro!”
By Jonas E. Alexis | Veterans Today | June 16, 2017

Oliver Stone probably didn’t know that he was attacking the Neoconservative hawks, warmongers, and ethnic cleansers in Washington when he told Stephen Colbert that “Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia.”[1]

That statement indeed was a political bomb, and it almost certainly took Colbert by surprise. In response to this claim, the Jewish Press declared:

“Stone was obviously pulling the old anti-Israel, leftist line about how AIPAC is controlling Washington (much the way the ‘Jews’ control Hollywood) – and in his haste to save face apparently forgot the difference between contributing to political campaigns and hacking DNC computers.”[2]

Well, obviously Stone stroke a nerve, for we all know by now that AIPAC has had and continues to have a tremendously powerful influence on U.S. foreign policy. Once again, this is not conspiracy stuff. The scholarly studies on this issue are just an embarrassment to riches:

Paul R. Pillar, Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform (New York: Columbia University Pres, 2011).

Michael MacDonald, Overreach: Delusions of Regime Change in Iraq (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014).

John M. Schuessler, Deceit on the Road to War: Presidents, Politics, and American Democracy (New York: Cornell University Press, 2015).

John J. Mearsheimer, Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014).

Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke, America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Murray Friedman, The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar & Straus, 2007).

Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack: The Definitive Account of the Decision to Invade Iraq (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004).

Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (New York: Random House, 2006).

But the simple question is this: do we have enough evidence which points to the idea that Israel has been meddling in U.S. elections and foreign affairs? Yes.

In 1987, Jewish American Jonathan Jay Pollard was sent to prison for life for spying for Israel. In 1995, Israel publicly denied that Pollard was a spy, but recanted that statement three years later. BBC News itself declared,

“Israel has officially acknowledged for the first time that an American Jew, Jonathan Pollard, who was arrested in the United States 13 years ago, was one of its spies. Pollard, a former intelligence analyst for the United States Navy, is serving a life sentence in North Carolina for passing classified military documents to Israel. Until now, the Israeli authorities had always denied that Pollard was working under their direction.”[3]

For years the Israelis “refused to tell the United States what Pollard gave them.”[4] Then in 2010 Netanyahu made it clear that Pollard was an Israeli spy who was working for the Israeli government, “for which Israel took full responsibility.” Yet even after this admission, Ambassador Michael Oren said he hoped for Pollard’s earliest release.[5]

In 2005, Steve J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, who served for twenty-three years as top officials for American Israel Public Affairs (AIPAC), were accused of similar charges. As the trial was nearing, both the Israel Lobby and the defense team “described the proceedings as a frame-up, the result of an intra-bureaucratic struggle within the government, and a plot by anti-Semites in Bush’s Justice Department to carry out a Washington pogrom.”[6]

Neither man was convicted, thanks again to their Jewish friends: “While most of the more cautious elements in the Jewish community are staying well away from this case, the radicals, such as Rabbi Avi Weiss and his AMCHA Coalition for Jewish Concerns, who have previously devoted their efforts to freeing Jonathan Pollard, have now turned their attention to Rosen and Weissman.”[7]

Neoconservative Daniel Pipes declared that “we worried about the ramifications for us [meaning Jews] if [Rosen] were found guilty.”[8] He ended the article by congratulating both Rosen and Weissman. Pulitzer winner Dorothy Rabinowitz also praised them, characterizing their actions as “activities that go on every day in Washington, and that are clearly protected under the First Amendment.”[9]

The implication seems to be that Americans spying for Israel are protected by the First Amendment. In fact, “several prominent Neocons have been investigated on credible charges of spying for Israel: Perle, Wolfowitz, Stephen Bryen, Douglas Feith, and Michael Ledeen.”[10]

“In 1970 Perle was recorded by the FBI discussing classified information with the Israeli embassy. In 1981 he was on the payroll of an Israeli defense contractor shortly before being appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy…During his tenure in the Reagan administration, Perle recommended purchase of an artillery shell made by Soltan, an Israeli munitions manufacturer…

“At the present time, Perle is on the board of directors of Onset Technology, a technology company founded by Israelis Gadi Mazor and Ron Maor with research companies and investment funds. He was also a close personal friend of Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.”[11]

Similarly, “Feith has been suspected of spying for Israel. In 1972 Feith was fired from a position with the National Security Council because of an investigation into whether he had provided documents to the Israeli embassy. Nevertheless, Perle, who was Assistant Secretary for International Security Policy, hired him as his ‘special counsel,’ and then as his deputy. Feith worked for Perle until 1986 when he left government service to form a law firm, Feith and Zell, which was originally based in Israel and best known for obtaining a pardon for the notorious Marc Rich during the final days of the Clinton administration.”[12]

In 1997, Army tank engineer David A. Tenenbaum “gave classified military information on Patriot missiles and armored military vehicles to Israeli officials,” which was sent “to every Israeli military liaison official posted to the command over the last 10 years.”[13]

The Israel government, of course, “denied that any inappropriate activity had taken place.”166 David Bar Illan, chief spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, put out a statement, saying, “There has been no improper contact between Tenenbaum and anybody or institution of the Israeli Government.” According to the affidavit, “Tenenbaum admitted to divulging non-releasable classified information to every Israeli liaison officer.”[14] So Tenenbaum admitted, but Israel denied.

Justin Raimondo writes that if Rabinowitz is right in saying that the actions of Jewish spies are covered by the First Amendment, then “we are all in big trouble,” since it would mean that organized Jewry is betraying the American people. In 2004, the FBI came to the same conclusion.[15] In fact, in 2003 the FBI decided not to hire Jews for Arabic translation jobs, since they tended to present an opposite story of the actual event.

In 2004, a former intelligence official who was familiar with the latest FBI probe and who had recently left government work told the Los Angeles Times, “There is a huge, aggressive, ongoing set of Israeli activities directed against the United States. Anybody who worked in counterintelligence in a professional capacity will tell you the Israelis are among the most aggressive and active countries targeting the United States.”[16]

The shocking fact is that “the FBI has investigated several incidents of suspected intelligence breaches involving Israel since the Pollard case, including a 1997 case in which the National Security Agency bugged two Israeli intelligence officials in Washington discussing efforts to obtain a sensitive U.S. diplomatic document. Israel denied wrongdoing in that case and all others, and no one has been prosecuted.”[17]

Yet World Net Daily, a thoroughly Zionist outlet, accused the FBI of fostering anti-Semitism.[18] Since the Pollard affair, the FBI has suspected Israel of espionage, gathering enough evidence that they had continuing reason for suspicion through to the Clinton administration.[19] Even the Washington Post declares that there were “possible espionage” cases in which Israel was of major concern, especially “among those who translate and oversee some of the FBI’s most sensitive, top-secret wiretaps in counterintelligence and counterterrorist investigations.”[20]

The FBI’s suspicions were firmly based on documentation, considering that they had formerly had historical confrontations with Israel and Jewish spies. Even in December of 2008, Israeli traitor Ben-Ami Kadish, then 85 years old, was arrested and pleaded guilty for passing classified documents to Israel in the 1980s. To Judge William H. Pauley III, this was a disgrace to our security, because Kadish should have been charged years ago for many more charges.[21]

Again, in 2009, scientist Stewart Nozette, who worked for years in NASA, was caught spying for Israel. The New York Times article was titled “The Scientist Who Mistook Himself for a Spy.”[22] These acts of disloyalty are quite embarrassing, yet pointing out serious cases in which the United States is being wounded from within by the Israeli regime is like finding yourself in the middle of World War III.

Even in Britain in 2010, senior officials (particularly a senior Mossad agent) in Israel were accused of forging British passports used in a plot to kill a Hamas leader in the United Arab Emirates. “Police in Dubai have already said they are ‘99% certain’ the Mossad was behind Mabhouh’s killing, and [David] Miliband’s remarks represented the first official endorsement of that view by a western government.”[23] Miliband is British Foreign Secretary.

But involvement in espionage is just the tip of the iceberg. Ludwig Fainberg was a notorious mobster; “according to the FBI, he was the middleman for an international drugs and weapons smuggling conspiracy linking Colombian drug lords with the Russian Mafia in Miami. Fainberg’s claim to fame was that in the mid-1990s, he ventured onto a high-security naval base in the far northern reaches of Russia. His mission was to negotiate the purchase of a Russian Cold War-era diesel submarine—complete with a retired naval captain and a twenty-five-men crew—for the Colombian cartel. The price tag: a cool $5.5 million…From 1990 until he was arrested and charged in Miami in February 1997 for smuggling and racketeering, Fainberg ran an infamous strip club called Spoky’s.”[24]

It has also been documented that the Mossad—the Israeli secret service—was responsible for the murder of Jewish media mogul Robert Maxwell. After Jewish journalist Seymour Hersh wrote The Sampson Option: Israel, America and the Bomb, which shows that Maxwell had secret ties with the Israeli secret service, which then decided to do away with Maxwell to prevent him from ever revealing those ties.[25]

In 2001, the FBI charged Irving D. Rubin, chairman of the Jewish Defense League—an organization “whose aim was to defend Jews with ‘all necessary means,’ including the use of violence”[26]—with conspiracy to bomb private and government property, particularly the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California, and the office of U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, an Arab-American.[27]

However, Neocon hawks and warmongers have never touched on these vitally crucial issues. Instead of discussing events like these, Neoconservatives prefer to highlight Islamic suicide bombings, keeping the average American’s focus on hating or fearing the Muslim world and away from their own subversive actions at home.

Michael Hoffman points out that “when a Jewish bus is bombed by a Palestinian, graphic photos of the carnage and interviews with survivors are immediately beamed around the world. But when Palestinians are massacred by the Israeli army, the killings are perpetrated in secret, behind the veil of a ‘closed military zone.’”[28] If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to be resolved, we cannot afford double standards.

Pointing out terrorism in other countries is one thing, and acting in the manner of terrorism is another issue altogether. Mearsheimer and Walt write:

“Zionists used terrorism when they were trying to drive the British out of Palestine and establish their own state—for example, by bombing the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946 and assassinating UN mediator Folke Bernadotte in 1948, among other acts—and the United States has backed a number of “terrorist” organizations in the past…American presidents have also welcomed a number of former terrorists to the White House (including PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, and Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, who played key roles in the main Zionist terror organizations), which merely underscores the fact that terrorism is a tactic and not a unified movement.”[29]

This brings us to our conclusion: it is really silly to say that Russia is an enemy of the United States when U.S. officials are still making diabolical pacts with the Israeli regime and even Saudi Arabia. It just doesn’t add up, and it is interesting to see that even a person like Oliver Stone is realizing that the press, the media and other news outlets are essentially shooting themselves in the toes when they are not reporting the real thing.


[1] Quoted in David Israel, “Oliver Stone Tells Colbert Israel Had More Influence than Russia on 2016 Election,” Jewish Press, June 14, 2017.

[2] Ibid.

[3] “Israel Admits It Spied on US,” BBC, May 12, 1998.

[4] “Netanyahu and Foe Tangle over Pollard,” Daily News, January 19, 1999.

[5] “Netanyahu: Pollard was an Israeli Spy,” Haaretz, June 26, 2010.

[6] Justin Raimondo, “AIPAC on Trial,” American Conservative, May 7, 2007.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Daniel Pipes, “Standing with Steven J. Rosen,” DanielPipes.org, May 5, 2009.

[9] Raimondo, “AIPAC on Trial,” American Conservative, May 7, 2007.

[10] MacDonald, Cultural Insurrections, 152.

[11] Ibid., 177.

[12] Ibid., 181.

[13] Keith Bradsher, “Army Engineer Gave Military Data to Israel,” NY Times, Feb. 20, 1997; “Civilian Engineer Gave Military Secrets to Israelis,” Washington Post, Feb. 20, 1997.

[14] Ibid.

[15] “FBI Suspects Israel Has Mole in Pentagon—CBS,” Washington Post, August 27, 2004; Curt Anderson, “Alleged Leak to Israel Probed for a Year,” Washington Post, August 28, 2004.

[16] Bob Drogin and Greg Miller, “Israel Has Long Spied on US, Says Officials,” LA Times, September 3, 2004.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Paul Sperry, “FBI: Jews Need Not Apply for Arabic Linguist Job,” WorldNetDaily.com, October 9, 2003.

[19] J. Michael Waller and Paul M. Rodriguez, “FBI Probes Espionage at Clinton White House,” Insight Magazine, May 6, 2000.

[20] James V. Grimaldi, “Two FBI Whistle-Blowers Allege Lax Security, Possible Espionage,” Washington Post, June 19, 2002.

[21] Benjamin Weiser, “Man, 85, Avoids Jail Time for Giving Military Secret,” NY Times, May 29, 2009.

[22] Robert Mackey, “The Scientist Who Mistook Himself for a Spy,” NY Times, October 21, 2009.

[23] Julian Borger, “Britain Expels Mossad Agent over Forged Passport Plot,” Guardian, March 23, 2010.

[24] See Victor Malarek, The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade.

[25] See Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon, Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy.

[26] Murray Friedman, Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 102.

[27] Tom Tugen, “JDL Head Arrested,” JewishJournal.com, December 13, 2001.

[28] Hoffman and Lieberman, The Israeli Holocaust Against the Palestinians, 66.

[29] Mearsheimer and Walt, The Israel Lobby, 63.

June 17, 2017 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The blockade of Qatar may have more to do with Palestine than we think

By Nasim Ahmed | MEMO | June 16, 2017

Israeli officials must have been tripping over each other in their rush to endorse the Saudi-led blockade on Qatar. “The Sunni Arab countries, apart from Qatar, are largely in the same boat with us since we all see a nuclear Iran as the number one threat against all of us,” said Israel’s former defence minister Moshe Ya’alon. The blockade represented a “new line drawn in the Middle Eastern sand,” tweeted US-born former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren, while revelling in the regional turmoil. “No longer [is it] Israel against Arabs but Israel and Arabs against Qatar-financed terror,” he added.

Defence minister Avigdor Lieberman described the crises as an opportunity for Israel and “certain” Gulf states. “It is clear to everyone, even in the Arab countries, that the real danger to the entire region is terrorism,” he insisted. The extreme right-winger added that the Saudi-led bloc had cut ties with Qatar “not because of Israel, not because of the Jews, not because of Zionism,” but “rather from fears of terrorism.”

Rejoicing over the punishment of a country which Israeli officials describe as a “pain in the ass” raises all sorts of questions, not least the connection between the siege imposed on Qatar and US legislation introduced by Republican Congressman Brian Mast to impose sanctions with respect to foreign support for “Palestinian terrorism”, and other purposes.

Introducing the bipartisan Bill (H.R. 2712 Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2017) Representative Joshua Gottheimer said, “I’m proud to lead on this effort to weaken Hamas, a heinous terrorist network responsible for the death of far too many innocent civilians, both Israeli and American”. According to him, “Our bipartisan bill will ensure that anyone who provides assistance to this enemy of the United States and our vital ally Israel will face the strength and determination of our country.”

In their findings, the sponsors mentioned that Hamas had received significant financial and military support from Qatar. The sponsors cited the press conference at the Sheraton Doha in Qatar, where Hamas launched its new Document of General Principles and Policies, dubbed the movement’s new charter. “While this document was meant to convey a more moderate face to the world by referencing the 1967 borders,” the bill alleges that the “Hamas’ document, [which] neither abrogates nor replaces the founding charter… still calls for a continuation of terrorism to destroy Israel.”

The bill, which sets out to authorise sanctions on any foreign entity or government that provides support to Hamas, goes on to say that, “It shall be the policy of the United States to prevent Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), or any affiliate or successor thereof from accessing its international support networks.”

While noting the implications of the legislation, it is worth remembering that most of the proposals in this new bill are actually redundant, except for the section on Qatar. As the Arab Centre Washington DC – a research organisation furthering political, economic and social understanding between Arabs and the US — points out, the proposed law introduces sanctions already covered under existing legislation. Hamas and the PIJ are both designated as Foreign Terrorist Organisations (FTOs) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist entities (SDGTs) by the US State and Treasury Departments respectively. With that in mind, it is already illegal for US entities or institutions to support such groups. Thus, the sanctions proposed in this bill that pertain to US jurisdiction are superfluous.

Furthermore, the Arab Centre points out, formally targeting Iran is also unnecessary because Tehran has already been declared a state sponsor of terror by the State Department and prohibitions against arms export, financial and technical services and US aid to Iran are already in place. This only leaves Qatar, which would be the only new target under this legislation. The stealthy manner of the attack on Qatar did not hide the true intention of supporters of the Bill. “I am proud” said Gottheimer, “to support the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act that will make countries like Qatar pay a price for their support for terrorism. In the fight against terrorists there is no middle ground. If you support terrorism, justice will eventually be served.”

So what has that got to do with Israel? While Israel has been unable to join the Saudi-led move to impose a blockade on Qatar directly, it hasn’t stopped it from taking part in substantial lobbying behind the scenes, with the UAE, to get what in reality is an anti-Qatar piece of legislation passed and carry out the necessary groundwork for a blockade of this magnitude.

It is alleged that the bill’s sponsors in the House include a number of lawmakers who have received substantial donations from pro-Israeli lobbyists as well as from those advocating on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Indeed, it is reported that ten US legislators sponsoring the anti-Qatar Bill have received more than $1m over the last 18 months from lobbyists and groups linked to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Author and commentator Trita Parsi believes that the similarities between the US-allied Arab nations’ “terror list” and the H.R. 2712 bill show growing cooperation between Gulf Arab states and Israel. “The coordination between hawkish pro-Israel groups and the UAE and Saudi Arabia has been going on for quite some time,” Parsi told Al-Jazeera. What is new, he continued, is seeing pro-Israel groups such as the Foundation for Defence of Democracies “coming out with pro-Saudi [articles] and lobbying for them [the Saudis] on Capitol Hill.”

The cultivation of a political narrative to support the siege was also reported earlier this month by The Intercept. It said that emails released by a group called “Global Leaks” had shown that the UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and the foundation — a pro-Israel neoconservative think tank — have been working together on demonising Qatar. The emails obtained by The Intercept show FDD and UAE collaboration with journalists who published articles accusing Qatar and Kuwait of supporting “terrorism”.

It is no surprise then that the main reason given for this blockade makes little sense. For Saudi Arabia and the UAE to accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism is like the pot calling the kettle black. If there was any substance to the allegation, then the US would not have endorsed a recent arms deal with Qatar and nor would Washington maintain a major military base there. The stated reasons for the blockade have no merit whatsoever. Moreover, the blockade of Qatar cannot be examined in isolation from efforts that have been underway in the US to suppress Palestinian resistance in the name of fighting terrorism. Neither Qatar nor any of the Gulf countries benefit from this standoff whatsoever; for the main beneficiary, we must look to Israel.

June 16, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel and the Trump Administration Use Saudis for the Next ‘Controlled Chaos’ Project

Sputnik – 14.06.2017

Amid the ongoing diplomatic row between Qatar and a number of Arab states and increased tensions in the Persian Gulf, Sputnik Turkiye talked to Hamide Yigit, a Turkish political analyst and an expert in Middle Eastern affairs, who explained what role the Trump administration will play in this conflict.

Hamide Yigit, a Turkish political analyst and expert in Middle Eastern affairs who has written a number of research papers on the Middle Eastern crises, commented to Sputnik Turkiye on the ongoing diplomatic row in between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and its impact on the region.

The expert stressed that the Trump administration is trying to fully re-carve the Middle Eastern strategy of the Obama administration, which was based on the support of the Muslim Brotherhood, by betting on the control over radical Islamist forces from a new unified center. That is why Trump has focused his new foreign policy line on Saudi Arabia, she said.

“We could say that Trump has signalled a new stage in American Middle Eastern policy after the failure of the Middle Eastern policy of the previous administration, which bet on the structures affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and left the legacy of a weakened US position in Syria against Russia’s strengthened influence in the region,” Hamide Yigit told Sputnik.

The new political line of President Trump, she further elaborated, is aimed at focusing on the Persian Gulf and pivoting towards Saudi Arabia. Such a strategy, however, poses certain difficulties for the US, as Saudi Arabia has suffered both political and economic defeats in Syria and Yemen.

However on the other hand, the polycracy among the jihadists in Syria has hampered US plans in that country. Thus the Trump administration decided to set up a unified control center for dealing with the radical Islamists but opted for the exclusion of Qatar from this system in favor of Saudi Arabia.

The dual power among jihadists, the expert explained, creates certain problems which could escalate into a confrontation. Hence the US has chosen Saudi Arabia to host a center which will incorporate all the levers of a hybrid war.

The crisis in the Persian Gulf, Hamide Yigit told Sputnik, is one of the latest US projects aimed at creating so-called “controlled chaos” in the region.

“At this particular moment it is hard to forecast how long this crisis will last. However if this US’ project, which provokes the escalation of tensions in the region, proves a success, it might hit a serious blow to Turkish positions in the region,” the expert explained.

In current conditions, she further said, Turkey should be aimed at maximum rapprochement with Iran and Russia, up to its accession into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

On the Iran’s example it is clearly seen how the project of the “controlled chaos” has been started in Syria and gradually embraced other countries of the region. Hence Hamide Yigit suggested that the relations between the Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf monarchies and Iran will aggravate even further.

The warnings of a number of experts that the Syrian war will further spill over to Iran are visibly becoming a reality. Iran is being virtually dragged into this war, the expert said.

Earlier Israel repeatedly made certain steps aimed at drawing Iran into this war, but the US kept preventing it, the political analyst said.

Now Saudi Arabia is provoking the escalation of tensions. It might certainly want to incite a large-scale conflict as its mere existence is directly dependent on the US-backed project of a large-scale war in the Middle East, Hamide Yigit concluded.

June 14, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel mulls closing Al Jazeera bureau in Jerusalem al-Quds: Report

Press TV – June 13, 2017

A report says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering shutting down the Jerusalem al-Quds bureau of the Qatar-based Al Jazeera broadcaster, as a diplomatic rift escalates between a Saudi-led bloc of countries with Qatar.

Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Tuesday that Netanyahu had met with members of the foreign ministry, ministry of military affairs, and other institutions on Monday and discussed preliminary steps for closing the Al Jazeera office in Jerusalem al-Quds.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt have already blocked several Qatari media outlets, including Al Jazeera. The four countries cut their diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing Doha of destabilizing the region with its support for terrorism, an accusation rejected by the Qatari government.

In a relevant development on Monday, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s minister for military affairs, compared Al Jazeera to the Nazi- and Soviet-era propaganda apparatuses.

“Some [Arab countries’] interests overlap with Israeli interests, including the issue with Al Jazeera,” Liberman said. “Al-Jazeera is not media… It’s an incitement machine. It is pure propaganda, of the worst variety, in the style of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia.”

Lieberman also accused Al Jazeera of supporting Iran, saying, “I’ve been tracking Al Jazeera for many years. You’ll never see a single article against Iran.”

The potential move to close the Al Jazeera office in Jerusalem al-Quds and the unprecedented remarks by Lieberman are indicative of how the Israeli and Saudi regimes may be increasingly tilting toward one another. There have already been signs that the ties between Israel and certain Arab regimes — traditionally putative adversaries — have been covertly expanding in recent years.

Netanyahu has on several occasions talked of the development of ties between Israel and certain Arab countries. So have other Israeli officials. Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s former minister of military affairs, in February 2016 pointed to open channels between the regime and some Arab states.

Back in January 2016, Netanyahu said during an interview with CNN that Saudi Arabia now saw Tel Aviv “as an ally rather as an enemy.”

June 13, 2017 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

Liars Lying About Nearly Everything

Terrorism supporters in Washington and Riyadh close ranks against Qatar

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • June 13, 2017

The United States has been using lies to go to war since 1846, when Americans who believed in manifest destiny sought to expand to the Pacific Ocean at the expense of Mexico, acquiring by force of arms California and what were to become the southwestern states. In 1898 the U.S. picked up the pieces of a dying Spanish Empire in a war that was driven by American imperialists and the yellow dog reporting of the Hearst Newspaper chain. And then came World War 1, World War 2, and Korea, all avoidable and all enabled by deliberate lying coming out of Washington.

More recently, we have seen Vietnam with its Gulf of Tonkin fabrication, Granada and Panama with palpably ridiculous pretexts for war, Iraq with its nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, Afghanistan with its lies about bin Laden, Libya and its false claims about Gaddafi, and most recently Syria and Iran with allegations of an Iranian threat to the United States and lies about Syrian use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons. And if one adds in the warnings to Russia over Ukraine, a conflict generated by Washington when it brought about regime change in Kiev, you have a tissue of lies that span the globe and bring with them never-ending conflict to advance the American imperium.

So lies go with the American Way of War, but the latest twist and turns in the Middle East are bizarre even by Washington’s admittedly low standards of rectitude. On the 5th of June, Saudi Arabia led a gaggle of Arab and Muslim nations that included the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain to cut off all diplomatic, commercial and transport links with Qatar, effectively blockading it. Qatar is currently isolated from its neighbors, subject to sanctions, and there have even been Saudi threats of going to war against its tiny neighbor. Salman al-Ansari, the president of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee, even tweeted: “To the emir of Qatar, regarding your alignment with the extremist government of Iran and your abuse of the Custodian of the two sacred mosques, I would like to remind you that Mohammed Morsi [of Egypt] did exactly the same and was then toppled and imprisoned.”

It is the second time the Saudis have moved against Qatar. Two years ago, there was a break in diplomatic relations, but they were eventually restored. This time, the principal allegation being directed against Qatar by Riyadh is that it supports terrorism. The terrorist groups that it allegedly embraces are Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi’s affiliation. Hezbollah and Hamas are close to Iran which is perhaps the real reason for their being singled out as many would call them resistance movements or even legitimate political parties rather than terrorists. And the Iran connection is critical as Qatar has been under fire for allegedly saying nice things about trying to respect and get along with Tehran, undoubtedly somewhat motivated by its joint exploitation with Iran of a vast gas field in the Persian Gulf.

Qatar’s ownership of al-Jazeera also has been a sore point with the Saudis and other Gulf states as its reporting has often been critical of developments in the region, criticisms that have often rankled the Saudi monarchy and the Egyptians. It has been accused of spreading propaganda for “militant groups.” One of the Saudi demands to permit Qatar to again become a “normal” Arab Gulf state would be to close down the network.

The terrorism claims by the Saudis are, of course, hypocritical. Both Qatar and Saudi Arabia are well known as sponsors of Salafist terrorism, including the funding and arming of groups like ISIS and the various al-Qaeda franchises, to include al-Nusra. Much of the money admittedly comes from private individuals and is often channeled through Islamic charities, but both Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been extremely lax in their enforcement of anti-terror and money laundering regulations. In a 2009 State Department memo signed off on by Hillary Clinton it was stated that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” Qatar, meanwhile, has been described as a “permissive environment for terrorist financing.”

The Saudis also have considerable blood on their hands by way of their genocidal assault on neighboring Yemen. In addition, the Saudi Royal House has served as the principal propagator of Wahhabism, the virulently fundamentalist version of Islam that provides a form of religious legitimacy to terror while also motivating many young Muslims to join radical groups.

The falling out of two Gulf Arab regimes might be a matter of relatively little importance but for the unnecessary intervention of President Donald Trump in the quarrel. He has taken credit for the burgeoning conflict, implying that his recent visit to the region set the stage for the ostracizing of Qatar. His twitter on the affair, posted on June 6th, read “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!” And he again came down on Qatar on June 9th during a press conference.

Trump’s tweets might well be regarded as simply maladroit, driven by ignorance, but they could also provide a glimpse of a broader agenda. While in the Middle East, Trump was bombarded with anti-Iranian propaganda coming from both Israel and the Saudis. An escalation of hostilities with the intention of starting an actual war involving the United States to take down Iran is not unimaginable, particularly as the Israelis, who have already endorsed the Saudi moves, have been arguing that option and lying about the threat posed by Tehran for a number of years.

A war against Iran would be very popular both with the U.S. congress and the mainstream media, so it would be easy to sell to the American public. The terrorist attack in Tehran on June 6th that killed 17 is being blamed in some Iranian circles on the Saudis, a not unreasonable assumption. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack but it must also be observed that both the Saudis and Israelis have good connections with the terrorist group. But if the possibility of a possible Saudi hand is true or even plausibly so, it guarantees a rise in tension and an incident at sea could easily be contrived by either side to escalate into a shooting war. The United States would almost inevitably be drawn in, particularly in light of Trump’s ridiculous comment on the tragedy, tweeting that Iran is“falling victim to the evil they promote.”

There is also other considerable collateral damage to be reckoned with as a consequence of the Trump intervention even if war can be avoided. Qatar hosts the al-Udeid airbase, the largest in the Middle East, which is home to 10,000 U.S. servicemen and serves as the Combined Air and Space Operations Center for Washington and its allies in the region and beyond. Now the United States finds itself squarely in the middle of a fight between two alleged friends that it doesn’t have to involve itself in, an intervention that will produce nothing but bad results. Backing Saudi Arabia in this quarrel serves no conceivable American interest, particularly if the ultimate objective is to strike at a non-threatening Iran. So the fallback position is to lie about what the support for the aggressive Saudi posturing really means – it is alleged to be about terrorism, which is always a popular excuse for government overreach.

And the ultimate irony is that when it comes to terrorism the United States itself does not emerge without fault. As early as 2011, the U.S. was arming Syrian dissidents from the arsenals in Libya, flying in weapons to Turkey to hand over to the rebels. Many of the weapons, as well as those provided to Iraqi forces, have wound up in the hands of ISIS and al-Nusrah. U.S. advisers training rebels have conceded that it is impossible to determine the politics of many of those receiving instruction and weapons, an observation that has also been made by the Obama White House and by his State Department.

So watch the lies if you want to know when the next war is coming. If the House of Saud, the Israelis and Donald Trump are talking trash and seem to agree about something then it is time to head for the bomb shelter. Will it be Iran or an escalating catastrophe in Syria? Anything is possible.

June 13, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Saudi Arabia teams up with Israel in anti-Qatar lobbying in the US Congress

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali – Journal of America – June 10, 2017

US proposed  legislation – Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2017 – threatening to sanction Qatar for its support of the so-called “Palestinian terror” was sponsored by 10 lawmakers who received more than $1m over the last 18 months from lobbyists and groups linked to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, Al Jazeera reported Friday.

The HR 2712 bill was introduced to the US House of Representatives on May 25, but the text wasn’t available until Friday morning, hours after Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt put 59 people and 12 institutions linked to Qatar on a “terror list”, Al Jazeera said.

HR 2712’s sponsors received donations totaling $1,009,796 from pro-Israel individuals and groups for the 2016 election cycle alone, according data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, an independent research group tracking money in US politics and its effect on elections and public policy, and then compiled by Al Jazeera.

Sponsors of the bill are: Congressmen Brian Mast (FL-18), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (CA-39) and Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (NY-16). The bill is co-sponsored by Congressmen Brad Sherman (CA-30), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Ted Poe (TX-2), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Thomas Suozzi (NY-3).

Al Jazeera reported that Royce received $242,143 from pro-Israel sources for the 2016 election cycle, $190,150 went to Engel. Mast, who volunteered with the Israeli military after he finished serving in the US Army, received $90,178.

“Following my service in the U.S. Army, I chose to volunteer alongside the Israeli Defense Forces because our countries share the common ideals of freedom, democracy and mutual respect for all people. Hamas preaches destruction to Israel and death to the values we hold dear in the United States. They have murdered more than 400 Israelis and at least 25 American citizens.” Rep. Mast was quoted as saying.

According to Trita Parsi, the founder of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a nonprofit that aims to strengthen the voice of US citizens of Iranian descent, there are similarities between the US-allied Arab nations’ “terror list” and HR 2712 show[ing] growing cooperation between Gulf Arab states and Israel.

“The coordination between hawkish pro-Israel groups and UAE and Saudi Arabia has been going on for quite some time,” Parsi told Al Jazeera. What is new, he continued, is pro-Israel groups such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies “coming out with pro-Saudi [articles] and lobbying for them on Capitol Hill”.

Parsi was quoted as saying that the sponsors of the bill are traditional pro-Saudi lawmakers, however they are in the pro-Likud camp. Likud  is the party of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

President is required

The Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act requires the President to submit to Congress an annual report for the next three years identifying foreign persons, agencies or instrumentalities of a foreign state who knowingly and materially assist Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or an affiliate or successor of one of those organizations.

After identifying the organizations, the President must impose two or more sanctions, including denying

a) Export-Import guarantees,
b) defense support under the Arms Export Control Act,
c) export of munitions to any agreement to which a person identified is a part,
d) export of goods or technology controlled for national security reasons,
e) loans more than $10 million, or
f) seizure of property held within the United States.

The bill also requires the President to report to Congress on each government that provides support for acts of terrorism and provides material support to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or any affiliate or successor organization, or the President determines to have engaged in a significant transaction to knowingly and materially provide support to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or any affiliate or successor organization.

After identifying the governments, the President must suspend U.S. assistance to that government for one year, instruct the executive directors of each international finance institution to vote against any loan or technical assistance to that government and prohibit any munitions export to that government for one year.

Additionally, the President must prohibit that government’s transactions in foreign exchanges that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and prevent that government’s transfers of credits or payments between financial institutions subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Important Sections of the HR 2712 Bill

Section 2: Findings and Statement of Policy

Subsections (a)(3) and (4) state that “Hamas has received significant financial and military support” from Qatar and that the Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence confirmed that “Qatar, a longtime US ally has for many years openly financed Hamas.” The bill also finds that Qatar hosts a number of high-ranking Hamas officials, including Khaled Mashal.

Subsections (a)(5) through (7) outline Iran’s material and financial support and subsections (8) through (10) detail Iranian support to the PIJ.

Section 3: Imposition of Sanctions with Respect to Foreign Persons and Agencies and Instrumentalities of Foreign States Supporting Hamas, the PIJ, or Any Affiliate or Successor Group

No later than 120 days after H.R. 2712 is enacted—then once a year for no more than three years—the president must report to Congress the foreign persons, agencies, and instrumentalities of foreign states that provide support to the aforementioned groups. Two exceptions are reserved for the president, however. If the president notifies Congress 15 days prior to completing a “significant transaction” with a foreign entity or agency that is in the “national interest” of the United States, the foreign entity or agency may be exempt from sanctions. The other exception is reserved for the president to issue waivers that would exempt a foreign entity or agency from sanctions for 120 days, as long as Congress is notified seven days prior.

Set forth in this bill are sanctions on the following:

  • Banking and financing (e.g., extensions of credit, guarantees, insurance, etc.)
  • Defense-related sales (including munitions, defense services, and construction services)
  • Goods and technologies regulated through the Export Administration or included in the US Munitions List
  • Medical, agricultural, and humanitarian goods and services are not included among sanctioned items.

Section 4: Imposition of Sanctions with Respect to Foreign Governments That Provide Material Support to Hamas, the PIJ, or Any Affiliate or Successor Thereof

Much like Section 3, Section 4 sets a 120-day deadline after enactment for the president to report to Congress any governments the Secretary of State has determined “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.” This report must be resubmitted, with relevant information, every 180 days.

The sanctions set forth in this section include the prohibition or suspension of the following for one year:

  • US aid to the foreign government
  • Extension of loans and financial or technical services
  • Export of items on the US Munitions List or Commerce Control List
  • Transactions in foreign exchanges in which the United States has jurisdiction
  • Transfers of credit or payments between one or more financial institutions subject to US jurisdiction
  • Should the president determine it is in US security interests and notify Congress seven days in advance, he can waive any foreign government sanctions for 180 days.

Section 5: Report on Activities of Foreign Countries to Disrupt Global Fundraising, Financing, and Money Laundering Activities of Hamas, the PIJ, or Any Successor or Affiliate Thereof

This bill outlines a reporting requirement for the president, no later than 180 days after the bill’s enactment. The president must report a list of foreign countries providing support for the aforementioned organizations and further assessments including:

  • Steps the foreign government is taking to freeze assets of these groups
  • Any reasons the government is not taking adequate steps to freeze assets
  • Measures taken by the United States to freeze assets
  • List of countries where the aforementioned groups fundraise and steps those countries are taking to disrupt the fundraising efforts
  • List of countries from which the groups receive surveillance equipment and what measures are being taken to disrupt the acquisition.

To borrow from Marcus Montgomery, an Analyst at the Washington DC-based Arab Center, the language of HR 2712 is interesting since it introduces sanctions for actions likely already covered under existing legislation. Hamas and the PIJ are both designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) and Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) by the State and Treasury Departments, respectively. With that in mind, it is already illegal for US entities or institutions to support such groups. Thus, the sanctions proposed in this bill that pertain to US jurisdiction are redundant.

Formally targeting Iran is redundant as well because Tehran has been declared a state sponsor of terror by the State Department and prohibitions against exports of arms, financial and technical services, and US aid to Iran are already in place.

For Marcus Montgomery, Qatar would be the truly new target under this legislation, but as an ally with which the United States has economic and military ties, it is tough to see many in the Senate agreeing to label Qatar a de facto state sponsor of terror.

Erdogan vows to stand by ‘Qatari brothers’

Interestingly, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan Friday called for full removal of a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar after approving the deployment of Turkish troops there, saying Riyadh needed to put brotherhood ahead of animosity.

Erdogan said isolating Qatar would not resolve any regional problems and vowed to do everything in his power to help end the regional crisis. “We will not abandon our Qatari brothers,” Erdogan told members of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party at a fast-breaking meal on Friday in Istanbul during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“I also have a special request from the Saudi administration. You are the largest and most powerful state in the Gulf. We call you the Custodian of the Holy Places. You especially should work for brotherhood, not animosity. You have to work for bringing brothers together. This is what we expect from Saudi, the Custodian of the Holy Mosques,” Erdogan was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying.

“I say it should be lifted completely,” Erdogan said of the embargo.

Turkey, which has maintained good relations with Qatar, as well as several of its Gulf Arab neighbors, offered food and water supplies to stave off possible shortages. “There are those who are uncomfortable with us standing by our Qatari brothers, providing them with food. I’m sorry, we will continue to give Qatar every kind of support,” Erdogan said, adding that he had never witnessed Doha supporting “terrorism”.

On Wednesday, Turkey’s parliament ratified two deals on deploying troops to Qatar and training the Gulf nation’s security forces. The deal to send Turkish soldiers in Qatar, aimed at improving the country’s army and boosting military cooperation, was signed in April 2016 in Doha.

After an initial deployment of Turkish soldiers at a base in Doha, Turkish fighter jets and ships will also be sent, the mass-circulation Hurriyet newspaper said on its website on Friday.

“The number of Turkish warplanes and Turkish warships going to the base will become clear after the preparation of a report based on an initial assessment at the base,” Hurriyet said.

A Turkish delegation will go to Qatar in the coming days to assess the situation at the base, where about 90 Turkish soldiers are currently based, Hurriyet said adding: there were plans send some 200 to 250 soldiers within two months in the initial stage.

Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America.

June 12, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The US takes Syria’s Al-Qaeda off Terror Watch-lists

By Nauman Sadiq | OffGuardian | June 12, 2017

According to a recent report [1] by CBC Canada, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front and then Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) since July 2016, has been removed from the terror watch-lists of the US and Canada after it merged with fighters from Zenki Brigade and hardline jihadists from Ahrar al-Sham and rebranded itself as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in January this year.

The US State Department is hesitant to label Tahrir al-Sham a terror group, despite the group’s link to al-Qaeda, as the US government has directly funded and armed the Zenki Brigade, one of the constituents of Tahrir al-Sham, with sophisticated weaponry including the US-made antitank TOW missiles.

The overall military commander of Tahrir al-Sham continues to be Abu Mohammad al-Julani, whom the US has branded a Specially Designated Global Terrorist with a $10 million bounty. But for the US to designate Tahrir al-Sham as a terrorist organization now would mean acknowledging that it supplied sophisticated weapons to terrorists, and draw attention to the fact that the US continues to arm Islamic jihadists in Syria.

In order to understand the bloody history of al-Nusra Front during the Syrian civil war, bear in mind that since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in August 2011 to April 2013, the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front were a single organization that chose the banner of “Jabhat al-Nusra.” Although al-Nusra Front has been led by Abu Mohammad al-Julani but he was appointed [2] as the emir of al-Nusra Front by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State, in January 2012.

Thus, al-Julani’s al-Nusra Front is only a splinter group of the Islamic State, which split from its parent organization in April 2013 over a leadership dispute between the two organizations.

In March 2011, protests began in Syria against the government of Bashar al-Assad. In the following months, violence between demonstrators and security forces led to a gradual militarization of the conflict. In August 2011, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was based in Iraq, began sending Syrian and Iraqi jihadists experienced in guerilla warfare across the border into Syria to establish an organization inside the country.

Led by a Syrian known as Abu Mohammad al-Julani, the group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country. On 23 January 2012, the group announced its formation as Jabhat al-Nusra.

In April 2013, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that al-Nusra Front had been established, financed and supported by the Islamic State of Iraq. Al-Baghdadi declared that the two groups were merging under the name “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” The leader of al-Nusra Front, Abu Muhammad al-Julani, issued a statement denying the merger and complaining that neither he nor anyone else in al-Nusra’s leadership had been consulted about it.

Al-Qaeda Central’s leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, tried to mediate the dispute between al-Baghdadi and al-Julani but eventually, in October 2013, he endorsed al-Nusra Front as the official franchise of al-Qaeda Central in Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, however, defied the nominal authority of al-Qaeda Central and declared himself as the caliph of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Keeping this background in mind, it becomes amply clear that a single militant organization operated in Syria and Iraq under the leadership of al-Baghdadi until April 2013, which chose the banner of al-Nusra Front, and that the current emir of the subsequent breakaway faction of al-Nusra Front, al-Julani, was actually al-Baghdadi’s deputy in Syria.

Thus, the Islamic State operated in Syria since August 2011 under the designation of al-Nusra Front and it subsequently changed its name to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in April 2013, after which, it overran Raqqa in the summer of 2013, then it seized parts of Deir al-Zor and fought battles against the alliance of Kurds and the Syrian regime in al-Hasakah. And in January 2014 it overran Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in Iraq and reached the zenith of its power when it captured Mosul in June 2014.

Regarding the rebranding of al-Julani’s Nusra Front to “Jabhat Fateh al-Sham” in July 2016 and purported severing of ties with al-Qaeda Central, it was only a nominal difference because al-Nusra Front never had any organizational and operational ties with al-Qaeda Central and even their ideologies are poles apart.

Al-Qaeda Central is basically a transnational terrorist organization, while al-Nusra Front mainly has regional ambitions that are limited only to fighting the Assad regime in Syria and its ideology is anti-Shi’a and sectarian. In fact, al-Nusra Front has not only received medical aid and material support from Israel, but some of its operations against the Shi’a-dominated Assad regime in southern Syria were fully coordinated with Israel’s air force.

The purpose behind the rebranding of al-Nusra Front to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and purported severing of ties with al-Qaeda Central was to legitimize itself and to make it easier for its patrons to send money and arms. The US blacklisted al-Nusra Front in December 2012 and pressurized Saudi Arabia and Turkey to ban it too. Although al-Nusra Front’s name has been in the list of proscribed organizations of Saudi Arabia and Turkey since 2014, but it has kept receiving money and arms from the Gulf Arab States.

It should be remembered that in a May 2015 interview [3] with al-Jazeera, Abu Mohammad al-Julani took a public pledge on the behest of his Gulf-based patrons that his organization only has local ambitions limited to fighting the Assad regime in Syria and that it does not intends to strike targets in the Western countries.

Thus, this rebranding exercise has been going on for quite some time. Al-Julani announced the split from al-Qaeda in a video statement last year. But the persistent efforts of al-Julani’s Gulf-based patrons have only borne fruit in January this year, when al-Nusra Front once again rebranded itself from Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which also includes “moderate” jihadists from Zenki Brigade, Ahrar al-Sham and several other militant groups, and thus, the US State Department has finally given a clean chit to the jihadist conglomerate that goes by the name of Tahrir al-Sham to pursue its ambitions of toppling the Assad regime in Syria.

Sources and links:

[1] Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate escapes from terror list:
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/terror-list-omission-1.4114621

[2] Al-Julani was appointed as the emir of al-Nusra Front by al-Baghdadi:
http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/16689

[3] Al-Julani’s interview to Al-Jazeera: “Our mission is to defeat the Syrian regime”:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/05/nusra-front-golani-assad-syria-hezbollah-isil-150528044857528.html

June 12, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment