On the sequence of events leading up to the Israeli invasion of Gaza ~ Bill the Butcher

Intro:

This article is meant as a description of a sequence of events to help the reader understand the current so-called “war” in Gaza, and to find one’s way through the many dense layers of lies and propaganda.

For the purposes of this article, I shall use the terms “Israel” and “Israeli” instead of “Zionistan”, the term I prefer; but the use of those terms do not signify any legitimisation or approbation of the Zionist entity.

I shall – for the purposes of this section of the article – treat HAMAS as an organisation independent of Zionist control. I shall discuss that point further in the concluding section of this article.

The reason I am doing this not to pretend that there can be some kind of moral equivalence between a racist apartheid “nation” with billions yearly in aid from the American Empire on one side, and the inmates of a starved open-air concentration camp on the other. This is so any reader who wishes to can cite this article, or copy it, to other discussions without being accused of bias.

I repeat: you are welcome to cite or copy this article elsewhere.

I  strongly recommend you follow up the links I have provided in the text and at the end – they provide additional information that is beyond the scope of this article.

So let us begin.

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In general, the Israeli propaganda machine, and those who repeat its claims, say that the aggression against Gaza is justified to prevent HAMAS rockets from falling on Israeli cities. Let’s examine this claim.

It is perfectly true that HAMAS is firing Qassam rockets at Israeli cities. It is completely true that Israeli families have hidden in bomb shelters from the incoming rockets.

Nothing else about Israeli claims is true.

Before we go further, let me mention a word about these Qassam rockets. They aren’t guided ballistic missiles or anything of that nature. What they are, is a steel tube packed with fertiliser as propellant, and sometimes (not always) with a crude warhead at the other end. When the propellant is ignited, the rocket – hopefully – takes off from the launching rails without crashing, and flies through the air until said propellant runs out and it falls on something. If there is a warhead, and if the rocket strikes the ground at an angle that impacts the nail (which is generally what is used as a striker), the warhead may or may not explode. If it does explode, the usual damage is a smear of black powder residue.

The statistics make it clear: Israelis are more likely to die from peanut allergies than Qassam fire.

What is the military utility of the Qassams? Nothing. What is their non-military value? Immense. The Qassam is a symbol of continued resistance, that oppression and blockade haven’t destroyed the will to fight back.

But, as I said, in military terms the Qassams’ value is less than negligible. And if we are to take the Israeli claim about the effectiveness of their Iron Dome defence at face value – something which reputable scientists have dismissed – the value of the Qassams drops to farcical levels. This is not the equivalent of the US’ Ukrainian allies rocketing and shelling Lugansk, something  the White House seems perfectly willing to let go on.

But, the HAMAS did fire Qassams without provocation on Israel, right? They did provoke the current round of violence?

Let’s see!

If we aren’t to take the route of arbitrarily declaring that a certain point is the “beginning” of the sequence of events leading to a particular situation – something that has been called “Historical Creationism” and is meant to point blame in one particular direction – we should take a longer view. We should start further back in time and see how things led up, action begetting reaction, to the situation of the moment.

The Beginning:

If there is a point where the story begins, it could be 2006, when HAMAS won a free and democratic election in Gaza. This was greeted by shock in Western capitals, which had aided in the election in the fond belief that the Palestinians would vote for the hyper-corrupt and effete Fatah in preference over HAMAS. Discord over the election resulted in an internecine HAMAS-Fatah civil war in 2007, in which Fatah was eliminated in Gaza and HAMAS virtually ceased to exist in the West Bank.

This was followed by a punishment Israeli (and Egyptian) blockade of Gaza, meant to, in the words of an Israeli minister, “put Gaza on a diet” for having the temerity to back HAMAS. This “diet” was quite literal, with a per capita limit of 2279 calories per day.Also,

All exports were banned, and just 131 truckloads of foodstuffs and other essential products were permitted entry per day. Israel also strictly controlled which products could and could not be imported. Prohibited items have included A4 paper, chocolate, coriander, crayons, jam, pasta, shampoo, shoes and wheelchairs.

Apparently, shoes et al were “dual use items” – as was A4 paper, and presumably coriander and jam could only be used to “feed terrorists”, who would then attack on wheelchairs with shampoo bottles firing crayons, if one were to go by the Israeli “logic”. Also, Gaza fishermen were restricted to a narrow coastal zone, which rapidly became depleted of fish due to the inevitable overfishing involved.

Not surprisingly, this could not sustain the population of Gaza, and smuggling rapidly became a major industry. Since Gaza is a tiny territory, under constant Israeli control and surveillance (even after the 2005 Israeli “withdrawal” from the territory), there was no way to carry out this smuggling except via tunnels. These tunnels, from Gaza’s border with Egypt – the only non-Israel border the strip has – rapidly became a major conduit for all supplies, and the Gazans became expert at tunnel-building. Time magazine even did a photo feature on them.

I repeat – these tunnels were built in the first place as a direct response to the Israeli blockade, because it was the only way the people of Gaza could survive in anything resembling civilised conditions.

These tunnels also suited HAMAS fine, because it could tax all the smuggling activities and raise funds from them. (It must not be imagined for a moment that HAMAS was, or is, the only resistance group in the Gaza Strip – there is also Islamic Jihad, which is no friend of HAMAS, and several smaller outfits. This should be kept in mind.)

Mowing the lawn”:

Roughly every two years after imposing their blockade, the Israelis have launched major attacks on Gaza. It happened in 2008, in which over a thousand Palestinians were killed, and again in 2012, in which 139 Palestinians died. In between, there were more, indeed constant, minor attacks on Gaza. On each occasion, the overwhelming majority of casualties were Palestinian civilians, something difficult to understand in view of the Israeli pretence of having a “moral army” which “goes to extreme lengths to avoid civilian casualties.” In fact, as we shall see, what is remarkable is not that civilians were killed, but that – for a nation claiming that HAMAS presented a threat to its very existence – Israel went to great lengths not to destroy HAMAS.

Had it been determined to end Hamas rule it could easily have done so, particularly while Hamas was still consolidating its control over Gaza in 2007, and without necessarily reversing the 2005 disengagement. Instead, it saw the schism between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority as an opportunity to further its policies of separation and fragmentation, and to deflect growing international pressure for an end to an occupation that has lasted nearly half a century.

Israel called this process of regular attacks “mowing the lawn”. Apparently no one chose to notice that this reduced the Palestinians to the status of grass.

But HAMAS accepted a ceasefire after the 2012 “mowing”, and not only did it adhere to this ceasefire for over nineteen months, it prevented the other Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza from attacking Israel. It even stopped peaceful protests against Israel.

I repeat: from 2012 to 2014, HAMAS was in total ceasefire mode with Israel, despite constant provocations. Not only was it in ceasefire, it enforced the ceasefire on Islamic Jihad and other resistance groups.

HAMAS and the Syrian “Civil War”:

One of the few nations that had stood by HAMAS and the Gaza resistance was Bashar al Assad of Syria, as well as his ally, Iran. Now, the ideological mentor of HAMAS is the Muslim Brotherhood, the organisation which had been suppressed throughout North Africa from Algeria to Libya to Egypt, and in Syria as well. In the wake of the so-called “Arab Spring” in 2011, as various old tyrants were overthrown by what seemed to be a tide of democracy, the Muslim Brotherhood scored an important victory. The dictator of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, was overthrown by a popular revolution, and a MB led government replaced him. Life became easier for Gaza residents, with the MB significantly easing the blockade and in fact pressuring Israel to an early ceasefire when it last attacked Gaza in 2012.

At the same time, in Syria, the violence was escalating as terrorist gangs sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and NATO attempted to take over the country. HAMAS – at the time based in Damascus – made a blunder so colossal that it has, to date, never recovered from it and perhaps never will. It chose to believe the fantasy that Assad’s fall was imminent and inevitable (something I, a mere foreigner half a world away, had at the time accurately stated was neither) and ditched him for Qatar. HAMAS men began using the techniques taught them by Hizbollah against Hizbollah, as at the battle of Al Qusayr, a turning point in the conflict. All this swiftly led to the funds being provided by Iran and Syria drying up – and Assad showed no signs of falling.

Soon enough, there was more trouble with Qatar, too, when in a very murky episode the HAMAS leadership was asked to leave the country. And in Egypt, the MB government was overthrown by a military dictatorship under al Sisi, one so aggressively anti-MB that it was far more anti-HAMAS than the earlier Mubarak dictatorship had been.

So, from having the full support of Syria and Iran and at least being tolerated by Egypt, HAMAS – by its own blunders – suddenly ended up with no friends whatsoever, bar the doubtful “friendship” of Israel’s friend and ally Turkey. It had no money and no way to make any more. Even the old reliable tunnel network had collapsed since the al Sisi dictatorship was aggressively demolishing them. By early 2014, HAMAS was on the ropes; unable to pay salaries of the Gaza employees, the economy almost nonexistent, sewage accumulating in the streets, massive daily power cuts, rising popular discontent, and no way out except a unity deal with its arch rival, Fatah.

Unity moves with Fatah:

Ever since the 2007 break with Fatah, there had been several attempts to forge a unity government. The closest that it came to one was in 2011, but went nowhere. But now, in 2014, with the situation in Gaza turning increasingly desperate, HAMAS decided to form a unity government with its arch rival. In real terms it was an unconditional surrender for HAMAS, since it accepted almost completely the Fatah positions (which in turn were dictated to Mahmoud Abbas by Israel). HAMAS wouldn’t even have a single cabinet post in this unity government, so total was its surrender. All it would gain in return was continued control over the Gaza strip and the reopening of the border crossing with Egypt, no more.

Not too surprisingly, this was greeted with relief by a lot of people in the West, including the US, which had grown increasingly uneasy at the situation in Gaza. In April, the agreement was signed, and on the 2nd June, the government was inaugurated.

With barely a protest from the Islamists, Abbas repeatedly and loudly proclaimed that the government accepted the Middle East Quartet’s demands: that it recognise Israel, renounce violence and adhere to past agreements. He also announced that Palestinian security forces in the West Bank would continue their security collaboration with Israel.

It did not, however, suit the Israeli government at all. All this time, the Israeli attempt had been to play off the Palestinians against each other, but a unity government would put an end to the game and put real pressure on the Netanyahu regime to allow a Palestinian state, something the Israeli prime minister had stated he would never allow. It became imperative to find a way to sabotage the unity government.

The opportunity came not in Gaza, but in the West Bank.

The West Bank:

All this time, the West Bank remained under the corrupt and effete Fatah “government” – the Palestinian Authority, as it is called, though it has no authority – of Mahmoud Abbas. The security services of this “government” acted in close alliance with the Israeli forces – so much so that the West Bank people joke bitterly that they’re enduring two occupations, one by Israel and one by the PA. In the West Bank there is no armed resistance activity; with few exceptions, the only weapons are in the hands of the “security services”. Not a single Qassam has been launched from the West Bank. And in return for this the West Bank people are rewarded with…

…massive, constant Israeli settlement construction – which always takes the best land from the Palestinians – with institutionalised apartheid (Arabs are not permitted to use roads meant for settlers, for example); “security walls” which cut off villages from their fields and children from their schools; over five hundred military checkpoints;  “price tag” attacks from settlers; the destruction of their olive groves and houses in mass punishments; and no prospect of ever gaining independence as a reward for their “good behaviour”.

Please keep this in mind when you hear any Israeli claim that they are interested in living peacefully alongside the Palestinians. They simply are not.

Professor Ilan Pappé has said that Israel made a conscious decision to become aracist apartheid state instead of a democratic one. Today, ultra-right, openly racist and fascist opinion is rising in Israel, with chants of “Death to Arabs” even at football matches. This should not be forgotten either.

In May, on the day commemorating the Nakba – the Palestinian Holocaust of expulsion by Israel in 1948 – there were demonstrations in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in the West Bank. Israeli troops opened fire with live ammunition, killing two unarmed Palestinian teenagers. The incident was captured on closed circuit TV, and after initial denials the Israelis fell into sullen silence, not admitting the murders but unable to plausibly continue to deny them.

The kidnappings:

Some days later, on 11th June, Israel bombed Gaza, killing two Palestinians – one of them a ten year old boy. The very next day, three settler teenagers were kidnapped in the West Bank. Israel, without providing any proof whatsoever, immediately blamed HAMAS for the kidnappings – though HAMAS denied any involvement. Despite knowing – from a phone call made by one of the kidnapped teenagers – that they were almost certainly dead, Israel lied (even to the parents, as they later testified), and launched a massive and aggressive “search operation” in the West Bank. Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested, including over sixty released as part of a previous prisoner swap for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Nine Palestinians were killed, and houses demolished and looted. During this time Abbas’ PA security forces worked in close collaboration with the Israelis.

Much later, the teenagers were found dead – only a short distance from where they were kidnapped – and by tourist guides at that. Apparently the “thorough” search wasn’t thorough enough to check the neighbourhood of the kidnap. In response, the Israeli government immediately announced three more settlements in the West Bank.

Let me mention at this point that all these settlements are clearly illegal under international law.

Meanwhile, in Israel and the West Bank, ultra-right racist Jewish organisations had been hard at work, stoking up anti-Palestinian hatred.  Straight from an anti-Arab demonstration, six of these ultra-right Jews attempted to kidnap a Palestinian boy but failed – because the nine-year-old boy’s mother began hitting the attempted kidnapper over the head with her cellphone. Can you imagine the paeans in the media if it had been an Israeli mother protecting her son from Arabs? I think you can.

It wasn’t enough deterrence. The next day they returned, successfully abductedMuhammad Abu-Khdeir, poured petrol into his mouth, and burned him to death.

Even at this stage, HAMAS did not retaliate. Despite being repeatedly attacked, falsely accused of the kidnap of the teenagers (even the Israeli police later admitted HAMAS had had nothing to do with the kidnappings), it still did not retaliate. The nineteen-month ceasefire was still on.

The Qassams begin:

The facts show that Israel, as one article laconically states, had to work quite hard to get HAMAS to end its ceasefire. That finally happened on 7th July, when it bombed a HAMAS group in a tunnel inside Gaza. This group had had nothing to do with attacking Israeli positions.

Between 01:00 and 16:00, the bodies of 5 members of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) were recovered from a tunnel dug near Gaza International Airport in the southeast of the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.  They were identified as: Ibrahim Dawod al-Bal’awi, 24; ‘Abdul Rahman Kamal al-Zamli, 22; Jum’a ‘Atiya Shallouf, 26; and Khaled ‘Abdul Hadi Abu Mur, 21, and his twin brother, Mustafa.  Another three members were recovered alive, but one was in a serious condition.

Only then – after being repeatedly attacked in the West Bank as well as Gaza – did HAMAS retaliate; and the retaliation was by the Qassams, which, as we have seen, are utterly useless for all practical purposes.

That they are useless isn’t even a matter of opinion – the Israeli reaction proves they are useless. While simultaneously claiming that they are an existential threat, Israel reacted angrily to international flights being held back from its airports; apparently the existential threat wasn’t threatening enough to potentially harm its tourist industry. And while Qassams were touted as a massive threat, Israelis were sitting out on hillsidescheering the bombing of Gaza – exposed to these same Qassams.

Therefore the sequence of events, leading up to the invasion of Gaza, clearly shows that not only was HAMAS not to blame, but that at every stage, the Palestinians werereacting to Israeli provocation.

Let me also repeat a point I made earlier: HAMAS is not the only resistance group active in Gaza. There’s Islamic Jihad and several smaller groups; and even Israel admitted that HAMAS had stopped them rocketing Israeli cities. An attack blamed on HAMAS is not necessarily an attack launched by HAMAS, or even an attack HAMAS knew about or had any sympathy for.

It’s a different matter that right now the various resistance groups are standing together against the enemy offensive – but not surprising. It’s United We Stand and Divided We Fall; and if the Israeli attack is one thing which will bring the resistance together permanently, so much the better for it.

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Having handled the sequence of events up to the launch of Qassams, which Israel cites as the casus belli of its war massacre in Gaza, let me move on to some other points.

The HAMAS human shield myth:

When all else fails, the Israeli counterargument about Gaza hinges a few shopworn arguments:

The first is the argument that HAMAS uses human shields and stores weapons in mosques and houses. That this is not true isn’t even a new thing: it was exposedseveral years ago, by Amnesty International among others, which said that the only instances of human shield use had been by Israelis. HAMAS did not, and has not now, used human shields. That is a lie. Nor has it stored weapons in homes or mosques except on two occasions when it stored weapons in empty UNRWA schools – UNRWA condemned the incident, and nobody has ever found any evidence that it was repeated.
Actually, this is by no means a new Israeli tactic. It had accused Hizbollah of similar tactics in 2006 – and then, too, it was conclusively proved by Human Rights Watch that Israel was lying. In fact, there is so much evidence piling up on this that this is something even Israeli Hasbara propagandists are becoming wary of citing.

(There’s an interesting twist to this; as one of the few old Zionists still alive, Uri Avnery,says, in the Israeli “war of independence” it was the Jewish groups which hid weapons in schools, hospitals and synagogues.)

Nor is it true that the Israelis “warn” the people to flee before bombing their house. Often they don’t, and even when they do, there is neither time to run or anywhere to run to.

The tunnels:

Another argument is that HAMAS used its tunnels to attack Israelis. This is a strange argument – apparently invented post facto – after the Qassam excuse didn’t wash as well as it seemed it would. I have been able to only find one instance of Palestinians – perhaps HAMAS, perhaps someone else – attacking a kibbutz using the tunnels; and that was on 17th July, ten days after the beginning of full scale hostilities. Since the tunnels have been around for many years, it’s, in any case, at least disingenuous to pretend that they are a proximate cause for attacking Gaza.

The tunnels, as I said, were originally invented for smuggling, not for fighting; but they do seem to have been used with increasing effectiveness by the resistance to target the Israeli attackers. In retaliation, it is the Israelis who have been killing Palestinian civilians; that over 80% of Palestinian casualties have been civilians is proof, if any were needed, who is actually striking at civilian targets. In contrast almost all Israeli dead and wounded have been military personnel.

It is, in fact, the phenomenon of Gazan resistance and Israel’s retaliatory massacres of civilians that has led to the attackers’ destruction of the strip’s only power station; it was to drain Gaza’s laptops and mobile phones of power so that the people of the strip could no longer Tweet and Instagram photos and appeals for assistance to the world. Massacres are difficult to continue if exposed to the world in real time.

That this kills babies is incidental, of course.

The ceasefire:

The third Israeli argument is that HAMAS rejected a peace proposal – a ceasefire “proposed” by Egypt. It was a ceasefire HAMAS was never going to accept, and forexcellent reasons. First, it was not consulted at all on what terms it was ready to accept; it has said repeatedly that what it wants is a lifting of the blockade. Secondly, the ceasefire was rubber stamped by the Egyptian dictator al Sisi, the man most responsible for the plight of the Gazans – much more so than even the Israelis. Third, though the proposal was rubber stamped by Egypt, it was an Israeli proposal, which gave Gaza nothing at all in return for ceasing hostilities. It would be a return to the status quo ante, as was the case in 2012. As we have seen, though the Gazans honoured the ceasefire, it was the Israelis who broke it. There is absolutely no reason to imagine it would be different this time round.

In return, HAMAS – and, very significantly, Islamic Jihad – made a counter-proposal; they would offer a ten-year ceasefire in response for lifting the blockade and other minor concessions. The response from the other side? Dead silence.

At the moment, fighting continues, and another “ceasefire” was broken within two hours by the Israelis, citing the “capture” of one of its soldiers. HAMAS has denied that it captured the soldier; in any case, the Israelis prefer to murder their own troops rather than let them be captured, as it seems to have done in this case. And seeing the number of times the Israelis have lied, it is by no means impossible that this “capture” is nothing more than another lie meant to continue the fighting.

In any case, the Israeli insistence on demolishing the tunnels is somewhat bizarre. Tunnels, surely, can be easily re-constructed when demolished? Isn’t someone bright enough to have thought of that? And, in the exposed Gaza strip, tunnels are not just vital to the defence – they are the only way the defence can be conducted. As Uri Avnery says, HAMAS uses the tunnels for “…attacks, command posts, operational centers (sic) and arsenals.”

As bizarre as this tunnel fixation is the Israeli insistence that it, and it alone, has the right to decide what a “ceasefire” entails. Thus, after declaring a 72-hour ceasefire, it still sent troops to attack a tunnel, apparently in the beliefthat it can destroy Palestinian infrastructure with impunity, but it’s a ceasefire violation when the resistance fights back. That is at least delusional.

Either way, we can more or less say with confidence that the invasion isn’t going anywhere near as well as the Israelis thought.

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A word about HAMAS:

Throughout this article, I have treated HAMAS as an independent resistance movement, “terrorist”, if you will, but independent. Actually, it was nothing of the kind. According to Uri Avnery, it was set up with the knowledge and tacit encouragement of Shin Bet (the Israeli military intelligence service, more honest and less murderous than Mossad).According to other sources, the Israeli involvement in setting it up was much more direct. Either way, HAMAS – at least in its upper echelons – is far from being as independent of the Israelis as most people believe.

There’s an interesting little fact. For all the talk about how HAMAS is “sworn to destroy Israel”, the Israelis have actually taken great care not to destroy or even seriously harm the group. In fact, even in the current confrontation, Netanyahu wants HAMAS to stay.

If you look at it, the only side that really wins in this conflict is…HAMAS. Israel is well on the way to becoming a pariah state, its propaganda collapsing, with huge numbers even in Europe now turned firmly against its racist apartheid policies. However, HAMAS, the raison d’être of Israel’s continuing blockade of Gaza – HAMAS, which was on the ropes only months ago – has suddenly regained its lost position as the only defender of the Palestinians (excepting Islamic Jihad and minor groups). While Mahmoud Abbas continues to do nothing in the West Bank, HAMAS is steadily fighting the Israeli war machine to a virtual standstill. Who wins here?

I am not saying that Israel is deliberately sacrificing its soldiers to strengthen HAMAS. Even Netanyahu is not so stupid as that. The resistance of the lower ranks of HAMAS is real and effective; they didn’t melt away as the regime in Jerusalem thought they would. Increasingly, the Israelis are looking at a no-win situation. They aren’t losing though; not yet. Not as long as the US empire continues paying them, no questions asked.

The ones who are actually losing are the people of Gaza; but apart from the copy-pasted, hypocritical comments of Hasbara propagandists, nobody in a position of power cares about them.

Further reading:

http://m.thenation.com/article/180783-five-israeli-talking-points-gaza-debunked

http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/tomorrow-children-israeli.html

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/28/debunking_the_myths_about_gaza_the_truth_behind_israeli_and_palestinian_talking_points/

http://www.loonwatch.com/2014/07/israeli-commander-declares-holy-war-on-palestinians/

http://chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2413-blockading-the-truth-obamas-big-lie-about-gaza.html

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/7/13/gaza-civilians-bombed.html

And, oh, by the way, Zionists do not represent Jews. Thank you for remembering that.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2014

 

http://bill-purkayastha.blogspot.com/2014/08/on-sequence-of-events-leading-up-to.html

President al-Assad: “Syria’s war on terrorism is a battle of existence”

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

general-bashar-al-assad-

President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday addressed the Syrian Arab army through Jaish al-Shaab (The Army of the People) magazine on the 69th anniversary of its foundation.

In his address, President al-Assad extended heart-felt congratulations to the Syrian army’s commanders and rank and file on the occasion, saying that they held up a shining example in giving, sacrifice and loyalty to homeland.

Since its inception, the Syrian army has proved to be the nation’s impregnable fortress and the defender of its rights and dignity, the President said.

“Since its foundation and until this day, the Syrian army continues to prove that it is competent enough to carry out the mission that the Syrian people entrusted them with; that is to preserve security, stability and defend land, and to stand up for what is right,” the President said.

President al-Assad added that the Syrian Army carries on every day the war…

View original 240 more words

Israeli calls for Palestinian blood ring at fever pitch David Sheen The Electronic Intifada 15 July 2014

Right-wing nationalists attack activists protesting Israel’s air strikes on Gaza in central Tel Aviv on 12 July.
(Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

Concerned humanists may have hoped that when a group of Jewish Israelis confessed to kidnapping and killing Muhammad Abu Khudair, a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem — forcing him to drink gasoline and torching him to death from inside his body — that top Israeli legislators and rabbis would have been horrified at what their revenge rhetoric had triggered, and seriously scaled back their calls for war.

These hopes would have been in vain. In the days since the lynchers were arrested, the anti-Arab rhetoric has continued to ring at a fever pitch. Even as the Israeli army pummels the Gaza Strip with explosives — more than 1,500 tons have been dropped on Gaza by the time of this writing, killing 193 people and wounding approximately 1,200, the vast majority of them civilians — Israeli political, religious and cultural leaders continue to incite sectarian divisions for political profit.

On the eve of Abu Khudair’s lynching, Member of Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and government faction whip Ayelet Shaked issued a call over Facebook to ethnically cleanse the land, declaring “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy.” She advocated their complete destruction, “including its elderly and its women,” adding that these must be slaughtered, otherwise they might give birth to more “little snakes.”

It would be hard to find a more explicit call for genocide.

Days after the lynch, Shaked tried to cover her tracks, angrily insisting that she had merely quoted another person’s call to genocide, not issued one of her own. Yet a week later, Shaked posted another fiery Facebook message in Hebrew, this time warning her constituents that the Jewish cemetery in Jaffa had been torched, subtly implying that Palestinians had purposefully destroyed the graveyard.

In fact, not even a single headstone was singed — Shaked had used news of a fire next door to weave a wicked blood libel.

Scalping foreskins

One day before the lynch, the head of the largest religious Jewish youth group in the world, Rabbi Noam Perel of Bnei Akiva, openly called on his Facebook page for the killing of at least 300 Palestinians, and for scalping their foreskins and taking them as trophies. As most Palestinians are Muslims who circumcise their male children, Perel may well have been calling to murder and scalp not just Palestinians, but Palestinian babies.

After the lynch, Perel issued an apology, clarifying that the Israeli army should have a monopoly on dispensing violence against Palestinians. He did not express any regret for his call to harvest human skin from the penises of Palestinians. A week later, the youth group’s ruling council met and decided not to remove Perel from his post or censure him in any way, saying: “The consensus was … the vast majority of the countries where Bnei Akiva operates were quite happy with the apology.”

Also just hours before Abu Khdeir was burnt to death, the rich and powerful Jerusalem city councillor in charge of municipal security, Aryeh King, issued a similar barely-veiled call to mutilate and murder Palestinians. Speaking on stage to a large assembly of ultra-Orthodox Jews from the Chabad sect, he said, “I am calling out to all the Pinchases that are here … Moses didn’t act, Pinchas acted … every one of us has a mission … The Rebbe, who is here with us, expects us to commit acts of Pinchas.”

Pinchas in the Torah — called Phineas in the English-language Old Testament — was so incensed by miscegenation that he took a sword and plunged it through both bodies of an interracial (Jewish-Midianite) couple in the middle of their lovemaking. The point of King’s sermon might have been lost on a secular audience, but its coded call to murder and mutilate non-Jews, and the Jews willing to mix with them, was understood loud and clear by the crowd of Torah scholars.

Thugs

On Saturday night, after nearly a week of Gaza being bombarded, a few hundred Israelis gathered in a public square in downtown Tel Aviv to protest the assault and Israeli control over Palestinian lives. They were met there by a gang of secular Jewish thugs who had answered the call of popular Israeli rapper HaTzel to descend on and attack the rally. Israeli police allowed the thugs to charge the crowd and take out their rage on the demonstrators,smashing chairs over their heads.

It did not surprise anyone to see some of these thugs wearing the insignia of the founding father of Zionist fascism, Rabbi Meir Kahane, and the political movement he founded, Kach. But the adoption of a second set of iconography shocked many observers.

أوقفوا العدوان على غزّة Stop the Massacre In Gaza Demo. 2 TLV 12.7.2014

As shown in the video above, some of the HaTzel thugs wore clothes emblazoned with “Good Night Left Side,” iconography that is popular among European neo-Nazi groups.

The Israeli version replaced the Iron Crosses of the original with Jewish Stars of David. This was a call to physically attack leftists opposed to Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

Israeli ultra-nationalists wear clothes emblazoned with “Good Night Left Side,” iconography used by European neo-Nazi groups. (screenshot)

Since the beginning of July, raging crowds of Jewish Israelis just like these have marched through Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Nazareth and Beer Sheva, chanting “Death to Arabs” and “Death to Leftists,” swarming and attacking vulnerable victims. While a tiny contingent of radical Israelis have formed a loose “anti-fascist” network that tries to patrol city streets and prevent additional lynchings, they are extremely few in numbers and cannot be everywhere at all times.

While Israeli leaders unleash conscripted soldiers to bombard Gaza, they dispatch ultra-nationalist vigilantes to conquer cities inside Israel. With the incitement to murder Palestinians (and the few Israeli allies they have) continue unabated, it seems to be only a matter of time before the bubbling bloodlust boils overs into a bloodbath.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that “Good Night Left Side” is a European neo-Nazi group, rather than iconography associated with European neo-Nazi groups. It has been corrected.

David Sheen is an independent writer and filmmaker. Born in Toronto, Canada, Sheen now lives in Dimona. His website is www.davidsheen.com and he can be followed on Twitter: @davidsheen.

http://electronicintifada.net/content/israeli-calls-palestinian-blood-ring-fever-pitch/13578

The Anti-Empire Report #130 By William Blum – Published July 12th, 2014


What would a psychiatrist call this? Delusions of grandeur?


US Secretary of State John Kerry, July 8, 2014:
“In my travels as secretary of state, I have seen as never before the thirst for American leadership in the world.”

President Barack Obama, May 28, 2014:
“Here’s my bottom line, America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will.”

Nicholas Burns, former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, May 8, 2014:
“Where is American power and leadership when the world needs it most?”

Mitt Romney, Republican Party candidate for President, September 13, 2012:
“The world needs American leadership. The Middle East needs American leadership and I intend to be a president that provides the leadership that America respects and keep us admired throughout the world.”

Paul Ryan, Congressman, Republican Party candidate for Vice President, September 12, 2012:
“We need to be reminded that the world needs American leadership.”

John McCain, Senator, September 9, 2012:
“The situation in Syria and elsewhere ‘cries out for American leadership’.”

Hillary Clinton, September 8, 2010:
“Let me say it clearly: The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century. Indeed, the complexities and connections of today’s world have yielded a new American Moment — a moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must often lead in new ways.”

Senator Barack Obama, April 23, 2007:
“In the words of President Franklin Roosevelt, we lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good. I still believe that America is the last, best hope of Earth.”

Gallup poll, 2013:

Question asked: “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?”

Replies:

  • United States 24%
  • Pakistan 8%
  • China 6%
  • Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, North Korea, each 5%
  • India, Iraq, Japan, each 4%
  • Syria 3%
  • Russia 2%
  • Australia, Germany, Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Korea, UK, each 1%

The question is not what pacifism has achieved throughout history, but what has war achieved?

Remark made to a pacifist: “If only everyone else would live in the way you recommend, I would gladly live that way as well – but not until everyone else does.”

The Pacifist’s reply: “Why then, sir, you would be the last man on earth to do good. I would rather be one of the first.”

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, 1947, words long cherished by a large majority of the Japanese people:

“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

“In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

This statement is probably unique amongst the world’s constitutions.

But on July 1, 2014 the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, without changing a word of Article 9, announced a “reinterpretation” of it to allow for military action in conjunction with allies. This decision can be seen as the culmination of a decades-long effort by the United States to wean Japan away from its post-WW2 pacifist constitution and foreign policy and set it back on the righteous path of being a military power once again, only this time acting in coordination with US foreign policy needs.

In the triumphalism of the end of the Second World War, the American occupation of Japan, in the person of General Douglas MacArthur, played a major role in the creation of this constitution. But after the communists came to power in China in 1949, the United States opted for a strong Japan safely ensconced in the anti-communist camp. For pacifism, it’s been downhill ever since … step by step … MacArthur himself ordered the creation of a “national police reserve”, which became the embryo of the future Japanese military … visiting Tokyo in 1956, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles told Japanese officials: “In the past, Japan had demonstrated her superiority over the Russians and over China. It was time for Japan to think again of being and acting like a Great Power.” … various US-Japanese security and defense cooperation treaties, which called on Japan to integrate its military technology with that of the US and NATO … the US supplying new sophisticated military aircraft and destroyers … all manner of Japanese logistical assistance to the US in Washington’s frequent military operations in Asia … repeated US pressure on Japan to increase its military budget and the size of its armed forces … more than a hundred US military bases in Japan, protected by the Japanese military … US-Japanese joint military exercises and joint research on a missile defense system … the US Ambassador to Japan, 2001: “I think the reality of circumstances in the world is going to suggest to the Japanese that they reinterpret or redefine Article 9.” … Under pressure from Washington, Japan sent several naval vessels to the Indian Ocean to refuel US and British warships as part of the Afghanistan campaign in 2002, then sent non-combat forces to Iraq to assist the American war as well as to East Timor, another made-in-America war scenario … US Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2004: “If Japan is going to play a full role on the world stage and become a full active participating member of the Security Council, and have the kind of obligations that it would pick up as a member of the Security Council, Article Nine would have to be examined in that light.” …

The George W. Bush administration continued the pressure on Tokyo. In 2012 Japan was induced to take part in a military exercise with 21 other countries, converging on Hawaii for the largest-ever Rim of the Pacific naval exercises and war games, with a Japanese admiral serving as vice commander of the combined task force. And so it went … until, finally, on July 1 of this year, the Abe administration announced their historic decision. Abe, it should be noted, is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, with which the CIA has had a long and intimate connection, even when party leaders were convicted World War 2 war criminals.

If and when the American empire engages in combat with China or Russia, it appears that Washington will be able to count on their Japanese brothers-in-arms. In the meantime, the many US bases in Japan serve as part of the encirclement of China, and during the Vietnam War the United States used their Japanese bases as launching pads to bomb Vietnam.

The US policies and propaganda not only got rid of the annoying Article 9, but along the way it gave rise to a Japanese version of McCarthyism. A prime example of this is the case of Kimiko Nezu, a 54-year-old Japanese teacher, who was punished by being transferred from school to school, by suspensions, salary cuts, and threats of dismissal because of her refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem, a World War II song chosen as the anthem in 1999. She opposed the song because it was the same one sung as the Imperial Army set forth from Japan calling for an “eternal reign” of the emperor. At graduation ceremonies in 2004, 198 teachers refused to stand for the song. After a series of fines and disciplinary actions, Nezu and nine other teachers were the only protesters the following year. Nezu was then allowed to teach only when another teacher was present.

Yankee Blowback

The number of children attempting to cross the Mexican border into the United States has risen dramatically in the last five years: In fiscal year 2009 (October 1, 2009 – September 30, 2010) about 6,000 unaccompanied minors were detained near the border. The US Department of Homeland Security estimates for the fiscal year 2014 the detention of as many as 74,000 unaccompanied minors. Approximately 28% of the children detained this year are from Honduras, 24% from Guatemala, and 21% from El Salvador. The particularly severe increases in Honduran migration are a direct result of the June 28, 2009 military coup that overthrew the democratically-elected president, Manuel Zelaya, after he did things like raising the minimum wage, giving subsidies to small farmers, and instituting free education. The coup – like so many others in Latin America – was led by a graduate of Washington’s infamous School of the Americas.

As per the standard Western Hemisphere script, the Honduran coup was followed by the abusive policies of the new regime, loyally supported by the United States. The State Department was virtually alone in the Western Hemisphere in not unequivocally condemning the Honduran coup. Indeed, the Obama administration has refused to call it a coup, which, under American law, would tie Washington’s hands as to the amount of support it could give the coup government. This denial of reality still persists even though a US embassy cable released by Wikileaks in 2010 declared: “There is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 [2009] in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch”. Washington’s support of the far-right Honduran government has been unwavering ever since.

The questions concerning immigration into the United States from south of the border go on year after year, with the same issues argued back and forth: What’s the best way to block the flow into the country? How shall we punish those caught here illegally? Should we separate families, which happens when parents are deported but their American-born children remain? Should the police and various other institutions have the right to ask for proof of legal residence from anyone they suspect of being here illegally? Should we punish employers who hire illegal immigrants? Should we grant amnesty to at least some of the immigrants already here for years? … on and on, round and round it goes, decade after decade. Those in the US generally opposed to immigration make it a point to declare that the United States does not have any moral obligation to take in these Latino immigrants.

But the counter-argument to this last point is almost never mentioned: Yes, the United States does indeed have a moral obligation because so many of the immigrants are escaping a situation in their homeland made hopeless by American intervention and policy. In addition to Honduras, Washington overthrew progressive governments which were sincerely committed to fighting poverty in Guatemala and Nicaragua; while in El Salvador the US played a major role in suppressing a movement striving to install such a government. And in Mexico, though Washington has not intervened militarily since 1919, over the years the US has been providing training, arms, and surveillance technology to Mexico’s police and armed forces to better their ability to suppress their own people’s aspirations, as in Chiapas, and this has added to the influx of the oppressed to the United States, irony notwithstanding.

Moreover, Washington’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has brought a flood of cheap, subsidized US agricultural products into Mexico, ravaging campesino communities and driving many Mexican farmers off the land when they couldn’t compete with the giant from the north. The subsequent Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) has brought the same joys to the people of that area.

These “free trade” agreements – as they do all over the world – also result in government enterprises being privatized, the regulation of corporations being reduced, and cuts to the social budget. Add to this the displacement of communities by foreign mining projects and the drastic US-led militarization of the War on Drugs with accompanying violence and you have the perfect storm of suffering followed by the attempt to escape from suffering.

It’s not that all these people prefer to live in the United States. They’d much rather remain with their families and friends, be able to speak their native language at all times, and avoid the hardships imposed on them by American police and other right-wingers.

M’lady Hillary

Madame Clinton, in her new memoir, referring to her 2002 Senate vote supporting military action in Iraq, says: “I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”

In a 2006 TV interview, Clinton said: “Obviously, if we knew then what we know now, there wouldn’t have been a vote. And I certainly wouldn’t have voted that way.”

On October 16, 2002 the US Congress adopted a joint resolution titled “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq”. This was done in the face of numerous protests and other political events against an American invasion.

On February 15, 2003, a month before the actual invasion, there was a coordinated protest around the world in which people in some 60 countries marched in a last desperate attempt to stop the war from happening. It has been described as “the largest protest event in human history.” Estimations of the total number of participants involved reach 30 million. The protest in Rome involved around three million people, and is listed in the 2004 Guinness Book of World Records as the largest anti-war rally in history. Madrid hosted the second largest rally with more than 1½ million protesters. About half a million marched in the United States. How many demonstrations in support of the war can be cited? It can be said that the day was one of humanity’s finest moments.

So what did all these people know that Hillary Clinton didn’t know? What information did they have access to that she as a member of Congress did not have?

The answer to both questions is of course “Nothing”. She voted the way she did because she was, as she remains today, a wholly committed supporter of the Empire and its unending wars.

And what did the actual war teach her? Here she is in 2007, after four years of horrible death, destruction and torture:

“The American military has done its job. Look what they accomplished. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They gave the Iraqis a chance for free and fair elections. They gave the Iraqi government the chance to begin to demonstrate that it understood its responsibilities to make the hard political decisions necessary to give the people of Iraq a better future. So the American military has succeeded.”

And she spoke the above words at a conference of liberals, committed liberal Democrats and others further left. She didn’t have to cater to them with any flag-waving pro-war rhetoric; they wanted to hear anti-war rhetoric (and she of course gave them a tiny bit of that as well out of the other side of her mouth), so we can assume that this is how she really feels, if indeed the woman feels anything. The audience, it should be noted, booed her, for the second year in a row.

“We came, we saw, he died.” – Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State, giggling, as she referred to the uncivilized and utterly depraved murder of Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Imagine Osama bin Laden or some other Islamic leader speaking of September 11, 2001: “We came, we saw, 3,000 died, ha-ha.”

1
Notes

Los Angeles Times, September 23, 1994
Washington Post, July 18, 2001
BBC, August 14, 2004
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 23 and July 2, 2012
Tim Weiner, “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA” (2007), p.116-21
Washington Post, August 30, 2005
Washington Post, June 6, 2014
Speaking at the “Take Back America” conference, organized by the Campaign for America’s Future, June 20, 2007, Washington, DC; this excerpt can be heard on the June 21, 2007 edition of Democracy Now!

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

http://williamblum.org/aer/read/130

Saddam Hussein’s Last Words: “To the Hell that is Iraq!?” What the Media has Deliberately Concealed


By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Saddam Hussein’s Last Words: “To the Hell that is Iraq!?”

This article was first published by Global Research on January 31, 2007.

“On the Holy day of Eid, the world watched in horror at the barbaric lynching of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, allegedly for crimes against humanity. This public murder was sanctioned by the War Criminals, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair.

The entire trial process was a mockery of justice, no less a Kangaroo Court. Defence counsels were brutally murdered, witnesses threatened and judges removed for being impartial and replaced by puppet judges. Yet, we are told that Iraq was invaded to promote democracy, freedom and justice.”

(Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia, 30 December 2006)

The barbaric lynching of Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq, was a choreographed event, a carefully staged U.S. sponsored PSYOP, with a view to triggering social divisions and fomenting sectarian violence within Iraq and the broader Middle East.

In its coverage of the execution, the international media, in a highly convoluted fashion, combined the transcript of Saddam Hussein’s execution with “recollections” of so-called witness statements.

Moreover, the transcripts were often presented to readers without context or explanation. More generally, the translations from the Arabic were the object of manipulation and media distortion.

The execution of the Iraqi leader was carefully timed to occur during a sensitive time for Muslims. The execution fell during Eid ul-Adha, a holy day for Muslims. The date of the execution is perhaps one of the most compromising signals that the execution was indeed a psychological operation (PSYOP) launched by the United States.

The execution date was deliberately chosen during a sacred period for Muslims to exploit a divide between Shiite and Sunni. This sacred day was marked on Saturday, December 30, 2007 by Sunni Muslims in Iraq and was observed a day later on Sunday, December 31, 2007 by Iraq’s Shiites.

This is a strategic difference in dates that the execution of Saddam Hussein sought to expose and exploit to create sedition and division between Iraqis and Muslims. The day of the execution was deliberately chosen by its U.S. sponsors to occur on Saturday, December 30, 2006, the day that Sunni Muslims observed Eid ul-Adha.

The execution took place on December 30, with a view to enraging Sunni Muslims against Shiite Muslims in Iraq and the Middle East. Concurrently, both the media and official U.S. statements pointed to the Shiite Muslims (and the so-called “Shiite government”) as being responsible for the execution.

Aside from the religious context, the execution was also illegal under the Iraqi legal code and constitution. This has been articulated by Rizgar Mohammad Amin, an Iraqi Kurd and one of the former judges in the questionable trial of Saddam Hussein.

The execution was carried out, as a psychological weapon, to usher in sectarian violence and division throughout the Middle East. The timing also coincided with several announcements and news reports of war plans by the United States and Israel in regards to Syria and Iran.

It is no coincidence that shortly after the execution the U.S. President identified Syria and Iran as the enemies of Iraq and raided an Iranian Consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The media disinformation campaign pertaining to the execution was coordinated with the instruments of war propaganda emanating from the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence.

In the immediate wake of the execution, the global networks of the corporate media went into full gear to propagate the misinformation that the Pentagon wanted to convey to the general public.

The translated transcripts of Saddam Hussein’s last words, which had been scrupulously manipulated and distorted, were fed into the global news chain.

Presented below is the Global Research translation from the Arabic original audio-video believed to have been recorded on a cell phone. Also presented for purposes of comparison are several other “translations” from the same Arabic original.

Transcript: Our translation from the Arabic original

Background voices, which are very hard to hear, are having a conversation in the background and someone calls someone else in the execution chamber by “Ali” or is looking for “Ali.”

Saddam Hussein: “I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God.”

Saddam Hussein: “Oh God.” [saying this in preparation, as is Middle Eastern custom, as the noose is put around his neck]

One voice leads customary Muslim prayer (called a salvat): “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his companions/household [family].”

All Voices, including Saddam Hussein, repeat the customary prayer: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his companions/household [family].”

A group of voices: “Moqtada…Moqtada …Moqtada.” [Meaning the young Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr] …

Saddam with amusement: “Moqtada…Moqtada! Do you consider this bravery?” [This can also be translated as meaning "Is this your manhood?"]

Several individuals say several times: “To Hell [hell-fire]!” [This can be translated as "Go to Hell!"]

Saddam Hussein mockingly replies/asks: “To the hell that is Iraq!?”

Others voices: “Long live Mohammed Baqir Al-Sadr.”

Single Voice: “Please do not [stop]. The man is being executed. Please no, please stop.”

Saddam Hussein starts recitation of final Muslim prayers: “I bear witness that there is no god but God and I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God. I bear witness that there is no god but God and I testify that Mohammed…” [Saddam Hussein is suddenly interrupted without finishing his prayer with the opening of the trap door.]

Several Voices: “The tyrant [dictator] has collapsed!”

Other voices: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his household (family).”

Single Voice: “Let him hang for eight minutes.”

Many conversations continue in the background about Saddam Hussein.

Note on the Original Video

The Global Research translation is based on an Arabic video. The release of this video was in all likelihood part of the U.S. sponsored intelligence operation. The video was allegedly taken from a cell phone camera belonging to one of the executioners. Viewer discretion is advised; the video is gruesome and upsetting in nature and does not resemble a state-run execution. To view click here

Corporate Media Translations

Below are several transcripts of translations. Some of these transcripts demonstrate a major deviation from the original (Arabic) word by word dialogue. A look at the CNN or BBC versions of the video clearly reveals a deliberate attempt to distort Saddam Hussein’s statements and portray the Shiite Muslims of Iraq as those behind the Iraqi leaders hanging in Baghdad.

The corporate media’s translations add or interject what was reportedly said by Saddam Hussein to what was recorded.

Fox News

The Fox News transcript fails to even give a glimpse of Saddam Hussein’s last words. It only gives an ominously detailed translation of the start of the video. One should ask is there a reason why the full transcript was not given and why this partial transcript was portrayed as the transcript of the execution in its entirety.

Fox News Transcript

A new videotape surfaced Monday on the Web appearing to show the body of former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein after he was hanged on Dec. 30, 2006. This is the translation of the audio conversation on that 27-second video among individuals with access to the body and someone apparently using a cell phone camera:

(Inaudible)— Abu Ali

Hurry up! Hurry up!

— Hurry up!

(Inaudible)

— Let’s go my friend…Come on man!

I’ll fix it up for you.

— I am coming. I am coming.

— Just a moment, one moment

— I am coming. I am coming.

— Abu Ali, Abu Ali… You take care of this.

— Ok let’s go, let’s go

— Come on my friend! Come on my friend!

Ok, I am coming. I am coming.

BBC Transcript

The BBC’s transcript fails also to give a glimpse of Saddam Hussein’s last words, besides painting the executioners as savage Shiites. Nor does the BBC report acknowledge Washington’s role in ordering this execution.

Moreover, Saddam Hussein’s last words about Iraq being turned into a living Hell are conveniently omitted. The BBC transcript also uses phrases that portray the executioners as Shiites. This is done by the chosen reference in the phrase referring to Prophet Mohammed’s family and the statement “And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies,” which is a reference to Imam Mahdi, a Muslim figure, that Shiite Muslims’ distinctly place special emphasis on in regards to most Sunni Muslims.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Transcript

Translation of Arabic subtitles accompanying the latest execution footage as broadcast on al-Jazeera TV station:

[Saddam] Oh God.

[Voices] May God’s blessings be upon Muhammad and his household.

[Voices] And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies.

[Voices] Moqtada [Al-Sadr]…Moqtada…Moqtada.

[Saddam] Do you consider this bravery?

[Voice] Long live Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr.

[Voice] To hell.

[Voice] Please do not. The man is being executed. Please no, I beg you to stop.

[Saddam] There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad…

At this point the video stops and the sound of the trapdoors opening is heard in the background.

The Independent (U.K.)

The Independent, a British daily, that gives a fairly progressive view on international events seems to have also carried a version of the translation of the transcript of the execution of Saddam Hussein that has omitted Saddam Hussein’s last words indicating that Iraq has been turned into a “Hell on earth.”

The Independent (U.K.) Transcript: Dictator’s last words

Saddam: “Oh God.”

Voices: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohamed and his household. And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies.”

Voices: “Moqtada [al-Sadr] … Moqtada … Moqtada.”

Saddam: “Do you consider this bravery?”

Voice: “Long live Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr.”

Voice: “To hell.”

Voice: “Please do not. The man is being executed. Please no, I beg you to stop.”

Saddam: “There is no God but Allah and I testify that Mohamed is the messenger of God. There is no God but Allah and I testify that Mohamed…”

Analysis and Implications

Internationally and especially in the Arab World and the Middle East, the barbaric lynching was casually presented as a Shiite Muslim initiative, when in fact the Anglo-American occupation forces were in control of every phase of this gruesome venture.

Ironically, the individuals and leaders who played a major role in ordering the lynching of Saddam Hussein are now saying quite emphatically that they were opposed to his execution. Prime Minister Tony Blair is reported to have stated that “the manner in which former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was executed was ‘completely wrong.’”

Meanwhile, the dictators and autocratic leaders of the Arab World have also jumped aboard in expressing their opposition to Saddam Hussein’s lynching.

Criticism expressed by the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia, the Hashemite family in Jordan, and President Mubarak of Egypt, amongst others, constitutes an empty form of posturing geared towards raising their popularity amongst their own citizens.

The Role of the Iraqi Puppet Government

In these various reports, there has been a deliberate and calculated attempt to place the responsibility for the execution of Saddam Hussein squarely on the shoulders of the so-called “Iraqi government,” without acknowledging that this government cannot act without the consent of the United States. The Iraqi government, which is best described as a U.S.-controlled puppet regime, is invariably portrayed in press reports as a “Shiite Muslim government” or a “Shiite Muslim-dominated government.” This is also an integral part of the U.S. PSYOP designed to break down solidarity between Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims against the Anglo-American invaders and occupiers.

The present Iraqi “government” is an appendix of the U.S. Occupation administration and gets it orders from Washington and London. It is neither Shiite Muslim in character nor is it a real government. With regards to its powerless composition, it is almost evenly divided between Iraqi Kurds, Shiite Arabs, and Sunni (Sunnite) Arabs.

To expose the manufactured portrayal of power in Iraq, one should look back at the composition of Iraqi government institutions during the era of Saddam Hussein. Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Shiite Arabs had a greater representation than Sunni Arabs within the civilian bureaucracy as well as within the security and military apparatus, largely because of the demographic realities of Iraq.

But this fact has long been forgotten. Nothing has changed in regards to the composition of the bureaucracy, administrative bodies, security forces, and military apparatus of Iraq. Prior to the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, about 60% of the Iraqi military were Shiite Arabs. This 60% fought against neighbouring Iran which is a predominantly Shiite Muslim nation.

In reality, the real divisions in the Middle East are not based on or around religious, sectarian, and ethnic considerations, but on those nations and forces, which either oppose or support the Anglo-American agenda in the Middle East.

The media focus on sectarian divisions is intended to divert the attention of public opinion from the fact that the U.S. and its Coalition partners are the root cause of anarchy and violence, resulting in countless deaths and atrocities in Iraq.

Saddam Hussein’s Last Moments

In his last moments, the words of Saddam Hussein were very compelling. When he was told to “go to Hell” by his executioners, the Iraqi leader replied, “[You mean] to the hell that is Iraq!?”

Who turned Iraq into a living Hell? Who is to be blamed? These words were so powerful that several major media outlets conveniently omitted them from their translations, including the BBC and CNN. Any meaningful revelation or coverage of the correct final statements of Saddam Hussein could have severe and negative implications for the Anglo-American military roadmap in the Middle East. “To the hell that is Iraq!?” could become a powerful political slogan, serving to rally public opinion throughout the Muslim World against America’s imperial ambitions.

The Iraqi leader’s final words carry great weight because they describe the situation created in Iraq under military occupation. This final statement could also have political ramifications in the U.S. and Britain, as public opinion becomes increasingly aware that these last words, “the living Hell,” describes what Iraq has been turned into, under U.S. and British military occupation.

The late Saddam Hussein’s words could have strong implications for rallying resistance in the Arab World against the U.S.-U.K. occupation of Iraq. In this regard, the Arab mainstream media has played a calculated role in furthering the Anglo-American military agenda by shifting the blame for Saddam Hussein’s execution onto the Shiite Iraqis.
Outside the Arab World, if allowed to be heard freely and unadulterated, Saddam Hussein’s last words (“To the hell that is Iraq!?”), which describe the realities of an occupied country, could potentially backlash on the legitimacy of the U.S. administration and its indefectible British ally.

The mainstream sources, which reported his statement conveyed the impression, through a highly distorted and convoluted analysis, that Saddam Hussein was blaming the Shiite Arabs and the “Shiite dominated Iraqi government” for destroying Iraq. But nothing could be further from the truth. The evidence amply confirms that since the early days of the occupation of Iraq the United States and Britain have not only created a situation of insecurity, but have also been involved in covert acts of violence, including random massacres and suicide attacks directed against civilians.

This deliberate media portrayal of an emerging “Shiite ascension” in Iraq and the Middle East is part of a multifaceted strategy geared towards creating tensions within the predominately Muslim populations of the Middle East. It is a typical “divide and conquer” strategy, which is supported by the long tentacles of the intelligence apparatus of the United States. The hidden agenda is to trigger “civil war” and to redraw the map of the Middle East. The ultimate objective is the domination of the Middle East by the United States, Britain and their coalition partners, including Israel and proxy Arab leaders. The active collaboration of the frontline Arab governments, which have military cooperation agreements with NATO and the U.S., are also tied into this agenda.

Divisions and animosity within their respective populations is what has allowed these pro-U.S. Arab authoritarian figureheads, which increasingly act as proxies, to remain in power.

Since the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon, the coalition building phase of the military roadmap has been launch. The United States has been constructing the “Coalition of the Moderate,” which includes Israel, Saudi Arabia, Mahmoud Abbas, the Lebanese government, Egypt, the U.A.E., Turkey, and Jordan. While this has been going on there is a continuous attempt to build public consensus in support of dividing Iraq and military strikes against Syria and Iran. The media in North America, Europe, and the Arab World have played an important role in demonizing the Syrians and the Iranians.

As the United States gears up for the next stage of the Middle East war, the drive to divide the populations of the region now encompasses a broad area extending from Lebanon and Palestine to the Persian Gulf.

The life of Saddam Hussein was used by the United States as firewood to further fuel discord and division in Iraq and the Middle East before the next phase of its military roadmap, which is directed against Iran and Syria.

Global Research Exclusive: In online posting of this article, kindly indicate the original title, source, date of publication, copyright and hyperlink to the original article.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/saddam-hussein-s-last-words-to-the-hell-that-is-iraq/4620

U.S. Embassy in Ankara Headquarter for ISIS War on Iraq – Hariri Insider

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

CarBombISIS

~ Post’s pubblication suggested by “GUEST” ~

By Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) :The green light for the use of ISIS brigades to carve up Iraq, widen the Syria conflict into a greater Middle East war and to throw Iran off-balance was given behind closed doors at the Atlantic Council meeting in Turkey, in November 2013, told a source close to Saudi – Lebanese billionaire Saad Hariri, adding that the U.S. Embassy in Ankara is the operation’s headquarter.

A “trusted source” close to the Saudi – Lebanese multi-billionaire and former Lebanese P.M. Saad Hariri told on condition of anonymity, that the final green light for the war on Iraq with ISIS or ISIL brigades was given behind closed doors, at the sidelines of the Atlantic Council’s Energy Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, on November 22 – 23, 2013.

The Atlantic Council is one of the most influential U.S. think tanks with…

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Three Points On Ukraine ~ Bill the Butcher

Note: I realise I’ve already said all this on Raghead, which nowadays serves the purpose of both satire and political comment, but it went over like a lead balloon with readers. Apparently one has to say things out loud and clear.

So let me make three points on Ukraine.

1. There are Nazis in Ukraine.

To anyone with half a brain, this is more than obvious. The entire western Ukraine, based around Lvov, which was Polish territory between the wars is a Nazi hotbed. Western media – such as Britain’s Channel 4 – even admitted during the (bought and paid for) Euromaidan “protests” that the “protestors” included open Nazis. However, afterwards, they suddenly fell silent on that point and till today have stayed stubbornly silent.

Are there Nazis in Ukraine?

They act like Nazis, openly identify with Nazis, use Nazi symbols and slogans, and venerate people who actually fought in SS divisions created by the Nazis. I mean, they do all that, but still according to the official Western mythology they are not Nazis.

Here are some of these non-Nazis:

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Now, these Nazis/non-Nazis are not just in the streets – they are also in the illegitimate putschist “government” of Ukraine, holding on to key positions. Among these are(check the link below for the positions they hold):

Andriy Parubiy (Андрій Парубій), Dmytro Yarosh (Дмитро Ярош), Oleksandr Sych (Александр Сыч), Ihor Shvaika (Игорь Швайка), Dmytro Boulatov (Дмитрий Булатов), Oleh Makhnitsky (Олег Махницкий) and Tetiana Tchornovol (Татьяна Черновол)

[Source]

The existence of these Nazis is something the West would love to deny, just as it kept denying the existence of jihadists in Syria, and for the same reason: the jihadists, and the Nazis, are the allies of the moment.

But their actions underline the fact that they are well aware of the existence of the Nazis; for instance, they advised the Nazis to tone down their Nazism and lay off the swastikas and slogans.

Not too surprisingly, the Nazis ignored it.

2. The putschist “government” of Ukraine and its EU controllers hate and fear the Nazis.

This seems to be a strange thing to say, seeing that key posts in the “government” are occupied by the Nazis, and the openly Nazi Pravii Sektor are the storm troops of the selfsame “government” in Eastern Ukraine since the army is neither willing nor capable of handling the job of fighting the separatist militias. But the facts are clear.

The Nazis, like all Nazis, are not just racists but, very significantly, ultra-nationalists. As such, they will never, ever, accept domination by the European Union, the American Empire, and its assorted hangers-on like Canada and Australia. The purpose of the putsch in Kiev, we should remember, was twofold – for the EU to control the Ukrainian economy, and for the Americans to control Ukraine as a military base. The Nazis would, of course, accept neither.

For the EUthanasia Project for Ukraine, the Nazis are just as much an obstacle as the Russians, and the EU and their oligarchs (known as the EUgarchy for convenience from this point on in this article) know it well.

The Nazis didn’t even make any attempt to hide the fact that the alliance was merely a marriage of convenience:

“The participation of Ukrainian nationalism and Svoboda in the process of EU [European Union] integration,” admits Svoboda political council member Yury Noyevy, “is a means to break our ties with Russia.”

[Source]

The Nazi-EU-US alliance of convenience at the time of Euromaidan fell apart almost immediately afterwards, when the Pravii Sektor’s Number Two, war criminal Oleksandr Muzychko, was shot by the “government’s” police, allegedly while “resisting arrest”. In other words, the putschists were already beginning to fight among themselves over the spoils.

If the uprising in Eastern Ukraine – led by ethnic Russians who are, justifiably, alarmed at the prospect of being ruled by either Nazis or EUgarchs with their “austerity measures”, or a combination of both – had not happened, by now, Western Ukraine would have been openly in civil war against itself; the rudiments of the state versus the Nazis. Instead, the Pravii Sektor and other Nazi organisations were diverted into the so-called National Guard, and sent off to fight the hated ethnic Russians (“Moskals”) in Eastern Ukraine. If and when the Eastern Ukraine crisis ends, in whatever form, the Nazis and the EUgarchy will immediately be at each other’s throats again.

In fact, as far as the EUgarchs are concerned, the war in Eastern Ukraine, no matter how badly it goes, is a godsend.

- It keeps the Nazis busy.

- It keeps the population in west and central Ukraine docile, with the “threat” of an external enemy (Russia) serving to keep them from questioning the actions of their masters.

- It keeps their American and EU paymasters sending more billions in “aid”, which can be siphoned off without questions being asked and

- By creating an “us-versus-them” mindset, it improves their chances of polarising votes to win future elections in a rump Ukraine.

But the war can’t go on forever, and there’s no denying that the Nazis aren’t doing too well against the motivated Eastern Ukrainian “separatists” (who should really be called “federalists”, since they started off demanding autonomy in a federal Ukraine with rights to decide their own economic future, not independence). The resistance is shooting Nazi planes out of the sky like clay pigeons with captured MANPADS, the Nazi assaults against the cities aren’t exactly going to schedule, and there will be a point reached when they will realise what’s happening, turn round in their tracks, and march back on Kiev. That point is dangerously close. In fact, it’s already beginning.

Only one thing can stop that from happening: Russia.

Which brings us to our third point:

3. The EUgarchs and the Empire are desperately attempting to provoke a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This is again something that would seem, on the surface, totally counter-intuitive, but it’s obvious when one thinks about it. As I said, the EUgarchs hate and fear the Nazis, and know that they can’t control them. If and when a showdown comes, the Nazis are at least as powerful as the rump Ukrainian state. This same rump Ukraine also knows something very well: it can’t, ever, control the majority Russian areas of the country for any time at all. The ethnic Russians will never, ever, accept Ukrainian and EU domination. It will be a permanent drain of effort and resources to keep them under control, and even if the EUgarchs manage to occupy it, a low level guerrilla campaign lasting years is the least to be expected.

Then there is the fact that in the post-Soviet era, Eastern Ukraine has mostly turned into a rust belt. The factories are obsolete, the coal mines are worked out, the population largely poverty-stricken. To make the area profitable for exploitation – meaning to make money for the oligarchs – will take an enormous amount of funds and effort, quite apart from the resistance of the locals.

Resistance fighters - anti-Nazis and anti-Empire

Resistance fighters – anti-Nazis and anti-Empire

Seen in that light, what good would a Russian invasion do for the EUgarchy?

- It would start by wiping out the Nazis. They could never put up any effective fight against the Russian army, and would be faced with a choice. They could either be killed and/or surrender, or they could withdraw in defeat to Western Ukraine. The first choice would destroy them. The second choice would destroy their credibility beyond recovery. “Patriotic ultra-nationalists” who turn tail and run don’t retain any cred. Either way, the Nazis would be as good as finished, and leave the field open for the EUgarchs. Yes, I am saying that the Nazis are being set up by the EUgarchs, and if they’re too stupid to see that yet, that’s not too surprising. After all, they’re Nazis.

- It would also take the problems of the rust belt off the EUgarchs’ hands. All the problems, henceforth, from the worked out mines to the corroding factories, the aging population and the crumbling infrastructure, would be Russia’s responsibility. It would be an economic burden nobody wants.

- It would make the EUgarchy’s hold over West-Central Ukraine a permanent one. They could push themselves as the only bulwark against a total Russian takeover of the country, and “do all that was necessary” to protect what was left of the country. Any and all opposition (which would mount as the rump economy collapses completely under the weight of EU “austerity measures”) could be crushed as traitors to the nation. As we in India well know, a running sore of a territorial dispute works wonders to divert people from the problems of daily life.

- It would make NATO almost incredibly happy. Even if the EUgarch rump didn’t immediately join NATO (it probably would), the rest of the US’ puppets in Central and Eastern Europe would line up either to join or to reaffirm their membership. As we all know, NATO has long since passed its sell-by date, and after the defeat in Afghanistan, its appeal is beginning to wear a bit thin. NATO needs a new Cold War. It needs a new Cold War very badly indeed, and has been attempting desperately to ignite one since at least circa 2008 when Georgia started, and lost, a war with Russia.

Yes, the EUgarchs would love nothing more than a Russian invasion, and are trying to provoke one by all means. So far these have included shelling cities, burning unarmed protestors alive in Odessa, lies about Russian intervention, and finally, when all else failed, an attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev.

So far Putin has not taken the bait, and I am convinced that he will not take the bait. He has a far better option: to do exactly nothing. And that is what he’s been doing so far to help the uprising in Eastern Ukraine – nothing. Despite all the media rage in Russia, he has kept his head, and will keep it. At most he will keep the pressure up on the EUgarchy, by perhaps quietly supplying missiles to the resistance (just as Obama is now doing openly to the jihadists in Syria while pretending to fight them in Iraq), and economic measures, like asking them to pay for the gas they’re buying. All’s fair in love and proxy war.

Militarily, the Nazis can’t keep fighting much longer without, as I said, realising that they’re being set up. When that moment comes, and they recoil on the EUgarchs, the rump Kiev regime, already tottering on the verge of bankruptcy, will collapse in infighting and disorder. Whatever rises from the ruins will have to compromise with Russia, and be at least neutralist. The EU/US managed coup’s failure will be obvious to everyone, and provide a signal lesson to other potential targets of Western-imposed regime change.

If in the meantime, the resistance manages to carve out a South Abkhazia or Transdniestria-style independent entity in Novorussia and/or Donbass, that’s fine too from Putin’s point of view. He can supply aid without taking responsibility for the problems.

Meanwhile, Russia is now busy converting Crimea’s infrastructure and economy back to Russian standards. It will be a while before the investment begins providing returns – and during that time the last thing that Putin needs is to be saddled with Eastern Ukraine as well.

So, no, despite all the American propaganda and lies, and all the increasingly desperate provocation by the EUgarchy, Russia is not going to invade.

It was a great plan on paper, really: Putin invades, takes the rust belt and its assorted problems, destroys the Nazis, energises NATO, does the EUgarchy’s dirty work for it, and, best of all, ends up with all the blame. But it’s not going to happen.

Fortunately.

http://bill-purkayastha.blogspot.com/2014/06/three-points-on-ukraine.html?utm_source=BP_recent

Syria in the Crosshairs: Obama Confirms Airstrikes Will Not Be Limited to Iraq ~ (comprende una versione in italiano, tradotta, riveduta e corretta)

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

obama-siria-from-iraq

The Obama administration is making it clear that airstrikes targeting ISIS would extend into Syria.

One year ago the Obama administration was doing their very best to build up public support for U.S. military intervention in Syria. Even though that attempt failed, no one who has been following this crisis closely believed for a moment that this was the end. They would regroup and try again from another angle.

The angle they chose was surprising. Iraq has been off the media radar for so long that almost no one was factoring it in as an important geopolitical variable. ISIS (or ISIL) changed that.

In our video “The Fall of Iraq What You’re Not Being Told” we covered the history of U.S. tinkering in Iraq dating back to 1963, and showed how the U.S. government’s push to topple Assad by funding and arming extremists in Syria enabled ISIS to gain a…

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ISIS Militants Have US Passports! ‘Mother of All False Flags’

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‘White phosphorus’ reports: Ukraine military ‘dropped incendiary bombs’ on Slavyansk

photo_verybig_6064Residents of Slavyansk and its suburbs were awoken overnight on Thursday by what they say were incendiary bombs that were dropped on their city by Kiev’s military. Witnesses and local media reports suggested that the bombs might be phosphorous.

Much of the village of Semyonovka, located in the Slavyansk suburbs, was set ablaze. Local residents told RT that the ground didn’t stop burning for some time.

“We all saw what happened here yesterday. They used rocket launchers as well as incendiary bombs against us. The ground was on fire. How can the ground burn by itself. It burned for about forty minutes,”resident Roman Litvinov told RT over the phone.

“Starting from 2 a.m. everyone I’ve met has a sore throat and is coughing all the time. I think this is because of the burning. I think we’ll feel the true consequences later. There are still a lot of people here, a lot of children we haven’t managed to get out yet,” resident Tatyana told RT.

The use of incendiary bombs – designed to start fires using materials such as napalm, white phosphorus or other dangerous chemicals – is strictly prohibited by the UN.

 

Kiev authorities have denied reports that such weapons were used against civilians. The National Guard also refuted reports that phosphorous ammunition was used, its press service stated.

During the latest news briefing, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki veered away from answering an AP journalist’s question about the reported use of white phosphorus bombs by Kiev’s army. But when cornered, she let it slip that she was quite clueless as to the situation on the ground – saying she thought the reference was to the Russians using the bombs.

When asked about the report for the second time, Psaki replied: “By whom? By Russians?”

The journalist replied: “No, by the Ukrainians,” specifying that there is video and photographic evidence of the attack.

Psaki replied by saying, “No, I didn’t see those reports.”

Slavyansk, an industrial city in southeastern Ukraine with a population of over 100,000 people, has been a focal point of the government’s crackdown against the region. The city’s residential area has been under regular artillery fire for weeks.

“It does appear that there is at least a case to be argued that something similar, if not itself white phosphorous, was used overnight. I’ve seen the video, I’ve looked at it closely…[there are] whole signs, whole marks of white phosphorous use. For example, a very bright light burning and multiple burns coming down from the sky. It’s an airburst weapon that has been used, such as a mortar or a manned aircraft,”Charles Shoebridge, a former army officer, Scotland Yard detective, and counter-terrorism intelligence officer who has recently returned from Ukraine, told RT.

“White phosphorous cannot be put out with the use of water” and it will “burn through one’s body to the bone,” Shoebridge added. “If there is going to be large amounts used it can also be a poison – large amounts can be set to contaminate water supply.”

According to the video, “it’s very likely that white phosphorus” was used, Shoebridge added. “It’s very difficult to fabricate the video we saw combined with the evidence on the ground.”

Moscow demanded an immediate investigation into the reported use of incendiary bombs in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.

“We are concerned to hear reports that the Ukrainian military forces use incendiary bombs and some other indiscriminate weapons,” he said. “These reports should be probed into immediately.”

On Thursday, Russia introduced a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that condemns attacks on residential quarters and civilian facilities in southeastern Ukraine, said Vitaly Churkin, Russian envoy to the UN.

He also voiced concern over reports of the use of prohibited ammunition, including incendiary bombs, during the military crackdown.

The draft resolution calls for an immediate end to all violence and for a lasting ceasefire.

“The draft resolution will aim to stop the violence and support the political efforts the OSCE has been undertaking in vain so far. We urge the UN Secretary-General to support them,” Churkin said, adding that its adoption would demonstrate the UNSC’s support for the crisis settlement efforts.

RT

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/06/13/ukraine-military-dropped-incendiary-bombs-slavyansk.html

The New West African Gas Pipeline ~ 2005 Nigeria #Obama “Bring my oil home”


Project enshrines energy monopoly of Chevron and Shell in the region


By Friends of the Earth International
Global Research, September 09, 2005

africa_continent_5NEW AFRICAN GAS PIPELINE WORRIES CIVIL SOCIETY

ACCRA (GHANA) September 9, 2005 – Civil society groups from West Africa met in Accra today, just two weeks after the construction of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) began off the Ghanaian coast.

The groups warned that the pipeline project and the so-called WAGP Treaty seriously undermine the national sovereignty of Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria and subvert these countries’ rights to seek alternative energy options. At the same time, the project enshrines the energy monopoly of oil giants Chevron and Shell in the region.

The groups maintain that the pipeline project risks prolonging ongoing conflicts in the oil and gas-rich Niger delta in Nigeria.

Representatives from communities living near the pipeline route in Nigeria and Ghana report that they have not been properly consulted, suggesting that the World Bank, one of the main project financiers with its 40 million USD guarantee, may be violating its own commitment to invest only in projects that have broad community support.

According to Asume Osuoka of Friends of the Earth Nigeria/Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria, “The compensation1 available to displaced community people in Nigeria is a mockery, as low as USD 20. This constitutes a gross violation of livelihood security.”

The West African Gas Pipeline, one of the region’s largest trans-boundary investments, is projected to cost 617 million USD and will ultimately transport gas from Nigeria through Benin and Togo to Ghana.

The World Bank and project sponsors like Shell and Chevron claim that the pipeline will contribute to putting an end to dangerous gas flaring in Nigeria, that it will provide cheap energy, and that it will promote regional integration.

However, to date there is no evidence to supports these claims, according to Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest grassroots environmental federation.

Gas flaring, the burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction, has gone on for decades in the Niger Delta despite the fact that it is a human rights, environmental and economic disaster [1].

Shell, Chevron and the World Bank claim that the West African Gas Pipeline will channel away ‘associated gas’ from existing Nigerian oil fields where it is now burned, but environmentalists are unconvinced.

According to Asume Osuoka of Friends of the Earth Nigeria/Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria, “In the current plans, there is no evidence of the intention to capture associated gas from existing oil fields, which leads us to believe that gas would be sourced from new gas fields and increase existing problems in the Niger Delta.”

In Nigeria, 66% of the population lives below the poverty line and the benefits of nearly half a century of oil production have flowed almost exclusively to oil multinationals and corrupt local elite.

Civil society representatives also do not believe that the pipeline would provide cheap energy or promote regional integration.

According to Noble Wadzah of Friends of the Earth Ghana, “The West African Gas Pipeline contracts lock our country into a long-term costly energy supply. The ordinary Ghanaian citizen or small business may not be able to access this energy, which is primarily destined for large businesses.”

Some Ghanaians think that long-time tensions in the Niger Delta would render the gas supply unreliable.

“Gas coming from the Niger Delta, an area of social conflicts and environmental tragedies, could hardly be the basis for the sound integration of our region. This project is more likely to foster regional disintegration and social and political tensions in West Africa,” said Noble Wadzah.

“Energy must be available not just for the elite and industry, but also for everyone else who needs it, especially rural communities,” he added.

WAGP Map

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Asume Osuoka of Environmental Rights Action, Nigeria: +233-243726168 (only Sept.9) or +234 84 236365 (after September 10) or email oilwatch@phca.linkserve.com

In Ghana: Noble Wadzah, Friends of the Earth Ghana, Tel: + 233-215123 11-12-13 emailkowadzah9@yahoo.com

In the US: Michelle Medeiros, Friends of the Earth in Washington DC + 1-202-222 0717 (office) or + 1 202 321 1510 (mobile) or email mmedeiros@foe.org

In the UK: Hannah Ellis, Friends of the Earth in London +44 207 566 1601 or emailhannahe@foe.co.uk

In the Netherlands: Janneke Bruil, Friends of the Earth International , +31-6-52118998 or emailjanneke@foei.org

[1] The gas flaring report is available online here: http://www.climatelaw.org/gas.flaring/report

PICTURES

High-resolution photos of scenes of gas flaring in Nigeria can be freely downloaded athttp://www.idspicturedesk.com/picturedesk/I?k=icn85ZN347-49423&u=aGO

 http://www.idspicturedesk.com/picturedesk/I?k=Om4Noo55XK-66585&u=yFf

Interview: Calling Out NATO Warmongers

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

The Corbett Report
May 8, 2014

As Ukraine remains on a knife-edge of military tension, the NATO forces continue their Eastern European expansion and military provocations. In this must-listen interview, Rick Rozoff of Stop NATO International breaks down the history of NATO’s global partnership program, its decades-long build-up in Eastern Europe, the people and organizations in whom the fate of the world is increasingly hanging in the balance, and the small glimmer of hope that an informed, galvanized public can derail this headlong rush to war.

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After 99 years of Turkish massacres against Armenians, Erdogan repeats his grandparents’ black history

erdteste1Damascus, SANA, Ninety-nine years have passed and the blood of nearly a million and a half Armenians perished at the hands of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire have not dried out yet and still waiting for the descendants of the killers to recognize their dirty history in killing, bloodshed , looting and confiscation of peoples’ capabilities.

Thousands of documents and testimonies confirm the death of more than a million and a half Armenians by Ottomans in 1914 and still the Neo-Ottomans deny that and turn deaf ears, brag about freedom and democracy and ignore the chronicles of the historians as one of the survivors from the clutches of Erdogan’s grandparents says, “They held women like bags and set fire to the sides and throw them down .. all screaming yelling .. when I got inside I jumped to find myself trembling and wounded in one corner of hell, and I was gone unconscious .. to wake up the next day and see how the bodies of women and children were spread and their stomachs ripped open.”

April 24, 1915 is officially the beginning of genocide against the Armenians when the young Turkish governors, including three leaders Talaat Pasha and Anwar Pasha and Jamal Pasha, ordered collecting the Armenian intellectuals in Istanbul and deporting them out of the country and killing many of them in the same day, leading to the elimination of an entire generation of the most prominent representatives of Armenian culture. During the next three days, 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman authorities and the rest were displaced to Iraq, Lebanon and Syria through desert areas that witnessed the death of many of them due to starvation and disease.

According to assessments of some historians , the systematic extermination of the Armenians began at the end of the nineteenth century 1894-1895 as chapters of history reveal ruthless mass killings committed by the sultans of the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians.

The documents show that the Armenians staged a demonstration in Istanbul in order to deliver a petition to the Ottoman authorities which ordered their forces to disperse the demonstration which was followed by the horrible massacres in Istanbul and other Turkish cities where within ten days about 100 thousand Armenians had been killed.

Mass killings of Armenians continued in the reign of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk , until 1922 , where troops entered the Turkish city of Izmir in September 1922 and committed a massacre against of the population of Armenians as their neighborhoods were entirely set ablaze. The massacre lasted 7 days and resulted in the loss of about 100,000 people’s lives.

In total, the Erdogan government ‘s support for the armed terrorist groups which committed massacres against the Syrians is the completion of the massacres and crimes against the Armenians 99 years ago, and it will go down in history and peoples’ memory that Erdogan, besides his ancestors and the Zionists, are among the most ruthless thugs of the age.

F.Allafi

http://sana.sy/eng/22/2014/04/23/540715.htm

Iranian Christians protest Turkey support for Kessab occupation

Iranian Christians attend a rally in central city of Isfahan to voice concerns over Turkey’s role in the occupation of the ancient Armenian village of Kessab in Syria, whose residents have fled after rebels seized control…. (Continue reading)

Terrorists invading Kessab were mostly Moroccans, Tunisians and Kuwaitis and they all came through Turkey

Syria’s Jaafari: the last wave of terrorists invading Kessab were mostly Moroccans, Tunisians and Kuwaitis and they all came through Turkey…. (Continue reading)

Exclusive- The Kessab operation by 5000 terrorists armed by Turkish Government and 7 tanks driven by Turkish officiers

The Kessab operation by 5000 terrorists armed by Turkish Government and 7 tanks driven by Turkish officiers According to the Syrian sources the Turkish Government supplied terrorists in Kessab with weapons. the sources indicated that the Turkish Armed forces and… (Continue reading)

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Americans are not ready to admit they cannot run the show

Obama and US State Dept Hired Killers ~ Ukraine or Nevada same Hired Guns

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By January 2012, the State Department will do something it’s never done before: command a mercenary army the size of a heavy combat brigade.  And no one outside State knows anything more, as the department has gone to war with its independent government watchdog to keep its plan a secret.

http://www.wired.com/2011/07/iraq-merc-army/

Obama and the US State Dept have their own Private Army and they will use them on Americans as well as Eastern Europe or Syria.  Wake up! This is not a party issue when hired killers take aim at civilians on US soil.  This is global land grab, the UN , Monsanto and big oil are running the BLM, the Bundy ranch is just tip of iceberg.  Obama has sold US out and destroyed constitution … we are all Syrians now.

New EPA Land Grab, Complete Control Over All Private Land in America

Rick Wells

Obama’s role: Plotting the Killings, Selecting the Victims ~ by Bill Van Auken

The EPA is in the process, right this very minute, of seizing control over all private land in the United States. They are following the United Nations blueprint, their minion Gina McCarthy is implementing it, and B. Hussein Obama is facilitating it.

Anywhere in America where it rains or where water collects or through which water moves will now, according to this new rule change they are implementing, be under their control. Not because Congress or the people give them that authority or jurisdiction, but simply because they are seizing the power. It is just another component of the illegitimate tyranny which is oppressing the American people.

On Tuesday the agency which operates as the misnamed Environmental Protection Agency unveiled their proposed change to the Clean Water Act, which would extend their regulatory control to temporary wetlands and waterways.

This definition consists of any water, including seasonal ponds, streams, runoff and collection areas and irrigation water. It could include runoff from watering your lawn, or puddles on your own property. They will control the presence of and can prohibit through regulation, your right to the water and your actions regarding water upon your own land. The opportunities for their abuse would be limitless.

Louisiana Senator David Vitter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, offered an understated precautionary objection stating, “The … rule may be one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history.”

The EPA proposal would extend their authority to include “pollution regulations” to “intermittent and ephemeral streams and wetlands” – which are created temporarily during wet seasons or following rainfall.

Recognize this for what it is America; The EPA is giving themselves legal jurisdiction to replace our rights with their permissions anywhere it rains or water exists.

They are expanding the same kind of California fish-based drought or Nevada tortoise land restrictions or Oregon spotted owl tyranny to every square inch of the United States.

The EPA is asserting that all ground water, whether temporary or not and regardless of size is part of the “waters of the United States.”

Their position is in contradiction to the Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2006, restricting the EPA to flowing and sizeable, “relatively” permanent bodies of water such as “oceans, rivers, streams and lakes.” Of course, progressives just keep trying until they get what they want, and they never have enough.

The proposed rule change is now in a 90 day comment period during which they will assess just how much they can get away with, based upon public outcry and pushback.

Senator Vitter accused the EPA of “picking and choosing” their science and of attempting to “take another step toward outright permitting authority over virtually any wet area in the country.” He also warned that if approved, more private owners could expect to be sued by “environmental groups.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) shares Vitter’s concerns, warning of potential economic damage and questioning the EPA’s motivations.

She said, “[I]t appears that the EPA is seeking to dramatically expand its jurisdictional reach under the Clean Water Act. If EPA is not careful, this rule could effectively give the federal government control of nearly all of our state.

Of course, that is exactly what they are after, as well as 49 other states and territories.

http://gopthedailydose.com/2014/04/10/new-epa-land-grab-complete-control-over-all-private-land-in-america/

Neil Kornze, Principal Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management

Neil KornzeSince March 1, 2013, Neil Kornze has been leading the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as the agency’s Principal Deputy Director. Kornze oversees the agency’s management of more than 245 million acres of public land nationwide.

Prior to serving in his current role, Kornze was the BLM’s Acting Deputy Director for Policy and Programs starting in October 2011. Kornze joined the organization in January 2011 as a Senior Advisor to the Director. In these roles, he worked on a broad range of issues, including renewable and conventional energy development, transmission siting, and conservation policy.

Kornze was a key player in the development of the Western Solar Plan and the agency’s successful authorization of more than 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy, surpassing a congressionally-established goal 3 years ahead of schedule. He has also been active in tribal consultation, especially as it relates to oil and gas and renewable energy development.

Before coming to the BLM, Kornze worked as a Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. In his work for Senator Reid, which spanned from early 2003 to early 2011, he worked on a variety of public lands issues, including renewable energy development, mining, water, outdoor recreation, rural development, and wildlife. Kornze has also served as an international election observer in Macedonia, the Ukraine, and Georgia, and he is co-author of an article in “The Oxford Companion to American Law.”

Raised in Elko, Nevada, Kornze is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a degree in Politics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He earned a master’s degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics.

http://www.doi.gov/whoweare/blm-dir.cfm

UN, Monsanto, mining, oil & gas companies directing BLM plans for our public land

November 1, 2011

http://ppjg.me/2011/11/01/monsanto-mining-oil/

Bundy-ranch

usmercs

The Privatization of War: Mercenaries, Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC)

Beyond the WikiLeaks Files

Jose L. Gomez del Prado

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-privatization-of-war-mercenaries-private-military-and-security-companies-pmsc/21826

Bundy Ranch

The Government has now declared this area a new flight zone! We believe it is a reaction towards our aerial view of inside the compound as well as flying around the compound! There could be many other reasons as to why this has happened but up to this point we speculate that is was due to being able to still see within the restricted areas! You can find more information >>HERE<<

come and take it2

Why The Standoff At The Bundy Ranch Is A Very Big Deal

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-12/why-standoff-bundy-ranch-very-big-deal

sniper

Feds End Standoff on Bundy Ranch

http://freebeacon.com/issues/feds-end-standoff-on-bundy-ranch/

Massacre at Ruby Ridge

http://www.stormfront.org/ruby.htm

 

Protest Movement in Eastern Ukraine: Security Forces Integrated by Foreign Mercenaries Hired by Private U.S. Military Outfit

http://www.globalresearch.ca/crisis-in-eastern-ukraine-security-forces-integrated-by-foreign-mercenaries/5377018

Western Mercenaries in Ukraine?

By Ulson Gunnar

Recent rumors of notorious Blackwater US mercenaries operating inside of Ukraine invoked a plausible narrative so convincing even news outlets across the West began echoing it.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/western-mercenaries-in-ukraine/5374815

 

A Look At The Largest Private Armies In The World

SOURCE
Night Drop

US Army

With huge cutbacks slated for the U.S. military, the Marines and Army in particular, private security firms are sure to be getting a boost.The Army is cutting 50,000 soldiers over the next few years and the Marines are looking to shave about 20,000 servicemembers over the same period of time.

So while business was booming for this group private military contractors, who take their military training and offer it to the highest bidder, it’s likely to grow even more.

Modern-day mercenaries are stationed throughout the world fighting conflicts for governments that are reluctant to use their own troops or where foreign troops are unable or unwilling to go.

An army of 5,000 heavily-armed contractors recently replaced official American forces in Iraq, and many more were recruited to protect private interests in the region.

These mercenaries (Mercs) are sent to many places that may surprise you.

Security giant G4S is the second-largest private employer on earth

Security giant G4S is the second-largest private employer on earth

YouTube

With more than 625,000 employees, this listed security giant is the second-largest private employer in the world (behind Wal-Mart). While some of its business is focused on routine bank, prison and airport security, G4S also plays an important role in crisis-zones right around the world.

In 2008, G4S swallowed up Armorgroup, whose 9,000-strong army of guards has protected about one third of all non-military supply convoys in Iraq (it’s also notorious for its wild parties and for having Afghan warlords on its payroll).

But the combined group has a security presence in more than 125 countries, including some of the most dangerous parts of Africa and Latin America, where it offers government agencies and private companies heavily-armed security forces, land-mine clearance, military intelligence and training.

Unity Resources Group is active in the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia

Unity Resources Group is active in the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia

Al Jazeera

With more than 1,200 staff worldwide, the Australian-owned Unity Resources has been able to grow its presence in Iraq as sovereign armies withdraw. Its management consists of veterans from Australia, the U.S. and Great Britain.

The private military firm is best-known for guarding the Australian embassy in Baghdad, where, as of 2010, it had trained Chilean soldiers to man gates and machine-gun nests. Unity personnel were also responsible for two controversial car shootings in Iraq: one killed an Australian professor, another resulted in the deaths of two civilian women.

Outside Iraq, Unity has assisted with security during parliamentary elections in Lebanon and helped evacuate private oil companies from crisis zones in Bahrain. The firm also operates throughout Africa, the Americas, Central Asia and Europe.

Erinys has guarded most of Iraq’s vital oil assets

Erinys has guarded most of Iraq's vital oil assets

YouTube

Erinys has also followed U.S. State Department contracts to Iraq. Its biggest mission in recent years took 16,000 of its guards to 282 locations around the country, where they protected key oil pipelines and other energy assets.

The group also maintains a presence in Africa, where it has traditionally focused its operations. Erinys was recently awarded two contracts in the Republic of Congo, for security at major iron ore and oil and gas projects.

Asia Security Group is a powerful Afghan force linked to president Karzai

Asia Security Group is a powerful Afghan force linked to president Karzai

AP

Formerly owned by Hashmat Karzai, the first cousin of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Asia Security Group is a major local force in the war-torn nation. It employs about 600 guards.

The private army, headquartered in Kabul, has been awarded millions of dollars in contracts from the U.S. military and is said to protect Coalition supply convoys traveling in Afghanistan’s south. Mercenaries from Asia Security Group have also been recruited by DynCorp, a U.S.-owned contractor with a big footprint in the region.

DynCorp has battled Colombian rebels and drug-runners in Peru

DynCorp has battled Colombian rebels and drug-runners in Peru

YouTube

DynCorp, based in Virginia, is one of eight private military firms specially chosen by the U.S. State Department to remain in Iraq as official American forces pull out.

But the huge group, which brings in about$3.4 billion in revenue every year, is also active throughout Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America, with a staff in excess of 10,000. The firm earned a trigger-happy reputation as its soldiers fought rebel groups in Columbia in the early 2000s. Its troops have also engaged in anti-drug missions in Peru and were sent to disarm fighters in Somalia, Liberia and southern Sudan.

Triple Canopy has won a security contract in Iraq worth up to $1.5 billion

Triple Canopy has won a security contract in Iraq worth up to $1.5 billion

Triple Canopy

Another of the eight contractors recruited to replace official U.S. forces in Iraq, Triple Canopy has an army of about 1,800 troops in the country — mostly from Uganda and Peru — on contracts worth up to $1.5 billion.

An official review of the firm’s team in Iraq concluded it was a “well-trained, professional work force with significant prior experience.” But the private military — whose name refers to the canopies in the jungles where its founding Army specialists received their training — also employs another 3,000 personnel globally.

Contracts in other parts of the world have taken Triple Canopy to Haiti, where it guarded the U.S. embassy, and to Israel, where agents provided personal protective services for the U.S. State Department.

Aegis Defense Services works with the UN, US, and oil companies

Aegis Defense Services works with the UN, US, and oil companies

YouTube

Aegis supplies forces for private clients, U.N. missions and the U.S. government, especially in Iraq.

But its staff, estimated to be as big as 5,000, is also spread across offices in Afghanistan and Bahrain, where the contractor offers emergency response, risk assessments, and protects private oil interests.

The private military contractor is probably best-known for a video that surfaced in 2005, which allegedly showed Aegis forces firing at Iraqi civilians.

Defion Internacional recruits thousands of fighters from developing countries

Defion Internacional recruits thousands of fighters from developing countries

YouTube

In the past, Triple Canopy has recruited heavily from the ranks of Defion Internacional, which sources and trains private military personnel from Latin America for jobs right around the world.

Headquartered in Peru, and with offices in Dubai, Iraq, Philippines and Sri Lanka, the firm contracts and trains bodyguards, drivers, static guards and logistics specialists from a number of developing countries. In some cases, these agents are paid as little as $1,000 per month, which has drawn international ire — especially for jobs linked to the U.S. State Department.

At one stage there were more than 1,000 Latin Americans guns-for-hire in the Middle East, although it is unclear how many of those fighters Defion was responsible for given that it is not required to disclose numbers.

Academi owns and runs one of the most advanced private military training facilities in the world

Academi owns and runs one of the most advanced private military training facilities in the world

Formerly Blackwater, then Xe Services, Academi runs a 7,000 acre training facility deep in the North Carolina wilderness — one of the biggest and most complex private military training grounds in the world.

According to a book written on Blackwater in 2007, the facility had by then produced an army of 20,000 troops, 20 aircraft, a fleet of armored vehicles and trained war dogs. Most of those resources were shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan on U.S. government contracts.

Academi probably scaled back after a number of wrongful shootings and other controversiesangered the Iraq government and jeopardized important contracts.

Outside the Middle East, Academi was recruited to protect the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It has also protected Japan’s missile defence systems and assisted with the war on drugs around the world.

BONUS: Starting out as a mercenary?

BONUS: Starting out as a mercenary?

Academi

Take a course at Academi’s premier training facility in North Carolina.

The firm offers custom courses for allied security forces and corporates, such as live-fire driving instruction, counter-terrorism training  — including dealing with weapons of mass destruction — and executive risk assessment.

You can also get equipped at the Academi web store, which stocks everything from protective sunglasses to sniper mission logs — even branded gifts.

http://www.businessinsider.com/worlds-most-powerful-mercenary-armies-2012-06?op=1#ixzz2ylFSWNYl

Breaking: Sen. Harry Reid Behind BLM Land Grab of Bundy Ranch

 and old harry thought he might as well cash in on the land grab … 

http://www.infowars.com/breaking-sen-harry-reid-behind-blm-land-grab-of-bundy-ranch/

 

On the Day a Tragic Era Started by Milos Markovic

The Plight of Yugoslavia. ~On the Day a Tragic Era Started by Milos Markovic
http://www.globalresearch.ca 8 April 2003
The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MAR304A.html

I am writing these lines at the dawn of 24 March 2003, on the very day when the NATO, four years ago, started the destruction of my country, which in the meantime has lost even its name. I ask my profession for forgiveness if in this text emotions, even traumas, should give it more a character of a confession than a critical and analytical review. However, even though various feelings overwhelm me, I will not do injustice to facts or to logic resulting from these facts. It is not only a memory of commemorative character, but another kind of nightmare, an everlasting trauma, pain, insufferable grief. And while I watch the destruction of Baghdad by the Americans on the screen, it seems to me that each missile hits Belgrade, Serbia, destroying the bridges over the Danube, the Ibar, the Morava, striking schools, hospitals, churches.

As if once again I was suffocating from the smoke in the demolished basement of the devastated building of the Television of Serbia, as if I heard the screams of my colleagues that night and saw their bewildered eyes. The pictures of terror, chaos, catastrophe, death come alive. Between the floors of the destroyed building the body of a helpless man hangs upside down, quivering, while doctors on firemen’s ladders try to save his life. As if now, in my mind’s eye, I saw parts of the bodies of the killed on the roof of St. Marco’s church. As if I saw before me the images of the victims. I hear the cries for help, weeping, sobbing, screams. It seems to me that I am committing a sin when trying to push back such memories and feelings, when trying to calmly, collectedly and very rationally make an inventory of those tragic things. It seems to me that it would also be a kind of indifference no one is entitled to. I cannot agree to that, no matter how much the present government insist on ignoring this said anniversary.

On 24 March, not a single newspaper even mentioned on the front page that event, that is tragic not only for this country and its people, but also a tragic proclamation that the planet and the human civilization will be governed by the most brutal power, the one serving American interests. And all in the guise of human rights, freedom, democracy, humanness. What absurdity, what hypocrisy, what cynicism, what lies! And the Serbs as victims of the NATO bombing, as to date the greatest victims of American hegemony policy, they are forced to forget their tragedy! And not only forget it, but forgive and justify it as well! They can still, quite conventionally, almost discreetly and rather superficially mention it in the last minutes of news programs and back pages of the newspapers. Almost all the media in Serbia devoted more attention and time and space to the American Academy Awards, to winning Oscars, than to the anniversary of the beginning of the NATO bombing of our country! What is killed in that manner and how the bombing of this people is continued by other means – that is hopefully clear to every man capable of though at the level of an average teenager!

How many thousands of victims, how many thousands of missiles, how many thousands of kilos of explosive, how many cluster bombs, how many depleted uranium bombs, were used on Serbia? How many tens of bridges were destroyed, how many thousands of people are there with post-traumatic consequences? How many deformed children will be born, not only in Serbia, but in the whole of Europe as well? When the NATO protectors of Albanian terrorism came to Kosovo and Metohija, almost all of the Serbs were exiled, tens of thousands of their homes were burned down, hundreds of their churches and monasteries were destroyed. During almost four years of absolute domination of the NATO forces in Kosovo and Metohija, the alleged guarantor of the safety for the return to their homes, not even one percent of the exiled Serbs could go back to their homes! With all those wonders, all those terrible crimes in accordance with the American script, only one man was charged and sentenced! Only one!

The law of Hamurabi, ancient Roman laws, all the codes and legal systems of all countries must feel humiliation before this fact. So many killed, so many crimes of all kinds – and only one man sentenced!? How will the Minister of Justice in Serbian government find a logical, even in a most formal semblance of logic, answer that makes even a ghost of justice? This legal absurd, this corruption of law can take its place in any anthology of meaninglessness and humiliation of law. How is it possible – so many crimes, so many victims, and only one man guilty?

Let us see who that wonder man is, what his crime is, and what justifies the verdict and the sentence of the District Court in Belgrade.

The only one guilty for all the NATO crimes is Dragoljub Milanovic. He was a general manager of the Radio Television of Serbia. He held the same position at the time of the NATO bombing of the FR Yugoslavia. All the 78 days of aggression against our country he stayed in the RTS building until after midnight.

In the night between 22 and 23 April 1999 I was the chief editor on duty in the News Department of the RTS. That fact gives me not only the right, but also the duty of the highest moral order to say what happened and how it happened. One newspaper story is too short for such a delicate story, for such a monstrous crime, for such a big tragedy. I am saving all this for the book I am writing, and which will hopefully explain through arguments what happened in the night the television building was bombed, what had happened before, and what was to happen after.

In the night when the building was hit, manager Milanovic asked me, as the chief editor on duty, and in connection with the statement from Moscow regarding the talks Milosevic – Chernomyrdin, which were on the previous day (22 April 1999) in Belgrade. It was about 1 o’clock after midnight, or a couple of minutes to 1. Bearing in mind that the translation of the text was rather confusing, I saw right away that this important news would not be ready for the news program at 1 o’clock. After checking the translation and some stylistic interventions, I went out of Mr. Milanovic’s office. The time was about ten minutes past one. Milanovic stayed in his office with a man I did not know. The said news I prepared for the news program at 2 o’clock. My last editor’s action of that tragic night was to advise the news presenter Slobodan Kovacevic to read the said statement very clearly, since there were some linguistic adjustments in the translation.

Some time before 2 o’clock after midnight I was sitting in the office of the Culture Department, where I had spent twenty-five years as a journalist. There were Ljuba Vucicevic, in charge that night for the correspondents’ network, my colleague from the culture department, Dragan Srdanovic, and the secretary, Maja Andjelkovic. At 5 or 6 minutes after 2 – it struck! The building shook, we fell. There are moments in a great drama that the rational powers in man withdraw, and some miraculous instinct for self-preservation takes lead. I was trying to keep calm, collected, aware. I wanted to extend it to the others as well. I was afraid that panic would overwhelm me, the panic there were so many reasons for. All the stumbling, falling, running into the walls of the building basement, did not cause any pain, since, it seems to me, the organism in some wonderful way – was auto-anesthetized! Many things in those terrible events, not even four years later, cannot be explained, as if they were untranslatable to the language of logic.

It is not important now for this text. No less strange, irrational things happened even after that, and following the end of the NATO aggression against the FR Yugoslavia. There is rumor, even claims that it was known that the TV building would be bombed, and that we were, for propaganda goals, similar to those of Muslims in Sarajevo, to be sacrificed. I could not believe it. Such madness, such moral crime – no normal man could do it. However, those dilemmas, their final solutions, discovering the political layers of the whole case, both in the country and abroad – let us save it for the book.

Milanovic was in the top part of the ruling Socialist party of Serbia (SPS), the man of great, even greatest trust of the government and President Milosevic. They cannot have wanted to sacrifice him! He was in the building about half an hour before the bombing. General Wesley Clark or Xavier Solana cannot have called him on the mobile phone to tell him to go out, because their Merciful Angel was on the way to visit the RTS building! There were many enough assurances from various international institutions, even from Brussels itself, that the RTS building would not be targeted. Even the International Association of Journalists assured us of it! Our facilities were, for the reasons of safety, located on three different sites, outside Belgrade, and several of them in the basements and garages in the vicinity of the TV building. We had to be near the main building due to technical reasons, and the other building with similar facilities was located in such a manner hat it really represented an easy target for the NATO missiles. In the close vicinity of the main building in Aberdareva street there is General Post Office, National Bank of Yugoslavia, Russian church, St. Marco’s church, children’s theatre “Dusko Radovic”, Fifth Belgrade Highschool, and many residential buildings. We believed that the “Merciful Angel” would not target them. However, the RAF Harrier plane, with the necessary laser and other support from the ground, found the way to place his “smart missile” among us.

By means of the new regime in Serbia, on 5 October 2000, many things take on different shapes, which is quite understandable when it comes to politics. The symbol of the coming of the new policy was setting fire to the Federal Assembly building and the RTS building. At that time the documents of priceless value burned. The film history of a nation, collected there for almost half a century. Plentiful evidence of the NATO crimes were burned down, the film records on all the crimes, especially terrorist crimes, in Kosovo and Metohija, film documents on the war in Croatia and Bosnia. Several thousand cassettes where similar materials were kept were also burned to ashes. No one was ever charged for that, let alone convicted! The attitude towards the NATO also underwent some changes. Those in that military alliance most responsible for the bombing campaign against FR Yugoslavia are all of a sudden treated as friends, and the previous, even formal court sentences, were annuled and they were therefore absolved of all guilt. This was carried out by the Supreme Court of Serbia, of course by the orders of the new regime. They were absolved and promoted to friends, and the trial of Dragoljub Milanovic started, with the argument that he was responsible for the death of 16 employees of the RTS Television Belgrade, who had died in the bombing campaign of the NATO alliance. The hunt against journalist who were in the building that night started. The newly appointed manager of the RTS, Nenad Ristic, on the second anniversary of that tragic event, passed a judgement on us journalists – for having survived that awful night. He, with evident bitterness, in the live broadcast, yelled (I quote): “And the journalist, editors and propagators were not killed!” To the people who wondered at such a monstrous attitude towards the former colleagues, I “explained” that in that way Nenad Ristic was criticizing the NATO alliance – for inefficiency! By the way, Nenad Ristic spent all his working life (over thirty years) in high positions on that same television! He was an editor of this and that, a party chief known by frequently reporting fellow journalists to the police and party committees! Almost all of the journalist who were in the building on that tragic night, lost their right to work! I myself was told that I was “vocally and visually – undesirable”! After 28 years of working in that unfortunate Television, with all the highest domestic awards and prizes for my professional activities, I was left without means!

In such an atmosphere, what could have been expected in the court trial of Dragoljub Milanovic? As a witness, I did not want to take the side of defense nor the side of prosecution. I just wanted to contribute to the objective insight into the whole event. It was not my fault that the facts were on Milanovic’s side. I was not his friend, we just had a professional relationship. However, the Court Council interrupted me in my testifying when I announced that I was just about to shed light on some facts important for reviewing the whole event. It was clear to me immediately that the verdict had already been passed, and that the entire trial was just sheer formality, and a disguise for a political verdict. He was sentenced to ten years in prison, and that based on the non-existing document, a draft of the internal decision that was not signed nor stamped, without any legal effect. The known perpetrator of the crime was absolved, made a friend, and the one who objectively could not have done anything for our safety was convicted. Simply, the victim was convicted as a criminal, and the true criminal was promoted into a true merciful angel.

The convicted Milanovic did not report to the penitentiary to serve his sentence. It is not known where he is. It is clear that running away from justice is a new criminal act and it is clear that it is present in the penal codes of all countries. Formally and legally, Milanovic escaped justice, the court sentence. I do not know whether some legal expert in some legal manner can explain – running away from injustice?! Judging by the most common human sense of justice, Milanovic suffered great injustice. If I though that he was guilty, I myself would be the first to blame him for the great and consequential traumas of that night! Unless somebody convinces me that it is my fault for having survived! And such attempts, what absurdity, have already taken place! However, it is but one element in the delicate, and in good part irrational, reality in my country, which has found itself in the position of an American protectorate of the most humble kind. And, while I am trying to complete this text somehow, overwhelmed by dark thoughts and many associations, I hear on the radio that the Americans bombed the Iraqi television building in Baghdad! Like in some kind of a novel! It seems, when we think of what is happening to us, and especially what is yet to happen, that Orwell was a great – optimist.

Only now did I remember – Hans Frisch, Geobels’ deputy in Hitler’s ministry of propaganda, was found not guilty at the International Court in Nuremberg in 1946, with the explanation that he could not significantly influence the course of war! He was not guilty, and Dragoljub Milanovic is convicted! Goodbye, reason!

Note: If you would like to cooperate, if you have different thoughts or would like to say something, write to us – and sign your name!

Milos Markovic is a Yougoslav journalist based in Belgrade.He can reached at infograf@beograd.com Copyright Milos Markovic, 2003. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MAR304A.html

The Tiananmen Square “Massacre”: A New Look ~ Bill the Butcher


Bill the Butcher’s Hell’s Gate Blogspot ~ (January 2010)

(Before I begin: I suspect I may be about to upset a great many applecarts with this article; if I do so, you may not agree with my conclusions, but at least I will have made you think. And for that I do not apologise. All sources have been cited at the end of the article and are available on the internet.)

I belong to a school of thought – probably there aren’t very many of us – which holds that so-called “iconic” individuals and occurrences in history, things that are so taken for granted that to question them is tantamount to sacrilege, need revisionist historical analysis. If, after that revisionist historical analysis, the original version, or some semblance thereof, holds up, fine. But if one finds that the revered original version is critically flawed, one usually has clear indications from the flaws of just why it’s allowed to survive at the expense of the truth.

I intend, therefore, to submit to critical examination one of the “defining” occurrences of our time, the so-called Tiananmen Square “massacre” that is said to have occurred on the night of 4 June 1989, just twenty years and six months ago. I intend to prove my hypothesis that the actual course of events was deliberately misreported and propagandised in the Western media. I intend to attempt to prove my hypothesis that the Chinese government of the time acted correctly and in the best interests of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation by cracking down, in whatever form, on the demonstrations. And I intend to try and prove my contention that destroying the protests was of immense positive significance to the world at large, today, almost a generation later.

(In order to be strictly fair, I should lay on record that I’m not an unbiased commentator. I’m a Sinophile in many respects. While my ideology isn’t equivalent to any “-ism”, it most closely parallels Marxism. I admire the Chinese Revolution, the Long March, and Mao Zedong. I view with deep suspicion any and all Western media pronouncements about the non-Western world; and I believe that after the invasion of Afghanistan on false pretences and of Iraq on pretences that weren’t just false but deliberately and cynically cooked up, my suspicions are more than justified.)

We all know, or we have been reminded in great detail over the years, of the occurrences of 1989 that culminated in the (alleged) “Tiananmen Square Massacre”. In brief, they were these: that 1989 was the year when so-called “peoples’ revolutions” were clearing away (never very enthusiastic) Communist regimes across Europe. It was the year when the world seemed suddenly about to become free for the triumph of Western style capitalism. The Eastern European regimes were crashing. The Soviet Union, where Mikhail Gorbachev had begun a programme of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), was, mostly as a consequence, tottering on the verge of implosion. Only the great monolith of China still held out, refusing to be blown away by the winds of change.

The Background.

Actually, at the time, China was already into its twelfth year of its own version of perestroika; the then leader, Deng Xiaoping, had begun a programme of economic reform since 1978. China wasn’t the equivalent of the state-driven economies of Eastern Europe. It was already moving towards a mix of socialism (for most American readers: to the non-American world, believe it or not, socialism is not a dirty word) and market-driven capitalism. This kind of transit has characteristic features, including a sharp rise in prices, a widening rich-poor divide, and rising levels of corruption and social unrest. It’s been seen so often worldwide that it should be included as one of the defining characteristics of a privatising society.

I mentioned that there was social unrest. There were those who hoped and expected that the Communist Party would evaporate like the artificial parties of Eastern Europe and usher in unbridled capitalism. There were those old Maoists who felt the Communist Party was betraying the Revolution. There was opposition, too, from quite ordinary people from a non-ideological viewpoint; people against the negative aspects of the privatisation, against the price rise and the corruption; people who were, in effect, opposed to the first, free-marketeer, lot. All these diverse protesting groups were themselves divided in just what they wanted and were united in just one thing – opposition to the Chinese government. They had absolutely nothing else in common, and it’s important to remember that.

The so-called Tiananmen Square protests began in this atmosphere. They began on a relatively small scale on 15 April 1989 after the death of deposed and “pro-reform” Communist party General Secretary Hu Yaobang; they comprised mourning for Hu on college campuses across China and calls for reform. At this stage the protestors comprised almost entirely students who wanted change. They weren’t sure what kind of change they wanted, reform of the system or its overthrow. All they wanted was change.

By 17 April, groups of students had begun holding protests outside the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square, issuing a list of demands, and the next day they had begun blocking access to and affecting the functioning of the seat of the Chinese government at the Zhongnanhai Building. Police with linked arms formed a human cordon that prevented these students from physically forcing their way into the Zhongnanhai complex. It was only on 20 April that the police finally broke up the student demonstrations outside Zhongnanhai, using force – said force being the limited use of batons. Not even tear gas was employed at this stage.

The next day, some 100,000 students occupied Tiananmen Square while others boycotted classes. On 27 April, after the government had made an official pronouncement accusing small groups of plotters of fomenting unrest (more on that later) 50,000 students gathered in Beijing’s streets. By now other demonstrations were taking place in many other Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Urumqi and Chongqing. It’s important to remember that these protests occurred, and it will be important to see how they turned out.

In the first days of May, there were renewed student protests, including marches on Beijing’s streets and by 13 May there was a hunger strike by students in Tiananmen Square, with the demand that the government negotiate. However, the government only agreed to talk to the approved student’s organisations, which these students had abandoned in favour of their own, unrecognised organisations. The hunger strike went on, drawing increasing national concern, and early on the morning of 19 May Zhao Ziyang, General Secretary of the Communist party, and Li Peng, Prime Minister of China, went personally to the hunger strikers on Tiananmen Square to persuade them to abandon their hunger strike. It had no effect, but it’s important to remember that they did go.

At this time – to all appearances – the Communist party hierarchy was itself divided about its attitude to the students. It is clear that at least a good section were sympathetic to the students’ concerns about corruption, and so far the government had refrained from violence despite the virtual paralysis of the capital for weeks. Parts of the government, including Zhao Ziyang, were willing to negotiate – but negotiate with whom? The protestors had many and often mutually exclusive agendas. With whom should the government have negotiated? On 20 May, faced with an apparently insoluble dilemma, the government declared martial law.

Martial Law and Thereafter

The army tried to enter Beijing, but the streets were blocked with throngs of protestors. The army made no attempt to force its way through them, but withdrew on 24 May. The students made no attempt to meet the government halfway – the hunger strike was approaching its fourth week and with public discontent rising, the government either had to cave in completely to a disunited and disorganised mass of conflicting interest groups – an invitation to utter chaos – or take action. It decided to take action. Zhao Ziyang, who had consistently supported the students, was ousted. The “hardliners” took over. The students had sown the wind, and they were about to reap the whirlwind.

Not that this seems to have occurred to the students in the square. By 30 May, they had set up a plaster statue of the “Goddess of Democracy” in the square. The next day, the government sent in soldiers again; reportedly the 27th and either the 28th or 38th Armies of the People’s Liberation Army (accounts differ). They were supposed to take control of the city and restore normalcy.

It is at this point that the accounts from the “sources” which are usually quoted by the Western media and the other sources begin to differ. According to the Western media’s “sources” (I have deep and abiding suspicion of any “source” whose account is accepted uncritically by Western media – remember the Iraq “sources”? – hence the quotes) the two armies sent in were armed and ready to shoot. According to the Chinese government, and, crucially, according to the US embassy in Beijing, the soldiers were sent in unarmed (see link below for documentation on this point).

As rumours spread of thousands of troops converging on the square, a large part of the people of Beijing came out on the streets, burned buses – government property – and set up barricades. The unarmed troops could not penetrate through these barricades. Soldiers were attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails; some were beaten or burned to death and their bodies strung up. Finally, armed troops were sent in, and they were met with the same reception. Officers were pulled from tanks and killed. After an armoured personnel carrier was incinerated and its crew killed, the soldiers fired at the people throwing Molotov cocktails. That there were barricades and people throwing firebombs isn’t something that any Western media “source” has even attempted to refute. This was not a massacre; it was somewhere between a riot and an insurrection.

I wonder what the reaction would have been if American occupation troops in Kabul or Baghdad were similarly barricaded and attacked with petrol bombs? Actually, I don’t need to wonder; the actions of the occupation forces in Iraq and Afghanistan speak for themselves in such situations.

To get back…

The Tiananmen Square “Massacre”

Finally, at 1am on 4 June, the army cleared the streets and reached Tiananmen Square. What did the soldiers do then? Go in shooting? No – according to even the “sources” which are quoted by the Western media, they waited for governmental orders. By then – again, this is not doubted – a large majority of the students had left the square. Only a few thousand remained. The army offered these students amnesty to leave. At 4 am, the students put the matter to vote – whether to go or to remain and face the consequences. Again, this is a matter that is not at dispute. The army did not go in, shooting blindly, and killing everyone in the square. First, according to everyone, they gave the students a chance to save themselves.

Now things get rather interesting. According to the standard Western media account of this episode, the tanks went in about 4 or 5am, shooting and crushing the students. This is the famous “massacre”, which is so inscribed in the modern consciousness. The bloodthirsty Chinese government had let loose a rain of terror on the poor peace-loving democracy-craving people of their own capital city. You know the stuff.

However, Spain’s ambassador to Beijing at the time, Eugenio Bregolat, notes that Spain’s TVE channel had a television crew in the square at the time, and if there had been a massacre, they would have been the first to see it and record it. Did they? No. If they had, wouldn’t there have been videos all over the internet, not to mention TV, of the massacre itself? But there are none. Bregolat also claims that most of the journalists who filed “eyewitness” accounts of the massacre were – at the time when they were allegedly witnessing the massacre – away from the Square, in the Beijing Hotel.

Similarly, Graham Earnshaw, a journalist in the square who was interviewing student leaders and was present during the night of June 3-4, claims (link below) that all the few hundred remaining students were persuaded to leave by the army, and when the tanks entered from one side of the Square, the last remaining students were withdrawing peacefully from the other side. Earnshaw agrees that the students’ “tent city” was crushed under the tanks’ treads as they came in, but he says there was nobody sleeping in the tents at the time to be crushed by the armour. Anyone who has ever been anywhere near a tank with its engine running will agree with his contention that nobody (except, I assume, the profoundly deaf) could have remained sleeping through the episode to be crushed, even without the earlier drama of the amnesty offer and the vote.

Then again, Xiaoping Li, a former China dissident, now resident in Canada, writing in the Asia Sentinel and quoting Taiwan-born Hou Dejian who had been on a hunger strike on the square to show solidarity with the students, said: “Some people said 200 died in the square and others claimed that as many as 2,000 died. There were also stories of tanks running over students who were trying to leave. I have to say I did not see any of that. I was in the square until 6:30 in the morning.”

And these are the words of a dissident, and more, of a dissident who now lives abroad and presumably has nothing to fear.

Then there is the circumstantial evidence. Most of the “Tiananmen Square Massacre” crowd repeat, ad nauseam, lists of student leaders arrested in the aftermath of the “massacre”. Many of these student “eyewitnesses” also claim to have seen tanks shooting and crushing people in the Square. Well, in that case, there’s an obvious question: how come all these leaders and/or eyewitnesses who were present in the Square all survived the “massacre” unscathed? How come not one of them can state the name of anyone who was killed in the Square itself, given that they had all been protesting together there for weeks? Wasn’t a single person of those hundreds or thousands killed a friend or comrade or classmate of these students? Why isn’t there one single, miserable photo showing the massacre in the Square itself?

I’m not saying there weren’t killings in Beijing that night. I’m saying that said killings were restricted to the fighting in the streets leading to the square, essentially between barricaders and soldiers trying to get through the barricades. I cannot find one single bit of incontrovertible proof that there was a single killing in the Square itself, let alone a massacre.

If you – therefore – try and maintain an impartial attitude to the sources, there is at least reasonable grounds for doubt about whether there was a single episode of firing, a single death, in Tiananmen Square on the night of 3/4 June 1989; let alone the famous “massacre”.

Deconstructing a famous photograph.

It’s called one of the “100 most famous photographs of all time”; actually, there are several versions of the photo, and there’s a video of the episode as well, which has its own peculiar significance. Taken on the morning of 5th June 1989, it shows a lone man, in white shirt and dark trousers, with what seems to be shopping bags in his hands. He stands in front of a line of tanks. In the most well-known version, that taken by Jeff Widener of the Associated Press, there are four tanks. In other photos, taken from further away, there are more tanks behind those four. They are Chinese Type 59 tanks, with the crew “buttoned up” inside; i.e. the hatches shut.

As seen in the video, the man gestures angrily to the tank with his bags. The tank swerves to one side in order to drive around him. The man steps again in front of the tank, and the heavy vehicle again tries to steer around him. Finally, it stops, and the man clambers on it, has a brief exchange with the crew, and descends. As the tank tries to drive on, he again steps in front of it and again it stops. People from the crowd then pull the man to safety and the tanks drive on (this last bit is typically excised from videos of this episode posted on such sites as YouTube).

According to the standard mythology of the event, one so standard that it’s practically sacrilege not to believe it, the man displayed almost unbelievable courage in the face of overwhelming Chinese military aggression. This “lone hero” became an instant icon, known as the “Tank man” and a symbol of courage worldwide.

Now let’s take a close look at the photograph, one from a strictly neutral viewpoint, and there are several extremely interesting features, which go well beyond the particular episode itself and reveal a lot about the entire Tiananmen Square affair.

First, and most obviously, the crew of the tanks have sealed themselves inside. This is extremely significant because as far as possible tank crews avoid doing this. Even in combat, whenever they can get away with it, they try to keep the hatches open. There are several reasons for this; one is that vision from inside a “buttoned down” tank is very limited and it’s almost impossible to hear sounds from outside; for a fairly primitive tank like the Type 59 (of which surviving examples are now relegated to training and second-line duties), this is even truer. All the driver can see when his hatch is shut, through two “vision blocks,” is to the front and slightly to the right. The commander in the turret can do little better (for details on the capabilities of the Type 59 tank, see link below). And a sealed up tank, especially an early model one like the Type 59, is extremely hot and cramped and difficult for the crew to operate in for prolonged periods.

So why did the crew seal themselves inside? There can be only one reason: to protect themselves against Molotov cocktails and attacks from mobs.

Secondly: take a close look at the photo. The first, third and fourth tanks can clearly be seen to have caps covering the muzzles of their main guns. The second may have a black muzzle cap or the muzzle may be open, but the rest certainly have capped muzzles. Muzzle caps, which are meant to protect the interiors of the guns from dirt and dust, are never taken into a situation where the main guns may need to be fired. This is proof positive that the tanks were sent in without any intention of firing the main guns, come what may.

Similarly, the tanks being sealed up means the crews cannot use the machine guns on the turret roofs (the blocky objects on the right of each tank turret, sticking out to the side). The Type 59, admittedly, has two other machine guns; of them more anon.

Then, there are the shopping bags carried by the “tank man” himself. Obviously, if you go shopping – and nobody has ever suggested the shopping bags meant anything else – there must be shops open. Take it from one who has been in riot situations: shops never open when there is a possibility of serious violence. The shop owners have too much to lose from riots and looting. If there are shops open, the quantum of violence must be much lower than usually thought.

Now, if we look at the video, we see the tank shifting to the right and back again in an effort to avoid the man. If the Chinese troops had already shot and crushed down hundreds to thousands of unarmed civilians, and according to standard mythology they were, even on this 5th of June, shooting students trying to re-enter the Square, why would the tank have gone to such trouble to save the life of one miserable counter-revolutionary? There can be no reasonable explanation but the fact that the tankers were exercising the maximum restraint in the face of provocation. (Again, suppose an Iraqi or an Afghan were to do this to an American armoured column, or a Palestinian to an “Israeli” Merkava, as many in fact have done; what do you think would he have been called even as he was being blown away? A terrorist!)

Incidentally, this is the photo that first made me doubt the entire story of the massacre. The action of the crew of those tanks was so completely opposed to the conventional tale of the “massacre” that it merited a closer look. So, in all, I am thankful to the photographer and the “tank man” – for reasons directly contrary to the usual Western media accounts.

Also, Widener’s own account of the prelude to the photo is interesting. He was confined to his hotel – he says – because he had flu and was injured by a protestor who threw a brick at him, smashing one of his other cameras and giving him a concussion. Nice nonviolent protestors, eh?

Deconstructing an ancillary photo.

Before we reach a final conclusion on the Tank Man, though, let’s take a look at another photo, taken from ground level and published only in June 2009. Taken shortly before the “iconic” images, it shows the distant tanks coming towards the camera, and, in the middle left distance, what is alleged (there is no direct proof of this) to be the “tank man” himself, waiting beside a bulldozer, all ready to step in the way of the armoured column, shopping bags and all. In the right distance a bicyclist pedals unhurriedly on, and in the left foreground a man (also carrying a shopping bag) seems about to flash a thumbs-up sign at the camera. In the right foreground is the only sign of hurry or panic; a young man who appears to be sprinting or trying to duck.

Terrill Jones of the Associated Press, who took this photo, claims that – in order to avoid firing – he and others took shelter and could no longer see what happened afterwards. This is one of those stories that need to be examined carefully. First: If there indeed was firing, why is the cyclist so unconcernedly pedalling on? Even if it is true that the man in the left distance is the “tank man” himself, and even if he is willing to sacrifice his life in order to stop the tanks and so is unconcerned, why is the shopping bag man in the foreground obviously not in any panic or fear? Why is he apparently about to break into a huge grin? Why is the only man in a hurry the one in the right front, dashing towards the photographer?

Then, if there was indeed firing, where was it coming from? Certainly not from the tanks; as I said, the main guns were capped and the anti-aircraft machine guns unattended by the buttoned-up crew. The Type 59 has two other machine guns, both of 7.62 mm calibre. One is a coaxial gun, which fires along the line of the main gun, in whichever direction the main gun is pointing. In this case all the tanks had their main guns elevated at normal position, so the firing wasn’t coming from the coaxial guns – the bullets would have gone into the sky. The third gun is one fixed in the front of the tank and firing straight ahead through a very small aperture in the glacis plate (the tank’s front armour) and operated by the driver. It’s a nearly useless weapon, since it can only be aimed by turning the entire tank to point it directly at the target. If the hull gun was firing, only the lead tank could have been firing it, as the fire from others in the line would have struck the tanks in front of them. And in that case, what was the hull gun firing at? And again – why on earth did the tank save “tank man’s” life? It doesn’t make any sense.

Similarly, if “tank man” was spirited away by the crowd to safety, then there was enough of a crowd to take him away to safety, and that in turn means that there wasn’t any firing. Whoever the man was, there’s no evidence as to what happened to him; accounts of his execution are balanced by accounts that he is living in Taiwan (link below). If he’s dead, why aren’t any acquaintances coming forward to say who he was? If he is alive, why isn’t he coming out of the shadows, if necessary after smuggling himself out of China? Absolutely nobody seems to be sure who he is. Or is he, as some have suggested, mentally ill? A madman wouldn’t be the best expression of defiance of a tyrannical regime, would he?

All in all, the conclusion is clear: far from being a symbol of courage, “tank man” was in no real danger from military units exercising restraint in the face of provocation. In fact, what the photos and video clearly demonstrate is the reverse of what the official iconography, if I can put it that way, of this episode claims.

The Death Toll

How many people died in the entire Tiananmen Square affair? The Chinese Red Cross was alleged to have said 2600 died, but denied having ever given any such figure. “Unbiased” Western media alleges that the Red Cross backed down after pressure from the Chinese government, but fails to either provide any evidence of either this pressure or just who were these 2600 who died. At least some hundreds of their relatives could have been cited? The official Chinese government figure is 241 dead, including the soldiers who were burned and battered to death when they tried to make an unarmed approach to the Square. There are various other estimates. And, according to the Tiananmen Mothers, only 186 names of the alleged thousands dead have been confirmed as of June 2006, and that includes people whose deaths weren’t necessarily due to army action, including one who committed suicide.

Does it matter how many died? Yes, it does; it marks the difference between a unilateral massacre and fighting on both sides. For such an allegedly enormous death toll, the evidence seems to be scanty indeed.

The Significance

It was – I think – Zhou Enlai who, when asked about the significance of the French Revolution, said “It’s too early to tell.” At the time, the Chinese government was probably not looking to the long term; in a year when fellow Communist governments were being toppled by mass street protests and governmental paralysis, it was looking to its own survival when it decided to use force, in whatever form, against the students. However, in deciding to use force, it put a permanent full stop to a chain of events which – going by what happened in other nations at the time – would have led to unravelling of Central governmental authority, collapse of the state, disintegration of the economy and more than likely of the nation, and anarchy leading to mass impoverishment and mafia rule.

For comparison, we should look to the Soviet Union and the so-called putsch of 19 August 1991, which temporarily overthrew Mikhail Gorbachev and tried to maintain the unity of the nation, something the Soviet people had themselves largely approved of in a referendum. The coup collapsed in three days almost entirely because the new junta refused to use overwhelming force against the protestors, led by Boris Yeltsin, later to preside, marinated in alcohol, over the descent of Russia into a corrupt oligarchy with the collapse of social services, skyrocketing corruption, and plummeting life expectancy. Almost exactly the same thing would likely have happened to China if the Tiananmen Square protestors hadn’t been neutralised.

In fact, it’s likely that the entire crackdown could have been avoided if the Beijing authorities had acted early and severely, incarcerating ringleaders and shutting down their media outlets, as Jiang Zemin, then the mayor of Shanghai, had done. This had nipped in the bud developing disturbances in China’s second city. Allowing the students weeks of a free hand was in itself an error, and China has taken care not to repeat that error in later years.

One look at China today, with its roaring economy and its people – who are far more prosperous than they were two decades ago – and a comparison with where Russia is even now, when it’s finally beginning to get to its feet again, and it should be clear that the Chinese government acted in the best long-term interests of its own people when it ended the protests.

But – what about freedom? Aren’t the Chinese people deprived of freedom? That is an oft-heard argument, a rich argument indeed when one thinks of the status of the “freed” citizens of such nations as Iraq or Afghanistan; or indeed of Russia, whose starving and impoverished people were called “free” but now that they are, at last, slightly better off are no longer called “free”. Strange are the definitions of freedom, and bizarre are the uses of the word.

For the record, I believe democracy, as practiced today, is an eyewash and does not equal freedom. I believe that the right to live with dignity is more important than the right to vote, and I believe that a nation which provides the necessities for the maximum number of its people is freer than one which allows them to vote but takes no steps to ensure they have a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs.

There is also the question of the significance of the crackdown to the world at large, two decades later. As we all know (or should know), China is one of the most significant nations in the world today, and certainly the fastest-rising one. It’s also the only country which serves as a counterweight to the global hegemon and self-declared world policeman, the United States of America. The US is a power in decline, but is still the only nation which believes in war as a policy of first resort and seeks to impose its will – by force – on the rest of the world. But even the US has to tread warily on Chinese economic might.

Can one imagine how much more arrogant and lethal the USA’s war against the world would have been without China providing some kind of balance?

The Media Lies

As should be obvious by now, I believe the mass of the Western media lied, cynically and repeatedly, and continues to lie about the Tiananmen Square incident. Much of the lying is due to a phenomenon called “pack journalism” (see link below) where media fall in line, quite unthinkingly, and without checking facts, on a particular “plausible” story. One only has to remember the tales of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Distraction, sorry, Destruction, for a recent example.

Also, the Western media have never hidden their anti-China bias, even in these days when they have to treat China with respect. So the 2001 incident when an American spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter and was compelled to land in China was an “intolerable act of aggression”, without regard to the facts. Actually, the facts never really mattered, as we saw in 2008 when the Lhasa rioting was deliberately and cynically misreported with propaganda from Tibetan exile groups (speedily exposed through the Chinese blogosphere) of how the PLA soldiers were responsible for dressing up as monks and rioting, and so on.

But media sources have to take their inspiration from somewhere. That inspiration is almost always from the people who actually control these media, people who have the most to gain from the lies the media disseminate. In Iraq, we know who benefitted the most from the invasion, which firms saw their stock prices jump through the ceiling. Similarly, a collapsed and disintegrating China would have freed a lot of space for certain business interests and allowed certain nations a free hand in East Asia. So it was entirely predictable that they would react violently to firm action that made it less likely that any such collapse would occur, besides painting all Communists with the same genocidal brush.

The conventional truth about Tiananmen Square – in summary – is not the truth. But the truth is out there for those who care to know, the evidence visible for those who wish to see.

Statutory Disclaimer: The opinions stated herein are mine. I am in no way responsible for any fights, quarrels, or breaks in relations caused by the contents of this article. Be warned.

Further reading:

If the links below don’t work, please copy and paste to your browser

(I wish to express my gratitude to blogger “Bobby Fletcher” – http://tiananmenmyth.blogspot.com/ – for bringing some of the links below to my attention)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989 (The wikipedia entry on the Tiananmen Square protests)

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB16/documents/09-02.htm (US Embassy note stating that the Chinese troops had initially been unarmed.)

http://www.earnshaw.com/memoirs/content.php?id=5 (Graham Earnshaw’s account of Tiananmen Square, where he states unambiguously that “most of the deaths did not happen on or near the Square.”)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man#cite_note-NYTNewPhoto-1 (About the Tank Man, with a description of the original video)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_59 (All about the Type 59 tank)

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/behind-the-scenes-tank-man-of-tiananmen/ (Jeff Widener’s account of how he was hit in the face by a rock and also claims how the photographers of the “iconic” image saw armoured personnel carriers firing at the crowds. Where are the photos of that episode?)

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/behind-the-scenes-a-new-angle-on-history/?hp (Terrill Jones’ account claiming the tanks were firing at the time of the “tank man” incident)

http://www.yachtingnet.com/time/time100/leaders/profile/rebel2.html (A Time Magazine article on the “tank man,” typical of Western media reportage of the incident. Note the unattributed and unsubstantiated allegations that the Chinese shot “hundreds of workers and students and doctors and children, many later found shot in the back.”)

http://dajiyuan.com/b5/6/6/1/n1336133.htm (Chinese language article claiming “tank man” still lives. I don’t speak Chinese so have to take it at its word)

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20080721gc.html (An article by the former Canadian ambassador to Japan, Gregory Clark, examining the myth of the “massacre”)

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CLA20060410&articleId=2245 (By the same author; an examination of the phenomenon of pack journalism)

http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2510/stories/20080523251000400.htm (A discussion of other anti-Chinese western media propaganda)

The Eisenhower Doctrine claims another backyard for America ~ The Middle East 1957-1958


by William Blum “Killing Hope”

On 9 March 1957, the United States Congress approved a presidential resolution which came to be known as the Eisenhower Doctrine. This was a piece of paper, like the Truman Doctrine and the Monroe Doctrine before it, whereby the US government conferred upon the US government the remarkable and enviable right to intervene militarily in other countries. With the stroke of a pen, the Middle East was added to Europe and the Western hemisphere as America’s field of play.

The resolution stated that “the United States regards as vital to the national interest and world peace the preservation of the independence and integrity of the nations of the Middle East.” Yet, during this very period, as we have seen, the CIA initiated its operation to overthrow the government of Syria.

The business part of the resolution was contained in the succinct declaration that the United States “is prepared to use armed forces to assist” any Middle East country “requesting assistance against armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism”. Nothing was set forth about non-communist or anticommunist aggression which might endanger world peace.

Wilbur Crane Eveland, the Middle East specialist working for the CIA at the time, had been present at a meeting in the State Department two months earlier called to discuss the resolution. Eveland read the draft, which stated that “many, if not all” of the Middle East states “are aware of the danger that stems from international communism”.

Later he wrote:

I was shocked. Who, I wondered, had reached this determination of what the Arabs considered a danger? Israel’s army had just invaded Egypt and still occupied all of the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. And, had it not been for Russia’s threat to intervene on behalf of the Egyptians, the British, French, and Israeli forces might now be sitting in Cairo, celebrating Nasser’s ignominious fall from power.1

The simplistic and polarized view of the world implicit in the Eisenhower Doctrine ignored not only anti-Israeli sentiments but currents of nationalism, pan-Arabism, neutralism and socialism prevalent in many influential quarters of the Middle East. The framers of the resolution saw only a cold-war battlefield and, in doing so, succeeded in creating one.

In April, King Hussein of Jordan dismissed his prime minister, Suleiman Nabulsi, amidst rumors, apparently well-founded, of a coup against the King encouraged by Egypt and Syria and Palestinians living in Jordan. It was the turning point in an ongoing conflict between the pro-West policy of Hussein and the neutralist leanings of the Nabulsi regime. Nabulsi had announced that in line with his policy of neutralism, Jordan would develop closet relations with the Soviet Union and accept Soviet aid if offered. At the same time, he rejected American aid because, he said, the United States had informed him that economic aid would be withheld unless Jordan “severs its ties with Egypt” and “consents to settlement of Palestinian refugees in Jordan”, a charge denied by the State Department. Nabulsi added the commentary that “communism is not dangerous to the Arabs”.

Hussein, conversely, accused “international communism and its followers” of direct responsibility for “efforts to destroy my country”. When pressed for the specifics of his accusation, he declined to provide any.

When rioting broke out in several Jordanian cities, and civil war could not be ruled out, Hussein showed himself equal to the threat to his continued rule. He declared martial law, purged the government and military of pro-Nasser and leftist tendencies, and abolished all political opposition. Jordan soon returned to a state of relative calm.

The United States, however, seized upon Hussein’s use of the expression “international communism” to justify rushing units of the Sixth Fleet to the eastern Mediterranean—a super aircraft carrier, two cruisers, and 15 destroyers, followed shortly by a variety of other naval vessels and a battalion of marines which put ashore in Lebanon—to “prepare for possible future intervention in Jordan”.2

Despite the fact that nothing resembling “armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism” had taken place, the State Department openly invited the King to invoke the Eisenhower Doctrine.3 But Hussein, who had not even requested the show of force, refused, knowing that such a move would only add fuel to the fires already raging in Jordanian political life. He survived without it.

Sometime during this year the CIA began making secret annual payments to King Hussein, initially in the millions of dollars per year. The practice was to last for 20 years, with the Agency providing Hussein female companions as well. As justification for the payment, the CIA later claimed that Hussein allowed American intelligence agencies to operate freely in Jordan. Hussein himself provided intelligence to the CIA and distributed part of his payments to other government officials who also furnished information or cooperated with the Agency.4

A few months later, it was Syria which occupied the front stage in Washington’s melodrama of “International Communism”. The Syrians had established relations with the Soviet Union via trade, economic aid, and military purchases and training. The United States chose to see something ominous in this although it was a state of affairs engendered in no small measure by John Foster Dulles, as we saw in the previous chapter. American antipathy toward Syria was heightened in August following the Syrian government’s exposure of the CIA-directed plot to overthrow it.

Washington officials and the American media settled easily into the practice of referring to Syria as a “Soviet satellite” or “quasi-satellite”. This was not altogether objective or spontaneous reporting. Kennett Love, a New York Times correspondent in close contact to the CIA (see Iran chapter), later disclosed some of the background:

The US Embassy in Syria connived at false reports issued in Washington and London through diplomatic and press channels to the effect that Russian arms were pouring into the Syrian port of Latakia, that “not more than 123 Migs” had arrived in Syria, and that Lieutenant Colonel Abdel Hameed Serraj, head of Syrian intelligence, had taken over control in a Communist-inspired coup. I travelled all over Syria without hindrance in November and December [1956] and found there were indeed “not more than 123 Migs”. There were none. And no Russian arms had arrived for months. And there had been no coup, although some correspondents in Beirut, just a two-hour drive from Damascus, were dispatching without attribution false reports fed to them by embassy visitors from Damascus and a roving CIA man who worked in the guise of a US Treasury agent. Serraj, who was anti-Communist, had just broken the clumsy British-US-Iraqi-supported plot [to overthrow the Syrian government]. Syria was quiet but worried lest the propaganda presage a new coup d’etat or a Western-backed invasion.5

As if to further convince any remaining skeptics, Eisenhower dispatched a personal emissary, Loy Henderson, on a tour of the Middle East. Henderson, not surprisingly, returned with the conclusion that “there was a fear in all Middle East countries that the Soviets might be able to topple the regimes in each of their countries through exploiting the crisis in Syria”.6 He gave no indication as to whether the Syrians themselves thought they were going through a crisis.

As an indication of how artificial were the crises announced by the White House, how arbitrary were the doomsday pronouncements about the Soviet Union, let us consider the following from a Department of Defense internal memorandum of June 1957, about two months before Henderson went to the Middle East:

The USSR has shown no intention of direct intervention in any of the previous Mid-Eastern crises, and we believe it is unlikely that they would intervene, directly, to assure the success of a leftist coup in Syria.7

In early September, the day after Henderson returned, the United States announced that the Sixth Fleet was once again being sent to the Mediterranean and that arms and other military equipment were being rushed to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. A few days later, Saudi Arabia was added to the list. The Soviet Union replied with arms shipments to Syria, Egypt and Yemen.

The Syrian government accused the US of sending warships dose to her coast in an “open challenge” and said that unidentified planes had been flying constantly over the Latakia area day and night for four days, Latakia being the seaport where Soviet ships arrived.

Syria further claimed that the US had “incited” Turkey to concentrate an estimated 50,000 soldiers on Syria’s border. The Syrians ridiculed the explanation that the Turkish troops were only on maneuvers. Eisenhower later wrote that the troops were at the border with “a readiness to act” and that the United States had already assured the leaders of Turkey, Iraq and Jordan that if they “felt it necessary to take actions against aggression by the Syrian government, the United States would undertake to expedite shipments of arms already committed to the Middle Eastern countries and, further, would replace losses as quickly as possible.” The president had no quarrel with the idea that such action might be taken to repel, in his words, the “anticipated aggression” of Syria, for it would thus be “basically defensive in nature” (emphasis added).8

The American role here may have been more active than Eisenhower suggests.

One of his advisers, Emmet John Hughes, has written of how Under-Secretary of State Christian Herter, later to replace an ailing John Foster Dulles as Secretary, “reviewed in rueful detail… some recent clumsy clandestine American attempts to spur Turkish forces to do some vague kind of battle with Syria”.9

Dulles gave the impression in public remarks that the United States was anxious to somehow invoke the Eisenhower Doctrine, presumably as a “justification” for taking further action against Syria. But he could not offer any explanation of how this was possible. Certainly Syria was not going to make the necessary request.

The only solution lay in Syria attacking another Arab country which would then request American assistance. This appears to be one rationale behind the flurry of military and diplomatic activity directed at Syria by the US. A study carried out for the Pentagon some years later concluded that in “the 1957 Syrian crisis … Washington seem[ed] to seek the initial use of force by target”10 (emphasis added; “‘target” refers to Syria).

Throughout this period, Washington officials alternated between striving to enlist testimonials from other Arab nations that Syria was indeed a variety of Soviet satellite and a threat to the region, and assuring the world that the United States had received a profusion of just such testimony. But Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia all denied that they felt threatened by Syria. Egypt, Syria’s closest ally, of course concurred. At the height of the “crisis”, King Hussein of Jordan left for a vacation in Europe. The Iraqi premier declared that his country and Syria had arrived at a “complete understanding”. And King Saud of Saudi Arabia, in a message to Eisenhower, said that US concern over Syria was “exaggerated” and asked the president for “renewed assurances that the United States would refrain from any interference in the internal affairs of Arab states”. Saud added that “efforts to overturn the Syrian regime would merely make the Syrians more amenable to Soviet influence”, a view shared by several observers on all sides.

At the same time, the New York Times reported:

From the beginning of the crisis over Syria’s drift to the left, there has been less excitement among her Arab neighbors than in the United States. Foreign diplomats in the area, including many Americans, felt that the stir caused in Washington was out of proportion to the cause.

Eventually, Dulles may have been influenced by this lack of support for the American thesis, for when asked specifically to “characterize what the relation is between Soviet aims in the area and the part that Syria adds to them”, he could only reply that “The situation internally in Syria is not entirely clear and fluctuates somewhat.” Syria, he implied, was not yet in the grip of international Communism.

The next day, Syria, which had no desire to isolate itself from the West, similarly moderated its tone by declaring that the American warships had been 15 miles offshore and had continued “quietly on their way”.11

It appears that during this same restless year of 1957, the United States was also engaged in a plot to overthrow Nasser and his troublesome nationalism, although the details are rather sketchy. In January, when King Saud and Iraqi Crown Prince Abdul Illah were in New York at the United Nations, they were approached by CIA Director Allen Dulles and one of his top aides, Kermit Roosevelt, with offers of CIA covert planning and funding to topple the Egyptian leader whose radical rhetoric, inchoate though it was, was seen by the royal visitors as a threat to the very idea of monarchy.

Nasser and other army officers had overthrown King Farouk of Egypt in 1952. Ironically, Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA have traditionally been given credit for somehow engineering this coup. However, it is by no means certain that they actually carried this out.12

“Abdul Illah,” wrote Eveland, “insisted on British participation in anything covert, but the Saudis had severed relations with Britain and refused. As a result, the CIA dealt separately with each: agreeing to fund King Saud’s part in a new area scheme to oppose Nasser and eliminate his influence in Syria; and to the same objective, coordinating in Beirut a covert working group composed of representatives of the British, Iraqi, Jordanian, and Lebanese intelligence services.”13

The conspiracy is next picked up in mid-spring at the home of Ghosn Zogby in Beirut. Zogby, of Lebanese ancestry, was the chief of the CIA Beirut station. He and Kermit Roosevelt, who was staying with him, hosted several conferences of the clandestine planners. “So obvious,” Eveland continued, “were their ‘covert’ gyrations, with British, Iraqi, Jordanian and Lebanese liaison personnel coming and going nightly, that the Egyptian ambassador in Lebanon was reportedly taking bets on when and where the next U.S. coup would take place.” At one of these meetings, the man from the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) informed the gathering that teams had been fielded to assassinate Nasser.

Shortly afterwards, Eveland learned from a CIA official that John Foster Dulles, as well as his brother Allen, had directed Roosevelt to work with the British to bring down Nasser. Roosevelt now spoke in terms of a “palace revolution” in Egypt.14

From this point on we’re fishing in murky waters, for the events which followed produced more questions than answers. With the six countries named above, plus Turkey and Israel apparently getting in on the act, and less than complete trust and love existing amongst the various governments, a host of plots, sub-plots and side plots inevitably sprang to life; at times it bordered on low comedy, though some would call it no mote than normal Middle East “diplomacy”.

Between July 1957 and October 1958, the Egyptian and Syrian governments and media announced the uncovering of what appear to be at least eight separate conspiracies to overthrow one or the other government, to assassinate Nasser, and/or prevent the expected merger of the two countries. Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United States were most often named as conspirators, but from the entanglement of intrigue which surfaced it is virtually impossible to unravel the particular threads of the US role.15

Typical of the farcical goings-on, it seems that at least one of the plots to assassinate Nasser arose from the Dulles brothers taking Eisenhower’s remark that he hoped “the Nasser problem could be eliminated” to be an order for assassination, when the president, so the story goes, was merely referring to improved US-Egyptian relations. Upon realizing the error, Secretary Dulles ordered the operation to cease.16

(Three years later, Allen Dulles was again to “misinterpret” a remark by Eisenhower as an order to assassinate Patrice Lumumba of the Congo.)

Official American pronouncements during this entire period would have had the world believe that the Soviet Union was the eminence grist behind the strife in Jordan, the “crisis” in Syria, and unrest generally in the Middle East; that the Soviet aim was to dominate the area, while the sole purpose of US policy was to repel this Soviet thrust and maintain the “independence” of the Arab nations. Yet, on three separate occasions during 1957—in February, April and September—the Soviet Union called for a fourpower (US, USSR, Great Britain and France) declaration renouncing the use of force and interference in the internal affairs of the Middle Eastern countries. The February appeal had additionally called for a four-power embargo on arms shipments to the region, withdrawal of all foreign troops, liquidation of all foreign bases, and a conference to reach a general Middle East settlement.

The Soviet strategy was clearly to neutralize the Middle East, to remove the threat it had long felt from the potentially hostile control of the oil region by, traditionally, France and Great Britain, and now the United States, which sought to fill the “power vacuum” left by the decline of the two European nations as Middle East powers.

History does not relate what a Middle East free from big-power manipulation would have been like, for neither France, Great Britain, nor the United States was amenable to even calling the Soviet “bluff”, if that was what it was. The New York Times summarized the attitude of the three Western nations to the first two overtures as one that “deprecated the Soviet proposals as efforts to gain recognition of a Soviet right to a direct voice in the affairs of the Middle East. They have told the Russians to take up their complaints through the United Nations.”

Following the September proposal, John Foster Dulles, replying to a question at a press conference, said that “the United States is skeptical of these arrangements with the Soviet Union for ‘hands-off. What they are apt to mean is our hands off and their hands under the table.” This appears to be the only public comment the US government saw fit to make on the matter.17

It may be instructive to speculate upon the reaction of the Western nations if the Soviet Union had announced a “Khrushchev Doctrine”, ceding to itself the same scope of action in the Middle East as that stipulated in the Eisenhower Doctrine.

In January 1958, Syria and Egypt announced their plans to unite, forming the new nation of the United Arab Republic (UAR). The initiative for the merger had come from Syria who was motivated in no small part by her fear of further American power plays against her. Ironically, under the merger arrangement, the Communist Party, already outlawed in Egypt, was dissolved in Syria, an objective which a year and a half of CIA covert activity had failed to achieve.

Two weeks after the birth of the UAR, and in direct response to it, Iraq and Jordan formed the Arab Union, with the United States acting as midwife. This union was short lived, for in July a bloody coup in Iraq overthrew the monarchy, the new regime establishing a republic and promptly renouncing the pact. The trumpets of Armageddon could once more be heard distinctly in the Oval Office. “This somber turn of events,” wrote Eisenhower in his memoirs, “could, without vigorous response on our part, result in a complete elimination of Western influence in the Middle East.”18

Although the president would not be so crass as to mention a concern about oil, his anxiety attack was likely brought on by the fact that one of the greatest oil reserves in the world was now under rule of a government which might well prove to be not as pliable an ally as the previous regime, and too independent of Washington.

The time for a mere show of force was over. The very next day, the marines, along with the American navy and air force, were sent in—not to Iraq, but to Lebanon.

Of all the Arab states, Lebanon was easily the United States’ closest ally. She alone had supported the Eisenhower Doctrine with any enthusiasm or unequivocally echoed Washington’s panic about Syria. To be more precise, it was the president of Lebanon, Camille Chamoun, and the foreign minister, Charles Malik, a Harvard Ph.D. in philosophy, who had put all their cold-war eggs into the American basket. Chamoun had ample reason to be beholden to the United States. The CIA apparently played a role in his 1952 election,19 and in 1957 the Agency furnished generous sums of money to Chamoun to use in support of candidates in the Chamber of Deputies (Parliament) June elections who would back him and, presumably, US policies. Funds were also provided to specifically oppose, as punishment, those candidates who had resigned in protest over Chamoun’s adherence to the Eisenhower Doctrine.

As is customary in such operations, the CIA sent an “election specialist” along with the money to Beirut to assist in the planning. American officials in Washington and Lebanon proceeded on the assumption, they told each other, that Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia would also intervene financially in the elections. The American ambassador to Lebanon, Donald Heath, argued as well, apparently without ironic intention, that “With both the president and the new chamber of deputies supporting American principles, we’d also have a demonstration that representative democracy could work” in the Middle East.

To what extent the American funding helped, or even how the money was spent, is not known, but the result was a landslide for pro-government deputies; so much so, that it caused considerable protest within Lebanon, including the charge that Chamoun had stacked the parliament in order to amend the constitution to permit him to seek an otherwise prohibited second six-year term of office the following year.20

By late April 1958, tensions in Lebanon had reached bursting point. The inordinate pro-American orientation of Chamoun’s government and his refusal to dispel rumors that he would seek a second term incensed both Lebanese nationalists and advocates of the Arab nationalism, which Nasser was promoting throughout the Middle East. Demands were made that the government return to the strict neutrality provided for in the National Pact of 1943 at the time of Lebanon’s declaration of independence from France.

A rash of militant demonstrations, bombings and clashes with police took place, and when, in early May, the editor of an anti-government newspaper was murdered, armed rebellion broke out in several parts of the country, and US Information Agency libraries in Tripoli and Beirut were sacked. Lebanon contained all the makings of a civil war.

“Behind everything,” wrote Eisenhower, “was out deep-seated conviction that the Communists were principally responsible for the trouble and that President Chamoun was motivated only by a strong feeling of patriotism.”

The president did not clarify who or what he meant by “Communists”. However, in the next paragraph he refers, without explanation, to the Soviet Union as “stirring up trouble” in the Middle East. And on the following page, the old soldier writes that “there was no doubt in our minds” about Chamoun’s charge that “Egypt and Syria had been instigating the revolt and arming the rebels”.21

In the midst of the fighting, John Foster Dulles announced that he perceived “international communism” as the source of the conflict and for the third time in a year the Sixth Fleet was dispatched to the eastern Mediterranean; police supplies to help quell rioters, as well as tanks and other heavy equipment, were airlifted to Lebanon.

At a subsequent news conference, Dulles declared that even if international communism were not involved, the Eisenhower Doctrine was still applicable because one of its provisions stated that “the independence of these countries is vital to peace and the national interest of the United States.” “That is certainly a mandate,” he said, “to do something if we think that out peace and vital interests are endangered from any quarter.”22 Thus did one of the authors of the doctrine bestow upon himself a mandate.

Egypt and Syria, from all accounts, supported the rebels’ cause with arms, men and money, in addition to inflammatory radio broadcasts from Cairo, although the extent of the material support is difficult to establish. A UN Observation Group went to Lebanon in June at the request of Foreign Minister Malik and reported that they found no evidence of UAR intervention of any significance. A second UN report in July confirmed this finding. It is open to question, however, what degree of reliance can be placed upon these reports, dealing as they do with so thorny an evaluation and issued by a body in the business of promoting compromise.

In any event, the issue was whether the conflict in Lebanon represented a legitimate, home-grown civil war, or whether it was the doing of the proverbial “outside agitators”. On this point, historian Richard Barner has observed:

No doubt the Observation Group did minimize the extent of UAR participation. But essentially they were correct. Nasser was trying to exploit the political turmoil in Lebanon, but he did not create it. Lebanon, which had always abounded in clandestine arsenals and arms markets, did not need foreign weapons for its domestic violence. Egyptian intervention was neither the stimulus nor the mainstay of the civil strife. Once again a government that had lost the power to rule effectively was blaming its failure on foreign agents.23

President Eisenhower—continuing his flip-flop thinking on the issue—wrote that it now seemed that Nasser “would be just as happy to see a temporary end to the struggle … and contacted our government and offered to attempt to use his influence toend the trouble.”24

Camille Chamoun had sacrificed Lebanon’s independence and neutrality on the altar of personal ambition and the extensive American aid that derived from subscribing to the Eisenhower Doctrine. Lebanese Muslims, who comprised most of Chamoun’s opposition, were also galled that the Christian president had once again placed the country outside the mainstream of the Arab world, as he had done in 1956 when he refused to break relations with France and Great Britain following their invasion of Egypt.

Chamoun himself had admitted the significance of his pro-American alignment in a revealing comment to Wilbur Crane Eveland. Eveland writes that in late April, I’d suggested that he might ease tensions by making a statement renouncing a move for reelection. Chamoun had snorted and suggested that I look at the calendar: March 23 was a month behind us, and no amendment to permit another term could legally be passed after that date. Obviously, as he pointed out, the issue of the presidency was not the real issue; renunciation of the Eisenhower Doctrine was what his opponents wanted.25

Instead of renouncing the doctrine, Chamoun invoked it. Although scattered
fighting, at times heavy, was continuing in Lebanon, it was the coup in Iraq on 14 July that tipped the scales in favor of Chamoun making the formal request for military assistance and the United States immediately granting it. A CIA report of a plot against King Hussein of Jordan at about the same time heightened even further Washington’s seemingly unceasing sense of urgency about the Middle East.

Chamoun had, by this time, already announced his intention to step down from office when his term expired in September. He was now concerned about American forces helping him to stay alive until that date, as well as their taking action against the rebels. For the previous two months, fear of assassination had kept him constantly inside the presidential palace, never so much as approaching a window. The murder of the Iraqi king and prime minister during the coup was not designed to make him feel more secure.

The Eisenhower Doctrine was put into motion not only in the face of widespread opposition to it within Lebanon, but in disregard of the fact that, even by the doctrine’s own dubious provisions, the situation in Lebanon did not qualify: It could hardly be claimed that Lebanon had suffered “armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism”. If further evidence of this were needed, it was provided by veteran diplomat Robert Murphy who was sent to Lebanon by Eisenhower a few days after the US troops had landed. Murphy concluded, he later wrote, that “communism was playing no direct or substantial part in the insurrection”.26

Yet, Eisenhower could write that the American Government “was moving in accord with the provisions of the Middle East Resolution [Eisenhower Doctrine], but if the conflict expanded into something that the Resolution did not cover, I would, given time, go to the Congress for additional authorization”.27 Apparently the president did not place too much weight on John Foster Dulles having already determined that the Resolution’s mandate was open-ended.

Thus it was that American military forces were dispatched to Lebanon. Some 70 naval vessels and hundreds of aircraft took part in the operation, many remaining as part of the visible American presence. By 25 July, the US forces on shore totaled at least 10,600. By August 13, their number came to 14,000, more than the entire Lebanese Army and gendarmerie combined.28

“In my [radio-TV] address,” wrote Eisenhower, “I had been careful to use the term ‘stationed in’ Lebanon rather than ‘invading’.”29 This was likely a distinction lost upon many Lebanese, both high and low, supporters of the rebels and supporters of the government, including government tank forces who were prepared to block the entrance into Beirut of US troops; only the last-minute intercession on the spot by the American ambassador may have averted an armed clash.30

At a meeting between Robert Murphy and Lebanese Commander-in-Chief General Faud Chehab—related by Eveland who was briefed by Murphy afterwards— the American diplomat was warned that the Lebanese people were “”restless, resentful, and determined that Chamoun should resign and U.S. troops leave at once. Otherwise the general could not be responsible for the consequences. For fifteen years his officers had acted behind his back; now, he feared, they might revolt and attack the American forces.”

Murphy had listened patiently, Eveland relates, and then …

escorted the general to a window overlooking the sea. Pointing to the supercarrier Saratoga, swinging at anchor on the horizon, the President’s envoy had quietly explained that just one of its aircraft, armed with nuclear weapons, could obliterate Beirut and its environs from the face of the earth. To this, Murphy quickly added that he’d been sent to be sure that it wouldn’t be necessary for American troops to fire a shot. Shehab [Chehab], he was certain, would ensure that there were no provocations on the Lebanese side. That, Murphy told me, ended the conversation. It now seemed that the general had “regained control” of his troops.31

None of the parties seem to have considered what would have been the fate of the thousands of American military personnel in a Beirut obliterated from the face of the earth.

Civil warfare in Lebanon increased in intensity in the two weeks following the American intervention. During this period, CIA transmitters in the Middle East were occupied in sending out propaganda broadcasts of disguised origin, a tactic frequently employed by the Agency. In the case of one broadcast which has been reported, the apparent aim was to deflect anti-US feelings onto the Soviet Union and other targets.

But the residents of the Middle East were not the only ones who may have been taken in by the spurious broadcast, for it was picked up by the American press and passed on to an unwitting American public; the following appeared in US newspapers:

BEIRUT, July 23 (UPI)—A second mysterious Arab radio station went on the air yesterday calling itself the “Voice of Justice” and claiming to be broadcasting from Syria. Its program heard here consisted of bitter criticism against Soviet Russia and Soviet Premier Khrushchev. Earlier the “Voice of Iraq” went on the air with attacks against the Iraqi revolutionary government. The “Voice of Justice” called Khrushchev the “hangman of Hungary”and warned the people of the Middle East they would suffer the same fate as the Hungarians if the Russians got a foothold in the Middle East.32

On 31 July, the Chamber of Deputies easily chose General Chehab to succeed Chamoun as president in September, an event that soon put a damper on the  fighting in Lebanon and marked the beginning of the end of the conflict which, in the final analysis, appears to have been more a violent protest than a civil war. Tension was further eased by the US announcement shortly afterwards of its intention to withdraw a Marine battalion as a prelude to a general withdrawal.

The last American troops left Lebanon in late October without having fired a shot in anger. What had their presence accomplished?

The authors of the Pentagon study referred to earlier concluded that “A balanced assessment of U.S. behavior in the Lebanon crisis is made difficult by the suspicion that the outcome might have been much the same if the United States had done nothing.

Even Eisenhower expressed some doubt on this score.”33

American intervention against the new Iraqi government was more covert. A secret plan for a joint US-Turkish invasion of the country, code-named Operation CANNON-BONE, was drafted by the US joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after the coup in 1958. Reportedly, only Soviet threats to intercede on Iraq’s side forced Washington to hold back. But in 1960, the United States began to fund the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq who were fighting for a measure of  autonomy.34

At the same time, the Iraqis, under Brig. General Abdul Karim Kassem, started to work towards the creation of an international organization to counter the power of the Western oil monopolies. This was to become OPEC, and was not received with joy in certain Western quarters. In February 1960, the Near East Division of the CIA’s clandestine services requested that the Agency find a way to “incapacitate” Kassem for “promoting Soviet bloc political interests in Iraq”. “We do not consciously seek subject’s permanent removal from the scene,” said the Near East Division. “We also do not object should this complication develop.”

As matters turned out, the CIA mailed a monogrammed handkerchief containing an “incapacitating agent” to Kassem from an Asian country. If the Iraqi leader did in fact receive it, it certainly didn’t kill him. That was left to his own countrymen who executed him three years later.35

The significance of the Lebanese intervention, as well as the shows of force employed in regard to Jordan and Syria, extended beyond the immediate outcomes. In the period before and after the intervention, Eisenhower, Dulles and other Washington officials offered numerous different justifications for the American military action in Lebanon: protecting American lives; protecting American property; the Eisenhower Doctrine, with various interpretations; Lebanese sovereignty, integrity, independence, etc.; US national interest; world peace; collective self-defense; justice; international law; law and order; fighting “Nasserism” … the need to “do something” …36

In summing up the affair in his memoirs, president Eisenhower seemed to settle upon one rationale in particular, and this is probably the closest to the truth of the matter. This was to put the world—and specifically the Soviet Union and Nasser—on notice that the United States had virtually unlimited power, that this power could be transported to any corner of the world with great speed, that it could and would be used to deal decisively with any situation with which the United States was dissatisfied, for whatever reason.37

At the same time, it was a message to the British and the French that there was only one Western superpower in the post-war world, and that their days and that their days as great powers in the Lands of Oil were over.

Washington and Syria ~ 1956-1957


weather events took out internet giving me time to study some history, which is a good thing.  the present can always be understood better by studying the past …. found this jewel of excerpt from“Killing Hope” by William Blum


Purchasing a New Government

“Neutrality,” proclaimed John Foster Dulles in 1956, “has increasingly become an obsolete conception, and, except under very exceptional circumstances, it is an immoral and shortsighted conception.”1

The short-sightedness of the neutralist government lay perhaps in its inability to perceive that its neutralism would lead to John Foster Dulles attempting to overthrow it.

Syria was not behaving like Washington thought a Third World government should. For one thing, it was the only state in the area to refuse all US economic or military assistance.

Damascus did not much care for the strings which came attached— the acceptance of military aid usually meant the presence of American military advisers and technicians; furthermore, the US Mutual Security Act of 1955 specified that the recipient country agree to make a contribution to “the defensive strength of the free world”, and declared it US policy “to encourage the efforts of other free nations … to foster private initiative and competition [i.e., capitalism].”2

Another difficulty posed by Syria was that, although its governments of recent years had been more or less  conservative and had refrained from unpleasant leftist habits like nationalizing American-owned companies, US officials—suffering from what might be called  anti-communist paranoia or being victims of their own propaganda—consistently saw the most ominous handwritings on the walls. To appreciate this, one has to read some of the formerly-secret-now-declassified documents of the National Security Council (NSC), based in part on reports received from the American embassy in Damascus during 1955 and 1956 …

“If the popular leftward trend in Syria continues over any considerable period, there is a real danger that Syria will fall completely under left-wing control either by coup or usurpation of authority” … “the fundamental anti-US and anti-West orientation of the Syrians is  stimulated by  inevitable political histrionics about the Palestine problem” …

“Four successive short-lived governments in Syria have permitted continuous and increasing  Communist activities” … “the Communists support the leftist cliques [in] the army” … “apathy towards Communism on the part of politicians and army officers” is a threat to security … “the Arab Socialist Resurrectionist Party (ASRP)” and “the Communist Party of Syria are capable of bringing about further deterioration of Syrian internal security” … danger of ASRP “coup d’etat” and “increased Communist penetration of government and army” … “Of all the Arab states.

Syria is at the present time the most wholeheartedly devoted to a neutralist policy with strong anti-Western overtones” … “If the present trend continues there is a strong possibility that a Communist-dominated Syria will result, threatening the peace and stability of the area and endangering the achievement of out objectives in the Near East”  … we “should give priority consideration to developing courses of action in the Neat East designed to affect the situation in Syria and to recommending specific steps to combat communist subversion” …3

It would appear that the idea of military men who were leftist and/or apathetic to communists must truly have been an incongruous phenomenon to the American official mind. But nowhere in any of the documents is there mention of the  leftists/Communists/ASRP having in fact done anything illegal or wicked, although the language employed is similar to what we saw in the Guatemala chapter: These people don’t join anything, they “infiltrate”, they “penetrate”; they “control”, they’re “opportunistic”.

In actuality, the behavior described is like that of other political animals: trying to influence key sectors of the society and win allies. But to the men holding positions of responsibility in the National Security Council and the State Department, the evil intent and danger of such people was so self-evident as not to require articulation.

There is one exception, perhaps expressed to explain away an uncomfortable observation:

In fact, the Communist Party does not appear to have as its immediate objective seizure of power. Rather it seeks to destroy national unity, Co strengthen support for Soviet policies and opposition to Western policies and to exacerbate tensions in the Arab world. It has made significant progress coward these objectives.4

There is no indication of what the author had in mind by “national unity”.

A leftist-oriented or communist-dominated Syrian government, reasoned the US ambassador to Syria, James Moose, Jr., would clearly threaten American interests in neighboring Turkey, which, in turn, could outflank all the states of the NATO alliance, and so forth and so on.5 It was clear that since the Syrian government could not be relied upon to do anything about this major impending disaster, something would have to be done about the Syrian government.

To this we add the usual Middle-Eastern intrigue: in this case, Iraq plotting with the British to topple the governments in both Syria and Nasser’s Egypt; the British pressuring the Americans to join the conspiracy;6 and the CIA compromising—leave Nasser alone, at least for the time being, and we’ll do something about Syria.7

An implausible scenario, scandalous, but in the time-honored tradition of the Middle East. The British were old hands at it. Dulles and the Americans, still exulting in their king-making in Iran, were looking to further remake the oil region in their own image.

Wilbur Crane Eveland was a staff member of the National Security Council, the high-level inter-agency group in Washington which, in theory, monitors and controls CIA clandestine activities. Because of Eveland’s background and experience in the Middle East, the CIA had asked that he be lent to the Agency for a series of assignments there.

Archibald Roosevelt was, like his cousin Kermit Roosevelt, a highly-placed official of the CIA; both were grandsons of Teddy. Kermit had masterminded the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953. Archie had fond hopes of doing the same in Syria.

Michail Bey Ilyan had once served as Syria’s foreign minister. In 1956 he was the leader of the conservative Populist Party.

At a meeting of these three men in Damascus, Syria on 1 July 1956, as described by Eveland in his memoirs, Roosevelt asked Ilyan “what would be needed to give the Syrian conservatives enough control to purge the communists and their leftist sympathizers. Ilyan responded by ticking off names and places: the radio stations in Damascus and Aleppo; a few key senior officers; and enough money to buy newspapers now in Egyptian and Saudi hands.”

“Roosevelt probed further. Could these things, he asked Ilyan, be done with U.S. money and assets alone, with no other Western or Near Eastern country involved?”

“Without question, Ilyan replied, nodding gravely.”

On 26 July, Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser announced that his government was taking over the operation of the Suez Canal. The reaction of the Britishand French was swift and inflamed. The United States was less openly hostile, though it was critical and Egyptian government funds in the US were frozen. This unexpected incident put a crimp in the CIA’s plans, for—as Ilyan explained to Eveland in despair— Nasser was now the hero of the Arab world, and collaboration with any Western power to overthrow an Arab government was politically indefensible.

Eventually the coup was scheduled for 25 October. The logistics, as outlined by Ilyan, called for senior colonels in the Syrian army to: take control of Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, and Hamah. The frontier posts with Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon would also be captured in order to seal Syria’s borders until the radio stations announced that a new government had taken over under Colonel Kabbani, who would place armored units at key positions  throughout Damascus. Once control had been established, Ilyan would inform the civilians he’d selected that they were to form a new government, but in order to avoid leaks none of them would be told until just a week before the coup.

For this operation, money would have to change hands. Ilyan asked for and received half a million Syrian pounds (approximately $167,000). The Syrian further stipulated that to guarantee their participation the Syrian plotters would require assurance from the highest level of the American government that the US would both back the coup and immediately grant recognition to the new government. This, Ilyan explained, could be communicated as follows: in April, President Eisenhower had said that the United States would oppose aggression in the Middle East, hut not without congressional approval. Could the president repeat this statement, in light of the Suez crisis, he asked, on a specified date when Ilyan’s colleagues would be told to expect it?

Eisenhower’s words would provide the guarantees they were seeking.

An affirmative reply to Ilyan’s plan arrived in Damascus from Washington the next day. A proper occasion for the requested statement would have to be found and Secretary Dulles would be the one to use it. The scheme was for Dulles to make public reference to Eisenhower’s statement between 16 and 18 October, thus giving Ilyan the week he needed to assemble his civilian team.

Before long, John Foster Dulles held a press conference. In light of recent Israeli attacks on Jordan, one of the  reporters present asked whether the United States might come to Jordan’s aid per “our declaration of April 9″.

Yes, replied the Secretary of State, repeating the reference to the April statement. The date was 16 October.

But following close on the heels of this was a message from Ilyan in Damascus to Eveland in Beirut postponing the date of the coup for five days to 30 October because Colonel Kabbani had told Ilyan that his people weren’t quite ready.

The postponement was crucial. Early in the morning of the 30th, a very distraught Michail Ilyan appeared at Eveland’s door. “Last night,” he cried, “the Israelis invaded Egypt and are right now heading for the Suez Canal! How could you have asked us to overthrow our government at the exact moment when Israel started a war with an Arab state?”8

The leftist-trend-in-Syria bell continued to ring in Washington. In January 1957, wrote President Eisenhower later, CIA Director Alien Dulles “submitted reports indicating that the new Syrian Cabinet was oriented to the left”.9

Two months later, Dulles prepared a “Situation Report on Syria” in which he wrote of an “increasing trend toward a decidedly leftist, pro-Soviet government”. Dulles was  concerned with “organized leftist officers belonging to the Arab Socialist Resurrection Party”.10 That same month, a State Department internal document stated:

The British are believed to favor active stimulation of a change in the present regime in Syria, in an effort to assure a pro-Western orientation on the part of future Syrian governments. … The United States shares the concern of the British Government over the situation in Syria.11

Then, in June, an internal Department of Defense  memorandum spoke of a possible “leftist coup”. This was to be carried out, according to the memo, against “the leftist Syrian Government”.12

Thus it was that in Beirut and Damascus, CIA officers were trying their hands again at stage-managing a Syrian coup. On this occasion, Kermit Roosevelt, rather than cousin Archibald, was pulling the strings.

He arranged for one Howard (“Rocky”!) Stone to be transferred to Damascus from the Sudan to be sure that the “engineering” was done by a “pro”. Stone was, at thirty-two, already a legend in the CIA’s clandestine service as the man who had helped Kim Roosevelt overthrow the Iranian government four years earlier, though what Stone’s precise contribution was has remained obscure.

The proposed beneficiary of this particular plot was to be Adib Shishakly, former right-wing dictator of Syria, living covertly in Lebanon. Shishakly’s former chief of security, Colonel Ibrahim Husseini, now Syrian military attache in Rome, was secretly slipped into Lebanon under cover of a CIA-fabricated passport. Husseini was then to be smuggled across the Syrian border in the trunk of a US diplomatic car in order to meet with key Syrian CIA agents and provide assurances that Shishakly would come back to rule once Syria’s government had been overthrown.

But the coup was exposed before it ever got off the ground.

Syrian army officers who had been assigned major roles in the operation walked into the office of Syria’s head of intelligence, Colonel Sarraj, turned in their bribe money and named the CIA officers who had paid them. Lieut. Col. Robert Molloy, the American army attache, Francis Jeton, a career CIA officer, officially Vice Consul at the US Embassy, and the legendary Howard Stone, with the title of Second Secretary for Political Affairs, were all declared personae -non gratae and expelled from the country in August.

Col. Molloy was determined to leave Syria in style. As his car approached the Lebanese border, he ran his Syrian motorcycle escort off the road and shouted to the fallen rider that “Colonel Sarraj and his commie friends” should be told that Molloy would “beat the shit out of them with one hand tied behind his back if they ever crossed his path again.”

The Syrian government announcement which accompanied the expulsion order stated that Stone had first made contact with the outlawed Social Nationalist Party and then with the army officers. When the officers reported the plot, they were told to continue their contacts with the Americans and later met Shishakly and Husseini at the homes of US Embassy staff members.

Husseini reportedly told the officers that the United States was prepared to give a new Syrian government between 300 and 400 million dollars in aid if the government would make peace with Israel.

An amusing aside to the affair occurred when the Syrian Defense Minister and the Syrian Ambassador to Italy disputed the claim that Husseini had anything to do with the plot. The Ambassador pointed out that Husseini had not been in Syria since 20 July and his passport showed no indication that he had been out of Italy since that time.

The State Department categorized the Syrian charge as “complete fabrications” and retaliated by expelling the Syrian ambassador and a Second Secretary and recalling the American ambassador from Syria. It marked the first time since 1915 that the United States had expelled a chief of mission of a foreign country.13

In the wake of the controversy, the New York Times reported that:

There are numerous theories about why the Syrians struck at the United States.

One is that they acted at the instigation of the Soviet Union. Another is that the Government manufactured an anti-U.S. spy story to distrait public attention from the significance of Syria’s negotiations with Moscow.14

In the same issue, a Times editorial speculated upon other plausible-sounding explanations.15

Neither in its news report nor in its editorial did the New York Times seem to consider even the possibility that the Syrian accusation might be true.

President Eisenhower, recalling the incident in his memoirs, offered no denial to the accusation. His sole comment on the expulsions was: “The entire action was shrouded in mystery but the suspicion was strong that the Communists had taken control of the government. Moreover, we had fresh reports that arms were being sent into Syria from the Soviet bloc.”16

Syria’s neutralism/” leftism” continued to obsess the United States. Five years later, when John F. Kennedy was in the White House, he met with British Prime Minister Macmillan and the two leaders agreed, according to a CIA report, on “Penetration and cultivation of disruptive elements in the Syrian armed forces, particularly in the Syrian army, so that Syria can be guided by the West.”17

Decades later, Washington was still worried, though Syria had still not “gone communist”.

***************
Killing Hope PDF Here … lots more info

What Really Happened in the “Yom Kippur” War?

side note from me after reading this: have been digging for why Egypt decided to attack, and now I know why, it was set up. this is same time frame of the attack on USS Liberty (a two hour long attack, where US Govt turned help for ship back around and were told to stand down, like Benghazi). this, in my opinion, is when US really started militarizing Israel as beachhead in ME, and in return for the favor Israel government wants to run USA.

What Really Happened in the “Yom Kippur” War?

by ISRAEL SHAMIR

Moscow

Here in Moscow I recently received a dark-blue folder dated 1975. It contains one of the most well-buried secrets of Middle Eastern and of US diplomacy. The secret file, written by the Soviet Ambassador in Cairo, Vladimir M. Vinogradov, apparently a draft for a memorandum addressed to the Soviet politbureau, describes the 1973 October War as a collusive enterprise between US, Egyptian and Israeli leaders, orchestrated by Henry Kissinger. If you are an Egyptian reader this revelation is likely to upset you. I, an Israeli who fought the Egyptians in the 1973 war, was equally upset and distressed, – yet still excited by the discovery. For an American it is likely to come as a shock.

According to the Vinogradov memo (to be published by us in full in the Russian weekly Expert next Monday), Anwar al-Sadat, holder of the titles of President, Prime Minister, ASU Chairman, Chief Commander, Supreme Military Ruler, entered into conspiracy with the Israelis, betrayed his ally Syria, condemned the Syrian army to destruction and Damascus to bombardment, allowed General Sharon’s tanks to cross without hindrance to the western bank of the Suez Canal, and actually planned a defeat of the Egyptian troops in the October War. Egyptian soldiers and officers bravely and successfully fought the Israeli enemy – too successfully for Sadat’s liking as he began the war in order to allow for the US comeback to the Middle East.

He was not the only conspirator: according to Vinogradov, the grandmotherly Golda Meir knowingly sacrificed two thousand of Israel’s best fighters – she possibly thought fewer would be killed — in order to give Sadat his moment of glory and to let the US secure its positions in the Middle East. The memo allows for a completely new interpretation of the Camp David Treaty, as one achieved by deceit and treachery.

Vladimir Vinogradov was a prominent and brilliant Soviet diplomat; he served as ambassador to Tokyo in the 1960s, to Cairo from 1970 to 1974, co-chairman of the Geneva Peace Conference, ambassador to Teheran during the Islamic revolution, the USSR Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. He was a gifted painter and a prolific writer; his archive has hundreds of pages of unique observations and notes covering international affairs, but the place of honor goes to his Cairo diaries, and among others, descriptions of his hundreds of meetings with Sadat and the full sequence of the war as he observed it unfold at Sadat’s hq as the big decisions were made. When published, these notes will allow to re-evaluate the post-Nasser period of Egyptian history.

Vinogradov arrived to Cairo for Nasser’s funeral and remained there as the Ambassador.

three year war

He recorded the creeping coup of Sadat, least bright of Nasser’s men, who became Egypt’s president by chance, as he was the vice-president at Nasser’s death. Soon he dismissed, purged and imprisoned practically all important Egyptian politicians, the comrades-in-arms of Gamal Abd el Nasser, and dismantled the edifice of Nasser’s socialism.

Vinogradov was an astute observer; not a conspiracy cuckoo. Far from being headstrong and doctrinaire, he was a friend of Arabs and a consistent supporter and promoter of a lasting and just peace between the Arabs and Israel, a peace that would meet Palestinian needs and ensure Jewish prosperity.

The pearl of his archive is the file called The Middle Eastern Games. It contains some 20 typewritten pages edited by hand in blue ink, apparently a draft for a memo to the Politburo and to the government, dated January 1975, soon after his return from Cairo. The file contains the deadly secret of the collusion he observed. It is written in lively and highly readable Russian, not in the bureaucratese we’d expect.

Two pages are added to the file in May 1975; they describe Vinogradov’s visit to Amman and his informal talks with Abu Zeid Rifai, the Prime Minister, and his exchange of views with the Soviet Ambassador in Damascus. Vinogradov did not voice his opinions until 1998, and even then he did not speak as openly as in this draft. Actually, when the suggestion of collusion was presented to him by the Jordanian prime minister, being a prudent diplomat, he refused to discuss it.

The official version of the October war holds that on October 6, 1973, in conjunction with Hafez al-Assad of Syria, Anwar as-Sadat launched a surprise attack against Israeli forces.

They crossed the Canal and advanced a few miles into the occupied Sinai. As the war progressed, tanks of General Ariel Sharon crossed the Suez Canal and encircled the Egyptian Third Army.

The ceasefire negotiations eventually led to the handshake at the White House.

For me, the Yom Kippur War (as we called it) was an important part of my autobiography. A young paratrooper, I fought that war, crossed the canal, seized Gabal Ataka heights, survived shelling and face-to-face battles, buried my buddies, shot the man-eating red dogs of the desert and the enemy tanks. My unit was ferried by helicopters into the desert where we severed the main communication line between the Egyptian armies and its home base, the Suez-Cairo highway. Our location at 101 km to Cairo was used for the first cease fire talks; so I know that war not by word of mouth, and it hurts to learn that I and my comrades-at-arms were just disposable tokens in the ruthless game we – ordinary people – lost. Obviously I did not know it then, for me the war was a surprise, but then, I was not a general.

Vinogradov dispels the idea of surprise: in his view, both the canal crossing by the Egyptians and the inroads by Sharon were planned and agreed upon in advance by Kissinger, Sadat and Meir. The plan included the destruction of the Syrian army as well.

At first, he asks some questions:

“how the crossing could be a surprise if the Russians evacuated their families a few days before the war? The concentration of the forces was observable and could not escape Israeli attention. Why did the Egyptian forces not proceed after the crossing but stood still? Why did they have no plans for advancing? Why there was a forty km-wide unguarded gap between the 2d and the 3d armies, the gap that invited Sharon’s raid? How could Israeli tanks sneak to the western bank of the Canal? Why did Sadat refuse to stop them? Why were there no reserve forces on the western bank of the Canal?”

Vinogradov takes a leaf from Sherlock Holmes who said: when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. He writes:

“These questions can’t be answered if Sadat is to be considered a true patriot of Egypt. But they can be answered in full, if we consider a possibility of collusion between Sadat, the US and Israeli leadership – a conspiracy in which each participant pursued his own goals. A conspiracy in which each participant did not know the full details of other participants’ game. A conspiracy in which each participant tried to gain more ground despite the overall agreement between them.”

 

Sadat’s Plans

Before the war Sadat was at the nadir of his power: in Egypt and abroad he had lost prestige. The least educated and least charismatic of Nasser’s followers, Sadat was isolated. He needed a war, a limited war with Israel that would not end with defeat. Such a war would release the pressure in the army and he would regain his authority. The US agreed to give him a green light for the war, something the Russians never did. The Russians protected Egypt’s skies, but they were against wars. For that, Sadat had to rely upon the US and part with the USSR. He was ready to do so as he loathed socialism.

He did not need victory, just no defeat; he wanted to explain his failure to win by deficient Soviet equipment. That is why the army was given the minimal task: crossing the Canal and hold the bridgehead until the Americans entered the game.

 

Plans of the US

During decolonisation the US lost strategic ground in the Middle East with its oil, its Suez Canal, its vast population. Its ally Israel had to be supported, but the Arabs were growing stronger all the time. Israel had to be made more flexible, for its brutal policies interfered with the US plans. So the US had to keep Israel as its ally but at the same time Israel’s arrogance had to be broken. The US needed a chance to “save” Israel after allowing the Arabs to beat the Israelis for a while. So the US allowed Sadat to begin a limited war.

 

Israel

Israel’s leaders had to help the US, its main provider and supporter. The US needed to improve its positions in the Middle East, as in 1973 they had only one friend and ally, King Feisal. (Kissinger told Vinogradov that Feisal tried to educate him about the evilness of Jews and Communists.) If and when the US was to recover its position in the Middle East, the Israeli position would improve drastically. Egypt was a weak link, as Sadat disliked the USSR and the progressive forces in the country, so it could be turned. Syria could be dealt with militarily, and broken.

 

The Israelis and Americans decided to let Sadat take the Canal while holding the mountain passes of Mittla and Giddi, a better defensive line anyway. This was actually Rogers’ plan of 1971, acceptable to Israel. But this should be done in fighting, not given up for free.

As for Syria, it was to be militarily defeated, thoroughly. That is why the Israeli Staff did sent all its available troops to the Syrian border, while denuding the Canal though the Egyptian army was much bigger than the Syrian one. Israeli troops at the Canal were to be sacrificed in this game; they were to die in order to bring the US back into the Middle East.

However, the plans of the three partners were somewhat derailed by the factors on the ground: it is the usual problem with conspiracies; nothing works as it should, Vinogradov writes in his memo to be published in full next week in Moscow’s Expert.

Sadat’s crooked game was spoiled to start with. His presumptions did not work out. Contrary to his expectations, the USSR supported the Arab side and began a massive airlift of its most modern military equipment right away. The USSR took the risk of confrontation with the US; Sadat had not believed they would because the Soviets were adamant against the war, before it started. His second problem, according to Vinogradov, was the superior quality of Russian weapons in the hands of Egyptian soldiers — better than the western weapons in the Israelis’ hands.

As an Israeli soldier of the time I must confirm the Ambassador’s words. The Egyptians had the legendary Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, the best gun in the world, while we had FN battle rifles that hated sand and water. We dropped our FNs and picked up their AKs at the first opportunity. They used anti-tank Sagger missiles, light, portable, precise, carried by one soldier. Saggers killed between 800 and 1200 Israeli tanks. We had old 105 mm recoilless jeep-mounted rifles, four men at a rifle (actually, a small cannon) to fight tanks. Only new American weapons redressed the imbalance.

Sadat did not expect the Egyptian troops taught by the Soviet specialists to better their Israeli enemy – but they did.

They crossed the Canal much faster than planned and with much smaller losses.

Arabs beating the Israelis – it was bad news for Sadat. He overplayed his hand. That is why the Egyptian troops stood still, like the sun upon Gibeon, and did not move. They waited for the Israelis, but at that time the Israeli army was fighting the Syrians. The Israelis felt somewhat safe from Sadat’s side and they sent all their army north. The Syrian army took the entire punch of Israeli forces and began its retreat. They asked Sadat to move forward, to take some of the heat off them, but Sadat refused. His army stood and did not move, though there were no Israelis between the Canal and the mountain passes.

Syrian leader al Assad was convinced at that time that Sadat betrayed him, and he said so frankly to the Soviet ambassador in Damascus, Mr Muhitdinov, who passed this to Vinogradov. Vinogradov saw Sadat daily and asked him in real time why he was not advancing. He received no reasonable answer: Sadat muttered that he does not want to run all over Sinai looking for Israelis, that sooner or later they would come to him.

The Israeli leadership was worried: the war was not going as expected. There were big losses on the Syrian front, the Syrians retreated but each yard was hard fought; only Sadat’s passivity saved the Israelis from a reverse. The plan to for total Syrian defeat failed, but the Syrians could not effectively counterattack.

This was the time to punish Sadat: his army was too efficient, his advance too fast, and worse, his reliance upon the Soviets only grew due to the air bridge. The Israelis arrested their advance on Damascus and turned their troops southwards to Sinai.

The Jordanians could at this time have cut off the North-to-South route and king Hussein proposed this to Sadat and Assad. Assad agreed immediately, but Sadat refused to accept the offer. He explained it to Vinogradov that he did not believe in the fighting abilities of the Jordanians. If they entered the war, Egypt would have to save them. At other times he said that it is better to lose the whole of Sinai than to lose a square yard on the Jordan: an insincere and foolish remark, in Vinogradov’s view. So the Israeli troops rolled southwards without hindrance.

During the war, we (the Israelis) also knew that if Sadat advanced, he would gain the whole of Sinai in no time; we entertained many hypotheses why he was standing still, none satisfactory. Vinogradov explains it well: Sadat ran off his script and was waited for US involvement. What he got was the deep raid of Sharon.

This breakthrough of the Israeli troops to the western bank of the Canal was the murkiest part of the war, Vinogradov writes. He asked Sadat’s military commanders at the beginning of the war why there is the forty km wide gap between the Second and the Third armies and was told that this was Sadat’s directive. The gap was not even guarded; it was left wide open like a Trojan backdoor in a computer program.

Sadat paid no attention to Sharon’s raid; he was indifferent to this dramatic development. Vinogradov asked him to deal with it when only the first five Israeli tanks crossed the Canal westwards; Sadat refused, saying it was of no military importance, just a “political move”, whatever that meant. He repeated this to Vinogradov later, when the Israeli foothold on the Western bank of became a sizeable bridgehead. Sadat did not listen to advice from Moscow, he opened the door for the Israelis into Africa.

This allows for two explanations, says Vinogradov: an impossible one, of the Egyptians’ total military ignorance and an improbable one, of Sadat’s intentions. The improbable wins, as Sherlock Holmes observed.

The Americans did not stop the Israeli advance right away, says Vinogradov, for they wanted to have a lever to push Sadat so he would not change his mind about the whole setup. Apparently the gap was build into the deployments for this purpose. So Vinogradov’s idea of “conspiracy” is that of dynamic collusion, similar to the collusion on Jordan between the Jewish Yishuv and Transjordan as described by Avi Shlaim: there were some guidelines and agreements, but they were liable to change, depending on the strength of the sides.

 

Bottom line

The US “saved” Egypt by stopping the advancing Israeli troops. With the passive support of Sadat, the US allowed Israel to hit Syria really hard.

The US-negotiated disengagement agreements with the UN troops in-between made Israel safe for years to come

(In a different and important document, “Notes on Heikal’s book Road to Ramadan”, Vinogradov rejects the thesis of the unavoidability of Israeli-Arab wars: he says that as long as Egypt remains in the US thrall, such a war is unlikely. Indeed there have been no big wars since 1974, unless one counts Israeli “operations” in Lebanon and Gaza.)

The US “saved” Israel with military supplies.

Thanks to Sadat, the US came back to the Middle East and positioned itself as the only mediator and “honest broker” in the area.

Sadat began a violent anti-Soviet and antisocialist campaign, Vinogradov writes, trying to discredit the USSR. In the Notes, Vinogradov charges that Sadat spread many lies and disinformation to discredit the USSR in the Arab eyes.

His main line was:

“the USSR could not and would not liberate Arab soil while the US could, would and did.”

Vinogradov explained elsewhere that the Soviet Union was and is against offensive wars, among other reasons because their end is never certain.

However, the USSR was ready to go a long way to defend Arab states. As for liberation, the years since 1973 have proved that the US can’t or won’t deliver that, either – while the return of Sinai to Egypt in exchange for separate peace was always possible, without a war as well.

After the war, Sadat’s positions improved drastically. He was hailed as hero, Egypt took a place of honor among the Arab states. But in a year, Sadat’s reputation was in tatters again, and that of Egypt went to an all time low, Vinogradov writes.

The Syrians understood Sadat’s game very early: on October 12, 1973 when the Egyptian troops stood still and ceased fighting, President Hafez el Assad said to the Soviet ambassador that he is certain Sadat was intentionally betraying Syria. Sadat deliberately allowed the Israeli breakthrough to the Western bank of Suez, in order to give Kissinger a chance to intervene and realise his disengagement plan, said Assad to Jordanian Prime Minister Abu Zeid Rifai who told it to Vinogradov during a private breakfast they had in his house in Amman. The Jordanians also suspect Sadat played a crooked game, Vinogradov writes. However, the prudent Vinogradov refused to be drawn into this discussion though he felt that the Jordanians “read his thoughts.”

When Vinogradov was appointed co-chairman of the Geneva Peace Conference, he encountered a united Egyptian-American position aiming to disrupt the conference, while Assad refused even to take part in it.

Vinogradov delivered him a position paper for the conference and asked whether it is acceptable for Syria. Assad replied: yes but for one line. Which one line, asked a hopeful Vinogradov, and Assad retorted:

“the line saying “Syria agrees to participate in the conference.”

Indeed the conference came to nought, as did all other conferences and arrangements.

Though the suspicions voiced by Vinogradov in his secret document have been made by various military experts and historians, never until now they were made by a participant in the events, a person of such exalted position, knowledge, presence at key moments. Vinogradov’s notes allow us to decipher and trace the history of Egypt with its de-industrialisation, poverty, internal conflicts, military rule tightly connected with the phony war of 1973.

A few years after the war, Sadat was assassinated, and his hand-picked follower Hosni Mubarak began his long rule, followed by another participant of the October War, Gen Tantawi.

Achieved by lies and treason, the Camp David Peace treaty still guards Israeli and American interests. Only now, as the post-Camp David regime in Egypt is on the verge of collapse, one may hope for change. Sadat’s name in the pantheon of Egyptian heroes was safe until now. In the end, all that is hidden will be made transparent.

Postscript. In 1975, Vinogradov could not predict that the 1973 war and subsequent treaties would change the world. They sealed the fate of the Soviet presence and eminence in the Arab world, though the last vestiges were destroyed by American might much later: in Iraq in 2003 and in Syria they are being undermined now. They undermined the cause of socialism in the world, which began its long fall. The USSR, the most successful state of 1972, an almost-winner of the Cold war, eventually lost it. Thanks to the American takeover of Egypt, petrodollar schemes were formed, and the dollar that began its decline in 1971 by losing its gold standard – recovered and became again a full-fledged world reserve currency. The oil of the Saudis and of sheikdoms being sold for dollars became the new lifeline for the American empire.

Looking back, armed now with the Vinogradov Papers, we can confidently mark 1973-74 as a decisive turning point in our history.

ISRAEL SHAMIR has been sending dispatches to CounterPunch from Moscow.

*************

Related …..

A veteran of the October 1973 “Yom Kippur” war (“Harb Ramadan”), Henry Lowi ~ Sharon – the End of an Era?

Israel’s Coming “Civil War”: The Haredi Jews Confront the Militarized Secular Zionist State


By Prof. James Petras

Israel is heading towards a profound internal crisis: a Jew-on-Jew confrontation, which has major implications for its relations with the Palestinians, as well as its Arab neighbors.  The conflict is between the highly militarized Zionist state and the Haredi religious movement over a number of issues, including recent proposals by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to end the religious exemption of Haradi youth from serving in Israel ’s colonial armed forces.

Haredim and the Zionist Colonial State

Even before the forcible imposition (‘founding’) of the state of Israel , the Haredim were opposed to Zionism.  Today the vast majority of Haredim in Israel remain staunchly opposed to the Zionist state for religious, ethical and political reasons.  Haredi religious teaching claims that the Jewish people are bound by three oaths: (1) not to settle in Israel by using force or violence, (2) not to make war with other nations and (3) not to act as if the other nations of the world would persecute Israel .

Haredim opposed Israel ’s violent ethnic cleaning of over 850,000 Palestinians in the course of establishing the Israeli State and continues to oppose Israeli settlers’ violently land grabs against Palestinians.  Unlike other so-called ‘ultra-Orthodox’ sects, who support Zionist colonialism and bless the Israeli military, the Haredim maintain that militarism corrupts the spirit and that Zionists have transformed Jews from righteous followers of the Torah into rabid ethnocentric supporters of a militarist state.  For the Haredim, ‘state worship’, especially the waving of the Israeli flag in the temple, is a sacrilege comparable to the renegade Jews condemned by Moses for worshipping the Golden Calf.

The majority of Haredim boycott elections, organize their own schools (Yeshivas), encourage students to deepen their religious studies, emphasize community and family values (of a profoundly patriarchal sort) with numerous children and strongly reject the Zionist state’s efforts to conscript Haredi youth into their colonial occupation army, the so-called Israeli Defense (sic) Force (IDF).  All major Zionist political parties and the ruling colonial regime unite to demonize the Haredim, claiming they are shirking their patriotic military responsibilities. Via the mass media and public pronouncements Zionist politicians and the state incite Israeli hatred against the Haredim:  A study in 2006 claimed that over a third of Israeli Jews identified the Haredim as the most unpopular group in Israel .

The Haredim, on the other hand, have reason to fear and loath the secular militarist Zionist state and politicians:  They claim that after World War II in the Zionist-controlled relocation camps for refugee Jewish children in Teheran, the Jewish Agency imposed Zionist ideology and militarist anti-religious policies in order to cut Haredim children off from their spiritual roots.  According to one Haredim report many religious Jewish youth from Poland , mostly survivors of the Holocaust and Soviet Russia, were subjected to “unimaginable mental and physical cruelty with one goal in mind: (the) obliteration of Judaism”.  Given the Israeli drive today to harness a corrupted form of Judaism to serve colonial militarism, the Haredim have every reason to believe that the conscription of their sons and daughters will be accompanied by cruel, systematic Zionist brainwashing to ensure they make efficient (brutal) occupation soldiers.

Haredim versus Israeli State Values

The Haredim fervently believe in and practice the Biblical teaching: “Be fruitful and multiply”. They have large families and the median age among the Haredim is 16 years.  Their peaceful message to the militarist Zionists could be summed up as: “Make babies, not bombs”.

Some Haredim leaders have met with Palestinian and Iranian officials and, in line with their religious doctrine, have declared their support for peaceful resolution of conflicts and denounced Israel ’s aggressive military posture.

Haredim are intensely religious and dedicate their time to discuss and debate the readings of their great religious scholars:  Their message to the Zionists is to read Maimonides’ ethical treatises rather than listen to Netanyahu’s bellicose, blood curdling rants.

Haredim live and study largely within the confines of their close communities.  They insist on sending their sons to the yeshivas to study religious doctrine rather than to the West Bank to kill Palestinians. They call on their children to serve G-d – not the IDF.  They seek truth in the Torah – not in conquest via the Preventive War Doctrines espoused by prestigious Israeli and overseas Zionist academic militarists.

Haredim focus on building a better life within their community; they reject the efforts of the Zionist state to entice them into joining the violent self-styled ‘Jewish’ settlers engaged in brutal land grabs in the West Bank , in the name of “contributing to society (sic)”.  The ‘introverted Haredi way of life’ is seen as a righteous alternative to the crass militarism, money laundering, financial speculation, human body part trafficking and real estate swindles rife among the elite Israelis and among sectors of overseas Zionists engaged in procuring multi- billion dollar tribute from the US Treasury.

Haredim believe, with exemplary evidence, that conscripting their youth into the Israeli colonial army would destroy their moral values, as their sons would be forced to grope and search Arab women at checkpoints, break the legs of stone-throwing Palestinian children, defend lawless self-styled ‘Jewish’  settlers as they paint obscene graffiti in mosques and churches and attack Arab children on their way to school … not to speak of the ill effects of what secular Israeli Jews call a “modern education”, full of historical fabrications about the origins of Israel, scientific readings on high tech war-making and “advanced” economic doctrines proclaiming the sacred role of the free market, and  justifying the 60% poverty rate among Haredim as “self-induced”.

The Haredim demand that the Israeli Jewish elite stop trying to conscript their youth into the IDF and stop the job discrimination, which has trippled the unemployment rate among Haredim.

The Coming ‘Civil War’:  Zionist State versus the Haredim

The elected leader, Yair Lapid, of newly formed Yesh Atid Party, dubbed a “centrist” by the New York Times,  and a ‘moderate’ by the leading ideologues of the US Zionist “lobby”, ran on a platform of forcibly ending the Haredi exemption from conscription into the colonial military service.  Yair Lapid, in the run-up to joining a new Netanyahu coalition regime, has launched a vicious attack on the Haredim. Lapid premises his agreement to joining Netanyahu’s war machine on his plans to forcibly confront the Haredi leadership.  Yair Lapid taps the class and secular resentments of Israel’s upwardly mobile youth who bitterly complain of having to serve in the army, thus delaying their money-making opportunities, while the poor, semi-literate “blacks” (a derogatory term referring to the clothing of Haredim) engage in “worthless studies” of the Torah.  Lapid, using the same perverted logic as Netanyahu, claims that “Ten percent of the population cannot threaten 90 percent with civil war”, (Financial Times, 2/14/13, p. 6.).

Once again, the executioner (Lapid) accuses the victim (Haredim) of the violence he is about to commit.  Lapid’s Yesh Atid, the centrist (sic) party, has allied with Naftali Bennett’s neo-fascist ‘Jewish Home Party’ (pushing for the annexation of all of Palestine and expulsion of non-Jews) in smashing Haredi exemption to military conscription.  They hold veto power over the next cabinet.  This rabidly secular militarist assault has provoked great opposition and united the otherwise Zionist-religious parties:  The Shas Party (Sephardic Haredim) and United Torah Judaism have taken up the defense of the Haredim.

Lines are being drawn far beyond a Haredim-Zionist State confrontation.

The Larger Meaning of the Haredim-Zionist Conflict

The Haredim hostility to the secular Zionist state is in part based on its opposition to military conscription, thus calling into question Israeli militarism, in general, and specifically its policy of colonial occupation and regional aggression.  While some Haredim may oppose conscription for religious reasons and seek exemption solely for its own youth, objectively, the effect is to undermine Israel ’s violation of Palestinian rights and to call into question the entire apartheid system.  By speaking to spiritual values, they deny the legitimacy of the idea of a Jewish police state based on force, violence, torture and disappearance of political prisoners.  Their questioning of the institutional configuration upholding Jewish supremacy and Israel as the homeland of the Chosen People, they strike a powerful blow at the ideological underpinnings of the overseas activity of the Zionist power configuration.  Their animosity to the fusion of Jewish chauvinism and religious rituals and the tribal deification of the Israeli state is counterposed to their embrace of Moses Ten Commandments.

The Haredim study the teaching of the profound Judaic philosopher Maimonides and abhor Zionist militaristic strategists like Walzer, Dershowitz, Kagan, Feith, Netanyahu, etc. who preach colonial “just war” doctrines.  Representing 10% of the Israeli population and a far greater percentage of military age youth, the Haredim are in a position to sharply limit the scope of future Zionist wars. If they succeed in blocking conscription, they would provide a lasting contribution to making the world in general, and the Middle East in particular, a more secure and peaceful place to live.

Facing the prospect of a loss of future cannon fodder to sustain its colonial ventures, and in their frenzied attacks on the Haredim, the Israeli-Zionist elite have incited the majority of Israeli Jews to demonize them as ‘backward’, illiterate, freeloaders and to blame the religious curriculum for their growing and current 60% rate of poverty and high unemployment.  Israel ’s war machine needs fresh recruits to maintain its imperial quest for a Greater Israel.

Demographics – with families exceeding five children –indicate the Haredim are likely to double their percentage of the Israeli population over the next two decades.  Faced with the ‘facts on the ground and in the cradle’, the colonial expansionist imperative drives all the leading Zionist parties to end Haredi exemptions.  In response Haredi leaders threaten to engage in massive civil disobedience if the Zionists impose conscription, rightly seeing conscription of its youth as an assault on its most profoundly held spiritual and family values and as an opening wedge in destroying traditional community solidarity and reciprocal relations.

The Haredim share a common plight with Israel ’s Arab population:  Both communities face increasing police harassment, discrimination, religious persecution and rising levels of poverty.  A Haredim-Arab alliance would unite 30% of the population against a common secular militarist and plutocratic enemy.  Farfetched as it seems on the subjective level, there are objective historical and structural processes which are driving the two groups together.

It is one of the great ironies of history that the world’s modern secular anti-imperialist movements should find their most consequential allies among Israel ’s most traditional and deeply religious movement.

Defeat and Victory ~ Bill the Butcher

I get it – I understand your message
In terms of blood and iron.
You are strong
You have power over me.

And so –
What use is your power?

What is the worst you can do to me
Kill me?
Tear apart my body
Leave me a bleeding corpse?

Yes, you can do that
If you want. Is that your victory?

Everyone has to die someday.
Killing me is not your victory.

I will not bow to you
You will not make me cower
In fear. You can kill me
But you can’t frighten me
You can’t keep me silent.

You can crush me
But you can’t frighten me
You can defeat me
But you can’t conquer me.

And you can knock me down
But you can’t make me bow down
And that is your defeat
That is my victory.

 

Copyright B Purkayastha 2013

 

Civil Resistance / First Lady Asmaa’ Al Assad

Civil Resistance / First Lady Asmaa’ Al Assad ~ By Daniel Mabsout


The greatest of challenges are facing Syria and the Syrians and the president of Syria . The forces who succeeded in carrying on the western scheme of destabilization and chaos in countries like Iraq and Libya are trying to do the same in Syria . Under the pretext of removing a dictator , they are destroying the country . It is not that they want to …replace something with something else; what they seek rather is the destruction of Syria , they seek the decomposition of the constituents of the society as such . They seek the despair of people and their turning against the president and the regime ; they target the children and mothers with such pressure seeking that they give up on the struggle and give in to the intervention out of despair and wanting to stop more blood spilling . Therefore the society in all its colors and categories should answer the call and face this challenge and refuse to be cornered and blackmailed and deprived of its alternatives by the forces of evil . Everything depends on and lies within the capacity of the Syrians to stand up to the challenge and not bend before the difficulty or give up or run away or be trapped in the fear of destiny and panic of want . What is required –in other terms- is Resistance , all kinds of Resistance , forbearance and Resistance : peoples’ Resistance and social Resistance .The enemy is betting on your surrender and weakness and testing your abilities and valor . Syria has become the center of the world . The outcome of this assault is not be decided in the battleground itself but in the capacity of the Syrians to resist .

The choices are not many and the alternatives are limited, and what is at stake is the capacity of the people , of all people and of any people to continue existing with dignity without being affiliated to western powers and subdued to Israel and to predator countries . The Syrians have to prove themselves, to prove that they can survive the circumstance and the challenge and come out of it safe and wholesome and mentally and emotionally sound . There is no greater defeat for the enemy than seeing Syrians undergoing bravely all these circumstances without giving up their basic principles of co-existence and solidarity and openness .

In this instance we salute lady Asmaa’ al Assad – the first Lady of Syria -who is leading the Resistance of the civilians : the Resistance of the mothers and sisters and children of Syria by standing by and supporting her people and their army and embodying the true example of commitment . God bless the first lady and bless each mother and father and brother in Syria who is refusing to sell Syria cheap to its enemies . Thus Syria shall reap victory over all and this should be the victory of all.

Posted by Daniel Mabsout

Satyagraha – A Poem

By Abdul Karim Sabawi – Gaza 

I testify,

There are no weapons more lethal than yours

No men and horses mightier than yours

And of all those who have occupied my land

Yours is the darkest, most dreadful occupation

You choose to kill

But killing is a parasite

It will eat away your spirit
Take aim

Kill

Until you’re exhausted

I am not like you

I wont allow you to stain my soul

And to seduce me into killing you

Three things stop me

My beliefs*, values and heritage
I am not like you

Ignorant

Arrogant of your ignorance

Why not ask the sea waves

Ask the sand

where did the past invaders go?

Visit the museums,

The size of your head is no different to theirs

Neither is the size of your shoes

Nor will your fate be any different
I am not like you

Raised in isolation

In closed communities

Apart from all the others

I am an Arab

My seas are wide open

My sky is without end

With enduring sunshine

I am not looking to eat someone’s food

Or steal someone’s land

I inherited my land

From my father and his ancestors

I inherited all religions

And I pray on Friday, Saturday and on Sunday
I am not like you

Pretending to sit on God’s lap

Carrying a vengeful sword

Starting war after war

My God is in my heart

Light, love and mercy

I walk slowly

I plant a seed for charity

It yields a tree

I dig for water wells with a needle

I build an ark for the survivors

And wait for the rain

Which will bring in the flood

I wait for the breeze of revolution

To come and take away the oppressors
I am in no hurry

The sun that will set today

Will rise again tomorrow

I have patience

I have strength

I have mercy

I have forgiveness

My God is compassion

In his name

I will liberate my land

And all the lands.

I will restore humanity

In the soul of man

I am not like you

So take aim

Kill

Until you’re exhausted

- Abdul Karim Sabawi is Palestinian poet from Gaza. This poem was contributed to PalestineChronicle.com.

*Satyagraha is the Philosophy of nonviolent protest, or passive resistance. Mohandas K. Gandhi introduced it in South Africa (1906) and, from 1917, developed it in India in the period leading up to independence from Britain.

*Islam has strict rules for killing in the battlefield and forbids the intentional targeting of civilians in times of war.
If you like this article, please consider making a contribution to the Palestine Chronicle.

Link to this Article

MOH Gaza Final Report

Originally posted on Today In Gaza:

Final Statistics (400 x 572)

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Gaza is Israel’s Vietnam, with Hamas victorious

Originally posted on Today In Gaza:

by Mike Carlton
Source: Crikey

gazawreckage (400 x 213)

Benjamin Netanyahu has ensured that no Israeli will ever again know peace, writes former ABC war correspondent and naval historian Mike Carlton.

So Hamas wins. No matter how Israel and its friends spin it, the raw fact is that this “indefinite ceasefire” leaves Hamas unbeaten in Gaza.

Bloodied and battered, yes, with an echelon of its senior military and political leadership killed by Israeli airstrikes. But it is only down, not out. It lives to fight another day, which means that Benjamin Netanyahu and his hard-Right Likud-coalition government have failed, and disastrously so, in their stated aim of ensuring Israel’s security by a crushing military and economic dominance of the Palestinian people. They rolled the dice. They lost.

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Massacre in the wilderness of young people belonging to the tribe Shuaytat, who had rebelled against the Zionist-jihadists mercenaries of Daesh-ISIS

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

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Massacrein the wilderness ofyoung people belonging to the tribeShuaytat, who had rebelled againstthe Zihadists (Zihad-Zionist jihad) mercenariesof Daesh-ISIS

~

the real SyrianFreePress.NETwork reloaded at
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/?p=36814

~

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Mali after the French intervention ~ Alexander MEZYAEV

1280px-Mali1974-151_hg

Following France’s large-scale military intervention in Mali in January 2013, referred to in the Western media as the «operation to save Mali from Islamists» (1) and shown on television almost in real time, there has been virtual silence about the situation in this African country. French President François Hollande’s optimistic opinion that everything would be over in a matter of weeks was replaced by talk of a few months, and then the expression «as long as necessary». Now, deadlines for the withdrawal of French troops from Mali are not being talked about at all.

French troops managed to carry out several successful operations and kill a few leaders of Islamist groups, but, on the whole, not a single group has been defeated. On the contrary, what is happening in Mali today suggests that the strength of the Islamists has not been undermined; they are capable of carrying out serious military operations and gain the upper hand.

It seems Paris planned this exact course of events. On the one hand, France has established a reputation for itself as the ‘saviour’ of Mali (the curious offensive by Islamists in the country’s capital in January 2013 was stopped), while on the other, the conflict needs to be long and viscous so as to justify a permanent French presence in Mali. French troops have no plans to leave the country, while NGOs report that the situation «remains troubled». The formula is well known…

In the middle of May 2014, following a relative lull, the situation deteriorated sharply. Over the course of a week, battles took place between the Malian army and fighters from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), as well as other related groups. On 21 May, the Malian army stormed the town of Kidal (a key town to the north-east of the country) using heavy artillery, but terrorists fought off the attack and pushed back government troops who fled, suffering heavy losses. (2)

At the end of May, attacks began not just against peaceful towns and villages, but against UN peacekeeping forces. On 20 June, a bomb exploded near the town of Timbuktu, killing one peacekeeper and wounding six others. On 16 August, there was a new attack on peacekeepers in which two were killed and seven wounded.

You will recall that in April 2013, the UN set up a new peacekeeping mission in Mali. Among other things, the mission’s mandate included the stabilisation of key population centres and support for the re-establishment of state authority throughout the country, especially in the north of Mali (see UN Security Council Resolution 2100). On 25 June, the mandate of the UN operation was extended for one year (see UN Security Council Resolution 2164), and an extremely significant addition was made to the mission’s mandate: now, UN troops needed to «take active steps to prevent the return of armed elements to those areas». In other words, the troops can stay there for as long as al-Qaeda and any other terrorist groups exist, including Tuareg rebels.

The internal political situation in the country remains tense. There is no unity either within the ranks of the terrorists (3) or within government. At the beginning of April, the country’s president removed Prime Minister Oumar Tatam Ly from his post and replaced him with Moussa Mara, a controversial step to say the least considering that Mara is a member of a small opposition party. The party has just one seat in parliament, and Mara himself received 1.5 per cent of the vote in the presidential elections. However, this has not stopped Mara from changing the makeup of the government almost completely.

Incidentally, the fighting that took place in Kidal in May was provoked by the new prime minister, who had gone there for a visit. The riots that ended with the capture of soldiers from the Malian army and government officials began on the back of protest demonstrations against the visit. Several people in the town’s administration building were killed. Prime Minister Mara himself was successfully evacuated in a helicopter belonging to the UN Mission.

The humanitarian situation also remains extremely grave. Nearly three and a half million people are still at risk of what the UN classifies as «food insecurity». Almost one and a half million people are simply malnourished; experts expect that in 2-3 months, the number of malnourished will be closer to two million. There are nearly 140,000 internally displaced persons in the country, and almost 200,000 refugees beyond its borders (the population of Mali is nearly 14 million people).

All this is happening against the backdrop of attempts by the new government to conduct the trial of members of the military junta that overthrew President Amadou Toumani Touré in April 2012. At long last, the leader of the military coup, Amadou Sanogo, who for a long time they were too afraid to touch despite the obvious criminality of his actions, has also been arrested. Among other things, the junta is accused of the disappearance of 25 Malian soldiers on the day of the coup. Perhaps it will be established that Sanogo’s April coup was not so bloodless after all.

The UN Mission is also facing problems. Despite the fact that it should include 11,200 military personnel and 1,400 police, by March 2014 the mission was only 55 per cent staffed. Thus for a whole year, the Organization of United Nations managed to complete just half of its mission! The reasons for this state of affairs are not being reported. However, given the unusual correlation between the actions of Islamists and the infiltration of Mali by foreign countries, this no longer seems strange. Foreign troops have gone to Mali for the long haul, and there is no use hurrying them. Especially as the mission is being financed rather generously. While the mission’s annual budget amounted to more than $600 million in 2013, in 2014 this sum was nearer $1 billion!

Operation Serval should be considered in the overall context of French policy towards its former colonies. In recent years, this policy has started to acquire increasingly rigid forms. Thus, in April 2011, French soldiers taking part in a UN peacekeeping mission carried out a military coup in the Ivory Coast and overthrew the country’s legitimate president Laurent Gbagbo, later transferring him to the International Criminal Court. (4) Unlike the situation in the Ivory Coast, the status of French troops in Mali is completely autonomous. Moreover, they received some legitimacy from the UN Security Council, which authorised French troops «to use all necessary means to intervene in support of elements of MINUSMA when under imminent and serious threat upon request of the Secretary-General». You will recall that al-Qaeda’s offensive in the capital in January 2013 took place after the decision was made to establish an inter-African military mission, which was to help the Malian army fight terrorists who at that time had been hiding in the sands of the Sahara for more than ten years and had never come out. The creation of the inter-African military mission was a clear signal that the Africans should not even try to solve their own problems themselves – they should only act through the UN, where the main role belongs to their former colonial power.

(1) Operation Serval
(2) See the Report of the UN Secretary General on the Situation in Mali // UN Document S/2014/403 dated 9 June 2014, p. 2.
(3) There are reports of deadly battles between members of the Arab Movement of Azawad both among themselves, and with members of the MNLA.
(4) Foreign involvement in the ‘settlement of the crisis’ in the Ivory Coast and Mali brings another interesting fact. At present, the peacekeeping mission in Mali is headed by Dutchman Bert Koenders. Previously, Koenders was president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, although more important is the fact that he headed the UN peacekeeping mission in… the Ivory Coast. Koenders’ deputy, meanwhile, is American David Gressly, who previously served as a UNICEF representative in the Ivory Coast.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/08/30/mali-after-the-french-intervention.html

Lizard Point Map Quizzes – Test Your Geography Knowledge

Originally posted on Dogma and Geopolitics:

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Lavrov: Russia instructed the US that any airstrikes on terrorists in Syria should be done with approval of Damascus

Moscow, SANA-Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday his country has instructed the US that in case Washington decides to direct airstrikes on terrorists’ sites in Syria without Syrian official approval, this will be considered as a flagrant violation of the international law.

“The Americans announce that they will bomb terrorists on the Syrian lands with no need of any approval… we have told them this will be a flagrant violation of the international law,” Lavrov said during a meeting with participants at the International Youth Forum of Seliger.

He added combating terrorism is a need, thanks God, the US has at last acknowledged that terrorists are in the front who fight against the Syrian Government, but in order to isolate those terrorists, the US has to coordinate with the Syrian authorities.

Mazen

http://www.sana.sy/en/?p=11397

ISIL an ‘Outgrowth of US Policy’ – ISIL is West Plot to Create Greater Israel

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

Iraq_ISIS_Abu_Wahe

ISIL an ‘Outgrowth of US Policy’

The United States’ policy of funding and training the “armed insurrection” in Syria, coupled with the backing of its allies, has led to the rise of the ISIL terrorist group, an American analyst says.

Clearly the growth of ISIL, or ISIS, is the result of NATO countries supporting the insurgency in Syria to overthrow of the government of President Bashar al-Assad, James Petras, author and Professor (emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, said in a phone interview on Monday.

“In the first instance, the US channeled arms and financial support to the armed invaders of Syria” he said. “Much of these arms and funding eventually found its way into the hands of ISIS either directly or indirectly.”

Petras explained that many of the ISIL terrorists, wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria today, were originally engaged in the US-backed armed opposition to President…

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Interview: U.S. May Use Spy Flights Over Syria To Help Militants

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

Press TV
August 27, 2014

US may use spy flights over Syria to help militants: Rick Rozoff

Audio

The United States may use its surveillance flights over Syria to gather intelligence information and provide it to pro-US militants, a peace activist says.

Rick Rozoff, manager of the Stop NATO international network, made the remarks during a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday, after US President Barack Obama ordered reconnaissance flights over Syria to prepare for airstrikes on ISIL forces inside the country.

He said that Obama’s authorization of carrying out surveillance flights over Syrian territory “adds another dimension to the US involvement in the ongoing conflict in Syria.”

Rozoff stated that the US is involved in similar activities in Yemen, Somalia and Libya and “one cannot be assured that the United States is not gathering intelligence information for purposes others than strictly striking” ISIL militants “and that the US…

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Raghead: Ice Bucket Challenge

Originally posted on Raghead The Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist:

IMG_0001IMG_0002IMG_0003IMG_0004

 

CopyrightB Purkayastha 2014 

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Al-Moallem: Syria prepared to cooperate and coordinate to combat terrorism as per resolution no. 2170

Damascus, SANA – Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, said that Syria is prepared to cooperate and coordinate on the regional and international levels to combat terrorism as per Security Council resolution no. 2170 within the framework of respecting Syria’s sovereignty and independence.

In a press conference on Monday, al-Moallem said that cooperation should be carried out through the Syrian government which is a symbol of national sovereignty, and this complies with the first article in the resolution which does not authorize anyone to act alone against any country,, asserting the Syrian government’s readiness for regional and international cooperation either via an international or regional coalition or bilateral cooperation with those who want, as long as this cooperation is approached in a serious manner without double standards, because it makes no sense for there to be tireless efforts to weaken Syria, besiege it economically, and besiege its army which is confronting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization on Syrian soil at the same time when others claim to be combating terrorism, asserting that any breach of Syrian sovereignty by any side constitutes an act of aggression.

He stressed that air raids alone will not eliminate ISIS or Jabhat al-Nusra, and that before that the sources of terrorism must be dried up and neighboring countries must commit to controlling their borders, exchange security information with the Syrian government, and stop arming and funding terrorists.

“Being serious in combating terrorism isn’t achieved by transgressing against others’ sovereignty; it is achieved through serious political work to dry up its sources and cooperating with the Syrian government, because we know better than anyone else what is happening on our land, then comes international joint action to combat terrorism,” al-Moallem said.

The Minister said that Syria welcomes resolution no. 2170 and is committed to it, despite the fact that this decision came late, noting that the consensus at the Security Council on combating terrorism is in line with Syria’s calls for drying up the sources of terrorism and for stopping the funding, training, arming, harboring, and smuggling of terrorists through borders with neighboring countries.

He noted that Syria had warned against the threats which result from supporting terrorism, and that it warned against the possibility of terrorism spreading to neighboring countries and beyond, but nobody listened until the resolution was issued.

Al-Moallem said that Syria hopes that all countries will commit to the Security Council resolution which came under Chapter Seven and is binding for all sides, welcoming all those who commit to it, adding that the most significant thing about this resolution is that it reaffirms previous resolutions on counter-terrorism and reasserts the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria , in addition to respecting the UN Charter and principles of respecting national sovereignty and independence, reiterating that terrorism in all its forms and aspects constitutes one of the gravest threats to international peace and security, and affirming that all acts of terrorism are criminal acts that are unjustified no matter the motivation behind them and regardless of when they were committed or by whom.

The Minister went on to say that the resolution stressed that terrorism can only be combated through perseverance, comprehensiveness, and the efforts of all countries and international and regional organizations through active coordination to curb, isolate, and neutralize terrorist threats.

He added that there are other points to consider in the resolution that confirm the correctness of Syria’s position, as the resolution states that even the instigation of terrorism and terrorist mentality must be prevented and its exporters – who are well known – must be stopped, along with addressing the basis on which the mentality of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations are built.

Al-Moallem said that there are several articles in the resolution which discuss preventing the funding of terrorists and stopping the importation of foreign fighters who are sent across borders to Syria and Iraq, as well as stopping harmful activities in educational, cultural, and religious establishments, stressing that this resolution is binding for all Security Council members.

“The question that poses itself today is, after the resolution was issued on August 15th and today we’re near the end of the month, did we see a real and serious international movement to implement this resolution?” he asked.

Al-Moallem noted that a week ago, Washington Post published an interview with an ISIS leader in which he said that the cooperation between ISIS and Turkey is strong, and that when they go to Turkey they “roll out the red carpet” for them and treat their wounded.

“Does this come within the framework of Security Council resolution no. 2170?” Al-Moallem wondered.

The Minister said that a U.S. journalist abducted by Jabhat al-Nusra was released a day ago, and Syria welcomes his release, but a statement was issued by the Qatari foreign ministry claiming that Qatari efforts led to his release, which leads to the conclusion that these efforts were linked to Jabhat al-Nusra, adding that a German minister also made a statement recently in which he said that Germany has information indicating that Qatar funds Jabhat al-Nusra.

Al-Moallem said that any counterterrorism effort must be done through coordination with the Syrian government which represents sovereignty, and that Syria now is holding the international community responsible for implementing the Security Council resolution, adding that Syria wants to see true commitment to implementing it by all countries, particularly those neighboring Syria, and this position will form the basis of the actions of Syrian diplomacy in the coming stage.

He pointed out that so far, Syria hasn’t sensed any commitment from neighboring countries regarding the implementation of the resolution, which is probably because they still haven’t realized that the threat of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra will extend beyond Syria and Iraq to other countries and the region and further, adding “the resolution will remain mere ink on paper, and the threat will catch up to them, so we call upon everyone to pay heed to the danger and take initiative to cooperate in combating this terrorism out of concern for their own national interests.”

Responding to a question on what Syria is expecting now from the west which it has accused repeatedly of encouraging terrorism, al-Moallem said that Syria judges tangible actions, and that Syria has documents on who is arming and funding terrorists in Syria and therefore Syria’s political and media positions reflected that, and these positions will remain the same until the west proves otherwise through an actual shift, not in words but in actions.

On how serious western countries are about combating terrorism, al-Moallem said the coming days will judge how serious countries are about combating terrorism and implementing the Security Council resolution, something which is yet to be seen, noting that the idea of classifying terrorists as “moderate” and “non moderate” is laughable, as all those who bear arms against the Syrian state are terrorists, and all those who murder an innocent Syrian citizen –whether that citizen is a civilian or a member of the armed forces – are terrorists.

In this context, he pointed out to the reconciliations carried out by the Syrian government in several areas to unify Syrians against terrorism, stressing that the Syrian government is responsible for every single Syrian citizen regardless of where they live, adding “clans in northern Syria took a patriotic and heroic stance which they are now paying for, and we stand alongside them and hope that the rest of the Syrian and Iraqi clans will take similar stances.”

Al-Moallem said that the Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry sent documents to the Security Council on including the Islamic Front in the list of terrorist organization, because it cooperates with ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra and therefore they’re on the same page, asserting that the Ministry will continue documenting the crimes of the Islamic Front in order to include this organization in the resolution.

“The Islamic Front, whether it is located in Ersal in Lebanon or in the south of Syria or in Aleppo, is cooperating with Jabhat al-Nusra,” he asserted, noting that the Islamic Front recently captured gunmen from another armed groups who were affiliated with it because they were about to become involved in national reconciliation.

“These people don’t want and don’t believe in cooperating with the Syrian government against ISIS; rather they’re an ally of Jabhat al-Nusra in fighting the Syrian Armed Forces,” he elaborated, adding “therefore, I say we don’t need to send a message to anyone, because every person with true patriotic feelings for their country, people, and army must join counterterrorism efforts.”

On what happened recently in al-Tabqa military airport, al-Moallem said that the Armed Forces defended the airport valiantly against three waves of attacks by ISIS terrorists, killing hundreds of terrorist, but the military command, out of concern over soldiers’ lives, withdrew them to nearby sites along with their equipment and airplanes and evacuated the base and all its contents, which is something that could happen in any military operation.

On coordination between Syria and the west, al-Moallem said that this coordination hasn’t started yet so it’s impossible to tell where it will lead, saying that had the international community been committed to previous Security Council resolutions on counterterrorism, then the situation wouldn’t have reached its current state, adding that the limits of cooperation depend on international sides and this issue will be approached according to Syrian national interests.

Regarding Syria’s position in the international coalition for combating terrorism, al-Moallem said that it’s natural in terms of geography, practicality, and operations for Syria to be the center of this coalition, adding “or will they fight ISIS with telescopes? They must come to Syria to coordinate with it to combat ISIS and al-Nusra if they’re serious about doing so.”

“Syria proposed coordination and cooperation with everyone, and the goal of this is to prevent any aggression or misunderstanding, because Syria has air defense systems, and if there’s no coordination, we may reach the point of using them,” the Minister explained.

On the claims that there’s a secret coordination between Syria, the U.S., and Britain for covert military operations carried out on Syrian soil, al-Moallem said that all those claims are mere media reports, reiterating that Syria is prepared for cooperation and coordination to combat terrorism within the framework of the Security Council resolution, adding “if the media information about a U.S. military operation on Syrian soil were true, then this would means that the operation was carried out and that it failed. However, had there been prior cooperation, the likelihood of such an operation failing would be slim.”

Regarding the execution of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS, al-Moallem denounced this crime in the strongest term and denounced the killing of any innocent civilian. However, the Minister wondered why there hasn’t been any western condemnation of the massacres committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization against the Syrian army and citizens, despite the fact that dozens of these massacres were committed.

On the recent meeting of the Arab members of the so-called “Friends of Syria” and the possibility of a shift in Arab positions regarding Syria, al-Moallem said that the five aforementioned members didn’t issue a statement following their meeting in Jeddah; rather there were only media commentary on them disagreeing or agreeing. He stressed that if the goal of this meeting was to find a political solution for the crisis in Syria, then such a solution can only be achieved via inter-Syrian dialogue which is led by Syria and held on Syrian soil.

“What comes out of this dialogue is what will be implemented, and at that point, everyone must respect the will of the Syrian people as expressed by ballot boxes,” he added.

The Minister went on to say that all efforts in Syria must focus on counterterrorism, elaborating by saying “any political solution that is sent by parachutes from abroad is rejected, and I can tell those who were convening that if the goal of their meeting was to help combat terrorism, then they must begin with themselves by stopping donations and funding and money transfer to terrorist organizations, controlling borders, exchanging information, and ceasing the ideological instigation which they export and which terrorist organizations adopt.”

Regarding recent Saudi fatwas and whether they constitute the beginning a shift in Saudi positions at a time when western press is saying that ISIS is purely a Qatari product, al-Moallem said that any positive position is welcome, and if Saudi Arabia views such positions as being in line with its interests, then there are no conflict of interests, adding that any effort that reduces the effect of Wahabi mentality anywhere and any act that holds those who fight alongside terrorists in Syria accountable are a good thing.

On whether the recent visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to Saudi Arabia will lead to a shift in Saudi positions, al-Moallem said that he doesn’t believe that it would.

On whether there was a Syrian-Russian coordination regarding the Security Council resolution, the Minister said that the Syrian and Russian positions on combating terrorism are in total concordance, underlining the importance of Russia’s efforts to achieve regional and international cooperation to combat terrorism, adding that he and Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov discussed the resolution at length over the phone, and that this is part of the constant coordination between the two countries’ foreign ministries.

On whether Syria could ask the Russian government to carry out military strikes against ISIS sites, al-Moallem said that Syria made no such requests, but that there’s an ongoing economic and military cooperation and political consultation with Russia, but this hasn’t reached the point of asking for Russian airstrikes on ISIS sites which hasn’t happened.

Regarding the need for Syria, Iran, Russia, and Iraq to have a strong position and plan and unify efforts to hold ISIS in check, al-Moallem said that there’s coordination between these four sides on almost daily basis, and that these four countries constitute the first line of defense against terrorism, noting that ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra are far more dangerous than Taliban or Al Qaeda in Afghanistan ever were.

“The United States and the NATO have been fighting there for over than years under the slogan of combating terrorism, so how could they weaken Syria and its armed forces then say that they want to fight terrorism? These are the double standards I was talking about,” he said.

On the recent political developments in Iraq, al-Moallem said that the Syrian government had strong relations with the government of Nouri al-Maliki and that Syria believes his acceptance of Haidar Abadi being tasked with heading the new government is a commendable position, asserting that Syria will continue to cooperate with the new Iraqi government, hoping that it will see light soon.

“Cooperation between us and Iraq, whether we want to or not, is not a policy to adopt; we’re fighting a common enemy and are in the same trench against it, so coordination and cooperation between the two governments is required and necessary for the interests of the two countries’ people,” he elaborated.

Regarding Turkey’s regional relations, the Minister said that currently, Turkey’s relations with its neighbors have hit rock bottom, and that Turkish policies towards events in the region must change for the sake of the Turkish people’s interests for the sake of Turkish security, because terrorist organizations know no borders or homeland or religion, adding that Turkey’s borders with Syria extend along 850 kilometers, not to mention its borders with Iraq, and the terrorist groups in question are active on these borders.

Al-Moallem said that the victory of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Turkish presidential elections and the debate on the performance of the Turkish opposition is purely a Turkish issue with which Syria does not concern itself, and the same goes for the appointment of the Turkish prime minister.

The Minister said that the past few weeks witnessed rapid and dangerous developments, with infighting in Libya which the international community is observing idly, in addition to what is happening in Yemen, not to mention that we’ve reached the 50th day of the ongoing Israeli aggression on the people of Gaza, which the Arab world and the international community are watching without taking any action to stop the Israeli massacres and bloodshed against the Palestinian people.

Hazem Sabbagh

http://www.sana.sy/en/?p=11197

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Palestinian MOH-Gaza Update as at 1900 hrs 25/08/2014

Originally posted on Today In Gaza:

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 1900 hours on Monday August 25, 2014.

Total number of victims:13,196 (2,130 Martyrs; 11,066 Injured)
Distributed As
Deaths: 2,130 – 577 children, 263 women, 102 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 11,066 – 3,374 children, 2,088 women, 410 persons over 60 years

Fatima was at her front door when a drone struck, killing her niece and grand-daughter, and injuring her two sons and a grandson. She has shrapnel embedded in her head, face, neck and all over her body.

Fatima was at her front door when a drone struck, killing her niece and grand-daughter, and injuring her two sons and a grandson. She has shrapnel embedded in her head, face, neck and all over her body.

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James Foley – His Secret Life and the CIA ~ Embedded Broadcast Journalists

 


War, Propaganda and the Media

Embedded Journalists: An Advantage For The Military

During the short invasion of Iraq in 2003, journalists were “embedded” with various Coalition forces. This was an idea born from the public relations industry, and provided media outlets a detailed and fascinating view for their audiences.

For the military, however, it provided a means to control what large audiences would see, to some extent. Independent journalists would be looked upon more suspiciously. In a way, embedded journalists were unwittingly (sometimes knowingly) making a decision to be biased in their reporting, in favor of the Coalition troops. If an embedded journalist was to report unfavorably on coalition forces they were accompanying they would not get any cooperation.

So, in a sense allowing journalists to get closer meant the military had more chance to try and manage the message.

In U.K., the History Channel broadcasted a documentary on August 21, 2004, titledWar Spin: Correspondent. This documentary looked at Coalition media management for the Iraq war and noted numerous things including the following:

  • Embedded journalists allowed the military to maximize imagery while providing minimal insight into the real issues;
  • Central Command (where all those military press briefings were held) was the main center from which to:
    • Filter, manage and drip-feed journalists with what they wanted to provide;
    • Gloss over set-backs, while dwelling on successes;
    • Limit the facts and context;
    • Even feed lies to journalists;
    • Use spin in various ways, such as making it seems as though reports are coming from troops on the ground, which Central Command can then confirm, so as to appear real;
    • Carefully plan the range of topics that could be discussed with reporters, and what to avoid.

In summary then, the documentary concluded and implied that the media had successfully been designated a mostly controllable role by the military, which would no doubt improve in the future.

For more about the issues of embedded journalism during the Iraq invasion, various propaganda techniques employed, and more, see this web site’s Iraq media section.

http://www.globalissues.org/article/157/war-propaganda-and-the-media#EmbeddedJournalistsAnAdvantagefortheMilitary

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Embedded Broadcast Journalists
Reporting Operation Iraqi Freedom from the Frontline

Introduction
The notion of embedding reporters with military units is as old as the United States Civil War and was the way most wars were covered through Vietnam. In the spring of 2003, the face of combat reporting changed when the U.S. military implemented a systematic program to identify, and proactively facilitate the embedding of hundreds of reporters with combat units participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unprecedented, broad scope of this initiative included all the armed services, including close combat units fighting Iraqi troops across the desert and through city streets (P. Mitchell, personal communication, November 18, 2003).

Modern-day embedding has its genesis in the aftermath of the invasion of Grenada during Operation Urgent Fury in October 1983 and the invasion of Panama during Operation Just Cause in 1989. News media were completely left out of the planning and execution of these campaigns, and the backlash of their exclusion ripped through the Pentagon. It was the beginning of the end for the military operating in an information vacuum (P. Mitchell, personal communication, November 18, 2003). There was limited embedding during Operation Desert Storm January, 1991 and reporters have banged on the Pentagon’s door ever since (Tomayo, 2003). According to a spokesperson for the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense Public Affair (OASD (PA)) and United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), the most immediate action was taken by Army and Marine Corps units who began to doctrinally embed media on a smaller scale and most often during exercises. Embedding began to appear as part of units’ Standard Operating Procedures (P. Mitchell, personal communication, November 18, 2003).

http://www.ou.edu/deptcomm/dodjcc/groups/04A1/intro.htm

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James Foley was in Sirte with the rebels in Libya as they moved in and captured Qaddafi.  This “lone reporter” knows how to get around doesn’t he.

Dispatches: Remembering Jim Foley 

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 The “Liberation of Sirte ” [sic] ~ Obama’s and NATO’s Handiwork 

Responsibility to protect: The Liberation of Sirte@HRI

According to NATO  figures, coalition aircraft delivered 415 key strikes on the town of Sirte between Sunday 28th August and Thursday 20th October. We have compared this to the bombing of Guernica and other comparisons have been made to the widely condemned levelling of Grozny.

In addition, the rebels, described in NATO circles as a ‘proxy army” were allowed by NATO to indiscriminately shell the town with tank fire, heavy mortar fire and artillery. Here is some footage from the ‘Information Office of the Misrata Mujahid Battalion’ to illustrate the point:

http://piazzadcara.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-liberation-of-sirte-sic-obamas-and-natos-handiwork/

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SYRPER EXPOSES FOLEY MURDER AS SPAGHETTI WESTERN
Read more at http://www.syrianperspective.com/2014/08/syrper-exposes-foley-murder-as-spaghetti-western.html#XblM7i2DOeoYBzsq.99

 

Giovanni Verga: The Mother of Sorrows

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Giovanni Verga:
From The House by the Medlar-Tree (1890)
Translated by Mary A. Craig

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In the group…there were two soldiers of the marine corps, with sacks on their shoulders and their heads bound up, going home on leave…They were telling how there had been a great battle at sea, and how ships as big as Aci Trezza, full as they could hold of soldiers, had gone down just as they were…

“It seems to me that those fellows are all mad,” said Padron Cipolla, blowing his nose with great deliberation. “Would you go and get yourself killed just because the King said to you, ‘Go and be killed for my sake’?”

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The day after the rumor began to spread that there had been a great battle at sea, over towards Trieste, between our ships and those of the enemy. Nobody knew…

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Kerry: Ukrainians Can “Choose” Path Dictated By Washington

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

Interfax-Ukraine
August 23, 2014

US supports right of all Ukrainian people to choose own path – greeting from Kerry

U.S. State Secretary John Kerry on behalf of U.S. President Barack Obama and the people of the United States congratulate the people of Ukraine as Ukraine celebrates the 23rd anniversary of its independence on August 24.

“During my most recent visit to Ukraine, I was inspired by the remarkable strength of the Ukrainian people. I walked down Instytutska Street and paid my respects to the heroes of the Euromaidan. I saw the barricades, the burned tires, and the bullet holes in the street lamps. But I also saw the flowers and the photographs of the people who gave their lives for Ukraine. I spoke to the men and women of Kyiv who told me of their commitment to a more prosperous, peaceful future for all Ukrainians,” reads a greeting posted…

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Raghead: Heads Will Roll

Originally posted on Raghead The Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist:

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CopyrightB Purkayastha 2014 

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Israel is A Nation of Nazis

Originally posted on ♥ The Tale Of My Heart ♥:

Israel is A Nation of Nazis

We Are All Gaza

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Israel is is a War Criminal

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MOH Gaza Update as at 1900 hrs on 21/08/2014

Originally posted on Today In Gaza:

Israeli Aggression against Palestinians in Gaza Strip from 06-07-2014

Date of report:
21/08/2014 at 1900 hrs
Total number of victims:12,565 (2,083 Martyrs; 10,482 Injured)

Distributed As

Deaths: 2,083 – 561 children, 255 women, 98 over 60 years
Injuries: 10,482 – 3,189 children, 1,994 women, 388 over 60 years

Thousands farewell the three assassinated Qassam leaders at their funerals in Rafah today

Thousands farewell the three assassinated Qassam leaders at their funerals in Rafah today

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Terrorists raised Israel’ Flag in Kisin town in the Northern countryside of Homs

Originally posted on Piazza della Carina:

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Myanmar Oil

Originally posted on THE UNITED NETWORK AGAINST TYRANNY:

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A four-year investigation concluded that Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) was “the main channel for laundering the revenues of heroin produced and exported under the control of the Myanmar army.” In a business deal signed with the French oil giant Total in 1992, and later joined by Unocal, MOGE received a payment of $15 million. “Despite the fact that MOGE has no assets besides the limited installments of its foreign partners and makes no profit, and that the Myanmar state never had the capacity to allocate any currency credit to MOGE, the Singapore bank accounts of this company have seen the transfer of hundreds of millions of US dollars,” reports François Casanier. According to a confidential MOGE file reviewed by the investigators, funds exceeding $60 million and originating from Myanmar’s most renowned drug lord, Khun Sa, were channeled through the company. “Drug money is irrigating every economic activity in…

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129-Day War: Kiev’s Expendable Conscripts Killed In Record Number

Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:

Interfax-Ukraine
August 21, 2014

Ukrainian Interior Ministry, National Guard lose 16 servicemen in Ilovaisk battle

Anton Heraschenko, an advisor of the Ukrainian interior minister, has reported the death of 16 servicemen of the Interior Ministry and the National Guard in the battle of Ilovaisk in Donetsk region.

“So, 16 out of 64 soldiers or 25% of all soldiers of special battalions of the Interior Ministry and the National Guard who had died in the entire ATO period were killed near Ilovaisk. This is a proof of how fierce that fighting is,” Heraschenko wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

He said the Ukrainian battalions had had big losses: Donbas had lost eight men killed and twelve wounded, Azov had two killed and seven wounded or five dead and eleven wounded since the beginning of the fight for Ilovaisk, Shakhtarsk had four killed and 16 wounded, including two severely, and Dnipro had two…

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