Geopolitics and Foreign Policy … english and italian
Originally posted on Piazza della Carina:
Rebels of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) which is active in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous district of China are fighting on the side of the “opposition” in Syria, the China-based Global Times daily says citing source in the country’s security services.
The paper says that members of the ETIM have been travelling to Syria since May to join al-Qaeda and other extremist organizations in fights against the regime.
The ETIM is on the UN list of terrorist organizations.
Its militants seek autonomy for the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous district from the rest of China.
The Xinjiang Uighur region of China has been in the news in relation to the terrorist attack on October 29, 2013 in Tienanmen, Beijing. While there is no evidence of foreign involvement in the suicide bombing in Tienanmen square, it should be noted that Washington supports the separatist movement in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region (M. Ch. GR Editor)
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is the western edge of China (Xinjiang means new frontier in Chinese).
It borders on Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia and the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. 9 million Uyghurs (Sunni Muslims) make up 45% of the total population of the Region. From time to time protests hit the streets calling for independence from China. The USA has a role to play here, it defends the separatists on the international scene. The Uygur culture or rights don’t mean anything for Washington, but the Region enjoys strategically important geographic position being situated in the heart of Eurasia which is viewed as an area of its vital interests by the United States.
For the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union the Xinjiang Uygur Region was an area where its interests conflicted with Great Britain. The region provided access to India. Today there is a conflict of interests with the United States, which finds it important strategically to deny Russia and China an access the Indian Ocean.
Establishing control over the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region means getting a springboard for US penetration into the heartland of Eurasia. For instance, the geographic position of Kazakhstan makes it kind of a buffer zone against the Islamic radicalism coming from Afghanistan. Crossing the Kazakh territory, radicals would get to Russia (Kazakhstan borders on Astrakhan, Chelyabinsk, Saratov, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tyumen regions of the Russian Federation). Muslim Bashkiria and Tatarstan are in the vicinity.
While the USSR contained the spread of Islamic extremism, having tightly closed the southern border, Kazakhstan and Western Siberia remained parts of the Soviet Union. It has all changed by now. The US intervention into Afghanistan has exacerbated the situation near the southern part of Russia. In case the US gets a foothold in the Xinjiang Uygur Region, the things will exponentially worsen, there are many Uyghurs living in Central Asia (250000 in Kazakhstan, 60000 in Kyrgyzstan, 50000 in Uzbekistan etc).
The Region is rich in oil and gas, as well as rare-earth metals. There are 52 minerals extracted there. It’s an important trade and transportation hub, an economic center of western China. The Chinese commodities cross its territory to get transported to the Pakistani port of Karachi and then to South Asia. Pakistan and China are strategic allies, the destabilization of Xinjiang would hinder the flow of goods from Islamabad to Beijing. The Chinese law enforcement agencies report there are people on the wanted list in Pakistan among the dead Uyghur separatists. At that Beijing does its best to have good relations with Islamabad (1).
There is a major telecommunications project under construction – the Trans-Asia-Europe Fiber Optic Line, which is to connect Shanghai, China and Frankfurt, Germany passing through the Region (2). Oil and gas flows from the Caspian will cross it on the way to the Asia-Pacific. The Region borders on Tibet. The hue and cry raised by Washington from time to time over the human rights violations in Tibet is a trick the US propaganda machine resorts to while waging an information war against China.
Image: Head of the World Uyghur Congress, millionaire Rebiya Kadeer with George W. Bush.
The US goes to any length to support the Uygur separatists abroad, for instance the World Uyghur Congress headed by Rabiya Kadir , one of the richest Chinese in the world… She meets US congressmen and even has had a meeting with George Bush. She is a hyped symbol of Uyghur resistance. The 10 Conditions of Love movie devoted to her was shot in 2009. Despite the protests from Beijing, it was included into the Melbourne festival’s program.
The World Uyghur Congress cooperates with the so-called Tibetan government in exile and has branches in many countries, even in Australia. It should be noted that Anglo-Saxon powers (the United States of America, Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia) have been including China into their agenda for a number of years, some time ago Australia became a host country to US Marine Corps unit.
Washington predominantly uses three issues to exert pressure on China: Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, where separatist protests are on the rise. That’s why the United States is well disposed towards the growth of Uyghur nationalism, using every opportunity to spur its radicalization…
rare earth elements (“REEs”) or rare earth metals are a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table, specifically the fifteen lanthanides plusscandium and yttrium. Scandium and yttrium are considered rare earth elements since they tend to occur in the same ore deposits as the lanthanides and exhibit similar chemical properties. (Wikipedia)
Strategic resources are carefully protected by countries owning them. Bolivia still has 50,000 metric tons of pure silver in Cerro Rico, Potosi. This is the same amount extracted by the Spaniards during colonial times in that place. Bolivia’s strategy is to keep this vast richness for the uncertain future, when fiat money might collapse. A similar strategy was adopted by the USA with respect to its oil. The USA has the 13th largest oil reserves in the world; yet it is the world’s largest oil importer, purchasing more oil than the entire European Union, which rates only 23rd in reserves. This assures that the USA will improve its competitiveness in this market. Yet, in odd cases, ownership of strategic resources may become a liability. Apparently this is the case with rare earth minerals in China; this country exhibits an odd behavior towards one of its most unique resources. A new study by the European Commission hints that China’s peculiar reaction may be an early response to yet another Western attempt to colonize and control strategic resources. Unsurprisingly, even Israel is involved
Rare earth elements are not especially scarce on Earth; the problem is that they are dispersed and thus difficult to extract. Rich deposits are rare, thus their name. These seventeen elements were used until recently only in esoteric applications; if you didn’t need special types of superconductors, lasers, or nuclear devices you were unlikely to even hear their names. Yet, in recent years they have become increasingly used, especially in thin, bright-color screens and computer memories. Since 1984, China is the world’s largest supplier of rare earth elements; it is the only supplier of the heavier ones, including dysprosium. The 2010 Critical Materials Strategy Report by the U.S. Department of Energy identified this element as most critical in terms of import reliance. The vast majority of Chinese production originates in Bayan Obo, Inner Mongolia. One last datum; China doesn’t own the largest reserves of rare earth minerals. Is it committing commercial suicide?
China vs. the World
Roughly until 1950, Brazil and India led the world supply of rare earth elements. South Africa took over then, only to be replaced by the USA in the mid-sixties. Since the 1980’s the USA production is in decline despite this country having discovered new deposits of this rare goods. Despite having been initially discovered in Sweden, Europe doesn’t produce any significant quantities. Japan owns large quantities in the form of old electronic products; nowadays it is recycling them at a very slow pace, so that it develops the technologies without flooding the market. Moreover, recently Japanese scientists discovered almost seven million tons of rare earth elements near the island of Minami-Tori-Shima. This is enough to supply Japan’s current consumption for over 200 years. Of the known world reserves, China owns just 35%; yet, around 90% of the world’s production of rare earth elements comes from China. Japan imports 60% of that. The behavior of China is opposite to the one mentioned in the oil and silver industries. If they continue with this policy, later this century China will have no significant deposits left, while its former main customer—Japan—will rule the market. Moreover, the USA has discovered large reserves in Afghanistan; the Pentagon has estimated the value of the light rare earth elements discovered there at about $7.4 billion. This probably means that the US Army won’t let the Afghani people live in peace until this resource is depleted.
If the USA or Europe were in a similar situation, they would probably place a complete export ban on the strategic resource. However, China just placed a limit on its annual exports of the raw metals (finished products are not counted); the quota is above 30,000 tones, which is enough to supply most of the world requirements. Moreover, it is rapidly developing its market for products using rare earth elements. Can this unusual strategy be explained?
It is difficult to understand this American-Israeli eagerness to conquer the goodwill of one of the most sparsely populated countries on earth; a country whose main richness is empty steppes. This is true unless they consider Mongolia a springboard to Inner Mongolia. Mongolia could request the unification of its historical core and find itself backed by the USA, Israel and Europe. Such a shaky alliance probably can’t beat China, but it could cause a lot of expensive troubles. Later today, July 5, 2012, Antonio Tajani, the European Union Commissioner for Enterprise will present the abovementioned report on Key Tech Minerals in Spain. The report is unfriendly to the world. It claims that the European Union is facing shortages of 14 critical raw materials needed for mobile phones and emerging technologies like solar panels and synthetic fuels. Among the critical products appear the rare earth elements. The document claims that the markets for these materials will be highly volatile because “rapid diffusion of new technologies can drastically change the demand for critical raw materials.” The positive side of the report says the European Union should improve its recycling policies, develop products that require fewer raw materials and encourage research on finding substitutes. However, it also claims that the shortages may be the result of trade policies, taxation and political decisions from the producing countries to reserve their resources for their exclusive use. “It is our aim to make sure that Europe’s industry will be able to continue to play a leading role in new technologies and innovation, and we have to ensure that we have the necessary elements to do so,” Mr. Tajani said in a formal statement. He also recommended that the Union “consider the merits of pursuing dispute settlement initiatives” at the World Trade Organization because “such actions may give rise to important case law.” In other words, Europe will fight for the Chinese resources; history shows that Europe can get awfully violent and untrustworthy in such circumstances.
China doesn’t have a confrontational culture. Moreover, at the very strategic level, rare earth elements are relatively unimportant. Now China dominates the market and sells them at premium prices; once recycling becomes the main source of the products the prices will drop. A few years from now, China will be the largest economy in the world. It will enjoy a preferred commercial position for the purchase of anything. Its leaders probably assume that it won’t have any problem in purchasing rare earth elements from its neighbor Japan. Under these circumstances, creating a very expensive confrontation along the Mongolian border is senseless. Better to get rid of the troublemaker resources. This explains the Chinese eagerness to deplete its main mine in a long-term, peaceful strategy that the West never mastered. Bravo, China!
Some historians see the period between 1914 and 1945 as the replication of another Thirty Years War. There was the illusion of peace between 1919 and 1939 – the failed efforts of the League of Nations (that failure is still misunderstood), attempts to outlaw war and attempts to construct a viable international system controlled by mild dispute resolution. But the war system was simply too alluring as a means of redressing grievances. The seeds sown in the trenches of the First World War flowered in toxic blooms for the Second.
The battles being waged across the scarred landscape of the Middle East, notably those in northern Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, issue from wars that are now becoming generational in age. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 was simply one grand announcement of things to come, a reminder that those countries bordering traditionally mighty powers could not be left alone.
Militants and insurgents fighting a seemingly irrepressible machine were armed through US and Pakistani conduits. Pakistan’s sole military victory, a sorry state for an army with a country, came through mujahadeen fighters taking the blow against Soviet tanks.
This did not seem to concern most of the ideological straightjackets operating behind their office desks in Washington, though it would have struck former CIA operative Robert Baer as a touch disconcerting. The US was arming forces who would, given the right moment, bite the hand that fed them.
Much biting has been taking place since. Sponsor at your risk. Al Qaida assumed a combat guise, and for much of the time, even through the 1990s, its fighters received the backing of Washington, as long as they sang the right tune. Ditto the Taliban, who received backing from Washington via traditional Saudi and Pakistani contacts when it was thought that strong central rule was indispensable for an oil and gas pipeline. When things went off key, they found themselves targets.
Various splinter groups of the al-Qaeda franchise grew, and in time, the current Islamic State, grafted from the al-Qaeda branch of Iraq, outgrew its inspirational sources. The parent al-Qaeda organization found the bullish, blood lusty radicals too much to handle. They would deal with the infidels differently. Exile has followed.
In 2014, we see the war of 2003, when Iraq was invaded with studied insanity, continue. Factions, be it Sunni or Shiite, are being backed. The international punters are getting their wallets out, and the bank trails are varied. A loose Western grouping is taking a bet on stopping the Islamic State with aid to Christian groups and Kurdish militants. The Saudis and Qataris are gunning for the Islamic State. The US, with characteristic absurdity, finds itself engaging forces backed by their allies.
The issue of finding a solution in this conflict is rooted in numerous meetings, summits and venues. These meetings will not take place, at least for some time, because the West finds itself bound and gagged in what it can do. Its allies back its enemies. Its enemies know that.
The battles now being waged in northern Iraq cannot be divorced from the battles being waged in Syria, where the Assad regime, bugbear and convenient target of Western indignation, is fighting to the death. There is no Islamic State solution without a Syrian solution. In what must be foreign policy driven by mescalin, Islamic State fighters battling Assad may find themselves using US, French and UK supplies. The moment they cross into Iraq, they become the targets of those very same powers. There is, fictitiously, the idea of good Islamic militants and bad ones. Presumably this might be in the manner of beheadings. The difference between Clark Kent and superman is, after all, a matter of spectacles.
The same thing can be said of the Kurds, who have struck it lucky with the change of events. Just as Islamic State fighters will find themselves afforded different regimes of treatment depending on whether it is in Iraq or Syria, the same can be said for the Kurdish fighters who might find themselves in Turkey. In northern Iraq, they are touted as the new saviours. But another synaptic delusion has found its way into the argument: what Kurdish grouping are we talking about here?
While the Peshmerga has crowded the headlines, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has made the battle against the Islamic State their fight. Their skills, fashioned over years fighting the Turkish army, should be familiar to anyone acquainted with the region. They also top the list of terrorist organizations in Turkey, a keen NATO ally. While the poster child units of the Peshmerga have received a bruising, the PKK and its affiliates are not merely holding the fort but making gains.
The diplomats in Washington may have a sense of that, though it is not clear whether their employers do. This ignorance is certainly finding form in the corridors of confused power among the allies. Australia’s Abbott government is crying for attention, putting its C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft at the disposal of the “humanitarian” mission. The entire mission has a monotonously similar ring to it – one mounted by Western powers, enraged by human rights violations. Humanitarianism has become the notorious shape changer. The transformation from food parcel to weapons package is an easy one to make.
The countries now battling the Islamic State, be it by actual weapons or proxy, are also making a solid effort of turning their own states into heavily policed garrisons. Surveillance bills and detention orders are being readied. Returning Islamic militants are cited as the cause. Foreign demons have a habit of causing local discord and instability.
The sad irony here is that this emergency, this instability, is the very thing craved by authorities that claim it already exists. Fight the enemy there, in distant Iraq, because that enemy is bound to be causing mischief at home on the streets of London, Washington or Sydney. But if history throws up another of its perversions, an actual Kurdish state could issue forth from the cracks of the Iraqi state. It will have the Islamic State to thank for that.
Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moscow, SANA – Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov said that terrorism cannot be fought in Iraq while at the same time it is overlooked in Syria, as terrorism should be fought on general bases and without double standards.
In a press conference with Tunisian counterpart Manji Hamidi held in Moscow on Tuesday, Lavrov stressed the need to prevent terrorists in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Mali, and other places from reaching their goals and to work on supporting political solutions to crises in these countries.
“Extremists and weapons trading should be fought instead of toppling regimes for political ends like what happened in Libya,” Lavrov said, adding that claiming that some of the extremists are “good” in order to exploit them for personal interests is unjustifiable.
He highlighted that it makes no sense to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organizaiton in Iraq and at the same time say that there can be no cooperation with the Syrian government to fight this organization in Syria.
Mohammad Nassr/ Hazem Sabbagh
أكد وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف أنه “لا يمكن دعم مكافحة الإرهاب في العراق والتغاضي عنه في سورية” ويجب محاربة هذا الخطر باطراد ودون “معايير مزدوجة” ولا بد من ايجاد “أساس عام” يعين جميع الأطراف على مكافحة الارهاب وتداعياته.
وشدد لافروف في مؤتمر صحفي مشترك مع وزير الخارجية التونسي المنجي حامدي على وجوب عدم السماح للإرهابيين في سورية والعراق وليبيا ومالي وغيرهم أن يحققوا أهدافهم والعمل في ذات الوقت على دعم حل سياسي للأزمات في هذه الدول وقال إنه “يجب محاربة المتطرفين ومحاربة الإتجار بالسلاح وليس الإطاحة بالأنظمة لمصالح مآرب سياسية معروفة كما حصل في ليبيا أثناء إسقاط القذافي تحت شعار الديمقراطية.. فلا يمكن دعم المتطرفين كما كان الحال في ليبيا ثم مواجهة الانعكاسات”.
وأوضح لافروف أن “التفريق بين المتطرفين على أساس جيدين وسيئين أمر غير مبرر وأن بعض الأطراف يحاولون استغلال هذا الموضوع لمصالحهم السيئة وأعتقد أنه لا آفاق لمثل هذا التصرف” مشيرا إلى أنه لا يمكن محاربة تنظيم /داعش/ في العراق والقول بأنه لا يمكن التعاون مع الحكومة السورية لمحاربة هذا التنظيم.
وجدد لافروف التأكيد على أن موسكو تدعو إلى حل جميع النزاعات بالوسائل السياسية والسلمية والدبلوماسية وحرصها على بذل جهود مكثفة لإيجاد حل فعال في مواجهة خطر الارهاب الدولي الذى يحدق بمنطقة الشرق الاوسط.
ولفت لافروف إلى أن المواقف الروسية التونسية متوافقة حول القضايا الإقليمية والدولية موضحاً أن البلدين متفقان على احترام القانون الدولي واحترام ميثاق الأمم المتحدة وحق الشعوب في تقرير مصيرها بنفسها دون أي تدخل خارجي.
ودعا لافروف فيما يتعلق بالقضية الفلسطينية جميع الأطراف إلى “التخلي عن العنف” وبذل الجهود للاستئناف الفوري للعملية التفاوضية مبيناً “دعم موسكو للجهود التي تبذلها مصر والجامعة العربية بهذا الخصوص”.
وحول أوكرانيا أوضح لافروف أن الطرفين الأوكرانيين بحثا لأول مرة خلال اجتماع مينسيك تسوية الأزمة سياسيا متمنيا أن تنتهي كل هذه العملية بالتفاهم وأنه لا بد من بذل الطرفين جهدهما لإيجاد حل مجددا تأكيده في الوقت ذاته أن “روسيا تتطلع الى مواصلة هذه المفاوضات على الأساس القانوني المعترف به دوليا وهو إعلان جنيف في 17 نيسان الماضي”.
ولفت لافروف إلى “ضرورة إنشاء قاعدة للحل السياسي يمكن تنفيذها من خلال وقف اطلاق النار دون شروط مسبقة” مبينا أن كييف “بدأت تخرق الشروط الجديدة” وداعيا في الوقت ذاته “كل الساسة ذوي النفوذ إلى الدفع باتجاه تنفيذ ما تم الاتفاق عليه بشأن تسوية النزاع الأوكراني”.
وقال لافروف “سيكون من المهم جدا أن يدعم كل من الولايات المتحدة وشركائنا الأوروبيين ضرورة ايجاد القاعدة المقبولة للجميع وإيجاد حل في اطار ما تم من اتفاقات عندها سيكون بالامكان تحويل كل هذه النداءات لتسوية سياسية إلى أفعال ونحن ندعم ذلك بقوة”.
وفي سياق منفصل أشار لافروف إلى أن الوضع الاقتصادي والمالي في العالم لا يبعث على التفاؤءل ومن المهم استغلال كل الإمكانيات لاقتصاد الأعضاء في دول مجموعة العشرين لمحاولة تحسين هذا الوضع ولحل القضايا الاقتصادية العالمية.
وعبر وزير الخارجية الروسي عن أمله بأن “ينطلق بعض ساسة أوروبا في موقفهم من إيجاد حل وسط في أوكرانيا” وقال “إذا أراد زملاؤنا الأستراليون إيجاد حلول لأجندة مجموعة العشرين في اطار حلف الأطلسي /الناتو فهذا يثير سؤالا حول قدراتهم لإيجاد حلول مناسبة للقضايا العالقة أمامنا” مبينا أنه لم
يسمع بتصريحات وزيرة الخارجية الاسترالية حول خطط استغلال قمة الناتو لإقناع الشركاء بعدم دعوة روسيا لحضور قمة مجموعة العشرين.
من جهته أكد الحامدي أن هناك مقاربة كبيرة جدا بين موقفي روسيا وتونس فيما يخص قضايا الشرق الأوسط ولا سيما سورية وليبيا والعراق وقضية الإرهاب وكيفية محاربته مشيراً إلى أن المواقف كانت متطابقة تجاه الملفات الدولية وفي إطار قوانين الأمم المتحدة.
وأوضح الحامدي أن الإرهاب “آفة إقليمية ودولية” ويجب أن تكون محاربتها “قاسما مشتركا” بين كل بلدان المنطقة بالتعاون مع المجتمع الدولي.
وفيما يتعلق بالخطوات التي تتبعها تونس لمكافحة الإرهاب أشار الحامدي إلى أن “الشعب التونسي يرفض التطرف والإرهاب والدعوة إليهما” مشيرا إلى أن الإرهاب على أراضيها “آفة جديدة ظهرت في السنوات الأخيرة”.
وعبر الحامدي عن استعداد تونس لمقاومة الإرهاب بكل ما أوتيت من جهد وإمكانيات وأنها وفرت على المستوى القومي كل مجهوداتها الأمنية والعسكرية لمحاربة الإرهاب والتصدي له وحماية الحدود مع ليبيا والجزائر واصفا تعامل بلاده مع الجزائر لمحاربة الإرهاب والتصدي له وللتهريب على الحدود التونسية الجزائرية بـ “المثالي”.
وفيما يخص تعامل تونس مع إعلان تنظيمات متطرفة أنها “مركز الخلافة” في المغرب جدد الحامدي تأكيده خطورة التنظيمات الإرهابية على المنطقة وخارجها مبينا أن هناك وعيا دوليا بضرورة إيقاف الامتداد الإرهابي في المنطقة وأن تونس مستعدة لكل التداعيات.
ونفى الحامدي الأنباء التي تتحدث عن وجود قاعدة عسكرية أمريكية على الأراضي التونسية قائلا إنه “ليس هناك نية لاستدعاء أي قاعدة لحماية تونس فلدينا قواتنا الأمنية والعسكرية لحماية بلدنا لوحدنا”.
وحول العلاقات الروسية التونسية قال الحامدي إن زيارته إلى موسكو تأتي في إطار دعم العلاقات التونسية الروسية والارتقاء بها لعلاقة استراتيجية في كل المجالات وعلى كل المستويات ولا سيما دعم التبادل التجاري الذي لا يرتقي إلى تطلعات البلدين الصديقين مشيرا إلى أنه قدم عرضا بتوريد بضائع تونسية كانت روسيا تعتمد على أوروبا في تأمينها وفي مقدمتها زيت الزيتون.
Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:
Army continues large-scale operations against terrorists across the country
Units of the armed forces on Monday continued to launch large-scale operations against terrorists in several areas across the country, inflicting heavy losses upon them.
Units of the armed forces targeted gatherings of terrorists in a number of villages and towns in Aleppo and its countryside, killing many of them and injuring others.
A military source told SANA that army units targeted gatherings of terrorists in Arbid, al-Bab, al-Enzarat, Babens, al-Khalidiyeh, Aghyour and Mayer.
A number of terrorists, were killed, others got injured and several of the vehicles which they were using were destroyed in the operations, the source confirmed.
It added that other army units targeted terrorists in Bustan al-Qasir and Salah Eddin, leaving many of them dead and wounded, in addition to destroying one of their dens along with the weapons and equipment inside it.
In Daraa, Army units…
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Originally posted on Today In Gaza:
by Mike Carlton
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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Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:
Massacrein the wilderness ofyoung people belonging to the tribeShuaytat, who had rebelled againstthe Zihadists (Zihad-Zionist jihad) mercenariesof Daesh-ISIS
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.
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.
Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:
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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Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:
August 27, 2014
US may use spy flights over Syria to help militants: Rick Rozoff
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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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.
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)
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
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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 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.
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).
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.
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:
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
Originally posted on Stop NATO...Opposition to global militarism:
From The House by the Medlar-Tree (1890)
Translated by Mary A. Craig
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’?”
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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