Archive | December 22nd, 2011

Deir Yassin Remembered

NOVANEWS

Early in the morning of April 9th 1948, commandos of the Irgun (headed by Nazi Menachem Begin) and Nazi Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a beautiful Palestinian village with cut stone houses located on the west side of Jerusalem. It was several weeks before the end of the British Mandate and the declaration of the State of IsraHell. The village lay outside the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish state; it had a peaceful reputation; it was even said by a Jewish newspaper to have driven out some Palestinian militants. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv andJerusalem, and with the knowledge of the mainstream Zionist defence force, Nazi Haganah, it was to be conquered and held.

 

In spite of being better armed, the two Zio-Nazi gangs were at first unable to conquer the village. But after they elicited the help of a small band of Nazi Palmach troops (the elite fighters of Nazi Haganah), Deir Yassin soon fell. Zio-Nazi Palmach soldiers left; it was then that the massacre began. That evening over tea and cookies, in the neighbouring Zio-Nazi settlement of Givat Shaul, gang members told foreign correspondents that over 200 Arabs were killed and forty taken prisoner.

This was reported in the New York times the very next day (4/10/48, p.6). The terrorists Nazi’s claimed to have lost four of their own forces. They boasted of the “battle” but made no mention of the male Palestinians whom they had loaded onto trucks, paraded through some Jewish sections of Jerusalem, and then taken back to a stone quarry between Givat Shaul and Deir Yassin and shot to death. On April 13th  the New York Times reported that 254 Arab men, women, and children had been killed at Deir Yassin; there was no mention of prisoners.

 

The official Zionist leaders of the Nazi Haganah denounced the dissidents of Nazi Irgun and the Nazi Stern Gang accusing them of massacre, robbery, looting and barbarism. Ben Gurion even sent an apology to King Abdullah. But this horrific act served the future state of IsraHell well. As Nazi Begin said, “Arabs throughout the country, induced to believe wild tales of ‘Irgun butchery’ were seized with limitless panic and started to flee for their lives. This mass flight soon developed into a maddened, uncontrollable stampede.

 

The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be over estimated.” (The Revolt, p.164) While modern historians argue that Nazi Begin’s claims were exaggerated  and that the actual number of Arabs killed was closer to 100, they all agree that the massacre at Deir Yassin marked the beginning of the depopulation of over 400 Arab villages and the exile of over 700,000 Palestinians.

In spite of protests by Martin Buber and other noted scholars, within a year the village was repopulated with orthodox Jewish immigrants fromPoland,Rumania and Slovakia. Its cemetery was bulldozed and its name was wiped off the map.

 

Deir Yassin Today

Although virtually all six million Palestinians in the world know of Deir Yassin, few have ever been there. The site is not identified on post-1948 maps of IsraHell. But it is not difficult to find. The central part of Deir Yassin is a cluster of buildings now used as a mental hospital. To the east lies the industrial area of Givat Shaul; to the north lies Har Hamenuchot (the Jewish cemetery), to the west, built nto the side of the mountain on which Deir Yassin is located is Har Nof, a new settlement of orthodox Jews. To the south is a steep valley terraced and containing part of theJerusalemForest. On the other side of that valley, roughly a mile and a half from Deir Yassin  and in clear view of it, areMountHerzland Yad Vashem.

 

While not difficult to find, Deir Yassin today is not easy to visit. There are few places to park. Admittance to the mental hospital grounds is understandably restricted. There are no signs, no plaques, no memorials of any kind. The cemetery is largely gone; the ruins of the deir (monastery) are unmarked; and the quarry from which the residents made a living and in which the bodies of those who were massacred were piled up and burned is likely buried under a fuel storage depot on the south side of the mountain. The orthodox Zionist Jews living in the area are not friendly to outsiders and either do not know or refuse to acknowledge any history of Deir Yassin. Not surprisingly, picture taking invites suspicion and criticism.

 

It is unfortunate that Palestinians do not visit Yad Vashem. They argue  that they were not involved in the Holocaust and resent hearing again about Jews as victims of Nazis when the whole world has so long failed to recognise Palestinians as victims of Zionists. They also believe that the Holocaust was (mis)used as a justification or rationalisation for the creation of the state of IsraHell and for the conquest and confiscation of their homes and villages. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate because from Yad Vashem, looking north is a spectacular panoramic view of Deir Yassin.

The Holocaust museum is beautiful and the message “never to forget man’s inhumanity to man” is timeless. The children’s museum is particularly heart wrenching; in a dark room filled with candles and mirrors the names of Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust are read aloud with their places of birth. Even the most callous person is brought to tears. Upon exiting this portion of the museum a visitor is facing north and looking directly at Deir Yassin. There are no markers, no plaques, no memorials, and no mention from any tour guide. But for those who know what they are looking at, the irony is breathtaking.

 

 

 

 

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BEREAVED ARAB FAMILIES ASK ISRAELI HIGH COURT TO REOPEN PROBE INTO 2005 ATTACK ON ARAB TOWN

NOVANEWS

Zio-Nazi deserter, Eden Natan-Zada opened fire on a bus in Shfaram in 2005, killing four people and was subsequently beaten to death by an angry crowd.

Haaretz

Families of the victims of the 2005 attack on the Druze village of Shfaram by IDF soldier Eden Natan Zada petitioned the High Court on Wednesday against the State Attorney’s Office asking to reopen the investigation into the incident.

A nineteen-year-old IDF deserter who lived in the West Bank settlement of Tapuach, Natan-Zada arrived in Shfaram’s Druze neighborhood and opened fire with an IDF M-16 rifle on a bus, killing a bus driver and three passengers.

After the attack, Natan-Zada was beaten to death by an angry crowd. Seven indictments on charges of attempted murder were served on suspected perpetrators of the lynch, who are residents of Shfaram. Their trial is still ongoing.

The bereaved families are opposed to the State Attorney Office’s decision to close the case file as they believe that Natan-Zeda had accomplices. The petitioners are requesting the High Court hand over the findings of the Shin Bet security services investigation into the attack.

The findings of the Shin Bet and the police, published in June 2006, concluded that Natan-Zada acted alone. Although the Shin Bet suspected that some of the Tapuach residents knew of his plans prior to the attack, they found no evidence against them. The IDF undertook a parallel investigation as to how early warning signs of the danger presented by Natan-Zada went undetected.

Maher Telhama, the lawyer representing the petitioning families said that the families “are not satisified” with the Attorney General’s office’s decision that Natan-Zada acted alone. The families want to see the results of other investigations into the incident that they claim have not been shared with them.

“The attack in Shfaram was the first price tag incident against the Arab population in Israel,” Telhama said.

In 2007, Ahmad Al-heib, an ex-convict who had shared a cell with Natan-Zada in the military prison at Tzrifin from March to May 2005, told a Nazareth newspaper that Natan-Zeda had links with extreme right-wing groups. “He told me ‘This is an Arab, this is a terrorist, I want to kill him,” he told the paper.

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Zio-Arab SANCTIONING SYRIA: WHO IS THE REAL LOSER?

NOVANEWS

By Dr. Elias Akleh

Economic sanctions are arrogant open acts of war against other nations. Their goal is to devastate the lower and middle classes and to weaken the country. The regime of the imposing country believes that its economy is superior and is so influential that other countries are so dependent on it and could not survive without it.

Economic sanctions are deceitfully justified as punishing a ruthless political regime and protecting human rights of an oppressed people. Such people are the most devastated when their economy is hurt while the ruling regime may become more oppressive in its reaction in order to protect and to preserve itself. Case in point is the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children who died due to lack of medicine during the economic embargo after the Gulf War while the Iraqi regime had its own reserve of all kinds of medications stored for itself.

The sanctioning regime hopes that the sanctioned population would hurt so bad that, with some external encouragement and hope for economic relief; they would rise up and topple their own regime. The other scenario is that the military industry of the sanctioned regime becomes so weak and ineffective that the regime would not stand a chance in any military confrontation, similar to what happened in Iraq.

Such scenarios take place in a country that is faced with sanctions by the majority of the international community. On the other hand countries facing partial sanctions rise up to the challenge and become more self-sufficient and more independent. Cuba, with the longest economic embargo, North Korea and Iran are examples of such countries. Due to its large size and important natural resources, Iran had advanced its industry even to achieve nuclear technology.

Due to its leadership in resisting the Zionist expansionist plans in the Middle East, and for supporting the national resistance and liberation groups of Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas, and due to its alliance with Iran, Syria was subjected to many Western schemes of regime change. The whole Arab Spring movement has been primarily orchestrated and geared towards regime change in Syria, that is meant eventually to lead to a regime change in Iran; a frontier for Russia and China. Under the justification of protecting the lives of Syrian civilians rebelling against their government and protecting their humanitarian rights, Syria is subjected to economic sanctions imposed first by Western countries then by the Arab League.

Economic sanctions are not new to Syria, who was subjected to such sanctions since mid 1970’s imposed by the US. Since then Syria had risen to this challenge and had developed immunity against sanctions. What is new today is that the Arab League, with many of its member countries, joined by Turkey, had also imposed economic sanctions against Syria. The Arab

League, with the leadership of Qatar, has been manipulated and used as a Trojan horse by an American/British/French triad to topple Syrian regime and to inflict the country with a civil war, similar to Libya, in the service of terrorist Israel and the expansionist Zionist plan in the Middle East.

Syrian economy is not dependent nor tied to any Western economy, thus these sanctions have no real effect on Syria. Syria is mainly an agricultural country and thus is mostly self-sufficient except in the technological sector which is filled mainly by Asian countries such as China, India, Russia and Iran. Also Syria has good economic trade with some Latin American countries.

Many neighboring Arab countries such as the Gulf States, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon import and are dependent on Syrian agricultural products. Lebanon and Iraq rejected the Arab League sanction and continue trade with Syria. The mostly desert Jordan shares borders with Syria and is heavily dependent on Syrian food products and water resources. Many Jordanian students study in Syrian universities. Jordan will hurt greatly by the sanctions. So the Jordanian king requested the Arab League to relief Jordan and to be treated as an exception in the sanctions.

Expecting the sanction Syria had withdrawn its money from the rest of the Arab central banks, especially the Jordanian Central Bank, causing a shortage and crises in these banks. Gulf States, especially Qatar and Saudi Arabia, have to compensate these shortages. Food prices in Syrian neighboring countries may double to cover the extra expenses of importing food from other resources. Tourism industry will also suffer greatly. Tourists, who used to travel to neighboring Syria, have now to pay extra for travelling to farther countries.

Some energy companies, who are invested in Syria and now withdrawing, will also suffer greatly for abiding with the sanction. French companies are the largest losers in these sanctions. French Total Oil Company, Lafarge Construction Company, and Airbus Company will lost millions of dollars worth of investment in Syria.

Royal Dutch Shell had also announced its withdrawal from Syria with a loss of 40% shares of oil production; a huge investment in the industry.

Canadian Suncor Energy, the second largest Canadian oil company, had announced cessation of its oil, gas and electricity production in Syria. Suncor had big investments that include 50-50 joint venture with the Syrian General Petroleum Corporation producing about 80 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, and roughly 1,000 barrels of oil per day. Suncor’s cessation will cost the company a lot of money and privileges.

Syria used to export about 150,000 oil barrel per day to European countries, whose revenue comprised roughly 30% of Syria total revenue. The withdrawal of these energy companies and the ban on oil imports from Syria are planned to have a great impact on Syria’s ability to produce and export oil and gas, and thus devastate the country’s economy. Fortunately this is far away from reality and the real loss was to these energy companies and to European consumers, who

have now to pay more money to compensate for these losses and to cover the cost of importing oil from more expensive sources.

The withdrawal of these European energy companies had created a golden opportunity for other eager energy companies to fill this vacancy. State-owned companies of countries, who rejected the sanctions, including the China National Petroleum Corporation and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, had made significant investments in Syrian energy industry offering Syria better deals than their European counterparts. Russia and Iran are expected soon to follow. Iran had already signed an all inclusive trade agreement with Syria last Tuesday December 13th.

Turkey’s role in the Syrian crisis draws a special attention. In the recent past Turkey has improved its trade dealing with Syria tremendously. Now-a-days Turkey had turned its face complete 180 degrees and started criticizing and even directly attacking the Syrian regime. It also seemed that Turkey, a non-Arab country, had occupied the Syrian seat in the Arab League. Turkey had played a great role with Qatar in persuading the Arab League to declare the sanctions against Syria. Turkey was the first to adopt the sanctions by freezing $110 million of Syrian money in its banks, by imposing high taxes on imported Syrian products, and by declaring a safe zone on its Syrian borders to protect what is called Free Syrian Army (FSA); a terrorist group who attack the Syrian army and terrorize Syrian civilians loyal to Bashar Al-Assad.

Turkey’s slap had returned to its face. Turkey has more than $250 million worth of investment in Syria that will be lost. Syria had countered with banning Turkish goods. Turkish sanction came as blessings in disguise to the Syria, whose industry, comprising 27% of its economy, had suffered by the past Turkish/Syrian trade agreement due to the cheap Turkish goods that were favored over the local Syrian goods. After the Turkish sanction the local Syrian industries got revived. Recep Tayyip Ordogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, is faced now with huge criticism from oppositional parties as well as his own accusing him of harboring terrorist group (FSA) in Turkey.

The economic sanctions have important political awakening in the Arab nation in general and the Syrians in particular. The decisions of the Arab League in dealing with the Syrian crisis in particular and with the Arab Spring movement in general, particularly in Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain, had shown the League without any further doubt as a political tool manipulated by the West to oppress Arabs, keep their land divided, and to open their natural resources for theft. It had never served any of the Arab’s national causes. In the primary Arab cause; the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the League had given Israel 10 long years, so far, to respond to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative while not giving Syria more than just one week to deal with its rebels before imposing sanctions. For rebuffing their Peace Initiative major Arab leaders had welcomed Israel to open embassies in the capitals rather than fighting Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

While aggressively and hastily supporting the alleged popular Syrian revolution against the

ruling regime the League refuse to accept support petition letters from leaders of genuine popular revolution against very oppressive regimes of Yemen and Bahrain.

When Syrian citizens rallied behind their leadership, the president of the supposed Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghalioun, hurried back to his Western handlers licking their hands begging for more support. He declared that once receiving Syrian leadership he would cut ties with Iran, end arms supplies to Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas, and would negotiate with Israel over Golan Heights.

Economic sanctions against Syria are blessings in disguise. Economically they challenged Syrians to become more independent and look for other avenues for trade. The sanctions rather than splitting Syrian from Iran have really pushed Syria deeper into Iran’s arms. They have also awakened Syrian national pride and loyalty to their country and leadership. The realities of many Arab leaders and the Arab League have been clearly exposed as Western puppets.

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OUR LAWS FAVOR JEWS

NOVANEWS

Only now, when the radical, violent rightists are hurting Zio-Nazi soldiers we take notice

ynet Op-Ed

One cannot argue with the facts. Serious, in-depth examinations undertaken many years ago already proved that there are no equal laws for Jews and Arabs in the territories conquered by Israel in 1967.

Then-Deputy Attorney General Yehudit Karp was appointed to look into this exact question in 1982 and found that clear bias exists in favor of Jewish suspects. The Shamgar Committee established in 1994 in the wake of the murder of Muslim worshippers by Dr. Baruch Goldstein confirmed Attorney Karp’s conclusions, and added that nothing has changed since.   Another 17 years have passed, and each one of us can ask the following question: Do our law authorities go easy on rightist offenders?

What happens when Arabs are detained on suspicion of hurling stones at vehicles traveling on a main road? They are suspected of attempted murder, the incident is described as a terror attack, and nobody has any doubt that this is part of Palestinian terrorism. Such suspects will likely spend a long period of time in an Israel Prison Service facility.

Yet when rightist suspects are detained after hurling stones at vehicles or at IDF officers, or after mosques are torched, almost always it turns out that there isn’t enough evidence, or that the suspects pose no danger and can be freed on bail.

We can only blame ourselves 

How many Jews were convicted of hate offences in recent years? How many are in prison at this time? Every one of us knows the answer: There are almost no convictions. There are almost no arrests either.

When someone is arrested, a great onslaught follows against law authorities, someone gets scared, and the door revolves again. Within a few days, the suspects are again walking among us and complaining that it’s the Jews who are being discriminated against.

To be honest, we can only blame ourselves. Were we horrified when thugs entered Arab villages, torched vehicles, and fired at boilers just for the sake of amusement? Did we remember that innocent Arab shepherds were murdered in the fields, with nobody being detained for years?   Only once a rightist Jewish suspect was detained (Yaakov Teitel, who only recently was found fit to stand trial) and confessed to murder, we suddenly realized that a person’s life was taken yet nobody reported it.

But now, only when Jewish lawbreakers are hurting IDF soldiers, suddenly we woke up and are addressing this issue. So do our law authorities favor rightist activists? The answer to this question is clear.

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5 IRANIAN TECHNICIANS ABDUCTED IN SYRIA

NOVANEWS

Press TV reports electrical engineers contracted to build Homs power plant kidnapped at gunpoint. Iranian Embassy in Damascus confirms incident

ynet

Eight technicians working in Syria, including five Iranian electrical engineers, were abducted on Wednesday by unknown armed gunmen in the city of Homs, Iran’s Press TV reported. 

The technicians were reportedly part of a team contracted to build a local power plant. They have been stationed in Syria for over the past two years.

The website did not offer any more detailes. The Al Watan Daily’s website said that the five were abducted while they were riding a local taxi. Homs has been one of the stormy scenes of the unrest sweeping through Syria.

Syria’s state news agency SANA reported that eight engineers “of different nationalities” disappeared after heading by bus to their work at a power plant in Homs province.

According to the Mehr news agency, the Iranian Embassy in Damascus confirmed that the abduction had taken place

Iran, Syria’s closest regional ally, has welcomed Syria’s agreement this week to admit Arab League monitors to oversee its implementation of a plan aimed at ending unrest in Syria.   Iran’s Minister of Road and Urban Development Ali Nikzad announced last week that Tehran would come to Syria’s economic help should Western powers choose to impose financial sanctions on Damascus. 

The United Nations has said more than 5,000 people have been killed in President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on nine months of protests inspired by street uprisings in the Arab world that have overthrown the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

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NETANYAHU–SETTLER VIOLENCE IS A “STAIN ON THE JEWISH STATE”

NOVANEWS

http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com

 

Ed note–this notion that the recent settler violence somehow contradicts the ‘peaceful, democratic’ nature of THE JEWISH STATE is just more of the same hocus-pocus that Jewish interests have used now in concealing the organically-criminal nature of Judaism and the mindset/culture that such mindset spawns. Jewish identity IS BUILT upon oppression, theft, racism and violence against ‘the other’ and all anyone need do is go back and read their bibles, particularly Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Judges, Joshua, etc, etc, etc, to see how the ancient ‘Israelites’ dealt with the indigenous peoples of the Middle East.The ugly truth is that the settlers–in perpetrating violence and mayhem against the Palestinians, are ‘good Jews’ in the sense that they are living up to the commandments laid down in their religion, and for anyone (and ESPECIALLY Netanyahu) to say that all of this is a ‘stain’ on the Jewish state and that somehow the two are irreconcilable is the height of disingenuousness, no different in its essence to Lady Gaga being offended when someone refers to her as a whore.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Benny Gantz lit the first candle of Hanukkah with IDF soldiers at the Ephraim Spatial Brigade base, a week after extreme-right activists broke into the premises and injured the brigade commander and his deputy.

Netanyahu told the brigade soldiers that the incident was a stain on the rule of law and on the settlers, and as such it must be erased.

“If you take the whitest shirt and slap it with a single stain, then the whole shirt is stained. This incident stains the State of Israel as a law abiding nation,” he said. “We must join forces against this extremist phenomenon and erase this stain.

Netanyahu denounced “price tag” acts, saying “we cannot accept vandalism of mosques or harming police officers, soldiers or innocent people. This can happen, but if it does, we must act with full authority against the perpetrators.”

The prime minister thanked the army, which he said was placed in a difficult situation, having to maintain the security of the population while protecting itself from attacks.  

Defense Minister Ehud Barak also commented on recent events, and said that “a small group of extremists is trying to undermine the sovereignty of the state. 

“We will act with all our power to make sure that while disagreement are allowed, no person raises his hand against a police officer or soldier.”

Barak added that “a democracy needs to protect itself against those who want to harm it.   “Some 99.9% of settlers are law abiding people. We must protect them and the Palestinians that are under our control,” he said.

Answering to reporters’ questions, Barak said he considered the incident an act of terror. “This transgression in my opinion is self-made terrorism and our duty is to do everything we can to stop it, including emergency regulations and punishments.”

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MAJOR JEWISH DONORS STICK WITH OBAMA

NOVANEWS

http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com

US president enjoys growing approval rates, according to Washington Post-ABC poll, after recent slump; to receive support of top-level Jewish fundraisers from 2008 campaign

ynet

WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama is enjoying a 50% approval rate, according to a Washington Post-ABC poll published on Tuesday. The president should also be satisfied as top-level Jewish fundraisers from his 2008 campaign are sticking with him in 2012, Jewish newspaper Forward reported.

According to the paper, despite reports that Obama faces a loss of Jewish funders due to his Middle East policy, analysis of a list of elite bundlers from his 2008 race shows no defections among the president’s top Jewish supporters in 2012. 

The Washington Post-ABC poll shows that 49% of Americans approve of the job he is doing, for the first time since March, when he announced the assassination of Osama bin Laden, and after a rough summer at the polls. In October, his approval ratings were as low as 42%.

The poll should come as good news for Obama as former US President George W. Bush enjoyed a 47% approval rate three months prior to the 2004 elections.

The new poll indicates that 52% of Americans are pessimistic about the economy, but 62% are optimistic about their own financial situation in 2012.

Another poll shows Obama just slightly ahead of the two leading Republican candidates, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich with 48%-50% of American votes. The latest CNN poll has a bigger gap with Obama beating Romney 52% – 45% and Gingrich 56% – 40%.   Earlier this month, Obama met with Jewish donors in New York at the home of Jack Rosen, chairman of the American Council for World Jewry and stressed the importance of Israel as a US ally.

Last week, Obama addressed the Union of Reform Judaism and focused on the US’s unprecedented support of Israel during his tenure.

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U.S. GENERAL IN AFGHANISTAN SAYS TROOPS MAY STAY PAST 2014

NOVANEWS

New York Times

The senior American commander in Afghanistan suggested Tuesday that American forces could remain in the country beyond 2014 despite previous signals from President Obama that the bulk of troops would be withdrawn by then. The commander’s remarks amounted to the most emphatic signal to date that the United States military intended to secure a presence here, possibly for years.

In an interview with The New York Times, the commander, Gen. John R. Allen, avoided talking about troop levels as America begins to wind down its operations in the war on the Taliban insurgency, now 10 years old. But he said negotiations with the government of President Hamid Karzai on a strategic partnership agreement would “almost certainly” include “a discussion with Afghanistan of what a post-2014 force will look like.”

Mr. Karzai had, “in fact, just the other day talked about his desire to have conversations with the U.S. about a post-2014 force,” the general said. “We would probably see some number of advisers, trainers, intelligence specialists here for some period of time beyond 2014.”

 Other American officials, including members of the Obama administration, have said 2014 is not a hard deadline for military withdrawal. The United States ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan C. Crocker, said this month that the United States was open to keeping forces here if the Afghanistan government asked for them. But General Allen is the highest-ranking American military official so far to explicitly state that possibility.

President Obama has not excluded the possibility of troops staying after 2014, but the issue as has not yet been part of the public discussion. 

General Allen emphasized what he called the need for a long-term military and civilian commitment to the country beyond 2014. His proposal for Afghanistan, if followed, might help avoid the outcome of America’s other war, in Iraq, where the political instability worsened almost immediately after the last American troops departed.

The general also laid out his vision for American and NATO troops for the next few years.

He expects more military trainers and mentors to come into Afghanistan to work with Afghan troops starting in 2012, he said. Still more would arrive in 2013 as the Afghan security forces were asked to do more. Currently, most Afghan units are partners with NATO forces, and in a number of places the NATO troops still have a dominant role. The idea is that the gradual departure of NATO forces would be cushioned by some Western military support for the Afghan forces in the field.

At the same time, American Special Operations forces, who are heavily involved in many intelligence-driven raids as well as larger and often more dangerous operations, would remain at current levels or increase even as conventional troops were reduced, General Allen said.

The exception may be in eastern Afghanistan, where, General Allen said, “a pretty virulent insurgency” remains a problem and where the level of conventional troops will not be drawn down, because insurgent fighters taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan can quickly deploy across the border.

He emphasized, as other American officials have done, that Afghan forces would play a much larger role in the coming years and signaled that much training was still needed. “The indigenous forces must be the defeat mechanism of the enemy’s insurgency,” General Allen said.

He said he had instructed subordinates to push the Afghan forces and “get them used to being in combat, doing the planning necessary, the execution of missions, the recovery back, refitting after operations and going back out again.”

His comments were a reminder that despite the American public’s exhaustion with the war and resentment of its cost, from a military standpoint the effort will require at least three more years. Whether Congress will be willing to commit the tens of billions of dollars needed is far less clear.

General Allen said that if other countries and foreign donors maintained a presence in Afghanistan, as they say they will, the insurgency’s hope of free rein after 2014 would be undercut, which could erode its credibility with followers.

“So if you are the insurgency and you had to rely on popular local support, or if you are the insurgency and part of the foundational dimension of your doctrine has been — I am just being a little facetious here — that on 1 January ’15, it is going to be the Afghan government against the insurgency, that doctrine is now at risk,” he said.

Whether foreign countries will fulfill their pledges to continue to support Afghanistan is not clear. Privately, representatives from a number of foreign countries and organizations have raised questions about their longevity in Afghanistan, particularly those in Europe, where economic travails have weakened the appetite for financial commitments in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

General Allen insisted that there seemed to be an opening now to weaken the insurgency, and that some of its members were known to be questioning its potency.

“In 2011, the campaign didn’t go well for them, and you can hear that chatter in the insurgent leadership,” he said, referring to conversations overheard through electronic eavesdropping. He said the eavesdropping had revealed particular concern among insurgents that they were losing popular support in southern Afghanistan, which was once a base of their strength.

The portrait of the insurgency drawn by General Allen was considerably complex, spanning two countries — Afghanistan and Pakistan — and composed of different groups. He underscored that while safe havens in Pakistan were important to the insurgency’s survival, it also continued to draw sustenance from local Afghans, suggesting that the government had not yet won people over.

General Allen also was cautious in talking about making any progress. He appeared to be mindful that insurgent combatants in the Afghan war had proved tenacious.

The future role of Pakistan is not yet clear. For now, General Allen said, he is focused on repairing the damage done to American-Pakistani relations after a NATO air attack struck two Pakistani border posts last month, killing 25 soldiers. Since then, the Pakistan-Afghanistan border has been closed to NATO trucks. The relationship, already deeply troubled by the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani safe house in May, has worsened.

“Afghanistan is going to be here a long time, and what’s critical is that Afghanistan’s relationship with its neighbors are, to the maximum extent they can be, constructive and operationally useful,” General Allen said.

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UN MEMBERS POINT FINGER AT US FOR REFUSING TO CONDEMN ZIO-NAZI SETTLEMENT BUILDING

NOVANEWS

 

washingtonpost.com

Fourteen frustrated members of the U.N. Security Council pointed a finger at the United States Tuesday for blocking any condemnation of Israel’s accelerated settlement construction in Palestinian territory.

In a move which Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin called historic, diplomats from almost all regional blocs represented on the council stepped to the microphone Tuesday after closed council consultations on the Mideast to condemn the lack of progress toward a solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Churkin, the current council president, said the frustration over the impasse in Israeli-Palestinian talks spilled out in statements from the four European Union council members, the Nonaligned Movement, the Arab group, and the group of emerging powers that includes India, Brazil and South Africa.

Clearly referring to the United States, Churkin said dismissively that one delegation believes things will “miraculously” sort themselves out on their own.

“The call for bilateral negotiations without preconditions would seem a normal thing to ask for,” he said.

But Churkin said the Palestinians are overwhelmed militarily and in every other way by the Israelis and without preconditions they would not get a fair shake in negotiations.

The diplomats — including key U.S. allies in Europe — also criticized the council’s failure to take action against escalating violence by Israeli settlers and urged a speedy resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, also speaking for EU members France, Germany and Portugal, said “Israel’s security and the realization of the Palestinians’ right to statehood are not opposing goals.”

“On the contrary they are mutually reinforcing objectives,” he said. “But they will not be achieved while settlement building and settler violence continues.”

South Africa’s U.N. Ambassador Baso Sangqu, speaking on behalf of the Nonaligned Movement of mainly developing countries, said settler attacks against Palestinian civilians increased 50 percent this year and called Israeli settlement construction “the main impediment for the two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

While the United States was not mentioned by name, the diplomats anger was clearly directed at Washington which vetoed a resolution in February backed by the 14 other council members that would have demanded an immediate halt to all settlement building. The Obama administration has also promised to veto any Security Council resolution supporting Palestine’s bid to become the 194th member of the United Nations.

The U.S. has said repeatedly it does not support settlement building. But Payton Knopf, the U.S. Mission’s deputy spokesman, told AP “the only way to resolve the outstanding issues between Israelis and Palestinians is through serious and substantive direct negotiations.”

The United States also opposes Security Council action on “final status issues” because this “would only harden the positions of both sides and make the resumption of negotiations more difficult,” Knopf said.

The Palestinians insist they will not resume peace talks until Israel halts settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which they want as a capital. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed just weeks after they restarted in September 2010 because Israel ended a 10-month moratorium on settlement construction.

Karean Peretz, spokeswoman for Israel’s U.N. Mission, questioned why the Security Council was focusing on settlements but remained “silent and paralyzed” on pressing issues including civilian killings in Syria, terrorist groups operating in Gaza, attacks on U.N. forces in Lebanon and Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.

“The main obstacle to peace, has been, and remains, the Palestinians’ claim to the so-called right of return (for refugees) and its refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” she told AP.

Posted in USAComments Off on UN MEMBERS POINT FINGER AT US FOR REFUSING TO CONDEMN ZIO-NAZI SETTLEMENT BUILDING


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