Archive | July 25th, 2012

Press TV: Israel pushing for World War III: Military analyst


Israel pushing for World War III: Military analyst

“An American military analyst says by using its international assets to launch “false-flag” terror attacks against certain targets and by framing Iran, Israel is bent on making the US attack the Islamic Republic and fomenting World War III”, Press TV reports

By Press TV and Gordon Duff

“We are watching a plan take shape, one devised in Tel Aviv, making use of ‘assets’ around the world, meant to culminate in orchestrated ‘false-flag’ terror attacks which Israeli influence in the media, vast influence, can use to create an atmosphere enabling an attack on Iran by the United States.”

American military analyst, Gordon Duff

“We are watching a plan take shape, one devised in Tel Aviv, making use of ‘assets’ around the world, meant to culminate in orchestrated ‘false-flag’ terror attacks which Israeli influence in the media, vast influence, can use to create an atmosphere enabling an attack on Iran by the United States,” Gordon Duff said in an article published on Press TV website.

He added that Iran has been a target for US and Israeli warmongering for years and as put by British author H. G. Wells in his book, War of the Worlds.

The analyst noted that during all these years Iran has not only been the target of spite and malice of Israel, the US or NATO, but also Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Referring to recent botched attempt on the life of the US State Secretary Hillary Clinton during her visit to Israel and subsequent attack on a bus in Bulgaria carrying Israeli tourists, the author said such terror attacks were in fact planned by Israel in order to incriminate Iran and incite the world’s public opinion against it.

“Washington insiders believe the Clinton assassination try was partially caused by over-reaction to these tales of Clinton’s imaginary Muslim spy organization and the current ‘meltdown’ in Israeli politics. Violence and assassination inside Israel is now and has always been ‘the norm’.”

Duff added that had Clinton “been killed, Iran would have been immediately blamed, a ‘Hezbollah’ attack, the same claim Israel is making about the attack in Bulgaria earlier in the week.”

The analyst added that the situation in the Persian Gulf denotes that although there is no rationale for Iran to wish for any confrontation, the stage is set by Israel and the US in such a way that such a confrontation would be inevitable.

“As the Persian Gulf awaits a new American carrier battle group based around the massive USS Stennis and the region begins to fill with military buildup…the probability of an ‘incident’ leading to a major war increases exponentially.”

“Israel believes an attack on Iran can provide “cover” for them to help put things “right,” regain control…. We now only have to wait for something else to be sacrificed, a club filled with Americans in Bahrain [or] an American ship hitting a mine,” Duff stated.

The analyst concluded by saying, “When too many things happen during a critical but short period of time, the term ‘coincidence’ is used less and the term ‘orchestrated’, at least by those who are trained to recognize ‘patterns’ is the operable assumption.”

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Syria Threatens No One


by: Stephen Lendman


Media scoundrels specialize in distorting comments and meaning.

They’re hyperbolic over Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi saying Syria would only use chemical weapons against external aggression.

His message was clear. Distortion, misinterpretation, and willful lying about it followed. Inflammatory headlines blared. More on what Makdissi meant below.

At the State Department’s daily press briefing, Victoria Nuland commented on Syria’s chemical weapons, saying:

Talk about using chemical weapons “is horrific and chilling.” Syria “has a responsibility to the world (and) its own citizens to protect and safeguard those weapons.”

Any “kind of loose talk just speaks to the kind of regime that we’re talking about.”

“I think we’ve been absolutely clear where we stand on this issue, which is that any possible use of these kinds of weapons would be completely unacceptable.”

“We’ve been making our position clear for many, many days now, and we’ve also been working with all of our allies and partners to monitor the situation, to compare information, and to send the same messages.”

Syria “knows where we stand.” Asked about securing them, Nuland said “warnings that we have given with regard” to these weapons have “been absolutely clear.”

Asked about warning regime opponents, she added nothing further. Asked also to comment on Washington’s position on a potential Israeli attack, she said “obviously I’m not going to walk into hypothetical scenarios.”

“Like all countries in the neighborhood, it makes sense for there to be prudent planning for self-defense.”

Reports suggest Washington and Israel discussed destroying Syria’s stockpiles. Both countries know where they’re held. Allegedly they’re in dozens of locations. Bombing them would unleash a firestorm of toxins. Everyone nearby would be harmed.

The threat of a chemical weapon false flag attack blamed on Syria is real. On June 10, Russia Todayheadlined “Syrian rebels aim to use chemical weapons, blame Damascus – report,” saying:

Opposition fighters have chemical weapons. Libyan sources supplied them. Allegedly they’re planned for use “against civilians.” The scheme involves blaming Assad.

DamPress “claims the opposition group in possession of the weapons is being trained in its use inside Turkey. No further details on the alleged conspiracy is given.”

“The Libyan stockpile of chemical weapons was a matter of great concern during last year’s civil war in the country. There were fears that they may end up in the hands of the terrorists and used elsewhere in the world.”

Independent analysts also fear a possible US-led NATO/Free Syrian Army (FSA) false flag chemical attack on Syrian civilians blamed on Assad.

Doing so would provide Washington an easy way to circumvent Security Council authority to intervene militarily and enlist popular support for it.

If harmful enough, it could be Syria’s 9/11. American strategists may find that scheme too tempting to pass up. Regime change is longstanding US policy.

NATO and regional allies head closer to war. A casus belli remains to initiate it. The horror of chemical attack mass casualties looks perfect. Whether it’s planned or not remains to be seen. The possibility is real.

Media War of Words

On July 23, The New York Times headlined “Syria Threatens Chemical Attack on Foreign Force,” saying:

“Syrian officials warned Monday that they would deploy chemical weapons against any foreign intervention….”

“The warning came out of Damascus, veiled behind an assurance that the Syrian leadership would never use such weapons against its own citizens, describing chemical and biological arms as outside the bounds of the kind of guerrilla warfare being fought internally.”

The Times cited CIA reports saying:

“Syria has had a C.W. program for many years and has a stockpile of C.W. agents, which can be delivered by aerial bombs, ballistic missiles, and artillery rockets.”

“We assess that Syria remains dependent on foreign sources for key elements of its C.W. program, including precursor chemicals.”

Syria’s arsenal includes “the nerve agent sarin, which can be delivered by aircraft or ballistic missile.”

On July 24, Reuters headlined “After bloody week, West warns Syria on chemical arms,” saying:

“Western states expressed alarm” after Syria acknowledged its capability for the first time. Makdissi said chemical weapons won’t be used against insurgents “regardless of (internal) developments.”

“These weapons are stored and secured by Syrian military forces and under (their) direct supervision and will never be used unless Syria faces external aggression.”

The Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) published various reports hyping an alleged Syrian chemical weapons threat.

It’s latest July 23 one headlined “Syrian chemical threat targets Israel. Obama warns Assad against ‘tragic mistake,’ ” saying:

Makdissi’s statement indicated “a direct threat (against) Israel.” On Sunday, Netanyahu said preventing Syria’s chemical weapons from “falling into the wrong hands” was key to Israel’s security.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the IDF to prepare possibly attacking their storage areas because “Israel cannot accept the transfer of advanced weapons from Syria to Lebanon.”

Nothing, of course, suggests Assad plans this. Hyping the threat advances the ball for war.

Guilty parties include US officials, Israeli ones, Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague, France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN/Arab League Syria envoy Kofi Annan, and Human Rights Council High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay, among others.

DF is part of the regime change campaign. It cited an unnamed Israeli official saying Assad “holds all the cards on when and against whom to use its chemical weapons.”

Assad gave “himself carte blanche for resorting to chemical warfare at a time of his choosing by (saying) his government is subject to external Arab and Western aggression.”

Indeed he’s very much threatened. Alleging he’s hyping what doesn’t exist ignores reality.

DF cited an unnamed US military source saying Assad is “preparing to expand the Syria war into Lebanon whence his troops can threaten northern and Mediterranean areas of Israel.”

In a Monday speech to veterans, Obama said Syria “will be held accountable by the international community and the United States should they make the tragic mistake of using those weapons.”

Hyping fake threats conceals real ones Syria faces. Distorting comments by its officials advances the ball for war. Washington planned it years ago. Electoral politics influence its timetable. Whether it comes before of post-election doesn’t matter. Regime change policy remains unchanged.

Syria Responds to Western Distortions and Deceit

On July 23, SANA state media headlined “Information Minister: Foreign Media and Diplomatic (Sides) Misconstrued Foreign Ministry Statement and Put it Out of Context,” saying:

Makdissi’s meaning was clear. Since early 2011, Syria’s been a battleground. Western-generated violence continues daily. International law legitimizes self-defense.

Syria’s in a war for survival. Its people know the stakes. They deplore becoming another Afghanistan, Iraq, or Libya. They expect their government to do what it takes to prevent it. Makdissi and other officials vow to do so. It’s their right and duty.

Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi told Sham FM Radio about “an international campaign led by US-Israeli diplomacy under the guise of warning against alleged chemical weapons that Syria supposedly possesses, and that this campaign is part of ongoing pressure to pass an international resolution under the pretext of preserving world peace.”

For over two decades, he added, Syria called for abolishing all regional WMDs. Israel’s open secret is well known. Its formidable nuclear, chemical, and biological arsenal poses the most significant threat.

It has hundreds of warheads and sophisticated long-range delivery systems. It never signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

It signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), but didn’t ratify it. It never signed the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). Its policy is CBW ambiguity, but worse than that.

Analysts most familiar with Israeli strategy acknowledge that it won’t hesitate using nuclear or other weapons to advance its regional imperium.

Against Lebanon in 2006, Gaza during Cast Lead, and other attacks, it used direct energy weapons, chemical and/or biological agents. Injuries and symptoms followed never before seen.

The Palestinian health ministry said Israel used a new type explosive in Gaza. It contained toxins and radioactive materials. They burned and tore victims’ bodies from the inside. They also left long term deformations.

Since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel’s been using depleted uranium weapons. Washington initially supplied them. America’s military and Israel use them freely.

They’re used in bombs, shells, missiles, and bullets. They spread deadly radiation like nuclear bombs. Vast areas get contaminated. Water, air, soil, and food become unsafe. Cancer and other disease rates soar. Locations far from target sites are affected.

No evidence suggests Syria used WMDs of any kind or plans to except in self-defense against external aggression. Washington and Israel use them freely in all wars they wage and other belligerence.

Fingers pointing the right way would blame them. Media scoundrels say nothing. Cheerleading war instead of forthrightly denouncing it threatens to embroil the entire region.

Perhaps Washington, key NATO partners, and regional allies won’t be satisfied until it’s incinerated. Unless years of belligerent madness stops, end game consequences may demolish it from one end to the other.

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Mark Dankof’s Americapro-Israel: Warmongers as the ‘Crime of the Century

Mark Dankof’s America July 25 2012

by crescentandcross

911–An Israeli operation from start to finish…

Mark Dankof interviews Dr. Robert Sungenis in discussing what has been deemed by pro-Israel warmongers as the ‘crime of the century’.

But who REALLY benefited from it?


Download Here


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Obama will visit IsraHell if reelected


By Olivier Knox

A picture of then-candidate Barack Obama at an election party in Tel Aviv, Israel, in …

President Barack Obama, who hasn’t set foot in Israel since a pre-election trip in 2008, would go there if he wins in November, an aide said Monday. The official, former deputy assistant defense secretary for the Middle East Colin Kahl, scoffed that Republican criticisms of Obama for not visiting Israel since taking office were “a distraction” from real policy issues.

“We can expect him to visit Israel in a second term should he be reelected,” Kahl told reporters on an Obama campaign conference call.

Kahl underlined that former president Ronald Reagan never visited Israel and that former president George W. Bush only went in the final year of his second term. “Obviously, Republicans weren’t criticizing him for his commitment on Israel as a result of that travel itinerary.” Romney has said that he would make Israel his first trip abroad as president.

“I don’t really think this is a serious policy difference. I think it’s basically a distraction,” Kahl said. “Being a friend to Israel, at least in our view, shouldn’t be judged purely by a travel itinerary.”

The Obama campaign conference call aimed to criticize Romney on foreign policy as the Republican standard-bearer prepared to make his first foray overseas as a candidate, with stops in Britain, Israel, and Poland. The incumbent has seen his support among Jewish voters drop since the 2008 election, though he still leads the challenger by better than a two-to-one margin, according to a Gallup poll in June.Kahl, who was on the call with top Obama campaign advisor Robert Gibbs and former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, hammered Romney for telling an evangelical Christian group in June that his approach to Israel would be “by and large” to “just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite.

“That would mean slashing money, and cutting back on support for programs like (the missile defense program called) Iron Dome, and abandoning efforts to forge a two-state solution, and throwing Israel under the bus at the United Nations, and lessening our pressure on Iran,” Kahl said. “I mean, if he really means that, I mean, I wish him the best of luck with that argument.”

Kahl also ramped up pressure on Romney to spell out his strategy for handling the stand-off over Iran’s suspect nuclear program, which Washington and its allies view as masking an effort to get the atomic bomb.

“The American people I think expect him to outline a plan to pressure Iran, and to actually say exactly what he would do differently from what President Obama is already doing,” he told reporters on the call.

Romney has accused the president of “trepidation, ineptitude and weakness” towards Iran and vowed to toughen economic sanctions (which Obama has sharply escalated several times, to an unprecedented degree) while ramping up prospects of military action (which Obama has repeatedly and explicitly said is an option).

Kahl said Obama had kept the option of military action “on the table and at the ready” but wants to be sure to exhaust diplomatic options.

“If Romney thinks it’s time to use military action against Iran and abandon diplomacy prematurely, I think he owes it to the American people to actually say so,” Kahl said. Romney’s policy towards Iran’s nuclear program is spelled out on his official campaign site, but it appears to differ very little in substance from Obama’s current approach.

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams hit back hard at Team Obama, saying that “it is clear that President Obama’s foreign policy is confused, ineffective, and has weakened our influence in every region of the world.”

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Opinion: Jonathan Azaziah on Communism


Editor’s note

The following analysis was emailed to me by Jonathan Azaziah after I had asked him for his thoughts on Communism. Specifically I asked Jonathan how one can reconcile the notion that Communism is supposed to be an ideology based on altruism and social justice, while, in the case of the Bolshevik Revolution, it has been characterised by tyranny, terrorism, and unspeakable suffering.

by Jonathan Azaziah.

I do not, repeat, do NOT view Communism (Marxism) as a movement and ideology based on social justice by any means. Communism was not birthed by Karl Marx (son of a long line of racist, supremacist Talmudic rabbis) and Friedrich Engels as it is so often said. It is actually the work of the racist, supremacist, maniacal Talmudic rabbi Moses Hess, who also introduced Zionism to the world with his book “Rome and Jerusalem.” Karl Marx called Hess his “red rabbi”, and Hess viewed Communism as a means controlling Gentiles through crypto-Judaic thought and subsequently using their “revolutions” of communist mobilization to usher in an age controlled by Zionism. This is discussed at length in Michael A. Hoffman II’s groundbreaking book “Discovering Judaism”.

Persons of the “communist” or more broadly, the “leftist” persuasion have a difficult time admitting this fact or even looking into it because then their precious dogma would be completely and utterly shattered. More importantly, for all of Marx’s anti-capitalist writings and ravings, is it not impeccably odd that he never once, not even ONCE, criticized the Rothschilds and other Jewish-Zionist banking giants during his time? There is no doubt, thanks to the works of Professor Niall Ferguson known as “House of Rothschild (Volumes 1 and 2)”, which are based on official Rothschild family documents, that this Jewish dynasty controlled the colonial powers at this time through their central banks. A central bank, by the way, is central to Marxism. Again, impeccably odd, no? So again, why no criticism of the greatest plutocratic parasitic capitalists of his era and of his time??

Mikhail Bakunin, the father of anarchism and another hero of the “left” has the answer, although you will NEVER hear leftists bring this up,

This whole Jewish world, comprising a single exploiting sect, a kind of blood sucking people, a kind of organic destructive collective parasite, going beyond not only the frontiers of states, but of political opinion, this world is now, at least for the most part, at the disposal of Marx on the one hand, and ofRothschild on the other… This may seem strange. What can there be in common between socialism and a leading bank? The point is that authoritarian socialism, Marxist communism, demands a strongcentralisation of the state. And where there is centralisation of the state, there must necessarily be a central bank, and where such a bank exists, the parasitic Jewish nation, speculating with the Labour of the people, will be found.”

Here is a more complete quote, “Marx is a Jew and is surrounded by a crowd of little, more or less intelligent, scheming, agile, speculating Jews, just as Jews are everywhere — commercial and banking agents, writers, politicians, correspondents for newspapers of all shades; in short, literary brokers, just as they are financial brokers, with one foot in the bank and the other in the socialist movement, and their arses sitting upon the German press.

They have grabbed hold of all newspapers, and you can imagine what a nauseating literature is the outcome of it …. Now this entire Jewish world, which constitutes an exploiting sect, a people of leeches, a voracious parasite, closely and intimately connected with another, regardless not only of frontiers but of political differences as well — this Jewish world is today largely at the disposal of Marx or Rothschild. I am sure that, on the one hand, the Rothschilds appreciate the merits of Marx, and that on the other hand, Marx feels an instinctive inclination and a great respect for the Rothschilds. This may seem strange. What could there be in common between communism and high finance?

Ho ho! The communism of Marx seeks a strong state centralization, and where this exists, there the parasitic Jewish nation — which speculates upon the labor of people — will always find the means for its existence …. In reality, this would be for the proletariat a barrack-regime, under which the workingmen and the workingwomen, converted into a uniform mass, would rise, fall asleep, work, and live at the beat of the drum. The privilege of ruling would be in the hands of the skilled and the learned, with a wide scope left for profitable crooked deals carried on by the Jews, who would be attracted by the enormous extension of the international speculations of the national banks.

Truer words on the matter haven’t been spoken.

When this is then reconciled with the Bolshevik Revolution, which was indeed overwhelming Jewish, it all becomes cohesive. The Bolshevik Revolution began with Jews, was controlled by a Jews, was run by Jews, etc. The “revolutionaries”, again, for all their anti-capitalist fervor, actually took money from a Rothschild agent, and one of the greatest capitalists to ever live, Jacob Schiff, whose children intermarried into the Rothschild family.

He gave Trotsky and Lenin $20 million to overthrow the Tsar and bragged about it on his death bed. Moreover, it was Schiff who financed Japan during the Russo-Japanese war to the tune of $200 million, facilitating a Japanese victory, the weakening of the Tsarist state and the beginnings of Bolshevik mobilization that would bear fruit a decade later. And this is NOT “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory”, it can be found in the landmark book on Jewish history and the beginnings of the Jewish Lobby in America, “To Free A People” by Gary Dean Best and “The Jewish Century”, an award-winning work on Jewish history by Professor Yuri Slezkine.

The Bolshevik security apparatus, the NKVD (or Cheka), was also largely Jewish, and this is further confirmed by “Israeli” author Sever Plocker in his Ynet article “Stalin’s Jews”. The two greatest mass murderers of all-time, Genrikh Yagoda, the father of the Soviet gulag system and Lazar Kagonovich, Stalin’s right hand and perpetrator of the Holodomor in the Ukraine, were Jewish Bolsheviks. Men forgotten by history. Why? Why are the crimes of these men not discussed? Because any criticism of Jews on any level is deemed “anti-Semitic” by this Orwellian society. Even Stalin, a treacherous, gangster-like mass murderer who worked with the Zionist-driven Allied Powers during WW2, was murdered when he stood up to Jewish power in Russia. He was poisoned on Purim. Sound familiar?

In conclusion, Communism, which seeks to centralize the entire planet, making it one gigantic super-state (a one world government, a new world order), and Capitalism (a means of financial unification through international banking {founded by the Rothschilds} and neoliberalism {founded by Milton Friedman}, a one world government, a new world order) are two heads of the same Jewish-Zionist dragon. No matter which one comes to power, it is Jewish interests who come out on top. This isn’t to say every communist or Marxist is an evil, twisted puppet of International Zionism, of course not. Such assertions are moronic, lazy and ignorant.

Persons like Castro, Guevara, the great Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso (murdered by Mossad and CIA), Morales, Correa, Ghassan Kanafani Mossadegh, Allende, etc. were and are good men, obviously. But as a whole, its origins, and as evidenced by the mass murder carried out by the Bolsheviks, Mao, and others allied with these forces, Communism is the greatest killing machine known to man, excluding the imperialism of the United States, which is controlled through the Federal Reserve by the same plutocratic powers that propped up the “revolution” of the Bolsheviks. And therefore, it cannot be relied on to deliver “social justice” to anyone. No conspiracy theory here… just conspiracy fact.

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Iran threatens to ‘strike out’ at any intervention in Syria


Iranian 200-kilometre (120-mile) range Qader (Ghader) ground-to-sea missile is launched on the last day of navy war games near the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran.(AFP Photo / Jamejamonline/Ebrahim Noroozi)

President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has friends in the region poised “to strike out” in the event of an intervention into Syria, says a commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. The warning was particularly sent to “hated” Arab countries.

None of Syria’s friends or the great front of resistance has yet entered the scene, and in the event that this happens, decisive blows will be struck at the enemy, especially the hated Arab rulers,” Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, a spokesman of the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Fars news agency.

No country in particular was mentioned. Iran remains a key ally of official Damascus, while leaders of such Gulf countries as Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Qatar openly support Syrian rebels.

The hawkish rhetoric heard from Iran comes on top of the exchange over Syria’s chemical and biological arsenal, which the Arab country pledged Monday not to use against its own population, but only to combat “foreign aggressors.

This was the first time Syria’s arsenals became an official reality, since the nation is one of just six non-signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1992. Syria’s purported stockpiles of nerve agents, including mustard gas, as well as Scud missiles capable of delivery, are secure according to its Foreign Ministry. Media reports say the weapons are being moved away from sites of severe clashes between pro-regime and opposition forces.

A torrent of warnings flooded Damascus following the statements, as officials from the EU and UN voiced their concerns over the possible use of the chemical arsenal.

On Tuesday, Russia said it hoped Syria would abide by a Geneva protocol ratified by the Arab country in 1968. The document bans the use, production or stockpiling of chemical weapons. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it “presumes that the Syrian authorities will continue to rigorously abide by its assumed international obligations.

US President Barack Obama and the Pentagon immediately warned Damascus against the “tragic mistake” of deploying the weapons as such with Obama impressing on Assad’s regime that “the world is watching.”

At the same time, Israel has been hinting at an intervention to secure the weapons if Assad’s regime collapses. Israel’s Foreign Ministry admits “the entire non-conventional weapons system is under the full control of the [Syrian] regime.” But this knowledge apparently did not dissolve the image of Hezbollah laying its hands on the arsenal.

To complete this exchange, Iran’s Jazayeri also dismissed Tuesday the ability of “enemies” to overthrow the Syrian government. “The country’s people and its friends will not allow such a move to take place,” he said.

Still, many recognize the pattern of a psychological war. Paul Lashmar, an investigative journalist and academic at London’s Brunel University, says the accusation may be targeting one goal: to create an image of dangerous Syria, which cannot exercise control over itself.

Chemical and biological weapons are no good against rebel units that are fighting in a house-to-house combat. These are weapons you use nation against nation in a full scale battle. The fact that Americans and other countries are getting so concerned is to put the emphasis on Syria as a rogue nation. What is going on is to emphasize that this is a country with chemical and biological weapons that appears to be out of control,” Lashmar told RT.

Meanwhile, as the UN estimates the 17-month uprising in Syria has taken over 15,000 lives, the EU tightens an arms embargo on Syria. Now the EU countries are required to search planes and ships if they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect they are carrying arms, dual-use goods or equipment used for “repression” to Syria. Blacklists, already containing 49 organizations and 129 people, were also expanded to 26 people, mostly military officials. Starting Monday they are banned from entering the EU and their assets have been frozen.

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Deterioration of Situation in Syria Threatens Entire Region




Sixteen months after it began, the conflict in Syria has now transformed into a full-scale war.

The bombing last week in the heart of Damascus, which killed the ministers of defense and the interior along with two senior security officials, has shattered any remaining hope that the U.N. peace plan can be implemented. 

Accounts of the situation on the ground speak of increasing violence and its spillover into neighboring countries. Analysts say that the situation has the potential to inflame sectarian tensions in the region.

In Lebanon, violence broke out in Tripoli between Shia and Alawite groups, who support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and armed Sunni groups, who largely support the opposition.

In June, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari warned that the Syrian uprising could affect Iraq as well.

“If this conflict is to turn into an all-out sectarian or civil war, Iraq would be affected, Lebanon would be affected, Jordan will not be immune,” Zebari said.

He added, “We don’t want to see chaos reign, you see, in the region, in the neighborhood, and that’s why Iraq should have a say, a role in what is going to occur in Syria. No country can ignore or bypass Iraq in this regard.”

Zebari later claimed to have “solid information” that members of al-Qaeda were operating in Syria. “Our main concern, to be honest with you, is about the spillover — about extremist, terrorist groups taking root in neighboring countries,” he said.

The foreign minister noted that the Syrian government failed to clamp down on Sunni Arab insurgents entering Iraq, and that now “their direction is the other way around.”

“If this conflict is to turn into an all-out sectarian or civil war, Iraq would be affected, Lebanon would be affected, Jordan will not be immune,” 

 The direction could reverse again, warns Ramzy Mardini, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C.

“In the short run, the Syrian insurgency could serve as a magnet for fighters, but may spill over into Iraq after the Assad regime falls,” he said. “Baghdad faces the worrisome possibility that emboldened and battle-hardened Sunni insurgents in Syria will target the [Iraqi Prime Minister] Maliki government.”

Many also worry that the Syrian crisis has the potential to further entrench the ongoing tension between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government in Baghdad. The KRG has developed close ties with Turkey, a fierce opponent of the Assad government, while the Iraqi government is under the heavy influence of Iran, who supports the Shia government in Damascus.

“We have a political crisis; this definitely reflects on the security situation,” Zebari said. “And these groups will find ways to operate, to strike in order to widen the gap between the political leaders.”

Mardini predicts that “as the crisis in Syria continues, sectarian identities will become more salient in Iraq.”

He notes, “The Shia-Sunni divide will harden. This will affect Iraqi politics and make it harder for Sunni and Shia groups to break from their base and cooperate.”

According to Mardini, recent attacks in Iraq may reflect a renewed confidence among Sunni extremists due to the situation in Syria. He adds, “How the Iraqis respond to future sectarian attacks as the Syrian crisis continues will be more important than the attacks themselves.”

Other analysts, such as David Pollock of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, downplay the impact the Syrian crisis has on the relationship between the KRG and Iraqi government.

“I don’t think the KRG will allow Syrian developments to disrupt its already tense relations with Baghdad and Sunni Arabs,” Pollock said. “Rather, the KRG will try to remain on the sidelines of Syria precisely because of the risks of aggravating tensions with other regional parties.”

Pollock noted the caution necessary from the KRG at this time, with strengthened ties with Turkey possible that could just as easily be undermined with increased support of Syrian Kurds.

On Friday, reports from the Kurdish areas of Syria indicated that militia groups of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC) “liberated” the cities of Amude and Efrin from pro-Assad forces.  

Michael Knights, an Iraq and Syria expert with the Washington Institute, thinks the KRG will seek to minimize the blowback from these recent advances in the Kurdish areas of Syria.

“I don’t sense that Syrian Kurds play into KRG calculations much at all,” Knights said, noting that the KRG’s interests are more focused on Turkey than the Kurdish areas of Syria.  

“The Syria issue is another point of consensus with Turkey — that Assad must go — but is a strictly secondary concern for the KRG,” he said. “The KRG and Baghdad have enough issues to argue about; Syria is very low on the agenda.”

Still, senior KRG officials are watching the situation in Syria closely. Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, said, “Whatever happens in Syria will have a direct impact on what happens in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, and also on other neighboring countries.”

“No. The Kurds have suffered far more to be convinced to join a process without knowing what it has in store for them and their future.”

The Syrian Kurds have wisely hedged their bets throughout the uprising, supporters say, with the PYD and KNC presenting themselves as neutral between a regime that has not granted them their proper civil liberties and a loosely organized opposition with mostly nationalist and Islamist elements.

Bakir noted this hesitancy to support one side or the other without guarantees of rights or potential negotiations over future autonomy. “Some people want the Kurds to blindly support any effort,” he said. “No. The Kurds have suffered far more to be convinced to join a process without knowing what it has in store for them and their future.”

Bakir went on to say that the KRG has a clear position that is not aligned with what Baghdad would like to see happen in Syria. The KRG, he says, encourages the KNC to reach an understanding with the Syrian National Council to ensure they are on good terms for the future.  

Others have criticized Iraq’s response to the Syrian crisis. Nawaf Fares, the recently defected Syrian Ambassador in Baghdad, called Iraq’s stance on Syria “contradictory to the truth,” and stated that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is bowing to pressure from Iran to remain neutral.

But Labid Abawi, Iraq’s deputy foreign minister, emphasized Baghdad’s opposition to Assad. “Our position has been clear — we don’t side with Assad; we side with the people. But at the same time, we want to see a peaceful outcome to this, not a violent outcome or civil war,” he said.

Abawi said that Assad believes he still enjoys the support of his people, which has been a roadblock to progress in the country, and that a peaceful transition of the regime out of power is the best solution. 

“If we use Kofi Annan’s plan or any plan to convince or force Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power to a national transitional unity government, then the entire system will not collapse, and we can maintain stability even after the regime,” the deputy minister stated.

He added, “But if civil war continues and Assad and the regime collapses under the pressure of the violence, then the whole system will collapse and there will be chaos  — exactly what happened in Iraq.” 

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Syrian Gov. alarmed of Fake Syrian Satellite Channel


Syrian Information Ministry in Damascus (SANA)

DAMASCUS- Syria`s Information Ministry urged Friday Syrian nationals to be cautious and avoid misleading fake media outlets who allege being Syrian official TVs. 

Syria`s Information Ministry announced that there is a satellite channel using the logo of the Syrian Satellite Channel and broadcasting nationalistic songs in preparation for springing a media ambush which has been uncovered before. 

This channel may appear on the same frequency as the genuine channel if it is cut off at any time, Information Ministry added. 

The Information Ministry also affirmed that the continuation of the genuine Syrian channels is linked to the presence of its well-known programs and presenters, and that the aforementioned channel and any similar channel is not related to the Syrian national media and constitutes blatant media piracy.

On Saturday, Iranian FARES news agency published a report says that a Qatari security firm has built a number of simulated buildings similar to Syria’s official buildings to produce fake video footages about the conflicts in the Arab country. 

Special sources said that the Qatari company which is specialized in manufacturing models has started executive preparations of constructing the fake buildings so that the Qatari media and the Syrian dissidents can release a new round of alleged reports against President Bashar al-Assad’s government, FARES report said on Saturday. 

FARES report added that eye-witnesses have announced that a large number of hired people who had worn military and reporters’ uniforms were also dispatched to the place where the buildings were being constructed. 

Also a number of public and military vehicles with Syrian numbers were sent to al-Zoubarah area near Doha to be used for producing fake films about the events in Syria, the report indicated Saturday. 

Earlier in May, a US daily, Washington Post, reported that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups battling the President Bashar al-Assad’s government have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States. 

The US newspaper, quoting opposition activists and US and foreign officials, reported that Obama administration officials emphasized the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the Persian Gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure. 

According to the report, material is being stockpiled in Damascus, in Idlib near the Turkish border and in Zabadani on the Lebanese border. 

Thousands of Syrian National have been killed, when protest rallies against President Bashar al-Assad`s regime turned into armed clashes. 

Syrian government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

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US drops biggest-ever human trafficking case amid evidence doubts


The Justice Department spent millions of dollars on what is considered to be the largest human trafficking case in the US, only to dismiss it on the grounds that the government would be unable to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Federal prosecutors dropped the human trafficking case against the owner of a labor contracting company accused of exploiting hundreds of Thai farm workers.

The workers were subject to threats of deportation, had their passports taken away and were forced into debt by Global Horizons Inc. The company used these forced labor tactics to keep the workers in their service.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) took the company to court for bringing the workers into the country “on the promise of high-paying wages and temporary visas,” only to be “forced into vermin-ridden housing, denied the opportunity to leave the premises and subjected to harassment, including physical assault by their overseers,” reported the United Press International. 

Eight executives and business associates from the company, three of which pled guilty, were accused of misusing 600 Thai workers that were placed in farms throughout the US. Among the accused was the CEO of the company, Mordechai Orian.

In a press release on its website, the EEOC said workers were crammed into rooms in large numbers, in houses that were infested with rats and insects. Many did not have beds to sleep in, water to drink or enough food to eat.

“In some cases, bodyguards were stationed around the farms so they could not escape,” said EEOC attorney Anna Y. Park.

Even though the Justice Department spent millions of dollars on the case, it was dropped for lack of evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The three defendants who pleaded guilty will receive the opportunity to retract their pleas.

Just 11 months ago, federal prosecutors dropped similar accusations against owners of Hawaii’s Aloun Farms, whose tactics were used to keep foreign workers in their service. The case was dropped after the lead prosecutor misstated the law in front of a grand jury. The same team of federal prosecutors handled the Global Horizons case.

“Based on this further investigation, the government has determined that dismissal of this matter is in the interest of justice,” reads the Global Horizons case dismissal order.

Even the company’s attorney sounded surprised by what he calls a “moral victory.”

“To dismiss a case with no intention of bringing it back as a new indictment is very unusual,” he said. “You never see the government just walk away from a case that they spent millions of dollars on.”

While details about the dismissal are unknown, the criminal charges are being dropped before more than 50 farm workers were given the chance to testify in court. Civil litigation being conducted by the EEOC will likely continue, as the dismissal applies only to the criminal prosecution.

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Syrian scientist survives assassination attempt


Members of the Syrian security forces walk in a partially destroyed neighborhood in the al-Midan area of Damascus on July 20, 2012.

Members of the Syrian security forces walk in a partially destroyed neighborhood in the al-Midan area of Damascus on July 20, 2012.
Syrian missile scientist Major General Nabil Zogheib has survived an assassination attempt by armed rebels.

Zogheib was driving with his family in the Bab Touma neighborhood of Damascus when his car came under attack, Arabic language websites reported on Saturday.

He escaped the assassination attempt unharmed but sources said that one of his children was seriously injured. Medical sources say the child is in critical condition. Zogheib, a retired army officer, is said to be a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The Syrian government says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.

Damascus also says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

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