Archive | August 23rd, 2012

Iran and Hezbollah issue warnings to IsraHell


Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon-based Hezbollah group, and Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, the Iranian president, have issued stern warnings to Israel, saying that any aggression on that country’s part would be met with a swift armed response.

Nasrallah, speaking during a televised address from Beirut on Friday, said that his fighters will make the lives of Israelis “a living hell” if it is attacked.

“There are targets in occupied Palestine [Israel] which could be targeted by a small number of missiles,” Nasrallah said.

“If we are forced to use them to protect our people and our country, we will not hesitate to do so… and that will turn the lives of hundreds of thousands of Zionists into a living hell,” he said in a speech marking al-Quds [Jerusalem] Day.

Nasrallah warned that any conflict would involve “tens of thousands of deaths”.

He also said that if Israel were to undertake any military action over Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, “the response will be enormous”.

Any such action would present Iran with “the opportunity it has been dreaming of” since it was founded in 1979, he said.

Last month, an Israeli general warned that the Israeli military would respond “decisively” to any rocket attacks aimed at Tel Aviv.

“If we get to another war, Israel will hit Hezbollah decisively, quickly, as fast as we can in order to stop the fire from Lebanon to Israel,” Brigadier General Herzi Halevi, commander of the country’s northern division, said at a briefing.

He also said that towns in southern Lebanon used as launching bases for Hezbollah rocket attacks would be “destroyed”.

Israel and Lebanon are officially in a state of war, and the former fought a devastating war with Hezbollah in 2006.

‘Cancerous tumour’

Iranian President Ahmadinejad, speaking in Tehran, said that Israel was a “cancerous tumour” that would one day cease to exist.

“Open your ears: there will be no Zionist regime and no United States [domination] in the new Middle East map,” Ahmadinejad said.

“The occupied territories should be fully returned to the Palestinians,” the Iranian president told supporters at Tehran University. “Nobody in the world can say he is in favour of human rights and approve the Zionist regime.”

In Bahrain, meanwhile, police personnel clashed with protesters who attempted to hold their annual rallies marking al-Quds day. Several people were injured and others were arrested, after police fired teargas, stun grenades and birdshot rounds.

The marking of al-Quds Day is a show of support for Palestinians over the disputed holy city of Jerusalem. It is an annual event first introduced in Iran by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late supreme leader of Iran, in 1979.

Nasrallah also spoke on Friday of the uprising in Syria, saying that leaders of Muslim-majority countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia were not doing enough to end the bloodshed there.

Lebanon travel warnings

Meanwhile, the governments of the United States and Turkey have asked their citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Lebanon, after a series of kidnappings in the country linked to the uprising in Syria.

“The US embassy has received reports of an increased possibility of attacks against US citizens in Lebanon,” the embassy said in a statement.

“Possible threats include kidnapping, the potential for an upsurge in violence, the escalation of family or neighbourhood disputes, as well as US citizens being the target of terrorist attacks in Lebanon.”

The embassy also announced the suspension of the State Department’s flagship Fulbright and English Language Fellow programmes in Lebanon, cutting short research projects and teaching grants for US university students and educators in Lebanon.

The Turkish foreign ministry issued a similar warning on Friday.

“It is deemed beneficial if our citizens avoid travelling to Lebanon unless absolutely necessary,” said the ministry in a statement.

The warning came after around 20 people, including one Turkish national, were taken hostage in Beirut on Wednesday and another Turkish national on Thursday, according to the ministry.

Ankara said that it was continuing efforts at a multilateral level for the release of the two kidnapped citizens.

Several Gulf countries have ordered their nationals to leave the country immediately in the face of threats, particularly against Saudis and Qataris whose governments are staunch opponents of the Syrian regime.

On Friday, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) sought to relieve tensions by saying that it would aid the Lebanese Miqdad clan, who has carried out the kidnappings in response to the kidnapping of one of its members, in the search for the missing person.

“We have our group of Free Syrian Army hostages and don’t intend to take any more. But if our relative Hassan is killed in Syria, the first to be executed will be the Turk,” warned spokesman Maher al-Miqdad.

Hezbollah chief Nasrallah said his group was not responsible for the response to the abduction of the Lebanese Shias in Syria.

“What happened was beyond the control of Hezbollah and [the] Amal [movement],” he said,

On Friday, the Lebanese army said it was stepping up security at religious sites and other public places ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, in response to the tense security situation.

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‘Rebel army? They’re a gang of foreigners’


Our writer hears the Syrian forces’ justification for a battle that is tearing apart one of the world’s oldest cities.


A victors army? There were cartridge cases all over the ancient stone laneways, pocked windows, and bullet holes up the side of the Sharaf mosque, where a gunman had been firing from the minaret. A sniper still fired just 150 yards away – all that was left of more than a hundred rebels who had almost, but not quite, encircled the 4,000-year-old citadel of Aleppo.

“You won’t believe this,” Major Somar cried in excitement. “One of our prisoners told me: ‘I didn’t realise Palestine was as beautiful as this.’ He thought he was in Palestine to fight the Israelis!”

Do I believe this? Certainly, the fighters who bashed their way into the lovely old streets west of the great citadel were, from all accounts, a ragtag bunch. Their graffiti – “We are the Brigades of 1980”, the year when the first Muslim Brotherhood rising threatened the empire of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafez – was still on the walls of the Syrian-Armenian hotels and silver shops. A 51-year-old general handed me one of the home-made grenades that littered the floor of the Sharaf mosque; a fluffy fuse poking from the top of a lump of shrapnel, coated in white plastic and covered in black adhesive tape.

Inside the mosque were bullets, empty tins of cheese, cigarette butts and piles of mosque carpets, which the rebels had used as bedding. The battle had so far lasted 24 hours. A live round had cut into the Bosnian-style tombstone of a Muslim imam’s grave, with a delicate stone turban carved on its top. The mosque’s records – lists of worshippers’ complaints, Korans and financial documents – were lying across one room in what had evidently marked the last stand of several men. There was little blood. Between 10 and 15 of the defenders – all Syrians – surrendered after being offered mercy if they laid down their arms. The quality of this mercy was not, of course, disclosed to us.

The Syrian soldiers were elated, but admitted that they shared immense sadness for the history of a city whose very fabric was being torn apart, a world heritage site being smashed by rockets and high-velocity rounds. The officers shook their heads when they led us into the ramparts of the immense citadel. “The terrorists tried to capture it 20 days ago from our soldiers who were defending it,” Major Somar said. “They filled gas cylinders full of explosives – 300 kilos of it – and set them off by the first entrance above the moat.”

Alas, they did. The huge medieval iron and wooden gate, its ornamented hinges and supports – a defence-work that had stood for 700 years – has been literally torn apart. I clambered over carbonized wood and hunks of stone bearing delicate Koranic inscriptions. Hundreds of bullet holes have pitted the stonework of the inner gate. Below, I found a T-72 tank whose barrel had been grazed by a sniper’s bullet which was still lodged in the sheath, its armour broken by a grenade. “I was inside at the time,” its driver said. “Bang! – but my tank still worked!”

So here is the official scorecard of the battle for the eastern side of the old city of Aleppo, the conflict amid narrow streets and pale, bleached stone walls that was still being fought out yesterday afternoon, the crack of every rebel bullet receiving a long burst of machine-gun fire from Major Somar’s soldiers. As the army closed in on the gunmen from two sides, 30 rebels – or “Free Syrian Army” or “foreign fighters” – were killed and an undisclosed number wounded. According to Major Somar’s general, an officer called Saber, Syrian government forces suffered only eight wounded. I came across three of them, one a 51-year-old officer who refused to be sent to hospital.

Many of the rebels’ weapons had been taken from the scene by the military “mukhbarat” intelligence men before we arrived: they were said to include three Nato-standard sniper rifles, one mortar, eight Austrian machine-pistols and a host of Kalashnikovs, which may well have been stolen by Syrian deserters. But it is the shock of finding these pitched battles amid this world heritage site which is more terrible than the armaments of each side. To crunch over broken stone and glass with Syrian troops for mile after mile around the old city, a place of museums and Mosques – the magnificently minareted Gemaya Omayyad stands beside yesterday’s battleground – is a matter of infinite sorrow.

Many of the soldiers, who were encouraged to speak to me even as they knelt at the ends of narrow streets with bullets spattering off the walls, spoke of their amazement that so many “foreign fighters” should have been in Aleppo. “Aleppo has five million people,” one said to me. “If the enemy are so sure that they are going to win the battle, then surely there’s no need to bring these foreigners to participate; they will lose.”

Major Somar, who spoke excellent English, understood the political dimension all too well. “Our borders with Turkey are a big problem,” he admitted. “The border needs to be closed. The closure of the frontier must be coordinated by the two governments. But the Turkish government is on the enemy side. Erdogan is against Syria.” Of course, I asked him his religion, a question that is all innocence and all poison in Syria these days. Somar, whose father was a general, his mother a teacher, and who practices his English with Dan Brown novels, was as quick as a cat. “It’s not where you are born or what is your religion,” he said. “It’s what’s in your mind. Islam comes from this land, Christians come from this land, Jews come from this land. That is why it is our duty to protect this land.”

Several soldiers believed the rebels were trying to convert the Christians of Aleppo – “a peaceful people”, they kept calling them – and there was a popular story doing the rounds yesterday of a Christian storekeeper who was forced to wear Muslim clothing and announce his own conversion in front of a video camera. But in wartime cities, you find talkative soldiers. One of the men who recaptured the entrance to the citadel was Abul Fidar, famous for walking between Aleppo, Palmyra and Damascus over 10 days at the start of the current conflict last year to publicise the need for peace. The president, needless to say, greeted him warmly at his final destination.

And then there was Sergeant Mahmoud Dawoud from Hama, who had been fighting in Hama itself, Homs, Jebel Zawi and Idlib. “I want to be interviewed by a reporter,” he announced, and of course, he got his way. “We are sad for the civilians of this land,” he said. “They were in peace before. We promise as soldiers that we will make sure a good life returns for them, even if we lose our lives.” He does not mention all those civilians killed by army shellfire or by the “shabiha”, or those thousands who have suffered torture in this land. Dawoud has a fiancée called Hannan who is studying French in Latakia, his father is a teacher; he says he wants “to serve his homeland”.

But the thought cannot escape us that the prime purpose of men like Sergeant Dawoud – and all his fellow soldiers here – was not, surely, to liberate Aleppo but to liberate the occupied Golan Heights, right next to the land which the “jihadis” apparently thought they were “liberating” yesterday – until they discovered that Aleppo was not Jerusalem.

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There are those who are appalled by George Galloway now, and those who have always been appalled by George Galloway


Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem Sr

Unjtitled 2 271x300 There are those who are appalled by George Galloway now, and those who have always been appalled by George Galloway

The most striking thing about George Galloway’s latest outburst was not what he said so much as the fact that there were still people willing to take him seriously. This is heartening in a way of course, for such people will learn everything they need to know about George Galloway simply by listening to George Galloway. But for those of us who believed the end of Mr Galloway’s credibility had come many years ago, it was also something of a surprise.

The Respect MP’s latest remarks, made on hisGoodnight with George Galloway programme, began by describing Julian Assange’s sex life as “sordid and disgusting”. You could have been forgiven for thinking this a good start. However this was less a condemnation of the alleged improper sexual conduct Mr Assange is wanted by the Swedish authorities for questioning over, and more a judgement on Mr Assange’s sexual promiscuity – as was rapidly intuited as Mr Galloway went on to talk in detail about the actual allegations:

“I mean not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion. Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you’re already in the sex game with them.”

Unfortunately Mr Galloway is not the first man whose reactionary attitude towards promiscuity bleeds into an unwillingness to grant a woman the right to say no once she has climbed between the sheets. More interesting has been some of the response to Mr Galloway’s comments. Some have asked whether, this time at least, the “maverick” MP for Bradford West hasn’t “gone too far”. Mr Galloway has even lost his column at Holyrood for this particular outburst of the unpalatable.

All in all one gets the distinct impression that people expected more from the man.

However while Mr Galloway’s latest remarks undoubtedly stink, his previous record is no less pestiferous. Is it really such a shock to discover that a man who once embraced the leader of Hamas has a lousy attitude towards women? One would have thought the two positions complimented each other excellently. While I still experience feelings of outrage related to Mr Galloway, that outrage pre-dates this week and is nowadays reserved mainly for those who keep up the pretence that Mr Galloway is some sort of radical.

As recently as April, Salma Yaqoob, who says she finds Mr Galloway’s latest remarks “deeply disappointing and wrong”, described Mr Galloway in the New Statesman as “a man who stands by his principles and tells it straight”. Writing ithe Independent around the same time, Patrick Cockburn put the “ferocity” of the attacks on Mr Galloway down to nothing more than the “comatose nature of British politics”. News presenters were launching “a shower of insulting and unproven accusations,” Mr Cockburn added. As if to prove that many on the left still held a torch for Mr Galloway, he was pencilled in to speak at the Marxism 2012 festival on a bill that included Tony Benn and Owen Jones.

All of this came before his now infamous remarks about rape. However it all came after the Respect MP had described the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad as the “last Arab leader”,after he had heaped praise on Saddam Hussein for his “indefatigability”, and after he had claimed that a gay man was executed in Iran for “sex crimes against young men”It also cameafter Mr Galloway had published not so much a book as a eulogy to Fidel Castro; and after, on his Talksport radio show, he said that “not a single photograph of a single dead person” had ever been “adduced” as proof that the Tiananmen Square massacre had taken place.

Staying true to one’s original political beliefs is as much a sign of the rigid dogmatist as it is of the committed idealist. The measure of a person of the left can also very often be taken by their attitude towards George Orwell. In an edition of the late Alexander Cockburn’sCounterpunch to mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the Spanish civil war, Mr Galloway repeated the Stalinist lie that Orwell had smeared the International Brigades who travelled to Spain to fight fascism. Their memory had been “sullied by Orwell’s slanders, unfortunately reinforced by Ken Loach’s film Land and Freedom,” Mr Galloway said. The reality of course was that Orwell had documented the vile role of the Stalinists in suppressing the Spanish revolution. Considering the worst day of Mr Galloway’s life was the day the Soviet Union collapsed, his distaste for the man who saw through Stalinism before the majority of the intelligentsia is perhaps unsurprising.

If anything, the longevity of George Galloway goes to show that you can believe in practically anything on the political left these days so long as you profess a dislike for the United States of America and Israel. It is often said that the political left is too idealistic. That individuals like George Galloway are still in the ranks is testament to the contrary. A good deal more idealism would be very welcome at this point.

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Baiting the Bear


I confess that I cannot quite understand the campaign by the neoconservatives and also a number of leading Democrats to vilify Russia and confront it at every opportunity. The Cold War has been over for more than 20 years, but some appear to want to revive it. Russia has evolved into a developing democracy, has a relatively free press, has a judiciary that functions at least some of the time, is natural-resource rich, and has an economy that is now linked to the rest of the world and is doing reasonably well. On the negative side, it is plagued by corruption and cronyism as well as increasing authoritarianism, but the average Russian enjoys freedoms never experienced in Soviet days and can also see steady improvement in the standard of living. The country’s president, Vladimir Putin, continues to be supported by most Russians, though dissent is admittedly growing over his clear reluctance to give up power.

Russia has a lot to offer the West. It has good ties with its traditional friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, and it still is seen by many foreign governments as an anti-colonial power. This means it is well placed to help mediate crisis situations with countries like Syria and Iran, which no longer trust Washington or the Western Europeans. Instead, however, the U.S. and some of its allies have seen Russia as an obstruction precisely because it refuses to endorse “humanitarian intervention” and regime change. Regime change has not exactly worked out very well in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we shall soon see what will happen in Syria. Moscow’s cautious approach is almost certainly the better option.

And Russia is still a major military power. It is the only country in the world that has the ability to destroy the United States, which one might think would be sufficient reason to establish a friendly relationship. Russia has also indicated its willingness to reduce its own nuclear and chemical arsenals and to work with Washington to safeguard existing nuclear stockpiles through the bilateral Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.

So there are many reasons to establish a modus vivendi with Moscow and no good reasons to act otherwise, but somehow the recriminations go on. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a frequent critic of developments in Russia, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has labeled Russia “public enemy number one.” Leading neocon Robert D. Kaplan attributes to Vladimir Putin both cynicism and “unalloyed thuggery.” In the wake of Putin’s overwhelming victory in presidential elections held in March, a team of observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe noted that there had been a reduction in “flagrant violations” compared to parliamentary elections last December. Putin had nevertheless “faced no real competition and unfairly benefited from lavish government spending on his behalf.” The charge sounds a bit like electioneering in any one of a number of countries, so one has to assume that the real issue is Putin himself.

Russians have plenty of good reasons to be paranoid about the West and its intentions. The West’s interaction with the new Russia started with the looting of the Russian economy by European and American entrepreneurs in the 1990s, aided and abetted by the corrupt government of Boris Yeltsin, a useful idiot if there ever was one. It continued with the rise of the Oligarchs in the years that followed, gentlemen who finished the job started by the initial carpetbaggers. The rise of Vladimir Putin is attributable in part to his pledge to bring to justice the Oligarchs who had stolen the country’s natural resources, though Putin understandably was selective in his prosecutions, going primarily after the billionaires who opposed him politically. Putin also was intent on pushing back against U.S. and European attempts to democratize and incorporate the regimes along his borders, bringing them into the American orbit and even arranging for their entry into NATO and the European Union.

Relations with the Putin’s Russia soured when the first major trial of an Oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, took place in 2004. Khodorkovsky was, to be sure, a critic of Putin, but he was also a mafia-connected crook and quite possibly a murderer. He was convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 2005 and on charges of embezzlement and money laundering 2010. After the second trial, Hillary Clinton said the sentence would “have a negative impact on Russia’s reputation for fulfilling its international human rights obligations and improving its investment climate,” while the Obama White House criticized “the allegations of serious due process violations, and what appears to be an abusive use of the legal system for improper ends.”

The sympathy for an imprisoned world-class criminal was largely the result of successful lobbying to influence Western public opinion. Public relations consultants, portraying Khodorkovsky as an honest businessman and reformer, successfully pushed resolutions through the U.S. House of Representatives and the Council of Europe on his behalf. But the Clinton/Obama comments reveal a profound level of ignorance about Russia’s recent history. Hillary Clinton should be asking how it was that Khodorkovsky became one of the richest men in the world in little more than 10 years. Perhaps both she and the president should have checked the extensive files on Khodorkovsky at the FBI, just down the street from the White House.

In 2008 when Georgia attacked Russia and was subsequently defeated, Washington wound up supporting the aggressor. Many will recall Sen. John McCain’s refrain “We are all Georgians now.” McCain adviser Randy Scheunemann was also a paid adviserfor the Georgian government, the Israeli government was heavily engaged in a U.S. government contract to train and arm the Georgians, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was in the trenches working on its latest Eastern European pastel revolution.

More recently, we have had the Magnitsky case, which has produced the still-pending-in-Congress Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which would impose an asset freeze and travel ban on all Russian officials who were allegedly involved. Magnitsky was a lawyer and a whistleblower who revealed a 2007 tax fraud reported to exceed $230 million. For his diligence, he was arrested, reportedly tortured, and eventually denied medical care. He died in prison eight days before he was supposed to be released. It was at a minimum a horrible miscarriage of justice, and it has been blamed on the lack of a truly independent judiciary combined with the rule of law in Russia. As a result of a subsequent Russian government investigation, 20 senior police and prison officials were fired.

Putin also aroused the ire of official Washington when he complained about the NED’s support for opposition parties in Russia. For those who are unfamiliar with the organization, the NED, which has a Republican and a Democratic arm, is largely funded by Congress, though it calls itself an NGO. It operates worldwide to bring democracy to foreign countries. It does so in a heavy-handed fashion with minimal oversight, and it was deeply involved in the numerous pastel revolutions that bloomed and then went sour in Eastern Europe. By its very nature, it tends to be anti-regime, as it is working primarily with opposition parties and groups and does so openly, allowing opposition politicians to be seen going into and out of the U.S. embassy in Moscow. It is currently involved in Syria, and Egypt recently tried to expel it before succumbing to pressure from the United States and allowing the group to stay. Some observers liken the NED to the old CIA covert-action programs. Putin’s turning on the NED angered many in Washington because there is a bipartisan sentiment that the United States should be allowed to tell other countries how to run their affairs.

Most recently we have seen the Pussy Riot story. Pussy Riot is a three-woman punk band that has never actually produced a record. It is, to say the least, controversial. The group, which has been connected to the NED, staged a performance at the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral which was correctly been described as both blasphemous and obscene. They were arrested, convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” in a trial that appeared to lack much due process, and have now been sentenced to two years in a penal colony. Defenders of the group note that they band was exercising its right to free speech to attack Putin, while also indicting the close links of the Russian Orthodox Church to the government. Numerous artists and entertainment celebrities like Madonna, Sting, and Paul McCartney have condemned the arrest and both the White House and State Department called the sentence “disproportionate” with a “negative impact on freedom of expression in Russia.”

To be sure Putin has been subjected to much harsher criticism from dissident Russians than from foreigners, a sign that Russia’s much maligned democracy might just be alive and kicking. That is as it should be because if the Russians choose to change their government they must do so themselves, without interference from organizations like NED that provide substance to regime changes that the opposition serves foreign interests. After parliamentary elections in December 120,000 demonstrators gatheredin Moscow, and following Putin’s recent election as president for the third time 15,000 protested in Pushkin Square.

One might reasonably argue that if Russia’s politics were somehow a genuine threat to the United States then Washington would have a legitimate interest in acting proactively to deal with the danger, but no one appears to be arguing that case. The criticism of Russia is based on the country’s domestic policies, its governance, and the personalities of its leaders. There is considerable hypocrisy in the American viewpoint. If the Pussy Riot protest had taken place in a cathedral or synagogue in Washington many Americans would be calling for punishment as severe as that meted out by the Russian court.

A broader comparison of the United States and Russia is illuminating. Russia is openly corrupt while the United States has a legal system designed to benefit the elites that run the country, so the corruption is hidden. And the US tends to look the other way when corruption involves an ally. Afghanistan is the most corrupt country in the world yet it continues to get a free pass from Washington and is also projected to receive many billions of dollars in aid in the next decade.

Russian elections admittedly produce no alternatives, but nor do elections in the United States, though for different reasons. The courts in Russia often return government approved verdicts, but so do courts in the US when the government cites states secrets. Washington sends NED overseas to tell others how to govern themselves but would react in fury if the Russians or Iranians were to do the same over here. If Washington truly believes that the treatment of Khodorkovsky, Magnitsky, and Pussy Riot has been unfair it should perhaps recall Jose Padilla, Bradley Manning, and Julian Assange. At the end of the day, what goes on in a Moscow court room has nothing to do with the United States government unless an American citizen is being unfairly treated. And when Washington feels empowered to act against foreign officials as in the Magnitsky case it should consider the Bush Administration war criminals who are still running free and picking up lucrative speaking fees. When a US President or Secretary of State feels compelled to speak out about the treatment of a foreign citizen in a foreign court it must be related to a vital national interest, but if that is so, it is difficult to discern in the recent criticism of Russia.

All of which is to suggest that the nature of the Russian government and its leaders is none of our business as Americans. That 120,000 Russians can gather in the streets to protest an election speaks well of them and they should be left alone to find their own way. Would that half that many Americans could come together to actively protest the political process in the United States. That would be something worth seeing.

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Canada Gives $30 Million to Muslim Terrorists



Last week, the Aga Khan, (left) received a $30 million grant from the Canadian government for a “global center to promote diversity.” None of the Opposition parties bothered to ask why the Canadian government gave this tidy sum to one of the richest men on the planet. 

by David Livingstone

The prominence of the Aga Khan family may be attributed to their long-term involvement in the  Occult and Illuminati-sponsored Muslim terrorism.

The Aga Khan is the hereditary leader of 15 million Ismaili Muslims who trace their descent directly to the notorious Assassins of Islam.  Many believe that the Knights Templars learned their occult doctrines form the Assassins during the Crusades.  In fact, according to Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the Templars “rescued” a number of “Eastern mystics”, and brought them to Scotland, where their traditions were preserved.

Leading scholars of the Kabbalah, like Gershom Scholem, and more recently Nathaniel Deutsch, speculate that a lost Gnostic tradition survived among the Sabians (Assassins), before it was introduced to Southern France  and became known as the Medieval Kabbalah.  There, it spawned the heresy of the Cathars, from which the Templars emerged, and lead to the legends of the Holy Grail.

Terrorism is a foreign practice to Islam. The first instance of terrorism in Islam can be traced to the Assassins, derived from a heretical splinter group of Islam, known as the Ismailis.


The Ismailis devised grades of initiation, wherein the leaders could adhere to heretical Gnostic beliefs, while restricting the lower levels to professing some degree of orthodoxy. This allowed them to appear to defend the faith, all the while working towards its destruction, thus recruiting the lower ranks into undermining the religion they falsely believed themselves to be representing.

One of their first important leaders was Abdullah ibn Maymun, who, according to Nesta Webster, taught:

“Imams, religions, and morality were nothing but an imposture and an absurdity. The rest of mankind ­ the “asses,” as Abdullah called them, were incapable of understanding such doctrines. But to gain his end he by no means disdained their aid; on the contrary, he solicited it, but he took care to initiate devout and lowly souls only in the first grades of the sect. His missionaries, who were inculcated with the idea that their first duty was to conceal their true sentiments and adapt themselves to the views of their auditors, appeared in many guises, and spoke, as it were, in a different language to each class…

By means such as these the extraordinary result was brought about that a multitude of men of diverse beliefs were all working together for an object known only to a few of them…”

The Assassins, were lead by Hasan al Sabah, who split off from the Ismailis, and succeeded in obtaining the fortress of Alamut in Persia, on the Caspian Sea.  There he completed the plans for his great society, the infamous Assassins, deriving their name from the Arabic hashishim, or “eaters of hashish,” referring to the marijuana which he used to create the first mind-controlled terrorists.


The Assassins waged an international war of terror against anyone who opposed them, but eventually turned on each other.  Finally in 1250 AD, the conquering Mongols swept over Alamut an annihilated them. Nevertheless, their followers survived, led by an imam called Aga Khan, who moved from Iran to India in 1840.

His subjects, who are estimated to number in the millions, are still found in Syria, Iran, and Central and South Asia, the largest group being in India and Pakistan, where they are known as Khojas.

Aga Khan II, came to be one of the founders of the Muslim League, which was sponsored by the British in 1858. The 48th Imam, Sir Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan III, was very close to the British royal family during his 72-year reign, and held the post of chairman of the League of Nation’s General Assembly for a year.

The 49th Imam, the currently reigning Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, was given the British title “His Highness” by Queen Elizabeth II in 1957.


Just as the 11th century Assassins were responsible for the development of Islamic terrorism, so in the 19th century, did the Ismailis continue to maintain mysterious alliances.  At the end of the nineteenth century, the Aga Khan was regularly visited in India by a notorious impostor by the name of Jamal ud Din al Afghani, founder of the Salafi movement, currently spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, and from which all modern Islamic terrorism derives.

Afghani was the purported head of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, which supposedly represented the survival of Ismaili Gnosticism in Egypt.  According to Robert Dreyfuss, in his book Hostage to Khomeni, Afghani became the chief agent of the Oxford Movement, a project to spread Scottish Rite Freemasonry to the Middle East. It was headed by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who was the leading figure in the Occult Revival in the mid 19th Century.  He headed the SRIA, or English Rosicrucians, many of whom flocked to Egypt to study under Afghani.  His returning students founded a related Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, out of which emerged Aleister Crowley’s satanic OTO.

Afghani is regarded as the founder of the Salafi “reform” movement, the most famous development of which is the Muslim Brotherhood.  The group was commissioned by Hitler, to act as an arm of German intelligence in Egypt.  With the demise of the Nazis following WWII, control of the organization passed to the CIA, who in turn recruited former Nazis to continue to handle the terrorist organization.

This was part of a wider strategy of employing Nazis and the promotion of terror, which also included the Gladio network, responsible for the “strategy of tension” which rocked Italy throughout the 70s with the terrorist actions of the Red Brigade.


Essentially, the continuing relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood ostensibly represented the same age-old relationship that existed between the Templars and the Assassins, of which the Aga Khan is the current head.  Dean Henderson, author of Geopolitics: The Global Economy of Big Oil, Weapons and Drugs,summarizes the significance of this relationship:

"Part of this Faustian bargain may have involved the House of Saud chieftains providing information to US intelligence on how to create mind-controlled assassins. The Muslim Brotherhood claims to have first perfected this technique during the 11th century Crusades when it launched a brutal parallel secret society known as the Assassins, who employed mind-controlled "lone gunmen" to carry out political assassinations of Muslim Saracen nationalists. The Assassins worked in concert with Knights Templar Christian invaders in their attacks on progressive Arabs, but were repelled."

When the Americans wanted to lure the former Soviet Union into their own version of Vietnam, they did so by financing and supporting factions of the Muslim Brotherhood in Afghanistan, the most notorious proponent of which is Osama bin Laden.

Deeply involved in providing safe haven for the Afghan Mujahideen, and facilitating their dispersal throughout the world, was Ismaili Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, uncle to the current ruling Prince Karim. (source:
Related- Harper Makes Aga Khan Honorary Citizen

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Russia Confident Syria won’t use Chemical Weapons


A ‘confidential dialogue’ with the Syrian government on the security of the arsenal has convinced Moscow that Damascus is capable of keeping weapons under control, a Russian paper reports


Russia believes Syria has no intention of using its chemical weapons and is able to safeguard them, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported on Wednesday, citing a unidentified Foreign Ministry official.

The report seemed aimed to reassure the West that Syrian President Bashar Assad will not use chemical weapons against rebels after US President Barack Obama threatened “enormous consequences” if Damascus even moved them in a menacing way.

A “confidential dialogue” with the Syrian government on the security of the arsenal has convinced Russia that “the Syrian authorities do not intend to use these weapons and are capable of keeping them under control themselves,” Kommersant reported.

The Russian Foreign Ministry declined immediate comment on the report, which cited the official as saying Russia considered it “entirely probable” the United States would take military action if it saw a threat from chemical arms.

Threat is unacceptable

Russia vehemently opposes military intervention in Syria, where Assad has given Moscow its firmest Middle East foothold in recent years, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the West against unilateral action on Tuesday.

Russia and China have vetoed three Western-backed UN Security Council resolutions that would have raised pressure on Assad to stop bloodshed that the United Nations says has killed more than 18,000 people since protests began in March 2011.

But after a Syrian official acknowledged last month that the country had chemical weapons and could use them against external aggressors, Russia says it had told Syria even the threat to employ the arsenal was unacceptable.

Kommersant also quoted the Foreign Ministry official as saying the United States had “firmly warned insurgents not to even come close to chemical weapons storage sites and production plants” and that “opposition groups are heeding” those demands.

“This shows that the West can exert very specific influence on Assad’s opponents when wants to do so,” the official said.

Russia, which Western officials say has aggravated the violence in Syria by shielding Assad from pressure through its Security Council vetoes, contends that the West is encouraging rebels and must instead press them to stop fighting.

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Ryan Adviser Calls On Congress To Authorize War With Iran


 Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) isn’t exactly the most sophisticated observer of international politics. As such, he was treated to a crash course in foreign policy by the Romney campaign prior to his selection as the GOP Vice Presidential nominee. Now, one of Ryan’s key advisers during that briefing period is calling for congressional authorization for war with Iran.

Elliott Abrams, a former Bush Administration official who focuses on the Middle East, took to the pages of the Weekly Standard to argue that neither Iranians nor Israelis think the Obama administration is “serious” about attacking Iran, and that the only real way to convince them is having Congress vote for war:

In any event, the debate over a joint resolution will clarify who stands where. At the moment, no one is persuaded that the United States will use force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. That situation worries Israelis and emboldens Iranians, not the outcome we want. A clear statement now that is backed by the nominees of both parties and elicits widespread support in Congress would demonstrate that, whatever the election results, American policy is set. That is the best (and may be the only) way to avoid an Israeli strike in the near future and the best (and may be the only) way to persuade Iran to negotiate seriously. And if we are unwilling as a nation to state that we will act to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, that conclusion should solidify support for what would then become the inevitable Israeli strike. A refusal by the White House to seek such a joint resolution would itself suggest that, while “all options are on the table,” the likelihood is that that is precisely where they will remain.

The weight of the evidence (according to the Pentagon and the U.N.) suggests that, far from emboldening Iran, the Obama administration’s diplomacy and sanctions policy has significantly slowed Iran’s nuclear policy relative to the baseline left by the Bush administration. Abrams’ claim that Iran is more likely to come to the table if threatened by war is also highly improbable, given that the specter of an American attack is one of the regime’s most effective tools for dealing with its domestic problems. Finally, the Obama administration has already taken a number of steps that credibly establish the possibility of an U.S. strike — having Congress authorize military force would likely add nothing to these steps other than lock the United States down a path that could result in a costly war.

Indeed, Romney appears to at least implicitly know this. He’s been unable to distinguish his Iran policy from Obama’s and has recently pushed back against the idea that Congress should authorize military force, arguing that the President is already legally empowered to launch strikes unilaterally. However, the fact that an adviser who played a key role in molding Ryan’s foreign policy views is defending dangerous brinksmanship raises serious questions about whether the Romney-Ryan policy might tilt hawkish once in office. Indeed, one commonality amongst the advising corps is a worrying willingness to casually advocate the use of American military force.

It’s also important to note that, Abrams’ distortions notwithstanding, President Obama has said Iran with a nuclear weapon poses a threat to regional and international security has made a “categorical statement” that his administration’s policy is preventing Iran from acquiring one. Western intelligence estimates give the West time to pursue a dual-track approach of building international pressure and using diplomacy to resolve the crisis. Questions about the efficacy and potential consequences of a strike have led U.S. officials to declare that diplomacy is the “best and most permanent way” to resolve the crisis.

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Syria Dismisses Obama Invasion Threat as Election Ploy


Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama’s threat to intervene in Syria is an element of his election campaign, Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Kadri Jamil said on Tuesday.

“As far as Obama’s statements are concerned, these are information and propaganda threats that are linked to the upcoming elections,” Jamil said at a news conference hosted by RIA Novosti.

“There are all sorts of games that are being played in connection with U.S. presidential elections.”

The U.S. presidential election is set for November 6, 2012.

“After the Russian-Chinese veto [at the UN Security Council] the West is looking for an opportunity for military intervention in Syria, but we must say that such intervention is impossible,” Jamil said.

“Those who are contemplating that evidently want to see the crisis expand and spill over beyond Syria.”

He also said the issue of President Bashar al-Assad’s resignation could only be discussed after an all-Syria dialogue begins.

“Setting [Assad’s] resignation as a condition before dialogue means that there will be no dialogue,” Jamil said, adding that such an approach was an attempt to impose decisions on the Syrian people.

“I believe, first, the entire Syrian people should be asked [about that]. If this issue is being imposed on us from abroad it is a very dangerous precedent in international relations,” he said.

Since March 2011, the Syrian conflict has claimed up to 20,000 lives, according to estimates by various Syrian opposition groups. The West is pushing for President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria saying the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed.

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Renewed String Of Anti-Islam Attacks Threaten U.S. Muslims During Ramadan


Muslims recently concluded their holy month of Ramadan. However, this year’s Ramadan has been overshadowed by an uptick in Islamophobic attacks against American Muslims in their schools, homes, and places of worship. In the wake of themassacre in a Sikh temple in Wisconsinearlier this month, hate crimes threatening Muslims or members of other faiths who are mistakenly confused with Muslimshave been on the rise:

  • Mosque’s Welcome Sign Smashed: A North Smithfield, RI mosque was vandalized on August 5, when their welcome sign was smashed with a hammer. After appealing to local police for more protection, the mosque received increased security checks. [Source]
  • Mosque Burned To Ground: Federal agents are investigating a suspicious fire that burned a Joplin, MO mosque to the ground on August 6. Just a month earlier, a small fire at the same mosque damaged part of its roof. [Source]
  • Pig Legs Thrown Into Mosque Site: On August 7, pig parts were thrown onto the site of a proposed Islamic center in southern California. Since consuming pigs is forbidden under Islam, local advocates are asking federal officials to investigate it as a hate crime. [Source]
  • Shots Fired On Mosque: On August 10, David Conrad fired two pellet-gun shots on the outer wall of a Morton Grove, IL mosque while about 500 people were inside observing evening prayers for Ramadan. No one was injured, but worshipers saw one of the bullets just narrowly miss a a security guard’s head. Conrad is now in police custody. [Source]
  • Acid Bomb Attack At School: On August 12, an acid bomb was thrown into Muslim school in Lombard, IL, while the school was being used as a facility for evening Ramadan prayers. Worshipers heard a loud bang against the building and realized that someone had hurled a 7-Up bottle filled with acid and other unidentified materials at the school. [Source]
  • Windows Smashed At Christian Arab Church: On August 13, a Christian church in Detroit reported that their building had been vandalized. The church’s pastor, Father Rani Abdulmasih, noted that his Middle Eastern congregation has been racially profiled before. [Source]
  • Paintball Attack At Mosque: Vandals shot paintballs at the Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City on August 13. The attack was caught on the mosque’s surveillance camera, but the police were unable to identify the suspects. [Source]
  • Molotov Cocktail Thrown Into Muslim Home: In the middle of the night on August 15, a firebomb was thrown at a Muslim home in Panama City, FL. The home’s residents believe that the Molotov cocktail was aimed at a bedroom window, but missed its target. The fire was put out with a hose. [Source]
  • Hate Graffiti In Cemetery: On August 16, a visitor to a Muslim cemetery in Evergreen Park, IL discovered that several tombstones had been vandalized with hate graffiti, including racial epithets and insults against Mohammad. [Source]

Two weeks ago, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) claimed that radical Muslims are “trying to kill Americans every week” at a town hall just 15 miles away from the Morton Grove mosque. Several of the other recent attacks — the acid bomb in Lombard, IL and the graffiti in Evergreen Park, IL — also took place in Walsh’s district.

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Bibi’s War –We don’t have to fight it


by Justin Raimondo

Has there ever been a more brazen display of a foreign government dragging a more powerful nation into a war not of its own choosing? I’m talking about the almost comical efforts by the Israelis to goad Washington into attacking Iran: the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu has done everything and then some to put pressure on the Obama administration to act. The latest display of overt manipulation was recently featured on Israeli television:

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ‘is determined to attack Iran before the US elections,’ Israel’s Channel 10 News claimed on Monday night, and Israel is now ‘closer than ever’ to a strike designed to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive… The report added that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak believe Obama would have no choice but to give backing for an Israeli attack before the US presidential elections in November.”

Imagine, for a moment, Another Obama, one who exists in an alternate universe where American Presidents don’t kowtow to the demands of pipsqueak nations with delusions of grandeur — especially those whose security and prosperity are entirely dependent on our generosity. This Obama would answer these blackmailers with an unequivocal statement that the Israelis are on their own if and when they attack: that the US will not lift a finger to help them — no, not even if Israel itself comes under attack, as it will.

This imaginary Obama, of course, does not exist, and has no chance of existing, not even for a moment. This President will continue to subordinate American interests in order to placate the powerful Israel lobby because there are influential elements within his own party — his Secretary of State, for one — who are with Netanyahu.

By launching their public relations offensive at the start of the American campaign season, the Israelis think they have this President over a barrel. A new war in the Middle East would split the Democrats in the midst of an election, and give the Republicans an opening on the foreign policy front. Yet perhaps there is one factor they haven’t taken into account: they are depending on their American fifth column to make war with Iran not only palatable but popular. This, it seems to me, is highlyproblematic.

War with Iran — or anybody else, for that matter — is highly unpopular, at least outside the sacred precincts of Capitol Hill. The American people are in no mood for another war, least of all one in that familiar theater of horrors known as the Middle East. It would take another Pearl Harbor, or another 9/11, to provoke them into supporting a fresh rampage in the region — or perhaps another Gulf of Tonkinincident will do.

The War Party has already tried to pull that one off, you’ll recall — rememberMansour Arbabsiar, the alcoholic used car salesman they told us was part of an elaborate Iranian plot to bomb a popular Washington DC eatery and assassinate the Saudi ambassador? There’s another “terrorist” whose alleged “capture” provoked headlines, and then sank into near total obscurity. It turns out Arbabsiar is certifiably nuts — as anyone who did a minimal amount of research into his background could’ve told you. His much-anticipated trial seems to have been postponed until January, while court psychiatrists try to determine if his ravings are evidence of his own personal madness or proof of a plot to start World War III.

Washington and New York have already declared war on Iran: they just haven’t told the rest of the country about it yet. All in good time, my friend, all in good time — and not much time, if Netanyahu and Barak have anything to say about it, which apparently they do.

What about you and I, mere Americans, and other concerned people around the world — what do we have to say about it?

The legendary power of the Israel lobby is often overstated. There’s no doubt they’ve been successful, but that success is limited. Their Achilles heel is their efforts are aimed at the country’s elites — the political class and its journalistic and corporate cousins. Ask any ordinary American if we ought to fight Netanyahu’s war, and the response is bound to be overwhelmingly in the negative.

If it really comes down to the Israelis openly pushing us into a war the American people oppose, then this really underscores the cynicism and opportunism of Netanyahu and his government — who will no doubt characterize widespread opposition to the war as evidence of “anti-Semitism” on the rise. All the more reason for the world’s Jews to make aliyah.

In this tragic-comic opera, “Netanyahu’s War,” the characters live out their destinies according to a script written by some third-rate Hollywood producer of low-budget thrillers, albeit one with a passing acquaintance with history. In these productions, the clock is always ticking down to zero-hour while swarthy-skinned Terrorists plot to blow up the world — or, in this case, re-enact the Holocaust. All that stands between Ahmadinejad the Madman and the nuking of Israel is the Churchillian Netanyahu, who, like the original, is counting on his American allies to enter the war and save the day.

That’s the narrative we’re about to be sold — but will the American people buy it? Is it really 1939 all over again — or is the much-touted “existential threat” we hear somuch about being wielded not by Iran but by Israel — which actually does possess nuclear weapons, and, in my view, is perfectly capable of using them.

The Israel lobby and its allies in both parties are confident they won’t have to answer to the American people: they think they just have to win over the elites, the people who “matter,” and the rest of us ignorant, superficial, economically-stressed out Americans will just go along with the program, too distracted and self-centered to utter a peep of protest.

This is a dangerous assumption to make, but then again I’m not in the business of advising the War Party how best to finagle us into yet another Middle Eastern crusade. I would just point out for the record that the backlash is bound to be a lot fiercer than anybody expected. To this I attribute the economic shock likely to accompany the war — a condition that rather than distract from the war issue is likely to give it a lot more impetus.

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