Archive | August 24th, 2012

TUT Sammi Ibrahem Radio Show

Sammi Ibrahem Program Aug 17& Aug 24 2012

by crescentandcross


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Corrie Family Waits For Tuesday Verdict


James M. Wall

The ruling will mark the end of the latest chapter in the Corrie family’s long ordeal as they seek justice over their daughter’s death.

Family of Rachel Corrie

(CHICAGO) – Rachel Corrie’s parents, Craig and Cindy (above), and her sister, Sarah, are in Israel this week, waiting for a verdict from the Haifa District Court on the family’s suit against the government of Israel. The verdict from Judge Oded Gershon, is expected to be announced Tuesday.

The civil suit was filed two years ago over Rachel’s 2003 death when an Israeli Defense Force bull dozer killed her as she stood with a bull horn protesting the IDF’s destruction of a Palestinian home in Gaza. Israel’s official response was that the death was an accident.

Amira Hass, West Bank and Gaza correspondent for Ha’aretz, reported Thursday that U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, told the Corrie family that

    “Israel’s investigation into the death of American activist Rachel Corrie was not satisfactory, and wasn’t as thorough, credible or transparent as it should have been.”

The U.S. government position is “not new” to the Corries, but their attorneys told the family that hearing it only a few days before the verdict was “important and encouraging [to the family],” because it signals to the Corrie family that the U.S. government will continue to demand a full accounting from Israel about their daughter’s killing, regardless of how Judge Oded Gershon rules”.

The ruling will mark the end of the latest chapter in the Corrie family’s long ordeal as they seek justice over their daughter’s death.

Rachel Corrie came  to Gaza in 2002, where, as Amira Hass explains,  ”she joined a group of International Solidarity Movement activists who had been living among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, in areas that were subject to Israel Defense Forces incursions and attacks”.

A statement of support from Ambassador Shapiro suggests that he is not optimistic that the Tuesday verdict will be good news to the Corries. But the fact that Shapiro chose to issue this supportive statement prior to the verdict, has to be a good sign that the Obama administration will continue to demand a more complete and thorough investigation into Rachel’s death.

An ultimate judgment in this case rests in the hands of Israeli courts. There is little, other than diplomatic pressure, that the U.S. can do to support the Corries.  But the fact  that President Obama, during his reelection campaign, is willing to signal to the Corries that, regardless of the outcome of the Tuesday ruling, an Obama government will continue to support their family’s quest for justice.

It would have been an easy call simply to remain silent in the face of a possibly unfavorable court decision.  But Obama was not silent. This is an indication that Israel’s control over the White House is not as firm as it was in 2003, during the Bush administration, especially in the emotional climate during the period right after 9/11 when Rachel was killed.

We may expect influential pro-Israeli U.S. citizens to respond negatively to even the slightest sign from President Obama that is not supportive of Israel.

We have advance warning from one such pro-Israeli citizen.

He is  Ronn Torossian, a New York based public relations executive, who took one look at the Republican party’s choice of Paul Ryan as its vice-presidential candidate to ask the inevitable question on his blog: “Is Paul Ryan good for the Jews?” Ryan will be nominated as Mitt Romney’s running mate during next week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida

Is Paul Ryan good for the Jews?

Torrossian turned to Ryan’s website for his answer. There  he found, for him, encouraging comments:

    I believe at least one thing is clear: we cannot advocate for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that jeopardizes Israel’s safety or legitimizes terrorism. Hamas, which is one of the two major Palestinian political factions, is an Islamist terrorist group whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction, refuses to recognize Israel’s existence, and calls Osama Bin Laden a “martyr.”
    America should not pressure Israel to agree to a peace deal that is unlikely to result in peace and security. Real peace will require Palestinians to recognize that Israel has a right to exist, even as it will require two states for the two peoples.

Torossian followed up that strongly pro-Israel observation from Ryan, by concluding on his blog: “Owning a PR firm, I know that only now does the spin begin, but clearly Paul Ryan is good for the Jews.”

The PR firm to which Torossian refers is 5W Public Relations , The firm’s website describes itself this way:

    Founded by Ronn Torossian, the firm has grown into 1 of the 25 largest U.S. PR Agencies, as we believe communication is the key to success. The staff of 5WPR are experts in effectively communicating clients’ messages to their target audience. We listen to our clients’ needs, gain insight, and create a trusted extension of their C-suites and marketing departments. 5W Public Relations’ PR specialists work everyday to place strategic stories in a wide array of markets and sectors. Whether the goal is to drive web traffic, introduce a new technology or product, or clutter-bust a crowded marketplace, we are a PR agency that understands our clients’ business models and how to generate measurable results.


Torossian is but one loyal Israel Lobby warrior among many who carries a loud bullhorn to inform those within the sound of his blog that he finds Paul Ryan to be good for the Jews.

Barack Obama knows this, of course, which might have tempted the President to hold his fire on instructing his Ambassador to Israel to wait for the verdict in the Rachel Corrie suit. He also did not need to have been so firm in his assurance of support to the Corrie family, regardless of the final verdict this Tuesday.

Finally, a gentle reminder to those voters who still might be tempted to cast a “plague on both your houses” vote for a third party this November.. That Obama stood by the Corries in the midst of a reelection campaign, is all the more remarkable.  Did George W. Bush, or would Mitt Romney, have done that?


      The picture above of the Corrie parents, standing with a poster and a large photograph of Rachel, was taken in 2003 as the Corrie family began its long battle on behalf of Rachel.  It was taken by the Associated Press, and appears above the Ha’aretz story cited above.

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Sammi Ibrahem Program LIVE: Interviews Iranian journalist Kourosh Ziabari

Sammi Ibrahem Program LIVE today 4 pm eastern

by crescentandcross

Once again we will be LIVE today at 4 pm eastern as Sammi interviews Iranian journalist Kourosh Ziabari

Those wishing to listen live can do so by clicking here–

Those wishing to participate can do so by calling 347.838.8321

We also have a very lively chat room you can visit here–

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Mask of Zion Report

Mask of Zion Report Aug 23,2012 & Aug 16, 2012

by crescentandcross

My apologies getting these up so late. Still running behind from last weekend’s trip to DC


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Reinstituting Egypt’s Premier League: A Political Tug of War



Port Said riot: 74 dead (Source: Reuters)

By James M. Dorsey

Egyptian security authorities, reluctant to lift a seven-month old ban on professional soccer, are considering testing the waters by allowing a limited number of fans to attend a closed door African championship match scheduled to be played in Cairo next month.

The move would constitute a small victory for Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in his tug of war with the country’s security establishment. Mr. Morsi recently scored an important win by changing the top guard of the armed forces and successfully grabbing executive and legislative power from the military.

The battle for the lifting of the ban on professional soccer that has financially hurt the football industry severely and allowing fans back into the stadium is a litmus test of Mr. Morsi’s ability to impose his will on the unreformed interior ministry and its police and security forces, the country’s most distrusted institution because of its role as enforcers of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s repressive regime.

Officials of Mr. Morsi’s government have so far unsuccessfully pushed for a resumption of professional soccer with the attendance of fans who played a key role in the toppling of Mr. Mubarak. The officials as well as the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) are calling for the Premier League to kick off on September 16, but have yet to get interior ministry approval. The ministry this week agreed however to allow the Super Cup final between crowned Cairo club Al Ahly SC and ENPPI to be played on September 8 behind closed doors and to admit some fans to an African Championship League match between Al Ahly arch rival Al Zamalek SC and Ghana’s Chelsea Berekum.

The military, the interior ministry, government officials, soccer executives and militant soccer fans have in recent weeks been locked in a complex dance focused on the security authorities’ refusal to lift the ban imposed in the aftermath of the death of 74 fans in February in a politically loaded brawl in the Suez Canal city of Port Said.

Egypt’s military rulers are employing the security-inspired sustained ban on soccer as a tool to undermine radical, highly-politicized and street battle-hardened soccer fans who emerged as the North African country’s most militant opponents of the armed force’s grip on politics and proponents of security service reform in the walk-up to Mr. Morsi’s presidency.

Their concern has been reinforced by last week’s clash in Tunisia between security forces and soccer fans in which 22 policemen were injured that followed the throwing of smoke bombs and the storming of the pitch by fans of Etoile Sportive du Sahel unhappy with their team’s poor performance against Esperance Sportive du Tunis. The incident has sparked calls for the banning of Tunisian fans from soccer matches.

The Egyptian effort to side line soccer as a national past time is in stark contrast to ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s use of the game to enhance his image and distract public attention from politics. It also counters Mr. Morsi, who has vowed to free soccer and sports in general from corruption and political interference and sees the resumption of professional soccer as a sign of Egypt’s return to normalcy after 18 months of volatility.

The government recently installed a new EFA board tasked with organizing within 60 days elections in the soccer body. Three competing lists – members of the Mubarak-era board, Islamist players and independent reformers – are campaigning for the election.

The interior ministry has so far refused to lift the ban on soccer imposed in the wake of the Port Said incident as long as enhanced security, including electronic gates, airport-style scanners and security cameras have not been installed in Egyptian stadiums.

While not unreasonable, the demand ignores the fact that security forces stood aside during the brawl in Port Said in what was widely believed to be an effort to teach a lesson to the militant soccer fans that got out of hand. It also fails to take account of the fact that the military and the government have refrained from reforming the interior ministry and its security forces.

That is not going unnoticed in a post-revolt environment in which the public is no longer distracted from politics. Media focus on Mr. Morsi rather than soccer contrasts starkly with the Mubarak era when, for example, the media at the regime’s behest focused on the beautiful game rather than the sinking of a ferry in which 1,100 people died. Public sentiment at the time blamed government corruption for their deaths.

“The balance is being reset,” Egypt Independent recently quoted American University of Cairo political scientist Emad Shahin as saying.

As a result, the debate about soccer is as much about politics as it is about sports. It is a debate that is likely to be fought out politically rather than on the pitch. However, failure to resolve the issue politically risks fans demanding reinstitution of soccer and their right to attend matches on the street rather than at the negotiating table.

James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer

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From Stockholm to Ezzaz – The saga of the Lebanese hostages in Syria


Joseph El-Khoury
I rarely agree with Hasan Nasrallah. But the comments he made in his latest televised speech on the media’s handling of the Lebanese detainees in Syria resonated profoundly with me. Nasrallah was less composed than usual as he accused the media of prioritising their need for a scoop over any other implications.
I shared that feeling from the time that Tania Mehanna irrupted all cameras blazing into that living room flanked by a smiling Abou Brahim. the detainees, whose political affiliation would be fairly predictable went on, in response to Mehanna’s questions to voice unconditional support to the cause of their captor. some were more restrained than others, but all displayed fear and despair.
I do not know who thought that the visit to Ezzaz, the town near the Turkish-Syrian border, was a good idea. Where did the inspiration for the scoop come from? Was there any consideration given to the impact it would have on the detainees, their families or the wider public. Until that date most Lebanese had had a fairly abstract relation with the subject. We knew the detainees had been kept safe and were awaiting for the unravelling of some regional arrangement so they could return home.
The prolonged visit of the Lebanese TV crew created an unprecedented personal bond between the public and all the actors in this tragic soap opera.  It is hard to see how this would not have played a role in the retaliatory kidnappings carried out by Shiaa clans over the last few days.
LBC and New TV, for all their declared good intentions, in effect contributed to the humiliation imposed on these detainees by the Syrian rebels. Parading them helpless and fearful; asking them to make statements under duress while portraying an atmosphere of osmosis between captor and captive can only be described as unethical. One would remind these media professionals that PRESS TV, the English language outlet of the Islamic Republic of Iran, had recently been prevented from broadcasting in the UK under the premise that they had interviewed an opposition activist who had been detained and tortured by Iranian security forces. I agree totally with the principle. Being forced to make statements you do not agree with is humiliating. Humiliation is traumatic, whether it follows torture or intimidation. Broadcasting the humiliation of a human being makes you complicit in it.
Many who followed the saga in screen drew parallels with the ‘Stockholm syndrome’. This psychological term was coined by experts following a bank robbery in 1973 Sweden. It refers to the situation whereby a hostage develops empathic bonds with his captor and becomes complicit in his own kidnapping. There are a number of variants of this syndrome, which rely on many factors; the need for self-preservation being one of them. Thanks to Tania Mehanna and her colleagues, we have now a media-manufactured Stockholm Syndrome. The consequences so far have been dreadful and with the bombing that followed and might have cost the lives of some hostages, the dust is still to settle both literally and psychologically.
Better care next time.

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“You Can Hear Palestine Aching”


by mantiqaltayr

(Graphics by the very Graphic Visigoth)


Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a teacher from Jerusalem, born in acre, raised in Kiriat-Ono (near Kafr-‘Ana) and currently living in Katamon neighborhood (in Jerusalem).  All of them are occupied Palestinian territory. . . .

Living in Israel, you can always see Palestine if you have eyes for her. She’s in the falling-apart houses you pass nearby when you go on a trip, and have no sign to tell their stories. she’s in the changing, forgetting names: from Manshiya to charles Clore Park (which was build upon its ruins), from Deir-Yassin to Har-Nof (“mountainview” – a lovely name for another ugly chapter in my country’s chronicles). Living in Israel, you can hear Palestine aching, if you have a heart. every inch of my childhood, of the most sweet and intimate memories I carry from my early years, is dripping with Palestinian blood and dust and tears. And such stains don’t clean easily, if at all. 

Amos Bar (An Israeli living in Jerusalem, not the late author with the same name)

1.”This year, a record group of 127 men and women flew on the Soldier Aliyah flight sponsored by the Israeli immigration group Nefesh b’Nefesh. Thirty-two of these young volunteers are from the greater Los Angeles area. They were joining an increasing number of young Angelenos who choose to enlist in the IDF.”

The author thinks this is a good thing and part of a sign that young American Jews just love Israel.

2. Hey there you folks at the New York Times and the Guardian, l’ve found a new Middle East expert for you dudes to hire. Here are some quotes showing her expertise: (Note to Shas Party members, red highlighting is mine.)

Though she eschews the term “religious” (too “man-made”), faith is what brought her to the Holy Land. It undergirds her intense passion for the country: “Israel is a global minority and the hostility and venom thrust upon this great nation is just unbelievable,” she said. But she insists that it is not faith alone, but also her belief in Israel’s humanitarian spirit that binds her to the country. “Israel is not strictly a Christian value or an American value; it is a value of humanity.”

And how about this?

“I see bullying. I see a lot of revisionist history,” she said, earnestly. “All one has to do is look at the PLO and their own documents. This is not about land; the Arab League has 22 separate Islamic states spanning an area of 5 million square miles. Israel is 9,000 square miles! It’s not about the land, which is one sixth of one percent of the entire Middle East — it’s about a hatred that is so vile and so deep that it seeks to eradicate a people.” 

Seems to me that Kathy Ireland would be a perfect accomplice to the likes of Jodi Rudoren at the Times and Joshua Trevino at the Guardian.

3. Speaking of Jodi Rudoren, whose defense by some recently strikes me as absurd, I have to take issue with an otherwise right-on comment from a reader posted by the Angry Arab. That comment points out she is nothing but a typical Zionist but ends with the following:

“and most importantly, she freely admits that she knows nothing about the region, which seems to be her main qualification for working there.”

No. Her main qualification is that she is a pro-Israeli Zionist Jew who is replacing another pro-Israeli Zionist Jew.

Btw, If you click on the link in the quote you will see the document the reader was summarizing and that document is very illuminating.

4. Camp Yavneh looks like a most interesting camp. Alison Weir notes that:

“Rudoren’s knowledge of Hebrew may have been bolstered by her summertime attendance at Camp Yavneh, a Jewish camp in New Hampshire that has an Israeli flag at the top of its website and boasts of its “strong Israeli programming.” It features a six-weeks “summer in Israel program, though it’s unknown whether Rudoren attended this.”

You can read an interview with Rudoren which appears in the Camp Yavneh newsletter by clicking here.  The interview confirms Ms. Weir’s comments.

According to the interviewer, Rudoren will be living in “Old Katamon” with her family.

From Wiki:

Katamon was established just before World War I. German aerial photographs taken during the war show a grid of building lots demarcated by stones.[3] By 1914, a total of 5 homes had been built.[3]From 1924, building activity resumed, mostly by affluentChristian Arabs, who built large mansions there.

At the beginning of the 1948 Palestine war the neighborhood was an Arab salient between two Jewish neighborhoods. On the night of 5–6 January 1948, the Haganahbombed the Semiramis Hotel in Katamon, killing 24 or 26 people. On April 28, as part of Operation Yevusi, during a bloody battle over control of the Greek Orthodox St. Simon monastery, located on a strategic hilltop, Rafael Eitan, then a platoon commander, was shot in the head.[2] Many others were killed and wounded on both sides. After the surrender of the Jewish Quarter at the end of May, around 1000 Jewish refugees were moved into Katamon.[4] A gutted Jordanian Legion tank was left as a monument at St. Simon park, but was removed in the late 1990s.

Ofira Navon park, built on the site of Katamon football stadium

In her autobiography, Palestinian author Ghada Karmi describes growing up in Katamon, from which she and her father, linguist Hasan Karmi, and the rest of the family, fled in 1948 after fierce fighting broke out. Arab scholar and poet Khalil al-Sakakini and writer Sami Hadawi also left Katamon at this time. Al-Sakakini’s daughter Hala wrote about revisiting the neighborhood in 1967.[5]

On September 17, 1948, UN Mediator Folke Bernadotte and UN Observer André Serot, were assassinated by members of the Jewish underground Lehi while driving on Palmach Street in Katamon.[2]

From a Zionist website:

Old Katamon, built in the 1920s during the British Mandate and known as the “Flower Garden of Jerusalem,” is located between the neighborhoods of Talbieh, Kiryat Shmuel, the Greek Colony, and Givat Oranim. Old Katamon was established as a Jewish neighborhood following its liberation in 1948 by the Hagana and Palmach.The beautiful villas abandoned by former Arab residents became home to new immigrants who started to arrive from Middle-Eastern countries. The early 1970s saw the onset of a process of renewal in the area. The neighborhood of Old Katamon has a romantic style, featuring beautifully designed houses with yards, pragmatically located close to the center of town. In the neighborhood are schools, preschools and synagogues of many different varieties; best known are the Shteiblich and Yakar. The population is a mixture of national religious, secular and chareidi, notably the ultra-Orthodox Elroi Chassidic group.

From an Israeli Jew living in Jerusalem:(Same text as at the start of this post.)

Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a teacher from Jerusalem, born in acre, raised in Kiriat-Ono (near Kafr-‘Ana) and currently living in Katamon neighborhood (in Jerusalem). All of them are occupied Palestinian territory. . . .

Living in Israel, you can always see Palestine if you have eyes for her. She’s in the falling-apart houses you pass nearby when you go on a trip, and have no sign to tell their stories. she’s in the changing, forgetting names: from Manshiya to charles Clore Park (which was build upon its ruins), from Deir-Yassin to Har-Nof (“mountainview” – a lovely name for another ugly chapter in my country’s chronicles). Living in Israel, you can hear Palestine aching, if you have a heart. every inch of my childhood, of the most sweet and intimate memories I carry from my early years, is dripping with Palestinian blood and dust and tears. And such stains don’t clean easily, if at all. 

Maybe if Rudoren is lucky she and her family will end up in one of those really nice houses built by Christian Palestinians and later stolen by Israelis and she can invite Kathy Ireland to come over and do a fashion show. Make sure to invite Dan Shapiro. But I digress.

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on “You Can Hear Palestine Aching”

By way of deception IsraHell trying to drag US into war on Iran


By Jamal Kanj

Jamal Kanj argues that “leaked” Israeli information on plans to attack Iran are intended to drag the USA into a new Middle East quagmire through committing aggression against Iran on the eve of the American presidential election.

Western and Israeli media are lush with purported leaks on the joint efforts of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and his defence minister, Ehud Barak, to enlist the support of a reluctant military top brass to attack Iran.

All this is hogwash. Israel has no intention to move solo. The leaked information published in the US media is a distraction from Israel’s desire to drag Washington into a new Middle Eastern quagmire.

“The coordinated Israeli leaks were more likely intended to pre-empt the re-election of Barak Obama rather than a genuine pre-emptive effort against Iran, especially since his challenger, Mitt Romney, has supported a unilateral Israeli military action against Iran.”

Former Israeli colonel and ex-secret service agent Victor Ostrovsky details in his book, By Way of Deception, how the Israeli foreign intelligence agency Mossad uses sayanim – Jewish helpers in the host country – to seed false stories in the US media to influence official and public opinion.

Last week, Richard Silverstein, an anti-war blogger based in Seattle, published a supposedly secret internal briefing depicting Israeli military plans to strike Iran.

He alleges an insider confided that he wouldn’t “normally leak this sort of document” but “these are not normal times. I’m afraid Bibi [Netanyahu] and [Ehud] Barak are dead serious.”

According to Silverstein, the document was released because “neither the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] leaker – my source – nor virtually any senior military or intelligence officer wants this war”.

Dissecting the “leaked” information, it appears to be a 10-year-old page copied from George Bush’s “shock and awe” war plan on Iraq: a “clean” technological cyber-attack paralysing communication centres and power grids followed by barrage of missiles and airstrikes to destroy targets on the ground.

The coordinated Israeli leaks were more likely intended to pre-empt the re-election of Barak Obama rather than a genuine pre-emptive effort against Iran, especially since his challenger, Mitt Romney, has supported a unilateral Israeli military action against Iran.

It was unlikely, though, that the appearance of the “leaked” document at the same time as the publication of articles in major Israeli newspapers discussing similar war plans was sheer coincidence.

On 10 August the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth published two articles by distinguished writers Nahum Barnea and Simon Shiffer who concluded that an Israeli strike on Iran would likely take place before the US elections in November.

“Netanyahu … knows that in a tight election year it is an optimum opportunity for the Israeli lobby to maximize US concessions before a second term, when the president is relatively less susceptible to electoral politics.”

Later in the week, the Israeli daily Ma’ariv cited insider information on a deadline of 25 September, the eve of Yom Kippur and the opening of the UN General Assembly, “for Obama to clearly state that the US will take military action”.

Israel is demanding that, at his UN speech, Obama set a clear deadline to attack Iran. The paper suggests that, without a US war commitment, “Israel will press on with its plans to strike at the Iranian nuclear programme”.

Netanyahu, who was educated in, and has worked and lived in the US, understands the vulnerability of a first-term president.

He knows that in a tight election year, it is an optimum opportunity for the Israeli lobby to maximize US concessions before a second term, when the president is relatively less susceptible to electoral politics.

Closer to polling day and as Obama’s re-election becomes certain, a credible scenario would be for Israel to strike Iran and thereby pre-empt his new term at the White House.

An Iranian response would leave Obama with little option but to outdo his opponents by joining Israel’s corner in the US Congress, dragging America into another Israeli proxy war.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on By way of deception IsraHell trying to drag US into war on Iran

Nazi Jewish Settler’s Vehicle Rams Child In Hebron


File - Red Crescent Ambulance - Arabs48

Nazi Jewish settler driving in Jaber Neighborhood, in the southern West Bank of Hebron, hit a Palestinian child then drove off in what appears to be a ramming attack, medical sources reported.

Nasser Qabaja, a Red Crescent official in Hebron, said that the child was moved to  hospital upon request of her family.

Medical sources said that the child suffered moderate injuries, and that she suffered various cuts and bruises.

Late in January this year, an Zio-Nazi driver hit a Palestinian teenager at a checkpoint near Jerusalem, and then drove off in an apparent ramming attack.

Some of the witnesses present at the scene were able to document the license number of the vehicle, but Zio-Nazi police did not take the information when it was presented to them.

Although several previous ramming incidents have been reported to the Zio-Nazi  police and military, no investigations of these incidents have been carried out by the Zio-Nazi regime.   

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi Jewish Settler’s Vehicle Rams Child In Hebron

U.S. has plans in place to secure Syria chemical arms


U.S. has plans in place to secure Syria's chemical arms

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has made contingency plans to send small teams of special operations troops into Syria if the White House decides it needs to secure chemical weapons depots now controlled by security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, senior U.S. officials said.

President Obama warned this week that any effort by Assad to move or use his arsenal of chemical munitions in the country’s conflict would cross a “red line,” implying it could prompt swift U.S. intervention.

But Pentagon planners are more focused on protecting or destroying any Syrian stockpiles that are left unguarded and at risk falling into the hands of rebel fighters or militias aligned with Al Qaeda, Hezbollah or other militant groups.

Securing the sites would probably involve stealthy raids by special operations teams trained to handle such weapons, and precision airstrikes to incinerate the chemicals without dispersing them in the air, the officials said. U.S. satellites and drone aircraft already maintain partial surveillance of the sites.

U.S. intelligence agencies believe Syria has over the years produced or acquired hundreds of tons of sarin nerve agent and mustard gas, a blister agent, and has sought to develop VX, another powerful nerve gas. The toxicity of some chemical agents degrades significantly over time, so it is unclear how lethal the stockpiles are.

Experts say the chemical agents are stored in bunkers and other sites around the country. Four production facilities are near the cities of Aleppo, Hama and Homs, all tinderboxes in the 17-month uprising, as well as the coastal city of Latakia, an area considered a stronghold for Assad’s Alawite religious sect.

An unclassified report by the director of national intelligence this year said Syria’s chemical agents “can be delivered by aerial bombs, ballistic missiles and artillery rockets.” But Syrian rockets, including Scud missiles procured from North Korea, are notoriously inaccurate, making them ineffective for delivering a heavy concentration of toxic chemicals to a specific target.

They can be very effective, however, at creating chaos.

“The actual killing may be less important than the panic they would induce,” said Leonard Spector, who heads the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Although he did not make an explicit threat, Obama’s comments at the White House on Monday were widely seen as a direct warning to Assad that the U.S. would take military action if necessary to stop the use of chemical weapons. But officials said later that no large-scale U.S. intervention is likely unless it is part of an international coalition.

“You shouldn’t interpret what Obama said to mean that there would be automatic military action, but rather that we would respond as part of an international effort,” said one senior official.

Officials said Obama could make a unilateral decision, however, to order special forces teams to stop weapons of mass destruction from falling into the wrong hands.

Pentagon officials and senior military officers said the Syrian stockpiles seem well guarded for now, and they stressed that the White House has not ordered detailed planning of operations aimed at securing the facilities.

“We have done contingency planning but we’re not doing detailed planning — identifying numbers [of troops], units and platforms — until the White House tells us we need a specific plan for this,” a senior officer said.

Although U.S. officials said they are closely monitoring the unconventional weapons sites, they also acknowledge the stockpiles are large enough that some materials, such as small artillery shells filled with chemical agents, could be relocated without their knowledge.

U.S. officials told reporters last month that they had evidence Syrian forces were moving some chemical arms, apparently to keep them away from areas of fighting.

Assad’s government has said it will not use chemical munitions against the Syrian people, though it has implied they could be used if foreign troops sought to intervene in the war.

“Any chemical or bacterial weapon will never be used — and I repeat will never be used — during the crisis in Syria, regardless of the developments,” Jihad Makdissi, a Syrian government spokesman, told reporters last month. “These weapons are stored and secured by Syrian military forces and under its direct supervision and will never be used unless Syria faces external aggression.”

Analysts say it’s unclear how much of the chemical arsenal could be deployed, and they note that the agents, particularly VX and sarin, may have weakened if the regime isn’t regularly refilling its stocks. U.S. intelligence officials have said that Syria, which is under international sanctions, relies heavily on foreign sources for chemicals and other key parts of its weapons program.

The VX stockpiles maintained by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s government had a shelf life of about six months, and the sarin less than two years, the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium, a network of European think tanks, said in a report last month.

“To keep those sorts of quantities replenished, you have to have a very robust program,” said Charles P. Blair, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Federation of American Scientists, a Washington-based group.

In response to a reporter’s question Monday, Obama mentioned Syria’s biological weapons program. But that appears a minor concern at this point.

In 2008, Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, then director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified before Congress that Syria had “a program to develop select biological agents as weapons” and that the program was “in the research and development stage.”

U.S. officials no longer appear to believe that Syria is actively pursuing a biological weapons program. The unclassified U.S. intelligence report this year said only that Syria had the infrastructure to support the development of biological weapons.

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