Archive | September 18th, 2013

How AIPAC Became the Syria Strike Scapegoat


Obama asked AIPAC to support a strike. Now everyone’s blaming the Jews.

ed note–pay attention to what is being said here–Obama enlisted all the Jewish lobbies to go out and make noise for this war.

As we have theorized here on this website, the entire Syria drama was done in order to box Benjamin Netanyahu in so that he would not get his war and would be politically hobbled from making any more noises about any new wars. AIPAC is Netanyahu’s PR firm in America, along with the American Jewish Committee, ADL, etc. The only way to make this work would have been for Obama to contact these groups and do exactly what is being alleged in this article in order to put them in the spotlight as warmongers and 5th columnists.

Who is driving Obama to war against Bashar Al-Assad? I’ll give you three guesses.

I bet you didn’t need the other two. As Andrew Sullivan has asserted, the answer, of course, is the Jews. AIPAC is “storming the hill,” writes Sullivan, because the pro-Israel lobby is “fixated in forcing Obama to start yet another major war in the Middle East.” He went on: “It’s not in Israel’s interests that either Assad or the Jihadist rebels gain the upper hand,” hewrote in part 2 of a series brazenly titled “AIPAC Wants this War.” “And yet they will happily ask the United States to risk its own potential enmeshment in a wider war—just to keep the conflict going.”

It’s an odd assertion, especially as it’s quite clear that the arrow pointed in the other direction: it was the White House that asked AIPAC to put its resources at Obama’s disposal and “do the president a solid,” as one official at a Washington-based Jewish organization told Alana Goodman at the Washington Free Beacon. And as Eli Lake of the Daily Beast reported last week, AIPAC “leadership received a phone call from a senior White House official” last week after Obama announced he would seek congressional authorization for a Syria strike. The message, writes Lake, “was clear that AIPAC’s participation in the lobbying effort to pass the authorization ‘would be helpful.’”

Of course Sullivan is not alone in picturing the Jews as warmongers. If both House and Senate Democrats and Republicans are divided amongst themselves on whether to grant the president authority to take military action against Assad, there is nonetheless a growing bipartisan consensus on how we got here. But radical voices on both sides agree that the Jews must have something to do with it. The conservative site Red State “connects the dots” andcontends that AIPAC is at the center of a vast conspiracy—from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy to my colleagues at the Weekly Standard—pushing the US toward war in Syria.* And when AIPAC’s pulling the strings it’s a done deal.

The conclusion of which is that the White House has put pro-Israel organizations—the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Republican Jewish Coalition all joined AIPAC in supporting Obama’s call for authorization—in a rather uncomfortable position. As Steven J. Rosen, a former senior AIPAC official, wrotelast week, the organization’s support for a military strike “is a major change in precedent.” “AIPAC struggled to stay out of the Iraq War vote when that issue was before Congress, and did not openly endorse that authorization,” he wrote in Foreign Policy. Nonetheless, “Israel’s detractors never cease asserting that the Iraq War was fought on Israel’s behalf.”

So why has AIPAC come out so publicly on Syria and subjected itself to the accusations of Jewish manipulation and warmongering that were certain to come? To be sure, erasing the red lines on Assad’s use of chemical weapons would, as Rosen writes, “undermine the campaign to prevent Iran from completing its nuclear weapons program.” But it’s not just about Iran. It’s much bigger than that. It’s about American security assurances to allies around the globe—not just Israel, but also, for instance, Taiwan and South Korea,Poland, Czech Republic, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, to name just a few key American partners. In other words, AIPAC and other pro-Israel organizations are backing the president because they understand the authorization in terms of American interests and American strength. “Without a strong United States,” Rosen writes, “the world of our children will descend into a very dark void, because after America there is no one else waiting in line to assume leadership except these forces of evil and chaos.”

The issue then is Obama. His Syria policy has been incoherent since the beginning of the anti-Assad uprising in March 2011. From his inability to see an American interest in crushing a brutal dictatorial regime allied with Iran, to his wobbling over the red line he drew himself last August, Obama’s vacillations give evidence of American weakness. It is precisely this sort of political atmosphere—uncertainty, hesitation, fear—that is most conducive to conspiracy theories. A different sort of conspiracy theorist might be tempted to argue that what we’re seeing is not the Jews pushing America to war, but a president who by asking pro-Israel organizations to march in front wants to put Jewish influence and power under the floodlights. Or, more charitably, that what we’re seeing now is America’s Jewish community trying to save a weak and incompetent executive from himself.

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Pro-I$raHell groups suspend lobby for Syria strike



Times of Israel

Pro-Israel groups suspended their high-profile lobbying effort for a strike on Syria now that the United States and Russia have struck a deal to strip the Assad regime of its chemical weapons.

A spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which organized a Capitol Hill blitz last week aimed at persuading Congress to back a strike, confirmed Monday that lobbying has been suspended for now.

The American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, which also had been involved in the lobbying, said they would suspend lobbying, too.

“We sent many messages over the last week and a half; we are not formulating new letters to the Hill,” Jason Isaacson, the AJC’s director of international affairs, told JTA. “Our message is out there should it be required.”

Jewish groups had hesitated at first to sign on to the lobbying effort, fearful that their support would be construed as a pro-Israel initiative. But they dove in after President Obama called for a strike last month and senior administration officials solicited their help in persuading Congress to sign off on the military action. AIPAC sent 250 of its members for personal meetings with Capitol Hill lawmakers, a show of strength the lobby reserves for major initiatives.

Jewish groups maintained their support for a strike even after President Obama called last week for Congress to delay a vote wile he explored the Russian proposal, which calls for Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles to be eliminated by 2014. The AJC in a letter Sept. 12 to Congress members said the threat of credible military action must be maintained even as the United States looked at the Russian plan.

Leading pro-Israel figures echoed the view.

“Every day that goes by without congressional authorization, it undermines the vitality of the threat,” Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, said in an interview Friday.

By Monday, however, the groups had changed their tune, suspended their lobbying and endorsed the putative deal brokered in Geneva over the weekend by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

Under the terms of the agreement, Syria would be stripped of its chemical weapons by the middle of 2014. If it refuses to comply, the situation would be referred to the UN Security Council.

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime has yet to formally give its assent to the deal, though government officials have indicated a willingness to approve it.

“While we remain cautious about President Assad’s true commitment to disarmament, we welcome this agreement as an ambitious but hopeful first step to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria,” the ADL said in a statement Monday.

Martin Raffel, the senior vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, which had advocated for a strike, said his group would now “take its lead from the administration.”

“We hope military force won’t be necessary,” Raffel said. “The point of the military force was not just to engage in the military operation, it was to try and prevent Assad from using chemical weapons. We’re cautiously optimistic this thing will all work out.”

The flurry of activity followed an attack on Aug. 21 in which a rebel stronghold near Damascus was hit with chemical weapons that are believed to have killed more than 1,400 people, including hundreds of children.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the attack was likely perpetrated by opposition forces, but the United States maintains it was almost certainly launched by Assad.

After sealing the deal with Lavrov in Geneva, Kerry flew to Israel, where he appeared at a joint news conference Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We have been closely following — and support — your ongoing efforts to rid Syria of its chemical weapons,” Netanyahu said. “The Syrian regime must be stripped of all its chemical weapons, and that would make our entire region a lot safer.”

Netanyahu cast Israel’s investment in the deal in the same terms that pro-Israel groups had framed their support last week for strike authorization: as a message to Iran.

“What the past few days have shown is something that I have been saying for quite some time — that if diplomacy has any chance to work, it must be coupled with a credible military threat,” Netanyahu said. “What is true of Syria is true of Iran and, by the way, vice versa.”

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On the eve of Democracy Day EED meets Syrian activists to hear their story

[ed note;one has t go into EDD site then scroll down to news and press releases to fetch this story,link wont take you there directly!
 The European Endowment for Democracy met with Syrian Human Rights defenders, visiting Brussels upon invitation of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. On the eve of international Democracy Day, the Syrians and their partners described the greatest challenges for democracy activists working in and for Syria. A Syrian representative of the group described their situation:[[[[[[“As Syrian Human Rights groups working in the field, we face immense challenges but have very limited access to international funding because of the lack of information, language barrier and bureaucracy … The situation in Syria can dramatically change over a short period, so it is a major challenge if we have to wait for months and months for a project to receive support.]]]]]”[[[[[Beyond funding issues, the participants also underlined the many other challenges they are faced with on a daily basis, such as the growing gender-based violence, problems of IT security and the difficulty to document violations in a professional manner. Peter Sondergaard, Head of Programmes at the European Endowment for Democracy, described how EED can support them and other democracy activists.]]]]] [[[[[He assured them:“We have a mandate to work in a flexible and rapid way. We can support you even if your group is not registered and we accept requests in Arabic – all to make your lives easier.”]]]]]
[ed notes:very odd !one has to go into EDD site directly then scroll down to fetch this news,because there is no actuall hyperlink to connect directly to this event and news… the EDD is modelled on NED(CIA front and ziocon regime change inc)see 
Regime Change Inc.’s ,from Converts to Missionaries,to the Arab Stings …

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Syria: Accidental Diplomacy in the Devils’ Playground


It’s unfortunate that diplomacy has now become an accident of U.S. foreign policy. After John Kerry’s slip-of-the-tongue in London last week, warmongers in and outside the beltway are sulking at the idea that a peaceful solution might prevent them from going to war in another Middle Eastern country.

Washington politicians’ chagrin at the prospect of a peaceful resolution makes one thing very clear: they do not care about chemical weapons, they do not care about dead children, and they do not care about Syrians, period. If they did, they might have themselves put forth the fairly unimaginative proposal that Syria give up its stockpile of chemical weapons. They might have not helped to nurture the Islamist insurgency that has hijacked what was once a national struggle for democratic reforms. And they might have put their weight behind a peace plan before the death toll topped 100,000, with a third of the country now refugees from their own land.

Let’s also not forget that the U.S. has always had a love/hate relationship with chemical weapons, looking the other way when its former client, Saddam Hussein, gassed tens of thousands during the Iraq-Iran war (including 10,000 innocent Iraqi Kurds in Halabja); White House officials similarly ignored the use of white-phosphorous, an incendiary chemical weapon, by Israel in Gaza in 2008; and then of course there is their own use of depleted uranium during the Iraq invasion.

So what is motivating this policy of “If you don’t stop gassing civilians, we will bomb your civilians”? We keep hearing on cable news that if the U.S. doesn’t attack Syria, the Iranians may continue to work on their dramatically overhyped nuclear weapons program. But this is a rhetorical feint, meant to obscure a much more grim reality: that Syria is only an appetizer for a much more destructive campaign against Iran, initiated by Israel and destined to be executed by their praetorian American backers.

After all, most of the jihadist forces fighting the Syrian government are not better than the current, odious regime of Bashar Al-Assad, and the U.S. and Israel know it. And so what they strive for is not the downfall of Assad, but a state of perpetual chaos in Syria. This is perhaps why Alon Pinkas, former Israeli consul general in New York, was quoted by theNew York Times as saying: “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.”

Humanitarian motives indeed. But threat to whom? Prior to the uprising, the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel, were rather quiet for some time. So perhaps the better question is, threat to what? Some may argue that what is “threatened” by a stable Syria is the plan to attack and destabilize the Assad regime’s Shia patrons in Iran, a nation which lives in the crosshairs of the United States and Israel, and whose leaders use the threat of foreign attack as justification for a militarist fundamentalism of their own.

Much like Obama, Vladimir Putin is not concerned with the loss of Syrian lives. His interests lie in the billions in arms agreements that his government has with Assad. The Gulf monarchies — Saudi Arabia and Qatar — along with Israel and the United States, are interested in alienating Iran. Each of these players continues to make a terrible situation worse by throwing more bombs and guns into the mix, splashing fuel onto a fire with one hand while shaking their sanctimonious fists with the other.

And so the geo-political power games continue, with indisputably bad people on every side surrounding average, innocent Syrians who live under constant threat of death from all parties involved. Back in 2012 I made a film to highlight the plight of Syrian refugees caught in the middle of what one little girl I spoke to referred to as a “soccer match,” with Syria as the ball. The title of that film, The Suffering Grasses, was taken from the following proverb: “When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” With over 100,000 dead and counting, and the entrance of the biggest elephant of all into the fray, this phrase couldn’t be more apt.

Given that ethical concerns are a low priority for the U.S., one would hope that rational self-interest might play some role in their decision-making when it comes to Syria. But the primary financial beneficiary of a U.S. strike on Syria (aside from the jihadists fighting Assad and the hemorrhage-happy Israelis next door) will be Russia. As oil prices invariably rise with a U.S. strike, Russia — the world’s largest exporter, along with Saudi Arabia — will be the first to profit from skyrocketing oil prices.

Then of course there are the direct costs of war. A single Tomahawk missile costs roughly $1.4 million. Experts have predicted that, putting together the costs of munitions, refueling, and keeping naval vessels within striking distance, even a “limited” cruise missile strike would end up costing U.S. taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Given the slow recovery from the 2008 financial meltdown, and another one likely on the horizon, one would think that American leaders would think twice about spending taxpayer money to assist an opposition that includes al Qaeda in its ranks.

The American people, scarred by lies and fatigued from wars that have profited them nothing, came out in massive opposition to Obama’s “punitive” bombing of Syria. It seems they are coming around to the idea that there is no such thing as a humanitarian bombing, and that such conditions for war bring only more war. They are beginning to recognize that, like the slaughtered innocents of Syria, they too are grass suffering under the weight of elephants.

In the end, accidental diplomacy is better than no diplomacy at all. So we must continue to put pressure on our elected officials to move in this direction and to use negotiations over chemical weapons as an opportunity to bring all the major stakeholders — the Assad regime, the opposition, the United States, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Iran — into further diplomacy that could end the civil war in Syria. Such intervention does not involve more weapons or bombings, but rather brings a framework for ending the violence and moving towards the peaceful democracy that the Syrian people rightly deserve.

To watch the trailer for The Suffering Grasses: When Elephants Fight, It Is the Grass That Suffers, click here.

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“They will mount an operation against Syria at the United Nations and will make a provocation from Turkey. “Attention to the world!,they  will match two events wich will be fulfilled by the orders from the Pentagon to go to war in Syria”stated the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro according to evidence allegedly confirmed by different sources in the world, after the inauguration of the school national Bolivarian Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, in tribute to the eternal Commander.He said that the Imperial forces have changed tactics with provocations on the border with Turkey, that is obligated to the North Atlantic organization, NATO, to interfere, since the Turkish nation belongs to the concerned Agency.

“We call upon the people of Turkey from the peoples of  Venezuela’s Chavez, to warn the Turkish Government  not to start a war between peoples”, said Maduro.
He rejected the report that announced the Secretary General of the Organization of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.  [[[[“Why the Secretary-General of the United Nations is given a position as Prosecutor and judge of the peoples of the world and yet is at the service of strategies of war, instead of being in the service of peace?]]]]”[[[[[He criticized the actions and weapons of nuclear armed Israel wich launched wars against the people of Palestine. “Who punishes them?,they used cluster bombs that are forbidden in the world against Palestinian children.” Who denounces that? “, he reflected.”]]]]He emphasized that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, agrees with Syria, to deliver all of the chemical weapons that have, but wondered when would Israel deliver its own ammunitions. He said that the South American nation is in accordance with efforts to eliminate all chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and the world disarmament to create a community of peace and coexistence.
Venezuela appreciates efforts of Syria peace
The National President congratulated his counterpart of the Federation of Russia, Vladimir Putin, for having played a stellar role to ensure peace the Arab people of Syria and thus prevent a third world war. It also expressed that since the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of our America (Alba), be supported all the initiatives to be undertaken since the European nation for global harmony.
Source: Press MPPRE


Why USA Is Destabilizing Egypt

By Thomas C Mountain
Destabilizing Egypt is part and parcel of Pax Americana’s “Crisis Management” strategy in Africa. The USA wasn’t about to sit back and watch as the beginnings of a transition to an independent government in Egypt was taking place under the Morsi lead Muslim Brotherhood so voila! coup de grace!
Pax Americana always preferred the brute force policy of Mubarak and following the popular explosion in January, 2011 that brought down their vassal they were waiting in the wings ready to bring back the old regime. The Egyptian military didn’t have to think this one up on their own, they got it right out of a manual at one of the many sessions they have attended for the past 30 plus years at various military war colleges in the USA.Cut off electricity during the hot weather, deliberately restrict fuel supplies and of course full watts of propaganda on how “25 million people signed a petition against” the Morsi government. Classic destabilization campaign.To be blunt, the USA will cause the Egyptian people to wage war against themselves before it will allow any sort of transition to an independent government in Egypt.The Egyptian Army will still get its salaries and if matters become so unstable that it can no longer be relied upon to “protect” the Suez Canal, through which all the trade between Europe and Asia flows, then there are always UN “peacekeepers” to do the job. So let the Egyptians kill each other, its called crisis management, as in create a crisis and then manage the ensuing chaos to better enforce Pax Americana in a most critical region of the world.The USA’s destabilizing of Egypt is just a part of the greater “crisis management” strategy in East Africa’s Red Sea region, the best example of which is the giant “Millennium Dam” being built by Ethiopia on the Nile river.It wasn’t that long ago that threats of war were being made by heads of state here alongside the Red Sea over the threat posed by cutting off Egypt’s historic use of the Nile waters by Ethiopia’s new mega damn.[[[[A closer look at this new dam, something one will not find in the western media, reveals that it was the creation of the World Bank, 51% owned by the USA. The dam itself is supposed to produce 6000 megawatts when its is done, yet no one has tried to explain who is going to use this huge energy surplus.]]]]To start with 75% of Ethiopia’s 80 million+ people have never, ever, had electricity and there are no plans let alone multi billions of dollars to build an electrical distribution system for over 60 million people. And even if they did the rural, agricultural based Ethiopian economy would still only need 2000 megawatts. Ethiopia could build two or three dams a fraction of the size and price of the “Grand Millennium Dam” that would be more than sufficient for its needs and would not threaten Egypt’s use of the Nile waters.
It was all Pax Americana’s doing to start with, helped along by some “Abyssinian Imperialist” ambitions, that now posses such a serious threat to Egypt’s survival that dire threats of regional warfare were made. Its called “crisis management”, take a perfectly solvable problem and turn it into a potential explosion that will prevent any further attempts at regional economic and political integration i.e. Pan African cooperation.That the USA is behind the destabilization of Egypt is no secret here along the Red Sea with senior leadership from our region speaking publicly about the problem. Pursuing peace is never popular with Pax Americana, especially along strategically critical choke points like the Suez Canal and the “Gate of Tears”, Baab Al Mandeb, the mouth of the Red Sea into the Indian Ocean. Crisis management wont allow it.
[[[[[The saying goes “All Road to Peace in the Horn of Africa and Red Sea run through Asmara”, Eritrea which is trying its best to promote principled dialogue and diplomacy to try to prevent the damage inflicted upon us under the strategy of “crisis management” by the purveyors of destabilization and violence, the USA.]]]]]
– – – – – – –
Thomas C. Mountain is the most widely distributed independent journalist in Africa, living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain_at_yahoo_dot_com

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Israhelli mercenaryyair klein was in Paraguay 2011?

 The Ministry of the Interior told the media that it does not pay “services to Government”. “Several intelligence reports in Paraguay speak about the implication of Yair Kleim, the Israeli who has been in cases of extreme violence,” States a report by the international channel Hispantv. Klein would have been in the country to combat the Paraguayan people’s Army (EPP) in the year 2011,it  indicates.
Several leaders of human rights in Paraguay showed concern about this possibility. Dr. Joel Filártiga asserted that Klein is a mercenary and “professional terrorist”. “Brought here to create paramilitaries by  Uribe Vélez, former President of Colombia,” added the doctor.
“Intelligence reports indicate it as responsible for deadly attacks in the field”, in Paraguay, leaving the population in distress in the North of Paraguay,”adds the material elsewhere.Human rights defenders say that the emergence of paramilitary would only generate more violence.The journalist Jorge Zárate expressed in this regard, “here it tries to show as an essence of action the military mobilization, when action should be the State in the form of coveralls, physicians, teachers, agricultural technicians”.Juan Carlos Troche, correspondent and who performs the story to Hispantv, States that the Ministry of the Interior assured them that Yair Klein “not serving in Government”.KleinYair Klein is a veteran of israeli war established a private mercenary company called Spearhead Ltd which supplied weapons and training armed forces as well as irregular armed groups from several countries, notably Sierra Leone and Colombia where he trained (deathsquad)paramilitary groups in the 1980’s.
In the second half of the 1980s he trained Colombian paramilitary groups, as well as the militias of drug trafficking in that country, led by men such as Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha (the Mexican) and Pablo Escobar Gaviria (pattern).He currently takes refuge in his country of origin(Israel), after fruitless attempts of countries such as Colombia, who requested his extradition.Klein was convicted by a Colombian court in 2002, but in that then was not captured, among other reasons because the processes prescribed and a red circular of Interpol against expired.After passing through Colombia, he was in Sierra Leone, a country where paid a 16 month sentence for providing weapons to the subversive group Revolutionary United Front.

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Who is Washington’s protégé for Syria?


During Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria on September 3, John Kerrydropped only one name of a person he could wholeheartedly trust in Syrian chaos. He presented to the US Senators an opposition leader Ahmad al-Jarba without providing too much detail. Perhaps senators do not care much about State Department’s protégé. But we do. So who is Mr. al-Jabra?

“Records reveal that official Riyadh handed over “the suspect Ahmad al-Jarba” to Damascus in 2008, on charges of drug trafficking, in accordance with an extradition agreement between Saudi and Syrian security services”,

writes journalist Nasser Charara in the influential Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar.
Ahmad al-Assi al-Jarba is well-known not only to Saudis but also to Qatari and Syrian security services as a fugitive wanted for criminal offenses. At different times three countries with rival ideology and very strained diplomatic relations characterized him as a top white-collar criminal. Being “in business” for more than a decade he established deep ties with Prince Bandar (“Bush”) bin Sultan of the Saudi ruling clan. Shadowy past and Westernized image makes Ahmad al-Jarba a perfect candidate for political manipulation. A man in suit and tie compares favorably with stereotypical terrorists on the US television screen.
As Nasser Charara continues:

The records also reveal another entry involving Jarba, which the Qatari security services undoubtedly also have in their records, as the source said: After the coup staged by the outgoing Emir of Qatar Hamad against his father Khalifa al-Thani, the latter’s foreign minister fled to Syria, where he became a vocal supporter for restoring the previous emir. At the time, according to the records, Emir Hamad’s people asked Ahmad al-Jarba to assassinate the exiled Qatari foreign minister in Syria. Al-Jarba even received payment after accepting to carry out the mission, the source claimed.

However, Jarba chose instead to expose the plot to the deposed Emir Khalifa, for which he also received a financial reward. The issue proved to have huge political consequences, prompting the Syrian state security agency to investigate and ultimately detain Jarba for a total of five months on counts of fraud.
No need to comment. The United States are going to replace president Assad by an uncontrollable, hypocritical and perfidious figure in Syria.
John Kerry presented Ahmad al-Jarba in Senate as a secular alternative to Al-Qaeda. The only thing he forgot to mention is that both brutal jihadists and spokesmen like Ahmad al-Jarba are sponsored by the same man – the chief of Saudi intelligence. This fact throws new light on Al Jabra’s “Syrian National Coalition” (SNC) attempts to wreck Geneva-2 peace talks. Saudi umbrella organizations are established to wage wars, not to seek diplomatic solutions.
The only way out of this zugzwang situation is to stop challenging legitimate government in Damascus and to leave way for a broad national reconciliation process in Syria under the guarantees of the great powers. All alternatives are leading to a deadlock.

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EU’s Everything But Arms initiative is impoverishing Cambodian farmers

EU’s Everything But Arms initiative is impoverishing Cambodian farmers: Trade scheme must be reformed to safeguard human rights .A European Union (EU) trade initiative intended to reduce poverty in the world’s poorest countries has driven thousands of Cambodian farming families into destitution and led to serious human rights violations, Inclusive Development International (IDI) and Equitable Cambodia and said in a report released Monday. The report, Bittersweet Harvest, assesses the human rights impacts of the EU’s ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA) trade scheme in Cambodia. The European Commission adopted the EBA initiative in March 2001, granting preferential access to the European market for all products except arms and ammunitions from all countries classified by the United Nations as ‘least developed’. While the EBA scheme is intended to benefit the poor through job creation from export-led growth, the case of Cambodia’s rapidly expanding sugar industry tells a different story. In recent years, there has been a surge in forced displacement of rural and indigenous communities resulting from large-scale land concessions for agro-industrial development. Sugar companies, which invested in Cambodia to take advantage of the lucrative European trade preferences, have been among the worst offenders. Against this backdrop, Equitable Cambodia and Inclusive Development International, in conjunction with the Hands off the Land Alliance, conducted an independent human rights impact assessment of the EBA initiative in Cambodia, focusing on the sugar sector. The assessment is based on interviews with over 275 people, including local officials, human rights workers, community leaders, and smallholder farmers from Koh Kong, Kampong Speu and Oddar Meanchey provinces who have been impacted by EBA-driven industrial sugar development. The assessment finds that, in the absence of effective human rights safeguards, Cambodia’s policy of granting large-scale land concessions to private investors for agro-industrial development and the EU’s policy of granting preferential tariffs to spur such investment in least developed countries both carry risks of devastating human rights impacts. These risks have materialized in forced evictions and land seizures that have been part and parcel of the development of Cambodia’s sugar industry. Police and state security forces have carried out arbitrary arrests and detentions and used physical violence at the behest of sugar companies against local communities attempting to defend their land. One community activist was found axe murdered in Koh Kong after documenting and actively protesting the evictions. At least two villages were totally destroyed and more than 11,500 hectares of rice fields and orchards belonging to over 2000 families was seized. Thousands more hectares of community forest and environmentally protected areas were also destroyed to make way for the sugar plantations. Many families suffered the destruction of their crops, livestock and personal possessions. More than 1000 men, women and children were left homeless. As a result, after the forced evictions, affected people suffered a severe rollback in their enjoyment of basic human rights, including the rights to adequate food, water and housing, as well as the right to work, the right to education and the right to health. In some cases, the evictions led to extreme hunger and possibly starvation. Many of the families who lost their land have had no choice but to work on the sugar plantations, where work is irregular, conditions are poor and pay is generally insufficient to enable most households to make ends meet. Dispossessed of their means of subsistence, many families have been forced to send their children to work for the sugar companies. The assessment found that child labor was rife on all the plantations. It documented 85 children, some as young as 8 years old, doing often hard and dangerous work on the plantation in Koh Kong province that supplies UK refiner Tate & Lyle Sugars. “The impacts that we have documented in Cambodia betray the fundamental purpose of Everything But Arms and the commitments that the EU has made to uphold human rights in its trade policy,” said Eang Vuthy, executive director of Equitable Cambodia. [[[[“I am sure that this is not what European policy-makers intended when they adopted the EBA agreement over a decade ago. They pledged to make poverty history, but they have made it much worse for many families in my country with the type of investment that EBA promotes. The EU should be doing these sorts of assessments so they can see the real impact of their policy,” he added.]]]]] “Decades of experience around the world have shown that increased investment and trade can bring about greater prosperity for people but they can also wreak havoc on local communities and the environment unless adequate safeguards are put into place to prevent abuses and promote economic justice,” said David Pred, managing associate of IDI. “The EBA initiative has no such safeguards. It just cuts a blank check to any company that sets up shop in a poor country and ships their goods to Europe. This means that the EU is very likely subsidising a lot of bad behaviour, and not just in Cambodia but in other EBA beneficiary countries as well,” he added. The report concludes that preferential market access for producers in the world’s poorest countries could be a positive force for development with human rights if some basic reforms to EBA were enacted. In particular, IDI and Equitable Cambodia recommend that the EU conduct due diligence on all exporters seeking to benefit from the trade preferences to ensure that they uphold core human rights standards. The EBA arrangement should be modified to enable the EU to blacklist any company that violates these international norms. “It should be a no-brainer that firms that grab people’s land, destroy their homes and forests and employ their children should not be rewarded with special trade privileges,” said Pred. “We call upon EU policy makers to put these common sense reforms into place.”  
Download the full report
Watch the video

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Former CIA Analyst Exposes Jewish Supremacist Syrian War Lobbyists


 Historian and former CIA Intelligence Officer and analyst Michael Scheuer has openly identified the Jewish lobby as the main protagonists behind attempts to force America into the Syrian war. Mr Scheuer emphasized the central role of the American Jewish community and the Jewish-Israel lobby in the Washington in pressing for a US military strike against Syria. “We are owned by foreign governments,” he said, going on to identify the Jewish lobby as being brought in to put pressure on Congressmen to support an American military strike against Syria. “The reason that Obama delayed a week was to allow the Israeli lobby in this country to go around and lobby the Congressmen. “I don’t think they can change the opinion of the American people . . . but they [the Jewish lobby] have so much influence with the congress because of campaign contributions, because of the threat of suing the media against them that they can probably swing the majority to vote in favor of the war.” He also identified the arms manufacturing industry as a lobby, and said that between the Jewish lobby and the arms manufacturers, they have “ungodly influence” on the U.S. Government.

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