Archive | September 30th, 2014

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Trojan Horse. Selling out Europe to US Corporate Plunder

Global Research

Do people in Europe want the likes of Monsanto determining policies in secretive meetings in Brussels? Would they like Unilever, Kraft or Nestle determining what is allowed in their food? Do they want big business removing or weakening health and safety standards and undermining consumer and workers’ rights?

In other words, do they want their parliaments to be sidelined by powerful corporations that determine policies behind closed doors with bureaucrats and officials in Brussels?

Decades of hard work to ensure policies are open to democratic accountability and to guarantee ordinary people’s rights are in danger of being swept away at the behest of wealthy private concerns.

The great corporate heist continues today in Washington. Shrouded in secrecy and granting privileged access to powerful corporations, the 7th round of negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will take place amid growing civil society protests at the dangers of the proposed deal for democracy and essential regulations in the areas of public health, safety, the environment and the financial sector.

Dozens of civil society groups from all across Europe have denounced EU plans for ‘regulatory cooperation’ as well as the continued secrecy surrounding the talks. While EU negotiators have repeatedly claimed that protection levels are not under threat and that standards will not be lowered as a result of the TTIP talks, these statements have been consistently disproved by documents leaked from the negotiations.

In particular, the implications of the proposals for regulatory cooperation at the horizontal level or on specific sectors, such as the EU proposals on chemicals and financial regulation, all suggest that current protection levels (and the possibility for legislators to improve these in the future) will be undermined through the TTIP.

The leaked EU proposal for horizontal cooperation in the field of regulation bears strong resemblance to proposals tabled by a handful of powerful corporate lobby groups.

Kenneth Haar from Corporate Europe Observatory has said:

“The Trade Commissioner has said on various occasions that protection levels, be they on food or chemicals or other areas, will not be lowered as a result of the negotiations. The problem is that everything he does points in a different direction.”

Big business continues to dominate the discussions, while the majority of the public is being left in the dark about the exact direction of the talks. Instead, they must rely on leaked documents to get information about what is being negotiated on their behalf.

Natacha Cingotti from Friends of the Earth Europe says:

“The leaked EU plans for regulatory cooperation fuel concerns about the negative impact of TTIP on essential protections for citizens and the environment. All the signals lead us to believe the talks are a Trojan horse which risks undoing decades of progress to protect citizens and our environment and benefits only big business.”

The negotiators should allow full transparency around the negotiations.

Max Bank from Lobby Control calls for wide public debate about an issue that will affect all Europeans because regulatory cooperation in TTIP is a covert attack on democracy and regulation.

Corporate interests are driving the TTIP agenda, with the public having been sidelined. Pro-free-trade bureaucrats from both sides of the Atlantic are facilitating the strategy [1]. Despite claims by the European Commission (EC) that the talks are transparent [2], the notes of EC meetings with business lobbyists released to CEO under the EU’s freedom of information law were found to be heavily censored. The documents showed that the EC invited industry to submit wish lists for ‘regulatory barriers’ they would like removed during the negotiations. There is no way for the public to know how the EU has incorporated this into its negotiating position as all references had been removed [3].

Under the banner of ‘regulatory cooperation’, the US wants all so-called barriers to trade, including controversial regulations such as those protecting agriculture, food or data privacy, to be removed. Even the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, in a letter to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, have made it clear that any agreement must reduce EU restrictions on genetically modified crops, chlorinated chickens and hormone-treated beef.

The TTIP could also empower corporations to legally challenge a wide range of regulations which they dislike [4]. Even the threat of litigation whereby corporations sue governments for massive amounts of cash could result in the shelving of legislation.

A leaked EU document [5] from the winter of 2013 shows what is at stake with the EC proposing an EU-US Regulatory Cooperation Council, a permanent structure to be created as part of the TTIP deal. Existing and future EU regulation will then have to go through a series of investigations, dialogues and negotiations in this Council. This would move decisions on regulations into a technocratic sphere, away from democratic scrutiny. There would also be compulsory impact assessments for proposed regulation, which will be checked for their potential impact on trade. This would be ideal for big business lobbies: creating a firm brake on any new progressive regulation in the very first stage of decision-making, driving decision making underground and granting both US and European businesses even greater sway over decisions than currently exists.

Ideas that favour powerful business interests could be presented as a done deal without room for change based on the premise that business lobby groups, the EU and US authorities and a restricted group of officials have already agreed on them [6].

The official language talks of “mutual recognition” of standards or so-called reduction of non-tariff barriers. For the EU, that could mean accepting US standards in many areas, which are lower than those of the EU and for instance the eradication of Europe’s ‘precautionary principle’ [7] regarding genetically modified food and the eventual flooding of GMOs onto the commercial market.

The talks amount to little more than a series of backroom deals, while striving to give the appearance of somehow being democratic. If it goes through, this treaty would effectively constitute a vital part of cementing the ongoing restructuring of economies in favour of financial-corporate interests [8,9]. The trade deal is a unique opportunity to achieve through closed and non-transparent negotiations what hasn’t been possible so far in a transparent and democratic way.

No sector has lobbied the EC more during the preparation phase for the negotiations on the proposed deal than the agribusiness sector [10]. Food multinationals, agri-traders and seed producers have had more contacts with the Commission’s trade department (DG Trade) than lobbyists from the pharmaceutical, chemical, financial and car industries put together.

Of the 560 lobby encounters that DG Trade held to prepare the negotiations, 520 (92 percent) were with business lobbyists, while only 26 (four percent) were with public interest groups. For every encounter with a trade union or consumer group, there were 20 with companies and industry federations.

Pia Eberhardt, trade campaigner with Corporate Europe Observatory recently stated that:

“DG Trade actively involved business lobbyists in drawing up the EU position for TTIP while keeping ‘pesky’ trade unionists and other public interest groups at bay. The result is a big-business-first agenda for the negotiations which endangers many achievements that people in Europe have long struggled for, from food safety rules to environmental protection.”

The TTIP must be stopped.

Be informed and take action:

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Corporate Agribusiness, the Occupation of Iraq and the Dred Scott Decision


Homegrown Axis of Evil

Global Research

This article was published  in 2005, but is still relevant today, especially in the context of the current military intervention in Iraq and Syria.

In June 2005 I attended the National Media Reform Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. While there I visited the historic St. Louis courthouse and the huge Gateway Arch by the Mississippi River that symbolizes St. Louis as the gateway to the west. It was here that US corporate agribusiness, the US occupation of Iraq and the Dred Scott decision intersected in reality as well as symbolically.

The St. Louis courthouse is famous for the deliberations of Dred Scott in the mid-1800′s and displays in the courthouse feature the historic documents of this renowned court case. Scott was a slave and sued for his freedom, which was denied by the Missouri Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision in 1857. The court ruled that Scott was not a citizen and therefore could not bring a case to a federal court. In the same case, the court also ruled that the Missouri Compromise that forbade slavery in new territories was unconstitutional as it denied the rights of slave property owners. The decision had sweeping consequences, not the least of which being yet another catalyst for the initiation of the Civil War. Interestingly, two months after Supreme Court decision, Scott’s present owner freed him anyway.

Standing under the Gateway Arch, and looking west, one sees the old St. Louis courthouse, and to the east, the Mississippi River. As I looked across the river there was, to my amazement, a warehouse-like building with a huge rather crass sign reading “Cargill”. It was obviously a decadent marketing ploy by the agribusiness giant, the Cargill Corporation, that is the largest grain trader in the world. The Cargill sign was, therefore, in a direct path, underneath the arch, to the courthouse. I mentioned this disturbing image across the river to one of the park stewards. She said, “Yes, there are times I would like to bomb East St. Louis.” I thought that was a rather interesting comment.

As is now well known, oil is but one of the major interests the US has in Iraq. Because wars are invariably a pretext for economic expansion and opportunities for corporate greed, I knew that US corporate agribusiness was not about to be left out of the picture. My concerns were realized when, in April of 2003, Bush’s Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman appointed Daniel Amstutz, formerly an executive of the Cargill Corporation, to oversee the “rehabilitation” of agriculture in Iraq. With Cargill having the reputation of being one the worst violators of the rights and independence of family farmers throughout the world, I knew Iraqi farmers were doomed.

Cargill is massive. This corporate agribusiness grain trader has 800 locations in 60 countries and more than 15 lines of business. It is the largest private company in the US and the 11th largest public or private company in terms of sales.

Cargill is renowned for receiving huge subsidies from the US government to then dump vast amounts of grains in poorer countries where Cargill is trading. This process, in effect, undermines small farmers, helps to destroy the local food production systems and forces dependence of small farmers and local rural economies on corporate agribusiness.

Amstutz, however, brought additional corporate and international trade qualifications to the table. He was undersecretary for international affairs and commodity programs from 1983 to 1987 for the Reagan administration; ambassador and chief negotiator for agriculture during the Uruguay Round General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) talks 1987-1989; and past president of the North American Grain Export Association. None of these qualifications were encouraging for the well being of the small family farmers in Iraq.

Oxfam’s policy director Kevin Watkins said “Putting Dan Amstutz in charge of agriculture reconstruction in Iraq is like putting Saddam Hussein in the chair of a human rights commission. This guy is uniquely well placed to advance the commercial interests of American grain companies and bust open the Iraqi market, but singularly ill equipped to lead a reconstruction effort in a developing country.”

I also knew that, as the US was poised to invade Iraq, US corporate agribusiness companies engaged in producing and promoting genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) throughout the world would be salivating.

Why would corporate agribusiness be salivating??? Some history here. It is thought that agriculture started 13,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent – in the area now called Iraq – where the Tigress and the Euphrates rivers intersect. The Iraqi ancestral farmers and this fertile land brought us major crops such as wheat, barley, dates and pulses (see Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies”). The area is hugely important in world history. Given they are considered the initiators, for thousands of years the contributions of the Iraqi farmers to the world’s agriculture production system have been unquestionably profound.

It is also likely that women were the initiators of agriculture. Women were the gatherers in hunting and gathering pre-agricultural societies. As women were the ones gathering nuts and roots for their communities, they would have been the observers of seeds and their growth patterns. This is likely why the majority of the African farmers today are women and throughout our human history the world’s farmers have largely been women.

Now comes the corporate connection. Food is something everyone needs. There is no question about this and no need for a survey – the market is a given. Huge profits are in the offing. Controlling all aspects of food ­ its production, packaging, distribution and commodity markets – is the dream world of corporate agribusiness.

The major impediment to corporate agribusiness controlling all aspects of food and then reaping all of the profits, however, is competition from the independent family farmer in the US and throughout the world.

Throughout our history, the family farmer’s controlling interest has been protected by two of the most important components of agriculture ­ the two “s’” ­ soil and seeds.

Soil is not monolithic. It is amazingly and thankfully diverse. It’s components and minerals differ everywhere and farmers historically have always adjusted to this through crop rotations that will add or remove certain nutrients to the soil, and/or farmers will let the soil rest and lay fallow for a specified time. Traditional farmers will also use natural nutrients like compost and manure to replenish the soil. In this way the soil remains “alive” with organic nutrients, earthworms and the like. Seeds and plants are also selected for the type of soil and farmers themselves have performed, and still perform, this selection since the beginning of agriculture.

Seeds are also not monolithic, of course, even within the same plant family. They are amazingly diverse and the diversity of seeds is our lifeblood. Like humans, plants are vulnerable to disease. The more diverse our plants, the safer we humans are. The more diverse our plants, the less vulnerable they will be to an all-encompassing disease that could and has wiped out some crops within days or less. Without diversity there is virtually no resistance to disease. The great Irish potato famine in 1845, for example, resulted from a uniform potato production that had no resistance to the potato blight.

How have farmers maintained this diversity and therefore protected our food supply? As mentioned, they have always adjusted seeds to the type of soil in their area by selecting and saving the seeds of successful plants. This is a very “local” process. By doing so, for thousands of years, farmers have thankfully maintained the diversity of our food chain. As Martin Teitel and Kimberly Wilson note in their excellent book “Genetically Engineered Food: Changing the Nature of Nature” (1999):

“Appreciation of the importance of biodiversity dates back a hundred centuries to the beginning of the agriculture process.Farmers remained powerless, however, when it came to the interaction between crops and their environments. No one could predict whether a season would be wet or dry. Consequently, farmers quickly learned the importance of diversity: maintenance of various crops that thrived under a variety of conditions to avoid entire crop failures and starvation.”

Also, farmers have always historically saved seeds for next year’s crop. Most farmers in the world don’t go to the store and supply warehouse to buy seeds. The seeds are their on their farm and their grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great grandparents likely grew versions of the same seed stock.

The mission of farmers historically and around the world has always been to grow food for family and community sustenance, and not competition against each other – a mission that is much to the ire of western capitalists. Invariably, farmers will also share their seeds with their neighboring farmers. This collective and cooperative spirit of the farming community is legendary.

Vandana Shiva refers to the importance of local agriculture production in a sustainable environment and the threat of removing it from local control in her book “Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development ” (1989) where she writes:

“The existence of the feminine principle is linked with diversity and sharing. Its destruction through homogenization and privatization leads to the destruction of diversity and the commons. The sustenance economy is based on a creative and organic nature, on local knowledge, on locally recycled inputs that maintain the integrity of nature, on local consumption for local needs, and on marketing of surplus beyond the imperatives of equity and ecology..”

It is well known and documented that small farmers everywhere are the best stewards and sustainers of the land. They are closer to itthey know what it takes to feed it and care for it. I’ve seen farmers lift soil in their hands and know exactly what is needed in the soil. In this sense, small family farmers are also the most efficient farmers in terms of crop yields, as virtually every foot on that farm is known to them. To be sure, millions of farm families ­ women, men and children – throughout the world from the Philippines to the US are sophisticated homegrown agronomists who work the fields.

I can easily be accused of romanticizing the farming profession, but I’ve seen farmers with a glow in their eye when talking about being involved in one of the most sacred of all professions ­ the practice of nurturing and witnessing the flowering of crops from small seeds and, consequently, sustaining all of us through the production of food.

The world’s family farmers now and historically are our unsung heroes!

So what has corporate agribusiness done to disrupt the powerful soil-seed mantra and erode the independence of family farmers? Chemicals were employed that neutralize and invariably have polluted and poisoned our soil, which destroys its diversity. Seed patents have been intensified, coupled with the development of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). Corporations have attempted to make farmers dependent on all of these interventions.

After WWII there were vast amounts of nitrogen left over from making bombs. Dow, Shell and Dupont decided they could sell the nitrogen to farmers for profit and thus began the now infamous “green revolution” leading to huge amounts of chemical poisons in agriculture. The complicity of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the green revolution is also a major factor. The result has been a devastating farmer dependency on chemical poisons along with the destruction of our soil and leading to us humans ingesting more chemicals (read Al Krebs’ excellent “The Corporate Reapers: the Book of Agribusiness” – 1992). The chemical and poison additives in soil make it easier for seed business’ to disregard the diversity of our fertile soil which then paves the way for less diverse and genetically altered seed stocks.

Farmers who have used these poisons, and are now attempting to veer away from this dependency, describe their soil as “dead”. It can become alive again, but it takes a few years.

GMO’s are seeds composed of DNA from an altogether different species. Historically when we have bred our plants we have done so with the same plant family. The long- term health consequences of the GMO produced crops that we now ingest are unknown at this point, yet we do know that this science leads to an irreversible erosion of genetics and encourages monoculture. As Teitel and Wilson explain:

“The genetic engineering of our food is the most radical transformation in our diet since the invention of agriculture (thousands of years ago). Genetic engineering has allowed scientists to splice fish genes into tomatoes, to put virus genes in squash, bacterium genes in corn, and human genes in tobacco (to”grow” pharmaceuticals).Normally the boundaries between species are set by nature. Until recently, those biological barriers have never been crossed. Genetic engineering allows these limits to be exceeded ­ with results that no one can predict.”

Companies will then patent the GMO seeds and encourage farmers to grow them. Once seeds are purchased farmers are required to sign contracts specifying they what cannot do with these seeds such as save them or share them. To further complicate matters, companies, citing legal priorities due to patent rights, will prosecute farmers who save seeds rather than purchase the seeds from the seed company the next year. The major GMO crops grown since GMO soy was first commercialized in 1996 are corn, soy, cotton and canola. According to the Center for Food Safety, the Monsanto corporation, headquartered in St. Louis, “provides the seed technology for 90 percent of the world’s genetically engineered crops.”

There’s a vicious war against family farmers right now that is relentless. Companies will even sue if farmer’s non-GMO crops have been polluted by GMO pollen and are planted without permission (see the 2005 report by the Center for Food Safety entitled “Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers”).

What corporate agribusiness is attempting to do to independent family farmers is not quite slavery but becoming close. It is attempting to take away the independence of farmers through basically contract farming. This harkens back to the oppressive sharecropping or tenant farmer relationships set up by southern plantation owners for freed slaves and poor white farmers in the South. Plantation owners wanted to keep freed slaves under their yoke and make use of their labor. So they set up a sharecropping and tenant systems of farming with various types of contractual arrangements that invariably benefited the plantation owners rather than the aspiring freed slaves. So, too, it’s the consolidated corporate agribusiness companies that benefit in today’s scenario rather than the farmers.

Throughout southeast Asia, destabilization of traditional farming practices from corporate agribusiness intervention has been rampant. In the late 1980′s, for example, I spent time with rice farmers in the Philippines. They told me that they were encouraged to grow a new higher yielding rice plant developed by the International Rice Institute, and it’s affiliated corporate agribusiness companies. They were excited about growing and potentially exporting more rice. It made no sense to them that they could not set the seed aside for next year’s crop, as Filipino farmers have done for hundreds of years. It also made no sense that the only way the crop would be fertile was through use of fertilizers supplied by agribusiness companies. Such chemical use was also an unknown practice for these farmers.

The next year, hundreds of the small rice farmers went out of business because they couldn’t afford to purchase the seed or fertilizer. I asked them why they didn’t go back to planting their old rice crops. They told me they couldn’t because they didn’t have the seeds anymore as the seed had always been set aside for the next year’s crop. As a result they were dependent on agribusiness for their seeds ­ there was no option. Most of the traditional Filipino rice seeds are now in U.S. seed banks.

In the late 1990′s there were reports of some 4,000 Filipino rice farmers who died due to pesticide (chemical poison) use. The speculation, I was told by Food First in California, was that the higher yielding rice plant attracted a pest the farmers had never before encountered and they were then told to use chemical poisons that they also had never used. It’s thought that either they didn’t know how to use the poisons or they used it to commit suicide.

Most of the world has resisted, in some way, the wholesale invasion of GMO crops. No country in their right mind would turn over their food sovereignty to US corporate agribusiness. Not to be defeated, corporate agribusiness has sought loopholes in vulnerable areas in the world. They seek regions where the implementation of their insidious schemes is virtually a given and from which they can force the world to accept their devastating and destabilizing agricultural model. Currently, the US military occupied Iraq is a prime area and the continent of Africa is another.

Corporate agribusiness is enormously dangerous and the increased, sometimes forced, dependency of the world’s farmers on corporate agribusiness is a threat of major proportions. Think of it ­ virtually all of our ancestors were farmers and for 13,000 years we humans have fed ourselves quite well without the likes of Cargill and Monsanto that evolved just decades ago. We don’t need them! To further exacerbate the problem, they make us all vulnerable for their short-term corporate greed. As Jim Hightower, the populist and former Agriculture Commissioner of Texas, once said, “We need to place our nation’s growth not on the Rockefellers but on the little fellers because is we do it will be based on genius and not greed.” This should be the message for every nation!

Of necessity, most agriculture advocates would agree that agriculture should remain primarily local and not global. This is the essence of food security – locally controlled and produced food.

The symbolism, much less the reality, of making Iraq’s fertile crescent into one of the major areas for GMO production would be altogether too tantalizing for corporate agribusiness companies like Cargill and Monsanto. Dan Amstutz obviously had input into the disastrous “transfer of sovereignty” policies developed by the former Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) administrator L. Paul Bremer III in Iraq. Of the 100 orders left by Bremer, one is Order 81 on “Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety”. Most are saying that this order, if implemented, is a declaration of war against the Iraqi farmers.

As the Grain and Focus on the Global South ( reported in October 2004

“For generations, small farmers in Iraq operated in an essentially unregulated, informal seed supply system.This is now history. The CPA has made it illegal for Iraqi farmers to re-use seeds harvested from new varieties registered under the law. Iraqis may continue to use and save from their traditional seed stocks or what’s left of them after the years of war and drought, but that is not the agenda for reconstruction embedded in the ruling. The purpose of the law is to facilitate the establishment of a new seed market in Iraq, modified or not, which farmers would have to purchase afresh every single cropping season.Eliminating competition from farmers is a prerequisite for these companies (i.e. major international corporate seed traders such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow Chemical).The new patent law also explicitly promotes the commercialization of genetically modified seeds in Iraq.”

Upon reflection, I decided this lineup of US corporate agribusiness and the Dred Scott decision is appropriate. It is appropriate that they face each other as they are obviously in league. To combine this with the US military occupation of Iraq and the attempts at corporate agribusiness abuse and control of Iraqi agriculture is mind-boggling. All three represent a combination of greed, unjust ownership (humans, seeds etc.) and violations of immense dimensions that impact the integrity and safety of the planet and its inhabitants.

We managed to legally end slavery in the United States but it took a war to do so. Today, the world’s independent farmers also need to be freed from the oppressive yoke of corporate agribusiness and the on-going efforts to intensify and expand this control.

Regarding our food system overall, it is too important to be handed over to unfettered capitalists and food should not be treated like any other commodity. Agriculture and small farmers are just too important to us. Let the corporate capitalists perhaps make shoes or combs or computers, although they are probably making a mess of that as well by destroying competition. But by all means we need to keep their slimy hands off the substance of life – the world’s agriculture production system.


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Syria’s Position Regarding America’s Campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS)


Speech by Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister Walid al-Moallem, UN General Assembly

Global Research
united nations

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, delivered a speech on Monday at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, in which he affirmed that Syria supports any international effort to combat terrorism as long as it fully preserves civilians’ lives and national sovereignty and is carried out according to international accords.

Following is the full text of the speech:

H. E. Sam Kutesa,

President of the General Assembly,

I would like to congratulate you and your friendly country, Uganda, on your election as President of the General Assembly at its current session, and to wish you success in leading the work this session for the enhancement of the important and neutral role of the President of the General Assembly. I would like to thank your predecessor, Mr. John Ashe for his presidency of the previous session.

Mr. President,

Many events and significant transformations have taken place since I stood hare last year. Those events and transformations surprised many of the countries present here with us, but they didn’t surprise us, because we have been, over the past three and a half years, warning and reiterating our warning in order to avoid what we have come to now.

Speeches from this platform were about economic and political crises that we have been waiting for the international community to solve them, but, maybe speaking about these issues now is no longer a priority. What we are witnessing for few months is much more dangerous than all the political and economic crises that have happened in the world.

We have spoken on more than one occasion and on more than one international platform about the grave danger of the terrorism striking Syria. We said that this terrorism will not be confined within the borders of my country because terrorism recognizes no boundaries. This extremist ideology does not acknowledge anything but itself, and does not recognize anything but slaughter, murder and torture. You are witnessing today what the ISIS, the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world at all in terms of funding and brutality, is doing to Syrians and Iraqis of all spectra and religions. This terrorist organization is enslaving women, raping them and selling them in slave markets; it is cutting heads and limbs, and it is teaching children slaughter and murder, besides destroying historical and cultural monuments, as well as Islamic and Christian Symbols.

All of this is happening before the entire world and the countries that have always said they are fighting terrorism. Furthermore, some of them have tasted the scourge of terror.

Today, I stand here to ask the following: is it not due time, ladies and gentlemen, for all of us to stand as one in the face of this serious menace of terrorist takfiri ideology worldwide? Has not the moment of truth arrived for us all to admit that ISIS, Al-Nusrah Front and then rest of the Al-Qaeda affiliates, will not be limited within the borders of Syria and Iraq, but will spread to every spot it can reach, starting with Europe and America? Should we not learn the lesson from what happened in previous years and bring together full international efforts to stand in the face of those organizations? Those organizations, themselves, rallied extremists from all corners of the earth and brought them to one spot to train and arm them, and later to re-disseminate their ideology and terrorism through those extremists back to wherever they originated from.

Someone might say that, recently, a resolution under Chapter VII was passed unanimously to stop the expansion of this, and other, terrorist organizations, and to eliminate them.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is true that to arrive late is better than never. Indeed, this UN resolution, adopted on 15/08/2014, came too late, but the question asked here is whether everyone is serious and resolute about its implementation? But since its adoption, we have not seen any serious move to implement this resolution. Furthermore, we have not felt any real sense of the danger to work on its basis on the part of the regional states that were and are still providing all kinds of support to these terrorist organizations. On the contrary, what we see on the part of the US administration is a double standard policy and alliances to score certain political agendas, particularly through supporting with money, weapons and training of groups they call moderate. This is a real recipe for the increase of violence and terrorism, shedding of Syrian blood, prolonging of the Syrian crisis and demolishing of the political solution at its basis. This behavior creates a fertile ground for the growth of these terrorist groups that commit the most heinous crimes on the Syrian territory, which requires all of us to seriously and effectively address and eradicate terrorism, and re-establish security and stability in Syria and the region.

Today, the enslaved women are looking forward to us to see what we will do for them, their sisters and their children. The sons and daughters of the victims beheaded by ISIS are waiting for our actions, and for our reaction in the face of the atrocities committed daily by this terrorist organization, “Al-Nusrah Front” and others.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Combating terrorism cannot be done through unimplemented UN resolutions. Intentions here no longer have a place. Fighting terrorism is achievable through actual implementation of resolutions, and it is certainly possible through military strikes. But most importantly, to do so through stopping states that arm, support, train, fund and smuggle those terrorist groups. We have also to drain the resources of terrorism. Striking terrorism militarily while some states are continuing their support of terrorist groups, this will create a whirlpool of which the international community will not exit in decades.

Military strikes should coincide with the implementation of Security Council resolution Number 2178 adopted on September 24th, 2014 under Chapter VII. We have also to put pressure on countries that render all multifaceted support to these terrorist organizations; these countries are well known to all of us. Most importantly, to pressurize those countries that exported and are still exporting extremist and takfiri ideology that poses a grave danger to international peace and security. The ISIS is an ideology metamorphosed into an organization supported, armed and trained in order to be unleashed like a monster against Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Let us together stop this ideology and its exporters, let us, simultaneously, exert pressure on the countries that joined the coalition led by the United States to stop their support of armed terrorist groups. Only then combating terrorism militarily becomes viable. Otherwise, our presence here will not amount to the level of tears of the captives, women and children, who are victims of the ISIS, and Al-Nusrah Front and others.

Once again, the Syrian Arab Republic reiterates that it stands with any international effort aimed at fighting and combating terrorism, and stresses that this must be done in full respect of the lives of innocent civilians and within the frame of full respect of national sovereignty, and in conformity with international conventions

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is due time to pool all our efforts against this terrorism, since imminent danger is surrounding everyone and no country is immune to it. My country was and it is still firm in its position that was announced in the eighties of the last century, regarding fighting terrorism, before this terrorism goes rampant as it is currently. Mr. President, we, in Syria, respect our commitments and honor our promises and pledges. This was what we confirmed on more than one occasion, particularly since the beginning of the crisis in Syria.

Syria agreed unconditionally to attend Geneva 2 Conference, and participated in its deliberations with an open mind, although we were convinced that the solution of the crisis should be a Syrian one taking place on Syrian territory. However, and as a goodwill gesture, and to stop bloodshed of Syrians’ blood, we went to Geneva only to find a delegation that does not negotiate on behalf of Syrians. Originally, that delegation has no influence on the ground in Syria and neither popularity nor legitimacy among the Syrian people. It was a delegation negotiating with the Syrian government while following the orders of its western masters. A delegation that does not believe in combating terrorism or confronting it. Furthermore, it was a delegation that does not respect Syria’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity. A delegation that verbally refuses to ask terrorist groups to end their terrorism. We know that this opposition would not even be able to pressurize anyone, neither the armed groups nor any Syrian faction on the ground.

We went to Geneva with a priority based on combating terrorism because we believed, and continue to believe, that we cannot start any political solution while terrorism is still rampant in Syria. There were some who opposed us in Geneva in recognizing that combating terrorism is a priority, although it is a paramount part of Geneva Declaration provisions, but the delegation of the so-called “Coalition” continued to reject any point tackling or renouncing terrorism. Now, we all see the international community adopting our perspective that fighting terrorism tops all priorities, and that nothing at all could be done as long as terrorism is brutally striking against everything that comes in its way and as long as those terrorists will return to the countries where its members came from.

Once again, we emphasize that we are ready, and even are striving, for a political solution in Syria and in dialogue with all honorable national opposition members opposing terrorism in Syria, and among Syrians themselves and on Syrian territory.

The presidential elections, that took place before the sight of the world, put everyone before their responsibilities. The will of the Syrians is above all those who tried to suppress it for more than three years now, and it was manifested when Syrians inside and outside Syria said their word for the whole universe to hear.

Now, after the presidential elections, we would like to tell everyone who wants and looks forward to a political solution in Syria that they must firstly respect the Syrian people’s will, which was manifested explicitly, clearly, strongly and most loudly. They chose their President, for the first time in Syria’s modern history, in multi-party elections, with the international monitors from several countries that witnessed the integrity, transparency and the enthusiasm of the people to participate in these elections.

Mr. President, I would like to emphasize that the Syrian people has made its choice, and those who want to speak on behalf of the people’s must, first, be representatives of the people, and, secondly, they should respect the will of the Syrian people and its decisions.

Therefore, any dialogue must be based on foundations that should respect the will of the Syrian people and its decision. Accordingly, we are open to a political solution in Syria, with a real opposition that seeks the prosperity, stability and security of Syria, an opposition that does not depend on the outside and does not speak on behalf of the outside. An opposition that has an impact on the Syrian territory, and has deep roots inside Syria, not in hotels and Western capitals. A national opposition that upholds fighting terrorism as its priority, as well as, an opposition that encourages the ongoing local reconciliations, paving the way for the success of the political solution.

Mr. President,

The continuation of terrorist attacks in Syria increase the humanitarian needs in many of the basic areas, the inhuman sanctions, imposed by the European Union and the United States, aggravated the living conditions of Syrian civilians. In collaboration with the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies, and within the framework of humanitarian response plans agreed upon them with the Syrian government, my government is working to meet the basic needs of citizens, especially those forced by the terrorist acts to flee their homes. We should note that a great number of our people were forced to resort to some neighboring countries, and regrettably, some of those countries put the displaced Syrian in military training camps, or in what resembles places of detention. I stress, from this platform, that the Syrian state guarantees for those citizens who are willing, the safe return and decent life away from the inhuman conditions they are suffering in those camps. I would like to assure Syria’s readiness to exert all efforts to deliver aid from international organizations to all Syrian citizens without any discrimination wherever they are, and within the framework of respecting the national sovereignty.

The Syrian Arab Republic confirms its adherence to the full restoration of the occupied Syrian Golan until the line of June 4th, 1967. It also emphasizes its rejection of all actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, to change its natural, geographical and demographic characteristics, in clear violation of relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 497 of 1981 and 465 of 1980. Syria confirms, also, that the Palestinian issue is the central issue of the Syrian people, which supports the inalienable and legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people, particularly, the right to return and self-determination, and to establish its independent state on its land, with Jerusalem as its capital.

Last September, Syria accepted the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, and joined the Convention of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based on the need to establish in the Middle East a free zone of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction. It also wanted to prove to the whole world its commitment to stand against any use of chemical weapons.

Syria fulfilled its obligations resulting from its accession to the Convention, and completed its commitments despite the prevailing difficult situation. Were it not for the Syrian cooperation with the UN-OPCW Joint Mission, it would have not been possible to complete the tasks of the Mission. The Special Coordinator of the Mission, Ms. Sigrid Kagg, expressed her happiness and gratitude for the fruitful and constructive cooperation of the Syrian Government, which led to the completion of the unprecedented work.

Syria is committed to the full implementation of the provisions of the Convention as a state party, and within the frame of the OPCW. The big question that remains is whether those who are supplying the terrorists with this, and other types of weapons, will stop their actions and abide by international law, in particular the Convention of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Security Council resolutions related to terrorism?

Syria stresses that establishing a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East is unachievable without the accession of Israel, the only nuclear power in the region, to all treaties banning such weapons, and to put its nuclear facilities under the supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). At the same time, we emphasize the right of all countries to acquire and develop nuclear technology for peaceful uses.

Mr. President,

Imposing unethical unilateral coercive economic measures by the United States and the European Union contradicts the rules of international law and the principles of free trade. On this basis, we call for the lifting of the blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for decades, as we renew our call to lift and stop all the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria and the peoples of other countries such as Iran, DPRK, Venezuela and Belarus.

Mr. President,

Finally, we look forward to the United Nations to be able to achieve the aspirations of our peoples to live in dignity, development and food self-sufficiency, far away from all forms of terrorism, tension and confrontation, in implementation of the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the safeguarding of the sovereignty of states and their equality in rights and obligations. Also we believe that priority should be given to work on the concerted efforts of the international community to combat the terrorism of the ISIS and Al-Nusrah Front, and other al-Qaeda affiliates, and drain its resources in order for security and stability to prevail in our region and the world.

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Nearly $1 Billion Already Spent on US Military Campaign Against ISIS

Global Research

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, in this U.S. Air Force handout photo taken early in the morning of September 23, 2014. (Reuters/U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Matthew)

The US-led military operation against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants has likely so far cost between $780 and $930 million, according to an estimate by Washington-based think tank specializing in defense issues.

The estimate is part of a report attempting to forecast how much the operation might cost in the future. It was published on Monday by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), that’s influential with the US Department of Defense.

The think tank’s defense experts, many of whom are military veterans, have used a figure given by the Pentagon itself, which said that the military operations against the Islamic State cost $530 million through August 26.

The group’s own estimate covers the period from August 27 through September 24 and is based on “what is publicly known about the number of targets struck, the types of aircraft and munitions used, the basing options available to US forces in the region, and the number US ground forces in the region.”

The various costs associated with the military actions against the IS have been reflected in a graphic, issued by the CSBA.

The total cost to date from mid-June through September 24 is likely between $780 and $930 million,” the report says.

It further comes up with possible estimates of three scenarios of the way the military operation will develop in the region.

Assuming a moderate level of air operations and 2,000 deployed ground forces, the costs would likely run between $200 and $320 million per month,” the study says.

If the airstrikes moderately intensify and 5,000 ground forces are deployed, the cost would be driven to $350 and $570 million per month.

Finally, if the military campaign “expands significantly” and 25,000 US troops are deployed, the monthly cost of the operation might grow to $1.1 to $1.8 billion.

Annually the first scenario would cost the American budget $2.4 to $3.8 billion per year, while the third, highest-intensity, one would require the US to spend $22 billion.

The US started the military operation against the Islamic State in June 2014 by increasing support to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting the extremist group.

The US airstrikes against the Islamic State targets in Iraq were launched August 8 and in Syria September 23. President Obama made a decision on the airstrikes without the authorization of the US Congress. Lawmakers might not vote on the move until next year, congressional aides told Reuters on Monday.

Members of Congress left Washington in mid-September to campaign for upcoming elections. They will return in mid-November and will likely be reluctant to vote on authorization for the use of military force in Iraq and Syria in the last weeks of the current Congress.

President Obama announced crackdown on the Islamic State group in a landmark September 10 speech. He specified that American ground troops would not be involved in the fight against the militants.

Senior US military officials have, however, not excluded the ‘boots on the ground’ option. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said in mid-September that should Obama’s current strategy not yield the desired results, he would recommend deploying American troops on the ground.

Estimates on the possible cost of the military campaign have varied. Last week, a defense spending expert, Gordon Adams, a professor of US foreign policy at American University, told Huffington Post he estimated the United States’ war on the militant group could be costing taxpayers up to $1.5 billion a month.

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Profit-Driven US and British Oil Companies Set to Violate International Law in Western Sahara

Global Research

Several global energy companies are interested in oil resources in Western Sahara (AA)

Kosmos Energy, a US oil and gas exploration firm, along with UK oil exploration company, Cairn Energy, are planning to begin searching for oil reserves off the shores of a territory known as Western Sahara.

However, according to Sahrawi representatives, the companies have no authorisation from the people of Western Sahara, a United Nations designated non-self-governing territory larger than the UK that has been subject to occupation by neighbouring Morocco since it invaded in 1975. The Moroccan government maintains that its civilians peacefully reclaimed Western Sahara by marching into the territory, but scholarly work has long since falsified this account.

The UN has been planning to organise a referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara since 1991 but for now Morocco has successfully blocked the plans and retains control of the territory which it claims as its “southern provinces” and calls Moroccan Sahara.

Kosmos has held rights to explore Western Saharan waters since 2006, when it signed an agreement with Morocco’s state oil company, the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM).

The agreement was renewed in 2011 and, at Kosmos’s direction, a drill ship named Atwood Achiever is currently on its way from South Korea to Western Saharan waters in order to commence oil exploration in a block known as Cap Boujdor in November.

In a letter dated 19 September and addressed to Kosmos’s Senior Vice President, William Hayes, which has been seen by Middle East Eye, the Sahrawi Centre for Media and Communication – a campaigning group made up of indigenous Sahrawi and based in the territory’s capital Laayoune – condemned international energy companies planning to drill for “joining hands with Morocco” and “consolidating its sovereignty over Western Sahara.”

“Formally, it is illegal for international companies to operate in the land and coastal waters of Western Sahara without the consent of its people and without them being consulted and benefiting from these business operations,” the letter stated.

“Such illegal business is also a direct threat to the whole peace settlement as it puts at stake the right of self-determination by ignoring international law and legality,” the Sahrawi group claimed.

However, the Sahrawi are not alone in believing that oil exploration in Western Sahara without authorisation from the Sahrawi would be illegal under international law. In 2002, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Hans Corell gave a legal opinion which agreed with the Sahrawi.

“If further exploration and exploitation activities were to proceed in disregard of the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara, they would be in violation of the international law principles applicable to mineral resource activities in non-self-governing territories,” Corell wrote.

A number of previous attempts by oil companies to drill in Western Saharan waters have been abandoned, due to the legal status of the territory and subsequent divestment by shareholders. Kosmos, however, appears resolute and French oil major Total also has plans to drill next year.

Kosmos has defended its decision by arguing that while it does not have the authorisation of the Sahrawi, its activities will be beneficial to them.

“We believe that, if exploration is successful, responsible resource development in Western Sahara has the potential to create significant long-term social and economic benefits for the people of the territory,” Kosmos wrote in a statement on the issue in February.

But the UN’s Corell has made clear on multiple occasions that this is not sufficient to make the drilling lawful. In 2008, he issued a clarification of his original legal opinion that described it as “formulated in such a manner that it would be crystal clear that Morocco had no authority to engage in exploration or exploitation of mineral resources in Western Sahara if this was done in disregard of the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara.”

Speaking to the Financial Times on 17 September, Corell said that “the more resources are found in Western Sahara and its maritime zone, the less will be the incentive for Morocco to fulfil the UN resolutions and international law.”

Neither Morocco’s ONHYM nor the Moroccan government responded to requests for comment.

The Sahrawi population is divided into those still living in the occupied territory, and the thousands who fled from the Moroccan army in 1975 and became refugees living in camps in South-West Algeria.

Sahrawi living in the refugee camps are also highly critical of the drilling.

“Kosmos and Cairn plan to participate in the looting of our country,” said Kamal Fadel a representative of the Sahrawi government in the camps, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

“This is a shameful act by Kosmos and Cairn that puts their greed before the respect of legality and human rights, and it helps perpetuate the illegal occupation of our homeland, encouraging Morocco to continue to obstruct UN efforts to resolve the conflict,” Fadel told MEE.

International firms in other sectors besides energy have also engaged in potentially illegal resource exploitation in occupied Western Sahara.

Last October, the Canadian agricultural firm Agrium Inc. organised a deal with the Moroccan state phosphate company Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) for Western Saharan phosphate.

Despite international pressure, more than $10 mn of phosphate rock mined by Morocco’s OCP in Western Sahara were loaded onto a freighter and shipped to Vancouver for use by Agrium as a result of the deal.

In December, the European Union also approved a four-year accord with Morocco, allowing EU boats – the majority of them Spanish – to fish in Western Saharan waters. Demonstrations were held in Laayoune by some Sahrawi but were met with a harsh response from Moroccan security forces.

“A significant oil or gas find in Western Saharan waters will only increase Morocco’s unwillingness to recognise the territory’s international right to self-determination,” said Jacob Mundy, assistant professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Colgate University, in New York.

“The danger in all of this is the Security Council’s lack of interest in the Western Sahara situation generally,” Mundy told MEE.

“Having watched Morocco plunder the territory’s fisheries and minerals for years, it is difficult to imagine the Western Saharan independence movement remaining passive in the face of these new offshore developments.”

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Academics and Diplomats Contest the Washington Post’s Propaganda on Venezuela


Venezuela is a leader in today’s Latin America and it does deserve a seat the United Nations Security Council

Global Research

By Larry Birns COHA Director; Frederick B. Mills, COHA Senior Fellow and Professor at Bowie State University; and Ronn Pineo, COHA Senior Fellow and Professor at Towson University

I) The Washington Post gets it Wrong About Venezuela

The Washington Post editorial, “Venezuela doesn’t deserve a seat on the UN Security Council,” combines ad hominem attack with misinformed smears. ThePost’s views appear to have been formed by uncritically accepting all of the propaganda offered up by the right-wing opposition press in Venezuela.

It should be beneath the Post to denigrate the recently elected Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, as an “economically illiterate former bus driver.” Despite his lack of training in economics, Maduro is right that Venezuela is facing what amounts to internal economic warfare, with business hoarding, currency fraud, and contraband trading. The economic policies of Maduro, and those of former President Hugo Chávez, have certainly been experimental, even trial and error, but these policies have also reduced poverty by half and expanded access to the social goods long denied to millions of ordinary Venezuelans. These are real gains in terms of human development that are all too easily dismissed by the Post.

The Post might have mentioned that some of the “economic pragmatists” it champions are precisely those whose ideologically driven bad advice sent the global economy in its recent free fall. Deregulation of the financial sector was an epical disaster, in the United States, in Latin America, and around the world, yet orthodox economic advisors continue to call for free market solutions to any and all economic problems. This is really bad advice, and people around Latin America realize it: three-quarters of the region is governed by left-wing governments, which appropriately see a larger role for the state in guiding their economic fortunes.

The Maduro administration faces serious economic challenges, and it is moving to address them. The present tiered currency exchange system is still conducive to a black market in U.S. dollars and the Venezuelan government is keenly aware that this system is in need of further reform. Venezuelan authorities are presently waging a stepped up battle against the flow of contraband. There also appears to be a consensus, on the left and on the right, that there is a need to diversify the productive base of the country and continue to step up agricultural production. The Post editorial has not taken into account Venezuela’s great debate over the scope and form of such reforms that has been recently taking place within the Bolivarian project; this debate includes the question of whether to introduce a number of market oriented measures, to stay the course towards more social control over the economy, or to implement a combination of these approaches.

The Post describes the “exit now” strategy of the ultra-right as having called for “peaceful street demonstrations under the slogan ‘the way out.’” This view is inaccurate. The hard-line right’s strategy has involved repeated violent attacks on state institutions, public transportation, and the symbols of Bolivarian social investment. So while there were peaceful opposition demonstrations, the ultra-right wing elements were not peaceful, not at the barricades they built, not when they shot at police and passersby, and not when they fired home-made mortars and tossed incendiary bombs. These actions are not mentioned by the Posteditorial, perhaps because they do not play into the opposition’s preferred narrative. The Post refers to the 40 persons killed as though they were all victims of government security forces. The best available evidence, however, indicates that as many as five of the deaths were due to the actions of government forces; the Post fails to mention those killed and injured by the extremist elements of the opposition. Meanwhile, Maduro’s government has brought criminal charges against law enforcement officials who have been implicated in homicides.

Venezuela, the Post argues, does not deserve a seat at the United Nations Security Council. But, it actually does deserve a seat. Venezuela is a leader in today’s Latin America. Venezuela has wide backing in the region, due to the generous extension of its subsidized oil export program, benefitting many small, oil importing states in the Caribbean and beyond. Venezuela has been likewise generous in providing aid packages for health and education reforms in fellow Latin American states, including especially Bolivia and Ecuador. Better still, the aid does not come with nettlesome mandates, such as launching a war on coca production, or a forced march implementation of widespread economic deregulation. And this is why all the Latin American nations support putting Venezuela on the Security Council. The opposition of the Post to something that most Latin Americans see as a good idea, says rather too much about the blinkered outlook of the Post. The Post’s remaining readers will once again have to look elsewhere if they want to understand Venezuela and Latin America. We suggest they turn to

II) Misrepresenting Venezuela, A Country Committed to Peace

Maximilien Sánchez Arveláiz – Chargé d’affaires at Venezuela’s U.S. Embassy in Washington. Letter published in the Washington Post, 24 September 2014.

The Sept. 21 editorial “Persecuted in Venezuela,” opposing Venezuela’s bid for a non­permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, distorted reality by accusing authorities of persecuting political prisoners and jailing Leopoldo López for his role in instigating “peaceful” protests this year. The protests demanding the extra­constitutional removal of the government led to more than 40 deaths, including individuals killed trying to remove protesters’ barricades. The “irresistible pressure for change” expected by the editorial never came because the majority of Venezuelans resolve political differences through elections and direct democratic participation, not violence.

The Post’s scare-mongering around Venezuela’s candidacy harkened to the Cold War mind-set that animated a similar campaign in 2006. Venezuela is not an advocate for other countries at the United Nations: It is a determined advocate for peace, as demonstrated by its commitment to regional stability and strong support for the Colombian peace process.

The Post stated that Venezuela may be on the verge of suffering “a catastrophic economic collapse” and supported such a claim by offensively referring to our head of state as an “economically illiterate former bus driver.” Venezuelans are proud to belong to a democracy that allows former blue-collar workers to rise to the top.

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Why Syrians Support Bashar al Assad

Global Research,

The sudden reversion of Washington to a ‘war on terror’ pretext for intervention in Syria has confused western audiences. For three years they watched ‘humanitarian intervention’ stories, which poured contempt on the Syrian President’s assertion that he was fighting foreign backed terrorists. Now the US claims to be leading the fight against those same terrorists.

But what do Syrians think, and why do they continue to support a man the western powers have claimed is constantly attacking and terrorising ‘his own people’? To understand this we must consider the huge gap between the western caricature of Bashar al Assad the ‘brutal dictator’ and the popular and urbane figure within Syria.

If we believed most western media reports we would think President Assad has launched repeated and indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, including the gassing of children. We might also think he heads an ‘Alawi regime’, where a 12% minority represses a Sunni Muslim majority, crushing a popular ‘revolution’ which, only recently, has been ‘hijacked’ by extremists.

The central problem with these portrayals is Bashar’s great popularity at home. The fact that there is popular dissatisfaction with corruption and cronyism, and that an authoritarian state maintains a type of personality cult, does not negate the man’s genuine popularity. His strong win in Syria’s first multi-candidate elections in June dismayed his regional enemies, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey; but it did not stop their aggression.

Syrians saw things differently.  Bashar was thought to maintain his father’s pluralist and nationalist tradition, while modernising and holding out the promise of political reform. Opinion polls in Syria had shown major dissatisfaction with corruption and political cronyism, mixed views on the economy but strong satisfaction with stability, women’s rights and the country’s independent foreign policy. The political reform rallies of 2011 – countered by pro-government rallies and quickly overshadowed by violent insurrection – were not necessarily anti Bashar.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and other sectarian Islamist groups did hate him, along with the secular state. Yet even these enemies, in their better moments, recognised the man’s popularity. In late 2011 a Doha Debates poll (created by the Qatari monarchy, a major backer of the Muslim Brotherhood) showed 55% of Syrians wanted Assad to stay.

Armed Islamists went further. In 2012 Reuters, the UK Guardian and Time magazine reported three ‘Free Syrian Army’ (FSA) leaders in Aleppo saying the Syrian President had about ‘70 percent’ support; or that the local people, ‘all of them, are loyal to the criminal Bashar, they inform on us’; or that they are ‘all informers … they hate us. They blame us for the destruction’.  Unpopularity, of course, is fatal to a revolution; to a religious fanatic it is merely inconvenient. All three FSA groups were Islamists on good terms with al Qaeda.

None of these revelations changed the western media reliance on Muslim Brotherhood-aligned sources, ‘activists’ or ‘moderate rebels’. They relied, in particular, on the UK-based Rami Abdul Rahman, who calls himself the ‘Syrian Observatory of Human Rights’. Such sources kept ‘Bashar the Monster’ alive, outside Syria.

Central to the Bashar myth are two closely related stories: that of the ‘moderate rebel’ and the story that conjures ‘Assad loyalists’ or ‘regime forces’ in place of a large, dedicated national army, with broad popular support.  To understand the Bashar myth we have to consider the Syrian Arab Army.

At over half a million, the Army is so large that most Syrian communities have strong family links, including with those fallen in the war. There are regular ceremonies for families of these ‘martyrs’, with thousands proudly displaying photos of their loved ones. Further, most of the several million Syrians, displaced by the conflict, have not left the country but rather have moved to other parts under Army protection. This is not really explicable if the Army were indeed engaged in ‘indiscriminate’ attacks on civilians. A repressive army invokes fear and loathing in a population, yet in Damascus one can see that people do not cower as they pass through the many army road blocks, set up to protect against ‘rebel’ car bombs.

Syrians know there were abuses against demonstrators in early 2011; they also know that the President dismissed the Governor of Dara for this. They know that the armed insurrection was not a consequence of the protests but rather a sectarian insurrection that took cover under those rallies. Saudi official Anwar el-Eshki admitted to the BBC that his country had provided weapons to Islamists in Dara, and their rooftop sniping closely resembled the Muslim Brotherhood’s failed insurrection in Hama, back in 1982. Hafez al Assad crushed that revolt in a few weeks. Of the incident US intelligence said total casualties were probably ‘about 2,000’ including ‘300 to 400’ members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s elite militia. The Brotherhood and many western sources have since inflated those numbers, calling it a ‘massacre’. Armed Islamists posing as civilian victims have a long history in Syria.

Quite a number of Syrians have criticised President Assad to me, but not in the manner of the western media. They say they wanted him to be as firm as his father. Many in Syria regard him as too soft, leading to the name ‘Mr Soft Heart’. Soldiers in Damascus told me there is an Army order to make special efforts to capture alive any Syrian combatant. This is controversial, as many regard them as traitors, no less guilty than foreign terrorists.

What of the ‘moderate rebels’? Before the rise of ISIS, back in late 2011, the largest FSA brigade, Farouk, the original ‘poster boys’ of the ‘Syrian Revolution’, took over parts of Homs city. One US report called them ‘legitimate nationalists … pious rather than Islamists and not motivated by sectarianism’. The International Crisis Group suggested that Farouk might be ‘pious’ rather than Islamist. The Wall Street Journal also called them ‘pious Sunnis’ rather than Islamists. The BBC called them ‘moderately Islamist’.

All this was quite false. Syrians in Homs said Farouk went into the city with the genocidal slogan: ‘Alawis to the grave, Christians to Beirut’. Shouting ‘God is Great’ they blew up Homs hospital, because it had been treating soldiers. The churches blamed Farouk for the ethnic cleansing of more than 50,000 Christians from the city, and for the imposition of an Islamist tax. Journalist Radwan Mortada says most Farouk members were sectarian Salafis, armed and funded by Saudi Arabia. They later happily worked with the various al Qaeda groups, and were first to blame their own atrocities on the Army.

Let’s consider some key accusations against the Syrian Arab Army. In May 2012, days before a UN Security Council meeting set to debate possible intervention in Syria, there was a terrible massacre of over 100 villagers at Houla. Western governments immediately blamed the Syrian Government, which in turn accused the foreign-backed terrorists. Western officials at first blamed Army shelling, changing their story when it was found most had died from close quarter injuries. One UN report (UNSMIS) was shelved while another (CoI), co-chaired by US diplomat Karen Koning AbuZayd, blamed un-named pro-government ‘thugs’. No motive was given.

Although the Houla massacre did not result in a Libyan-styled intervention, because of opposition at the UN from Russia and China, controversy raged over the authors of this atrocity. German and Russian journalists, along with the Mother Superior of a Monastery, managed to interview survivors who said that a large Farouk battalion, led by Abdul Razzaq Tlass, had overwhelmed five small army posts and slaughtered the villagers. The gang had sought out pro-government and Alawi families, along with some Sunni families who had taken part in recent elections.

One year later a detailed, independent report (by Correggia, Embid, Hauben and Larson) documented how the second UN Houla investigation (the CoI) was tainted. Rather than visiting Syria they had relied on Farouk leaders and associates to link them to witnesses. They ignored another dozen direct witnesses who contradicted the ‘rebel’ story. In short, they tried to bury a real crime with identified perpetrators and a clear motive. As Adam Larson later wrote, the ‘official’ Houla massacre story was shown to be ‘extremely ambiguous at best and at worst a fairly obvious crime of the US-supported Contras’.

Houla set the tone for a series of similar ‘false flag’ massacre claims. When 245 people were murdered in Daraya (August 2012), media reports citing ‘opposition’ activists’ said that ‘Assad’s army has committed a massacre’. This was contradicted by British journalist Robert Fisk, who wrote that the FSA had slaughtered kidnapped civilian and off-duty soldier hostages, after a failed attempt to swap them for prisoners held by the army. Similarly, when 120 villagers were slaughtered at Aqrab (December 2013) the New York Times headline read ‘Members of Assad’s Sect Blamed in Syria Killings’. In fact, as British journalist Alex Thompson discovered, it was the victims who were from the President’s Alawi community. Five hundred Alawis had been held by FSA groups for nine days before the fleeing gangs murdered a quarter of them. Yet, without close examination, each accusation seemed to add to the crimes of the Syrian Army, at least to those outside Syria.

Another line of attack was that there had been ‘indiscriminate’ bombing of rebel held areas, resulting in civilian casualties. The relevant question was, how did they dislodge armed groups from urban centres? Those interested can see some detail of this in the liberation of Qusayr, a town near the Lebanese border which had been occupied by Farouk and other salafi groups, including foreigners. The Army carried out ‘surgical attacks’ but, in May 2013, after the failure of negotiations, decided on all-out assault. They dropped leaflets from planes, calling on civilians to evacuate. Anti-government groups were said to have stopped many from leaving, while an ‘activist’ spokesman claimed there was ‘no safe exit for civilians’. In opportunistic criticism, the US State Department expressed ‘deep concern’ over the leafleting, claiming that ‘ordering the displacement of the civilian population’ showed ‘the regime’s ongoing brutality’.

As it happened, on June 5 the Army backed by Hezbollah, liberated Qusayr, driving the remnants of Farouk FSA and their al Qaeda partners into Lebanon. This operation, in principle at least, was what one would have expected of any army facing terrorist groups embedded in civilian areas. At this point the war began turning decisively in Syria’s favour.

Accusations of ‘indiscriminate bombing’ recur. In opportunist questioning, more than a year later, British journalist John Snow demanded of Syrian Presidential adviser Dr Bouthaina Shaaban why the Syrian Army had not driven ISIS from Aleppo? A few questions later he attacked the Army for its ‘indiscriminate’ bombing of that same city. The fact is, most urban fighting in Syria is by troops on the ground.

The most highly politicised atrocity was the chemical attack of August 2013, in the Eastern Ghouta region, just outside Damascus. The Syrian Government had for months been complaining about terrorist gas attacks and had invited UN inspectors to Damascus. As these inspectors arrived ‘rebel’ groups, posted videos on dead children online, blaming the Syrian Government for a new massacre. The US government and the Washington based Human Rights Watch group were quick to agree. The UN investigation of Islamist chemical attacks was shelved and attention moved to the gassed children. The western media demanded military intervention. A major escalation of the war was only defused by Russian intervention and a proposal that Syria hand over its chemical weapons stockpile; a stockpile it maintained had never been used.

Saturation reporting of the East Ghouta incident led many western journalists to believe that the charges against the Syrian Government were proven. To the contrary, those claims were systematically demolished by a series of independent reports. Very soon after, a Jordan-based journalist reported that residents in the East Ghouta area blamed ‘Saudi Prince Bandar … of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaeda linked rebel group’. Next, a Syrian group, led by Mother Agnes Mariam, provided a detailed examination of the video evidence, saying the massacre videos preceded the attack and used ‘staged’ and ‘fake’ images. Detailed reports also came from outside Syria. Veteran US journalist Seymour Hersh wrote that US intelligence evidence had been fabricated and ‘cherry picked … to justify a strike against Assad’. A Turkish lawyers and writers group said ‘most of the crimes’ against Syrian civilians, including the East Ghouta attack, were committed by ‘armed rebel forces in Syria’. The Saudi backed FSA group Liwa al Islam was most likely responsible for the chemical attack on Ghouta. A subsequent UN report did not allocate blame but confirmed that chemical weapons had been used on at least five occasions in Syria. On three occasions they were used ‘against soldiers and civilians’. The clear implication was that these were anti-government attacks by rebels. MIT investigators Lloyd and Postol concluded that the Sarin gas ‘could not possibly have been fired … from Syrian Government controlled area’.

Despite the definitive nature of these reports, combined, neither the US Government nor Human Rights Watch have retracted or apologised for their false accusations. Indeed, western government and media reports repeat the claims as though they were fact, even falsely enlisting UN reports, at times, as corroboration.


When I met President Assad, with a group of Australians, his manner was entirely consistent with the pre-2011 image of the mild-mannered eye doctor. He expressed deep concern with the impact on children of witnessing terrorist atrocities while fanatics shout ‘God is Great’. The man is certainly no brute, in the manner of Saddam Hussein or George W. Bush.

The key factor in Syria’s survival has been the cohesion, dedication and popular support for the Army. Syrians know that their Army represents pluralist Syria and has been fighting sectarian, foreign backed terrorism. This Army did not fracture on sectarian lines, as the Takfiris had hoped, and defections have been small, certainly less than 2%.

Has the Army committed abuses? Probably, but mainly against the armed groups. There is some evidence of execution of foreign terrorists. That is certainly a crime, but probably has a fair degree of popular support in Syria, at the moment. The main constraint on such abuses seems to be the army order from ‘Mr Soft Heart’, to save the lives of Syrian rebels.

However, despite the repeated claims by sectarian Islamists and their western backers, there is no convincing evidence that the Syrian Army has deliberately bombed and gassed civilians. Nor would there be a motive for it.  Nor does the behaviour of people on the streets support it. Most Syrians do not blame their army for the horrendous violence of this war, but rather the foreign backed terrorists.

These are the same terrorists backed by the governments of the USA, Britain and France, hiding behind the fig-leaf of the mythical ‘moderate rebel’ while reciting their catalogue of fabricated accusations.

The high participation rate (73%) in June’s presidential elections, despite the war, was at least as significant as the strong vote (88%) Bashar received. Even the BBC could not hide the large crowds that came out to vote, especially those that mobbed the Syrian Embassy in Beirut.

Participation rates are nowhere as near in the US; indeed no western leader can claim such a strong democratic mandate as this ‘dictator’. The size of Bashar’s win underlines a stark reality: there never was a popular uprising against this man; and his popularity has grown.


Posted in SyriaComments Off on Why Syrians Support Bashar al Assad

A Peek Behind the Curtain (video)


Kate's good luck charm

Kate’s good luck charm

Who Are You?

by  Gordon Duff    …with Alex Powers

Alex stuck this in my Skype this morning.  He knows I am a friend of Imran Khan’s.  He also knows that I took down Julian Assange, for those of you who are unaware of why he seems “MIA.”  Assange is Netanyahu’s “bat man.”  I am surprised we don’t have a photo of him sitting on a couch cheering on the maiming of children.

The creature we address initially is the Federal Reserve.  If elected, and I am unlikely to run, president of the United States, the “Fed” will be gone within 5 minutes of the oath of office, just after handcuffing the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  In fact, the primary mode for those leaving the “good seats” at the inauguration will be “perp walk.”  Ah, but I digress…

Minimally, get this out of the video;  Lady Di was murdered to be replaced by Kate “Rothschild” Middleton.  Hear that whirring noise?  That’s her spinning in her grave.  “Coup” is an understatement.
YouTube – Veterans Today –

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What if the Children Dying in Gaza were Jews?


Let  us  for a moment  imagine that  Barack Obama  (USA),  Angela Merkel (Germany), David Cameron (England), Stephen Harper (Canada), Tony Abbot  ( Australia), Froncois Hollande ( France) and Manuel Valls ( France) wakeup from  deep sleep and regain conscientiousness and wake up to discover that the children killed in Gaza were Jewish children. What will they do,go back to sleep or wake up and do something, you decide! 
– Sami Jamil Jadallah

What if the Children Dying in Gaza were Jews?

By Robert Bonomo of The Cactus Land….

Let’s do a thought experiment and imagine that the Arabs had gotten the better of the Israelis in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and after years of conflict, all that was left of Israel was the Gaza strip.

Assume for a moment that instead of Palestinians, over 1.8 million Jews were crammed into the 11 mile Gaza strip and the state of Palestine, subsidized and supported by a superpower, was administering the calories to the Jews in Gaza, keeping them to a limit of 2,300 a day.

Imagine that instead of Palestinian children, it was Jewish children living under a Palestinian embargo that denied them toys, books, music and until a few years ago, even pasta. How do you think the world would react? Imagine if it were Palestinian commandos who had assaulted a peaceful cargo ship attempting to break the embargo to bring supplies to Jews in Gaza, killing nine, including one American. Do you think 85 US Senators would have signed a letter supporting the embargo on Gaza and the deadly attack on the cargo ship if that ship had been on a humanatarian mission to help Jews in Gaza?

NBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin reported first hand the death of four boys playing on the beach in Gaza. “The attack – and its heartrending aftermath – was witnessed by NBC News. Moments earlier, the boys were playing soccer with journalists on the beach. The four victims were named as Ahed Atef Bakr and Zakaria Ahed Bakr, both 10 years old, Mohamed Ramez Bakr, 11, and Ismael Mohamed Bakr, 9.” Ayman Mohyeldin, who is Egyptian-American, was later ordered by NBC to leave Gaza.

Glenn Greenwald reported that, “numerous NBC employees, including some of the network’s highest-profile stars, were…indignant,” and that Mohyeldin had been removed from Gaza allegedly due to pressure from Neo-con quarters which claimed Mohyeldin had been soft on Hamas.

It’s almost impossible to imagine that Mohyeldin would have been replaced if he had been reporting on the death of four Jewish youngsters at the hands of a Palestinian gunboat. What we see repeatedly in Gaza is how the media values Palestinian lives differently than Israeli ones.

The day after the attack, Samantha Power, US ambassador to the United Nations, began her comments this way:

“The United States is deeply concerned about the rocket attacks by Hamas and the dangerous escalation of hostilities in the region. In particular, we are concerned about the devastating impact of this crisis on both Israeli and Palestinian civilians.”

It’s unimaginable that if a Hamas rocket had landed in a park and killed four Israeli children that Ms. Power would have begun her remarks this way:

“The United States is deeply concerned about the Israeli incursion into Gaza and the dangerous escalation of hostilities in the region…”

Why is this inconceivable? Because Ms. Power and the government she represents support Israeli apartheid and simply do not value the lives of Palestinian children the same way they value the lives of Israeli children.

As reported by MSN, CNN reporter Diana Magnay was removed from Gaza because:

“Magnay was reporting live on the air as a group watched the Israeli bombardment of Gaza around her. After the report was over, she wrote on Twitter: ‘Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong.’ Scum.’ CNN said in a statement Friday that Magnay was referring specifically to those who threatened her. CNN said the network and Magnay are sorry if anyone was offended. The network said Magnay has been reassigned to Moscow.”

If the people on the hill above her had been Arabs cheering on a Palestinian artillery battery hammering Jews, would Ms. Magnay have been reassigned to Moscow for calling those who threatened her ‘scum’? Unlikely.

World renowned Israeli novelist Amos Oz, who supports the war calling it “justified, but excessive”, asked the following questions during an interview to explain why he supports the Israeli offensive:

QUESTION 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap, and starts shooting machine-gun fire into your nursery?

QUESTION 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?

Maybe the question for Mr. Oz should be: What would you do if your entire neighborhood was forced to live in a giant outdoor prison where your children were denied books, toys and forced to live on a bare minimum of calories? Would you fight back? Would your rhetoric become extreme?

Over 400 hundred Palestinian children have been killed during the current fighting in Gaza, children who during their short lives had been denied the basic necessities for having committed the crime of being born in the land of their ancestors. No one had more of a right to live in Palestine than did those children, yet Bob Scheifer of CBS News said the following:

“In the Middle East, the Palestinian people find themselves in the grip of a terrorist group that has embarked on a strategy to get its own children killed in order to build sympathy for its cause – a strategy that might actually be working at least in some quarters.”

Scheifer can only blame the Palestinians for ‘provoking’ the IDF.

Of course in Europe, the coverage is somewhat more balanced, but Roger Cohen of the NY Times let’s us know what’s behind that. He begins by quoting poet James Lasdun, “There is something uncannily adaptive about anti-Semitism: the way it can hide, unsuspected, in the most progressive minds.” Then Cohen continues, “…the war has also suggested how the virulent anti-Israel sentiment now evident among the bien-pensant European left can create a climate that makes violent hatred of Jews permissible once again.” What Mr. Cohen is saying is that if one applies the full measure of moral outrage towards the Israeli slaughter of children, as the Europeans are doing and the Americans refuse to do, then you are toying with anti-Semitism of the National Socialist variety.

A good example of Cohen’s logic at work was when Jimmy Carter used the word ‘apartheid’ to describe the situation in Gaza and was branded “dangerous and anti-Semitic” for simply stating the obvious.

While there has been some limited criticism from the United States regarding the Israeli invasion, no one should doubt who is calling the shots in the US/Israeli relationship. During the last conflict in Gaza in 2009, Condolezza Rice was going to vote for a UN resolution calling for a cease fire but Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would have nothing of it. He explained what happened in a speech:

“When we saw that the secretary of state, for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favour of the UN resolution … I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech. I said, ‘I don’t care. I have to talk to him now’. They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, ‘You can’t vote in favour of this resolution.’ He said, ‘Listen, I don’t know about it, I didn’t see it, I’m not familiar with the phrasing.’ He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favour of it – a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organised and maneuvered for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged.”

Who decides when a child deserves books, toys, and pasta or is better served by an artillery barrage? Mr. Netanyahu and his accomplices in the American government and media have no doubts about who deserves what.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, GazaComments Off on What if the Children Dying in Gaza were Jews?

Banned by Press TV: Will Hannity Kill a Child in Gaza?


Tea Party Spokesman Cheering on IDF Death Brigades

Tea Party Spokesman Cheering on IDF Death Brigades

Will Hannity Kill a Child in Gaza?

By Gordon Duff without Press TV (they say “too controversial”)

Popular Tea Party radio host, Sean Hannity, is touring Gaza with the Israeli Army this week.  If his visit is not unlike that of other “high value” VIPs representing Israel’s control of the media, he will be given very special privileges none will know about.  Hannity may be allowed to pilot a drone, perhaps to send a Hellfire missile down on a school building or even sit in a tower with an American Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle.

He could shoot a child, perhaps a woman going to market or someone rescuing injured from a bomb damaged building.  Other guests of Israel, like Veterans Today’s Colonel James Hanke, have toured Dimona nuclear facilities or sat in a Merkava tank on the Golan Heights, looking through a weapons sight at a Syrian village.

Hannity is highly qualified to report on Israeli military operations in Gaza.  His 12 years working for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Network, continually supporting neocon and Zionist policies and smearing independent public officials is legendary.

Hannity was born in 1961, and worked at a college radio station.  He was never in the military, has an “honorary” college degree given him from an evangelical college.  Hannity has little or no formal education.

On the week where state after state is enacting sanctions against Israel for the purposeful slaughter of children, America’s Tea Party just sent Israel $270 million dollars for new weapons.  This funding bill was tied to a measure to provide medical care to disabled veterans.  No new missile and bombs for Israel and tens of thousands of American veterans go without care. In Washington, this is called “deal making.”

Hannity is a curious creature, a product of the merging of what used to be broadcast “news bureaus” with political special interest groups and Zionist controlled Hollywood script writers.  The result is pure theatre, where “infotainment” is a mixture of “fear porn,” bigotry and wild conspiracy theory.

In turn, candidates from one political party, the GOP and its Tea Party wing are supported while wild rumors about opponents are scripted and acted out in a “Kabuki theatre” punctuated with wild hand gestures, sneers and mockery.

In return, media conglomerates owned by Murdoch and Mitt Romney are allowed to buy radio and television networks and newspapers, squeezing out competition, are placed above federal regulations and anti-trust laws.

The result has been clear to the world, suppressed news and controlled “spin,” allowing false flag terror, wars of aggression, economic crimes on a massive scale and, in the process, terrorizing political enemies they can easily target and destroy using their control of vast interlocking media empires that now stretch across the world.

Hannity, above all, depicts his genre more than anyone else, even Rush Limbaugh.  Though proven consistently wrong in his predictions, though proven to lie consistently, almost never right, even when giving the time or discussion football scores, Hannity’s special breed of base cruelty and malevolent sarcasm appeals to the angry and disenfranchised.

This is where Hannity has his own roots.

A divisive figure, Hannity is increasingly looked on as a joke by a larger and larger constituency, now even many who consider themselves “right wing,” reactionary and conservative.  Hardly a day goes by when his special blend of “kissing Israel’s behind” and wild conspiratorial attacks on President Obama, his family members and pets, doesn’t take on wilder and wilder proportions.

Hannity, the voice of AIPAC, Israel’s powerful lobby in Washington, has teamed up with “shock jock” Alex Jones spreading stories of armies of United Nations peacekeeping troops sailing up the Mississippi River or divisions of Russian paratroopers descending on America from Canada.

When George “W” Bush was in office, tapping phones, kidnapping and torture weren’t necessary evils, they were a “Christian priority.”  Hannity has demanded US military action in Syria, in the Ukraine and has voice, on literally hundreds of occasions; his believe that only traitors at the top of America’s government have prevented a full scale nuclear obliteration of Iran.

This week, Hannity is broadcasting from Gaza, the smell of burning flesh in his nostrils.  Unlike many from the BBC and Guardian, Hannity has Israel’s trust.  He isn’t given “talking points,” he writes them.  Lying takes little education, only moral flexibility, and a special connection to his audience, the angry, the ignorant and the fearful.

His audience is, so very much, made up of the friends of Israel.  What may well be problematic is that this audience is not as large as it was a few short weeks ago.  Israel’s message, parroted even by President Obama, long on Zionist assassination lists, Obama and Cameron, Harper of Canada and so many others, is no longer something simply “taken in stride.”

People are listening.  When the term “right to defend” is used, they no longer think of gas chambers and laughing Nazis.  They see Israeli tourists cheering when schools in Gaza are flattened, they see the photos that Google tries to suppress, children blown apart.

The old Israeli/Hannity lines, “Muslims don’t care about their dead, their children, they breed like rats.”

Yes, this is how they talk on American “right thinking” television and radio, killing Muslims is the only way the world can protect itself.

Thus, we return to our original question, will his IDF hosts allow Sean Hannity to kill a child?  Those of us who have followed him, as much as our sensitive digestive tracts allow, readily believe this would be a crowning achievement to his journalistic career.

For a man who never spent a moment in uniform, certainly not for America, for a propagandist, a “hammer” if you will, tasked with pounding down any truth teller, any sign of honesty and decency as though it were a proverbial “nail,” his visit to Gaza is telling.

It is a sign of desperation.  They are “spending” Hannity as though he were a currency facing collapse, his “star” waning as is Israel’s as well.  Hannity broadcasts around the world, seen in his baseball cap, the sneer wiped from his face, a serious demeanor while mouthing outrageous tales we have heard so often these last few weeks, less often as days go on.

Hannity may well put a nail in Israel’s coffin.  Much is ending, in particular, the power of victimization enthroned in the holocaust mythology sold to the children of the world as religion.  Scenes from Gaza by far outweigh anything from the concentration camps of the last century.  Gaza is the real Auschwitz.  To millions, hundreds of millions or more, Israel is everything Nazi Germany is purported to have been.

There were no photos of German citizens cheering the death camps.  It took 21st century Israel to push Hitler into obscurity.

When they think of a child blown apart, they can think of Sean Hannity.  When a child is found, blown apart, burned or shot on a lonely beach, we can all ask; “Did Sean Hannity kill this child?”

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