Archive | October 2nd, 2014

Does God Chosen Stuart Edwin Richardson Anti-Imperialism ?

NOVANEWS

From: ser14@btinternet.com Stuart Edwin Richardson
To: numanwahid@hotmail.comser14@btinternet.com
CC: pjfd1916@aol.com
Subject: Re: 29th September.
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:11:08 +0100

Dear Numan
I notice that you have not attended the protests we have organised the decision to bomb Iraq last Friday. Both myself
and Alistair were on BBC Midlands News opposing the imperialist attack on Iraq. The Marxist Leninists have also been
notable by their absence.
You are welcome to speak at the Bham StWC public meeting tonight with your theme of opposing British Imperialism.
But we need more than talk, we are orgainising transport on Saturday to a demo in London.
Stuart
———————————–
—– Original Message —–

Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 3:33 PM
Subject: RE: 29th September.
Dear Stewart,Thank you for this and don’t you think 3 hours notice to travel to Birmingham and prepare something to say for a meeting is just taking the michael?

I offered to speak several weeks ago and you said that will not be possible. But I was palmed off with the opportunity to say something from the floor!

As for the CPGB-ML they seem to be going from strength to strength.
 
They assisted me in leafleting the Malala Yousefzai event at Library of Birmingham least week (where were you?). Our leaflet was titled “Does Great Britain really oppose Islmamist extremism?” Something you guys at StWC have never thought about is the real relationship between Islamism and Imperialism!

However, I am prepared to accept an apology for this late invitation and routine rudeness!

Nu’man

————————–
Original Message —–
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 7:02 AM
Subject: Re: 29th September.
I did not know it is incumbent on anti imperialists to attend events arranged by ambassadors of imperialism employed by the empire warrior Gordon Brown. Besides genuine anti imperialists were attending a meeting in the town that was anti imperialist in its content and the speakers included those challenging imperialism at its centre in Palestine and the Elbit factory in Shenstone.
Thanks
Naeem
Sent from my iPhone
———————————-
 Original Message —–
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 2:39 PM
Subject: RE: 29th September.
Stuart,This is a very provacative response.

I and some comrades from CPGB-ML were actually distrubing a leaflet which exposed British imperialisms real association with extreme Islamism.

I have consistently opposed British imperialism.

Thank you.

Nu’man

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Does Great Britain Really Oppose Islamist Extremism?

NOVANEWS

by 

A closeup of cleric Abu Hamza, wearing a bluetooth headset, as he speaks in London.In this Jan. 23, 2004 file photo, self-styled cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri leads his followers in prayer in a street outside Finsbury Park Mosque, on the first anniversary of its closure by anti-terrorism police, London. (AP Photo/John D McHugh, File)

Much fanfare has been made out of the life-saving treatment Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Malala Yousafzai received at a Birmingham hospital after she was shot by the Taliban — and rightly so. Birmingham is England’s second city and last year it ceremonially opened a new public state-of-the- art library with a lecture from Yousafzai.

But as the Library of Birmingham recently celebrated its first anniversary by hosting another talk by Yousafzai, it must be asked does Great Britain really oppose Islamist extremism and other assorted jihadis?

The ostentatious good will shown by the British government towards Yousafzai should not deter us from asking salient and important questions about the actual nature of Great Britain’s indirect and direct relationship with extreme Islamism and/or jihadism. For example, it is a historical fact that during the Cold War the ‘West’ and Islamic extremists were on the same side in their opposition to the Russian led Soviet Union.

Indeed, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was a leading advocate in using Islamists and jihadis against the Soviet Union’s intervention in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. For Thatcher, the Afghan jihadis (i.e. mujahideen as they were lovingly referred to back then) were engaged in “one of the most heroic struggles known in history” as they blew up schools, hospitals and medical centers. In this video, Thatcher while on the Afghan-Pakistani border, proudly informs the mujahideen the “hearts of the free world are with you” to appreciative chants of “Allah-o-Akbar” (God is Great) or as the commentator interprets the chants, “ringing shouts of support.”

Historically, Britain has been one of the main supporters and purveyors of fanatical Islamism. The theology of Salafism and/or Wahabism which is the wellspring of Jihadism and violent Islamist extremism, has been vigorously promoted by the Saudi royal family for the last 40 years. But in 1902, the Saudi-Wahhabi clan was exiled and forlorn. It was British imperialism, for its own reasons, that enabled the clan to recapture their ancestral home in the central east of the Arabian peninsula.

Then in 1924-25, British imperialism gave the Saudi clan the green light to further expand into the Hijaz, the western part of the peninsula where Mecca and Madina are, because the then ruler (Sharif Hussein bin Ali) of that area refused to accept Great Britain’s Zionist project in Palestine, that is to populate Palestine with European Zionist settlers over the heads of the indigenous Arab population.

Recently, in 2011, Great Britain led a NATO campaign and joined up with desperate groups of armed militias and many assorted jihadis in Libya to overthrow the government of Colonel Ghadhaffi. This was not the first time that the British state colluded with Islamists in Libya.

According to the whistle blowers and former MI5 agents David Shayler and Annie Machon the British state used the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in an assassination attempt on Colonel Ghadhaffi in 1996. The individual MI5/6 approach to coordinate the deed was Abu Abdullah Sadiq (real name Abdel Hakim Belhadj). The latter now serves in the Libyan government or whatever is left of Libya and its supposed government. Actually, the Libyan government is currently moored on a ship in a Libyan harbour after the jihadis overran the capital.

This support for the Islamists comes on top of the clandestine associations that elements within the domestic intelligence community had developed with British based Islamist fanatics.

The pantomimic character that is Abu Hamza (aka ‘The Hook’) actually confessed during his American trial that he had contacts with MI5 in order to keep the “streets of London safe.” In a book published by two London Times journalists (O’Neill and McGrory) he is said to have been given the alias ‘damson berry’ in their correspondence with him. Another former London based comical jihadi, Omar Bakri Muhammad admitted to Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ron Suskind, he had back channels to his intelligence handlers with a view to “control the Muslim youth.” Khalid al-Fawwaz, another ex-London based Islamists, who the Americans have put on trial for his alleged role in the 1998 African embassy bombings, wants his MI5 handler to testify on his behalf.

It is quite easy to conclude, regardless of the goodwill shown to Yousafzai, that the actual relationship between Great Britain and extreme Islamist/jihadis is that the former wants them on tap. Great Britain utilises jihadis when it is compatible with its interests (Afghanistan in the 1980’s, Saudi Arabia and Libya) and then wants to switch off the tap when it isn’t. The problem is some of these liver eating, head chopping jihadis don’t read this script and have shown quite conclusively they have a macabre mind of their own.

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Moazzam Begg freed after terrorism case against him collapses

NOVANEWS

Secret intelligence material handed to prosecutors demolished case against former Guantánamo Bay detainee.

Moazzam Begg leaves Belmarsh
Moazzam Begg leaves Belmarsh prison in south London after his release. Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

The prosecution of the former Guantánamo inmate Moazzam Begg has dramatically collapsed after the police and crown prosecutors were handed secret intelligence material that undermined the terrorism case against him.

Five days before Begg was due to go on trial on a string of terrorism charges, which carried prison terms of up to 15 years, prosecutors announced at the Old Bailey that they had “recently become aware of relevant material” that obliged them to offer no evidence.

He was released from Belmarsh high-security prison in south London after the judge entered a formal verdict of not guilty. Speaking to reporters at the gates of the prison, Begg said he had wanted his “day in court” but was happy to be a free man.

“I need to reconnect with my family again,” he said. “I need to understand what it’s like to be a free man and I think that it’s important to point out some of the government’s failures in its foreign policy and its internal policy: its clear demonising of the Muslim community.”

Police sources said the decision to halt the prosecution was taken following the receipt of intelligence material two months ago, while the Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement: “If we had been made aware of all of this information at the time of charging, we would not have charged.”

Asked whether the information had been handed over by MI5 and, if so, how long the agency had possessed the material, the Home Office said it would be inappropriate to comment, on the grounds that the decision to halt the prosecution had been taken by the police and CPS.

There was speculation that the newly disclosed material detailed the way in which Begg had informed British authorities of his plans to travel to Syria.

Begg spent more than seven months in custody after being arrested and questioned over a number of trips he had made to Syria a year earlier. His friends say that the experience had been deeply traumatic.

The 46-year-old from Birmingham was facing seven charges of possessing a document for the purposes of terrorism funding and training, and attending a terrorism training camp. He denied all the charges.

Christopher Hehir, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey that the CPS had previously been satisfied that they possessed sufficient evidence to secure Begg’s prosecution. He added, however: “The prosecution have recently become aware of relevant material, in the light of which, after careful and anxious consideration, the conclusion has been reached that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction in this case. The prosecution therefore offers no evidence.”

Begg’s solicitor, Gareth Peirce, said he should never have been charged as his activities did not amount to terrorism. “This is a good man trying to do the right thing in a very difficult world,” she said.

“He is a rare individual who will talk to everyone and listen to everyone, even those with whom he profoundly disagrees. He has spent the near decade since he was released from the torture of Bagram and Guantánamo in attempting to wake the world up to injustice and to comprehend its causes and effects. There is nothing new that can have been discovered now that was not always crystal clear – that this is an innocent man.”

Begg had made no secret of trips he had made to Syria, at one point writing about his experiences in an internet post. He was taken aback by his arrest, protesting that he had not been engaged in terrorism.

On appearing in court, he denied attending a terrorist training camp “knowing or believing instruction or training was provided there for the purposes of terrorism” between 9 October 2012 and 9 April 2013.

He had also denied five charges of possessing articles for purposes connected with terrorism between 31 December 2012 and 26 February 2014. Those counts related to electronic documents found on a laptop computer in his possession.

Begg had further denied being involved in a funding arrangement between 14 July 2013 and 26 February 2014 by making available a Honda generator.

Had the case gone to trial, Begg was planning to argue before the jury that his actions – several months before the British government tried, and failed, to persuade parliament to sanction air strikes against Syrian government forces – were not the actions of a terrorist.

At an earlier hearing, his counsel, Ben Emmerson QC, told the court that his client’s stance on Syria was not at odds with the British government’s position. He said: “Mr Begg did not train anyone for the purposes of terrorism as defined in the 2001 [Terrorism] Act. Mr Begg says he was involved in training young men to defend civilians against war crimes by the Assad regime.

“This is not some sort of political defence. This is a serious point about the lethal and physical limits of the definition of terrorism because if the defence says the occasions concerned were defensive actions, in much the same way the UK was itself providing non-lethal aid, then we submit that would not be defined as an act of terrorism.”

Emmerson also said Begg had “never made any secret of his visits to Syria and on two occasions informed authorities of his travel plans in advance”.

Begg spent three years detained without charge after the al-Qaida attacks of 2001. In February 2002 he was arrested in Pakistan, handed over to US forces, and detained first at Bagram prison, north of Kabul, and then Guantánamo Bay. During his detention he was interrogated by British as well as US intelligence officers.

He was eventually released in January 2005. Working with the London-based rights group Cage, he became a prominent campaigner on behalf of terrorism suspects who were being denied basic legal rights.

Asim Qureshi, Cage’s research director, said on the collapse of Begg’s prosecution: “This has been a testing time for Moazzam, his family and the Muslim community. The criminalisation of virtually any Muslim who has been to Syria has only increased in intensity, while Cage has been attacked from every angle by a host of government agencies.

“We hope that Moazzam’s release is a sign that the government are now willing to adopt a more measured strategy in relation to anti-terrorism policy and avoid the attempt to criminalise all dissent and crush any organisation like Cage that stands up for the rule of law and justice.”

The Islamic Human Rights Commission chairman, Massoud Shadjareh, added: “As was widely suspected there seems to have been no basis for his arrest and it does seem that as a high-profile member of the Muslim community, Mr Begg was being made an example of in order to silence activists campaigning against draconian anti-terrorism laws.”

While West Midlands police and the CPS were not disclosing the exact nature of the new information, detectives and prosecutors were dismayed that it had not been made available to them earlier.

A CPS spokesperson said: “At the time that the charges against Mr Begg were authorised the CPS was satisfied, in accordance with the code for crown prosecutors, that there was sufficient evidence available to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction and that it was in the public interest to prosecute. However, in accordance with our continuing duty to review and working closely with the West Midlands counter-terrorism unit, we have been made aware of material previously not known to the police investigation that means that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. If we had been made aware of all of this information at the time of charging, we would not have charged.”

West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said: “New material has recently been disclosed to police and CPS, which has a significant impact on key pieces of evidence that underpinned the prosecution’s case. Our criminal justice system – quite rightly – demands a very high standard of proof.

“I understand this is going to raise many questions. However, explaining what this newly revealed information is would mean discussing other aspects of the case which would be unfair and inappropriate as they are no longer going to be tested in court.

“From the beginning this case has challenged the relationship between West Midlands police and some of the communities we serve. I would like to reassure them and Mr Begg that at every stage of this investigation my officers acted in the best interests of the public and of justice.”

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Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg walks free after ‘new evidence’ forces prosecutors to drop Syria terror charges

NOVANEWS
  • Begg, 45, is likely to be released from Belmarsh Prison later today
  • Police and prosecutors received new evidence and have dropped case
  • Officer can’t release evidence as it would be ‘unfair and inappropriate’
  • Begg was in custody for seven months awaiting trial, due to start Monday
By SAM WEBB FOR MAILONLINE

Free: Charges against former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg have been dropped

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg walked free from jail today after a string of terrorist charges linked to the civil war in Syria were dramatically dropped.

Asked how he felt about being released from the high security Belmarsh prison after seven months in custody, he told waiting reporters: ‘I wanted my day in court but I was very happy.’ 

The 45-year-old was formally acquitted just days before his trial was due to start at the Old Bailey after ‘new material’ emerged undermining the prosecution case.

Begg, who suffers from post traumatic stress, walked free from the high security Belmarsh jail.

When asked what he was going to do now, Mr Begg said: ‘I need to reconnect with my family again. I need to understand what it’s like to be a free man and I think that it’s important to point out some of the Government’s failures in its foreign policy and its internal policy – its clear demonising of the Muslim community.

‘And not once but twice in my case this Government has been involved either in directly detaining me or indirectly detaining me.’

Mr Begg told reporters that on both occasions he had been detained it was ‘unlawful’.

He went on: ‘I think it shows that we have a knee-jerk reaction. It shows that little has changed since the beginning of the early days of the war on terror and there is not an appetite, there isn’t a desire, to try to really understand what’s taking place and the more this continues the more it’s going to alienate people. 

‘I have to thank my lawyers, I have to thank my community, I have to thank my family and everybody who’s been around me. They have been extremely supportive and I’m very pleased about that.’

The time he has spent in Belmarsh has cost the taxpayer an estimated £35,000.

The 45-year-old appeared before the Old Bailey via video link from high security Belmarsh prison when Mr Justice Wilkie formally acquitted him of all charges.

Begg, of Hall Green, Birmingham, spoke only to confirm his name and made no reaction as the prosecutor offered no evidence following a review of the case.

Police today said releasing the new material would be ‘unfair and inappropriate’ now the case is not going to court.

At an earlier hearing he had pleaded not guilty to all the charges. But at a pre-trial review today lasting just five minutes the prosecution dramatically dropped the case.

Release: Moazzam Begg speaks to journalists after being released from Belmarsh Prison

Release: Moazzam Begg speaks to journalists after being released from Belmarsh Prison

Begg was in custody for seven months while he awaited trial, which was due to start on Monday

Begg was in custody for seven months while he awaited trial, which was due to start on Monday

Prosecutor Christopher Hehir said: ‘The prosecution in every criminal case of every type have a duty to keep under review the sufficiency of the evidence.

‘When Mr Begg was charged with a number of offences earlier this year the Crown Prosecution Service were satisfied there was sufficient evidence to afford prosecution.

‘In the months that have followed the prosecution have kept under review the sufficiency of the evidence in this case.

‘The prosecution have recently become aware of relevant material and in light of which, after careful and anxious consideration, have reached the conclusion that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction in this case. The prosecution therefore offer no evidence.’

The judge responded: ‘On the indication of the Crown offering no evidence verdicts of not guilty should be entered.’

Begg was charged with seven counts. The first related to attending a terrorism training camp in Syria between October 9, 2012 and April 9, 2013.

Inside the terror camp. Footage shows inside of Guantanamo

Mr Begg told reporters that on both occasions he had been detained it was 'unlawful'

Mr Begg told reporters that on both occasions he had been detained it was ‘unlawful’

The next five charges were for the possession of ‘an article’ for a purpose connected to terrorism between December 31, 2012 and February 26, 2014.

They were listed as being electronic documents with the titles Camp 1, Camp 2, Tactical Training Schedule, Camp Rules, and Fitness Training Schedule (training exercises).

Finally, Begg was charged with funding terrorism by making available a Honda generator between July 14 and July 26, 2013. 

Following today’s brief hearing, West Midlands Police assistant chief constable Marcus Beale said: ‘Terrorism investigations are often long and complex. This case was no exception.

‘New material has recently been disclosed to police and CPS, which has a significant impact on key pieces of evidence that underpinned the prosecution’s case. Our criminal justice system – quite rightly – demands a very high standard of proof.

Begg was charged with seven terrorism counts between 2013 and 2014 

Begg was charged with seven terrorism counts between 2013 and 2014

‘I understand this is going to raise many questions. However, explaining what this newly revealed information is would mean discussing other aspects of the case which would be unfair and inappropriate as they are no longer going to be tested in court.

‘From the beginning this case has challenged the relationship between West Midlands Police and some of the communities we serve.

‘I would like to reassure them and Mr Begg that at every stage of this investigation my officers acted in the best interests of the public and of justice.

‘This case has been investigated in a diligent and professional manner. Today’s events demonstrate that the police and CPS continually assess the evidence in terrorism prosecutions and will alter course if that is the right and proper thing to do.’

A CPS spokesperson said: ‘The Crown Prosecution Service has today formally offered no evidence in relation to the terrorism charges brought against Moazzam Begg in February. This means there will not be a trial and Mr Begg will be released from custody.

‘At the time that the charges against Mr Begg were authorised the CPS was satisfied, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, that there was sufficient evidence available to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction and that it was in the public interest to prosecute.

‘However, in accordance with our continuing duty to review and working closely with the West Midlands CTU, we have been made aware of material previously not known to the police investigation that means that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.

‘If we had been made aware of all of this information at the time of charging, we would not have charged.’

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has criticised the money spent on the trial.

Director John O’Connell’ said: ‘The Crown Prosecution Service has to remember that every time it makes mistakes like this, the taxpayer ends up with the bill.

‘The justice system must be thorough and getting the right result is the priority, but those who make errors – and create unnecessary extra spending – should be held accountable.’ 

Mr Begg’s lawyer Gareth Peirce said: ‘Moazzam Begg is a good and brave man.

‘He is a rare individual who will talk to everyone and listen to everyone, even those with whom he profoundly disagrees.’

Blinds are drawn at Moazzam Begg's house in Birmingham today. He said he was looking forward to reconnecting with his family

Blinds are drawn at Moazzam Begg’s house in Birmingham today. He said he was looking forward to reconnecting with his family

A person's arms are visible through a frosted glass window at Moazzam Begg's house in Birmingham

A person’s arms are visible through a frosted glass window at Moazzam Begg’s house in Birmingham

He added: ‘He has spent the near decade since he was released from the torture of Bagram and Guantanamo in attempting to wake the world up to injustice and to comprehend its causes and effects.

‘His intelligent voice, of reason and tolerance, is desperately needed now.

‘We are relieved he is free again to contribute to our understanding of each other.

‘There is nothing new that can have been discovered now that was not always crystal clear – that this is an innocent man.’

Mr Begg’s brother, Mirza, said: ‘We are just so happy to have Moazzam home with us in time for Eid.

Mr Begg is driven away by his solicitor Gareth Peirce from high security Belmarsh prison, south London

Mr Begg is driven away by his solicitor Gareth Peirce from high security Belmarsh prison, south London

‘It is confusing why the British Government would incarcerate him for such a long period if it didn’t have sufficient evidence. But right now, we are just relieved that this seven-month ordeal can come to an end and Moazzam can be back with his family.’

Begg had been held in custody since March and was refused bail at a hearing in May despite fears for his mental health.

The court heard that Begg was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in Guantanamo Bay.

And some of his symptoms had re-emerged since he has been in custody at Belmarsh, his lawyer Ben Emmerson QC said: ‘Theoretically the longer he is in custody the worse there are likely to become.’

The court was told that ‘a very substantial body of sureties’ amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds had been offered by Begg’s family and supporters, including lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith who represented him in the Guantanamo case.

On the evidence against him, Mr Emmerson told the court that his client had travelled extensively in the nine years since his release from Guantanamo Bay as a public figure, including to Syria.

Police search the home of Moazzam Begg in Birmingham in February. Officers are not releasing the material that has put an end to the trial

Police search the home of Moazzam Begg in Birmingham in February. Officers are not releasing the material that has put an end to the trial

He told the court: ‘He has never made any secret of his visits to Syria and on two occasions informed authorities of his travel plans.

‘Mr Begg did not train anyone for the purposes of terrorism as defined in the 2001 act. Mr Begg says he was involved in training young men to defend civilians against war crimes by the Assad regime.’

The lawyer went on to suggest Begg’s activities in Syria were not at odds with the British government’s attitude on non-lethal support.

He said: ‘This is not some sort of political defence. This is a serious point about the lethal and physical limits of the definition on terrorism because if the defence says the occasions concerned were defensive actions, in much the same way the UK was itself providing non-lethal aid itself, then we submit that would not be defined as an act of terrorism.’

After his release, Mr Begg later said he was not tortured in Guantanamo but the conditions were 'tortuous'. Pictured, an officer searching the house

After his release, Mr Begg later said he was not tortured in Guantanamo but the conditions were ‘tortuous’. Pictured, an officer searching the house

Begg had also received a letter of support from the humanitarian Terry Waite who was held hostage in Lebanon between 1987 and 1991, the court heard at an earlier hearing.

But Mr Justice Wilkie refused bail after prosecutor Brian Altman QC said he might abscond before his trial or commit more offences.

Outlining the case against him, Mr Altman told the court that material had been found on his iPhone showing that Begg had been involved with training programmes in Syria over six months, during which time had had assumed a role of power and authority.

Mr Altman also highlighted a transcript of Begg’s conversations which had been produced as a result of a ‘covert probe’.

Complaining of new arrivals’ apparent lack of maturity and experience, Begg is heard to say: ‘Jihad is not just a physical capacity but also about using your brain.’

On the need for training, Begg also says: ‘They want to call it martyrdom but I said we have to be physically prepared. If you don’t prepare this just becomes suicide, not martyrdom.’

‘In my opinion a person going over to fight for the rights of Muslims – I do not see what the problem is.’

But Mr Altman asserted: ‘Jihad is not about self defence of an otherwise defenceless population.’

‘The strength of the evidence cannot be overlooked. There is no dispute as to what the acts of this man were. It’s what interpretation is to be cast upon it.’

Asim Qureshi, research director of campaign group Cage, where Mr Begg works as an outreach director, said: ‘This has been a testing time for Moazzam, his family and the Muslim community.

‘The criminalisation of virtually any Muslim that has been to Syria has only increased in intensity, while Cage has been attacked from every angle by a host of government agencies.

‘We hope that Moazzam’s release is a sign that the Government are now willing to adopt a more measured strategy in relation to anti-terrorism policy and avoid the attempt to criminalise all dissent and crush any organisation like Cage that stands up for the rule of law and justice.

‘Cage and Moazzam have been maligned, defamed and vilified by far too many and we hope that now our calls for the protection of basic rights, and innovative approaches built on dialogue to dispute resolution, will now be heeded.

New material has recently been disclosed to police and CPS, which has a significant impact on key pieces of evidence that underpinned the prosecution’s case.
I understand this is going to raise many questions.
However, explaining what this newly revealed information is would mean discussing other aspects of the case which would be unfair and inappropriate as they are no longer going to be tested in court.
– West Midlands Police assistant chief constable Marcus Beale

‘Violence and the destruction of freedoms and liberties inherent in the War on Terror doctrine can never be the solution.’

Islamic Human Rights Commission chairman Massoud Shadjareh said: ‘As was widely suspected there seems to have been no basis for his arrest and it does seem that as a high-profile member of the Muslim community, Mr Begg was being made an example of in order to silence activists campaigning against draconian anti-terrorism laws.

‘His persecution is especially disturbing in the context of yesterday’s Conservative election manifesto pledge by the Home Secretary Theresa May to impose new curbs on organisations and individuals who are considered to hold ‘extreme’ or ‘non-British’ values.

‘Under these proposed laws the likes of Mr Begg and others who outspokenly criticise western foreign policy would be criminalised for merely their beliefs and opinions.’

At a bail hearing in May this year, which can now be reported for the first time, Ben Emmerson QC, defending, described it as a ‘test case’ for the definition of terrorism.

He said there was no dispute Begg went to Syria, supplied material to some of the fighters there, and provided training to a camp.

But he said he was helping with self-defence from the Syrian government, not acts of terrorism.

‘This involved acts of self-defence at what the UK government itself recognises to be a campaign of war crimes by the Syrian regime’, he said.

‘This is a serious point about the legal and factual limits in the definition of terrorism.

‘If the acts concerned were defensive actions, protecting the civilian population much in the same way as the UK itself is providing non-lethal aid for the protection of the civilian population, then we submit that would not make the statutory threshold and shouldn’t be defined as an act of terrorism.’

Begg had been accused of smuggling a generator to Rabah Tahiri, also known as Abu Musab, a fighter with the rebel group Katibet Al-Muhajireen.

The court was then told Begg admits doing it, but says it was a well-intentioned effort to help the group defend themselves.

Mr Emmerson had asked for bail on the basis Begg was unlikely to abscond.

‘Since his return, Mr Begg has written and lectured widely on abuse of detainees and rendition of terrorist suspects’, he said.

‘He is in short a well-known public figure.

‘He has travelled widely to Afghanistan, Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria in and around the time of popular uprisings.

‘He has written, lectured and broadcast about his trips, and talked around the country.

‘He has never made a secret of his trips to Syria, on two occasions, and informed the British authorities of his travel plans in advance.’

Mr Emmerson said Begg had been aware of the allegations against him since December 16 last year, when his passport was seized and he was told he was wanted for terrorism.

He had been stopped on September 12 last year, and his iPhone and iPad were both seized and examined by police.

Mr Emmerson said Begg also suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and argued he should be released from prison on health grounds.

The court heard that material had been found on his iPhone showing that Begg had been involved with training programmes in Syria over six months

The court heard that material had been found on his iPhone showing that Begg had been involved with training programmes in Syria over six months

He said: ‘Mr Begg suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of his experiences, and the symptoms have re-emerged since he was detained.

‘It’s self-evident that following a period of that length of detention, ill-treatment, and torture, it is likely to make it much more difficult for Mr Begg to prepare for a trial where he necessarily has to give evidence convincingly to a jury.’

Sureties guaranteeing his return to court had been put up by Victoria Brittain, former associate foreign editor of the Guardian, Muslim Council of Britain committee member Dr Muhammed Al-Shareef, Beg’s brother and sister in law, and another brother.

The court heard his two brothers have offered £300,000 in equity to ensure that Begg can be freed on bail.

As well as the sureties, Begg had supporting statements from Terry Waite and Human Rights barrister Clive Stafford Smith.

Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, had opposed bail, arguing the charges against Begg are substantial and he is a flight risk.

He said there were recordings of Begg talking of ‘jihad’, and substantial material of an extremist nature recovered from his iPhone.

He said talk of jihad was not the same as self-defence, and the evidence showed Begg had put substantial efforts into the training in Syria.

He had smuggled the generator through with genuine aid efforts, and was photographed with rebel leaders holding machine guns.

He also cast doubt on the medical evidence, saying there was no need to release Begg to prepare for the trial.

Mr Altman told the court Begg had been in Afghanistan in the mid 90s, then headed to Pakistan.

He went to Peshawar in 1998 to live for several months before returning to the UK.

He had also smuggled a generator to rebel fighters in Bosnia using the same method he had employed in Syria.

Mr Justice Sweeney had refused bail.

BAGRAM, GUANTANAMO AND BELMARSH: MOAZZAM BEGG’S PRISONS
In 2002 Mr Begg was held at Bagram prison in Afghanistan. File picture

In 2002 Mr Begg was held at Bagram prison in Afghanistan. File picture

Born to Muslim parents, Mr Begg, originally from Sparkhill, Birmingham, lost his mother at the age of six. He was educated at the King David School and Moseley Secondary School.

Early 90s

He was a law student, ran an Islamic book and video store in Birmingham and travelled to Bosnia to help Muslims caught up in the civil war.

2001

The father-of-four moved to Kabul in 2001 to start a school, but when allied forces arrived in Afghanistan shortly after decided to move to Islamabad in Pakistan for safety.

2002

The then 33-year-old was arrested in Islamabad, where he had been living with his family, by CIA officers on suspicion of links with the Taliban or al Qaida. He was transferred to Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.

Describing the ordeal in earlier interviews, Mr Begg said: ‘The men stormed in and put a gun to my head, they put my hands behind my back, put a hood over my head and took me in a vehicle. 

‘When the hood was lifted I saw they were Americans. They said I would be going to Guantanamo Bay and they were right.’

February 2003 – January 2005

Mr Begg was held by the US in Camp X-Ray at the controversial Cuban jail until he was released without charge.

He claims to have been held in a windowless cell for nearly a year before his transfer to Guantanamo.   

February 2005

The then home secretary Jack Straw said Mr Begg was to be released following ‘intensive and complex’ discussions with the US.

After his release, Mr Begg later said he was not tortured in Guantanamo but the conditions were ‘tortuous’.

‘Through the whole period of detention they have stated that I am a member of al Qaida but they have offered no evidence to prove that at all,’ he said.

Mr Begg, who now lives in Hall Green, Birmingham, went on to campaign on human rights issues, delivering speeches to schools and colleges, as well as contributing comment pieces to newspapers and magazines.

January 2009

Mr Begg travelled the UK with former Guantanamo guard Christopher Arendt, in the Two Sides, One Story tour.

Mr Begg, who is fluent English, Arabic and Urdu, also became a director of campaign group Cage, which works with communities ‘impacted by the war on terror’.

December 2013 

He wrote about his travels to Syria in a blog entry on the Cage website, in which he also described having his passport confiscated to prevent further travel.

In July 2012, Mr Begg wrote, he visited Syria and met former prisoners who had been held by the Assad regime.

In a second visit made in December 2012, he met current and former prisoners and also visited refugee camps. 

February 2014

He was arrested by West Midlands Police on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences – and Mr Begg found himself in custody once again. 

Posted in UKComments Off on Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg walks free after ‘new evidence’ forces prosecutors to drop Syria terror charges

Zio-Wahhbism ”3”: ISIS Beheadings on Cue from Washington and London?

NOVANEWS

ISIS Fraud!

The question is this: are these shocking executions, with their highly stylized graphic videos, being used to manipulate public consent for Western military intervention in Syria?

In that case, ISIS is not acting in some apparent rogue fashion, turning on its Western intelligence masters, but rather it is obeying orders as usual as part of a macabre charade to facilitate Western military intervention.

by Finian Cunningham

The gruesome beheading of a British aid worker by the ISIS terror group in Syria over the weekend provoked a stern warning from Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron who vowed to “hunt down the murderers” for their “act of pure evil”.

The British victim was named as David Haines, a 44-year-old aid worker, who had been held hostage in Syria for many months. A graphic video released by his killers shows Haines kneeling on the ground dressed in an orange jumpsuit as a masked executioner severs his throat with a knife. The dead man’s prone body is then filmed with a decapitated, bloody head placed on the corpse’s back.

Some analysts have disputed the veracity of the video, saying it is a fake. But Haine’s foreboding demeanor and his final words spoken to the camera tend to verify the recording as genuine. The British government has also stated that it believes the footage to be authentic.

Haines was the third Westerner to be apparently murdered by the ISIS militants in the past four weeks using the same macabre ritual.Earlier this month, on September 3, a video showed American journalist Steven Sotloff also being decapitated in the same grisly manner. Two weeks before that, another abducted American citizen, James Foley, also a journalist, met the same grim fate at the hands of his captors.

A fourth man, another British national named as Alan Hemming, is feared to be the next ISIS victim, with unconfirmed video footage of his execution also posted this weekend.

The shocking scenes of brutality have sparked public outrage in the US and around the world. President Barack Obama addressed the nation in a prime-time television broadcast last week in which he declared that American forces would track down and destroy the ISIS terrorists. The group is also known by the alternative acronyms IS or ISIL, referring ostensibly to an aspired fundamentalist Islamic caliphate that incorporates Iraq and Syria. At the same time that Obama was addressing the nation, US secretary of state John Kerry was in the Middle East drumming up support for an American-led international coalition to launch military strikes against ISIS, whose strongholds are in northern Iraq straddling the border with eastern Syria.

ISIS has been a prominent force among a myriad of militant cohorts that have been waging war against the Syrian state since March 2011. There is substantial evidence that Western governments have been covertly supporting ISIS and other extremists under the guise of assisting the “moderate rebels” for the ultimate purpose of destabilizing the Assad government of Syria and regime change. Assad is a staunch ally of Russia and Iran, and therefore is in the Western crosshairs for regime change.

But latterly ISIS has gained notoriety for its kidnapping and murder of Western citizens. 

The newly formed US-led coalition against ISIS includes 10 Arab countries comprising Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan as well as the Persian Gulf kingdoms of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Paradoxically, it may seem, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been accused of being leading financial sponsors of the extremist groups fighting in Syria, including ISIS. But this link is not so paradoxical when the covert Western-designated role of the terror group is understood, as we shall see.

Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal and and Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari arrive at the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq on Sept. 15, 2014 at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris on Sept. 15, 2014. (AFP)

Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal and and Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari arrive at the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq on Sept. 15, 2014 at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris on Sept. 15, 2014. (AFP)

Washington has also, not surprisingly, garnered the support of Britain, France, Germany, Canada and Australia for its supposed anti-ISIS coalition.

A meeting this week in Paris will allegedly firm up military tactics on how the US-led coalition will carry out its putative strikes. So far, Washington has said that it will not be committing ground troops as in the previous Iraq War (2003-2012) and the ongoing US-led campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Obama said the modus operandi against ISIS would be like its “counter-terror operations in Yemen and Somalia”, where US air power is assisted by “partners on the ground”.

The fledgling Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al Abadi has welcomed the US air strikes. Since last month, American warplanes have launched nearly 150 bombing raids on suspected ISIS positions in northern Iraq. Last week saw the widening of these US air strikes to include western Iraq near Haditha. Because of Baghdad’s approval, the US-led coalition has legal cover to operate in Iraq. But this is not the case in neighboring Syria. The Syrian government of President Bashar al Assad has not given its consent to the American plans, nor has it been consulted. Washington claims that Assad has no legitimacy or right to sovereignty because it alleges his “regime” has been repressing the civilian population – a claim that is contradicted by the re-election of Assad as president in June with a massive 88.7 per cent majority based on a voter turnout of 73.4 per cent.

Damascus has pointed out that any US military action in its territory – even if that action is against the enemy ISIS network – will amount to aggression against the Syrian state.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ‘s Statement at the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq held in Paris on 15 September 2014

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ‘s Statement at the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq held in Paris on 15 September 2014

The objective legal position was also stipulated by the Russian government this week. Moscow said that, without Syrian government consent or a United Nations Security Council mandate, any US-led air strikes inside Syria would be “a gross violation of international law”.

Nevertheless, Obama has unequivocally stated that his proposed military coalition will conduct attacks on ISIS bases inside Syria. The legal implications of that contingency, however, appear to be unnerving the main US NATO allies – Britain, France and Germany.

In Berlin last week both the German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his British counterpart Philip Hammond issued categorical statements saying that their countries would not be carrying out air strikes in Syria.

Hammond, like Steinmeier, gave full backing to US strikes against ISIS in Iraq, but he told the Reuters news agency: “Let me be clear: Britain will not be taking part in any air strikes in Syria. We have already had that discussion in our parliament last year and we won’t be revisiting that position.” Britain’s top diplomat added that the “legal permissiveness” of military operations in Iraq and Syria was completely different.

Hammond was referring to the vote in the British parliament last year in which MPs voted overwhelmingly against Britain joining a proposed American military intervention in Syria, following the deadly chemical weapons attack near Damascus on August 21. Washington was lining up air strikes on Syria to purportedly avenge the killing of hundreds of civilians from poisonous gas. That incident was blamed on the armed forces of the Assad government but it was subsequently shown to be the covert work of anti-government militants, aimed at contriving as a false flag outrage to elicit Western military intervention.

The British parliament was therefore vindicated in its vote against military intervention in Syria, and that vote put paid to Washington’s plans back then. It signaled a rare British dissent in the “special relationship” with Washington, where Britain is usually a reliable junior partner for American militarism overseas. At the time of the Westminster vote at the end of August 2013, British leader David Cameron was visibly downcast at the rejection of the proposed intervention in Syria. Given that the British government is a major player in the US-led regime-change conspiracy in Syria, Cameron’s dismay was understandable. 

This week on the day after Hammond made the announcement in Berlin of non-intervention in Syria, he appeared to be over-ruled by his boss in 10 Downing Street. David Cameron contradicted his foreign minister by telling British media that “nothing had been ruled out” for Britain’s participation in the American-led anti-ISIS coalition. Cameron was clearly indicating that British fighter jets might indeed launch air strikes inside Syria. Such a move would over-turn the British parliament’s landmark vote outlawing military intervention in Syria. It would also negate the majority sentiment of the British public, which has been trending strong opposition to their government becoming embroiled militarily in Syria.

However, graphic videos of extremists slicing off the head of a British aid worker could be a decisive turning point. It’s hard to imagine a more repugnant act of cruel depravity to turn public opinion away from its erstwhile opposition to war toward giving consent for military action to, as Cameron put it, “hunt down this pure evil”.

Note too that in recent weeks Western governments and their mass media have been raising security concerns about Western “jihadists” returning to their home countries to carry out terror missions. Australia’s government of Tony Abbott is the latest to put its country on “high alert”. Abbott told media this weekend that his government was also sending a 600-man military force to the Middle East to join the US-led coalition, and he cited the barbaric beheading of the British national as part of the reasoning for the Australian deployment.

The macabre video executions have also overturned anti-war public feeling in the US. When Obama was planning to launch air strikes in Syria last year following the chemical weapons incident, polls showed that a big majority – 70 per cent – of Americans were opposed to any intervention. That opposition, plus the British parliament’s rejection, was a major factor in why Obama backed down then on his proposed military strikes during September 2013.

But after the latest videos showing two American journalists being brutally slain, US public opinion, according to recent polls, is now strongly in favour of Obama’s anti-ISIS bombing coalition; not just operating in Iraq, but more significantly, the American public wants the coalition to go after ISIS inside Syria too. Thus, where the chemical weapons horror last year failed to convince the American public to give its approval for US air strikes in Syria, the beheading of American hostages has succeeded.

For Washington and its close London ally, the British public is a crucial constituency to also win over. It seems more than a coincidence that ISIS has now carried out the same sickening execution of a British national as it did with the two Americans. President Obama said after the videoed slaying of Briton David Haines that the US “stands shoulder-to-shoulder” with the British people.

The question is this: are these shocking executions, with their highly stylised graphic videos, being used to manipulate public consent for Western military intervention in Syria? In that case, ISIS is not acting in some apparent rogue fashion, turning on its Western intelligence masters, but rather it is obeying orders as usual as part of a macabre charade to facilitate Western military intervention.

Once again, what we are seeing is a variation of “humanitarian pretext” to pave the way for the covert, ulterior agenda of Western-orchestrated regime change in foreign countries. That ploy was used previously by NATO forces in former Yugoslavia at the end of the 1990s and more recently in Libya during 2011.

It is well documented that ISIS, IS or ISIL, is a terror network created by US, British and Saudi military intelligence going back to the early years of the Iraq War beginning in 2003, when the group played a vital role in fomenting sectarian strife in Iraq to the advantage of the Western occupying armies.The network has antecedents in Western collusion with radical Islamist mercenaries in Afghanistan during the 1980s against the former Soviet Union, which led to the formation of Al Qaeda, and also in Chechnya in the mid-1990s.

ISIS Fraud!

ISIS Fraud!

ISIS leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi is known to be a US intelligence asset, according to a former senior Al Qaeda operative, Nabil Naim, among other sources. Former CIA personnel have also disclosed that ISIS, like Al Qaeda, was set up to further geopolitical goals for Washington and its allies in the Middle East. These goals include regime change in target countries, such as Syria, and perpetuating the money-spinning American military-industrial complex by creating an endless security threat. Officially, the network may be a proscribed terror organization and “an enemy of the state”. But in the underworld of black operations, ISIS is a covert instrument of US government and corporate interests.

Given the strategic importance of the US-led regime-change objective in Syria – and in particular the importance of obtaining public support for military intervention in that country – it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the ISIS network is carrying out beheadings of Western citizens on the orders of its handlers in the CIA and Britain’s MI6. Perhaps even, the outward political leadership in Washington and London, Obama and Cameron, are unaware of their own dark forces at work, which gives their public reactions of indignation an air of authenticity and credibility.

Indeed, the evident political consequences from the latest execution of Briton David Haines and Americans Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff are strongly indicative of a Western psychological operation. That makes Washington and London culpable of murdering their own citizens for geopolitical expediency. These victims are sacrificial lambs in the foulest sense.

Source: Strategic Culture.org

CrossTalk: Washington’s Jihad

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Zio-Wahhabism Today ”2”: ISIS and the USA: Expansion and Resistance by Decapitation

NOVANEWS

If the brutal decapitation and dismemberment of innocent civilians is a capital crime that should be punished, as I believe it is, then both ISIS and the Obama regime with his allied leaders should face a people’s war crimes tribunal in the countries where the crimes occurred.

by Dr. James Petras

Introduction

In order to overcome massive US and world public opposition to new wars in the Middle East, Obama relied on the horrific internet broadcasts of ISIS slaughtering two American hostages, the journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff, by decapitation.  These brutal murders were Obama’s main propaganda tool to set a new Middle East war agenda – his own casus belli bonanza!  This explains the US Administration’s threats of criminal prosecution against the families of Foley and Stoloff when they sought to ransom their captive sons from ISIS.

ISIS militant has beheaded Foley, American journalist Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines, showing their killings in videos posted online. FBI officials believe the same militant speaks in all three videos.

ISIS militant has beheaded Foley, American journalist Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines, showing their killings in videos posted online. FBI officials believe the same militant speaks in all three videos.

With the American mass media repeatedly showing the severed heads of these two helpless men, public indignation and disgust were aroused with calls for US military involvement to stop the terror. US and EU political leaders presented the decapitations of Western hostages by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) as a direct and mortal threat to the safety of civilians in the US and Europe.  The imagery evoked was of black-clad faceless terrorists, armed to the teeth, invading Europe and the US and executing innocent families as they begged for rescue and mercy.

The problem with this propaganda ploy is not the villainy and brutal crimes celebrated by ISIS, but the fact that Obama’s closest ally in his seventh war in six years is Saudi Arabia, a repugnant kingdom which routinely decapitates its prisoners in public without any judicial process recognizable as fair by civilized standards – unless tortured ‘confessions’ are now a Western norm.  During August 2014, when ISIS decapitated two American captives, Riyadh beheaded fourteen prisoners. Since the beginning of the year the Saudi monarchy has decapitated more than 46 prisoners and chopped off the arms and limbs of many more.  During Obama and Kerry’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, horrendous decapitations were displayed in public.  These atrocities did not dim the bright smile on Barak Obama’s face as he strolled with his genial royal Saudi executioners, in stark contrast to the US President’s stern and angry countenance as he presented the ISIS killing of two Americans as his pretext for bombing Syria.

The Western mass media are silent in the face of the Saudi Kingdom’s common practice of public decapitation.  Not one among the major news corporations, the BBC, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC, CBS and NPR, have questioned the moral authority of a US President who engages in selective condemnation of ISIS while ignoring the official Saudi state beheadings and the amputations.

Decapitation and Dismemberment:  By Dagger and Drones

syriana-OBAMA-web

The ISIS internet videos showing gaunt, orange-suited Western prisoners and their lopped-off heads have evoked widespread dismay and fear.  We are repeatedly told: ‘ISIS is coming to get us!’  But ISIS is open and public about their criminal acts against helpless hostages.  We cannot say the same about the decapitations and dismemberments of the hundreds of victims of US drone attacks.  When a drone fires its missiles on a home, a school, wedding party or vehicle, the bodies of living people are dismembered, macerated, decapitated and burned beyond recognition – all by remote control.  The carnage is not videoed or displayed for mass consumption by Obama’s high commend.  Indeed, civilian deaths, if even acknowledged, are brushed off as ‘collateral damage’ while the vaporized remnants of men, women and children have been described by US troops as ‘pink foam’.

If the brutal decapitation and dismemberment of innocent civilians is a capital crime that should be punished, as I believe it is, then both ISIS and the Obama regime with his allied leaders should face a people’s war crimes tribunal in the countries where the crimes occurred.

There are good reasons to view Washington’s close relation with the Saudi royal beheaders as part of a much broader alliance with terror-evoking brutality. For decades, the US drug agencies and banks have worked closely with criminal drug cartels in Mexico while glossing over their notorious practice of decapitating, dismembering and displaying their victims, be they local civilians, courageous journalists, captured police or migrants fleeing the terror of Central America. The notorious Zetas and the Knights Templar have penetrated the highest reaches of the Mexican federal and local governments, turning state officials and institutions into submissive and obedient clients. Over 100,000 Mexicans have lost their lives because of this ‘state within a state’, an ‘ISIS’ in Mexico – just ‘South of the Border’.  And just like ISIS in the Middle East, the cartels get their weapons from the US imported right across the Texas and Arizona borders. Despite this gruesome terror on the US southern flank, the nation’s principle banks, including Bank of America, CitiBank, Wells Fargo and many others have laundered billions of dollars of drug profits for the cartels. For example, the discovery of 49 decapitated bodies in one mass in May 2014 did not prompt Washington to form a world-wide coalition to bomb Mexico, nor was it moved to arrest the Wall Street bankers laundering the ‘beheaders bloody booty’.

Conclusion

OBama UN ISIS

In a speech before the United Nations on Wednesday, President Obama asked the world to join the fight against the Islamic State. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

Obama’s hysterical and very selective presentation of ISIS crimes forms the pretext for launching another war against a predominantly Muslim country, Syria, while shielding his close ally, the royal Saudi decapitator from US public outrage. ISIS crimes have become another excuse to launch a campaign of ‘mass decapitation by drones and bombers’. The mass propaganda campaign over one crime against humanity becomes the basis for perpetrating even worse crimes against humanity. Many hundreds of innocent civilians in Syria and Iraq will be dismembered by ‘anti-terrorist’ bombs and drones unleashed by another of Obama’s ‘coalition’.

The localized savagery of ISIS will be multiplied, amplified and spread by the US-directed ‘coalition of the willing decapitators’. The terror of hooded beheaders on the ground will be answered and expanded by their faceless counterparts in the air, while delicately hiding the heads rolling through the public squares of Riyadh or the headless bodies displayed along the highways of Mexico …  and especially ignoring the hidden victims of US-Saudi aggression in the towns and villages of Syria.

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Zio-Wahhabism Today ”1”: Here Come the Kagans—Their War Plan to Defeat the Islamic State

NOVANEWS

Obama’s war plan based on largely illusory armies comes close to the old joke about the hungry hobos talking about what they could have to eat—“If we had some ham we could make a ham sandwich, if we had some bread.”  The only thing positive that can be said about Obama’s war plan is that it is not as disastrous as the Kagan alternative.

by Dr. Stephen Sniegoski

Fat neocon Freddy

Before discussing the  recently- released Kaganwar plan, let’s begin this essay by acknowledging the serious faults in President Obama’s plan to rid the world of the Islamic State, or as he calls the group,ISIL, aka ISIS.  (For a change of pace, it will be called the Islamic State in this essay, which apparently is what the group wants to be called and what much of the media is now calling it.)

It would seem that the Obama Plan is not predicated on any extensive geostrategic analysis but is rather a political ploy quickly conjured up to satisfy the establishment media and a public aroused into a war frenzy by beheadings and Islamic State threats to attack the US. But it is quite likely that this fear is emotional rather than the result of a real danger, not unlike how the American public felt in the aftermath of 9/11.  Paul Pillar, a former deputy director of the CIA’s Counter-terrorism Center, stated:  “The American public has come to equate advances in the Middle East by this one group, ISIS, with the danger of another 9/11.”  He maintained that “[f]or them [ISIS] to seize and maintain territory is a major digression from terrorist operations in the West, rather than a facilitation of such operations.” However, Pillar opined that, if the forces of the Islamic State are repeatedly attacked by the United States, they might retaliate against the American homeland, stating that “there will be a revenge factor.” [1]

ISIS militants backed by US, Israel, KSA

ISIS Militants are financed by who?

It is actually not apparent that the Islamic State is the greatest terrorist danger at this time.  Nicholas Rasmussen, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on September 10 that the Islamic State’s “ability to carry out complex, large-scale attacks in the West is currently limited” though it would likely increase in the future.  In contrast, he said, the Yemen-based alQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) “remains the al-Qaeda affiliate most likely to attempt transnational attacks against the United States.”[2]If this is the primary danger at the present for terrorist attacks on the American homeland, why isn’t it the priority?

Although many in the mainstream media and Congress claim that the Islamic State currently threatens to attack the American homeland, Obama has not made such a claim.“While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland,” Obama maintains, “ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies. Our intelligence community believes that thousands of foreigners—including Europeans and some Americans—have joined them in Syria and Iraq. Trained and battle-hardened, these fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks.”[3] The fact of the matter is that many things could happen.  Russia and China could rain nuclear-armed missiles on the United States.  That they could conceivably do this does not mean that it is likely and would hardly justify a US pre-emptive attack on those countries.  And in contrast to Obama, Pillar maintains that if the US does militarily attack the Islamic State, there will be–not simply couldbe–blowback.

Moreover, if the Islamic State were such an obviously grave danger, it is strange why its neighboring countries are not interested in combating it and this would include Turkey and Israel, both of which have strong militaries. If the local countries are correct in their assessment of the Islamic State, and Israel supposedly has the best intelligence system in the world regarding the Middle East, why are they staying aloof whereas the United States’ attacks on the Islamic State are essentially baiting it to retaliate?

Undoubtedly, American airpower can prevent the Islamic State from gaining any more ground in the territory now occupied by Kurdish forces and the largely Shiite Iraqi army. And it is likely that American airpower can push back the Sunnis from their forward positions with the aforementioned groups moving in toretake these areas.  But it is not apparent as to what forces are going to reconquer the large swath of land now controlled by the Islamic State in the Sunni heartland of Iraq and Syria.  The Middle East coalition of countries,Free Syrian Army and Sunni Iraqi Army that are supposed to provide the ground troops for this venture arenot up to the task.  It is not apparent that thecoalition intends to send any significant number of troops.Maybe Saudi Arabia and Qatar might stop their citizens from providing support to the Islamic State. And maybe Turkey will close its border and stop serving as a Jihadist transit way to Syria and Iraq.But even this type of help is not certain.

It is not clear how a Sunni army could be created in areas occupied by the Islamic State.  And it is not clear that the largely Shiite Iraqi army would be willing to attack far into Sunni areas, or that the US would even want this to happen since it does not want to antagonize the Sunnis in order to bring about an inclusive government in Baghdad.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is a loose conglomeration of opposition fighters that has been designated as “moderate,” has not yet demonstrated any prowess as a fighting force, though the United States has already covertly provided some of its members with arms.[4]Moreover, there are not many moderate fighters in Syria and they control less than five percent of Syrian territory.[5]In June 2014, when plans were being broached to equip and train the Free Syrian forces, Obama belittled the fighting quality of these troops as “former farmers or teachers or pharmacists” who, even with American military aid, would be unable to effectively fight against their battle-hardened foe.[6]

Furthermore, it highly questionable that the “moderate” groups are really that moderate.The moderates have sought support and weapons from Jihadists and often fought alongside such extreme Islamist groups as the al-Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. Aron Lund, a Syria analyst who edits the Syria in Crisis blog for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,describes the situation: “You are not going to find this neat, clean, secular rebel group that respects human rights and that is waiting and ready because they don’t exist. It is a very dirty war and you have to deal with what is on offer.”[7]

Colonel Riad Assad (not related to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad), the leader of the US-backed FSA, even announced that his group would not join the anti-Islamic State coalition or engage in combat against the Islamic State.[8] This is quite understandable since the raison d’être of this group is to try to bring down the regime of President Assad, not fight one of his enemies, whose defeat would tend to benefit the Syrian ruler. [9] That this group would really want to be a proxy for the US and thus divert itself from combating the Assad regime would seem to be a pure pipe dream. 

Obama’s war plan based on largely illusory armies comes close to the old joke about the hungry hobos talking about what they could have to eat—“If we had some ham we could make a ham sandwich, if we had some bread.”  The only thing positive that can be said about Obama’s war plan is that it is not as disastrous as the Kagan alternative.

KAGAN-PNAC-FAMILY

Let’s first provide a brief discussion of the Kagan family. The Kagans have now become the first family of neocondom (surpassing the once supreme Kristols and Podhoretzes).  The married couple of Frederick (Fred) and Kimberly (Kim) Kagan comprises two of the three authors of the war plan against the Islamic State (the other author being Jessica D. Lewis.)

Fred, a staff member of the American Enterprise Institute, is noted as an architect of the surge strategy, which was adopted by President George W. Bush in December 2006 and is much touted by war hawks as having achieved a great success in putting down the alQaeda violence in Sunni areas. However, that surge, in fact, militated against national unity, which was America’s ultimate goal,  because a fundamental US tactic was to strengthen local Sunni tribal leaders to fight al Qaeda insurgents, which consisted of providing them training and arms. The tribal leaders effectively fought al Qaeda but, in the process, set up their own little fiefdoms independent of central government control, which did not want to relinquishpower to the central government. And it was these Sunnis who flocked to the side of the Islamic State fighters when they entered Iraq.

Neocon Kagans are everywhere

Neocon Kagans are everywhere

With his wife Kim, the founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Fred shaped General Petraeus’s military policy from the summer of 2010 to the summer of 2011 when the latter was commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The Kagans lobbied for and supported President Obama’s decision to order multiple troop surges in Afghanistan, beginning on February 17, 2009, whichcould be classified as a total failure, and argued against his later drawdown of troops from that beleaguered country.[10]

Fred’s brother, Robert Kagan, was a contributing editor oftheWeekly Standard, the leading neocon publication, and the original director of the notorious (in anti-war circles) Project for a New American Century (PNAC). With Bill Kristol in 2009, he established the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a neocon organization that is considered a successor to PNAC.

Caught on tape!

Caught on tape!

In recent years he has begun to associate with mainstream liberals and is a senior fellow of the Brookings Institution and has served on both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s and John Kerry’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. 

Illustrating his liberal bona fides, he also writes a monthly column on world affairs for the Washington Post, and is a contributing editor at the New Republic.

Robert is married to State Department career diplomat Victoria Nuland, who served as a foreign policy advisor to Dick Cheney during the George W. Bush administration and is currently serving as Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs in the Obama administration.  Her open support for the Ukrainian rebels who overthrew the elected government of President Yanukovych played a significant role in triggering the current crisis in Ukraine with Russia.

The Kagan family elder, Donald Kagan, was a prominent historian of ancient Greece who taught at Cornell and Yale; one of the original neoconservatives, he was a signatory of PNAC and a trustee of the neocon Hudson Institute.

stephen_sniegoski nat summit 1

Stephen Sniegoski author of Transparent Cabal, The Neoconservative Agenda

The Kagans’war plan, A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State, is a report of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW)and partly rectifies the phantom-troops problem in Obama’s plan. (As noted above, it is co-authored by Jessica D. Lewis, Research Director at ISW.)The authors claim that “[t]he activities recommended in this paper will likely require the deployment of not more than 25,000 ground forces supported by numerous air and naval assets. The bulk of those forces will likely be comprised of various kinds of units supporting a much more limited number of Special Forces and other assets deployed in small groups with tribes, opposition forces, and Iraqi Security Forces. This plan does not envisage U.S. combat units conducting unilateral operations (apart from targeted attacks against individual enemy leaders and small groups) or leading clearing operations. It requires some combat units in the support and quick reaction force (QRF) roles.”[11]

The current plan only outlines in detail the first phase of the strategy.  This is because the whole plan hinges on the assumption that the Sunnis in Iraq and Syria will rally to fightthe Islamic Statealongside the US-led coalition and provide the overwhelming bulk of the ground troops.

The authors write: “The Sunni Arabs in Iraq and Syria are the only local partners who can be decisive in the fight against ISIS and JN [the Jihadist group, Jabhat al-Nusra or al-Nusra Front]. Our strategy must focus on making direct contact with them,coordinating our efforts with them, building their strength against ISIS, and finding out the terms on which they would be willing to reintegrate into reformed states in Iraq and Syria. They are the pivot of the entire effort and must be at the heart of every phase of our strategy.”[12]

The following phases of the war strategy would dependupon how well this assumption actually is realized.The study states that the later phases “will also depend on the speed with which the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] can be rebuilt and reformedinto a non-sectarian and effective security force. The first phase itself will take months. Subsequent phases will take longer.Adopting this strategy entails signing up for a prolonged deployment of military forces, including ground forces.”[13]

Unlike the ultra-optimistic “cake-walk” predictions made by the neocons in the run-up to the attack on Iraq in 2003, the authors acknowledge that the “strategy suffers from the high risk of failure and the near-certainty that the U.S. will suffer casualties,” and even “that the Sunni Arabs cannot or will not fight with us . . . and that the overall strategy proposed here is infeasible that the Sunni

Arabs cannot or will not fight with us . . . and that the overall strategy proposed here is infeasible. In that case, it will be necessary to abandon this strategy and reconsider our options.”[14]  Elsewhere, the authors state: “The existence of such potential partners and their sufficiency tothe tasks are unproven hypotheses. If these hypotheses arefalse, then this course of action is invalid. It is not possible

to validate or invalidate these hypotheses without directlyengaging on the ground.”[15]It would actually seem that the Kagan plan is unlike not only the ‘cake walk’ scenario but also most military strategies,  where those who devise the strategies will normally claim that these will lead to victory.

However, the authors state that the US should adopt this strategy despite the risks because “[t]he consequences of inaction or inadequate action are evident: ISIS will retain control of much of the territory it holds, sectarian war will escalate, more foreign fighters including Americans and Europeans will cycle through the battlefield and get both trained and further radicalized, and al-Qaeda will benefit from the largest and richest safe-haven it has ever known.”[16] In short, the Kagans’plan holds that the danger posed by the Islamic State to the US is so great that there are no real alternatives to a military effort to destroy it.  Moreover,the authors seem to assume this with total certitude in contrast to their uncertainty about the outcome of their proposedwar strategy.But as was pointed out earlier in a critique of Obama’s “no boots on the ground” strategy, there is no such certitude among experts.

I am sometimes asked if I have any regrets about publishing our book. As of today, my only regret is that it is not being published now. After the humiliations that Obama has endured at the hands of the Israel Lobby and the Hagel circus, we would sell even more copies and we would not face nearly as much ill-informed criticism. — Stephen Walt, co-author of the book.

I am sometimes asked if I have any regrets about publishing our book. As of today, my only regret is that it is not being published now. After the humiliations that Obama has endured at the hands of the Israel Lobby and the Hagel circus, we would sell even more copies and we would not face nearly as much ill-informed criticism. — Stephen Walt, co-author of the book.

But if American troops arrive in Iraq and Syria and do not find a sufficient combat force that would fight with them, which the study acknowledges is a possibility, would they just be pulled out? That would be easier said than done.  War hawks would say it was cutting and running, which would make it difficult for America’s political and military leaders to risk their reputations with such a retreat.  And what about the harm this would allegedly do to American prestige?  Not only the warhawks, but many mainstream foreign policy experts and political pundits would likely claim that should America just pull out of this military venture, its global adversaries would interpret it as weakness and try to exploit it while its friends would be less willing to join with the United States for any undertaking. Furthermore,a significant segment of the American people abhors losing, so public opinion would act to militate against any early withdrawal. It would be likely that the US would stay there for some time, and take casualties, before coming to the conclusion that there were insufficient Sunni or Syrian forces to provide help.  A likely scenario would be that the United States would pour in more and more troops, which could achieve a battlefield victory,perhaps allowing American troops to leave with honor, but with the forces of the Islamic State remaining, though temporarily going underground, and with no solution to the underlying ethno-sectarian and political fissures that would eruptagain after the troop departure.

Things could get even worse, however, if Syrian and Sunni armies did exist.  For even if the Sunni tribes were willing to fight the Islamic  State, the authors write: “It is extremely unlikely that tribal forces will be able to take urban centers back from ISIS or serve as the ‘hold’ force even in rural areas.”   Success will depend not only on “re-building effective security forces in Iraq and developing forces in Syria capable of doing the job”but will require the “knitting [of] the local and tribal forces into the formal state security forces” which “cannot be subject to the command and control of Shi’a militia elements that they do not trust.”[17]Since it is not apparent that Shiites and Sunnis have ever come together without the existence of authoritarian force—e.g., Saddam Hussein—it is hard to believe that they can be nicely knitted together in the military without one side attempting to dominate the other.

A harmonious military is not enough, however. “Success against ISIS requires more than effective military operations,” the report asserts. “Political accord in Baghdad and the emergence of meaningful inclusive politics in Syria are necessary but not sufficient conditions for securing U.S. vital national security interests in the region. The U.S. must use the expanding leverage increased military support will give it in Baghdad to continue to shape the emerging Iraqi government to be as inclusive and non-sectarian as possible.”[18]In short, the United States has to engage in nation-building in Iraq, and it has to do likewise in Syria, regarding which the report states: “[t]he U.S. must also engage much more vigorously in efforts to develop an inclusive government-in-waiting in Syria than it has hitherto. Bringing what is left of the moderate opposition together is only a start, albeit an essential next step. The U.S. and its international partners . . . must also reach out to the Alawite community and to Syria’s other minority groups in search of potential leaders who could join forces with moderate Sunni leaders to oppose extremists on all sides.”[19]

Lebanon and Jordan also get limited attention in the report.  For Lebanon, Hezbollah, which is a major enemy of Israel,seems a special concern. The authors observe that “Sunni extremist operations and attacks in Lebanon . . . have rallied support around Hezbollah once again.”  Thus it is maintained that “[s]trengthening the Lebanese government and armed forces independent of Hezbollah . . . could threaten the organization’s control sufficiently to distract it from Syria somewhat.” Furthermore, “[t]he chances of Lebanon surviving the current conflict intact would improve dramatically if it ceased to be a major base for a principal combatant [Hezbollah] in the fight. The U.S. should work with regional and global partners to explore what can be done to change this condition.”[20]

The Jordanian government doesn’t need any changes, according to the study, but the US ought to provide “financial and material support” so that it will be able to deal with the influx of refugees from the war zones; in addition, the US should“work closely with the Jordanian military to strengthen its ability to secure itself against extremist attacks and also to project force in support of our common objectives in Iraq and Syria.”[21]

Of course, all those efforts to defeat the Islamic State and alter the governments of key countries in the Middle East will exclude the influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  “U.S. forces must not coordinate with Iranians on the ground in Iraq, even at the tactical level,” the authors emphasize. Cooperating with them even at this level would legitimate “the presence of Iranian troops in Iraq, a principle to which the U.S. cannot accede.” And Washington must impose that position on the Iraqi government: “The best mitigation strategy for these risks is to make clear to the Iraqis that any given unit can have only one set of advisers at a time — either Americans (and our partners) or Iranians. Since American forces bring a great deal more capability thatthe Iraqis desperately need, it should be possible to win most of those arguments.”[22] So the only country in the region that currentlyis willing and able to combat the Islamic State is to be shut out of the picture.

While the authors believe that the Iraqis would for swear Iranian support in order to receive superior aid from the US, this would not seem to be obvious.  The Iraqi Shiites, like any group of people, might not like to be bossed around by outsiders.  They might in some cases opt for Iranian support.  Now since the rationale for intervention hinges on the argument that defeat of the Islamic State is essential to protect the American homeland and that victory over the Islamic State is not guaranteed, then one would think the US would be willing to accept help from any quarter—just as the United States collaborated with Stalinist Russia against Nazi Germany.  The Iraqi government has been pro-Iran, so one might conjecture that a purpose of the Kagans’ war plan is to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, Iranian influence over Iraq.  And while that might inhibit protecting US interests, it would fit in with the position of Israel. Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer warned the US to eschew any cooperation with Iran in the war against the Islamic State, insisting “they will never be a partner.”The ambassador went on: “Iran as a nuclear power is a thousand times more dangerous than ISIS.”[23]

It would seem that this gigantic military and nation-building scheme, with the chances of success being negligible, would likely go on forever.  For it would not be possible to achieve a military success alone without transforming key governments of the region because, as the plan has laid out, the military and political aspects are integrally related.  Success for the military aspects critically depends upon all the political transformations. And though nation-building has been bandied about, the US has yet to demonstrate that it can be successful in this type of undertaking. Thus, based on past experience,  what would  likely result from this combination of military intervention and interference in the internal affairs of other countries is that more people than ever in the Middle East would be inflamed against America.

Thus the threats to those states that have been friendly to the United States would be intensified and the United States would become militarily ensnared in the region. Undoubtedly, any call to withdraw American forces would be condemned as defeatist and as harmful to American security, and, in reality, the United States would likely be far more endangered than it is today.  The United States would become just as hated as Israel is in the region, if not more so.  And unlike Israel, the United States would be doing the fighting.  Israel, on the other hand, would have something of a respite, for while the United States would be battling what are the Jewish state’s external enemies, who would also be fighting among themselves, Israel could treat the Palestinians as it sees fit.  And to deal with all these difficulties, it is likely that the Kagans will come up with more war plans for the United States.

Note: National Summit to Reassess the U.S.—Israel “Special Relationship”

Also see:

 

END NOTES

[1]Greg Miller and Juliet Eilperin, “U.S. intelligence agencies remain uncertain about danger posed by Islamic State,” Washington Post, September 13, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-intelligence-agencies-remain-uncertain-about-danger-posed-by-islamic-state/2014/09/13/23245e84-3aa6-11e4-bdfb-de4104544a37_story.html

[2]Greg Miller and Juliet Eilperin, “U.S. intelligence agencies remain uncertain about danger posed by Islamic State,” Washington Post, September 13, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-intelligence-agencies-remain-uncertain-about-danger-posed-by-islamic-state/2014/09/13/23245e84-3aa6-11e4-bdfb-de4104544a37_story.html

[3] Peter Beinert, “War fever: Overselling the war against Islamic State?,” Ha’aretz, September 14, 2014.

[4]Ellen Knickmeyer, Maria Abi-Habib and Adam Entous, “Advanced U.S. Weapons Flow to Syrian Rebels,”Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2014,http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304626304579509401865454762

[5] Joshua Landis, “Why Syria is the Gordian knot of Obama’s anti-ISIL campaign,” September 15, 2014.http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/9/15/why-syria-is-thegordianknotofobamasantiisilcampaign.html

[6] Frederic C. Hof, “Syria: Farmers, Teachers, Pharmacists, and Dentists,” June 20, 2014,

http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/syria-farmers-teachers-pharmacists-and-dentists

[7] Ben Hubbard, Eric Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti, “U.S. Pins Hope on Syrian Rebels With Loyalties All Over the Map,” New York Times, September 11, 2014,

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/12/world/middleeast/us-pins-hope-on-syrian-rebels-with-loyalties-all-over-the-map.html?_r=1

[8] Jason Ditz, “Free Syrian Army Won’t Join US Anti-ISIS Coalition,” Antiwar.com,  September 16, 2014,http://news.antiwar.com/2014/09/16/free-syrian-army-wont-join-us-anti-isis-coalition/

[9] Alessandria Masi, “US-Backed Moderate Group In Syria Signs Truce With ISIS,” International Business Times, September 12, 2014, http://www.ibtimes.com/us-backed-moderate-group-syria-signs-truce-isis-reports-1687662

[10] “74% of U.S. Afghan Casualties Came After Obama Ordered Troops Increased,”

January 9, 2014, http://cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/74-us-afghan-casualties-came-after-obama-ordered-troops-increased; Tom Engelhardt, “The Nine Surges of Obama’s War: How to Escalate in Afghanistan,” December 10, 2009, http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175176/

[11]Kimberly Kagan, Frederick W. Kagan, and Jessica D. Lewis, A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State, Middle East Security Report 23 (Washington:  Institute for the Study of War, 2014),  p. 26.

[12]A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State, p. 20.

[13]A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State, p. 8.

[14]A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State,p. 8.

[15]A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State,p. 22.

[16]A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State,p. 8.

[17]A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State,p. 24.

[18]“A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State,” p. 24.

[19]A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State,p. 25.

[20]A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State,p. 25.

[21]A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State,p. 25.

[22]A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State,p. 26.

[23] Jason Ditz, “Israeli Envoy: Nuclear Iran Would Be a Thousand Times Worse than ISIS,” Antiwar.com, September 18, 2014, http://news.antiwar.com/2014/09/18/israeli-envoy-nuclear-iran-would-be-a-thousand-times-worse-than-isis/

Posted in Saudi Arabia, SyriaComments Off on Zio-Wahhabism Today ”1”: Here Come the Kagans—Their War Plan to Defeat the Islamic State

Syria Today ”5”: U.S. Backed FSA Rebels Massacre an Entire Christian Village in Syria

NOVANEWS
 
Editor’s Note: Veterans News Now asked Sharmine Narwani, our Correspondent in Lebanon, covering the Syria crisis, for comment on the subject massacre:

I can’t comment on specific massacres, because subterfuge and competing narratives have severely hampered fact-finding activities, even from the perspective of UN investigators. It is possible that a pro-government militia has once or twice been involved in something this gruesome, but it is extremely doubtful that the Syrian army has ever done so. Having covered this Syrian conflict for 18 months – several times inside the country – it is my belief that most of the incidents of wholesale civilian slaughter (massacres) have been committed by disparate rebel groups. For starters, when the first ones took place – Houla, Tremseh, etc – they occurred at critical moments before UN Security Council meetings, and were very opportunistic in their efforts to rally international support for intervention. (Tremseh, btw, was very quickly debunked – the dead were armed men, and yes, they had been killed by the army.)

The number of incidents of slaughtering civilians has risen since then, alongside a significant increase in particularly heinous crimes by extremist rebel groups, i.e. cutting up bodies, summary executions, etc. And yes, Christians have been targeted since the beginning, but much more so as we entered 2012. I have met Mother Agnes and spoken with her at length about her experiences, and they very much conform to what I have been hearing and reading elsewhere – the Vatican’s press agency, Fides, has been covering this in detail for some time now. It is galling that at this juncture, when radical Takfirism is being unleashed from Iraq to Syria, the US government and western countries have chosen this moment to go silent on the targeting of Christian minorities in this region.

Mother Agnes-Mariam de la Croix, a Carmelite nun from the Monastery of St James the Mutilated in Syria, pictured at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne. Picture: Stuart McEvoy Source: The Australian
The State Department in 2012 stopped publishing the Religious Freedoms segment in their annual country human rights reports. They claim this is because it just repeats what is in another government report on religious freedoms, so they will only be linking to it in the future. I suspect the US government is trying desperately to underplay this new widespread persecution of Christians in the Arab world, because Washington’s latest ally in the region today is political Sunnism. This is the Saudi and Qatar-backed variety which range from the slightly more moderate Muslim Brotherhood-type groups to  the increasingly radical Salafists and Al Qaeda-related groups in Syria known to be the most effective fighters against the Syrian state.
 
The US government is not only fully aware of this new Christian persecution, but it is complicit in aiding its perpetrators via the provision of hundreds of millions of dollars in military training and “non-lethal” assistance. While many Christians have fled Syria, the 8-10 million Christian Copts in Egypt are also facing growing persecution by Islamists, many of them backed by Washington. Go figure – the US is now backing terror. But then again, Arabs and Muslims always knew that.
– Sharmine Narwani 

The U.S. and Western governments are backing the FSA rebels

by 

Christian massacre –file photo

Members of the Free Syrian Army reportedly attacked the Christian-dominated al-Duvair village in Reef on the outskirts of Homs on Monday, where they massacred its citizens, including women and children, before the Syrian Army loyal to Bashar al Assad intervened on behalf of the Christians.
This reported attack comes shortly after intense fighting in the city of al-Qusseir over the weekend, in which Bashar Al-Assad’s forces inflicted heavy casualties on the rebels.

Assad’s forces launched an offensive in April in an effort to cut off supply lines to the rebels by taking the city and its surrounding areas from the rebel groups that had been entrenched there since last year. Two weeks ago, the Syrian forces reached the center of the city

While the sources describing Monday’s massacre are supportive of Assad, it’s possible that it occurred since the rebel groups fighting the Assad regime are composed mainly of members of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliated groups and have committed war crimes and atrocities in the past.

Jabhat al-Nusra, the branch of al-Qaeda that fought and killed American and allied troops in Iraq, have positioned themselves in Syria and control the rebel movement.

The U.S. and other Western governments that are backing the FSA (Free Syrian Army), have acknowledged the presence of jihadists but insist that they’re only a small part of the rebel movement. However, al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups have been at the front of the rebel movement since day one of the Syrian war that began two years ago. According to German intelligence, 95 percent of the rebels aren’t even Syrian.

Syrian Christian massacre. File photo

“Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of,” the New York Times reported last month.

In April, Abou Mohamad al-Joulani, the head of al-Nusra, pledged allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahri, the head of al-Qaeda.

Members of the FSA have admitted that their plan is to institute sharia law, and the rebels now have a brigade named the Osama bin Laden Brigade.

Despite the evidence of al-Qaeda connections, the U.S. government continues to support the FSA.

Last week, Sens. Robert Menendez, D.-N.J., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., drafted a bill that, if passed, would directly arm the Syrian rebels with lethal weaponry. The U.S. government has so far only provided non-lethal supplies and humanitarian aid.

On Monday, Sen. John McCain made a surprise visit to Syria where he met with Gen. Salem Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the FSA. McCain has also called for arming the rebels as well as direct U.S. military intervention in the war.

source(‘s):  http://www.examiner.com/article/u-s-backed-syrian-rebels-reportedly-massacre-christian-village

                        http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=423524

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Syria Today ”4”: ‘US seeks to target Syrian govt.’

NOVANEWS

Pentagon press secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon. US and partner nations have begun air strikes in Syria against ISIL militants, using a mix of fighter jets, bombers and Tomahawk missiles fired from ships in the region.

Pentagon press secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon. US and partner nations have begun air strikes in Syria against ISIL militants, using a mix of fighter jets, bombers and Tomahawk missiles fired from ships in the region.

The extremists that Washington is supposedly hunting down now are the progeny of American covert war in Syria that the Syrian government has been battling against for the past three years.

by Finian Cunningham

The covert war on Syria has now finally exploded into the open, with US warplanes launching a blitzkrieg on the Arab country over night.

Washington and its allies have now crossed a dangerous Rubicon, setting the stage for an all-out war on Syria under the guise of “defeating extremism.”

The US guided-missile destroyer USS Preble. Strikes by aircraft and missiles will only achieve what they are designed for: blowing stuff up.

The US guided-missile destroyer USS Preble. Strikes by aircraft and missiles will only achieve what they are designed for: blowing stuff up.

The absurd contradictions and deceptions of this latest US-led war in the Middle East should be brazenly obvious for anyone not brainwashed by Western “news” propaganda. The extremists that Washington is supposedly hunting now down are the progeny of American covert war in Syria that the Syrian government has been battling against for the past three years. The Saudi and Qatari allies now joining US warplanes to pound Syria are the financiers and weapons suppliers of the very terrorist networks that they are claiming to attack.

Meanwhile, as Washington and its assortment of Arab stooge regimes were attacking their sponsored extremist militants in the north of Syria, a Syrian armed forces warplane going after the same extremists in the southern Golan Heights was shot down by an Israeli missile. It was the first such shoot-down incident in nearly 30 years of stand-off between Syria and Israel.

The opening of this US-led blitzkrieg on Syria is an illegal act of aggression regardless of whether Washington informed the Syrian government minutes before the strikes took place, and regardless of the appearance of an “international coalition” of states carrying out the attacks.

It’s just another cynical public relations ploy under the cover of “humanitarian intervention” with Washington dressing up its actions in the garb of “Arab cooperation.” Five states were reported to have joined in the American salvos on Syria on Tuesday night: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

All of these unelected kingdoms have openly expressed hostility toward the Syrian government over the past three years. Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular – with their brand of extremist Wahhabi cult religion – have gone even further to endorse regime change against Assad, an important regional ally of Shia Iran.

The Persian Gulf monarchies have funneled over $10 billion into arming the mercenary networks that have descended on Syria since March 2011, according to a Financial Times report. These mercenaries typically espouse the same kind of Wahhabi fundamentalism of their Arab sponsors, and view other Muslims and Christians as “infidels” to be slaughtered.

The barbarism of the terror groups ISIS (or IS, ISIL) and al-Nusra stems directly from their sponsorship by the Saudi and Qatari despots. These extremist outfits would not have gained the prominence and terror presence in Syria or Iraq if it were not for the covert support from Washington and the Arab monarchs in their obsession to get rid of Assad.

In the latest US-led air attacks on Syria, the New York Times reported the operations “unleashing a torrent of cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs from air and sea.” The targets were said to be bases near the northern Syrian cities of Raqqa and Idlib held by the al-Qaeda-linked ISIS and Al-Nusra Front.

For three years, the US and its NATO and regional Arab allies were constrained by legal and political reasons to limit themselves to fuelling a dirty covert war against Syria. That criminal conspiracy involved flooding Syria with mercenaries for the desired purpose of regime change against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

But the US-led covert war has turned out to be an abject failure, racking up a death toll of nearly 200,000 and millions of refugees. The Assad government has remained intact, with the president re-elected in June this year with a massive popular vote and turnout, verified by international observers. The Syrian army has also recaptured most of the territory lost earlier to the foreign-backed militants, which are now confined to remote northern and eastern areas.

This is the necessary context for why the US-led regime-change game plan has shifted a gear to open war.

Weeks of Western media highlighting beheadings and other atrocities carried out by ISIS in Iraq and Syria has primed the Western public to give its consent to belated US-led military intervention. The Baghdad government may have consented to foreign air strikes against the extremists in Iraq. But the Syrian government has not. Even though Damascus appears to have been notified hours before the latest strikes on its territory, the New York Times reported that they “occurred without the approval of President Bashar al-Assad.”

Apart from the absurd contradictions of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition, there are other evident anomalies pointing to the complete fraudulence of the agenda.

As the NYT noted in another article this week, the US-led bombing campaign that began last month in Iraq has failed to quash the terror network in that country. Yet, suddenly, the unfeasible war front has opened up in neighboring Syria.

“After six weeks of American airstrikes, the Iraqi government’s forces have scarcely budged the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State from their hold on more than a quarter of the country,” reported the Times.

So if the salvos have not worked in Iraq, why are they being expanded now into remoter Syria where there is even less chance of supposed success? That is predicated on the false assumption of defeating ISIS.

Also, the strikes come days before the United Nations Security Council was due to meet this week to discuss a draft anti-ISIS resolution. It was expected that Russia would have insisted that any air attacks carried out by the US-led coalition had to be conducted with the strict consent of the Syrian government and within the parameters of international law. Otherwise, any military action would have been vetoed.

That resolution has now been pre-empted by the US-NATO-Arab bomber squadron launching its blitzkrieg.

Washington has already said that its bombing campaign in Syria is in no way aimed at helping the Syrian government in its war against the (Western-sponsored) mercenaries.  “We don’t plan to make it easy for Assad to reclaim territory,” an Obama official told media.

That clearly means preventing the Syrian government reclaiming its own sovereign territory against the new cohort of US and Arab-trained “moderate” extremists under the $500-million package Obama pushed through Congress last week. It also anticipates that the next move for the US-led coalition will be the targeting of Syrian government forces “to prevent them reclaiming territory.”

Saudi, Qatari, Jordanian warplanes striking the Syrian capital, Damascus, alongside American Tomahawks and Israeli missiles is the nefarious logical conclusion.

The overt US-led war on Syria has begun despite its flagrant criminality and fraudulence. Thanks to the Western and Arab-sponsored terror networks in Syria and latterly Iraq, and the mendacity of Western media not highlighting this connection but rather saturating the airwaves with barbaric scare stories, the criminal US-led war on Syria is being conducted with a grotesque image of “humanitarianism and lawfulness.”

CrossTalk: Washington’s Jihad

Published on Sep 17, 2014

Is the West still seeking regime change in Syria amid the growing threat of the Islamic State? Is the US ready to put domestic politics aside to team up with Iran, Syria, or Hezbollah to defeat the IS? What is America’s ultimate plan in trying to intervene in both Syria’s and Iraq’s civil wars?

CrossTalking with Flynt Leverett, Michael Maloof, and Joshua Landis.

Also see:

US ambassador to UN admits the plan is to overthrow Assad

Obama-Samantha-Power

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Syria Today ”3”: Coalition of the Clueless in Syria

NOVANEWS

The airwaves are still heaving with spin two days after US airstrikes against Syria

The goal this week will be to keep the ‘momentum’ on a ‘narrative’ until it sinks in.

by Sharmine Narwani

RT

69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 24, 2014 (Reuters / Mike Segar)

69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 24, 2014 (Reuters / Mike Segar)

Undoubtedly the attacks were timed to occur on the eve of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, so ‘Coalition’ partners could cluster behind the decision to bomb a sovereign state, uninvited.

The irony, of course, is that they are doing so at the UN – the global political body that pledges to uphold international law, peace and stability, and the sanctity of the nation-state unit.

The goal this week will be to keep the ‘momentum’ on a ‘narrative’ until it sinks in.

On day one, heads of state from Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, the UK and France were paraded onto the podium to drum in the urgency of American strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Jabhat al-Nusra and other militant groups inside Syria.

Every American official – past and present – in the White House rolodex was hooked up to a microphone to deliver canned sound bites and drive home those ‘messages.’ In between, video-game-quality footage of US strikes hitting their targets was aired on the hour; clips of sleek fighter jets refueling midair and the lone Arab female fighter pilot were dropped calculatingly into social media networks.

The global crew of journalists that descends annually on the UN for this star-studded political event, enthused over US President Barak Obama’s ability to forge a coalition that included five Arab Sunni states – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain and the UAE.

Few mentioned that these partners are a mere fig leaf for Obama, providing his Syria campaign with Arab and Muslim legitimacy where he otherwise would have none. Not that any of these five monarchies enjoy ‘legitimacy’ in their own kingdoms – kings and emirs aren’t elected after all – and two of these Wahhabi states are directly responsible for the growth and proliferation of the Wahhabi-style extremism targeted by US missiles.

Who finances ISIS ?

Who finances ISIS ?

Even fewer spent time dissecting the legality of US attacks on Syria or on details of the US ‘mission’ – as in, “what next?”

But with a mission this crippled at the outset, it didn’t take long for an alternative view to peek through the thick media fog.

On the ground in Syria, dead civilians – some of them children killed by US bombs – muddied the perfect script. Confused Syrian rebels – many who had called for foreign intervention to help crush the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – demanded to know how these airstrikes were meant to help them.

Sunni Arabs would be radicalized by these strikes, they warned, as ideologically sympathetic citizens of the Arab coalition states took to their information channels and swore revenge for airstrikes against ISIL and al-Nusra.

The Syrian government, for the most part, remained mute – whether to save face or because they could ‘smell’ the gains coming. Contrary to Washington’s prevailing narrative, privately the story was that the US had informed the Assad government of both the timing and targets of the attacks in advance.

Residents inspect a damaged site after what activists say were four air strikes by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Douma, eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus September 24, 2014 (Reuters / Bassam Khabieh)

Residents inspect a damaged site after what activists say were four air strikes by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Douma, eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus September 24, 2014 (Reuters / Bassam Khabieh)

Sources say that the US even provided ‘guarantees’ that no Syrian military or government interests would be targeted. A Reuters exclusive claiming that the US went so far as to provide assurances to Iran, suggests this version is closer to the truth. When US airstrikes against Syria were on the table a year ago, the various parties went through a similar game of footsies. Last September, the Americans backed off – allegedly because of communications from their adversaries that even a single US missile would trigger a warfront against Israel. This time, Washington needed to know that scenario was not going to be activated, and this week they offered the necessary guarantees to ensure it.)say that the US even provided ‘guarantees’ that no Syrian military or government interests would be targeted.

Residents inspect a damaged site after what activists say were four air strikes by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Douma, eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus September 24, 2014. (Reuters/Bassam Khabieh)

Residents inspect a damaged site after what activists say were four air strikes by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Douma, eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus September 24, 2014. (Reuters/Bassam Khabieh)

Although the Russians and Iranians have publicly lashed out at the illegality of US strikes, they do not seem too worried. Both know – like the Syrian government – that these air attacks could be a net gain for their ‘Axis.’

Firstly, the United States is now doing some useful heavy-lifting for Assad, at no real cost to him. The Syrian armed forces have spent little time on the ISIL threat because their focus has traditionally been on protecting their interests in Aleppo, Damascus, Homs, Hama – and the countryside in these areas – as well as towns and cities around the Lebanese and Jordanian borders. That changed when ISIL staged successful attacks on Mosul and created new geopolitical urgency for Assad’s allies – which triggered some major Syrian strikes against ISIL targets.

But to continue along this path, the Syrians would have to divert energy and resources from key battles, and so the American strikes have provided a convenient solution for the time being.

Secondly, the Syrians have spent three years unsuccessfully pushing their narrative that the terrorism threat they face internally is going to become a regional and global problem. The US campaign is a Godsend in this respect – Obama has managed to get the whole world singing from the same hymn sheet in just two months, including, and this is important, the three states – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey – most instrumental in financing, weaponizing and assisting ISIL and other extremist militias inside Syria.

Syria, Iran, Russia, Hezbollah and a host of like-minded emerging powers are pleased about this new laser focus on jihadi terror and for the accompanying resource shift to address the problem.

Thirdly, the US has now been placed in the hot seat and will be expected to match words with action. For three years, Washington has overlooked and even encouraged illegal and dangerous behaviors from its regional Sunni allies – all in service of defeating Assad. With all eyes on America and expectations that Obama will fail in his War on Terror just like his predecessors, the US is going to have to pull some impressive tricks from its sleeves.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. (Reuters/Handout)

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. (Reuters/Handout)

Ideally, these would include the shutting down of key border crossings (Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon); punishing financiers of terror and inhibiting the flow of funds and assistance from Washington’s regional allies; cutting off key revenue streams; tightening immigration policies to stem the flow of foreign fighters; disrupting communications networks of targeted terrorist groups; broader intelligence sharing with all regional players; and empowering existing armies and allied militias inside the ‘chaos zone’ to lead and execute ground operations.

Thus far, there are signs that some of these things are already happening, with possibly more to come.

Now for the fun part. The Syrians, Iranians and Russians do not fundamentally trust Washington or its intentions. The suspicion is that the US is on another one of its regime-change missions, displaying its usual rogue-state behavior by violating the territorial integrity of a sovereign state under false pretenses, and that it will shortly revert to targeting the Syrian government.

While they can see clear gains from the current level of US intervention – as distasteful as they find it – they are watching carefully as events unfold.

If there is the slightest deviation from the ‘guarantees’ provided by the US, this trio has plenty of room to maneuver. Iran, for one, has dallied with the Americans in both Iraq and Afghanistan and they know how to cause some pain where it counts. The Russians, for that matter, have many playgrounds in which to thwart US ambitions – most urgently in Ukraine and in Afghanistan, from which the US hopes to withdraw billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment by the end of 2014.

All understand that Washington has just assumed a risky public posture and that many, many things can go wrong. The Sunni Arab fig leaf can disappear in a nano-second if domestic pressures mount or revenge attacks take place internally. Information could leak about continued assistance to terrorist militias from one or more of its coalition partners – a huge embarrassment for Washington and its wobbly Coalition. ISIL will almost certainly act against coalition partner soft-targets, like carrying out further kidnappings and executions. Continued airstrikes will almost definitely result in a growing civilian casualty count, turning those ‘hearts and minds’ to stone. Syrian rebels could swiftly turn against the US intervention and radicalize further. Massive displacement caused by airstrikes could exacerbate the humanitarian crisis.And as in all other past US military War-on-Terror adventures, terrorism could thrive and proliferate in quantum leaps.

As Moscow-based political analyst Vladimir Frolov noted to the Washington Post: “The United States has underestimated the complexity of the situation before, so let’s just wait until they run into problems.”

Militant Islamist fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. (Reuters/Striker)

Militant Islamist fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. (Reuters/Striker)

The idea that US military engagement could continue for the long-term is unlikely given the myriad things that can go wrong fast. Obama is going to be reluctant to have his last two years in office defined by the hazardous Syrian conflict – after all, he was to be the president who extracted America from unessential wars.

But the most compelling reason that this Coalition will not pass the first hurdle is that its key members have entirely different ambitions and strategic targets.

Over a decade ago, these US-engineered coalitions were wealthier, less-burdened and shared common goals. Today, many of the coalition members face domestic economic and political uncertainties – and several states are directly responsible for giving rise to ISIL. How can the Coalition fight ISIL and support it, all at once?

What’s missing is a formula, a strategy, a unified worldview that can be equally as determined as the ideological adversary it faces.

Down the road, we will discover that the only coalition able and willing to fight extremism does indeed come from inside the region, but importantly, from within the conflict zone itself: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. For starters, they are utterly vested in the outcome of their efforts – and would lead with political solutions alongside military ones. Those elusive boots-on-the-ground that everyone is seeking? They live it. Pit that group against Obama’s Coalition-of-the-Clueless any day and you know which side would win handily.

The question is, can this Coalition stomach a solution it is working so hard to avoid? Will it partner with vital regional players that were foes only a few months ago? It is doubtful. That would require a worldview shift that Washington is still too irrational to embrace.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Syria Today ”3”: Coalition of the Clueless in Syria

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