Archive | April 2nd, 2015

SAUDI CHUTZPAH! ”VIDEO”

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Saudi officials are demanding that Canadian politicians put a a stop to Canadian media who condemn Saudi torture of a pro-freedom,Saudi blogger, which they claim interferes with Saudi internal affairs.

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SYRIA: Could Zio-Wahhabi (ISIS) be wiped out by a virulent flesh-eating disease?

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Or worse, will the foreign ISIS jihadists spread it to Europe, the U.S. and the West when they return from the battlefield? 

SYRIA REFUGEES(1)

Zio-Wahhabi RAT’S is facing a new enemy – being wiped out by a flesh-eating disease, according to reports. The self-declared Islamic State capital is currently in the throes of an epidemic and a number of members of the Islamic State have reportedly been infected. Efforts  are reportedly being made to prevent the further spread of the Leishmaniasis skin disease, which is highly virulent, in the IS stronghold.

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Although organizations began work to combat the disease, this became impossible after IS is claimed to have closed down their city offices. They also confiscated equipment and arrested officers trying to help fight the condition which can be deadly.

The first case of the disease, which is caused by protozoan parasites, was discovered in September 2013. By the middle of 2014 500 people had been affected, according to a network of activists ‘Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.’

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The disease is spread by flies that are attracted by the rubble and rubbish of war. It can sometimes be fatal and can also cause significant damage to parts of the body it affects.

More than 2,500 cases have been recored in the north-east of Raqqa.  In war-riven Aleppo, the summer heat combined with streets filled with putrid, uncollected rubbish, allowed leishmaniasis to thrive. Doctors recorded tens of thousand of cases of the tropical disease, transmitted by sand flies, that causes skin ulcers resembling leprosy.

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Zio-Wahhabi RAT’S is said to have a residual force of between 3,000 to 5,000 in the city, as they attempt to strengthen their so-called caliphate.

This comes after World Health Organization reported that Syria’s health system had collapsed, meaning that disease was spreading rapidly through a country already plagued by violence.

Sandfly

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What will Saudi Arabia do when – not if – things go wrong in their war with the Houthi rebels?

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They might ask the Pakistanis to send part of their vast army into the cauldron – but that would not be adding oil to the fire. It would be adding fire to the oil

The depth of the sectarian war unleashed in Yemen shows itself in almost every Gulf Arab official statement and in the official press.

The Saudis take it as read that Iranian forces are actually present in Yemen to assist the Shia Houthis. There are Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon with the Houthis. Iran is itself behind the Houthi uprising. One Kuwaiti journalist calls the Houthi rebels “rats”. As usual in Arab wars, real evidence has gone out of the window.

Another journalist, the editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti Arab Times, Ahmed al-Jarallah, concluded a political tribute to King Salman of Saudi Arabia with the observation that “leaders of the (Saudi) coalition for virtue and stability in Yemen and the region made their point through their offensive against the tunnel and vice of conspiracy where the rats of extremism, enmity and division incubate”.

“Rats” and “incubation” – that’s the kind of language sectarian wars also produce. No-one in the wealthy Gulf states has asked if Saudi Arabia is entering the Yemen war simply because it does not want another Shia state on its border – after the Americans “liberated” Iraq and installed a Shia government in Baghdad. Saudi generals talk of massive casualties among the Houthis – they still say they have not killed civilians, even though they use the tired phrase “collateral damage” in their denials. No-one challenges the boasts of its victory – or dares to mention that this extraordinary coalition is a Sunni force fighting Shia.

READ MORE: ADEN’S CENTRAL DISTRICTS FALL DESPITE SAUDI AIR CAMPAIGN

At a Syrian refugee conference in Kuwait this week, the Saudis were lauded for their generosity in pledging $60 m for homeless and destitute Syrians out of a total of $3.8 bn of promised aid world wide. No-one was ungenerous enough to mention that the Saudis bought $67 bn worth of weapons from the US in 2011-12.

A Houthi fighter stands guard as he secures the site of a demonstration by fellow Houthis (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)

A Houthi fighter stands guard as he secures the site of a demonstration by fellow Houthis (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)

With that kind of money you might be able to buy up most of the protagonists in the Syrian war and get them to agree on a ceasefire. But this is the figure that makes sense of the Yemen war.

That, and the fact that Pakistan is part of this extraordinary coalition. Pakistan is a nuclear power – “Saudi Arabia’s nuclear bomb outside Saudi Arabia”, as one conference delegate bleakly put it in Kuwait.

There are 8,000 Pakistani troops based in the Saudi kingdom. And Pakistan is one of the most corrupt and unstable nations in South-west Asia. Bringing Pakistan – widely believed to have shipped second-hand weapons to anti-government rebels in Syria via Saudi Arabia – into the Yemen conflict is not adding oil to the fire. It’s adding fire to the oil.

Iran has maintained a diplomatic silence. When Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal accused Iran of supporting the destabilisation of Yemen, the Iranian deputy foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned that the Saudi attack was a “strategic mistake”, a comparatively mild reaction.

Perhaps that is what you expected to hear when the Iranian minister’s nation was still trying to persuade the Americans to lift sanctions against Tehran. Or perhaps he actually meant what he said, which means that the Saudis may find it to have been easier starting a war in Yemen than ending one.

But outside the Gulf, there are sectarian Sunni-Shia conflicts in Iraq, Syria, even marginally in Lebanon.

A Yemeni boy inspects his family's house, which was destroyed by an airstrike allegedly carried out by a Saudi-led coalition against a Houthi rebels in Sanaía, Yemen (Yahya Arhab/EPA)

A Yemeni boy inspects his family’s house, which was destroyed by an airstrike allegedly carried out by a Saudi-led coalition against a Houthi rebels in Sanaía, Yemen (Yahya Arhab/EPA)
The leader of the Lebanese Shia Hezbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah, scored a point in his own country when he asked why the Saudis were prepared to fight the Houthis with their huge forces but had never raised the sword to fight for the Palestinians.

Saudis are being told to regard their country’s struggle as a decision even more important than Saudi Arabia’s appeal to the US to send troops to the land of the Two Holy Mosques in 1990 – a view Osama bin Laden might have disagreed with.

What is less clear, however, is where Washington stands amid all this rhetorical froth in the Gulf and real dead bodies in Yemen. There have been reports in the Arab states that US drone attacks have been made as part of the coalition’s battle in Yemen, that American intelligence has been pin-pointing targets for the Saudis (with the usual civilian casualties). There was a time when America’s war in Yemen seemed to be just part of the whole War on Terror fandango throughout the Middle East. Not any more.

And what of Israel? In Kuwait, Arabs privately agreed that Saudi fears of Iran’s nuclear potential suited Israel very well – although there has been no evidence in the Gulf that Israel heartily supported the Saudis to the point of sending them a message of approval over the Yemen assault.

But with the US an ally of both countries, this would be unnecessary. What we now have to learn is what the Saudis will do when – not if – things go wrong.

Ask the Pakistanis to send part of their vast army into the cauldron? Or ask their Egyptian allies to earn their pocket money from Riyadh by sending their soldiers to the land which the greatest of all Egyptian presidents once retreated from with deep regret: a man called Gamel Abdul Nasser.

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General Election 2015: 2 charts that show why this election is too close to call

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Two polls in two days are mirror images of each other – one puts Labour four points ahead, the other gives the Tories a four point lead

Monday 30 March 2015

Two polls in two days have shown why we’re in for a roller coaster ride with 38 days to go until the election.

Yesterday’s YouGov poll put Labour four points ahead on 36 per cent of the vote, with the Conservatives on 32 per cent.

But today’s ComRes poll gives the Tories a four-point lead on 36 per cent – a mirror image of yesterday.

This is why it’s too close to call:

 

While Labour and the Conservatives have had mixed successes with opinion polls over the past few days, Ukip’s appeal appears to have dropped off as their ratings have fallen to their lowest since December 2013.

Now, it’s anyone’s guess what will actually happen on 7 May.

Campaigning officially began at midnight last night, when Parliament was dissolved, and this morning, David Cameron had a symbolic final audience of his term in office with the Queen.

Hours into campaigning, David Cameron accused Labour of planning a £3,000 tax hike for every working family, while Labour made its position on the EU clear with a full page advert in the Financial Times.

Launching the Opposition’s business manifesto, leader Ed Miliband said a Tory victory poses a “clear and present danger” to jobs and prosperity and promised to “return Britain to a leadership role” in Brussels.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg fulfilled his obligation as Lord President of the Privy Council, and followed Mr Cameron into the Palace for a separate private audience with the Queen. He later focused on the NHS at a Midlands seat the Liberal Democrats are fighting to hold.

Meanwhile, Ukip leader and MEP Nigel Farage – who is hoping to claim his first Parliamentary seat, claimed today that his is the most diverse political party and “quite reflective of what modern Britain is” as he announced the party’s “pledge to Britain”.

The Green party, which has regularly outscored the Liberal Democrats in recent national opinion polls and welcomed a huge throng of new members, appealed for the support of voters “sick of business-as-usual politics”.

Party leader Natalie Bennett said today: “We’re the only ones demanding a genuinely public NHS – free from profit-making companies. And, of course, we promise the bold steps required to tackle the looming climate crisis.”

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Home demolition in Jerusalem: “They want our land. We need help to protect it.”

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International Solidarity Movement 

Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine – Nureddin Amro and his brother Sharif Amro and their families were awakened at 5:30 am by over a hundred Israeli soldiers who came to demolish their home in the Wadi Al-Joz neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Both men are blind. The brothers live with their ill 79-year-old mother, their spouses and children. Nureddin has three young children, Sharif has four; all are under 14. Israeli soldiers pointed their guns in through the windows of the house while the children were still asleep and cut the electricity and phone lines to the house.

“We were asleep. They banged on the doors and shouted. Soldiers completely surrounded the neighborhood. There were dogs and aircraft. It was frightening,” said Nureddin. “There was no advanced notice. No reason given. They announced that they came to demolish the house and they started doing it while we were still inside.”

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The Amro family stands in the rubble of their demolished home

Nureddin asked for time to go to court or the municipality for an explanation, but the soldiers refused. The soldiers assaulted the family, kicking Sharif and beating everyone, including the women and children. “They attacked us and locked us in one of the rooms. My son and brother were injured. They stayed for four hours and destroyed four rooms, the garden. They would not give us time to take anything from the rooms. All of our things, the children’s pets, their rabbits and chickens were killed under the rubble” Sharif was taken to the hospital after a soldier kicked the blind man hard in the ankle. Israeli forces refused to even let the family salvage their belongings before they tore it down.

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Members of the Amro family gathered beside the part of their home that is still standing

Nurredin is the founder and principal of the Siraj al-Quds School for visually impaired and sighted children in Jerusalem. He is a Synergos Institute Social Innovator and was recognized by the British Council for his leadership working for positive change and social development for people with special needs. According to Nureddin, there was no demolition order against the homes although there have been demolitions in the neighborhood before. They had received warnings a couple of months ago to clean up scrap wood, wires and materials that were around the house, and they did the cleaning as required.

While they were demolishing the rooms of the Amro family’s home Israeli forces destroyed a fence on the neighboring Totah family’s land, along with a shelter that housed a horse, chickens, and a dog. Soldiers also cut the family’s internet and broke the water line. The father of the Totah family was beaten, handcuffed, and arrested; he was later released.

As of this writing, the part of the house that remains standing where Nureddin and his brother are staying with their families; still has no electricity, water, sewage or telephone services. Soldiers returned to the family’s home again this morning, moving the rubble that was visible from the street and threatening that they would be back.

Israeli authorities have already annexed land across from the Wadi Al-Joz neighborhood, creating a national park which encompasses an illegal Israeli settlement. Local residents reported, speaking of the constant threat of settlement expansion under the Israeli occupation, that “they want to get rid of all the houses, all the neighborhood. They want to put their hands on this land from here to the Old City.”

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Anti-Iran Media Drumbeat, Fueled by Israel, Increases as Deal Deadline Nears

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By Richard Silverstein 

As the deadline looms for the P5+1 nations to achieve a framework for a nuclear deal with Iran, the steady drumbeat of hostile coverage directed at Iran in the media increases. Jim White at Empty Wheel, in two good posts, noted a tendentious Washington Post op-ed by Ray Tayekh, Michael Hayden, and Ollie Heinonen, along with a separate piece by perennial NY Times Iran doomsayer, David Sanger.

Regarding the Post op-ed, everyone knows about Michael Hayden’s role as a holdover spook from the Bush administration, who ran both the NSA and CIA during that period. He also is a partner in the Chertoff Group, founded by Bush’s Homeland Security czar, Michael Chertoff.

Ray Tayekh, though he served in the Obama administration for a time and is Iranian-American, has chosen to throw in his lot with the Iranophobes.  According to Nima Shirazi, he is a founding member of the Iran Strategy Task Force, whose avowed mission was to pressure the Obama administration to adopt a tougher approach to Iran. ISTF includes the neocon Freedom House as its co-founding sponsor, and individual members like Josh Block of The Israel Project and Rob Satloff of WINEP. Tayekh is also a member of another Iran committee founded by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, one of the leading hawkish, pro-Israel security outfits in DC.

Ollie Heinonen’s main claim to fame is his post as ex-deputy director of the IAEA. This international organization tasked with monitoring nuclear proliferation around the globe has had a love-hate relationship with Iran. Some of its personnel [associates], including exceedingly pro-Israel analysts like David Albright, have sometimes espoused talking points that could’ve been written for them by the Mossad. Though the IAEA’s reports are usually carefully couched in language that isn’t nearly as provocative or propagandistic. Curiously, some IAEA reports are based on supposedly anonymous intelligence offered to them by unnamed intelligence agencies. Upon closer examination, the information seems tailor-made to advance Israeli interests in scaring the world about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Many observers see the hand of the Mossad in such intelligence leaks. Heinonen is one of those I was speaking about above.

In their Post op-ed, none of these important ideological affiliations were noted. The only credits offered were for their most white bread involvements with groups like the Council on Foreign Policy (Tayekh), IAEA (Heinonen), and Bush administration (Hayden). Just as doctors now must disclose their financial arrangements with drug companies when they publish research in journals, so op-ed writers and newspapers should acknowledge all associations having strong ideological tendencies (whether they are right or left-wing). This allows readers to judge for themselves how much credibility to attach to the writers views.

In his post-IAEA career, Heinonen adopted an exceedingly hawkish profile. One of his key roles has been as a board member of the notorious United Against a Nuclear Iran. This is an anti-Iran lobbying group largely funded by Sheldon Adelson, who’s advocated bombing Iran. UANI’s mission has been to exploit anonymous intelligence data provided to it by unnamed sources which pressure corporations and business executives not to engage in commercial dealings with Iran. Except that UANI has run its operations a bit like Joe McCarthy. It often resorts to blackmail and extortion in its dealings with alleged offenders.

One such person it confronted, Victor Restis, called UANI’s bluff. He responded to threats by not only denying any dealings with Iran, he sued for defamation. Among his claims was that UANI co-founder and Bush operative, Mark Wallace, is also the CEO of an investment firm founded by Thomas Kaplan. Kaplan’s wife is a major investor in a shipping company that competes with Mr. Restis. There was an intimation that UANI’s efforts against Restis were either a shakedown, or a way to hurt his business to the benefit of Kaplan’s wife’s company.

Restis’ case had sailed through federal courts until the Obama administration, fearing the exposure of CIA-Mossad collusion along with deliberate leaks of secret intelligence material to UANI, stopped the case dead in its tracks. Noah Feldman notes the political peculiarities of this case and why it posed such a nest of vipers to the Obama administration.

White notes that in Sanger’s NYT piece he relies on two of three above-mentioned Horsemen of the Anti-Iran Apocalypse, Tayekh and Heinonen, with that other independent nuclear proliferation expert, John Boehner, thrown in for good measure. The House Speaker is jetting his way as we speak to the Holy Land to commune with another Iran nuclear expert, Bibi Netanyahu. The latter, by the way, has been entirely frozen out of the nuclear talks by a suspicious Obama administration, which has noted Israeli espionage against U.S. diplomats negotiating with the Iranians.

This passage in Empty Wheel is especially pungent and noteworthy:

It is impossible for me to escape the conclusion that Olli Heinonen and Ray Takeyh are part of an organized propaganda campaign aimed at disrupting the P5+1 talks and preventing an agreement. This propaganda is eagerly published by a compliant press, with the New York TimesWashington Post and AP among the most recent examples I have noted.

I have little doubt that all of these analysts and journalists mentioned above are being inundated with reports and talking points by Israeli figures: some transparent like Israeli diplomats and some less so. Israeli intelligence appraisals (probably emanating directly from the prime minister himself, since his spymasters tend to be much less hawkish on Iran than he is) are finding their way into their inboxes as well, I am certain.

My association with Shamai Leibowitz allowed me to expose a precursor of this anti-Iran effort in this perception management operation.  In one case I wrote about, Israel’s deputy ambassador, Jeremy Issacharoff actually ghost-wrote a Boston Herald op-ed for local Jewish communal leader, Jeff Robbins. He also happened to be a partner in Cameron Kerry’s (John Kerry’s brother) powerful Boston law firm. The Boston Kerry is a key supporter of AIPAC and the Israel Lobby.

You can be damn sure all the hasbara wheels are turning morning, noon, and night in an effort to blunt any narrative the Obama administration might offer to promote a nuclear deal. If the current talks fail, the hasbarafia will cheer. If they succeed, the pressure will only mount against the agreement.

Adelson protege, Shmuley Boteach, published yet another NY Times full-page ad exhorting Obama not to be Neville Chamberlain, but rather Winston Churchill in standing up to Iran. Presumably, Boteach and Adelson have in mind marching like the WWII prime minister to war against another existential Nazi-like foe of humanity, Iran. The choice of Churchill is a loaded one, of course. It’s Bibi Netanyahu’s inspiration. Someone he quotes regularly when he wants to add gravitas and historical cachet to his speeches. Since Churchill has almost no resonance in a contemporary context, my strong suspicion is that Churchill was a hero of Netanyahu’s father, the noted historian Ben Zion Netanyahu (ne Milikowski).

It seems to have slipped the minds of Boteach and Netanyahu that Churchill led the world through the most lethal war in the history of humanity. Is this the historical model that the world wishes to hold up for itself in the present era? Do we want to fight the Battle of Gog and Magog again? Or do we choose different models? The answer, of course, is that Churchill was a hero [sic] for a different era, one that is not relevant to today. Unless of course, you seek or anticipate world conflagration, which most of the rest of us don’t.

Finally, Time Magazine has published a truly puerile piece of anti-Iran propaganda by Rabbi David Wolpe, the leader of a wealthy westside Los Angeles synagogue. Wolpe’s piece trots out the hoary old anti-Iran trope, Purim:

Purim recalls the efforts of a Persian anti-Semite to kill the Jews. Sound familiar?

This is a time to remind ourselves of the power of irrationality. Perhaps many Americans, as exemplified by the Barack Obama administration, do not understand a certain darkness in the soul. Let me explain.

No, rabbi, I think we get the point. Wolpe trots out another smear based on fakery, the “wipe Israel off the map” meme. He takes his argument through various twists and turns leading to the ultimate grail of pro-Israel hasbara: anti-Semitism. In this passage, he implicitly accuses Iran’s leaders of holding the most noxious views:

That same person will also believe, in the face of all evidence, that Jews control the banks, or that the Mossad brought down the towers on 9/11, or that the Holocaust was a fraud, or that every depredation and misfortune that that person, or their people, has suffered is somehow the fault of the Jews. And if only the world would be rid of Israel, then the Sunni and Shiite would lie together as the biblical lion and lamb.

It doesn’t seem to matter either to Wolpe or Time’s editors that none of Iran’s leaders, and especially not Pres. Rouhani, believe any of these things. It seems the good rabbi is hoping readers will forget that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hasn’t been Iran’s president for a few years now.

Next, Wolpe wins the daily double of Holocaust hysteria, yoking Auschwitz with Hiroshima:

An Iranian bomb combines the two great taboos of the 20th century, Auschwitz and Hiroshima. It is a nuclear bombin service of destroying the Jewish people.

He didn’t originate this concept. I first read it from Shimon Peres who called an Iranian bomb a “flying Holocaust.” In Wolpe’s usage, he builds his argument on a number of empty fallacies. First, Iran doesn’t have a bomb nor has it expressed any interest in getting one. Second, Iran’s current leaders have never expressed any intent to drop a nuclear weapon on Israel nor to exterminate Israel or the Jewish people. Third, there is a terrible conflation of Israel and Jews, a lazy, hazy trope Wolpe adopts. Israel is not the Jewish people and the Jewish people is not Israel.

Further, Wolpe of course ignores the rank hatred spewed against Iran by Israeli leaders like Netanyahu and Wolpe himself. Hawkish intellectuals like Benny Morris and Joshua Muravchik have both advocated bombing Iran, even with nuclear weapons, on the op-ed pages of the NY Times and Los Angeles Times. There is no lack of firebrands on both sides of this argument, a fact that neither one should forget.

He concludes his diatribe with this shocker:

We are about to strike a deal with people who harbor an implacable hatred. Iran may seek leverage for all sorts of… hegemonic goals as well. As long as the current regime holds power, however, there is one unwavering, non-negotiable goal. And unlike the sunshine of reason, deep hatreds are patient.

In his essay, Wolpe has exposed one thing very powerfully: his deep, irrational hatred of Iran. His rant is devoid of truth or accuracy. It has no basis in fact or in the historical record. It is precisely this sort of seething hostility which will lead us down the path to war. It is precisely this sort of frothing at the mouth that must be countered at every opportunity. I wrote about another American rabbi, Daniel Weiner, who shares the same almost homicidal animus toward Iran. In fact, I got into a public shouting match with him over it.

What is it about some rabbis that makes them hate mullahs so much? Perhaps there is a shared zeal, a shared willingness to breathe fire into one’s religious community. Rabbis may see things in Iran’s mullahs they don’t like in themselves or their own rabbinic colleagues. I view such hysteria, whether from rabbis or mullahs, with great trepidation and distrust.

Israel’s leaders and their willing collaborators among Diaspora leaders may want to march toward Armageddon. But we must not allow it.

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Naziyahu: ‘Uncons-cionable’ that world talks with Iran

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Naziyahu: ‘Unconscionable’ that world talks with Iran as Tehran calls for destruction of I$raHell

ObamaNetanyahu

PM’s comments come after Iranian general says I$raHell destruction is “non-negotiable.”

JPOST

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued on Wednesday to rail against theIranian nuclear deal being negotiated in Lausanne, saying it was outrageous that the world negotiates with Tehran as one of its military leaders says Israel’s destruction is “non-negotiable.”

“Yesterday an Iranian general brazenly declared and I quote: ‘Israel’s destruction is non-negotiable’, but evidently giving Iran’s murderous regime a clear path to the bomb is negotiable,” he said. “This is unconscionable.”

Israel Radio on Tuesday quoted Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of the Iranian revolutionary Guard’s Basij (volunteer) militia, as saying on the anniversary of the Islamic Republic Day in Tehran that “wiping Israel off the map is not up for negotiation.”

Iran’s Fars News Agency reported on Naqdi’s speech, but left out in its English story any reference to Israel, instead highlighting threats he made toward the Saudis for their intervention against the Iranian-supported Houthis in Yemen.

Netanyahu said that the concessions offered to Iran in the talks in Switzerland “would ensure a bad deal that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and the peace of the world.”

He said that the international community needed to insist on a better deal that would significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

Then, picking up on a theme that he introduced during his speech to Congress last month, Netanyahu said that a better deal “would link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to a change in Iran’s behavior.”

As the talks continue, he said, “Iran is accelerating its campaign of terror, subjugation and conquest throughout the region, most recently in Yemen.”

Iran, the prime minister said, “must stop its aggression in the region, stop its terrorism throughout the world and stop its threats to annihilate Israel. That should be non-negotiable and that’s the deal that the world powers must insist upon.

Harking back to comments US President Barack Obama made in December 2013, Netanyahu said he agreed with those who said “that Iran’s claim that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes doesn’t square with Iran’s insistence on keeping underground nuclear facilities, advanced centrifuges and a heavy water reactor.”

Netanyahu said Iran’s claims of a peaceful nuclear program is also incompatible with its insistence on developing ICBM’s and refusal to “come clean with the IAEA on its past weaponization efforts.”

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Zio-Wahhabi War in Yemen

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Into the Abyss

By MICHAEL HORTON 

King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud

Not long before the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, died in 1953, he is purported to have said, “the good or evil for us will come from Yemen.” With the commencement of air strikes on targets in Yemen, it is increasingly likely that the latter part of his prediction will come true. Nothing good—and certainly nothing decisive—will come from the Saudi led “Operation Decisive Storm.”

The Saudi intervention in Yemen—along with the Kingdom’s 2011 intervention in Bahrain—mark a significant departure from a foreign policy that has been historically characterized by caution, reluctance, and a reliance on proxies. In Bahrain, the Saudi effort to quell the Shi’a led rebellion was successful. However, Yemen could not be more different than Bahrain, which is a tiny nation with flat terrain and an unarmed population. In contrast, Yemen has one of the most heavily armed populations on the planet, terrain that is a guerrilla fighter’s dream, and a two thousand year history of resisting and repelling invaders.

In late 2009, Saudi Arabia launched a quiet but well-resourced campaign against the Houthis, who belong to the Zaidi sect of Shi’a Islam. At the time, the Houthis were locked in their sixth—and what proved to be final—war with former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government. In response to an attack launched by Houthi fighters on Saudi border guards, the Saudi government began operations against the Houthis. The Saudis deployed elements of their army, special forces, and air force. The campaign proved to be a disaster for the Saudis and resulted in a top level review of their army’s battle readiness. The Houthis, who were at that time poorly equipped and facing off against both Yemeni forces and Saudi forces, managed to capture at least one soldier from the elite Saudi Special Forces as well as specialized equipment. Over the course of 2009 and 2010, the Houthis fought both Yemeni and Saudi forces to a standstill.

Following 2010 and in the wake of the 2011 revolution that led to the resignation of President Saleh and the installation of his former vice president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi, as president, the Houthis consolidated their hold on a large swath of northwestern Yemen. The Houthis expanded the territory under their control by building alliances with influential tribes and clans and by merit of being a relatively well-disciplined and capable fighting force. However, the installation of the ineffectual President Hadi helped enable the Houthis’ rapid expansion.

Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi was chosen by Yemen’s Machiavellian former president as his vice president for a reason: Hadi has no real power base in Yemen and thus could never pose a threat to Saleh or his family. Hadi is from south Yemen, which was an independent nation and wants to be one again. Many southerners still regard Hadi, who sided with Saleh and the north against the south in the 1994 civil war, as a traitor. At the same time, as a southerner, Hadi has little or no influence among Yemen’s powerful northern based tribes. Hadi was a brilliant choice for vice president by a man who intended to pass the presidency onto his son.

Now, the Saudi government, along with its GCC partners, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, and Jordan, has ostensibly launched ‘Operation Decisive Storm’ to reinstall Hadi who has fled Yemen for Saudi Arabia. The less than clearly articulated goal of the military campaign in Yemen is to reinstall the Hadi led government and to force the Houthis’ to lay down their arms and negotiate. It is unlikely that these goals will be achieved. Rather than eroding support for the Houthis, the Saudis and their partners’ actions in Yemen, may bolster short term support for the Houthis and former president Saleh who is now nominally allied with the Houthis. Most Yemenis are none too fond of the House of Saud and there are many Yemenis still alive who remember the Egyptians’ bloody and disastrous 1962-67 invasion of north Yemen which claimed the lives of twenty thousand Egyptian soldiers and thousands of Yemeni fighters and civilians.

“Operation Decisive Storm” will ensure that Yemen is pushed further along the path to all out civil war, that radical Islamist organizations like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and now the Islamic State (sworn enemies of the Houthis and all Shi’a Muslims) flourish, and that a humanitarian crisis ensues. More than half of Yemen’s children suffer from malnourishment, and, according to the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs, 61% of Yemen’s population of 24 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. With the commencement of “Operation Decisive Storm” food prices, which were already rising due to a plummeting Yemeni riyal, are soaring as Yemenis—those few who can afford to do so—prepare for what could be months of war. The only thing increasing in price faster than food is ammunition and weaponry. Most Yemeni families in the north possess at a minimum an Ak-47 with many families and clans maintaining stores of weapons that include RPGs and grenades.

If the Saudis and their partners, especially the Egyptians, take the next step and begin a ground invasion, their forces will likely face withering resistance from both the Houthis and the new allies that they are sure to attract as a result of the invasion. In the mountain redoubts of northwest Yemen, songs and poems about how the Yemenis made the Turks, who twice invaded Yemen and failed to subdue it, bathe in their own blood are still sung and recited by the descendants of the men who fought off the Turks and then the Egyptians. The Saudi Army is ill prepared for anything beyond the most limited action in Yemen. Its Egyptian partners are similarly ill prepared and are currently struggling to contain a growing insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.

A ground invasion will tie up thousands of Saudi soldiers for what could be months or even years when the Kingdom must also worry about the threat of the Islamic State on its northern borders. It is also worth remembering that the Saudi Army employs a large contingent of soldiers who are ethnically Yemeni. It is an open question as to how these men may or may not respond when ordered to kill fellow Yemenis. At the same time that they are dealing with what will undoubtedly be a protracted and bloody war, the Saudi government will be forced to manage what could be tens of thousands of refugees pouring across its southern border from Yemen.

Military action in Yemen could well lead the House of Saud into the abyss that King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud may have had in mind before he made his prophetic warning.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Zio-Wahhabi War in Yemen

Zio-Nazi regime sentenced Palestinian woman to 70 months in Nazi Camp

NOVANEWS

194627

Zio-Nazi military court on Tuesday sentenced a Palestinian woman to 70 months in Nazi Camp, with a suspended sentence of 24 months, a local foundation said.

Muhjat al-Quds Foundation for Prisoners and Martyrs said Muna Qadan, 43, was arrested from her house on Nov. 13, 2012 and has attended over 22 court hearings since. She is currently being held at Hasharon Nazi Camp and has been ordered to pay a fine of 30,000 shekels.

Qadan, from Arraba village near Jenin, is the sister of jailed Islamic Jihad leader Tariq Qadan, and the fiance of another Islamic Jihad leader serving a life term in Nazi jails, Ibrahim Ighbariya.

Qadan has previously spent over four years in Nazi jails on several terms for being associated with the political group Islamic Jihad, and was one of the prisoners freed in the 2011 Shalit prisoner swap deal. Rights groups criticized Qadan’s rearrest as clear violation of the terms of the prisoner swap.

The Qadan family has been active in resistance activities within Nazi Camp. Tariq engaged in a life-threatening hunger strike in February 2013, while Muna threatened Nazi Gestapo with a jail-wide hunger strike in June 2013 in response to Nazi denial of medical treatment to fellow detainee Lina al-Jarbouni.

The majority of Palestinian political organizations are considered illegal by Nazi Gestapo, and association with such parties is often used as grounds for imprisonment, according to Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association Addameer.

The use by Nazi of political affiliation as punishable by imprisonment has brought international criticism. Political prisoners held in Nazi Camp’s routinely face isolation, torture, medical neglect, denial of family visits, as well as denial of fair legal processes, as reported by Addameer.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Zio-Nazi regime sentenced Palestinian woman to 70 months in Nazi Camp

Remove US military bases from Latin America

NOVANEWS

Latin American countries should discuss removing all US military bases from their soil, a top official of integration organization UNASUR suggested. The issue may be discussed next month at the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Panama.

The Summit of the Americas on April 10 and 11 is to be attended by regional leaders, with 31 nations already confirming attendance. UNASUR Secretary-General Ernesto Samper suggested that the summit would be a good place to “reassess relations between the US and South America.”

“A good point on the new agenda of relations [in Latin America] would be the elimination of US military bases,” the former Columbian president told the news agency EFE.

He added that the bases were “a leftover from the days of the Cold War and other clashes.”

Samper also blasted Washington’s habit of taking unilateral steps to pursue its goals in Latin America. The latest example is the US declaration of Venezuela as a threat to its national security, he said.

“In a globalized world like the present one, you can’t ask for global rules for the economy and maintain unilateral rules for politics. No country has the right to judge the conduct of another and even less to impose sanctions and penalties on their own,” he stressed.

The Panama meeting has already been declared historic as it will be the first one attended by Cuba since 1962, when it was expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS), the event’s organizing body. In 2014, the US and Canada blocked the proposal to readmit Cuba, which drew criticism from UNASUR and a boycott of last year’s summit of the Americas by Ecuador and Nicaragua.

This year Cuban President Raul Castro will have an opportunity to meet his US counterpart Barack Obama, marking progress in the restoration of US-Cuban relations after decades of alienation.

Samper said that the Cuban-US rapprochement should not overshadow Washington’s conflict with Caracas, which is also sending a delegation to the Panama summit, the continued operation of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, US militarization of the continent and other issues.

The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is a regional integration organization that includes 12 members and two observer nations. It was formally founded in 2004 and became fully functional in 2011, when its Constitutive Treaty entered into force following ratification by member states. UNASUR is headed by a president chosen from heads of member states, but the secretary-general performs the bulk of the organizational work.

Posted in USA, South AmericaComments Off on Remove US military bases from Latin America

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