Archive | June 4th, 2015

Swastikas and male genitalia etched in sign at new mosque in Midland Park


NE JERSEY: Less than two weeks before the Elzahra Islamic Center planned to welcome the people to an open house at its newly established Islamic training center, its leaders reported the defacement of a sign at its entrance in what police are calling a bias incident.


Imam Moutaz Charaf reported the vandalism to the police department on Memorial Day, May 25, and estimates the damage at about $500. In the meantime, the sign has been altered to eliminate the appearance of the offensive symbols.

According to the police report, Patrolman Mark Berninger and Sgt. Gregory Kasbarian responded and found a swastika and “male genitalia” had been carved into the sign situated at the entrance of the mosque at 218 Irving St.


Police Chief Michael Powderley said the bias incident is being investigated by Detective Sgt. John Gibbons. “It appears this is an isolated incident and the police have not received any other reports of this vandalism occurring in town,” Powderley said in interviews this week.

The mosque’s decision to locate at the 2.8-acre former Han Maum Reformed Church was met by anti-Muslim crowds who packed Borough Zoning Board of Adjustment and Borough Council meetings in 2014 to challenge the zoning certificate and express concerns about traffic and noise services might generate. A resident further appealed the zoning board’s approval of the mosque’s zoning certificate.


Iman Charaf said in an interview that he has experienced “no problems with our neighbors and the community. Yet.”

“We understand this is an unfortunate incident,” said Charaf. “I am sure there are some people who make generalizations against Muslims that are not true.” Charaf said he plans to work with other religious leaders in the community to “clarify some misconceptions.”

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تدمير شبكة أنفاق كان الإرهابيون يتحصنون بها في حرستا DAMASCUS: 

Harastaa:  A large network of tunnels was uncovered by the SAA here between the Electrical Institute and the Sports Arena.  One tunnel was 30 meters long and connected to another 200 meters long.  The tunnels were ventilated with fans and had lighting.  Inside, the SAA found a factory for assembling IEDs and other kinds of bombs.  Also, another tunnel 200 meters long was found between the Al-Zahraa` Mosque and the Automated Bakery.  All rats found inside the tunnels were killed.  Later, SAA engineers destroyed them.

Al-Husayniyya:  A Nusra sniper was killed and his weapons seized.

Khaan Al-Shaykh Farms:  26 rodents belonging to Alqaeda were shot dead by the SAA.  A pickup with a 23mm cannon was destroyed and its occupants killed:

Usaamaa Khaatoon

Mahmoud Jaasim Al-Bahraani

Fareed Mustafaa Haaj-Hassan

‘Ali Islaam Khadhdhoor

Ahmad Taalib Saraaqibi

Hassan Kareem ‘Askar

The rest were all foreigners and could not be accurately identified.

Faaleetaa in the Qalamoon:  The news is still being prepared for dissemination about a massive defeat meted out to the Alqaeda terrorists as the area is becoming increasingly rat-free.  I have been told that close to 100 rodents have been killed here last night.

Khaan Al-Shaykh:  SAA artillery pounded Nusra positions and destroyed a pickup with 23mm cannon.  When the rats withdrew, the SAA collected all weapons and ammunition for distribution to our growing cadres of volunteers in the PDC.



بتوجيهات من الرئيس الأسد.. العماد أيوب يتفقد وحدات الجيش بريفي ادلب وحماة

Another scene showing the Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. ‘Ali ‘Abdullah Ayyoob, inspecting SAA field commanders in Idlib.



بتوجيه من الرئيس الأسد.. العماد الفريج يتفقد وحدات الجيش في ريف حمص

Lt. General Fahd Jaasim Al-Furayj, Syrian Defense Minister, inspects our forces in East Homs near the Al-Shaa’er Mountain area.


India’s Operation Blue Star Revisited


Map of India

By Sajjad Shaukat


Operation Blue Star was an Indian military operation which occurred between 3–8 June 1984,

ordered by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to control over the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple)

complex, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs in Amritsar, Punjab, and to arrest Jarnail Singh

Bhindranwale and his armed followers from the complex buildings. Bhindranwale had earlier

taken residence in Harmandir Sahib and made it his headquarters in April 1980. Jarnail Singh

Bhindranwale was the only leader who had boldly been fighting for the genuine rights of the

Indian Army led by General Kuldip Singh Brar, supported by troops and armoured vehicles

broke all records of the state terrorism and extra-judicial killings through that barbaric operation.


However, at that time, there were only 251 Sikhs inside the complex to protect the Harmandir

Sahib, and to resist the well-trained Indian army, equipped with sophisticated weaponry. In those

days, majority of the Sikhs were coming to the temple-complex to celebrate Martyr Day of Guru

Then the Indian regime used tanks and destroyed the Akaal Takhat Sahib which is right in front

of the Harmandir Sahib. On June 6, when all Sikh fighters were martyred along with Jarnail

Singh Bhindranwale, Indian troops entered the temple-complex with their shoes by deliberately

ignoring the holiness of the place, showing utter indecency.

When the Indian Army felt that only 251 men had prevented them from entering the Harmandir Sahib for so many days, they started killing innocent Sikhs who had come there to visit the temple. The only purpose was to hide their In this regard, in their book, “The Sikh Struggle”, Ramnarain Kumar and George Sieberer writes, “The army killed every Sikh who could be found inside the temple-complex. They were hauled out of rooms, brought to corridors on the circumference of the temple and with their hands tied behind their back, were shot in cold blood.

Among the victims were many old men, women and children.” However, all visitors were locked up in rooms for two days without any food, water, or electricity and were starved to death. Besides, the Harmandir Sahib remained under the army The brutality of the ‘Operation Blue Star’ was not confined to the Harmandir Sahib. Indian armed forces simultaneously attacked 40 other historical gurdwaras all over East Punjab.

When Sikhs in other states came to know about the desecration of the Harmandir Sahib and

massacre of their brethren, they quickly left for Punjab. New Delhi tried to stop them before they

could reach Punjab. Many Sikhs were assassinated on the way and many others were arrested.

According to an estimate, about 50,000 Sikhs were killed within a few days. The whole Amritsar

city was sealed and was burnt. A number of tourists either were murdered or arrested. Shops

belonging to Sikhs were looted and their houses were set ablaze by Hindu mobs.

In most of the cases, Sikh women were molested and some persons of their community were also burnt. Another tragic dimension of the operation is that historical Sikh artifacts—all the literature

written by the gurus was also set ablaze by the Indian army. But New Delhi fabricated a false

story by claiming that it was burnt, while bombing the Harmandir Sahib.

In the same year of November, two dedicated Sikhs named Beant Singh and Satwant Singh who

were posted at Premier Indira Gandhi’s residence in New Delhi, assassinated her. Then Hindu

riots erupted in the capital and other cities in which more then 15,000 Sikhs were murdered in

broad daylight by the supporters of Indira Gandhi while police watched silently so as to provide

the Hindus with free hand to massacre Sikhs.

However, the attack on the Harmandir Sahib and genocide of Sikhs only accelerated the

liberation movement for Khalistan as Bhindrenwale became a folk hero.

Meanwhile, after ‘Operation Blue Star’ and the Sikh genocide, Sikhs’ struggle for independence

continued, but the Indian government made every effort to crush the same with the state

machinery. To maintain its control over the Harmandir Sahib, another attack was launched on the

Temple in 1987, called ‘Operation Black Thunder’. This time only Sikh resistance which was

natural outcome of the tragedy, was the main target.

In that respect, quite a number of people of their community were killed and dead bodies lay inside the sacred place for many days.

According to a report, many trucks were loaded with dead bodies and all were burned with

kerosene oil. Afterwards, ‘Operation Woodrose’ and ‘Operation Black Thunder-II’ were

conducted against the Sikh community, which also assassinated them extra-judicially.

After these barbaric operations, Sikhs organised themselves into an armed power in order to fight

the Indian state terrorism.

Many Sikhs left India to escape religious persecution. Sikhs have spread out all over the world to keep the movement of Khalistan alive. In this respect, their We may conclude in the words of, a renowned scholar, Dr. Sangat Singh who writes in his book, “The Sikhs in History”, remarks, “The Indian government has killed over 1 million to 1.2 million Sikhs. Since 1947, Indian government has also killed 50,000 Christians and 100,000 Muslims.

The only way to stop this state terrorism is to create a Khalistan state, where Sikhs and other

religious people can enjoy their freedom.”

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Gilad Atzmon explains the subversion of the pro-Palestine cause by the Jewish left


The Wandering Who? cover image

Editor’s noteGilad Atzmon, an internationally renowned musician, philosopher, and writer born in ‘Israel’, is currently on a speaking tour to promote his latest book entitled A to Zion: The Definitive Israeli Lexicon, as well as address the Jewish subversion of the pro-Palestinian movement. On Monday, May 11th, Atzmon spoke at a public library in San Diego County, an event I was able to attend. We had a nice conversation and I was able to ask him a question following his presentation.What follows is a Q&A I conducted with Atzmon via email shortly after his speech in San Diego. I hope to continue this dialogue in the near future. There are many more questions I’d like to ask him.

JF: In your talk, you described Jewish leftists infiltrating and ultimately undermining the Palestinian Solidarity movement – why? What is their ultimate goal?

GA: In an interview a few years back, Philip Weiss, the chief editor of the Jewish pro-Palestinian website Mondoweiss, admitted to me in plain terms that, in his eyes, pro-Palestinian activism serves “Jewish self interests.”

Such a Jewish activity conveys a (misleading) image of Jewish political pluralism. It suggests that not all Jews are “bad,” Jewish politics can even be ethical and universal.

Evidently, Jewish liberals are angry with me for unveiling the deceit that is embedded in such an attitude. They have invested a great effort attempting to silence me, and for a good reason – I have produced some persuasive arguments suggesting that Jewish solidarity is not the solution, it is actually the core of the problem.

In fact, the Jewish Left is far more problematic and dangerous than hardcore right-wing Zionism. Zionism is a celebration of the Jewish “symptom,” so to speak. The so-called “anti” are set to deny the rest of us an access to the symptom.

If Jewish power is defined as the power to suppress the discussion on Jewish power, Mondoweiss, Jewish Voices for PeaceDemocracy Now!Noam Chomsky and others are there to pursue with that task day and night.

They crudely restrict the boundaries of the discourse by means of political correctness. Mondoweiss went as far as banning any criticism of Israel within the context of Jewishness. This duplicitous attempt to subvert the discourse worked for a while. However, not anymore, and I take some credit for it.

Together with other thinkers and commentators, I have been pointing at a controlled opposition apparatus that is committed solely to “Jewish self interests,” as Philip Weiss was either brave or foolish enough to admit back in 2011.

JF: How is the Palestinian Solidarity movement or pro-Palestine cause now framed in Jewish terms and related to overall Jewish interests?

GA: As I showed in my San Diego talk, while in the past it was the Palestinian right of return that defined the Palestinian cause in ethical, political and legal terms, the growing domination of liberal Jews within the movement diluted this elementary right. It was replaced by a tsunami of misleading and faulty terminology that was set to appease some diaspora Jews and whatever is left of the Israeli Left. All of that was done at the expense of the Palestinians.

While the right of return located the Palestinian plight within historical, political, legal and moral context, the newly imposed terminology i.e., “End of Occupation”, “Colonialism”, “Apartheid”, and even the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (post-2010), is legitimizing the Jewish state within pre-1967 borders. It dismisses the refugees, Gaza, and the Palestinian diaspora’s plight entirely.

It instead engages only with issues that are relevant to the West Bank, and why? Because the West Bank is subject of an internal Jewish debate. While the vast majority of world Jewry sees the West Bank as an integral part of greater Eretz Yisrael, a few liberal Jews in Manhattan insist that Tel Aviv is the true fulfillment of the Zionist project. The meaning of it is tragic. Thanks to the growing domination of Jews within the Palestinian Solidarity movement, the entire movement has been reduced into a Jewish internal debate. This may explain why the solidarity movement has achieved nothing as far as Palestine is concerned. It was born to fail and it achieved its goal.

In short, the Palestinian Solidarity movement is now a Jewish movement devoted to solidarity with the Jews. This could have been an amusing development unless there was a tragedy of another people involved.

JF: Can you comment on how the Palestinian Solidarity movement has become part of the larger overall social justice movement (LGBT rights, immigrant rights, feminism, etc.) in recent years?

GA: The Palestinian Solidarity movement becoming a part of a large social justice movement could have been a great and welcome development. Yet, one may wonder, is the breaking of society into identity politics sectors or factions such a great development? Obviously not.

In the last six decades the working people have been plundered repeatedly. The people who used to be called the working class are now the workless class, and many of them are underclass by now. But why?

Unlike the (imaginary) “old good labor-oriented Left” that promised to unite us all against capital and the Empire, the neo-Marxists and the Frankfurt Yeshiva enthusiasts invested a huge effort breaking the cohesiveness of the working people and Western society in general.

Instead of bringing people together, which was the old Left ideal, we are now split into tribal sectors. We are transformed into a matrix of a manifold of Jew-like tribal groupings defined largely by biology (color, gender, sexual preferences, race, etc). However, it is hardly surprising that Jewish identity merchants are way better than anyone else in being Jews. Jews have been practicing Jewish tribal survival strategies (identity politics and ethnocentrism) for 3000 years. This form of tribal politics is pretty new to gentiles and this may explain why identity politics has failed those who were lame enough to follow it in the first place.

We are dealing here with a multiplicity of impotent, marginal identity campaigns that are paralyzed by a strong sense of victimhood. The feminists are oppressed by masculinity, the Black is intimidated by the White, the gay is chased by the homophobe, the Muslims and their Islamophobes, and now the Palestinians also have the Zionists. We are dealing with a binary dichotomy between an imaginary and evasive “oppressor” and a concrete and lucid “victim”.

But here is the problem: those who indulge in a victimhood narrative end up in a state of paralysis – they learn to blame others yet vindicate themselves. Those who succumb to victimhood never look in the mirror; they never take responsibility for their fate.

For more than a while we have been witnessing a few Western Palestinians and Jewish liberals spreading hollow and misleading terminology that has removed the conflict from Palestine and their resistance; colonialism, apartheid, BDS –  everything but building Palestinian rockets or military defiance. This development obviously served the Jewish state. Instead of fighting Palestinian freedom fighters, the conflict was reduced into a meaningless exchange between two Jewish positions.

Though some Western Palestinians and NGOs joined this well-funded corrosive liberal Jewish project, Hamas didn’t fall into this trap. IDF infantry units were minced in Gaza last summer. They were met with fierce Palestinian resistance. While Chomsky debated Dershowitz on some questions to do with “the future of Palestine,” young Palestinians were preparing for battle. While the liberal Zionist George Soros’s Open Society funded a BDS LGBT tour in America, young Hamas engineers were digging tunnels and building rockets in Gaza. I am convinced that Palestinian Muslim leaders in Gaza grasped at a certain stage that the struggle for Palestinian queer politics may not be the definitive path toward Palestinian liberation.

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TV bosses charged over al-Manar


Image result for AL-manar LOGO

‘Terrorism’ charges are brought against two men for airing Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV.

Lawyers for both men did not comment. The men are due to appear again on January 8.

‘Recruitment activities’

The US treasury department froze the US assets of al-Manar, the Lebanon-based channel in March, saying it supported the fund-raising and recruitment activities of Hezbollah.

Iqbal, a Pakistani who moved to the US 24 years ago and lives in New York, was arrested and first charged in August with providing satellite customers with the Hezbollah-operated channel.

According to the new charges, between September 2005 and August 2006, the two men used the television company they own, Brooklyn-based HDTV, to negotiate with representatives of the al-Manar network to air the channelCourt documents said Elahwal, who lives in New Jersey, and Iqbal were paid by al-Manar more than $111,000 between December and March.

The channel provided wide coverage of the war between Hezbollah and Zio-Nazi Gestapo last summer, broadcasting exclusive footage shot by Hezbollah fighters. It was attacked by Zio-Nazi air strikes during the 34-day war.

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‘Ukraine Was a Totally Oligarchic State’

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New Cold War 

The following is an interview with Aleksander Vladimirovich Kolesnik, Deputy of the Parliament of Novorossiya. The interview was conducted by New Cold on April 16, 2015 in the city of Donetsk.

How did you become involved in the movement for Novorossiya?

Aleksander Vladimirovich Kolesnik: I could not remain indifferent when during the winter of 2013-2014, the Maidan events were taking place and I saw how my former colleagues in the Department of Interior (police) where I once served were standing at Maidan Square, protecting the Ukrainian state and law and order but were being bullied and hurt by the crowd and even killed. They could only respond with their rubber clubs.

I served in Odessa way back during military conscription, and then I served in the police in Donetsk and Sumy. [1]

I did not share the so-called values that Maidan proclaimed. It was an aggressive movement of fascist youngsters, proclaiming a Nazi ideology at the state level. Such slogans as “Ukraine is for Ukrainians”, “Glory to the nation – death for enemies” and so on I cannot view as anything but a Nazi ideology.

Was it true, the slogans we heard about on Maidan Square such as “Hang the Moskals [Russians] on a branch”?

Of course. But you know, in a way, this was secondary to shaping my views. I was expecting this moment for 24 years. I assumed that sooner or later this would happen, because during the 24 years of Ukraine’s existence as an independent country [since 1991], there was a gradual but steady rise of Ukrainian nationalism, specifically at the state level. This was happening right before my eyes, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 when Ukraine separated.

Before, we could travel freely from Donetsk region [in Ukraine] to Rostov region [in Russia]. There were no border control posts. Then, customs and border posts and procedures began appearing. Inter-urban electric trains were abolished. Everything happened right before my eyes. It all happened gradually, but was aimed at reducing relations with Russia.

It turned into ridiculous measures, such as digging trenches along the border. Right now, Ukraine is building a wall.

During the Maidan events, it was in January [2014], I realized that I couldn’t just stand by. I joined a political party (organization), the Russian Bloc. It already had an active involvement in Crimea. There were units here which I joined, specifically the unit in Makiivka in Donetsk [an industrial city located 25 km from Donetsk city].

Was the Russian Bloc a party?

It was initially a party. At the call of the party leadership, we went to a rally in central Donetsk on March 1. Other pro-Russian organizations also took part in this rally. When I saw the masses of people, I realized that my compatriots share the same views with me.

According to police estimates, 60,000 of my compatriots took part in the March 1 rally, on Lenin Square. Not only was the central square full, so too were the adjacent streets. After this, I became actively involved in this process. As a representative of the Russian Bloc, I joined the Yugo-Vostok (South-East) Movement in mid-April, which was led by Oleg Tsarev. Other protesting organizations joined it as well, such as Oplot, Russkiy Vostok (Russian East), Berkut, and others. Together we began undertaking joint activities.

We actively organized rallies. We were the first to hold a motor rally which delivered humanitarian aid to Slavyansk. If you recall, by the end of April [2015], the city was blocked off by the National Guard of Ukraine. We loaded cars with humanitarian aid–there were approximately 100 cars provided voluntarily–we put up flags and we headed straight to the National Guard’s blockade posts.

It was right after Easter. Our women brought Easter bread along with us. When the soldiers of the National Guard stopped us, the women wished them a Happy Easter, gave them some Easter bread and asked if we could pass through. No one dared to refuse or shoot. This caused some confusion, but they let us go through.

After that, we took part in preparations for holding the referendums in Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts (regions). They were still oblasts of Ukraine at that time. The people’s republics had already been proclaimed, but we still needed to hold referendums.

After the referendums were held [May 11], when Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics were formed, an agreement was achieved by their leaders. The parliaments of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics authorized their representatives to create the parliament of Novorossiya.

We approved a constitutional act which proclaimed Novorossiya a confederal state. We adopted a battle flag of Novorossiya, which then became an insignia of the armed forces of Novorossiya.

When was the Novorossiya act adopted?

In July, I don’t quite remember the exact date.

Fifteen candidates from each republic were nominated, from among the deputies of the parliaments of two republics, and 15 representatives of public organizations from each republic were approved.

At the beginning of September, in deference to the first ceasefire agreement signed at Minsk [on Sept. 5], the Parliament of Novorossiya temporarily suspended its legislative work. The reason for this was the fact that, according to the Minsk agreement, an agreement with Ukrainian authorities on the status of the so-called districts of Donetsk and Lugansk was supposed to be reached. Since this status has not yet been determined, the status of the Parliament of Novorossiya is not determined either.

So we then became actively involved in humanitarian missions. And we facilitated measures to address the concerns of citizens in our respective districts. Deputies of the Novorossiya Parliament were assigned to districts. People would come with their problems and needs, which we tried to solve and fulfill.

This continues following the Minsk-2 agreement [Feb. 12, 2015]?

As I already mentioned, yes. Because of these Minsk agreements–where Novorossiya is not considered at all, the term Novorossiya is not even used–we cannot proceed with our work because it may be regarded as a violation of the agreements.

It is mainly because of the Minsk agreements that there are some structural difficulties. Everything has to be built from the bottom. We have first to create the mechanism of the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics. We could have adopted any kind of laws, but they would have been useless without an executive power system in place

What are your expectations of the Minsk 2 agreement?

We are expecting that as a result of the Minsk agreement there will finally be some sort of recognition of Lugansk and Donetsk republics. If the Ukrainian side wants the agreement to function, it will have to recognize the Republics. If not, the agreement has no future.

What about the borders of Donetsk and Lugansk? Right now, Ukraine holds half of their historic territory.

It is difficult to say. It all depends on how the situation will further evolve.

Personally, I don’t think there will be a lasting truce. The same thing happened during the first Minsk agreements–the Ukrainian authorities and army waited some time, conducted reconnaissance, brought more troops, and then began a new offensive.

Unfortunately, everyone here believes that war is inevitable. No ceasefire will lead to peace until the main contradictions causing the conflict in the first place are resolved.

What is meant by ‘Novorossiya’. Is this the territories of Lugansk and Donetsk regions alone?

Of course not. Historically, Novorossiya is the territory from Odessa to Kharkiv, the south and east of Ukraine.

I am not sure whether you know this or not, but the city of Dnepropetrovsk, which prior to the Revolution of 1917 was called Ekaterinoslav, was for some period of time called Novorossiysk.

So the political objective is to have Novorossiya include these historical borders?

That is our goal. Fighting on the side of the military forces of the Lugansk and Donest Republics are very many people from Odessa, KhersonZaporozhye, Kharkiv and Dnepropetrovsk.

Do you think people in these regions want to join Novorossiya?

Of course. You saw during the Russian Spring last year that people held mass demonstrations involving tens of thousands of people. These protests were suppressed very violently. One example was what happened at the Odessa Trade Union House on May 2. [Dozens of anti-Maidan and pro-autonomy protesters were killed that day in an arson attack by extremist forces acting in the name of the government which came to power in Kyiv on Feb. 21, 2014.]

What have been the results of the actions of the Kyiv government on the people in southeastern Ukraine?

The actions of Ukrainian authorities were mainly aggressive. There were no attempts to negotiate. As a result of this aggression, the people living in Lugansk and Donetsk republics became even more united. More and more people joined our army.

The actions of the government have had a very strong influence on events. After Ukrainian troops began shelling peaceful cities—housing and infrastructure, brutal, senseless shelling–even those people that shared pro-Ukrainian moods changed their views.

Did that change happen in Odessa and Kharkiv as well?

Of course. Our example inspired them. We communicated with a lot of protesting organizations in these cities. Unfortunately, whenever they tried to show any activity, they were immediately arrested by the Security Service of Ukraine.

My personal opinion is that the repressive methods are a dead end for Ukraine. Even here in the southeast, when everything was just beginning, they tried frightening the people with repression and by arresting people. But this didn’t help them in any way.

Moreover, I am convinced that the end of the Kyiv regime will come about by the actions of Ukrainians themselves – the people who inhabit the territory of so-called Malorossiya [historically, ‘Little Russia’]—because, I think, we think that these people are being deceived. No lie can last for a long time.

What would a republic of Novorossiya look like?

I believe, as do many people living here, that most importantly there should be support of close economic, cultural and political ties with Russia. Not just friendly relations. Customs borders should be eliminated. Customs controls at the actual border should serve only to facilitate the free movement of people, capital and goods.

What form, exactly, this will take I don’t know. Maybe Novorossiya will become a part of the Russian federation. Maybe it will join the Eurasian Economic Union, or join the EEU with the rest of Ukraine. The exact form is not the most important thing.

Every third citizen of the Russian Federation is Ukrainian by origin. Citizens of Ukraine have moved to Russia in big numbers in order to work, specifically to the North and Far East where gas and oil are extracted and mined. Why should we separate ourselves by borders with Russia when, instead, we can cooperate economically—buying natural gas at domestic Russian prices, for example? It is silly to turn our backs on this.

Yes, federation with Ukraine is possible, but only on the conditions that the Kyiv authorities be held responsible for their crimes, that a new government come to power and, accordingly, the politics with regards to Russia will change.

What about relations with other countries?

Mostly, we communicate only with the Russian Federation when it comes to external contacts.

There have been attempts to help us made by people from Turkey and Germany. They tried sending us humanitarian aid, but there were too many difficulties with such things as crossing borders, going through customs, and getting necessary documentation done.

Would social and economic policy in Novorossiya be different from that of Ukraine?

Yes, of course it will differ. Ukraine was a totally oligarchic state. Most of the members of Parliament there–not all, but many–were funded and sponsored by oligarchs. We have nothing against businessmen or private initiative. We have nothing against even oligarchs, but they should serve interests of the state.


[1] Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych abolished compulsory military conscription in 2013. It was reintroduced in April 2014 as part of the ‘Anti-Terrorist Operation’ launched that month by the governing regime that came to power in Kyiv two months earlier.

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NYT’s New Propaganda on Syria


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By Robert Parry | Consortium News 

As the New York Times continues its descent into becoming an outright neocon propaganda sheet, it offered its readers a front-page story on Wednesday alleging – based on no evidence – that the Syrian government is collaborating militarily with the Islamic State as the brutal terror group advances on the city of Aleppo.

Yet, while the Times played up those unverified allegations from regime opponents, the newspaper has either ignored or downplayed much more significant evidence that Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have been providing real assistance to Sunni jihadists who dominate the Syrian rebel movement, especially Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

For instance, in March 2015, a Wall Street Journal reporter confirmed that Israel was treating wounded Nusra fighters and then returning them to Syria to carry on their war aimed at overthrowing the secular regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Israel also has struck militarily at Lebanese Hezbollah troops and Iranian military advisers who have been helping Assad’s regime battle against those Sunni extremists. [See’s “Syria’s Nightmarish Scenario.”]

Meanwhile, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have ramped up their weapons support for the so-called Army of Conquest in which the Nusra Front plays a key role. The Army of Conquest has made major military advances against Assad’s beleaguered army over the past several weeks.

Assad’s stretched-thin military also was routed by Islamic State militants who captured the strategic and historic city of Palmyra. So, a reasonable person could argue that the combined efforts of Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, et al were contributing to Sunni terrorist advances across Syria, both by Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and Al-Qaeda’s hyper-brutal spinoff, the Islamic State.

You could argue, too, that covert CIA arms shipments to the supposedly “moderate” rebels, many of whom have since joined the ranks of Nusra and the Islamic State, have aided the terrorist cause as well, even if inadvertently.

However, instead of addressing the Israeli-Saudi-Turkish-Qatari role in a significant way, the Times spins a conspiracy theory about the Assad government consciously aiding the Islamic State — also known as ISIS or ISIL — as its head-chopping militants seek to supplant other rebels who have dug in around the important city of Aleppo.

One-Sided Article

The Times article by Anne Barnard states: “Syrian opposition leaders accused the Syrian government of essentially collaborating with the Islamic State, leaving the militants unmolested as they pressed a surprise offensive against other insurgent groups — even though the government and the Islamic State are nominal enemies — and instead striking the rival insurgents. …

“Khaled Khoja, the president of the main Syrian exile opposition group, accused Mr. Assad of deploying his warplanes ‘as an air force for ISIS.’ Echoing those claims, the Twitter account of the long-closed United States Embassy in Syria made its strongest statement yet about Mr. Assad’s tactics.

“‘Reports indicate that the regime is making airstrikes in support of #ISIL’s advance on #Aleppo, aiding extremists against Syrian population,’ the embassy said in a series of Twitter posts. In another post, it added that government warplanes were ‘not only avoiding #ISIL lines, but actively seeking to bolster their position.’”

Barnard added that “Neither American officials nor Syrian insurgents have provided proof of such direct coordination, though it has long been alleged by the insurgents. The State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters Tuesday that United States officials were looking into the claims but had no independent confirmation.”

Yet, despite the lack of evidence, the Times – by hyping these unconfirmed suspicions on its front page while burying or ignoring more substantive information about Israel-Saudi-Turkey-Qatar assistance to Sunni terror groups – is continuing its long campaign to induce President Barack Obama to intervene militarily in Syria to destroy Assad’s army and achieve “regime change.”

Further demonstrating the Times’ bias, there is no indication that the Times thought to ask the Syrian government for its comment on the allegations, though Barnard had the help of five other Times reporters on the article. That reflects what is becoming a typical lack of professional standards at the Times and other mainstream publications on such topics.

While getting the other side of the story is now apparently unnecessary – maybe even proof that you’re an “Assad apologist” – it has become an article of faith in neocon-dominated Official Washington that if Obama had only engineered “regime change” in Syria earlier that everything would be going swimmingly. Ignored is the reality that Sunni militants, including Al-Qaeda affiliates, were always part of the anti-Assad uprising. [See’s “Holes in the Neocons’ Syria Story.”]

Bloody Chaos

Almost surely, a U.S. military intervention – along the lines of the “regime change” air war that the U.S. and its allies waged against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya – would have resulted in either the same sort of bloody chaos that has engulfed Libya or an outright victory by Al-Qaeda or its spinoff, the Islamic State.

President Obama confided as much to New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman in 2014, saying the idea of arming Syria’s “moderate” opposition as an effective counterweight to Assad’s army was “always … a fantasy.” But it is a beloved fantasy in Official Washington.

In late August 2013, the neocons and their “liberal interventionist” sidekicks thought they were on the verge of getting their long-wished-for Syrian “regime change” after a mysterious sarin gas attack outside Damascus, which the Obama administration, the New York Times and virtually the entire mainstream media immediately pinned on Assad.

But there was countervailing evidence that the lethal sarin attack was a provocation carried out by rebel extremists with the goal of goading Obama into a major military strike to devastate Assad’s military and clear their path to victory. Aware of those intelligence doubts, Obama pulled back at the last minute and worked with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a compromise in which Assad surrendered his chemical weapons arsenal (while still denying a role in the sarin attack).

Later, additional evidence pointed to the rebels having carried out a “false-flag” attack, but Official Washington has refused to budge from its initial rush to judgment – and the Inside-the-Beltway in-crowd still faults Obama for failing to enforce his “red line” against Assad for supposedly using chemical weapons. [See’s “The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case.”]

With its deeply biased coverage of Syria, the New York Times has been a key factor in promoting propaganda about the crisis. And, with its latest front-page salvo, it clearly is back in the business of egging Obama into a U.S. military intervention to destroy Assad’s military so the insignificant “moderates” could somehow prevail.

In its coverage of Syria – and regarding the pay-back-to-Putin crisis in Ukraine – the Times has performed as shamefully as it did in pushing the U.S. invasion of Iraq with its bogus stories about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, including the infamous “aluminum tube” story in 2002 that had Americans fearing imaginary “mushroom clouds.”

And, in its front-page article on Wednesday – by linking Assad with the Islamic State – the Times is reprising the bogus contention popular before the Iraq War that Hussein and Al-Qaeda were somehow allied, an assertion that also turned out to be a lie.

Yet, rather than having learned lessons from the Iraq War catastrophe, the Times keeps plunging deeper into the grim fantasy land of neocon propaganda.


Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon

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BBC admits Zionist defense minister interview breached impartiality rules


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The BBC has acknowledged that its presenter Sarah Montague did not adequately challenge controversial comments made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon about Palestine on the broadcaster’s flagship Radio 4 “Today” program.

Head of Editorial Complaints Fraser Steel wrote to complainants admitting that, while there were some mitigating reasons, the interview with Ya’alon fell below the standards of impartiality required of the BBC.

“Mr Ya’alon was allowed to make several controversial statements on those matters without any meaningful challenge and the program makers have accepted that the interviewer ought to have interrupted him and questioned him on his assertions.”

In a statement, a BBC spokesman said: “The BBC has reached a provisional finding that the complaints should be upheld and will be taking comments from the complainants into account before finalizing the outcome.”

The interview, which took place on March 19, saw the minister make a number of contestable claims which political groups say went unchallenged.

These include Ya’alon’s claim that Palestinians “enjoy already political independence. They have their own political system, government, parliament, municipalities and so forth. And we are happy with it. We don’t want to govern them whatsoever.”

On its website, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) said Montague failed to raise a number of obvious counterpoints, including the point that “Palestinians don’t have political independence. They live under occupation and, in Gaza, under siege.”

The PSC also said: “In the West Bank, Israel arrests and detains Palestinian MPs, often without charge or trial. West Bank Palestinians’ taxes are collected by Israel and then handed to the Palestinian Authority.

“Israel regularly withholds the tax revenue from the PA when it goes against its wishes.”

One of the most prominent complaints came from filmmaker and activist Ken Loach. His letter, sent via the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, read: “You understand, I’m sure, that this interview is a serious breach of the requirement for impartiality. Unlike all other Today interviews, the minister was allowed to speak without challenge. Why?”

“You and your interviewer have seriously betrayed your obligation to report impartially and to challenge assertions that are unsustainable.”

In March, BBC Director-General Lord Hall said reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict was “tough,” but insisted the corporation aimed to be balanced in its coverage.

Hall added that the broadcaster was committed to its coverage of the Middle East, including Israel and Palestine.

Speaking before a 200-person audience at ORT UK’s business breakfast on Tuesday, the BBC boss said: “It is hard … tough. We do aim to give as impartial coverage as [best] we can across the period.”

“I do not want you to doubt for one second our commitment to the coverage of Israel and Palestine – but also the wider Middle East,” he said.

An independent review of the BBC’s Israel-Palestine coverage published in 2006 found the corporation offered an “incomplete” and “misleading” picture of the conflict.

Chaired by Sir Quentin Thomas, the report said the BBC failed to “convey adequately the disparity in the Israeli and Palestinian experience, reflecting the fact that one side is in control and the other lives under occupation.”

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Syria : Interview with Muhammad Raad, Deputy of Hezbollah


Extracts of the interview of Muhammad Raad on Al-Mayadeen Channel, May 22, 2015

JournalistMy question is: In your view at Hezbollah, when will this war (Syrian Crisis) end? Could it last for years more?

Mohammad Raad: When the US Administration and the West that orbits around it, and the regional guards and agents who are supporting the armed terrorists, when they take the decision to stop financing (the terrorists) & close the border crossings & prevent sneaking into Syria, the war will end in Syria, and the opportunity for national dialogue will open, (this very dialogue) which was supposed to take place since the beginning of the crisis.

JournalistDo you mean by ‘the regional agents’: Saudi, Qatar, Turkey and Israel?

Mohammad Raad: I mean all those who support the armed terrorists.

JournalistThere is a view that says that Saudi Arabia, whom you always accuse, is still supporting (the terrorists) while other countries have stepped back like Qatar. And that Turkey is still giving a great amount of support to (the terrorists).

Mohammad Raad: Let us talk in general in order to avoid miscalculations and leave the assumptions to those who are concerned. In general, whoever supports, finances & facilitates the terrorists’ sneaking into Syria in order to destroy and sabotage Syria should cease to do so.

JournalistThat means the war might last for years.

Mohammad Raad: Yes, the military option can take some time.

JournalistToday, after what was achieved in Qalamoun and the great victory you presented in this difficult region where the fighting was fierce, as we understand, today we see that Palmyra might have fallen, yesterday Al Mastouma and other areas fell. It looks like the fighting is a win here then a defeat there, a defeat then a victory, etc. It seems that no one can use military means to resolve the situation in a decisive way.

Mohammad Raad: Sami, now the media and the propaganda machine works on propagating false and hasty news about partial matters that have nothing to do with the strategic movement or even with the battlefield, the very issues which will define the results and the outcome of the war. We have an evaluation of the situation: in Syria, the military situation on the ground is in the favor of the regime and what we witness is a tightening of the (Syrian Arab Army’s) grip on the areas under the regime’s control.

JournalistHow can you explain this to us? The image circulated now in the other media is that the State doesn’t have control over many areas, and there’s a new offensive by the armed terrorists under Fatah Army and other groups. And the armed opposition, or the rebels or the Takfiris or terrorists, whatever you may call them, are achieving big gains on the ground. In your strategic evaluation, how do you see that your side, along with your ally the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, has actually started to achieve strategic gains on the ground?

Mohammad Raad: Before I answer your question, we should remember all the (previous) experiences of false propaganda talking about these terrorists & enlarging their achievements, their numbers, and their situation. Isn’t it about time for the public opinion to realize that this inflated image of the (terrorists) situation is untrue? Take what happened in Qalamoun: how many were the terrorists in Qalamoun? How long did they withstand their positions?

JournalistSome would also say that they are in the Damascus countryside, in Jobar and in areas adjacent to Damascus, also in Aleppo…

Mohammad Raad: Sometimes there are areas and positions the regime ignores because they are not important, and he (knows he) can contain them whenever he wants. But he goes towards the strategic areas the control of which defines the preservation of the State’s structure. Isn’t it strange, in the opinion of all international observers, that after 4 years and a half, the State’s institutions are still functioning in Syria?

JournalistExcellent, this is a very good point as the Army has been fighting for more than 4 years; the Syrian diplomacy is still functioning and maybe more actively than before. Now, I saw by myself that there is a head of a Syrian diplomatic mission in Egypt, Dr. Riadh Sneih, at an ambassador level, and he is an ambassador in fact, he was abroad; and the State institutions are still paying salaries, to the Army and even to students, scholarships and others… All this is important.

Mohammad Raad: Can you imagine a state suffering a devastating war like what is happening in Syria, and still you’ll find a traffic police officer issuing traffic violation tickets?

JournalistIt is said for that, Hajj Mohammad Raad, that if it wasn’t for the direct financial support from a country like Iran, maybe the State wouldn’t function until now, in addition to the military support, of course.

Mohammad Raad: This is not a shortfall in Syria’s ability to withstand. Why are alliances forged between countries and forces at the first place? Isn’t it to benefit from them during crises and during difficult times?

It is much emphasized now, and there is an abuse of this feeling that Iran is controlling Syria, while in Syria there is an Army that is still fighting after 4 years so far. This is part of the misinformation image being circulated.

First of all, do not believe that anybody would fight on behalf of anybody else for free. Maybe there will be mutual strategic or tactical interests imposing on two parties to fight on the same field for the same goal, but each party defends its goal within this mutual interest. Iran is supporting Syria also not only as a gratitude for the Syrian stance towards the Saddam imposed 8-years war against Iran, which was financed by all those who are now contributing in the war against Syria. Iran is standing by Syria because Iran is in an alliance with Syria within the same strategic choice, but if it wasn’t for the fact that the Syrian structure is capable of preserving its choice in the stance against (Israel), all the support Syria is receiving wouldn’t be enough to save the situation.

Enough of simplifying the issues; now it is said that we (Hezbollah) are helping the Syrian Army. Of course, we are carrying out an assistant role to the Syrian Army in the areas where we have an interest to be present in, either in defending the Resistance (Hezbollah) or to preserve the Syrian positive position in supporting the Resistance. But why is it that the heroism and bravery of the Syrian Arab Army are neglected, the army that is holding the keys of the battlefield struggle and manages the struggle until now?!

JournalistDo you fight in the north (of Syria) Hajj Mohammad Raad? like in Aleppo, are there fighters (of Hezbollah)?

Mohammad Raad: I’m not In favour of talking about details, but I can tell you: We fight where we have to fight.

JournalistAnd this is what Sayyed Nasrallah said. He recently said that after the last Qalamoun battle, Hezbollah lost 13 martyrs. Can we know the total number of Hezbollah’s martyrs since the beginning of the Syrian war? Approximately? Some say they reached a thousand (martyrs), is this correct?

Mohammad Raad: I do not believe the figure reached this much, but it is nearing five hundred. Five hundred approximately.

JournalistNearing five hundred. Less or a bit more? If it is nearing, it means less… Did President Bashar Al-Assad’s administration manage to survive collapsing? Now the talks saying that ‘There is no solution with the Syrian president involved’ are renewed. And even some of the fighters factions, 13 of them, gathered in Turkey recently and raised this slogan again that by force, he will fall. While for the past 4 years and now in the 5th year, he is still here? Will President Assad’s administration survive?

Mohammad Raad: Our belief is that the solution in Syria depends on the presence and the partnership of President Assad in this solution.

JournalistHim in person?

Mohammad Raad: Him in person.

JournalistOK. Can you tell us, Haj Mohammad Raad, why president Assad’s allies like Iran & Hezbollah at the utmost, maybe Russia to the same degree as you or less, I don’t know, why do they hold on to President Bashar Al-Assad in person? As some might argue that if President Al-Assad leaves, maybe the situation in Syria would become better. Is he (President Assad) in person the base to any solution for you?

Mohammad Raad: No, we are holding on him because the matter is not about the person, it is about the position and choice this person is committed to. You might say that there might be other persons like him, but this very person who defended Syria due to his commitment to this choice (resistance), why replace him?!

JournalistIt is said that his presence on top of the current Syrian State has maintained this State due to his personal features, his nerves of steel. I hear about this even among your ranks, that due to his calm, while most of his allies have collapsed, the veteran ones and even in Lebanon, he remained… This proves that he should remain in the partnership position to find a solution. But he’s also blamed by his foes inside Syria and abroad to be responsible for where we have reached. I want to know if Hezbollah and Iran (as Russia will not state its position) are insisting on the person of President Assad in any coming solution, whatever happens. There won’t be any solution found without President Assad?

Mohammad Raad: First of all, as long as the Syrian people are holding on to President Bashar Al-Assad, we cannot overlook this Syrian public opinion.

JournalistHalf of the people… More than half of the people are with President Assad?

Mohammad Raad: Of course

JournalistHow do you know? How do we know? Who is measuring the Syrian public opinion for us to know who is with him and who is not?

Mohammad Raad: First: who said there is anybody in the world who would accept his country to be destroyed? The hesitating portion at the beginning of the crisis of the Syrian people now joined those supporting President Assad to stay in power, because they found out that the alternative is the destruction of Syria and the end of its position and role, and making Syria a satellite in the orbit of the West and subjugating it to the Israeli conditions.

JournalistSo in your opinion President Assad is staying until the last day in his term?

Mohammad Raad: And maybe beyond…


Translation : Arabi Souri

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Disused nuclear subs cost UK £16mn in 5 years, pose ‘radiation risk’


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The British government has spent £16 million storing and maintaining its unused nuclear submarines over the past five years, figures suggest.

The 19 laid-up submarines have been stored in Fife, Scotland, and Devonport, England since 1980 and 1994, respectively.

Figures obtained by the BBC in a Freedom of Information request found that of the 12 submarines at Davenport, eight were still fuelled and four were sitting without fuel. In Rosyth, Fife, all seven submarines are still fueled.

The cost of keeping them safe involves preventing any of the nuclear substances on board being released into the atmosphere.

Campaigners have called the cost a “huge embarrassment,” while the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said it takes its duties to manage the submarines “very seriously.”

The MoD revealed in documents that the “cost to the taxpayer of maintaining them safely is rising significantly as they age and as more submarines leave service,” adding that full dismantling of the subs could not take place until a site was found for the nuclear reactors.

Ian Avent, of Plymouth based campaign group Community Awareness Nuclear Storage and Radiation, told the BBC: “The big problem is that eight submarines on Devonport still have their fuel on board and that is potential for [a] disaster.

“The submarines are a huge embarrassment for the MoD.

“They need to make a decision soon on where they are going take the waste fuel, so dismantling can start.”

Jane Tallents, an anti-nuclear campaigner and adviser on the MoD’s submarine dismantling project, said: “The MoD dragged its feet after the first submarine was laid up but 12 years ago they decided to do something.

“It is a complicated project and there have been points where they have stalled and gone slowly but they have kept moving with it.”

The MoD said the submarines “undergo regular maintenance to keep them in a safe condition.”

John Large, an engineering consultant, said the “lack of decision and decisive management” was halting the decommissioning process.

“It also exposes the public, and the naval base workforce, to continuing radiological risk arising from untoward accident or incident,” he said.

An MoD spokesperson said: “As a responsible nuclear operator, the MoD takes its duty to manage the disposal of submarines very seriously.

“All activity is undertaken in a safe, secure, cost-effective and environmentally sound manner.”

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