Archive | August 30th, 2016

‘Saudi Arabian forces never once targeted ISIS militants in Yemen’

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The latest car bombing is most likely a personal vendetta, probably more of a gang problem inside Aden over who is going to take control, the rebels or Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), political commentator Marwa Osman told RT.

Up to 60 people have been killed in a car bomb attack in the Yemeni city of Aden with dozens more injured. Most of the dead were pro-government troops.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

RT: What is ISIS trying to achieve in this attack?

Marwa Osman: First, let’s tell people where ISIS targeted. They targeted a school compound which consists of the Popular Committee Forces who are allied with Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was the president who resigned twice before the war in Yemen. So, they targeted these people who are already in war with “Ansar Allah” also known as the Houthis in the mainstream media. So, they are now targeting supposedly their own allies. And that is because there is a personal vendetta, probably more of a gang problem inside Aden over who is going to take control now. Is it the rebels who are actually backed by Saudi Arabia, who is still bombing and killing people in Saada and Sana’a? Or is it going to be ISIS which is also backed by Saudi Arabia which has been funneling money and arms by Saudi Arabia for the past seven or eight years in Yemen. Who is going to take control? That is the fight that is going on there. It is not a fight of fighting ISIS or fighting people who are there to try and liberate Yemen. No, because the actual thing is that both groups, these popular movements which are Hadi’s supporters and ISIS – they are both fighting “Ansar Allah” which is also getting beaten by the Saudi-led coalition. So, this is more of who is going to control the area.

RT: With this Saudi Arabian involvement you mentioned, is it possible that Saudi Arabia is using ISIS as some sort of proxy army to achieve its desires in that part of the world?

MO: It is not only possible, it is the only fact on the ground because up until now, since March 25, 2015 when the US coalition led by the Saudis ran… all over Yemen, they have never – not even once – targeted all of the Al-Qaeda-ISIS wilayat. They have eight wilayat inside of Yemen and not once have they targeted them. Why? Because they are actually there to run the on-ground incursion for the Saudis. And up until now they have not been able to do that; they were not able to go to Sana’a or to Saada for that matter. They only have been targeting Aden as we just saw today. It is obviously very devastating: 60 people dead because of the explosion. But these two proxy warriors for the war of Al-Saud, both rebels that supposedly represent Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, the former president and also Al-Qaeda. It is the way it is going on in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and also Libya. So, when you talk about Saudi Arabia funding ISIS, it is the only way that it is going to gain any ground incursions on the Yemeni field. And yet this is not happening…

RT: Are you saying that ISIS is de facto a proxy army of mercenaries being used to achieve regime change?

MO: Yes, of course. And that what we have been saying since the beginning of 2010 and all 2011 when Al-Qaeda was changing into ISIS based on the ideology of Wahhabism, which is diffused and brought upon us by the monarchy of Al-Saud. Where they have got their weapons from, where they were funded from? It was obvious; we had all the reports and also the statements from both Qatar and Saudi Arabia. But then Qatar last year started to back off, but Saudi Arabia is still enraged by the incapability of their forces to take any control of Yemen. By God, Yemen is taking land inside of Saudi Arabia; it is that devastating for Al-Saud now. And when we talk about Iraq, Syria as well, it is also the same thing. They are still funding the same group that has the ideology of Al-Saud which is Wahhabism because they have no other choice. They are losing in Yemen; they obviously lost a lot in Syria and Iraq. There is no other place. The Iraqis are asking the Saudis to change their ambassador because he is the main person who is in contact with Al-Qaeda and ISIS inside of Iraq. So, when we talk about this, and talk about the role of Saudi Arabia, I don’t want to just demonize them. There are facts that demonize them. There are facts that Riyadh is still issuing a bloody campaign against Yemen. And there are US and UK so-called consultants inside of Riyadh in the control room of the war on Yemen. And we are still asking if they are funding ISIS or not. How did ISIS come to be if it were not for Al-Saud?

Read more:

At least 60 dead in Yemeni suicide bombing, ISIS takes responsibility

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Professor William I. Robinson defending academic freedom and free speech ”VIDEO”

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August 24, 2014

Ted Asregadoo speaks to Professor William I. Robinson about his six-month ordeal defending his right to academic freedom and free speech against a coalition of groups that comprise part of the Israel

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on Professor William I. Robinson defending academic freedom and free speech ”VIDEO”

Motive, Means, Opportunity

NOVANEWS

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By: Simon Wood

“We can’t have it both ways. We can’t be both the world’s leading champion of peace and the world’s leading supplier of arms.” – Former US President Jimmy Carter, presidential campaign, 1976 [Source]

No clearer demonstration of the mass psychosis afflicting much of humanity can be seen than in the ongoing outrage and horror evoked by the photographs of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s body. While it goes without saying that any empathetic being would react with utter revulsion and helpless fury at the fate of this poor little boy, one cannot ignore the vast indifference evident toward the thousands of other needless child deaths that occur daily around the world. For this silent slaughter, we hear: ‘Shit happens’ or ‘What am I supposed to do about it?’

Aylan’s death even touched the stony hearts of corporate media editors:

From Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal :

His name was Aylan. He was 3 years old, from war-torn Syria.

His final journey was supposed to end in sanctuary in Europe; instead it claimed his life and highlighted the plight of desperate people caught in the gravest refugee crisis since World War II.

Readers can be forgiven for missing similarly recounted tragedies concerning other young children. From an earlier 99.99998271% article [Note: see original for sources]:

Ask yourself if you have heard the name of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, a 14-year-old Iraqi girl who was gang-raped and murdered by US marines after her family (34-year-old mother Fakhriyah Taha Muhsin, 45-year-old father Qasim Hamza Raheem, and six-year-old sister Hadeel Qasim Hamza) were killed.

How about Safa Younis Salim, a 13-year old girl who amazingly survived the Haditha Massacre, in which 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians were killed including seven children, a 1-year-old girl staying with the family and a 76-year-old man in a wheelchair?

How did she survive?

“I pretended that I was dead when my brother’s body fell on me and he was bleeding like a faucet.”

A six-year US military prosecution ended with none of the eight Marines sentenced to jail, despite one of the men – Sgt. Sanick De La Cruz – testifying (in return for immunity) that he had urinated on the skull of one of the dead Iraqis. This outcome outraged the Iraqi people (as the attack on Malala [Yousafzai] outraged the West) but the name of Safa Younis Salim remains practically unknown.

Informing the world about these children would run counter to the crucial narrative that the US and its NATO allies are an altruistic force for good in the world – bringers of peace, freedom and democracy. Aylan Kurdi, on the other hand, may prove very useful in furthering the true aims of the Western-aligned powers, and so – like Malala – he will be making the front pages for as long as is necessary.

Mainstream press outlets have overwhelmingly called for decisive action, with tabloids like The Sun and The Daily Mail plumbing new depths of hypocrisy. The UK’s ‘liberal-left’ Guardian newspaper joined the ‘humanitarian intervention’ ranks in a recent editorial:

To begin restoring that hope will inevitably mean international intervention of some kind. The establishment of credible safe havens and the implementation of a no-fly zone must be on the table for serious consideration.

Where were the editorials calling for the establishment of no-fly zones in order to overthrow the Israeli regime when last summer, in an orgy of indiscriminate slaughter and destruction, the inhabitants of Gaza (average age 17), described accurately by David Cameron as a prison camp, were subjected to a barrage of modern, US-supplied weaponry:

The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict has gathered substantial information pointing to the possible commission of war crimes by both Israel and Palestinian armed groups.

The 2014 hostilities saw a huge increase in firepower used in Gaza, with more than 6,000 airstrikes by Israel and approximately 50,000 tank and artillery shells fired. In the 51 day operation, 1,462 Palestinian civilians were killed, a third of them children. Palestinian armed groups fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars towards Israel in July and August 2014, killing 6 civilians and injuring at least 1,600.

Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed in their own homes, especially women and children. Survivors gave graphic testimony describing air strikes that reduced buildings to piles of dust and rubble in seconds. “I woke up… in the hospital, and I later learned that my sister, mother and my children had all died,” said a member of the Al Najjar family after an attack in Khan Younis on 26 July that killed 19 of his relatives, “We all died that day even those who survived”.

The commission is concerned about Israel’s extensive use of weapons with a wide kill and injury radius; though not illegal, their use in densely populated areas is highly likely to kill combatants and civilians indiscriminately. There appears also to be a pattern whereby the IDF issued warnings to people to leave a neighbourhood and then automatically considered anyone remaining to be a fighter. This practice makes attacks on civilians highly likely. During the Israeli ground incursion into Gaza that began in mid-July 2014, hundreds of people were killed and thousands of homes destroyed or damaged.

Where is the global anguish and soul searching about the CIA drone campaign, which is now responsible, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, for the deaths of thousands of people, of whom many are civilians and hundreds children, including babies? Where is the mass public/media outrage against Obama’s strikes on weddings and funerals?

A population of billions that reacts so dramatically to one outrage yet indifference to another of equal horror can only be described as emotionally and empathically dysfunctional to a profound degree.

These oddities require no psychological explanation with regard to the media. Indeed, if there were any lingering doubts about the agenda of the corporate press, they can be safely dispensed with for all time. Despite this fact, confronting mainstream journalists about this agenda on social media invariably leads to ‘conspiracy’ smears, derision (often with peers piling into the fray), and sometimes blocking.

It is not even necessary (although it is highly recommended) to read Herman/Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent to see the systemic bias towards corporate/state-power-friendly narratives; common sense is adequate, and the current push to war on Syria is an apt example of the standard methods employed.

How do we know there is an agenda?

1: Lies

The Syria story is being universally framed as ‘We have to go in there and do something’ but a crucial element is missing, namely that US-aligned forces have long been covertly operating in Syria. An internal email dated 7th December 2011 of the Stratfor ‘global intelligence’ company published by WikiLeaks makes this very clear. It is a remarkable email, in that it clearly demonstrates the intent of the US to intervene in the affairs of Syria, and strongly implies that – among many other things – agents from the US, France, Jordan, Turkey, and the UK were already on the ground carrying out reconnaissance and the training of opposition forces.

While the content of the email is unambiguously damning – a clear smoking gun of a plan for regime change in Syria – equally striking is the casual tone of the writer. It is that of an employee who is extremely comfortable, not only in the knowledge that the US will eventually force regime change, but also that a way will be found to make it look good in the media, presumably understanding that another department in the Pentagon or the CIA will handle that side of things. The employee assumes the humdrum tone of a person simply doing what they are expected to do – passing on useful information to his superiors – without any consideration or fear that such actions may be illegal.

This casual approach speaks volumes about the attitude from the very top down of US officials and their employees in the public and private sectors toward the nation’s obligations to international law; namely that any ‘problems’ with such obligations can be worked around to everyone’s satisfaction (at least far enough to get the job done), as demonstrated with the invasion ten years ago of Iraq by the US and its ‘Coalition of the Willing’ without a UN resolution.

Some highlights from the email [Original typos uncorrected. Emphasis mine in bold]:

I kept pressing on the question of what these SOF teams would be working toward, and whether this would lead to an eventual air camapign to give a Syrian rebel group cover. They pretty quickly distanced themselves from that idea, saying that the idea ‘hypothetically’ is to commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within.

***

They emphasized how the air campaign in Syria makes Libya look like a piece of cake.

***

There still seems to be a lot of confusion over what a military intervention involving an air campaign would be designed to achieve. It isn’t clear cut for them geographically like in Libya, and you can’t just create an NFZ over Homs, Hama region. This would entail a countrywide SEAD campaign lasting the duration of the war. They dont believe air intervention would happen unless there was enough media attention on a massacre, like the Ghadafi move against Benghazi. They think the US would have a high tolerance for killings as long as it doesn’t reach that very public stage.

***

The French representative was of hte opinion that Syria won’t be a libya-type situation in that France would be gung-ho about going in. Not in an election year. The UK rep also emphasized UK reluctance but said that the renegotiation of the EU treaty undermines the UK role and that UK would be looking for ways to reassert itself on the continent ( i dont really think a syria campaign is the way to do that.) UK guy mentioned as an aside that the air force base commander at Cyprus got switched out from a maintenance guy to a guy that flew Raptors, ie someone that understands what it means to start dropping bombs. He joked that it was probably a coincidence.

2: Evasion

Absent from corporate media reporting is the Pentagon report demonstrating ‘that the growth and expansion of ISIS was a direct result of arms being sent by the US to anti-Assad Islamists, with the strategic [US] intention of toppling the Assad regime in Syria’. [Note: original reporting by Nafeez Ahmed here]

3: Moral relativism

Media reporting on ‘murderous dictators’ and ‘strongmen’ is selective. By a staggering coincidence, dictators that accede to US/NATO strategic demands are spared condemnation while leaders (often democratically elected) who do not are vilified relentlessly, as noted by Glenn Greenwald when Hillary Clinton warned of the dangers of Iran’s ’emerging dictatorship’ in 2010:

“.. Half a century of American foreign policy flatly contradicts this sentiment (which is why Clinton heard soft chuckles and a few muffled guffaws as she spoke). The US has adored military dictatorships in the Arab world, and has long supported states dominated by the shadowy world of intelligence services. This became even more obvious after the attacks of September 11, 2001, when Washington intensified cooperation with Arab intelligence services in the fight against Al-Qaeda and other terror groups.

Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East are military and police states where men with guns rule, and where citizens are confined to shopping, buying cellular telephones, and watching soap operas on satellite television. Countries like Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Libya, as well as the entire Gulf region and other states are devoted first and foremost to maintaining domestic order and regime incumbency through efficient, multiple security agencies, for which they earn American friendship and cooperation. When citizens in these and other countries agitate for more democratic and human rights, the US is peculiarly inactive and quiet…”

Rule of thumb: if a head of state is subjected to a concerted smear campaign throughout the world’s media, that leader has either been targeted for removal, is proving stubborn in allowing the US and its allies to achieve their goals, or is generally aligned against Western interests.

4: Historical Precedent

The intervention rhetoric from public officials published uncritically by the media is nothing new:

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. Dick Cheney,
August 26, 2002

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons. George W. Bush, September 12, 2002

If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world. Ari Fleischer, December 2, 2002

The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it. Ari Fleischer, December 6, 2002

We know for a fact that there are weapons there. Ari Fleischer, January 9, 2003

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. George W. Bush January 28, 2003

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.Colin Powell, February 5, 2003

The Pulizer Prize-winning Center for Public Integrity found in a study that ‘following 9/11, President Bush and seven top officials of his administration waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about Saddam Hussein’s Iraq’ with ‘at least 935 false statements [from top government officials] in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses’.

There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” George W Bush<

5: The source

Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers have been particularly vociferous in demanding bombs in Syria. For him at least, we have means, opportunity and motive. Murdoch’s ownership of a large chunk of mainstream outlets gives him enormous reach (means) while opportunity knocks courtesy of poor little Aylan.

As for motive, one exists at least in Murdoch’s position on the board of New Jersey-based Genie Energy. Journalist Nafeez Ahmed explains:

A US oil company is preparing to drill for oil in the Golan Heights. Granted the license in February 2013 by Israel, Afek Oil and Gas is a subsidiary of Genie Energy Ltd, whose equity-holding board members include former US Vice President Dick Cheney, controversial media mogul Rupert Murdoch and financier Lord Jacob Rothschild.

[Note: article dated January 28th 2015. Murdoch remains on the board]

Aside from personal financial interest for Murdoch, a post-Assad, US-friendly Syrian government would mean one less major Russia-Iran-axis power in the Middle East to worry about, a turn of events also greatly desired by Israel, while economically Syria would be opened up to all manner of ‘opportunities’ for Western corporations.

6:The refugee crisis

This user-friendly graph (also available in table form for older data) provided by the World Bank shows large increases in numbers of refugees at key moments after US/allied interventions. [Note: you can add your own parameters] For instance, with the explosion of sectarian violence in Iraq in 2006 brought about by the Iraq War, the number of refugees increased from 262,299 in 2005 to 1,450,905 in 2006 and 2,309,245 in 2007.

7:War for profit

Stocks in arms manufacturing companies are in the stratosphere:

Investors see rising sales for makers of missiles, drones and other weapons as the U.S. hits Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Chicago-based BMO Private Bank. President Barack Obama approved open-ended airstrikes this month while ruling out ground combat.

As we ramp up our military muscle in the Mideast, there’s a sense that demand for military equipment and weaponry will likely rise,” said Ablin, who oversees $66 billion including Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co. shares. “To the extent we can shift away from relying on troops and rely more heavily on equipment — that could present an opportunity.

There’s no doubt the world is getting to be a more and more dangerous place, and there are countries around the world that could look to buy aircraft and artillery,” Jeff Babione, deputy manager of Lockheed’s F-35 Lightning II program, said in an interview in Oslo. “There’s a sense that there’s less stability in the world than there was before.

Clearly the world has become increasingly unstable. The question of whether that has a major impact on the defense budget is uncertain,” Finnegan said. “There may be an investor psychology that suggests that there’s going to be a large benefit to these companies. But the jury is still out.

The arms industry is big business.

To conclude, the corporate media has concealed covert activities within Syria going back several years; has blacked out a Pentagon report demonstrating US prediction, supply and use of ISIS as a strategic asset; is again reporting selectively regarding ‘good’ and ‘bad’ dictators; and has engaged in this precise kind of rhetoric in the past before every intervention. Rupert Murdoch is a board member of a company that is drilling for oil in the Golan Heights while his newspapers sound the clarion call that may open the way for a (hoped for) post-Assad Western puppet government. Meanwhile stocks in arms companies are at record levels and the refugee crisis is now a major humanitarian disaster at World War 2 levels, with refugee populations particularly high from nations where the US and its allies have acted (covertly or overtly).

It’s another set-up. Don’t get fooled again.

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American party in Rio: There’s no sin below the equator

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By Lyuba Lulko 

This heartbreaking story made headlines in all American newspapers and television channels. When American swimmers were robbed at a gas station in Rio de Janeiro, the reports about the incident appeared as “breaking news” in most of US publications. It has been recently revealed, however, that the Americans initiated the robbery and accused the Brazilian police of violence.

Lochte’s legend about the criminal police

Olympians Ryan Lochte, James Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz reported to the police, that “police officers” stopped their cab at a gas station in Rio on August 14. According to Lochte, one of the men put a gun to his head, took the money ($ 700) and personal belongings. However, the police, having studied surveillance camera videos, concluded that it was the Americans themselves, who broke the door to the bathroom and came into conflict with gas station personnel. Being in a state of alcoholic intoxication, the US athletes damaged equipment inside the station. After the gas station employees demanded the athletes should pay for the damage that they caused, the Americans tried to escape. One of the guards, threatening with a pistol, forced the swimmers to stay and called the police.

The court prohibited the four athletes from leaving Brazil for the time of the investigation of the incident. However, Lochte, who is said to be the one who started it, had already escaped. On Friday, Bentz and Conger got permission to leave Brazil. Feigen left the country too, having paid $10,000 in donations to “institutions”. In accordance with the law of Brazil, one can make donations (charity) to avoid criminal prosecution for minor offenses. Yet, the case is far from being closed. False alarm and the destruction of property is pending – both offenses are punishable with up to six months in prison or a fine.

The Americans had a party in Rio

Brian Winter, an expert at the Research Center of the Americas in Washington, DC (Council of the Americas) told BBC Brasil that the story would be forgotten in a few days, but it was important to reveal all the facts.

It would be sad if Brazil forgets the story indeed. The story has affected the image of Brazil as a democracy with strong legal and security agencies. A variety of Western publications have been doing their best to stain this image throughout the Rio Olympics. The story started a lot earlier, when the case for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff was opened six months ago. One must admit that Washington has a habit of overthrowing objectionable governments during Olympic periods – suffice it to recall Georgia’s aggression or the Ukrainian Maidan.

“There is no sin below the equator”

The goal of such campaigns is to dramatically reduce the self-esteem of the people and their faith in their own values. Green water in pools, Zika virus, street crime, dirty cities, bad builders, “police impotence” and so on – anything comes in handy. In fairness, it should be said that the Americans accommodated Olympic athletes in Lake Placid prison in 1980 (the reconstruction of sports facilities, as well as the construction of the Olympic Village had not been completed in time). The Americans pollute their cities (Detroit, Chicago) and experience ecological disasters on a regular basis (the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico). What right do the “exceptional” Americans have to educate other nations on violence? Have they forgotten the Boston marathon bombings, or Black Lives Matter, or mass school shootings, or the Orlando gay bar massacre, etc, etc?

In the XVII century, Caspar Barlaeus, a Dutch national, said when describing excesses of colonial policy: there is no sin below the equator. According to Barlaeus, any act of dishonesty committed there does not stain gentleman’s name, especially if there is a need to topple the leftist regime that integrated itself into the economic bloc with Russia and China (BRICS) and established regional blocs (MERCOSUR, SELAC) on the basis of independent Latin American states. This country has huge reserves of shelf oil, and the new government of CIA informer Michel Temer intends to bring it all to the US of A.

Will the Brazilians answer? Will they prove that they live in a legal state, where one should not insult the police? If the story had happened in the USA, the athletes would most likely have been jailed. Yet, it all happened in Rio, so they are certain that they can get away with it, because “there is no sin below the equator.”

We would like to note here that the Brazilians have the complex of the American backyard (sindrome vira-lata): the gringos are a model of democracy, and in Brazil everything is bad, the Brazilian police is bad and corrupt, but all American sheriffs are honest and respectable people.

Perhaps, some prefer sadomasochism. They do not mind others calling their country a land of the monkeys and the whole region – a latrine (América Latrina).

As for the behavior of the American swimmers, this is an example of how “respectable” Americans behave. And these “exceptional” individuals are convinced that their arrogance and impudent  behavior contributes to the image of the police state, where they come from. We doubt so.

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The Muslim Brotherhood’s divisive dress code for women

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The niqab

By Nureddin Sabir, Editor, Redress Information & Analysis

Amid the mayhem unleashed upon the Middle East and North Africa by the nightmare we once called the “Arab Spring”, another battle is being waged in the West and across the Arab world. It is non-violent and it hits the news headlines only occasionally, and to many it may seem banal, given the savagery that is sweeping across the Arab world. But its consequences are far-reaching and, in the long term, maybe even deadly.

That other battle is over the Muslim veil, especially its more primitive variants: the niqab, the burqa, the khimar and the chador. Most recently, it has been about the burkini, a piece of swimwear that covers the whole body except the face, hands and feet.

Different types of Muslim dress

The so-called “Muslim dress” ranges from the hijab to more primitive, all-embracing shrouds

The burkini Muslim swimwear

The “burkini”, or Muslim-style swimwear, has stirred controversy, especially in France

So far, at least 10 countries have banned the burqa, and as many as 20 French cities have also banned the burkini, for security, political and cultural reasons.

Feminist, liberal and leftist defenders of the veil, whatever form it takes, argue that women should have the right to choose what to wear, and/or that these forms of dress are an expression of cultural or religious identity and should be respected. Opponents, on the other hand, cite the veil as a symbol of women’s oppression by patriarchal societies and misogynist cultures. Few, however, view the veil terms of its potentially harmful impact on society, especially in the Arab world.

Self-regarding and other-regarding actions

In 1859, in the essay On Liberty, the philosopher John Stuart Mills, himself a feminist and one of the most influential thinkers in the history of liberalism, made the distinction between self-regarding and other-regarding actions. Self-regarding actions are those which do not affect the interests of others, while other-regarding actions are those that do.

Mills argued that the actions of individuals should be limited only to prevent harm to other individuals:

[…] the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. […] The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. […] Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

Earlier, in 1789, France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen declared that

Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights.

Those limits fall under what Mills described as other-regarding actions, or actions that rightfully concern others whose right and even duty it is to intervene. In these instances, compulsion, or making someone do something that he or she otherwise would not do if the decision were his or her own, is legitimate and justifiable.

An Islamist project

The decision to wear the veil, in particular its most extreme forms, the niqab, the burqa, the khimar and the chador, does not take place in a vacuum. Far from being an exercise in freedom of choice or a cultural symbol that must be respected in a plural society, it is in fact an other-regarding action that contributes towards shaping the culture in which people live and the expectations that society has of the individual. It therefore justifies the intervention of everyone who values freedom, gender equality and the right to live in a civil society devoid of prejudice and bigotry.

The veil is not simply a piece of ethnic attire. It is an integral part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s project to mould Muslim-majority countries, and immigrant Muslim communities, according to its interpretation of Islam. This is a supremacist, misogynist interpretation which views Muslims as morally superior to non-Muslims and women as a “problem” that has to be contained and prevented from corrupting the morals of men.

To appreciate how reactionary, oppressive and primitive this worldview is, one only has to read this excerpt from the Brotherhood’s founder, Hassan al-Banna, whose writings still serve as the group’s manifesto:

Following are the principal goals of reform grounded on the spirit of genuine Islam…Treatment of the problem of women in a way which combines the progressive and the protective, in accordance with Islamic teaching, so that this problem – one of the most important social problems – will not be abandoned to the biased pens and deviant notions of those who err in the directions of deficiency and excess… a campaign against ostentation in dress and loose behaviour; the instruction of women in what is proper, with particular strictness as regards female instructors, pupils, physicians and students, and all those in similar categories… a review of the curricula offered to girls and the necessity of making them distinct from the boys’ curricula in many stages of education… segregation of male and female students; private meetings between men and women, unless within the permitted degrees of relationship, to be counted as a crime for which both will be censured… the encouragement of marriage and procreation, by all possible means; promulgation of legislation to protect and give moral support to the family, and to solve the problems of marriage… the closure of morally undesirable ballrooms and dance-halls, and the prohibition of dancing and other such pastimes…1

According to Islam, which forms the basis of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology, a woman’s body is seen as awrah, a concept that appears in the Muslim holy book, the Koran, and is Arabic for “defectiveness”, “imperfection”, “blemish” or “weakness”.

As with much else in Islam, the notion of awrah is Jewish in origin and is derived from the Hebrew word ervah, which first appears in the Hebrew bible in Leviticus 18:6 and is used in the Talmud to describe parts of the female considered to be immodest and sexually provocative, including her hair, thighs and voice.

Thus, in Islam, as in the Jewish religion, women are required to cover themselves with loose-fitting clothes that completely obscure the outline of their bodies, and are enjoined to be careful with their tone when they speak to men, lest they arouse them sexually.

The desired outcome, from an Islamist point of view, was captured succinctly in this billboard by the Islamic State group – an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, which emerged out of the Muslim Brotherhood – seen in the Libyan coastal town of Sirte in 2015:

The ideal Islamist dress code for women

The ideal Islamist dress code for women

It says to wear the hijab according to Islamic Sharia,

1. It must be thick and not revealing
2. It must be loose (not tight)
3. It must cover all the body
4. It must not be attractive
5. It must not resemble the clothes of unbelievers or men
6. It must not be decorative and eye-catching
7. It must not be perfumed.

Modesty and morality

For the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, female modesty equates to wearing their form of the veil, and doing otherwise is deemed loose, decadent and attention seeking. As Maajid Nawaz has noted, this is a subtle form of bigotry against the female form and in too many instances across Muslim-majority countries and communities it has led to the “slut-shaming” of women who do not cover up. In the worst cases, violating Muslim cultural “honour codes” (‘irdh) and modesty theology (hayaa’) can lead to heinous legal and societal reprimand and the gross fetishisation of a woman’s body.

A generation of bigots is being brought up. People who grow up in this environment understand no “live and let live”. It is a zero-sum game of believers and unbelievers, a house of peace and a house of war. In the mindset of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, the Muslim women who fully abide by their codes and wear the veil are viewed as proper, modest and moral Muslims, while other Muslim women who choose to live their lives as they see fit and wear modern clothes are considered as lesser Muslims, immodest and even of loose morals. As for women of other faiths and none, they would fall in the “lesser being” category by definition and would be considered by the vast majority of Islamists, including those of the Muslim Brotherhood, as immodest and potentially depraved.

This kind of bigotry was put on public display during the recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In one instance, when a Libyan TV channel posted on Twitter a video report on 17-year-old Daniah Hagul, it was met with a string of abusive comments. In another instance, despite worldwide sympathy for Syrian refugee swimmer Yusra Mardini, she became the target of insults. One particularly nasty insult, by Dalal Moufti, said: “Yusra who pushed a refugee dinghy wins her heat in Rio. I wish she had drowned rather than appearing naked like this.”

Great leap backwards

In the Arab countries this is the new zeitgeist. However, it has not always been like that. In the Middle East and North Africa, and in Arab immigrant communities, up until the 1970s the female body was not shamed out of public view. This was a time when pan-Arabism, in its Nasserist or Baathist forms and with its progressive and socialist slogans and antipathy towards Islamism, was the dominant ideology. It was a time of emancipation for women, at least as far as dress codes are concerned.

But then came the defeat in the 1967 war with Israel and the rapid demise of pan-Arabism The ideological vacuum was filled by the Muslim Brotherhood and its prodigies, and with these came the proliferation of the hijab and its variants. As one writer put it, “the hijab to the Muslim Brotherhood is like the ‘red flag’ to communists”.

The outcome is plain to see to anyone familiar with the Arab world. As is clearly evident from the photographs in the slideshow below, which show Cairo University graduates between 1959 and 2004 and are typical of how Arab societies have regressed, the Arab world has moved from a situation in which urban women appeared not very different to women in any other modern city in the world, to one where they would not have been out of place in an Ottomanvilayet.

This should be of utmost concern to Arabs and Muslims as well as to Western governments and publics. What is at stake here is not just aesthetics, though these are important in facilitating social inclusion and social mobility, especially as regards the large and growing Muslim immigrant communities in the West.

What is at stake is in fact the very foundation of a liberal and plural society. While defenders of the Muslim veil and its variants argue that women should choose whether or not to wear it, the very proliferation of the veil is a solid indicator of the spread of a totalitarian ideology, Islamism, and its principal vehicle, the Muslim Brotherhood, which are completely opposed to personal freedom, gender equality, tolerance, democracy and coexistence with other faiths and none at the individual and societal levels.

As one political commentator points out, the broader context in which the observance of the so-called Islamic dress code is taking place is “the growth of a political and highly ideologised version of the faith (backed up with petrodollars from Qatar and Saudi Arabia)” that is “often associated with belligerence at best and barbaric violence at worst”. This, he argues, “renders the notion of choice quite meaningless”.

And it firmly places the question of the niqab, the burqa, the khimar, the chadorand the burkini in the league of other-regarding actions that require our urgent intervention.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on The Muslim Brotherhood’s divisive dress code for women

Colombia: Peace in the Shadow of the Death Squads

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Map of Colombia
By Daniel Kovalik 

As the Colombian government and left-wing FARC rebels near the signing of a comprehensive peace accord, and though they have already signed a bi-lateral ceasefire which is largely holding, Colombia is still suffering from the worst human rights abuses in the Western Hemisphere. These abuses are being carried out by right-wing paramilitary groups (aka, death squads), which the U.S. and Colombian governments conveniently deny even exist.

These paramilitary groups, in accord with their long-time friend and ally, former President Alvaro Uribe, are openly and aggressively opposed to the peace accords, and will most certainly escalate their violence as a national referendum which will be held to ratify, or reject, these accords draws near.   Thus, as Insight Crime recently reported, the Colombian Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) estimates that nearly 250 municipalities (or more than 25% of the 1,105 municipalities in all of Colombia) “are at risk of violence or fraud affecting the referendum on an anticipated peace deal” with the FARC. The departments of Choco, Arauca, Cauca and Putumayo – that is, departments with heavy concentrations of Afro-Colombians and indigenous – are among the departments with the greatest risk. Antioquia, the department of Alvaro Uribe who was governor there, has the greatest number of municipalities at risk.

Meanwhile, the paramilitaries are already exploiting the opportunity presented by the FARC’s ceasefire to gain territory and exact more advantage for the economic elites – both domestic and foreign – which they serve.

For starters, Colombia again, according to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), suffered more assassinations of trade unionists than any country on earth in 2015, and therefore earned its spot as one of the 10 worst countries in the world for workers’ rights. As the ITUC explains in its annual report: “Trade unionists have been murdered with impunity for decades in Colombia. In 2015, 20 murders of trade unionists were recorded in Colombia – the highest number in any country.” And, not surprisingly, it is the paramilitaries who are carrying out such assassinations in the interest of capital.

In addition, 35 human rights defenders have already been killed in the first half of 2016.  This is an incredible figure.   Indeed, according to Colombia’s El Espectador, this year has been “one of the most violent in regards to the murder of human rights defenders and land claimants,” with the paramilitaries being the perpetrators of these crimes. Indeed, one of the chief perpetrators of the violence, particularly against those advocating for the return of land stolen during the armed conflict, is the paramilitary group known as the “Anti-Restitution of Land Army.” This group has been reinvigorated by the release from jail of infamous paramilitary leader Jose Gregorio Mongonez Lugo, also known as “Carlos Scissors.” He was responsible in the first place for the violent theft of land in the banana region of Magdelena, Colombia, and has now returned to make sure that it is not given back to its rightful owners.

All of this bodes very badly for the prospects of peace in Colombia. And indeed, one of Colombia’s great human rights defenders, Father Javier Giraldo, S.J., recently penned a sobering piece on this very subject, entitled, Peace in Colombia? This article was translated by the Colombia Support Network, and is well-worth a read, especially as you will never hear a voice such as his in the mainstream press.

As Father Giraldo opines, despite the progress of the peace talks in Havana which are quickly nearing a conclusion, “the country is profoundly polarized by the growth and the growing power of extreme right-wing forces.  It appears as if the forces of the Cold War are coming back to life, powered by the monstrous economic strength of multinational businesses that are rapidly defending their exclusionary interests, using their extremely powerful resources.”

Father Giraldo rightly notes that the Colombian government, while paying lip-service to peace, in fact seeks the surrender and ultimate destruction of both the guerillas as well as Colombia’s peaceful forces for social change. As he explains:

… the methods of persuasion that have been used to promote the peace agreements rely mostly on the practical impossibility of achieving social change by means of armed conflict, given the gigantic and overwhelming military power of the government, supported by the imperial power with the greatest destructive reach in the recent history of humanity: the United States. . . . President Santos has instead, above all, on a peace that will benefit business leaders and transnational investors, who will be able to intensify their extraction of natural resources. But meanwhile his government represses with cruel violence the social protests of communities affected by the ecological and social destruction that has been caused and continues to be caused by these multinational companies.

Father Giraldo then expresses a seldom-uttered truth which I have certainly learned upon my numerous trips to Colombia in the past 17 years – that while the paramilitaries oppose the peace process because it will grant some immunity for rebels, the “popular movements feel more fear of the impunity of the powerful and of the paramilitaries and the agents of the government, whose war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide greatly exceed, both in quality and in cruelty, the crimes of the insurgency.”

And, it is the impunity for the right-wing paramilitaries, who now control large swaths of the Colombian government, which is nearly total. And again, this impunity is made  possible by the Colombian and U.S. governments’ denial of the very existence of the paramilitaries, as well as the mainstream media’s near total silence about Colombia and its horrible human rights situation – certainly the worst in the Western Hemisphere. If peace in Colombia has any chance of succeeding, it will need to be supported and cultivated by people of good will throughout the world who are willing to tell the truth about Colombia and who are willing to provide accompaniment to the peace process.

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The Occupied Mentality Syndrome

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Saudi Arabia on the American chessboard – Part 2
By B. J. Sabri 

Since the Korean War, but particularly since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 until today, the United States has been steadily escalating its military presence in the Persian Gulf. Taking advantage of many colossal events of the past 36 years, [1] the hyper-empire has institutionalized its massive presence on land and sea, and expanded its objectives to include the unambiguous physical control of the area, as well as the clear understanding that local Arab governments should abide by them. The pretext is always the same: in “defense” of the national interests and security of the United States. From observing how the United States has been interacting with the governments of the region, and by judging from the size of its expeditionary force, we could reach a basic conclusion. The United States is occupying, de facto, the entire Arabian Peninsula. (Yemen, devastated by Saudi and American jets is yet to be conquered. Oman? Britain returned not as colonial ruler but as a soft occupying power.)

Under this articulation, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates are virtually occupied countries. If we compare this type of occupation to the mandate and protectorate regimes of the past, the results might be identical—the nations affected by it lose sovereignty. When Arab governments comply with the objectives of a foreign power that station military forces on their national milieu, then that power controls them in multiple ways including how they react to policy deliberations and what decisions they intend to take on specific issues. A good method to verify the concept of effective occupation is this: take notice of what the United States says and wants, and then compare it to what the gulf rulers do in response. (I shall discuss this detail at some point in the upcoming parts.)

If the presence of US forces or other means of political pressure are a factor in Saudi Arabia’s interventionist Arab wars, then we need to debate this issue. However, from the history of resistance to colonialism, we learnt: if a powerful state imposes its order on a nation by military means or other forms of coercion, and if this nation does not resist that imposition, then a mental subordination to the powerful state will ensue. This is especially true in the case of Saudi Arabia. One single event, 9/11, has transformed it from a US “ally” into an instant political hostage of the American Empire.

Nine-eleven did not only change the status of Saudi Arabia in American context, it also brought radical changes that altered the character of the regime. It worsened its domestic instability, increased its belligerence, amplified its religious chauvinism, and turned its arrogance of power into an instrument of death and destruction—all at the service of the United States. The reasons for such situation are known. Among the alleged attackers of the still-suspicious event of 9/11, there were 15 Saudi nationals.

More important, Wahhabism, a deranged, dogmatic version of Islam and the creed of Saudi Arabia, is coming under attack by the United States. Charge: it promotes “terrorism”. (Read Obama’s interview with the Atlantic Magazine.) This is, of course, a heavy blow to the US “ally’. How cynical and preposterous! Who could forget that just 36 years ago Carter and Brzezinski promoted Wahhabism as the religion of “freedom fighters” and “holy warriors”, and made Saudi Arabia pay for proselytes and weapons to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan? Without debating what terrorism is, and whether Wahhabism is promoting it, the fact that a master-terrorist superpower is doing such an accusation just today and after Wahhabi militants have destroyed Syria (and parts of Iraq) with US support, is an odious insult to all those who were killed by US and Saudi barbarity through Wahhabi proxies.

Now, from studying the US-Saudi financial and military interactions in all years before 9/11, it is reasonable to conclude that the Saudi regime had become the financier of the American interventionist agenda. Did 9/11 change those interactions? Considering Saudi Arabia’s role in the US invasion of Iraq and their continuing efforts in the wars against Libya, Syria, and Yemen, it is equally reasonable to conclude that 9/11 did not alter the basic Saudi-American relation. However, ample evidence suggests that the United States will continue using the Saudi tool until it will no longer need it. Still, 9/11 did affect their relation—it brought changes to the US strategy for controlling Saudi Arabia and other gulf governments. In addition, the intricate relation between Saudi Arabia of post‑9/11 with the United States of pre-9/11 had also gone through some changes. Nevertheless, relations between the two kept evolving in cadence with the changing of rhythms of 9/11 and with its political interpretations and propagandistic use.

From observing the events from 9/11 forward, it can be said that the Saudi function on the American chessboard changed too. Nine-eleven has transformed Saudi Arabia from a financier and supplier of religiously driven mercenaries to become a powerful criminal organization with a plan to execute. As often discussed by US and Israeli think tanks, that plan cannot be clearer in its declared tenets. I am pointing to the imperialist planned remake of the geostrategic assets and political orders of current Arab states. As such, the US invasion of Iraq, US-NATO bombardment of Libya, US-Saudi-Qatari war in Syria, US-Saudi-UAE war in Yemen, US-Saudi-Kurdish war in Iraq and Syria, and US-ISIS war in Syria, Iraq, and Libya are but one seamless chapter in this plan. With that, 9/11 has become an emblematic alibi for US imperialist expansions. [Read: B. J. Sabri, Imperialist Expansions and 9/11) [2]

Of interest, the transformation of Saudi Arabia into a terrorist, and expansionist state at the service of the United States (and Israel) did not help alter the way with which the US intended to play the card of 9/11. We need not speculate on the fact that the Saudis are fully aware of the American ploy and its objectives. Yet, their pressing priority has been all too evident: decrease pressure and preempt any pretext for a potential intervention in exchange for bending to US demands. Despite many American voices calling for the nuclear incineration of Saudi Arabia under the pretext of its alleged role in 9/11, the US government— who knows the entire truth about 9/11—had different calculations. (Rich Lowry, now the editor of the National Review, called for the destruction of Mecca with nuclear bombs. [3] Statement: US nuclear lunatics have no right to incinerate Saudi Arabia—not even a grain of its desert sand. If Saudi Arabia is guilty of something, and the US can prove it through an unbiased team of international panelists, then let them take it to international courts and punish it with civil laws.)

Incidentally, would the United States attack Saudi Arabia if its culpability was proved in international courts? Speculations aside, the United States might not attack Saudi Arabia for one fundamental reason: Saudi Arabia, a US “partner”, had nothing to do with 9/11—and the US knows that very well. In addition, if there were a verifiable Saudi regime’s involvement in 9/11, why wait this long to take action? That is said, the central motive for which the United States does not want to touch Saudi Arabia has to do with the function it established for it. The Saudi regime is an open bank for US world operations, chief buyer of its weapons, oil price manipulator to strangle Russia and Iran, a potential ally of Israel, and controller of the so-called Arab league to gain spurious legitimacy for US policies in the region.

In short, the United States needs Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has all the qualifications the United States needs in a regional player willing to play by its rules. The Saudi regime fits this profile for a number of reasons. It is ideologically structured yet pliable to US views, politically conditioned by an archaic system of governance, socially obscurantist to control potential unrest inimical to Washington, aggressive against neighbors, ruthless against dissenters, but above all, it has a lot of money and is willing to spend it on the American cause.

It is logical to argue, that 9/11 presented the Saudi regime with hard choices regarding their relation with the United States. To save its neck from possible and ever-present American accusations involving it in 9/11, the regime had to re-invent itself. It went from being a willing executioner of the older American agenda (destabilizing Communism, etc.) to be the chief agent of destruction at the service of a re-energized US imperialism with a new agenda.

I am referring to the Zionist American plan to redraw the map of current Arab states and alter their historically developed socio-political and cultural realities. To be sure, 9/11 was also the factor that altered another Saudi reality. It broke Saudi Arabia’s long held assumption for being America’s enduring “partner”. Aside from that, 9/11 benefitted the United States in another way. It securely placed Saudi Arabia and all of its oil and money between the unyielding clutches of US imperialism.

My argument of the Saudi succumbence to the US power is threefold. First, the Saudi regime realizes it has no means, power, or courage to make the United States leave the Gulf or, at least, lessen its supremacy over the governments of the gulf. Second, consequent to this realization, submissiveness to it in the form of fear sets in and resistance to it disappears. Third, besides protracted psychological conditioning, other tangible factors turned the Saudi-American relation into a complex interplay.

On one side, we have the Saudi deference to the United States. I view this deference as follows: (1) confluence and reciprocal opportunism of two different but oppressive ideologies —Wahhabism and imperialism; (2) oil and petrodollars, and (3) a long history of secret deals—since the day Franklin D. Roosevelt met Abdul Aziz Al Saud in 1945. On the other, we have a supremacist superpower that views Al Saud as no more than a backward tribal bunch whose primary function is providing special services to the United States. These include cheap oil, buying US weapons, investing oil money in the US capitalistic system, supporting US hegemonic quest, buying US national debt, and bankrolling its covert operations and wars.

To drive the point, I argue that the combination between lack of means, lack of resistance, and other forms of dependence (US political and public relations support, for example) has created a situation of dependency. It incrementally forced the Saudi regime into a mental subordination to the United States similar to an occupied mentality. What is an occupied mentality?

As stated earlier, noticing the magnitude of US military forces stationed at sea, as well as in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, and Jordan there can be but one conclusion: all these countries are under virtual US occupation. In addition, if we consider US global and regional agenda and the objective of its forces in the region, stating that the material occupation of the Gulf is moving in unison with a parallel occupation of the mind of rulers is a valid statement. Let us take the example of Iraq and see if applies to Saudi Arabia. By all definitions, Iraq of today is a top example of an occupied mentality. Whereas the United States has been occupying Iraq from 2003 until now—through scattered military bases and by directives from the US “embassy”—, the American-appointed Iraqi government still pretends that Iraq is an independent state. This is not schizophrenia. It is a conscious mental adaptation to an existing reality named occupation.

To articulate the argument of occupied mentality, I argue that an array of psychological processes is behind the mental adaptation to imposed captivity. This means, accepting subjugation to a foreign power is not only a symptom of besieged mentality, but also a conscious effort to turn that subjugation into a feeling of normalcy. In turn, this feeling becomes the primary impulse for cohabitation between occupiers and occupied. Generally, the lack of resistance to subjugation is, by itself, acquiescence to it: as a process and as result. At this point, it does not matter whether this acquiescence is induced, taught, imposed or voluntary—the result is still subjugation.

Considering this argument, Saudi Arabia is no different from Iraq when the issue is the adaptation to US domination. For instance, the Saudi regime knows it is under US siege. And it knows that the United States is waiting for the appropriate occasion to strike it someway. Yet, the Saudi regime is busy these days dispensing threats left and right, even to the power that nurtured its monstrosities, with the hope that someone would buy its trivial performance of national strength. To conclude, rulers who live under any form of foreign occupation or diktat and rulers who have lost their basic national decision-making are neither sovereign nor free.

Mapping the transformation of Saudi Arabia in terms of events is an incisive tool to navigate through the mysteries of the Saudi-American relation. Take, for example, the role played by the Saudi regime in Soviet-invaded Afghanistan. With so much money and relative stability, Al Saud had neither national imperatives nor definite rationales to spend billions of dollars on that war. Did they participate in it as (A) an act of self-defense against adversaries who never attacked them, (B) opposition to Communism, or, (C) a response to US-prodding?

For one, the claim that Saudi Arabia intervened in Afghanistan to fight Communism is rubbish. Many regimes of that period opposed Communism. Yet, none took their opposition to the fanatical militant level taken by Al Saud. Moreover, fighting invaders does not translate automatically into fighting the ideology driving their politico-economic system. These are two different categories. Vietnam is an example. The Vietcong fought the American invading force (and the South-Vietnamese army). But nowhere could one read that Vietnam’s war of liberation was directed against US capitalism as a system.

Second, is there any truth to the other claim that the Saudi intervention was an act of solidarity with Muslim Afghanistan? If religious feelings were driving the regime’s animosity against the Soviet invaders, then these same feelings should have risen when the United States invaded a predominately Arab and Muslim Iraq. In that occasion, the Wahhabi regime (whose religious scholars, preachers, and countless imams consistently dub Westerners as heathens, infidels, and nonbelievers)not only did not release a whisper against the coming invasion, it blessed and supported it. (It is on record what Bandar bin Sultan, a high- ranking Saudi emir with a 20-year tenure as ambassador to Washington, with ties to AIPAC and US Zionism, and with intimate connections to the Bush family had said on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. “I will not shave my beard until the US occupies Iraq and kills Saddam Hussein,” then addressing the American public, he added, “I will pray for the life of every one of your soldiers . . .”)

For debate: in terms of semantic equivalency, words such as heathens, atheists, infidels, nonbelievers, etc. are conceptually compatible. A question to the Saudis: why fight the Soviet invaders of Muslim Afghanistan under the charge of atheism, but never fight the Americans invaders of Muslim Iraq under the same charge?

Next: Part 3  

NOTES

  1. Examples: the Iranian Revolution, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iraqi invasion of Iran, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the Gulf War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and US-NATO bombardment of Serbia.
  2. The Splendid Failure of Occupation: Imperialist expansions and 9/11 (http://www.uruknet.info/?p=10086), 2005
  3. CounterPunch Services, National Review Editor Suggests “Nuking Mecca”, March 13, 2003

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Nasrallah explains why Syria & Assad are crucial to Middle East war aims ”VIDEO”

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Surveillance guidelines routinely violated by NYPD 

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RT 

The New York Police Department’s intelligence bureau routinely violated the famous Handschu Agreement, a set of 1985 guidelines that protect constitutional rights, for purely political reasons, according to a new inspector general report.

Inspector General Philip K. Eure of the NYPD released a report on Tuesday that found their intelligence bureau ignored the court-ordered guidelines for surveillance techniques on political activities, such as protests.

The report did not find any improper motivations but confirmed they ignored court-ordered protocol when investigating political activity. For example, Eure found that in 50 percent of relevant investigations, the NYPD continued investigation past the expiration of legal permission.

In addition, the report noted that the NYPD failed to properly document use of undercover agents and informers.

The 1985 Handschu Agreement is a strict set of guidelines that mandate how the NYPD must handle investigations of political, religious or ideological organizations. It resulted from a celebrated court case against the NYPD, filed way back in 1971 in the wake of the unsuccessful prosecution of members of the militant Black Panther movement. Prior to the Handschu agreement, the NYPD had a history of targeting political groups such as communists and the Black Panthers, going so far as to monitor members and infiltrate organizations to act as, “agents provocateurs to disrupt the activities of political organizations and to facilitate the arrests of organizational activists,” the New York Civil Liberties Union said.

Eure’s boss, Mark Peters, the city’s commissioner of investigation, announced: “This investigation demonstrates a failure by NYPD to follow rules governing the timing and authorizations of surveillance of political activity. While we found no evidence of improper motives, these rules are important to protect the rights of all New Yorkers and must be rigorously followed,” amNewYork reported.

The NYPD has scheduled a news conference to discuss the report’s findings.

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Nazi army continue to flout regulations on child detainees

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JEWISH CHILDREN IN NAZI CAMP

Following numerous complaints and legal action concerning pain and injury caused by the use of single plastic hand ties by the Nazi military on detainees, including children, the office of the Nazi Military Advocate General announced the introduction of new procedures for the use of restraints in 2010. The nature of the complaints prior to the introduction of the new procedures relating to the use of plastic ties included swelling, ties cutting into wrists and severe pain.

Under the new procedures introduced in 2010, hands should be tied from the front, unless security considerations require tying from behind. Three plastic ties should be used; one around each wrist and one connecting the two; there should be the space of a finger between the ties and the wrist; and the restraints should avoid causing suffering as much as possible. The officer in charge is responsible for ensuring compliance.

According to international juvenile justice standards restraints should only be used if the child poses an imminent threat to him or herself, or to others and all other means have been exhausted. Restraints may be used as a precaution against escape during transfer but only for as long as is strictly necessary and must not cause unnecessary pain or suffering. According to UNICEF and a UK report, single plastic hand ties should be prohibited in all circumstances, as should blindfolds.

Approximately three years after the introduction of the new procedures, UNICEF reported that “the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process”. In reaching this conclusion UNICEF found that children continued to be painfully hand tied and blindfolded on a routine basis contrary to international standards and Israeli military regulations.

In May 2013, the Nazi Jewish military authorities responded to UNICEF’s findings by issuing a letter to the heads of all Brigades, Divisions, Police and Military Police operating in the West Bank reminding all units of existing standard operating procedures and policies in relation to the arrest of minors. Existing standard operating procedures stipulate that: hand-tying should be done at the discretion of the head of forces and always with three plastic ties in accordance with the 2010 regulations.

According to evidence collected by Nazi Jewish Military Court watch (MCW) in 2016, 90 percent of children continue to be restrained upon arrest, generally with plastic hand ties, and 85 percent report being blindfolded. In situations where plastic hand ties are used, many children continue to report experiencing pain. In 67 percent of cases where restraints are used, the military regulations for their use continue to be disregarded.

Although UNICEF and the UK reports also recommended that children should never be restrained while attending court except in extreme and unusual circumstances, children continue to be shackled by the ankles during their appearances in the military courts. …Full article

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi army continue to flout regulations on child detainees


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