Archive | October 9th, 2016

US, Britain and France now air force for terrorists in Syria

NOVANEWS
Image result for SYRIA WAR PHOTOS
By Finian Cunningham | RT 

For nearly six years, Washington and its allies have gotten away with playing a cynical double game in Syria’s war. But now the mask is slipping to reveal the ugly face of Western involvement – it is openly siding with terrorists.

Russia was correct to veto a French-sponsored draft resolution at the UN Security Council this weekend. Along with American and British vigorous support, the French proposal centered on halting military flights over the besieged northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

As Russia’s foreign ministry commented, the French initiative was tantamount to giving air cover for insurgents dominated by the internationally proscribed terrorist group Jabhat al Nusra. In short, a no-fly zone protecting terrorists would have been imposed in violation of Syrian sovereign rights, as well as international law.

An alternative draft resolution put forward by Russia was subsequently nixed by the US, Britain and France. The Russian proposal was aimed at reviving the ceasefire arrangement declared last month by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Moscow’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. It reiterated the need for anti-government militants to dissociate from the proscribed terrorist groups affiliated with al Qaeda, including al Nusra and Daesh (ISIS).

Russia is calling for a general ceasefire, but it does not specify the condition of halting military flights over Aleppo.

If France and its Western allies were genuine about wanting to stop the violence, then why don’t they get behind the Kerry-Lavrov deal? They have evidently abandoned that ceasefire arrangement because it was exposing Western claims about supporting “moderate rebels” as distinct from “extremists” as a fallacy.

That the Kerry-Lavrov truce was immediately violated by the insurgents and that there was no separation of “moderates” and “extremists” showed once and for all that Western claims of supporting “legitimate rebels” are a farce. Washington, London and Paris are patently backing a terrorist army fighting for their objective of regime change in Syria.

Since Syria and its Russian ally resumed offensive operations to take the key battleground city of Aleppo on September 22, the Western sponsors of the terror proxies have become increasingly shrill in a media campaign to thwart that offensive.

America, Britain and France have decried “war crimes” allegedly committed by Syrian and Russian air strikes. John Kerry, ahead of the weekend spat at the UN, called for a probe into suspected war crimes attributed to Russia.

Western media have been saturated with unverified reports from the militant-held eastern Aleppo purporting to show Syrian and Russian air strikes on civilian centers, including hospitals. Much of the information coming out of eastern Aleppo is sourced from Western-funded “activists” who are embedded with the Nusra terrorists. Tellingly, Western media and governments are in effect peddling what is terrorist propaganda.

The Russian and Syrian governments deny Western claims. They say their military operations are targeting terrorist groups that are deliberately using the 250,000 civilian population in east Aleppo as human shields.

It is significant that the more the Syrian army and its allies among Iranian, Lebanese and Iraqi militia, as well as Russian air support, make advances to retake Aleppo, the more hysterical Western governments and media become about “war crimes”.

If we start from the premise that the conflict in Syria has from the outset been a Western-orchestrated covert war for regime change involving the sponsoring of a terrorist mercenary army, then the Western hysteria over Aleppo is perfectly understandable.

A defeat for the insurgents in Aleppo means the end of the Western criminal enterprise to install a pro-Western puppet regime in Syria. That would mark a historic blow to the prestige of Washington and its European allies in the Middle East. It would also further expose their criminal complicity.

By contrast, Russian influence in the strategic region would be elevated. And for good reasons too. Moscow will be seen as having stood by a sovereign nation to vanquish Western powers who have wreaked havoc in the region with illegal wars and regime-change subterfuges.

Given the high stakes, this is why Western powers are evidently becoming more desperate to impede Syrian and Russian military success against the insurgents. Western emotive denunciations against Syria and Russia have nothing to do with concern for human suffering. It is all about contriving a moralistic political pressure to hamper the campaign against the West’s terrorist project.

Seen in this context, French calls at the UN for a no-fly zone around Aleppo is a startling admission by the Western powers that they are trying to protect terrorist al Qaeda-affiliated organizations. It is a stunning revelation of the fraudulent and criminal nature of Western governments. Their claims of “fighting terrorism” which have justified overseas wars over the past 15 years are self-evidently bogus. Their claims of supporting a “pro-democracy uprising” in Syria are grotesque.

This giant fraud has, of course, been made possible because Western media corporations have gone along with the vile charade. These media organizations are equally complicit. Giving succor to war crimes is in itself a war crime, as international attorney Christoper Black points out.

Meanwhile, away from Aleppo and the Western distortion of what is happening there, the alternative media report that the US-led military coalition is destroying bridges on the Euphrates in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor.

According to the Syrian Free Press and others, American air strikes have demolished seven major river crossings over the past week. The latest strike was on the al Syasia bridge north of the city of Deir ez-Zor, the largest bridge in the province.

Targeting civilian infrastructure is a war crime. It will prevent humanitarian aid convoys reaching civilians in government-held Deir ez-Zor. But more significantly, the US, French and British coalition – which is operating illegally in Syria in the first place – is working to block the Syrian army and Russian offensive against the Daesh terror stronghold of Raqqa. The bridges knocked out were providing key linkages for the Syrian and Russian forces from Deir ez-Zor towards Raqqa.

The US-led air strikes also give full meaning to the deadly American attack on the Syrian army base at Deir ez-Zor on September 17. Over 60 Syrian troops and nearly 200 more were wounded when US, British and Australian warplanes blasted the base in a sustained attack. Washington claimed it was an “accident”.

But to many other observers, the massacre was no accident. It was a deliberate assault by the Western coalition to end the Kerry-Lavrov pact because the failing ceasefire was exposing the systematic terror connections of the Western governments in Syria.

Washington and its allies are not just trying to give air cover to the terrorists in Syria indirectly by setting up so-called no-fly zones. They are evidently now giving the terrorists air fire-power.

As in the NATO regime-change war in Libya in 2011, the Americans, French and British are riding shotgun in the air for terrorists on the ground.

And the truly disgusting thing about this criminal collusion is that the Western powers claim to be concerned about international law, war crimes and human suffering.

Read more:

Rival resolutions on Syria sponsored by Russia & France fail at UNSC

Posted in USA, France, Syria, UKComments Off on US, Britain and France now air force for terrorists in Syria

URGENT: MSM Syria Lies NEED TO BE EXPOSED…Before It’s Too Late

NOVANEWS

Image result for child beheading terrorist scum PHOTO

corbettreport

The world once again finds itself hurtling to the brink of war, and once again the establishment mouthpiece puppet propaganda media is leading the charge. This time around their lies defy description. In the sick world of the would-be warmongers, child beheading terrorist scum are now the heroes. The blood of the innocents that spill from here on in covers the hands of the mainstream media propagandists.

SHOW NOTES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=20107

Posted in SyriaComments Off on URGENT: MSM Syria Lies NEED TO BE EXPOSED…Before It’s Too Late

No No UNSC consensus on Syria consensus on Syria

NOVANEWS
Image result for UNSC LOGO
The BRICS Post 

Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin said on Sunday that Moscow hopes to continue working with the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) to end the conflict in Syria.

“I want to assure you that very difficult work continues both in multilateral and bilateral formats, and we still hope that the situation in Syria will be normalized, and that it will have a very favorable effect on the state of affairs in east Aleppo. We hope that this will happen as soon as possible,” Churkin said in a response to fears voiced that the ISSG may be collapsing.

Churkin’s statement came just hours after Russia vetoed down a French-proposed UN resolution on Syria, saying that it would empower Islamist rebels such as Al-Qaeda groups in Aleppo and give them freedom of movement.

The French draft had called for a complete end to aerial bombardment and oveflights of Russian and Syrian war craft over Aleppo.

China abstained on voting on this resolution.

The Russian Foreign Ministry strongly criticized the wording of the French draft.

“The text (of the resolution) indulged by Washington and submitted (to the UN Security Council) immediately after the United States had refused to implement the Russian-US agreements on the Syria settlement, has grossly distorted the actual state of affairs and was of a politicized, unbalanced and one-sided nature,” it said in a statement.

A Russian counter resolution, which the Kremlin says was an attempt to compromise and avoid splitting the 15-member body, was also rejected in the Security Council.

The UK ambassador to the UN criticized Russia’s veto. Matthew Rycroft said that it appeared Russia preferred to allow the misery of Aleppo civilians to continue.

Posted in Russia, SyriaComments Off on No No UNSC consensus on Syria consensus on Syria

Syria no-fly zone would mean ‘killing a lot of Syrians’ – leaked Clinton speech

NOVANEWS
Image result for Syria no-fly zone CARTOON
RT 

Amid the increasingly hawkish approach the US government has taken towards the Syrian government, it has been clear for its strategists that a no-fly zone over Syria would mean mass civilian casualties, leaked quotes from a 2013 Hillary Clinton speech have shown.

One of the problems with the no-fly zone, which Western hawks have long insisted should be imposed over Syria, would be the need to “take out” the country’s “very sophisticated” air defenses, Hillary Clinton noted in a Wall Street speech posted by WikiLeaks in the latest trove of classified emails.

“To have a no-fly zone you have to take out all of the air defenses, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk— you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians,” Clinton admitted.

She then expressed concern that would make that “intervention that people talk about so glibly” a full-fledged “American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.”

WikiLeaks on Friday opened a Pandora’s box of emails leaked from the account of Clinton’s campaign chairman, unleashing thousands of messages with excerpts of her paid speeches for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and others in between her job as secretary of state and the current presidential campaign.

Syria proved to be a hot topic for Clinton in 2013. During her speech for Deutsche Bank, she was asked by an audience member whether she would support US airstrike or boots on the ground in Syria, and if there was indisputable evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its people.

“Well, you’ve asked a very, very difficult question,” Clinton replied, “because we obviously talked about this at great length, and both the United States and Europe, as well as Israel, have said that’s a red line. And if there is indisputable evidence, then there is the stated commitment to take action.”

“What that action is and what would work is extremely difficult to plan and execute,” she added.

Clinton asserted the US had some “potential” interests in Syria, the leaked document shows.

“It depends upon how you define national interest. We certainly do with chemical weapons,” she said during her October 2013 speech at the Jewish United Fund Advance & Major Gifts Dinner.

Clinton then justified Syria being “a national interest” by what she claimed was a possibility of it becoming “a training ground for extremists, a launching pad for attacks on Turkey, Jordan, the non-tetarian[sic] elements in Lebanon and, eventually, even in Israel.”

Another challenge mentioned by Clinton was for the West to “develop covert connections with the Syrian opposition to gain insight,” she said during the 2013 speech to Goldman Sachs.

“So the problem for the US and the Europeans has been from the very beginning: What is it you – who is it you are going to try to arm? And you probably read in the papers my view was we should try to find some of the groups that were there that we thought we could build relationships with and develop some covert connections that might then at least give us some insight into what is going on inside Syria.”

Clinton said she actually favored “more robust, covert action trying to vet, identify, train and arm cadres of rebels” in Syria, adding that things have been “complicated by the fact that the Saudis and others are shipping large amounts of weapons—and pretty indiscriminately.”

Clinton also said she has heard advice about Syria to “let them kill themselves until they get exhausted, and then we’ll figure out how to deal with what the remnants are,” according to another quote from the Jewish United Fund Advance & Major Gifts Dinner in 2013. She called it “a very hands-off approach.”

While journalists may still be combing through hundreds of the leaked emails, Clinton’s Republican rivals have already used leaks to hit out at her for hiding the transcripts of Wall Street speeches and running a “fraud” campaign.

“With today’s WikiLeaks revelations we are finding out who Hillary Clinton really is, and it’s not hard to see why she fought so hard to keep her transcripts of speeches to Wall Street banks paying her millions of dollars secret,” the Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said in a statement. “The truth that has been exposed here is that the persona Hillary Clinton has adopted for her campaign is a complete and utter fraud. How can Bernie Sanders and many like-minded Democrats continue to support her candidacy in light of these revelations?”

Meanwhile, on Friday the Obama administration accused Moscow of being behind the hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) computers in June.

“Earlier today the US government removed any reasonable doubt that the Kremlin has weaponized WikiLeaks to meddle in our election and benefit Donald Trump’s candidacy,” Clinton campaign spokesman Glen Caplin said. “We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange, who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the US allegations “nonsense.”

“This whipping up of emotions regarding ‘Russian hackers’ is used in the US election campaign, and the current [US] administration taking part in this fight is not averse to using dirty tricks,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Saturday in comments posted on the ministry’s website.

“There is no proof whatsoever for such grave accusations,” Ryabkov said. “They are fabricated by those who are now serving an obvious political order in Washington, continuing to whip up unprecedented anti-Russian hysteria,” he added.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Syria no-fly zone would mean ‘killing a lot of Syrians’ – leaked Clinton speech

This only happens in occupied Palestine

NOVANEWS

699781816

Dr Daud Abdullah | MEMO 

After a visit to Hebron in 1996, the late Palestinian scholar Edward Said wrote, “The present situation cannot last, there are too many inequities and injustices at the heart of Palestinian life.” Two decades on, there is no end in sight to the wretched conditions he deplored back then. On the contrary, they have grown worse.

Not even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s controversial decision to attend the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres was enough to bring about a token suspension of the daily torment of Palestinians in the occupied territories. Immediately after his return to Ramallah, Israel declared Tel Rumeida, a neighbourhood in the Governorate of Hebron, to be a closed military area.

As is always the case when such closures are imposed, Palestinian students and residents who attempted to attend classes or go about their daily affairs were told to return to their homes until the 600 illegal Jewish settlers living in Hebron had observed their religious festivities. These celebrations are expected to last several days and so the ancient Ibrahimi Mosque was also closed to Muslim worshippers for six days.

Like their Muslim compatriots who are routinely denied access to their mosques, Christian Palestinians in Bethlehem and Jerusalem must also have permits to worship in their churches from which they are separated by the eight-metre high “security” wall. Before the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, Christians made up 18 per cent of Palestine’s population. Today, they account for less than 1.5 per cent. For reasons of political correctness, western politicians and church leaders have turned a blind eye to the real causes of this exodus; they have chosen instead to look for a scapegoat in alleged “persecution by Muslims”. That is palpable nonsense and plays into Israel’s nefarious hands.

In Hebron, life is far from normal for its 200,000 Palestinian inhabitants at the best of times. Every aspect of their lives is overshadowed by the activities of the settlers who now live illegally among them, with full military protection courtesy of the Israel Defence Forces. Palestinians must contend with the hideous road blocks and military checkpoints that swamp the old city and its environs. Recent reports confirm that more than 1,000 residential apartments have been vacated because of the harassment affecting the local Palestinian population. This was entirely predictable; Israel’s closure of more than 800 commercial businesses was meant to do exactly that — make life so intolerable for the locals that they will leave “of their own accord”. In Zionist terminology this is known rather sinisterly as “silent transfer.”

Elsewhere in the occupied West Bank, the system of inequity and injustice described by Edward Said is no less punitive. The predominantly farming community in Qalqiliya has been virtually encircled by Israel’s apartheid wall, with farmers separated from their land. More than 170,000 men, women and children are similarly locked in by the wall in Bethlehem. Former US President Jimmy Carter found it appalling that they had to obtain “permanent resident” permits from the occupation authorities in order to continue living in their own homes.

It does not take much to recognise the similarities between the Israeli permit system and the hated South African Pass Laws. Just as it was illegal for black Africans to enter designated “white areas” in South Africa so too is it illegal for Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza Strip to visit Jerusalem, for example, without military permission. At present, the general rule is that only those aged 45 years or over are considered for a permit. While there are, of course, subtle differences, the South African jurist John Dugard has pointed out that the common features between South African apartheid and Israel’s version are discrimination, repression and territorial fragmentation.

Under these repressive and degrading conditions it was only a matter of time before a third intifada erupted in the occupied territories. Israel’s determination to seize Palestinian land for its settlements; its closure and desecration of religious sites; and its extrajudicial killings have all provided the combustible mix that has fuelled the intifada for the past year. The sheer number of settlers (more than half-a-million) and military checkpoints scattered across the West Bank (more than 500) also make the conditions ripe for anger and disaffection to fester.

Throughout their long struggle against Zionist colonisation, Palestinians have staged several uprisings. Once in motion these have never been easy to suppress. Being the weaker of the two parties militarily and politically, the Palestinians have on every occasion suffered untold human and material losses. Yet, for every successive generation, it has been considered to be a price worth paying for their freedom from Israel’s brutal military occupation.

The nature and course of the uprisings have always been unpredictable. This is especially the case today since there is no single political faction that has emerged clearly to lead or coordinate events on the ground. In the absence of any serious political initiative, and given Israel’s determination to maintain its occupation and dominance over the Palestinians, it is only reasonable to expect the current intifada to continue well into the future. In this regard, Edward Said was right: there will be no end to Palestinian efforts to end the prevailing system of inequity and injustice of a kind which only happens in occupied Palestine.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on This only happens in occupied Palestine

Hamas calls ICC visit to Palestine ‘useless’ as delegation skips Gaza

NOVANEWS
Image result for ICC AS NAZI LOGO

The Hamas movement called a visit by an International Criminal Court (ICC) delegation to the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel this weekend “pointless and useless” on Monday, after the delegation declined to include the Gaza Strip in their visit.

“It is regrettable that the ICC delegation yielded to the demands of the Israeli occupation to exclude the Gaza Strip from the delegation’s schedule, despite the fact that the Gaza Strip was the main site of Israeli crimes in 2014,” a statement released on the movement’s website said.

Various human rights groups have charged Israel with international war crimes and submitted several cases to the ICC related to Israel’s devastating 51-day assault on the Gaza Strip in 2014 that culminated in the deaths of more than 1,000 civilians. Meanwhile, critics have questioned the ICC’s ability to bring justice on issues related to Palestine in the face of Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the court, and have even faulted the ICC itself with playing a key role in the slow process of holding Israel accountable.

“As a result, Hamas considers the delegation’s visit pointless and useless. The visit has caused more pain and suffering for the families of victims who counted on the ICC to bring justice to them and bring the Israeli killers before the court.”

The fierce condemnation by Hamas, the de facto rulers of the blockaded Gaza Strip, came as the Palestinian Authority (PA)-governed occupied West Bank welcomed the delegation of the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) to the city of Ramallah on Saturday.

They were scheduled to meet with the committee that is charged with following up on ICC investigations, the state-run television network Palestine TV, and a Palestinian newspaper, according to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). On Sunday, the delegation will travel to the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank to attend an academic meeting at Bethlehem University. Meanwhile, the OTP also plans to visit Israel.

“The State of Palestine had officially requested the OTP visit Gaza, though it was declined. We hope that on their next visit the ICC delegation will visit other areas of the Occupied State of Palestine, including Hebron and the Jordan Valley,” the PLO’s ICC Higher National Committee said Friday.

The ICC’s decision to skip visiting the besieged Gaza Strip comes after the small Palestinian territory was was bombarded by a wave of Israeli airstrikes in recent days, and after Israel imprisoned activists aboard an all-female flotilla that attempted to reach Gaza this past week.

The flotilla was the fourth of its kind since 2010, when the first Freedom Flotilla was brutally attacked by Israeli naval forces, who killed ten Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara ship.

No Israelis were ever charged for the killings on the Mavi Marmara, despite a case being filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC) charging Israeli officials with war crimes.

Meanwhile in August, the Israeli military closed 13 criminal investigations into cases of Israeli soldiers committing violations against Palestinian civilians during the 2014 Gaza war, without imposing any punitive measures, while some 80 incidents were closed without opening a criminal investigation.

The 51-day Israeli offensive, termed “Operation Protective Edge” by Israeli authorities, resulted in the killings of 1,462 Palestinian civilians, a third of whom were children, according to the United Nations.

According to a UN report, there were incidents in which hundreds of Gazans were killed at the same time, many belonging to the same family, when Israeli air forces bombed residential buildings — credible allegations that the incidents amounted to war crimes.

Full article

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on Hamas calls ICC visit to Palestine ‘useless’ as delegation skips Gaza

Kerry’s sorrows are unspeakable

NOVANEWS
Image result for Kerry CARTOON
By M K Bhadrakumar

The United States has called for trying Russia for committing war crimes in Syria. Secretary of state John Kerry said in Washington on Friday, “Russia and the (Syrian) regime owe the world more than an explanation… These are acts that beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes. And those who commit these would and should be held accountable… We also need to keep the pressure up on Russia with respect to the implementation of the Minsk agreement (on Ukraine). And we… make it clear publicly that if we cannot implement Minsk in the next months or arrive at a clear plan as to exactly how it is going to be implemented… then it will be absolutely necessary to roll over the sanctions (against Russia).”

To be sure, the sub-zero temperature in US-Russia relations has dipped by another ten degrees centigrade. Even in the height of Cold War, when the former Soviet Union used to be an ‘evil empire’, Washington had never sought that the Kremlin officials should be tried for war crimes. Nor had the Soviet Union.

Even after killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi, Libyan and Afghan civilians and the wanton destruction of those countries in the past decade or so, and even though the US is actively taking part in the war in Yemen, Moscow never demanded that George W. Bush or Barack Obama – or even Hillary Clinton – should be tried as war criminals.

What has come over Kerry? He sounds a frustrated man who’s lost his cool. He realizes that his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov outwitted him, whereas he’d thought he’s clever by half.

The US hoped to somehow preserve the al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra in order to spearhead one more final push for ‘regime change’ in Syria – if not under the Obama presidency, at least under the next president. Indeed, Lavrov saw through Kerry’s ploy – ultimately, Kerry, a clever politician with some experience in diplomacy, couldn’t be a match for the immensely experienced career diplomat and intellectual in Lavrov. So, Lavrov played along with a poker face and entrapped ‘John’ in a peace agreement that Pentagon would never approve, which actually aimed at making mincemeat out of Nusra.

On the other hand, Kerry feels frustrated that President Barack Obama was not willing to open a parallel track of military intervention in Syria, which, he thought, would have given a much-needed swagger to his diplomatic track. Kerry belongs to the old school of power brokers in Washington, who subscribe to the notion that the Marines lead the way for diplomats. (He was a Marine himself once.)

But Kerry did not realise that the ground beneath the American feet had shifted in the Middle East. The US’ relations with Turkey as well as Saudi Arabia, the two key regional powers who fuelled Syrian conflict, are today embittered to the point that Washington is playing solo in the amphitheatre although  the orchestra has walked out on the conductor. (Sabah )

What intrigues me is why Kerry wants only the Russian and Syrian leaders to be tried for war crimes. Why not Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as well, who commands the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps? But then, Kerry cannot utter that four-letter word – Iran – because the engagement with that country is supposed to be the finest legacy of Obama presidency. Yet, had it not been for the IRGC, which sacrificed so heavily in blood and treasure, the Syrian government could never have gained the upper hand in the fighting. (Times of Israel )

The third fascinating aspect of Kerry’s apocalyptic remark is that he seems to suggest that the US still intends to win the war in Syria. After all, it is a consistent trait of history that the winner dispatches the defeated to the war crimes tribunal – be it Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussein.

Put differently, does Kerry mean that the US intends to defeat Russia in a war? Is it his prognosis that World War III is round the corner? Doesn’t he comprehend that the total annihilation of his own country in a nuclear showdown with Russia would make all this talk about war crimes irrelevant?

Kerry must be feeling frustrated that the Nobel went to the Columbian president! What a way to end a distinguished career in politics and diplomacy when there is no grand recognition for the good work done! Kerry leaves the stage of international diplomacy an embittered man.

Lavrov is unlikely to respond. What can he say, after all? Kerry overreached to reverse the tide of history and the result was fairly predictable. No matter his valiant attempts, he couldn’t erase the geopolitical reality that the US is a power in retreat. Not only in the Middle East, but also in Asia-Pacific.

The sight of a superpower walking into the sunset is never a pleasant sight. It was the case with Rome, Byzantines, Spain, Portugal, France, Britain. Look at the latest tiding from the South China Sea. (Wall Street Journal )

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Kerry’s sorrows are unspeakable

Six Key Questions for the Obama Administration and Companies About Yahoo’s Cooperation With the NSA

NOVANEWS
Image result for Yahoo CIA CONNECTION CARTOON
By Neema Singh Guliani

Since the Snowden disclosures, it has been clear that the NSA conducts unconstitutional, dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international communications. However, it now appears that the NSA is using surveillance authorities to conduct an entirely new type of surveillance: requiring major companies to conduct mass e-mail wiretaps, which involve searching the content of all incoming traffic.

If the news stories that broke earlier this week are accurate, here’s what we know:

Last year, Yahoo, in response to a classified government order, scanned hundreds of millions of mail accounts for a “set of characters” or digital “signature” of a communications method purportedly used by a state-sponsored terrorist organization. The search was apparently performed on all messages as they arrived at Yahoo’s servers. All of this was done without input from Yahoo’s security team, potentially placing users’ security at risk and ultimately prompting the resignation of the company’s chief security information officer.

It appears that a secret court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), approved the surveillance—or at least approved the general procedures the government used to identify its targets. There are conflicting reports on what authority the government relied on.

Unfortunately, the news stories and Yahoo’s cryptic response leave more questions than answers. Yahoo’s ability to disclose information about this classified government program may be limited. But the Obama Administration owes the public far more information about this spying program, especially if it is going to fulfill its promise of increased transparency. As a start, the Obama Administration and other major tech companies should publicly answer the following questions:

1. What authority did the government rely on in compelling Yahoo to search its customers’ emails?

The million-dollar question – which remains unanswered – is what legal authority the government relied on for its demand to Yahoo. Initial reports suggested that the government may have relied on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a highly controversial provision enacted as an amendment to FISA in 2008. More recently, however, news reports have stated that the government obtained what is known as a “traditional” FISA order under Title I of the statute. In either scenario, the surveillance would reflect a dramatic shift in the public understanding of how these authorities are used. Title I authorizes the government to search the communications of a particular person or entity. But, if news reports are accurate, it would mean that the government is now using this law to require that companies scan the content of all users’ incoming emails.

2. What is the program’s legal justification and has it been reviewed?

Whether government is relying on Section 702 or Title I, it seems to have strayed far from the original congressional intent. What is the government’s legal justification for this type of surveillance? And, if the surveillance was authorized by the FISC, was the court aware that its order required Yahoo to search the emails of hundreds of millions of innocent users?

In the past, the government and FISC have engaged in legal gymnastics to justify mass surveillance. The public and Congress have the right to know if this is happening yet again. The Obama Administration should release all legal memoranda it relied on in conducting the Yahoo surveillance, and it should disclose any relevant FISC opinions regarding the surveillance. If no such FISC opinions exist then the public deserves to know, as that itself is cause for concern.3. What types of content searches does the government believe it has the authority to conduct under Title I and Section 702, and are past statements about these authorities still accurate?

Intelligence officials have argued that surveillance programs conducted on U.S. soil are narrowly targeted because the government searches only for specific communication identifiers (like an email address) and not for keywords (like “bomb”). But the Yahoo story suggests that even this limitation may be falling to the wayside. If Yahoo conducted a broad search of its users’ incoming email for a “set of characters” or digital “signature,” that information may have been found in the content of communications. In other words, individuals may have been targeted not based on any preexisting suspicion about who they are or who they communicate with, but based solely on what they were communicating. Moreover, it is unclear whether this “signature” was used only by the target organization, or also by other wholly unaffiliated individuals. If the intelligence community is now engaging in this type of content-based surveillance, then the Obama Administration has a responsibility to set the record straight.

4. If the government relied on Section 702, did Yahoo attempt to filter out purely domestic communications?

Section 702 does not authorize the government to collect or search purely domestic communications. However, the stories contain no details about whether Yahoo made efforts to filter out purely domestic communications, and if so, how successful those efforts were. If such efforts were not made and the surveillance occurred under Section 702, then the Obama Administration should immediately disclose the number of purely domestic communications that were collected and searched under the order so that the public can fully assess the privacy implications.

5. If the government relied on Section 702, did the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board (PCLOB) know about this type of surveillance when they conducted their examination?

In 2014, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board issued a report on Section 702. While we disagreed with many of the report’s conclusions, there is no doubt that the PCLOB declassified important information about Section 702 to facilitate a more robust debate. However, the PCLOB’s public report makes no mention of the types of demands that were purportedly received by Yahoo. If the PCLOB was unaware that this surveillance was occurring under Section 702, why were they not informed? If they knew, why was this information withheld from the public? Either way, this further calls into question the conclusions in the PCLOB report and the adequacy of existing oversight mechanisms.

6. How are other major companies interpreting their obligations under Section 702 and Title I?

Major companies like Google have issued statements saying they have never received the types of demands described in the Yahoo stories and reaffirming that they would challenge such a demand. While we applaud these companies for their statements, more information is needed to fully understand how the government is using its surveillance authorities. Specifically, we urge major technology companies to make publicly available information on how they interpret Section 702 and Title I, and to describe the types of demands that they believe clearly fall outside the statutes’ purview. In this way, companies can help to fill the information abyss left by the Yahoo story and the intelligence community’s lack of transparency.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Six Key Questions for the Obama Administration and Companies About Yahoo’s Cooperation With the NSA

Yahoo Scanned All Users’ Emails for Government!

NOVANEWS
Image result for yahoo cartoons
By Alfredo Lopez | 

If you are one of the approximately 280 million people with Yahoo email accounts, your email was scanned for content and possibly turned over to the U.S. government. Yahoo, on Tuesday, admitted that fact.

Reuters revealed on Tuesday that the Internet mega-company (which is now being purchased by Verizon Communications) designed a special program last year to capture and scan all its users’ incoming email after being ordered to do that by the either the NSA or FBI. It deployed the program over the last year, scanning every piece of email Yahoo accounts received and apparently turning over all email that contained any of the tens of thousands of “keywords” the NSA considers suspicious.

The decision, Reuters says, was made by President and Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer, in collaboration with people in her legal department. It wasn’t without controversy: several Yahoo top staffers left the company including Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos (who left for a top job at Facebook).

The news is startling for several reasons. It’s also deceptive for some others.

* Email providers like Google (whose gmail program is a favorite source of NSA data capture) always claim they don’t do “blanket review” of email content. Yahoo is the first to openly admit that it does. It apparently made that decision because its executives didn’t think they could successfully resist the government orders.

That decision by Mayer, already under considerable pressure at the struggling corporate giant, was apparently taken without consultation with her security team. Instead, she just ordered technologists to write the data scanning software. Many in the company thought it could challenge the government orders in the courts and prevail. Several, including Stamos, fled in reported horror.

* They didn’t just review the emails, they built a special program to do it and never let their users know they were doing that. It might seem logical — after all, you don’t let the person who you’re spying on know you’re spying — but very few Yahoo users are the subject of investigations. Yahoo’s statement — that it complies with legal requests — doesn’t even mention the Consitution that protects your data legally and whose first and fourth amendments appear to have been clearly violated by this action.

*  Finally, what do you do with all that data? While the government would contend that it was investigating illegal activity, it now has reports (at least) if not full captures on everyone. And a government that collects data on everyone isn’t a state doing policing. Itis a police state.

As shocking as this revelation is, the reaction of other Internet companies has been gallingly disengenuous.

“We’ve never received such a request,” a spokeman for Google, told Reuters. “But if we did, our response would be simple: ‘No way’.”

Well… yes… “way” because Google has received thousands of NSA National Security Letters and routinely complies with them. They may not be scanning all the information but they will scan and turn over any information the government requests without informing the affected customer.

A Microsoft spokesperson also chimed in, “We have never engaged in the secret scanning of email traffic like what has been reported today about Yahoo.”

No, maybe not like reported today but Microsoft also routinely complies with government orders almost never challenging them.

In a sense, the way the data is collecting (and the amount collected) — as shocking and important as that is — is probably not the most important issue. If you collect and turn over data on any user just because someone in the NSA tells you to, your respect for privacy and constitutional rights is deeply questionable. That’s exactly what all these companies do.

Yahoo’s latest scandal only underscores how little respect for our rights this industry has.

There are many cases by companies challenging the government on surveillance. Why Yahoo could choose to comply so quickly and not tell anyone about it will certainly provoked widespread circulation and analysis in the coming weeks.

That is something we should all be monitoring.

(Full disclosure: as an official of MayFirst/PeopleLink, I am involved in an international lawsuit challenging the NSA’s right to conduct mass surveillance in foreign countries. The “bias” revealed, however, should not surprise any reader of this website.)

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Yahoo Scanned All Users’ Emails for Government!

Fighting for the soul of Islam: A battle of the paymasters

Sunni Muslim leaders meeting in Grozny 2016

By James M. Dorsey

A gathering of prominent Sunni Muslim leaders in the Chechen capital of Grozny that appeared to have effectively excommunicated Saudi-backed ultra-conservatism potentially opens not only a theological but also a geopolitical rift in the Muslim world. The conference, sponsored and attended by some of Saudi Arabia’s closest allies, suggests that Saudi funding of ultra-conservative worldviews may be meeting its match in more liberal interpretations of Islam backed by the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, an Islamist with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, recently convened some of Islam’s most prominent leaders to determine the theologically and politically explosive question of who is a Sunni Muslim. Professing to be a Sufi, a more mystical interpretation of Islam, Kadyrov lacks the religious credentials beyond his native Chechnya where he was recently re-elected with 98 per cent of the vote.

Kadyrov’s ability to bring together an illustrious group of Muslim scholars highlights successful behind-the-scenes manoeuvring by the United Arab Emirates to counter Salafism despite the UAE’s close collaboration with Saudi Arabia as a member of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and in the war in Yemen. It also shines a light on Russian efforts to cultivate Muslim religious leaders.

Frontal assault

Participating in the Grozny conference were, among others, the imam of the Al-Azhar Grand Mosque in Cairo, Ahmed el-Tayeb; Egyptian Grand Mufti Shawki Allam; former Egyptian Grand Mufti and Sufi authority Ali Gomaa, a strident supporter of Egyptian general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi; Al Sisi’s religious affairs advisor, Usama al-Azhari; the mufti of Damascus, Abdul Fattah al-Bizm, a close confidante of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; and influential Yemeni cleric Habib Ali Jifri, head of the Abu Dhabi-based Islamic Tabah Foundation who has close ties to UAE Crown Prince Mohammed ibn Zayed al-Nahyan.

In defining Sunni Islam, the conference explicitly excluded Wahhabism, the Saudi state’s adopted version of Islam, as well as Salafism and Deobandism from its definition.

In a frontal assault on Saudi-backed ultra-conservative movements such as Wahhabism, Salafism and Deobandism, the conference charged that the label Sunni had been hijacked by heretics whose deviant practices distorted Islam. In defining Sunni Islam, the conference explicitly excluded Wahhabism, the Saudi state’s adopted version of Islam, as well as Salafism and Deobandism from its definition. The assault is all the more significant given that Saudi Arabia has over the last four decades invested tens of billions of dollars into promoting globally ultra-conservative interpretations of Islam.

The conference suggests that the UAE, together with Russia, is succeeding in countering the Saudi effort that has enabled ultra-conservatism to make significant inroads into Muslim communities across the globe. The heavy Egyptian presence suggests further that the UAE, which together with Saudi Arabia is Egypt’s foremost financier, has effectively driven a wedge between the kingdom and the Arab world’s most populous state.

It also serves as evidence that Russian efforts to woo mainstream Muslim as well as Islamist leaders have begun to pay off, despite Moscow’s support of the Assad regime in Syria. In a political fete, Russia managed to gather four years ago leaders of a host of Islamist stripes, including Saudi-backed Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood and Lebanon’s Shi’i Hezbollah at one table. Russian officials have stressed that conservative Russian Orthodox values are similar if not identical to puritan Islamic ones.

Deep-seated aversion

The Grozny conference was co-organised by the Tabah Foundation, the sponsor of the Senior Scholars Council, a group that aims to recapture Islamic discourse that many non-Salafis assert has been hijacked by Saudi largesse. The council was also created to counter the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars, headed by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, widely viewed as a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

UAE backing for anti-Salafi initiatives and opposition to the Brotherhood, even though it does not adhere to Salafi ideology, is rooted in Prince Mohammed’s deep-seated aversion to political Islam. The crown prince is credited with having persuaded the late Saudi King Abdullah to ban the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.

Prince Mohammed has been troubled by suggestions that, since acceding to the throne, King Salman may be less strident in his opposition to the Brotherhood. Mohammed ibn Zayed al-Nahyan also differs with King Salman’s son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on the conduct of the war in Yemen and tacit cooperation on the ground in Yemen with groups associated with Al-Qaeda.

The participation in Grozny of Egypt’s Sheikh El-Tayeb suggests that substantial Saudi funding of large numbers of Al Azhar’s scholars as well as the kingdom’s multi-billion dollar backing of Al Sisi since his toppling in a military coup in 2013 of Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brother and Egypt’s first and only democratically elected leader, has not bought the kingdom the kind of religious and political loyalty it expected.

Our brothers?

A prominent Islamic legal scholar, who rejected a nomination for Saudi Arabia’s prestigious King Faisal International Prize, recalls El-Tayeb effusively thanking the kingdom during panels in recent years for its numerous donations to Al Azhar. Al Azhar scholars were said to have competed “frantically” for sabbaticals in the kingdom that could last anywhere from one to 20 years, paid substantially better, and raised a scholar’s status.

“Many of my friends and family praise Abdul Wahab in their writing,” the scholar said, referring to Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab, the 18th century religious leader whose puritan interpretation of Islam became the basis for the power sharing agreement between the ruling Al Saud family and the country’s religious establishment. “They shrug their shoulders when I ask them privately if they are serious… When I asked El-Tayeb why Al Azhar was not seeing changes and avoidance of dogma, he said: ‘my hands are tied’.

To illustrate Saudi inroads, the scholar recalled being present when several years ago Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy, a former grand mufti and predecessor of El-Tayeb as imam of the Al Azhar mosque, was interviewed about Saudi funding. “What’s wrong with that?” the scholar recalls Tantawy as saying. Irritated by the question, he pulled a cheque for USD 100,000 from a drawer and slapped it against his forehead. “Al-hamd lillah (Praise be to God), they are our brothers,” the scholar quoted Tantawy as saying.

Posted in Middle East, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Fighting for the soul of Islam: A battle of the paymasters

Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING

October 2016
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31