Archive | November 25th, 2017

Will Beijing Really Rename and Reroute the China-Pakistan Economic Corridors (CPEC) to Please India?

NOVANEWS
 

The Chinese Ambassador to India suggested that his country could rename and even reroute the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, popularly known as CPEC, in order to appease New Delhi.

His Excellency Mr. Luo Zhaohui proposed this controversial idea in a speech at the Centre for Chinese and South-East Asian Studies late last week, which is the second time that he spoke about it when considering that the first instance was half a year ago in May. It’s difficult to interpret why this is being brought up yet again, though there are two branches of understanding that can help with figuring out what might be going on. The first one of course is that the Ambassador isn’t serious about the proposal and is simply bringing it up for diplomatic reasons and in order to temporarily alleviate India’s hysterical jingoistic worries about CPEC. That’s indeed very possible, though the second school of thought on this topic is equally plausible as well, and it’s that Beijing might actually be somewhat serious about this suggestion.

To explain, China would ideally like for India to join its One Belt One Road (OBOR) global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, as the complementary synergy between these two Asian Great Powers could literally have world-changing consequences for International Relations, but New Delhi’s ultra-nationalist government has thus far refrained from this due to its maximalist approach to the Kashmir Conflict and fears of being inundated with Chinese goods. In an attempt to temper their unease, Ambassador Zhaohui proposed that China could “create an alternative corridor through Jammu and Kashmir, Nathu La pass or Nepal to deal with India’s concerns”, which would in essence connect over two billion people and create a powerhouse of geopolitical gravity if it was successful.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

The problem, however, is that this is more of a liberal fantasy than a functional plan when considering that all indicators point to India’s reluctance to ever agree to this proposal, especially since the South Asian state is in the process of formulating a 100-year-long strategy with the US, as revealed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier last month. Therefore, it’s fair to suppose that any members of China’s permanent military, intelligence, and especially diplomatic bureaucracies – or “deep state” – who believe in this are followers of the liberal school of thought, which might also suggest that some of them might even believe the unfounded fake news reports about Pakistan’s stability and security, ergo why they would publicly entertain renaming and potentially even rerouting CPEC.

The $250 billion worth of deals that Trump agreed to during his visit to the People’s Republic a few weeks ago might have also had an influence on Ambassador Zhaohui’s revival of his curious proposal, whether as a symbolic diplomatic gesture or a serious initiative. At the end of the day, however, it’s very unlikely that China would ever reroute CPEC because of the grand strategic purpose that the project fulfills in providing Beijing with reliable overland access to the Indian Ocean through which almost all of its Eastern Hemispheric trade traverses, and as for renaming this project, it can’t do so unilaterally without Pakistan’s approval and that won’t ever happen because CPEC has become inseparable from the country’s 21st-century international branding.

The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Nov 24, 2017:

 

 

Posted in China, India, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Will Beijing Really Rename and Reroute the China-Pakistan Economic Corridors (CPEC) to Please India?

Trump Wants Welfare in America Ended

NOVANEWS

During the Great Depression, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) provided financial help to children of low or no-income families.

The program later provided significant federal and state funding to needy families. Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty established the Office of Economic Opportunity, administering federal funds to aid impoverished Americans.

It was part of his Great Society, expanding on FDR’s New Deal, including establishment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 – essential programs, along with Social Security, targeted for elimination by cutting their benefits.

Social Security is weakened by way understating inflation, paying less to eligible recipients than they’d get otherwise.

During the neoliberal 90s, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation (“welfare reform”) Act (PRWORA) changed eligibility rules – abolishing AFDC, the new program beginning on July 1, 1997.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) set five-year time limits. It gave states fixed block grants to administer at their discretion. Americas most needy are especially vulnerable during economic hard times when reduced federal aid exacerbates dire conditions.

Under TANF, recipients must work or receive job training, even during hard times when employment is hard to find.

Single mothers with young children are greatly harmed. During their early formative years, children need extra parental care. TANF recipients are required to find jobs with 24 months of receiving aid.

From 1970 to 1996, financial aid for poor families with children fell by over 40% in two-thirds of the states, adjusted for inflation.

As of July 2017, TANF benefits for impoverished families of three with no other support is 60% of poverty-level income – extreme deprivation for affected households.

In 2015, less than 25% of poor families with children received TANF aid – compared to over two-thirds of eligible households in 1997. In 14 states, only around 10% of impoverished families got TANF benefits.

The 2009 Recovery Act included TANF Emergency Fund aid. In September 2010, it wasn’t renewed. Budget-strapped states continue force-feeding harsh cuts, vulnerable residents harmed most.

In 2015, a book by Johns Hopkins sociologist Kathryn Edin and Univ. of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions director Luke Shaefer, titled “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America” was stunning.

It reported this level of extreme poverty affects about 1.5 million US households with 2.8 million children – surviving on practically nothing. It’s hard to imagine.

The Clinton co-presidency promised to “end welfare as we know it.” Trump intends doing him one better, wanting sharp TANF cuts, deplorably saying “people are taking advantage of the system” – no evidence proving it, according to Edin.

He intends pushing for greater welfare cutbacks once tax cuts for corporate predators and super-rich Americans are enacted into law – provided House and Senate members agree on so-called tax reform, likely but not certain, plenty of opposition flack to deal with, whether enough to kill it remains to be seen.

Likely early next year, details on Trump’s welfare cuts will be announced. According to his Domestic Policy Council director Paul Winfree, he and another staffer are “working on a major welfare reform program.”

Their proposal will be included in a 2018 Trump executive order, outlining administration principles, directing federal agencies to draft recommendations for federal legislation.

Congressional leaders were told this is coming next year. According to Edin, TANF greatly reduced aid to needy families. It never became a “springboard to work.”

Welfare benefits already are minimal, way below what’s needed. Further cuts will cause more harm than already to America’s most vulnerable.

Trump’s initial 2018 budget proposal, revealed last March, sought cuts in Medicaid, food stamps, Pell grants for students and other programs.

His ultimate aim, along with GOP hardliners, is eliminating social justice in America altogether – wanting more of the nation’s resources available for its privileged class, militarism and warmaking.

The country already is unsafe and unfit to live in. A few more years of Trumpism and GOP extremism will make it impossible except for the privileged few.

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A Less than Modest Proposal to End the War in Yemen. “I am Writing This on Thanksgiving Eve”

NOVANEWS

“I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled …” —Jonathan Swift, 1729 (from “A Modest Proposal”)

I am writing this on Thanksgiving eve. Tomorrow, like so many other fellow Americans, I will be passing the mashed potatoes and gravy, calling for more cranberry sauce, and once again feeling pangs of conscience as the turkey platter comes my way and I imagine industrial-scale factories where millions of farm-raised turkeys are slaughtered and otherwise prepared for consumption.In Plymouth, hundreds will gather for a Day of Mourning in recognition of the suffering Native Americans have endured since Europeans first began their conquest of indigenous lands over 500 years ago.

It will be a day of mourning for me as well. For that matter, every day lately has become a day of mourning as I reflect upon my country’s role in the starvation and slaughter of the people of Yemen. Through its open-ended support of Saudi Arabia’s illegal war against Yemen’s Houthi rebels, the U.S. is complicit in what has become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The statistics are appalling: At least 10,000 Yemenis have been killed, the majority of whom are innocent civilians; millions have been displaced; and, according to UN reports,

“some 7 million people in Yemen are now on the verge of starvation. Yemen is also in the throes of a cholera epidemic that has infected more than 900,000 people.”

Cholera is an infectious disease that occurs when a person ingests food or water contaminated with a particular type of bacterium. Typically, feces from an infected person are the source of contamination. In Yemen, Saudi planes have deliberately targeted the country’s water- and sewage-treatment plants, and its electrical infrastructure. Result: People are consuming untreated food and water and becoming ill. Cholera causes severe diarrhea, which in turn can lead to dehydration. If not remedied in time, dehydration will lead to shock and death in just a few hours.

The International Committee of the Red Cross predicts that a million people will become victims of the cholera epidemic by the end of this year. Disease and starvation are weapons of choice Saudi Arabia and its partners in crime are deploying against their enemies in Yemen, whom they regard as proxies of their major regional foe—Iran. To prevent the spread of Shia Islam in its own backyard, the Sunni regime of Saudi Arabia  is waging total war on the people of Yemen, now suffering from severe, life-threatening shortages of food and medicine.

These shortages are not the results of an earthquake or other natural disaster. They are the intended consequences of the bombing and shelling of Yemen’s civilian infrastructure by Saudi Arabia, and its imposition of a nearly total air, sea, and land blockade that has made an estimated 70% of Yemen’s population dependent on imported food and other forms of humanitarian aid, which the blockade has severely restricted—with the consent and active participation of the most indispensable nation on the face of the planet—the United States. We can thank Saint Obama for getting the ball rolling when his Administration authorized the shipment of more than $100 billion worth of weapons to the Saudi military, a largess that Trump has continued in the form of an additional $110 billion in weapons sales to the most despotic regime in the Middle East and the heart and soul of Wahhabism, a perversion of Islam that has brought nothing but suffering to the people of the region.

Our role in the crisis is not limited to the provision of high-tech weapons and munitions; the military has been waist-deep in the Big Muddy of turning Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, into a nation of widows and orphans. As former Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka rightly points out:

This is a war that could not then or today have been launched and executed without direct support from the U.S. military. The United States provided critical support in the form of intelligence sharing and targeting, air-to-air refueling, logistics support, participation in the naval blockade, and billions of dollars in weapons sales.

So let us bow our heads and give thanks for America’s continuation of the war of conquest that began five centuries ago and has evolved into the imperium’s onslaught against the poor and defenseless elsewhere in the world and its ruthless drive for hegemony, even when this means supporting the likes of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and other heartless rulers as long as our interests and theirs are closely aligned.

It’s an old story. Not that long ago, the U.S. and Iraq were bedfellows until Saddam Hussein broke the rules and had to be “taken out.” I wager the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is well-acquainted with the story of Saddam’s rise and fall, and the means by which the U.S. brought Iraq to its knees. In the first Persian Gulf War (1991), the U.S. military targeted Iraq’s civilian infrastructure, including water- and sewage-treatment plants, and the electrical system. And for over a decade, successive U.S. Administrations maintained a comprehensive embargo, allowing in only a trickle of humanitarian supplies. What we’re seeing in Yemen in year three of the war with Saudi Arabia is not that far a cry from what the Iraqi people endured under sanctions, imposed by the UN but enforced by the U.S. and UK. Severe malnutrition, the rise of communicable, water-borne diseases, and high rates of infant and maternal mortality were all directly related to the near-total destruction of Iraq’s civilians infrastructure and the continuation of a sanctions regime which prevented Iraq from importing necessary spare parts, restoring its electrical system to full capacity, and keeping the water-treatment plants running. Thanks largely to the role of the U.S. in making the Iraqi people pay for their leader’s intransigence, hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings, mostly the old, the young, and the poor, died.

According to Save the Children, disease and starvation—the poison fruits of the war between Yemen and Saudi Arabia—could very well claim the lives of more than 50,000 Yemini children by the end of the year. Right now, the Saudi-imposed and U.S.-condoned blockadeis killingan estimated 130 Yemeni children each and every day. One thing you can say for sure about the U.S. is that no matter which party is in power, geopolitical interests and objectives will almost always trump the need for compassion and humanity. I am thankful that Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy had the courage to stand up on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, November 14 to denounce U.S. support for the war in Yemen and to hold up photos of starving Yemeni children as graphic evidence of the suffering our support has enabled. And I am also thankful that the day before Senator Murphy’s address, “the House of Representatives voted 366-30 in favor of a non-binding resolution that said the U.S. role in the war had not been authorized by Congress.”

It will take much more than a non-binding resolution and a Senator’s act of conscience to stop the bloodshed in Yemen and bring an end to the war. I mourn for the victims of this war and when I sit down with friends on Thanksgiving day, I will think of the children in Yemen and in other parts of the world where there is not enough food or no food at all not because of drought or other natural causes, but because of the inhumanity that passes for leadership and the policies that come from men and women whose own hearts must have broken long ago, and who cannot feel the pain of their brothers and sisters, and take no responsibility for putting an end, once and for all, to this suffering.

I will be thankful that my wife and I have created a lasting marriage in which we honor and support each other’s choices, and I will be thankful for the friends with whom I will share the Thanksgiving meal, and for the many fine and courageous individuals in every part of the world who are doing everything in their power to build a truly revolutionary new world order founded upon the principles of justice and equality; men and women struggling to preserve and enhance the beauty of our all-too fragile planet and safeguard its riches for generations to come, and to oppose all those who would trample this beauty to death in the name of maximizing profits and controlling the lion’s share of Earth’s natural resources.

If Jonathan Swift were alive today, I can well imagine him considering the tragedy that is unfolding in Yemen. I don’t doubt for a moment that he would mourn the dying of so many innocents. Perhaps his satirical gifts would inspire him to pen another “modest proposal,” this time in response to the sight of so many starving, emaciated children. He would understand that their suffering and the suffering of their families are not accidental but rather the consequences of political stratagems in which the safety, health, and well-being of ordinary people have little or no value. He might also determine that the root cause of the conflict is Saudi Arabia’s fear and hatred of Shia Islam and its most powerful advocate—Iran. The solution to this conflict, therefore, would be to completely block the transmission of this religious doctrine and practice to the Kingdom and its neighboring countries, or so Swift might conclude.

To that end, I can well imagine him proposing the creation of the world’s largest mosque—a structure that would encompass the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Construction would begin with the building of a wall around the country. While the wall is being built, a selection of the finest artists in the Arab world would design the qubba, or dome, large enough to sit comfortably on top of all sides of the wall. Skylights cut into the dome would allow ample sunlight into the Kingdom, and a massive air conditioning system would keep Saudi Arabia’s temperature at a moderate 75° Fahrenheit, or 24° Celsius.

Using its vast wealth, the Royal Family could afford to provide each of its citizens with a lifetime of financial support under one condition—that they would never question the authority of their rulers or conspire to foment revolution. With the Saudi version of Sunni Islam under lock and key, so to speak, the Kingdom would have no reason for waging war against its neighbors. The very idea would eventually be seen as ludicrous, irrational, unnecessary. To control the population of Shia Muslims and other minority groups living within the Kingdom, the offspring of these groups could be easily converted into kebab for the Royal Family, and its vast network of sycophants and tribal members.

Best of all, to keep the people happy and carefree, in addition to providing an indestructible, lifelong safety net, the Kingdom could install the latest laser technology to turn the country’s vast deserts into an awe-inspiring mirage of ocean vistas. The oceans, of course, would be hologram projections, as true to life as possible, complete with frolicking dolphins, breaching whales, boats under sail, and so forth.

With the entire country transformed into one vast prayer hall, all of human life, from its most humdrum tasks to its highest pursuits, would be an exercise in devotion. If they were so inclined, the Royal Family might also purchase naming rights from the Disney corporation and call their land the Magic Kingdom by the Sea (the Red Sea, actually). Tourists from all over the globe would flock to Saudi Arabia, thus generating an income stream equal to what it derives from its oil wealth. It’s quite likely that the country would be designated as one of the new Wonders of the World.

Granted, what Jonathan Swift might propose, were he alive today, does sound “over the top.” Personally, I would propose at the very least a moratorium on all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and its allies, an unconditional end to the blockade, a major relief effort bringing in tons of life-saving supplies, and an independent investigation into war crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition, its supporters—the U.S. and UK—and Houthi forces. And I would ask my fellow Americans to consider the plight of the people of Yemen, particularly the children, and do whatever is in their power to bring this tragedy to an end, starting perhaps with the use of social media or direct conversations with friends, co-workers, family members—informing them about the nature of this war and reminding them (gently, of course) that, as citizens of Saudi Arabia’s most powerful enabler, we have a responsibility to speak out against the violence, stand in solidarity with the victims of this violence, and advocate for Congressional action on behalf of the Yemeni people.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on A Less than Modest Proposal to End the War in Yemen. “I am Writing This on Thanksgiving Eve”

US-DPRK: The Second Phase of the Nuclear Crisis, or “Who Started What”

NOVANEWS

The accepted American version of the story about the start of the second phase of the nuclear crisis, and which is customary for audiences of non-Korea experts, usually goes something like this: “in 2003, against the background of the success of the American army in Iraq, North Korea announced that it possessed nuclear weapons”, and then removed the seals from its nuclear reactor, withdrew from the NPT and expelled IAEA officials from the country.

Of course, the “carefully selected” official date of the beginning of the crisis already contains an answer to the question of “Who started it first?” and, consequently, “Who is to blame?”. Furthermore, it would be more correct to commence the countdown from the moment when the special envoy of the US President, George Kelly, accused Pyongyang that the DPRK was secretly carrying out nuclear research, and that a representative of North Korea had allegedly admitted this to him openly. However, it would be even more correct to recall what preceded this event.

During the first 20 months after Bush came to power, there had been practically no foreign policy contacts between the two countries. The United States had actually begun to boycott the implementation of the framework agreement1: security guarantees for the DPRK were left hanging in the air; deliveries of fuel oil as compensation for stopping North Korean gas-cooled reactors capable of stock-piling weapons-grade plutonium were suspended (Washington tried to change the rules of the game, stating that fuel would be shipped to the DPRK in response to a change in the political structure and democratic reform, and then completely “turned off the tap”); there was no longer any talk of establishing dialogue at the diplomatic level; deadlines for bringing the “light” water reactors online (2003) were finally broken, by 2002 only the concrete foundations had been laid.

The South Koreans themselves explained matters in the following way: “From the very beginning the project was implemented with breaches of schedule. Construction was repeatedly suspended for a long time, and the supply of fuel oil also stopped. There were many reasons for this: Pyongyang’s test of a medium-range ballistic missile, the construction of certain underground facilities, theoretically suitable for secret nuclear development. … A considerable amount had been invested into the project, more than 1.5 million USD, which is almost 35 percent complete. The foundation pit was dug; all the necessary communications were completed; and all the infrastructure facilities have been built”.

Frankly speaking, declarations of this sort speak for themselves, since their authors quite openly admit that construction was suspended not due to technical problems or due to counteractions by DPRK, but as a result of a change in the political situation during the 1998 crisis around Kumchang-ni and the launching of a Korean satellite.

Of course, there could have been many reasons for the suspension of construction, and the financial crisis of 1997 could significantly have undermined the capabilities of the Republic of Korea, which bore the main burden of the costs of KEDO. Thus the question of whether this was deliberate sabotage or initial reluctance on the part of the participating countries to invest seriously in this expensive project, remains open. As well as rumors that a significant portion of KEDO’s funds was trivially squandered.

However, what is important here is that with the imminent approach of the date when the nuclear power stations were due to become operational, there was an increased probability that the unambiguous question (here the facts speak clearly for themselves), of who was the first to violate the Agreed Framework would be raised by the North Koreans: and in a context which could be very unpleasant for their partners. In such a situation, it is quite easy to conclude that, just like 10 years ago, the nuclear card was played at the “right” moment so as not to allow North Korea to shrug off its demonised image.

In the autumn of 2002, the US accused the DPRK of violating the Agreed Framework. According to statements made by J. Kelly in October 2002, the North Koreans initially denied having a program for manufacturing enriched uranium, and then admitted it. However, the text of this “admission” is well known and sounds like this:

North Korea has the right to have not only nuclear weapons, but also all kinds of weapons, including even more powerful ones, in order to defend its sovereignty and right to existence from the ever-increasing nuclear threat of the United States.

The author considers that it is far from easy to establish the presence of a subtext such as: “all this time we deceived you”.

The “treachery of the DPRK” was also “evident” in that, if the framework agreement referred to the freezing of a programme connected with the manufacture of weapons-grade plutonium, there was no reference to the uranium program, and, according to critics of Pyongyang, the North wanted in this way to achieve a new set of exemptions. However, if the DPRK is to be accused of legal chicanery of this kind, then equivalent charges also apply to the United States.

In addition, no direct evidence clearly indicating that at the specified time the DPRK was secretly working on enriching uranium or plutonium during the term of the agreement, has ever been presented. This is important. Especially when one takes into account the general anti-North Korean rhetoric where every simple mistake could be turned against them. If the United States had been possessed of facts which could have been presented as evidence, then by analogy with all the clamour raised in connection with Iraqi WMD, this information would actively have been used for propaganda purposes both then and later.

Indirect evidence of the lack of such activities is the subsequent rate of development of the DPRK nuclear programme after the continuation of the crisis. If such work was indeed being carried out, the rate would have been much higher.

In the wake of ensuing accusations against the North Koreans for breaching the “spirit of the Agreement” (since the text contained nothing referring to a ban on acquiring enriched uranium), the United States “forgot” that the Bush administration had originally considered it to be document without legal force, and had not attempted to fulfill their part of the contract. Now they deemed it a fully fledged agreement which had been breached by the regime of Kim Jong Il. In general terms, and even in the opinion of Ms. Albright, the United States had demonstrated inflexibility by abandoning bilateral talks and displaying reticence to restate the 2000 joint declaration of the absence of hostile intent. As a result the Agreed Framework was denounced by both sides.

The reaction was not long in coming. The North Koreans warned Washington that they might withdraw from the moratorium on testing ballistic missiles and the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement. They also issued a warning that they could attack American military installations anywhere in the world, if the Americans undertook a preemptive strike against their territory. The final slam of the door came in response to the US decision to halt once and for all fuel oil supplies to the DPRK. On the January 10, 2003, the DPRK announced its withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and expelled IAEA specialists from the country.

So the answer to the question of “who is to blame?” is not actually a matter of American propaganda. It is an unconditional fact that the DPRK’s partners breached their obligations. In theory, the extent of these violations (the de facto complete failure to fulfill their obligations) completely enabled the DPRK to renege on its part of the agreement. However, the counter actions of the DPRK and its own rhetoric in this crisis situation were in themselves far from flawless, and essentially led to more fuel being poured on the fire.

The issue of the uranium program is still open. However, even if we imagine that evidence might be found, there remains one unpleasant factor: in 2002, Pyongyang was clearly aware that their partners were culpable of the systematic violation of the terms of the agreement, and furthermore to such an extent that the entire agreement was rendered void. It remains a rhetorical question as to whether there is any further point in observing an agreement which is to your own detriment.

Posted in USA, North KoreaComments Off on US-DPRK: The Second Phase of the Nuclear Crisis, or “Who Started What”

James Mattis Allowed the ISIS Terrorists to Escape from Raqqa, Smuggled Out of Syria

NOVANEWS

The U.S. Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis, made a secret decision to place the safety and welfare of some foreigners higher than the welfare and safety of the American people.

His number-one concern turned out to be the safety and welfare of the few remaining civilians who remained in Raqqa, and the safety and welfare of the U.S.-sponsored anti-Assad, Arab and Kurdish, mercenaries who have been America’s proxy-soldiers, or “boots on the ground,” fighting against ISIS at Raqqa in Syria (where America has no lawful presence but is instead only an uninvited invader, a violator of sovereign Syrian territory and even having the audacity to be trying to overthrow Syria’s sovereign Government).

As a consequence of Mattis’s placing their welfare above that of the American people (and above that of all nations which suffer from jihadist terrorists such as ISIS), thousands of ISIS terrorists were allowed by Mattis to escape from Raqqa and are now being smuggled out of Syria to perpetrate their terrorism here in the U.S., and elsewhere. All of this happened because Mattis remains determined ultimately to overthrow the rule in Syria by its Ba’athist Party and that Party’s leader, Bashar al-Assad.

Mattis had promised not to do this — he had promised never to agree to any such outcome as releasing ISIS jihadists, but instead that the goal of the mission in Raqqa was (he said) to “annihilate ISIS. The intent is to prevent the return home of escaped foreign fighters” to their lands-of-origin and to their homes. That’s the promise which any U.S. Secretary of Defense is duty-bound to honor, as his/her basic professional commitment in this entire matter — especially because that’s the commitment which his boss, Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump had given him about the matter.

Concern for the welfare of the foreign fighting forces, and concern for the welfare of the very few civilians who had still remained in Raqqa at the time of the culmination of this secret deal, are fine, but they aren’t the primary obligation of a U.S. Secretary of Defense, in any case. The United States and the other fighting forces during World War II, didn’t hesitate to kill all in a particular city, in situations where the total defeat, conquest, of the enemy, was possible in no other way than to kill everybody there (it happened on many occasions, we bombed cities: wars routinely do that) — and this rationale was used on the Allied side (and not only on the fascist side), in that war, as being the ‘justification’ for horrific bombings. It was used even regarding the firebombing of Dresden, and the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan, at the war’s end.

Each of those instances can be debated, but that they occurred is a non-debatable historical fact. It’s nothing new to say that a President’s first obligation is to his/her own nation. And, regardless of whether or not those instances were really justified, it isn’t even the point here, because the United States, and even Defense Secretary James Mattis himself, have, in precisely the Syrian matter, made quite clear that they place the extermination of all ISIS jihadists as being the supreme purpose for the United States Government in Syria. They made this commitment, to serve the national-security interests of the American people, as being the most basic of their official duties. Candidate Trump had even made this very promise during his campaign — to kill all ISIS in Iraq and Syria. And, on 19 May 2017, Commander-in-Chief Trump’s Secretary of Defense announced publicly that this was the command that he had just received from his boss.

During a press conference on May 19th, Mattis announced that President Trump “directed a tactical shift from shoving ISIS out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy in their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS. The intent is to prevent the return home of escaped foreign fighters.”

That’s quite clear instruction from the President. “Annihilate,” not imprison. “Annihilate,” not allow them to commit future acts of terrorism, not only in Syria but anywhere — including the United States. “Annihilate” means slaughter. The President, according to Mattis, wasn’t placing qualifiers on that (such as to protect the few remaining civilians left in Raqqa at the end — which became the U.S. Defense Department’s excuse for letting thousands of ISIS jihadists escape).

Trump knows, just like Mattis does, that protecting the lives of human shields — people amongst whom the enemy hide and who will be killed if the enemy itself is to be killed — is a concern, up to a point, but that, especially when dealing with jihadists, the only solution is to annihilate them regardless, so that they won’t survive to recruit more, and to perpetrate more acts of terrorism anywhere.

Mattis said:

By taking the time up front to surround these locations, instead of simply shoving them from one to another and actually reinforcing them as they fall back, based on the recommendation that we made and the direction that President Trump took we now take the time to surround them. And why do we do it?

Because the foreign fighters are the strategic threat should they return home to Tunis, to Kuala Lumpur, to Paris, to Detroit, wherever. Those foreign fighters are a threat. So by taking the time to deconflict, to surround and then attack, we carry out the annihilation campaign so we don’t simply transplant this problem from one location to another.

He took full personal responsibility for having his subordinates carry out the President’s command:

The generals who know how to do those kind of things — we don’t direct that from here. They know our intent is the foreign fighters do not get out. I leave it to their skill, their cunning, to carry that out.

One reporter asked an incoherent question “on the annihilation change to encompassing cities” and promptly asked about timelines, so that the real issue here, which is how do you protect civilians when bombing and shooting at an enemy force that’s occupying a city, could easily be ignored, but Mattis included in his answer:

it is a change in tactics, (inaudible), that we now surround these location — these concentrations of enemy. …  But the bottom line is the foreign fighters don’t get out is our intent, or at least is greatly reduced in (inaudible) get back home again to bring their hate and discontent back.

Later in the press conference, he said:

The campaign designed end state remains the same; to destroy ISIS.

It’s not to protect anyone except the American people (and in the process, to not be sending ISIS terrorists anywhere else — to not be increasing the terrorist threats to Europe or anywhere).

However, there was also this remarkable and totally uncalled-for spewing-of-hate against Iran, and against the leader of Syria, Bashar al-Assad:

SEC. MATTIS:  The Iranian regime has been unhelpful. As you all know, some years ago when the Syrian people rose up against Assad, they would have been successful except for the Iranian reinforcements, full — full support for Assad. That’s the reason he was able to withstand that difficult time and be still in position now. So Iran’s activities have not been helpful.

They’ve been hurtful, they’ve extended a war that should have ended long ago. I’ve been in a lot of refugee camps over my years on active duty from — from the Dalmatian Coast to Africa and other places, seen boat people pulled out of the water off Vietnam. I have never seen refugees as traumatized as I’ve seen come out of Syria. Never. And Iran bears no little responsibility for that situation.

Either he’s stupid there, or he’s lying, because all of the actual scientific polling of Syrians, even the polling that’s done by Western polling firms and on behalf of governments that are dead-set against Assad’s continuing to lead Syria, has shown, consistently, that a clear majority of Syrians want him to continue leading the country. 

Furthermore, all of the reliable reports from Syrian battlefields have indicated that there are far more people who have been fleeing from rebel-held territory to Government-held territory, than in the reverse direction, from Government-held territory to rebel-held territory. However, with Mattis’s clear prejudice against Iran and against Shia, in favor of Sunnis, and especially “James Mattis’ 33-Year Grudge Against Iran”, it would be understandable why Mattis would have allowed thousands of ISIS terrorists (ISIS being 100% a fundamentalist Sunni operation) to escape. But Mattis’s doing this, is clearly in violation of what he says was the command from his Commander-in-Chief. He’d have no argument if Trump fired him for this. And then, should come the court-martial.

The November 13th news-report from the BBC regarding this matter, was absolutely devastating against Mattis — and, indirectly, devastating also against U.S. President Trump, for not subsequently firing him, for having violated the President’s explicit command. Here are some highlights from that BBC report

To access the full BBC report click title:

Raqqa’s Dirty Secret

by the BBC 

[date not indicated but 13 November 2017]  

The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city.

Abu Fawzi and dozens of other drivers were promised thousands of dollars for the task but it had to remain secret.

The deal to let IS fighters escape from Raqqa — de facto capital of their self-declared caliphate — had been arranged by local officials. It came after four months of fighting that left the city obliterated and almost devoid of people. It would spare lives and bring fighting to an end. The lives of the Arab, Kurdish and other fighters opposing IS would be spared.

But it also enabled many hundreds of IS fighters to escape from the city. At the time, neither the US and British-led coalition, nor the SDF, which it backs, wanted to admit their part.

Has the pact, which stood as Raqqa’s dirty secret, unleashed a threat to the outside world — one that has enabled militants to spread far and wide across Syria and beyond?

Great pains were taken to hide it from the world. 

One of the drivers maps out the route of the convoy

“We were scared from the moment we entered Raqqa,” he says. “We were supposed to go in with the SDF, but we went alone. As soon as we entered, we saw IS fighters with their weapons and suicide belts on. They booby-trapped our trucks. If something were to go wrong in the deal, they would bomb the entire convoy. Even their children and women had suicide belts on.”

The Kurdish-led SDF cleared Raqqa of media. Islamic State’s escape from its base would not be televised.

Publicly, the SDF said that only a few dozen fighters had been able to leave, all of them locals.

But one lorry driver tells us that isn’t true.

“We took out around 4,000 people including women and children — our vehicle and their vehicles combined. When we entered Raqqa, we thought there were 200 people to collect. In my vehicle alone, I took 112 people.”

This wasn’t so much an evacuation — it was the exodus of so-called Islamic State.

It was also understood that no foreigners would be allowed to leave Raqqa alive.

Back in May, US Defence Secretary James Mattis described the fight against IS as a war of “annihilation”.“Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to north Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We are not going to allow them to do so,” he said on US television.

But foreign fighters — those not from Syria and Iraq — were also able to join the convoy, according to the drivers. One explains:

There was a huge number of foreigners. France, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi, China, Tunisia, Egypt…”

Other drivers chipped in with the names of different nationalities.

In light of the BBC investigation, the coalition now admits the part it played in the deal. Some 250 IS fighters were allowed to leave Raqqa, with 3,500 of their family members.

“We didn’t want anyone to leave,” says Col Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the Western coalition against IS.

“But this goes to the heart of our strategy, ‘by, with and through’ local leaders on the ground. It comes down to Syrians — they are the ones fighting and dying, they get to make the decisions regarding operations,” he says.

While a Western officer was present for the negotiations, they didn’t take an “active part” in the discussions. Col Dillon maintains, though, that only four foreign fighters left and they are now in SDF custody.

IS family members prepare to leave

Raqqa’s freedom was bought with blood, sacrifice and compromise. The deal freed its trapped civilians and ended the fight for the city. No SDF forces would have to die storming the last IS hideout.

The men who cut fences, climb walls and run through the tunnels out of Syria are reporting a big increase in people fleeing. The collapse of the caliphate is good for business.

“In the past couple of weeks, we’ve had lots of families leaving Raqqa and wanting to leave for Turkey. This week alone, I personally oversaw the smuggling of 20 families,” says Imad, a smuggler on the Turkish-Syrian border.

“Most were foreign but there were Syrians as well.”

He now charges $600 (£460) per person and a minimum of $1,500 for a family.

Walid, another smuggler on a different stretch of the Turkish border, tells the same story.

“We had an influx of families over the past few weeks,” he says. “There were some large families crossing. Our job is to smuggle them through. We’ve had a lot of foreign families using our services.”

IS fighters were bombed to the negotiating table on 10 October.

“Air strikes put pressure on us for almost 10 hours. They killed about 500 or 600 people, fighters and families,” says Abu Musab Huthaifa.

“After 10 hours, negotiations kicked off again. Those who initially rejected the truce changed their minds. And thus we left Raqqa,” says Abu Musab.

“We didn’t have heavy weapons anyway,” Abu Musab says.

Now in jail on the Turkish-Syrian border, he has revealed details of what happened to the convoy when it made it safely to IS territory.

He says the convoy went to the countryside of eastern Syria, not far from the border with Iraq.

Thousands escaped, he says.

Abu Musab’s own attempted escape serves as a warning to the West of the threat from those freed from Raqqa.

How could one of the most notorious of IS chiefs escape?

Abu Basir al-Faransy, a young Frenchman, left before the going got really tough in Raqqa. He’s now in Idlib, where he says he wants to stay.

The fighting in Raqqa was intense, even back then, he says.

“We were front-line fighters, waging war almost constantly [against the Kurds], living a hard life. We didn’t know Raqqa was about to be besieged.”

Disillusioned, weary of the constant fighting and fearing for his life, Abu Basir decided to leave for the safety of Idlib. He now lives in the city.

He was part of an almost exclusively French group within IS, and before he left some of his fellow fighters were given a new mission.

There are some French brothers from our group who left for France to carry out attacks in what would be called a ‘day of reckoning.’”

Much is hidden beneath the rubble of Raqqa and the lies around this deal might easily have stayed buried there too.

The numbers leaving were much higher than local tribal elders admitted. At first the coalition refused to admit the extent of the deal.

Raqqa was effectively IS’s capital but it was also a cage — fighters were trapped there.

The deal to save Raqqa may have been worth it.

But it has also meant battle-hardened militants have spread across Syria and further afield — and many of them aren’t done fighting yet.

All names of the people featured in the report have been changed.

***

Whereas the British BBC thinks that “The deal to save Raqqa may have been worth it,” this was an American deal, and it violated what U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis publicly stated to be the instruction he had received from his Commander-in-Chief. If Trump intends to retain him, Trump should explain why it was okay for his Defense Secretary to violate his command. Allowing that disobedience to happen is a dangerous precedent — and it’s occurring on top of the danger, now, of the thousands of ISIS terrorists whom the U.S. Government allowed to escape. 

Furthermore, when one looks at the record of what candidate Trump had said during his campaign, firing Mattis is clearly in accord with what Trump was saying at that time, such as (in the 15 December 2015 Republican primaries debate) “We have to get rid of ISIS first. After we get rid of ISIS, we’ll start thinking about it [invading Iran]. But we can’t be fighting Assad. And when you’re fighting Assad, you are fighting Russia.” So, President Trump knows that Mattis’s action here, placing the war against Russia’s allies above the war against ISIS, is profoundly wrong, and that it threatens WW III.

***

The site of the brilliant anonymous geostrategic analyst who writes the “Moon of Alabama” blog, posted, on November 23rd, his interpretation of the evidence, that Trump is just the stupid stooge of a “junta” consisting of the generals (including Mattis) that Trump brought in to run U.S. foreign affairs. He opens:

***

November 23, 2017

Syria – This U.S. Occupation — Or “Presence” — Is Unsustainable

by Moon of Alabama

November 22, 2017

The U.S. is now occupying north-east Syria. It wants to blackmail the Syrian government into “regime change”. The occupation is unsustainable, its aim is unattainable. The generals who devised these plans lack strategic insight. They listen to the wrong people.

The Islamic State no longer holds any significant ground in Syria and Iraq. What is left of it in a few towns of the Euphrates valley will soon be gone. Its remnants will be some of several terror gangs in the region. Local forces can and will hold those under adequate control. The Islamic State is finished. This is why the Lebanese Hizbullah announced to pull back all its advisors and units from Iraq. It is the reason why Russia began to repatriate some of its units from Syria. Foreign forces are no longer needed to eliminate the remains of ISIS.

Map by Southfront – bigger

In its UN Security Council resolutions 2249 (2015) for the fight against ISIS the UNSC was:

Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and unity of all States in accordance with purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, …

***

The above Moon of Alabama article emphasizes that the U.S. is a foreign invader into Syria and has no legitimate right to have troops and military bases there. He closes by placing all of the blame for Trump’s continuation of Obama’s invasion of Syria, upon the people who run Israel, and none of the blame upon the Saud family, who run Saudi Arabia:

The military junta that controls Trump and the White House, (former) generals McMaster, Kelly and Mattis, are not acting in the interest of the United States, its citizens and troops. They are following the call of the Zionist Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) which is pushing for a war on all Iran related entities and interests in the Middle East. JINSA advertises its huge influence on the higher U.S. officer corps. …

My own analysis of the situation (which is not addressed in the M of A article) explains the arrangement that the royal Saud family and Israel’s and America’s billionaires have had for a long time, by which they jointly control the U.S. Government, at least as regards America’s policies in the Middle East. And, actually, the Saudi royal family control the U.S. Government even more than Israel’s regime does.

Because Russia will not allow the U.S. (fronting for the Sauds and Israel) to conquer Syria, Lebanon, and Iran (because Putin knows that next the U.S. would invade Russia), a significant possibility exists that the U.S. aristocracy’s effort (on behalf of the Sauds and Israel, as well as of American firms including oil companies and Halliburton) to conquer these countries, will produce World War III — Putin is fearing a sudden blitz nuclear first-strike attack against Russia so fast Russia won’t have time even to launch their retaliation. (The U.S. Government no longer believes in nuclear weapons for “Mutually Assured Destruction” deterring both sides against either side’s striking first to blitz-eliminate the other side’s retaliatory ability, but now believes instead in nuclear weapons for actual conquest — to actually win a nuclear war against Russia — and that’s what the U.S. regime is trying to put into place, starting with the conquest of Syria and of Russia’s other allied nations.) 

Thus far, the U.S. alliance (including the Sauds and Israel) have not stopped their invasion of Syria, even after it has become clear that, when Syria will decide to impose its sovereignty and finally order all U.S.-and-allied invading forces to leave Syria, World War III (between Russia, including its allies Iran and China, versus the U.S. and its allies NATO and the fundamentalist-Jewish Israel and the fundamentalist-Sunni Arab oil kingdoms), will be the result, if the U.S. fails to comply with that demand from the sovereign Government of the land.

If the U.S. fails even to start its withdrawal by Syria’s pre-set deadline, Russia would then (in fulfillment of the reason for which Russia was invited into the war to defend Syria’s sovereignty) promptly bomb all U.S.-and-allied controlled parts of Syria, and (since WW III would thus already have started in that case) might simultaneously launch all of its strategic arsenal against the U.S. mainland and against all U.S. allies that are also occupying Syria — launch these strategic weapons at that same time in the hope of reducing the destruction directly of Russia itself by whatever U.S.-and-allied forces remain in the wake of Russia’s blitz-nuclear-first-strike against the U.S. invaders/occupiers. The U.S. had already invaded, and has for several years occupied, Syria; but, this will be the moment when Syria, backed by Russia, demand the end of that invasion/occupation. 

The U.S.-Saudi-Israeli aristocracies’ grabs for Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, could thus end the world. It probably will happen unless the U.S. alliance quits grabbing for the entire world. 

The American Century (which in recent decades became instead, because of the U.S. aristocracy, the fundamentalist-Sunni and the fundamentalist Jewish and the fundamentalist Christian ‘century’) has ended, but now the real question is whether the U.S. aristocracy will go so far as global nuclear homicide/suicide, in order to resist that established fact, by trying to defeat Syria in at least a part of that nation.

James Mattis clearly is a key person in that attempt to conquer at least a portion of Syria.America’s shame would not be in its being destroyed but in its having forced WW III and thus the destruction of everything. It would be the U.S. aristocracy’s shame; but perhaps that aristocracy is too psychopathic even to understand shame. Anyway, there’d then soon be no future in which to contemplate whatever they were, for for their having destroyed the world: they would not be viewed by future history, because there’d be none.

As regards the historical origin of this situation, my “Understanding the Power-Contest Between Aristocracies” presents that background information.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on James Mattis Allowed the ISIS Terrorists to Escape from Raqqa, Smuggled Out of Syria

ISIS Last Stand; End Times for the Caliphate

NOVANEWS

“There can be no doubt about it, the ISIS of just two years ago was the most powerful, well-led, generously-armed and resource-efficient paramilitary force in modern history, having carved out for itself an empire between two sovereign states and devastating their armies in the process. However, this is no longer so. The days of the Islamic State consuming Syria like a cancer are over.” The Defeat of ISIS, Andrew Illingworth, Almasdar News

Russia and its allies have expelled ISIS from its last urban stronghold in Syria. Now the Syrian coalition will turn its attention to the numerous hotspots around the country where al Qaida-linked groups have dug in waiting for the Syrian Army to make its final push.

On Monday, Lebanese media reported that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), joined by combat troops from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah, recaptured the city of Abu Kamal in Deir Ezzor province. The city was the last bastion for the terrorist group, ISIS, which, at one time, controlled a vast swathe of land stretching from northern Iraq to central Syria. Now the group has been chased from its last urban hideaway and scattered across the arid wastelands like a nomadic tribe wandering the dessert. Abu Kamal was ISIS’s “last stand”, the final chance to fend off the advancing loyalist forces and reverse the course of the war. But the three-pronged attack proved to be too much for the demoralized jihadists who fled the city northward or surrendered to Syrian troops on the perimeter. Thus, ISIS no longer occupies any of the major towns or cities that once comprised the emerging Wahhabi proto-state. The group has been soundly defeated, its leadership is in tatters and the star-crossed Caliphate has met its end.

What happens next in Syria is of critical importance. Although large parts of the country remain under the control of al-Qaida-linked groups and the other Sunni militias, Russian President Vladimir Putinbelieves the combat part of the war is nearing its end and wants to begin preparations for a political settlement. This view is shared by the entire Putin administration including Deputy Defense Minister Valery Gerasimov. On Monday, Gerasimov said:

“The active phase of the military operation in Syria is nearly over. Thanks to our joint efforts, terrorists are being wiped out in the Al-Bukamal area in eastern Syria and along the Syrian-Iraqi border. It will only be a matter of time before the other militant groups are completely eradicated which will allow us to move on to a post-conflict settlement.”

It’s worth noting, that the western media has entirely ignored the defeat of ISIS at Abu Kamal mainly because it was the Russian-led coalition that delivered the final blow. In the current climate in the US, any facts that fail to support the anti-Russia hysteria that has swept the country, are scrubbed from publication. So while the headlines at the New York Times should have read: “Russia Crushes ISIS in Syria”, they instead focused on the trivial details of the latest sex scandal.

Post-ISIS Meetings Begin

On Monday, Putin met with Bashar al Assad in the Russian resort city of Sochi to discuss the winding down of military operations and the next phase of the 7 year-long war. The Syrian President expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the man who, by any measure, saved Syria from a fate similar to that of Libya or Iraq.

“I have conveyed to Mr. Putin and to the Russian people, our gratitude for their efforts to save our country. In the name of the Syrian people, I greet you and thank you all, every Russian officer, fighter and pilot that took part in this war.”

Putin thinks the defeat of ISIS at Abu Kamal creates an opportunity for the warring parties to hash out their differences and reach an agreement that will put an end to the fighting. There’s no doubt that Assad will be asked to make concessions he wouldn’t otherwise make to satisfy the objectives of his Russian allies. But Putin does not want Syria to become his Vietnam, he has no intention of using the Russian airforce to recapture every square inch of sovereign Syrian territory. As he’s said from the very beginning, his plans involve the annihilation of the terrorist forces operating in the country; nothing more and nothing less. This is why the outcome at Abu Kamal is so important in shaping the agenda. ISIS has been vanquished and the enclaves where the other insurgent groups are currently located, will be part of a wide-ranging mop-up operation that will end the terrorist threat in Syria for good. Security will eventually be reestablished and the government will move on to the arduous task of rebuilding its decimated cities and infrastructure. But first a settlement must be reached.

Later in the week, Putin will meet with leaders from Iran, Turkey and (maybe) Saudi Arabia. The geopolitical interests of all the parties are vastly different but not necessarily irreconcilable. Turkey, for example, might agree to withdraw its troops from Northern Syria if they are given assurances by Putin that the Kurds will not be allowed to set up an independent state on Turkey’s southern border. The Kurds might also be willing to settle for something less than “full statehood” if they are allowed sufficient autonomy to operate as a culturally independent entity. The main problem is the United States and its Israeli-Saudi allies who still want to topple Assad, partition the country, and transform Syria into another US garrison state at the heart of the world’s largest energy reserves. The defeat of ISIS has not changed Washington’s strategic ambitions or its determination to occupy Syria even after the hostilities have ended.

Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis has already stated that the US will not leave Syria after ISIS is crushed. Here’s what Mattis said at a recent press briefing on November 13:

“We’re not just going to walk away right now before the Geneva process has cracked…We’re going to make sure we set the conditions for a diplomatic solution…We have to get the UN-brokered effort in Geneva to take this thing forward.”

When Mattis was asked to provide the legal justification for the ongoing US occupation of east Syria, he said:

“You know, the UN said that ISIS — basically we can go after ISIS. And we’re there to take them out.”

The United Nations never approved US intervention in Syria, but that’s probably a moot point given Washington’s abysmal record of shrugging off international law. From the look of things, the US is planning to stay in Syria for a long time, and that’s going to dampen the prospects for peace. Check this out from NPR:

“A rising number of Syrians who fled are returning to their homes, with more than 600,000 going back in the first seven months of this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.
The U.N. migration agency says that number is comparable to the number of returns spanning the entire year in 2016.

The Syrian government has been stressing that people are coming home, NPR’s Ruth Sherlock reports, and state media have been posting photos and accounts of such returns…

Most of those going home – 84 percent — were displaced within Syria. “The next highest number of people … returned from Turkey, followed by Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq,” the IOM adds.” (U.N.: More Than 600,000 Syrians Have Returned Home In 2017″, NPR)

The fact that Syrian refugees are returning home in droves further underscores the positive impact Russia’s intervention has had on restoring security across the country. The Russian president and his generals have prevented another country in the Middle East from being senselessly ravaged and plunged into fratricidal warfare. But while Putin has achieved much of what he set out to do when he launched his campaign in September 2015, US proxies in the mostly-Kurdish SDF have seized nearly all the territory east of the Euphrates creating the de facto partition that Putin hoped to avoid. How can this situation be resolved without a clash between Washington and Moscow?

It can’t be. There can be no political settlement unless the US relinquishes control over Syrian territory and abandons its misguided project to redraw the map of the Middle East. But is that really going to happen?

It all depends on Donald Trump. If Trump really wants to end the conflict, then the Saudis and Israelis will probably comply. But if Trump is convinced that Syria is merely a skirmish in a much broader war with Iran, then he might opt to double-down by establishing bases east of the Euphrates while escalating tensions in other parts of the region. Is this what the recent flare-up in Saudi Arabia was all about? Did the Crown Prince collude with Trump’s people in detaining Saad Hariri? Is the administration trying to throw more gas on the ME fire hoping to shift the attention to Tehran?

It’s possible. Trump has never tried to conceal his hatred for Iran, but how far is he willing to take it? Is he willing to take the country to war? Here’s a clip from an article by Josh Rogin at the Washington Post which helps to illustrate how members of the media (and their think tank colleagues?) are using events in Syria to make their case against Iran. He says:

“…the Assad regime and Iran are preparing for the next phase of the long-running war, in which they will attempt to conquer the rest of the country. Whether Iran succeeds depends largely on whether the United States acknowledges and then counters that strategy.

Tehran is pouring thousands of fighters into newly acquired territories and building military bases. Although U.S.-supported forces hold territories east of the Euphrates River in Syria’s southeast, as well as along the borders of Israel and Jordan in the southwest, Iran has stated its intention to help Bashar al-Assad retake all of Syria….” (“The U.S. must prepare for Iran’s next move in Syria”, Washington Post)

Does Trump believe this nonsense? Iran has not “conquered Syria”. It was invited to help support the sovereign government in its fight against jihadist outsiders who destroyed the country and killed tens of thousands of its people. Rogin’s analysis is completely divorced from reality.

Here’s more from the same article:

“[A] task force of senior former U.S. diplomatic and military officials has come up with suggestions for how Trump could prevent Iran from taking over what’s left of liberated Syria and fulfill his own promise to contain Iranian influence in the region.”

By “liberated Syria”, Rogin is presumably referring to the territory in east Syria that is currently occupied by US Special Forces and their Kurdish proxies. Here’s more:

“Most urgently . . . the United States must impose real obstacles to Tehran’s pursuit of total victory by the Assad regime in Syria,”…. the Trump administration must increase its assistance to Sunni communities lucky enough to live outside Assad’s rule and help U.S.-supported local groups hold valuable territory in Syria’s southeast…” (WA Post)

Escalate the conflict? Is that what Rogin wants: More war? And, on what grounds?

On the basis that the enemies of the Syrian government must be given carte blanche in their battle for regime change. Isn’t that the gist of what he’s saying?

Rogin again;

“… the United States should work with regional allies to stop Iran from moving weapons and troops into Syria. That would require interdicting shipments by sea and ensuring that U.S.-supported forces control key border towns in Syria and Iraq. Such moves could check Iranian aggression without triggering armed conflict with Tehran.” (“The U.S. must prepare for Iran’s next move in Syria”, Washington Post)

Rogin’s analysis reads like a science fiction novel. He wants the United States to engage in clearly illegal acts of piracy to prevent a sovereign government from assisting a neighbor in its fight against foreign terrorists. He also wants Trump to block critical land-routes that connect Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran, effectively imposing a military cordon around the country. Rogin thinks the US has the right to arbitrarily decide these matters without United Nations approval.

This is lunacy, and yet, this is the neocon rationale for expanding the war beyond Syria’s borders. More than anything, the neocons want to drag the United States into a war with Iran. That is their Number 1 priority.

But what about Trump? What does Trump want? Does he want to be the “exalted” leader who plunges the country into another bloody world war or does he want to implement the non-interventionist policies he supported during his campaign?

Which is it?

Posted in Middle East, Iraq, SyriaComments Off on ISIS Last Stand; End Times for the Caliphate

Zio-Wahhabi terror Attack on Egyptian Mosque

NOVANEWS

At least 305 worshippers were killed Friday in an attack by Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Islamist militants on a Sufi mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Another 109 people were injured in what the Egyptian government has declared to be the deadliest Saudi Zio-Wahhabi terrorist attack in the country’s modern history.

The attack began when a possible suicide bomb was detonated inside the mosque just as afternoon Friday Prayers were finishing. As people fled the mosque they were fired on by masked men in pickup trucks. Vehicles had been set on fire to keep anyone from escaping. When ambulances arrived on the scene to tend to the dead and wounded, the gunmen opened fire on the paramedics, dramatically increasing the number of casualties.

In a televised address shortly after an emergency meeting with his cabinet ministers, Egyptian Zionist puppet Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sisi promised a swift response against those responsible for the attack. “The armed forces and the police will avenge our martyrs and restore security and stability with the utmost force,” Sisi declared.

Several hours later, Egyptian jetfighters descended on the mountains surrounding Bir al-Abed purportedly killing an unspecified number of fighters and destroying the vehicles used the attack.

The government also announced that in response to the attack it would be delaying the opening of the Rafah border crossing between the Sinai and the Gaza Strip. The crossing would have been open Saturday through Monday to allow crucial supplies into what is effectively an open-air Nazi camp for Palestinians maintained by Nazi regime in conjunction with the Egyptian Zionist puppet dictatorship.

Image result for terror attack in egyptian mosque

While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, it is likely to have been carried out by Sunni militants loyal to the Islamic States of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who view Sufi Muslims as apostates.

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Islamist insurgency has been underway in the Sinai since 2013 when Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi was ousted in the military coup that brought Sisi to power. Until recently attacks had been mostly limited to military targets, check points and troop convoys.

The Sinai, a largely desert area that has a limited military presence, was used as a transit point for Islamist militants and weapons being funneled from Libya and Tunisia into Syria as part of the US effort to overthrow President Assad government.

With the official defeat of the Sausi Zio-Wahhabi ISIS in Iraq and Syria, many of the foreign fighters are now returning to the Sinai and the wider region across North Africa.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Islamist militia which has been waging an insurgency against the Egyptian military in the Sinai, pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014. The group claimed responsibility for the 2015 bombing of a Russian passenger jet which was flying out of the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh, killing all 224 onboard.

A commander of the group declared in January that they would eradicate Sufis living in the Sinai in including in the area where Friday’s attack took place. An elderly Sufi cleric was executed by the ISIS affiliate in late 2016 and Sufi shires have been targeted for destruction.

Other Islamist militias active in the Sinai include Ansar al-Islam a group which has purported ties to Al-Qaeda.

The attack brought perfunctory condemnations and words of support for the military dictatorship in Cairo from leaders around the world.

While sending his condolences US Zionist puppet Donald Trump used the opportunity to push for an expansion of the imperialist wars already being waged by the US in the Middle East and across Africa under the threadbare pretext of the so-called war on terror.

“The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!” the president tweeted.

He followed up with a tweet which exploited the attack to push his reactionary anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim agenda.

“We have to get TOUGHER AND SMARTER than ever before, and we will. Need the WALL, need the BAN! God bless the people of Egypt.”

Posted in EgyptComments Off on Zio-Wahhabi terror Attack on Egyptian Mosque

Nazi regime Threat of Wider Regional War

NOVANEWS
Israel Responds to Defeat of Islamist Rebels in Syria with Threat of Wider Regional War
 

Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has asked for an immediate US$1.4 billion increase in the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) budget, citing the “new threats” developing along its northern border with Syria.

This is a reference to the Syrian government forces, the Lebanese Shia militia Hezbollah as well as Iran that destroyed the power of the various Israeli-backed rebel groups and now control the border region.

Crucially, the defeat and driving out of ISIS forces around the Euphrates River in the south east of Syria, along the border with Iraq, has effectively secured the “land bridge” linking Tehran to the Mediterranean via its allies, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Contrary to Tel Aviv’s best calculations, and after years of buying expensive equipment for the IDF to deal with Iran, Israel now faces a better armed and trained Hezbollah as well as a battle hardened and re-equipped Syrian army, directly supported if not led by Iran on its northern doorstep. It is therefore seeking to counter Iranian influence and the Syrian government’s consolidation of control over the areas previously held by the various Islamist militias.

Lieberman declared that Israel would not allow Iran to “dig in” or allow Syria to become a “forward position against Israel.” Israel has launched several air strikes on Syrian targets in recent weeks, even acknowledging them, something never previously admitted. Housing Minister and former general, Yoav Galant, asserted that Hezbollah has 100,000 launch-ready missiles.

The Israeli military carried out its largest military manoeuvres in 20 years in September, with tens of thousands of soldiers simulating the defence of Israel against a Hezbollah invasion and attempted seizure of Israeli towns. Israel announced that it would not hesitate to intervene to “protect” the Druze residents of the Jebel al-Druze region in Syria near the Israeli border and has on several occasions fired warning shots against Syrian operations in the area.

The IDF also deployed Iron Dome anti-missile batteries throughout the country, ostensibly in preparation for an escalation of tensions along the border with the Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, having for more than 20 years called Iran an “existential” threat to Israel, now faces Iranian forces just five kilometres from the Golan Heights border. He has indicated that Israel would do everything it could to contain Iran, even if it had to act alone, and accused Tehran of plotting to destroy Israel from Syria.

Netanyahu alleged that Iran, one of the monitors of a ceasefire deal in Syria along with Russia and Turkey, wants to station its troops on Syrian territory—a zone stretching from the Syrian-Jordanian-Israeli border junction at the Golan Heights up to Mount Hermon—on a permanent basis, “with the declared intent of using Syria as a base from which to destroy Israel.”

According to the DebkaFile website, Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that as long as Iranian and Hezbollah forces were present there, Israel could not guarantee not to open fire if its border security was threatened and demanded their removal.

Israel’s actions are a key factor threatening to ignite a wider regional conflagration, with Saudi Arabia seeking to draw Israel directly into a war against Iran, its archrival in the region.

The failure of the Sunni Persian Gulf oil monarchies, in cooperation with the US, Britain, Turkey, Jordan and Israel, to topple the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as part of Washington’s broader strategy of isolating Iran and reordering the resource-rich region in its own interests, has intensified Israel’s crisis.

The near-seven year war to unseat Assad follows the failure of Israel’s war against Lebanon in 2006 that was intended to spread to Syria and lead to Assad’s overthrow, with Washington entering the war alongside Israel. Israel was forced to end the war after 33 days, having destroyed much of Lebanon’s infrastructure but without achieving either US intervention or any of its political objectives.

While the US is withdrawing its Islamist proxies from Syria, including ISIS and al-Qaeda-linked affiliates and splinter groups it claims to be fighting in Iraq and Syria, this is only to prepare new military plans. Following his visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel to build up an anti-Iran coalition, President Donald Trump signalled a sharp intensification of US hostility toward Iran, demanding the “renegotiation” of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran and the re-imposition of sweeping sanctions—in defiance of Washington’s European allies who support the deal.

Viewing Trump’s words as a green light, Riyadh and its Gulf allies, working closely with Israel, have stoked up tensions with Tehran—with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stating that Iran’s “supreme leader is the new Hitler of the Middle East.”

Saudi Arabia has escalated the blockade of Yemen, where it accuses Iran of arming the Houthi rebels and launching a missile against Riyadh airport, both charges that Tehran denies. The Saudis have cited Qatar’s close links with Iran, with which it shares the giant South Pars gas field, and its support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates in Egypt, Hamas in Gaza and elsewhere in the region, to justify its blockade of Qatar.

Crucially, Saudi Arabia has threatened Hezbollah and Lebanon. Forcing Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who heads a coalition with Hezbollah, to resign, Riyadh branded Hezbollah a terrorist organisation and called for its destruction. Beirut had to end its acquiescence to Hezbollah’s “war” against the Persian Gulf monarchy in Syria and confront Hezbollah “by force,” Riyadh warned, or face economic and financial sanctions. Saudi nationals were told to leave Lebanon.

Hariri’s “resignation” had the hallmarks of a Saudi attempt to deliberately foment a crisis aimed at provoking an Israeli-Iranian confrontation in Lebanon. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah alleged that the organization had received credibly-sourced information that Riyadh had offered Israel billions toward the cost of the next war on Hezbollah.

According to leaked cables aired by Israel’s Channel 10 news, Israel instructed its overseas embassies to lobby in support of Saudi Arabia and its efforts to destabilise Lebanon and stress Iran and Hezbollah’s involvement in “regional subversion.”

The Saudis’ ramping up of tensions prompted Lebanon’s army chief General Joseph Aoun to urge his forces to be ready to face the “threats of the Israeli enemy” on Lebanon’s southern border. Israel has been holding a military exercise near its border with Syria since the weekend.

The Saudi monarchy summoned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to Riyadh, where he was told to support Trump’s soon to be announced “peace initiative” brokered by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, or make way for someone else—meaning Mohammed Dahlan. The aim is to provide political cover for an alliance between Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, the US and Israel against Iran. At the same time, the Trump administration announced it will close the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) diplomatic mission in Washington because it has taken cases against Israel to the International Criminal Court.

Israel’s energy minister Yuval Steinitz has spoken publicly about close Saudi-Israeli and regional cooperation, while IDF chief of staff Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot, in an unprecedented interview to a Saudi news website in Arabic, said that Israel was ready to share “intelligence information” with Saudi Arabia as they both had a common interest in standing up to Iran.

There are reports of Israeli military forces operating in Egypt’s Sinai against the Islamic State, and in the north where Jordan, Israel and Syria converge.

Eisenkot claimed that Hezbollah posed a threat to the Arab world, while Israel supposedly wasn’t interested in war with Lebanon or Syria.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, SyriaComments Off on Nazi regime Threat of Wider Regional War

CNN Breaks Story on Slave Trade in Libya; French Government Voices Concern for African Migrants

NOVANEWS

The world we find ourselves in is complex and full of contradictions. It is easy to fall for rudimentary textbook propaganda based on simplistic dichotomies, such as ‘the good guys versus the bad guys’. If we are not aware of the complexities and nuances facing us, we can fall for this type of propaganda, whose sole aim is to keep us apart and destroy any type of unity that could strengthen our ability to defeat the enemy.

When examining and assessing the latest information fed to us by one of imperialism’s mouthpieces, CNN, there are important things for us, as revolutionary Pan-Africanists, to keep in mind. The first thing to note is the clear hypocrisy and insincerity which is nowhere more stark than CNN’s recent expose of “Libyan crimes against humanity” and French President, Emmanuel Macron’s call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to demand immediate action against this heinous “Libyan” crime.

I know this much for sure, as an African revolutionary I do not look to the devil for the truth. I know that the devil does not lie some of the time; he lies and deceives all of the time. In whatever form the devil manifests himself, I do not deal with him. He can come in the guise of the imperialists and White Supremacists themselves, or their mouthpieces such as CNN, BBC, Fox News or any of the mainstream corporate media outlets. We should never forget their role as cheerleaders and purveyors of the fake news that laid the groundwork for the invasion and destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya. Therefore, let us ask ourselves the burning question, why are they providing us with this information, and why now? Why are the imperialists suddenly feigning concern for the plight of Africans?

In my first article on the invasion of Libya, published March 2nd, 2011, titled, Libya, Getting it Right: A Revolutionary Pan-African Perspective, I said that

“the conflict in Libya is not a revolution, but a counter-revolution. The struggle is fundamentally a battle between Pan-African forces on the one hand, who are dedicated to the realization of Qaddafi’s vision of a united Africa, and reactionary, racist Libyan Arab forces who reject Qaddafi’s vision of Libya as part of a united Africa.”

Events have proved this analysis correct. Muammar Qaddafi and the Revolutionary Committees Movement of the Al Fateh Revolution had a monumental task on their hands: to conscientize and reposition the Libyan peoplefor a significant role in the revolutionary Pan-African project for a United States of Africa. This is a battle for all African revolutionaries. In Sub-Saharan African countries, where almost the entire population comprises Black Africans, we face the same battle. Here in the Caribbean, it is no different. So, when Qaddafi urged his people to look towards a United States of Africa and a revolutionary Pan-African perspective, he had to face Libyans who rejected this program in favor of Libya and the entire North African region joining the Barcelona Project, a Mediterranean-European alliance, whose aim is to take North Africa out of Africa.

Prejudice against dark-skinned Africans exists all over planet earth. Even in countries where the population is almost 100% Black African, we have to contend with ‘shadism’, a hangover from colonialism and plantation culture, where Africans with lighter skin shades are held in higher esteem than Africans with darker skin shades. However, to say that “Arab Libyans” are selling “Africans” is overly simplistic and deliberately misleading. There is a hidden agenda here – beware. The objective is to ignite hostilities between so-called Arab-Africans and so-called Sub-Saharan-Africans.  There is a debate amongst Africans about who is an African. On the one hand, there are those who limit the definition of African to Black Africans in the Sub-Saharan region of the continent. On the other hand, there are those of us who believe that Africa is one, and we will resist any attempt by the imperialists to redefine and further balkanize Africa. Rather than becoming part of the European Community, North Africans promoting the Barcelona Project would be better off seeking out their African roots. This is what Muammar Qaddafi told all Libyans.

Those who today call themselves “Arabs” have a historical, ancestral and moral duty to recognize their Africanity. Those “Arabs” who live in countries on the African continent and those who live in the region outside of the continent, need to explore and reexamine their history.  The region they inhabit, erroneously named “Middle-East”and “Levant” by the European colonizers cannot be divorced from Africa. I agree with Islamic theologian and historian, Dr. Wesley Muhammad, that the area known as “Middle-East” or “Levant” is more aptly named ‘Afrabia’.

Anyone interested in more information on this and the Aryanization of Christianity and Islam, should refer to the brilliant works of Dr. Wesley Muhammad, especially his book ‘Black Arabia and the African Origins of Islam’.

The North Atlantic Tribes Organization (NATO) deeply fear this type of awakening and the unity of purpose and action it could lead to in this oil rich and wealthiest region of the world.

Minister Farrakhan said many years ago, reflecting on periods of unity in our history, “we did it before and we can do it again”. Muammar Qaddafi persistent struggle to forge a United States of Africa was starting to pay off. He was on the verge of creating an African currency that would have shifted the global economic imbalance, preparing the way for Africa to take its rightful place in the world. Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Ivory Coast, was openly supporting Qaddafi with this radical move. Gbagbo believed that those who were serious should declare a United States of Africa and the others could follow. Fear of this emerging African unity, especially between countries in the north and south of the continent, prompted France to orchestrate Gbagbo’s removal from power at the same time as the NATO led invasion of Libya. Genuine African unity, resulting in anything more than talk, will always be opposed, no matter what the cost, by the forces of White Supremacy.

As we now know, even those Libyans who opposed Qaddafi’s drive for a United States of Africa, did not support the overthrow of the Jamahiriya. It is a well-substantiatedfact that the rag-tag and opportunistic conglomerate of reactionaries, including monarchists, Arab supremacists and al-Qaeda linked Islamists, such as those from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, constituted an insignificant minority. The Libyan Revolutionary Armed Forces could have easily contained these retrograde forces, if NATO had not bombed them into power. Without the backing of France, the US, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and their satellites, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, the so-called Libyan rebels amounted to nothing when confronted with the overwhelming support of the majority of Libyans for Muammar Qaddafi and the Al Fateh Revolution. This revolution brought dignity, stability, prosperity and liberation from foreign domination to all Libyans, from the fairest to the darkest in complexion. One thing you knew as soon as you stepped off the plane at Tripoli Airport was that the Libyans – all Libyans – were in control of their country!It was people power, seemingly chaotic and misunderstood by outsiders, but a truly participatory democracy to those who lived it and experienced it. The majority of Libyans were aware of this and supported Al Fateh.

Knowing who the so-called rebels truly are, it came as no surprise to me,thatin addition to the long list of crimes against humanity attributed to these scoundrels, they would auction Black Africans as slave labor.

Following the heroic battle of Sirte, back in December 2011, in an article titled, “Demons Unleashed in Libya: NATO’s Islamists Continue Program of Ethnic and Ideological Cleansing”, I wrote about the horror that was taking place. A horror that was instigated by the Anglo-Franco-American Imperialists, under the watchful eye of the UN – all of whom are now shedding crocodile tears over the sale of African migrants in Libya. In that article, I wrote about the“complete whiteout by the corporate media regarding all news from Libya”. I stated that,“Even the United Nations, an architect of the nation’s destruction, says 7,000 prisoners are held without trial or charge, most of them Black, many of them tortured. Any known Qaddafi loyalists who have not been able to get out of Libya have to stay underground. Death squads scour the land. Truckloads of bodies are being carted away, as the now feuding armed gangs, each with their own command structure, and none adhering to anything the Western installed NTC says, introduces the only policy they ever had – exterminate Qaddafi and all those loyal to him.”

These are NATO’s thugs.

I went on to note that,

“In addition to loyalty to the Leader, and defense of their country against foreign invaders, having black skin and asserting one’s Africanity has become a crime in the new Libya. Ethnic cleansing is continuing unabated. Every day Black Africans from Libya and other parts of Africa are hunted down. Thousands have been brutally tortured and executed. Rape of Black women is a favored weapon of NATO’s Islamists. Many of the female bodies found show signs of rape, beatings and torture. Large numbers of Black Africans make up the ranks of the Green Resistance.”

I quoted one Tripoli resident as saying:

“Everyone is terrified of the NTC and their armed gangs. We have seen with our own eyes what they are capable of – they are animals. All around us people are being rounded up and imprisoned. We have no way of knowing how many have been murdered. Anyone who is associated with Qaddafi or suspected of loyalty to him is at risk. Even people who have worked for people who are known supporters of the leader have been rounded up and tortured. I personally know of many persons who were just working for people associated with the leader who have been taken away and never seen again. If you are black you are an immediate suspect – these rebels call black Libyans “abd” means slave and they are rounding them up just because they are black – it is making me sick and ashamed.”

“…What these rebels have done to their own people is disgusting – some of the acts of torture I can’t even speak about. There has been a lot of rape. I wept when I learned of what these animals did to the leader’s female bodyguards – they are not human and that is why there is so much fear. Any known Qaddafi loyalists who have not been able to get out of Libya have to stay underground. Libyans are afraid to talk to other Libyans – anyone could be an informer. It feels like the last days are upon us – Libya has been turned into a living hell.”

The imperialist media, including CNN was completely silent regarding all of these crimes against humanity,despite the fact that genocide in the form of an ethnic and ideological cleansing pogrom was unfolding right before our eyes. There was no outcry from the UN or the North Atlantic Tribes. No time or motive for outcry – having shared the spoils, these callous warlords had already moved on to their next victim – Syria.

So why now?

Could it be that the Green Resistance is gaining ground? Could it be that although they killed Qaddafi and buried him in an unmarked grave (they know why), his dangerous (for them) ideas are better known now than before?  Could it be that Muammar Qaddafi’s vision for a United States of Africa could once again re-surface?

Prior to the overthrow of the Jamahiriya, thousands of Africans traveled to Libya to work, and they prospered. Employment opportunities existed across a range of occupations, including teachers, librarians, nurses, hotel workers, chefs, mechanics, electricians, construction workers and unskilled laborers. They were able to send money home to their families. African businesses and companies also traded extensively in Libya. There was zero tolerance in the Jamahiriya for the mistreatment of Libyan or migrant workers or anyone for that matter. I know of many foreigners who received favorable judgments in employment disputes.

The destruction of this most prosperous and just African country was led by France, who now dares to call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the crimes committed against African migrants “by Libyans”. This is devil-speak. The same devil who, in the words of the Honorable Minister Farrakhan, “unleashed the demons” that are now committing these and other heinous crimes, is trying to sow more discord by talking about “Libyan crimes”. Where was CNN and the French government when these same gangs of demons were committing the atrocities described above?

We have known since the first day of NATO’s invasion that this was perhaps one of the most racist and atrocious crimes of the 21st century. The question that we must ask ourselves is why CNN, the French government and others who led the charge in 2011, are all of a sudden concerned about the plight of Africans in Libya. Minister Farrakhan calls it “deceptive intelligence”, and warns us that, “every time the serpent raises its head it should be decapitated”.

Let us resist this crude attempt to divide and ruin us yet again. Let us not be distracted and misled by imperialist propaganda. Let us make sure that our enemies do not set our agenda, causing us to react to their devious attempts to pit us against each other. Let us set our own agenda for our second liberation. Crimes against Black Africans and Qaddafi loyalists, of every complexion, began in Libya in 2011, and continue to this day, unabated. Thousands languish in detention centers, Libyans of every complexion and migrants from all over Africa. Those carrying out these crimes on the ground are the foot soldiers and thugs of the criminal masterminds of the hell that is now Libya. Arrest warrants should be issued immediately for Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Cameron, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Emir Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani to name but a few.

I end with a message to “All our Brothers and Sisters in Africa and the Diaspora” from long time Revolutionary Committee Movement member, Dr. Salem Zubeidy:

“This letter is addressed to our brothers, officials, and residents of the sub-Saharan African countries, who are characterized by dark features….

There have been many reactions and statements by African leaders, politicians, organizations and institutions following an investigation published by CNN that there are markets for the selling of Africans of dark skin in Libya …

No one stopped to question the validity of this report, and where is the market? When did this happen? Where do the (alleged) slaves go?

Then, no one asked how the channel got to the supposed market, and how was it able to video the “auction”? What is the purpose of the American channel to broadcast such a program that distorts an entire people, and accuses them of committing a heinous crime that is not accepted by a reasonable mind and not approved by any logic?

We can find explanations and justifications for a US channel harboring suspicious purposes in fueling separation and instigating seditions.

As an answer to the voices and forces that see in this an opportunity to falsify the facts, and play down the Libyan people’s accomplishments, side by side with their African brothers and sisters in the golden times of the al-Fateh Revolution, it behooves us to clarify some points:

  1. Libya, which you know has been hijacked since the Fall of 2011, and its capabilities are being controlled by criminal gangs that had been enabled by means of the Western war machine of NATO, after destroying the foundations of the state.
  2. Libya was the Bureau of the liberation movements, which trained, armed and equipped thousands of young people in the southern regions of Africa, Rhodesia, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola, and enabled them to return with their full military gear, with Libyan advisers, to fight the battles of liberation.
  3. Libya offered total support to the struggle of Cabral in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde and dispatched Libyan officers as volunteers to fight alongside him, some of whom are still living witnesses amongst us.
  4. Libya presented absolute support for revolutionary and progressive regimes in African countries seeking liberation from imperialism and neo-colonialism in the Congo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Chad, and others.
  5. Libya alone has resisted the Barcelona process, which had as an objective the separation of the light-skinned in the north of the continent linking them with the Mediterranean in the so-called “Mediterranean Organization” and established the CEN-SAD in response to the Barcelona process, to prove the unity of the continent.
  6. Libya fought the battle for the unification of the continent and the affirmation of its freedom, identity, and dignity through pressing for the establishment of the African Union.
  7. Libya embraced African political opposition movements, supporting their programs and bringing many of their leaders to power.
  8. Libya represented the ongoing battle for peace, development, and construction. It convened dozens of meetings, organized dozens of mediation affairs and reconciliations. It also invested huge sums in important projects in most countries of the continent …

We can go on in more detail, but we just want to tell you and the world that your Libyan brothers and sisters cannot accept to disassociate themselves from their continent, no matter how the enemies of Africa try.”

A full statement from Libyan People’s National Movement (LPNM) can be found here.

Posted in LibyaComments Off on CNN Breaks Story on Slave Trade in Libya; French Government Voices Concern for African Migrants

Zionism’s Violent Legacy

NOVANEWS
Image result for NATNYAHOO IN NAZI UNIFORM CARTOON
By Donald Neff | Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 

On January 4, 1948, Jewish terrorists drove a truck loaded with explosives into the center of the all Arab city of Jaffa and detonated it, killing 26 and wounding around 100 Palestinian men, women and children.[1] The attack was the work of the Irgun Zvai Leumi – the “National Military Organization,” also known by the Hebrew letters Etzel – the largest Jewish terrorist group in Palestine. The Irgun was headed by Revisionist Zionist Menachem Begin and had been killing and maiming Arabs, Britons and even Jews for the previous ten years in its efforts to establish a Jewish state.

This terror campaign meant that at the core of Revisionist Zionism there existed a philosophical embrace of violence. It was this legacy of violence that contributed to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995.

The Irgun was not the only Jewish terrorist group but it was the most active in causing indiscriminate terror in pre-Israel Palestine. Up to the time of the Jaffa attack, its most spectacular feat had been the July 22, 1946, blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, with the killing of 91 people – 41 Arabs, 28 Britons and 17 Jews.[2]

The other major Jewish terrorist group operating in Palestine in the 1940s was the Lohamei Herut Israel – “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel,” Lehi in the Hebrew acronym – also known as the Stern Gang after its fanatical founder Avraham Stern. Two of its more spectacular outrages included the assassination of British Colonial Secretary Lord Moyne in Cairo on November 6, 1944, and the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden in Jerusalem on September 17, 1948.[3]

Both groups collaborated in the massacre at Deir Yassin, in which some 254 Palestinian men, women and children were slain on April 9, 1948. Palestinian survivors were driven like ancient slaves through the streets of Jerusalem by the celebrating terrorists.[4]

Yitzhak Shamir was one of the three leaders of Lehi who made the decision to assassinate Moyne and Bernadotte. Both he and Begin later became prime ministers and ruled Israel for a total of 13 years between 1977 and 1992. They were both leaders of Revisionist Zionism, that messianic group of ultranationalists founded by Vladimir Zeev Jabotinsky in the 1920s. He prophesied that it would take an “iron wall of Jewish bayonets” to gain a homeland among the Arabs in Palestine.[5] His followers took his slogan literally.

Begin and the Revisionists were heartily hated by the mainline Zionists led by David Ben-Gurion. He routinely referred to Begin as a Nazi and compared him to Hitler. In a famous letter to The New York Times in 1948, Albert Einstein called the Irgun “a terrorist, rightwing, chauvinist organization” that stood for “ultranationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority.”[6] He opposed Begin’s visit to the United States in 1949 because Begin and his movement amounted to “a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a ‘leader state’ is the goal,” adding:

The IZL [Irgun] and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window smashing, and widespread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.

Ben-Gurion considered the Revisionists so threatening that shortly after he proclaimed establishment of Israel on May 14, 1948, he demanded that the Jewish terrorist organizations disband. In defiance, Begin sought to import a huge shipment of weapons aboard a ship named Altalena, Jabotinsky’s nom de plume.[7]

The ship was a war surplus US tank landing craft and had been donated to the Irgun by Hillel Kook’s Hebrew Committee for National Liberation, an American organization made up of Jewish-American supporters of the Irgun.[8] Even in those days it was Jewish Americans who were the main source of funds for Zionism. While few of them emigrated to Israel, Jewish Americans were generous in financing the Zionist enterprise. As in Israel, they were split between mainstream Zionism and Revisionism. One of the best known Revisionists was Ben Hecht, the American newsman and playwright. After one of the Irgun’s terrorist acts, he wrote:[9]

The Jews of America are for you. You are their champions … Every time you blow up a British arsenal, or wreck a British jail, or send a British railroad train sky high, or rob a British bank, or let go with your guns and bombs at British betrayers and invaders of your homeland, the Jews of America make a little holiday in their hearts.

The Altalena was loaded with $5 million worth of arms, including 5,000 British Lee Enfield rifles, more than three million rounds of ammunition, 250 Bren guns, 250 Sten guns, 150 German Spandau machine guns, 50 mortars and 5,000 shells as well as 940 Jewish volunteers. Ben-Gurion reacted with fury, ordering the ship sunk in Tel Aviv harbor. Shell fire by the new nation’s armed forces set the Altalena afire, killing 14 Jews and wounding 69. Two regular army men were killed and six wounded during the fighting.[10] Begin had been aboard but escaped injury. Later that night he railed against Ben-Gurion as “a crazy dictator” and the cabinet as “a government of criminal tyrants, traitors and fratricides.”[11]

Ben-Gurion’s deputy commander in the Altalena affair was Yitzhak Rabin, the same man who as prime minister was assassinated by one of the spiritual heirs of Menachem Begin’s Irgun terrorist group. All his life, and especially in his last years, Rabin had opposed Jewish-Americans and their radical allies in Israel who continued to embrace the philosophy of the Irgun and who fought against the peace process, thereby earning their enduring hatred.

Thus at the heart of the Jewish state there has been a long and violent struggle between mainline Zionists and Revisionists that continues today. Despite cries after Rabin’s assassination that it was unknown for Jew to kill Jew, intramural hatred and occasional violence have marked relations between Zionism’s competing groups.

The core of that conflict, one that continues to divide Israel and its American supporters as well, lies in the different philosophies of David Ben-Gurion and Vladimir Jabotinsky. Both were from Eastern Europe, born in the 1880s, and both sought an exclusivist Jewish state. But while Ben-Gurion was pragmatic and secular, Jabotinsky was impatient and messianic, a leader who glorified in the heroic trappings of fascism. Ben-Gurion was usually willing to take less now to get more later, and thus he was content to accept partition of Palestine as a necessary stepping stone toward a larger Jewish state. Jabotinsky, on the other hand, impatiently preached the right of Jews not only to all of Palestine but to “both sides of the Jordan,” meaning the combined area of Jordan and Palestine, or as he called it, Eretz Yisrael, the ancient land of Israel.[12]

Ben-Gurion was a gruff realist who carefully calculated his moves with a wary eye toward the interests of the great European powers and the United States. Time magazine, in a profile of Ben-Gurion in August 1948, described him as “premier and defense minister, labor leader and philosopher, hardheaded, unsociable and abrupt politician, a prophet who carries a gun.[13] Wrote his biographer, Michael Bar-Zohar: “Obstinacy and total dedication to a single objective were the most characteristic traits of David Ben-Gurion.”[14]

Jabotinsky, by contrast, was flamboyant and a devoted admirer of Italy’s fascist leader Benito Mussolini. His disciple, Menachem Begin, described him as “a speaker, a writer, a philosopher, a statesman, a soldier, a linguist … But to those of us who were his pupils, he was not only their teacher, but also the bearer of their hope.” Begin’s biographer, Eric Silver, added: “There was a darker side to [Jabotinsky’s] philosophy: blood, fire and steel, the supremacy of the leader, discipline and ceremony, the manipulation of the masses, racial exclusivity as the heart of the nation.[15] One of Jabotinsky’s slogans was: “We shall create, with sweat and blood, a race of men, strong, brave and cruel.”[16]

Jabotinsky died in 1940, and it was Menachem Begin who refined his wild nationalism into practical political action. Begin concluded: “The world does not pity the slaughtered. It only respects those who fight.” He turned Descartes’ famous dictum around, saying: “We fight, therefore we exist.”[17] Central to Begin’s outlook was the concept of the “fighting Jew.” As he wrote:[18]

Out of blood and fire and tears and ashes, a new specimen of human being was born, a specimen completely unknown to the world for over 1,800 years, the “FIGHTING JEW.” It is axiomatic that those who fight have to hate …. We had to hate first and foremost, the horrifying, age-old, inexcusable utter defenselessness of our Jewish people, wandering through millennia, through a cruel world, to the majority of whose inhabitants the defenselessness of the Jews was a standing invitation to massacre them.

From these early leaders of Zionism (Ben-Gurion died in 1973 and Begin in 1992) have emerged their direct descendants in the Israeli political spectrum. Rabin and his successor, Shimon Peres, were both protégés of Ben-Gurion, and have carried on his mainstream secular Zionism. On Jabotinsky’s and Begin’s side, the followers have been Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon and, now, Benjamin Netanyahu, the current leader of the Likud.

Rabin’s Strategy

While the two major factions of Zionism disagree on tactics, their ultimate aim of maintaining a Jewish state free of non-Jews was the same. Rabin explained his strategy shortly before his death during an interview with Rowland Evans and Robert Novak:[19]

I believe that dreams of Jews for two thousand years to return to Zion were to build a Jewish state and not a binational state. Therefore I don’t want to annex the 2.2 million Palestinians who are a different entity from us – politically, religiously, nationally – against their will to become Israelis. Therefore I see peaceful coexistence between Israel as a Jewish state – not all over the land of Israel, on most of it, its capital the united Jerusalem, its security border the Jordan River – next to it a Palestinian entity, less than a state, that runs the life of the Palestinians. It is not ruled by Israel. It is ruled by the Palestinians. This is my goal not to return to the pre-Six-Day-War lines, but to create two entities. I want a separation between Israel and the Palestinians who reside in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and they will be a different entity that rules itself.

In the Revisionist’s vocabulary, the goal was the same, if more expansionist and expressed in more direct and pugnacious words. Former Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, a leading spokesman of Zionism’s right wing, commented in 1993: “Our forefathers did not come here in order to build a democracy but to build a Jewish state.”[20]

The occupation of all of Palestine, including Jerusalem, in the 1967 war and the coming to power a decade later of Menachem Begin gave a profound boost to Revisionism and its radical philosophy. During this period there arose the firebrand Meir Kahane, a Brooklyn-born rabbi who openly espoused the removal of the Palestinians from all of Palestine. Under the influence of his fiery rhetoric, thousands of Orthodox Jewish Americans were encouraged to emigrate to Israel as settlers on occupied Palestinian land, adding to the radicalization of Israeli politics. After Kahane’s assassination in New York in 1990 by an Arab, New York Timescorrespondent John Kifner reported that Kahane had been successful in the sense that many of his ideas “had crept into the mainstream” in Israel.

Dr. Ehud Sprinzak, an Israeli expert on the far right in Israel, observed: “Where [Kahane] has succeeded is in changing the thinking of many Israelis toward anti-Arab feelings and violence. He forced the more respectable parties to change. In the 1970s Kahane was in the political wilderness, but in the 1980s the center had moved toward Kahane.” Observed the Jewish Telegraph Agency : “Rabbi Kahane could die satisfied that his message has impacted deeply and widely throughout Israeli society.”[21]

By the mid-1990s, even Kahane’s violent ideas seemed somewhat mild in the context of the radicalized politics of Israel. A new strain of religious extremism has been added to the Revisionist ranks. This became obvious on February 25, 1994, when Brooklyn-born Dr. Baruch Goldstein, a Kahane disciple, walked into the Ibrahim mosque, called the Cave of Machpela by Jews, in Hebron and killed 29 and wounded upwards of 150 Palestinian worshippers.[22] While Rabin and labor Zionists condemned him, Goldstein became a hero for Revisionist Zionists. A shrine was made of his grave and a group of Revisionists grew up called “Goldsteiners.” They are dedicated to the “sublime ideals of Goldstein” and urge “all true Jews to follow his footsteps.”[23]

Baruch Goldstein wore a yellow Star of David with the German word for “Jew” to show his ardent concern for the “lessons of the Holocaust” and its meaning for all Jews. Today many hardline Zionists revere this mass murderer of Palestinians as a Jewish hero and martyr.

While the Revisionists had always had an element of religious messianism, the most radical of their current heirs come from ultrareligious Orthodox Jews who are less consumed by politics than religion.[24] They believe they are God’s messengers. Thus Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, cited the authority of God to explain the murder.

This is a sea change in the mindset – if not the violence – of the traditional Revisionists. For instance, in 1943 Yitzhak Shamir ordered the assassination of one of his closest Sternist friends, but offered an entirely different rationale that had nothing to do with God. Mainly the motive stemmed from political and tactical reasons. Shamir wrote in his memoirs, In the Final Analysis, that Stern commander Eliyahu Giladi had become “strange and wild” and had wanted to shoot at crowds of Jews and urged the assassination of David Ben-Gurion, acts that would have been highly unpopular. Wrote Shamir: “I was afraid that he had gone completely crazy. I knew that I had to take a fateful decision, and I didn’t evade it.”[25] Giladi was fatally shot in the back on a beach south of Tel Aviv and his killer was never found.[26]

The new Revisionists have now expanded the right to kill claimed by the early Revisionists in the name of nationalism to include a divine right. In the end, they are less interested in foreign and domestic affairs than in justifying man’s acts to God. It is a powerful and inflammatory mix of nationalism and religion that is almost certain to lead to more violence unless Israel is able to look into its own soul.


Recommended Reading

  • Bar-Zohar, Michael, Ben-Gurion: A Biography, New York: Delacorte, 1978. Begin, Menachem, The Revolt, Los Angeles: Nash, 1972. Bell, J. Bowyer, ‘/error Out of Zion, New York: St. Martin’s, 1977. Ben-Gurion, David, Israel: A Personal History, New York: Funk & Wagnalls, Inc., 1971.
  • Bethell, Nicholas, The Palestine Triangle: The Struggle for the Holy Land, 1935-48, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1979.
  • Brenner, Lenni, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, Westport, Conn.: Lawrence Hill, 1983.
  • Brenner, Lenni, The Iron Wall: Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir, London: Zed Books, 1984.
  • Halsell, Grace, Prophesy and Politics: Militant Evangelists on the Road to Nuclear War, Westport, Conn.: Lawrence Hill, 1986.
  • Khalidi, Walid (ed.), Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic History of the Palestinians 1876-1948, Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1984.
  • Khalidi, Walid, From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem until 1948, Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, second printing, 1987.
  • Marion, Kati, A Death in Jerusalem, New York: Pantheon, 1994.
  • Nakhleh, Issa, Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem (2 vols.), New York: Intercontinental, 1991.
  • Palumbo, Michael, The Palestinian Catastrophe: The 1948 Expulsion of a People from their Homeland, Boston: Faber and Faber, 1987.
  • Rubinstein, Ammon, The Zionist Dream Revisited, New York: Schocken, 1984.
  • Sachar, Howard M., A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Tel Aviv: Steimatzky’s Agency, 1976.
  • Silver, Eric, Begin: The Haunted Prophet, New York: Random House, 1984.
  • Tillman, Seth, The United States in the Middle East: Interests and Obstacles, Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1982.

Notes

[1] Sam Pope Brewer, New York Times, Jan. 5, 1948, and Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora, p. 316. Also see Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe, pp. 83-4. Initial reports put the death toll at 34.
[2] Bethell, The Palestine Triangle, p. 263; Sachar, A History of Israel, p. 267. Details on the bombing and reaction of British officials are in Nakhleh, Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem, pp. 269-70.
[3] Bethell, Palestine Triangle, pp. 181-87, 263; Sachar, A History of Israel, p. 267; Marion, A Death in Jerusalem, p. 208.
[4] Khalidi, From Haven to Conquest, pp. 761-78; Silver, Begin, pp. 88-96; Nakhleh, Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem, pp. 271-72.
[5] Silver, Begin, p. 12.
[6] New York Times, Nov. 27, 1948.
[7] Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion, p. 175.
[8] Silver, Begin, p. 98.
[9] Bethell, The Palestine Triangle, pp. 308-9. An interview reflecting Hecht’s views appeared in The New York Times, May 28, 1947.
[10] Silver, Begin, p. 108.
[11] Silver, Begin, p. 108.
[12] In Hebrew, Eretz Yisrael means the “Land of Israel,” a phrase invested with strong nationalist feelings.
[13] Time, August 16, 1948.
[14] Bar-Zohar, Ben Gurian, pp. 77, xvii.
[15] Silver, Begin, p. 11.
[16] Elfi Pallis, “The Likud Party: A Primer,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Winter 1992, p. 45.
[17] Begin, The Revolt, pp. 36, 46. Also see Tillman, The United States in the Middle East, p. 20.
[18] Begin, The Revolt, pp. xi-xii. Also see Elfi Pallis, “The Likud Party: A Primer,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Winter 1992, p. 45.
[19] Evans and Novak, CNN, Oct. 1, 1995.
[20] Menachem Shalev, Forward, May 21, 1339.
[21] John Kifner, New York Times, Nov. 11, 1990.
[22] David Hoffman, Washington Post, Feb. 28, 1994.
[23] Khalid M. Amayreh, “Six Months On,” Middle East International, Sept. 9, 1994.
[24] Halsell, Prophecy and Politics, p. 75, provides an excellent analysis of the extremist beliefs of Jabotinsky and his followers and their alliance with American fundamentalist Christians such as Jerry Falwell, leader of the Moral Ml\iority.
[25] Clyde Haberman, New York Times, Jan. 15, 1994.
[26] Glenn Frankel, Washington Post, Nov. 6, 1995.

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