Archive | April 23rd, 2018

Koreas Agree to Call for Formal End to War This Year

NOVANEWS
 

Featured image: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un embrace each other after releasing a joint statement at the truce village of Panmunjeom, Friday. (Source: Korea Summit Press Pool)

South and North Korea will seek to hold tripartite talks with the United States, or talks including China, with the goal of declaring an end to the Korean War (1950-53) this year and establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced Friday. 

In a joint declaration they announced after their summit at the truce village of Panmunjeom, the two leaders reaffirmed the two Koreas’ joint goal of making the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free through complete denuclearization.

To attain these goals and for further discussions on the North Korea nuclear issue, Moon will visit Pyongyang this autumn.

Moon and Kim signed the “Panmunjeom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula,” in which they made clear there would be no more war on the peninsula and that a new era of peace has begun.

“South and North Korea will actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid peace regime on the Korean Peninsula,” the declaration read.

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to non-aggression and agreed on gradual arms reduction if military tensions are reduced and military confidence is built between the two Koreas.

“During this year that marks the 65th anniversary of the Armistice, South and North Korea agreed to actively pursue trilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States, or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas, the United States and China with a view to declaring an end to the War and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime,” the declaration read.

“South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”

Moon said,

“North Korea’s pre-emptive nuclear freeze will be a valuable beginning for complete denuclearization of the peninsula,” referring to the North’s recent announcement to suspend nuclear and missile tests and shut down its nuclear test site.

Kim said he gravely understood the wishes and expectations of all the people of the two Koreas.

“We confirmed the strong determination to open a new era in which all Korean people can enjoy prosperity and happiness in a peaceful land where there is no war, and agreed on practical measures for this,” he said. “I’m making efforts so that the agreement we made today will not become like previous agreements which have not been carried out, but will produce a good outcome.”

In the joint declaration, the two Koreas agreed to play their roles and take responsible actions for denuclearization of the peninsula, and make efforts to gain international support for it.

Moon and Kim agreed to talk over peninsula issues and build trust through regular summits and hotline talks. Moon will also visit Pyongyang this autumn, they said.

To relieve military tension and reduce the possibility of war, the South and the North decided to halt any hostile activities.

From May 1, they will stop propaganda broadcasting over the inter-Korean border, and make the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) a peace zone where there are no military weapons.

The two Koreas will also hold military talks often, with the earliest ones planned for May.

For improvement of inter-Korean relations, the two Koreas decided to hold talks in various fields as soon as possible, and open a liaison office in Gaeseong, North Korea, where officials from the two Koreas will be posted, for non-governmental exchanges.

They will seek to hold joint events across all sectors of society, and jointly participate in international sports events such as the 2018 Asian Games. They will also hold Red Cross talks for the reunion of separated families, planning to hold the earliest event on Liberation Day, Aug. 15.

The two Koreas will also seek various cooperative projects agreed on by an earlier joint declaration after the 2007 inter-Korean summit.

“Today I and Kim set a milestone, which will not be shaken, toward co-prosperity and unification,” Moon said. “We can give a good present to the South, the North and the world with Kim’s resolute decision. How to announce it was also special. It was the first time for a North Korean leader to make a joint announcement in front of the world’s press after a summit. I’m applauding Kim for making such an audacious and brave decision.”

Kim said,

“If the people of the two Koreas can pass on the road I passed today, if Panmunjeom, which is the symbol of a painful division, becomes a symbol of peace, the two Koreas which share the same blood, language, history and culture will become one as they used to be and enjoy endless joint prosperity.”

During the 100-minute talks in the morning, the two leaders agreed on most parts of the agreement. The afternoon discussion was held among delegates, without the leaders, to fine-tune the terms of the declaration.

Two Korean leaders agree as follows in Panmunjeom Declaration

(1) Two Koreas agree to declare the end of the Korean War that has been suspended since an armistice agreement in 1953.

(2) Two Koreas agree to set denuclearization as a common goal and work together to make the Korean Peninsula nuclear free.

(3) South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit Pyongyang in autumn.

(4) Two Koreas agree to stop a range of hostile acts on the ground, in the air and on the ocean.

(5) Starting May 1, the two Koreas will stop broadcasting propaganda on the inter-Korean border.

(6) Two Koreas will set up a jointly operated liaison office in Gaeseong, North Korea.

(7) On Aug 15, the two Koreas will host reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

(8) Two Koreas agreed to reconnect an inter-Korean railroad on the East Coast.

(9) Two Koreas will jointly participate in the 2018 Asian Games.

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Syria: No Attack, No Victims, No Chemical Weapons ‘Video’

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Video: No Attack, No Victims, No Chemical Weapons: Douma Witnesses Speak at OPCW Briefing at The Hague

 

Witnesses of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, including 11-year-old Hassan Diab and hospital staff, told reporters at The Hague that the White Helmets video used as a pretext for a US-led strike on Syria was, in fact, staged.

“We were at the basement and we heard people shouting that we needed to go to a hospital. We went through a tunnel. At the hospital they started pouring cold water on me,” the boy told the press conference, gathered by Russia’s mission at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.

Hassan was among the “victims” seen being washed by water hoses in a video released by the controversial White Helmets group on April 7. The boy and his family later spoke to the media and revealed that Hassan was hurried to the scene by men who claimed that a chemical attack had taken place. They started pouring cold water on the boy and others, filming the frightened children.

“There were people unknown to us who were filming the emergency care, they were filming the chaos taking place inside, and were filming people being doused with water. The instruments they used to douse them with water were originally used to clean the floors actually,”Ahmad Kashoi, an administrator of the emergency ward, recalled. “That happened for about an hour, we provided help to them and sent them home. No one has died. No one suffered from chemical exposure.”

Halil al-Jaish, a resuscitator who tended to people at the Douma hospital that day, told the press conference that some of the patients had indeed experienced respiratory problems. The symptoms, however, were caused by heavy dust, which engulfed the area due to recent airstrikes, and no one showed any signs of chemical warfare poisoning, al-Jaish said.

The hospital received people who suffered from smoke and dust asphyxiation on the day of the alleged attack, Muwaffak Nasrim, a paramedic who was working in emergency care, said. The panic seen in footage provided by the White Helmets was caused mainly by people shouting about the alleged use of chemical weapons, Nasrim, who witnessed the chaotic scenes, added. No patients, however, displayed symptoms of chemical weapons exposure, he said.

Ahmad Saur, an emergency paramedic with the Syrian Red Crescent, said that the ward he was working at did not receive any patients exposed to chemical weapons on the day of the alleged incident or after it. All the patients needed either general medical care or help with injuries, he said. Saur told journalists he came to speak at The Hague independently of the Red Crescent, and that he was testifying freely and without any pressure.

One reporter asked what would happen to the eyewitnesses and whether they would “stay in Europe to testify.”

“We’re going back home, and see no problem with that. The situation is a lot better now. We’re Douma residents, like many others,” Hassan Ayoun, a doctor with the emergency department, said.

Six of the Douma witnesses brought to The Hague have already been interviewed by the OPCW technical experts, Russia’s permanent representative to the OPCW, Aleksandr Shulgin, said.

“The others were ready too, but the experts are sticking to their own guidelines. They’ve picked six people, talked to them, and said they were ‘completely satisfied’ with their account and did not have any further questions,” Shulgin revealed. He added that the allegations by “certain Western countries” ahead of the briefing that Moscow and Damascus were seeking to “hide” the witnesses from the OPCW experts did not hold water.

The alleged chemical incident was only supported by the White Helmets’ video and social media reports from militant-linked groups, but the US, the UK and France judged they had enough evidence that it actually took place and launched a series of punitive strikes against Syria on April 14. The US and its allies accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of carrying out the “attack,”without providing any proof of their claim. Notably, the strike came hours before the OPCW fact-finding team was set to arrive in Douma to determine whether chemical weapons had been used there.

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Jewish guilt is the discourse of the goyim

Jewish guilt

Gilad Atzmon writes:

For quite some time the British have accepted that British-Jewish organisations have hijacked the political discourse. As has happened in other Western countries, the British political establishment has engaged is a relentless rant against anti-Semitsm. Sometime the focus drifts for a day or two. An alleged “Russian nerve agent attack” provided a 48-hour pause. Occasionally we bomb Arabs in the name of “humanitarian intervention” only to realise a day or two later that we have, once again, followed a premeditated foreign agenda. But, somehow, we always return to the anti-Semitsm debate, as if our media and politicians are a herd of flies gravitating to a pile of poop.

Last week the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BDBJ) and Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), two Jewish organisations that claim to “represent” British Jews, published this painful-to-watch video.

Judging by the number of viewers, the British people are tired of these nauseating outbursts. Britons know very well that when it comes to hate crimes, Jews are not high on the victim list: Jews are far less “victimised” than Blacks, Muslims, Roma, transsexuals, gays and many others.

Since Jewish community “leaders” remain obsessed with anti Semitism, I will try to help these “leaders” understand the universal perspective on the meaning of anti-Semitsm.

The real anti-Semitism

True anti-Semitsm is when Israeli army snipers film themselves shooting unarmed Semite protesters like sitting ducks while laughing their heads off!

True anti-Semitsm is when the Jewish State legislates and enforces institutional racism against actual SemitesBlacks and goyim (gentiles) in general.

The Gaza siege is an example of what common people see as real anti-Semitsm. It is designed to humiliate and deprive Semites for being Semites and it has turned Gaza into the largest open air prison known to man.

Enough is Enough is humanity expressing collective fatigue of these barbarian actions.

I would prefer to believe that the Jewish fear of anti-Semitsm is actually an expression of collective Jewish guilt. For obvious reasons, Jews find it hard to compartmentalise Jewish identity within the context of the Jewish State being a rogue state.

There are a few modes of dealing with collective guilt that have been recognized. Repression seems to be the most common one. Some argue, in that regard, that escapism and denial are Israel’s primary belief systems.

Acknowledgment of guilt is, undoubtedly, far more painful. The Germans made it into their way of living after the last big war. Maybe Jews can actually learn from the Germans – instead of attempting to emulate the Third Reich’s racist agenda, Israel and its supporters should try to reproduce the Germans’ post postwar remorse. As it happens, there are very few Jews and Israelis who acknowledge their responsibility for the Palestinians’ plight and support the Palestinian right of return. These rare Jews are brave enough to admit that Israel is inherently anti-Semitic and racist to the core.

However, silencing Israel’s dissent is the usual Jewish political method to resolve Jewish guilt. Attributing the “anti-Semitic” slur to others is how both the Zionists and the so called “anti” kicking the ball to the goyim’s yard. This method was effective for a while but it doesn’t work anymore: being called an anti-Semite in 2018 is a synonym for an ethically driven humanistan anti racista truth tellerpeace and justice role model, a rock star. The list of “anti-Semites” is growing exponentially, probably in direct proportion with the tidal rise in Jewish guilt. The more guilty (some) Jews feel, the more the rest of us are becoming anti-Semitic in their eyes.

“Unconscious is the discourse of the Other,” was, probably Jacques Lacan’s most astute psychoanalytical observation. It is the fear that the Other, in this case, the gentile, the humanist, sees you truly. It is the fear that the goy can detect your shame. Jewish guilt as such is the unbearable fear that the goyimknow.

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Syria – victim of foreign machinations

By Munzer Hindawi

The killing and destruction that is taking place in Syria is exceeding the worst scenarios envisaged at the start of the revolution.

The revolution started peacefully. The atrocities committed by the Syrian regime led to the emergence of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which consists mainly of soldiers who had defected from the Syrian army and refused to obey orders to kill their own people. The first declared task of the FSA was to protect the peaceful demonstrations. The hope was that the FSA would grow as more soldiers defect and become the revolution’s main military force and, eventually, the national army of the newly liberated Syria.

Now, two years after the start of the revolution, the situation in Syria is very grim. The peaceful demonstrations have been replaced by guerrilla warfare. The FSA has become anything but an army with a structure and a hierarchical command that plans for battles, controls the movement of its forces and the supplies of weapon to those forces, and runs the newly liberated areas temporarily under military rules.

Fragmented armed opposition

Instead of having one, coherent liberation army, there are now hundreds of armed groups with loose or no link to the FSA. With little knowledge of the law, these groups take matters into their hands. With little understanding of the fundamental message of Islam, which is peace, most of these groups hoist the banner of Islam and jihad but bring fear, not peace, to the liberated areas.

Many of the leaders of these groups are poorly educated: before taking up arms, some were simple workers, farmers, shopkeepers or students. With such backgrounds, it is no wonder that they lack military skills and discipline. Consequently, they might fight a guerrilla war and win a battle here and there, but their ability to win the war and rebuild the state is doubtful. That is clear from the way they run the areas they won from the government. News from many of these areas indicate that the leaders of these armed groups have become more like warlords, motivated more by the desire to make personal gains or take revenge than build a new state.

Islamist fighters carry their flag during the funeral of their fellow fighter Tareq Naser, who died during clashes on Sunday, near the village of Fafeen in Aleppo's countryside

Syria is blighted by hundreds of militias with loose or no link to the Free Syrian Army

The current scene in, and outlook for, Syria looks very grim. But how did we come to this? What are the reasons behind the endless killing and destruction?

Of course, the political system in Syria is mainly to blame for what is happening, but we cannot always put all the blame on the evil nature of Bashar Assad or his regime.

Some of the blame can be laid at the door of the opposition, which is very fragmented and unable to construct a coherent strategy to fight and replace Assad. However, this fragmentation should not be attributed to the Syrian character – it is often unfairly said that every Syrian wants to be a leader.

Although the general atmosphere in Syria has become more conducive to Islamist jihad, this cannot explain the sharp rise of Al-Qaeda-type groups and other extremist organizations in the country. Syrian society, and the kind of Islam practised in Syria, have traditionally been moderate.

To a certain extent, one can point the finger of blame at some regional powers, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, who subsidize armed groups in Syria. However, as far as Syria is concerned these countries do not act independently of the United States. From the start of the conflict most of the foreign support was given selectively to groups with Islamic banners and little to the moderate groups. It was even reported that many of the newly established militias were asked by the sponsors to give their groups Islamic names as a condition for receiving aid.

War by proxy

Even so, to understand the whole picture one must look at the interests of the big players in the West in prolonging this crisis, which is becoming an open sectarian war.

Thus, what can be better for the West and Israel than the fighting now taking place on Syrian soil between Al-Qaeda and its sister organizations on the one hand and Hezbollah and its Iranian backers on the other? The Syrian conflict is becoming a war of attrition for both sides and is depleting their weapons and weakening their economic resources.

Saudi King Abdallah shaking hands with Iranian President Ahmadinejad

Foreign rivalries are changing the character of the Syrian revolution

Furthermore, the conflict in Syria is providing the West and regional countries with an added bonus, allowing them to get rid of their jihadists by facilitating their passage to Syria to fight their “holy war” there. Hundreds or maybe even thousands of jihadists have left Britain, France, Russia, the United States and other countries to fight in Syria.

But while these countries may feel more secure without the jihadists, Syria is paying the price in the form of a change in the nature of its popular revolution, death and destruction. In a way, the fighting in Syria has become like the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, which Henry Kissinger once wished would never end. It is no exaggeration to say that many in the West and Israel are now wishing the same for Syria.

A kind of stalemate has now developed between the main opponents in Syria. Consequently, foreign support has become critical to tipping the balance of power in favour of one side or the other.

Iran and Russia are doing what they can to support Assad, but the stalemate remains. This means that only the West, in particular the United States, can change the balance of power in Syria. However, it seems that the US will move seriously only if the fighting starts to spread out of control to other countries in the region, including Israel. Only then are we likely to see more systematic support given to the opposition and its armed wing, the FSA. Only then are we likely to see a better structured political opposition that truly leads revolutionary forces on the ground in Syria. Only then will the number of armed groups in Syria begin to shrink and the FSA reshapes itself into a real army with real authority in the liberated areas, instead of the numerous armed groups.

Hope amid despair

There is still hope for a better outcome of the Syrian revolution, provided the US changes its narrow approach to the crisis. Syria is an important country for the stability of the Middle East and even for world peace. It is in no one’s interest for Syria to become a failed state. It is contrary to human nature and the West’s proclaimed principles to punish a whole society in such a deadly way for the sake of accomplishing ulterior motives.

Long winding road in Syria against the background of a setting Sun

There is still hope for Syria but the chances are dwindling

Syrian society is naturally moderate. Al-Qaeda is not a Syrian product. It is a product of other societies, backed and strengthened by big powers. Al-Qaeda has also been supported by the Syrian regime. Not so long ago the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, appealed to the United Nations to stop the Assad regime from sponsoring and sending Al-Qaeda fighters into Iraq. Iran, the main ally of Syria, is still host to many Al-Qaeda leaders and their families.

The recent pledge of loyalty to Al-Qaeda and its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, by the Syrian Islamist group Jabhat Al-Nusra is nothing but a gift to Assad. In fact, it is fair to say that Al-Qaede is being exported to Syria rather than grown in the womb of Syrian society. It is and will remain alien to Syrians.

Where is Syria heading? The answer to this question lies in the US. One can only hope that the Geneva II talks can bring about new changes to Washington’s policy, but this seems unlikely. What is more likely is that the civil war will continue, and the Syrian people will have to pay a much higher price than what they have already paid.

One can only hope that it is a price that will not be paid in vain but will yield something of value: freedom, democracy and a civil state.

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Restoring Syria’s uprising to its people

By Jamal Kanj

Jamal Kanj warns against the creeping hijacking of the the Syrian people’s fight for freedom by foreign powers with ulterior motives, and argues that “widespread civil disobedience exposing the brutal Assad regime and shifting the centre of power back to the home-based opposition is Syria’s last hope for genuine emancipation”.

The defection on 6 August of Syrian Prime Minister Riad Farid Hijab was a public relation blow to the regime of Bashar Assad but had no other significance. In Syria, power is in the hands of a security apparatus controlled by the Assad clan.

Syria has become an open field for rival foreign powers challenging or supporting the Assad regime, each vying for its interest but with little concern for the Syrian people’s aspirations and desire for freedom.

Despite months of street protests, the Assad regime – a typical specimen of autocratic systems – proved incapable of reforming. It is simply against the laws of nature for a totalitarian system to transform itself into a democracy.

What started as a civil uprising and a genuine extension of the Arab Spring has now been transformed into a full blown military conflict. The ruthless killings from both sides are polarizing Syrians across ethnic and religious lines and pushing the country further into the abyss of dissection.

The militarization of the civil protests has also resulted in a shift of power from the streets of Syria’s towns and cities to foreign capitals. Obviously, unlike home-grown local leaders, outside leadership is more disposed to the influence of external forces and foreign interests.

As a result, Syria has become an open field for rival foreign powers challenging or supporting the Assad regime, each vying for its interest but with little concern for the Syrian people’s aspirations and desire for freedom.

Assad, supported by Russia, China and Iran, is living a delusional state of popularity, while the foreign-based leaders are competing with one another to trade Western support for Syria’s future political positioning in the Middle East. Both – Assad failing to realize that foreign backing cannot supplant national legitimacy.

Assad, supported by Russia, China and Iran, is living a delusional state of popularity, while the foreign-based leaders are competing with one another to trade Western support for Syria’s future political positioning in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, through the US, Israel is pursuing a two-pronged strategy: regime change in Syria intended to weaken Iran and the Lebanese resistance on the one hand, while destroying Syria by dismantling it along ethnic and religious lines.

Israel’s obsession with maintaining a domineering, unchallenged regional position has long envisaged the breaking up of neighbouring states across religious lines as indispensable for its survival as a theocratic state.

The invasion of Iraq was the Zion-cons’ first successful Israeli proxy war using American forces to invade and occupy another country based on proven fabricated tales.

In 1982, almost 20 years prior to the invasion of Iraq, former Israeli Foreign Ministry official Oded Yinon wrote in Kivunim (Directions), the journal of the department of information of the World Zionist Organization, that Israel’s future priority should be “The dissolution of Syria and Iraq … into ethnically or religiously unique areas…”

On Iraq he wrote: “Its dissolution is even more important than Syria. Iraq is stronger… Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to … breaking up Iraq into … provinces along ethnic/religious lines…”

Israel’s obsession with maintaining a domineering, unchallenged regional position has long envisaged the breaking up of neighbouring states across religious lines as indispensable for its survival as a theocratic state.

On Syria, the Zionist strategist called for dividing the country into an “Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus … and the Durzes … in the Hauran and in northern Jordan…”

Obama’s recently-revealed approval of an intelligence “finding” authorizing a CIA role in the Syrian conflict may signify now a new liberal Zionist Israeli proxy war in Syria. Israel’s dominion obsession is a menace endangering the stability of the region and world peace.

The current unwinnable “inter-Arab confrontation” is fragmenting Syria and providing a pretext for the regime to ruthlessly crush the opposition.

Widespread civil disobedience exposing the brutal Assad regime and shifting the centre of power back to the home-based opposition is Syria’s last hope for genuine emancipation. Violence will only replace a thug with another minion dictator; it will not lead to genuine democracy.

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War criminals by default

NOVANEWS
UN Security Council Five

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council

By Alan Hart

My last thought for 2013 is that for their failure to cooperate and coordinate to make the United Nations work to stop the slaughter and destruction in Syria, the leaders of the five permanent and controlling members of the Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China – are war criminals by default.

And I agree with an end-of-the-year review comment by Basma Atassi for Al-Jazeera. As more videos emerged of atrocities, “the international community’s inaction continued to give Syrians the message that their human worth is insignificant. The perpetrators (on all sides) have a free ride to kill and the victims have no place to go for justice.”

Civilization vs jungle law

There are only two ways to run this world of ours.

One is in accordance with the rule of law and respect for the human and political rights of all people. In this way of managing Planet Earth, the governments of all nations, without exceptions (so including those of Israel and the US), would be called and held to account by the Security Council and punished as necessary and appropriate when they demonstrated contempt for the rule of law and their various treaty obligations and other commitments.

The other way is in accordance with jungle law. For some years it has been my view that our leaders are taking us back to the jungle. What has been allowed to happen in Syria has only reinforced my fear on this account.

From the moment in April 2011 when the Syrian army was deployed to quell the uprising and fired on demonstrators across the country, it ought to have been obvious (I’m sure it was) to the governments of the major powers that the minority Alawite standard bearers, President Bashar al-Assad and his top military and other security people, would kill and kill and kill to stay in power and, if necessary, would die fighting rather than let go the levers of their power.

Missed opportunity

In my analysis. the real tragedy is that something could have been done at a very early stage to stop the killing and destruction. What was needed was for President Obama to have a private conversation with President Putin along something like the following lines;

It’s not in any of our interests that this conflict be allowed to escalate and spread. What’s your price for using your influence to require Assad to step down and make way for elections? I understand, of course, that you’ll only be able to use your influence to this effect if there is a firm and absolute guarantee that after elections the wellbeing and security of the minority Alawite population will be assured. There must be no recriminations and revenge for decades of police state rule by the Baath Party of Assad father and son. I give you my word that the United States, through the Security Council, will play its necessary role in making good this guarantee… And one more thing, Vladimir. I also give you my word that the US will not seek to make use of regime change in Syria as a means of trying to have Russia kicked out of Tartus, the only Mediterranean naval base for your Black Sea Fleet.

If Obama had been wise enough to take such an initiative, I think it much more likely than not that he would have got a positive response from Putin.

It’s worth noting that after the G20 Summit in Mexico in October 2012, British Prime Minister David Cameron claimed that during the meeting President Putin had shifted his position and wanted Bashar Assad out of power. Cameron said:

There remain differences over sequencing and the shape of how the transition takes place, but it is welcome that President Putin has been explicit that he does not want Assad remaining in charge in Syria. What we need next is agreement on a transitional leadership which can move Syria to a democratic future that protects the rights of all its communities.”

Probably Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was partly right when he said that Cameron’s statement about Putin’s position was “not corresponding to reality”.

But Putin did say: “It is important after regime change, if it happens, and it must happen only by constitutional means, that peace comes to the country and bloodshed stops.”

The reality as it seemed to me at the time, and which Cameron put his own spin on, was that Putin had indicated that he could live with regime change in Syria if it happened by constitutional means. And that’s why I think it was much more likely than not that Obama would have got a positive response from Putin at a very early point in the conflict if he had had the wisdom to make his case along the lines I suggested above.

Zionists and jihadists

A question arising is why didn’t Obama take such an initiative to protect the best interests of all concerned? My guess is that it was more than a lack of wisdom and global leadership on his part. For far too long he was listening to those (Zionism’s verbal hit men in particular) who were telling him that regime change in Syria, assisted as required by American military force and therefore on American-and-Israeli terms, was a necessary step on the road to regime change in Iran.

Today I think it can be said without fear of contradiction that Putin is as alarmed as his Western counterparts by the prospect of jihadists of various kinds establishing a safe haven and engine room in Syria. I also think Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was correct when he recently indicated, by obvious implication, that behind closed doors American and Western European leaders are beginning to understand that they may now need Assad and his ruthless war machine if the forces of violent Islamic fundamentalism are to be prevented from having a permanent base in Syria from which to create regional and even global havoc.

The next test of what if anything is left of Obama’s credibility as a leader who can bring positive influence to bear on events in Syria is fast approaching. With a Geneva meeting to chart the way to ending the conflict scheduled for 22 January, he has to decide whether or not Iran should be a party to the talks. Russia and Lakhdar Brahimi, the very experienced UN special envoy to Syria and chief mediator, insist that Iran must be represented to improve the prospects of the Geneva talks being something less than a complete failure. I agree.

The Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress, plus Israel’s Arab state allies-of-convenience in the Gulf, led by Saudi Arabia, are opposed to Iran’s participation in the Geneva talks.

Will Obama have the will and the courage to defy them?

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Who is right in Syria?

Syria foreign intervention

By Lawrence Davidson

Here is the situation in Syria as I see it: Russia is taking a long-range view and wants stability in post-Islamic State (IS) Syria. France and the United States are taking the short-range view and really have no achievable plans for Syria’s future stability. Turkey appears to have given little thought to Syria’s future. Ankara may be willing to see indefinite chaos in Syria if it hurts the Assad regime on the one hand and the Kurds on the other.

Russia

The Russians may be the only party interested in the long-term political stability of Syria. There is certainly no doubt that President Vladimir Putin is more determined than Western leaders to act on the fact that the various so-called “moderate” parties standing against the Assad regime cannot work together, and that this fault cannot be corrected by enticements from the United States. For the Russians, this fact makes the Damascus government the only source of future stability.

This understanding, and not Soviet-era nostalgia, has led Russia to support the Assad regime, which possesses a working government, a standing army and the loyalty of every religious minority group in the country.

Some might object that both Assad and Putin are dictators and thugs (by the way, thugs in suits in the US government are all too common). However, this cannot serve as a serious objection. The only alternative to Damascus’s victory is perennial civil war fragmenting the country into warlord zones. With the possible exception of Israel, this scenario is in no one’s interest, although it seems that the leaders of Washington and Paris are too politically circumscribed to act on this fact.

US and France

Thus, it would appear that neither the US nor France really cares about Syria as a stable nation. Once the present military capacity of IS is eliminated, Washington and Paris may well clandestinely continue to support a low-level civil war against the Assad regime. In this effort they will have the help of Turkey, the Kurds and Israel. The result will be ongoing devastation of the Syrian population and fragmentation of its territory.

Despite its air campaign against Islamic State, Washington has no ground component nor any answer to the political vacuum in Syria.

As if to justify US strategy, President Obama, with French President Francois Hollande by his side, recently boastedthat the United States stood at the head of a “65-country coalition” fighting terrorism in Syria. However, this is a hollow claim. Most of these countries are coalition members in name only, and some of them, like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf state governments, play a double game. And then Obama dismissed Russia and Iran as “outliers” and “a coalition of two”. Yet those two countries are the Syrian nation’s best hope for future stability.

The fact is that US policy in Syria has been a losing proposition from the beginning just because of its hostility to the Assad government. Despite its air campaign against IS, Washington has no ground component nor any answer to the political vacuum in Syria. Both missing parts are to be found in an alliance with Damascus.

Refusal to make that alliance has also opened Washington to building neo-conservative political pressure to increase the US military presence in the area. However, American “boots on the ground” in Syria is both a dangerous option as well as an unnecessary one. Syrian government boots can do the job if they are properly supported. The support has come from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. It is the United States and its coalition who are the “outliers”.

Turkey

It is not easy to explain Turkey’s animosity toward Damascus. Prior to the civil war in Syria, the two countries had good relations. Then something changed. It may have been something as foolish as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s taking personal offence against President Bashar Assad because the latter chose to heed the advice of Iran rather than Turkey at the beginning of the war. Whatever happened, it sent Ankara off on an anti-Assad crusade.

That anti-Assad mindset is probably the backstory to the recent reckless Turkish decision to shoot down a Russian warplane operating in support of Syrian government troops close to the Turkish border.

The Turks say that the Russian jet strayed into Turkish airspace. The Russians deny this. The Turks claim that they tried to communicate with the Russian plane to warn it away. When it did not respond, they destroyed it. Of late the Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has said that Ankara “didn’t know the nationality of the plane that was brought down… until Moscow announced it was Russian”.

In all of the bloodshed, population displacement and terror that has accompanied the Syrian civil war, the least-considered party has been the Syrian people and their future.

This statement is frankly unbelievable given that Davutoglu followed it up with an admission that Turkey had complained to Russia about military flights in this exact border area. He also asserted that both Russian and Syrian operations in this region of northern Syria should stop because IS has no presence there. This assertion makes no sense, since Damascus’s aim is to reassert government authority by the defeat of armed rebels regardless of their organisational affiliation.

It is hard to say whether the Turks are telling the truth about an incursion into their airspace. Most of their evidence, such as recorded Turkish warnings to the Russian plane, is easily fabricated. However, in the end it does not really matter if the plane crossed the border. There was no need to shoot it down.

If the Russian jet strayed into Turkish airspace, there would have been a range of options. The Turks could be very sure that the Russian plane had no hostile intention toward their country, and they should have assumed, for the sake of minimising any consequences, that no provocation was meant on the part of the Russia. In other words, they should have acted as if the alleged overflight was a mistake. The Turks could have then shadowed the Russian plane in a way that coaxed it back into Syrian airspace and followed the incident up with a formal protest to Moscow. Instead they made the worst possible choice and shot the plane down. Now both Ankara and Washington are shouting about Turkey’s right to defend its territory despite the fact that the Russian plane never posed any threat.

Conclusion

In all of the bloodshed, population displacement and terror that has accompanied the Syrian civil war, the least-considered party has been the Syrian people and their future. IS, or at least its present infrastructure, will ultimately be destroyed. However, while that destruction is necessary, it is an insufficient outcome because it fails to provide long-term stability. Right now that vital ingredient can only be supplied by the reimposition of order by Damascus. The folks in Washington, Paris and Ankara might not like that, but they are not the ones facing a future of anarchy. And, indeed, the more they stand in the way of Damascus, the more chaos they will help create.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Who is right in Syria?

Making America neocon again: Trump, Putin and the Ziocons

Making America neocon again

Gilad Atzmon writes:

It doesn’t take a military analyst to grasp that the American attack on a remote Syrian airfield contradicts every possible military rationale. If America really believed that Bashar Assad possessed a weapons of mass destruction stockpile and kept it in al-Shayrat airbase, launching a missile attack that could lead to the release of lethal agents into the air would be the last thing it would do. If America was determined to “neutralise” Assad’s alleged “WMD capability”, it would deploy special forces or diplomacy. No one defuses WMD with explosives, bombs or cruise missiles. It is simply unheard of.

America targeted al-Shayrat because it knew with certainty that there were no WMD in that location. It was a fireworks show. It had no military objective.

The first concern that comes to mind is why do you need a saxophonist to deliver the truth every military expert understands very well? Can’t the New York Times or the Guardian reach the same obvious conclusion? It’s obvious enough that if Assad didn’t use WMD when he was losing the war, it would make no sense for him to use it now when a victory is within reach.

So why did the White House launch a cruise missile blitz on a non-existent target?

Trump was left with no other option: he needed a fireworks show to convey a clear image of a conflict between himself and Putin. He had to invent a war with Russia.

We know who are the first to benefit from the current escalation. The Jewish State that gambled on regime change in Syria, in line with the sinister Yinon Plan, now accepts that Assad is here to stay. But here is the peculiar development: while the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times and the White House refer to Assad and his “chemical warfare” with certainty, the Israeli press is actually very careful. The Israeli Ynet news website only refers to Assad’s “alleged” gas attack. The Israelis do understand that the story, as it stands, doesn’t make any sense.

But there may be another narrative that could introduce some method to the madness. The CIA and the FBI do not seem to be drifting away from Trump and his ties with Russia. This weekend we learned that former Trump adviser Carter Page “gave documents to a Russian spy”. Carter Page, who was a foreign policy aide to the Trump before the election, met occasionally with Victor Podobnyy while the intelligence operative was working in the US. Podobnyy was one of three men indicted by the FBI in 2015 on suspicion of working for Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service.

We also learned this weekend that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, failed to alert the FBI to several meetings he had with Russian officials despite a legal obligation to do so. His lawyer described the omission as an “administrative error”.

The Guardian says the CIA actually reported to senior lawmakers in classified briefings last summer that it had information indicating that Russia was working to help elect Trump as president, a finding that did not emerge publicly until after Trump’s victory months later.

President Trump has rejected any suggestion of a Russian connection as “ridiculous” and “fake news”. Trump could probably win over the liberal press but the CIA and FBI have proved harder nuts to crack.

Trump was left with no other option: he needed a fireworks show to convey a clear image of a conflict between himself and Putin. He had to invent a war with Russia. The Mirror bought into this façade: “Donald Trump warned he is one step away from military clashes with Russia,” its headline read.

It seems as if launching a missile attack on a deserted Syrian airfield while alerting the Russians in advance would convey the necessary patriotic image to the American people. It would convince the Ziocons that the White House is ready to launch World War III on their behalf. The attack was there to convince the American people that Trump is not a Russian puppet.

Shockingly enough, the liberal press was very quick to toe the line. The uniquely banal Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian today: “Sometimes the right thing can be done by the wrong person. Donald Trump’s bombing of a Syrian airfield seems to belong in that category.” Seemingly, the Guardian never misses an opportunity to rally for a Ziocon war.

The only question that has remained open is whether such a drone blitz on a Syrian airbase will convince Trump’s constituency that by now “America is, once again great”.

Posted in USAComments Off on Making America neocon again: Trump, Putin and the Ziocons

Missiles over Damascus courtesy of monsters in Washington

Monster Trump

By Lawrence Davidson

Monsters and animals

On 13 April 2018 President Donald Trump ordered the bombing of selective targets in the Syrian capital, Damascus. He did so because he was emotionally upset by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians in the town of Douma – the last rebel (Islamic State-type jihadists) stronghold adjacent to the capital.

Just prior to Trump’s actualising his emotions by throwing missiles into Damascus, he had expressed his opinion (and keep in mind that there is no difference between fact and opinion for MrTrump) that President Assad is a “monster” as well as an “animal”, at least in part because the Syrian president stooped to “killing his own people”. The problem with all this is (1) Trump has no hard evidence that Assad was behind the alleged gas attack and (2) killing your own people is, unfortunately, what civil wars are all about.

Alas, the world has always been, and still is, full of “monsters” and “animals”. And, since we are throwing around such epithets, we might as well give a couple of close-to-home examples of those qualifying behaviours.

  • How about the invasion of a nation along with the subsequent killing of at least half a million people, all based on “false and overstated intelligence”? That is what the “monster” and “animal” President George W. Bush did back in 2003 in Iraq.
  • How about lining up a 100 “sharpshooters” at a border for what seems to be the almost gleeful act of repeatedly shooting down unarmed protesters? That is what the “monster” and “animal” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been doing at Israel’s border with Gaza during the month of April 2018.

We can go on citing examples such as these – all about the “monsters” and “animals” in power in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and, at one time or other, just about every other nation. Donald Trump himself, with his racist tendencies and impulsive behaviour, is also a very good candidate for wearing the epithets he assigns to others.

A lesson learned from this endless list is that it seems to be very difficult to be the leader of a state, particularly a strong and/or ideologically driven leader, and not end up a “monster”. It is not only the power that rests in the leader’s hands, but also the corrupting organisational pressures and expectations to use that power that create the slippery slope to abuse. Even those who come to office with relatively decent reputations, such as in the case of the US, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, end up with bloody hands.

Minions

However, the problem does not end there. After all, the “monster” must have his or her minions. Albert Einstein once said that “the pioneers of a warless world are the youth that refuse military service”. More recently, the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem has called on Israeli soldiers “to refuse orders to open fire on Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip”. These public positions have made no a noticeable difference. The massive violence continues.

Human violence might have something to do with our evolutionsry history, but why should this inclination be so readily indulged? After all, just because we are evolutionarily inclined in a certain way doesn’t mean that we can’t exercise a modicum of self-control. And indeed, a good number of folks do go through life in a relatively non-violent fashion. Yet, put just about any of us in a rotten barrel and we turn bad.

Part of the problem might be that our cultures and institutions infantilise too many of us. By this I mean that from infancy to old age we are taught to follow orders and go along with the group. As children we are taught to obey our parents, then our teachers. When, as teens we (at least in the West) begin to break away from parental control, we more often than not replace parental guidance with that of our peer group. Then, on to a career, where a new set of rules and expectations is imposed. Of course, there is sociological logic to all of this. We could have no societal structure and stability without a certain level of rules and obedience to them. However, there is a price. The price at the state level may be seen in terms of all too often unquestioning loyalty, patriotism and solidarity that leads the average citizen to simply follow the leader, and thereby participate in the violence the state has declared as necessary.

“Monsters” like George W. Bush, Binyamin Netanyahu and now Donald Trump do not actually pull the triggers. Someone else does on their orders – someone trained to obey. Actually, “someone” is misleading. It is not one. It is millions. Military establishments are the most obvious environments where this follow the leader-cum-infantilisation takes place. Put into a military organisation, the citizen is back in that childhood environment where he or she is expected to just obey. There may be specified situations where one does not have to obey, but they are so rare and so strongly counterbalanced by peer pressure that they almost never come into play. Thus, in the military all soldiers of whatever rank are infantilised relative to their superiors: told to shoot, they shoot; told to fire the missile, they fire it; told to drop the bomb, they drop it; and told to guide the weaponised drone onto a target half a world away (oops! It turns out to be a wedding party) they guide it.

Conclusion

There is no ready solution to any of this. The number of people who will refuse military orders, as suggested by Einstein, or refuse to shoot protesters, as suggested by B’Tselem, is much too few to stop the mayhem. Our proclivity to violence has been institutionalised and our fundamental societal need to maintain group cohesion has been perverted by the those who claim to be our leaders. It is something of a vicious circle – or maybe just an eternal Catch 22.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on Missiles over Damascus courtesy of monsters in Washington

The Saudi Zio-Wahhabi-Nazi liaison

The Saudi-Israeli liaison
Israel-Saudi liaison

By Lawrence Davidson 

Two Saudi leaders – then and now

In a 2 April 2018 interview in the Atlantic, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman publicly declared that the Israelis “have a right to live in their own land just like the Palestinians”. It is a problematic assumption, given that the Israelis’ “own land” is the land they took away from the Palestinians. This, and much else, has been either forgotten or ignored by the Saudi crown prince.

Seventy-three years ago Saudi Arabia’s first king, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, expressed a very different position in a series of letters to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. For instance, in a letter of November 1938 Ibn Saud had wrote “The [European] Jews have no right to Palestine and their claim is an act of injustice unprecedented in the history of the human race.” Sadly, there was in fact plenty of precedent when it came to colonial injustice, but Ibn Saud’s declaration certainly demonstrated the King’s depth of feeling. Other letters followed, predicting that Palestine was bound to become a “hotbed of disturbances and troubles” if the Zionists got their way.

The two leaders finally met face to face in 1945 on the US Cruiser Quincyduring FDR’s return trip from Yalta. In that meeting Roosevelt tried to convince the Saudi ruler to allow European Jewish occupation of Palestine. Ibn Saud countered that “Make the enemy and the oppressor pay; that is how we Arabs wage war.” He continued: “Amends should be made by the criminal, not by the innocent bystander. What injury have Arabs done to the Jews of Europe? It is the ‘Christian’ Germans who stole their homes and lives.” He finally added that “The Arabs would choose to die rather than yield their land to the Jews.”

What has changed?

Now Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman shows us that a lot has changed in the intervening years. Zionist Israel has become an established “fact on the ground” and thus settler colonialism is well rooted in Palestine. Saudi Arabia has, perhaps begrudgingly, accepted this change – and it is not hard to see why.

The Saudis have built their security around an alliance with Israel’s major backer, the United States. One price paid for that alliance has been a de factoacceptance of Israel’s existence. Thus, Saudi dislike of Israel has been largely rhetorical. However, it would seem that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has finally abandoned even that facade. That is why during the prince’s recent trip to the US he was found publicly rubbing shoulders with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

In the face of their inability to do anything about the Zionist occupation of Palestine, the Saudis have moved on to focus on other enemies. This proved easy because there has always been another assumed foe out there. This enemy is the Shi’i Muslims, whom the Sunnis have always seen as apostates. Specifically, the enemy is now Shi’i Iran. The Saudi crown prince, once more resorting to hyperbole, claims Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “makes Hitler look good”. Then there is Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Zaydi Houthi of Yemen – all Shi’i and all seen as enemies.

The interesting part of this shift in enemies is that by now focusing on the Shi’is, and particularly Iran (which, since the 1979 revolution, has not accepted the permanence of Zionist Israel), the Saudi crown prince has discovered that “there are a lot of interests we share with Israel”.

Operating on the motto that the enemies of our enemies must be our friends, the Zionist Israelis have become “good Jews” in the eyes of the present aspiring Saudi leader. Also, the Saudis have become “good Arabs” in the eyes of the Zionists. Both now intrigue together against their common enemies.

The odd couple

The Saudis and the Israelis no doubt make an odd couple. However, there are, if you will, inborn similarities. For instance:

— Both Israel and Saudi Arabia assert that they are “chosen people” and therefore nations blessed by their “one true God”. In both cases this assertion has led to a claim that the territory they control is “holy land” – divinely granted to them.

— Also, in both cases, the religious leadership of society exercises guiding influence over many internal policies.

— As a consequence, both the Saudis and the Israelis run their respective countries like restricted clubs. One demands that you be Jewish to have membership rights, and the other wants you to be a Wahhabi Sunni Muslim. Outsiders claiming equal club rights (here read citizenship) are going to be restricted, persecuted or just expelled. And, of course, in both cases minority groups do claim such rights: in Israel it is the Palestinians and in Saudi Arabia it is the Shi’i population of the eastern Arabian peninsula.

Conclusion

Looked at objectively, both Saudi Arabia and Israel should be anachronisms. Two nations making outrageous, unprovable claims of divine right that in turn excuses undemocratic, racist-like behaviour and policies. And the United States, which also sees itself as God-blessed, readily backs them both.

What this suggests is that, even amid an increasingly high-tech culture, medieval thinking is still with us – deeply enough embedded to influence the thinking of millions, shape government policy and wage crusades. Glory be!

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on The Saudi Zio-Wahhabi-Nazi liaison


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