Archive | May 29th, 2013

A warning shot for Turkey-Qatar axis


By Alper Birdal and Yigit Gunay

A bombing in the Turkish town of Reyhanli on May 11 killed 51 people but was largely ignored by Turkish media. Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the Syrian government – with no evidence.

Turkish hacker collective RedHack claims here that Turkish intelligence knew in advance that the Syrian jihadi outfit Jabhat al-Nusra was preparing three car bombs to be detonated inside Turkey. Erdogan remains mum.

The Reyhanli massacre was subjected to a press ban in Turkey after the ruling party’s clumsy attempt to cover it up fell short. But as far as the massacre is concerned, we believe it is possible to make a strong guess about the perpetrators.

Turkish media also did not really reflect upon why Syrian armed groups suddenly started losing Al-Qusayr, in western Syria. The fighters in Al-Qusayr belong to the Al-Farouq brigade. This is the group the leader of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD, the Kurdish in Northern Syria, ideologically close to the PKK in Turkey), Salih Muslims, referred to as in, “We have made a deal with them in Aleppo.”

It is also the same murderous organization who said after having cutting out the heart out of a dead soldier and eating, “What is the problem? I have been butchering Alawites.”

A spokesperson of the Al-Farouq brigade, Yazeed Al-Hassan, explained that their recent setbacks were “the result of the recent decrease of shipments from Turkey”. The fact is that Saudi Arabia has stopped its weapons transfers through Turkey and moved their supply channels over to Northern Jordan.

Erdogan went to the US without visiting Reyhanli to offer his condolences to the families of the victims of the bombings.

In previous weeks, the leaders of three Arab countries had visited Washington: King Abdullah II of Jordan, Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, and the Saudi minister of Foreign Affairs, Saud Al Faisal.

They repeated the same message in meetings held separately: put your weight on the Syrian issue. A US official told the Wall Street Journal that the reason for asking the US to “put its weight” and lead the Syrian issue is because, “There is a need for someone to manage the players.”

The two players these countries had been complaining about were Turkey and Qatar. These two had been sending huge amounts of money, weapons and ammunition to Islamic organizations, especially groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, without coordinating with the “other” players.

The Wall Street Journal asked a Qatari and a Turkish official about it. The Qatari official declined to comment. The Turkish official, after denying the claim that the Erdogan government has been supporting Islamist parties in Syria or anywhere else in the world, said, “We are only defending the interests of the people of Syria.”

Right from the start of the “Arab Spring”, a great competition between Saudi Arabia and Qatar has raged, especially in Egypt. The domination of the Muslim Brotherhood in all the countries visited by the “Spring” troubled Saudi Arabia very deeply.

Of course, the problem was not about the “support of radical elements”. In a sense, Saudi Arabia was supporting the Salafi groups that are more radical than Muslim Brotherhood. The real issue was to gain the upper hand in political influence.

Since the initial Syrian crisis turned into a full-scale war through the provocation of foreign forces, in the polarization of these forces Turkey has openly sided with Qatar.

The forming of this two “block of alliances”, one by Qatar and Turkey and the other by Saudi Arabia, Jordan and United Arab Emirates, has sharpened to such an extent that triggered various bloody operations – such as the mysterious suicide attack on a Qatari convoy in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, on May 5.

Hitting Qatar in Somalia 

Who were the targets of this attack that did not arouse much interest in global media?

When the bombs exploded, a Qatari delegation was visiting Somalia. The Qatari Minister of Interior was also part of the delegation yet, according to police chief Garad Nor Abdul, he was not in the attacked convoy. Abdul said there were no injuries among the Qatari delegation. But later on, ad-Diyar, a Lebanese newspaper, stated that the intelligence chief of Qatar, Ahmed Nasser bin Qassim al-Thani, had been killed in the attack.

According to ad-Diyar, in November 2012 Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani and his intelligence chief had met with Mossad chief Tamir Pardo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the meeting, a plan to assassinate Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad was discussed. In this meeting, the Israeli premier requested that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) recognize Israel after Assad was ousted.

The Qatari intelligence chief had dreams of capturing Damascus and was working with Israel to realize this dream. According to ad-Diyar, al-Thani was the person who was responsible for the coordination of the transfer of Yemeni jihadists to Syria after they were trained by the US Special Forces in Qatar.

But who was behind the bomb attack in Mogadishu? There is only one group in Somalia that can pull off such a big and professional attack, featuring two vehicles loaded with plastic explosives: the al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab.

It is not yet clear if al-Thani actually died in this attack. But it is almost certain that he was targeted by al-Qaeda. In the background of the sequence of events that extends to Africa, there is the “subcontractor conflict”, ie the competition between the duo Turkey and Qatar with Saudi Arabia.

The US subcontractors have a dynamic relation with the armed groups fighting in Syria. The fact that Qatar and Turkey are working in close cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria does not necessarily mean that these two countries do not work with groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra.

The situation in the “field” is in constant flow. Various special weapons transferred from the Balkans are provided to both the groups in the Free Syrian Army and Jabhat al-Nusra. The transitivity of weapons and militants among the groups is also pretty high. So is the transitivity of the support given by the “subcontractor” forces to these groups.

The key weapon in the hands of an al-Nusra militant is the M60 rifle, imported from Croatia. These weapons, bought by Saudi money, have been transferred to the militants through Jordan and Turkey. In a short time, the weapons were visible in the hands of both FSA and al-Nusra gangs.

In previous weeks, there was an interesting development under this perspective. Saudi Arabia, which is known to be in close relation with al-Qaeda groups in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and now in Syria and which keeps its distance from the Muslim Brotherhood, has convened the leaders of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in Riyadh.

All 12 people who went to Riyadh were members of the Syrian National Council, which is promoted by the US as “the legitimate government in Syria”. Among them, was a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammad Faruq Tayfur. Tayfur came to an agreement with the Saudis on the withdrawal of Gassan Hitto, a US citizen and a Muslim Brotherhood member, from the presidency of the transitional government formed by the Council.

On the other hand, the Syrian National Council was formed in Qatar with direct US involvement. It is known that the general secretary of the organization, Mostafa Al-Sabbagh, is a Muslim Brotherhood member that is responsible for directing the policies of the organization in alignment with Qatar.

The Muslim Brotherhood connection of Muaz Al Khatib who had been appointed as the head of the organization but who had resigned when Hitto became the Prime Minister is also well known. So the Muslim Brotherhood is everywhere.

The meeting in Riyadh may have been a sign of Saudi Arabia interfering with the role Qatar and Turkey will be playing. The Saudis presented it to the US as the curbing of radical Islamist groups. Another part of this operation was the decision to make the transfer of weapons to the militants in Syria through Salim Idris, the head of the SNC’s Supreme Military Council.

So on one hand, the Saudis are getting their hands on the Muslim Brotherhood and on the other hand, they are giving Qatar a message via the al-Qaeda bombs in Somalia. And on top of all these, the explosions in Reyhanli.

After the fatal attack in Reyhanli, US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement of condolence. In a message constituted of just three sentences, it was mentioned that US would stand with its ally Turkey. The message did not condemn the perpetrators of the attack. Kerry only stressed, “how closely they were working in partnership with Turkey”.

After the bombings in 2005 in London, the US government had issued a very detailed statement that was four paragraphs long. In other words, issuing a dry three-sentence-long message that does not condemn the perpetrators of an attack is not an appropriate diplomatic practice.

Moreover, after the attack at the Boston Marathon, the president and the prime minister of Turkey were very prompt in issuing a statement condemning the attack.

So could the attack on Reyhanli be a message to Turkey to “back off”? Just as the message given to Qatar in Somalia.

Message in a bomb 

The outcome of the meeting between Erdogan and Obama is not exactly clear.

As far as Turkish mainstream media was concerned, the outcome was “consensus”; “Erdogan and Obama were in agreement on the issue of the necessity to oust Assad.” There were a lot of reporters from Turkey in that press conference, which lasted for 38 minutes. Others watched it on TV or the Internet. Did they really watch it or did they all turn deaf?

In the question and answer session for the press, the first question was asked to Obama by an American reporter. The question was about tax. The next question to Erdogan was about the status of the relation with Israel and whether he would go to Gaza or not. Another US reporter asked Obama about the Ministry of Justice, the Associated Press leaks and the attack on Benghazi. To Erdogan, the question was the following: “In case US doesn’t step in on the issue of Syria, what will you do about the bombing in Reyhanli?”

There is more. The US news channels broadcast the press conference live. But during the parts where Erdogan was speaking, the broadcast went back to the studio to analyze points Obama made about domestic issues. And this was true for all the channels.

Let’s attribute this phenomenon to the haughtiness of the US news channels. But two of the reporters from Turkey who asked questions in the conference drew attention to very important issues. One asked Erdogan whether he had brought with him anything related to his claims of chemical weapons use in Syria. In summary, the response he got back was “We are already sharing all this information.”

The same reporter asked Obama whether he would do something to oust Assad. Obama started his response with the claims of chemical weapon use and he reiterated the US thesis that he had been repeating in the last weeks: “We have evidence on the use of chemical weapons. But we need more intelligence on this.”

He continued: “Independent of this, thousands died over there. Due to this, we need to increase the international pressure on the situation in Syria. We need to mobilize the international community. I don’t believe anyone, including PM Erdogan, would want defend the idea of US intervening in Syria unilaterally and directly.”

After that, another reporter from Turkey asked Obama once more: “You said Assad must go. How and when will he go?” Maybe he was trying to get a sentence from Obama worthy of a newsflash. But the response wasn’t that exciting. The US president pointed to the international conference to be held in Geneva and repeated his promise to “continue to help the opposition”.

The first Geneva conference on Syria was not a success. Its most important result was not “consensus” but the buying of time for each side to strengthen their position. It can be said that the sides are not going to the second conference with expectations of “consensus”.

The West has convened the Muslim Brotherhood-centered armed marauders and plunderers that they call opposition under a new umbrella in the Syrian National Council, making a more open political engagement possible. And then it got this team which like a jack-in-the-box produced Muslim Brotherhood figures like Muaz Al Khatib and Gassan Hitto to form a government. In a sense, if the West asks for “consensus for a transition government” in the second Geneva conference, it will have torn its own umbrella.

This new Geneva conference will help the sides once again to buy time – and strengthen their political positions. On the US side, the process will establish the curbing of the impact of the Qatar-Turkey block in the opposition forces. To the extent that they don’t want to be restrained, the message to “back off” will be given with exploding bombs.

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Jordan Deals With Backlash From Iraq, Syria

Women walk past riot police as they stand guard during a protest by Jordanian lawyers in front of the Iraqi Embassy in Amman, May 21, 2013. The demonstration was in response to a video purportedly showing Iraqi Embassy staff attacking Jordanian activists during a function in Amman. (photo by REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

Last week, the Iraqi Embassy in Amman held an event to remember mass-grave victims allegedly liquidated by the defunct Saddam Hussein regime, and  apparent pro-Saddam protesters who opposed the event were verbally and physically abused by the personal guards of the Iraqi ambassador. A video clip on YouTube showing the fracas has been seen by tens of thousands since. It prompted a public outcry both in the street and in parliament. Hundreds of activists protested in front of the Iraqi Embassy demanding that the ambassador be expelled and the guards arrested.

Protesters were eventually dispersed by anti-riot police, but not before cases of revenge against Iraqi individuals living in Jordan and their personal property were reported. Eventually, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told the deputies that the Iraqi government had formally apologized for the incident and that the Iraqi ambassador was called back to Baghdad.

It was the first time that Iraqis living in Jordan, most of them legally, were targeted by Jordanians. But public opinion was divided as Jordanians debated the incident on social media outlets. Pundits reminded Jordanians of their long history as a hospitable nation.

Jordan played host to hundreds of thousands Iraqi refugees who fled during the two Gulf wars (1990 and 2003). Most of them have been repatriated, and those who stayed have legal residence as investors and expatriates. Iraqis living in Jordan are mostly upper- and middle-class Sunnis or belong to other religious minorities. Some use Jordan as a temporary base as they wait for their immigration papers to be processed by countries like the United States, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.

The current backlash is probably tied to increasing sectarian tension in Iraq, especially in the Sunni governorate of Anbar, which borders Jordan. The majority of Jordanians are Sunnis and in recent weeks pundits have warned of a spillover of sectarian violence from Syria and Iraq.

Earlier this month, unknown assailants burned down a guesthouse belonging to a Shiite sect in southern Mazar, near Kerak in south Jordan. The area contains Muslim shrines that are revered by Sunnis and Shiites alike. Notables in this area have warned the government of attempts by Shiite pilgrims to convert Sunnis. Iran has in the past requested that Jordan open its gates to thousands of Iranian pilgrims, but Amman has been wary of normalizing relations with Tehran.

Jordanian King Abdullah was the first Arab leader, in 2004, to warn of the creation of a Shiite crescent” led by Iran that would extend from Tehran, through Baghdad and into Damascus and Beirut. The takeover of a pro-Iran government in Iraq, led by Nouri al-Maliki, and accusations by leading Iraqi politicians that he is enforcing a sectarian agenda, have confirmed Jordanian fears.

The war in Syria has increased doubts that Iran is waging a sectarian war in the region. Hundreds of Jordanian jihadists belonging to the Salafist movement have crossed the border to fight against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Many have died there. In fact, there were reports that a Jordanian has become the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, believed to be linked to al-Qaeda.

Xenophobic sentiments were heightened after hundreds of thousands of Syrians crossed into Jordan seeking refuge from the Syrian conflict. So far, there are half a million Syrians in Jordan and many of them have found odd jobs, especially in the northern part of the country. Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour warned that Jordan was unable to receive more Syrians, with those already there having become a burden on the country’s resources. He announced that he was ready to declare north Jordan a disaster area.

Jordan has been saddled by economic woes since 2007. The unemployment rate is high, about 13% and 30% among youth. Fear that Syrian refugees are taking Jordanians’ jobs and depleting national resources prompted parliamentarians, and senior officials, to call on the government to close borders with Syria.

The elephant in the room for Jordanians is the uneasy relationship between East Bank Jordanians and Jordanians of Palestinian origin. Jordan received hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees in the late 1940s and after the 1967 war with Israel. Today, it is host to the largest number of Palestinian refugees, many of whom are citizens. A certain element in Jordanian society has expressed hostility to Palestinians living in Jordan and warned against attempts to solve the Palestinian conflict with Israel at the expense of Jordan.

And certainly when some Jordanians of Palestinian origin talk about acquiring their full rights as citizens, that same radical element warns that giving rights on a demographic basis will erase the Jordanian identity. While East Bankers and Jordanians of Palestinian roots have no ethnic, racial or sectarian differences, the radical element insists that political reforms should not open the way for a quota system.

It is interesting that a recent Swedish study, the results of which were published in The Washington Post, concluded that Jordan was among the least racially tolerant countries. In only two of 81 surveyed countries, more than 40% of respondents said they would not want a neighbor of a different race. This included 43.5% of Indians and 51.4% of Jordanians.

The results have shocked academics and commentators. Jordanians tend to look at themselves as hospitable toward foreigners. Jordan is a diverse country with ethnic and religious minorities. There are hundreds of thousands of Egyptian and Asian laborers working in the country. The study does not find a correlation between the degree of economic development and level of tolerance. For now, xenophobia is probably an innate reaction to surrounding regional events and heightened existential tension.

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Nasrallah on Syria: ‘This Battle Is Ours’

A boy wearing an army fatigues is held by people as they watch Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah as he appears on a screen during a live broadcast to speak to his supporters at an event marking Resistance and Liberation Day, in the Bekaa Valley, May 25, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Sharif Karim)

This Sunday [May 26] in Beirut’s southern suburb, Hezbollah’s stronghold, wasn’t like any other Sunday. Less than 24 hours after the group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah announced it’s officially their war in Syria, two Katyusha rockets landed in the area, wounding five Syrian nationals working there. It’s only the beginning, many here admit, “We are behind Hezbollah … Katyushas won’t scare us,” said a man who lives a few meters away from where the rocket hit.

Lebanese authorities said three rockets were launched from Mount Lebanon, two landed in the capital’s southern suburb and the third just a few meters from the launching site.

It’s a turning point in the war, just as Nasrallah’s speech was on Saturday [May 25]. Both Syria and Lebanon are ridding themselves of what used to be borders and uniting themselves under the flag of war.

“We will continue along the road, bear the responsibilities and the sacrifices. This battle is ours, and I promise you victory,” said Nasrallah, who was addressing thousands of his supporters in the Liberation Day ceremony, the 13th anniversary of Israel’s unconditional withdrawal from south Lebanon. Nasrallah said his war is with the extremists, “takfiris” as he named them. “What future do you expect in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine with the presence of these takfiris?”

The speech was a mixture of morale boost to Hezbollah supporters and threats to his enemies, though it was clear Nasrallah wanted to say that not all the Syrian opposition are his enemies, “We don’t accuse everyone in the opposition of having foreign ties. Some have logic, a vision, rightful demands, and they are ready to hold a dialogue. That’s their natural right.”

Once again, Hezbollah’s chief explained how his party’s role in Syria evolved. “Since the beginning of Syria’s war we have said that [President Bashar al-]Assad’s regime has its merits and demerits. Reform is required and the only way to reach this is through political dialogue,” he said, adding: “I have contacted Assad and members of the opposition to reach a settlement. Assad accepted the suggestion whereas the opposition rejected it.”

As for some it was clear that Nasrallah’s speech was Hezbollah’s declaration of war on al-Qaeda directly. Nasrallah mentioned the “Islamic state of Iraq” and linked it to the radical groups in Syria, accusing it and the Taliban of committing crimes in Syria, Iraq and Pakistan. He took time to explain the “takfiri” mentality to his supporters. “takfiri groups’ control over Syria and especially in border areas with Lebanon poses a great danger on Lebanese Muslims as well as Christians,” he said. “Syria is the resistance’s main supporter and the resistance cannot stand still and let takfiris break its backbone; we believe our action to be a defense of Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.”

Nasrallah warned, “If Syria falls in the hands of the takfiris and the United States, the resistance will be trapped and Israel will enter Lebanon. If Syria falls, the Palestinian cause will be lost.”

It wasn’t only the Syrian crisis that Nasrallah tackled in his speech.

He spoke about the situation in Lebanon and how it is linked to Syria calling on Lebanese factions not to bring the Syrian war to Lebanon, and rather go and fight in Syria on the side they want to back. “You can take any side you want,” Nasrallah added, “however, Hezbollah cannot be on the side of the United States or Israel or people who dig the graves and open the chests and behead other people.”

Many things were new in Nasrallah’s speech, but the unprecedented thing was his full attack on the Lebanese state, not the government. It is thought that Nasrallah was responding to President Michel Suleiman’s criticism of Hezbollah’s meddling in Syria. “The main strategic problem is that Lebanon as a state sees not in Israel a real enemy,” said Nasrallah, asking, “Israel has been preparing for war and resolving gaps since 2006. What have we, in Lebanon, done to prepare for any possible aggression by Israel? Who is responsible? In Lebanon, there are no shelters, no safe accommodations. Is the resistance also entitled to take care of the civil needs?”

After the May 25 speech it is clear that Hezbollah is now fighting full force on two fronts, one with Israel, the other with the Syrian rebels.

On both fronts, Hezbollah raised the stakes, and Nasrallah promised that his party will prevail.

What is obvious is that a bloody future for the whole region is ahead.

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British extremists use soldier’s murder issue as excuse to attack Muslims


The number of Islamophobic incidents has climbed to almost 200 in Britain following the murder of British soldier Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south-east London, last week.

Muslim communities across Britain are coming under sustained attacks and intimidation by extremist groups such as the English Defence League (EDL), whose members staged a noisy protest outside No. 10 Downing Street and attacked police officers outside the Prime Minister’s office building.

The Tell Mama hotline for recording Islamophobic incidents said 193 incidents had been reported by Monday evening, of which 10 were attacks on mosques. Before the soldier’s murder, which occurred in broad daylight, the service recorded an average of three or four incidents a day.

In Grimsby on Tuesday, two men reported to be former soldiers were remanded in custody at the town’s magistrates court after a mosque was petrol bombed. Stuart Harness, 33, and Gavin Humphries, 37, were charged with arson with intent to endanger life.

The Tell Mama coordinator, Fiyaz Mughal, from Faith Matters, said he feared there would be an escalation in attacks on Muslim communities.

“These things are cumulative and I do not see an end to this cycle of violence,” said Mughal.
“There is an underlying Islamophobia in our society and the horrendous events in Woolwich have brought this to the fore and inflamed the situation.”

A 50-year-old man who was arrested in Welling, south-east London, on Monday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, in connection with the death of Rigby, has been bailed, the Metropolitan police said.

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Zionist Puppets McCain calls for US-led strikes on Syria without UN mandate

U.S. Sen. John McCain (Pete Marovich / Getty Images / AFP)

U.S. Sen. Zionist Puppet John McCain (Pete Marovich / Getty Images / AFP)

Who needs diplomacy, or international law? Not former presidential candidate (R-AZ) John McCain, who became the first senator to publicly call for a US-led military strike on Syria in order to halt the nearly year-long conflict there.

Taking the Senate floor, McCain said there will be no UN mandate for the air strikes he deems the only way to stop the violence – but that a mandate isn’t necessary. All the Arizona senator needs, apparently, is a somewhat dubious – and violent – precedent. “NATO took military action to save Kosovo in 1999 without formal U.N. authorization. There is no reason why the Arab League, or NATO, or a leading coalition within the Friends of Syria contact group, or all of them speaking in unison, could not provide a similar international mandate for military measures to save Syria today”, he said.

He spoke at length about the Bashar Assad government, and said that the only realistic way to preserve

“innocent lives … is with foreign airpower.” 

The Arizona senator pointed out that President Barack Obama characterized the prevention of mass atrocities as “a core national security interest” when speaking about Libya, and has committed the credibility of the United States to his repeated calls for Assad to step down.

“If Assad manages to cling to power – or even if he manages to sustain his slaughter for months to come, with all of the human and geopolitical costs that entails – it would be a strategic and moral defeat for the United States. We cannot, we must not, allow this to happen,” McCain said.

“Some kind of intervention will happen, with us or without us,” he said. “The real question for U.S. policy is whether we will participate in this next phase of the conflict in Syria, and thereby increase our ability to shape an outcome that is beneficial to the Syrian people, and to us.”

McCain’s idea is a typical neo-con conservative mindset of foreign intervention which implies a regime-change operation aimed at ousting one dictator in order to install another, US-approved dictator, believes Jacob Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

According to Hornberger, the US government has no qualms about dictatorships. “It has been a long-time supporter of the military dictatorship in Egypt. We’ve got the dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Jordan. The problem here from the standpoint of the US government is that this is the regime that is not pro-US. That’s the reason for McCain wanting to intervene and replace it with the pro-US regime,” he told RT.

Hornberger believes the Syrian people are oppressed by the Assad government, but that does not empower America to intervene in the country.

“Sure people sympathize with the Syrian people, nobody likes people suffering under a dictatorship, but the US government needs to bud out: this is the case that should be resolved only by the Syrian people.”

Hornberger is sure that at the moment the US government is struggling to decide which country to make the new official enemy of the US Empire: should it be Syria or Iran?

McCain’s calls for military action in Syria should be taken very seriously, because many believe the ideas he expresses are shared by the majority of Republicans, professor and Middle East expert, Paul Sheldon Foote, told RT.

“He is stubborn and dangerous,” Foote said. “He is a man who advocates a hundred years of military bases, no limit on spending. And the current batch of Republican candidates – other than Ron Paul – are chickenhawks. They never served in the military and they advocate war-war-war all over the world.”

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World Bank Insider Blows Whistle on Corruption, Federal Reserve


A former insider at the World Bank, ex-Senior Counsel Karen Hudes, says the global financial system is dominated by a small group of corrupt, power-hungry figures centered around the privately owned U.S. Federal Reserve.


Karen Hudes of the World Bank

By Alex Newman

The New American

The network has seized control of the media to cover up its crimes, too, she explained. In an interview with The New American, Hudes said that when she tried to blow the whistle on multiple problems at the World Bank, she was fired for her efforts. Now, along with a network of fellow whistleblowers, Hudes is determined to expose and end the corruption. And she is confident of success.

Citing an explosive 2011 Swiss study published in the PLOS ONEjournal on the “network of global corporate control,” Hudes pointed out that a small group of entities — mostly financial institutions and especially central banks — exert a massive amount of influence over the international economy from behind the scenes. “What is really going on is that the world’s resources are being dominated by this group,” she explained, adding that the “corrupt power grabbers” have managed to dominate the media as well. “They’re being allowed to do it.”

According to the peer-reviewed paper, which presented the first global investigation of ownership architecture in the international economy, transnational corporations form a “giant bow-tie structure.” A large portion of control, meanwhile, “flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions.” The researchers described the core as an “economic ‘super-entity’” that raises important issues for policymakers and researchers. Of course, the implications are enormous for citizens as well.

Hudes, an attorney who spent some two decades working in the World Bank’s legal department, has observed the machinations of the network up close. “I realized we were now dealing with something known as state capture, which is where the institutions of government are co-opted by the group that’s corrupt,” she told The New American in a phone interview. “The pillars of the U.S. government — some of them — are dysfunctional because of state capture; this is a big story, this is a big cover up.”

At the heart of the network, Hudes said, are 147 financial institutions and central banks — especially the Federal Reserve, which was created by Congress but is owned by essentially a cartel of private banks. “This is a story about how the international financial system was secretly gamed, mostly by central banks — they’re the ones we are talking about,” she explained. “The central bankers have been gaming the system. I would say that this is a power grab.”

The Fed in particular is at the very center of the network and the coverup, Hudes continued, citing a policy and oversight body that includes top government and Fed officials. Central bankers have also been manipulating gold prices, she added, echoing widespread concerns that The New American has documented extensively. Indeed, even the inaccurate World Bank financial statements that Hudes has been trying to expose are linked to the U.S. central bank, she said.

“The group that we’re talking about from the Zurich study — that’s the Federal Reserve; it has some other pieces to it, but that’s the Federal Reserve,” Hudes explained. “So the Federal Reserve secretly dominated the world economy using secret, interlocking corporate directorates, and terrorizing anybody who managed to figure out that they were having any kind of role, and putting people in very important positions so that they could get a free pass.”

The shadowy but immensely powerful Bank for International Settlements serves as “the club of these private central bankers,” Hudes continued. “Now, are people going to want interest on their country’s debts to continue to be paid to that group when they find out the secret tricks that that group has been doing? Don’t forget how they’ve enriched themselves extraordinarily and how they’ve taken taxpayer money for the bailout.”

As far as intervening in the gold price, Hudes said it was an effort by the powerful network and its central banks to “hold onto its paper currency” — a suspicion shared by many analysts and even senior government officials. The World Bank whistleblower also said that contrary to official claims, she did not believe there was any gold being held in Fort Knox. Even congressmen and foreign governments have tried to find out if the precious metals were still there, but they met with little success. Hudes, however, believes the scam will eventually come undone.

“This is like crooks trying to figure out where they can go hide. It’s a mafia,” she said. “These culprits that have grabbed all this economic power have succeeded in infiltrating both sides of the issue, so you will find people who are supposedly trying to fight corruption who are just there to spread disinformation and as a placeholder to trip up anybody who manages to get their act together.… Those thugs think that if they can keep the world ignorant, they can bleed it longer.”

Of course, the major corruption at the highest levels of government and business is not a new phenomenon. Georgetown University historian and Professor Carroll Quigley, who served as President Bill Clinton’s mentor, for example, wrote about the scheme in his 1966 book Tragedy And Hope: A History Of The World In Our Time. The heavyweight academic, who was allowed to review documents belonging to the top echelons of the global establishment, even explained how the corrupt system would work — remarkably similar to what Hudes describes.

“The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole,” wrote Prof. Quigley, who agreed with the goals but not the secrecy. “This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.”

But it is not going to happen, Hudes said — at least not if she has something do to with it. While the media are dominated by the “power grabber” network, Hudes has been working with foreign governments, reporters, U.S. officials, state governments, and a broad coalition of fellow whistleblowers to blow the entire scam wide open. There has been quite a bit of interest, too, particularly among foreign governments and state officials in the United States.

Citing the wisdom of America’s Founding Fathers in creating a federal system of government with multiple layers of checks and balances, Hudes said she was confident that the network would eventually be exposed and subjected to the rule of law, stopping the secret corruption. If and when that happens — even if it may be disorderly — Hudes says precious metals will once again play a role in imposing discipline on the monetary system. The rule of law would also be restored, she said, and the public will demand a proper press to stay informed.

“We’re going to have a cleaned-up financial system, that’s where it is going, but in the meantime, people who didn’t know how the system was gamed are going to find out,” she said. “We’re going to have a different kind of international financial system…. It’ll be a new kind of world where people know what’s going on — no more backroom deals; that’s not going to keep happening. We’re going to have a different kind of media if people don’t want to be dominated and controlled, which I don’t think they do.”

While Hudes sounded upbeat, she recognizes that the world is facing serious danger right now — there are even plans in place to impose martial law in the United States, she said. The next steps will be critical for humanity. As such, Hudes argues, it is crucial that the people of the world find out about the lawlessness, corruption, and thievery that are going on at the highest levels — and put a stop to it once and for all. The consequences of inaction would be disastrous.

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John McCain Slips Across Border Into Syria, Meets With Rebels


The leaders of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army told the senator they want the U.S. to provide arms, a no-fly zone, and strikes on Hezbollah. Josh Rogin reports.

Sen. John McCain Monday became the highest-ranking U.S. official to enter Syria since the bloody civil war there began more than two years ago, The Daily Beast has learned.

McCain, one of the fiercest critics of the Obama administration’s Syria policy, made the unannounced visit across the Turkey-Syria border with Gen. Salem Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army. He stayed in the country for several hours before returning to Turkey. Both in Syria and Turkey, McCain and Idris met with assembled leaders of Free Syrian Army units that traveled from around the country to see the U.S. senator. Inside those meetings, rebel leaders called on the United States to step up its support to the Syrian armed opposition and provide them with heavy weapons, a no-fly zone, and airstrikes on the Syrian regime and the forces of Hezbollah, which is increasingly active in Syria.

Idris praised the McCain visit and criticized the Obama administration’s Syria policy in an exclusive interview Monday with The Daily Beast.

“The visit of Senator McCain to Syria is very important and very useful especially at this time,” he said. “We need American help to have change on the ground; we are now in a very critical situation.”

Fighting across Syria has increased in recent weeks, with new regime offensives in several key areas, such as Damascus and the strategic border town of Qusayr. Thousands of soldiers serving Hezbollah—the Lebanon-based and Iran- and Syria-backed stateless army—have joined the fight in support of the regime, as the civil war there has threatened to ignite a region-wide conflagration and amid new reports of chemical weapons attacks by forces loyal to embattled president Bashar al-Assad this week that might cross President Obama’s “red line” for the conflict.

McCain’s visit came as the Obama administration is once again considering an increase of support to the Syrian opposition, while at the same time pushing the opposition council to negotiate with the regime at an international conference in Geneva in early June.

How do John McCain and his colleagues feel about the war in Syria?

“What we want from the U.S. government is to take the decision to support the Syrian revolution with weapons and ammunition, anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft weapons,” Idris said. “Of course we want a no-fly zone and we ask for strategic strikes against Hezbollah both inside Lebanon and inside Syria.”

There’s no assurance the Obama administration will be able to convince the Syrian opposition to attend the Geneva conference, and Idris said the conference would only be useful if there are certain preconditions, which the regime is unlikely to agree to.

“We are with Geneva if it means that [Syrian President] Bashar [al Assad] will resign and leave the country and the military officials of the regime will be brought to justice,” he said.

“We need American help to have change on the ground; we are now in a very critical situation.”
Prior to his visit inside Syria, McCain and Idris had separate meetings with two groups of FSA commanders and their Civil Revolutionary Council counterparts in the Turkish city of Gaziantep. Rebel military and civilians leaders from all over Syria came to see McCain, including from Homs, Qusayr, Idlib, Damascus, and Aleppo. Idris led all the meetings.

The entire trip was coordinated with the help of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, an American nonprofit organization that works in support of the Syrian opposition. Two leaders of the group attended all of the McCain-Idris meetings and discussed them with The Daily Beast.

The rebel troops are running low on ammunition and don’t have effective weapons to counter the regime’s use of airpower, the FSA and civilian leaders told McCain. They also said there’s a growing presence of Russian military advisers in Damascus as well as growing numbers of Iranian and Iraqi fighters.

Hezbollah has taken over the fight for the regime in Homs, they said. Estimates of Hezbollah’s presence there ranged from four to seven thousand fighters in and around city, outnumbering the approximately two thousand FSA fighters in the area.

The rebels also told McCain that chemical weapons have been used by the regime on multiple occasions.

“This was the start of a really important engagement between various forces in the U.S. government and people in the civilian and armed opposition who are working together to fight for a free Syria,” said Elizabeth O’Bagy, political director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force.

“Senator McCain proved today you can very easily go and meet with these people,” she said. “He’s the first U.S. senator to step foot in free Syria and one of the first government officials to reach out to the FSA officials and that’s a huge step.”

U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford is the only other high-ranking U.S. official to have entered Syria recently. He visited while on a trip to Turkey earlier this month.

The rebel leaders were appreciative of McCain’s visit but took the opportunity to communicate their unhappiness with what they see as a lack of crucial support from the Obama administration at a critical time in their struggle.

“They voiced their frustration at the policy of the U.S., because they believe that it’s in the interest of both the U.S. and Syria for the right people to be armed,” said Mouaz Moustafa, the Task Force’s executive director. “We need to increase the frequency of these types of visits by senior-level policy makers. It’s the best way to know who we are arming and to know who we are really dealing with.”

McCain, who also visited a U.S. Patriot missile site and met with U.S. forces there while in Turkey, declined to comment for this story. In an unrelated interview last week, he told The Daily Beast that he was concerned that the Geneva conference would only serve to give the regime more time to strengthen its military position against the rebels.

“I’ve been known to be an optimist, but here are the Russians sending them up-to-date missiles, continued flights of arms going into Syria, Putin keeps our secretary of State waiting for three hours … It doesn’t lend itself to optimism, all it does is delay us considering doing what we really need to do,” said McCain. “The reality is that Putin will only abandon Assad when he thinks that Assad is losing. Right now, at worst it’s a stalemate. In the view of some, he is succeeding.”

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Secret diplomacy: Why did McCain go to Syria?


John McCain: Secret diplomat?

The Republican senator from Arizona spent Memorial Day inside of Syria–sneaking in from Turkey–where he met with rebel leaders battling Syrian President Bashar Assad. The White House has acknowledged it was aware of McCain’s trip and that officials “look forward to hearing from him, a follow-up as to the developments he saw.”

McCain is a proponent for greater U.S. involvement in Syria, where two years of civil war have killed more than 70,000 people. The Republican—who became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the country since the bloodshed began–has called on the Obama administration to arm the rebels and set up a no-fly zone.

Both options present major risks, with the White House taking a more cautious approach, demanding Assad step down and providing non-lethal aid. McCain’s trip has raised speculation that McCain will push the White House for more involvement in the country.

McCain first crossed the Turkey-Syria border with Gen. Salem Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, on Monday and stayed in the country with rebel leaders for several hours. According to the Daily Beast, which first reported on the secret trip, the rebels told McCain that chemical weapons were used against them on several occasions and that they were running out of ammunition.

“Important visit with brave fighters in #Syria who are risking their lives for freedom and need our help,” McCain tweeted on Tuesday. According to NBC News, McCain is still in the Middle East and plans to return to the U.S. later this week.

The trip was apparently so top-secret that even McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, found out about it only after her father was out of Syria. “Nothing quite like finding out via twitter that my father secretly snuck into Syria and met with rebel leaders,” she tweeted on Tuesday.

Richard Engel, NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent, told Hardball’s Chris Matthews that McCain’s goal was  to “put pressure on the White House and he wants to give moral support to the rebels themselves,” adding there’s a danger of setting up ”false expectations.”

“The problem is, [McCain is] not the president and he doesn’t have the ability to deliver on this,” said Engel.

Robin Wright of the Woodrow Wilson Center added that the rebels are divided on many issues, including how to achieve peace and what a new government framework would look like. That could pose a problem in trying to hammer out a solution.

“The rebels actually reflect many different trends in the country,” she said.

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Armed Zio-NATO Rats Massacre Entire Population of Christian Village



Armed rebels attacked a village in Syria’s Western province of Homs and slaughtered all its Christian residents on Monday.

The armed rebels affiliated to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) raided the Christian-populated al-Duvair village in Reef (outskirts of) Homs near the border with Lebanon today and massacred all its civilian residents, including women and children.

The Syrian army, however, intervened and killed tens of terrorists during heavy clashes which are still going on in al-Duvair village.

The armed rebels’ attack and crimes in al-Duvair village came after they sustained heavy defeats in al-Qusseir city which has almost been set free by the Syrian army except for a few districts.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

In October 2011, calm was almost restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies sought hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots to topple President Bashar al-Assad, who is well known in the world for his anti-Israeli stances.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Armed Zio-NATO Rats Massacre Entire Population of Christian Village

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