The American rhetoric has got stiffer against Assad in the due course of the revolution in an increasing order until it reached its peak three months ago, when it started reversing to an extent it is moving to the other extreme of the scale. Let’s revise this impressive timeline on Syria: Continue reading
Photo: Jihad Mughniyeh (Son of former Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh) behind Qassem Suleimani in a recent public event (funeral of Suleimani’s mother).Follow @TheZako
A recent outstanding piece in The New Yorker by the respected Dexter Filkins, which I have just managed to read due to its length, has focused the attention again on Qassem Suleimani the Head of the Iranian Quds Force.
Suleimani is described as the most powerful operative in the Middle East. With his lead of the Quds Force, he is responsible for the “special operations” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. In other words, shaping, if not leading the Iranian foreign policy on the ground.
In our immediate regional vicinity, that means he is the architect of Hezbollah in Lebanon (and beyond), the maestro of the post-war Iraqi chaos with the US and more recently the implementer of the Iranian backup to Syria’s Assad regime in crushing the 2011 peaceful protests, then their involvement in the follow-on civil war.
What is fascinating in “The Shadow Commander” among other tips is its reveal of the American contacts with hardliner Qassem Suleimani on many occasions mainly on Afghanistan and Iraq:
Newly declassified documents show the close coordination between the United States and Syria’s Hafez Assad over the Syrian intervention in Lebanon in 1976. The documents confirm what has been always known in the political and diplomatic domains, that America gave the green-light for such a move in liaison with the Israelis – despite being hesitant.
The photo of the Palestinian BBC journalist Jihad Masharawi holding his 11-month-old son’s body has gained big exposure at the start of the Israeli war on Gaza ten days ago. It featured on the front page of the Washington Post among other press and media outlets on 14th and 15th November 2012.
But some Jewish and American groups, of course, saw it differently when they protested by writing to the ombudsman and to Post editors that the photo was “biased”.
Barack Obama can stand for the presidency of Israel if he wishes. He can also compete to be their loyal gatekeeper, but he can’t…steal our food for that purpose. Never.
Yes, our food! It’s even more outrageous he came near our beloved Hummus, ignoring our regional Hummous war.
Today is the 39th anniversary of the ‘Tishreen liberation war’ or the 1973 October war between Syria and Egypt on one side, and Israel on the other. Syrian state today is celebrating the victory of this liberation war.
Of course, I have my own list in mind, but funnily enough I have a similar one here compiled from a recent 22-county poll conducted by GlobeScan (an international opinion research consultancy) and the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland – Program on International Policy Attitudes.
The security agreement will foster close relations between the armed forces of both countries while combating terrorist or comedian bombs. The sources confirmed that the two countries will specifically focus their efforts on underwear after their major known breakthroughs in this field.
Apart from Fox News Channel, who else employs crap minds like that? This is Fox‘s Tucker Carlson calling for an Iranian holocaust:
We (America) are the only country with moral authority sufficient to do that (launch a war on Iran), …I do think Iran deserves to be annihilated. They are lunatics, I think they are evil.
This a how-CIA-infiltrate-a-country-101 American course, undertaken in Pakistan and mentioned by the White House correspondent at National Journal Marc Ambinder, and former paratrooper with U.S. Army Special Operations Command D.B. Grady in their new book The Command: Deep Inside the President’s Secret Army. Via The Atlantic:
Is this some idiot, or is this really how CIA recruit bloggers? may be, they have nothing to lose; just ask the question, plain and simple.
I am still trying to comprehend this email I received last month asking me some favours. Someone is apparently looking for the confession (and other information) of William Buckley, the ex-CIA Station in Beirut in 1985, who was kidnapped and then killed in the sad kidnappings wave at the time in Lebanon.
A Lebanese leader or senior political official will most likely need a Syrian blessing to get elected to office. But imagine if PM Najib Mikati for example producing a public video bragging on the praise he could fish from the Syrian officials, just to gain ‘public vote’.
Barack Obama did just that if not worse. He’s supposed to be the leader of the most powerful nation in history, and the free world, but Obama did act as a 3rd grade politician in a banana republic. His presidential campaign produced the ‘unbreakable bond’ video which must be one of the most embarrassing thing for America as nation.
In an interview with The Daily Star today, the Grand Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani (not some unknown jobless conspiracist blogger) rejected the widespread linkage of Islam to extremism, blaming foreign countries’ intelligence agencies for behind the militant terrorist Muslim organizations around the world:
This continuing extremism adopted by misled groups or fictitious organizations are all the work of foreign intelligence agencies and leading powers, which seek to strike Islam in its own countries and tarnish its image in various parts of the planet so that they can tamper with our countries’ security, control our economic systems and launch wars with a view to fully achieving their aims.
I wish we can take some blame here, and reduce this unbelievable self denial. Muslim or any religious scholars are responsible for moderating any extremism that shows within their communities. It helps too if they reduce their sectarianism too, when it comes to their ‘sect’s rights’. This is actually sillier than the theory that says that the Arab Spring is an American conspiracy to remove the dictators who protected its regional interests. Wait a minute, no…not like that?
Today, the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forced (SCAF) of Egypt was helping Israel in its continuous never ending war against the Palestinians, with all the moral support they can give; just like any other Arab regime repressing its people.
Reminder: I believe 2011 was the best year yet for the American arms and crowd control weapons trades.
“This U.S. decision is totally unacceptable [...] It is also a clear message sent by America to the people of the region and the world and the Palestinian people that it stands against peoples’ right to freedom and independence, and that it is still unable to play the role of an honest broker”
So in UNESCO now, Palestine is IN, United States is OUT. That’s the situation after the U.S. stopped the funding for the organisation, as a protest reaction to the vote on the admittance of Palestine as a new member. It’s not only unconvincing, but could be one of the most shameful decisions Uncle Sam has ever made.
You can check how countries voted on the decision here, but you MUST watch the below video when a brave journalist interrogated the State Department Spokeswoman; I really felt-ish for Victoria Nuland at some point. This decision shows how the American pro-Israel policies are based on a weak alibi.
“A Crime File”
Date of sentence: 23rd Sept 2011
Culprits: 10 Muslim students (Irvine 11).
Jury: Orange County jury, California
Crime: Practising the American First Amendment of the Bill of Rights
Method of crime: protest in a form of heckling
Location of crime: University of California, UCI
Date of crime: 8th February 2010
Subject of protest: Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren
Aim of protest: highlight the Israeli occupation to Palestine & its crimes
Evidence: below video…
Academic performance of UCI: note towards the end of protest @5:20, how apparently an orthodox bearded ‘teacher’, happened to have a Jewish cap on, was telling them ‘you are failing your exams’.
Question1: what would the verdict be if the students were of a different religion?
Question2: what would the verdict be if the Ambassador was not an Israeli person?
Question3: has the ‘teacher’ been disciplined?
“propagating murder is not an expression of free speech”
The below quotation is from an interview with the former US President Bill Clinton on ‘This Week’ show on ABC, by Christiane Amanpour aired today. Clinton was answering a question on the upcoming bid for a Palestinian State in the UN by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and whether the Congress will remove the funding for the PA. Amazing how ‘relaxed’ can a president be when they leave office, although he hasn’t actually left office as his wife still maintain the post of Secretary of State:
“No, I don’t think that — I hope that won’t happen unless the administration asks for that. I think that everybody knows the U.S. Congress is the most pro-Israel parliamentary body in the world. They don’t have to demonstrate that. And I believe that that’s clear.
So everyone knows that the United States is not going allow Israel’s security to be threatened. I believe, therefore, that the secretary of state and the national security team should determine what happens on the aid front, I don’t think Congress ought to take an option away from the administration in trying to work through this.
All analysts and people who oppose the American policy in the Arab world (most of them support the ‘resistance camp’ but not all of them), blame this policy for almost all the Middle East problems. These people see the hatred to America as a reaction, and not an action. In their opinion, America is not fair, and responsible for Israel’s brutality and aggressiveness against the Palestinians.
Whether you agree with that or not, it’s worth pointing to a prominent American voice raising these concerns now, which is pretty unusual for the Americans to hear; It’s the congressman and the Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul. He is affiliated with the Tea Party, but may not represent the mainstream party. He is the same guy who wants to cut all foreign aides (as per the Tea Party on spending rhetoric) and including aids to Israel.
Israel’s war in July 2006 against Hezbollah and Lebanon has proven to be complete failure from strategic point of view to both Israel and the US. Although the war was initiated by Hezbollah through capturing two Israeli soldiers, but it became known later that the war was ready-made beforehand by Israel (like the 1982 full invasion to Lebanon which was provoked by an attack 2000 miles away on Israel’s ambassador to London!). Basically, Israel has not achieved its goal to destroy Hezbollah in the 2006 war (or even return its two captured soldiers!).
The 2006 war increased Hezbollah’s popularity within the Arab masses (although not necessarily within the in-house Lebanese), against their dictators public stances. The war allowed the Party of God to rearm and become stronger (as per various public speeches for its Secretary General Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah)
Who said that CIA didn’t know where Imad Mughniyeh was, or what was his job, or didn’t have any hints!?
This is from Wikileaks 95BEIRUT2749 cable released 3 days ago, in its para 8:
for what it is worth, papers also report trends which suggest business as usual for Hizballah. The often inaccurate daily ‘Nida Al-Watan’ reported the re-election of Imad Mughniyah as the central security chief, with four assitants named Mustafa Badr Ad-Dine…
Have you noticed who was mentioned too? Yep, the suspect in Rafiq Hariri’s murder as per the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (as of 2011), Mustafa BadrEddine. What a coincidence!
Ironically, the partisan newspaper Nida Al-Watan was right in this reporting. The cable is written in a tone suspecting this report, with no further comment on Mughniyeh who was one of the most wanted men by the CIA at the time. For me, it seemed business as usual to the cable author.
It’s not clear why the US didn’t make big fuss out of it in Lebanon or with its government (in public), may be because they knew they can’t reach him in diplomatic means as they had to go via Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. And simply they may have waited for 9 years before they got him in their democratic way.
Photo from GlobalVoicesOnline
Many of the US diplomacy documents leaked by Wikileaks on Lebanon and Syria were based on the US ambassador/charge d’affaires describing an event or reporting the stances of different politicians, but few involved the authors’ personal and direct comments, and opinions about the subject leaders. Saad Hariri, Walid Jumblatt and others were among these leaders in Lebanon. But this time, there is specific American cable leaked by Wikileaks, that fully assesses the Syrian foreign policy, and gives very brutally blunt opinion about the Syrian President Bashar Assad and his team(s). I think this cable is ‘gem’ from a research point of view! it clearly details the American view of the Syrian hollow diplomacy. This assessment is an outcome of the working relationship for decades, between Syrian regime and the United States of America
The cable is written by the US charge d’affaires in Damascus at the time Maura Connelly, who became later (and still) the American Ambassador in Lebanon. She wrote that President Bashar Assad is different from his father, former President Hafez Assad. Meetings with the father had wealth of detail and historical perspective, but seems it is not the case with the son. The cable describes Bashar as ‘neither as shrewd nor as long-winded as his father but he, too, prefers to engage diplomatically on a level of abstraction that seems designed to frustrate any direct challenge to Syria’s behaviour and, by extension, his judgment’.
If the House is America’s, and the foreign country is Israel, then this is a likely event, especially if the trip is funded by a pro-Israel lobby.