Saturday, 28 March 2015

Al-Assad: Ready to Host Russian Base, Dialogue with US Based on Syria’s Sovereignty

Local Editor

27-03-2015 | 10:32

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said expressed his country's readiness to host a Russian naval base on its territory.

Al-Assad: Ready to Host Russian Base, Dialogue with US Based on Syria's Sovereignty

"The West is using the same tactic in Syria as it is in Ukraine, aiming to weaken Russia by creating puppet states around it," he said.

In an interview to be published Friday, al-Assad said: "There is a connection between the Syrian crisis and what is happening in Ukraine. Firstly, because both countries are important for Russia. Secondly, because there is a goal in both cases to weaken Russia and create puppet states."

The Syrian president said the West does not have a political solution to the crisis in Syria, claiming it is only interested in destroying the government.
"They want to turn us into puppets. I do not think that the West has a political solution. It does not want one. When I say the West, I am primarily referring to the US, France, and the UK. Other countries are secondary."
Al-Assad explained that his goal as president involves successfully repelling foreign involvement in the country. "It is clear that the duty of any state is to protect the interests of the people and the country. And, of course, the role of the government is to implement these interests," he said.

When asked about the Russian naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartus, al-Assad said that his government would support the idea of reviving and expanding it into a military base, should Moscow seek such an option.

"We welcome the expansion of Russian presence in [the] eastern Mediterranean, especially near our shores and in our ports," he said.
Al-Assad stressed that Russia's presence provided a certain sense of balance in the region. He added that in the past, the more visible Moscow's influence was in the region, the more stable the area became.

"US-led airstrikes targeting the "ISIL" positions in Syria do not cause serious damage to the terrorists. Instead, they destroy civilian infrastructure in the country," al-Assad stressed.

The Syrian leader criticized the coalition for its lack of quality and quantity of airstrikes. "It is possible that some of the countries involved do not want the "ISIL's" expansion in Syria and Iraq, but at the same time, it does not look like they want to finish "ISIL". They want to use this terrorist organization to threaten and blackmail other states."

"The peacekeeping force is usually based between countries at war with each other. And when someone talks about sending peacekeepers to deal with "ISIL", that acknowledges "ISIL" as a state. Such rhetoric is unacceptable and dangerous," al-Assad stressed.

The Syrian president stated that Damascus has no direct contact with the US and is not involved in any discussions.
"Certain ideas get passed down through third parties, but that cannot be considered as serious dialogue," al-Assad said, adding that the only option for his country is to wait for American policies to change.

According to the Syrian leader's point of view, there are two political camps in the US - a peace-leaning one and a more radical, aggressive one. The former is "a minority," while the latter calls all the shots in foreign policy.

However, al-Assad added in an interview with CBS' ‘60 Minutes' that Syria is open to dialogue with the US.

"As principal, in Syria we could say that every dialogue is a positive thing, and we are going to be open to any dialogue with anyone, including the United States, regarding anything based on mutual respect...without pressuring the sovereignty of Syria," al-Assad stated.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team 



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انزلوا عن الشجرة أو استعدوا للأسوأ


الساعات تمر، والاستعراض السعودي مستمر على الشاشات بطولاتٍ وانتصارات. والغارات تقتل المزيد من المدنيين اليمنيين، وتدمّر بنى تحتية تخص الدولة والجيش. لكن مفعول الصدمة الأولى انتهى.

 والقوى المعنية مباشرة بالحرب داخل اليمن استوعبت، ليس موجة الغارات الأولى فقط، بل حتى تداعياتها السياسية داخل اليمن. حتى الرهان والعمل على استمالة علي عبد الله صالح، لا يبدو أنه سيحقق أي نتيجة تذكر. وحدهم جماعة «الإخوان المسلمين» يعودون إلى انتهازيتهم القاتلة، يحركون تظاهرات مرحّبة بالعدوان على بلدهم في بعض مناطق الجنوب، ويشاركهم الخيانة بعض مجانين الانفصال في جنوب اليمن، من الذين يتحدثون اليوم عن وعود قاطعة قدمتها لهم السعودية بإعلان الجنوب بلداً مستقلاً.

على الصعيد السياسي، يسعى السعوديون إلى فرض أمر واقع على جميع العرب. وبينما كان من المفترض أن يربطوا قرار العدوان على اليمن بصدور قرار عن القمة العربية بإنشاء قوة عسكرية مشتركة. أظهرت المعطيات، خلال الساعات الماضية، أنهم أظهروا خشية من اشتباك وضغوط تمنع تكليف هذه القوة بتولي مهمة عسكرية في اليمن، كذلك فإنهم يعتقدون أن الحرب نفسها ستفرض على حلفائهم من العرب والغربيين عدم تركهم وحدهم في الساحة. ومع ذلك، ما يجري على الأرض في اليمن، وما يتعلق بالاتصالات الجارية، أظهر أن استراتيجية من اتخذ قرار العدوان، ليست قائمة بشكل قوي. وبينما كان عنوان الحملات الإعلامية والسياسية لليوم الأول هو إطاحة الحوثيين وإعادة عبد ربه منصور هادي إلى القصر الرئاسي في صنعاء، تراجع المتحدثون باسم قوى العدوان خطوة إلى الخلف أمس، وأوكل إلى هادي وجماعته رفع شعار: إن الحرب هدفها إجبار الحوثيين على الذهاب إلى طاولة الحوار.
استراتيجية الحوثيين تقوم على الصمود والجاهزية ثم خوض الحرب المفتوحة


ولتوضيح الصورة، لنفصل بين ما يجري على الأرض وما قد يحصل خلال الساعات المقبلة، وبين برنامج عمل قوى العدوان.

في الجانب الأول، تواصلت خطوات «أنصار الله» والجيش اليمني في تثبيت نقاط السيطرة جنوباً ووسطاً، وارتفعت حالة الجاهزية العسكرية إلى مستويات عالية، بما في ذلك الجاهزية التي تخص مواجهة أي غزو بري، أو حتى الاضطرار إلى القيام بعمل هجومي وقائي على الأرض. علماً بأن قرار بدء الرد المباشر على العدوان، سيظل أسير الأجوبة المنتظرة من الطرف الآخر، وهي أجوبة عن سؤال واحد: أوقفوا العدوان فوراً، وتعالوا إلى المفاوضات.

وبحسب المعطيات الواردة من صنعاء، فإن «أنصار الله» وضعت جميع الحلفاء داخل اليمن وخارجه في أجواء قرارها التصدي المباشر للعدوان، وإنها لن تقدر على التحمل أكثر، وإن الفترة الزمنية التي ستتاح لقوى العدوان لوقفه والتراجع تضيق سريعاً. وانشغلت الحركة الحوثية في ترتيبات لوجستية وسياسية وميدانية، آخذة في الاعتبار أن الوضع الشعبي في اليمن عموماً، وفي مناطق الشمال على وجه الخصوص، أظهر تماسكاً لم يكن مقدراً بهذا الحجم. وذهب أحد المعنيين إلى حد القول بأن لا خشية مطلقة على أي انقسام في الشارع اليمني يمكّن المعتدين من تحصيل أثمان للعدوان.
وينقل المطلعون، أن تطورات الساعات الماضية تعطي الانطباع القوي بأن السعودية لا تملك استراتيجية واضحة، وأن ما ادعته حول جاهزية عربية ودولية لمساندتها في هذه الحرب، ليس دقيقاً على الإطلاق، وأن عواصم كثيرة تؤيد العدوان، سارعت إلى التوضيح بأن موقفها يقتصر إما على الدعم السياسي أو على إبداء الاستعداد لتدخل في حال بروز خطر على نظام آل سعود. وهو ما يجعل المراقبين يلفتون إلى أن التسلق السريع لآل سعود إلى أعلى شجرة الحرب، بات يحتاج خطوة كبيرة لكي يصار إلى إنزاله سريعاً قبل فوات الأوان.

ماذا عن خيارات قوى العدوان؟

ــــ في حالة استمرار الغزو الجوي، فإن بنك الأهداف لدى قوى العدوان سينتقل سريعاً ليكون مقتصراً على المدنيين، خصوصاً أن انتشار الحوثيين الواسع على مجمل البلاد، يمنع على الغزاة تحقيق نتائج من النوع الذي يلزمهم بالاستسلام. لذلك، إن الاستراتيجية المقابلة تقوم على قاعدة «الصمود والتحمل».
ــــ في حالة قصدِ قوى العدوان توسيع دائرة القصف الجوي بقصد خلق وقائع على الأرض لتتحول ضغوطاً على القيادة الحوثية، فإن ما يعرفه السعوديون على وجه الخصوص، هو الواقع الصعب والتاريخي الذي يعيش اليمنيون في ظله، والذي كان أحد أسباب ثورتهم على الحكم هناك، وأحد أسباب سعيهم إلى الاستقلال بعيداً عن الهيمنة السعودية. وبالتالي، إن غالبية اليمنيين تسخر من الحديث عن تحويل الضربات إلى عناصر ضغط شعبية. أما الاستراتيجية المقابلة فتقوم على قاعدة «التماسك والتحدي».

ــــ إذا واصل المعتدين جنونهم وعمدوا إلى ارتكاب مجازر كبيرة بحق المدنيين، من خلال غارات مكثفة وقاسية، فإن التجربة القائمة الآن، أي خلال الأشهر القليلة الماضية، تعطي لكل خبير عسكري في العالم الجواب المباشرة على النتيجة. لقد نفذت قوات التحالف الغربي أكثر من ثلاثة آلاف غارة جوية على مواقع ومناطق نفوذ داعش في سوريا والعراق. ولم تؤثر هذه الغارات في الوقائع على الأرض. وفقط عندما تولت قوات على غير صلة بدول التحالف قيادة عمليات برية مدروسة، ظهرت النتائج. وها هي الموصل، ولو شنّ عليها عشرات الألوف من الغارات، فإن تحريرها من داعش لن يحصل من دون عمليات برية. أما الاستراتيجية المقابلة فتقوم على قاعدة «تثبيت المواقع وبدء الرد العنيف».

ــــ أما في حالة لجوء قوى العدوان إلى العمل البري بقصد احتلال مناطق لإبادة الحوثيين وأنصارهم، ولفرض وقائع سياسية، فإن الأمور ستذهب نحو ما يمكن أحداً ضبطه أو حتى تخيل نتائجه. ذلك أن الاستعدادات لا تقتصر فقط على وضع خطط مواجهة على الحدود البرية أو البحرية، بل على إحباط أي هجمات مباشرة، وفي حالة أخرى، على إبادة القوى المتوغلة داخل الأرض اليمنية. وفي هذه الحالة، يملك الحوثيون على وجه الخصوص، من العناصر التقنية والميدانية ما يتيح لهم تحقيق شعارهم بتحول بلادهم إلى «مقبرة الغزاة».

ــــ يبقى أمام قوى العدوان أن تتوقف عن هذا الجنون، وأن تبحث مع الآخرين ومع القادرين عن حل يحفظ ماء الوجه إعلامياً، وإن ذلك لن يكون إلا من خلال العودة إلى المفاوضات والتوصل إلى حل سياسي. وللعلم، إن شعار الحوثيين كان منذ اليوم الأول للانتقال من عمران إلى صنعاء، ولاحقاً إلى الجنوب، هو فرض حل سياسي قائم على منظومة شراكة كاملة في الحكم، وهذا جل ما يمكن أن يتحقق.

لكن وفق مبدأ الجريمة المتمادية، والنتائج المتتالية، كلما رفع آل سعود من سقف توقعاتهم، وبالغوا في إمكاناتهم، سيكون إحباطهم أكبر. وعندما يكتمل المشهد، سنشهد انتفاضة داخل الجزيرة العربية، قد يكون ـ مع الأسف ـ أبناء أسامة بن لادن وأحفاده هذه المرة في المقدمة!



الاخبار

وجَنَت على نفسها... الرياض .....بقلم إبراهيم الأمين

العدوان السعودي على اليمن شكل مفاجأة حقيقية لأهل هذا البلد ولحلفائهم. النقص شمل المعطيات الامنية والعسكرية. لكن التقدير بأن حدثاً كهذا لن يقع، استند الى حسابات معادلات تقول بأنه مجنون من يقوم بجريمة كهذه. لكن يبدو أن الحقد والجنون سيطرا على آل سعود، فكانت المغامرة. والسؤال هو عن الخطوة التالية.

بحسب المعلومات الواردة من صنعاء، فإن الغارات الجوية استهدفت بشكل رئيسي مطارات عسكرية ومواقع يعتقد أنها تحوي على منظومة دفاعات جوية، وأخرى على مستودعات يقول السعوديون إنها تحوي على صواريخ أرض ـ أرض من نوع «سكود».

وتضيف أن هدف الضربات هو تعطيل القدرة على استخدام سلاح الجو من الجانب اليمني، ومنع استخدام الصواريخ لقصف العمق السعودي. وترافقت العمليات مع نشر وحدات عسكرية إضافية على طول الحدود مع اليمن، وبدء تحركات أولية في منطقة البحر الاحمر، مع إشاعة معلومات عن إمكانية انتقال قوة عسكرية مصرية بحرية الى حدود عدن البحرية، وعن نشاط لفرق كوماندوس للقيام بعمليات إنزال، خصوصاً في مدن الجنوب.

حشود بعشرات الألوف للحوثيين على حدود السعودية وحرب واسعة إذا استمر العدوان



الغارات أصابت بنية عسكرية تخصّ الجيش اليمني، وسقط أقل من عشرين شهيداً من العسكريين اليمنيين، وتم تدمير مدرجات وطائرات حربية. لكن المصادر تجزم بأن البنية العسكرية الخاصة بجماعة «أنصار الله» لم تتأثر. بل على العكس، فإن المعلومات تشير الى ما هو مخالف، خصوصاً بعد القرارات الاولية السريعة التي اتخذتها قيادة «أنصار الله»، وهي التي سبقت الخطاب الذي ألقاه زعيمها السيد عبد الملك الحوثي.


وتفيد المعطيات بأن الاستنفار العام أعلن في صفوف كل اللجان العسكرية التابعة للحوثيين، وهي إجراءات شملت عشرات الآلاف من المقاتلين، وتم نشر حشود كثيفة على كامل الحدود اليمنية ـ السعودية، إضافة الى إجراءات خاصة على جميع الشواطئ، وخصوصاً البحر الاحمر. وبحسب تعليمات الحوثي، بأنه في حال لم يتوقف العدوان على اليمن خلال وقت قريب والإعلان عن التزام الحل السياسي، فإن عمليات الرد سوف تبدأ، ويتوقع لها أن تكون شديدة للغاية، الأمر الذي قد يفتح الباب أمام حرب إقليمية واسعة.


في هذه الاثناء، سارعت السعودية الى طلب العون البري من حلفائها. وبينما لم يتضح الموقف المصري والسوداني من طلب الرياض إرسال قوات تكون جاهزة للقيام بعمل بري، فإن السعودية تراهن على قوات من باكستان، ذلك أن طبيعة الوضع على الحدود الجنوبية تشير الى مخاوف جدية لدى الجانب السعودي من قيام الحوثيين باقتحام جنوبي الجزيرة وقصف مكثف بصواريخ أرض ـ أرض تصل الى عمق الاراضي السعودية، واللجوء في حال تحركت بوارج حربية في البحر الاحمر الى استخدام أسلحة مناسبة قد تؤدي الى وقف كل الملاحة من قناة السويس مروراً بالبحر الاحمر وصولاً الى خليج عدن والمنطقة المجاورة.


ما الذي أوصل الأمور الى هنا؟

التطورات التي جرت خلال الاشهر القليلة الماضية في اليمن، جعلت جماعة «أنصار الله» تفتح الباب أمام تسوية سياسية شاملة. وبعد استقالة الرئيس عبد ربه منصور هادي، تسارعت الاتصالات. وتولت سلطنة عمان قسماً بارزاً منها، بما في ذلك محاولة إقناع القيادة المؤقتة في صنعاء بالسماح لهادي بالانتقال الى مسقط للإقامة هناك، وهو جهد جاء نتيجة طلب سعودي. وبعد محاولتي هرب من جانب هادي، عادت الاتصالات لتطلب تخفيف إجراءات الحماية من حول مكان إقامته، الى أن تمكن من الفرار باتجاه الجنوب، حيث بدأت مرحلة جديدة.

قبل هذه الخطوة، كانت الاتصالات المباشرة بين جماعة «أنصار الله» والسعودية قد حصلت. وقال المسؤولون في الرياض إنهم يريدون حلاً يقوم أساساً على إخراج إيران من اليمن، وهو كلام دأب المسؤولون في السعودية على قوله أمام كل من يلتقيهم من الايرانيين أو اليمنيين أو من الوسطاء. وردّ الحوثيون بوضوح بأنهم ليسوا في وارد قطع العلاقة مع إيران. حتى إن أحد مسؤوليهم من الذين زاروا الرياض، قال لمحدثه السعودي: «أنا آت إليك بعد رحلة قادتني الى لقاء مسؤولين إيرانيين في طهران وقيادة حزب الله في بيروت. والبحث الممكن هو في إنتاج صيغة حكم تقوم على إنشاء مجلس رئاسي، وعلى قاعدة أن هادي قد استقال».


لكن الرياض كانت تهتم بأمر آخر في هذه الفترة. ولأول مرة منذ وقت طويل، عاود السعوديون الاتصال بجماعة «الإخوان» المسلمين في اليمن، وأرسلوا الوفود الكبيرة وبصورة مكثفة لعقد اتفاقات مع قبائل في الجنوب وتعز، وتم صرف عشرات بل مئات الملايين من الدولارات، وإيصال كميات من الاسلحة، بغية تشكيل لجان عسكرية تقود الحرب ضد الحوثيين في الوسط والشمال. وترافق ذلك مع قطع الاتصال بالحوثيين الذين وجدوا أن هناك من يريد جرّهم الى حرب استنزاف دموية. وردّ الحوثيون بمناورة عسكرية على الحدود مع السعودية، الأمر الذي عدّته الرياض تحدياً كبيراً لها، خصوصاً أن الأمن السعودي يقوم بعمليات تدقيق في جنوب الجزيرة، خشية أن يكون الحوثيون قد أقاموا صلات مع قبائل في نجران وعلى الحدود الجنوبية.


ومع انتقال هادي الى عدن، وإطلاق عملية تعويمه كرئيس شرعي، وما رافق ذلك من تحضيرات لمواقف عربية ودولية، كان السعوديون بمعاونة جماعة «الإخوان» (تجمع الإصلاح) قد باشروا، كما هي حال مجموعات تكفيرية، عمليات عسكرية ضد وحدات الجيش غير الملتزمة بقيادة هادي في أكثر من منطقة. ثم جاءت التفجيرات الانتحارية في مساجد صنعاء والشمال، لتدفع بالحوثيين، بالتوافق مع قيادة الجيش، وبدعم الرئيس السابق علي عبدالله صالح، للقيام بعملية عسكرية خاطفة باتجاه الجنوب. ويبدو، بحسب مطلعين، نفذت عملية غير مسبوقة في حشد القوات والمدرعات التي قامت بالهجوم ووصلت الى عدن وسيطرت عليها خلال أقل من 24 ساعة. وحتى ساعات ليل أمس، كانت مجموعة اللجان الثورية التي تشرف عليها جماعة «أنصار الله» تثبت مواقعها داخل عدن وداخل مناطق عدة في المحافظات القريبة، برغم قيام جماعة «الإخوان» بتسيير تظاهرات في تعز ضد الحوثيين، وسعي بعض الزعماء الانفصاليين في الجنوب الى اعتبار قدوم الجيش والحوثيين الى عدن احتلالاً.


حتى هذه اللحظة، لم يكن أحد يتحدث مع أحد، ولا أحد يستمع الى الآخر، ليتبين أن السعودية أنجزت تفاهماً سريعاً مع عدد من الدول العربية لأجل تشكيل قوة مشتركة، تتولى القيام بالعدوان على اليمن. لكن اللافت أن الاميركيين كانوا على السمع، وهم بادروا ليس فقط الى سحب من تبقى من قواتهم، بل الى إبلاغ الجانب السعودي أن من الخطأ الرهان على مجموعات هادي العسكرية، وأن قدرات الطرف الآخر قادرة على حسم الامر سريعاً ومن دون مواجهات جدية، وهو ما حصل، ليتبين لاحقاً أن التحذير الاميركي الذي أعلن مساء الثلاثاء الماضي، كان قد صدر بينما كانت عملية اقتحام عدن قد بدأت رغم أن الاعلان عن نتائجها تأخر لنحو 18 ساعة.


هل من حل؟

كل المؤشرات تقول إن من اتخذ قرار العدوان لم يحسب أموره بشكل جيد. كذلك فإن الحملة الاعلامية الواسعة التي رافقت الغارات الوحشية على المدنيين والعسكريين لم تخف غياب الاستراتيجية الواضحة. وهو أمر عبّرت عنه مواقف الدول الداعمة للعدوان، خصوصاً الاميركيين والاوروبيين، الذين سارعوا الى وضع سقف للحملة العسكرية، بأنها يجب أن تصبّ في خدمة حل سياسي، الأمر الذي تقول الرياض إنها تريده على شكل إعلان الحوثيين الاستسلام من صنعاء. وهو أمر اتضح ليل أمس أن من غير الممكن، على الاطلاق، الرهان عليه.

في هذه الأثناء، سارعت موسكو وطهران الى القيام باتصالات مع عواصم عربية وإقليمية ودولية، بقصد ممارسة الضغط على السعودية كي توقف العدوان، وتعود الى طاولة المفاوضات. وبدا واضحاً أن الروس والإيرانيين يدركون جيداً حقيقة الوضع على الارض، وحقيقة الموقف عند «أنصار الله» والقوات اليمنية الرسمية. وبينما يرجّح أن تتولى سلطنة عمان جانباً من الاتصالات، في حال قررت السعودية التوقف عن العدوان، يبدو أن في الرياض من يريد ممارسة الضغط المباشر على أنصار علي عبدالله صالح، بغية إجباره على ترك تحالفه مع الحوثيين، اعتقاداً من المملكة بأن هذه الخطوة من شأنها عزل الحوثيين. ويردّ مطلعون على هذا الامر بالقول: إن السعودية لا يبدو أنها تعرف عقلية الحوثيين جيداً.
وفي هذا السياق، وفي إطار التأكيد على أن ما يجري هو عدوان مباشر على شعب ودولة، سيطل الامين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله مساء اليوم، في خطاب حول الوضع في اليمن، وهو سوف يدين العدوان، ويعطي الاشارات الواضحة الى أن «أنصار الله» ليسوا متروكين لمصيرهم، كذلك يفتح الباب أمام حل سياسي متى رغب الآخرون فيه، وسريعاً، وقبل دخول المنطقة في جحيم أين منه ما يجري في سوريا والعراق.





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Israel's Blatant Flouting of International Law Requires Presidential Response


As Israeli voters went to the polls, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared he would oppose the creation of a Palestinian state. In what the New York Times called a"racist rant," he also proclaimed, "right-wing rule is in danger" because "Arab voters are streaming in huge quantities to the polling stations." James Besser, Washington correspondent for Jewish newspapers for 24 years, wrote that Israeli voters, "more clearly aware of Netanyahu's intent than ever," have chosen "the apartheid path."

Netanyahu's remarks were met with outrage in the United States and around the world. The Obama administration reacted by saying the United States would "reassess" its policy toward Israel. And, significantly, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told a J Street conference that "an occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end, and the Palestinian people must have the right to live in and govern themselves in their own sovereign state."

Netanyahu's words create a golden opportunity for Barack Obama to radically transform his policy of uncritical support for Israel's ongoing violations of the law.

Israel Builds Illegal Settlements

Israel took over the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) by military force in 1967 and has held it under military occupation ever since. Security Council Resolution 242, passed in 1967, refers to "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" and calls for "withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict." Yet Israel continues to occupy the Palestinian territories it acquired in the "Six-Day War."
Since 1967, Israel has transferred more than a half million of its own citizens into these territories. Israel continues to build settlements in the West Bank, which is occupied Palestinian territory. A state that is occupying territory that is not its own cannot build settlements on that territory and transfer its own citizens into them. Under the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC), such action constitutes a war crime. Article 8.2(b)(viii) of the statute defines "the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" as a war crime.

The ICC can investigate and prosecute these crimes. Yet, in order to prevent such investigation and prosecution, the United States has consistently opposed Palestine becoming a party to the Rome Statute. Congress passed a law that would automatically discontinue the United States' $400 million annual aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if Palestine were to bring charges against Israel in the ICC. Palestine will join the ICC on April 1. If Palestine files charges in the ICC, Obama should find indirect ways to provide funding to the PA to prevent its collapse.

Under the National Emergencies Act, the president has the power to declare an emergency response to a foreign policy crisis. Obama should designate the Israeli settlements an emergency. He could then regulate or prohibit any foreign exchange transaction that directly or indirectly contributes to the expansion of the illegal settlements.

Dozens of organizations designated as 501(c)(3) nonprofits by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) funnel tens of millions of dollars annually to illegal Israeli settlements. Funding illegal activities violates IRS guidelines. The IRS should undertake a thorough investigation of the activities of these organizations.

Israel Committed War Crimes During Operation Protective Edge

In July 2014, Israel invaded Gaza and killed more than 2,000 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians. Nearly 10,000 Palestinians were wounded, more than 2,000 of them children. Tens of thousands of Palestinians lost their homes and infrastructure was severely damaged. Numerous schools, United Nations (UN) places of refuge, hospitals, ambulances and mosques were intentionally targeted. Israel used the "Dahiya doctrine" to apply "disproportionate force" and cause "great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilians populations," as defined in the 2009 UN Human Rights Council (Goldstone) report. These acts constitute evidence of war crimes under Article 8 (2)(a) of the Rome Statute.

Flavia Pansieri, the UN deputy high commissioner for human rights, said that human rights violations "fuel and shape the conflict" in the occupied Palestinian territories, adding that, "[h]uman rights violations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are both cause and consequence of the military occupation and ongoing violence, in a bitter cyclical process with wider implications for peace and security in the region."

Nevertheless, the United States has opposed the investigation and prosecution of these crimes in the ICC. The United States has joined Israel in boycotting the UN Human Rights Council's investigation of international law violations during the July 2014 attack (known as Operation Protective Edge). The U.S. government should support this process and the ICC investigation.

The United States provides Israel with $3.1 billion in military assistance each year. Under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), countries that receive US military aid can only use weapons for legitimate self-defense and internal security. Israel did not act in self-defense during Protective Edge and its actions went far beyond protecting internal security. Obama should suspend future deliveries of the weapons described in the AECA.

Moreover, under the Leahy Law, military units that commit human rights abuses cannot receive US training or weapons, and individuals who commit human rights abuses are denied US visas. The US State Department's annual report has documented Israeli violations.

And the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 prohibits assistance to any country "which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights."
Obama should enforce these laws.

Israel Maintains the Illegal Barrier Wall

Israel constructed a wall that encroaches on Palestinian land. The International Court of Justice (ICJ, or the World Court) -- the legal arm of the UN system -- concludedthat the construction of that wall and its associated regime impedes the liberty of movement of the inhabitants of the occupied Palestinian territory as guaranteed under Article 12 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The ICJ also determined that the wall impedes the right to work, to health, to education and to an adequate standard of living as required by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The ICJ ruled that Israel should dismantle the wall, make reparation for the damage it has caused and return the land, orchards, olive groves and other immovable property it seized to construct the wall -- or compensate the aggrieved persons for the damage suffered.

The U.S. government should tell Israel to dismantle the wall in accordance with the ICJ's ruling.

The Pentagon Admits Israel Has Nuclear Weapons

After 50 years of denial about Israel's arsenal of nuclear weapons, the U.S. Defense Department has finally admitted that Israel has nuclear weapons. The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, prohibits U.S. military assistance to countries that acquire or transfer nuclear reprocessing technology outside of international nonproliferation regimes; yet this law has been honored in its breach.

While the United States prods other countries to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT), requiring international inspections, Israel refuses to sign the NPT, thereby avoiding inspections.

Obama should enforce the law.

U.S. Policy of Opposing Security Council Resolutions Critical of Israel

The United States has a policy of opposing all resolutions in the UN Security Council that condemn Israel's illegal colonization of Palestinian territory, or that define the parameters of a two-state solution.

Indeed, the United States vetoed a resolution in February 2011 that would have condemned the building of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory. And in November 2014, the United States opposed a draft resolution demanding Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank within three years.

Obama has put all of his eggs in the "peace process" basket. But now that Netanyahu has stripped away all pretense of negotiating for a Palestinian state, Obama must drop his opposition to such resolutions in the council. A senior White House official told the New York Times that the Obama administration might lend its support to a resolution "embodying the principles of a two-state solution that would include Israel's 1967 borders with Palestine and mutually agreed swaps of territory." The 1967 borders are those that existed before the "Six-Day War," in which Israel took the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula and Jerusalem.

Obama Has a Duty to Enforce the Law

The U.S. Constitution requires that the president "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Netanyahu has dropped any pretense of good faith. It is high time for the U.S. government to halt its longstanding policy of turning a blind eye to Israel's many violations of the law. Obama has a constitutional duty to enforce the law.
Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, a former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Her most recent book is Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.

Copyright, Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

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YEMEN: “HAPPY ARABIA” ABOUT TO MAKE SAUDI ARABIA VERY UNHAPPY

Ziad Fadel

No, this is not Nellie Fox, the legendary American baseball player.  He is a typical Yemeni who is about to be turned into a savage fighting machine thanks to the blundering of the Saudi apes.

There are 2 things which enliven a Yemeni male: the first is Qaat, the narcotic plant that provides much of Yemen’s happiness and, sadly, its relegation to the lowest domains of the Third World.  The second is invasion. The Yemenis don’t like to be invaded and predictably make the lives of invaders most unpleasant. Whether it’s the Romans, Egyptians, Abyssinians, Ottomans, English or whoever, the Yemenis rise up like a geothermal geyser, with its exasperating regularity,  to beat away the offending culture into submission and withdrawal.   Think of Afghanistan as a sister state with the element of opium as a substitute for Cathinone (Qaat) and the mountain folk as a reasonable facsimile for the Zaidis of Yemen.  The graveyards of conquerors.

It’s no wonder the Romans called Yemen “Arabia Felix”, Happy Arabia, since the people have been chewing the amphetamine-like plant for millennia to keep their moods always at their most elevated even though the side-effects often involve chronic laziness, both physical and mental.  But, once the invasion starts, the Qaat becomes the Captagon of warfare enabling Houthis to leap tall buildings in a single bound and to run faster than a speeding bullet.  Never feeling pain or exhaustion, the mountain people of Yemen persist in fighting the invader until he screams: “Uncle!”.

The government of Jamaal ‘Abdul-Naasser, former president of Egypt and pan-Arab icon,  jabbed its thumb into Saudi Arabia’s eye back in 1962 after the collapse of the monumental unification of Syria and Egypt in the United Arab Republic, an event that reportedly broke Nasser’s heart.  But, it didn’t break his determination to punish Saudi Arabia for its support of the royalists in Yemen.  Egypt embarked on its own Vietnam when it sent 50,000+ troops to Yemen to fight on the side of the republican forces who were arrayed against the Saudi-backed royalists, most of whom, interestingly, were Zaydis  (Houthis).   Please note too that the Ottoman’s conquered Yemen in 1538 during the reign of Sultan Sulaymaan the Magnificent.  Once Sulaymaan died in 1567, it was the Houthis led by Imaam Mutahhar Ibn Sharafeddeen  who mounted a rebellion against the Ottomans.  One hundred years later in 1635, they were expelled in a humiliating fashion by the Houthis/Zaydis during the reign of Sultan Muraad IV.   It appears the present Sultan in Ankara is anxious to avenge that degrading withdrawal from Yemen.  Erdoghan has declared total support for the Saudi campaign in Yemen.

Egypt lost and left Yemen in 1967, just in time to get whacked in the June War of that same notorious year.   Such is the luck of Egypt.  But, Arabian luck may be even worse as you shall soon see.  

The Saudis have never fought a war with a modern army.  That is because they have no army of their own.  Almost all their pilots, except for a handful of royal family members who thought it would be really cool to learn how to fly high-performance jets in order to leave the country more quickly once the rebellion against their pre-Iron Age rule began, are foreigners, mostly Pakistanis.  There are some Jordanians who retired from service in their own miserable kingdom and graciously accepted the $250,000.00 per year salary that flying for the Wahhabists brought into their otherwise barren accounts.  The Saudis can’t tell you this, but, they can’t trust their own people.  They are genuinely terrified of engaging the services of fellow Saudis because most of their people despise Wahhabism and the profligate way the “royal” family has squandered the wealth of the nation.  There are millions of Saudis who are homeless.  You wouldn’t want to train them to fly an F-16…..would you?   A Saudi student once told me that if a Saudi Arabian citizen ever sat in an American fighter jet, his instincts would be to immediately strafe the royal palace.

And, in all their encounters with the Houthis of Yemen, they have lost each and every battle often withdrawing pell-mell into their own backyards as the Houthis advanced in hot pursuit.  Saudi officers, the few who exist, know that they cannot count on the people to fight any patriotic war for a royal family so steeped in deception, brigandage and outright vampirism, that doing so would be, in the eyes of God,  a mockery of their own true religion.

Saudi Arabia has agreed to extend its war with Shi’i Iran to the Yemen.  It was not enough for them to foment barbaric wars in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.  Now, feeling surrounded by Iran, it has decided to take up Obama’s doctrine as its own by acting as a proxy for the United States at the coccyx of ‘Aseer, at the southern opening of the Red Sea.

The Saudi Army is a paper army. It’s equipment is poorly maintained.  Most deals for the purchase of weapons were red herrings to conceal huge transfers of moneys out of the kingdom into bank accounts in New York or the Isle of Man for the corrupt “royal” family.  This is embezzlement at its most gaudy.  When the Saudis decided they had to create another war for themselves, a war that would now force them to withdraw currency reserves due to a shortage in their coffers,  they suckered Egypt and Jordan into their “Coalition of Resolute Storm” by convincing them to send “boots”.  These are dirt-poor countries reeling from decades of incompetent management and endemic shrinkage – heck, Jordan never even had a chance having been created out of Syria’s haunches by the British in an effort to assuage the hurt feelings of the flea-bitten Hashemites of the Hijaaz.   Even after the publication of the canard about Saudia deploying 150,000 of its own troops to the 900-mile border with Yemen, their glans-like ambassador in Washington D.C. told everyone there will be no ground invasion – as though any such invasion could take place in the real world – or even worse – that Saudia really had more than 150 soldiers.

مضادات
Photo of Saudi ape reconnaissance aircraft crashing after being shot down by Yemeni air defenses a few miles west of Sana’aa`. Prepare for many more of these scenes.  The airplane might have been a pilotless drone.

You would think President Sisi would pause for a moment to scrutinize what he was doing and where he was going to send his troops.  The disastrous Egyptian intervention in Yemen is still within the parameters of his memory.  And, King Abdullah II, whose own family lost Mecca and all Arabia to the self-same codpieces, jackdaws and child molesters who presently rule in Riyaadh, should sit down at his Play-Station to ruminate over the mess he already has on his border with Syria and Iraq.  If the Saudis have depleted their cash supporting the cannibals in the Fertile Crescent, how much can they draw from their reserves to pay off the Egyptian and Jordanian Armies?  Is this the end of the Saudi dynasty?  Tee hee hee.

Let’s tell the truth. Obama doesn’t like Mileikowski (a/k/a Netanyahu).  And Obama doesn’t like Netanyahu’s allies in Arabia, either.  It may be that someone has told this diffident leader of the Free World that Saudi Arabia is a military abyss with no credible warring capability.  With the Saudis having botched every effort to coordinate a policy on Syria – openly tsk-tsking Obama’s every move; Kerry’s insinuation that Washington would have to talk to Dr. Assad; or the potential resolution of the Iranian nuclear program; maybe, Obama is figuring Saudia needs this kind of bog-wash to finally get it out of his graying hair.  The Saudis are, of course, a standing embarrassment to everyone who thinks of himself as a 21st Century Man or Woman.   The bizarre infatuation with “active” retrogressive devolution of society; the psychopathic antipathy to women – a hostility so mired in simian ideation it creates its own precedents when there are none – women can’t drive cars; women can’t travel without a male relative; beheading sorcerers; beheading blasphemers; beheading marijuana smugglers; beheading homosexuals; prohibiting alcohol; prohibiting cinemas.  I mean, it’s almost a world designed by Ted Cruz for his imaginary Texas.  No. I think Obama wants to break the link to Arabia and is deliberately snookering the deliriously desperate nabobs of nihilism into a self-immolating act that will free the United States from the stifling stigma of mere association with Wahhabism.

Out of this roiling cauldron of misbegotten recipes concocted certainly by a British felon emanates the aroma of imminent disaster.  The Egyptians are sending 2 battleships to the Red Sea to protect the waters at the Baab Al-Mandib Straits.  Ooooh.  And, they have suggested the amphibious landing of their troops to further that aim.  I wonder how the first officer who lands is going to feel when he sees ten thousand angry Houthis charge his salient resembling the angry mobs of Boxers made famous in the movie “The Sand Pebbles”?  As they swarm over his position, their saliva infused with the restorative powers of Qaat, will he curse President Sisi?  Will he curse the Saudis?  Wouldn’t it be nice if the Russians delivered Yakhont ground-to-sea missiles along with a complement of Syrian technicians?  Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

And what about the Jordanian army being sent to help with the coalition?  The coalition!  The Jordanian government insists it’s not going to encroach on Yemeni soil.  So, what are the Jordanians doing so far from their mythical kingdom of Lilliput?  Are the Saudis so afraid of the Houthis they need all this support?  You betcha.  The Saudis are rightfully terrified that the Houthis will reclaim the entire area of ‘Aseer and Tihaama.  And why shouldn’t they?  Most Saudis will greet them more hospitably than they would the leprous Wahhabis of the Najd.  The Houthis will be viewed as liberators in the form of populists.  Iran will further expand its influence as the Saudi “royals”  soil their dishdaashas at the very thought the apostates of Persia have completed the encirclement of the heresy the Saudi clan has imposed on its own people and the Arab World.  Theocracy v. Theocracy.  And may the best man win.

In the meantime, the U.S. is surreptitiously retooling its foreign policy to both inaugurate a détente with Iran and to usher in a civilized but cautious relationship with Syria.  In order to get their “quantum of wantum” in Iraq (i.e. some bases) Americans need the quietude of Iran and Syria.  They also need to keep the Saudi dog far hence which is why Obama is so determined to trip up the Saudis in the quagmire of Yemen.  Some might argue that my hypothesis makes no sense.  Why would Iran look aside at new U.S. bases in Iraq which would threaten the country’s internal system?  Good question.  What I am saying is that the United States prefers a powerful Iran which is capable of maintaining order in the Gulf as opposed to a “rogue” state, like Saudi Arabia, fueling nihilistic militants who are determined to wreak havoc in the Western World and in the Gulf.  Efforts to curb Saudia’s penchant for bankrolling terrorist groups like ISIS have met with failure.  When the U.S. presses down on a nerve, the Saudis recoil accusing the U.S. of backpedaling.  It’s been very frustrating for Obama to have to deal with a Zionist State incapable of bringing the tragedy of Palestine to a close.  It has been even more frustrating trying to get the Saudis to shut the faucet that nourishes barbarians like ISIS.

The Saudis are embarking on an aerial war similar to the one waged by Bill Clinton against Serbia.  Saudia thinks it can break the will of the Houthis by destroying infrastructure.  That might work if the Houthis just sit back and do nothing but mope.  History says they don’t just recline on their rugs and chew Qaat.  It is our prediction here at SyrPer that the Houthis will take the battle aggressively to the Saudis in the north.  They will attack the very poorly trained and woefully demoralized Saudi army – or whatever they claim is “massing” on the Yemeni border.  Expect widespread desertions and (as new systems arrive),  Saudi bombers crashing into the mountains of the Yemen.  The Saudis have bitten off more than they can chew.  It is one thing to funnel money to terrorists in Syria.  It is something wholly different when you are the terrorist yourself.  ZAF


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US House Votes 348-48 To Arm Ukraine, Russia Warns Lethal Aid Will “Explode The Whole Situation”

March 26, 2015
Yesterday, in a vote that largely slid under the radar, the House of Representatives passed a resolution urging Obama to send lethal aid to Ukraine, providing offensive, not just “defensive” weapons to the Ukraine army – the same insolvent, hyperinflating Ukraine which, with a Caa3/CC credit rating, last week started preparations to issue sovereign debt with a US guarantee, in essence making it a part of the United States (something the US previously did as a favor to Egypt before the Muslim Brotherhood puppet regime was swept from power by the local army).
The resolution passed with broad bipartisan support by a count of 348 to 48.
According to DW,  the measure urges Obama to provide Ukraine with “lethal defensive weapon systems” that would better enable Ukraine to defend its territory from “the unprovoked and continuing aggression of the Russian Federation.”
“Policy like this should not be partisan,” said House Democrat Eliot Engel, the lead sponsor of the resolution. “That is why we are rising today as Democrats and Republicans, really as Americans, to say enough is enough in Ukraine.”
Engel, a New York Democrat, has decided that he knows better than Europe what is the best option for Ukraine’s people – a Europe, and especially Germany, which has repeatedly said it rejects a push to give western arms to the Ukraine army, and warned that Russia under President Vladimir Putin has become “a clear threat to half century of American commitment to an investment in a Europe that is whole, free and at peace. A Europe where borders are not changed by force.
This war has left thousands of dead, tens of thousands wounded, a million displaced, and has begun to threaten the post-Cold War stability of Europe,” Engel said.
Odd, perhaps the US state department should have thought of that in a little over a year ago when Victoria Nuland was plotting how to most effectively put her puppet government in charge of Kiev and how to overthrow the lawfully elected president in a US-sponsored coup.
Then again, one glance at the Rep. Engel’s career donors provides some explanation for his tenacity to start another armed conflict and to escalate what he himself defines as a cold war into a warm one.

So what will Obama do? As a reminder, the president has been far more eager to sit this one out, and giving Europe the upper hand when it comes to the decision if and when to escalate the proxy civil war in Ukraine.  To be sure, the vote puts even more pressure on the Obama administration, which has repeatedly said it was considering providing lethal aid to Ukraine; it just never dared to actually pull the trigger. Several months ago, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey said we would “absolutely consider” providing lethal aid, sentiments that were echoed by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who said that he was also “inclined” in that direction.
Obama’s options may be even more limited after NATO’s top military commander General Philip Breedlove said Sunday that the West should “consider all our tools” to assist Ukraine, including sending defensive weapons to areas held by pro-Russian rebels.
For now the president is delaying because according to the State Department, the White House is waiting to see whether the second Minsk ceasefire will hold before deciding whether to deliver lethal assistance.
Ironically, the biggest stumbling block ahead of an outright overture to World War III, may be Hillary Clinton herself. The former SecState, currently embroiled in an e-mail communication scandal, was recently revealed to have been a recipient of some very generous foreign donations into the Clinton foundation: donations where Ukraine was at the very top!

Considering last week’s news of a just as dangerous cold war being waged between Obama’s right hand (wo)man, Valerie Jarrett, and the Clintons, it is perhaps just as likely that Obama, whose foreign policy team is absolutely abysmal and whose offshore “achievements” can best be described as a disaster, is not eager to get involved in Ukraine not so much to avert the cold war with Russia to turn hot, but to make Hillary’s life difficult as she launches her challenge to Obama’s favorite populist Elizabeth Warren.
Then again, when it comes to calling the foreign shots, the US president is merely a figurehead, and the real decision-maker has always been the US military-industrial complex. So while Obama may stall sending weapons, he will ultimately get a tap on the shoulder from the gentle folks shown on the table below, who will soon demand something in exchange for their millions in lobby funding.
The prepackaged spin is already ready: “sending weapons to the Kiev government would not mean involvement in a new war for America”, claimed the abovementioned Eliot Engel who sponsored the document. “The people of Ukraine are not looking for American troops,” Engel said. “They are just looking for the weapons.
Beautiful. And if weapons the Ukraine wants, the US MIC will be delighted to provide them.
So the only question is how Russia will responds to this escalation: according to RT, “Washington’s decision to supply Ukraine with ammunition and weapons would “explode the whole situation” in eastern Ukraine and Russia would be forced to respond “appropriately,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at the end of February.
“It would be a major blow to the Minsk agreements and would explode the whole situation,” TASS quoted Ryabkov as saying.
In other words, bullish for stocks – just think of the central-bank monetary paradrops that World War III would unleash.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
 
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