Saturday, 30 April 2016

World played with fire in Syria, scholar says

The BRICS Post
April 26, 2016, 7:21 pm
Smoke rises from a building struck by artillery in north Damascus [Xinhua]
Smoke rises from a building struck by artillery in north Damascus [Xinhua]
John Rosenthal is a European-based journalist and political analyst who writes on European politics and transatlantic issues.
He has also written extensively about the Syrian Civil War.
His articles have appeared in such publications as Al-MonitorWorld AffairsThe Wall Street Journal EuropeLes Temps Modernes, and Die Weltwoche. He is the author of the recent book The Jihadist Plot: The Untold Story of Al-Qaeda and the Libyan Rebellion.
The BRICS Post recently interviewed Rosenthal about developments in Syria.
TBP: The Syrian military delivered ISIL it’s greatest defeat in two years by recapturing the ancient city of Palmyra on March 27. But Robert Fisk criticized Western powers for not cheering ISIL’s demise in Palmyra.
Coming a week after ISIL’s brutal attack in Brussels, shouldn’t the EU at least have seen this as payback?
Rosenthal: Like the United States, the major European powers have put themselves in an impossible position. For five years now, they have been telling us that Bashar al-Assad and the Assad “regime”, as they say, are the root of all evil in Syria – so awful that it was even worth facilitating the rise of openly jihadist forces in Syria, in order to hasten the regime’s demise.
The most extreme variant of this “root-of-all-evil” hypothesis is the idea that the Assad regime itself was responsible for the rise of ISIL and has continued, in one form or another, to collude with it.
This idea has become commonplace on both sides of the Atlantic. If ISIL is responsible for the Brussels attacks, as it claims, then, of course, Western leaders should be celebrating ISIL’s defeat at Palmyra.
But since that defeat has come at the hands of regime forces, this would be to admit they were wrong. And one thing these people will never do is admit they are wrong.
Hence the embarrassed silence vis-à-vis Palmyra.
There has been much criticism in the past few years of how Western press have covered the Syrian civil war.
As a journalist who has written about the conflict, is this criticism warranted?
Absolutely. In fact, even though my writing is 99 per cent just factual, I was less and less able to write about the conflict, because the media did not want to publish the facts in question.
One of the publications to which I had been a regular contributor – National Review Online, the website of the American conservative weekly National Review – went so far as to “bar” me from publishing.
In other words, they blacklisted me. At least this is what the journalist Michael Weiss claims, and I think Weiss is right.
The editors at National Review did not tell me I was “barred,” but they never again accepted a submission from me and eventually ceased responding altogether.
Weiss, incidentally, is one of the main American proponents of the “Assad-as-root-of-all-evil” view of the Syrian conflict, and he clearly believes that my barring was well deserved.
The reason for my barring was an article I published in June 2012 on the Houla massacre. The massacre represented a major turning point in the Syrian conflict.
Responsibility was almost instantaneously attributed to regime forces and/or affiliated militias, and Western governments responded by cutting off diplomatic relations with Damascus.
Two weeks later, however, Germany’s paper-of-record, Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published a report suggesting that these initial attributions were mistaken and that the perpetrators of the massacre were in fact rebel forces.
I am a specialist in European languages and politics, and it struck me as normal, under the circumstances, to try to make the gist of this report accessible to the English-speaking public.
But very quickly I heard from a contact at National Review that my sources were suspected of being “beholden to Assad”.
The notion that the leading paper of Europe’s richest and most powerful nation is somehow “beholden to Assad” is downright laughable.
But it is a measure of the parochialism of some of America’s would-be “opinion-makers” that it appears to have been taken seriously by the editors at National Review.
Such insinuations – and, I suppose, the fact that I had the temerity to defend the credibility of the report against irrelevant smears – was enough to get me barred.
Another example: As you know, in April 2014 the Dutch priest Father Frans van der Lugt was killed in a rebel-controlled Christian neighborhood of Homs.
Father Frans’s death made headlines around the world and he was widely eulogized for his good works in Syria. Examining Father Frans’s publications in Dutch, however, I discovered that his own first-hand observations of the beginnings of the anti-Assad rebellion contrasted sharply with the standard view in the Western media.
Undoubtedly most significantly, Father Frans insisted that the protests that sparked the rebellion in 2011 were not strictly peaceful, as they have been almost universally presented to the Western public, but rather contained an armed and violent element from the start. He also accused rebel forces of committing atrocities and then blaming them on the regime.
By this time, needless to say, I could not even have dreamed of pitching an article on Father Frans’s observations to National Review. But I could not place one in any other Stateside outlet either, including venues with which I had an established relationship.
Despite their obvious relevance and newsworthiness – or rather: precisely because of the latter – Father Frans’s views were taboo.
If he had still been alive and his observations had become known, he would surely have been attacked as an Assad “propagandist” – as other Syria-based Christian clergy who made similar observations in fact have been.
I could give numerous other examples.
Once Washington and its European allies had established the terms of the politically “correct” narrative of the Syrian crisis, facts that failed to jibe with that narrative were unwanted and anyone who tried to report them was inevitably attacked as “pro-Assad”.
European intelligence services are now chasing ISIL veterans who returned from the Middle East to roost at home.
You’ve been writing about these networks and how ill informed European agencies have been about their sheer numbers.
Could the Brussels attack have been thwarted?
A publicly distributed picture from the Aleppo Media Centre shows rebel fighters evading government troops [AMC via AP]
A publicly distributed picture from the Aleppo Media Centre shows rebel fighters evading government troops [AMC via AP]
Well, if we consider just the immediate background to the attacks, it is hard to say. There is some evidence that these guys acted when they did precisely because they believed they were about to be caught.
Obviously, one cannot say that Belgian authorities have been incredibly efficient about breaking up terror plots. But neither can one say that about the French.
Although it tends to escape notice, a major component of the November Paris attacks – namely, the attack on the Bataclan Theatre – was a strictly French operation. And, of course, there was the Charlie Hebdo attack and numerous other recent attacks in France – almost all of them carried out by French jihadists.
But if we take a longer view, the answer is already implicit in your question, and I’m afraid your formulation is entirely apt. These guys have indeed come home to roost.
With the sole exception of Salah Abdeslam, all the known perpetrators of the November Paris attacks were returnees from Syria.
Four of the five suspected perpetrators of the Brussels attacks are known to have either been in Syria or attempted to get there.
By providing moral and diplomatic and, in some cases, material support to the anti-Assad jihad in Syria, and by allowing jihadist safe havens to be carved out of Syrian territory, the European powers helped to create the most important incubator of terror that the world has yet seen.
Obviously, Belgium bears less responsibility in this regard. It is not small states like Belgium that lay down the broad lines of European foreign policy. It is the major EU powers: France, Germany and, for the moment, the UK.
The problem is not one of nuts-and-bolts counter-terrorism. The problem is one of policy. By fomenting jihad in Syria, the European powers and the US have been playing with fire.
Citizens of Europe are now paying the price.
How does media coverage of Syria compare with coverage of before/after the 2003 Iraq war?
At least as concerns the US media, the situation today is incomparably worse. There was a long debate in the run-up to the war, and in the aftermath no one had any problems questioning the grounds for intervention or even indeed outright accusing the Bush administration of having lied.
This became entirely commonplace. The stifling of debate and the homogenization of the media as regards hot-button foreign policy issues really began under the Obama administration: most notably, in the context of the Libyan war.
But at the time, it was at least still possible to bring up conflicting information in “new” media and indeed in some conservative media.
I published numerous articles on the Islamist roots of the Libyan rebellion and the presence in it of Al-Qaeda-linked militants precisely at National Review Online.
In the aftermath of the war – i.e. when it no longer mattered to policy – even the mainstream US media would to some extent acknowledge this presence; and then, of course, the US experienced its own sort of “chickens-coming-home-to-roost” moment in the form of the September 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi.
I suppose it is because the Syrian “playbook”, so to speak, so closely resembled the Libyan one that the screws had to be turned even tighter.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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More Cold Blooded Murder

 photo maramandibrahim_zpse6r0xzbg.jpg
[Ed. note – Well…it’s really getting hard to tell the Israelis from ISIS these days. Maybe in the near future we’re going to need something like a Pepsi challenge to try and detect the difference between them. Or maybe it’s reached the point where we’re already in need of one now.
Then again, maybe there’s no difference between Israel and ISIS at all, and perhaps they’re in reality one and the same. That’s certainly a possibility. At any rate, what we have in the photo above are the bodies of a brother and sister who were shot to death this morning by an Israeli police officer. And it looks like another divinely given teaching moment, for of course the murder of the two siblings comes just a day or so after the Obama administration announced its support for a “memorandum of understanding” calling for a hefty increase in military aid to Israel. Well, I guess if we’re going to give weapons to the head choppers of ISIS, then to be perfectly consistent we’d want to give them to the Israelis as well. That would make sense, wouldn’t it?
At any rate the article below, from Ma’an News, tells of the deaths this morning of 23-year-old Maram Ismail and her 16-year-old brother, Ibrahim. It is another tragedy, another transgression against God carried out by the Israelis. ]
Witnesses: Palestinian siblings posed no threat when shot dead
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Witnesses to an alleged stab attempt on Israeli border police at a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank Wednesday said two siblings shot dead during the incident posed no threat at the time the Israeli officer killed them.
Witnesses told Ma’an that 23-year-old Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail, five months pregnant, and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim were en route to Jerusalem when they took a path intended for vehicles, not pedestrians, into Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah. The two were apparently unable to understand Israeli officers yelling in Hebrew, and stopped walking.
Witnesses said it appeared that Ibrahim attempted to grab his sister’s hand and move away from the officers, when they opened fire on her. Maram fell to the ground and when Ibrahim attempted to aid her, he was shot in his tracks.
A Palestinian bus driver present at the scene, Muhammad Ahmad, told Ma’an that the Israeli officer who opened fire on Maram was standing behind a cement block some 20 meters away from her at the time. The driver said it did not appear that Maram or her brother posed any threat when the officer shot them.

Maram Abu Esmael aged 24 has been executed this morning @Qalandia with another on who still unknown
Palestinian local and witness to the incident Ahmad Taha told Ma’an that Israeli officers approached the two after they had been shot and had fallen to the ground before opening fire on them again “to ensure that they were dead,” adding that the officers “could have moved the two away without opening fire.”
Taha alleged that the officers planted knives on the scene, photographs of which were distributed by Israeli police who said they had been in Maram and Ibrahim’s possession.

Ibrahim Taha, 15, who was shot & killed by IOF in Jerusalem today while he shielded his sister who was shot 15X
 The witness accounts collected following the incident contradict Israeli police reports that the officer opened fire after Maram threw a knife in their direction.
Local sources said Maram was the mother of a six and four-year-old, and five months pregnant. She had reportedly obtained a permit from the Israeli authorities to enter Jerusalem for the first time when she was crossing on Wednesday.
Maram and her 16-year-old brother are among over 200 Palestinians to be killed by Israeli forces or settlers since October, the majority during small-scale attacks that have left nearly 30 Israelis dead.
Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip denounced the deaths Wednesday and called for continued resistance against the Israeli occupation.
Daoud Shihab, spokesperson of the Islamic Jihad movement, referred to their deaths as an “execution,” while Fawzi Barhum of Hamas said the move by the Israeli officer to shoot the two was “systematic terrorism” and a “hideous crime that has crossed all red lines,” adding that the “crime would not go without punishment.”
Maram and Ibrahim’s deaths come in the wake of mass criticism towards what has been termed Israel’s policy of “extrajudicial executions” towards Palestinians, which most recently came under spotlight after an Israeli soldier was caught on film shooting a prone Palestinian through the head from point blank range.

Sara and Remas the doughters of Maram Abu Esma’el who was executed this morning  on her way to the hospital
 Israel’s excessive use of force against Palestinians has brought allegations from local and international NGOs, senior UN officials and foreign leaders, and prominent US congressmen that Israeli forces regularly carry out unlawful killings.
Popular Palestinian support for stab attacks — widely explained by Palestinian and international leadership as a natural response to the effects of the ongoing Israeli military occupation — has hovered below fifty percent for the past two months, according to polls, coinciding with a relative drop in the frequency of such attacks that initially surged in October.
A reduction in stab attacks has been attributed to security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, as well as to general public sentiments that the attacks are not effective in resistance against the occupation, according to polls.
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The Independent: KSA is about to Attempt Mao’s Great Leap, Shah Version... Not Going to Work

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of the ailing King Salman and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, has launched a highly ambitious plan under which he says his country will speedily “end its addiction to oil.” In terms of its revolutionary ambition, lack of realism and potential for disruption, the plan has parallels with Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward in 1958 which aimed to change China rapidly from an agricultural to an industrial economy, but produced only disaster.
Saudi Prince Mohammad Bin Salman
The Saudi version of the Great Leap Forward is outlined in Vision 2030, a summary of the reform made public last week of which more details will be given in the National Transformation Plan that is to be published in late May or early June. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed, who is defence minister and controls foreign and economic policy, wants the Kingdom to develop its own industries and services, sell off part of the state oil company Aramco to create the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, and end or reduce subsidies for fuel, water, electricity and other essentials. In practice, he wants to end the long-standing social contract under which Saudi nationals get easy jobs in the government sector and a high standard of living in return for political passivity and loyalty to the House of Saud.
It is not going to work. It is not the first time the ruler of an oil state in the Middle East believed that it would be a good idea to build up a diversified non-oil economy paid for by oil revenues. Saddam Hussein, already effective ruler of Iraq in the late 1970s, made a brief effort before the Iran-Iraq war to build factories and irrigation schemes, the wreckage of which can still be seen on the outskirts of Baghdad. But the most striking – and ominous – precedent for Prince Mohammed’s reforms is not Mao or Saddam, but the Shah of Iran in the five years before the revolution in 1979. Using Iran’s oil revenues, he proposed in 1974 for Iran’s economy to grow by a quarter every year under an expanded version of the Fifth Five Year Development Plan. The outcome of the Shah’s manic desire for growth and modernization was destabilization and popular rage that contributed significantly to his overthrow.
At the heart of the Shah’s downfall was ill-informed hubris and wishful thinking which led him to saw through the branch on which he was sitting. Monarchs and autocrats notoriously live lives detached from the real world by nature of their status, but this is doubly true of the leaders of oil states who mistake their ability to throw unlimited funds at a problem for real ability to cope with the world around them…
The Vision 2030 document might be dismissed as one more costly and far-fetched whim of an oil state autocrat fostered by self-interested advisors and consultants. Few take seriously Prince Mohammed’s belief that “in 2020 we can live without oil.”
The share of the private sector in the economy is to rise from 40 per cent to 65 per cent by 2030 and Saudi Arabia, the third largest defence spender in the world, is to raise the proportion of arms made in the Kingdom from 2 per cent to 50 per cent over the same period. Experience shows that breakneck economic development, propelled by orders from the top, encourages pervasive corruption, while privatisation in unaccountable autocracies mostly benefits, going by what happened in Syria and Libya, a politically well-connected coterie close to the ruling family.
It is easy enough to be derisive or dismissive about Prince Mohammed’s revolutionary changes within the Kingdom. But the danger is that his naive arrogance is not confined to his handling of the economy. He is also pursuing a double-or-quits foreign policy of confrontation with Saudi Arabia’s neighbours. Since his father King Salman succeeded to the throne last year, Saudi Arabia has escalated its involvement on the rebel side in Syria and has launched a war in Yemen. On 17 April, it was a phone call from Prince Mohammed that terminated the talks between leading oil producers meeting in Doha who came close to agreeing a freeze on oil production. By vetoing any deal without the participation of Iran, which is seeking to rebuild its share of the oil market post sanctions, Prince Mohammed showed the extent and arbitrary nature of his power.
The German intelligence agency BND warned late last year that the concentration of so much power in the prince’s hands “harbors a latent risk that in seeking to establish himself in the line of succession in his father’s lifetime, he may overreach”. In the one-and-a-half page document, which was surprisingly made public, the BND expressed fears that Saudi Arabia had started “an impulsive policy of intervention.” Everything that has happened since confirms the BND view. Saudi Arabia, which of all countries in the Middle East has an interest in containing chaos, is instead helping to spread it.
Saudi Arabia certainly faces real problems that are not of Prince Salman’s making. The population of the Kingdom in 1950 was three million and today is 31 million, though eight million of these are foreign nationals. With the price of oil unlikely to reach its previous heights, oil revenues will be insufficient to look after a fast growing population of young Saudis and bribe them with non-jobs and subsidized living. The problems may be real but old regimes are notoriously at their most vulnerable when they recognize their failings and seek to remedy them by ill-advised and disruptive measures.
Some have a more cynical explanation for Saudi Arabia’s proposed Great Leap Forward, with its heady talk of Saudi citizens getting down to work, starting their own businesses and working in their own factories. They argue that the scheme is a tactic to divert the attention of Saudis away from the progressive privatization of Aramco, the one institution in the country that does make money and on which all else depends.
Initially just 5 per cent of Aramco, though the percentage may grow, will be floated with the proceeds being placed in a sovereign wealth fund that will eventually exceed $2 trillion. This will invest in the Kingdom and will presumably be under the control of Prince Mohammed. But sceptics say that turning the value of Saudi Arabia’s main asset into a liquid form is also be highly convenient for the Saudi royal family. They may calculate that the political and economic tide has permanently turned against them. If the Saudi royals ever have to flee like the Shah, then it is much in their interests to have their wealth in a form that they can be held abroad or swiftly moved to safety.
Source: The Independent, Edited by website team

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Egypt, Sinai Liberation Day: protests for the 2 islands sold to the Saudis, under Zionist permission

According to “The Times of Israel”, the Zionist regime said it appreciate the transfer of the islands to Saudi Arabia. The defense minister of the colonial entity, Moshe Yaalon, reveals emerging coordination and strategic interaction between Jerusalem, Cairo and Riyadh.
File photo of Israel's armed forces chief Moshe Yaalon walking after a visit to the Kissufim crossing in Gaza strip
Israel has received insurance pledges from Saudi Arabia to the fact that the handover by Egypt of two islands in the Red Sea would not affect the passage of its ships.
Cairo announced last week its decision to reassign to Saudi Arabia the two small uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir, located in the strategic Aqaba Gulf, which control the access to the Israeli port of Eilat through the Strait of Tiran.
The Israelis had occupied the two islands in the ’67 war. They later returned them with the Camp David agreements, but with one condition: that the Egyptians whould not give the islands to other parts, without previous permission by Tel Aviv.
The two Red Sea islands are included in an important part of the agreement signed in 1979, that promises safe passage to commercial and military Israeli ships through the Strait of Tiran, ensuring freedom of navigation for Israel in these crucial areas for the access to the Indian Ocean.
As part of the agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the islands go under Saudi control over 25 years, giving Ryad an active part to ensure that the conditions of the peace treaty with Israel are met.

Sinai Liberation Day
(Excerpts from Ahram) ~ Protests against the recently declared Egyptian-Saudi island agreement took place on Monday before being promptly dispersed by police in Cairo amid heavy security presence, with rallies supporting the deal and celebrating Sinai Liberation Day allowed to take place.
Security forces had tightened their presence in central Cairo ahead of the planned protests, which were set to take place at three separate locations in the capital; the Journalists Syndicate and the Doctors Syndicate in downtown and at Behouth metro station in Giza, all under the slogan “Egypt Not For Sale.”
According to press reports, some of the protesters dispersed by police at the Dokki march have sought refuge at the nearby headquarters of the Nasserist Karama Party, with security forces besieging the building. More than 150 protesters were arrested.
Local media outlets have reported that security forces in Cairo have been randomly stopping people in the streets and checking their mobile phone’s online applications to see whether they were participating in any protests.
The protests came 10 days after several thousand people gathered in Cairo for the ‘Land Friday’ demonstration to protest the maritime border agreement, which places the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir within Saudi territorial waters.
Army forces were deployed on Monday for Sinai Liberation Day celebrations.
Sinai Liberation Day marks the final withdrawal of Israeli forces from Sinai Peninsula as well as the two disputed islands.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Saudi King Salman


Le président égyptien sous le feu des critiques
pour avoir cédé deux îles à l’Arabie saoudite

(RT Francais) ~ Le maréchal Abdel Fattah al-Sissi a signé hier un accord avec ses homologues saoudiens, leur cédant les îles de Tiran et de Sanafir, situées dans une région stratégique à l’extrémité du golfe d’Aqaba, contrôlée depuis 1950 par le Caire.
Ce renoncement de l’Egypte à des îles importantes situées dans une région stratégique à l’extrémité du golfe d’Aqaba, qui donne sur la mer Rouge, a soulevé une vague de critiques dans le pays.
Remises à l’Arabie saoudite en vertu d’un accord de délimitation des frontières maritimes, ces îles représentaient la pomme de discorde entre ces deux pays depuis plusieurs décennies. Les négociations sur la délimitation de la frontière ont duré six ans et onze réunions de la commission ad hoc ont été organisées durant cette période.
Selon les hommes politiques égyptiens, la délimitation précise des frontières permettra aux deux pays de mieux utiliser leurs eaux territoriales. Mais dans la rue, la décision ne passe pas auprès de la population. Le journal égyptien Al-Ahram décrit ainsi une «vague colossale de controverse et de confusion», après que cinq personnes, qui protestaient contre l’accord, ont été arrêtées ce weekend et détenues jusqu’à lundi.
Inhabitées, ces îles sont stratégiquement importantes en raison de leur position sur la route maritime des ports d’Aqaba en Jordanie et d’Eilat en Israël.
Il y a quelques jours, le roi saoudien Salmane ben Abdelaziz Al Saoud avait également annoncé qu’un pont serait construit sur la mer Rouge afin de relier son pays à l’Egypte.

Edited and Submitted by SyrianPatriots 
War Press Info Network at:
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George Galloway says Ken Livingstone should not be suspended over ‘historic facts’ about Hitler and Zionism

‘They’re trying to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn, there’s a slow motion coup. The real target is Jeremy Corbyn’
George Galloway has defended Ken Livingstone’s comments that Hitler supported Zionism as “historical fact” but criticised them as poorly judged.
The former Labour MP said scholars are agreed that Zionist leaders in Germany and the Nazi Chancellor signed an agreement to send German Jews to Palestine.
While Mr Galloway admitted the statement was poorly timed and worded, he added that Jeremy Corbyn should not have been pushed to suspend Mr Livingstone from Labour – and accused a core of its members of orchestrating a “coup” against their leader.
This is an entirely synthetic crisis,” he said. “Ken Livingstone said absolutely nothing wrong, everything he said was the truth, historic fact, proven.
“There was an agreement between the Nazi filth of Hitler and the Zionist leaders in Germany to send Germany’s Jews to Palestine, because both of them believed that German Jews were not Germans […]
“So in that sense, Nazism and Zionism were two sides of the same coin.”
Mr Galloway said this Havaara agreement between Hitler and the German Zionists was well-documented by German, Israeli and Jewish scholars.
Yet while Mr Livingstone’s delivery was “ill-judged” he could not be accused of anti-semitism, said Mr Galloway.
“Now should Ken Livingstone have gone around the studio saying that? I think not. I wouldn’t have, neither on timing nor would I have used the words and imagery he used,” he said.
“But […] Ken Livingstone’s entire life has been spent fighting racism. In fact, he’d still be Labour mayor of London if he hadn’t gone so out on a limb to help ethnic minorities.”
Ken Livingstone campaigning to be Mayor of London, which he was from 2000 to 2008. He established anti-racism campaigns while in the capital (Rex Features)
While Mayor of London, Mr Livingstone launched anti-racism campaigns and spoke out against Islamophobia. He has been accused before of antisemitism.
Mr Galloway concluded that Sadiq Khan and John Mann were part of a “coup” to destabilise Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
“They’re trying to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn, there’s a slow motion coup. The real target is Jeremy Corbyn […]
“They will say with all this chaos, we can’t go on like this, we need a new leader.”
Mr Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party in 2003 over allegations of party disloyalty over the Iraq war, which he opposed.

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Judea Declares War Against Malia Bouattia

By Gilad Atzmon
Malia Bouattia has become the first Black Muslim president of the National Union of Students winning 50.9 per cent of the vote. The Jews are upset.  Bouattia won despite an orchestrated Jewish campaign against her. 50 Jewish student leaders wrote an open letter saying that they were “extremely concerned” by her views amid rising extremism and anti-Semitism on campus.

Bouattia has criticised “Zionist-led media outlets.” Jewish student leaders complained that in her prior role as a member of the NUS’s executive committee, Ms Bouattia blocked the Union from passing a motion condemning ISIS, calling it “Islamophobic.” If anything, this makes Bouattia a philo-Semite rather than an anti Semite.
British Jews have already declared war against young Muslim Bouattia. Jonathan Arkush, the President of theBOD (Board of Deputies of British Jews) a body that claims to represent British Jews said: “We are deeply concerned by the failure of new NUS president Malia Bouattia to satisfactorily clarify past remarks and associations.”
The Zionist Federation’s chairman Paul Charney said her election is “a deeply challenging day for Jewish students.”
Israel advocacy group StandWithUs said Bouattia’s previous comments were “dangerous and inflammatory” and “echo traditional and pernicious anti-Semitism.” Good to know that when an Israeli advocacy group crudely interferes in British students affairs they do so openly.
Why are British Jewish institutions at the forefront of a battle against a single democratically elected Black Muslim? This is exactly what we would expect from a bigoted and racist society. Those Jews who subscribe to choseness, and many Jews do, believe that Jews and their political institutions are beyond criticism. To them, a “Jew hater” is anyone who interferes with Jewish exceptionalism. Another example that, in the Jews’ eyes, an anti Semite is anyone the Jews hate.
But there is good news. In spite of an intensive campaign against Bouattia by Jewish institutions, the young Muslim won the trust of the voters. It turns out that British society is much more tolerant than the Zionist bodies want it to be. I would advise Jewish institutions to back off.  The vote for Bouattia despite the ugly Jewish campaign is a clear sign of public fatigue of aggressive Jewish politics. If Jews are genuinely afraid of anti Semitism, they should consider not provoking it.

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Obama Announces More Special Forces Troops To Syria, Escalates Existing Policy

obama syria
In yet another sign of obvious Western escalation in the war against Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Monday that an additional 250 American military personnel will be deployed to Syria under the guise of defeating ISIS.
In his speech at Hannover, Germany, Obama stated:
Just as I approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL, I’ve decided to increase U.S. support for local forces fighting ISIL in Syria, a small number of special operations forces are already on the ground in Syria and their expertise has been critical as local forces have driven ISIL out of key areas.
So given their success I’ve approved the deployment of up to 250 additional U.S. personnel in Syria including special forces to keep up this momentum.
Obama made a point to state that the troops will not be “leading the fight on the ground” but will be engaged in “training” and providing “assistance” to local forces.
 Obama also restated the U.S. position that “Assad must go” when he said, “Just as we remain relentless on the military front we’re not going to give up on diplomacy to end the civil war in Syria because the suffering of the people in Syria has to end and that requires an effective political transition.”
The troops will be expanding the ongoing U.S. effort to bring more Syrian Arab fighters into units the U.S. supports in northern Syria that have largely been manned by the Kurds, an official told CNN earlier.
The plan calls for the additional U.S. forces to “advise and assist” forces in the area whom the U.S. hopes may eventually grow strong enough to take back territory around Raqqa, Syria, where ISIS is based.
These troops are not expected to engage in combat operations or to participate in target-to-kill teams but will be armed to defend themselves, one official said.
. . . . .
The official said the President was persuaded to take this additional step because of recent successes against ISIS.
What these statements mean, of course, is that the United States is deploying troops to better assist, train, and organize the terrorists on the ground who are fighting Assad and the Syrian military. After all, these “fighters that the U.S. supports” are nothing more than ISIS, al-Qaeda, FSA, Nusra, and other numerous groups and groupiscules that are ideologically identical to one another and whose only real tangible difference is the names they themselves.
Not only that, any talk of “recent successes against ISIS” is clearly not the successes of the United States, NATO, or the anti-Syria coalition. They are the successes of Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia. Indeed, the latter forces have achieved in weeks what the former could not achieve in over a year (ten years according to the U.S.), a true testament to what can be achieved when one actually targets the terrorist organization as opposed to supporting it.
Still, it is important to point out that, regardless of Obama’s recent announcement, U.S. Special Forces have been present in Syria for quite some time, with NATO member Special Forces known publicly even earlier.
In October, 2015, it was announced by the White House that 50 Special Forces troops would be sent to Syria. This announcement came days after it was reported that U.S. Special Forces commandos were working with Kurdish forces to “free prisoners of the Islamic State” in Syria. Later, the presence of U.S. Special Forces in Syria was tacitly acknowledged in 2015 when the U.S. took credit for the killing of Abu Sayyaf.
Reports circulated in October, 2014 that U.S. soldiers and Special Forces troops were fighting alongside Kurdish battalions in Kobane. An article by Christof Lehmann published in March 20, 2015 stated,
Evidence about the presence of U.S. special forces in the Syrian town Ayn al-Arab a.k.a. Kobani emerged. Troops are guiding U.S. airstrikes as part of U.S support for the Kurdish separatist group PYD and the long-established plan to establish a Kurdish corridor.
A photo taken in Ayn al-Arab shows three U.S. soldiers. One of them “Peter” is carrying a Bushnell laser rangefinder, an instrument designed to mark targets for U.S. jets, reports Ceyhun Bozkurt for Aydinlik Daily.
The photo substantiated previous BBC interviews with U.S. soldiers who are fighting alongside the Kurdish separatist group PYD in Syria.
The photo of the three U.S. troopers also substantiates a statement by PYD spokesman Polat Can from October 14, 2014, reports Aydinlik Daily. Can admitted that a special unit in Kobani provides Kurdish fighters with the coordinates of targets which then would be relayed to “coalition forces”.
The first public U.S. Special Forces raid in Syria took place in July, 2014 when Delta Force personnel allegedly attempted to rescue several Americans being held by ISIS near Raqqa. Allegedly, the soldiers stormed the facility but the terrorists had already moved the hostages. While the raid would provide evidence that U.S. Special Forces were operating in Syria in 2014, many researchers believe the story is simply fabricated by the White House to provide legitimacy to the stories of murdered hostages and thus the subsequent pro-war propagandathat ensued as well as to promote the gradual acceptance of U.S. troops on the ground in Syria.
In 2012, an article published in the Daily Star by Deborah Sherwood revealed that SAS Special Forces and MI6 agents were operating inside Syria shortly after the destabilization campaign began in earnest. Sherwood writes,
Special Forces will help ­protect the refugees in Syria along the borders.
Last week as the president ignored an international ceasefire, plans were being finalised to ­rescue thousands of Syrians.
SAS troops and MI6 agents are in the country ready to help rebels if civil war breaks out as ­expected this weekend.
They also have ­hi-tech satellite computers and radios that can instantly send back photos and details of refugees and ­Assad’s forces as the situation develops.
Whitehall sources say it is vital they can see what is ­happening on the ground for ­themselves so Assad cannot deny atrocities or battles.
And if civil war breaks out the crack troops are on hand to help with fighting, said the ­insider.
. . . . .
“Safe havens would be an invasion of Syria but a chance to save lives,” said a senior Whitehall source.
“The SAS will throw an armed screen round these areas that can be set up within hours.
“There are guys in the communications unit who are signallers that can go right up front and get ­involved in close-quarter fighting.”
In addition, in March 2012, it was reported by Lebanon’s Daily Starthat 13 French intelligence agents had been captured by the Syrian government, proving not only that Western Special Ops presence in Syria did, in fact, exist but also that it existed essentially from the start.
Thus, the presence of NATO Special Forces and U.S. Special Forces specifically are nothing new at all. Obama’s announcement is simply the advertisement of a policy that is gradually escalating in regards to Syria and, as a result, threatens to provoke a direct confrontation between the United States and Russia.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutionsand Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at)
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