Saturday, 7 January 2012

An Analysis of Events in Syria (2011)

By Kris Janssen
'US sacrifices ME people for its interests'
I studied 3 years, from 2002 till 2005, international relations and modern history of the Middle East in Cairo, Egypt. In the years following that period I travelled extensively through the Middle East and Northern Africa, the MENA-region, and as such I am able to make a comparison between Syria, which I visited 4 times, and other countries in the MENA-region.
When we focus on the situation in Egypt and Syria, we can see a huge difference between these two countries. The difference explained following is not just a difference between two countries but also serves as model to explain and understand the difference between two systems originating from a totally different ideological view and starting point.
Essential in understanding and analyzing the situation is the factor of poverty and social injustice. During my 3 years in Cairo and visits many MENA countries. I observed extreme poverty among a very large proportion of the population. Wealth in Egypt, clearly present, was and still is largely concentrated in the hands of very small and powerful elite. A political elite which in the same time is also the economical elite as the distinction between these two elites has totally blurred resulting in the political and economical power being in the hands of the same small elite. Aside from this powerful elite, the majority of the Egyptian people live in severe and even extreme poverty. 40 (forty!) percent of the Egyptian population lives under the poverty line as defined by the United Nations, meaning they have to live on less than 2 USD a day.
When we look into the Syrian situation, we see a totally different social environment. Syria has always avoided sharp social inequality and poverty by putting in place a whole set of mechanisms and tools to assure that generated wealth is distributed in a honest way, providing opportunities to every citizen willing to work, develop himself and contribute to society.
Examples of this mechanisms are high quality and almost free health care, education and housing facilities, coupled with progressive and social labor laws based on solidarity and justice. Syrian society has been build from the beginning on principles of solidarity, not exploitation as we witness in other countries in the same region.
Syria has achieved all this without being in the comfortable position of possessing huge natural resources, oil and gas, contrary to the Gulf countries. Syria has achieved everything by hard work and persistence, also in times of difficulty. When we talk about solidarity between Syrians, we should always remember that Syrian society has never been build upon fractional lines, be it religious or other. Someone’s background has never been an issue affecting participation in daily life. For example, the fact that someone comes from a Muslim or Christian family or that someone has Palestinian roots is not an issue in Syrian society.
People from all walks of life are freely mixing and helping each other. On the contrary, stressing ones background or explicitly asking after it is deemed inappropriate and even considered as a taboo. In this context, we have to know that the many Palestinian citizens living in Syria have always enjoyed full citizenship rights with everything connected to it (access to healthcare, education, passports,...) as they are considered 100% Syrian nationals. This contrasts strongly with the situation of the Palestinian communities in many other Arab countries.
Syrian society is based on a culture of mutual respect. Not on a culture of division, fanaticism or hatred whereby one population group is considered superior to another one as we witness, for example, in Saudi Arabia with the application of an extremely strict and intolerant Wahhabi ideology.
When we understand the way Syrian society functions, it becomes crystal clear that what is happening now, what we are witnessing today in Syria, has no internal causes but is fully linked to external manipulations and sabotage with the sole purpose to damage or even destroy Syria as a punishment for its policies of resistance, pan-Arab solidarity and anti-imperialism.
Let's get a little bit deeper into this. Since the Syrian revolution of 1963, when the Ba'th Party came to power, and especially since the Syrian Corrective Movement led by the late President Hafez al-Assad, Syria has always followed the path of pan-Arab solidarity . Examples of this are multiple. Syria has always supported the Palestinian cause, fully integrated the Palestinian people in Syrian society and struggled against Zionist aggression of which Syria is a victim itself (the Golan lands are occupied by Israel since 1967).
Syria has by all means supported Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war (1975 - 1990).
Syria morally supported Iran when the young Islamic Republic was attacked by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussain just a few months after its foundation, in 1979, a war which would last 8 years (1980 - 1988). This position was certainly not obvious and demonstrated a lot of courage as Syria, just as Iraq, is an Arab country and was heavily criticized by most other Arab countries, especially the Gulf countries, for its stances. Syria also condemned in the strongest way the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (August 1990) and actively contributed to the liberation of Kuwait but in the same time also condemned and predicted the terrible consequences of the U.S. led invasion of Iraq of March 2003. Following this invasion, Syria absorbed the majority of Iraqi refugees and provided about 1,5 million of them with safety and facilities as healthcare and education. Once again we should reiterate here that Syria is not a rich country blessed with huge amounts of natural resources.
Syrian policy has always been to be a bulwark against Western interference in Arab affairs. Syria's position has always been that Arab lands belong to the Arabs, Arab resources belong to the Arabs and Arab internal conflicts should be resolved in a brotherly manner by the Arabs themselves. I refer here to the noninterference of Syria in the conflict between Hamas and Fatah by not taking sides in this conflict but providing both sides with facilities and assistance to find and reach reconciliation by themselves. These policies and principles of pan-Arab solidarity, resistance and anti-imperialism, sustained by Syria during decades, have caused feelings of frustration and revenge by some Western super powers and their regional allies towards Syria. In the eyes of these super powers, Syria should be punished or even, if possible, destroyed. We should keep in mind that when mentioning "regional allies", we point towards certain puppet regimes whose policies are not at al supported by their own populations. A clear example of this is the friendly, even submissive, stance of the fallen Mubarak regime with regard to Israel, a stance despised and condemned by the Egyptian people.
I am convinced that the day Syria gives up its steadfast principles of the right to self-determination for the Arabs, and promises to bow to external pressure, the aggression against Syria and the Syrian people will almost immediately be lifted.
Belgian Researcher: What is happening in Syria is a consequence of external manipulation aiming to destroy the Syrian state and societyFurther evidence that what is taking place in Syria now is the result of external schemes and maneuvers can be observed by following the international media arena, referring hereby to international and national satellite channels as al-Jazeera, BBC World, CNN, al-Arabiya, etc... who are utilizing all possible means and techniques to fabricate false and disturbing stories and visual materials as to instigate the people and to bring a picture about Syria to the outside world which is totally in contradiction to reality and, by doing so, misleading the general public outside Syria, especially in Europe and the Unites States. Numerous examples of how these media organizations manipulate the truth by using pictures and other materials which have been shot in Tunisia, Libya or Egypt and introduce them in the Syrian context, after altering them with Photoshop or other montage techniques, are well known.
This disinformation campaign sharply highlights the existing double standards put in place when dealing with Syria. Where was Europe, the United States or the U.N. Security Council when Israel bombarded and destroyed the Lebanese infrastructure in 2006? Or when Israel bombarded and killed 1.500 and wounded more than 5.000 civilians during the Gaza war of December 2008 and January 2009? Where were the rest of the world and their same media organizations during the last 60 years of Zionist aggression against the Palestinians or its Arab neighbors? Why don't we hear almost nothing about the atrocities committed nowadays in the small Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain, home to the U.S. 5th fleet? Why don't we know about Saudi and other Gulf country military units, "invited" by the ruling clan, to invade the Kingdom and suppress in the most brutal way, in cooperation with the national army and with full knowledge and support of the Western states, the Bahraini population?
To return to the Syrian situation. Does this all mean that there are no legal demands to be made? Does this mean that all people asking for reforms are violent criminals? The answer is of course not. Some demands are just and right.
But the process of reforms, political and economical, started already more than ten years ago. No one can deny this. And the process is still going on in high gear. The government has taken far reaching measures to modernize the economy and to adapt it to a changed world order. But reform and transforming the civil society and economy takes time. Tackling problems as unemployment is a complicated process. Not only in Syria but also in the rest of the World. Also in Europe and the U.S.A unemployment figures remain high. No one can change this in a matter of weeks or months. Real reforms need years of implementing news mechanisms and continuously evaluating and adjusting them over time.
The democratization process in Syria went ahead with big leaps resulting in a vibrant domestic media landscape, openness and civil rights. Syria has a multiparty political system with the dominant role of the socialist Ba'th Party on the people's daily life strongly limited. Even the state of emergency, put in place a long time ago, has now been lifted. But reform and adventurism are two different things. Reforming a solid and proven course is something else as steering the country in an anarchic and chaotic, even violent course characterized by lawlessness and civil disrespect.
With all these economical and political reforms being implemented, what else do the Syrian people genuinely want, besides continuing on the same path of stability where cautiously crafted reforms benefit all? The Syrian people want to continue their daily life and contribute to the development of their country and, by doing so, building a prosperous future for this and future generations.
The Syrian people have nothing to do and want nothing to do with these small number of criminal gangs and thugs, paid with big money by foreign elements and governments, and provided with plenty of weapons and high tech utilities as satellite phones, to incite violence and terrorize the population with the ultimate goal of destroying the country and all the principles and values for which Syria stands. There are, unfortunately, a lot of governments, far away and nearby, who want to see Syria destroyed.
But ending with a positive note. I am sure that the Syrian people will overcome these disturbing times. Syria has been in difficult and challenging times before and has each time overcome its difficulties. One of the ingredients of its success has always been the solidarity between the Syrian people, especially in times of hardship and difficulties. The criminals and villains who are now leaving a trail of destruction behind will be brought to justice and held accountable by the Syrian people for their crimes and atrocities.
Kris Janssen
Antwerpen - Belgium
30­­­thof April 2011
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

I met Jesus today

Nahida the exiled Palestinian

I met Jesus today

His name was Palestinian

Issa… Jesus he was called

On the altar of “chosen-ness” he was crucified

Time and time and time again


His face was Palestinian

Olive, with a hint of agony


Years of torture fail to conceal the glow

The purity of his soul peeks through

The sparkle in his eyes invites you to dive in


His pain was Palestinian

The colour of his words

Grips your guts

And squeeze… squeeze … squeeze

Until you lose consciousness

You fall on your knees

Begging for forgiveness


His faith was Palestinian

“Their sadism too much to bear

In the street I waited for a car

No way out but to kill myself

Twilight hour the fall of night

The call to prayer woken my heart

Healing balsam caressed my soul

Maybe…. In this life… still…there is something I can do”


His heart was Palestinian

Carved with sorrow

Filled with love

Flames of rage and roars of thunder

Hound his torturer to his grave


His tears were Palestinian

His first crucifixion… he was only fourteen

On the second, he was nineteen

From then on

He was crucified every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year


His dignity was Palestinian

Anguished by his rapists

With his broken back he stood tall

His wounds run deep… his head held high

He saw the rainbow in the horizon

When all gave up he gave them hope


His smile was Palestinian

It has been said:

“To smile when confronted with most severe oppression

Is an act of Resistance


In unparalleled beauty” *

The smile of Issa

Was Palestinian


His resilience was Palestinian

“As he punched me in the face

I felt stronger

As he kicked me in the stomach

I felt stronger

As he slashed my arm

I felt stronger”, he said


His hope was Palestinian

Insha’Allah, ya rab, Alhamdulillah

Bouncy words sprinkled around

Buds of trust bloom and grow

His broad grin whiffs you to life

His nightmares close their eyes

His tales of horror lie to slumber

When all lost hope he saw a future

I saw Jesus today


* Quote by Jonathan Azaziah

The Ugly Face of the Muslim Brotherhood

"Egyptian brothers are not willing to link Egypt with Iran or Hezbollah, they don't want to be considered a part of resistance axis because it hurts their popularity"
Ibrahim Al-Masri, the secretary General of Al-jamaa al-islamiya, the lebanon's branch of MB.
(In deed it will hurt their relations with America.)

"The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is ready to respect the Treaty of peace with Israel "

Site editor

The USA Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Victoria us Noland declared that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt submitted to the United States guarantees to respect the Treaty of peace with Israel. " She told journalists "we have made commitments in this regard".
"We have for this subject guarantees by various parties and will continue to seek further guarantees in the future." Noland said that the United States is keen to point out that it expects "all political actors (in Egypt) to respect the international obligations of the Government of Egypt."
Last September, the influential Muslim Brotherhood asked  "review" of relations with the Israeli entity, without going so far as to demand the abolition of the Camp David Treaty for "peace" signed in 1979.

On the other hand. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said US Assistant Secretary of State for near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, who is currently in Cairo held a series of meetings on the third and final phase of legislative elections.

The Ugly Face of the Muslim Brotherhood

It is the season of the Muslim Brotherhood. They are now everywhere. Their rise is not spontaneous, of course.

Qatar is now officially sponsoring the emergence and promotion of the Muslim Brotherhood around the world. Qatar seems to have abandoned its Arab nationalist pretensions and settled instead on various trends and currents of Islamism (even the Taliban now has a base in Doha, Qatar).

In Egypt, the New York Times uncovered an intensive flirtatious relationship between the US government and the Ikhwan. But the newly found love is two-sided: varieties of Islamists from Tunisia to Palestine (exemplified by Hamas) are now sending signals of reassurance and moderation to the US and even Israel. Hamas is now (deceptively and in contradictory messages) expressing willingness to abandon armed struggle against Israeli occupation and to settle its aspirations for 22 percent of Palestine (Hamas is now officially following in the footsteps of Fatah – and Fatah was launched by individuals inspired by Ikhwan thinking).

It is now clear that the Ikhwan (and variants of them) will dominate the new political arena vacated by the ouster of a few Arab dictators. In Egypt, there is a competition between the Ikhwan (sponsored by Qatar) and the Salafites (sponsored by Saudi Arabia). They are, more than any other political current – or as much as the liberal right-wingers – willing to compromise with the remnants of the ousted regime and with US and Israel. The signs are evident now.

The Syrian Ikhwan, however, may become an extreme example of opportunism that has characterized the movement.
Muhammad Tayfur on the Left
I saw Muhammad Tayfur, the Deputy General Inspector of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood of Syria on MTV the other night. His discourse reveals much about the movement. Tayfur was pitted against Jubran Urayji of the SSNP (a pro-Syrian political party that does not express any disagreements with the Syrian regime). Urayji intended to expose the hypocrisy of the Muslim Brotherhood and he succeeded. He simply asked Tayfur about the Ikhwan’s plan to liberate the Golan Heights. Tayfur did not hesitate to give his answer. He said that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood believes in peaceful struggle to liberate the Golan Heights. Here, the hypocrisy of the long-standing Ikhwan’s stance is revealed. For years, the Ikhwan have been (rightly) mocking the stance of the Assad regime vis-à-vis the Golan: they have consistently criticized the inaction of the regime towards Israel and its unwavering willingness to negotiate peacefully with Israel.

So the Syrian Ikhwan now admit that they will settle for the same position of the Assad regime. It is now clear that they have no objections to the foreign policy of the regime toward the Arab-Israeli conflict (with the exception of support for Hezbollah and Hamas which the Ikhwan and their right-wing liberal allies would end promptly). After all those years, the Ikhwan now basically admit that they have no objections to the inaction by the regime on the Golan front. The Ikhwan would then continue the policy that basically relegates the plight of the people in the Israeli-occupied Golan to either divine intervention or to the US-dominated “international community.”

But Urayji was not satisfied: he wanted to embarrass Tayfur further. He asked him for the stance of the Ikhwan on Palestine. Tayfur mumbled some incomprehensible words before saying that the focus will be on internal matters, as if the state that occupies Palestine is different from the state that occupies the Golan Heights.

This is not the only sign of appeasement by the Ikhwan toward Israel. Rashid al-Ghannushi – who does not travel much – traveled all the way to the US to basically give a reassuring speech before an affiliate of the Zionist lobby. The Egyptian Ikhwan barely speak about Palestine anymore and the New York Times reported that officials of the movement pledged to US officials that they would respect the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

In Lebanon, al-Jemaah al-Islamiyah, were bought off by Saudi money and are now allies of the Lebanese Forces.

But this hypocrisy and political transformation of the Ikhwan (at least in their rhetoric) will come at a price. The Ikhwan probably assume that people won’t have a second voting chance to reassess their early political choices.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

The Wandering Jazzman... Jazz & politics

DateFriday, January 6, 2012 at 9:58PM AuthorGilad Atzmon
19th of January 2012
King and Queen pub , 1 Foley St W1
19:30 discussion and a concert

19th of January 2012. We will be playing at the King and Queen pub , 1 Foley St w1 . near to the bt/post office tower .GILAD ATZMON on saxophone , sean khan alto saxophone and mike edmonds on double bass, drums tba . 5 quid entry , 4 quid concessions . 8pm kick off . near to Goodge Street or Warren Street Tube . We had the great Jim Mullen last month at this intimate venue, and he was sensational. When ever Gilad plays something special always happens.

As an interesting addition Gilad will be having a debate before the gig (this is free),at 7.30pm, at the venue with MARK MOFFET (political activist, scientist and musician) with respect to Gilad's new book 'The Wandering Who', Mark has a number of interesting points which he feels need to be examined. This book has caused much controversy both here and the USA. In the book Gilad examines Jewish identity politics and its impact on both the Middle East (especially Palestine) and the West. The debate will be an attempt to examine both the pros and cons of the book in an impartial way and I would like to invite anyone interested in this to take part in the open debate, after the formal debate between Gilad and Mark. I must stress that anyone who is opposed to Gilad's views is very welcome and its important to 'grill' Gilad on any points raised in his book; I have spoken to Gilad about this and he wants an open debate so please take this opportunity.

Many thanks
Sean khan

Gilad Atzmon's New Book: The Wandering Who? A Study Of Zionist's global interests or
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Suicide Terrorist attack at al-Midan Quarter in Damascus, Causing Victims among Civilians and Law-Enforcement Forces


Jan 06, 2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA) - A terrorist explosion on Friday morning hit al-Midan neighborhood in Damascus, leading to the martyring of 26 and the injuring of 63 civilians and law-enforcement forces personnel
The explosion took place near Hassan al-Hakeem Basic Education School, an area that is crowded with residents and passersby.

Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Mohammad al-Shaar said that a suicide bomber exploded himself around 10:55 am targeting a traffic place crowded with inhabitants, passersby and shops in order to kill the largest number of citizens.

Lt. Gen. al-Shaar added in statement to journalists that the initial death toll of the terrorist bombing reached 11 martyrs, most of them civilians, in addition to the remains of 15 unidentified people put in medical cases , and 63 injured, noting that investigations are going on to indentify all the martyrs.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement confirming the information provided by Minister al-Shaar and pointing out that the bombing also caused considerable material damage to nearby cars and buildings, including al-Midan Police Department, Hassan al-Hakeem Basic Education School and stores.

The statement said that the authorities immediately headed to the scene and collected evidence including samples, body parts and explosives residue which were sent to forensic labs to identify the terrorist and the owners of the unidentified body parts and determine the type of explosive used in the attack, with preliminary estimations suggest that it consisted of ten kilograms of high explosives.

The Ministry affirmed that the authorities initiated investigations to uncover the details of the attack and arrest the terrorists responsible, affirming that it will strike decisively against those who threaten the security of the country and citizens, and calling on citizens to do their part by providing information and reporting any suspicious activity.


For his part, Minister of Health D. Wael al-Halqi said in a press statement that the medical cadres in al-Mujtahid Hospital immediately rushed to the place of the terrorist bombing to transfer the martyrs and offer aid to the injured and were able to save many of them.

Assistant Regional Secretary of al-Baath Party Mohammad Saiid Bkheitan, Prime Minister Adel Safar and the Ministers of Information and Health visited the injured victims of the terrorist attack.

In a statement to journalists, Bkheitan said that what took place was a terrorist and criminal acts in all sense of the word, and that such a crime cannot be affiliated to any religion and that those who committed it have no goal or cause other than murdering innocents.

He affirmed that such terrorism will not dissuade Syrians from adhering to their goals and national unity nor will it terrorize them, stressing that Syria faced many challenges across history and that it will remain strong and emerge victorious thanks to the resilience and unity of its people.

In turn, Premier Safar said that the patience of the Syrian people and their ability to confront and remain steadfast will foil all conspiracies targeting Syria, stressing that the goal of this criminal acts isn't demanding reforms but rather it aims to undermine the resistant Syria.
He affirmed that Syria has made significant strides in reforms and will continue to implement them, adding that history will mark the sacrifices of the martyrs who fell in this attack.

This terrorist bombing is the third to hit the capital Damascus after twin terrorist attacks, less than a minute between them, targeted the State Security Directorate and another Security Branch in Damascus on December 23, 2011, marking an escalation in the terrorist attacks afflicting Syria at the hands of armed terrorist groups for more than nine months.

The two previous attacks, according to the investigations, were carried out by two suicide bombers with two booby-trapped cars, causing a death toll of 44 security and civilian martyrs and 166 wounded, the majority were civilians.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the modus operandi of the previous attacks and the selection of targeted areas (both of which are crowded in order to kill the biggest number of civilians possible) have the fingerprints of al-Qaeda all over them.

Najib al-Sayyed, a citizen, said that the Syrian people will never be defeated and always will be preserving their unity, security and stability whatever the terrorists tried to do to strike their national unity and fraternity.

Na'eem al-Omari directed a message to those who interfere in Syria's internal affairs, saying that the old colonialism and tutelage era has gone a long time ago and that the Syrian people made their decision to stand by the comprehensive reform program.

He stressed that the people, through their unity and rallying around their leadership, are capable to overcome ordeals and obstacles no matter how hard the elders of sedition tried to spread division through misleading media channels that support them in the incitement on shedding more Syrian blood.

Widad al-Rashed denounced this terrorist act, underlining that the plots will fail due to the will, consciousness and national cohesion of the Syrian people.

She said that we are the sons of thousands-year old civilization and we will not be deviated from continuing the march of reform process and defending our homeland.

The martyrs who fell in the terrorist attack will be escorted from al-Hasan Mosque in Midan to their final resting places in a popular and official procession on Saturday afternoon.

R. Raslan /H. Said / H. Sabbagh

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Although "Assassination Attempt" Wasn’t Circulated, Hariri Denies "Rumors"

Local Editor
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri late on Friday denied what he said was a “rumor” of a failed attempt to assassinate him in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The Lebanese haven’t even heard about the attempt to assassinate Hariri. However it seems that the man, who is active on Twitter, persists to reassure the Lebanese that he is still alive!
This indicated that the denial of the "rumor" was more circulated than the "rumor" it self.

“You might have heard the rumor about my so-called assassination in Riyadh. My presence here, now, is a natural denial of this lie,” Hariri said on his Twitter page.

“This is a political fabrication. Part of what they think is psychological warfare against us”, he added.

But Hariri didn’t mention the source of that “rumor”. He only stressed that this “psychological warfare doesn’t and will never work”.
Source: Websites

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Promoting War on Iran

By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 06 January 2012

My PhotoIn June 2009, a Brookings Institution report titled, "Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran" was a regime change policy paper. Pro-Israeli right-wing ideologues prepared it, including:
(1) Martin Indyk: former US ambassador to Israel, currently Brookings foreign policy director.

(2) Kenneth Pollack: Former CIA analyst and National Security Council staff member; current Council on Foreign Relations member and Brookings Saban Center for Middle East Policy research director.

(3) Michael O'Hanlon: Former Congressional Budget Office national security analyst, currently Brookings senior fellow for defense and military policy.

(4) Bruce Riedel: Former CIA counterterrorism specialist and assistant to the President and senior director for Near East Affairs on the National Security Council; current Brookings foreign policy senior fellow.

(5) Suzanne Maloney: Former State Department policy advisor, currently Brookings foreign policy senior fellow.

(6) Daniel Byman: Former 9/11 Commission staff member; currently Brookings Saban Center for Middle East Policy research director and Georgetown University security studies professor.
Report topics include:
  • military options for disarming Iran;
  • invasion;
  • air strikes;
  • allowing or encouraging an Israeli attack;
  • regime change; and
  • containment.
Its introduction stressed "the trouble with Iran," asking what should America do about it? It falsely claimed Iran's well along toward developing nuclear weapons. It also sited "Iranian mischief," including "support for terrorist groups," and its "wider efforts to overturn the regional status quo."

It claimed alleged "incontrovertible" evidence that "Iran has aided groups seeking to overthrow the governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain (and arguably Lebanon and Israel as well) at various times," but didn't reveal it.

In addition, it claimed alleged evidence shows "Iran may have encouraged (perhaps even ordered) various groups to mount attacks that have derailed (Israeli - Palestinian) peacemaking efforts."

It asked if Washington "should (be) willing to accept the Islamic Republic at all."

Active Image
Iran Air Flight 655                   
Iran hasn't attacked another country in over 200 years and threatens none now. However, Brookings called Tehran a threat to America, when, in fact, Washington very much threatens Iran, the region and other independent states worldwide.

Brookings ignoried America downing Iran Air 655 in July 1988 in Iranian air space, killing 290 passengers and crew on board. Instead, it falsely accused Tehran of attacking US Persian Gulf naval forces in 1987 and 1988.

In fact, an Iraqi missile struck the USS Stark in March 1987, and the USS Samuel B. Roberts struck an Iranian mine in April 1988 in waters it had no business being in.

Brookings stressed "ticking clock" urgency to act....(I)gnoring Iran is no long a realistic alternative (because) Iran('s) the bane of the United States in the Middle East."

Claiming its position doesn't "argue for one approach over another" dismisses its hawkish stance.

America's Media War on Iran

For months, media scoundrels promoted it. They headlined bogus accusations about Iran plotting to kill Saudi Arabia's US ambassador. They feature stories about Iran's alleged nuclear threat despite no corroborating evidence proving it.

On December 29, New York Times writer John Vinocur headlined, "Clock Ticking for West to Act on Iranian Nuclear Program," saying:

"The Iranian nuclear clock ticks faster and louder in 2012." Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak said they'll have nuclear weapons in nine months and move into a "zone of immunity" safe from attack.

London-based International Institute for Studies anti-proliferation director Mark Fitzpatrick agreed, calling it "a real possibility."

US defense secretary Panetta believes it in a year, saying (i)f we have to do it, we will deal with it." Perhaps he means an election year October surprise after another self-inflicted homeland terrorist attack blamed on Iran.

Instead of responsible reporting, Vanocur encouraged war. So do other MSM contributors in print and on air.

On December 29, a Times editorial headlined, "Iran and the Strait," saying:

Doing it will be countered. "A Fifth Fleet spokesman usefully reminded Iran this week that the Navy always stands 'ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation.' "

According to IAEA "inspectors, Iran has created computer models of nuclear explosions, conducted experiments on nuclear triggers and completed advanced research on a warhead that could be delivered by a medium-range missile."
Fact check

In November, outdated, forged, long ago discredited, and perhaps nonexistent documents were used to claim Iran's developing nuclear weapons.

During his tenure as IAEA director general (December 1, 1997 - November 30, 2009), Mohamed ElBaradei avoided anti-Iranian rhetoric and baseless charges. In fact, numerous times he denied a potential threat.

So do independent nuclear experts and America's Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community as recently as March 2011.

"Tehran's latest threat to block global oil shipping should leave no doubt about its recklessness and its contempt for international law. This is not a government any country should want to see acquire nuclear weapons."
Fact check

Truth isn't The Times' long suit. Baseless charges make headlines. Fingers are pointed the wrong way. America's appalling contempt for democracy, human and civil rights, international law and its own is ignored.

Times contributors dismiss issues of equity, justice, rule of law standards, and peace. Instead, they cheerlead US wars and promote new ones.

Presidential aspirant Ron Paul said sanctions aren't "an effective means to encourage a change of behavior in another country without war. However, sanctions and blockades are not only acts of war....they are most often the first step toward" it.

"Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes." No evidence suggests "Iran has diverted enriched uranium for the peaceful and lawful generation of power toward building a nuclear weapon."

"We should be clear about this: sanctions against Iran are definite steps toward a US attack" as they were against Iraq and Libya. Moreover, disrupting Iranian oil shipments will harm "global trade and undermine the US economy, which in turn harms our national security."

"This race to war against Iran and Syria is both foolhardy and dangerous."

Paul added that threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz is a plausible response without "weapons of mass destruction" to deter menaces.

In fact, Paul's record on war is mixed. He supported attacking Afghanistan, but called war on Libya "unconstitutional (and) a loss for our American Republic."

He opposed attacking Iraq because Congress illegally ceded authority to Bush. In addition, he claimed it gave UN members say over US foreign interventions.

He also said GHW Bush sought and received UN authority to attack Iraq in 1991 because UN Resolution 678 permitted "all necessary means," implying military force if others failed.

April Glaspie, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, on Capitol Hill in 1991. (
AP Photo)
In fact, US ambassador April Glaspie OK'd invading Kuwait to settle a border dispute over cross-drilling into Iraqi territory. A recent WikiLeaks release confirmed it: the Glaspie Memo known as 90BAGHDAD423.

Saddam was deceived. Iraqis paid dearly and still do. The combination of war, sanctions, more war and occupation destroyed the "cradle of civilization." Millions also died from war, post-war violence, disease, deep poverty, deprivation, a repressive pro-Western regime, and belligerent occupation.

Claiming Iran seeks nuclear weapons is a ruse. At issue is regime change to turn an independent state into a client one. Times writers, op-ed contributors, and editors know it but feature managed news and opinion, not truth and full disclosure.

So do other major media scoundrels.

On November 22, a Washington Post editorial headlined, "More half-measures from Obama administration on Iran," saying:

"By now it should be obvious that only regime change will stop the Iranian nuclear program. That means, at a minimum, the departure of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei...."
In other words, whatever it takes is OK, including war against another nonbelligerent state posing no threat.

On December 30, a Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined, "Iran's Hormuz Threat," saying:

"The US and Europe are at last mustering the gumption to target Iran's multibillion-dollar oil industry, and almost immediately Tehran is threatening to bring Persian Gulf tankers to a halt."

Around 40% of sea-borne oil passes through the strait or about 15.5 million barrels daily. Disrupting it, of course, affects all regional producers, including Iran. Catastrophic economic consequences would result, including skyrocketing oil prices. So would war by bringing America and Iran into direct confrontation.

"Iran's leaders are trying to see if they can intimidate (Washington) into backing down. The Western response should be to tighten sanctions further to show such tactics won't work."

"The episode is also a reminder (of Iran's) character and intentions....wholly in character for the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism." Disrupting Hormuz shipments should "be considered an act of war that would be met with a military response (against) Iran's military and nuclear assets, perhaps even its regime."
A Final Comment

Iran poses no belligerent or terrorist threat. In contrast, America, key NATO partners and Israel are global menaces.

Initiating war on Iran and/or Syria could be catastrophic, especially if nuclear weapons are used. Yet major media scoundrels promote it, mindless of the potential consequences.

Nonetheless, more war in 2012 is likely because Washington, Britain, France, and Israel want it, no matter the risks.
Perhaps a September or October surprise will become pretext to launch it. It wouldn't be the first time.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.           
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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