Saturday 18 February 2012

Will the Islamic Republic support the “Sacred Palestinian Resistance” in Lebanon?

Franklin Lamb
Shatila Camp
"Grand Ayatollah said no one doubted the sincerity of Mr. Haniyeh
and his fellow combatants in continuing resistance and,
pointing to the destiny of Yasser Arafat who was once a popular leader,
adding that Arafat lost his position with regional nations because he
deviated from the path of resistance."
 “My friends and I like Iran. Maybe they will ask their friends in Lebanon to help baba (daddy) to be allowed to work and our family allowed to own a home outside the camps.” Hanadi, a precocious youngster at Shatila Camp’s Shabiba center on learning last week from her teacher that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warmly welcomed Palestinian leaders to Tehran during the 33rd anniversary celebrations of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and that both committed Iran to a “religious and moral duty to alleviate the effects on Palestinian refugees of the Nakba’s ethnic cleansing.”
Around noon on Tuesday September 14, 1982, the day before Israel greenlite the launch of the three day Sabra-Shatila Massacre, two white vans pulled into Rue Sabra, diagonal from Akka Palestinian Hospital (PCRS), the main Shatila camp road.

Mrs. Halabi, a Palestinian teacher thought the four foreigners who exited the vehicles near the current Martyrs cemetery, were from a European NGO because the four men carried detailed maps of Shatila camp and she hoped that they might be assessing camp needs for an infrastructure project.
“Can you show us all the camp shelters?” she recalls one of the heavily accented men asking.
“Yes of course,” Mrs.Halabi replied and as the men followed her and took notes and photos, she explained that the shelters were too small to be of much use during “bombardments.”
“We understand”, said the apparent group leader, the only one their Palestinian guide recalls speaking during their visit, and then he added, “Why does this place smell so foul? Embarrassed by the question, Mrs. Halabi explained that "the sewers in Palestinian camps, especially Shatila and nearby Burj al Barajneh are always in need of repair.”

We now know that the “European NGO delegation’ members were in reality two Israeli intelligence agents accompanied by two Phalange intelligence operatives including their chief, Elie Hobeika. They arrived at Shatla camp for the purpose of identifying shelters where Palestinians would likely try to hide during the coming days.

And they succeeded.
It was to the 11 shelters inside and on the edge of Shatila camp that the first arriving Christian militiamen found their way through unfamiliar alleys and began their 46 hours of non-stop slaughter. With very few exceptions all of the hundreds of refugees who huddled into the identified shelters were among the first to be massacred.
The Mossad organized group was not the only ones to complain about the sewer gases from Shatila. For weeks the Israeli troops sharing with Hobeika’s troops the HQ west of the camp at the Kuwaiti Embassy also complained to journalists that when the wind came off the mountains to the east and swept thru the camp toward the sea behind them that they “could actually smell the Palestinian terrorists.”

30 years since the massacre at Sabra-Shatila, the camp sewer problem persists. When the wind blows eastward from the sea across Shatila camp the Hezbollah dominated Ghouberi Municipality offices located where the former Algerian Embassy stood in 1982 can smell the Shatila camp sewers just as the Israelis did three decades earlier. During the Sabra-Shatila massacre, the then Algerian Embassy gave sanctuary to refugees lucky enough to flee to the diplomatic compound which is about 50 meters from the eastern edge of Shatila camp. To do so the survivors had to dodge five Israeli tanks positioned along the airport road to in order to seal camp residents inside Shatila. Those who were caught were forced by Israel soldiers back into the death camp.

And those who today work to the east of Shatila in the Ghouberi Municipality offices and live nearby are not alone. If the wind happens to blow from north to south across Shatila camp and the Bir Hassan neighborhood it is the Iranian Embassy that receives the wafting foul air.
While the overwhelmed and broken camp sewers, lack of electricity, inadequate clean water, no heat in winter, no AC in summer, absence of sun light and fresh air, intense over-crowding-sometimes eight persons to a room, inadequate nutrition and health care, sky-rocketing respiratory diseases, high student dropout rates, increased drug usage, are among the seemingly endless problems in the 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and impact every life, every day, recent words of solidarity from Iran are much appreciated.
According to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Iran endorses the creation of a Palestinian state, regarding Israel as Palestine under occupation by the "Zionist regime". Iran rejects a Two state solution and considers that Palestine is indivisible and inseparable, probably reflecting a majority opinion today as support for Zionist Israel plummets globally.

“Iran does not expect anything except endurance from Palestine’s resistance,” Khamenei was quoted as telling a visiting delegation led by Hamas officials.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had a very successful visit to Lebanon, last year, repeated his call for a free referendum for the entire Palestinian population, including Arab citizens of Israel, to determine the type of government for the future Palestinian state. He reiterated that establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel would "never mean an endorsement of the Israeli occupation".

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told visiting Palestinians Iran would aid those suffering in the camps and spoke of “the need for Palestinian adherence to the basic principles of resistance as the key ingredient for their victory against Israel,” according to the official Iranian PRESS TV news agency.
Evolving PLO-Iranian Relations

Before the Iranian revolution there was no Palestinian embassy in Iran. The Shah was much more interested in maintaining good relations with Israel and the United States, than in the Palestinians or in the Arab-Israeli peace process. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) developed close ties with the Iranian opposition, training Iranian dissidents at PLO camps in Lebanon.
Arafat who was once a popular leader 
lost his position with regional nations
because he
deviated from the path of resistance."
The PLO backed the 1979 revolution, and several days after the revolution, PLO chief Yasser Arafat became the first Arab leader to visit Tehran to congratulate the country’s leadership on their success and he led a 58 member Palestinian delegation. The Iranian Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan hosted an official welcome ceremony for Arafat, where the keys to the former Israeli embassy were symbolically handed over to the PLO.

However, the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini while supporting the Palestinian cause did not warm much to Arafat. During an intense two-hour meeting on Feb. 18, 1979, the ayatollah criticized the PLO for what he considered its limited nationalist and pan-Arab agenda. He urged Arafat to model the PLO on the principles of the Islamic revolution. While Arafat was an observant Muslim, he told aides why he rejected some of the ideas of Khomeini. Arafat and Khomeini never met again.
As with most countries in the region, PLO Iranian relations fluctuated, sometimes dramatically. The Iran-PLO relations deteriorated fast when Arafat supported Iraq during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and again when Saadam invaded Kuwait. Iran condemned Arafat in 1988, after he recognized Israel, renounced terrorism, and called for peace talks with Israel. In 1989, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Arafat a “traitor and an idiot” and while the PLO maintained diplomatic relations with Tehran, Iran did not aid the PLO again until 2000.
Palestinian Refugee Camp of Rashidiyye
South of Lebanon,
open sewer in the middle of the street.
Figuratively speaking, will Iran help fix the sewers in Lebanon’s camps? And crucially, will the Iranian leadership ask their close Lebanese friends to enact the right to work and repeal the 2001 law that outlaws home ownership for Palestinians in Lebanon? Quite frankly, the absence of these very basic human rights in Lebanon negatively affects Palestinian lives day after day even more that the goal of liberating Al Aqsa on Temple Mount, however essential that is to achieve.
No right to work or home ownership please, they’re Palestinians!
“Miss International”, Zeinab al Hajj, born and raised in Shatila camp, regularly explains to visitors from Iran: “If we are allowed to work and own a home our capacity to engage in the liberation of Palestine will grow fast. As part of an economic middle class we could do more than scavenging to put bread on our table for our children. We will have the energy and more time to resist the Zionist occupation of our country. Currently we are so forlorn who among us has the energy to do more than just try to survive, not really live mind you, but try to survive and barely keep our families together.”
A bit more than words of solidarity are needed from Iranian friends of Palestine to help them escape the sewers in which they exist not far from where their Muslim sisters and brothers and all foreigners in Lebanon enjoy full civil rights.
During this 33 Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the 30th anniversary of the 1982 Massacre at Sabra-Shatila, for the Iranian government to give solid achievement to its words and to facilitate the right to work and to own a home for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon would require only the cost of one phone call or email from Tehran to Dahiyeh. 
Specifically a communication from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to Sayeed Hassan Nasrallah, Sec-Gen. of Hezbollah, to work for Parliament to meet its Lebanese Constitutionally mandated and its internationally required obligation. And they are to immediately grant the basic human right to legally work and to own a home to Lebanon’s quarter million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon just until they are able to return to their own country, Palestine.

 Franklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon. He is reachable c\o
He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon.
He contribute to Uprooted Palestinians Blog

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The one on the right , became a democracy-champion !

The Turkish Military-Junta
The Prince of Qatar
Al Kaeeda
The Royals of Ibn Saud
The NATO ( on behalf of the Mossad)
Hillary Clinton ( on behalf of the CIA)
The Muslim Brotherhood
The Salafis
The Lebanese-(fascists)-Forces
Abdul-Halim al Khaddaam (exiled-Syrian-ex-vice-president)
Dr. Rifaat Al Assad (exiled-uncle of the same president)
all ,want to install "democracy" in Syria....
and we are supposed to believe it !!
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Out of Control Violence in Libya - One Libyan in three wants return to authoritarian rule

by Stephen Lendman

My PhotoWherever NATO intervenes, massacres, mass destruction, and unspeakable horrors and human misery follow.
Once Africa’s most developed country, Libya today’s a ravaged, out-of-control charnel house. Tens of thousands died. Multiples more were injured, made homeless, and forcibly displaced.

Terror now stalks Libyans living in fear. Protracted conflict continues. Violence and instability rage. Expect no end for years. Washington’s-led NATO war is one of history’s great crimes. Colonization, occupation, plunder and exploitation were planned.

America got another bloodstained imperial trophy. Keeping it’s another matter. Green Resistance continues its liberating struggle.

Amnesty International’s (AI) New Report
Better late than never explaining NATO’s legacy. AI’s 2011 account misreported “The Battle for Libya.” It pointed fingers the wrong way. It blamed Gaddafi for NATO aggression. It falsely accused him of “kill(ing) and injur(ing) scores of unarmed protesters.”

It added “serious violations of international humanitarian law (IHL), including war crimes, and gross human rights violation, which point to the commission of crimes against humanity.”

Before Western-backed killer gangs arrived, Libya had peace and calm. AI blamed Gaddafi for their crimes. Its new report paints an entirely different picture, but still falls way short of truth and full disclosure. Titled, “Militias Threaten Hopes for New Libya,” it discusses pervasive violent lawlessness.
It doesn’t explain illegitimate National Transitional Council (NTC) authority or NATO’s illegal aggression against a nonbelligerent country. International law’s clear. AI knows it.

No nation may interfere in the internal affairs of another except in self-defense if attacked. NATO claimed responsibility to protect authority as Trojan Horse deception for war. Crimes of war and against humanity followed.

They continue out-of-control. NATO’s still involved. Thousands of US forces invaded to guard key oil facilities. Occasional air attacks occur. NATO warships occupy Libya’s ports. US, Italian, French, and perhaps other forces are involved. Reports from Misrata in January said Apache helicopters slaughtered rebel insurgents trying to scale Brega oil platforms.

Killer gangs rage out-of control. Frequent clashes kill civilians and rival insurgents. Militias control local areas and neighborhoods. Thousands of Gaddafi loyalists and Black African guest workers were murdered or held captive and tortured.

“Militias….continue to seize and detain people, outside any legal framework, and hold them in secret detention centers….” Thousands have no way to challenge out-of-control lawlessness or escape from brutal torture.
Detainees AI interviewed described their harrowing experience. They were:
  • suspended in contorted positions;beaten with whips, rifle butts, cables, plastic hoses, metal chains, bars, and wooden sticks;
  • electro-shocked with live wires and taser-like weapons;
  • burned; and
  • threatened with rape.
Medical reports confirmed their accounts. With rare exceptions, detainees aren’t tried or given access to lawyers. Several said they confessed to uncommitted crimes to end pain. Others were too scared to speak. NATO and NTC stooges know what’s going on and do nothing.

“(T)he NTC-led transitional government appears to have neither the authority nor the political will to rein in the militias. (They’re) unwilling to recognize the scale of militia abuses, at most acknowledging individual cases despite the mounting evidence of patterns of grave, widespread abuses in many parts of the country.”

As a result, ongoing torture and mistreatment continue. AI also exaggerated Gaddafi era crimes and ignored his mass public support. At the end, it was overwhelming, and today most Libyans yearn for him back.

NATO and illegitimate NTC officials spurn human rights and international law principles. Scheduled elections are cover for imperial occupation. Crimes of war and against humanity won’t be punished. As a result, they continue daily.

Dark-skinned Libyans are especially threatened. Thousands in Tawargha and elsewhere were forcibly displaced. They still can’t return, and their homes were looted and burned. As a result, those not held captive are in “poorly resourced” camps in Benghazi, Tripoli and elsewhere.

Many other Mshashiya and Qawalish tribe members, as well as Sirte, Bani Walid, and other residents, remain threatened by killer gangs. Revenge killings and other abuses continue. However, Green Resistance struggles to liberate Libya and restore Jamahiriya rule.

AI visited Libya in January and February 2012. Its researched focused in and around Tripoli, al-Zawiya, the Nafoussa Mountains, Misrata, Sirte and Benghazi.

They visited 11 detention centers in central and western Libya under insurgent gangs control. In at least 10, detainees were tortured and mistreated. AI interviewed them, those released, facility administrators, doctors and other hospital staff, relatives of people killed in custody, militia members, and NTC officials.

Exact numbers of detainees held and mistreated aren’t known. However, thousands remain imprisoned. ICRC representatives said they “visited over 8,500 detainees in about 60 places of detention.” Most were held in and around Tripoli and Misrata.

In February, NTC stooges held another 2,400. Nearly all current and former detainees AI interviewed said warrants didn’t authorize their arrests. They were extrajudicial and arbitrary. Self-appointed “judicial committees” function ad hoc. Defense lawyers aren’t present. Coercion, including torture and other severe treatment, force unjustified self-incrimination.

Many detainees said they were held at multiple locations. Some were secret. AI witnessed insurgents beating and threatening them, including some whose release were ordered.

One man said he was forced to lie on his back, hands and feet tied to the frame. “In this position, (he) was beaten with fists on (his) face. Then they beat me with a plastic hose on my feet.”

“Later, I had to turn around face-down and was tied to the bed. In that position, I was beaten again with a hose on my back and on the head. I was also subjected to electric shocks to various parts of my body including my left arm and chest.”

Others described similar experiences. Medical reports confirmed them. Since September 2011, AI confirmed at least 12 detainee deaths. Forensic evidence showed extreme abuse. NTC officials knew and do nothing, even when family members filed complaints.

Last September, they promised “to bring any armed groups under official authorities and (to) fully investigate any incidents brought to (their) attention.”

According to AI, “(t)his pledge has not been fulfilled. As long as defense lawyers and judicial authorities have no access to thousands of (detainees, they) remain held without trial or any means to challenge the legality of their detention….”

Moreover, extrajudicial killings occur. Investigations are announced but not conducted. Violence, impunity, and injustice continue. Libyans felt safe under Gaddafi. Occupation now terrorizes them.
Responsibility lies with NATO’s killing machine, puppet NTC stooges, and recruited killer gangs.
Today’s Libya is charnel house hell. It’s the same wherever NATO intervenes. Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, and other victims know its horrors. As a result, their liberating struggles continue.

One Libyan in three wants return to authoritarian rule

Alistair Dawber
Almost a year after the start of the Libyan uprising that led to the ousting and killing of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, new research suggests more than a third of its citizens would rather return to being ruled by a strongman than embrace democracy.

Despite thousands of deaths in the revolt against Colonel Gaddafi's 40-year rule, fewer than a third of Libyans would welcome democracy, according to the study published by the Institute of Human Sciences, at the University of Oxford, and Oxford Research International.

Libya is traditionally a tribal society and there are concerns that the vacuum created by Colonel Gaddafi's removal in October could lead to clashes between the factions that toppled him. In recent weeks, medical and human-rights groups have complained that the situation in parts of country is getting out of control.

The deaths of 12 detainees who lost their lives after being tortured by the various militias running law and order in towns and cities across country are documented in an Amnesty International report released today. The study follows last month's decision by Médecins sans Frontières to halt operations in Misrata after being asked by officials to treat prisoners midway through torture sessions, allowing authorities to abuse the victims again.

Still, the survey found 35 per cent would still like a strong leader in five years' time, although more than two-thirds wanted some say in future governance.

"Although there appears to be a push for an early election, the population seems to be happy with the National Transitional Council [NTC]," Christoph Sahm, director of Oxford Research International, said.

"Perhaps more significantly, Libyan people have not yet developed trust towards political parties, preferring a return of one-man rule. Yet they have also resoundingly said they want a say in how their country is run, which suggests Libyans who have had autocratic rule for decades lack the knowledge of how a democracy works and need more awareness of the alternatives to autocratic government."
While trust in the NTC will be welcomed by Western backers - 81 per cent of Libyans expressed faith in the new administration that helped defeat Colonel Gaddafi - 16 per cent said they were ready to resort to violence for political ends.
Tortured: Abdellatif Mohamed Iyad Zbaida shows off his foot after
 he allegedly abused the militia groups in captivity.
Another person in the prison camp in Misratah show their
 wounds after he was allegedly beaten with whips and various cables.

Photo: Amnesty International
The figures are borne out by the Amnesty report, 'Militias threaten hopes for new Libya,' which points to evidence of war crimes being committed against Gaddafi loyalists. Its authors found that torture or ill-treatment was being perpetrated in 10 out of 11 detention centres they visited, with several prisoners saying they had offered false confessions to rape and other offences simply to end their ordeal.
The bodies of the 12 men who died were covered in bruises, wounds and cuts, Amnesty said, and some had fingernails and toenails pulled out.

"Militias in Libya are largely out of control and the blanket impunity they enjoy only encourages further abuses and perpetuates instability and insecurity," said Amnesty's Donatella Rovera. ""Militias with a record of abuse of detainees should simply not be allowed to hold anyone and all detainees should be immediately transferred to authorised detention facilities under the control of the National Transitional Council."
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Sayyed Nasrallah: Israel Weak, Honoroble Revenge for Mughniyeh

Sara Taha Moughnieh
Hezbollah held on Thursday the “ceremony of loyalty to the martyr leaders” in Sayyed Al-Shohada complex in the Southern Suburb of Beirut.
After reciting verses from the Holy Quran, playing the nation anthem, Hezbollah’s anthem, and some revolutionary songs, Ragheb Harb, son of Sheikh Ragheb Harb made a statement.
Harb assured, during the event which Hezbollah holds yearly to renew its pledge of commitment to the path of the martyr leaders Sayyed Abbas Al-Moussawi, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, and Hajj Imad Mugniyeh, that “we thank Allah on daily basis because he chose for our fathers to be martyrs”, and vowed the stay on the path that those leaders drew.
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah appeared after that through a huge screen and delivered a speech which he began by expressing his condolences over the departure of Sayyed Abbas Al-Moussawi’s father who passed away Wednesday night.

The Martyr Leaders Established Firm Method for Resistance

After that, Sayyed Nasrallah spoke about the virtues of these leaders, considering that one of the common virtues among them was that “they where the establishers of this resistance and path… They had a major affect in stabilizing the bases, culture, and method of the resistance.”
“These leaders were able to stabilize this method, which Hezbollah still commits to, and this is one of the main reasons behind the firmness of this path… the firmness of its track, stances, alliances, vision and strategies,” he said, adding that “by the blessings of those martyr leaders, by their lives, words, acts, jihad, resistance, blood and martyrdom, the resistance was firmly established.”
“Therefore, God willing, you see that the resistance, and after 30 years of its establishment, is still strong, solid, firm, clear and certain.”
“This is why all the stances we take are not based on our tempers, emotions, worries, or personal benefits… but rather on the good of the nation, country and people whom we are defending their freedom, dignity, and independence, and whom we are part of. At the head of this method is our stance from the Zionist project in the region… We specify this stance based on our humanitarian, moral, ideological, patriotic, and national belonging, and then we take action against this offensive project,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained.

He continued: “The dangerousness of the Zionist project which Israel embodies in this region involves the entire nation, and when we take our stance from it, it is first because this project is occupying Palestine, the Muslim and Christian sanctities in Palestine, is working on Judaizing Al-Quds, and is oppressing the Palestinian people, and second because it is a danger to all the countries in the region.”
Sayyed Nasrallah considered that “in the past 60 years, some regimes and governments in the Arab world have colluded with the West on the account of Palestine and the nation’s benefits, and worked on keeping and strengthening this entity, which made the nation lose the hope of triumphing over it… these regimes where very truthful and loyal to America and Israel, and made all their efforts to implement their project,” and stressed that “the enemy admits now that Israel is no longer invincible.”
“…. On the other hand, there are regimes that took opposing stances and suffered dangers, sanctions, and great conspiracies. When I belong to this method and this cause… Is it fair to equalize between these two regimes? Regimes that made the impossible so that Israel remains, and others that made the impossible so that Palestine remains and the resistance triumphs?”

Israel Worried about Its Existence

Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that "we need this method to understand what is going on around us," and added: "the perspective we take in reading the regional situation begins with Israel, its actions, and the opportunities it waits for… Where is Israel regarding what is happening in the region, especially in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine?"
The Hezbollah secretary General indicated that "during the Herzliya conference, Barak said that the political and security challenges that Israel is facing are more crucial than those faced by the ancestors who established Israel… At a time when Israel is supposed to be moving towards more power, Israel is speaking about a danger threatening its existence as a result of the jihadi resistance and the resistance fighters' sacrifices."
He continued that "Netanyahu said after the withdrawal from Lebanon and from the Gaza Strip, and after the second Lebanese war, that Israel is no longer an invincible state… this was before the fall of Mubarak's regime and the US pull out from Iraq, so what is the case today? As they mourned Mubarak's fall… Iraq was a protector to Israel. Today Netanyahu says that Iraq has become an ally of Iran. The military power was basic for Israel, but the Gaza and Lebanon wars have proven that the aerial power is incapable of ending a battle, so is the land power."

"The basic element of the enemy's power is this nation's weakness," Sayyed Nasrallah added.
"The Israeli Mossad Chief Meir Dagan told reporters a few days ago that “Hezbollah has of the rockets and arms strength what 90% of the countries in the world don't have," his eminence said, adding "God knows if this is true or not. But it is enough for Israel to believe that the Lebanese resistance has this much power, to prevent any aggression and protect the country.”

On the other hand, Sayyed Nasrallah considered that "Israel sees an opportunity in Egypt," and addressed the Egyptian people saying that "in every riot, crisis, or sectarian incitement in Egypt, search for the Israeli and the American, and so is the case in Iraq after the US failed to stay there."

"They also have a great opportunity in Syria, which is toppling the regime. Barak says that the leadership is not always between two choices, a good and a bad one. Sometimes it is before a bad and worse choice, and Israel sees that any regime is better than Al-Assad's regime…. Israel sees that amid the current strategic environment in the region, the only hope for Israel in order to change this reality is to topple the regime in Syria,” he added.

Sayyed Nasrallah asked the Arabs to think deeply about the reason behind the world's insistence to topple the Syrian regime.

"Isn't it weird how America, the West, the moderate Arab states as well as Al-Qaeda are all on one position in toppling the regime? Can anyone argue that the Syrian regime is not resistant? This regime did not submit to America and Israel and did not sell the resistance… There are some negative points in this regime, and its leadership are aware of them and is seeking reforms," he said.
His eminence further pointed out that “arms were blocked from Palestine and from the resistance in Lebanon, even though Lebanon got arms, but in Syria, the Arabs announce clearly that they finance and send arms so that the Syrians fight each other. Why is that? And for who’s benefit?”

Bahrainis First Arabs to Protest in Solidarity with Palestine

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah tackled the Bahraini situation. He asked: “If you want to follow your method, why aren’t you with the people in Bahrain? Based on our method, yes, we are with the people in Bahrain because they are supportive and committed to the Palestinian cause and to confronting the Zionist project. I remind you here that when the war on Gaza began, the people in Bahrain where the first in the Arab and Islamic world to go out and protest in solidarity with Gaza. The Bahraini people are ready to do anything for Palestine. And when they used to protest in support of Palestine and Al-Quds, they used to be fired at by the Bahraini authority.”
“If one day the Bahrainis got to elect their own government, you would find that it would be a government completely supportive to the Palestinian cause. As for the current regime there, we all know its stance and position from Israel. Yet, we find that the Bahrainis are left alone and the regime is being defended,” he added.
On another regional level, his eminence said that “today, in Palestine, Al-Quds, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and all the region, Israel’s major opportunity lies in spreading riot and incitements. Do we give Israel what it wants?”
“Of course, the Iranian advancement is a great worry for Israel, knowing that it is a peaceful one. But Israel observes Iran’s peaceful nuclear development on the military level on the long run…” he indicated, concluding the regional file by saying that “we should find a political solution on all the regional issues in order to frustrate any opportunity for Israel and prevent any sedition.”

Responding to March 14 Bloc’s Speech

Moving to the Lebanese file, Sayyed Nasrallah at first presented his condolences on the memory of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and his companions’ assassination, condemning such kind of assassinations.
He assured that any call for dialogue without preconditions is welcome and accepted, because usually in a national dialogue no part should impose conditions or opinions on another, but rather discuss all the points.
His eminence said he will respond to the speeches that “March 14” bloc leaders delivered during the ceremony they held on February 14 because they mainly focused on Hezbollah.
“Of course, if someone other than Dr. (Samir) Gaegae commented and counted the massacres it would have been better,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.
He pointed out that March 14 should have one measure in taking its stances and accused the group of igniting the situation in Syria and of sending arms and militants to the neighboring country.
“When one of our brothers was arrested in Egypt for the accusation of establishing a cell to topple the regime there, knowing that he was actually sending arms to the Gaza Strip, March 14 waged an attack on Hezbollah and accused it of dragging Lebanon into a crisis.”
Sayyed Nasrallah quoted Lebanese forces leader Samir Gaegae as saying then that “no party should allow itself to violate the laws of other countries, despite this party’s stance from the other countries.”
He asked: “Does Syria’s laws allow you and March 14 to send money and arms, and to incite the Syrians against one another?”
“If sending arms to the oppressed resistance fighters who are fighting the enemy of this nation was a condemned act, then how do you do the same thing in such a controversial case?”
Sayyed Nasrallah considered that March 14, which has always called for neutrality of stances even with Israel, did not act upon that in the Syrian issue.
He also pointed out that while Hezbollah is true about its source of finance, which is the Islamic Republic of Iran, March 14 has spent over 3 billion dollars in the past seven years and has not stated its source of finance.
“Why don’t you be honest with yourself, your people and the country and say your source? Where is all this money from and why are your receiving it?” His eminence wondered, indicating that “Iran did not give money to Hezbollah because it is a Lebanese political party, but because it is a resistance movement against the Israeli occupation… as for you, you are a political party, you have no relation with fighting Israel, so why are your receiving this money?”
Sayyed Nasrallah also assured that Hezbollah is clear about owning arms in order to defend the country and asked March 14 to admit that it also has arms.
He assured that “our only justification for our armament is that we use it for defending Lebanon and fighting the occupation, and not that we have it because other parties have it.”
Hezbollah secretary General also asked them: “Are you really convinced and are convincing people that the Arab Spring was the result of the “Cedar Revolution”?”
“The Arab Spring rose up against the regimes directed by Condoleezza Rice, Hilary Clinton and Jeffry Feltman. The same people who used to direct you in 2005 and still do. Before the fall of Husni Mubarak’s regime you all visited him one after the other,” he indicated, asking sarcastically: “And now you claim that you toppled Husni Mubarak’s regime?”
“If the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 and on Gaza in 2008 succeeded, if the US succeeded in hitting the Iraqi resistance, and the “New Middle East” that you were part of emerged, would there be an Arab Spring?” he continued, pointing out that this would have rather brought a harsh fall and winter to the Arab world.

Honorable Revenge for the Blood of Hajj Imad Mughniyeh

Regarding the blasts that fell in India, Georgia and Thailand, Sayyed Nasrallah assured that Hezbollah was not behind them.
He emphasized that “our revenge for the blood of Hajj Imad Mughniyeh is certain and it will not be against some Israeli diplomats or people… I tell you it would be shameful for Hezbollah to avenge its great jihadi leader's assassination by killing some people or diplomats.”
“Those who are in the circle of target know themselves, and take serious measures when they move in any place in the world. I tell them to stay like this, because as long as there is still one man, woman, or child in Hezbollah, the day will come when we will take an honorable revenge for Hajj Imad Mughniyeh,” his eminence stressed.
In conclusion, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah pointed out that some parts have drawn a negative future for the region and considered that Hezbollah will have to resort to Israel for help. He assured that this is shameful and reminded that Sheikh Ragheb Harb was killed because he refused to shake hands (with the Israeli).
“That is our sheikh…all our martyrs and leaders were martyred because this resistance refused to compromise despite all the offers.”
He recalled the tough situation Hezbollah passed through during the July war in 2006, stating that “all the world was against us, the Lebanese government was against us, most of the international media was against us, a part of the internal society was against us, and we were under bombardment… and I say that I never came close to understanding Imam Hussein, except until the first days of July war, when they told us that we have two options, either to be crushed or to surrender, and then I instantly remembered Imam Hussein’s stance in Karbala...”
“I tell you that the resistance will continue on this path, method and basics, and don’t be worried, because those who are worried and who are weak today are Israel and America.”
Source: Website Team

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How Iran Changed The World

Imagine this scenario: A developing nation decides to selectively share its precious natural resource, selling only to "friendly" countries and not "hostile" ones. Now imagine this is oil we're talking about and the nation in question is the Islamic Republic of Iran...

Early news reports on Wednesday claimed that Iran pre-empted European Union sanctions by turning off the oil spigot to six member-states: the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal.
The reports were premature. According to a highly-placed source in the country, Iran will only stop its oil supply to these nations if they fail to adopt new trading conditions:

1) signing 3 to 5-year contracts to import Iranian oil, with all agreements concluded prior to March 21, and
2) payment for the oil will no longer be accepted within 60-day cycles, as in the past, and must instead be honored immediately.

Negotiations are currently underway with all six nations. Iran, says the source, expects to cut oil supplies to at least two nations based on their current positions. These are likely to be Holland and France.

Meanwhile, the other four EU member-states are in dire financial straits. They are knee-deep in the kind of fiscal crisis that has no hope of resolution unless they exit the union and go back to banana republic basics. Yet, they found the time to sanction Iran over some convoluted American-Israeli theory that the Islamic Republic may one day decide to build a nuclear weapon. I am sure arm-twisting was involved – the kind that involves dollars for votes.

But I digress. This blog is really about ideas. And not just ideas, but really ridiculous ideas.

New World Order Jump-Started by Iran?

Alternative sources of oil will be found in a jiffy for these beleaguered EU economies. But this isn’t so much about a few barrels of the stuff that fuels the world’s engines.

The past few years have shown that there is no global financial leadership capable of pulling us back from the abyss. The US national debt hovers around the $15.3 Trillion mark. Its GDP in 2011 was just under $15 Trillion. You do the math – there is no fixing that one. The only next-big-thing coming out of that dead end will be the complete transformation of the current global economic order.

But how will that take place without leadership and clear direction? I'm betting hard that It will not come from the top, nor will it be directed. The new global economic order will be organic, regional and quite sudden.

What do I mean?

Imagine: Iran stops selling oil to the EU; China tells the US to take a hike on currency values; India starts trading in large quantities of rupees; Russia’s central bank becomes a depot for holding dollars that don’t need to pass through New York; the creation of a global payment messaging system competing with SWIFT. Now imagine that a combination of actions - triggered only by an attempt to circumvent some really very silly sanctions - can suddenly unleash some unexpected possibilities that were beyond the realm of imagination a mere few years ago.

Imagine the emergence, say, of regional economic hubs, powered by the currencies of the local hegemonic powers, where bartering natural resources, goods and services becomes as commonplace as transactions involving currency transfers. Because of the frailty inherent in dealing with these new local currencies and a bartering system, nations tend to trade most with those closest to them in geography and culture. Shocking? Maybe not. Sometimes it just takes a need for change...and a handy tipping point.

“This is not the time to fan the flames,” someone should have told the United States. “You and your pals are sitting in a jalopy tottering on the cliff’s edge – why risk making moves now?” they should have warned. “Be a little less arrogant,” would have been sage advice.

But Washington is absolutely, irrevocably, dangerously fixated on showing Iran who’s boss, and spends a good part of every day trying to tighten the screws around the Islamic Republic. For the most part, the US’s pursuit of this dubious objective has instead stripped it of the vital political tools it once wielded. No more UN Security Council resolutions, no more unscrutinized military adventures. The only thing left is the nefarious tentacles of the United States Department of Treasury and its financial weapons. “The new tools of imperialism,” as once US-friendly central banker in the Mideast bluntly put it to me.

I only hear shrill desperation when politicos now parrot the “sanctions are biting” line. Here’s a juicy tidbit for those rolling their eyes right now: Goldman Sachs – America’s premier investment bank and Wall-Street God – has identified the Islamic Republic as one of the “Next 11” growth drivers of the global economy after the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations. BRIC was a term coined by Goldman Sachs, if you recall, and boy, were they right about that one.

Thirty years of “biting” sanctions and sanctions “with teeth” have achieved the following: “Strong or improving growth conditions,” said Goldman Sachs just last year, “combined with favorable demographics, form the foundation of the N-11 growth story.” The investment bank, furthermore, estimates “a measurable increase in the N-11’s share of global GDP, from roughly 12% in the current decade to 17% in 2040-2049.”

It’s a bad global economy we are facing right now, but Goldman Sachs’ charts illustrate that Iran is still one of five nations in the N-11 pot whose “productivity and sustainability of growth” is above average.

Shrugging off Dollar Dominance

A British investment research firm wrote in January: “Sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran effectively restricts Iranian oil sales to barter contracts or to state-to-state agreements utilizing non-G8 currencies…It represents a major irritation to the Iranians, rather than a chokehold.”

The authors specify the Chinese Yuan as the non-G8 currency, but in the past few days that scenario has busted open with the addition of the Indian Rupee into the mix.

The new trade deal inked between Iran and India ensures Rupee payment for 45% of Iranian oil imports, with the balance remaining in Indian banks to pay for exports to the Islamic Republic. This achieves two important things that are an unintended consequence of US sanctions: firstly, it eliminates the Dollar as the trading currency (note that oil prices have traditionally been priced in US Dollars); secondly, it significantly accelerates economic integration between Iran and one of the four largest emerging economies in the world.

D.S. Rawat, head of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India, says of the agreement: “The potential of trade and economic relations between the two countries can touch the level of $30 billion by 2015 from the current level of $13.7 billion dollars in 2010-11."

There’s more. During the course of the past two weeks, Iran has purchased around 1.1 million tons of cereals and wheat from international markets – including products originating in Germany, Canada, Brazil and Australia - which it has paid for entirely in currencies other than the Dollar.

The US Dollar, which has been the international reserve currency for close to a century, is on its way out anyway. America’s huge balance of payments deficit has weakened US fundamentals and made investors wary. The downside of the Dollar’s changing status is that the Federal Reserve loses a lot of flexibility in managing its currency and the US economy. That does not bode well for keeping the US competitive against the BRIC nations and other emerging economies.

Iran Sanctions Biting the US Right Back?

It takes one solid idea, in a world desperately seeking them, to start the creaky shift to a new global order. Emerging economies have been nipping at the heels of the world’s governing bodies for decades, demanding entry into the hallowed halls of the UN Security Council’s permanent members; insisting on a seat at the main table at the IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization.

When European leaders went begging for scraps at the last G-20 meeting, the BRICs found their feet and yawned a collective “no.” It signaled a reversal of fortunes, that meeting, and the idea that they can forge their own path was born. The BRICs then announced their first joint foreign policy statement last November – on Syria, of all places. The idea matured.

But US/EU sanctions against Iran are giving the idea steam. One has to act when faced with a dilemma, after all – and that dilemma has been literally foisted in the faces of nonaligned countries the world around: “sanction Iran or else.”

Now they are just shrugging and finding ways around the maze of traps set up by the Department of Treasury. Why should they care much? What is the United States today but an unwieldy bully with few arrows left in its quiver?

This week the US is putting the screws on Belgian-based SWIFT. If you’ve ever wired money to another country, you have used SWIFT – it is essentially the messaging system between banks that alerts them to money transfers. The US wants to cut Iranian banks out of the SWIFT system, in effect making it practically impossible for anyone inside or outside Iran to send or receive funds.

Who knows what Iran will do if this comes to pass? It will probably just join non-aligned countries to create an alternative SWIFT, further undermining the western grip on global finance. Iran, after all, decided last year not to put up with the prospect of perpetual cyberwar with the west, and is forging ahead with plans to create a closed internet system for itself.

Each step the US and EU take to hinder Iran’s flexibility is countered with an innovative solution – one that includes more and more non-western players who are keen to craft a new global order. They used to worry about that kind of confrontation with the west, but the collapse of the current order has left few obstacles in their paths - and even offers incentives.

Like the proverbial finger in the dyke to block a leak…the water will always find another way out and possibly even bust open the dam. A warning to Washington: the burden of anxiety will always fall on the one who needs the dam most.

Sharmine Narwani is a commentary writer and political analyst covering the Middle East. You can follow her on twitter @snarwani.
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Al-Jafari: Resolution on Syria Biased, Non-Objective Breaching UN Credibility

Feb 17, 2012

NEW YORK, (SANA) - Syria's Permanent Envoy to the UN Bashar al-Jafari said that putting Syria's issue in the framework of three different items during 10 days to vote at the UN General Assembly stresses that Syria is being targeted in principle, not for any other reason, within a procedural stumble and clear violations committed in this regard.

"This measure poses a threat to the credibility of the General Assembly in dealing with important issues regarding the sovereignty of member states," al-Jafari added in a speech at a UNGA meeting on Syria Thursday .
He underlined that the draft resolution on Syria is distinctively biased and has no relation to what is happening in Syria, but those who submitted the draft rejected to insert any negotiable amendments to it, including the amendments which call on the opposition to move itself away from the armed groups.
"They intended not to hold the armed terrorist groups responsible for the attacks against the state institutions and civilians, or even a mere condemnation of those attacks including the suicide attacks that hit Damascus and Aleppo," al-Jafari said.
He stressed that the draft presenters deliberately ignored the serious reforms taken in Syria including the new draft constitution, adding that the draft adopted unbalanced resolutions issued by the Arab League which complicates the situation instead of solving it.
"Those resolutions violate the Syrian sovereignty guaranteed by the UN Charter and all international laws," the Syrian Envoy said, pointing out that it turns blind eye to the ongoing reforms in Syria and does not hold the armed terrorist groups accountable for the terrorist attacks carried out against the State and citizens.
The Permanent representative of Syria described the presented draft resolution as 'biased' , 'non-objective, and 'has nothing to do with the ongoing on the ground' in Syria, pointing out that the passing of such a resolution would but support the extremists and terrorists, complicate the situation and spread violence to the entire region instead of solving the crisis peacefully.
al-Jafari blasted the negative role played by the league of Arab States- a tool in the hands of US-western powers, in supporting the terrorist groups against the Syrian security and stability at the service of Israel as to control the Middle East, liquidate the Palestinian Cause, and swallow the occupied Arab territories.
Dr. al-Jafari underscored the Syrian determination to press ahead with the accelerated implementation of the defined all-out comprehensive reform, serious call on all to actively participate in the comprehensive national dialogue, and to continue protecting the Syrian People and their interests as well as the security and stability of Syria.
Dr. al-Jafari cast doubts over the real intentions of the countries which backed the draft resolution, adopted later on with 137 votes in favor, 12 against, and 17 abstentions, asserting that such countries are in fact launching concrete media and political war against Syria providing every logistic, financial and political support to the armed terrorist groups in Syria and not to mention the political cover provided internationally for these groups by these countries!
Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN reiterated last week that "Syria has the right to protect its citizens, combat terrorism and armed violence and put an end to them," asserting that "the Syrian leadership spared no effort in responding to legitimate reform demands and issued a reform program based on political plurality. Al-Jafari stressed Syria's commitment to the comprehensive reform process despite all attempts to thwart it through the ferocious campaign against Syria.
Al-Jafari, in his speech at the UN General Assembly today, said that the war launched by some international and regional powers against Syria aims at undermining Syria, and never for carrying out reforms in Syria, expressing Syria's delegation objection to the meeting of the UN General Assembly to discuss the report of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights about the situation of human rights in Syria, calling for cancelling the session as it constitutes "a substantial legal violation of the UN General Assembly's regulative procedures in this regard."
Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN said that the terrorists and those who support them seek to destroy the structure of Syria in order to spread the so-called creative chaos, addressing those involved in shedding the Syrian blood to stop conspiring against Syria and help Syria combat terrorism and carry out reforms.
"How can the UN combat terrorism while some of the UN member states fund and send terrorists to Syria," said al-Jafari, adding the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council are part of the problem and not of the solution.
al-Jafari added that Syria sacrificed thousands of innocent victims for the sake of restoring stability and security to its citizens.
He pointed out that the UN Human Rights Council based its report on unilateral misleading and fabricated media information, and not on '' the results on the ground, visits and discussions with the Syrian Government and the Syrian national Committee, created by the Syrian Government to investigate violations of human rights''.
The Permanent Representative of Syria to UN explained in his landmark speech some examples of the terrorist acts perpetrated by the armed terrorist groups in Syria, with particular focus at those perpetrated by al-Qaeda terrorism, citing some suicide attacks carried by al-Qaeda in Damascus and Aleppo, and some assassinations of Syrian intellectuals, scientists, and doctors by the armed terrorist groups.
"I say to all those involved in shedding the blood of the Syrian People: stop shedding the blood of the Syrian People, stop conspiring against Syria, help this People and the Syrian Government to combat terrorism and to meet the just demands of the Syrians for reforms,'' added al-Jafari reminding all present in the hall of the 2006 UN comprehensive Strategy for combating terrorism.
''How can the UN combat the terrorism of al-Qaeda, while some UN members finance, patron al-Qaeda and send fighters from al-Qaeda to carry out terrorist operations in Syria?'' wondered al-Jafari, lashing out at the UN General Assembly Chairman non-condemnation of the terrorist operations against the Syrians and at yesterday's Arab League decision to support the Syrian opposition of which some carry weapons and terrorist attacks against the Syrians.
"Those who took yesterday's decision in Cairo encourage terrorism in Syria, which is in contradiction with the UN Security Council resolution N. 1624 for the year 2005, prohibiting instigation for terrorism and terrorism financing,'' declared Dr. al-Jafari.
al-Jafari pointed out, for example, that some terrorist groups in the city of Homs, booby-trapped buildings and exploded them when security preservation personnel entered these buildings, not to mentions the tens of arbitrary killings, rape, kidnapping and mutilations of the Syrians by members of the terrorist armed groups.
The Permanent Representative of Syria to the UN reiterated its adherence to the all-out national dialogue as the right and sole way to go forward in the ongoing reforms, pointing out that the new Constitution of Syria to be put to popular referendum on February the 26th.
On his part, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, the Permanent representative of Russia to the UN asserted that the solution of the crisis in Syria necessitates respect for two basic principles: cessation of violence by all sides, and start of a political process led by the Syrians themselves.
Churkin, whose Country voted against the said resolution, underscored that the resolution does not meet the demands for the abovementioned two basic principles.
The Representatives of China, Democratic Republic of Korea, Venezuela and of Iran called for a peaceful political solution to the crisis in Syria in the interest of the Syrian People evading foreign interference, full respect to the sovereignty, and independence of Syria, and full respect to the right of self defense by the Government of Syria in the face of the armed terrorist groups.

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