Saturday, 19 May 2012

Mindless Masses

by Dr. Paul J Balles
Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Living in America is becoming very difficult for anyone with a moral conscience, a sense of justice, or a lick of intelligence. –Paul Craig Roberts
“People without valid information are helpless, and that is where Western peoples are,” writes Paul Craig Roberts.
“The new tyranny is arising in the West, not in Russia and China. The danger to humanity is in the nuclear button briefcase in the Oval Office and in the brainwashed and militant Amerikan (sic) population, the most totally disinformed and ignorant people on earth.”
It’s well-worth following what Roberts has to say. He’s one of the most informed thinkers and writers in America.

Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He authored eight books and was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. His numerous academic appointments testify to his scholarship.

His experience and breadth of research provide the broad perspectives found in his articles. Roberts is a no-holds-barred writer.

He’s not a partisan writer. “If I had time to research my writings over the past 30 years, I could find examples of partisan articles in behalf of Republicans and against Democrats. However, political partisanship is not the corpus of my writings.”

Roberts has been a severe critic of the media, though he has contributed to the mainstream media like the Wall Street Journal.

He says, “Anyone who depends on print, TV, or right-wing talk radio media is totally misinformed. The Bush administration has achieved a de facto Ministry of Propaganda.”

Commenting on “Americans who rely on the totally corrupt corporate media have no idea what is happening anywhere on earth, much less at home.”

Focusing on Israel, Roberts ridicules the myth that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.
“In truth, Israel is a fascist state, one that has been in violation of international law and Christian morality during the entirety of its existence. Yet, in America Israel is a hallowed icon,” he observes.
”Like Bush, Cheney, and Obama, millions of American ‘Christians’ worship Israel and believe it is ‘God’s calling’ for Americans to die for Israel,” Roberts adds.

“Washington cannot exist without conflict. Now that the ‘Muslim threat’ is wearing thin, Washington is stirring up a conflict with China,” argues Roberts.

“China will be presented by Washington and its prostitute media, especially the New York Times, Washington Post, and Murdoch’s collection of whores, as the rising threat to America,” Roberts predicts.

“The US government relies on secret evidence in its cases against alleged terrorists, claiming that national security would be threatened if the evidence were revealed. This is abject nonsense,” concludes Roberts.

“To the contrary, not presenting evidence jeopardizes the security of each and every one of us. Once the government can convict defendants on the basis of secret evidence, even the concept of a fair trial will disappear.”

Roberts challenges mainstream dogma about 9/11:
Having bought the government’s 9/11 conspiracy theory, Americans just want someone to pay. They don’t care who as long as someone pays.
“No more humiliating affront has ever been suffered by a major power than the US suffered on 9/11,” Roberts recalls.

”Yet, absolutely no one, not even some lowly traffic controller, was scapegoated and held accountable for what is considered to be the most extraordinarily successful terrorist attack in human history, an attack so successful that it implies total negligence…”

Occasionally intelligent, well-founded but unpopular views can be found on the internet. Those who have missed Paul Craig Roberts should enjoy the benefit of an awakening, rising above the mindless masses through his wisdom.

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‘US Trying to Disperse Syrian Efforts to Chase Militants’

Local Editor

syria militantsUS intelligence experts doubted the United States’ denial over sending senior intelligence elements to Syria in attempt to facilitate the flow of weapons to the Syrian opposition funded by some Gulf States.

Those experts did not stop here, they also considered that Washington was propagating rumors about weapons smuggling, along Lebanon-Syrian and Turkey –Syria borders, in bid to disperse Damascus’ efforts in chasing armed groups.

Stratford Global intelligence Center confirmed on Thursday that the US has been arming the Syrian opposition with advanced military equipments.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that U.S. officials have given the green light for weapons, funded by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states as well as the United States, to be delivered to rebels in Syria.

According to the report, armaments including anti-tank weapons are making their way to the Syrian rebels and materiel is being stockpiled in Damascus, in Idlib near the Turkish border and in Zabadani on the Lebanese border. However, no U.S. troops or intelligence personnel were said to be in Syria.

stratfor logoStratford was commenting on the report as saying: “What is important about this is that it appeared in The Washington Post and would appear to originate with official sources in Washington.”

“It is impossible to believe that the United States has not sent intelligence personnel into Syria. The need to know what is happening on the ground and to make contact with the rebels is obviously crucial for Washington. Supplying weapons to rebels would also require such on-the-ground intelligence. It is possible that military personnel have not been deployed there, but if they were, Washington would deny it.”

“A peculiarity of the story is that it names the places where the weapons have been stockpiled. We assume that part of the story is false, as it will cause the Syrians to leave no stone unturned to find the weapons. It may be that the story itself was planted to drive the Syrians to tremendous wasted effort. This is a story that in general makes sense,” the center added as saying.

Source: Websites
19-05-2012 - 16:14 Last updated 19-05-2012 - 16:14

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On Nakba Day

15 May 2012

By Walid Khalidi

Palestinian Nakba Day. This date commemorates the end, on 15 May 1948, of the so-called “Mandate” over Palestine “granted” to Britain by the League of Nations (the UN’s predecessor) following the end of World War I.

The Mandate system, a form of imposed international trusteeship, was devised by the victorious powers, chiefly Britain and France, to give a veneer of legality to their post-war military occupation and rule over the former Middle Eastern Arab provinces of the defeated Ottoman Empire. Thus, while Britain obtained mandates over Iraq, Palestine, and Trans-Jordan, France obtained mandates over Syria and Lebanon. The main purpose of Britain’s mandate over Palestine was to give effect to a unilateral promise made by its government in 1917 (the Balfour Declaration, after the then British foreign secretary) to the World Zionist Organization (WZO) to establish “a Jewish National Home” in Palestine.

At the time of the Balfour Declaration, about 90 percent of the population of Palestine was Arab and about 10 percent Jewish. Needless to say the Palestine Arabs were never consulted about either the Balfour Declaration or the British mandate over their country.

Advancing from British-occupied Egypt, British forces had wrested Jerusalem from the Ottomans in December 1917. The period 1920-1948 saw the relentless growth of the Jewish National Home through massive Jewish immigration from Eastern and Central Europe under Britain’s imperial protection, despite increasingly desperate Palestinian protests and resistance.

Already by the mid-1940s the Zionist leadership, headed by the redoubtable David Ben-Gurion and drawing upon the support of the American Jewish community, felt strong enough to want Britain out of the way. With the Yishuv (1) highly militarized, it was confident that it could overcome any Arab opposition to turning the Jewish National Home into the Jewish state, which had been the WZO’s objective ever since the first Zionist Congress in 1897. Caught between the two contending parties in a conflict of its own making, Britain finally decided to turn “the problem” over to the UN, successor to the League of Nations.

In November 1947, thanks to massive US pressure on the UN member states, (1948 was an American Presidential election year), the UNGA recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state, with a special international regime (corpus separatum) for Jerusalem and its hinterland.

The UN partition plan, presented as a compromise between the two communities was anything but. It gave the Jewish population, which by then had artificially grown into about 30 percent of the population, over half (55 percent) of Palestine where Jews owned less than 8 percent of the land. It condemned hundreds of thousands of Palestinians within the UN-drawn boundaries to live in separation from their compatriots as a minority in the Jewish state-to-be.

The Jews were overjoyed, but the Palestinians were outraged at this dismemberment of their country and fragmentation of their society – a prolonged nightmare realized. Artfully the Zionist leaders represented their “acceptance” of partition as evidence of their readiness to “compromise” and to comply with the will of the international community.

Well before November 1947, David Ben-Gurion had already envisaged partition (i.e. a Jewish state in a part of Palestine) not only as an opportunity to “transfer” (i.e. expel) the Palestinians from the state to make way for Jewish immigrants from overseas, but also as a bridgehead to expand the state beyond its borders with the help of these immigrants (2). To achieve his geostrategic objectives, he had devoted the decade before November 1947 to building the military might of the Yishuv via the Haganah (and its striking force the Palmach) as well as to detailed military planning. The November 1947 UNGA partition resolution was the ultimate green-light for Ben-Gurion to go into action.

Ben-Gurion’s master plan for the military takeover of Palestine and the transfer of Palestinians in the wake of the 1947 UNGA’s resolution was known as “Plan Dalet” (3). British withdrawal from Palestine began soon after the resolution was passed. The vacuum created by this withdrawal was quickly filled by the Haganah, which carefully avoided clashing with the departing British. In early April 1948, Plan Dalet was put into operation. Within six weeks, such were the Zionist victories that Israeli statehood could be declared the day the Mandate officially ended, on 15 May 1948 – symbolically chosen by the Palestinians as Nakba Day.

By that time the Plan’s devastating impact on the civilian Palestinian population (hundreds of thousands had already abandoned their homes) was well in evidence. Indeed, but for this vast Palestinian exodus into the neighboring Arab countries generated by Plan Dalet (and the atrocities committed by the “dissident” terrorist gangs, Irgun and Stern), it is doubtful that the collective intervention on 15 May of the regular forces of the Arab League member states would have taken place following the departure of the British. But already this intervention was too little and too late.

As for nascent Israel’s “Davidian” status vis-a vis the Goliath of the “invading” Arab states, Ben Gurion provides eloquent testimony on it in his War Diary. Thus, on 24 May 1948, less than ten days after the Arab armies had entered those parts of Palestine allocated to the Arab state under the partition plan to preempt the advancing Jewish forces, David Ben-Gurion wrote (4):
Maklef [Carmeli brigade] should receive reinforcements. His job is to occupy South Lebanon after bombing Tyre, Sidon and Beirut from the air. We will also shell Beirut from the sea. Yigal [Alon] should hit Syria [Syrian army] at [Mishmar Haemek] from the East and the North. Our airforce must bomb and destroy Amman. The weak link in the Arab coalition is Lebanon because Muslim authority there is artificial, and easy to undermine. We must establish a Christian state with the Litani River as its southern border (5). We will form an alliance with it.
Once we destroy the power of the Arab Legion [the army of Trans-Jordan] we will destroy Tran-Jordan and Syria will then fall. If Egypt dares to continue fighting, we will bomb Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo. This is how we shall end this war and wind up our ancestors’ accounts with Egypt, Ashur and Aram….

-Walid Khalidi
General Secretary, Institute for Palestine Studies


(1) The Hebrew name of the Jewish community in Palestine during the British Mandate
(2) See David Ben-Gurion’s letter to his son Amos, 5 October 1937. [PDF]
(3) See Walid Khalidi “Plan Dalet Revisited” Journal of Palestine Studies Vol XIII, No. 1, #69 Autumn 1988 pp. 3-70.
(4) David Ben-Gurion Yoman Hamilhimah Malhimet Hatzm’ut 1947-1949 (War Diary; War of Independence 1947-1949), eds. Gershon Rivlin, Dr. Ilhanan Oren (Propagation of DBG’s Teachings’ Society, Ministry of Defence Press, Tel Aviv, 1984), p. 454 ff.
(5) This incorporates into Israel the predominantly Shiite region of South Lebanon.

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Lebanese authorities release brother of Qatari official inculpated with Al Qaeda's Mawlawi!


'Dpty. PM Abdallah bin Hamad Al Attiya'
... 'Sources Impeccables' say that Deputy PM Al Attiya's brother was apprehended along with Shadi Mawlawi (Al Attiya was Mawlawi's main 'benefactor') after Lebanon's DGSG (General Security) was tipped by a Jordanian operative at the behest of Langley. The Qataris are bending backward to have Al Attiya leave Lebanon ASAP, where he remains under house arrest (recently undergone a kidney transplant)
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Aoun: Internal Sides Cooperate with Foreign Conspirators against Lebanon

Head of the "Change and Reform Bloc" MP Michel Aoun stated that " Lebanon is suffering from many diseases that are very difficult to cure."

During a dinner organized by the doctor's association in the Free Patriotic Movement, Aoun highlighted that "since the year 1993, there is no Lebanese spending budget."

"There are tens of Billions lost," he said.
He further accused the Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and National Struggle Front Leader MP Walid Jumblatt of paralyzing the government's work.

"The three are behaving as though they are preparing themselves for a subversive war in Lebanon," he said.

Aoun listed three of the means that the "three officials use to paralyze the state: they crippled the political decision in the country, and this is one of the objectives of the subversive opposition that is seeking to be armed."

He also said that "they stopped the governmental spending... Moreover, they paralyzed the Lebanese Army."

On the security level, the head of the "Change and Reform" accused foreign countries cooperating with internal sides.

"We don't need to explain who were involved in the conspiracy against the country during 2006 "Israeli" aggression against Lebanon," he confirmed.

Aoun also recalled the failing conspiracies that they had planned against Lebanon during the fighting between the Lebanese Army and Fath al-Islam at Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in north Lebanon in 2007 and the May 7, 2008, incidents in Beirut.

"As their conspiracy reached our neighbors, they returned back to the Lebanese arena from within the government to paralyze the state," he emphasized.

The MP commented on the 2013 parliamentary elections:

Aoun said that "we should be able to secure at least 65 parliamentary seats; otherwise we will lose the polls. Thus, Lebanon will lose."

He confirmed that "the political camp that led Lebanon to its current situation should not be reelected," and noted that "the upcoming elections forms a historic Lebanese cross road."
Aoun reiterated support for an electoral law based on proportionality.

"If we had no choice, we would run in the polls under the present law," he stated.

The leader in the Lebanese majority stressed that "if it was imposed on us and we are not able to pass an electoral law based on proportionality, then we will run in the elections under the present law."
"We have a big chance to win," Aoun predicted.

Source: al-Intiqad, Translated and Edited by

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Aboul Fotouh, Sabahi Lead Egypt Abroad Elections

Local Editor

fotouh sabahiPartial results of Egypt expatriate elections showed the former member of Muslim Brotherhood, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh along with the Nasserist candidate, Hamdeen Sabahi in the lead.

According to a report published by Lebanese daily, as-Safir, of the 13 candidates, the contest was limited between five candidtates: the former head of the Arab League Amr Moussa, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq and the official candidate of Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Mursi, in addition to Aboul Fotouh and Sabahi.

The daily quoted media information as reporting that around 310,000 voters of the 586,000 who were registered to cast their ballots across the world in the vote which ended on Thursday.

Sources within foreign ministry said that Egyptian embassies and consulates had concluded the vote count, except the embassies in Riyadh, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Doha, in addition to the Egyptian consulate in Jeddah.

According to as-Safir, the partial results showed Aboul Fotouh in the lead with 14,600 votes. Sabahi gained 10,700 votes, while Moussa gained 9,700 votes.

The results also indicated that Mursi took 9,300 votes while Shafiq took 5,000 votes, knowing that several of the diplomatic missions haven’t announced yet the results in its countries, as the vote count is still taking place in some countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Officials within the diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia declared that the results would be announced by next Tuesday, adding that between 75,000 and 80,000 people had casted their ballots.

Meanwhile, according to the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi, Moussa was in the lead of the poll which took place in Lebanon, while Aboul Fotouh led the vote in Austria, Washington and the United Kingdom.

The daily also reported that Mursi was first in the poll which took place in Yemen and Sudan.

Source: Newspapers
19-05-2012 - 14:07 Last updated 19-05-2012 - 14:07

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Terrorist Explosion in Deir Ezzor claims lives of Nine Martyrs, Scores of injuries

DEIR EZZOR, (SANA)- A suicide terrorist blew himself up inside a booby-trapped car at Ghazi Ayash Masaken neighborhood in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, claiming the lives of nine martyrs, scores of injuries as well as big damages to the surrounding buildings.
Suicide Attack Hits Syria, 8 Martyrs, Scores of Injuries

A source in Deir Ezzor told SANA reporter that the suicide terrorist, driving a Hyundai booby-trapped car stormed the site of Military Constructions Institution ( MATAA ) at Ghazai Ayash Masaken, claiming the lives of 9 persons, between civilians and guards, as well as the injuring of scores of victims, some of them in critical condition.
The source added that the terrorist blast caused the rift to the 100- meter surrounding buildings and made a crater with 5-meter diameter and 2,5 depth, while the quantity of explosives was estimated at 1000 KG.
A team of the international observers inspected the site of the terrorist explosion.






H.Zain/ Mazen

Ki-moon: al-Qaeda Responsible for Two Suicide Car Bombs in Damascus

NEW YORK,UNITED NATIONS (SANA)_ U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he believed al Qaeda was responsible for two suicide car bombs at al-Qaza Zone in Damascus on May the 10th

...Read more

Infiltration Bids from Turkey and Lebanon Foiled, Terrorists Killed and Injured
IDLEB/ HOMS, (SANA)- The competent authorities on Saturday foiled and infiltration attempt of an armed terrorist group from the Turkish territories to Syria through al-Fawz village in Jisr al-Shugour area...Read more

Mansour Rejects Lebanon to Turn into Center for Smuggling Weapons To Syria BEIRUT, SANA_ Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour rejected Lebanon to be a base for smuggling weapons and insurgents into Syria....Read more

Russia Condemns Targeting the International Observers in Syria and the Opposition's Pursuit for Arming
MOSCOW, (SANA)- Russia on Friday expressed condemnation of the terrorist attempt that targeted the international observers in Syria, saying it was aimed at foiling the plan of the UN envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan...Read more
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Al-Khatib: US the Agreement’s Godfather, Sukaryeh: Resistance’s Victory Major Blow to Bets

Zeinab Essa

Because history is immortal and because the past infiltrates into our present, it is necessary to highlight some of the historic political moments.

Based on the Lebanese say that "black memories recall each other", 17 May was fated to enter the Lebanese black agenda of history.

May 17... US Prize to "Israel"

Time: 17 May 1983
1983 - May 25, 2000: Disgrace and pride

Location: Lebanon's Beach Hotel in Khaldeh, south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

Incident: The culmination of "Israeli" invasion, dubbed by the "Israelis" as "Peace for Galilee", was manifested between Lebanon and the Zionist entity. The Lebanese President, at that time, Amin Gemayel signed a so-called Peace Agreement with "Israel".

According to the former Lebanese MP Zahir al-Khatib, "the United States was the real sponsor of the treaty."

At that point, the godfather of the agreement, boasted in front of his visitors that all Arabs are with him.

former MP Najah Wakim
In a blatant speech to the opponents, including al-Khatib and his fellow MP Najah Wakim, Gemayel said:

"Are you crazy? This agreement was directly sponsored by the US President. The US Secretary of State gave this agreement more time than any other political issue."

"It won't be cancelled," he vowed.

Similarly, the "Loyalty to Resistance Bloc" MP, retired Brigadier Walid Sukaryeh stated that "May 17" agreement came as a US consolation prize for "Israel" to its invasion to Lebanon."
He further explained that "US needed Lebanon as a military base for its Rapid Deployment Troops and thus a political coup was needed to alter the country's face."

The Agreement of Shame

On the humiliating items of the treaty, al-Kahtib ruled out any Lebanese interest in the agreement.

In remarks to, the former MP reiterated that "at that moment, the treaty appeared as a choice between the bad and the worst."

He also clarified that "Gemayel, a parliamentary majority, and a Lebanese government tried to propagate their conviction that Lebanon isn't able to face the invincible "Israel"," and noted that "they were backed by the US, "Israel", the West, and Arab countries."

36 rounds of negotiations were sufficient for the Lebanese surrenders to approve the most humiliating treaty in the Lebanese history.

Not only did the agreement terminate the state of war between "Israel" and Lebanon, but also did it make Lebanon enter the "Israeli" era.

"Based on the agreement, "Israel" was to control every security and political joint in the Lebanese state," the former MP said, pointing out that "Israel" was granted the right to establish a security zone with along the Southern Lebanese borders."

Parts of the agreement remained secret between the Lebanese government and the "Israeli" government. "Basic rules of logic contradicted with the agreement that allowed "Israel" to preserve all its greed and interests," al-Kahatib stated.

"The agreement even secured "Israel's" wills in banning books and publications against it as well as to close opponent embassies to this entity," he added.

People's Will Failed Conspiracy

So, that what "Israel" sought. However, "Israel's" ambitions were faced by the Lebanese people's will. Hours after the announcement of the agreement, Beirut's Southern Suburb turned to a volcano of wrath in face of the Agreement of Shame. Thousands of protesters flooded into the streets. They screamed in rejection for the agreement. And the slogan "Down with the Agreement of Shame" penetrated all walls of political silence.

The popular movements intensified, coinciding with the growing movement of armed resistance against the "Israeli" occupier, the US presence, and Lebanese authorities' yielding.

From Imam Rida's mosque in Beer al-Abed, at the center of the Lebanese capital southern suburbs, the protesters set the first nail in the coffin of May 17, agreement.

MP Sukaryeh recalled that the army clashes between the Lebanese army and the protesters that led to the martyrdom of Mohammed Najdi (20 years) and the injury to 6 others and the arrest of dozens.

On the political level, a National Front backed by Syria was established. As a result, Lebanon was divided into two sides: a US-"Israeli" axis, and that of the resistance.
"The Intifada of February 6 and the National Front's control over the Lebanese mountain tightened the grip on the agreement," the former MP told our website. According to al-Khatib the front succeeded in proving that "when things are related to national topics, there are no spaces for compromises: You're either with the right of your people, or with interests of your enemy."

For his part, the retired General stressed that "the split within the Lebanese army, as well as bombing the US residence of US Marines in Lebanon declared the failure of agreement."

Lebanon Victorious with Resistance
9 months and 18 days was the age of the fetus that lived within the womb of the Lebanese authority that gave birth to a dead child. On March 5, 1984, the Lebanese parliament cancelled the treaty with the Zionist entity, declaring Lebanon's entrance in the resistance era.
18 years later, the Lebanese proved the rightness of their choice. On May 25, 2000, the "Israeli" withdrew from most of the Lebanese territories.

"Moreover, the "Israeli" defeat in 2006 aggression against Lebanon formed a major blow to all who might bet on the US and "Israel","Sukaryeh confirmed.
According to both Sukaryeh and al-Khatib, "there is no place today for such agreements with Lebanon."
For them, "Despite all "March14" attempts to link the country to the US-"Israeli" age, the strong Lebanon isn't to compromise on its sovereignty and independence."

The Lebanese resistance taught all who might bet on the "Israeli" enemy that their bets are a mirage: The Lebanese era of defeats had ended...Lebanon has entered that of victory.

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Netanyahu Says Iran Delays and Deceives in Atomic Talks

Local Editor

Iran is looking to deceive the world over its nuclear program in talks with the P5+1 group of world powers, the Zionist premier Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday after talks with Czech President Vaclav Klaus.

Czech Republic’s President Vaclav Klaus (R) welcomes Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Prague Castle in Prague. (Reuters)Speaking in Prague, Netanyahu says goal of upcoming negotiations should be freeze, removal of Iranian enrichment.

"It looks as though they see the talks as another opportunity to delay and deceive and buy time, pretty much as North Korea did for many years," he said, just days ahead of the next round of negotiations which are to take place in Baghdad on May 23.

"They might try to go from meeting-to-meeting with empty promises. They might agree to something in principle, but not implement it. They might even agree to implement something, but nothing that would actually derail their nuclear weapons program," Netanyahu said at a press conference in the Czech capital.

The P5+1 grouping of diplomats from permanent U.N. Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany held a first round of talks with Iran on April 14 in Istanbul and a second round is due to take place in Baghdad on May 23.

But Netanyahu and other top Zionist officials have repeatedly expressed skepticism that the talks would succeed in convincing Iran to abandon its nuclear program, which the Zionist entity and much of the West believes is a bid to develop atomic weapons -- a charge strongly denied by Tehran.

The ‘Israeli entity’ is reportedly concerned the upcoming talks could ultimately end with a deal that would allow Tehran to continue enriching uranium.

The entity of occupation widely considered the sole if nuclear power in the Middle East, has consistently warned a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to the Jewish state.

Source: AFP
18-05-2012 - 16:55 Last updated 19-05-2012 - 09:12

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'Don't blame Syria!'

'Don't blame Syria!'

'Protectors of the Sunnis!'
".... No surprise, then, that this week's Tripoli fighting has been reported as the inevitable progeny of the violence that has divided Syria and is now finally spilling over into Lebanon. The logic is not necessarily unsound, given Syria's historic tutelage, and given that Lebanon's political heavyweights – and, by extension, its people – are mortally divided over Bashar al-Assad. .... ....But with its complicated sectarian, political and ideological divides, blaming Syria for the deaths of at least nine and the wounding of more than 100 in Tripoli over the past week is to overlook more than three decades of resentment in Lebanon's second city, as well as the conditions that have allowed such rancour to foment.
......... As proxy battles continued to rage, northern leaders soon realised the advantage of maintaining well-equipped militias to keep Tripoli an unofficial war zone throughout the decades. At the end of the war, most militias were supposed to hand in their weapons. Few did, but fewer still kept their arms deployed in such close proximity to rival groups as occurred in Tripoli.
The resulting flare-ups have been carefully managed by sectarian leaders and have helped maintain the real reason why Tripoli is such a hotbed for hostility. For behind all of Syria's influence in Lebanon, and underneath a past of political manipulation, the true cause of Tripoli's violent present lies in the city's appalling neglect. The figures speak for themselves. Close to 40% of all Lebanon's poor live in Tripoli or the surrounding areas. More than half of Tripoli residents are classed as either "poor" or "extremely poor." Of those families who live in the trouble hotspots of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, 82% live on less than the equivalent of £336 per month. Illiteracy and unemployment rates in the city are way above the national average.....
That is not to say Tripoli has been forgotten by power holders in Beirut. Parties are more than happy to arm partisans in the area and encourage them to "defend" themselves against rival sects. Allowing poverty to continue to disrupt the lives of residents is the best way, apparently, to ensure militia loyalty. Leaders paint themselves as saviours to their supporters (who believe them) and pump in arms and vitriol to vulnerable areas to provide the semblance of security for poor groups...."
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