Saturday 9 June 2012

RAND Corp: ‘Sanctions against Iran are doomed’

America’s powerful pro-Israel think tank, RAND Research and Analysis Corporation, in its report ahead of the P5+1 and Iran meeting in Moscow – has claimed that the US and EU sanctions against Iran are harming the EU more than Iranian regime which the USrael desire to topple.

The EU is at its worst possible conditions to harm Iran. Countries are able to bypass economic sanctions,” says professor Keith Crane, Director of the Environment, Energy, and Economic Development program at the RAND. Dr. Crane also mentioned that big and numerous problems facing major banks have endangered the world monetary system, and thus the system cannot tolerate any more risks and pressures to be created by sanctioning one of the most important world oil producers.
RAND in its earlier report had warned the USrael of its “military option” against the Islamic Republic. It predicted that any attack by Israel or the US will convince Tehran the importance of nuclear arms as “deterrent” against the world-bullies.

Proponents of an Israeli military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities might believe that Israel could endure the short-term military and diplomatic fallout of such action, but the long-term consequences would likely be disastrous for Israel’s security. Those believed to favor a military option, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, argue that the Middle East with a nuclear-armed Iran would be far more dangerous than a military attack to prevent it. But their position rests on a faulty assumption that a future, post-attack Middle East would indeed be free of a nuclear-armed Iran. In fact, a post-attack Middle East may result in the worst of both worlds: a nuclear-armed Iran more determined than ever to challenge the Jewish state, and with far fewer regional and international impediments to doing so,” says the report authored by James Dobbins, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Alireza Nader and Frederic Wehrey.

Iranian president, Dr. Ahmadinejad, during his Beijing visit to attend the SCO summit accused major world powers of looking for ways to “find excuses and to waste time” in talk over Iran’s civilian nuclear program. Based on P5+1 and IAEA past record, Ahmadinejad was not optimistic of a compromise at the Moscow meeting.

Dr. David Morrison in his March 25, 2012 article, entitled ‘Some facts about Iran’s nuclear activities, wrote:

The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, has said that the possession of nuclear weapons is a major sin. The November 2011 report of the IAEA did not claim that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Inspite of all that, the Zionist regime which itself has nearly 400 nuclear bombs, with the help of its western-poodles – is trying to stop Iran of its ‘inalienable right’ to enrich uranium for its medical needs under NPT.
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Meteors in Skies Due to Russian Missile Test

Local Editor

Russian Topol MissileSuspicious illuminated objects appeared in the skies of Lebanon and the region Thursday night, where experts said they were meteor flares of unknown nature.
However, Russia has indicated Friday that its Strategic Missile Forces succeeded in Topol Ballistic missile test.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Vladimir Koval, noted that the missile has been launched from the experiment field southern the country and hit its target in Sarishagan field of Kazakhstan.
The sky of Norway had witnessed a Russian missile test three years ago, which painted a similar picture to the late one: Light, rotation, and dust disappears behind the light.
For its part, the Zionist enemy was the first to talk about the experiment of the Russian rocket, where the Haaretz newspaper quoted chairman of the ‘Israeli Space Committee’ that what happened was not caused by meteorites or crash of a satellite.
Comparison between 2009 and 2012 Russian missile testsThe Zionist Maariv daily has also confirmed that what happened in the skies of the region ws a missile fired from land, and passed over Lebanon and Syria towards the north-east of the Western Galilee. The rocket then went out of control and exploded.
“The smoke that followed was nothing but fuel for rockets,” the daily said.
This statement, however, was followed by political interpretations whether the incident was a Russian message or just a missile test.
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Al-Jazeera Broadcasts Video Showing Lebanese Abductees

Local Editor

lebanese visitorsDoha-based Channel, al-Jazeera broadcast a video on Saturday, showing the Lebanese visitors who were kidnapped last months in Syria.

The video, recorded on June 5 or 6, showed the 11 visitors seated in a room as each of them identified himself to the camera, and assured his family he was in a good health.

Toward the end of the video, a statement, written by the abductors, was shown on the screen, stating that the “guests will be handed over to the civil Syrian state after their case is reviewed by the new democratic parliament."

But the kidnappers, who identified themselves in the statement as "all of Syria's rebels," left open the possibility of negotiating the release of the Lebanese men they are holding.
"But given current circumstances, handing them over to neighbouring countries could be discussed," they said in the statement.

The visitors were kidnapped on May 22 in Aleppo province as they were returning home by bus from Iran. Women who were directly released by the abductors, said the visitors were kidnapped by the so-called “Free Syrian Army”.
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Queen Stands for Duty, Justice, but Do Her Ministers?

By Stuart Littlewood

The Queen's Jubilee generated a week of intensely loyal outpourings and a feast of pageantry.

What did this express? Loyalty to the Crown? Loyalty to the monarch? Loyalty to the flag? Loyalty to “this sceptred isle, this demi-paradise, this little world, this precious stone set in the silver sea”?

It doesn’t matter. Deep down the British people for the most part love the way this elderly lady has performed over the last 60 years, with such unstinting care to duty.

But I doubt if popular affection extends to Her Majesty's Government. Especially not to those of Her Majesty's ministers who seem more admiring of rogue regimes abroad than the motherland here... “this fortress built by Nature for herself against infection and the hand of war”.

Addressing an Israeli university audience a few months ago our Foreign Office minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, said:

"The world needs Israel’s values, of tolerance and justice... So be in no doubt, as we enter the turbulent waters of 2012 that your values are our values, your strength is our strength, your well-being is our well-being.”

It was straight out of Tel Aviv’s propaganda training manual. What possesses a minister in the Queen’s Government to utter such cringe-making claptrap then post it on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s website?

Burt went on:

"In 2012, we will step up our efforts to stop the Iranian attempt to acquire nuclear weapons. The UK is a leading force in the international campaign to stop the Iranian regime acquiring a nuclear weapon – and arresting a progress which is clearly not intended for purely peaceful purposes. We work closely with Israel on this issue, and it is an extremely important aspect of our bilateral relationship... We share Israel’s determination to prevent Iranian proliferation."

But where is his appetite to curb Israeli nuclear proliferation? While Iran has no nuclear weapons at all, Israel's arsenal of 200 to 400 warheads is obviously not for peaceful purposes and has long been the cause of aggravation in the region and beyond. As a consequence many feel Israel poses the biggest threat to world peace.

Neither Mr Burt nor his boss, foreign secretary William Hague, seems to have grasped that Israel hasn’t signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has. Let us recap...
  • Iran hasn’t any nuclear weapons, and the IAEA doesn't claim that it has.
  • Iran has no nuclear weapons programme, Israel does.
  • Iran’s nuclear facilities are open to IAEA inspection, Israel’s are not.
  • Iran is not in breach of any obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  • Indeed, the NPT gives Iran an “inalienable right” to uranium enrichment. Britain and the US and their allies are trying to rob Iran of that right by applying ferocious economic sanctions and threats of military action.
  • This warmongering stance by Britain, the US, Israel and others against a non-nuclear country that hasn’t waged a war of aggression within living memory breaches Article 2.4 of the UN Charter, which requires all UN member states to “refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”. Article 6 of the UN Charter provides for the expulsion of member states, like the US and Israel, that persistently violate Charter principles.
Pursuing its present line puts Britain on the wrong side of the law and exposes her people to the sort of retaliation such bully-boy tactics are likely to provoke.

Israel is a rogue state, which is contemptuous of its obligations and defiant of international law. Consider its crime-sheet.

It has been in military occupation of another people's country - the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan Heights - for 45 years.

After Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967 the Security Council passed resolution 252 requiring the annexation to be reversed. Israel’s repeated failure to comply resulted in further resolutions demanding the same, all ignored. UN members, including Israel, are obliged under Article 25 of the UN Charter "to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council", the UN’s highest body.

45 years of the military jackboot is bad enough but it is actually 64 years since Israelis pretended to accept the UN Partition and instead went on the rampage terrorizing and ethnically cleansing Palestinians at gunpoint in order to expand their already generous land allocation. The process continues to this day.

Israel has deposited more than 500,000 Jewish “settlers” on the territory it illegally occupies with the intention of making the occupation permanent.

Israel makes a regular habit of violating Security Council resolutions, being in breach of over 30 that require corrective action by Israel, dating back to 1967.

Not content with that, since 1967 Israel has been continually in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Its economic blockade of Gaza amounts to collective punishment contrary to Article 33. Its non-stop destruction of property in the Occupied Territories is in breach of Article 53. And its unceasing construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is in breach of Article 49.

Article 49 bans an Occupying Power from transferring its own civilian population into territory it occupies, yet Israel, far from removing the 500,000 squatters it has relocated there, continues to add to them. The Security Council’s resolution 446 of 1979 demanded that transfers ceased and the squatters were removed. Israel’s failure to comply resulted in further resolutions – 452 (1979) and 465 (1980). Israel has ignored them all.

As for Israel's nuclear threat, the Security Council's resolution 487 demanded that Israel open its secret nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA). Israel refused. Its nuclear activities remain cloaked in secrecy.

Hillary Clinton - In Profile: David CameronClinton. Obama, Hague, Cameron and the rest of Israel’s chums need to understand how ridiculous they look piling the pressure onto Iran regarding some imaginary future threat without first insisting Israel places its unsupervised nuclear activities, which constitute a real and present menace, under international safeguards. How can the European Union sensibly call on Iran to “engage seriously” in nuclear negotiations unless they prevail on Israel to do the same?

As for Israel’s claim to be democracy’s only champion in the Middle East, let’s remember that for 45 years Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have lived under Israeli military dictatorship. They have been denied democratic rights. Israel's record is therefore one of contempt for democracy rather than commitment to it.

Who on earth gave Her Majesty's ministers, and the 80 percent of the Conservative Party who are adoring Friends of Israel, permission to associate Britain with such hooligans?

Lest we forget...

This week is the 45th anniversary of Israel’s air-strikes on the American intelligence ship USS Liberty in international waters off the Sinai Peninsular – a “day of infamy” if ever there was one. The vessel, flying the American flag, was then torpedoed and attacked again by Israeli gunboats. 34 US seamen were killed and 171 wounded. A rescue mission by a US Sixth Fleet carrier was scandalously aborted by the White House, and attempts by Liberty’s survivors afterwards to raise the issue in the media or at any other level were squashed.

Have we forgotten how Israel will even knife its best friends in the back?

- Stuart Littlewood’s book Radio Free Palestine can now be read on the internet by visiting He contributed this article to
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Mazraat al-Qubeir People Tell of Horror and Armed Terrorist Groups' Crimes against them

Jun 08, 2012

HAMA, (SANA) – Several people from Mazraat al-Qubeir and Marzaf villages in Hama countryside narrated the horror and crimes which were committed by the armed terrorist groups against them, revealing the reality of the horrific crime which took place in their village last night as 9 citizens were killed with cold blood.

In phone calls with the Syrian TV, Abu Hawash, a citizen from Mazraat al-Qubeir village, said that armed terrorists who had RPG launchers and PKC machineguns stormed the area and attacked children and women, calling on the Syrian army and law-enforcement forces to protect them from the terrorists.

Another citizen denounced the bloody satellite channels which are counterfeiting the truth to serve their interests.

For his part, Abu Mohammad said an armed terrorist group infiltrated to Mazraat al-Qubeir and killed 9 citizens, adding that after the crime took place, the residents called the authorities to protect them.

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Expelling Diplomats undermines the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and needlessly endangers Americans

Franklin LambAl Manar

Graphics by Alex
Syrian armed groups take position near Qusayr, 15 km from the city of Homs, on May 10, 2012.

Syrian armed groups take position near Qusayr, 15 km from the city of Homs, on May 10, 2012.

The Houla massacre has whipped up a new wave of outrage at the claimed brutality of Syria’s government. Syrian envoys were kicked out of some western capitals, more financial sanctions slapped on the regime in Damascus, and more furious demands are being made for a regime change toppling Bashar al-Assad and more calls for military intervention issued.
The civilized world kicking out Syrian diplomats was to be the thin reed of straw that would certainly break the camel’s back in Damascus’ Presidential Palace.
However, expelling Syrian diplomats, who no one is even suggesting had anything to do with the massacre at Houla constitutes a politically cheap feel good knee jerk reaction to the horrific images from the slaughter at Houla. Certainly the images of chopped bodies and that of a precious baby with a pacifier in its mouth and a bullet hole in its temple reminded many of us of the My Lai, Sabra-Shatila, Srebrenica, and Ruwanda massacres to note just a few. Encouraging a global reaction, some in Washington vowed that the Obama doctrine and the right to protect (R2P) could not allow the Syrian regime to remain in power and Houla was to be the game changer.
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 signed by 186 countries constructed a frame for diplomatic relations between independent countries. It specifies the privileges of a diplomatic mission that enables diplomats to perform their function without fear of coercion, harassment or politically motivated expulsions by the host country. Its articles are a cornerstone of modern international relations.
While Article 9 does grant the host nation the right to declare a particular member of the diplomatic staff to be persona non grata, the understanding of the drafters of the Vienna Convention and the trauvaux preparatoire make plan that the provision is to be used solely for high crimes and under no circumstances to embarrass or trivialize the sending government or its diplomatic mission. The US action with respect to expelling Syrian diplomats does both.
As diplomacy is the practice of conducting international relations, as in negotiating alliances, treaties, and agreements, it is difficult to take seriously White House and NATO claims of a preference for diplomacy rather than war with Syria, while they lead the campaign to expel the very Syrian diplomats necessary for dialogue and negotiations.   
The idea to have American allies summarily expel Syrian Diplomats was hatched, according to a US Congressional source, in the fertile office of outgoing US Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, rumored to be on his way to New York to become, unimaginably one might be forgiven for thinking, the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs.  
Jeffrey Feltman's appointment
"would strip from the UN its last
scrap of credibility in the Middle East,"
The Feltman appointment by Ban Key Moon is thought by two staffers on John Kerry’s US Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be a pro quid quo for American support for Ban’s re-election as UN Secretary-General and Feltman’s support for Senator Kerry’s being appointed Secretary of State in Obama’s second administration.
Feltman has had an enduring love affair with the UN, especially the Security Council, which he reportedly views as a true and tested sharp arrow in the quiver of the US-Israel foreign policy apparatus. His tenure at the State Department, when he “leaves” his current post as expected in June, will remain substantially unchanged preserving his de facto ambassadorships to five countries in the Middle East, despite these posts being pro forma occupied by his personally approved “potted plants,” no disrespect intended to the current occupants at those diplomatic posts.
Feldman’s office also produced UN Security Council Resolution 1757 setting up a Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) targeting Syria and Hezbollah for the 2005 Rafik Harri assassination, and earlier, in September of 2004, UN Resolution 1559 which he has written was designed in his office to disarm the National Lebanese Resistance and expel Syrian troops from Lebanon. UN SCR 1757, setting up the STL, was passed on a 10-0 with 5 abstentions under Feltman’s favorite section of the UN Charter, being Chapter Seven, with its potential for using unlimited military force to enforce Security Council decisions. So far in Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman has initiated no fewer than a dozen “Welch Club” projects between 2005 and the present in order to guarantee“Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty, and freedom from foreign interference.” In no way to be confused with Undersecrtary Feltman’s own activities here.
Prisoner Omar Abdelrahman Group
The premises of the US diplomatic mission in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, came under attack during the night of 6/5/12. The US embassy is Damascus had been closed earlier in the crisis, and the US Embassy in Beirut is on near lock down status with plans to close and evacuate staff on one hours’ notice if deemed prudent. 
These events highlight the importance of respecting the 1961Vienna Convention and not expelling diplomats as political gamesmanship because the rash expulsions may not only generate unintended consequences, but inevitably invite retaliatory expulsions. Hence the Syrian government declared 17 US and Western diplomats, persona non grata earlier this week. Syria’s much respected Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal Makdad told the media in Damascus that, "We waited for so long for the other side to correct their policies and offer the needed support to Annan's plan and the observers' mission. But we regret that we had to take this measure because they do not want this mission to succeed."
The gratuitous chest thumping political theatre led by Washington also undermines international treaty law while eroding respect for the nearly universally agreed to protections of diplomats, envoys, embassies and consulates.
Hopefully the White House and its allies will act immediately to contain this latest provocation and lift their diplomatic expulsion edicts against Syria. The Obama administration ought also to engage in dialogue to resolve its differences with the Syrian government mindful of Kofi Annan’s just announced revised 6 point peace proposal and on a basis of "principles of equality and mutual respect.
Franklin LambFranklin 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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Spare Us the Western Morality on Syria

UN General Assembly President Nasser addresses the assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, during a meeting on the situation in Syria (Photo: Reuters - Allison Joyce)
Published Thursday, June 7, 2012

As news of yet another massacre in Syria surfaces – this time in the farm village of Al-Kubeir near Hama – we can only imagine the moral outrage expressed by Western governments that will soon inundate media outlets.

Much of Western identity centers on a pillar of high civility, and by extension, high morality. It is a lingering legacy from colonialism where the West re-invokes its perception of the current world, where it is the civilized, and those beyond, hapless barbarians.
It re-invoked that perception after the Houla massacre, where it once again reminded the world of its high moral authority and self-righteousness in lecturing others on their inhumane ways.
But what the West has failed to grapple is that the remainder of the world – growing in power – sees through its hollow moral posturing, exposing its empty values that have for so long sought to shroud its interests.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doesn’t care about dead Syrian children. Nor do any of the Western governments that expelled Syrian diplomats in the wake of the gruesome Houla massacre, in which 108 civilians – including at least 49 children – were mostly shot dead at point-blank range.
International relations does not base its machinations on slaughtered children, for if it did, there would be far fewer cases of massacres to report. Western nations expressing outrage over the Syrian massacre simply reeks of hypocrisy.

The day preceding the Al-Kubeir massacre, a NATO airstrike in Logar Province, southeast of Kabul, killed 18 civilians.
On the morning of May 26, as the residents of Houla were coming to grips with the killings, another NATO airstrike blew up a family home in eastern Afghanistan, killing eight members of a single family, including six children.
The killing of civilians and children has been a routine drill in the 11-year Afghan conflict. It was only in March that a US soldier wandered off from his base at night to slaughter 17 Afghan civilians as they slept, including nine children, and then proceeded to burn some of their bodies.
This does not undermine the significance of the human tragedies of Al-Kubeir and Houla, but rather exposes the geopolitical shrewdness of the West in consistently drumming up empty values in order to further its interests. Child killers exist in all forms, and the West should certainly not be one to wave the high moral wand as a disguise for its true intentions in the Syrian crisis.
Little separates the West from its perceived inferiors. All powers pursue their interests with the same cunning vigor, and the same disregard for humanitarian needs.
Western powers want Syrian President Bashar Assad toppled, and ideally seek to weaken the Syrian state in the process. This desire is not ingrained in any deep affection for spreading democracy or championing human rights, as we're so often told.

The Syrian crisis is not a struggle for Western values, but one for Western interests in a crucial region slipping from its grasp.
But with another massacre making its way into the headlines, what else beyond hollow moral posturing can the West actually do? The expulsion of Syrian diplomats from states that have been advocating Assad's ouster for the past year will not deprive the Syrian dictator an hour's sleep, as noted by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Diplomatic isolation from the West is the least of Assad's concerns as he – backed by the powerful military and intelligence apparatus – remains determined to crush any hope of the armed rebellion gaining traction on the ground.
Western governments made their move against Syria's diplomats knowing the minimal impact it would have on the situation, further demonstrating the lack of short-term options available to the West to seriously intervene. The expulsion was a public relations tactic with the hope that Russia and China would surrender their stance in the face of inflated outrage at the massacre. The West sought to own the outrage by propelling once again its now hollow status as the moral watchdog on world affairs.
But Russia and China did not capitulate, and equally expressed outrage at the killings. The two powers instead reinforced their support for UN special envoy Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan, while pouring cold water on Western murmurings for UN-sanctioned military action. The West is acutely aware that Moscow and Beijing will not authorise military action at the UN.
France immediately raised the prospect of military action against Syria in the aftermath of the Houla massacre, only to concede that it had little hope of getting support at the Security Council with Russia and China unmoved on their positions.
Clinton went further, outlining the obvious reasons why a US-led intervention is unfeasible. Syria’s military is much more capable than Libya’s, she told reporters in Denmark last week. Clinton also mentioned the scattered state of Syria's opposition, which has the US fearing the consequences of arming rebel groups it knows too little about.
There is no count of how many Syrian armed groups exist, many of which have simply picked up arms for opportunistic reasons and hold no particular allegiance to the goal of revolution. The fact that major attacks against Syrian military targets continued despite the most prominent Free Syrian Army factions agreeing to the ceasefire highlights the anarchy and chaos that exists amongst opposition groups.

Another US worry is that many of the splinter groups are Islamist in nature, and with Al-Qaeda said to have made its move into Syria, arming them blindly could produce a result worse than Assad. With no viable short-term option available for removing Assad, Washington is taking the backseat and allowing a low-level civil war to unfold, chipping away at the power of one of the most influential Arab states, while containing the crisis from spreading in the region.
The US and its Western allies will play the high moral card and maintain their public relations offensive to ensure global pressure against Assad, Russia and China remains in full force. But short of resorting to hollow values, the West has few tangible options for removing Assad.

Denied the opportunity to deliver the decisive blow on the Assad regime in the interim, Washington will bide its time and allow the Syrian crisis to drag out in the hope the country disintegrates and Assad eventually falls with it. Expelling Syrian diplomats under the pretense of misguided Western moral authority gives the impression of serious action, but really masks the West’s nonchalance to Syrians destroying their country on their own.
Memo from the West: let the killings continue.
Antoun Issa is the News and Opinion Editor at Al-Akhbar English.
The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect Al-Akhbar's editorial policy.
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Lebanon: ‘Arab Spring benefits Israel only’

In June 2006, both US secretary of state, Conoleeza Rice, and Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, unveiled the notorious anti-Muslim plan (New Middle East) for reshaping the map of the Middle East.

The plan called for first creating instability, chaos, and violence within Muslim nation-states (Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan and Egypt) and then using ‘humanitarian military invasions’ to divide those countries – to make sure they never pose a threat to the Zionist entity.

Lebanon has always been a target of Zionists’ dream of a ‘Eretz Israel’. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, had a vision of creating an Israeli-controlled Maronite Christian state along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and steal water from the Litani River for the newly established Jewish settlements.
This is the time, he (Ben Gurion) said, to push Lebanon, that is, the Maronites in that country, to proclaim a Christian State…”, wrote Moshe Sharett in his personal Diary in 1954. The tactics, Sharett writes, were Gen. Moshe Dayan’s:
According to him (Dayan), the only thing that’s necessary is to find an officer, even just a major. We should either win his heart or buy him with money, to make him agree to declare himself the savior of the Maronite population. Then the Israeli army will enter Lebanon, will occupy the necessary territory, and will create a Christian regime which will ally itself with Israel. The territory from the Litani southward will be totally annexed to Israel...”
The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ was cooked-up during a meeting in New York city by the CIA, Mossad and several Zionist Jewish heads of social networking sites to implement the ‘New Middle East’ project.
Lebanon’s interior minister, retired Maj. Gen. Marwan Charbel (a choice of country’s Christian president Gen. Michel Suleiman) in a recent interview with RT has claimed that the Zionist entity is the only country which has benefitted from the Arab Spring.
The Arab Spring has born no fruit for any of the affected countries, so the ongoing process should rather be called “the Israel Spring”, since no country now poses a threat to Israel. External forces seek to divide and weaken all the countries surrounding Israel in order to ensure that state’s security,” said Marwan.
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Lebanese Hostages in Syria

The story did not matter. It did not get much coverage in the Western press – if at all. Western press has daily section about developments in Syria, but the story that innocent Lebanese pilgrims were kidnapped by Free Syrian Army (FSA) thugs did not warrant a story.

No correspondent was assigned to the story (except in some Lebanese media). Western human rights organizations have been silent about the matter. If the innocent hostages had been kidnapped by the Syrian regime, the UN Security Council would have met in an emergency session.

Only in Lebanon do you read coverage of the families (who are angry and have been restrained by Amal and Hezbollah). The hostages happened to be Shia, and the agenda of the Free Syrian Army intended to drag Hezbollah into the conflict in Syria.

The sectarian propaganda of the Syrian exile opposition (echoing Israeli-Saudi-US agenda in the region) tried for months to fabricate and invent stories about Hezbollah fighters in Syria. When the story did not pan out and when no evidence was ever presented, and when the kidnapping of Iranian civilians was justified on the silly pretext that they were Iranian Revolutionary Guards (the captors were embarrassed when they discovered that some of their Iranian victims were Sunni Kurds), another operation was planned.

Relatives Identify Lebanese Pilgrims Kidnappers on TV
The kidnapping was well-planned. The buses included Shia from the southern suburbs. Their track was under surveillance and regional intelligence services (probably Turkish, if not more) were involved.
The Free Syrian Army is developing a good amount of experience in kidnapping (of course they have kidnapped and killed various Syrians), but they are still clumsy.

The captors clearly identified themselves as Free Syrian Army when they kidnapped the pilgrims perhaps forgetting that the women were going to be released.

The women who made it to Lebanon had no doubts about the identity of the captors. It was more embarrassing when some of the women identified a familiar Syrian opposition activist (made famous by daily propaganda promos on Al Jazeera) as one of the captors. Lebanese TV stations rushed their correspondents and they located him and interviewed him. His denials only confirmed what the women said.

The Syrian people exploded in an uprising more than a year ago. They had more than one reason to rebel and to overthrow the repressive regime under which they live and suffer. But the agenda of the counter-revolution at the regional level would not let things get out of hand (as they did to a degree in Egypt). The Arab uprisings had to be contained and managed (like in Yemen and Bahrain and Libya).

The cause of the Syrian people was then stolen by a group of exile groups run by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, which is, in turn, run by Qatar and Saudi Arabia (some of the branches of the Muslim Brotherhood are run by Saudi Arabia – like in Lebanon and Syria – and others are run by Qatar – like in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt).

The hostages are languishing in unknown locations (probably in Turkey under the protection of the Turkish intelligence service, which runs the Free Syrian Army). ...The Syrian people are now caught in the crossfire between regional and international combatants while their cause has been reduced to exploitation by states that never harbored any love for the them.
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