Saturday 16 March 2013

Syrian Crisis could Explode across Middle East: UN

Local Editor

UN Refugee Agency warned on Friday that the Syrian crisis could cause an explosion in the Middle East, urging the world to strive to end the conflict and step up humanitarian aid.

UHCRUN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said exerting efforts to end the crisis was a "moral obligation" and "essential to preserve global peace and global security".

“I believe that if the Syrian conflict goes on and on and on, there is a real risk of an explosion in the Middle East, and then there will be no way to cope with the challenge from the humanitarian, political and security perspective," said Guterres.

Guterres – currently in Lebanon as part of a regional - raised the alarm over the potential security impact the refugee crisis could have on Syria's neighbors.
"The Syrian crisis is not just another crisis and what we are dealing with now is that the Syrian crisis is a tipping point," he told reporters.

"Things get much worse before they get better. Not only do they get much worse in Syria, but they can have a very, very big impact on the countries around,” he added, indicating that “it is in the interest of everybody to solve the conflict, to have a political solution to the conflict, but it is also in the interest of everybody to fully address the humanitarian needs."
Source: AFP
15-03-2013 - 15:11 Last updated 15-03-2013 - 15:11

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

Friday 15 March 2013

Nahida Izzat; The Curse of Chutzpa

By Nahida Izzat


Gilad Atzmon argues that in order to best support Palestine we must cease to view the Palestinian struggle as “just another apartheid” or “just another colonial project”

What makes the occupation of Palestine “unique” is not the “specialness” of the suffering of Palestinians, nor is it the “uniqueness” of their tragedy or the “importance” of their cause.
What makes it “unique”is the fact that: those Jewish Zionists who occupy Palestine, those Jewish Zionists who support them, and even many of those Jewish anti-Zionists who oppose them view themselves as “unique”.

Many Jewish anti-Zionists view themselves as unique in the sense that they frantically hold on the notion of the “uniqueness” of the “Jewish suffering” and the inevitability of future “multi-holocausts” due to historic, intrinsic and incurable human-condition called “anti-semitism” which is in their view a “special” case of racism of inexplicable “hatred” for Jews.

With a considerable majority, whether hard-core Zionists, soft, liberal, or anti-Zionists, they have acquired a distorted image of themselves, their suffering, their history, their morality, and that of the world.

At the core of this perceived “uniqueness” lies the rotten seed of millennia of indoctrination with the concept of “CHOSEN-NESS” which gave birth to troubling concepts such as the so called “Jewish chutzpa“, the perceived feeling of “exclusivity”, “specialness”, “elitism”, and the illusion of having “special mission”, “higher” morality, “superior” intellect, and “unique” history and suffering.

The failure of Jewish communities -liberal and otherwise- to acknowledge, address and deal with this “heritage” in a sincere and healing manner will provoke severe and unavoidable consequences.
As it appears, many people of those who identify themselves as Jews fail to see the there is a fundamental contradiction and total incompatibility between their claim of humanism and their practices of exclusivity, and their claim of “high Jewish morality” and their real life practices of slander and excommunication when dealing with others whom they disagree with.
How can they talk about such a notion as “Jewish morality” or “Jewish heritage”:

While practicing oppression, either physical -as in the case of Zionist occupiers- or mental and psychological as in the case of anti-Zionists practice of thought oppression;

while viewing “the other” as less able intellectually or morally (i.e inferior) who is in constant need for guidance;

e placing themselves “at the helm” of social progress and imposing themselves as “guardians” of anti-racist campaigns and as “leaders” of liberation movements;

appointing themselves as the intellectual and moral “elite” with the exclusive privilege to define the meaning of words such as racism and the right to identify who is racist or not;

while granting themselves the irrevocable and the unquestionable right to label, ostracize and excommunicate others as they wish;

Those who are engaged in the above appear to lack the most rudimentary qualities of modesty and humility needed to enable us humans to examine and evaluate our own words, actions and thoughts.
Thus they fail to gain the insight needed to self-reflect, self-criticize, self-improve thus to integrate without causing others to feel intimidated or oppressed.

Sooner or later people of the world (Palestinians included) will have to come to face such dreadful reality and deal with it.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

A Jew at the Pinnacle of World Power…

By Richard Edmondson

What is your impression of the image above? Probably that the man doesn’t look very pleasant would be your initial thought—in fact, he seems to have a somewhat crazed look about him. This is the case in the above photo…as well as in the one below…
Meet David S. Cohen, a former Washington lawyer who now works for the US Treasury Dept. Cohen’s official title is “Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.” His office at Treasury is devoted to developing “financial intelligence” in a number of areas, one of them being determining who might be engaging in “terrorist financing,” and enacting punishment/enforcement measures against those deemed so doing. Not knowing anything else about the man and simply gazing on his photo, you might be forgiven for thinking he is possibly a psycho-or-sociopathic personality. On that question, I can’t give you a definitive yes or no answer. But I can tell you something else. Cohen is a Jew at the pinnacle of world power. I have previously stated (here and here ) that Jews today stand at the “pinnacle of world power,” and that this is apparent to all but the most willingly and purposefully blind. Cohen, in a very real sense, is one such Jew.
Keep all this in mind as you read the article below by Fanklin Lamb, who not only mentions Cohen, but also describes the impact some of his official actions are having upon the people of Syria. As you may have figured out by now, the real terrorists in Syria—i.e. the ones backed by NATO, the US and Israel—are not the ones this Treasury Department enforcer is trying to make life difficult for. Ordinary people are those who seem to be bearing the greatest brunt of his actions. So read Lamb’s piece, and I’ll have more to say about Cohen and the Treasury’s “Terrorism and Financial Intelligence” division below.

Damascus University Resists US Civilian Targeting Sanctions

By Franklin Lamb

Students everywhere are special people and this observer has discovered that Syrian students are among the very best.

Meeting and interviewing students again this past week, before and following, a frank and enlightening discussion with Dr. Mohammad Amer Al-Mardini, the indefatigable President of Damascus University, about the situation of the students and current instruction at the University, one cannot ,even as a foreigner, fail to feel pride in Syrian students.

Good meeting places, among others on campus, include “outdoor cafes” - a ‘street student union’ of sorts- consisting of a few chairs and portable tables. They are scattered among the dozens of vendor stalls that line “DU Boulevard” outside the main DU campus in central Damascus. Here students can buy everything from school supplies to mobile phones, to snacks, and it’s a perfect place to meet and chat with students.

One learns from them about the many effects on the education system in Syria of the US-led sanctions. Some argue that the Obama administration actually fuels the current crisis with its sanctions and achieves the opposite result of what the White House and its allies claim they are seeking. These freewheeling discussions leave a foreigner with a reminder why this university and its student body ranks among the best in the World. 

More than 200,000 full-time and ‘open-learning’ students at Damascus University, the 6th largest in the World and founded in 1929, are feeling some effects of the harsh Obama Administration’s civilian targeting sanctions. Iran’s millions of students are also increasingly in the cross-hairs of the “humanitarian sanctions which Washington and Brussels claim “exempt food, medicines and medical supplies” and therefore “should be considered humane.”

Among DU Faculties most severely affected by the US-led sanctions are the Science Departments and the Medical and Nursing schools according to administration and student sources. Chemicals used in various science classes, medicines and medical equipment cannot be found as before and if some are brought in from Europe or elsewhere, the University often has to pay four times the normal price.

Utah’s Brigham Young University gained the respect and appreciation of many in Syria for its shipments to DU’s nursing school of medicines and equipment and even “model doll babies” which in Syria use in baby care classes. All are now banned by the US sanctions which claim to exempt medical equipment and medicines.

Damascus University, with its 43 specialized faculties is no banking-hours institution and its proven commitment is to give the highest quality education to as many students as possible. Syria’s largest university, it is now open for classes 365 days a year minus a few holidays—partly due to increased number of students arriving from across Syria, as the Administration and faculty work with colleges in war zones to guarantee students can continue their studies without missing key exams required for semester advancement. Still, about 18% of college level students are unable to attend due to transportation and displacement problems.

One direct and predictable severe impact of the US-led civilian targeting sanctions in Syria is that the sanctions have essentially stranded approximately 700 Syrian students in Europe and half a dozen in the US, forcing some to drop out and find a job to survive. This is because, as well known among the US Treasury Department “craftsmen” who devise the sanctions, these students are no longer able to receive funds to pay for their foreign tuition or living expenses because the banking system has been essentially shut down.

If families can scrape together some money for their children studying abroad and do manage to send it via Western Union, for example, a new “sanctions surcharge” of 7 euros for every 1,000 euros sent, is demanded by WU and other money transfer agencies, suggesting another form of war profiteering. To make things even more difficult for the students, foreign Universities who might consider lending their stranded Syrian students tuition money or might even consider aiding them with scholarships or a grant have been “chilled” and are backing-off because these institutions do not want to be accused of ‘sanction-busting’ by the US Treasury hound dogs.

Few food or medicine suppliers, given the sanction regulations language and uncertain legal meanings-even for their lawyers, some of whom have declared that the language is incomprehensible, want to risk the wrath of the US Treasury Department and be slapped with severe penalties including, but not limited to, very expensive fines by dealing with anyone in Syria concerning food and medicine.

One of the US Treasury ‘hound dogs’ noted above, is David Cohen, Under -Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. Mr. Cohen made a trip to the region late last month to brief allies and businesses as well as NGO’s, including discussions in Israel, “to be sure the sanctions were biting hard” to use a favorite phase of UN Ambassador Susan Rice. The Obama administration, reportedly frustrated by the fact that its multi-tiered sanctions have failed to topple the governments of Syria and Iran, has been attempting to find and plug sanction loopholes and are intensifying warnings to the international community, in no uncertain terms, not to mess with the US Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) or the Office of Financial Assets Control (OFAC) by getting all wobbly-kneed and going soft on full sanction and complete enforcement. 

Meanwhile, Syria’s Department of Education is joining the struggle to shield Syria’s education institutions and is being joined by various student associations. To date, the Ministry has not cut its substantial disbursements to colleges. Tuition remains among the lowest in the world at Damascus University, which also provides housing for 15,000 students. The DU administration is currently under pressure to find more dormitory space for those needing housing. Still, despite the conflict, even in Deraa near the Jordanian border where the current crisis started, DU’s campus continues to function.

Many DU students are also volunteering with assisting Syrian primary schools which urgently need their help. According to a December 2012 UNICEF education assessment of primary schools in Syria– at least 2,400 schools have been damaged or destroyed, including 772 in Idlib (50 per cent of the total), 300 in Aleppo and another 300 in Deraa.

Over 1,500 schools are being used as shelters for displaced persons. The Damascus University community has also taken on the humanitarian challenge of assisting sister educational institutions that have been affected by the current crisis including campuses in Homs and Aleppo, among others. This observer has met several Damascus University students among the 9,000 volunteers, including Palestinian refugees, who are donating their time working with the Syria Red Crescent Society (SARCS). Many DU students are also volunteering with assisting primary schools.

The grim reality of Syrian families, hospitals and health care facilities across the country, and now its Universities, students and educational institutions, experiencing the claimed “humanitarian sanctions” which emphasize” exemptions for food, medicine and medical equipment exemptions, once again exposes Obama administration-claimed humanitarian values to ridicule here and around the world.
Rather than target Syria’s future leaders, the White House would do well to cancel its student targeting sanctions and send Secretary Kerrey to Damascus to meet face-to-face with the Syrian people and government and demonstrate a real American interest in stopping the bloodshed. Armored vehicles and assorted “non-lethal aid”to one side in this conflict will only prolong the killing, as any student here will attest.

Franklin Lamb is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon

Below I focus on Cohen, as shown in two videos in which he discusses his role as a Treasury Department enforcer in the war against independent countries who refuse to toe the US government’s policies. The first video features him answering questions at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, or CSIS, in a program which took place May 10, 2012, while in the second we see him giving a talk at New York University on September 12, 2012. Curiously, in both videos he is introduced by speakers with Jewish-sounding names. Additionally, in the CSIS video, Cohen is engaged in discussion with Juan Zarate, a former deputy national security advisor during the GW Bush administration, who is also Jewish. Zarate’s official titles, by the way, when he served in the Bush administration, were Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combatting Terrorism.

Cohen at CSIS

In the first video (see below), whose format essentially is a one-on-one interview between Zarate and Cohen, we have the latter providing an initial overview of his responsibilities and how he goes about carrying them out, letting it be known that his powers extend far beyond the boundaries of the United States.

We now are able not only to be much more effective in combatting illicit finance domestically, be we’re able to take it internationally in a way that is, I think, quite useful in pursuing US foreign policy and national security goals. We’re able to talk to foreign finance ministers, foreign regulators, foreign financial institutions, foreign ministries about the importance of combatting illicit finance, and being able to use that to address our most important foreign policy and national security goals, whether—again, whether it’s terrorism, weapons proliferation, transnational organized crime.

The power that we are now able to sort of extend internationally and the ability to attract sort of complementary actions by foreign governments and foreign institutions like the EU, and through FATF [Financial Action Task Force-ed.] also, has led to, I think, a very happy consequence, which is that when the most difficult foreign policy problems are being addressed and the most difficult national security issues are being debated, we are looked to increasingly as a tool that can be used to help—to help solve these problems and help promote US interests.

In his reply to Cohen’s comments, Zarate describes the Treasury official’s endeavors as lying on a spectrum somewhere “between diplomacy and military power,” likening it also to “kinetics,” and defining all of this more or less as a “full range of financial tools and suasion.” In other words, the US is able, through Cohen’s powers of “suasion”, essentially to dictate to others—other countries as well as individual businesses and financial institutions—who they may or may not do business with. Contract with Iran or Syria to offer products or services of some sort, even though these may not be military-related, and you will suffer punitive measures. How this is specifically applied to Iran is discussed later in the interview and in the quoted passage below. Notice what Cohen says about rising unemployment in Iran and the devaluation of the Iranian currency, the rial, perhaps taking pleasure in the fact that, as he notes, the people of Iran “are feeling this pressure themselves.”

The path that we’ve been on began in sort of the ’05, ’06 time frame, designating financial institutions that are involved in Iran’s nuclear program, working through the UN to get UN Security Council resolutions adopted highlighting Iran’s failure to comply with its international obligations, and also designating people at the UN level and working with foreign partners, both in the private sector and in governments, to have similar actions taken to isolate and put pressure on Iran.

The last, you know—it’s three years we have been pursuing what has been known as the dual-track strategy of, on the one hand, offering the Iranians the opportunity for meaningful, substantive, sincere engagement, but, on the other hand making it clear that they will face increasing pressure as long as they don’t accept the offer of engagement. And we have, you know, as the engagement track wasn’t bearing any fruit, steadily and aggressively increased the pressure: additional designations [i.e., more people on terrorist lists-ed.]; using new authorities that Congress has given us to apply even greater pressure on the financial sector in Iran, which has, you know, culminated most recently the in the legislation that the president signed at the very end of last year, that focuses on Iran’s exportable oil and transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

We have seen this combined effort of our authorities and working with the international community. And I—and I cannot overstate the importance of the effect that we are able to generate when we have our international partners working with us—you know, the EU working with us, Papan, South Korea, Australia, Switzerland. I mean, you name it, we have a—and the United Nations as well—a very, very broad-based coalition of countries not doing exactly the same thing, but all pushing in the same direction of applying pressure on Iran really as part of this dual-track strategy. And the—you know, the impact of that that we have seen, particularly sort of through the fall of last year and into the spring of this year, is really, you know, a very significant deterioration in the Iranian economy.

The value of their currency, the rial, has you know dropped like a rock, and that has, you know, significant impact on Iran’s ability to, you know, pay for the material that it needs for its nuclear program, and, more broadly, just puts pressure on the leadership because the people in Iran are feeling this pressure themselves. And you see that in, you know, Iran’s GDP, which is—lags well behind its peers. As you know, other countries that are oil exporters have been, frankly, doing well in an environment of increasing oil prices. Iran hasn’t. You can see it in the unemployment rate in Iran, which is, you know, steadily increasing and is actually quite high today. And you can see it in just the overall difficulty that Iran has today in interacting with the international financial community, the international business community. They are increasingly isolated.

Cohen also discusses a policy enacted under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 under which any country that purchases oil from Iran—and pays the Central Bank of Iran for its oil—will face sanctions. The sanctions will apply not only to the countries, but also to any of their financial institutions and businesses that may be involved in the transactions with Iran. (Some exemptions are given to countries which significantly reduce their Iranian oil imports, he says, with the overall goal being “to drive down the amount of oil that Iran is able to sell.”)

We can of course imagine how policies of this nature are looked upon by people in Iran. But what about elsewhere? What about the countries and businesses that have formed profitable relationships with Iran, and there are probably lots of these? Iran, after all, is the third largest oil supplier in the world. And what about the billions of people around the planet who have nothing to fear from Iran and whose daily obsession is not the welfare of the Jewish state? Can you image the anger such policies could, and likely are, engendering toward America throughout the world? And might we also posit that this hostility isn’t directed specifically toward America alone, but also—to the extent the adage that “Jews run America” is applicable—toward Jews? Do US policies like this contribute to “anti-Semitism”? The answer to that might be obvious, and perhaps the better question is: Do Jews like Cohen even care that this may be the case?

Cohen and Zarate also discuss similar efforts aimed at Syria and its own central bank, with the former asserting (bragging?) that “the macroeconomic indicators in Syria are much like what you see in Iran.”

You know, their GDP in 2009, I think, was growing at 6 percent. I think the last year it declined by 3 percent, and expected to contract 6 percent this year. You know, their currency has devalued, I think, 25 percent on the official rate and anywhere from 50 to 75 percent in the—on the unofficial market.

You know, their budget deficit is widening substantially because the sources of revenue for the Syrian government, which are largely oil exports and tourism, and taxes from tourism, have almost completely dried up. They’re not earning—it’s basically not earning any money from their oil or from their tourist industry. That is, you know, obviously, on the revenue side, they are not—they’re not earning, and on the expenditure side, they’re spending money to try and keep inflation down by subsidizing food and fuel, and they’re spending a lot of money, frankly, pursuing the violence against their own people.

Note, of course, the presumption: that the violence is being directed by the Syrian government “against their own people,” and not by the terrorist Salafist gangs armed and backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, NATO, the US and Israel. But in the next passage Cohen lets the veil slip to a degree, and we see who the real targets of US policy are—the people of Syria.

And the combined effect of this is that the economic situation in Syria today is quite perilous. The objective of that is to encourage the business class in Syria to recognize that their future prosperity, the preservation of their wealth, their children’s future economic stability, depends on Assad leaving power. And peeling away that business community support from the regime is one of the, you know, sort of important objectives that we’re pursuing through these—through these sanctions.”

Or in other words, impoverishing the people of Syria is, “one of the, you know, sort of important objectives that we’re pursuing.”

At this point, I recommend that you scroll back to the top of this page, and look again at Cohen’s picture, look deep into his eyes. I mean—really deep. I would recommend readers of all nationalities do this, but especially any who may be from China, for in the next stage of the interview Cohen discusses what he has in store for China. The exchange starts with Zarate inquiring of Cohen, “How do you deal with the Chinese, in part when they are not as cooperative as we’d like them to be on some of these issues, whether it’s North Korea or Iran, Syria? And how do you contend with the fact that their economy is rising, their banking sector is powerful, and they in some way are becoming a force in this financial battle space?” Note the inherent arrogance: How do you “deal with the Chinese”, who are not being “as cooperative as we’d like them to be.” Cohen responds:

At one level, we deal with the Chinese the exact same way we deal with everybody else on these issues, which is that we explain what our laws are, explain how it is that, you know, our laws operate so that the government can instruct its financial community and so that the financial community itself understands where the—where the lines are, where they can get crosswise with us.

Yet having said this much, Cohen also implies there are limits to his, and US government, power, confessing that the options, short of starting a nuclear war or some other form of conflict, are pretty much limited to “talking” and “communicating.”

And so part of what we do is, you know, in addition to dealing with governments and talking to governments and trying to coordinate with governments, is to communicate directly to the financial sector about the importance of combating illicit finance, the importance of financial integrity, you know, and the importance of maintaining reputation, because that is what, you know, will assist them as they want to be, you know, players on the international financial stage.

Cohen at NYU

In the second video (see below) Cohen describes his job as combatting “illicit finance, such as fundraising by terrorist organizations and their supporters, money laundering by drug cartels and transnational criminal organizations, and illicit financial transactions that facilitate nuclear and ballistic missile programs.” Obviously combatting Israel’s illicit nuclear missile program is not on the agenda; Cohen doesn’t mention it. In fact, much of the same ground is covered here as in the first video, including the goal of advancing “core national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”

The speech was given at NYU’s Center on Law and Security, which coincidentally is under directorship of yet another Jew, Zack Goldman, to whom Cohen pays tribute. “You are all very lucky to have him,” he says.

While the US has for many years employed sanctions as a means for achieving its foreign policy goals, Cohen informs the NYU audience that the past several years “have seen a burst of intensity and creativity” in this arena—and from this point forward the main focus of the speech is Iran.

“No one questions that Iran is one of the most pressing national security issues of our day,” he claims (falsely), adding that “Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism (also false).”

The issue of Jews projecting their own behavior onto others has been discussed before (see here, here, and here ), and we certainly seem to see a bit of that going on in the NYU speech as Cohen remarks, “The Iranian regime routinely abuses the human rights of its citizens,” adding that “it exports repression” and that “its nuclear program threatens the peace and security of the entire Middle East and beyond.” Again, there is no mention of Israel’s nuclear program.

Cohen also presents data on the impact that sanctions are allegedly having on the Iranian economy, asserting that in 2011 Iran exported approximately 2.4 million barrels of oil per day to about 20 countries, making it the third largest oil exporter in the world. However, “as a result of actions taken since the beginning of this year (2012), Iran’s crude exports have plummeted to approximately one million barrels per day—a dramatic 55 percent decrease.” He said this loss of oil revenue is costing Iran about $5 billion per month, and at this point, the effect on the Iranian economy, as in the previous video, is discussed at length. But perhaps it isn’t only the Iranian economy that has suffered:

For close to two decades, American banks have been largely forbidden from transacting directly with all Iranian banks, including the central bank of Iran. American businesses have been forbidden from buying just about anything from, or selling just about anything to, Iran. And American oil companies have been forbidden from importing oil from Iran.

Cohen also discusses specifics of applying sanctions upon Iranian banks, including passage of a UN Security Council resolution in 2010, Resolution 1929, and steps taken that same year by the EU, UK, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia, Norway and Switzerland to restrict and curtail transactions by Iranian banks in their respective countries.

“Other nations took less formal or public, but still very strong steps against Iranian financial activity in the wake of Resolution 1929,” he adds.

At the same time, summer of 2010, Congress passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act, or CISADA, which gave the Secretary of the Treasury (currently another Jew, Jacob Lew) the power to “require US banks to terminate corresponding banking relationships with foreign banks that knowingly engaged in significant transactions with those designated Iranian banks.”

So in other words, with passage of CISADA, we have progressed from targeting solely Iranian banks, to targeting the banks of other countries as well. This is an important consideration, and indeed as Cohen frankly admits, “This is a particularly powerful provision.”

(And of course, again [see above], we must consider the resultant “anti-Semitism,” with its accompanying anger directed towards America.)

From the perspective of the other banks throughout the rest of the world, the problem is of course compounded by the fact that the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency. In which case access to US banks is not simply important—it is vital. And it is here Cohen provides us with a small glimpse into what his power is capable of achieving:

After CISADA’s enactment, my colleagues and I fanned out around the globe to explain the new law, visiting or talking to government counterparts in over 50 countries and representatives from more than 150 foreign financial institutions. As we explained in these conversations, CISADA offered foreign banks a choice: they could do business with banks in the US, or they could do business with designated Iranian banks. But they could not do both. The impact was dramatic. Nearly everyone we spoke with readily recognized that there really was only one choice—to terminate relationships with designated Iranian banks. And those that did not appear to recognize this, like Kunlan Bank in China and Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq, both of which have now been cut off from the United States banking system, have learned that we are quite serious about the choice to be made under CISADA.

Again, and I know I’m sounding redundant here, but imagine the anger this provokes towards the US. Are these measures really in America’s interest? Does bullying the rest of the world on Israel’s behalf truly serve America’s best interest? Or are all these actions solely in the interest of the Jewish state? Who is the real benefactor here?

But it doesn’t stop even there. Cohen also discusses a presidential executive order signed in July 2012—punishing anyone who might assist Iran in acquiring gold or other precious metals, among other things—as well as yet another Congressional measure, the Iran Threat Reduction Act, signed into law by Obama in August of that same year. The latter includes even more stringent measures, measures that presumably will, in effect, force Iran to leave the money it makes from its oil sales on deposit in banks within the countries that purchase their oil.

“As I’ve tried to sketch out, we have in place now an enormously powerful set of sanctions, at home and around the world,” says Cohen in what is perhaps an understatement.

But despite all these punitive measures, it is Iran, Cohen insists, not the US, which rejects “the path to a negotiated resolution.”

Cohen describes US measures against Iran so far as a “combination of diplomatic and economic efforts,” but of course, should these ultimately fail to force the Islamic Republic into compliance, “all options remain on the table,” he informs us.

Nowhere in the entire video is the word “Israel” mentioned. Cohen discreetly omits any reference to the Jewish state during his speech—this we would certainly expect. But there is something perhaps even more telling than that: at the end of the video comes a Q and A session of approximately 16 minutes duration in which not a single member of the audience at this institution of higher learning raises the issue either.

What additional US laws will peoples around the earth find themselves infringing upon and called to account for? How much more “intensity and creativity” in the application of sanctions is the world prepared to accept? Where does this all stop?

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

Weekly Report on Israel's terrorism against the State of Palestine

PCHR Weekly Report: 2 killed, 5 wounded by Israeli forces this week

author Friday March 15, 2013 11:08author by PCHR Gaza  

In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 07- 13 March 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 5 others, including 3 children, in Hebron. In addition, a Palestinian civilian died from previous wounds in the West Bank.
Israeli soldier attacking boy outside al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem (PCHR photo)
Israeli soldier attacking boy outside al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem (PCHR photo)
3 Palestinian civilians, including a photojournalist, were wounded in protests against the annexation wall and settlement activities. A Palestinian civilian was wounded in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

In the West Bank, on 12 March 2013, the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 5 others, including 2 children, one of whom is the victim’s brother, in the center al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron. The victim as hit by a bullet to the jaw, and the Israeli force obstructed his evacuation to the hospital for 15 minutes.

On 07 March 2013, a Palestinian civilian died from a previous wound he had sustained on 22 February 2013, when the Israeli forces used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized in ‘Aaboud village, northwest of Ramallah, in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. The victim was hit by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, on 22 February 2013, following the Friday Prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the center of the said village to organize a peaceful protest in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. The protestors went to the eastern entrance of the village near the adjacent settlement road. The Israeli forces stationed at the eastern entrance opened fire at them. As a result, 4 civilians, including Mohammed Asfour, were wounded. Asfour was wounded by a bullet to the head. He was transported to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus. Following examination, it was found out that the bullet caused a fracture in the skull. On the same day, he underwent a surgery, but as he suffered from hemorrhage in the brain, the doctors conducted another surgery to him. Asfour had a coma and was transported to an Israeli hospital. However, he died on the above-mentioned date.

On 08 March 2013, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded when the Israeli forces moved into al-Mazra’a al-Qibliya village, northwest of Ramallah, and fired at a number of young men and children who threw stones at them. On the same day, a Palestinian child was wounded in similar circumstances.

On 08 March 2013, 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded when the Israeli forces moved into al-Mughayar village, northeast of Ramallah, and fired at Palestinian civilians who intervened to protect 2 shepherds who were attacked by Israeli settlers.

The Israeli forces conducted 54 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. 31 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were abducted in the West Bank.

The Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 2 Palestinian civilians were abducted at checkpoints.

Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces continued to systematically use excessive force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinians and Israeli and international activists protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 11 protesters, including 4 children, were wounded on Friday, 5 of whom, including a child and a paramedic, were wounded in Bil'in protest in Ramallah. The other 4, including 2 children, were wounded in al-Nabi Saleh protest, while 2 other persons, including a child, were wounded in Budrus protest in Ramallah.

In the same context, the Palestinians organized a number of peaceful protests in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners, particularly those who are on hunger strike in the Israeli jails. The Israeli forces used excessive force against these protests. As a result, 17 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children and a freelance photojournalist, were wounded.

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued 4 limited military incursions into Palestinian areas, during which they leveled areas of Palestinian land.

Israeli forces continued to open fire at the Palestinians near the border fence. As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a mentally disordered person, were severely wounded.

On the same day, the Israeli forces positioned in watchtowers along the border fence, east of Jabalya in the north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of persons, who were 100-300 meters away from the border fence. As a result, a civilian was wounded.

On 08 March 2013, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a number of Palestinian fishing boats opposite to Rafah seashore in the southern Gaza Strip. The fishermen were forced to sail back to the beach and no casualties were reported.

On 10 March 2013, the Israeli forces positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of Deir al-Balah abducted a Palestinian child who attempted to cross the border into Israel.

On 11 March 2013, Israeli gunboats opened fire at a number of Palestinian fishing boats opposite to Beit Lahia seashore in the northern Gaza Strip. The fishermen were forced to sail back to the beach and no casualties were reported.

Israel has continued to impose a total closure and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

Israeli settlement activities:

The Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

Israeli settlers attacked 2 Palestinian shepherds and killed 8 sheep northeast of Ramallah..

Notices were issued to evacuate and stop construction works in several facilities and water wells belonging to some Palestinians in Hebron.

295 olive trees were damaged in Ramallah and Nablus.

Recommendations to the international community:

Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the European Union activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel. PCHR further calls upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The PCHR calls on the international community to recognize the Gaza disengagement plan, which was implemented in September 2005, for what it is - not an end to occupation but a compounding of the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

For the full text of the report, click on the link here
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Obama Wants Bibi to Strengthen "Moderate Leadership" in Palestinian Authority

Local Editor
US President Barack Obama stated Thursday that his visit to Palestine and the occupied territories was to "listen" to both sides and hear their views on how to move forward in the “peace talks”.

Obama's visit before electionsSpeaking to “Israel's” Channel 2, only one week before his first visit to the occupied territories since his election as president, Obama said “my goal on this trip is to listen. I intend to meet with Bibi (Netanyahu)... I intend to meet with (Premier Salam) Fayyad and Abu Mazen (President Mahmoud Abbas) and to hear from them what is their strategy, what is their vision, where do they think this should go?"

The US president said he would press both sides to recognize the “legitimate interests of the other.”
"To Abu Mazen, I will say that trying to unilaterally go to, for example, the United Nations, and do an end run around Israel, is not going to be successful," Obama said, adding: “to Bibi (Netanyahu) I would suggest to him that he should have an interest in strengthening the moderate leadership inside the Palestinian Authority...”

"For example, making sure that issues like settlements are viewed through the lens of: Is this making it harder or easier for Palestinian moderates to sit down at the table," he said.

On the peace talks, Obama considered that "we're past the point where we should be even talking about pre-conditions and steps and sequences. Everybody knows what's going to be involved here in setting up two states, side by side, living in peace and security."

"How we get into those conversations, whether they can happen soon or whether there needs to be some further work done on the ground, that's part of what I'll explore when I'll get there," he added.
Source: AFP
15-03-2013 - 14:07 Last updated 15-03-2013 - 14:07
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Protecting The Resistance

By Daniel Mabsout,


One has to trust the Resistance, the Resistance has fared well in every instance and has built this trust between the Resistance and the people and has acquired this credibility that is well invested . What is holding Lebanon and the whole Arab world together is the Resistance , it is the hope and the only reality one can invest in otherwise it is total chaos and total ...surrender to the enemy and the end of the dream of independence of many people on earth .

This wise committed Resistance has achieved this great success due to its wisdom and commitment and has offered the most precious of sacrifices in terms of young men , young martyrs who offered their lives for the fire to keep burning and the cause to be kept alive and the land to be liberated . Every step has been studied carefully and every move has been weighed to reach this incomparable achievement that led to the defeat of the fifth army in strength world wide at the hands of a handful of committed freedom fighters with moderate weapons but who feared none but God.

Since then all the world has been rallying against the Resistance starting by the killing of Hariri and not ending with the Arab spring and the bloody events of Syria . The plots at bringing the Resistance to a sectarian confrontation have never stopped , because this is when the weapons -instead of being directed to the enemy- will be directed to Muslims and Arabs . Israel has everything to gain from this shift in the struggle whereby we will be busy killing each other instead of building our defenses to face Israel . This Resistance is more precious than the air we breath and shall be protected against any threat by awareness and wisdom it shall be protected and by sacrifice.
To be able to have kept Lebanon safe from the madness taking place in Syria and preventing the sectarian conflict prepared for Lebanon from setting everything afire is to the credit of Syria and Lebanon and is a proof of the victory of Syria over its ailment and of the ability to limit it .And it is as well a proof of the sanity and strength of the cause and it is also for the sake of Palestine because one wrong move and the whole thing can escalate into the unknown .
It is the duty of the Lebanese government to stop the thugs of the opposition from crossing borders according to the agreements that link Lebanon to Syria and Syrian authorities addressed the government and NOT the Resistance . The Resistance CANNOT BE DRAWN INTO A SECTARIAN FIGHT in Lebanon because this is what Israel wants.الخارجية_السورية_ضبط_ال%

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Syria after two years .. The birth of a phoenix from the womb of death

سوريا بعد سنتين .. ولادة عنقاء من رحم الموت


‏الجمعة‏، 15‏ آذار‏، 2013

نمير سعد
......اليوم سأحاول الكتابة عن الفاجعة في ذكراها الثانية مراهناً على إحتمالية أن يقرأ بعض حلفاء ثوار الناتو وجهادييه كلماتي عل هذا البعض يستوقف نفسه ويراجع ما تبقى لديه من وجدان أو ضمير ويدرك ما يراد له وللوطن من خلاله كما من خلال أمثاله ، سأحاول إنعاش التلافيف المخية المسؤولة عن الذاكرة والمحاكمة العقلية المنطقية عند بعض هذا البعض إن كان يفقه ما هو المنطق ويدرك كنه المحاكمات العقلية ، وله إن كان غريباً عن هكذا مصطلحات أن يبدأ حفلة القدح والذم والشتم التي لن تغير من واقع الحال شيئاً ولن تستطيع حجب شمس الحقيقة التي تدفئ قلوب عاشقي هذا الوطن وتجلد أعدائه بلهيبها … .

بعد سنتين ماذا تبقى لدينا وأين نحن ؟ ، الصورة لا شك تفوق السواد قتامةً وتعتصر القلوب لشدة الألم وتفقأ العيون لهول قبحها وتتجاوز المأساة بمراحل لفظاعة الأسى الذي حل بالأرواح وغلفها وقيد بعضها ، الآلاف من شهداء بواسل جيش الوطن وأضعاف هذا العدد من الجرحى ، الآلاف ممن نحرت رقابهم و فصلت رؤوسهم عن الأجساد في حفلاتٍ من الكفر الثوري يكون التكبير فيها نشيداً ولازمةً على أن تسبقه دائماً وحسب الأصول الدينية ،، البسملة !! ، الآلاف من الشهداء المدنيين الأبرياء ومثلهم من الجرحى والبداهة هنا تقول .. عشرات الآلاف من اليتامى والثكالى والأرامل ، مئات آلاف المشردين المهجرين ممن فرض عليهم دخول العصابات الإرهابية مدنهم واحياءهم ومنازلهم الهرب خوفاً على أرواحهم وخشيةً على أعراضهم ، استهداف العقول السورية المتميزة من الطيارين والأطباء واساتذة الجامعات وأخصائيي البحوث العلمية وتصفيتهم بموجب فرمانٍ من والي الثورة اردوغان باشا السفاح ،

عشرات آلاف المنازل المهدمة ، آلاف المصانع التي تم حرقها أو نهبها وبيع معداتها للعثماني ، آلاف المدارس المدمرة ثورياً ، عشرات المشافي التي خرجت من الخدمة إما بسبب التدمير أو بسبب احتلالها من قبل جيش الكفر الثوري على الأرض السورية ، مئات القرى وعشرات البلدات والعديد من المدن التي طالها الخراب الثوري طرقات ومرافق عامة وابنية حكومية ومؤسسات خدمية وإجتماعية ، عشرات الجسور وخطوط السكك الحديدية التي تم اخراجها من الخدمة لأسبابٍ ثورية تكفيرية ملحة وموجبة ، العديد من محطات توليد الطاقة والنفط التي تم تدميرها جزئياً أو كلياً لأسبابٍ جهادية وتنفيذاً لأوامر بنو الآلات الأعرابية البدوية المتصهينة ، معاداة الثورجية الإسلاموية لكل ما هو حضاري ومتطور أو ما هو في طور التطور في النسيج الإجتماعي السوري ومحاولة العودة به عبر الزمن .. فقط .. لنحو ألف وخمسمائة عام !! ، الجهاد في سبيل تدمير القوة العسكرية السورية الضامنة لأمن وأمان الوطن والمدافعة عن الأرض والعرض والصامدة بثبات أمام كل مخططات بني صهيون إسرائيلييهم وناتوييهم وأعرابييهم وعثمانييهم ، على مدى عقودٍ خمس ، إصدار فتاوى الكفر بأن تدمير الوطن السوري أرضاً وشعباً وجيشاً وقيادةً فرض عين على كل متأسلم باع ما قد يكون لديه من بقايا أخلاق أو وجدان مقابل إمتاع عقله الكامن بين فخذيه على الأرض إغتصاباً وفي جنان الكفر وطئاً للقاصرات والغلمان حسب شريعة سدنة آل صهيون من مفتيي الموساد القابعين على رمال الصحراء الأعرابية ، أية ثورةٍ بربكم تلك التي تقضي على وطن ؟ أية ثورة تلك التي تدمر حضارةً وتبيد شعب ؟! … .

بعد سنتين ماذا بقي لدينا وأين نحن ؟ هو سؤالٌ يصخب في عقول السوريين ويعصف في فضاءات أرواحهم ويصر أن يلقى إجابة فيعلن ثورة على الثورات جميعها قديمها وجديدها ، سؤالٌ يتردد على شفاه اليتامى و الأرامل والثكالى وكل من فجع بعزيز ،، وما من سوري شريف إلا وفجع بأعز ما لديه ،، سورية الحبيبة ، هل نجرؤ اليوم وبعد سنتين من عمر الحرب على هذا الوطن أن ننظر في المرآة ونجيب على الأسئلة السهلة ، هل يختلف إثنان على حقيقة أن هناك من حاول ذبح سورية وفصل رأسها عن جسدها وتفتيت أوصالها وهتك نسيجها الإجتماعي وتحطيم قدراتها العسكرية وامكاناتها الإقتصادية ودفن تراثها والقضاء على دورها الحضاري وقطع حبال الإنتماء بينها وبين ابنائها ومحو هويتها القومية واستبدالها بهوياتٍ طائفية واثنية ومناطقية ، هل من فاجرٍ على وجه الأرض من افرقاء حلف العدوان يجرؤ أن ينظر إلى نفسه في المرأة حين يكون وحيداً وبعيداً عن الأضواء ليجيب على هكذا سؤال ؟

لن نتوجه بسؤالنا للمسيو اوباما أو كيريه ولا لكاميرون وهيغه ولا لهولاند وفابيوسه ولا لكركدن الدوحة وبغله و لا لخيال المآتة الآل سلولي وهزازه ولا للواهم العثماني وأغلووه ، ولا للأعرابي نبيل وأعضاء حظيرته و لاللورقة الخضراء الإبراهيمية المهترئة ، وليس من الحكمة أن نوجه هكذا سؤال لرجالات الماكينة الإعلامية لحلف العدوان على سوريا ولذا فسنعفي كل من الفيلسوف العبقري والمفكر عزمي بشارة و الخبير العسكري الإستراتيجي الزيات أو ا كريشان أو الظفيري وصحبهما ممن امتهنوا الدعارة الإعلامية أو عبد الباري عطوان و رفاقه من أصحاب الأقلام الصفراء وكثرٌ آخرين لا مجال لحصرهم ممن بنوا اهرامات مجدهم الإعلامي على هياكل أبناء سوريا وركامها وحطامها ، ولن يكون من المفيد في شيء بطبيعة الحال أن نسأل وغداً كالقرضاوي ولا كافراً كالعريفي ولا وضيعاً كالعرعور .. من هو برأيكم أيها الكفرة من حاول ذبح الحسناء السورية ومن إنتهك عرضها ومن اعتبرها مما ملكت الأيمان ؟ … .
سنسأل من يدعي إنتماءً لهذه الأرض ومن يتمسح بقدسية ترابها ويعلن نفسه محارباً في سبيل عزتها ونصرتها فيما هو بيدقٌ يحركه أعداؤها وجندي في خدمة الشياطين التي تكالبت عليها وخنجرٌ أعرابي مسموم يطعنها في السر وفي العلن ،
  • هل يجرؤ جورج صبرا أن يقف في محراب سوريا ،، مهد المسيحية ويعترف بما اقترف لسانه وعقله بحق الوطن ؟ أم أنه لن يقبل بعد اليوم إلا صلاةً في كنيسة الباب العالي ولن يعترف إلا بين يدي القس اردوغان ،
  • هل يقبل ميشيل كيلو أن يجلس على كرسي إعتراف على قمة قاسيون وينظر من أعلى في عيون أهل دمشق ويخبر الحقيقة ولا شيء سوى الحقيقة ويتلو للخلق هناك قائمة معاصيه وآثامه بحق سوريا والسوريين ؟ ،
  • هل يرتضي الإخوان الخطيب والشقفة والبيانوني وحجاب وسيف والمالح وكركوز الجزيرة ..القاسم أن يقفوا بين يدي الله في بيت الله الأموي ليصلوا جماعةً ويعترفوا جماعةً أو فرادى عن تفاصيل ما أتت به قلوبهم وعقولهم وألسنتهم من الكفر والعهر العمالة والخيانة والنذالة والتبعية والأنانية وشخصنة الخلافات على حساب الوطن ومستقبل الوطن ؟ ،
  • أم أن هذا الجمع لن تكون له صلوات ولا إعترافات إلا في كنيسٍ يهودي يقف فيه جنباً إلى جنب مع حمد وعبد الله آل سلول واوباما و أولاند وكاميرون واردوغان وقادة أمناء الهيكل ورموز جماعة غوش ايمونيم وأصدقاء السفاح باراخ غولدشتاين .. .

بعد سنتين أيها البشر ماذا يقول التاريخ إن هو يوماً تحدث وهو لن يمل الحديث عنها وعن مصابها شعباً وجيشاً وتاريخاً وحضارة .. ، التاريخ سيفعل دون شك فهو الحافظة التي تدون كل ما مر على هذا الأرض الطاهرة من القبح والكفر و العهر والقتل والإجرام .. وجميعها بإسم الدين أولاً وبإسم الحرية والديمقراطية ثانياً ، والتاريخ لا شك سوف يفتح دفاتره دون حرج وسيعلو صوته ليطغى على أصوات الرصاص و مدافع الهاون والعبوات الناسفة والمتفجرات البشرية الجهادية المسافرة إلى حيث الحور العين ، وسيحفر صوته حفراً ليدفن فيها أصحاب صيحات التكبير التي تسبق ذبح الأبرياء وفصل رؤوسهم عن أجسادهم وليعلن أن هذا كفرٌ كما هو ذاك كفر ، ولن يرحم التاريخ كل أنواع الباعة والتجار ،، من تاجر منهم بالدماء السورية وباعها زجاجات خمرٍ من دم ليشربها فريقٌ من الأنذال والسفلة وينتشي بها ومعها كل اليهود .. يهود خيبر ويهود القدس المحتلة ويهود واشنطن ويهود الناتو ويهود أنقرة المتأسلمين وقبل أولئك جميعاً ،، حاخامات الدوحة ومزراحيو مكة والرياض وباقي صهاينة البادية من رعاة الإبل ، ولن ننسى بكل تأكيد اليهود المتأسلمون على مختلف تصنيفاتهم وفصائلهم الإخونجية والسلفية والوهابية … . أولئك جميعاً لا نتيجة أو فائدة من طرح هكذا اسئلة عليهم ،، فاجوبتهم لن تكون بعيدة عن تعاليم تيودور هرتزل و اليهودي بيرنبوم أول من أتى بمصطلح الصهيونية … .
نؤكد أخيراً يا من تقرأون آخر الكلمات أن ما يجرعربات الغزاة على الأرض السورية ليست جياداً أصيلة بل بغالاً من الصنف الآل ثاني وفي أفضل الأحوال من فصيلة الواهم العثماني ، فهي تقود العربات ومن عليها من الكفرة إلى الجحيم السوري للقيا الهزائم لا الإنتصارات ، حيث يتكفل جيش الوطن بباقي المهمة فيفتح لهم بوابات الجحيم ويرمي بهم في براكينه وينزع من أجسادهم أرواح الشياطين ، سوريا التي يقطع اليوم بواسل جيشها حبل سرة الموت القادم إليها من رحم ما كان عروبة فبات استعراباً وما كان إسلاماً فبات كفراً ينتحل صفة الأسلمة ، حبل السرة هذا الذي يراد له أن يغذيها موتاً ويشبعها موتاً ، لكن الحق لن يرتدي بغير حقه وحق الحقيقة يقول أن لهم معها أعداؤها موعداً مقدساً تعلن فيه نفسها عنقاء أبية قوية ،، وملائكية . و أما الرياح التي تعصف بقافلة الغزاة فهي رياح خماسية مجبولة من ثنائية الشعب والجيش هذه الثنائية التي باتت صفاتها علامةً مسجلة لن ينسى التاريخ أن يحفظ لها أحقية امتلاكها ونسبها ما دام البشر يسكنون هذه الأرض ،، فمن ثباتٍ إلى عزمٍ إلى شجاعةٍ إلى صمودٍ إلى إقدامٍ إلى تصميمٍ إلى بأسٍ إلى بسالةٍ إلى تضحيةٍ إلى إستشهاد.. بعض هذا الصفات الإلهية التي تحاكي المجد موروثة بحكم المهد والمولد والمنشأ وبعضها مكتسبة تفرضها حالة إدمان عشق الأوطان وإيثارها على النفس والروح ، وجميعها كرمى لكرامة الوطن وعزته وسموه ورفعته وصوناً لسياجه وإعلاءً لإسمه ولعلمه خفاقاً أبي … .

المجد لسوريا والرفعة لإسمها والإجلال والإكبار لبواسل جيشها ،، والعزة والخلود لشهداءها
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